Saturday, 27 June 2009

Woolfest 2009

You know, if I only did one thing every year, it would be Woolfest! Its just such a fab day out, the people there are just so nice, stall holders and buyers, bumping in to people you "know" from Ravelry and other forums, its weird spending the day staring at peoples chests to see what their name is!
So here it is..the haul..

Oh so many nice things! So from top left, there is some black alpaca roving from UK alpaca & fibre harvest, a selection of naturally dyed fibre from Artisan Threads, dark grey broken tops from Uk Alpaca, from botton left, hand dyed merino from Limegreenjelly, hand dyed merino sock yarn from The Laal Bear, 3 Skeins of sock yarn from Knitwitches, and finally hand dyed shetland tops from Wheeldale Woolcraft.
I'm seriously wanting to have a spin of the alpaca, it is super super soft and the colour is just wonderful, the fibre from Artisan threads is going to be interesting to use as its uncombed but can still be spun in to a textured yarn, I was just taken in by the colours and seeing what was possible with it, I wanted to try!
The whole day was just fantastic, spent several hours at woolfest, wish I could have spent longer! Not that the day was over when we left, we drove down the road to St Bees, unloaded our extensive picnic and was still on the beach playing in the sea till 6pm! Didn't get home till gone 10pm!

All I can say now is, roll on next year!!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I come bearing gifts!

Yes, I know, I've not blogged for a while, feel like I'm forever apologising for not posting! There has been alot going on, internet problems, kids switching to home schooling and just a general lack of some thing to say, but, I bring a peace offering, I've written a pattern :-D
I knew my stash would come in handy one day, I certainly was taken by a moment of inspiration whilst staring at my shelves one day, well that and a lack of right needles for a pattern I did want to knit!

Show off Stranded Cowl

(It is an adult sized cowl, Ewan was just my nearest model!)

Inspired by the Show off Stranded Socks (which are very cool also, so go make them too!) this quick knit uses up that odd ball of dk yarn, either left over from a project, or like me, that must have skein of malabrigo! The cowl is knitted flat, with a provisional cast on at the start, which you use to graft the two ends together when finished to give the cowl a seamless look, naturally you can use a normal cast on and seam both ends together when finished, but I like it this way (read as I'm terrible and seaming, but I like grafting lol)

Download a PDF version of the pattern here

You will need:
50g Variegated DK yarn, I used Malabrigo Merino Silky in Bahia

4mm Needles

Waste yarn

Tapestry needle

2 Stitch markers (optional I use them to mark the first and last two stitches, so I remember to do them!)

Gauge, Doesn't matter!

Stitch pattern is in multiples of 4

The pattern:

Cast on 40 stitches using a provisional cast on (I like this one )

Row 1, K2, purl across till last 2 stitches, K2

Row 2, K2, *YO, K2, pass YO over the two stitches, K2, repeat from * till last two stitches, K2

Row 3, K2, purl across till last 2 stitches, K2

Row 4, K2 *K2, YO, K2, pass YO over the two stitches, repeat from * till last two stitches, K2

Repeat these 4 Rows, until piece measures 21inches from cast on edge.

Set up for grafting, leaving your stitches on the needle, take your other needle and carefully unpick your provisional cast on edge, so now you have 80 stitches divided over two needles, with your working yarn on the back needle, on the right hand side, just as you would for a sock. This does mean you have the wrong side of your work facing you, so you have to do purl side kitchener stitch, which sounds scary, but its not! I found these directions here to be very helpful, it is easy once you get in to it, basically instead of knit 1 off, purl, purl 1 off, knit, you do purl 1 off, knit, knit 1 off, purl, its the opposite of normal kitchener. Very clever is grafting!

And voilĂ ! You are done!

If there are any problems in the pattern or you have any questions, give me a shout and I'll do my best to sort it out!
Hope you enjoy the pattern, you never know, I might do some more one day :-)

(Its Woolfest this weekend, and you can put good money on the fact I'll blog about that, hopefully it will give me a good kick up the bum to blog more!)

Naturally this is a free pattern, and you are free to use it for your own personal use, but you are not allowed to sell any finished items, or distribute the pattern without prior permission or crediting the work to my self!