Monday, 18 March 2019

4 Sock Patterns by Helen Kurtz


Images courtesy Helen Kurtz and Stylecraft Yarns

Today's post features sock designs by Helen Kurtz who has the popular knitting blog called Josie Kitten. I know Helen through the Blogstars group and over time I've see the number of her lovely knitted sock designs grow, so I thought I'd share some here. 

Helen has used "Head Over Heels" sock yarn by StylecraftThis yarn was specially developed to be durable enough for socks, but also light enough for knitters and crocheter's who like to make shawls. There are three versions of this yarn, each with at least 6 different colour ways. They are:



Composition: 75% super wash wool, 25% nylon
Ball weight: 100g
Length: 437yds/400m
Needle size: 2.25mm
Wash care: machine wash at 30 degrees

Helen's sock designs are free to download. 
Links to the downloads are at the end of each pattern description.

1. Tiptoe Sock Pattern

Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns

These socks were designed for the ‘Head over Heels All Stars’ sock yarn. Rows of pretty tulips, a colourful reminder of the bulb fields of The Netherlands, make this a dainty design, suitable for both self-striping and gradient sock yarns.
The simple floral motif is an easy introduction to lace knitting, making these a great choice for the next step on from some plain vanilla socks.
      
            
Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns

2. Miss Parminter sock pattern
    
Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns


These socks were designed for the Boho Head over Heels range. The ribbing gives a comfortable fit while the lace adds a delicate touch to the pattern. 

They are named after Miss Parminter, the first recorded woman climber, who in 1799 was climbing in the Alps. The pattern works well with self striping yarns and gradient yarns. It is easy to memorise so would make a good sock to knit once you’ve tried a couple of plain pairs. The pattern is available in three sizes - small, medium and large adult - and a 100g ball of sock yarn will easily knit any of these sizes.




3. Foot Hold Socks

Image courtesy Helen Kurtz


This pattern was released to coincide with the launch of two  colours in Stylecraft Yarn’s Head over Heels sock yarn in March 2017 - Etna and Sugar Loaf. The yarns in this range are all named after mountains and inspiration for the pattern from the ridges that climbers use to get a foothold when climbing. These ridges gently ripple their way down the leg and foot, giving an interesting texture to the socks. 

The pattern works well with striping yarns, but would look equally good in a solid or semi-solid yarn. The pattern is easy to memorise so it’s perfect for both new sock knitters and those wanting to knit something other than a plain sock. 

Available in three sizes - small, medium and large adult.

Download Foot Hold free pattern leaflet.





4. First Tracks Socks

Image courtesy Helen Kurtz

So you’ve knitted a pair of plain vanilla socks and want to try something a little more spicy? First Tracks is the perfect introduction to patterned socks. The easy to memorise pattern adds a little interest to a plain sock. Like making the first tracks on newly fallen snow, 'First Tracks' will ease you into the world of patterned socks as you make your own tracks down the rows of knitting! Released in September 2016, this pattern would also look great in any self-striping sock yarn. 

The pattern has lots of negative ease so it’s a great pattern for gift knitting too! The ribbed pattern works well as an everyday sock for both men and women.


Download First Tracks free pattern leaflet.



More details about Helen's sock designs can be found on her Ravelry designers page.

Find Helen on the web here:

Instagram @josiekitten



Thursday, 14 March 2019

Pool Shawl Pattern



The shawl pattern I designed specially for Head Over Heels All Stars yarn is now available from Stylecraft website free (link at the end of the post). You can read about this yarn and how it was inspired in an earlier post I wrote here.



Here are some details about the yarn:
75% super wash wool
25% nylon
100g ball weight
400m/437yrds
needle size 2.25mm
machine washable at 30 degrees





Inspired by colours in the "Swimming Pool" painting, this is how the 'Pool' yarn looks close up. The wool blend is durable for socks but light enough for making knitted or crochet shawls.






Click on the link below to download the free pattern.



Monday, 11 March 2019

Woodland Walk Notebook


At the weekend I attended the Stylecraft Blogstars seasonal meet up at Slaithwaite in West Yorkshire. It was lovely to catch up with the group, share updates and participate in various activities.

The Saturday afternoon craft session was lead by designer Juliet Bernard and featured hand stitched notebooks. We'd all been invited to make a cover in advance of the weekend.

Inspiration for my book cover began earlier this year. In January, I went on a lovely winter, woodland walk through the Beinne Eighe National Nature Reserve in Scotland. The reserve is a special place for wildlife, scenery and geology. 

Even on that cold, damp, January day among the pine trees, heathers, mosses and lichen, inspiration for a knitting project was found.



I had in mind to use up small amounts of Batik DK yarn. The yarn has a wide range of colours in semi solid shades. 



Colours chosen from Batik DK were:

mint, silver, pistachio, gold, raspberry, coral and krypton.






Bands of colour knit in moss stitch...


The notebook is size A5 (A4 sheets folded in half). The cover was knit from the bottom edge up. For the cover I used size 4mm knitting needles, casting on 71 stitches. Calculating enough stitches, I hoped, to allow for an overlap around the vertical edges of the notebook. Beginning in shade silver, knitting 2 rows, changing to shade krypton, working moss stitch (*k1, p1, repeat from * to end). Completing four panels of mixed colour representing the various mosses and plants, with the band of neutral grey in stocking stitch representing a pathway through the woodland.


The "Notes" lettering was created with short lengths of single crochet chain using a 3.5mm hook. The pieces of crochet chain were then slip stitched onto the knitting.


The edges of the knitted cover were folded over at each end to create pockets for the cover to slip into. 

Finally, a wooden button and crochet loop were added to keep the notes closed and safe.

An enjoyable project, using spare yarn, which will remind me of a lovely winter woodland walk.



Saturday, 9 February 2019

Cosy Tea Love


This colourful Fair Isle design features panels of hearts and little houses inspired by a croft house on the west coast of Scotland. 

The Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy pattern includes a knitting chart to make it with 11 pastel colours of Jamieson's of Shetland dk yarn and is knitted in the round.

It would be great project to practice colour work knitting using some of the traditional fair isle motifs.




Also included in the pattern are instructions for a 'Scandinavian' style colour way using just 4 colours of Jamieson's of Shetland dk yarn in red, white, light grey and dark grey.









Knitting skills used in the this project are:
cast on, cast off, knit stitch, purl stitch, knit two stitches together, slip stitch, pass stitch over, working with changes of colour, grafting, sewing duplicate stitch.

Tension: 
approximately 28 stitches over 32 rows = 10cm (4ins).

Suggested needle size:  
3.75 mm (US 5) circular knitting needle length no more than 50cm in length. 3.75 mm circular needle, 40cm long or a set of 3.75 mm dpn’s for the decrease section. For the cord x2 4.5 mm dpn’s (US 7).

Finished size: 
24cm x33cm (9.5ins x 13ins).


There are also instructions showing how to line the tea cosy with fabric.



Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy

is available to purchase and  





Friday, 1 February 2019

Birch Trees Scarf - Projects


With low temperatures, snow and ice around, it's definitely scarf weather again. This post features Birch Trees Scarf and some project images uploaded to Ravelry by knitters. 

There have been over 64K downloads to date of the Birch Trees Scarf knitting pattern from Ravelry. For my design I used size 4.5mm (US 7) needles with some of my shetland sheep DK wool in neutral white

Originally published in April 2014, the pattern is free to download.




I've picked out a few Birch Tree Scarf images from Ravelry of finished projects, made in different colours, different yarns, which caught my eye.


Image used with permission from Eight-by-Six

Image used with permission from Eight-by-Six

The above two images show a lovely version by Eight-by-Six, knit in Fyberspates Vivacious DK, in colour way Pebble Beach, on size 4mm needles. I love the stitch definition and slight variation in tone and shade.



Image used with permission from jayhen


I love the colours in this version by jayhen. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk DK in colour way 'Circus' made with 4mm needles.


Image used with permission from jayhen
Another recently complete version by jayhen. This one is mainly in Sirdar no1 in  Deep Navy. The bands of contrast colour are made with left over yarn from other projects.  




Image used with permission from PineLakeChic


I love the warm, rich red tone in this version from PineLakeChic. This knit project was the first one she had made in 30 years and how lovely it is. The yarn is Jaeger Matchmaker DK shade 781.



Image used with permission from BrunswickKnitter


Love the way this has been used as a shawl. This is a version knit for a shop sample by BrunswickKnitter on 3.75mm needles in Jupiter Moon Farm Zooey in shade purple.


Image used with permission from lindzfrog
In 2014 lindzfrog took on this project to improve her lace creating skills and made a fantastic job. The yarn is Moda Vera Fayette "Fuchsia Mix. I love the way the colour transitions from light to dark.



Image used with permission from sadieagility

And finally but not least, I love this version and the stitch definition by sadieagility. It's knit in a hand dyed and hand painted yarn in Merino/Bamboo using 3.5mm needles. 

Birch Trees Scarf pattern is free to download from Ravelry.


Monday, 7 January 2019

Polkagris Kerchief



The Polkagris Kerchief is a lovely, quick and simple knit by the designer Kate Davies

I used a set of two mini skeins of sport weight, spun from Shetland sheep fleece. One a natural white and the other naturally dyed over marl grey in shade "Ocean".

Now, this was no ordinary Shetland yarn, it was a blend of wool from Shetland sheep originating from 4 farms near my croft in Scotland. When I dispersed my flock of Shetland sheep a couple of years ago the ewes went to live at one of those 4 farms. So, when I discovered that Julie from Black Isle Yarns had acquired fleeces from sheep which used to belong to me, I was keen to buy some yarn and see how it had turned out. 


Here's an image from 2012 with some of my Shetland ewes.



These are the mini skeins from Black Isle Yarns, 40g each. I love the green shade dyed over the grey giving the marl look. The are both very soft and have a rustic look. 



I used a 4mm small circular needle for this knit project. The garter stitch mini shawl is cast on at the centre back. Then increases are made to create an elongated triangle. 


To make the shawl slightly larger I knit some extra rows in grey and mustard in Buachaille yarn


I'm really pleased how this project turned out especially as I had in mind to gift it to a friend for her birthday.


Of course, I just had to take a picture of this kerchief with the view, over looking the fields where my sheep used to graze.