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Grey Bank Holiday

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sixes cowl

Hello! Welcome to those of you who found me last weekend thanks to the lovely Julia. I hope I won’t disappoint! It’s Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK (a 3-day weekend, basically). I haven’t enjoyed weekends very much since I left school (whatever happened to saturday night?). For a start, I always get the urge to order yarn on Friday evening, just when I’ll have longest to wait for it. Then if I decide to go to the library, or to the supermarket, it’s always extra crowded. And then the internet is always so quiet (where do you all go? sniff). Besides, I’m not going to stop “working” just because it’s not a “workday” for most people! But well, thanks to Julia and the Twist Collective, this weekend was devoid of its usual tedium, and I was bouncing around in excitement instead. So welcome! :)

It’s another grey day here, but I hope you’re making the most of your long weekend (if you have one) to do some knitting. I felt like something quick and cosy yesterday & found this in my stash. I love Colinette so much. This is One Zero in the colourway ‘Banwy’ (I wish their website still had those charming blurbs, remember those?). I found myself driving (well, being driven) through Banwy the other day, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop and scout out the Colinette workshop. Anyway, I absolutely adore this colourway (though no photos can do it justice), in particular the inky blacks that look like they’ve been dripped onto a light mossy green pool. Welsh slate, mossy rocks, tenebrous woods, and (this is pure genius) the rosy glow of morning sunshine on limewash. How did they do it? How did those clever Colinette dyers manage to put all this in a yarn?

sixes cowl

You really don’t need to work hard to show it off. Sometimes the simplest thing is the best: stocking stitch (stockinette for Colinette, you might say). Wide and loose cowls seem to be in fashion this winter, but I like mine to actually keep my neck warm! And this is the perfect width for that. It’s jolly tricky taking photos of yourself with a manual focus 50mm lens, by the way.

There were so many sixes in this pattern, I decided to call it the Sixes Cowl, maybe it’ll make it easier for you to remember if you decide to knit one.

sixes cowl
sixes cowl

Simple Instructions for the Sixes Cowl

You might just be able to squeeze a cowl out of one hank of One Zero, but get a couple (or 6) just to be sure.
Gauge is also a bit tricky since One Zero is a thick & thin yarn, but mine is approx. 12 sts / 19 rows to 10cm/4in of stocking st.

Using 6mm 60cm circular needles,

Cast on 66 sts & join to work in the round.
Work in 1×1 rib for 6 rows.
Work in stocking stitch for 30cm / 12in (or however long you desire).
Work 6 rows in 1×1 rib.
Cast off in rib.
Weave in ends (my cowl is still umbilical).

sixes cowl

Easy, eh? Look at that sweet wobbly cast off! Because of the uneven nature of the yarn, your stocking stitch will have gentle waves. I recommend you enjoy it that way, rather than trying to block it flat. If you need help with circular knitting, read All About Circular Knitting. And did I mention you can wear it either way out?

colinette one zero in colourway 'banwy'sixes cowl

knitting desktop wallpaper

Just in case you haven’t got any One Zero handy though, and you can’t bear the wait, how about having a picture of it to warm up your desktop? You can download a large copy of the photo above from Flickr, which should shrink to size when you apply it to your desktop. If it doesn’t work though, let me know your screen resolution & I’ll see if I can whip up some specific sizes. :)

P.S. I was very tempted to call this ‘Cawl’ (pronounced ‘cowl’), which is a hearty Welsh soup made with leftovers. Just the thing after a long damp walk. But then I thought (cowls being addictive) that maybe I’ll knit another cowl to call Cawl, what do you think? ;)

31st August, 2009  // Inspiration, Neckwear, Yarn // tags: , , , , .

KnitLove to Give

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Debbie Bliss SoHoDebbie Bliss SoHo

A gift is not worth giving unless you’d rather keep it yourself.

I read this long ago in a novel and since then I’m reminded of it every time I’m buying a gift, or trying hard to convince myself not to part with it. For example, I bought a couple skeins of Debbie Bliss SoHo the other day, which I believe is now discontinued. It’s in that ingenius blue/lilac combination and oh, what a cool hat I could make with it. Something floppy for an autumn pallette of browns, blues, and purples. Siigh.

But I restrained myself (really, I did!). They were the last two left in the yarn shop, and they’re now safe in the hands of a very capable knitter, who will doubtless make something fabulous out of them.

You may remember the gift tags (with garment care symbols on the back) from a while back. They were one of my gifts to you. :) Well you loved them so much that I decided to extend them into a whole range of printable knitty goodies for gift-giving. You can download it here. The PDF file is stuffed with everything I could think of that you could possibly need to give, send, present, yield, lend, donate, surrender, devote, label, write, organise, entrust, relinquish, pass down, bequeath or swap:

  • Labels
  • Gift Tags
  • Writing paper
  • Notecards
  • Envelope
  • Stickers
  • Bookmarks
  • Bookplates
  • Wrappers
  • Sleeves
  • Small sleeves
  • Pillowboxes
  • Straight sheaths
  • DPN sheaths
  • Yarn bag
  • Tips & tricks for printing, cutting, and construction.

You can view all the photos here on Flickr. I hope you enjoy them. I have at least one more collection planned, with useful things like calendars, index cards, invites, etc. Suggestions are most welcome!

25th August, 2009  // Downloads, Life, Yarn // tags: .

Summer Knitting

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It’s sweltering on the Aegean today! If you’re travelling to the sun this summer (perhaps escaping the gloomy torrents of British rain?), you’ll want to do a little thinking and preparation before you get there, to ensure you get the most out of your knitting time. Even if you live somewhere where it regularly gets hot in summer, you might find some of these tips helpful in keeping you cool and keeping you knitting.

What to Knit

  • Naturally, something light and lacy is better than a big, thick piece of knitting.
  • Loosen up. Thin yarn with large needles is perfect. Knitting too tightly can be hard work at the best of times, let alone when it’s too hot to move.
  • Knit something circular, so you don’t have to keep turning rows. Basic socks, hats, and other accessories are just the thing.
  • Knit something that you can wear even in the heat. Summer hats, sleeveless tops, and lacy beach wraps are about all you’ll want to wear if it’s really hot.
  • Avoid knitting anything complicated. I know we all get tricked into thinking that the summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on knitting, but if the weather’s hot, chances are you won’t feel like working on much at all. There are several reasons for this:
    1. The heat can add to your frustration if you’re knitting something too fiddly, especially if you make a mistake! Even if you’re not a tight knitter, 20 K3togs in a row are enough to make anyone’s brain boil.
    2. If you’re knitting outside, in bright sunlight, it will be very tiring for your eyes to be scrutinising your knitting & the pattern all the time.
    3. You’re meant to be relaxing!
    4. It’s more fun if you don’t have to keep referring to instructions, and you don’t have to carry them around and make sure they don’t blow away.
    5. If it’s hot, it’s too hot to think. Take it easy.

(read more…)

17th July, 2009  // Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , , .
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