Final Sock Blank
[Started 11th December:
:Completed 29th December]
The last of the blanks from our final day of dyeing with the
guild. This style of blank is designed to blend 2 colours
of varying hue and tint to create broad bands of blended stripes.
I did try and choose the colours well, and they look pretty
but the resultant sock is not very pleasant. Maybe now I have
Deb Menz' colour book as a Christmas gift my colour sense
will improve, but I am not holding my breath in expectation.
[Started 11th December: :Completed
My sister, Barbara, noticed my Fetching Mittens and
said she'd like some but "with half fingers". I
found this pattern in Debbie Bliss's book The
Knitters Year - a lovely book which I have yet to
knit anything from... The yarn I am using is not the recommended
Eco Baby, but her Baby Cashmerino (since the gloves are not
for gardening) - and I have adapted the welt with cables to
look a bit more like Fetching.
[Started 22nd November]
I saw this cardigan displayed on the Rowan stand at Ally Pally
this year - and, though the photo in the mag is appealing,
it looks so much more wonderful in the flesh. So my old knitting
machine is having another outiing with this project - so far
the back is complete and looks wonderful. The pattern is from
Knitting & Crochet Magazine 52, and uses felted tweed
DK in quite a lot of colours - but only one ball of each.
I was confused by two things (zero points for initial observation):
sleeve pattern - and in one case colour - totally different
from body - plus - one of the pattern sequences involves 3
colours in one row (contravening "rules" of fair-isle??).
4 Christmas Balls
[Started 14th November: :Completed
Of course these are from the delightful
book by Arne and Carlos. I started messing with
some re-plyed 5 ply (re-plyed to 2 ply! - don't ask...) at
about the time of the Big Woolley E. However only started
these in earnest just in time to share with the Guild as a
Christmas project at our last meeting of the year - finishing
off the stuffing at the meeting. The wobbly yarn I have created
makes for a rather home-spun look which on reflection I rather
like, and think I would choose to make more like this rather
than the crisper ones intended by the designers (which are
lovely too of course).
Carousel Tea Cosy
[Started 1st November]
This is Kate
Davies Sheep Carousel tea cosy pattern. Alison and I bought
the yarn at Uncommon
Threads in Los Altos. I made mine in black and white.
Alison chose Brown and dark red. They have come out well but
are smaller than we imagined - being serious tea drinkers,
our pots are family sized.
The yarn is also available
mail order from Jamiesons as a kit.
Fever Purple Sock Blank
[Started 28th October: :Completed
Alison and I got together at her cabin in the woods and spent
the day dyeing fleece and sock blanks. This is my resulting
pair of socks, which are more purple than the picture implies.
I have yet to spin my fleece samples.
[Started 2nd / 19th October / 2nd December
: :Completed 29th / 19th November
/ 11th December]
First two from Opal's Vincent
Van Gogh inspired yarn in colours 5437 " Restaurant
in Asnieres ", and 5433 " Red
Vineyard in Arles", [75% wool / 25% polyamide : 100g
/ 425m]. The third sock is Regia
Snowflake in colour Snowstorm 7708, [75% wool /
25% polyamide : 100g / 420m] - actual colours bearing no relation
to the name apparently.
- all over again
[Started 30th September]
I seem to have caugh the disease from George's Mother and
accidentally felted my lovely Rowan
over-sweater. G was somewhat less than sympathetic (after
he had heard about it for the umpteenth time) saying "get
over it, you can knit another" - so I am.
Knitted as before in Rowan
colour 812 Bilberry, [80% merino, 20% kid mohair: 115m/126yds
[Started 24th September: :Completed
is for Helen who chose the yarn chosen at Woolfest this year;
it is iKnit
or Dye Ziggy Stardust - a sparkly sock yarn sold by Gerard
from iKnit in London: 75% superwash merino /20% nylon / 5%
stellina, [100g skein = 400m]
In a reprise of last year this is my kniiting project for
the tennis at the O2 in November.
Frutti socks for me
[Started 22nd September: :Completed
The other two 25g skeins from the Guild dying workshop last
year are a little more difficult to deal with as they are
only approximately the same colours, one being much brighter
than the other. This was intentional as I was trying to take
inspiration from a photograph, and the more muted one was
what I was aiming at. So I am knitting the cuff in the muted
colour and the foot in the brighter colour, with a yellow
(vintage Phildar Loisirs - a synthetic yarn) for the
heel and toe. The emerging pattern reminds me of a vintage
Phidar random yarn colour scheme, which is a bit girly so
these socks are for me - I feel I can't inflict them on anyone
[Started 6th September: :Completed
More from the new Rowan book Purelife
Home using the recycled yarn Renew
[270m/296yards, 93% recycled wool, 7% Polyamide] - cushions
this time, one knitted and one crocheted to match the shape
of 2 cushions I have in France. I love the tweedy colours.
George prefers the knitted one - crochet is too homespun for
him I think.
have discontinued a couple of colours and added some nice
lilac shades for the new season.
socks for George
[Started 10th September: :Completed
After a second bout of sock blank dying, I decided
(with a firmness of purpose) to use up the small skeins of
merino yarn kicking around from our Guild dyeing workshop
last year. I had about 50g of some awful purple and orange
which I am combining with some old bargain yarn dug out of
the attic - the royal blue seems to match in quite well (and
amazingly, tones the volume down a bit!) and may do well for
heels and toes, as I am pretty sure it is 100% acrylic.
The pattern is the heel flap sock from the book Socks
from the Toe Up, so that I can better gauge the usage
of the patterned yarn.
almost Shetland Mens
[Started 3rd August: :Completed
Christmas Cardigan was so successful with George (he is
still wearing it in August) that I thought I'd make a non-seasonal
version. I love the "Shetland"
(mens version) pattern from Rowan
Knitting & Crochet Magazine 46. It is made from Felted
Tweed - but it's Aran weight, and the popularity of the Reindeer
is that it's light weight. So the result is that I am knitting
the basic reindeer pattern again - which is free
on-line, and substituting the fair-isle pattern given
for Shetland Mens (not free). It is the colour mix that I
like so much so I translated all the colours very successfully
into DK equivalents - had a bit of trouble with the main sage
green but Rowan have obligingly brought out a new colour Celadon
this August which is pretty well perfect. Colours are: 184
Celadon, 175 Cinnamon, 177 Clay, 159 Carbon, 165 Scree, 152
[Started 21st July: :Completed
This is a complete cheat in that I was not responsible for
the majority of the construction. Felicity crocheted this
bag to within an inch of finishing and then passed it to me.
I swiftly completed it and found a lovely Amy Butler print
in John Lewis sale which which to line it - an astonishly
good match. The yarn is Anchor Magic [100% cotton; 50g=70m]
in shade 1415 and knits to a tension of 18sts and 32 rows
to 10cm on 4.5mm needles. This yarn seems to have been remarketed
Style Magicline "Stripes" (there are other subtypes
[Started 1st July: :Completed
is made from my spinning a mixed up batch of left over fibres.
It is lovely and soft (some cashmere in there too) - but...
There isn't enough of it. I tried using it singles at first
- thought it might be ok if not stocking stitch but it curled
up badly so I plied the yarn - and made it shorter. Net result
is that I have spun some more but it does look different from
my original batch; as the overall effect is randomised tweed,
I am hoping that the colour changes will just look folksy.
[Started 20th May::Completed
This is another blank in simple stripes. I did not think much
of the colour combination but it looked much better in the
sock form. The patriotic (almost) colour scheme is co-incidental
but delightfully appropriate.
Merino sock yarn from Laughing Hens in white [100% Superwashed
Merino}, knitted 2 strands together on the vintage Bond knitting
machine with a No 2 plate, and I
dyes from P&M woolcraft but this time processed using
a dedicated-for-dyes microwave (courtesy of Janice) 2 minutes
on full followed by 2 minutes rest, for 2 cycles.
Cardigan and French Beret for Isobel
[Started 29th April: :Completed
A seocnd baby set from Debbie
Bliss magazine Spring/Summer 2012. Jacob seemed to like
his set so I am now doing one for his cousin in a slightly
paler blue - not sure what colour to make the pom-pom though.
Using the same Phil
Coton 3 [100% cotton; 50g:121m/132yds] in colours Blanc
10 and Porcelaine 13; it knits to a tension of 26sts x 35
rows to 4 inches.
home-made sock blanks
[Started 24th April: :Completed
This is my project for making my own sock blanks using the
knitting machine, then dyeing, unravelling, and re-knitting
as socks. I tried two techniques using different yarn types,
different blank widths, and different knitting tensions; however,
they produced surprisingly similar results.
first is using Admiral
Bambus [70% wool; 25% bamboo; 5% mohair], which I purchased
at Unravel this year. It is knitted 2 strands together on
the vintage Bond knitting machine using a number 2 plate with
a "double width" blank - which means one row of
the blank knits 2 rounds of the sock. Final tension is 30
sts x 42 rows to 10cm square.
second is using 4ply
Merino sock yarn from Laughing Hens in white [100% Superwashed
on my vintage (revived) Toyota knitting machine, for which
the two strands knitted together was quite a challenge. The
gauge was quite tight, and one row of the blank was equivalent
to about 1½ rounds of the sock.
dyes from P&M woolcraft exactly as we did in the Guild
dyeing workshop last year. I steamed the blanks for about
40 minutes to set the dye.
[Started 16th April: :Completed
Although I had my doubts about the compact nature of the knitting,
George's previous pair of Noro socks knitted on the teeny
tiny circulars from Yarn
Dogs in Los Gatos, have been such a hit I am making another
pair. These are knitted in Kureyon Sock [70% wool; 30% nylon]
[Started 8th April: :Completed
Citron is a well-known shawl pattern available
free of charge on Knitty. I used The yarn is Phildar Canasta
- from the remaindered bin as it's now discontinued -
[50g; 108yd/100m], colour Cuivre (copper), 21% acrylic, 79%
viscose. I do like this yarn with its soft sheen. It knits
to a double knitting tension of about 22sts to 4 inches on
[Started 7th April: :Completed
This is one of those 1950's "dutch caps" from a
vintage pattern. Unusually, it's designed for DK, and I have
used a much thicker yarn, though it manages to make the right
tension on smaller needles. I used Phildar Partner
6 in colour Braise 33, [50% nylon/25% wool/25% acrylic],
which knits to a tension of 15sts and 21 rows to 4 inches
on 5-6mm needles.
Available as Pattern
of the Month in April 2012.
[Started 2nd April: :Completed
More Fair-Isle mittens from Debbie
Bliss Magazine 7 using Baby Cashmerino colours Navy 08
and Off-White 101 [55% Merino/33% Microfibre/12% Cashmere;
50g:125m]. This requires one ball in each colour, and I have
sufficient yarn remaining from other projects.
[Started 2nd April: :Completed
Every home should have some. These are from Debbie
Bliss magazine Spring/Summer 2012, using Phildar
Muse in colour Perle 61 [50% cotton/28% linen/22%modal;
50g:111m]; it knits to a tension of 21sts x 27rows to 4 inches.
The knitted fabric is supported on cardboard rings cut from
the waste centre supports supplied with wrapping paper, (for
Cardigan and French Beret
[Started 31st March: :Completed
This is a baby set from Debbie
Bliss magazine Spring/Summer 2012. As I am in France,
I have used a Phildar cotton bought locally, Phil
Coton 3 [100% cotton; 50g:121m/132yds] in colours Blanc
10 and Pacifique 60; it knits to a tension of 26sts x 35 rows
to 4 inches. Even though the Phildar yarn has a slightly lower
yardage than that recommended, I have used less than stated
in the pattern (I knitted the largest size cardigan). For
the red pom-pom I used a remnant of a double knitting cotton
Socks for Deborah
[Started 29th March: :Completed
These are from Silk
Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen. A nice idea for a book
with the designs inspired by regional oriental rug patterns.
The patterns are written out in an interesting way (quite
clear when you get the idea and easier if you are used to
knitting socks) with charted patterns. I'm using Fyberspates
yarn in a wonderful deep plum colour. Not an ideal yarn
for Deborah - I would have preferred something a bit more
robust with some nylon like Sheilas
Sock - but chose this merino for the colour - it's fabulous
yarn to knit with and lovely stitch definition which is perfect
for this pattern,
[Started 11th March: :Completed
I really love the Debbie Bliss Snowflake sweater in 4ply Rialto.
I also love my little mitten collection. I have some left-over
yarn - so I've made a simple pair of mittens in the same pattern.
In the same magazine as the snowflake sweater (Debbie
Bliss Magazine 7) I see there is a pattern given for Fair-Isle
mittens in Baby Cashmerino, which I also plan to make as I
have enough remnants from other projects - and it is fabulous
Cowl for Sally
[Started 16th February: :Completed
I am planning to see my brother's wife after a long social
gap, and she has not been too well, so what better than a
little knitted giift? This is the Bird's Nest Cowl which I
have knitted in Rowan
Cashsoft 4 ply, colour 428 "Spring" -
a pale green, [10% Cashmere, 57% Merino, 33% Microfibre; 50g
= 160m/175yds]. "Spring" is a soft 1930s
pastel green ("eau de nil" perhaps) thereby totally
defeating the design idea - which is in fact excellent and
I may have to knit it again in red.
jacket" for Sheila
[Started 16th January: :Completed
Yet another opportunity for me to make this Fiona
Morris jacket!! Uses discontinued Wendy
Fusion yarn (50% Wool/ 50% Acrylic). The
second attempt worked out a shade too big for Sheila so am
making a third version of this apparently popular cardigan.
[Started 15th January: :Completed
Decorative knitted letters from the Debbie
Bliss magazine No 5 for Winter 2010 this time. I am trying
this using red and white 5ply guernsey yarn; this is noticeably
thicker than the recommended Rialto 4ply, which I think is
a particularly fine 4ply (in every sense). So I the fabric
I am knitting is very firm, and I am still not sure if I will
end up with great big giant letters - which may not be quite
so appealing as a decoration.
[Started 4th January::Completed
Yet another Fair-Isle design but from the Debbie
Bliss magazine No 5 for Winter 2010 this time. Remember
winter cushion covers made early in 2011? Well I had several
attempts using my machine and so produced a square sample
which I have unpicked and revamped to make a cover to fit
my Christmas gift from George. The yarn is vintage pure wool
DK - probably from Forsell.
[Started 29th December 2011]
This is another of the Fair-Isle designs from Debbie
Bliss Magazine 7. I am using Amy
Butler Organic Aran in colour Slate [50% cotton, 50% wool;
50g:90m/98yds] as it was on sale - and also as my intended
victim is Rob who is slightly allergic to wool and I think
the wool cotton blend might suit. I think both Rob and George
were slightly dubious about the Sherpa hats - so maybe Rob
needs a fashionable Fair Isle cardi as well as George.
[Started 12th December 2011:
:Completed 11th June]
Another free download from Rowan's
Christmas collection 2011. They look really cute and fun
to make. I considered making them on the knitting machine
(the snowflake sections); however the pieces are not large,
and the thick boucle linings will be hand-knitted, so fiddly
work like this probably best all done by hand. (The lengthy
completion time was entirely due to the sewing up - the knitting
was completed last year).
The outer yarn is Rowan
Felted Tweed DK [50% Merino Wool 25% Aplaca 25% Viscose:
50g=175m/189yds], in colours clay 177 and pine 158. I replaced
the pine colour with Maritime 167 - a denim blue more like
the photo on the Rowan site. The linings are in Rowan
British Sheep Breeds Bouclé colour 220 [100% wool:
3rd December 2011: :Completed
I loved this sweater the minute I saw it - and in 4 ply it
makes a potentially ideal candidate for knitting on my machine,
(took enough of my patience knitting all the welts in preparation).
The pattern is from the latest Debbie
Bliss Magazine 7, which has a number of great modern takes
on Fair-Isle designs - I had trouble deciding which one I
wanted to make for myself but settled on this black and white
number in Rialto
4ply (100%wool; 50g/180m).
I also love the legwarmers but am concerned I might look something
other than trendy if I wore them.
at the O2
[Started 24th November 2011:
:Completed 27th March]
I started this - which is "Hitchhiker",
a narrow scarf or shawlette pattern available on Ravelry -
as a simple pattern that I can execute hopefully with ease
while watching the tennis at the O2, where I am off to with
Helen today (24th). The yarn is some lovely Malabrigo in colour
Prussia, that Alison bought me as a gift. This seems the perfect
pattern for it.
Cabin Fever Throw
[Started 6th September 2011:
:Completed 10th September 2012]
From the new Rowan book Purelife
Home which has lots of appealing projects using British
Sheep Breeds Chunky and, in this case, the recycled yarn
[270m/296yards, 93% recycled wool, 7% Polyamide]. The vibrant
tweedy colours are quite irresistible.
[Started 9th June 2011]
This is the Bella Blouse by Norah Gaughan from the Knitting
Daily Pattern Library. I am using a few balls of Rowan Damask
- a yarn I love but now discontinued - for the contrast and
I found an ecru cotton blend (Patons Washed Haze) which tones
with it quite well for the main shade. As my supply of Damask
is limited I am omitting the contrast band at the bottom of
Man's Aran Cardigan
[Started 14th October 2010]
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!
22nd August 2010]
This is Two
- not another cardigan! But it is, like Puzzle, from
of Hearts - in fact, the cover design. The yarn is Patons
[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 exery expectation of finishing it soon...
[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.