Monday, 21 August 2017

Bracken, heather, moss, thistle

Bracken, Heather, Moss and Thistle are names in a yarn range called Tweedy which I've been working with to make these Simple Mittens.

The yarn is DK weight, in a mix of cotton and premium acrylic. Recommend needle size is 4mm (US 6) and comes in balls 100g / 260m length. The rich colours of blue, green, pink and purple are accented by the natural cotton thread.

I was given this sample yarn by Stylecraft, enjoyed working with it and love the colours in the range. All of the plant varieties are found on and around the croft in varying amounts some more welcome than others...


Bracken is a plant which was growing in abundance on the croft and we've been working to control the spread of it. Happy to say I enjoyed working with this yarn colour combination. The rich brown and golden colours are very much representative of bracken as it starts to die back at this time of year. There's a definite autumnal feel to the yarn colours.


Heather is in full flower just now in August here in Scotland causing the hills to have a soft glow of purple and pink. The Tweedy yarn colours are muted and perfectly reflect the pinks and mauve's of this abundant plant.


There's no shortage of mosses on the croft due to the high rainfall and wet peaty ground we have here. The yellowy greens through to the darker olive in this yarn are a match for the mosses. Haven't seen any blue moss though. But the blues in this palette do compliment the greens.


The thistle has long been associated with Scotland and it's history. However, along with bracken, the thistle is a plant we have been attempting to control in parts of the croft where it was taking over.  The strong bold pink in this yarn is a very good match for the thistle flower and goes well with the vibrant green. A combination I like and will look forward to wearing these mittens to brightening up a dull winters day.

A lovely yarn to work with, interesting names and bold colours...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Knit one, post one

Bletchley Park the home of codebreaking, were asking knitters earlier in June to contribute items to their Knit one, post one campaign to help with set dressing their historic site. Hand knit garments and accessories from authentic 1940's patterns such as cardigans, hats, mittens and gloves were required. 

Items were to be used in a variety of ways:

1. Part of seasonal displays in the set dressed areas of the park, such as the Huts and the Mansion.

2. By Bletchley Park Education Team for public outreach programs.

3. For wearing as costumes by Bletchley Park staff for live interpretation or living history events, such as 1940's weekends.

As a thank you, a free season ticket was being offered to each knitter who contributed to the campaign.

I''ve always had a interest in the history and mistique of the WWII codebreakers. The oportunity to contribute and receive a free ticket to visit Bletchley Park seemed a good offer and an interesting knitting project to research and make.

Due to the shortage of time available, a set of mittens were my quick knit option. I asked the help of Barbara the Publications Curator at the Knitting and Crochet Guild (KCG) Collection for some assistance selecting a suitable 1940's knitting pattern.

Bestway and Femina are a couple of the brands available from the era and are held in the KCG archive. 

Eventually I settled on this Bestway pattern for a Fair Isle design set of mitts. 

1940's patterns were generally knit with 4ply and few used thicker than double knitting. In order to keep the character of the pattern I decided to use a 100% wool yarn called Spindrift by Jamieson's of Shetland

I happened to have some grey (Granite #122) Spindrift available and ordered a contrast green (Verdigris #772) to go with it.  This pattern has a fairly bold fair isle design on the back with a small repeating motif on the palm, a solid strip around the edges and an after thought thumb.

These are the finished mitts ready to wrap and post to Bletchley.

Once I've scheduled a trip south for a visit, another blog post might be in order with an update and pictures of the 1940's knit wear at Bletchley.