Christmas Knitting….!!

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Is it too soon to mention Christmas?

When it comes to knitting it’s never too soon! We can knit Christmas presents all year round but it seems to be once the schools have gone back that we pick up the project bags. This year, I have far to many suggestions to fit into a blog post but I’ll certainly suggest a few ideas! There are hundreds of new products landing at our door at the moment and gradually I’m getting them on to the website, so keep checking back to see what’s new! Whether it be a Christmas present to knit or a Christmas present for a knitter, we have it all!

Starting with the Debbie Bliss A/W 2013 Magazine, there are is a lovely little purse and pencil case, both knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, they come with full instructions for lining too so you can give them an extra professional finish!

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Also in the Debbie Bliss Magazine are some gorgeous little hand warmers and leg warmers, both knitted in the Rialto Prints DK, giving you the stripes without the effort!

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If you want to liven up the living room with a little Christmassy knitting take a look at these beauty’s, knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, also in the Debbie Bliss Magazine!

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And if you want to dress up the little ones or the family pet there’s these! Also knitted in Baby Cashmerino..

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To see more patterns featured in the Debbie Bliss Magazine, click here to visit our website

Moving on from the Debbie Bliss Magazine, the new Noro ‘What can I Knit Tonight’ booklet has some fantastic little projects, from teacozys to hats and mitts. Take a peek at these…

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And finally, for those cold chilly evenings that you need to snuggle into a nice chunky Alpaca and Merino sweater, the new Debbie Bliss Winter Brights booklet has just the thing…

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Istanbul – Marie Wallin

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Love at first sight!  I just love this sweater, I don’t know if it’s the colour, the fluffiness, the pattern, the shape or what, but I can just see myself wearing it as my ‘favourite sweater’!  In the ball the yarn reminds me of a baby sparrow, soft and fluffy and gorgeous muted greyish browns.

I know I shouldn’t but I have…….I’ve started knitting it whilst still having several other projects unfinished!  I figured it would be a quick, easy knit so I talked myself round 😉

The yarn is used double throughout so knits up quickly, the ribs are on 9mm needles and the main is on 12mm needles so it grows quickly.  I’m using circulars because I hate using straights on anything bulky and on anything above 6mm, they just get to heavy and clonky to enjoy!…..is clonky even a word?  It describes what I mean though 🙂

The welt knitted up quickly and as I was excited to get on to the pattern it probably knitted up even quicker!!  The pattern is a kind of sideways chevron worked by slipping stitches and passing the yarn across the slipped stitches on the right side.  I thought as it’s only a 4 stitch pattern which basically travels to the right for 12 rows then to the left for 12 rows it would be a piece of cake….but it took a bit of getting into!  I think you need to either follow the pattern intensely, be good at problem solving or good at working things out.  7 rows in, after the first decrease, I was somehow 1 stitch out and I couldn’t for the life of me work out what was wrong!  I walked away, came back 10 minutes later and saw the problem straight away!  I think I just had a dopey head on!  I’m now 10 rows in and I have got the pattern in my head, I know exactly what I’m doing and I’m able to see straight away how it all works, it’s amazing how things all come together!  I knew it wasn’t beyond me but I could quite easily see how this pattern would have some knitters scratching their heads.

Now I have it worked out I thought it would be a good time to put the kettle on and write about it.  I hope I haven’t put anyone off knitting it as it truly is gorgeous now I can see the pattern coming through and now I have it worked out, it is actually really easy!  My best advice is to persevere, it’s not that you are not capable, it’s just a bit tricky to get going….10 rows in and you’ll be away!!

Rowan Yarns coming to Little Houndales Knits!!!

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ImageImageImageImageImageI can’t believe I managed to take up ALL afternoon with the Rowan rep!….the poor woman!!

There are just so many yarns, colours and patterns to choose from, the choices are endless, narrowing it down to the few I have room for has been a rather difficult task!!

I have been tempted to dip into Rowan since we started in 2010 but never felt we were well enough placed in the big wide yarn world to take it on!….But this afternoon, after some careful planning and pondering, I have placed an order for several yarns and pattern books and plan to launch in about 6 weeks….so watch this space!

We have on the list, Lima, Cocoon, Felted Tweed, Fine Tweed, Kid Classic, Alpaca Colour, Angora Haze, Magazines 52 and 54, and individual booklet support for the yarns I have chosen!!

Both Alpaca Colour and Angora Haze are new yarns for Autumn Winter 2013/14 and we’ve taken the full colour palate of both yarns in addition to a good selection of shades from the other yarns.  I found it very hard to resist and pondered for…hours! 

I also had good look at the Regia Sock yarns and a peep at the fabrics…….have to save them for another day!! 🙂

 

 

Stephen West Lakedale Shawl

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This beautiful wingspan shawl is called Lakedale Shawl by Stephen West, available in Malabrigo Book 3. There is an errata on the pattern which I wasn’t aware of until completing and uploading to Ravelry but I worked it out that the pattern must have been wrong :-/

It’s not the largest of shawls but could be knitted slightly larger, I do have about 10g of the main colour left and 60g of the contrast so enough to grow the main body slightly and make a longer frill.

Knitted in Malabrigo Sock , the perfect yarn for this kind of project. When knitting with the yarn it feels very springy and soft, it floats through the needles with grace. The initial impression of your work is that the finish is far to springy but blocking ‘completely’ transforms the work, the springing of the rib pattern in the shawl gives way to a fabulous open stitch giving a gorgous transparency.

The edging of the shawl is done in a contrasting colour, I used Stonechat for the body of the shawl and Light of Love as the contrast, I spent much time deliberating the contrast colour but I’m happy with my choice now it’s finished. The edging is pretty simple, the contrast yarn is worked in stripes and the main yarn is worked as a slip stitch so it lies across the contrast….so effective. The edging is increased quite rapidly giving a serious amount of stitches for the last few rows….but it’s worth it! 🙂

At £13 a skein and using 2 colours you may be considering a cheaper yarn alternative, seriously, I wouldn’t recommend it. Malabrigo Sock is 100% Superwash Merino, it is unbelievably soft and as there is no strengthener, the term ‘Sock’ is slightly misplaced as I wouldn’t knit socks in it without knitting in a strengthener (which I do stock…they’re just not on the website yet!). The properties of the yarn make for easy blocking….I did mine with a steam iron! Knowing how well it blocks, I can imagine that I would get an even better result from wet blocking with lace wires and a blocking mat but the iron was out and I was feeling impatient!!

All in all, I love this project, I will be doing it again…next time in Eggplant with Ravelry Red to contrast I think!….I just need some cooler weather now to wear it!

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Planning the next Farmers Market….

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Saturday 1st June is the next Driffield Farmers Market and is also Susie’s 16th Birthday!!! VERY kindly, my loyal and faithful assistant has offered to man (or woman!) the stall for the morning to allow me to take Susie out for the day 🙂 

So, planning what to have on the stall, I want to keep it fairly simple and will probably just have a single stall to make it easier.  Sock yarn and sock kits will be high on the list, so will Mafana Bags….will keep thinking on what else! 

If there is anything you know you will be wanting it might be best to order it in advance – either on the website (where you can pay or defer payment for pay on collection and you can select ‘collect from Farmers Market’) or you can email me or message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Houndales-Knits/150425394989275

Those of you who have met my assistant will know that her knitting knowledge is limited but she does remarkably well.  If you are wanting knitting advice on Saturday 1st it may be best to come to the Humber Bridge on the Sunday 2nd or to the Farm on the Monday when I will be there and happy to help 🙂

Colour Coded…..

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Colour Coded is the latest in the collection of designs from MillaMia. MillaMia as a brand is particularly close to my heart as it is the first commercial brand that I stocked following getting our own yarns spun.

As early as 2009 I think I was toying with something in my head….I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate in November of 2009 and discovered the two Swedish sister’s behind the MillaMia brand. They were so inspirational. I bought the first of their book collections, Bright Young Things. I said in my head that if I ever had a wool shop I would stock MillaMia….a year later I was getting our own fleece spun! At the time I met the MillaMia girls, my little girl was only 3 years old and the collection was perfect…bright and funky! The MillaMia yarn, 100% extrafine merino is so soft and bouncy I would have no hesitation putting it on a new born baby, I had no complaints from my little girl about…you know, the usual itchy, stiff, hot, bulky! It is wonderful to knit with and wears and washes brilliant too!

I made the Lovisa Cardigan from Wonderland for Katie when she was 5, she’s 7 now and it still fits her and my 15 year old has even tried it on and could have ‘almost’ got away with it so I think it’s one that will be around for a few years!

The Lovisa Cardigan has been really popular and I was delighted to see it has appeared in the latest adult collection Colour Coded, but re-named as Annika! Lovisa (child sizes in Wonderland) knits with 3 – 5 balls of the main colour, 3 – 4 balls of the second colour and 1 – 2 balls of the contrast. Sizes range from 2-3 years to 5-6 years, I knitted the age 5-6. Annika, the adult version knits with 8 – 11 balls of the main colour, 6 – 8 balls of the second colour and 3 balls of the contrast. Sizes range from 32″ to 44″ so a massive range of sizes!!….I particularly like the Petal/Fushia with Midnight contrast!

MillaMia is available in 17 shades so colour combinations are yours for the taking, I don’t think there are any combinations that don’t work!

I always have a large stock of MillaMia so it’s always ready for immediate dispatch….take a peek! http://www.littlehoundalesknits.com/38-millamia-books

Hackers!

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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll remember that several months ago I moved the blog, I stopped posting on this page and started up a new one (on the advice of my Techi expert).  Unfortunately, the blog has been hacked and has disappeared!!!  I don’t know if the techi’s can get it back but I’ll be a bit miffed if they can’t because there was a lot of good work on there!  Anyway, if we can’t get it back, I’ll probably just continue to post on this one.

I have a few ideas in the pipeline for this year….I’m going to blog on re-cycled knitting next month, we have several very crafty people who come to knit and natter and today we were talking about all the fabulous things they have made from old sweaters, sweaters bought from charity shops and unravelled and felted sweaters!!  There really are some fabulous projects so I’ve asked them to bring them to knit and natter next month so I can photograph them and post them on here!

I’m also planning some classes….Some of the knitters are keen to have low key small workshops.  One of the knitters is a fabulous quilter and is going to do small classes on the same afternoon as the Saturday knit and natters.  I’m also keen to share some of my finishing techniques so I would like to do some small low key workshops on mattress stitch particularly.  I’d also like to teach the world to knit!……

Some of you will already know that Susie is doing a World Challenge Event in July 2014, she’s going to Vietnam and Laos for a month and has to raise £3,500 in order to be able to go.  She’s well on the way but still has quite a bit to raise.  We’ve been selling buns at Saturday knit and natters and Susie’s been doing car washes (although none today as her head is in books revising for her GCSE’s).  Anyway, If anyone would like some one to one tuition on any knitting techniques I will be charging a rate of £20 an hour and donating it to Susie’s cause.  It’s amazing how much you will learn in an hour on a one to one!  I’m not an expert and I’m not a qualified teacher but I know my way round most things knitty!!  So, if you are interested in any of these please do drop me a line – kath@littlehoundalesknits.com

I’m having a finishing splurge at the moment too, I’ve just finished my Louisa Harding Mila sweater and I’ve nearly finished the waistcoat I’ve been making for hubby from Noro Men.  I’m on the first sleeve of the MillaMia Emma boatneck sweater but I’ve done the back and front so getting there on that one too!!  I’m not allowing myself to start anything else until I’ve made a huge dent in the WIP’s!!!

Anyway, check back soon…..

Kath. x 🙂