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Last month I alluded to a few projects I was working on using yarn we didn't have in the shop yet. This month I can show you two of them - and one is finished and in the shop.
This is our latest shop sample using our newest chunky yarn - Stylecraft ReCreate Chunky.
Stylecraft ReCreate Chunky is entirely made of recycled fibres - 40% wool, 30% acrylic, 30% polyester. It feels robust but soft. The colour range is stunning; some of the shades have teeny tiny subtle flashes of other colours creating a tweedy but smooth effect.
We used pattern 9945 which has two tank tops - one round neck and one v-neck. It's designed to be big. Our sample is the to fit size 32-34" with an actual chest size of 41.25", I've photographed it on a 38" mannequin.
I think this garment is an excellent first project for a bigger:
It's made with chunky yarn and needles so it'll work up relatively quickly.
It has very little shaping so they pattern is quite simple and easy to follow.
If you can knit a square you can knit this tank top!
It's also very good for mindless knitting! The big stitches make it easier to watch the TV whilst you knit. 😆
You can read more about it in our online shop Gallery.
Using the same yarn, I've also started a new blanket.
Back in October last year we launched our Simple Blanket XL. This was a chunky version of our Simple Blanket. Mostly knitted when I had Covid, I used King Cole Ultra Soft Chunky in 6 different colours. I found it a lovely comforting knit, and not just because I was poorly.
Unfortunately King Cole are discontinuing Ultra Soft Chunky and we've already run out of several colours used in the blanket. So I decided to make a new shop sample, showing off the jewel tones of Stylecraft ReCreate chunky.
This time I think I'm going to do a different stripe pattern and perhaps only use 3 colours in the blanket. I really like this orange and teal together.
There are two new projects on the table - a garter stitch Pop and a pair of Nutcracker socks.
Pop is a baby cardigan that's knitted in DK yarn seamlessly from the top down.
As it's a cardigan you are not knitting in the round, just back and forth (although you can knit the sleeves in the round, there are instructions to knit them flat and sew them up too).
This has been a great beginner project for lots of people, not just as a first top-down garment, but as a first ever garment.
Baby sizes are great first garment projects - small and achievable, you never have that many stitches to rip back 😆 and you can learn lots of techniques.
We've had a few Pops in the shop over the years, changing as our DK yarn selection changes. The current one is in a yarn that is now discontinued so Sue and I are going to make a few more... showing off our current yarns AND the versatility of the pattern.
A marled Pop has been in my head for a while.
Knitting holding 2 strands of 4ply is a close approximation to knitting with one strand of DK and it's a great way to play with different colours. I loved the effect of holding two strands of multicoloured Opal 4ply sock yarn together when I made the Scrappy Marl Hat and Fingerless Mitt last year.
I'm using the same idea with the Marled Pop except I'm using two different shades of Opal Hundertwasser rather than mini balls of Opal sock yarn.
I'm using shades 1435 and 3200.
Another idea I'd been mulling over is knitting the whole cardigan in garter stitch. The original pattern uses garter stitch at the yoke and stocking stitch on the body. By knitting the whole garment in garter stitch I felt it would look bulkier and more jacket-like.
It's an easy hack to do! Just knit every row.
HOWEVER, if you do do the sleeves in the round, remember you will have to knit one round, purl one round to make garter stitch. Confused? We're always happy to help in the shop or over email. And once the cardigan is finished I'll write up all my notes for our online shop sample gallery.
Nutcracker is this year's Christmas sock yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners.
It's stripey with a black and white checked effect. I haven't knitted with a sparkly yarn for ages so I'm surprised as how effective the sparkle is! And it's still very soft. I'm not sure if this is a single sample for the shop or a pair of socks for me yet... maybe both.
what it's supposed to look like
I've made some progress on my Uptown Tee (designed by Tori Yu, available to buy on Ravelry).
Uptown Tee is a very pretty short sleeved t-shirt. Worked in 4ply from the top down it's a relatively straightforward knit. I'm using Vivacious 4ply in the pinky lilac Heavenly shade.
But, I'm a bit concerned about it.😬
My stitches are not even. I think the combo of metal needles (KnitPro Zing) and a high-twist merino have proved too 'fast' for my loose knitting style. Even though I have matched the designers tension some stitches are looser and bigger than others. Overall the effect is a bit messy and I've been ignoring it... hoping it will sort itself.
Which is ridiculous.
So, as I'm currently going round and round on the body I've knitted it onto a very long circular needle and I'm going to give it a handwash and then dry it flat. Hopefully the issues with tension will sort themselves out. If not I may have to rip it all back. Wish me luck!
In cheerier news my Half Linen Stitch Cowl still looks amazing.
I'm using an Alegria Superpool Sock Set in Trapeze. You get 100g of a variegated shade and 20g of a contrast. The colours come out quite striped on a small circumference like a sock but it looks very different in a slip stitch pattern, like linen stitch, as it produces a more blended effect with overlapping pops of contrasting colours.
Like the new chunky Simple Blanket I'm adapting one of our current patterns, Simple Cowl, by using a slightly larger needle (slip stitches can produce a tighter denser fabric) and a half linen stitch pattern.
Again, once I'm finished I'll write the pattern up and you'll be able to download it for free. But if you can't wait this is the half linen stitch pattern written out.
Round 1: *knit 1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn at the front* repeat to end of round
Round 2: knit all stitches
Round 3: *slip 1 purlwise with yarn at the front, knit 1* repeat to end of round
Round 4: knit all stitches
Next month I'm aiming to finish the Half Linen Cowl and the new Simple Blanket XL and hopefully I won't have to restart my Uptown Tee...
What are you making just now?
We'd love to know. 👇