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Friday, 30 December 2011 09:57

Knitting hats, ideas and inspiration

I seem to have knitted lots of hats recently.   Mostly as samples to take with me to shows for Woolly Madly Deeply, but some as gifts and a couple for me :-)

Propello
Propello
by Woolly Wormhead is one of my absolute favourites, it's such an easy knit, works in a variety of yarns.  I've used Rowan Cashsoft for my first Propello and Wool-Ease for my second.  I like both equally but I know the second won't pill or bobble in the same way as the first.   The Cashsoft hat took two skeins/balls of yarn but used about half of the second ball, so around £10 for the hat.   The Wool-Ease hat used less than one ball working out at under £4 and it won't pill.

wanderercapwinters-coming
The Wanderer Cap
by Jared Flood is an easy and quick knit and I made it over one evening in between family time and watching tv.  The zig zap pattern works really well in this yarn (Wool-Ease) and isn't overwhelmed by the subtle heathered effect of the yarn shade.    This one was destined for my Uncle Paul, he sent a photo of him wearing it, together with all the OTHER hats and scarves he got for Christmas, but at least he'll be warm!     The pattern is available in the book Weekend Hats, I bought my copy from Amazon, but you can now get this in digital form from Interweave.com and read it on your ipad.

trance-001
I wanted to knit a chunky/bulky weight hat, it had to be quick, easy and simple enough to need very little concentration as I felt tired but had the need to knit.  You know the feeling?     I chose Trance from Scarlet, the latest Kim Hargreaves book.   It's easy, quick and can be knit in a variety of yarns.   She recommends super bulky and I could have used some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or Hometown USA, but I do love the mohair feel of Jiffy and had lots in stash.    I chose a Royal Blue and started knitting, finished the same day, including seaming the back. It's very wearable, I love the double thickness brim and warmth around the ears.    It was supposed to be a gift but I don't want to part with it.   I'll make another in Alpine Wool, probably in the Chilli, a rich cool red shade and make up a pattern for a matching scarf or cowl.

#22 Bobbles and Caples Cap by Suvi Simola is from the book 60 Quick Knits, very simple knitting, although I confess I struggled to make neat bobbles and abandoned them in favour of just 'cables' for my hat.      It's a well written pattern, from an excellent book, jam packed with ideas for quick and gorgeous knits which make ideal gifts.      There is an error, the book has no instructions on how to make the bobble.  But if you visit the Ravelry pattern page you'll find a link to the bobble information.     I will make another like this, but have chosen some large beads to add instead of bobbles.      I'm all for making life easier if I can :-)

Published in Patterns
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 11:02

Vanna's Choice, pattern ideas

Vanna's Choice is a great yarn, easy to knit, made with premium acrylic and machine washable, it'll last for years.    In a range of brights, basics, prints and fashion shades, this yarn works well for clothing, garments, hats, scarves, gloves, home ideas and other accessories.

We've put together a list of ideas for both knitting and crochet projects using Vanna's Choice, but you could substitute any of the Lion Brand worsted weight yarns.   

Knitting Ideas for Vanna's Choice

Slip Stitch Throw

This project would be a longer term item, as it used lots of shades of Vanna's Choice to create a stunning slip stitch throw. Beautifully coordinated and easy to knit, you'll love this.  Making it as a gift?   This'll be an heirloom piece and is fully machine washable for easy care.

No dreadful felting or pilling.   

Project requires the following:

860-108 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Dusty Blue x 3
860-126 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Chocolate x 2
860-135 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Rust x 2
860-174 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Olive x 3
860-146 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Dusty Purple x 3
860-133 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Brick x 2
860-170 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Pea Green x 2
860-158 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Mustard x 2
860-147 Vanna's Choice Yarn: Purple x 2

l10347a

Vanna's Choice Cable Vision Hat.    

This clever cabled hat is made using two strands of Vanna's Choice on 9mm circular needles, you could use Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or Hometown USA for this pattern as it's knits as Super Bulky.     With the pretty cables, ribbed band and cute Pom Poms, this hats a winner and will keep you snug and warm, whatever the weather.

Uses just two balls of Vanna's Choice, shown in Dusty Green but I think Dusty Purple would be stunning!   You'll need a cable needle and a pom pom maker.   

Vanna's Choice Double Strand Hat

Eloise Eyelet Cardigan

If you're craving a knit cardi this winter, this is the project for you! This cardi incorporates some of the season's hottest trends, including the open front with a single butting closure, cropped sleeves and beautiful shaping at the neck and shoulders.

Shown in Eggplant, this would look great in any shade of grey, purple, pink or red.  Let's not forget the Autumn shades, Brick, Rust or Mustard would also be gorgeous!

Worked back and forth on a circular needle for those who hate seaming :-)


Eloise Cardigan

Nikki's Scarf

A scarf made for Nikki, Vanna White's son, handsome boy don't you agree?

Simple garter stitch, couldn't be easier and only uses two balls of Vanna's Choice Yarn to make a quick, stylish scarf for the men in your life.   Shown in a green shade, this scarf would be great in a stylish neutral, blues, greys, browns or even black (if your eyes are up to knitting black yarn?).

Nikki's Scarf

Simple Cowl

This one is super easy, made with two strands of yarns, swapping colours as you knit to create bands of mixed colour.   Very easy to create a stunning cowl which looks so much more complicated than it is.  

I'd recommend these shades:

Mustard, Burgundy, Dusty Purple and Barley in Vanna's Choice

Colonial Blue, Dusty Blue, Dusty Purple and Dusty Rose would also make a more subtle but interesting colour combination.

l10243a

Colourwork Scarf

This gorgeous scarf uses just two shades of Vanna's Choice, shown in Charcoal Grey and Mustard (both best selling colours), it uses slip stitches or 'mosaic' work to create the illusion of stranded colourwork.  You only use one colour of yarn at a time, so it's very easy and looks amazing.

70661ba




Published in Patterns
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 09:51

Tweed Stripes, pattern ideas

Tweed Stripes is a super soft yarn to knit.  It's stunning colour combinations create pretty stripes for all sorts of garments and accessories.

We've put together a list of ideas for both knitting and crochet projects using Tweed Stripes, but you could substitute any of the Lion Brand bulky weight yarn.   

Knitting Ideas for Tweed Stripes

Basic Ladies Shrug

Stay comfy and cozy all winter long with this easy to knit shrug. The body of the shrug is knit as a rectangle, and then seamed together to create the armholes.

Basic Shrug in Tweed Stripes - l10061a

Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf Set

Stay warm this winter in the cozy neutral tones of Tweed Stripes. The stitch pattern of this set has a rich texture and look, but is in reality just a simple variation on ribbing with basic knits and purls.

Rustic Hat and Scarf Set

Simple Cowl

Cast on 100sts using 6mm (US10) circular needles and join for knitting in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.   Rib (K1, P1) for 1 inch. Knit every row (stocking stitch) until cowl measures 9inches from start.   Rib (k1, P1) for one inch and cast of loosely.

l0364a
Chianti Shawl

This is a simple knitted shawl and only takes four balls of Tweed Stripes, shown in Orchid.  A quick and easy knit on large needles, you'll have a stunning yet simple shawl finished in a few evenings.

You'll need 6mm needles, stitch markers and a 6mm (J) crochet hook for the edging.  It's very easy and there are lots of videos to show you how to do the chain edge.  If you get stuck, drop us an email and we'll point you in the right direction :-)

l0364e

Zig Zag Scarf in Tweed Stripes

This is a super easy and very quick knit, you could make it in an evening or over two evenings if you're a beginner or knit slowly.  I've made the same design in both this yarn (Tweed Stripes) and the Lion Brand Amazing and both versions (bulky and Worsted) use two balls per project.     Fast, simple and yet really effective.   I'll make another in the Vanna's Colors, as the kettle dyed effect would look equally nice in this pattern.    

Colour Suggestions: 

Orchid (purples), Prism (dusty pink, blue, greens), Woodlands (peacock shades with browns), Grey Marble (goes with everything!).

l0478ba

Tasseled Shawl

This pretty shawl is a very easy knit, uses just four balls of Tweed Stripes and is ideal to dress up or down.  Equally lovely with jeans and a long sleeved T, or wrapped over your little black dress! 

Stay warm all winter long with this festive tasseled wrap. It's perfect for holiday outings, entertaining or simply running errands. Knit horizontally from one tasseled end to the other, the triangular shape of this shawl comes from increases and decreases as you work.


Tasseled Shawl

Crochet Pattern ideas

iPad or Kindle cover

The perfect case or sleeve for your iPad, this basic design can be adapted for any tablet computer, Nook, Kindle, or even notebook. The best gift for all your tech-savvy friends and family, this digital tablet cozy protects screens from scratches and smudges. If you know someone looking forward to getting a tablet for the holidays or a birthday, it's the ideal crochet present to complement it.  Buy the yarn here

l10543a

Sequoia Shrug

A simple seamed crochet rectangle, quick and easy to make, ideal gift or to throw on over a T shirt for that extra layer.  Takes five balls of Tweed Stripes, would look lovely in the Prism or Woodlands colourways.



l0230adal0230ba

Granny Square Scarf

This simple granny square crochet scarf takes two ball of Tweed Stripes, shown in Caribbean, a blue/green mix and Orchid, lilacs and purples.   I've made this and everyone who sees it, loves the colours.   I'm thinking of making another in the Grey Marble to go with my Winter coat.

l0481a
Published in Patterns
Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:38

The reality of Christmas

snowflake
Having had the great privilege to have worked on this ship during my time at BAE Systems years ago, it was fabulous to see this fun video on BBC Breakfast News this morning.

If these guys can find the fun in Christmas, then I'm sure the gloomiest amongst us can raise a smile and best wishes for the men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces and miss out on so much of family life

Click on the 'video' link just above this article and show your support at Christmas and all year round.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 04 December 2011 00:00

Vanna's Colors

Lined Hat made in Vanna's Colors, Driftwood
We're loving the new Vanna's Colors, although we only have stock of the Driftwood and Pine colourways at the moment, more shades arrive after Christmas and we can't wait to try them.   This is a bulky or chunky weight yarn which knits up really quickly and has an almost kettle dyed appearance.    However, it's made of easy wash, tumble dry acrylic and is super easy to care for.     

Driftwood is a beautiful mix of brown and rust shades, it's so hard to get a photo that really does this yarn justice but these photographs courtesy of Lion Brand Yarns does give you an idea of the lovely shading and how it will knit up.    Pine is another gorgous colourway, with various shades of greens from blue/green to yellow/green running through it giving an amazing textured and hand dyed look.   Look out for patterns for hats, mitts and cowls in this stunning yarn.

Driftwood

Driftwood

Pine

Pine
driftwood pine
Published in Yarn Reviews

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