Updated: 31-12-2012
© Christina Coutts 2007

2012 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

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.

Gardening Gloves [Started 11th December: :Completed 13th December]

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.

Orkney Cardigan [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 Rowan 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??).

55 4 Christmas Balls [Started 14th November: :Completed 24th November]

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).

Sheep 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.

Cabin Fever Purple Sock Blank [Started 28th October: :Completed 7th November]

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.

Christmas sock trio [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.

Stockport - 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 Cocoon, colour 812 Bilberry, [80% merino, 20% kid mohair: 115m/126yds per 100g].

Stardust Hitchhiker [Started 24th September: :Completed 3rd December]

This "Hitchhiker", 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.

Tutti Frutti socks for me [Started 22nd September: :Completed 29th September]

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 else.

Folksy cushions [Started 6th September: :Completed 15tth October]

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.
Rowan have discontinued a couple of colours and added some nice lilac shades for the new season.

Lurid socks for George [Started 10th September: :Completed 21st September]

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.

Rowan almost Shetland Mens [Started 3rd August: :Completed 30th September]

The Reindeer 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 Watery.

Bright Orange UFO [Started 21st July: :Completed 6th September]

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 as Anchor Style Magicline "Stripes" (there are other subtypes like "Splash").

Handspun Hitchhiker [Started 1st July: :Completed 7th July]

This "Hitchhiker", 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.

Jubilee Socks [Started 20th May::Completed 27th May]

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.

Again using 4ply 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 used Kemtex 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.

Sailor Cardigan and French Beret for Isobel [Started 29th April: :Completed 31st May]

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.

Two home-made sock blanks [Started 24th April: :Completed 20th May]

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.

The 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.

The second is using 4ply Merino sock yarn from Laughing Hens in white [100% Superwashed Merino], knitted 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.

I used Kemtex 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.

Noro Socks II [Started 16th April: :Completed 2nd September]

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] Colour S164.

Citron [Started 8th April: :Completed 12th April]

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 3½mm needles.

Easter Bonnet [Started 7th April: :Completed 8th April]

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.

Wristwarmers [Started 2nd April: :Completed 7th April]

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.

Napkin Rings [Started 2nd April: :Completed 4th April]

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 example).

Sailor Cardigan and French Beret [Started 31st March: :Completed 5th April]

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 blend.

Nain Socks for Deborah [Started 29th March: :Completed 15th June]

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,

Snowflake mittens [Started 11th March: :Completed 27th March]

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 yarn

Cashmere Cowl for Sally [Started 16th February: :Completed 6th March]

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.

"Sylvia's jacket" for Sheila [Started 16th January: :Completed 2nd September]

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.

Seasonal Lettering [Started 15th January: :Completed 11th February]

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.

Sony Tablet Cover [Started 4th January::Completed 8th January]

Yet another Fair-Isle design but from the Debbie Bliss magazine No 5 for Winter 2010 this time. Remember those 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.

Snowflake cardigan [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.

Snowflake Slippers [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: 100g=60m/66yds].

Snowflakes [Started 3rd December 2011: :Completed 11th February]

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.

Knitting 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.

Granny's 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 Renew [270m/296yards, 93% recycled wool, 7% Polyamide]. The vibrant tweedy colours are quite irresistible.

Bella Blouse [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 the sweater.

Rowan 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!

Two [Started 22nd August 2010]

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 exery expectation of finishing it soon...

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.