Normally at this time of year I’d be writing an entry full of discount codes for my birthday, Hanukkah and Christmas. Instead I find myself writing a different sort of entry. Time has got away from me somewhat over the past couple of months and while I had intended to do all the usual pre holiday promotions (including a rather cool Hanukkah giveaway that doesn’t feel quite right to start halfway through the holiday) real life has got in the way and as such I’ve decided to take some time away for personal reasons.
I’ve decided to take some time away from designing to relax a bit and take some time for myself so I’m gradually reducing my workload with a view to stopping altogether in January. Pattern support will still be provided free of charge for all my designs (to make sure that I see any requests or queries please don’t leave them in the comments section of entries but send them either to the email address given when you purchased your pattern(s) or via the Contact page on my blog) but I ask that you try and be patient with me when it comes to responding and no new designs will be published until I return to work. I’m also temporarily handing the reins of Yarnia over to people with more time on their hands to run it, any queries relating to Yarnia should still be sent to the relevant addresses given on my Contact page but will be dealt with by the new leaders of the group.
This will probably be my last entry for a while so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the supporters, customers and friends I’ve found through this venture (and an extra pat on the back to those who got the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference) and I hope to be back in touch soon.
It’s been a while since I’ve done any homewares and I’ve had this pattern burning a hole in my mind in one form or another for well over a year now. I toyed with the idea of making it a more literal interpretation of a stained glass window or making the black bars between the coloured panels cabled to give extra texture but found the former unappealing and the latter too yarn intensive and finally settled on the rather more simple diamond pattern.
I don’t consider myself to be a particularly religious person but I’ve always found myself drawn to the beauty of stained glass in many forms, the way it catches the light and draws your gaze seems almost magical on a clear bright day and I wanted to try and capture some of those jewel bright shades here.
Each cushion takes 3 balls of King Cole Merino Blend DK and 1 ball of King Cole Riot to make a cushion that will fit a 20″ pad. Instructions are given for a cushion which is sewn closed so as not to disrupt the pattern but could be easily adapted by those with the know how to include a zipped closure instead.
Fleur is a feminine cowl knitted in less than one skein of Wharfedale Woolworks merino/silk blend 4ply. The pattern is based on a traditional Japanese stitch pattern and inspired by a Japan loving friend of mine. The cowl itself is a very quick knit and could probably be knitted over the course of a few evenings making it a perfect Christmas gift (are we talking about the C word yet? Is that allowed in October? Who knows.) or as a quick knit for yourself now the weather in the northern hemisphere’s taken a definite turn for the chillier.
The yarn is a beautifully soft blend of merino and silk making it very soft and snuggly round even the most delicate of necks, despite the number of beads (156 in total) it adds very little weight to the finished cowl meaning it could be worn comfortably by a child as well as an adult.
A novelty sock designed to be worn with flip flop/thong sandals with a cabled pattern on the back of the leg which continues over the short row heel and underneath the sole to the split toe.
Designed to fit a 8.5inch foot circumference, to resize either remove stitches from each edge or go up/down a needle size.
In addition you will need:
- Cable needle.
- Stitch holder (a safety pin or scrap of waste yarn will also work).
These were designed as a bit of fun and make a great sock for lounging round the house in or for those who are feeling a bit braver why not knit them up in a bright yarn and pair with some cropped trousers to show off your stitches? From the front they look like your average, every day ribbed socks but take a look at the back and they’re actually a rather rebellious pair of cabled socks, because why should the front of your feet get to have all the fun? Despite what you might think the cabled sole is actually very comfortable, especially when worn with shoes.
The yarn is Wharfedale Woolworks superwash BFL and nylon which has a rather soft cottony feel to it and is of course painted beautifully. I made them to fit a UK8 and there was still plenty of yarn left over to do an extra inch or two on the foot, perfect for any large footed boys and girls out there.
I’ve not designed a double knitting project for a while, so here’s my latest offering knitted from 1 ball of Zauberball and 2 balls of Cygnet’s Truly Wool Rich 4ply. I’ve said before that I love working with Zauberball but find the colour repeats too long to really be at their best in a pair of socks, I thought this scarf would be a good way to show off those colour changes with a fun mock fairisle pattern. The finished scarf measures 58 inches long and 7.5 inches wide making it ideal for all the family.
Stripes are cool, right? Of course they are, odd socks are pretty cool too – it means you’ve got another pair just like them at home (or is that just something slightly odd relatives say to children? Who knows) they’re also a fun way of getting past second sock syndrome. There are people in my life who just don’t do matching socks and this pattern’s for them, knitted in 2 different coloured balls of Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4ply (or any solid coloured 4ply yarn for that matter) and sized to fit 7-9 inch foot circumferences there’s a size to fit all the family (for larger/smaller foot circumferences simply alter the stitch count in keeping with the pattern) though if using the recommended Cygnet yarn and doing the largest size above a men’s UK 10 (EU44.5 US10.5) you’ll probably need an extra ball of each colour. In order to ensure fluidity of the stripes I’d recommend using a jogless join technique, there’s too many out there to list so I’ll just say pick your favourite and go with it. Techknitter has some good methods to choose from depending on your preference but there’s also plenty of videos on YouTube that have a slightly different way of doing things.
Man’s Best Friend was designed as a bit of a novelty, a little nod to the stereotypical image of the teenage boy who doesn’t always take the care he should with his personal hygiene and may try to stretch the wear of his socks out just one more day by turning them inside out. Now he doesn’t have to choose, with both designs in Man’s Best Friend (1, left or 2, right) there is no wrong side, with a little bit of knittery magic both sides are identical and as they’re both knitted in anti-bacterial Tofutsies yarn there’s no reason you can’t make your socks last that extra day*.
The basketweave pattern on MBFI carries on under foot once you’re past the heel making it nice and squishy underfoot (or so I’ve been told), while MBFII has a 1×1 rib on the sole which helps it cling to the foot and support the cable on the top of the foot. The yarn I used was some from stash and I’m not sure of current stockists/import into the UK right now so my advice on yarn substitution would be that any bog standard sock yarn would work well, however if making the larger size of MBFII which will require 2 balls of Tofutsies I’d avoid anything that comes in a 50g ball unless you’re confident you can make any join invisible (using a split splice method or similar if the yarn’s suitable for felting) as there’s no wrong side to hide the ends in. The original sample for MBFII was knitted in Wendy Happy which tends to be a very floppy yarn due to the lack of animal fibres. It worked perfectly with the structure of the cable pattern however.
*Please don’t take this seriously boys (and girls), clean socks and hygienic feet are very nice really and the people in close proximity to you will thank you for it.
This is my first attempt at publishing a sweater pattern, I’d had the idea in my head for a circular yoke sweater with skulls for ages before I finally sat down and wrote the pattern. Originally I’d thought about a cardigan but decided that a sweater would probably be more practical not to mention more unisex. The tongue twister of a name comes from the Icelandic for Skull Sweater which I’d hoped would be appropriate after I took inspiration from the traditional Icelandic construction method. Knitted from the bottom up it makes a perfect travelling project as there’s very little concentration needed until you get to the yoke.
The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester DK, one of Baa Ram Ewe’s latest additions at their most recent new season launch. It’s absolutely wonderful to knit with, very soft and snuggly and comes in 3 beautiful undyed shades (Höfuðkúpu Peysu shows it off in natural ecru and natural brown). If undyed yarns aren’t your bag (let’s face it, the smell of sheep doesn’t do it for everyone) it would work just as well in a wool or other animal fibre blend. Ideally you’d be looking for a yarn with some bounce to it and depending on the size you’ll need between 547 and 1037 metres (combined) of yarn.
Höfuðkúpu Peysu has been sized to fit a 26″ chest right up to a 54″ inch chest circumference. Because of the large range of sizes it woould be impossible to include all the numbers for each size without causing some serious confusion. Instead I’ve opted for a sizing chart similar to that used in Ysolda’s Little Red patterns, meaning that you simply write down the number corresponding to your size in the relevant alphabetised box after printing off the pattern. So while it looks a little complex at first it’s actually pretty simple and means you’ve only got to concentrate on one set of numbers.
I’ve always been a fan of quirky little tools that enhance the knitting experience. WPI tool on a keyring? Check. Needle gauge on a ring? Just tell me where. Which was why I was rather excited to stumble across the AbLet on Ravelry.
Just like it says the AbLet is an abacus that you wear as a bracelet and for knitters who don’t want to carry a notebook around to mark down each row or keep losing row counters it’s perfect.
When it arrived it was nicely (and rather professionally) packaged with a clear explanation right there on the box as to how to use it, on the right you have the units column for beads 1-9 and just like an abacus you would slide a bead up the bracelet to mark each completed round/row. On the left is your tens column again numbered 1-9 meaning it can be used to count up to 99, more than enough I’ve found for keeping track of pattern repeats or even knitting the leg/foot of most socks.
The AbLet comes with an adjustable clasp meaning it can fit a variety of wrist sizes from 6 to 8.5 inches, though it’s worth noting that Sharon who makes these can also extend the length if needed to fit a larger wrist size. My wrists are somewhat smaller than the 6 inch minimum size it claims to fit but I still had no problems getting it to fit. The idea is to wear the AbLet close fitting to your wrist like a watch or cuff rather than a loose fitting bracelet. Doing this makes it much easier to move the beads up and down and means you won’t be endlessly chasing them round your wrist. You only have to adjust the fit once attaching the clasp onto the relevant link of chain. After that you simply fit the bracelet using the bar each time. The one thing I noticed about this method was that because of the lobster clasp it can be a little fiddly to pull the bar all the way through the hoop to secure it. I did find that pulling the chain through with my free hand then holding it in the palm of the hand that was wearing the AbLet while using my free hand to encourage the bar through did help. But it’s still much easier with two hands, this made it slightly less appealing to me as I like to take excess jewellery off before I go out for a run or to take the dog for a walk. After using the AbLet for a couple of projects now I’ve found it’s a skill that takes a bit of practice.
Using the AbLet is simple enough, you move the beads up and down the ribbons to make each completed row/round. Because of the way it’s constructed, to move each bead has to be a very deliberate motion. Easy enough to move with the finger and thumb of one hand, but not so easy that the action of putting your jacket on will move beads and send your count wrong. This is quite reassuring if you need to take it off between knitting sessions seen as as long as you know which is the tens and which is the units column you won’t lose track of your place. In fact for the past few days I’ve been keeping mine loose in the pouch I’ve got my current sock project in without it tangling, losing or gaining a row. Slimmer wristed knitters may find the length of the chain a little annoying however, I’ve found that the chain gets in the way a bit while washing my hands for instance. Of course you could always move the bracelet up your arm slightly to the other side of your watch for example, but this would involve going back and readjusting the links to fit.
All in all I’m really impressed with the AbLet, it’s a nifty little item that comes in a range of colours, solves a crafter’s problem in a fun new way and looks good enough to wear while not knitting. I’d definitely recommend it to someone looking for a gift for a knitter/crocheter though the customs charges to have it shipped from the USA to the UK are extortionate (a comment more on Royal Mail than anything else). So buyer beware, if your parcel’s value is more than £15 you’re likely to be slapped with a customs charge plus an £8 Royal Mail handling fee for your trouble.
Knitted from one skein of Fyberspates Rural Charm, Sabine is a cosy cowl with beads, cables and lace detail designed to be looped round the neck.
- provisional cast on
- place bead
- Kitchener stitch
- yarn over increase
- mirrored decreases
Additional materials needed:
- waste yarn
- crochet hook
- cable needle
- 288 size 8 seed beads
- tapestry needle
This yarn was an absolute pleasure to knit with, the BFL, silk and cashmere content make it so soft to wear next to the skin and the grey verdegris colourway is a beautifully rich mix of greys, greens and coppery tones which look earthy and gorgeous setting off the clear beads perfectly. Sabine is designed to be wrapped round the neck twice, but for a scarf that’s more like a collar than a cowl reduce the number of pattern repeats.