Updated: 31-12-2020
© Christina Coutts 2007

2020 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Peacock socks [Started 12th December::Completed 20th December - 2nd pair 31st December]

The other yarn that made up the order for Wool Warehouse, was a WYS Signature 4 Ply,in Peacock, 851, [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. My sister and her husband like to guess the birds when I deliver socks, and she (wrongly) once guessed peacock. So I am knitting these for her - in a change to the usual programme. I'm hoping to make 2 pairs of socks (one for myself) combining Peacock with Blue Raspberry, 333, for the heels and toes. This latter yarn I bought at Kathy's Knits in 2018 when I went to the Edinburgh Fringe, but I did not use it as planned, and this is a perfect match.

Christmas Coasters [Started 20th November: :Completed 8th December]

I needed a small gift for secret Santa, and as I am engrossed in patchwork I thought I would "quickly" make a set of 4 coasters. I looked for a suitable design, and having found a set of 4, tried creating my own scheme for a paper pattern. It was a geometric nightmare, plus I also forgot that a tiny project takes as much if not more trouble than a large one if you have many pieces. Consequently - here they are (finally) - but I have put so much into it that I am not inclined to let them go to someone I barely know!

Sail Away Placemats [Started 16th November: :Completed 12th December]

This design is in the third Westminster Quilting book from 2001 (usually available from eBay).
It is a full sized quilt that I have adapted for place mats, drawing out my own design. However, I have reduced the scale of the pieces, as well as the number of pieces, so although I have many of the striped fabrics specified, they are of a relatively larger scale pattern than the original would have been. I think the effect still works well, but trying to keep the stripes perpendicular was another nightmare even though I used a paper backing technique to keep the accuracy of the triangles; (maybe a nightmare "because" since you have to view everything in reverse).

Arne and Carlos Secret Christmas socks [Started 12th November: :Completed 23rd December]

This is another lovely colourway in Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos - "Fall Night" 3655, [75% wool / 25% Polyamide; 100g=420m/460yds], purchased from PurpleLinda Crafts. It is the sister yarn to Summer Night, and I think this is the colour I should have chosen for my failed attempt at the Såve Teddy Bear - it's a bit more lively, though still subtle. [Shhh ... these are socks for George - not a teddy!].

Tuscan Placemats [Started 8th November: :Completed 9th December]

This design is from 2003 in the fifth Westminster Quilting book "A Colourful Journey" (usually available from eBay).
It has options for placemats and a table runner. I have adapted the place mats to make them the size I wanted (a bit smaller than the original), and have used different (though vintage Rowan) striped fabrics, and coordinating vintage shot cottons from the same era. I made the diagonal square elements just using the machine, then created paper-pieced 2 inch blocks which I sewed by hand to get better accuracy with the pinwheels.

Autumn socks [Started 7th October: :Completed 21st October]
[Second pair started 30th October: :Completed 3rd December]

To make up an order for Wool Warehouse, as usual, I purchased a couple of extra sock yarns and this is one of them: King Cole Zig Zag [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=420m / 460yds] a good value yarn and I liked "Jubilee", but it seems they have increased the % wool in this newer line.
The colourway 3247"Khaki" which does not sound promising but actually knitted up to a lovely colour mix which seems quite autumnal (even though they also have a colourway called "Autumn Glory"].

Aspiring Santa socks [Started 4th August :Completed 3rd September - Started 5th September :Completed 15th September]

I needed to find some more Regia Snowflake in colour Ski Cap 7708, [75% wool / 25% polyamide : 100g / 420m] to "mend" a pair I made for Terry in 2012 - in fact they are in such a well-worn (and previously repaired) state, it's hard to know whether to repair them or just knit anew. Anyway I managed to find a selection of colours at PurpleLindaCrafts - and bought several balls of sock yarn besides 7708, including 7709 Snow Star, and 7712 Sledge - which is the splendidly bright colour I am knitting here.

Cuddly Little Bunny Blanket [Started 1st August :Completed 4th August]

This is a baby comforter - free pattern from Love Crafts - knitted in left overs of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
Wool weight and thus tension is different from the specified yarn (a quick-knit or 5ply rather than an aran or worsted) but this is one instance where size surely does not matter. I've actually gone my own way with knitting the garter stitch square, making it a square knitted in the round, without worrying too much about whether or not it lies flat, (I used "make 1" for the increases rather than "knit twice in the next stitch").

Såve Teddy Bear [Started 24th July - frogged]

This is an Arne and Carlos pattern intended to be knitted from sock yarn. I like the Fair Isle bears by Debbie Bliss so these looked fun and I thought might be easier to make but that hasn't really been so. I'm finding it quite easy to knit matching arms and legs, as that is how I make my socks work out, but I am not sure I like the shape of the bear that much. Also I made a poor choice of yarn - I spent a long time deciding, and went for a colour I had used before ["Summer Night" 3657] which I thought looked like soft baby colours - but actually looks like a washed out sock... I would also say that for £9.60 the individual pattern seems to have simply been lifted from the book in which it originally appeared without suitable editing eg leaving references "NOTE: See page 259 for increase method." - a useless reference.

SO - I frogged the Teddy and made him into socks - nothing to do with my moaning about the pattern - I just prefer this colourway as socks (like this in 2019). I may try Teddy again in a better colour.

Northern Lights Cardigan [Started 29th June]

Another vintage Vogue knit from the Vogue Baby Knits on the Go book . Knitted in Hayfield Bonus 4ply acrylic, which I seem to have acquired from somewhere in my travels. Pink yarn is a fragment of acrylic DK (which works well picking out this colour detail), and the buttons are from stock (originally years ago from John Lewis I think).

Baby Pyramids Quilt [From 2002 - restarted 20th June: :Completed 24th October]

This is a patchwork quilt I started to make in about 2002 - and in truth had done almost nothing bar collecting together the fabrics. I have been inspired to take it up again because of Deborah's new baby - however it is paper-pieced and sewn by hand, so heaven knows if it will still be relevant by the time I finish it. [Worked up more quickly than I'd imagined].
The design is Baby Pyramids by Kaffe Fassett from the second Westminster Quilting book (usually available from eBay).

Kaffe Design Cover [Started 22nd June: :Completed 24th June]

I made a cover for the Sony eReader 650 using some Rowan Felted Tweed leftovers with the Kaffe Fassett pattern sequence used for the Lidiya scarf in Rowan Magazine 48 (still available as a pdf). I had often wanted to try out this pattern and I do quite like it although despite looking very delicate in the pattern photography, I feel that a whole dress made thus would be very hot.
The only colour missing from my collection was blue (Maritime) but I used a Jaeger Shetland wool which was the right colour but a 4ply not DK - however, this made little difference on such a small item. [Cast on 35, knit 110 rows in the pattern, fold over, sew up the sides, add a ribbed cuff by picking up stitches all round the top - would also work for an Amazon Fire tablet].

Seaside Mobile [Started 9th June: :Completed 21st June]

I wanted to make a baby mobile and I was totally entranced by this charming pattern by Alan Dart - so much so that I eschewed the many free offerings on Ravelry in its favour. And all I would say is that it was an extremely well written pattern with all the many tiny pieces fitting together beautifully to make totally convincing seaside animals (albeit in a variety of acrylic yarns that I always seem to have to hand).
I wanted to use beads for eyes instead of the suggested felt - but I had no black beads - so I painted some white pearl beads with black nail varnish - as you do - and it worked really well.

VE Day socks [Started 8th May: :Completed 23rd May]

While searching for a different yarn, (as you do), I found "My Yarnery" - a shop new to me. To make up my order I purchased a couple of extra sock yarns and this is one of them: King Cole Zig Zag [50% Wool / 50% Nylon: 100g=420m / 460yds].
The colourway 808 "Jubilee" is a bit bright - but then, perfect for the anniversary of VE Day eh?.

Baby Surprise [Started 9th April: :Completed 14th April]

My second attempt at Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket. My last one, in a sock yarn, was much too small so this time I used a self-patterning acrylic DK, King Cole Splash, colour 755 Blueberry, - which is ideal to bring out the structure of this design.
I have to confess that I don't much like the the look of this cardigan once complete - but it's an absolute delight for any knitter to make with its weird origami-like construction - and after all I'm sure the babies don't mind! I have some perfect vintage "Tom Kitten" buttons to finish it off but these aren't sewn on until after the baby is born.

Baby Blanket [Started 12th March :Completed 10th May]

This blanket from the Vogue Baby Knits on the Go book has a pleasing fresh feel of 1950's modernity, which I find most appealing. The pattern is intended for a double or quick-knit but I am using 4 ply weights (increasing the number of squares and colours). It uses a strange stitch to construct the squares, which I find fiddly but produces a very satisfying result when they are sewn together.
For the background I've used some Sirdar Country Style [45% acrylic/40% nylon/15% wool; 50g=240m/262yds] that I have a complete packet of in cream, and for the contrasts I've used half a dozen 4 ply oddments - making for a headache trying to get a consistent tension...!

Beach Baby [Started 6th March: :Completed 26th March]

As Deborah is expecting her baby in the summer, this seemed an obvious choice from the Vogue Baby Knits on the Go book. Again, found some suitable cotton 4 ply in my collection, and am making it a little smaller than designed as the smallest 6 month size would nominally fit by around December. As babies cannot be relied upon to keep within sizes, we'll just have to see what transpires (is it destined to be be recycled to the premature baby unit? watch this space....).
Yarn is a mixture of Katia Saigon (100% acrylic) - which is thicker than a 4ply - and vintage Patons' soft cotton 4ply (a cotton blend), with edgings in Sirdar Soft Cotton 4ply (100% cotton)

Hippy Baby Cardigan [Started 5th March: :Completed 22nd March]

So I was looking at some vintage Vogue knitting books on eBay when I ran across one of those Vogue "pocket" books, marketed as Knitting on the Go. I have several of them on various themes - and was recently thinking I should dispose of some - however you can never have enough knitting books (obviously) so I bought Baby Knits. Attracted by the cardigan on the cover, I have dug through my vast collection of acrylics, and set off (or cast on).

Bullfinch socks [Started 3rd March: :Completed 15th May]

Five minutes at Unravel in Farnham and I found another of the "birds" colourways, "Bullfinch" colour 861, WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. Can't think why I didn't knit it before now (maybe I did?!). So I have kicked off another pair of socks as "simple TV knitting" (that's as in: in front of the telly and nothing to do with cross dressing - if it were it would be a bit of a disappointment).
[My only quibble is that bullfinches strike me as rather more black than the brown colour in the yarn!].

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie [Started 1st March: :Completed 7th March]

I'd like to make something for Deborah's baby but all my "heirloom" toys are not "child-safe". So I went back to Ysolda's first collection of Whimsical Little Knits and made this delightful mouse, which any baby could chew to its heart's content (up to a point .... yes I know ... choking hazard etc ... but Deborah's fully trained so I am sure she will have all toys fully approved or otherwise).
Yarn is vintage Phildar Luxe in grey and a tiny amount of pink Jaeger 4ply.

Robin (limited edition!) socks for me [Started 15th February: :Completed 25th February]

So I made the two pairs of men's socks and I did manage to craft a tiny pair for myself using left over "Robin" colour 941 WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m]. . I used the plain toe-up pattern in Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D Johnson - and I had to eke it out using a toning red yarn for the heel, sole and toe (WYS colour "Cherry Drop" 529), with a picot cast-off.

Spring Flowers [Started 31st January: :Completed 19th February]

I responded to a request for "spare wool" and knitters to help with a planned yarn bomb of our local village - part of the Spring Yarn Bomb over Easter.
I'm not keen on fiddly little things but I found this splendid website with simply lovely patterns for flowers, leaves etc - so I made a few.

Fleetwith sweater and cowl [Started 6th January]

I thought of Lyn when I saw this pattern in Rowan's British Made by Lisa Richardson as it is the "sort of thing she really likes", and I considered buying Valley Tweed even though it would be pretty costly, despite the excellent yardage. However I have an ever-expanding collection of some very good vintage fingering yarns, so I felt bound to consider them. The colour choice was a problem, and none of them is a tweed, but in the end I chose a lovely cherry red Hermit pure wool crepe 4ply (yardage unknown - also a problem) which I think will suit the pattern and also possibly my sister, (if not - it's a colour I like - what can I say?). This will clearly be my only project for this year as the pattern for the back begins "cast on 200" and after lulling you into a false sense of security with 2 rows garter stitch, it moves on to untold complexity.

Weaving: Woodland Scarf [Started 30th July 2019]

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.

Weaving: Cotton Towels [Started 23rd March 2019]

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.

Little Bottles Quilt [Restarted 9th February 2019]

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).

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...