So, this is what the floor of Belinda’s studio looks like at the moment:
News for the ‘yarn’ Category
WORK IN PROGRESS…
So, this is what the floor of Belinda’s studio looks like at the moment:
Somewhere on somebody-or-other’s Pinterest* board a few weeks ago I saw a photo of a smart-looking child’s sweater. Not twee, not (thank the Lord Harry) pink, and not particularly childish. This one:
Rubble, by Alison Brookbanks of 6.5 Stitches. I forwarded said pic to best friend to see if she liked it enough for me to knit it for her little girl (I know, like I haven’t got enough knitting to do…). She did. So, I hoofed it off to Ravelry to have a closer look and promptly bought the pattern. I read the pattern, and immediately decided that this Rubble would be different. Firstly, it would be in cotton and striped, and secondly it would have shoulder seams. Shoulder seams are good, and here they would be a feature, a 3-needle cast-off on the right side.
There it is. Knitted in a combination of recycled Rowan Denim and James C Brett Craft / Dishcloth cotton (which I have blogged about before, here).
In the above pic it’s been washed at 60 deg C, tumble dried and it’s super-soft and really, rather nice. You can see it’s shrunk lengthways a bit, and that it all looks a bit more even. I don’t, you see, unravel, wash and re-wind the recycled denim, I merely undid the sleeve seam on an old jumper, unwound a bit and re-knitted it. As it’s going to be washed and tumbled I don’t see the point. And anyway, I wanted to start it there and then and if I’d done the unravel, wash, dry, re-wind faffing I would never have started.
More about the denim yarn and Rowan tomorrow… a sorry tale.
* I lie here – it wasn’t on any Pinterest board at all, it was on the fabulous Fringe Association blog, written by Karen Templer.
Newberet and Sca Fell Peak…
Ok, so one reason for getting so wet on the photoshoot at the weekend was to photograph our final (for the moment) beret pun, and also to get some pics of the Sca Fell Peak on a chap. Just to prove that a. it fits a chap and b.that it doesn’t look ridiculous on said chap.
So, we gathered our models, bags full of samples and assistants and set off. We were originally going to do this Saturday but had put it off because the weather was so bad so we absolutely had to do it Sunday regardless of the weather. Which was just about as bad as Saturday, so we still got wet and cold.
Our location managers (Wendy and her husband) had decided that Tredegar Square in Bow would be a suitable location. It was. Even better, after we’d got wet taking the pics there’s a fabulous pub, The Lord Tredegar (they don’t seem to have a website), in an adjacent road where we shuffled off to for a drink and a few indoor pics (the staff there were lovely and didn’t mind us faffing about in the least).
As I said, we were there primarily to photograph the latest (and for the moment, last) beret offering, the Newberet, a couple of jumpers that will be ready very soon and, as we have a chap available, a few pics of said chap in the largest Sca Fell Peak, just to prove that it looked good on a man. Here’s a closer look at the lovely Bryn in said hat:
Isn’t he fab? And he’s a very good cook, too. Anyway, onto the Newberet:
The Newberet is a chunky knit with twisted ribbing, moss stitch and stocking stitch. Wendy has finally stepped away from the pom-pom maker for a short while and resisted a pom-pom here, we just finished it off with a classic beret ‘stalk’ – basically a few rows of i-cord. It’s quite quick and perhaps easier than the Beret St. Edmunds as the moss stitch is gentler on the hands than the blackberry stitch with the chunky yarn. Still, we think that it’s really rather smart, proving that ease of knitting is in no way proportional to final stylishness of garment. We used Mondial Kross Chunky from Yeoman Yarns, but any fairly chunky yarn would work, Quince & Co’s Puffin might be a good substitute.
More details and pattern here (Ravelry link), TBk pattern page up later today. It’s going to snow again, knit yourself a beret, quick!
Finished Objects! As it is still unpleasantly cold here in Blighty (and likely to be damp, nay – wet – for the foreseeable future) here are a couple of warming things. Warming thing number 1:
This is a version of the Knotted Kernal cowl from my fabby pal’s book, Cloudy Apples. (Fabby pal is Jen Arnall-Culliford, in case you’re wondering. I also met co-author Kyoko Nakayoshi once, and she seemed very fabby too but I don’t really know her). Anyway, this was a lovely little knit, despite it being on circs which I loathe with a passion. Not big enough to be annoying or get boring and an easily rememberable pattern and a decrease which I just LOVE working (I’m sad like that). Poor photo, I admit, but there was nobody around to model it and it’s just not worth risking fingers and sanity by trying to plonk in on Iman. Knitted in some unidentifiable merino / cashmere mix (possibly) that I bought 2 hanks of in School Products in New York, oooh, possibly 6 years ago. This took just under one of those hanks, so I could, in theory, knit another if I ever get time. But what I really have to say is that Cloudy Apples is a lovely e-book of accessories and well worth a look / purchase.
And here we have warming thing number 2, a London Cowling.
In John Arbon’s Knit By Numbers (which makes me want to break into ‘Karma Chameleon’ every time I write it, despite that being Colour By Numbers. Still not got over that confusion), colour number KBN20, a tomato-y red. Posted off to fab friend Amanda over at The Women’s Room blog to brighten her (increasingly) beige coat collection. Perhaps soon we’ll be wearing t-shirts and not worrying about tucking woolly things around necks. Please?
Spring Clean, and finally, Hat Wittering…
Oh dear, where has this week gone? Well, my desk was looking like this:
so I had to do some serious tidying before I could get to the computer. Mind you, Wendy would say my desk always looks like that, but she is an uber-tidy person that actually, shockingly – throws things away! Either that or she’s very clever at shuffling all the bits of paper and cones of yarn and other stuff my way… hmm. I shall keep that in mind! Wendy, meanwhile has been so busy doing different teaching gigs that we’re considering setting up a ‘Where’s Wally?‘-esq* web page called ‘Where’s Wendy?’ and knitting her a bobble hat to wear so that I can try and find her more easily (she already has a stripy t-shirt).
Speaking of hats, I am really here to witter on about the four (yes, four) hat patterns I uploaded last Friday. So, in alphabetical order, we have… the Cheshire Hat:
One of Wendy’s students was wearing a (mass-produced) hat a bit like this, so this is our version of that. Really simple ribbing but clever construction gives you little cat ears when you wear it (hence the name, another of our awful puns). Cute or what? Ideal for kids and teens, but even adults can wear it and not look stupidly ridiculous:
Knitted in King Cole’s Merino Blend Chunky and only taking 2 balls, it’s both machine washable and also a very economical knit. Win / win. Our teenage models loved it, as did our far more grown-up twenty-something model. Obviously you could knit it in something more luxurious if you wanted to use up stash, at between 117 and 148 metres it doesn’t need a huge amount of yarn. More details and pattern link here.
Second up, there’s the Luton Cloche:
Which is a far more grown-up proposition entirely. Knitted in the stupendously lovely Artesano Aran you could easily transport yourself into Bloomsbury Set times as you wander around, trench coat buttoned and belted, or even in this rather lovely number from Toast. This one’s knitted in-the-round, and has lovely shaping details at the crown. We did it in two colours because we could, but one colour would be just as nice. We called it the Luton Cloche after the town where hats have been made for centuries, and where even the football team are nicknamed ‘The Hatters’. Again, deets and pattern link here.
Thirdly, we move back into Teen Territory with Rose Hip, a slouchy number.
Again in the King Cole Merino Blend Chunky, it’s a quick, easy knit that’s a cross between ribbing and cables. Show here on our adorable girly model, but this would work just as well for a teen-chap if knitted in a more sober colour. Or stripes. More wittering about Rose Hip here.
And finally. Possibly my favourite, the Sca Fell Peak:
Inspired by vintage cycling caps and old school / university caps, I think this is just so cool. Partly because for years I have adored the 1970s adaptation of ‘Three Men in a Boat’ by Tom Stoppard starring Tim Curry, Stephen Moore and Michael Palin where they sport vaguely similar caps.
Isn’t that a lovely print of a cycling cap?
The peak gets knitted first (all the shaping is integral) and then the rest of the hat is knitted onto it, so there’s no sewing involved. There are three sizes, and the possibilites for putting your own stripes / fairisle patterns are endless. Again, it’s the divine Artesano Aran. As you can see, the demon pompom maker of Bow has been active again, but a pompom is by now means necessary on this hat. Single colour Sca Fell:
More Sca Fell Peak details and pics here. So. It’s still really quite nippy and by no means too Springy for hats, certainly here in London anyway. Lots of choice for you, slouches, cables, berets, caps… Be warm. Look cool. In a Tbk hat.
* could any US readers attempt to explain why Wally is not Wally but Waldo in the States? Is Wally a Rude Word there? I mean I know that some parts of the UK call a pickled cucumber a ‘wally’, but even so, ‘Wally’ is still a name, if a tad old-fashioned ( a diminutive of Walter or Wallace, as in ‘Wallace and Gromit’).
Monday mood – Hats 3
Here is the third of our hat quartet of Monday moods. This is the Luton Cloche which we think is a very clever shape for a knitted hat (but very easy to knit) and reminiscent of the Bloomsbury Set, which always provides us with inspiration.
We love Vita Sackville-West and Dora Carrington especially although we have given our cloche a much more down at heel urban setting than Charleston or Sissinghurst! We have used the colours from our original colour inspiration board of pink and donkey grey. it would also work well made in one colour or with a contrast band. Watch out for our colour ideas later this week.
Well, it’s Mothering Sunday here in the UK this Sunday so this may be a bit late for here but then it’s not Mother’s Day in the US until May, so lots of time for our US readers to have a go at this if they fancy. Mum’s the Word:
Cards. Or just boxed up fancies for your Mother / Mom / Mummy / Mum / Aunty (as Blue Peter used to say) / Significant Female Person in your life. Have I missed anybody? Wicked Step-Mother? Lovely Step-Mother? Anyway, a little something for when the sickly-sweet cards the card companies produce just aren’t right.
The forms were leftovers from the Hearts of Midlothian Valentine’s experiments, they are smaller than the ones we used previously and the knitting is much simpler – just in case you’re freaked by all but the most simple cable.
For the moment, it’s a free pattern, but on a whim we might change that – we can be capricious, you know. Should you feel the need to pay anything towards the blood, sweat and tears that went into making these (well, Wendy did prick her finger with a pin and bleed a bit when she was sewing them up and I cried a bit when I realised Wendy hadn’t weighed the yarn before and after and I had to knit extra bits to work out the metreage used) then please send a little bit of money to our favourite charity of the moment, Citymeals. They benefitted greatly from your fabulous generosity over Christmas with the Hampstead Wreath, we ended up sending them $1600 from the pattern sales. As one of our beloved OH’s also works for Bloomberg LP and Citymeals is one of their favoured charities, we did the donation in his name which means that Bloomberg LP have matched it, dollar for dollar. So Citymeals ended up with the grand total of $3200! Thank you, knitters everywhere and thank you, Mr. Bloomberg!
Pattern here and here’s a few more details for you.
Weekend whimsy – yellow…
A different Canterberet colourway.
The same grey, but with egg-yolk yellow contrast trim.
Knitted for a pal who loves berets and who has announced that it’s ‘one the nicest things I’ve ever been given’. Hurrah! So fabulous to know that a knit is so appreciated. Vague project details here. Pattern here.
True Brit crochet…
Just to annoy the knitting purists that are out there (and there are such people), we have a couple of crochet patterns. Crochet has been having a bit of a Moment in the fashion world, ever since Paul Smith showed his black-and-brights ‘granny square’ dresses, ooooh, years ago now. (This means that I cannot be bothered to look up exactly what season). But before I carry on, a small rant. There’s been a bit of a twittering around the interwebz about an article that appeared in the Independant over LFW declaring that knitting ‘wasn’t just for grannies’ (and yet again, I’m not going to bother looking it up, it’s easy enough to find if you’re interested). Yet when techniques and patterns are called such names as ‘granny squares’ by the very knitters and crocheters that get offended by their beloved hobbies being ‘disparaged’ in this way, well, I am tempted to ask, ‘what do you expect?’. In the same way, Wendy and I would never refer to knitting or crochet as a ‘craft’ – what we do is a serious skill or trade. You don’t get plumbers referring to themselves as ‘craftspeople’, now do you? Any thoughts?
Enough ranting and onto the designs. Firstly, Collafirth, a collar – possibly the Next Big Thing in neckwear after the cowl took over from the scarf.
Basically, a rectangle / short scarf that buttons around your neck rather than wraps. Slightly more dressy and considered than a scarf and perfect for teaming with a smart Winter coat, shown here with my vintage (and that’s proper ‘vintage’, not something from the 1990s which seems to pass for vintage at the moment – I am ranty today!) French military coat.
Now, I am not a crocheter, I cannot hold the yarn ‘properly’ (I don’t ‘hook’, I am told, I crochet as though I am knitting), but I can manage this. And it looks like crochet. Not that I did crochet these samples, they were produced by a ‘proper’ crocheter. It’s quick, using a 10mm hook for the collar and a 5mm hook for the buttons. And like the Beret St. Edmunds, it’s worked in Mondial Kross Chunky, but any equivalent chunky yarn would do to co-ordinate with your favourite Winter coat. More details and the pattern here.
Then we have Cowley. Which is a cowl (we do try to have descriptive bits in the names, as well as terrible puns).
This one really is a wrapper. Crocheted in Artesano Aran, it’s soft and sumptuous and snuggly. And very pink there! Yet again, we say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the lovely people at Artesano who let us have the yarn gratis.
All the details you could want here. Move away from the Granny Square. Crochet is so right now.