On the needles…

It’s been so long, and for ages Angharad has been unable to knit, but she’s back on the needles now, so let’s have a look at the WiPs (works in progress).

Here’s a child’s sweater from Rowan in Softyak double knitting (the pattern is called ‘mussell’ and is from Rowan Magazine 61),

Once this is blocked it will look even better, and the yarn is lovely to knit with. Oh yes, and there are some socks. Always socks!

Here’s another children’s garment, but for younger ones this time. It’s a pattern from the First Sublime Evie baby hand knit book, design 18. It only takes two to three balls,

and look at the cute button…

In the window at the moment is another Rowan knit, from the book ‘Rowan Loves Softknit and Handknit Cotton’. The pattern is called Victoria, and this is the long-sleeved version; there is a shorter one.

And, just to complete a trio of Rowan projects, Kate is knitting Rover from the old (and fabulous) Magazine 48:

It’s the man’s pattern on the right, designed by Erica Knight (we love Erica Knight’s patterns), and is in Cocoon, a chunky yarn, so it’s knitting up quickly. Like the pattern book, the yarn is also from Kate’s stash: this colour has been discontinued. But there are some lovely replacements!

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Smashing Sirdar sale!

There’s a sale going on:

Knit one

of some of Sirdar’s yarns, including many from their premium Sublime range. And they are delicious!

sale yarns window selection

Let’s have a closer look:

13907107_512304775626064_5117070823936589694_n

That Simply Recycled is a lovely yellow, for instance – other colours are available – and knits up very nicely. Or then there’s Smiley Stripes (at the front of the previous photo), a Sublime yarn with bamboo supposedly for baby and children’s knits, but which looks equally good made into something like a simple summer cowl for a grown up… sigh!

The holiday season for some is coming to an end, but for others it is just starting, and September is a great time to visit this area, incidentally, when we often have gorgeous weather, so much so that there’s a phrase for it: haf bach Mihangel, St Michael’s little summer. And it’s worth remembering that yarn bought when you’re on holiday doesn’t count as adding to the stash. Ahem.

And, as you might expect, the whole sale has been well supervised:

the boss

The Boss likes to keep an eye on things (and has a lovely new collar).

What’s on the needles now?

Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what to knit – so much choice, so much choice!

Here’s the first of an occasional series, showing what we – Angharad and Kate, Bramble doesn’t really care for knitting – are actually working on at the moment. Perhaps that should be which of our many WiPs (works in progress) is getting attention, cough, cough.

It’s often good practice to have at least two things in progress, preferably on differently sized needles as the variation is better for your hands. Angharad’s current big-needle (10mm) project is going to be a giant cowl:

cowl

It’s being knitted in Rowan’s Drift, a super-chunky, 100% merino yarn which is delicious (and discontinued – though there’s still some available):

Drift detail

This pattern – a staggered rib – would also look fabulous in Rowan’s Big Wool. It’s one of Angharad’s own patterns, so do come in and ask. It will soon be finished, hopefully just in time for the cold snap they keep saying is just round the corner.

Kate is working at the other extreme, knitting a top in Rowan Felted Tweed on 3.5mm needles. Rowan generally recommend 3.75mm for this yarn, but Kate knits fairly loosely so she’s gone down a size to get the right gauge.

Salina

The pattern, a classic by Kim Hargreaves called ‘Salina’, is now available through Rowan’s Ravelry Store – and if you don’t know about Ravelry, there’ll soon be some information on here which will tell you more and convince you that it’s worth signing up (it’s an amazing website/pattern and yarn database for anyone who knits, crochets, spins, or who just loves all things woolly – and it’s got nearly 6 million members worldwide). The colour, by the way, is called Ruby. For once, a yarn name that makes sense!

WOWZER – Noro’s Rainbow Roll is here!

Sorry about the overenthusiasm, but Knit one… is a huge fan of Noro, and its latest offering, Rainbow Roll, is amazing. It’s not available everywhere, so Knit one… is very honoured, and it won’t be around for ever. Rainbow Roll is 100% wool pencil roving – for non-spinners out there, that essentially means it’s unspun – in the usual wonderful Noro colours.

Noro rainbow roll 1Here’s a close up so you can see how soft it is, which also explains why most of the shots in the gallery below had to be taken through the plastic.

Rainbow Roll, NoroIt can be spun with, naturally, but it can also – carefully – be knitted, and there are examples on Ravelry of hats and shawls, together with some helpful information. Of course, not everyone is on Ravelry (worth joining, though, and free), so here’s the most important tip: go gently and don’t pull at the yarn.

It’s great for felting (the colours are sensational), and the first picture shows what it looks like when woven – the warp is another Noro yarn, Kureopatora, in the same colourway. Combining  the two yarns (here’s another colourway),

Rainbow Roll, Norogives blocks of colour, and the Kureopatora adds stability. Some knitters have suggested holding the Rainbow Roll with another yarn, too.

Anyway, whatever the use Rainbow Roll is put to, it’s fab. Here is a gallery of the colours which are available, not including the two in the main pictures; just click on an image for a slideshow. What else? Oh yes. Each disc is 100g in weight, and costs £12.95.

Fluffy yarns aren’t just for Christmas…

… but they really help when you’re thinking about presents, especially when they’re chunky and knit up quickly!

Every year there are some ‘novelty’ yarns, and every year many of them sink without trace. But there are always some that have lasting value, and here are three which are going down well. Very snuggly.

First comes one that looks as though it’s been sprinkled with snowflakes, Sirdar’s Boufflé, a cotton, acrylic, wool and nylon mix:

BouffleIt sells at £3.75 a ball, and there are 100 metres to each 50g ball.

Then there’s a new addition to the popular Flutterby line from James Brett, called ‘Animal Prints’. This red one is so strokeable – well, they all are, but this seems particularly appealing!

FlutterbyFlutterby is particularly popular with people who crochet, incidentally. It really looks great, and the texture is brilliant in whether you prefer to use sticks or hooks (OK, knit or crochet). It’s £3.99 a for a 90 metres, 100 gram ball.

And this last one is another from Sirdar, Touch, one of the best of the ‘fur’ yarns. It’s incrrrrrredibly soft:

soft!It knits up on 10mm needles, so a simple cowl (one skein, and the pattern’s included) can be done in an evening. Perfect, and at £4 for a 100g and 67m skein, pretty much ideal!

Sirdar TouchThere’s a bright pink example in the shop window, where it’s attracting a lot of interest…

New yarns for the UK, part two…

And there’s more yumminess. There are two more delights from Juniper Moon, and one amazing yarn from Lotus Yarns. First, here are a couple of tempting delights from Juniper Moon’s Herriot range.

First up is their Herriot DK. This is possibly the softest yarn in the shop (possibly – testing may be needed) as it’s 100% baby alpaca. Each 100g skein has 200 metres of yarn and sells for £13.95.

Herriot DK

We did have five colours but one sold out almost immediately – a deep jade / petrol blue. These, refreshingly after their Findlay range, have simple numbers: 1002, the maroon; 9, the natural; 1016, the almost-limey green; and 1019, the mid-blue.

Again, we’ve got some patterns specifically for them,

Herriot DK patterns

but they’ll knit well to anything appropriate.

The other Herriot yarn we have is the the 4 ply, Herriot Fine:

Herriot Fine

This is also in 100g skeins, each one 420 metres long, and is a mix of 75% alpaca and 25% polyamid (for strength). Again the colours are numbered. From the top: 2001 is the grey; 2004 is the soft brown; the soft denim blue is 2010; 2011 is the maroon and the lovely charcoal grey is 2006. The retail price is also £13.95.

And yes, again there are patterns. There’s also a Juniper Moon pattern book, which has some lovely designs in it.

The other new yarn in stock is from Lotus and it’s called Tibetan Cloud Fingering:

Yak yarn. Really.

It’s a laceweight. As you can see, there’s a lavender (shade 14), a soft grey (02) and an olive green (13), and it’s – wait for it – 100% yak. Spinners may have encountered yak fibre and will know how very soft it is, but this is probably new to most knitters. Let’s have a close up:

soooo soft

Beautiful. Now for the details: the skeins are 50g, 450 metres long, and sell at £11.95.

And yes, there are also patterns for this:

Patterns 3

The two waistcoats are particularly effective, and are proving popular. Perfect for what might be (hopefully) a mild winter…

New yarns for the UK – part one…

After a really busy summer, It’s wonderful to be able to just concentrate on a couple of new finds. Juniper Moon are a small American company (you can find some information about them here) whose yarns are just becoming available in the UK. They are gorgeous. See what you think!

The first one is a beautiful variegated laceweight called Findley Dappled. It’s in fat 100g balls, with an amazing 750 metres on each ball – meaning that one ball has easily enough for a whole lace shawl. It’s 50% merino, 50% silk, it’s sooooo soft and it’s £16.95.

Findley Dappled

and these are the five colourways in Knit one… They are Aurora, Roast Turkey (!), and here you can see what Roast Turkey looks like as crochet:

crochet FD

(who comes up with these names?), Macaw, Sea and the rather more descriptive ‘yellow/green/pink’. Well, it’s a better name than Roast Turkey.

Here’s what Findley Dappled looks like when it’s knitted:

knitted FD

Beautiful!

The other yarn from their Findley range in stock with Knit one… is Findley DK. This is a 50:50 mix of extra fine merino and a mulberry silk blend; there’s a generous 199 metres to each ball and it retails at £6.95. It’s lovely to knit with, by the way – and one ball will make a pair of fingerless mitts like the ones below (pattern from Knit one…).

It’s available in Green (an olive shade), Garnet, Graphite and – wait for it – Rappahannock (otherwise known as a beautiful petrol blue). The light in the photograph doesn’t really do the colours justice – they are beautiful.

Findley DK

We do have some Juniper Moon patterns for this yarn:

patterns

but it’s a fine double knitting, and can easily be used in any appropriate pattern.

More soon!

Newly in!

Just a quickie post to introduce two new – well, things.

The first one isn’t just a thing, it’s clearly going to be a ‘Thing‘ with a capital letter, inverted commas and italics, given the number of people who seem to be producing – er – things along similar lines. It’s a kit – well, let’s have a picture, and then everything will become clearer:

Katia kit

These kits – cat kits – are from Katia (appropriately!), who generally have their finger right on the pulse of what’s about to happen. What you get is a ball of wool and some pre-made parts: the cat head, legs and tail. You then use the ball of wool to either knit a cute hat or scarf, or crochet a sweet backpack, and attach the parts in the right place according to what you’ve knitted (or crocheted). They are rather cute, and come in different colourways. They’re £13.50 and are perfect for any small girls in your life!

(And – incidentally – no sooner had some gone in the window, than one sold – to a doting grandma, to knit up into the scarf for Christmas. )

Also from Katia is this cowl kit:

Katia cowl kit knittingIt will be a really quick knit, and a very satisfying one. Katia do these self-striping yarns so very well (we – everyone who visits Knit One as well as those who work there, including Bramble – all love their sadly discontinued Tobego, which we sometimes manage to get, cough, cough), and this should be another winner.

Katia cowl knitting kitsAnd a satisfyingly swift one to complete, too – and again, bang on trend, as they say. Apparently BIG cowls – and big knits all round – are going to be in this winter. You heard it here – if not quite first, then early enough to get those needles out!

 

At last, Gib gets nearer to the love of his life … yes you’ve guessed it … Bramble!

It was a wet and dreary Friday yesterday. The shop was heaving with holiday makers happily leafing through patterns and wools. In the middle of the crowd in walked Bev with the ever hopeful Gib. Gib is in love. Despite not being the same species he suffers from a long held unrequited love for Bramble.

Bramble of course is indifferent to his sad plight (though I have a sneaking suspicion she enjoys the attention). Whenever Gib pays a visit to the wool shop he watches the doorway to the stockroom ears aquiver, every part of him anticipating a glimpse of his ‘one true love’. Invariably Bramble, sensing an alien presence, saunters down from whichever nest in the house she is sleeping in to pose in front of him, look superior, hiss in his general direction and stalk off. Poor poor Gib.

Gib

To get back to yesterday morning … Gib was in luck. Bramble sauntered into the middle of the shop and sat on the basket above his head. Dear little fellow thought his luck was in until he realised she might just pounce. She didn’t but he retreated, remaining content to peep out from behind Bev’s legs and dream that perhaps if she did swoop down it would be for a kiss. Dream on Gib!

Gib and Bramble

 

Knit one … is taking part in Yarn Shop Day!

On Saturday 2 May 2015 yarn shops up and down the country will be opening their doors to celebrate the continued existence of Independent Yarn Shops … I’ve always called them Wool Shops though. Mind you I’m told wool shop rules out the possibility of selling silk, bamboo, cotton, aloe vera and acrylic and others. Therefore ‘yarn shop’ it is I guess (in my heart it is still ‘wool shop’).

Back to Yarn Shop Day …

yarn-shop-day

We, Kate and I and not Bramble (recent star of Twitter @WoolShopCat) will be providing a Knitting Hospital A & E Service between 1.00 and 3.00 pm on this special Saturday – 2 May 2015.

If you have a knitting query that is baffling you, or you have forgotten a technique, or want to learn a new one, bring your knitting in to us. We will do what we can in the time we have.

We might have to operate on first come first served basis if we are buried under a mountain of WIPs (works in progress).

Watch this space – more to come!

If you are not in Dolgellau and want to support your local Yarn Store there’s a map of other shops participating in the day here.