Updated: 31-12-2015
© Christina Coutts 2007

2015 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Coatigan [Started 23rd October]

There is a lot of 70s style knitwear about at the moment - and admiring one such I decided to make up my own version of a blanket coat - soon to be featured in Pattern of the Month. The original pattern is written for a man in a worsted/aran weight all in garter stitch stripes - it has its own charm but I am trying to emulate a woven look as the commercial coat that I saw, and also use vintage yarn. So I am working in chunky Sirdar Peru - colours Llama and Tailor, (yes I have an endless supply of it) on smaller needles using a stitch pattern borrowed from an early 1960s pattern book to give a more tweedy look.

Acrylic Blankets - red [Started 22nd October]

As I said below - the Kaffe blankets project did not begin well. I do not enjoy working the stripes on the machine any better than by hand. So I began revamping the other 3 colourways in my head. [Giving up not an option - I am awash with acrylic yarn]. Somehow I got the idea of making them as domino squares - I always liked the technique - so I have kicked off the red colourway like that - and it is lovely both to knit and to look at. Of course it misses one of the design elements that Kaffe intended - even though I am piecing it using the orientations in his instructions (so not quite domino) - but it keeps the major design element: COLOUR. So successful that now I plan the blue colourway in "true" domino and perhaps the brown one in crochet. Meanwhile I keep pegging away at the pastel on the machine.

Nippy [Started 25th September: :Completed 25th October]

This pattern is Nippy from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 58, (this winter) and uses Cocoon - which is a lovely yarn to work with, However I am using vintage Sirdar Peru in colour Llama (cream) - which is more robust in nature and not pure wool [50% Wool/40% Acrylic/10% Alpaca : 50g=98yds/90m] . I am hoping to use up some more of the the world supply I seem to have collected from ebay. Deciding on the size to get the right fit is a problem - I have just gone with the smallest and hope it gives the right effect.
This will be a Christmas gift for my sister- as sloppy jumpers are just the thing this winter and she is keen on cowl neck lines.

Pincushion [Paperweight!] [Started 18th July: :Completed 18th July]

I completed this at our Jane Crowfoot workshop teaching colour techniques and beading in crochet.

I used the supplied Rowan Cotton Glace [100% cotton; 50g=126yds/115m] - pretty ideal for crochet - and turned my pincushion into a paperweight by including a stone in the stuffing....

Sheep Smock [Started 14th June: :Completed 22nd September]

Cardigan from the vintage Debbie Bliss book "Nursery Knits" . The real attraction in making this is that is has pockets in which you put little sheep toys peeping out. I suspect the baby will be less interested in this than I am!

I used King Cole "Big Value" 4 ply yarn [100% acrylic; 100g=480yds/439m].

Aran Chair Cover [Started 23rd May]

I am knitting this Erika Knight classic in Robin Chunky [100% acrylic; 100g=153yds/140m].- pistachio, 079. You need a lot of yarn and I could not contemplate spending a great deal on a whim. I am expecting it to turn out perfectly practical and soft - and it's a lovely colour to go with my work room colour scheme.

Gingham Teddy [Started 18th May: :Completed 22nd May]

Cute little Teddy from a vintage Debbie Bliss book "Nursery Knits" .
I used vintage 4 ply yarns, Pingouin Corrida 4, and a Sirdar soft cotton 4ply. It was very quick to knit and a bit lengthier in the sewing up and stuffing. I did not like the fact that the shaping was all in the sewing up - in fact I made up the pattern to shape the body into a ball rather than "adding darts".

Acrylic Blankets - pastel [Started 15th May]

I have finally begun my striped Kaffe blankets project. I am working on the knitting machine and I have to say it has not begun well. I have already had to change the method in the same way as I did for the hand knitting - that is starting each diamond in the middle and decreasing to a point, as this is the only way I can get a neat edge. It is easier to effect this on the machine though, so I am steaming - very slowly - ahead... I plan to make all 4 colour schemes and think they will end up as charity blankets - but it's just something I want to do.

Lisa Richardson's Crochet Along [Started 7th April: motifs completed 10th June]

Well I couldn't resist could I? Rowan have started a crochetalong - this time in a summer yarn Rowan Summerlite 4ply [100% cotton]. Again they have a choice of projects but I am doing the (baby) blanket. Needless to say the yarn I am using is not Rowan but a mixture of Katia Saigon (100% acrylic) - which as others on the web say is excellent for crochet but thicker than a 4ply - and vintage Sirdar Soft Cotton 4ply (100% cotton) - which is a nightmare to crochet - and Phildar Partner Baby (25% wool; 25% acrylic; 50% nylon) - which is a 3ply.
An interesting mix.... all quite different thicknesses and constituent materials.

Stellaria IV [Started 3rd April: :Completed 14th April]

This one of the two dyed fibre rovings I bought at the Lewes Guild open day - which I had intended to spin and mix as one lot. However, though they looked similar enough, they were each different mixes of fibre with distinct colours, so I made one into a (Nevaho) 3 ply which became the gaudy capelet in October 2014, and the other into a 2ply which is what I am using here. George's sister so admired the yarn that I thought I would try and stretch it to use with this pattern.

Sewing Needle Case [Started 21st February: :Completed 22nd February]

Spring design from "The Knitter's Year" .
I am using up some vintage Pingouin Corrida 3 [60% cotton, and 40% acrylic; 50g; 230yd/210m] - knits as 4ply.
Over Christmas my sister gave me a delightful little tin for sewing accessories and I am making this to put in it.

Baby Boots [Started 19th February: :Completed 19th February]

Cute little bootees from "The Knitter's Year" - Summer section.
They used under 20g of some cheerful red Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino [55% merino wool, 12% cashmere, and 33% microfibre; 50g; 136yd/125m]. Tiny resin buttons from the Textile Garden.

Pin Loom Baby Blanket [Started 18th February: :Completed 15th April]

This appears in the book Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump, which I obtained from the library. She has good instructions as to how to make the looms as well as projects including this one with useful techniques for finishing. I am using acrylic yarns to make a blanket for Lloyd's (expected) baby. I made a rather crude loom very quickly - but it seems to work OK, though smoother nails would be easier to work with. This is likely to take a long time with 81 squares required, using the "weave-it" technique which is nothing like as quick as the self warping method.
The resulting blanket is lovely - which does not come over so well in my finished photo - and is now gifted to Penelope (she arrived!).

Oddments Knitting Bag [Started 15th February: :Completed 3rd August]

Simple garter stitch bag from the "The Knitter's Year" - Autumn section. This is made truly from oddments and I have used a lighter weight chunky yarn combination for it rather than sticking with an Aran as the pattern suggests. Using 4mm needles gives a nice tight fabric and bring the dimensions in line with the original design. You change colour every 2 rows so there is a veritable forest of ends to sew in, and thus the knitting is simple enough but as usual with bags and accessories, it's the finishing with lining and handles and so on that takes all the time.

Bathing Machine Blanket [Started 4th February: :Completed 1st April]

This is a another woven (pin-loom) blanket in vintage Sirdar Peru [50g; 99yd/90m], in Blanket Blue, and Cream - 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% alpaca. I actually "started" this in 2013 but only had enough blue at the time for 12 squares, and have taken it up again now I have more wool. I wanted to use just 2 colours so tried for a multicoloured weave for a third element to the design rather than just blocks. It was simply done by alternating strands of the two colours, but the resulting striped pattern is not at all as I might have thought - clearly results from the technique but no idea of the maths to explain it. I love it- reminds me of Victorian bathing costumes.

Tudor Roses Blanket [Started 19th January: :Completed 3rd February]

This is a partly woven (pin-loom) blanket in vintage Sirdar Peru [50g; 99yd/90m], main colour 300, Woodstock, 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% alpaca. Currently I am having an artistic crisis over the roses (indecision in combination with lack of colour sense) but the woven pieces are looking good.
[Crisis overcome after which squares rapidly completed.]

Baby Andy Pandy Romper [Started 6th January: :Completed 6th February]

In the 1980s I was never attracted to this romper from Phildar (maybe something to do with my childhood phobia of boy dolls) - but now I find it really cute and am thinking of it for Lloyd and Wendy (provided their baby proves to be male as it seems a bit of a boyish thing). I am using wool from my stash, hoping as ever that I have enough of the "John Lewis soft cotton DK". For the contrast, I am using a Pingoiun cotton yarn even though it is not quite a DK. If the white yarn does not work out, I plan to make the white bib of the romper in different white cotton DK taken "from stock".

New Year Socks [Started 1st January: :Completed "camo" 9th August; Nachtblau 15th August; Hunter Green 14th September; Pacific Ocean 18th October; Aubergine 5th January 2016]

I started more socks while at my sister's on New Years Day. The yarn is from eBay - Tiger sock yarn (25% nylon) in a sort of "camo" blue..... Next up are 4 bargain balls of Austermann Step [100g=420m; 75% wool/25%nylon with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil... mmmmm] - this has to be the King of sock yarns both in knitting and wearing: colours, 04 Nachtblau, 89 Pacific Ocean, 96 Hunter Green, 139 Aubergine.

noel [Started 30th December 2014: :Completed (one set) 13th January]

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.
[I have now finished 3 sets of these - easy to make and very rewarding. I backed them with card covered in Christmas fabric].

Alma [Started 19th August 2014]

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...).

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.

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...