15 June 2015

A Yorkshire Yarn

Having a relaxing time down in Yorkshire, drinking tea and knitting. Not only drinking 'Yorkshire' tea but knitting with yarn spun in Yorkshire too. The people at Yarn Stories have sent me some samples to try out from their mill in Huddersfield.  This small town was once at the centre of the Yorkshire woollen industry before the decline in the mid 20th century. However, there's a strong continuing tradition in the town for textiles and a resurgence of woollen products. Here's what Yarn Stories say,

"In a Yorkshire mill, steeped in history and tradition, a new brand has been created. Yarn Stories takes a unique approach to spinning, creating the highest quality yarns from superior fibres.

Our yarns have been shared with talented designers drawn from all over the world in a truly collaborative relationship. In turn, the designers have created collections of patterns unlike any other – designs that promote fashionable hand knit and crochet to a discerning audience."

Yarn Stories is currently offering a free shade card and free digital pattern until 1st July 2015. The shade cards have samples of 4ply, DK & Aran weights, in merino and fine merino with baby alpaca. Patterns feature international designers including, Carol Feller and Tanis Gray .

My yarn samples in 'Duck Egg' and 'Burnt Sienna' are fine merino 4ply. I've been working with a lot of Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester yarn recently which is very soft. But this merino is really fine and soft, it's also in a good range of colours. 

I chose to knit a pair of fingerless gloves with a simple Fair Isle motif called Junko by Katya Frankel. The pattern can also be found on Ravelry I knit these without printing out the instructions, just using the digital PDF version on my tablet. The pattern is very well written, nicely presented and easy to follow, also there are instructions for a matching hat. 

The finished gloves are a perfect fit and feel very comfortable. They'll be travelling back north with me, I'll probably need them, it'll be summer up in Scotland!

10 June 2015


This lovely publication arrived in the post all the way from 'down under'. Australian Homespun magazine features sewing, quilting, patchwork, embroidery with knitting and crochet. On the cover is the fantastic, fabric, Mr. Fox, a cute change from all the knitted projects I've seen so much of recently.

The Pin Interest section, 'Good Yarn about a Crofters Cottage' mentions yours truly, Hand Knitted Things, no less. The croft house knitting pattern was inspired by a place near to my home in Scotland.

Image: Universal Publishing

Designer Kaffe Fassett's latest venture also gets a mention. An exhibition of 15 quilts inspired by the antique quilt collection in the Quilt Museum in York, UK. The exhibit is on display there until September 2015, maybe I'll get over while I'm back in Yorkshire. (Incidentally the man himself was mentioned on this blog back in November 2014 in this post, 'Knitted work of Art').

Browsing through the range of projects, if I had no knitting and unlimited time available, the cushion cover 'A Birdwatchers Blooms' by Linda Guy of Sew Quilt Designs is something I'd attempt. I like the stylised characters in this combination of embroidery and applique.

However, I have loads of knitting to complete, not least the  item in the pictures, more about that in due course...

29 March 2015

Socks Yarns & Travel

It was good to meet people behind the names of some favourite yarn companies at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I also acquired a few skeins of their 4ply/fingering weight yarn to sustain my current enthusiasm for sock knitting. They are as follows:

John Dunn-Ballam - Easyknits - Gobstoppers - Hanzo Tokyo - Hand Dyed - 75% superwash Merino, 25% Nylon

Lyndsey Roberts - The Border Tart - Blue Moon - Hand Dyed Natural Indigo - 75% Superwash BFL, 35% Nylon

Yvonne McSwinney - Dublin Dye - Swing Sock - Water Sprite 75% Merino 25% Nylon

Recently I completed a pair of the Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley. I enjoyed the simple straightforward design so much I cast on another pair of socks using this pattern in the Easyknits Hanzo Tokyo. The yarn is producing some bold broad stripes in contrasting colours of charcoal, grey, burgundy and gold. A great travel knitting project, not too much thinking and small enough to carry around.

22 March 2015

Bertie's Shetland Wool Jumper

Image courtesy of Bouncing Bertie
This is the very handsome, Bertie. He lives with my lovely neighbour Gail. She's been trying out some of the undyed wool yarn from my Shetland sheep and knitted Bertie this gorgeous jumper. The starting point for the design was The Perfect Fit Top-Down Dog Sweater by Jessika Lane on Ravelry

Image Travelling Tree Designs

Bertie seems to think his owners knitting experience is somewhat limited, however, I would disagree. Gail not only calculated the size and perfect fit but she also incorporated a fair isle motif into the plain sweater design. You can read how she designed the sweater here Too much woolly thinking?

Image courtesy of Bouncing Bertie

Bertie is a very intelligent wire-hair fox terrier and has his own blog, you can read more about his adventures and 'unique take on life' with Gail on Bouncing Bertie's Blog. His thoughts about his new jumper can be found in this post, "Finished at last, but is it Sunday best?"

As you can see Bertie also likes to pose for the camera!

Image courtesy of Bouncing Bertie

Image courtesy of Bouncing Bertie

Image courtesy of Bouncing Bertie

21 March 2015

Cast off and finished...

Enjoyed knitting these simple socks from the pattern by Kate Atherley. The rib all the way down from the cuff really helps keep the socks from falling down. I think I'll be using the pattern again. Cast on details can be found in my earlier post here.