Sunday, 30 October 2011

A jacket for Barbie

I know, I know, posts deserve wittier titles, but it's Sunday morning...

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you my pattern for a jacket for Barbie. At one time I was disturbed that Barbie even existed, but a daughter who loved her soon put paid to that. And she does have her good side - for a start she's unlikely to complain about the colour or the fit or ask if you could just make the cables a shade less standy-outy, or check if her bum looks big in this. Barbie's bum doesn't look big in anything.

Okay, so you need some scraps of 4 ply and some single point 3mm and 3.25mm needles. (The latter mostly still referred to by Three Bags Full customers as 10s.)


tk - knit the second stitch on the left hand needle (keeping it on the needle) then knit the first stitch on the left hand needle and let them both drop off the needle together.
c6b - put the next 3 stitches onto a cable needle and hold to the back of the work. Knit the next 3 stitches on the left hand needle, then knit the three from the cable needle.
co - cast off

Back and fronts together:
Using 3mm needles, cast on 42 stitches.
Work 4 rows of 2x2 rib
Change to 3.25mm needles and proceed as follows:
Row 1: k2, p2, tk, p2, tk, p4, tk, p2, c6b, p2, tk, p4, tk, p2, tk, p2, k2
Row 2: p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k4, p2, k2, p6, k2, p2, k4, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2
Row 3: Work as row 1, except for the central 6, where you should knit 6
Row 4: Work as row 2

Repeat these 4 rows a further 4 times.

Next row, divide at armholes: pattern 9 stitches, co2, pattern 19 (20 on needle since last cast off), co2, pattern to end

Continue to work on first 9 stitches (left front) only for a further 10 rows, without shaping, in pattern as set
Next row: co2 at start of row
Next row: k2 together at end of row
Next row: co remaining 6 stitches

Rejoin yarn to next set of 20 stitches (the back) and work on these only, working pattern rows 2-4, then 2 full 4-row patterns, then row 1.
Next row: co6 at beginning of this row
Next row: co6 at beginning of this row

Rejoin yarn to last set of stitches (right front) and work these to match the left front, but work 9 rows without shaping rather than 10.

Armhole edging: with 3 mm needles, pick up 20 stitches around each armhole and work 3 rows of 1x1 rib. Cast off.

Front edging: Pick up 22 stitches down each front.
Left side: work 4 rows 1x1 rib.
Right side: work 2 rows 1x1 rib.
Next row: work in 1x1 rib, making a buttonhole by casting off 2 stitch in a fairly central position (it's not crucial where - Barbie's not going to whinge about it.)
Next row: work in 1x1 rib, casting on one stitch where you cast it off on the previous row
Next row: work in 1x1 rib
Cast off.

Sew up the shoulder seams and ribbing around the armholes.

Collar: with right side facing, pick up 28 stitches along the top of the front ribbing, front piece, back piece, second front, then the top of the ribbing at the other side. Work 12 rows 1x1 rib, then cast off.

Sew on a button to correspond with the position of the buttonhole, and sew in all ends.

Headband: you could doubtless work this out for yourself...cast on 28 stitches, work 2 rows of 2x2 rib, then cast off and sew up. Easiest thing ever, but it finishes off the outfit nicely.

I'm hoping there aren't any mistakes in this but if there are, please let me know. And if you make it successfully and would like to send me a photo I'd love to see your version.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Debbie Bliss Paloma

I'm loving the new super chunky yarns this winter and this one, Debbie Bliss's Paloma, is one of my favourites. It's soft, it's light and it comes in great colours. What more could you ask?

Ok, you could ask for a good price, I suppose. Recommended retail price is £6.50 per 50g hank, but at Three Bags Full, both online and in the shop, we're offering it for £5.50 till December. That gives you lots of time to knit up a few luxury scarves for Christmas presents.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gorgeous new stitchmarkers

Have just uploaded lots of lovely, locally made stitchmarkers to the 'special stuff' section of the website. They range from the very beautiful to the extremely cute - a great present for your knitting friends, or for you if you love useful things that are also pretty.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Artesano Superchunky

Since this arrived two or three weeks ago I keep picking up the odd hank and knitting with it, simply because it's so gorgeously substantial and warm. And the good news is that we've now added it to the website:

We have seven colours available, plus the great little A5 booklet that Artesano have produced. And Three Bags Full price for the superchunky is £8.25, as opposed to rrp of £8.75. That's not just for a week or two, or while you've got a coupon available to you, or whatever. That's for the forseeable future.

And, don't forget, there's free carriage to UK mainland addresses for orders over £15.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Chirpy, chirpy, cheap, cheap

A couple more bargains on the website...

Mondial Merino Sport - a great value 100% wool yarn in bold colours. We've decided to reduce this because to be honest we need the space in the shop for the new superchunkies...

Mirasol K'Acha - a high end mix of merino, alpaca and silk. Anything with silk in is gorgeous and anything with alpaca in it is extra warm so how could you lose with this one? No idea why Mirasol have discontinued it, but their loss is your gain.

I've also added a one-off purchase of worsted-spun Woodland Whiteface 4ply,which will be great for your dyeing and felting needs and is a super value price. The Woodland Whiteface sheep is native to the South Pennines so it's great to have this particular wool available, if only for a short time.

Full details at

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

To twitter or not to twitter

My daughter says twitter's for following celebs and for young people, which she feels rules me very well out. My friend says she's seen a boost in her ratings since she started using it to promote her business. Google tells me that users use software programmes to follow and unfollow tweeters and, to be honest, if people aren't really interested in what you're saying - they're just pretending to follow you so you'll pretend to follow them - well, what's the point?

I much prefer wool and needles and making things to all this promotional stuff, but you do need the promotional side to run a business. Our aim is for the shop to be friendly, helpful, and offer great yarns at good prices. At present I don't think that's coming across...but would twitter help? Who knows?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Super Superchunky

The Artesano Superchunky is one of my favourites of the new chunky yarns we have in stock - the other one I really like is Debbie Bliss's Paloma. Anyway, Artesano have brought a good little pattern book out with several small project ideas that take three or four hanks. But I decided that maybe people would like something that they could make out of just one hank. And so here we have the One hour One Hank Neckwarmer. I can't deny it's heavily inspired by Danielle Landes's Hubby Approved Neckwarmer, but clearly the benefit is that it knits up much faster as it's in a much thicker yarn.

If you'd like to make one of your own:

Using 12mm needles, cast on 11 stitches.
Work 46 rows in single rib, while working the first stitch of each row as a
s1p and the last stitch of every row as a k1tbl.
After 46 rows, make a button hole by casting off the middle stitch on the 47th row, then on the 48th row, casting one on to cover the gap.
Work 6 more rows as before.
Cast off in rib.
Sew on button (I use big, vintage buttons.Buttons are fast becoming a passion.)

If you have a problem at all, email me and I'll send you the proper, written-out-in-detail pattern instructions.

You should find that this works for one hank with just a few yards of yarn to spare, so I can't guarantee you'd manage it with a different superchunky!

Even if you're making this for someone else's Christmas present, try it on once it's finished. You'll be amazed how soft and warm it is. I'm not a neckwarmer type of person generally, but I might make an exception in this case.