Tag Archives: Wool

Fundraising Evening…



Invites you to an evening of fundraising….

Susie, (my 16 year old daughter who helps me on the Farmers Market stall) is going to Vietnam and Laos in July next year with ‘World Challenge’.  They are going for a month and will be working in an orphanage whilst there.  To show my support I am organising an evening of fundraising. Little Houndales Knits will open at 5pm for you to browse the yarns and pattern books at your leisure, eat cake, drink tea (or maybe a drizzle of wine!), followed by the opportunity to watch a cookery demonstration from Pampered Chef and browse My Secret Kitchen and Forever Living Aloe Vera products.

We have some fabulous raffle prizes:

10 x 50g balls of Rowan Kid Classic and the latest Kim Hargreaves book, Smoulder

10 x 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Milano (New for A/W 2013) and the Milano pattern book

£25.00 Little Houndales Knits Gift Voucher

Various Pampered Chef and My Secret Kitchen products

Raffle tickets will be on sale for £1.00 a strip (on the day of the fundraiser only)

There will also be a 100 square lottery where you pay £2.00 for your square, when everyone has had opportunity to purchase a square, half the monies raised will go towards Susie’s Vietnam fund and the other half will go to the winner to spend on Pampered Chef.

A percentage of all Pampered Chef sales will be added to Susie’s funds.

A percentage of all My Secret Kitchen sales will be added to Susie’s funds.

A percentage of all Forever Living sales will be added to Susie’s funds.

And 10% of any Little Houndales Knits sales will be added to Susie’s funds.

Susie has £3,500 to raise in total, so far she has raised over half of this but we’ve still a big chunk to go so let’s make this a great evening of fun and fundraising.  Bring your friends and their friends, the more the merrier….and more funds for Susie!

Doors open at 5pm Tuesday 15th October, Pampered Chef cookery demonstration will commence about 7.30pm (and you can taste the finished product later) and the evening will wind down around 10pm.

Look forward to seeing you and thank you in advance for your support!

Kath xx

Click here to view pdf

Louisa Harding Akiko..


The new Louisa Harding Akiko yarn has just arrived and I just had to write and tell you about it! Akiko is a gorgeous Aran weight yarn, a blend of 70% Merino and 30% Baby Alpaca, it has a lovely loose twist and a subtle marl. The colour palate is divine and I just want to knit them all!

Akiko is a very similar yarn to Thistle which was discontinued in 2012 and will knit to the same tension therefore making it suitable to knit all those lovely designs from the book Little Cake! For those of you who don’t have a copy of the now out of print Little Cake, don’t worry, Louisa has taken care of it and produced a booklet called Daisy Lea which has the best of the designs from Little Cake.

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Akiko also has it’s own new pattern booklet, named after the yarn and so also called Akiko. The designs are stunning, some are very much the trademark Louisa Harding lace work borders but there are a few that move away from this and I really do quite like them!

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And now you are smitten by the designs, have a look at these gorgeous colours!

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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!!

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!


An exciting new website……….


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Well it’s been a while since I last had time to sit and write a blog post but today, I’m having a chill out day.  I’ve got lots of knitting done, I’ve put a rhubarb crumble in the oven and now I’m blogging!

I don’t know whether you’ve heard but Microsoft Office Live is disappearing at the end of April to be taken over by Microsoft Office 365, the new 365 incorporates various Microsoft Office products but the website platform is very similar.  When the change over takes place, any existing websites hosted on Office Live will be deleted….yes DELETED!  So, you have to manually rebuild the website on the new 365 platform, there is no option to bundle and carry it across all in one go so everything has to be done manually, page by page, picture by picture.  When I first heard the news of the changeover, I had a go at moving everything but I was a bit miffed that my domain name had ‘onmicrosoft’ between the littlehoundalesknits and the dot com, I thought, wow, what a mouthful.  I struggled with the how to transfer the existing domain name, there were instructions on microsoft but the pages and links they were talking about didn’t exist!  Then I thought, well if I have to rebuild the website, I want to build it better.  So, I set about rebuilding on a user friendly website host, only to find I was struggling to have enough space to fit all my products!  The shop space itself was limited to 150 products – well realistically, 15 shades of each yarn………I could only sell 10 yarn types!  So, dilema’s continued.  Then I had a long chat with a ‘techi’ person who is knowledgable on websites and it seems I am better with an e commerce website to sell the amount of products I want to sell, and so we are now taking that route……I’ve got someone coding up a template right now and I’ll soon be loading it up with products!!  I trully can’t wait, I’ve got so many new products to add to the website but its hard to add them to the existing site knowing it’s going to be deleted in a few weeks.  At the moment, our ranking in the search engines is really low too, I think thats something to do with google etc being aware of the microsoft status and they’ve de-prioritised us!  We’ll soon be putting that to rights with the new site!  So hence if we’re not ranking in the search engines, there’s not much point spending lots of time adding new products……I’m better off hanging fire and going in all guns blazing with the new site!  The new site will probably .co.uk, at least until microsoft will release it in October when the registration needs renewing!  I don’t mind being .co.uk, after all, we are in the uk!

So, what’s new…….the Malabrigo is new but has been added to the website, other’s not added include Rumba Fantasy, Bergere de France Ideal, Angel, Magic + and Cocoon.  I’ve got Lorna’s Laces due any day, blocking wires have been added to the website, I’m putting an order together for Namaste Bags…..loving the lime, peacock, hot pink and eggplant!  I’m getting Monroe, possibly Messenger, and all the accessories cases!! I’m increasing the range of shades in some of the existing yarns….more have arrived in the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, more Noro shades and of course the new Louisa Harding ranges and shades!

I’ll be back soon with more info and updates about the new website, bear with us in the transition…..it will be worth it!!

A bit of a story…….


Little Houndales Knits…….Calling all Knitters!

 In June of 2010 the sheep were being sheared, masses of springy, fluffy fleece fell away from the sheep to be then rolled into a bale and bundled off destination unknown.  As an avid knitter, the urge to create with this fleece was overwhelming.  I had been out of work on long term sick for 3 years and felt incapable of ever having any drive or ambition ever again but a glow of creativity sparked inside.  My husband (the shepherd) thought my idea of sending the fleece to a spinners and getting our own yarn was a crazy idea but went along with it, I assume because he saw an enthusiasm he hadn’t seen of a long while.  Three months later, 2 large bags of knitting yarn, spun from our own Suffolk Cross sheep arrived.  I set up a website, I applied to the Farmers Market and I decided to complement the yarn with an exclusive yarn for children’s garments and some fancy knitting needles and accessories.  The venture continued to gather pace and the enthusiasm and passion of knitters for ‘nice yarns’ was inspiring, demand exceeded supply and I took on stock of several popular but ‘hard to get’ yarn brands.  In January 2011 I held the first of our ‘knit and natter’ sessions which has proved unbelievably popular.  Knitting in general has made such a massive comeback, ex-knitters are picking their needles back up, existing knitters are bursting with creativity and non-knitters are wanting to learn to knit!  The knit and natter sessions that we hold once a month are bursting at the seams and it’s either a case of build an extension on the house or find a venue and with this in mind, I approached The Kings Head at Nafferton, which has recently re-opened under the new ownership of Guy and Claire Mayger, they are a lovely couple, very warm and welcoming, they have very tastefully modernised the place giving it a warm and homely feel with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, a perfect venue!  Clare was delighted to support the local knitting community and has agreed to open the doors to knitters every Wednesday from 1pm until 3.30pm, the session will be just as relaxed and informal as the knit and natter groups at the Farm (which will continue alongside), there is no charge and no membership, it really is a case of turn up and knit and have a natter!  Of course, the option of a lager or a latte is yours and the baguettes may just prove too tempting, but for those you’ll need your purse!

I will run an informal ‘knit clinic’ in the session where I will be able to offer advice on ‘most’ knitting queries and I’ll happily set you off and give free tuition from the basics of learning to knit through to cable’s, lace and intarsia.  There will be a small display of yarns and patterns available to see and the use of the free WiFi at the Kings Head means I can take the laptop and you can browse through our virtual stock on the website which you can order from or purchase on the day.  We even run a system where by you can buy a ball a week to budget for those more expensive projects!

Our stock of products is now huge, we stock yarns from Debbie Bliss, Noro, Lousia Harding, Araucania, Mirasol, Opal, Lorna’s Laces, Adriafil, Bergere de France, Malbrigo and MillaMia, we have patterns to support all the yarns and we also give you the opportunity to browse the massive database of patterns available at Ravelry, an online community for knitters and crocheters where you can download patterns (many of them free!) and you can browse a database of projects and see how the sweater you want to knit looks on someone a different shape and size to the models in the pattern books!

We really do hope you will pop along, there are no time restrictions, come when you like and go when you like so long as it’s between 1pm and 3.30pm on a Wednesday!  First session Wednesday 28th March 2012!!!

For more information contact:

 Kath Foster


01377 255093

or find us on Facebook – Little Houndales Knits

The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate 24th – 27th November


I have purchased group booking tickets for The Knitting and Stitching Show – Harrogate 24th – 27th November.  I have 20, 12 are spoken for.  They come in at £9 each instead of £14.  You would need to collect them from me though and you need to make your own way there.