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.

File 28-05-2015 16 29 18
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.

classique1

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

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

classique2

 Seville, Sunflower, Leaf, Soft Lime and Azure.

classique 3

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.

Classique 6

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).

special new

Storm Blue, Parma Violet and Sage.

Happy Knitting!

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin Here ♥

May Needle Round Up

2015-05-08 21.49.39-2

In my last post I alluded to the fact that I haven’t been getting that much knitting done of late and that despite having completed my summer cotton Kimera Granny Shawl I was feeling like I had achieved very little, 🎨 creatively wise 🎨

Since posting, the last few days have been almost the polar opposite, as I feel reluctant to do anything other than sit and knit or crochet.  I’ve managed to complete my first Clue 2 block from the Stylecraft Yarns and Jane Crowfoot Lilly Pond Crochet Along, but I’ve mislaid it 😳 Hopefully, I’ve just left it at the shop.  Either way, I should probably give clue 3 a go and I’ll pop up both blocks over the next couple of days, so we can all have a laugh at my poor attempts.

2015-05-08 19.58.39-1

I’m also really happy to report that I have finished the Flax jumper from Tin Can Knits, I’d been knitting on the off chance that my son Durahn, would like it.  Not only does he like it, he seems to be really rather fond of it 👍 Although I may have inadvertently set myself up for a bit of a fall as the yarn I used was Rico Fashion Aran and he loves how warm it is whilst being so light weight.  Most woolly aran weight yarn isn’t so light, but we’ll deal with that issue as and when it arises.

Lots of people overlooked this yarn when we had it on sale in the shop and yet I get loads of compliments when I wear the jumper I have made in it on.  I’m not sure why it didn’t attract the attention it deserves.  Maybe people thought it might be a little on the itchy side because of the alpaca fibres.  Maybe it looked a little thin for an aran weight?  I do have a hard time explaining to some people that yarn is designed to be knit at a certain tension in order to achieve the over all desired fabric.  Maybe it was the colour palette, most of which were earthy, Autumnal hues?

Regardless of the reasons why, the Rico Fashion Aran yarn just wasn’t a great seller for us and so I cleared it for as little as €1 a ball in the end 🙈

2015-05-08 19.59.34-2

I made Du the M/L size which measures 39″ around the chest, because as you can see in the photos, he’s quite a slim chap.  I didn’t block the jumper as he seemed eager to wear it, even going so far as to say that Carlsberg don’t knit jumpers, but if they did…. High praise indeed.

If you haven’t knitted it, I’d wholeheartedly recommend Flax as one of those great patterns, that you’ll end up knitting time and time again.  Unisex and with sizes from newborn to 4XL it will do for everyone of the family and if that wasn’t enough – IT’S FREE!!!

The photograph at the top of this post is a dead give away I know, but my newly finished socks are just so pretty, don’t you think?

2015-05-09 09.28.14

They look even better with my green shoes too 💕

That’s my 4th pair so far this year and I’ve wasted no time in casting on another pair in the new Cotton Premium yarn from Opal that I mentioned in one of my previous posts.

2015-05-11 12.48.48

The new pair of socks are flying up and I’m loving how the more muted colours are coming together.  The socks are my more portable project, so I’ve also had to cast on another ‘larger’ knit too.

2015-05-07 23.15.59-2
My lovely stitch marker is one of a set handmade for me by Catherina and her daughter Molly 💖

You might have noticed that the latest Green Bin clearance items are Adriafil Saetta and Stella Jacq?  I’ve been lusting after one of the shades in the Stella Jacq for some time now, but in truth, they’re probably not my colours.  Deciding to clear the yarn meant I had to decide whether to knit with it or not.  Fortunately, I’ve also been looking for an excuse to knit the Oslo-Anorak pattern from Pickles for a good while too.  Of all the Oslo-Anorak projects on Ravelry, I prefer the ones where a multicoloured yarn has been used together with a solid, so I’ve opted to use a dusty pink for the bands and hood of the design.

As with all patterns from Pickles, one size is available for free and with this design it’s the 6-12 months version, but the price of the complete pattern with sizes from 6/12 months to 7/8 years will set you back $6.40, which to be fair with the current exchange rate is a little pricey.

Inexplicably organised for once, this little jumper is actually going to be a Christmas present too 🎅

File 13-05-2015 10 02 50

Have to go now, having just been for a walk on the farm in the beautiful sunshine,  I need to try and get a few rows of knitting done 🙂

Happy Knitting!

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin Here ♥