29 October 2015

Stranger Cardigan

I must have cast on this cardigan in April and completed it in August, which for me is pretty fast knitting for a garment. I've only recently taken a few photos of the finished item. This is the Stranger cardigan by michiyo and is published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Vol 4. The recommended yarn is worsted weight. I had in mind to use some of the Shetland yarn from our sheep which is DK weight, it's slightly lighter than the worsted. I test knitted a swatch using the recommended needle size 5mm which produced a more open texture but within gauge and acceptable.

I learnt a new technique while knitting this project, commonly known as a Three Needle Bind Off. This technique is used to join the two cable front panels at the centre back. It sounds complicated but in practice it's very straight forward.

The reason I chose this pattern was the cable detail around the stole like collar along with the simple construction. The cardigan is made up of five rectangular panels and is worked with no shaping. However, I did adapt the pattern to add shaping to the sleeves from the elbow to the cuff. Overall a very enjoyable project to knit.

17 October 2015

Knitted Sock Heel Repair

I should have known better than to wear soft, fine merino and alpaca wool hand knitted socks with hiking boots. Very soon the fine wool was worn away and holes appeared. As these were a favourite pair of socks I thought about making a repair using the darning method. I confess, I've never repaired a pair of socks. Therefore, I did a quick search for darning instructions. While browsing various methods I came across a knitted heel option which looked so much better than a darning patch. The following images give you the basic idea behind the method. I won't repeat the instructions here as they are quite lengthy, not for the fainthearted. The method can be found at Lupinworks.com Replacing a sock heel.

I'm pleased with the finished result and won't be wearing these socks in hiking boots anymore!

1. Picking up stitches

2. Cut out old damaged heel and unravel old rows.

3.Pick up stitches on needles

4. Knit the heel flap and turn the heel.

5. Finished heel

2 October 2015

Stylecraft Special DK Blog Tour

If you follow Let's Knit Magazine you may remember the Stylecraft Special DK Colour Competition from earlier in the year. Readers were asked to suggest a new colour for the yarn range (which already included sixty shades). A shortlist of ten colours were made and a winner chosen by public vote.

The Winner
The overall winner was Duck Egg, however, Stylecraft liked all the shortlisted colours and has put together limited edition 50g packs to be showcased at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace 7th -11th October 2015

As part of the promotion Stylecraft asked a number of bloggers to try out sample packs of the yarn and to come up with creative ideas. (See the links at the end of this post to view all the participants in the Blog Tour and for the chance to enter a yarn Giveaway).

What did I do with my samples? 
I'd recently designed a hat pattern called Pathfinder using a Fair Isle style motif. The pattern uses four colours but I wondered if I could instead use three colours to showcase the Stylecraft yarn. There were endless lovely combinations. After some time grouping different colours together I came up with the following three combinations to make three hats. I used 8 out of the 10 new colours from the range.

Duck Egg being one of my favourites, I had to choose this. Another favourite was Pistachio,  this was used in two of the hats, as a contrast colour and once as an accent colour.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with this yarn and the vibrant new colours. 

Click here for details of Pathfinder on Ravelry.

Yarn Giveaway!
Stylecraft are giving away packs of Special DK 10 x 50g limited edition yarn each day of the Blog Tour. 

To enter today's giveaway - 2nd October - CLICK on the link below:
Limited Edition Colour Pack Giveaway

The tour continues over at Cherry Heart Blog on the 3rd Oct and you can catch up with news from Stylecraft on Facebook.

Here's a full list with links to the participants:
Jane Crowfoot 
Josie Kitten 
Emma Varnam
Crafternoon Treats 
The Twisted Yarn 
The Patchwork Heart
Le Monde de Sucrette 
Hand Knitted Things
Cherry Heart
The 8th Gem 
Hope you enjoy browsing the creative projects!


28 September 2015


This is the Pathfinder hat. Inspired by maps and fair isle motifs. Grid lines and squares represent the distance measures on a map and diagonal directions on a compass. The repeating fair isle style design uses four colours. A contrast colour is used part way through the pattern to create additional interest. Concentric rings reminiscent of contour lines rise up the crown, topped off with a colourful pom pom. Shown above and below in wool from Jameson's of Shetland DK, accent colours are Pumpkin and Caspian.

The pattern also includes instructions for a thee colour version. Shown below knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester DK - colours, Burnt Orange, Honey and Olive.

Full pattern details for Pathfinder can be found on Ravelry. 

21 September 2015

Shetland Wool Week 2015

Shetland Wool Week is 26th to 4th October 2015. Again, I'm not able to attend this event. As a substitute, as such, I ordered a copy of the Shetland Wool Week Annual: Volume 1 which arrived in the post at the weekend. This is a new publication full of patterns, inspiration and essays. Designers and contributors include, Ella Gordon, Hazel Tindall, Kate Davies, Outi  Kater, Gudrun Johnson, Donna Smith and others. Donna is this years patron and designer of the hat on the cover, the very popular 'Baa-ble Hat'. I'm enjoying reading the articles about knitting and it's importance in the Shetland Isles and browsing the knitting patterns for future projects.

I first picked up a copy of the pattern for the Baa-ble Hat at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March. It's also included in the Shetland Wool Week publication and is available to download free via their website. 

A few weeks ago I made a start on the hat project. I had a selection of un-dyed yarn from our Shetland sheep and wondered if I could use the colours to make this hat. Black, grey, brown and white provided enough substitute shades and contrasts. This is a lovely pattern and easy to knit. It's a fun hat for both adults and children. The instructions are for the adult size but you can find a guide to knitting a child sized version on Donna Smiths blog.

Here's a few images of my Baa-ble Hat project...