Updated: 31-12-2017
© Christina Coutts 2007

2017 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Last Minute Mittens [Started 11th December: :Completed 18th December]

Addictive - that's my only excuse for more Hidden Gusset Mittens - that and some mysterious yet lovely silk/mohair mix, again, from the yarn swap at the iKnit Halloween party. Slightly too much for one pair and not quite enough for two - but that didn't stop me.

Christmas Sparkle Mittens (for me) [Started 2nd December]

Definitely my go-to mittens of the moment - Hidden Gusset Mittens. These are made from two tiny skeins of iKnit Ziggy Stardust [75% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon/5% Stellina : 20g = 80m] which I was given in a yarn swap at the iKnit Halloween party. There seems to be plenty of yarn to make the mittens with fingers, making the smallest size and making a shorter cuff (which I prefer).

Alex Socks [Started 10th October: :Completed 3rd December]

Somehow it seems Alex "lost" one of the socks I made him (well I made them for his Father in fact and he stole them and lost one... kids eh?). I was asked to make "another one" but as the yarn makes a pair he is getting another two socks. I managed to track down the same colour and after completing one sock, realised I should be matching the design and colour sequence so ripped it out and started again. The yarn is
Austermann Step [100g=420m : 75% wool/25% nylon with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil] in colour 96 which is either "Hunter Green" or "Borke Maskulin" depending on your linguistic preferences.

Lyn's cardigan [Started 3rd September: :Completed 17th December]

Lyn took the unprecedented step of presenting me with the gift of a (signed) knitting book. She had been to a Arts Alive open workshop which turned out to be hosted by Alison Ellen. This was a coincidence as I had borrowed the same book from Kate the week before. Lyn also pointed out to me the "sort of thing she really liked". So here it is.
I was very surprised to find that the instructions include dyeing your own yarn to the right shades - so I followed them using my new dye bath acquisitions, and managed to produce something like the right colours. The yarn is Laughing Hens undyed superwash merino.

Manly Socks - "in hand" [Started 21st August: :Completed 1st September]

One more of the bulk-buy 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 Rauch 136 - a conservative combination of blues and greys - all ready for another round of Christmas gifts.

Inspiration Socks V [Started 7th June: :Completed 21st June]

Another pair from Coop Knits.
The yarns are from a KnitPicks rainbow pack.
Although I am taking the idea of asymmetric socks to my heart, these are a little less asymmetric than the actual pattern.

Inspiration Socks IV [Started 11th May: :Completed 24th May]

Another pair from Coop Knits.
The yarns are cream Sunbeam St Ives [80% wool/20% nylon] and vintage blue Diploma Gold 4ply.
I am taking the idea of asymmetric socks to my heart.

The tale of Felicity's blanks [Started 30th April: :Completed 11th May]

... a modern cautionary fable for adults.
Felicity put her blanks in the washing machine for a short extra cold rinse and spin. Her husband did the weekly wash at 90 degrees without checking. Result: everything dyed to a muted purple shade. This was a blank I liked in its new colours so she gave it to me.
This one was in the 4ply Superwash Merino from Laughing Hens, [100% Merino; 100g=400m ], and I have to say apart from slight fluffiness it seems to have stood up to the washing process very well - unravelled OK without apparent felting (although I would not recommend it!).

Inspiration Socks III [Started 8th April: :Completed 27th April]

Another pair from Socks Yeah - Coop Knits.
The yarns are cream Phildar Baby [70% wool/30% acrylic], Pink Knitpicks [80% wool/20% nylon], vintage grey Phildar Lux

Matching my latest Hobbs sweater.

Inspiration Socks II [Started 6h March: :Completed 23rd March and 8th April]

Another pair from Socks Yeah - Coop Knits.
The yarns are pink Phildar Baby [70% wool/30% acrylic], cream, navy Sunbeam St Ives [80% wool/20% nylon], black Jaeger, and lime Knitpicks rainbow pack.

I saw many of these on Ravelry - I like the different interpretations especially black and white with lime toes and heels - may have to make another colourway myself! (And so I did).

Inspiration Socks I [Started 28th February: :Completed 6th March]

While at Unravel I was very impressed with a set of socks I saw on display from what turned out to be Coop knits - and I flagrantly copied the design using some archaic yarn I had squirrelled away somewhere. It's a clumsy copy so my advice is at least splash out on the book - but for the best results, her yarn is lovely too!
The yarn is grey Heritage Little Dorrit [90% wool/10% nylon], cream Beehive 4 ply 25% wool, and gold no-name 100% acrylic.

Yet more Holly Berry Christmas Socks [Started 26th February: :Completed 7th June]

Another pair of Christmas design socks from the free pattern from West Yorkshire Spinners, using the seemingly inexhaustible supply of Holly Berry WYS Signature 4 Ply [ 75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. I ran into them at Unravel this year and was able to look at all their colours up close - excellent choices and wool quality.

Hidden Gusset Mittens (for me) [Started 12th February: :Completed 19th February]

As I my have mentioned - I really like the Hidden Gusset Mittens though I admit I was not planning a pair in every colour. I was looking for some grey leftovers to combine in a shawl project - Alison gave me some leftover Tosh Sock [100% merino] in "graphite". I tried it several times and it just did not work for the shawl - but it is so lovely I thought it deserved better. The question was finding a pattern that needed so little yarn - and here we have it - a very adaptable pattern for my tiny hand (which will clearly never be frozen). To economise on the yarn I made the mitten version - without all those separate little fingers - and I cast off with a contrast colour.

Two more homemade sock blanks [Started 5th February: :Completed 27th November, and 10th December]

I dyed two sock blanks in preparation for the class in a couple of weeks. I wanted to test out the dyes that I had mixed up last time around - what is now 5 years ago - and they seemed to work just fine, (though I will be mixing fresh for the class to be on the safe side).

The yarn is 4ply Superwash Sock yarn from Laughing Hens, [75% wool / 25% nylon; 100g=400m ]; I have a choice for the class between this and Laughing Hens Superwash Merino [100% Merino; 100g=400m ], knitted on my vintage Bond knitting machine. (Very hard to keep a consistent tension I found).

I used the Kemtex dyes from P&M Woolcraft exactly as we did before - I have added 3 more colours, and have almost the set now - all very vibrant. I notice they have some "all in one" colours in more appealing pastel shades, which I may be tempted to try in the future.
I steamed the blanks for about 40 minutes to set the dye; in the class we will be using a microwave.

It may be a while before these are complete as I want to leave the blanks half knitted for demonstration purposes - probably until after the Guild Open Day in October.

Sober Noro Socks [Started 20th January: :Completed 31st January]

George always liked the Noro Sock yarn I bought at Yarn Dogs in Los Gatos all those years ago, so I bought some from Phillipa in the Grand Stash Sale last October. These seem just as popular - and everyone seems very keen on the sober colours, especially G who might be a bit relieved not to have another wild colour combination to deal with. [I have not yet broken the news about the Sock Blank class I will be running this year.]

More Holly Berry Socks [Started 24th December: :Completed 3rd January]

My final project of last year..... soon to be complete - one sock done....
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....].

Hap Blanket [Started 23rd November: :Completed 12th January]

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. [Now complete and has adapted rather well - soft and squishy as described]

Striped cardigan for a little person [Started 24th August 2016: :Completed 30th March]

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.
[I found the sleeves of this cardigan to be much too long].

Aran Chair Cover [Started 23rd May 2015: :Completed 30th September 2017]

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.

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.

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...