Updated: 31-12-2010
© Christina Coutts 2007

2010 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Amnesty International Card [Started 26th December: :Completed 26th December]

Amnesty International are running their card campaign for a Chekib El-Khiari in Morocco. I made a knitted card decoration this year from the Debbie Bliss magazine No 5 for Winter 2010. I used oddments of red and white yarn - probably Phildar Luxe.

Winter Wonder Hat [Started 19th December: :Completed 19th December]

This is a simple 1960s hat which is surprisingly flattering and quick to knit in bulky wool. I used several strands of 2 ply handspun to achieve the right tension on 7mm needles. The fibre was mostly Norwegian Spelsau combined with a merino/silk blend. Pattern available at POM December 2010.

Knit Chickens and Charted Chicken [Started 17th November: :Completed 12th December]

Once I had seen Alison's fabulous knitted chickens in the flesh (wool) I just had to make some myself. This charted chicken is for my sister for Christmas - it might be a little like her prize Croad Langshans - apart from all the white bits, (but I'm claiming artistic licence). The thumbnail shows the striped version of the chicken; the pop-up shows the fair-isle version. The charted chicken is a slightly tighter tension which worked well making it more substantial; if I were to do one of the plain ones again I would use thicker yarn or smaller needles. Yarn is Cascade 220 plain and tweed effect, [100g; 220 yds], 100% wool, which I bought it in the US at Yarn Dogs in Los Gatos. There are now some UK stockists and Yarn Canada provide good shipping rates all over Canada..

Emergency travel-knitting gift socks [Started 13th November: :Completed 22nd December]

Sock yarn purchased at IKnit weekender, which I decided to knit on the plane to the US - this was an experimental venture but the bamboo sock needles appeared to pass the strict security screening at Heathrow - I was, however, fully prepared to forfeit the needles had it proved necessary. Fortissima Socka Mexiko in colour 9042 Wine/Black [100g; 420m], 75% wool, 25% polyamide.

Homespun Fetching [Started 6th November: :Completed 4th December]

This is more lovely yarn spun from Lavender Cottage Fibres. As usual I had some trouble with consistency trying to spin an Aran weight, but they seem to have worked out fine.

Jaeger Man's Guernsey in DK [Started 14th October]

More stash wool from a sale of sadly defunct Jaeger brand. This is Jaeger Extra Fine Merino, [50g; 137yds/125m], 100% wool, in the rather uninspiring colour 973 "Biscuit". The most annoying thing is that despite for once in my life buying a Jaeger pattern, using the recommended yarn, buying the right amount (!) for a medium size and knitting the small size - I HAVE RUN OUT OF YARN! Thanks goodness for Cucumber Patch who came up with an extra ball in the right colour (unsurprisingly not the same dye lot).

Rowan Man's Aran Cardigan [Started 14th October]

Stash wool from when I overbought some Rowan Magpie Aran Tweed for a cardigan for my brother in law some years ago (I know - not like me - large administrative error in translating 2oz balls to 100g balls). I am adapting a cardigan pattern from the Mens Book which is designed for chunky yarn; I have not yet made a satisfactory start - every time I knit the welt it looks too small!

Aran Clock [Started 3rd October: :Completed 4th November]

My original idea for an Aran clock which came to me "the day the French kitchen clock stopped working".
Yarn used is a vintage Aran wool blend of unknown origin.....
See how I did it in POM for October 2010.

Handspun Socks for Peter [Started 22nd September: :Completed 4th October]

Definitely "art" spinning and dying. I used one ply as purchased variegated green merino and the other ply was a mixture of Peter's Suffolk sheep fleece and some acrylic green fibre. I thought the skein was a bit dull so I streaked it with Kool Aid in Morello Cherry and Grape, wrapped in cling-film and microwaved.
The resulting colour is very... original.

Two [Started 22nd August]

This is Two - not another cardigan! But it is, like Puzzle, from Queen of Hearts - in fact, the cover design. The yarn is Patons Misty [25g; 150m], 70% mohair, 30% polyamide. It knits to a double knitting tension of about 22sts to 4 inches, but I am knitting it much looser on 6mm needles. I chose this yarn also at Ally Pally in 2009; being a dress I thought it would take for ever but it seems to be knitting up very quickly so I have every expectation of finishing it soon...

Pot Holder [Started 20th August: :Completed 20th August]

Cleaning out the attic I found some of the projects that I acquired at the Full Thread Ahead knitting retreat in 2007. This was the short row exercise - and I decided to complete it rather than leave it to gather dust.
Purple dish cloth for Deborah methinks....

Ava's mittens [Started 10th August: :Completed 12th August]

Ava's Fetching mittens have worn out! So I quickly knitted another pair in time to take to France. You can spot that these are again from the original handspun wool from her sheep - or you will be able to once I have a picture!

Blithe [Started 9th August]

In 2006 I made Deep (a cardigan) in Rowan's Summer Tweed. The colour really suits me but I never wore Deep very much. So I am reinventing it in a new shape. It's an Aran, so knits up speedily. The pattern is by Marie Wallin from Rowan Magazine 47 - and it is really awful; I am a pretty experienced knitter and I could not work from the chart at all. In the end I resorted to someone else's drafting of the stitch pattern - and thank heavens for Ravelry for pointing me at it - and made the rest up myself.

Woolfest Pennant [Started 24th June: :Completed 24th June]

In response to their request this is my offering to add to the Woolfest 2010 knitted bunting. I made it from my own very first handspun and dyeing efforts - which seemed a perfect idea. I completed it on the car journey up to the Lake District.
(No I was not driving the car!).

Puzzle [Started 20th June: :Completed 8th July]

This is Puzzle another cardigan from a Louisa Harding book, the Alice in Wonderland themed, Queen of Hearts. The yarn is Sirdar Peru [50g; 99yd/90m], colour 305, wonderfully named Blanket Blue, 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% alpaca . It knits to a chunky tension of about 14sts to 4 inches. Sirdar Peru is discontinued - I picked up a pack at Ally Pally in 2009; my ambition is to complete this before the show comes round again! (Mission complete...).

Sport Socks [Started 3rd June May: :Completed 10th June]

In celebration of World Cup month - not exactly football socks but - red and white - which are sort of England colours!
The pattern is available in Pattern of the Month for June 2010 (from June 10th - opening ceremonies!).

Anais [Started 4th May: :Completed 3rd June]

This is Anais another cardigan from Louisa Harding's book Nouveau. If there were a prize for the most time spent reknitting a cardigan, I surely would have won it for this one. No reflection on the pattern - I just kept trying to adapt it. In the end I simply made the sleeves a bit longer - to suit me - and I knitted it in a single colour. The yarn is Phildar Canasta [50g; 108yd/100m], colour 15, Café, 21% acrylic, 79% viscose - I love the rich brown colour and slight sheen. It knits to a double knitting tension of about 22sts to 4 inches.

William's Reefer [Started 24th April: :Completed 1st May]

A gift for Toria's new baby William. The pattern is a sweet little "Raglan Reefer" knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
The pattern is available in Pattern of the Month for April 2010. William is not small and also a summer baby, so I have knitted a the larger size hopefully to be OK for him to wear in the autumn.

Homespun socks (for Terry) [Started 20th April: :Completed 22nd June]

From Socks from the Toe Up in my own handspun from my sister's brown sheep (Celendine). The pattern is a mock cable. I have used 2¼ mm needles and the knitting is quite dense; however, I suspect it will wear through pretty quickly. My spinning is very woolly so with that and the dark colour the cables are not shown to their best advantage.

Baby Surprise [Started 20th March: :Completed 2nd April]

Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket in Wendy Happy, colour 2503 Pisces - colours seem to be named after signs of the zodiac and planets - (75% bamboo, 25% nylon: 420m/455yds per 100g).
This yarn is slippery and does split - but that can be an issue with all bamboo yarns. The jacket has turned out quite tiny (in line with the yarn) and no photo of FO as I have sent it right away to Toria - baby William has arrived already and is not so small....

Guernsey pattern socks (for Terry) [Started 11th March: :Completed 16th April]

From Socks from the Toe Up in Regia Color, colour 1932 Jeans Blue, (75% wool, 25% polyamide: 210m/227yds per 50g). The many sock books in my possession have interesting stitch patterns which are masked if knitted in highly ornate hand-painted yarns, so I bought this yarn on a whim in Canterbury - knowing that Terry will need yet another pair judging by the number of socks being returned for repairs!

Stockport [Started 2nd February: :Completed 28th February]

I loved this design from Rowan book 46 in Cocoon, colour 812 Bilberry, (80% merino, 20% kid mohair: 115m/126yds per 100g) . I have wanted to knit something in this yarn for a long time and it does not disappoint - it's lovely and silky/soft in texture as well as available in a great colour range. (Narvik is in this yarn and I am tempted to abandon my handspun attempts and go straight for the real thing!).

Boudoir Clock [Started 5th January: :Completed 26th February]

An amusing whimsy which occurred to me when my French kitchen clock stopped working one day. The original idea evolved considerably and this is the result of my first project, during which I learned a lot about mechanics - and cheap plastic clocks.
Yarn used is a vintage acrylic of unknown origin.....
See how I did it in POM for March 2010.

Icelandic Shawl [Started 2nd January: :Completed 1st March]

A planned gift for Toria who is shortly expecting a baby. It will not be a really soft baby blanket as it is made with 100% my own handspun from Felicity the sheep (who belongs to Toria). I have used natural colour plus some fleece dyed using our own walnut husks, and a commercial reactive dye for the blue grey.
Shawl pattern adapted by Carol Rasmussen Noble for Knitting Daily - originally published in Piecework magazine.

Dashing Father George [Started 30th December 2009: :Completed 18th January 2010]

George's Father complained about his fingers being cold when working in the garage. A perfect excuse for another pair of "Dashing" mittens - pattern from Knitty.com - brother to the famous "Fetching".

I used some vintage wool from my stock room... Pingouin Star+ (50% Wool/ 50% Acrylic: 85m/93yds per 50g: 18sts x 24rows to 4 ins on 4½mm needles) in a practical working shade of grey.

Vent d'est vent d'ouest [Started 30th November 2009: :Completed 11th March 2010]

I have finally found a lovely scarf pattern in the right gauge to use the beautiful cashmere yarn that Alison bought me as a gift (some time ago now). It always seemed just too special to start anything with. Anyway - here it is - a smoke ring cowl in 100% cashmere yarn from Nash Farm Alaska.

"Sylvia's jacket" for Sheila [Started 25th November 2009: :Completed 1st February 2010]

An excellent opportunity for me to make a Fiona Morris jacket using her special techniques; lucky I had recently been on her workshop. Sheila met Fiona at Ally Pally and chose this cardigan. We then went to great lengths to find the exact same colour as Fiona had on display - in the discontinued Wendy Fusion yarn (50% Wool/ 50% Acrylic: 16sts x 20rows to 4 ins on 5½mm needles). This loose fitting style and random colours would be great for handspun (albeit a bit thick).

Socks that Rock [Started 4th October 2009: :Completed 18th April 2010]

This is a skein of yarn that Alison gave me - I think from Stitches West. It's a wonderful colour combination - but I was a bit taken aback that when G said he was very keen to have socks from it. It is so bright I thought he might be joking. Anyway - here they are finally, and he is very smitten by the fact that the pattern forms a spiral - not simply stripes.

Anouk Cardigan [Started 30th April 2009: :Completed 20th March 2010]

This is Anouk (longer version) from Louisa harding's book Nouveau. I took some trouble selecting a neutral shade that might suit me, and go well with my summer clothes. This is shade 100 Old Cream in RYC Bamboo Soft, 100% bamboo [50g; 112yd/102m]; I like the slight sheen, and soft texture of this yarn. It knits to a tension of 25sts x 30rows to 4 inches.

Arty Fibre Scarf [Started 18th January 2009]

Alison gave me this exquisite fibre for Christmas along with a pattern for a beautiful scarf. She saw the finished item knitted up but there is no photo included, which adds to the pleasure, because the surprise continues as you knit. The yarn is Artfiber's Tsuki , 60% Kid Mohair, 40%Silk, [40g skein; 515yds], and the pattern is Artfibers Vertical Drop Stitch Scarf.

Jasmine silk top [Started 2nd January 2009: :Completed 25th July 2010]

Another pretty top from Kim Hargreaves' book Nectar. Intended to be knitted in Rowan 4 ply cotton, I am using some "Seriously Gorgeous" yarn, 35% Baby Camel, 35%Silk, [100g skein; 400m], that I purchased from Knit Witches at the Ally Pally show last year.
It seems to be working out to the right size so far, but I never quite know until the item is finished. I seem to have problems with things for myself that are intended to be tight fitting, in that I knit them in too large a size.

Sally [Started 7th April 2008: :Completed 25th August 2010]

This is an original design by "Amelia Raitte" (Anna Bell). She offers some great patterns - some even for free. I am using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, as suggested in the pattern, in colours 3, and 101. I really love this mixed fibre yarn, which is 55% merino wool, 12% cashmere, and 33% microfibre, [50g; 136yd/125m]
Sally was published on Magknits - but unfortunately this site is no more and the patterns have disappeared with it; hopefully Anna will post the pattern again on her own site.