Updated: 31-12-2022
© Christina Coutts 2007

2022 archive..... click on the image to see the finished item.

Pixie hat [Started 18th December: :Completed 23rd December]

A little last-minute hat for a new nephew. It's a vintage Peter Gregory pattern (No 7175) which includes patterns for a variety of baby hats - I chose this one as it is a more interesting pattern. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK [100% acrylic : 100g=295m/322yds], colour 1854 French Navy.

Bottle Covers [Started 12th December: :Completed 20th December]

I was inspired to knit a seasonal bottle-cover Icy Toast from Drops designs. I used Stylecraft 4 ply [100% acrylic : 100g=422m/466yds] in colours, Lipstick, Denim, and Cream - all purchased at the Fluffatorium. I thought an acrylic would be more practical than the recommended yarn - but then I ended up having to adapt the pattern to suit 4ply - which then typically did not work out to an exact pattern repeat - so even more adaptations ensued. Finally, I was further inspired to knit a second cover in blue for which I created a different pattern by combining some charts in some Martin Storey home and accessories books (of which I have many).

"Pairfect Sock" Fingerless Gloves [Started 7th December: :Completed 21st December]

Terry can't pull on my handmade socks too well any more (arthritis), and George suggested these gloves as he finds them very useful.
Because I have found it less than satisfactory for socks, I'm using the Arne and Carlos Regia "Pairfect" [100g=420m; 75% wool/25% nylon], in colour 9139 Star Night. Rather a girly colour perhaps but they have turned out well.

Electra (vest) [Started 30th November: :Completed 27th December]

My Martin Story "tank", was admired by Deborah - for its shape rather than colour I believe (and hope), as I am making her something quite dissimilar for a Christmas gift, The original is a 2005 design by Louisa Harding from Rowan Magazine 38 and used a mix of yarns types. I am using Felted Tweed DK, [50% Merino / 25% Alpaca / 25% Viscose : 50g = 175m/191yds], in 3 colours that I already have: Seafarer and Clay, plus Bilberry (replacing the Yorkshire Tweed, which is no longer available), and, (in place of Kidsilk Haze), a vintage linen-mix "feature" yarn that I bought in Germany in 1987... (always knew it would come in useful).

Paper Dolls Tassel Hat [Started 24th November: :Completed 29th November]

Matilda tolerated her hat last year so well that I am risking this year with a hat and mitten set. It's a vintage Greenock pattern No 720 in double knitting. I have used the ever-practical (and soft) Stylecraft Special Double Knitting [100% Acrylic : 100g = 295m/322yds], in colours Cream (1005), and Bluebell (1082).

Gingerbread Christmas Socks [Started 4th November: :Completed 11th December]

This is the new seasonal colourway from West Yorkshire Spinners: 1109 Gingerbread [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m].
These are not really my colours (autumnal rusty shades) but I am liking them more and more as I knit. If I have time I may knit several pairs including some for me!

"Surrey Thrift" Cardigan [Started 21st October]

This is a "thrift" cardigan because I've had a pack of 10 balls of Patons Moorland (a brown tweed fleck) in my possession for about 40 years, waiting for the right project. Over that time there have been at least 2 attempts to make something from it, but it's a dense pure wool DK and fundamentally it's not enough for a sweater. However: enter Bellmans 1542 (an "unusual" vintage pattern) which seems to be perfect. I'm adding 2 contrasts in Rowan Felted Tweed DK, which is finer and lighter, but the tension works OK as the pattern uses slip stitches, and only comes into play on the sleeves.

Cornish Thrift Shawl [Started 13th October]

My sister saw this shawl in her LYS in Petersfield and bought some pink sock wool there - I supplemented it with 2 skeins of a semi-solid hand dyed wool from Posh Yarn. The pattern is Cornish Thrift by Nicola Diggins, and the yarn is Fruitful Fusion 4 ply colour Dusk [75% Merino / 25% Nylon : 100g=425m], and Alyssa Sock, colour Blueberry Kisses [80% Merino / 20% silk.: 100g=366m/400yds].

Weaving: Blue and White Cushion I [Started 27th September]

This is another design from Janet Phillips' book Designing Woven Fabrics.
The original scarf design has been doubled in width with a view to making a cushion cover, and I am using Venne BIO Cottoline [70% Cotton / 30% Linen : 250g=1600m], for both warp and weft, in colours 4003 Steel Blue, and 7100 Cream, from George Weil (Fibrecrafts) in Guildford.

Baby Colour Block Play Blanket [Started 26th September: :Completed 4th November]

I was finding it surprisingly hard to choose a pattern for the new family member while not knowing if a boy or girl - so I decided on a blanket. Then I narrowed it down to either a Debbie Bliss "alphabet" white shawl, or a more robust play blanket. I finally settled on the latter with a more modern look in design and colour. The pattern is the Colour Blocks Blanket in Martin Storey's Afghan Knits (a super book). I will be trying to knit each block in the round, joining them as I go - wish me luck. [NB "It went well"].
The intended yarn is a pure wool Aran weight (in a selection of wonderful deep blues) - I am using a the ever-practical Stylecraft Special Aran [100% acrylic : 100g=196m]; I started out with colours Gold (1709), Parchment (1218), Pistachio (1822), and French Navy (1854), but then reverted to the original designers colours and replaced gold and pistachio with Teal (1062), and Empire (1829). Very pleased with the result.

Little Bunny Comforter [Started 14th September: :Completed 17th October]

This is my second baby comforter for new family member "in waiting" - free pattern from Love Crafts - again knitted in left over of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, but I had run out of ecru so used Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino, [57% Merino / 33% Acrylic / 10% Cashmere], colour 101, (Snowflake). Tensions are different from the specified yarn (a worsted) but this is one instance where size really does not matter.
Again, I've gone my own way with knitting the garter stitch square, making it a square knitted in the round.

Weaving: "Two Crabs" scarf [Started 28th August]

This is another design from Janet Phillips' book Designing Woven Fabrics. I've always wanted to make this - mostly attracted by the pretentious title as it's based on a Picasso painting - but I am using laceweight wools rather than silk and my colour and texture variations are much simpler than Janet designed.
The warp is mainly Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace colour 520 Azure [55% Wool / 45% Silk: 100g=1000m]; the weft is mainly Fyberspates Gleem Lace colour 706 Sea Green [55% Wool / 45% Silk: 100g=800m] - both from Wool Warehouse. There are also highly coloured narrow stripes of other colours in both warp and weft, which are from an 800m skein of Laughing Hens Undyed 2 Ply Merino/Silk Lace which I hand-dyed.

Soft Summer Sunshine Cardigan [Started 29th June: :Completed 16th September]

Another vintage Vogue knit from the Vogue Baby Knits on the Go book . Knitted in Malabrigo Lace colour 019, (pollen), [100% wool; 50g=430m/465yds]. Impossibly impractical for a baby cardigan - but so irresistibly soft and lovely ...! The buttons are vintage from my own collection.

Weaving: WSD Project "Still Waters" [Started 10th July: :Completed 14th July]

This was a sample created for the WSD exhibition in September, Cotton and Canals (Open Section: non-juried work in a 6 inch Ring) entitled “Still Waters”.
I used a number of 4 ply wool oddments in colours inspired by the culverts seen on my walks along the Hogsmill river at Ewell. I wove a variation on the undulating twill used for the scarf below.

Weaving: undulating twill scarf [Started 28th June: :Completed 4th July]

This is inspired by the Janet Phillips pattern as featured in her book Designing Woven Fabrics, considerably redrafted to suit a much thicker yarn. I wanted to use the remaining precious Miss Babs yarn from my Time Trades Shawl (below) and planned it for the warp, but then revised that and used it for a graduating weft - overall, after all these adaptations, which I feared might destroy the wavy pattern, I am really pleased with the result. (Even though I again ran out of warp, dictated by the pattern).
The warp is Debonnaire's Sheer Sock in colour Silver [100% Merino / 20% Nylon: 100g=400m]; the weft is a combination of Mighty Frisky in colour Nightfall [80% Merino / 20% Nylon: 100g=365m], and the Miss Babs gradient set [Miss Babs 2-Ply toes in colour Pleiades - 100% merino]

Rock [Started 26th May]

A Lisa Richardson design from Rowan Magazine 71 for a crochet blanket/throw in soft summer colours. It's intended for Rowan Cotton Cashmere [15% Cashmere / 85% Cotton; 50g=125m], and I am using the leftover pink (wrong pink) from Sofia, plus some budget cotton yarn purchased from Poundland - Natura Cotton [15% Polyester / 85% Cotton; 100g=150m], supplemented by vintage Rico Essentials Cotton DK [100% Cotton : 50g=130m] in a dusty gold shade (26), and Patons Knit 'n' Save Cotton DK in a rose beige (2552) [100% Cotton : 100g] both purchased on eBay. Needless to say it won't be as lovely as one made from the intended yarn - but I hope it will be lovely enough....

Zorzal Shawl II [Started 24th May: :Completed 25th June]

I had a lot of yarn remaining after the three-colour shawl so decided to repeat the pattern as designed using only two of the colours: A&P Merino & Silk Single [70% Superwash Merino / 30% Silk; 100g=400 m] in Natural, and A&P Merino & Kid Mohair Single 4 Ply [56% Superwash Merino / 44% Kid Mohair; 100g=400 m] in Fool's Gold.

Sofia [Started 29th April: :Completed 21st May]

A casual sweater which is part of the booklet Mode Loungewear by Quail Studio, and knitted in Rowan Cotton Wool. I really like the eyelet pattern (which creates the look of fake cables), broken up with vertical moss stitch panels.
I am knitting Sofia using Rowan Cotton Cashmere [15% Cashmere / 85% Cotton; 50g=125m], which I purchased along with the patterns from Wool Warehouse, who have some of the Cotton Cashmere colours on sale (a real bargain).

Fold [Started 20th April: :Completed 1st June]

Another Martin Story "tank", but right up to date from Rowan Magazine 71.

I am using some lovely vintage Pingolaine [100% Wool; 50g=200m/220yds], which is a 4 ply fingering weight, so I'm making a larger size as the design is intended for Cotton Glace [100% Cotton; 50g=115m/125yds], which is more like a light weight DK, knitting to a tension of 23 stitches to 10 cm.

Potpourri [Started 4th April: :Completed 28th May]

After more than 10 years I managed to find some more RYC Natural Silk Aran [73% Viscose / 15% Silk / 12% Linen; 50g=65m]. I bought a pack at Ally Pally and found it was nothing like enough to make anything sensible; lucky for me a fellow Raveller had done the same thing (exactly the same thing - down to the dye lot!) and was willing to let her pack go. So now in truly retro mode I am making a slipover from Martin Storey's RYC book Summer Delights circa 2008.

Zorzal Shawl [Started 28th March: :Completed 23rd May]

A collection of colours purchased at Unravel from The Knitting Shed, and perfect for this wrap by Lisa Hannes, which I have chosen to make in 3 colours rather than two: A&P Merino & Silk Single [70% Superwash Merino / 30% Silk; 100g=400 m] in Bark and Natural, and A&P Merino & Kid Mohair Single 4 Ply [56% Superwash Merino / 44% Kid Mohair; 100g=400 m] in Fool's Gold.

Time Trades Wrap [Started 24th February: :Completed 12th March]

I am firmly into wrap and shawl mode. In fact I first saw this pattern at Ally Pally last year as a beautiful sample made up by Telling Yarns. I would have bought it then but they had run out of kits. Anyway - every cloud.... I have finally decided it's perfect for a gradient set [Miss Babs 2-Ply toes in colour Pleiades - 100% merino] given to me some time ago - so I have purchased two more variegated skeins in Frisky colour Iris Fleck [100% Merino Wool : 100g=365m], and Mighty Frisky in colour Nightfall [80% Merino / 20% Nylon: 100g=365m] from Debonnaire, which are high-twist yarns as similar as I could find to the Miss Babs, albeit rather thinner.

Frisky Crescent Shawl [Started 17th February: :Completed 27th March]

Smitten as I was by a shawl seen on the Debonnaire stand at Unravel, I purchased the yarn and pattern on the spot, and have started knitting immediately (after seeing off the last of the bonus sock yarns - actually I also purchased additional sock yarn at Unravel, but more of that another time!).
The yarn is Frisky in colours Charcoal Fleck and Jet [100% Merino Wool : 100g=365m], and the pattern is the Frisky Crescent Shawl.

A Very Jolly Colour... (socks again) [Started 30th January: :Completed 7th February and 15th February]

Again, my sister-in-law's unwanted sock yarn - this one without a ball band for identification. I am combining it with some WYS Signature 4 Ply,in Blue Raspberry 333, [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 100g=400m], that I used for my Peacock socks, and now - as then - I am making 2 pairs of socks with it - using every last inch - one pair for her and one for me.

Mannish Socks [Started 16th January: :Completed 23rd January]

Well, they are grey(ish). The wool is again from my sister-in-law's now unwanted sock wool stash balls - these will be for her husband. This one is Sport & Strumpfgarn from Altenburger Handarbeiten [60% Wool/25% acrylic/15% Nylon: 100g=409 m] in a grey/mauve colour mix,69.

Girly Socks [Started 10th January: :Completed 29th January]

My sister-in-law went through a phase of thinking she wanted to knit socks. Now I have been given the resulting stash balls of wool and which I intend to give back to her in sock form. This one is Drops Fabel [75% Wool / 25% Nylon: 50g=205 m] in a very pretty pink colour mix, 161 "Pink Dream". There was a slight delay after Sock 1 (as I needed a fitting) during which time I made the "Mannish Socks" above.

Long Hat [Started 5th January: :Completed 14th January]

This hat is in Knitting from Fair Isle: 15 contemporary designs inspired by tradition by Mati Ventrillon, given to me for Christmas, and so inspirational that the wool was ordered the same day! It's made in Jamieson's Spindrift [100% Shetland wool; 25g=105m] in colours: Admiral, Clyde Blue, Blue Danube, Natural White, Amber, and Rust.
It has turned out beautifully and knitted up very easily in the round.

Flamingo [Started 8th August 2021]

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)].

Weaving: Overshot Scarf [Started 9th November 2021: :Completed 14th June]

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.
Luckily this has turned out to be a rather lovely piece of fabric - very encouraging...

Oddments Blanket for (good causes) [Started 2nd November 2021... and ongoing]

I have started a background project to make another blanket from acrylic oddments (I have many) using the Domino construction technique. You'd think 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!

Toria's Aran [Started 21st February 2021: :Completed 24th June 2022]

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 a 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 has 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, knitted in Patons Capstan oiled wool.
Ultimately I went with Sunbeam 175 - designed for a man, so requiring a few tweaks to get female proportions. [And yes she wanted the extra long sleeves...]

Hooked Sheep [Started 2nd January 2021]

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.

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. 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.
Having completed back and front, it becomes clear that even with adaptations, I will run out of yarn. Thus there has been a long hiatus and a great dilemma. I have bought some Valley Tweed now in order to have another go - so - to frog or not to frog?

Weaving: Woodland Scarf [Started 30th July 2019: :Completed 26th June 2022]

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.

After a lot of set backs - it had been so long on the loom the BFL/Masham had been "mothed" and also I never liked the feel of it - I purchased a skein of Kokon, [100% Merino : 100g=320m/349yd], colour "Clay" from Tribe Yarns in Richmond for the weft. In truth, the colour is a bit pale - not as good as my original choice - but rose/beige is a very hard colour to match, so I decided to accept the scarf as an overall paler colour. After all that, I ran out of warp, which would not have been an issue were I not already committed to start and end with symmetrical stripes in a home-dyed olive coloured merino. Finally, due to extending the warp to match the pattern, the overall scarf is very long.. but complete!

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...