Saturday, 19 February 2011

No sooner had the children's rides returned to the Piece Hall than it started snowing. Honestly, anyone would think it was winter... Anyway, in honour of the inclement weather I thought, instead of the usual woolly photo, we'd have something showing the Calderdale countryside in all its snowy loveliness. (Thanks, Mike, for the photos.)

But, returning to nice, warm yarny stuff, for anyone who's not on the Three Bags Full ravelry group, we now have stocks of Debbie Bliss Angel - 76% kid mohair/34% silk - in lots of gorgeous, soft colours. Some absolutely scrummy patterns are also available in the Angel pattern book (£4.95 at TBF) and in the latest Debbie Bliss magazine (also £4.95).

Oh, go then, we'll have a woolly picture after all. Pretty or what?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Scarves II

The scarf thing's still running away with me, so here's another couple of my favourites...

A pattern that I made two or three of this winter was the Hubby Approved Neckwarmer which first made its appearance in 2006, so how come I didn't hear about it till 2010? Anyway, it's a really simple rib neckwarmer - you can make it in an evening or two, with just one ball of wool. Sounding good so far? Well, what I also did was mess about a bit with the rib pattern and I used vintage buttons, or sometimes two buttons, and I made fingerless gloves to match, and...well, I just can't leave a good pattern alone. The design's by Danielle Landes and is on her Sheep Geek blog. I did try to post a link, but Blogger's not having it. (How come Blogger worked so much better before they made the improvements??)

Another really useful little scarf can be made from a hand-written cravat pattern that a lovely Welsh lady visitor to the shop sent me. I'm not sure I'm the cravat type, but it would look nice tucked into a smart, white shirt. (I'm not actually a smart, white shirt type either, but there are lots of people who are...)
Basically you start with two stitches, increasing gradually to 28, working straight for a bit, separating the stitches into two lots and working a few rows of 1x1 rib for a while on the two separate sets of stitches, then bringing them back onto the one needle. Work 13 inches of stocking stitch, then repeat the first few instructions but in reverse, (starting with dividing the stitches into 2 lots) so that you end up with 2 stitches, which you just cast off. Simple. I can't find the original of this pattern on ravelry but, if you recognise the idea behind it, let me know - I'm not trying to claim it as mine and will be happy to credit.

Here's what it looks like in Araucania Ranco:

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The As You Like It Scarf

Once upon a time a kiss was just a kiss, a sigh was just a sigh and a scarf was just a scarf. Well, kisses and sighs might not change much, but suddenly scarves are interesting - exciting even!

My favourites lately are very similar in style to Lucy Lamb’s earrings and the basic twirly whirly Christmas decorations I made a few months ago. Bigger, obviously.

This isn’t anything as grand as a pattern – just generic guidelines:

Cast on as many stitches as you feel like (you’ll probably need at least 90 for a decent length scarf), using whatever wool or other yarn you fancy and the size of needles you want to use.
Then knit into the front and back of every stitch on every row or every alternate row - you choose which. If you want an even twirlier scarf you can knit into the front, back and then the front again of each stitch. When it's as wide as you want, cast off.

You'll probably get to a stage where you have too many stitches to manage with a straight needle. At that stage transfer them to a circular needle and then either cast off on the next row or use a second circular, so you're using two circulars as though they were straights.

And make sure you keep the stitches LOOSE.

These scarves are generally knitted fairly narrow. I've never tried a wide version - it might be fine or it might not twirl very well. I don't know.

I've been told that they can be made the other way round too - cast on millions of stitches and then reduce every row till you have...well in the spirit of 'as you like it' let's just say, as many as you want.

I've got one or two samples in the shop if you either want to see what you're hoping to create or want to buy one. (The beautiful yellow cardigan above was knitted by Three Bags Full regular Dee and sorry, it's not for sale!)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

This n' that

Some organised people keep lists of intended knitting projects on ravelry. Being a low-tech kind of girl I do it with a pencil in the back of my diary. So far it fills three-quarters of a page.

I pulled back the bonsai - there were mistakes in there that I thought I could live with but really I couldn't. I'd really got into knitting with those tiny dpns too! So that's one project awaiting a re-start.

I only have a measly three items actually on the needles at present:
various samples of double (reversible) knitting in red and white
a two-colour waistcoat in Mirasol K'Acha - a sample garment for the shop
a scarf for a homeless person.

...speaking of which, this is the second scarf I've made from a 400g stashed ball of aran and I'm knitting and knitting but that ball's not getting any smaller! How does that happen?

Sale ends Saturday! Debbie Bliss Angel mohair/silk mix expected soon after.