News for the ‘designs’ Category

More lovely things…

So, as well as the Big Pink Aran (or Blackberry Stitch and Cable Sweater as Debbie called it), there are 33 other designs in the A/W Debbie Bliss Magazine, something for just about everyone and every budget. There are a couple of new additions to the DB yarn line this autumn (so new they’re not on the website yet!), our favourite being Roma, a super-chunky wool / alpaca in gorgeous colours. It has pattern support in the form of a dedicated book, but also designs in the magazine. I love this jacket with contrasting bands:


Another yarn favourite is Angel, Debbie’s mohair and silk blend. There’s a whole section of Angel patterns many of which use two or more ends held together to produce a chunkier fabric and colour effects. Favourites here are the Ombre Sweater and also the Short Sleeved Sweater, both eminently wearable.



As if all of this wasn’t enough for Autumn knitting, Debbie’s daughter, Nell, and design assistant, Theresa, have teamed up to produce a young, fashion-forward line of patterns using Debbie’s yarns called Conway & Bliss. Their first four patterns are available to download free, here from the Designer yarns website, and they look rather fabulous. Go and have a look at them!

Posted: August 15th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

The BPA*…

*The Big Pink Aran. Which is a poor name for this jumper, we have to say. As you probably know if you’ve been reading us for a while (and apologies, by the way, for the month-long silence, there has been a holiday and much pattern writing and grading getting in the way of posting here) we have a passing acquaintance with Debbie Bliss, she of the gorgeous yarn line and seriously covetable homeware collection. We weren’t going to say ‘no’ when she asked if we’d like to design something for her Autumn / Winter magazine:


That’s what the mag looks like – just to make it easier to recognise in you LYS or on the newsstand. That’s not the BPA on the front – it’s not pink, it’s lavender. THIS is the BPA:


And this is a slightly different view of it that shows the shape slightly better:


As you can see from that it’s got long, cable-y ribs on the sleeves and – yes – pouffy sleeves. After years of neat, vaguely fitted knitwear, we’re back to a more constructed and extravagant silhouette. Or, if we put that in non-designer-bollocks-terms, things are Bigger. Pouffier. There is no ‘negative ease’ here. Sleeves and also width-wise. This jumper is wide. And drapey. And, believe it or not, flattering. We say that as many people seem to think that if there’s lots of ease then a knit is going to make you look frumpy. This is knitted in the new colour in Debbie’s Cashmerino Aran range, the hot coral-y pink, on 5mm nds. So even though it’s big it’ll knit up fast.

Detail-wise, the big, double-diamond cables run out of the mini mock cables in the ribbing and are framed by twisted stitches. A couple of mock cables run all the way up the body, and (as usual) we’ve managed to shoe-horn in some of our perennial favourite, Blackberry Stitch. Debbie’s lovely team have made a super tutorial to show how to knit Blackberry Stitch, the mock cable and how to twist stitches too, so really you have no excuse not to give it a go.

We were also flattered, honoured, excited, beside ourselves (and slightly terrified) when Debbie asked if we’d like to be the ‘Where I Work’ feature. But obviously we said ‘yes’. So you can read all about us, too, and see us and see a little bit of the studio where we work in Wendy’s house (it was tidier than mine). Debbie sent along a fabulous team to interview us and photograph us, Mia Pejcinnovic and Carmel King, and look! We don’t look gormless in the photo! We look happy and quite presentable! I look taller than Wendy! (I made her sit down.)


Look out for other favourites of ours from the new magazine in the next few days!

Posted: August 14th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 8 Comments.

Blackett cardi

A bit late as I promised this yesterday but the interwebz was misbehaving and glacially slow so I gave up trying to do anything computery. Anyway, here we have the third and final of our new designs for Town End Alpaca’s lovely yarn, the Blackett cardi:


Another single-coloured garment with simple textures in blocks makes it really rather cute. We’ve already had requests for an adult version from people who have seen the samples. Moss stitch, garter stitch and a fleck stitch combine for a classic.


Pattern and more details here on Ravelry, or if you’re at Woolfest today or tomorrow then find Kim and have a look at all three new designs in the flesh, Walker, Ransome and Blackett. Kim has printed patterns and lots of yarn for you to treat yourselves with.

Posted: June 27th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

Ransome jumper…

Today we have the second of our three new designs for Town End Alpacas yarn, the Ransome jumper:


This one’s a bit more boyish than Walker, but still suitable for girls. We’ve used all three colours available in Kim’s Alpaca / Shetland yarn for this stripey, slip stitch pattern that looks more complex that it is. Probably the most complex part of the pattern is carrying the unused colours neatly up the edge of each piece as you knit it in order to miss out on sewing lots of ends in. As with most stripey designs you’ll end up with leftovers – we’re working on a hat to go with this one to use the leftovers up. (Not that leftovers are necessarily bad.)


Ransome is perfect for experimenting with colour combinations (should you decided not to go with Kim’s gorgeous, naturally-coloured yarn). A graphic navy, red and white / cream in, say, Debbie Bliss’ Cotton DK would make a fabulous nautical summer jumper. Even though the DB Cotton DK is DK (albeit a little thicker than standard DK), we’re willing to bet that in this slip stitch pattern it would look great knitted slightly looser, ‘out of gauge’ (as you say if you’re machine knitting). Or you could go really girly with a pink, lilac and cream combo, or super-pastel-y with pink, lilac and pistachio ice-cream / sugared almond colours.

Either way, a very wearable piece, we think. WSN may well be getting one very soon…

More details and the pattern here on Ravelry and remember that Kim will have the sample and patterns for sale at Woolfest on Friday.

Posted: June 25th, 2014
Categories: designs, general wittering, knitting, yarn
Comments: No Comments.

Walker cardi…

As many of you will know, we designed a mini-collection for babies and toddlers last year especially for Town End Alpacas beautiful 100% Alpaca, DK yarn. Well, this year we’ve added to it with another 3 designs, this time for their Alpaca / Shetland (90% Alpaca, 10% Shetland) Aran weight yarn. As we’ve used a chunkier, slightly more robust yarn we’ve made these designs for slightly older children – instead of 3 months – 2 years we’re going for 2 – 6 years. As Town End Alpacas will be showing these designs at Woolfest at the end of this week (their ‘home’ show), we’re showing one a day today, tomorrow and Thursday before Woolfest. First up, the Walker Cardi:


Generally we like to show our garments on people – that’s what they’re for, after all. As you can see, this picture is not on a child. When these 3 designs were all finished and ready to be photographed before being sent off to Kim we had a bit of a mini-heatwave in London and as they’re aran weight alpaca they are, um, very warm. Even we, hard-hearted creatures that we are, couldn’t face squeezing squirming toddlers into super-warm garments and (probably more truthfully) couldn’t face the tantrums that would likely come once they were in them. So we photographed them flat for the time being but fear not, as soon as it gets a bit cooler again and the samples aren’t at a show or a shop somewhere we will put them on children.

Walker is probably the most girly of the three designs. Moss stitch trims and a simple, leafy ‘lace’ (it’s not really lace, just a few eyelets artfully placed) decorate the fronts, and the same leaf / swirl motif is echoed on the sleeves, this time with small bobbles in the middle.


Pattern up here on TBk soon, meanwhile find it and further details about yarn quantities, tension etc. over on Ravelry here.

Posted: June 24th, 2014
Categories: designs, knitting, yarn
Comments: 1 Comment.

K1, P1…

And so here is our other new badge offering:


More of a ‘House’ style badge than the KNITTER and CROCHETER ‘Prefect’ badges, this is the first in a series of ‘abbreviation’ badges we’re producing, still available in the classic school colours of red, green, yellow and blue. A little more cryptic than the very straightforward KNITTER and CROCHETER, so if you want to be coy about your hobby / living then this is the one for you. Perhaps we should initiate a secret handshake, like the Masons?

More details and the magic ordering buttons here.

You might well be wondering where all the actual KNITTING has gone, and rightly so. Well, the knitting content and three – yes, three – brand spanking new patterns will be here next week. We’ve been working on some designs for the lovely Kim of Town End Alpacas to debut at Woolfest (we won’t be there this year due to certain trans-atlantic pals coming to stay), so if you’re off to Woolfest then you’ll get to see the samples in person. They’re all kids’ patterns again, this time for slightly bigger kids – ages 2 through to 6 and knitted up in slightly chunkier yarn. Anyway, more next week on those.

Posted: June 20th, 2014
Categories: accessories, designs, ephemera, general wittering, knitting
Comments: No Comments.


Now you know that here at TBk we are not averse to the Dark Art of crochet (well, Belinda isn’t very good at it but she tries sometimes). Wendy is a pretty fly hooker, even if she does say so herself (you must realise at this point that Belinda is writing this and loves to make fun of Wendy. Well, someone has to, you know).

And many of you will know that we have our KNITTER badges for KNITTERS world wide to publicly declare their love for their hobby / living. Some crocheters felt a bit left out… But no more!


Feel left out no more! Our CROCHETER badges are here. We did consider HOOKER but didn’t want to be blamed for any unfortunate misunderstandings that may occur, although the WSS (WickedStepSis) has already voiced her opinion on that one so HOOKER may well be making an appearance very soon. (If you’d like a HOOKER badge then please leave us a comment or email us so we can see how popular they might be.)

Meanwhile, if you feel you truly need a CROCHETER badge in your life, pop here to get hold of one. As we’ve said before, they’re old-fashioned school ‘PREFECT’ badges revisited for the knitters and now crocheters of the world. They’re lovely, solid, enamelled things, perfect for presents.

We’ve got something else for knitters, too – tomorrow…

Posted: June 19th, 2014
Categories: accessories, crochet, designs
Comments: 2 Comments.

Drama! Excitement! Nice things!

Well, it’s been a Bit Of A Morning here at TBk towers. It all started off well with breakfast in the garden along with Iman pootling around, carrying on her Light Pruning Of The Rose from Monday morning. (Documented for the World on our Instagram account. Iman Approves of Instagram). As you can see from that picture, the lovely Sonya Philip commented on Iman’s ears. I think I may have to think of Sonya as some sort of Oracle from now on, as suddenly this morning all hell broke loose in the sunshine. Iman, grovelling in the hope of even tastier rose treats got her left ear caught on one of the thorns. So she pulled back and the thorn got even more stuck. So then she threw herself around, somewhat akin to a salmon leaping. This ripped out the thorn and also ripped a gash of around 3cm in her ear.

Now, people with vague medical experience might know that ears tend to bleed. A lot. And if you have Long, Fine, Beautiful ears and shake your head a lot then blood goes everywhere! Plus if you have a Worried Human trying to catch you and see exactly what damage you’ve done and you don’t want to be caught then you really can spread even a little bit of blood around quite a long way. (I will spare you truly bloody pictures unless you ask, but they are spectacular.)

Eventually, after a pathetic phone call to Lovely Neighbour, aka Jane from Quinton Chadwick (Iman adores her), we cornered her and caught her and took her off to see Lovely Vet, Brian from Goddards in Hackney. Typically, it IS a huge and nasty rip and she has to go back tomorrow to see if it can be stitched properly or the flappy, ripped bit ‘just’ trimmed off as the cartilage is exposed (roughly a quarter of her ear amputated). So after a Ev who only had three legs, Iman might be our one-and-a-half-eared rabbit. She is fine, by the way. Calm, eating and wondering what all the fuss is about.

ANYWAY. Back to the point of this post. Just had to get that bit out of my system, I think I am far more traumatised than Iman.

A parcel arrived! A very exciting parcel! I don’t think it’s any secret that we count ourselves lucky to be friends with the wonderful Debbie Bliss – in fact we have been working with her recently and we will say no more about that right now other than we will be Very Excited when her Winter 2014 Magazine is out in August. Debbie has recently branched out from yarn and patterns and has a lovely general ‘design’ section on her website. She sent me a couple of things from her Stitches and Monochrome collections as a present. I hope as a present for generally making her laugh and writing nice patterns…

As I would expect with Debbie, it was beautifully wrapped:


And the contents were even more gorgeous – a tea towel (from the Stitches collection) and a mug from the Monochrome collection:


As you can see, I didn’t even take the time to iron the tea towel before photographing it. But in my defence, it did arrive beautifully wrapped looking like this:


There are lots of other goodies on Debbie’s site – Harris Tweed needle wraps, aprons, more tea towels, ready-knitted baby gifts (for when you just didn’t get round to it in the 6 months you might have known about the baby – we all know that moment) and some rather gorgeously fab notebooks that I would be VERY tempted by if I wasn’t already at SABLE for notebooks and if we didn’t have our own notebooks to use, either. Plus after this morning I am not feeling either Productive or Daring… Pop over to Debbie’s shop and treat yourself! Or someone else. Do you have a knitting Dad? You could order in time for Sunday…

Posted: June 11th, 2014
Categories: crushes, designs, general wittering, Iman
Comments: 1 Comment.

Needle Wraps…

Here is our other New Thing to show you:


These happened because Belinda’s needle storage looked like this:


Yes, that’s an old, giant-sized yoghurt pot and a tin with varying dpns and circs stuffed into it.

Wendy was using a cutlery wrap that someone had thought she needed to wrap her cutlery in so kindly(?) bought her for Christmas. It’s a nice cutlery wrap, but it was made for cutlery and not knitting needles. We finally decided we could do better. Wendy got her overlocker out. We went round to our local fabric warehouse (it really is a warehouse, not a shop) and bought some fabric. Wendy did a bit of cutting and sewing and lo! The TBk Needle Wrap came into existence. So then we made some more and made some labels. And now you can have one if you want. Well, some of you can. We have a very limited supply right now (sometimes life gets in the way of sewing all day), but we will have lots more soon. And in other fabrics – denim and tweed as well as this lovely ecru twill.

Here’s a better look at the inside, with varying things in there. As you can see, space for scissors (why do scissors always go missing?), short needles, long needles, crochet hooks, tape measures, all sorts of stuff in fact:


Then you fold the top over to stop things falling out:


And then you roll it up and tie it, like this:


Pop over to here if you’d like to neaten your needles up. Not that we’ve changed our storage as yet, we thought they were too good to keep ourselves in the end!

Posted: May 1st, 2014
Categories: accessories, designs, ephemera, general wittering
Comments: No Comments.


Now, if you saw us at Unravel or follow us on Instagram (truebritknits) or twitter (@TrueBritknits) you may well have seen these little things before:





Aren’t they cute? (Even if we do say so ourselves.) So, if you were ever a Prefect, Head Boy, Head Girl or Deputy Head of any kind at school you’ll know what these badges are like. If you weren’t, or didn’t go to school in the UK then we can tell you that they’re nice and solid, enamelled onto golden metal. The blue and yellow enamel is very solid and flat in colour, the red and green a little more translucent. No idea why. Some desperately technical chemical thing to do with the pigment in the enamel, we suppose. They’re made in Great Britain (where else would we go with a name like True Brit?).

They’ve now got their own page in the Designs section of our website, where you can choose your colour and buy them from. You can go for your old school colour, your favourite colour of the four or match it up to your Harry Potter house colour if you’re that way inclined. We do our very best to ship out the day they’re ordered if we have time but generally we’ll get everything out by the next working day if we’ve got stock. Sadly (due to great demand from yellow-lovers and Hufflepuffs) we’re out of stock of the yellow, but if that’s your colour if you email us at salesATtruebritknitsDOTcom and give us an email address that we can send a PayPal invoice to then as soon as they do come into stock (hopefully in just over a week) we’ll send you an invoice and fulfill your order before we re-stock the shop. Otherwise, just choose the colour(s) you want.

Posted: April 30th, 2014
Categories: accessories, designs, ephemera, general wittering, knitting
Comments: No Comments.