Updated: 31-12-2021
© Christina Coutts 2007

2021 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Little Devil Ear Warmer [Started 16th December: :Completed 24th December]

Made to match the Scandinavian Christmas Cardigan (below) and using the same yarn - (Rowan Felted Tweed DK in colours Rage and Clay). This one entirely knitted by hand as the pattern involves reverse stocking stitch. The pattern is one from a delightful set in vintage "silver" Patons P&B 479 - the models really look so cute, I may have to make the other examples as well....

Pairfect Socks [Started 7th December: :Completed "garden" 16th December, and "stone" 24th December, ]

This is Arne and Carlos Regia "Pairfect" [100g=420m; 75% wool/25% nylon] - which are in fact not so perfect at all. True, they do what it says on the tin and give you two matching socks, but in order to do so you give up most of the control over the size. For me this was totally unacceptable with the 9136 "garden" colourway as the yarn intended for the toe begins long before I reach the toe in my man's sock pattern - I had to add in an inch or so using yarn left over from the socks I knitted in the standard "garden" colour last year; you can see the change clearly in the picture. This brings me to my next complaint - it seems to me that the dark green "complementary" colour has bled into the overall colour, leaving it dull compared with the colour of the standard yarn - the yellow leader thread also seems to have suffered, (though not so important of course). The 7120 "stone" colourway worked better as there is no arbitrary change of colour for the toe.

Weaving: Overshot Scarf [Started 9th November]

Hoping to improve on my last effort in class, I am making a scarf this time using laceweight merino and silk. The warp is a space dyed yarn (merino I think - no label)I bought at Ally Pally some years ago (very expensive, and intended for a "peacock" shawl but on viewing the pattern I went off the idea). The overshot weft is Fyberspates Gleem Lace Sea Green colour 706 [55% Wool/45% Silk, 100g=800m (875yds) ].
The pattern and overshot instructions are taken from Next Steps in Weaving, by Pattie Graver.

Oddments Blanket for (good causes) [Started 2nd November]

I have started a background project to make another blanket from acrylic oddments (I have many) using the Domino construction technique. You'd thing a dynamic random design would be easy enough, but as usual, after the first few squares, making a truly random whilst also pleasing combination gets more and more difficult!

Little Pouch [Started 8th October: :Completed 9th October]

I made this cover as packaging for a portable iPhone charger - completed and given away as a gift with such alacrity that I failed to take a picture of the finished item. Made to measure ( 80 stitches in the round) with a button closure, using the leftovers of my first hand-dyed sock blank from 2009.

Austermann Summer Socks [Started 5th October: :Completed 29th October]

More Austermann Step [100g=420m; 75% wool/25% nylon with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil] - best sock yarn in the known Universe. This one is Marine-Bunt (Colourful Navy) 328 - which makes me think of a summer seashore - so I hope that's what they had in mind.

Noro Socks III [Started 20th August: :Completed 2nd October]

In 2010 I bought some teeny tiny (9 inch - 2mm) circular needles at Yarn Dogs (now long gone)in Los Gatos and used them with some Noro yarn. George was very pleased with the tension and fit, so I knitted him another pair the following year in Kureyon Sock [70% wool; 30% nylon] Colour S164. Whatever bargain that wool was at the time, has led to my having two balls of it, so here I am getting the teeny tiny needles out again.

Flamingo [Started 8th August]

I was seduced by an email from Laughing Hens exhorting me to buy the booklet Rico Ricorumi It Must Be Love. It's full of cute crochet sweet nothings based on the theme of "luuurve".
However the one that I love is the flamingo. She's knitted in Rico Ricorumi cotton yarn supplied in small reasonably priced balls, making it practical to make these small items using a number of different colours, [100% cotton; 25g=57m (62yds)].

Scandinavian Christmas Cardigan [Started 28th July: :Completed 22nd December]

This is based on a cardigan in Toddler Knits - another Vogue "pocket" book, marketed as Knitting on the Go. However I am making it for Matilda, using the same Fair Isle pattern as for her Grandfather's Festive Reindeer Cardigan and using the same yarn - (Rowan Felted Tweed DK in colours Rage and Clay). Once again I used my knitting machine as it achieves such a neatly tensioned result - even though it's often not much quicker than hand knitting, and I adapted the chart from a POM and swiss-darned suitably sized reindeer on the fronts.
[I shall, of course, be reknitting it every year as she grows...]

Market Place Socks [Started 2nd July: :Completed 27th July]

As the UK is on the verge of relaxing its virus-related restrictions even further, and while infection rates are probably as low as they will be for a while, we had a tiny family get together in Petersfield. My sister (not a knitter herself) was anxious to show off their new wool shop, Handmade Studios, and rather than just look round I felt I had to buy something - not that this was much of a chore as the shop is beautiful and full of high quality yarns. So Lyn chose Terry's next sock colour 9952 "Klaus the Prince Charming" from Opal's Naughty Friends Two range - a lovely combination of sea blues and greens, [75% Wool / 25% Polyamide: 100g=425m / 465yds].
My cousin also made a good effort purchasing a very reasonably priced yarn to make some hats.

Pocket Yoda [Started 16th May: :Completed 29th May]

Another little gem from Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy. Since her parents are keen on SCI Fi, I thought this would be a nice gift for Matilda's first birthday - provided it does not give her nightmares. It's very small so I used some of my store of vintage 100 % acrylic DK, which I knitted double on 9¾mm needles as the pattern was intended for an Aran weight yarn; the appealing green plastic safety eyes I purchased on eBay.
This was a satisfying knit, made up in the round, stuffing as you go.

King Cole Socks [Started 23rd April: :Completed 3rd May]

Fjord is very low cost acrylic double knitting self-patterning yarn from King Cole. Its wide pattern bands (and price) make it possible to contemplate using it for a sweater or cardigan. I'm going with tried and tested socks - but am not sure the "fair isle effect" is working out very well over so many fewer stitches. The colour is Norddal 4559 - a mix of greens - [100% acrylic; 100g=250m/273yds].
This turned out to be a very amusing project. I split the wool to make it more like a 3 ply (a terrible task in itself), but the resulting yarn was "energised" - as you get sometimes in hand-spun singles - so the plain knitting had a very distinct
slanting bias, The socks are fine once fitted on the feet but left to their own devices are very twisted!

May Queen Rose Socks [Started 14th April: :Completed 23rd April]

A bargain ball of in WYS Signature 4 Ply [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m] in withdrawn colour 800: Peony. I bought it long ago to make some socks for my sister - who is ever Queen of the May (according to our Dad anyway!). I am inventing my own pattern based on the one I devised for the men's socks I make so often.

Rose Pink Brioche Hat [Started 13th April: :Completed 22nd April]

Debbie Bliss wrote to me (personally I expect) to tell me how excited she was to be offering her Cashmerino chunky yarn once again. I have to say I was a bit surprised at how inexpensive it seems to be but it does have an element of acrylic which may explain it. Anyway my sister asked me to make her a hat (in all that cold weather - now in the past of course!) and I wanted a touch of luxury so I bought 4 balls and set off on my fisherman's rib hat pattern, in 2 colours: 22 Rose and 23 Pearl [55% Wool / 33% Acrylic / 12% Cashmere: 50g=65m/71yds] .

St Ives Smock [Started 1st April: :Completed 26th April]

Again - a bit like chain smoking - one baby cardigan put out and another lit up. Northern Lights is in truth already a bit small for Matilda so I have gone back to a vintage and hopefully roomy design by Debbie Bliss from 2003. It in the Cotton Denim Aran pattern book which I purchased - with yarn for a cardigan - from the woman herself at Ally Pally when it first appeared. The yarn is no longer available of course but Love Crafts sell a DK version [100% Cotton: 100g=200m/219yds] in colour 02 New Denim, which looks similar, and I am restructuring the pattern (translates as "knitting a bigger size").

Chancellor Palpatine's (or Tony's) Scarf [Started 17th March: :Completed 31st March]

Tony gave me Star Wars: Knitting the Galaxy for my birthday - and as a "reward" (punishment?), in return, I am knitting him something from it for his birthday. There were several contenders (all neck related) but this one seemed the most wearable. I could not get the recommended Katia yarn so I am using Schachenmayr Cotton4Future [50% Wool / 50% Polyester: 50g=100m/109yds] in colour 'Indigo' (50) - sadly a mixed red/black marl was not available - but it's an interesting yarn being "eco", made from a blend of leftover cotton, and polyester from recycled plastic bottles.

Toria's Aran [Started 21st February]

I've committed myself to a project for a friend. It has all proved a little problematic obtaining good quality yarn at a reasonable price - and finding a company with enough stock of reasonable colour. Anyway I finally chose Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed, on special offer from Love Crafts, in Oatmeal [100% Wool 50g=88m / 96yds] - which I have to say as been a great disappointment in that it is clearly a DK weight not an Aran - in fact, this is even apparent in the gauge and yardage given in the specification. This now gives me a problem as to which pattern to use - I may end up having to devise a layout of my own superimposed on a commercial set of instructions, but it's never going to have the heft of an Aran jumper. My favourite pattern is always this one of course - My First Aran.

Hibernate [Started 3rd February: :Completed 12th March]

Rowan have brought out a new book Daydreamer which includes a rather appealingly simple blanket throw by Chloe Thurlow. I am attracted by the colours so have again turned to my (still) vast and seemingly undiminished collection of acrylics. I am using the Rowan pattern as a guide for the colours only and making up my own pattern based on a tweed design in one of their other books that I already possess; as usual I am sure the designer's instructions would be better but I feel I am an experienced enough knitter to make do.

Summer Afternoon Socks [Started 19th January: :Completed 2nd February]

Not a sock yarn I remember trying before, but I acquired it as a real bargain last year from "My Yarnery" as part of a larger order. It's Sirdar Heart and Sole [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=410m / 448yds]. It's a lovely summery yarn of soft blues and creams - colour 163 "Country Bumpkin" (a rather unappealing choice of name I would have thought - maybe they think it is irony).

Mini Christmas Stockings [Started 12th January: :Completed 18th January]

It's the time of year to make my annual decoration (post-Christmas) and this year it's a delightful pattern from Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits. They took no time at all to make, and I have joined them into a mini-garland. The yarn is some 4ply acrylic that I acquired from somewhere - bumper sized balls which had become my go-to Christmas colours for little items such as these - however, they have finally run out now!

Hooked Sheep [Started 2nd January]

This is a kit I bought from Hooked By Design at Woolfest in 2017. I also bought a frame kit to work the picture on - the latter I made up very quickly - but I did not start hooking the picture! Since then I loaned the frame to Alison who purchased and immediately started and completed her choice of picture (herring gulls) from Woolfest in 2018. Finally, now, I am getting round to actually using the frame myself... My choice is "natural" sheep.

Weaving: it's a wrap [Started 6th October 2020: :Completed 19th September]

This is a simple weft-faced twill fabric using Malabrigo Lace in the warp, doubled for strength, [100% wool; 50g=430m/465yds], in colours Pollen 019 and Butter 061 (not ideal as a warp but a lovely colour and texture). The weft is Manos Del Uruguay Marina in colour Oro Viejo 9001 [100% wool; 100g= 800m/874yds],
The sett is 12, on a 24 inch loom - the finished width will be 22 inches which is rather less than I was hoping for but will make a lovely wrap as the yarn is super soft giving a pleasant feel to the fabric. I am making this in a class where I achieve about 1 inch per week, so between that and imminent lockdown, heaven knows when I will finish.

The update is - I ran out of weft; so it's completed but not a wrap - just a rather stiff cushion cover....

Northern Lights Cardigan [Started 29th June 2020: :Completed 17th March]

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).

Fleetwith sweater and cowl [Started 6th January 2020]

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 Gobi 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...