Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Stylecraft Blog Tour

If you haven't been following the tour so far, let me tell you a few details.  The tour features Batik DK yarn and the new Batik Elements. There are four different colour packs: Country Garden, Desert, Lagoon and Rain Forest. Each day from 16th - 31st October a different Stylecraft Blogstar talks about the knit or crochet design they have created using one of the yarn packs. 

Thank you to Phil from The Twisted Yarn for yesterday's stop off on the tour. Tomorrow it continues with Catherine's Crochet Corner.

Today it's the turn of Hand Knitted Things. The lovely "Desert" colour pack was my selection which includes the shades iron, graphite, cherry, heather, rose, coral and gold.

Inspiration for my design came from waves on the seashore in Scotland and a blanket I made previously using a stripy contrasting stitch pattern. Some experimenting with colour combinations and stitch patterns followed,  eventually a sample knitted swatch was produced. 

The wave pattern is based on the Shetland lace stitch "Old Shale" (Old Shell), usually knit on a stocking stitch background. For this project, however, all rows are knitted, so it's garter stitch all the way. The shawl is knit from the centre line in one direction from a provisional cast on. 

A provisional cast on allows cast on stitches to remain "live" and be worked on later. There are various methods to achieve this technique. My preference is to create stitches on the knitting needle using a crochet hook and some scrap yarn. There's a very good video I found which demonstrates this - click here.

After casting off the first half of the shawl, the "live stitches" from the provisional cast on are placed back on the knitting needle. The other half is knitted outwards, again from the centre line of stitches. This results in two halves running parallel with each other. 

Now, you may have noticed a shade missing from the original line upwhich is the golden yellow. After completing the swatch and getting started I realised the golden yellow did not appear in my design. Following much consideration I decided to proceed with the predominantly plum, cherry, pink and mauve tones and think about adding another complimentary project using the yellow. 

Using some of the graphite and cherry with the yellow, "Parallel Lines" gloves were devised, incorporating pattern stitches from the shawl. The gloves are knitted in the round with purl rows and colour changes.

Gloves matching the shawl were also made using some of the remaining yarn.

The gloves and shawl patterns are available from Ravelry with 
a 30 % discount until the end of the blog tour.
(Offer ends 31st October 2017 - Midnight BST)

Batik DK colour pack "Desert" - x4 Iron, x1 each of graphite, heather, cherry, rose, gold and coral

Stylecraft yarns are offering the chance to win one of the yarn packs of Batik "Desert". There's enough yarn to make the shawl and two pairs of gloves. 

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway

(Opens 10am BST on 25th until 10am BST on 26th October 2017)

Update 26th October 2017
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, it's now closed.
There were 1496 entries.
The winner is Alison Dibdin.

Thank you!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Knitting snippets, out and about

Summer seems to have slipped into autumn and time as usual has flown by. Here's an autumnal resume, mainly photos from August through to October with some captions thrown in. 

Spent one Saturday in early October helping these two lovely ladies Barbara and Alex. They were presenting items from the Knitting and Crochet Guild collection at the “Up Country” yarn shop in Holmfirth.

The blanket is a design by Debbie Abrahams, the one featured on the Knitting and Crochet Guild logo. It was a “Mystery Blanket” knit-along in 2011. A kit was available by subscription (but no longer available). You can find details about it on Ravelry but I don’t think you can get the pattern.  

There's been some work done on revamping a Hand Knitted Things pattern, more news on this in early November...

These popular greeting cards with knitted Highland scenes have sold out over at Nanny's Cafe in Sheildaig. More ordered, printed and delivered...

Some walking along the shores of Loch Torridon...

...and sunshine with far reaching views along the loch...

Views from the front door with changing light...

Mobile library visiting...

...well stocked library van with lovely books...

My wise old owl appeared in the September/October edition of Landscape Magazine...

There's been lots of knitting behind the scenes with these shades...'s a sneak peak of the finished item which will be revealed here on Wednesday 25th October, part of the Stylecraft Blog Tour 2017...there'll also be a giveaway too. Tune in on Wednesday to participate...