Updated: 31-12-2013
© Christina Coutts 2007

2013 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Striped Study Shawl [Started 16th December]

Attracted by the special offer of luxury Debbie Bliss Andes [65% baby alpaca/35% mulberry silk; 50g=100m] from Black Sheep Wools I decided to make the striped study shawl at last. I love the colours on offer (Coral 7, and Mahogany 4) and thought they would make a lovely combination - but I am less satisfied with the result as it's coming along. I am not good at choosing colour combinations so maybe it's just my lack of confidence causing me to doubt. But however it turns out - the yarn feels simply wonderful to knit with and hopefully to wear.

Mohair Revival [Started 11th December]

This is little project passed to me from Ava. My mission is to complete it. Started from a kit in the 1980s, the back and one sleeve are complete, plus half the front. The tricky part has been trying to match the tension - I have already had a few false starts and gone up a needle size. The yarn is Patons Focus.

Nepal Wrap [Started 8th November: :Completed 30th November]

This is a Kate Davies pattern published in Rowan 54. I was immediately smitten (stripes etc) and finally purchased the yarn at Pandora in Guildford. The yarn is Rowan Fine Tweed, [100% wool; 26.5stsx38 rows=4inches;25g=90m/98yds] and I finally went for the colours exactly as illustrated 361, 371, 373 - a green/rust based combination - though from the photos I thought it was old American flag combination of muted red, cream, and navy, Now complete I am a little disappointed in the colour choice - I like the deep blue green and rust colours individually but the combination seems to kill the colours - which I think is the design intention to obtain an overall subdued tone - but it's not to my taste.

Christmas Tree Ornaments [Started 16th November: :Completed 21st November]

Tiny knitted trees to hang on the big tree - taken from Debbie Bliss's book The Knitters Year. I am using oddments of red (and other) yarns - no labels (!). Kate lent (gave) me some of her white Sirdar yarn with a silver thread in it which looks particularly pretty, even without added beads. Another easy and fun thing to knit and decorate.

Christmas Tree [Started 23rd October: :Completed 11th November]

A little decoration from the Debbie Bliss magazine No 11 for Winter 2013.I am using vintage Sirdar Wash 'n'Wear crepe 4ply in dark green and an oddment of synthetic white yarn (origin unknown). The pattern is intended for a DK weight yarn, but is such that I'm just expecting it to come out as a smaller version. A very easy and fun thing to knit.

Marin [Started 1st September]

This is an Ysolda pattern, Marin, that I purchased from Ravelry after seeing it at A Verb for Keeping Warm stand at SOAR last year. The yarn is the perfect navy I was looking for (a gift from Alison) in Cascade Heritage Sock in colour 9825 [75% Merino/25% nylon; 100g = 400m]. It's a well defined pattern that needs a plain colour - preferably paler as Ysolda models it - though beige is not a good colour for me; however it's progressing so nicely I expect to make more than one example,

Stellaria - so good I made it twice [Started 5th August: :Completed 20th August]

I wanted to try larger version of Stellaria in a double knit and also have been looking for a shawl project to use with a gift of some Rowan Damask yarn (I love this yarn and am sad they stopped selling it). And so I also love the result - it is quite interesting in that it drapes beautifully but the larger version (Damask is a double knit) is more of a "statement" to wear than the previous version. So although the colour (Pyrite) is not as grey as I thought and could potentially be worn with denim, it would be a very bohemian look.

Stellaria [Started 20th July: :Completed 30th July]

This is a pattern I bought from Ravelry after seeing Jacey Boggs wearing it at SOAR last year - hers was a beautiful tomato red kidsilk mohair mix I believe - mine will be deep black/purple shades (OK I admit it - I thought it was navy when I bought it). The pattern is Stellaria, and the yarn is Seriously Gorgeous Swiss Spun Cashmere and Silk from Knitwitches in colour Nightshade [65% Cashmere/35% silk; 100g = 400m]. The result is just wonderful.

Toddler Bolero [Started 29th July: :Completed 31st August]

This is a Stitchcraft pattern which I have featured as a Pattern of the Month for August 2013. It worked up really well in lilac - a vintage 3ply which I think is probably 100% wool - tiny little 1 oz balls that have no label. I combined it with some vintage Patons pure wool 3ply for the trim. It's very tiny though - not sure whose toddler it might fit these days....

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Striped Scarf [Started 6th July]

Second time around for Arty Fibre Scarf - I started to knit Artfibers Vertical Drop Stitch Scarf again in my Rowan subscription free gift this year (the first one I have been tempted to make anything with I have to say) - but pattern does not lend itself to the yarn which is Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe in colour Circus 205 [70% super kid silk mohair/30% silk; 50g = 425m/465 yards]. So I am now making it a ribbed scarf without the dropped stitches.

Guernsey Socks [Started 23rd June: :Completed 5th July]

I have quite a stock of traditional Guernsey 5ply yarn - but none of it in a single lot enough to make a guernsey! So I purchased a couple of patterns from eBay for making "Guernsey Yarn Accessories" - one is a vintage pattern from Emu and the other - this one - is a cutting from a magazine Knit Today for "Scottish" flag pattern socks. The particular stock I am using today is the now defunct range of Jonelle 5ply - John Lewis own brand - in Navy [100% wool; 100g].

Woven Throw [Started 29th May: :Completed 17th October]

I am using up some Sirdar Peru that I bought in a sale once, [50g; 99yd/90m], colour 302, Pablo, 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% alpaca . I have enough for about 15 six-inch woven squares in red and have designed some crochet granny squares to go in between. I would have liked more variety but have limited flair for design - especially in colour - and though this project still needs a bit more brightening up, I am pressing on nonetheless. I really like Peru - I wish I'd bought more of it. As it is, this project is costing me more than it might as I have been hoovering up stocks of Peru on eBay - and even dyeing it to get the colour I want!

Woven Cushion Back [Started 26th May: :Completed 26th May]

I have to confess the Latch-hook cushion below was not actually "completed" on the date shown in that I never quite got round to sewing it into a cushion cover - this was mainly due to not having a small enough cushion pad to hand - but also indecision as to a suitable backing fabric. Not sure when the idea first came to me but I decided to weave some squares using a weaving frame made for me a couple of years ago by Father George. Serendipitously, four squares are exactly the right size, and I am very pleased with the result. Yarn was some Gotland handspun given to me by Felicity.

More Woolley Letters [Started 22nd April: :Completed 11th May]

More of the knitted letters from the Debbie Bliss magazine No 5 for Winter 2010. Once again I used the red and white 5ply guernsey yarn which I have re-plied to 3ply and 2ply on the spinning wheel - then I felted the fabric by hand to shrink it nicely to the size I want. These letters are for Woolleymoose (Sara), as I am not sure she will have time to knit them herself for about the next 20 years. (Baby Florence - need I say more?)

Isobel's Liberty Dress [Started 14th April: :Completed 26th May]

This is a kid's dress inspired by one in Debbie Bliss Magazine No 10. Indeed the bodice is taken directly from the pattern in the magazine, albeit in a different wool weight. I'm using a Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply in colour 428 "Spring" - a pale green, [10% Cashmere, 57% Merino, 33% Microfibre; 50g = 160m/175yds]. The rest of the dress, (skirt and, I hope, little sleeves), is made of Liberty Tana Lawn with matching fabric covered buttons. This is an idea from a picture I saw in another magazine; I like the idea of combining cloth and knitting, so we'll see how it turns out.

Jacob's Fair-Isle waistcoat [Started 10th April: :Completed 21st May]

Another sweet little boy's waistcoat from Debbie Bliss Magazine No 10. I'm using Phildar Partner Baby [25% lambs wool, 25% acrylic, 50% nylon; 50g = 192m] for the two main colours - and yet again I can't seem to get myself sorted with respect to finding the right wool weights - this is really almost a 3ply equivalent and the pattern calls for a 5 ply. However, my mistake over this means I can use all my (synthetic) 4 ply oddments for the colour variations, which is useful, and economic.

Jacob's waistcoat [Started 1st April: :Completed 6th April]

A sweet little boy's wiastcoat with a cowl collar from Debbie Bliss Magazine No 10.
I'm using Phildar Super Baby [30% lambs wool/70% acrylic; 25g = 107m] as a 4ply equivalent, though it may be a bit finer; the colour is Eucalyptus (50) - a slightly bluey grey/green. Another nice practical Phildar baby yarn but with less wool than Isobel's cardi (below) and very similar to their Luxe yarn. I did love Luxe but this yarn does share that slightly synthetic sheen in bright light.

Isobel's Summer Cardi [Started 26th March: :Completed 14th April]

Pretty white cardigan for a little girl from Debbie Bliss Magazine No 10.
I've started this as a project for my Easter holiday in France, so I'm using Phildar Lambswool in white [51% wool,49% acrylic; 50g = 134m] as a quickerknit type yarn (26 sts to 4 inches or thereabouts) in place of Debbie Bliss Eco Baby yarn. Being in white I think a stoic machine-washable wool blend is called for.

Sober Socks [Started 17th March: :Completed 12th June]

I started another pair of classic plain (mens) socks as they make a simple TV/knitting combination. (And I have a lot of sock wool).
This is Regia Snowflake Color in colour "Skate" 7711, [75% wool/25% acrylic; 100g = 460yds/420m]. This really can't be beaten as a sock wool - the yarn seems indestructible, as well as being machine washable at 40 degrees,
(I did think the colour "Skate" might be a misprint for "slate" which is after all a more plausible name for a colour - but no - the German name is "Schlittschuh").

Great Gatsby Turban [Started 6th March: :Completed 10th March]

Turban headband for Alison from Debbie Bliss Magazine No 10 which has a whole feature inspired by 20s styles. Knitted in Cashmerino Aran in a soft almond shade of pink, with matching pearl beads on the knot. Cashmerino Aran, [55% Merino Wool / 33% Microfibre / 12% Cashmere : 90m = 50g], knits to a tension of 18 sts x 24 rows to 4 inches. This design is simple to knit and can be completed with a single ball.

Estes Vest for me [Started 9th February]

This is my "allotment" vest (yes I need special designer knitwear to go digging - you have a problem with that?)
The pattern is from Interweave Knits and was designed by Hana Jason for the magazine in 2008. I am using Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky in colour 289 Wode [50% wool / 25% Alpaca / 25% Viscose : 50g=55 yards], which is now discontinued - but currently available from Janettes Rare Yarns on the web.

Couch-Potato Socks [Started 6th January: :Completed 7th February]

I still have a lot of knitting projects to occupy me but they all need "attention", so I have started another pair of socks simple enough for TV knitting. I bought the yarn at Ally Pally last October; it is Lang Jawoll Magic Sock Yarn in colour 65, Ruby, [75% wool / 25% nylon : 100g=400m].

Rams and Yowes Cover [Started 2nd January: :Completed 6th January]

Kate Davies Rams and Yowes Design is such a delight that I have adapted it to make a Kindle cover for Helen (who wants "something unique"). I originally intended to felt the cover, and have the design symmetrical about the base; however the uncertainty about the final size with felting, (no I did not do a test swatch and in any case the yarns are all sorts), made me review it as I knitted. Thus it evolved to having yowes on one side and rams on the other, and then finally I had to add a ram to the yowes side to increase the length. I do like the yowes' (with one ram) side best, and if I did it again I might do this on both sides - or I might try and choose a more inspired set of colours for the rams' side.

Latch-hook Cushion [Started 31st December 2012: :Completed 3rd January]

This is a kit which was given to me by Alison for Christmas. She purchased it at Lambtown and the yarn is all Jacob sheep fleece. I dug out my old latchhook - cleaned it up with WD40 (!) - only to find there was a hook as part of the kit - everything you need to get going.
The kit was put together by Meridian Jacobs (Vacaville, California), and is available on their website.

Orkney Cardigan [Started 22nd November 2012]

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 outing 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??).

Sheep Carousel Tea Cosy [Started 1st November 2012: :Completed 1st January]

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 Alison's seemed a bit smaller than we imagined - being serious tea drinkers, our pots are family sized. My cosy has turned out hard to get on and off my teapot but seems to fit well once in place.
**The yarn is also available mail order from Jamiesons as a kit.

Stockport - all over again [Started 30th September 2012]

I seem to have caught 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].

Rowan almost Shetland Mens [Started 3rd August: :Completed after rework February 2013]

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.

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.

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 every expectation of finishing it soon...

Arty Fibre Scarf [Started 18th January 2009: :Completed 14th July 2013]

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. The yarn is beautiful, and my finished photo does not do it justice.