Pretty For Summer

special new

Knitting and crochet were for many years seen as seasonal hobbies, often traded in for gardening during the warmer months.  Fortunately, for us yarn shop owners, this isn’t so much the case any more and there are lots of us out there who see the summer months as a great excuse to sit down with friends on the beech, or by ourselves taking in those Vitamin D producing sun rays with our latest projects.

Copious photographs in previous posts and on Instagram will go to prove that I will knit just about anywhere, having been known to pull my needles out at music festivals, steam rallies, Ardmore Beach and on tour buses to name but a few.  Regardless of the time of year I’ll knit.

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On the back of the trike on our way to Blarney. I can successfully knit if I hold my knitting low down behind my hubby – even at 120kmph 😉

 

As my ever suffering hubby and children will confirm, Love me, love my knitting.

I would have to confess though, that when selecting a yarn to knit with, cotton wouldn’t usually be my first choice as I tend to find it tough going on my hands, particularly if it’s mercerised.

Mercerisation (if you’re interested?) is where the yarn is given a Sodium Hydroxide bath that is neutralized in acid.  The process  increase the strength of the yarn and is what gives mercerised cotton it’s familiar lustre too.  It’s also said to make the yarn adsorb dye better, which is how such bright colours come to be achieved by the spinning mills and as a ‘by the way’, it results in a yarn that is mildew resistant too.

If I was to opt for cotton and i occasionally do,  I’m much more likely to reach for a ‘raw’ cotton (un-mercerized), something very like Classique Cotton from Stylecraft Yarns, which is super soft and comes in a range of beautiful colours and costs €5.95 per ball.  Each 100g contains 184 metres/201 yards of 100% cotton and knits as a true double knit on 4mm needles, with a tension of 22 stitches to 28 rows over a 10cm/4″ square.

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I’ve chosen 15 colours from the range to begin with including (from left to right)

Plum, Poppy, Hot Pink, Shell Pink and Shrimp.

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 Seville, Sunflower, Leaf, Soft Lime and Azure.

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Greek Blue, Lavender, Wisteria, White and Ivory.

Classique Cotton has been a Stylecraft Yarn staple for some time now, so as you might expect there are a good range of patterns available in knitting and crochet, for adults, children, accessories and home wares.

Some of my favourites include.

classique 5Pattern 8745 is a classic round neck, knitted jumper with a deep rib and the added detail of a cable running up the length of the arm.

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Pattern 9133 is a t-shirt style knit with decorative eyelet stripes in sizes 32/34″ to 40/42″.

classique 9134Pattern 9134 is a girls round neck cardigan with a pretty lace detail for sizes 2 – 11 years.

classique 7Pattern 8849 is for crochet mats and storage pot covers.  personally I’d love to decorate a wall in my house with some of the mats fixed to it as they’d add a good splash of colour.

classique 8Lastly, what’s not to love about the spotted crochet tea cozy, complete with a pretty posy of flowers on top from pattern 8853?  The pattern also has instructions for the mug cozy too 🙂

 If you enter Classique Cotton into the yarn search bar on Ravelry, you’ll notice the yarn has been used for over 470 projects including everything from dishcloths and bunting to jumpers and blankets.

I imagine by now, there’s every chance you’re wondering what the photograph at the top of the post is all about?  It’s actually the widely anticipated three new shades released by Stylecraft in the Special DK range.  The new shades are (from left to right).

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Storm Blue, Parma Violet and Sage.

Happy Knitting!

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Sirdar Cotton Dk

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Sirdar have listened to our requests and developed a beautiful, mercerised cotton double knit yarn.  Available in 18 jewel shades it certainly draws you in with the eye.

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Sirdar Cotton Dk is ideal for both knitting and crochet projects and if you’re stuck for inspiration you should have a look on the Sirdar website at the 18 new designs they’ve created specifically for this yarn.  Of course, it goes without saying that as Cotton Dk is a standard double knit yarn, it can easily be used as a substitute in most dk patterns.  However, as always be sure to consider the drape and design of the yarn the pattern was originally written for.

The yarn is made using mercerised cotton to create a subtle sheen and incredible stitch definition so it’s the perfect yarn for lace knitting, cables and crochet work.

Each 100g ball contains 232 yards/ 212 metres of 100% cotton and knits to a tension of 22 stitches by 28 rows on 4mm needles to 4″/10cm square and costs €6.65.

These are 4 of my favourite designs.

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otton 2

I hope Sirdar’s Cotton Dk will end up becoming one of the companies standard yarns and who knows it might even push them to consider releasing it as a 4ply too.

Happy Knitting!