Quick Super Chunky Knits

At the beginning of the month I shared a Ravelry link to the pattern for the Dropped Stitch Cowl by Abi Gregorio.  As i mentioned at the time I was planning on knitting up one rather quickly after having fallen in love with the pattern.

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The first one I knitted was for Dina in the awesome bright red Rico Super Chunky and I’m happy to report she loves it, so much so that it’s never going to be left in the shop long enough for people to see.

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So when 5 new colours in Rico Creative Twist arrived in I knew the Dropped Stitch Cowl would be the ideal quick knit for a display garment.  It took a little over the one ball and I’m actually going to knit up a stripey one as a Christmas gift using a ball of the grey with the remaining burgandy yarn.

I hate taking ‘selfies’ but there was nobody here to help me.  basically my arms aren’t long enough to hold the camera far enough away and my hands are too small to hold the phone and press the button.  However, in the spirit of ‘we’re all friends ere’, ta-dah!

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Add this pattern to your Christmas Knitting list, you won’t be disappointed and neither will the recipient.  The only problem will be everyone else asking you to knit one for them.

Happy Knitting!

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Red the Hedgehog

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As you’ve probably come to expect from us now, Dina and I have named this little fellow Red.

He’s joined the ranks of sparkly hedgehogs that seem to be taking over the world of knitting due to the popularity of Tinsel Chunky from King Cole.

tinsel ball

 

Tinsel Chunky is 100% novelty and as the name suggests it’s been developed with Christmas in mind, think Christmas decorations, hats, boot toppers and of course hedgehogs.

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This little guy took a very small amount of the ball and I used white double knit yarn from my stash, with a touch of grey for his eyes and nose.

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At the moment we’ve only had 5 of the shades available arrive in because it’s completely sold out at the mill as hedgehog mania takes hold.  Each 50g ball contains 70 metres of yarn and the recommended needle size is a 6mm, however, the hedgehogs body is knit on 5mm’s to make it more dense to keep the toy stuffing securely within.

hedghog kc

 

Cute and fun, what’s not to like and in case you’re wondering Red is the smallest hedgehog.  Hand on heart he took around 3 hours in total (if not less) to knit, stuff and sew making him great for a last minute gift.

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Happy Knitting!

Refurbishments

As most of you already know we were closed for most of August whilst we refurbished the shop.  I know from talking to a lot of people the general consensus was that the shop was fine and dandy the way it was.  However, for me when we moved into the new premises 2 years ago I didn’t have time to get it just how I wanted it and it had been really bugging me, hence the August break.

Whilst many of you will have seen the transformation in the flesh, there are a good few of you that are unable to get into us regularly or purchase from us via mail-order.

So let me take you on a little tour…….

2014-09-04 14.39.49 On entering the shop you’ll happen first upon our new knitwear display area.  My super talented hubby has gone bonkers with copper pipe (he’s a plumber) and made me this beautiful display rack, which compliments the mannequins perfectly.

Behind the mannequins there’s my upcycled vintage suitcase and my now gold painted hat stand.

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Looking down the shop there are shelves running down most of the left hand side to meet the counter, which we have moved in order to open up the shop floor completely.  The shelves are packed with weights from 1ply to dk and we’ve managed to do away with the pattern stand by slotting the folders and books in between the yarn.

For those of you that were colour spotting on Facebook you’ll probably have noticed the ribbon stand has received a lick of aqua paint or two.

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To the right or the ribbon stand there’s the basic acrylic corner (part 1)

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Part 2

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We’ve moved the buttons to the other side of the acrylic stand  and the haberdashery supplies seem to fit in just nicely next to them.

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Next comes the aran weight unit.  Complete with gaps for some of the new yarns due in.

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Where the counter was previously and some might even say the piece de resistance, are the vintage cinema seats and upcycled tyre coffee table.

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Last but not least is the chunky/super chunky stand – I haven’t completely worked out where all of the new yarn that’s on order is going to squeeze in there yet though.

So far the response from everyone has been extremely positive ‘the shop seems bigger’, ‘there’s lots more light’, ‘it’s easier to see everything’ and everyone loves the upcycling with my hubbys copper pipe work receiving the most praise.

Have I tempted you to come and visit?  It’s a bit of a work in progress as there’s still things I’d like to get done so I’ll keep you posted.

Hope to see you soon.

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

Top Woolly Gifts This Year

As there are only 3 more shopping days for your loved ones to get down to the shop, I thought I’d show you our most popular gift items this year.

In no particular order ……

All things Knitpro Symphonie

knitproThe new Knitpro Karbonz Sets have also been popular.

karbonz-spitzen-setThe extra special Knitpro Box of Joy

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Clover Pompom Maker are a great stocking Filler.

Clover-2-Pom-Pom-makersThe heart shaped ones are a little bit different too.

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The very gorgeous Hedgehog Fibres.

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Scarf Yarns

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Gift Vouchers

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Cushendale Boucle

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Let us interrogate you for a bit about the person, give us a budget and we’ll make up a kit.

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Happy Knitting!

The Knitting Group’s Christmas Outing

Our Knitting Group Christmas Outing took place on Wednesday night.  The evening was spent indulging in a gorgeous 3 course meal at Rosies/The Pepperstack in Aghada.

The food was lovely, the portions were so big that I’m ashamed to admit I had to leave some.  Being a vegetarian I opted for the Tomato & Coconut soup, Thai Curry and Strawberry Pavlova – yummy!

However, that’s not what you want to hear about is it?

We exchanged our Secret Santa gifts which as always has to be a handmade Christmas Decoration.  You can see our attempts in the pics, the one I made was the Angel and Dina made the Russian Doll.

I’m thinking handmade Christmas Decorations are the way to go for the future, because by the time you get to my age you’re not really in need of anything (other than a Mark II Ford Escort).

Happy Knitting!

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A Few Secret Santa Ideas

At this time of year you can’t fail to notice the impending visit of the jolly white-haired geezer in the bright red suit.  The infection spreads like wildfire and before you know it you’re walking around singing carols and driving everyone mad (just me then?).

Anyway, across our three knitting groups we try to encourage everyone to join us for our annual Christmas get together and take part in our Secret Santa present swap.

Every year we stick to the same theme – A Christmas Decoration. The only rule is that the decoration must be handmade, preferably knitted or crocheted.  I have been posting up links to various patterns which could be used for these gifts but thought it might be an idea to put them all in one place for everyone to see.

Christmas Tree Decoration – Jill Koerner

This little tree decoration by Jill Koerner is free and is available via Ravelry on Jill’s blog. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-tree-decoration

O Christmas Tree – Jenna Krupar

Jenna Krupar has an ebook of 4 knitted patterns available on Ravelry for $6 which include this very lovely little tree decoration – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/o-christmas-tree

Knitted Sanat Christmas Hat Decoration – Linda Dawkins

This lovely little Santa hat by Linda Dawkins is free via Ravelry on Linda’s blog. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/knitted-santa-hat-christmas-ornament

Mitten Ornaments WR2082

These lovely little mittens are free on the Red Heart website http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mitten-ornaments-wr2082

Yarn Basket Ornament – Scarlet Taylor

I was given one of these little bags of yarn last year by Caroline and I love it. I know she won’t mind me saying it’s a lovely, easy, little knit. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yarn-basket-ornament

Christmas Knitties – Linda Regel

I’m rather fond of these 4 decorations from Linda Regel for £2.50 and downloaded them much earlier in the year. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-knitties

If you’re still stuck for ideas there are literally 1000s of them out there – there’s even my decoration that I posted last week.  Another idea if you’re not too confident is to make a felted heart or knit a little scarf and wrap it around a shop-bought snowman/reindeer or Santa ornament.  Or you can wind yarn around a polystyrene ball to make it look just like a ball of wool.

It is after all the thought that counts.

Wrapped polystyrene ball

Happy Knitting!

Heart Decoration

Little hanging heart

(Bleeding awful photos again ain’t they? Sorry! Said in my South East London accent of course)

Size (approx)

Width at widest point 11cm

Height from top of curve to point 9.5cm

Materials

A pair of 4mm needles

Rico Cotton Aran any colours

Darning Needle

Toy stuffing

A 4.5mm crochet hook or ribbon

Abbreviations

St(s): Stitch(es)

K: Knit

P: Purl

Alt: Alternate

Tog: Together

S1: Slip 1 stitch

PSSO: Pass slipped stitch over

M1: Make 1 – From the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into back of the loop.

K2tog: Knit the next 2 sts together

K3tog: Knit the next 3 sts together

P2tog: Purl 2 sts together

p2togtbl: Purl 2 sts together through back loops

SSK: Slip, slip, knit slipped stitches tog.

Heart – Make 2 pieces

Ornament is knitted in stocking stitch – knit 1 row, purl one row

Using 4mm needles and shade A cast on 3sts.

Work 2 rows in stocking stitch

3rd row: – Using shade B, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1

4th row: – purl

5th row: – Switch to shade A, k1, m1, k3, m1, k1

6th row: – Purl

Continue working 2 row stripe sequence, increasing by 1 stitch at each end on the next and every alt row until there are 21 sts.  Work 3 more rows ending with a purl row.

Decreases

Continue working in 2 row stripe sequence except for the last 3 rows, work these and the cast off in the same shade.

1st row: – k1, ssk, k7, turn. (9sts)

Working on these stitches only slip the remaining 11 sts onto a small stitch holder

2nd, 4th and 6th row: purl

3rd row: k1, ssk, k6. (8sts)

5th row: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1. (6sts)

7th row: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1. (4sts)

8th row: P1, p2togtbl. (3sts)

9th row: S1, k2tog, psso, cast off remaining stitch.

Rejoin yarn to remaining sts

1st row: k2tog, k until there are 7 sts on right hand needle, k2tog, k1. (9sts)

2nd, 4th and 6th row: purl

3rd row: k6, k2tog, k1. (8sts)

5th row: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1. (6sts)

7th row: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1. (4sts)

8th row: p1, p2tog, p1. (3sts)

9th row: k3tog, cast off last stitch.

You need to make a braid to hang the ornament.  I crochet 18 chains on a 4.5mm crochet hook, but you could knit a braid, plait some wool or use a piece of ribbon.

Place the hearts right sides together and sew up using a backstitch, remember to sew over your braid in order to hang your ornament.  Sew 90% of the way round, sew in and trim ends except the one you’re using to sew up.

Turn heart right sides out, stuff, if you insert the filling a little at a time you will achieve a more even fill.

Sew up remaining opening.

Christmas Wreath

They look great on a plain tinsel wreath like this.  Those of you that know me will know I prefer odd numbers so there is one missing!!!!!  The wreath was from a euro shop and cost €7 I think.

I love using Rico Creative Cotton Aran for these decorations as it comes in such a wide range of colours and it’s easy on the pocket;however, I’ve also made a good few of these little hearts in sock wool with 2.5mm needles.  Once made I omitted the hanging braid, opting instead to put them in a little felted bowl as a gift.  They work equally well for Christmas, Valentines or for when you just want to let someone know you appreciate them.  They’re quick and easy to knit and can be decorated with buttons and sequins to jazz them up a bit if you like.

They look pretty in plain colours too.