Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The best part of this job... opening the parcels that arrive thick and fast this time of year, ready for the main winter knitting season. Yesterday the first instalment of our recent Designer Yarns order arrived. Inside the box were some new colours of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, some new shades of lovely, mohairy Angel, some Angel prints (the multi version) and the fab, new scarf yarn, Bolero.

The photos aren't great, but here goes:

My favourite Angel shade is the rich gold, which is squashed down at the bottom of the pile, but they're all pretty. We've held the price at £8.25, despite a recent rise in the rrp.

On the right are the six shades of Bolero that we bought, along with the sample scarf I've started knitting up. It's kind of like Rico Loopy, but with a gipsyish edge to it. One 100g ball of Bolero makes a scarf and it costs just £5.95.

Later in the week the Adriafil should arrive and then more Designer Yarns and then...I love this time of year!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Scarf-without-a-name pattern

I looked for the scarf pattern for the scarf I uploaded a couple of days ago and this is what I found:
Useful, huh?

You might find this clearer:
Using 4.5mm straight needles, cast on 44 loosely with DK yarn.

Row 1: Slip1 purlwise, knit to last to stitch, ktbl.

Change to 4mm needles.
Row 2: k2 *yfwd k1, k3, ssk, k1, k2tog, k3, yfwd, k2. Repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: purl all stitches

Repeat rows 2 and 3 till your scarf is as long as you want it to be.

Change to 4.5mm needles. Knit one row. Cast off loosely.

When knitting scarves, I usually slip purlwise the first stitch of every row and knit into the back of the last stitch of every row. It makes the edges uniform, altho’ I’m not sure it’s any more neat than just knitting (or whatever) the edge stitches. Sometimes it looks better, sometimes it doesn’t; see what you think – it’s easy enough to change edge stitches if you decide to.

The cast on and cast off edges will be slightly at odds with each other – one’s wavier than the other. I suppose if that really bothers you you’d have to knit two halves and sew them together or knit a three needle cast off or something.

Friday, 24 August 2012

A new scarf or two

Every so often on ravelry there's a 'someone stole my pattern!' thread. They vary from people caught selling photocopies of someone else's design (downright illegal) to people taking a little more inspiration from a previous pattern than was wise (bit cheeky) to two designers having very similar ideas at exactly the same time. That's not so unlikely, is it? But how wonderful is this? I was flicking through a new pattern book from Designer Yarns two days ago - I'm not sure if the pattern book's even been released yet - and saw 'my' scarf!! This one!

Okay, so the pattern isn't really for my scarf. But it is for a scarf that looks similar to this one above, which I put together in July with a view to selling. I didn't have a good look at the book; it was the rep's copy. It could be - okay, it's pretty likely - that the professional version is way superior to mine. But mine's okay too. For a second or two there I felt like a budding designer. Then I remembered it's a scarf, for heaven's sake. Just a little scarf. (And also yes, there's an element of not being fit to lace whoever's boots - look, I was just tickled, that's all I'm saying!)

Anyway, I'll post the pattern when I find it so you can make yourselves one if you'd like. Alternatively you can buy one of these two from my folksy shop when I sort out the listing.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The girl can't help it

A few more new starts!

Hot on the heels of the ice-creamy chevron scarf and the blue chevron scarf, we now have...
a browny one, and...
a mixed greys one.

Oh, and there's now also this:
I can't tell you how much better this looks in the flesh than it does on this flash-ruined photo.  It's mostly different shades of sludge - blue sludge, red sludge, plain old grey sludge. And yes, it's going to be a shawl! I've never made a shawl before and, while loving to gaze at other people's gorgeous lacey creations, I'd never seriously wear one, so this is very much a sling-round-your-shoulders-without-feeling-pretentious kind of thing.

I haven't even photographed the dress I'm making as a shop sample but I will tell you the pattern is called Meredith, it's knit in the round and it's available for free at present on the Let's Knit website here. You can find more of designer Ruth Maddock's lovely creations on ravelry.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The garden centre and the humble stitch directory

Garden centres are so full of promise, aren't they? They fire your imagination in all sorts of ways - a new border there, a hanging basket to add a little height, a splash of new paint on the shed... The same goes for a visit to the DIY shop - you come home with loads of ideas for colour combinations and wonderful transformations in your living room. Mike gets the same kick from maps - where shall we go, how shall we get there...

For me, it's stitch directories. You look at a book chockful of different ways of combining knits, purls and yarn overs and you're filled with inspiration: hmmm, what would that stitch work for?...would that one look good with a variegated yarn?...will that come out stiff and solid or loose and drapey?...what if you tried it on really big needles or with ribbon yarn?

I only have these two but I love them, even tho' one's damp-stained and  they're both looking a bit scruffy these days. Yeah, bit of a knitting nerd really.