Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New Baby Blanket Design - "Katie"

Knitwits Yarns

As I may have mentioned, my lovely firstborn has left us for his gap year and is currently working (very hard) on a dairy farm in New Zealand.  His new bosses are old friends of ours as Alex used to come down and work on the farm where we live when she was in her teens and she's now running her own farm and is a new Mum (which kind-of scarily puts time passing into perspective!).

Alex and Callum and their very new born baby - Katie - came to visit us all in Cornwall back in June so I planned a baby blanket for them (specifically for Katie, in fact!).  The prototype (made from leftovers of Debbie Bliss's Bella) was such a success that I re-knitted it and actually made a note of the pattern whilst I was doing it and - lo - here it is:

As you can see, it's knitted from corner to corner and the whole thing is in garter stitch, which gives a lovely texture and colour mix.  Here is a detailed view:

A-ha!  I hear you cry - but what about all those pesky ends?  Well - funny you should ask.  I devised a cunning edging which you pick up and knit and then roll over and sew down so all the ends are incorporated in the edging and there's no sewing in to do!  See here:

In the prototype (Katie's actual blanket) I used one colour for each border.  In the pattern I had enough yarn to have striped borders too.  This is the front:

and this is the back once the border has been sewn down:

I'm really pleased with this project as it turned out exactly how I'd planned (which doesn't always happen!).  Bella is not a cheap yarn but the resulting blanket is wonderfully soft and cosy - perfect for small people!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

TrendSetter Sweater

Knitwits Yarns

Having blogged about our new Stylecraft yarns just a week ago - lo - before you can say "Ooh, I wonder what that looks like when it's knitted", Tracey has rattled off a sweater in TrendSetter and here it is:

Sometimes you worry that yarns with a bit of glitz might to be little harsh or itchy or scratchy but not this one!  It's really soft and warm and is perfect for anything you want with a bit of sparkle in it - and who doesn't want a bit of sparkle in their lives?!!

Also, well done Tracey for knitting it up so quickly - it was a welcome break for her between 2ply shawls (we've been commissioned to knit up two - both lacey, both big!).

FB and I are currently childless as Guy has now gone on his gap year and is dairy farming in New Zealand - the 4.30am starts are a bit of a shock! - and Tom is drifting around southern France improving his French - apparently it's very, very hot and most people her meets are Germans(!) - but at least it's hot!  We have intermittent, rain, low cloud, wind, glimpses of sun and then rain again - another typical summer in Cornwall!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

My Ravellenic 2012 Shawl

Knitwits Yarns

This is the first time I've entered the Ravellenic Games (formally known as the Knitting Olympics) so I chose a suitably challenging pattern from my stash:

and then was deeply concerned that I'd over-extended myself by miles and would never, ever finish it on time so knitted like stink and, by the end of the first weekend I was here (wrong side showing):

and began to think that maybe, just maybe this project was possible.

Well - amazingly, I finished it at 23.49 (BST!) on Monday, 6th August, blocked it on Tuesday, 7th and photographed it on Wednesday 8th.  Here it is pre-blocking:

and here it is blocked:

Blocking is one of those jobs that I love and hate in equal measure but, boy, what a difference it makes!:

and this, people, is all the yarn I had left:

That is cutting it fine!!

I love it.  I love the pattern, the colours and - most of all - the fact that I did it well within the Olympic time!  Hoorah!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

New Yarns!!

Knitwits Yarns

After a grotty summer (except for the amazing Olympics!), the sun is now cracking the paving stones and our thoughts turn to autumn/winter knitting!  I have several customers who have already started their Christmas knitting - and they are wise - for they shall avoid the last minute panic that overwhelms most of us as December 1st arrives.

For those of you in the mood for winter projects, we have the perfect solutions for you! - one 4ply yarn, one chunky and one super chunky (to get those knits finished super fast).

Aviemore is first - and finest - a 4ply 75% wool striping sock/garment yarn from Stylecraft, with some good patterns as well.  Here are the colours:

and here is a sample of the patterns:

Next we have TrendSetter, which is a standard chunky weight but with sparkly thread running through as well (and who can resist a bit of sparkle?!).  Colours:

and sample patterns:- the perfect sweater for Christmas parties:

or a warm, cosy long sweater

or a pretty cabled cardigan:

And - finally for now - we have Stylecraft's new super chunky Astrakhan.  This yarn is exactly the same tension as Life Super Chunky but is knitted on different size needles so the 2 yarns and their respective patterns are totally interchangeable so long as you remember to change your needle sizes!  Colours are great:

and there are lots of patterns too:

So - there you are - autumn/winter knitting has now officially started here in Knit Wits - the only problem is the decision on what to knit first!

For those curious about my Ravellenic Shawl - it is finished!!  It is posted on Ravelry and full pictures and story will be here soon - I just thought I couldn't blog about new yarns, new patterns and my shawl all at the same time or it'd go on for ever - and that's without even mentioning my eldest's departure for the Antipodes for a whole year!