Updated: 31-12-2019
© Christina Coutts 2007

2019 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Robin (limited edition!) socks [Started 30th November: :Completed 24th and 31st December]

Two new balls of the "birds" colourway in WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. Bright and cheerful "Robin" for the limited edition Christmas. I am making two pairs of men's socks and hope to have enough left for a tiny pair for myself...

Alex's Christmas socks [Started 21st December: :Completed 30th December]

Opal Handwork & Hobby 3 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g= 425m /465yds ] in colour 9644 Carpenter. They all seem to be named after trades, and this one is destined for a bricklayer, but they don't seem to offer that as an option. Anyway I think it's a suitable enough set of jeans-compatible colours.

Hidden Gusset Mittens (for Karen) [Started 24th October: :Completed 1st November]

Hidden Gusset Mittens - a perfect gift! These are made to co-ordinate with the Verdigris Scarf, in left over Tosh Sock [100% wool; 100g=361m/395yds], colour "Filigree". These are the fingerless version of the mittens in the medium size - very quick to make... So much so that I immediately knitted a second mimimalist pair in what is really just a scrap of sparkly yarn from a long forgotten wool swap (really nice yarn from iKnit - the same type I used for a Hitchhiker scarf long ago - but just so little of it - I'm amazed I got 2 tiny mittens out of it).

Anastasiya [Started 13th October: :Completed 30th October]

Having revisited Orkney from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 52, completing a second cardigan on my knitting machine, (it's a long story), and having a fair amount of leftover felted tweed (Orkney, Auden and other projects), I decided to make another Marie Wallin design from the even older Rowan Magazine 48. Although a bit dated, it has worked out very well I think. Paisley pink in the design is no longer available, but I had tremendous success in dyeing some of the colour "Clay" using Dylon in Rosewood. I was concerned the colour would not take but in fact it is if anything a little too dark - and in my enthusiasm the "felted" tweed got a bit more felted but this seems to have made no noticeable difference to the result.

Auden [Started 14th August: :Completed 20th September]

This is a Martin Storey design that I instantly fell in love with when the latest set of Rowan books were delivered in August. It features my favourite Felted Tweed DK, [50% Merino / 25% Alpaca / 25% Viscose : 50g = 175m/191yds]. It's a sea-themed striped sweater (of course), and I meant to go with the exact colours specified, but I purchased from a John Lewis store rather than on-line - and I'm very glad I did as I changed my mind when I saw the colours "in the flesh". I used Seafarer 170 (as specified) but went with the old favourite neutral Clay 177 instead of Stone 190, which has a greenish tinge I did not like. I also declined to purchase the (expensive) Kidsilk Haze to knit double for the eyelet patterns - choosing to continue with Clay.

Arne and Carlos Christmas socks [Started 31st July: :Completed 3 pairs 20th October]

I feel like a chain smoker - I'm half way through my last stock ball of sock yarn, and I have lit up another. I bought 6 bargain balls (again!) and could not resist the temptation to try out these lovely colours; this colourway will make my Christmas sock for this year - they look cheerful.
Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos - two pairs in "Garden" 3760 [75% wool / 25% Polyamide; 100g=420m/460yds], and one in "Summer Night" 3657, all purchased from Laughing Hens,

Wrapped in Love blanket [Continued 29th June: :Completed 6th December]

This is a blanket wrap made using a pattern given out by a hospice. It was started by Fliss's sister but, (along with some other things), unfortunately, she was unable to finish it. I have completed 2 other items and now I am tackling this - it's in rather a bright colour but there is not enough for the whole thing, so I will have to mix it with something. There are 8 completed squares and 28 are required in total.

Weaving: Woodland Scarf [Started 30th July]

This is "Blewit" - almost the colours that inspired Janet Phillips as featured in her book Designing Woven Fabrics. This time using a limited edition skein from A Verb for Keeping Warm which I bought at SOAR in 2012 [100% wool; 100g=361m/395yds]. The weft is Erika Knight British Wool ..... Blue Faced Leicester and Masham purchased at Fibre East - too coarse and fluffy really but I went with the colour.. ... I have wound a 2m warp - enough for a scarf length plus fringe. The sett is 16 - doubling up in my 8 dent reed.

Wood Pigeon socks [Started 12th June: :Completed 10th August]

My last ball of the "birds" colourway in WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. A lovely soft set of colours - again yet to be allocated to a male recipient. Again I went on to this as a background project of "easy" knitting, following the completion of "Owl".

Granny Squares Cushion Cover [Started 16th May: :Completed 8th August]

This has the two-fold purpose of making a rather nicer cover than the current one in my artist's garret, as well as using up some of my vast store of acrylic yarns. I have taken inspiration from (that's about the best I can say of my efforts) a beautiful blanket that Alison crocheted for me using similar colours - though her project used far superior yarn I might say.
The pattern is the same one I used some years ago from an older Rowan book Purelife Home.

Weaving: Verdigris Scarf [Started 3rd April: :Completed 8th June]

This is "Vineyard Grapes" - once again not the colours that inspired Janet Phillips as featured in her book Designing Woven Fabrics. And again using Tosh Sock I already had [100% wool; 100g=361m/395yds] in Copper Penny, Brisk Dust, and Filigree, I altered sett, ppi, and the warp threading plan to accommodate the much thicker yarn. Learning by my previous mistake, I have wound a shorter warp (2m) - just enough for a scarf length plus fringe. I am limited in the sett I can use as I have only one 8 dent reed, but I have altered the sett to use the full width of the reed so it will not be quite so firm as my previous effort.

Weaving: Cotton Towels [Started 23rd March]

I was inspired to try this project by the newsletters from Gist Yarn and Fiber. I would have bought their cotton but the shipping cost from the US meant I needed to be more cost-conscious for a simple rigid heddle project to do in the evenings. I settled on a real budget option which was impossibly low cost and astonishingly fast delivery despite shipping from Hobii in Copenhagen.

Weaving: Sampler Scarf [Started 1st March: :Completed 3rd April]

This is "Scarf of Lucky Colours" - but not in the colours that have proved so lucky for Pattie Graver as featured in her book Next Steps in Weaving. I used knitting yarn I already had, and so I altered both sett and ppi to accommodate a thicker yarn; in consequence it looks a bit clumsier than I would have liked, but it seems to be "OK" and working out to be not too wide for a scarf.
Both warp and weft are Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in colours Rosewood (from the closing-down sale :o( at Yarn Dogs in Los Gatos), and Whiskey Barrel (from Love Knitting) - 1 skein of each [100% wool; 100g=361m/395yds] and supplementing the dark warp threads with black.
As it turned out, the warp was ridiculously long as specified (enough to weave a sample which was never on the cards with my precious and limited weft yarn), and after my 66 inch scarf I had enough to weave a further 30 or more inches - which I did using a vintage black Jaeger 4ply. The effect of the black has produced a much more dramatic result and what seems to be a slightly finer yarn has produced a slightly better drape for a scarf.

Against the Grain Sweater [Started 24th February: :Completed 20th April]

This is Against All Odds by Isabell Kraemer featuring Beyul Fingering from Kettle Yarns which is a dreamy mix of Merino, Yak, and Silk, [100g;400yd/366m] in colours Steppe, Yurt, and Black Quartz.
A luxury project purchased at Unravel in Farnham - after 3 years of careful thought...
This is 'against the grain' as it's a top down sweater knitted at a very loose tension, neither of which are my favourite things.
ut then it is striped....

Owl socks [Started 20th February: :Completed 10th June]

My second to last ball of the "birds" colourway in WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. A lovely sober set of colours yet to be allocated to a male recipient. I started this as a background project of "easy" knitting since I completed the sock blanks (see below) and have now rushed to finish in time for Terry's birthday.

Little Bottles Quilt [Re-started 9th February]

This is a patchwork quilt I started to make in about 2003 and in truth had done most of the hard work in appliqué. I was undecided as to what technique to use for the striped "curtains" - but have set off now with renewed vigour and decisiveness.
The design is Little Bottles by Kaffe Fassett from the fourth Westminster Quilting book (usually available from eBay).

Handspun Sock Blanks [Started 8th February: :Blank completed 18th February]

I finished spinning the pack of broken tops I bought from John Arbon (Blue faced Leicester with 25% nylon) at Fibre East last summer. The spinning is pretty variable and possibly worse when plied, but I have pressed on and finished knitting 2 blanks which I am moderately confident will make serviceable socks (based on past experience (!).

Weaving: Bells and Shells [Started 27th January: :Completed 24th February]

This is "Bells and Shells" as featured in Designing Woven Fabrics by Janet Phillips.
I wove both warp and weft (fairly ill-advisedly) using John Arbon Alpaca 2-3ply knitting yarn [90% Alpaca/10% Nylon; 100g=600m]. It has worked out well - but there was a lot of fluff - that's all I'm saying. This is my first 4-shaft project "flying solo" so there were a couple of false starts, and some variation in the beat, but I'm forgiving myself...
The colour combination was a little more overwhelmingly bright blue than I had expected - I have a lot to learn about colour weaving, even with a pattern, so I am a long way from designing my own.

Fairy Lights Christmas Socks [Started 11th January: :Completed 17th and 20th January]

This is the limited edition colourway for Christmas plus a pattern from West Yorkshire Spinners. I love this yarn: WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. I bought 1 ball of the Fairy Lights (colour 849) yarn and am using it to make 2 pairs of sock (for my little feet), as I already have a ball of "Cherry Drop" (529) yarn in hand from last year with which to knit the contrast heels and toes. [It should be "Cayenne Pepper" (510) - but a ball in hand is worth two in a bush and a blind man would be glad to see the difference - as my Mother would have said...].

Mallard socks [Started 20th December 2018: :Completed 16th January]

This is another "birds" colourway in WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m] I bought (see below), which I bought at John Lewis in Kingston originally intended as a Christmas gift but too big for the intended recipient so reallocated to George.

Acrylic Blankets - pastel [Started 15th May 2015: :Completed 45 squares and donated 16th March 2019]

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.

2018 - update - I haven't wanted to do this pastel version enough it seems - so next year it's love it or frog it....
2019 update - I have donated the 45 completed squares towards a charity blanket.

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...