Updated: 31-12-2016
© Christina Coutts 2007

2016 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

More Holly Berry Socks [Started 24th December]

Starting (but not finishing) my final project of the year.....
I bought 2 balls of WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m] in this limited edition Christmas colour and the pattern barely used half a ball, so I am using one ball to make George some socks - he said he like the colour but now he thinks it's "a bit too bright".
[It isn't....].

Mallard ("Pheasant"?) Socks [Started 12th December: :Completed 18th December]

This is one of the other balls of WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m] I bought (see below). It is very similar to the Holly Berry colour and easily confused in artificial light - but is distinctly different so I think it covers both the festive season and bird watching (!).
What it actually reminds me of is old school ties - with those lovely muted red, blue, green, and gold house colours.
[Looking at this again in 2019 while I am knitting another pair of "mallard" I am now thinking this colour is actually pheasant - so I can only conclude a mix up in the ball bands. Mallard seems quite different from this with fewer solid colours in the stripes].

Leftover Socks [Started 6th December: :Completed 8th December]

While rummaging for sock yarn to make Holly leaves (as one does), I found this very old leftover self striping. I had 2 balls of it used for a pair of socks and fingerless gloves (which George still uses) - but not enough left for more socks. Waste not, want not: I decided to make socks for myself based on the pattern for Holly Berry (since it uses so little of the yarn) teamed with some navy blue Sirdar Town and Country that I recently acquired. The result is very pleasing - I had to readjust the length of the socks (they are toe up and I find them hard to judge while knitting), and they are a bit tight (I used No 14 needles as all my 13s are in use on other socks at this time of year!).

Holly Berry Christmas Socks [Started 1st December: :Completed 6th December]

I was smitten by these socks and bought the yarn on impulse from Black Sheep - after getting the free pattern from West Yorkshire Spinners - here we are. The yarn quality is lovely: WYS Signature 4 Ply [ 75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m].
I bought 4 balls of the WYS yarn including 2 in the colourway for these socks and irritatingly failed to realise that you need 2 colours for these socks as the toes are in a plain colour (!). However, I have to say I am not wild about the other colourways I have chosen when seeing them in the flesh; still one cannot judge these self striping yarns until they are knitted up so I am hoping they will grow on me as I knit.

Hap Blanket [Started 23rd November]

While digging out the Ishbel pattern I found another Ysolda offering from the same era which I would like to make. I am again using up some acrylic but in truth it will not be "lovely" (although it will be very "practical"!). I'm using DK and trying with double the number of stitches but I may start again and double the yarn to get the bulky effect. However the original is squishy and luxurious - an effect I do not think I can quite achieve with my synthetic yarn.

Ishbel Scarf [Started July:2009 and picked up November 18th: :Completed 28th November]

This is silk yarn [colour "stormy skies" 100g skein; 600m], that I purchased from Knit Witches at Woolfest in 2009 (who I discover to my dismay have just shut up shop for good this October - I will miss them a lot).. I made the Ishbel scarf in 2009 and there was enough yarn for 2 of them so I started a second but it hibernated half way through. Wendy admired my Ishbel so much that I decided to complete this one for her.

Striped cardigan for a little person [Started 24th August]

Cardigan based on a shape from the Rowan book "Winter Kids". I wanted to use some of the bright colours I acquired in Stylecraft (and other) acrylic yarns. I tried out a "syncopated" pattern of stripes - the principle for which I learned in my weaving course - and after a couple of trial runs I quite like the result - a bit reminiscent of a liquorice allsort.

Hidden Gusset Mittens (for me) [Started 9th October: :Completed 12th October]

I like the Hidden Gusset Mittens so much I found some handspun - from which I knitted a Stellaria for Deborah in the distant past - and kicked off a set for myself.
Knitting little fingers (even only half) is a bit tedious - but I'm so worth it!

Christmas Gift Socks [Started 1st October: :Completed 11th December]

From my latest 5 balls of Austermann Step from Love Knitting [100g=420m; 75% wool/25% nylon with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil] - one down 4 to go - best sock yarn in the known Universe. This one is Nordcap 46 - a blue/black marl with white and a touch of natural stone.

Lace Fisher Jersey for a little person [Started 27th September: :Completed 6th November]

Fishing smock from the vintage Debbie Bliss book "Nautical Knits for Kids" . Designed for Rowan Denim (which I have to say I have never been a fan of - why make something intended to shrink? it's just adds another degree of uncertainty for no purpose). I'm using some vintage Sirdar Tropicana "cotton effect" 4 ply [100% acrylic; 100g=454yds/415m] shade 711 Cream - which is of course not actually cotton and much finer than Denim but the original pattern is large and intended for 4-6 year olds and I want it to be smaller.

Pretty-in-Pink (and purple) Mittens (for Deborah) [Started 27th September: :Completed 9th October]

There was some of this mystery yarn (below) left over so...... here are Hidden Gusset Mittens (deeply unappealing name for such nice mittens) from Knitty.com 2014. They are really lovely - may have to make another pair for myself!

Pretty-in-Pink (and purple) Socks (for Deborah) [Started 7th September: :Completed 13th September]

I have no idea what this yarn is (bulk purchase) but it seemed fairly clearly to be a self-striping sock yarn. The colours are girly and I thought Deborah might like them. In honour of her I redrafted my patented plain (men's) sock pattern for a smaller foot. Absolutely no excuse now not to get it on Pattern of the Month in two sizes eh?

Guernsey style cardigan for a little person [Started 24th August: :Completed 24th September]

Cardigan from the vintage Debbie Bliss book "Classic Knits for Kids" . Designed for Rowan DK Cotton but I'm using up some vintage Patons Diploma Gold DK in red, colour 6151 [55% wool/25% acrylic/20% nylon; 50g=131yds/120m].

Stellaria V [Started 2nd July: :Completed 13th July]

I was given some Posh Yarn Diana [100g=800yards; 20% silk/80% merino] in the colour "Palm Beach" and decided to make a Stellaria shawl for the giver - it's lovely yarn and very suited to the pattern - but I think I still have enough left to make a second one!. [And I did - second one duly completed].

Terry's Summer Socks [Started 12th June: :Completed 21st June]

I succumbed to another 5 balls of Austermann Step from Love Knitting [100g=420m; 75% wool/25% nylon with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil] - truly the best sock yarn in the known Universe. This one is Cashel 228 - a lovely soft colour palette but chosen for the silliest of reasons [I read a Fidelma of Cashel novel....].

Swallowtail [Started 24th May: :Completed 26th June]

This is a Ravelry pattern by Evelyn Clark, which Alison gave me with the yarn a few years ago. We agreed to knit it as a Knitalong but never got round to it. It turns out to be tricky but I need a black capelet so I am optimistic I will complete it. The yarn is Misti Alpaca lace [100% alpaca; 100g=874yds/800m] .

Laura's Vest [Started 3rd May: :Completed 19th July 2016 and 16th May 2018]

This is a Ravelry pattern by Trudy Moss, which I identified to use some discontinued Noro Kogarashi, colour 1, [51% Silk / 49% Wool; 100g=165yds/150m] that I bought some time ago. The yarn is lovely but the colours are a bit dire (or the ones I bought are!). I may need an extra ball to complete the vest and I'm not sure if its "good money after bad" - but I think the pattern looks good and is highly wearable.
I completed a second vest in rather more muted colours which I was a bit slow in completing "just that last little bit". I had to omit the pockets (not enough yarn) on both vests which I think was a shame as they are a nice detail.

Acrylic Blankets - brown [Started 15th April: :Completed 9th June]

I have now begun the third of my own Kaffe blanket project - the brown colourway which I used for my original cushion (2 years ago!).
This one is in crochet - and I have now moved so far away from the Kaffe original that only his colour combinations remain - which I have tried to stick to - using 4 colours per square and his choice of adjacent colours. These will have to be sewn up at the end (or possibly crocheted together but I'm holding fire on that decision; a crocheted join creates a "window pane" quilt with a lattice of one of the colours - which may dominate the design, and could be good or bad). So I will experiment with the final layout once the squares are done.

Acrylic Blankets - blue [Started 28th January: :Completed 20th April]

I have now begun the second of my own Kaffe blanket project - blue colourway. Again it misses the design elements that Kaffe intended - this one I am constructing in true domino style ie with a one way orientation and no sewing up. I am still piecing it using the layout in his instructions but has little relevance to the pattern - however, for Domino you do have to have the layout defined at the start because you join the pieces as you go. This has been the most enjoyable construction technique attempted to date, and consequently I completed it (9 x 7 with an edging) slightly before the red one.

Coatigan [Started 23rd October 2015: :Completed 10th January 2016]

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 for January 2016. 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 2015: :Completed 23rd April 2016]

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.
Using this technique and layout means that the pieces are joined in blocks of 4 - so I have added an extra row of squares on 2 of the sides to make an 8x10 blanket, and have dispensed with any form of edging (the cast on edge is quite neat). I still have not achieved the level of perfection in the sewing up that I would have liked.

Aran Chair Cover [Started 23rd May 2015]

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.

Acrylic Blankets - pastel [Started 15th May 2015]

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 2015: :completed 31st December 2016]

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.
I the end the mix of thicknesses did not matter a jot; the hexagons were totally different sizes - by which I mean even the ones made of the thinner yarns managed to be larger then others depending on the pattern. I am amazed they fitted together.

Alma [Started 19th August 2014: :Completed 14th July 2016]

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 - 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. >>This is finally going into the frogged category. It is lovely yarn but I have not the faintest idea what I want t make with it - pretty certainly not a scarf it seems.

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: :Completed 20th July 2016]

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!
Finally ! completed and given for Christmas - and he seems to love it. [Though Id trouble getting a pose for the final photo.] And despite my executing a mashup of 2 patterns it has really worked out well.

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...