Updated: 31-12-2014
© Christina Coutts 2007

2014 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

noel [Started 30th December]

I really like these softer coloured letters in lower case - again by Debbie Bliss but this time from the book "The Knitter's Year". I thought I would make some for my sister and perhaps a set for myself (for next Christmas!). I am using vintage Hayfield Grampian 4ply equivalent [45% acrylic/45%nylon/15% wool] in a soft green, and and Patons Beehive knits as 4ply [50% acrylic/25%nylon/25% wool] in buttermilk.

Charity III [Started 7th November: :Completed 19th November]

I also bought the cut-price Sirdar Big Softie from Black Sheep Wools in the colour Egg to try it out for a different big project - however they ran out of the colour before I made any decision to buy in bulk - so I decided to use what I have to knit another of these delightful shoulder capes from an old Kim Hargreaves book - Amber, A Winter Gathering. I think it may work out a little smaller than the intended "Big Wool" but the cape has turned out well.

Coddle [Started 25th October: :Completed 7th November]

This delightful Rowan pattern for a warm and cuddly tube hood, is free on their site. Supposed to be knitted in Big Wool, I was tempted into starting it after Black Sheep yarns newsletter offered some cut-price Sirdar Big Softie. I have looked at this previously as a Big Wool substitute but was put off by the pasty colours (and it's not pure wool of course); however - this is a wonderful Damson colour - though seemingly discontinued!. It's working out well - beautifully soft (clue's in the name) - and I may go on to some more Big Wool projects while the Big Softie sale continues - I did calculate that I needed 14 balls for this based on yardage but I have more than 2 balls left over.
[This pattern has had me knitting in a way I have never done before, which cannot be said to happen very often ... cast on and knit 8 rows then twist the entire work to create a kind of plaited effect].

Gaudy Capelet [Started 11th October: :Completed 20th October]

I bought two lots of dyed fibre at Lewes Guild open day, which I started spinning in August - completing this skein on August 31st. It was tough going - beautiful colours but a fairly matted mix of silk and merino so lots of teasing required. I made a 3ply yarn of variable quality (thick and thin) and I used it to make this small scarf - originally started in September but had to frog and rethink the design.
I gave it to my friend Fliss - unsure in truth if she likes my knitted offerings - but this one seems to have appealed as she wore it to perform in one of her concerts.

Kaffe Fassett's Mystery Afghan KAL [Started 1st October: :Completed 30th December]

Rowan have started another knitalong - again made in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. Because it's Kaffe I really want to take part but not sure I want to commit to another whole blanket. However this time - I am guessing learning from previous experience - they have both colourway and project options; so I have decided to start with a cushion. If it's lovely I may go with the throw - but will have to splash out on the yarn as my attic is pretty devoid of yarn in interesting colours now - though sadly not actually so much devoid of yarn.

Surprise Socks [Started 19th September: :Completed 28th September]

I saw this pattern on Ravelry and after my success in using leftovers for the Martin Storey KAL, I was immediately inspired to make a pair of scrap socks. I am not too poor to buy sock yarn but I hate having all these odd bits of wool left over. Luckily George went along with the idea - without saying stuff like "but they don't match" or "the colours are a bit weird" etc. I think they turned out pretty well. The only possible down side is I will have no spare yarn for darning - which I am called upon to do quite often - but I hate it anyway so no loss there....

Purple Socks [Started 18th September: :Completed 9th October]

I got to the decreasing bit in Alma and need some plain knitting to get me through subtitled Scandinavian detective stories. This is more yarn - Regia Hand-Dye Effect Sock Yarn [70% wool / 25% polyamide / 5% acrylic: 100g=420m] - from the Sandown show in January that I had in mind to knit for Deborah, (it's purple - colour 6553, Amethyst). As it's not my usual "Man's Sock" I thought I'd try a different pattern altogether: toe-up Cool Socks by Lang Yarns from Summer Socks - a publication free with Knitting issue 91 - a magazine from July 2011.

Alma [Started 19th August]

This pattern is Alma from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 55, (this summer) and uses a mixture of Summer Tweed, Revive, and Fine Lace (the latter I am substituting with something I already have). In an adventurous mood I seem to have chosen something by a newer designer Carlo Volpi who graduated from the RCA in 2012.
I note 2 things - I am unable to distort the colours quite a much in my photos as Rowan appear to have done in their magazine shots... and ... despite this being a current season pattern (I think it is still this summer despite the cool weather!), John Lewis tell me that Revive and Summer Tweed are discontinued, (the latter being in their reduced bucket at only £1.60 a ball but not in the right colours! - I resorted to eBay).
I have to say the resulting top is..... pretty horrid? (sorry Carlo - maybe it needs a younger model...).

Stellaria - third outing [Started spinning 5th July: :Completed knitting 18th August]

I bought some mixed merino and silk fibre at Woolfest (150g) with the intention of spinning it into a fingering 2 ply to make a small shoulder shawl for Deborah. The colours are purple and black in swirls, and spins to a pleasing marled purple. I have spun some similar skeins in black and in pink in the past, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be sufficient yardage to make Stellaria.

Martin Storey's Mystery Afghan KAL [Started 21st April: :Completed 19th July]

For some reason this Rowan knitalong appeals to me so I shall be trying to follow it as each "clue" (clue?) is revealed. No 1 came out last Thursday and No 2 is due on April 28th. The blanket should be made in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted - which would be nicer than my choice which is to try and use "oddments" from my attic. This is not a cost cutting exercise but an attempt to make good use of yarn that I seem to keep to no realistic good purpose. However the problem with oddments is that you never have enough or the right shades; so I spent all morning wading through yarn and trying to compromise. All will be revealed in 15 weeks time (I guess).

More Self-Striping Socks
[Started 11th March:
:Completed 31st March] and
[Started 31st March:
:Completed 16th April] and
[Started 16th April:
:Completed 29th July]

I bought several balls of sock yarn at the Sandown show in January, but not the usual suspects. They were all bargains and these are Drops Fabel [75% wool / 25% polyamide: 50g=205m/225yds], "Print" in colours 547, green-grey and 672, bourgogne, and "Long Print" in colour 650, Forest.

Lang Waistcoat [Started 26th February: :Completed 16th March]

This is a Fiona Morris pattern constructed using her special techniques; you can get the pattern direct from Fiona or via Ravelry. I bought some wonderful (discontinued) Noro Kogarashi [51% silk / 49% wool] and thought this kind if pattern is perfect for it being suited to the typical random striping in Noro yarns. The yarn is chunky and this colourway is a muted mix of greens tan and grey.

Autumn Socks [Started 6th January: :Completed 24th February]

This is a bargain ball of yarn that I bought - no doubt - at a show, but can't remember where - possibly as recently as our trip to the Lewes Guild Open Day. So despite my new year resolution ("no new projects") I have started another pair of socks as they are easy to knit on the go.
Not sure who will be the lucky giftee yet but George likes his socks knitted in a similar yarn, so maybe for him - if I can prize from his grip some of the worn-out socks he clings on to ("they just need darning" - and in my defence they have been darned - too many times!).
Regia Hand-Dye Effect Sock Yarn [70% wool / 25% polyamide / 5% acrylic: 100g=420m] which knits to a tension of 30 sts x 42 rows to 10 cm. Not very keen on this colour (6557, Aragonit) but lots of people have admired it during the knitting.

Striped Study Shawl [Started 16th December 2013: :Completed 20th January]

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 2013: :Completed 9th February]

This little project is 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 on Cotton [30% Cotton / 30% Mohair / 30% Acrylic / 10% Nylon.] probably in shade Shade 2091, a cream colour with touches of peach.

Marin [Started 1st September 2013: :Completed 27th July 2014]

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/437yds]. 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,

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Striped Scarf [Started 6th July 2013]

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.

Estes Vest for me [Started 9th February 2013: :Completed 4th January]

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. I have used a zip closure which I saw someone had done on Ravelry, and I may also follow her further and line it as well.

Orkney Cardigan [Started 22nd November 2012: :Completed 23rd February]

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??).

Stockport - all over again [Started 30th September 2012: :Completed 12th January]

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].

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...