Socks – How do you knit them?

SOCKS – Have you knitted them?  Which method do you use?  There are several different ways and there’s crocheted socks too..

With the advent of Ravelry and numerous books and magazines, you can always find one to suit.

Anne prefers knitting 2-at-a-time on two circular needles so that she avoids sock-itus (the “dreaded” unfinished 2nd sock syndrome).  She also knits her socks toe-up which has the advantage of being able to knit until she runs out of yarn because she likes her socks long.


Toe-up 2-at-a-time

Donna prefers knitting top down, one at a time using the magic loop method on one long circular needle. This just feels quicker but it does mean that you have to then start again and knit another identical sock.

Top down 1-at-a-time, 1 circular needle

There is a wide variety of methods used by the members of our knit group, from top down 2-at-a-time, to toe up one-at-a-time.  From one circular or two, to 4 or 5 double pointed needles.  Everyone seems to find the method they feel most comfortable with.

Whichever way you create your socks, we all love a good yarn to ensure the sock lasts.

These Regia and Sirdar yarns are ideal, and for the more luxurious pair how about Rowan Fine Art.  Although you could use any 4ply yarn for socks, yarns with a percentage of nylon gives strength to the yarn, particularly helpful in the heel and toe of your socks, where they get the most wear.

Regia Active sock yarn is particularly interesting. The First Sock yarn with temperature regulation!

The Regia Active 6-ply 50g ensures a new dimension of comfort during any kind of outdoor activity, no matter how rough it gets outside! This is made possible by the temperature regulation properties of Outlast®, this fibre is used with the tried and trusted Regia quality.  Outlast® fibre technology was originally developed for NASA to protect astronauts against the extreme temperature fluctuations in space. It’s been proven that wearing Outlast® components keeps your body temperature within a comfortable range. Whether in space or the great outdoors, your comfort is guaranteed!

Knowing which size to knit can be tricky but here is a handy website where you put in your size and it gives you all the maths! –  Regia Interactive Sock Guide





Debbie Bliss Angel inspiration!

If you’re looking for something a little bit special, why not try Debbie Bliss Angel?

Debbie Bliss Angel

A luxury mohair and silk lace-weight yarn, it’s prefect for autumnal knitting projects. Thanks to the beautiful blend of kid mohair and silk, it’s wonderfully soft and light, yet warm and comes in a wide range of shades so there’s a colour to suit everyone!

There is even a version of Angel with a little subtle sparkle, Party Angel perfect for evening wear!

We love this glamorous stole pattern which you can knit in either Angel or Party Angel. You can find the pattern here, and it also includes a pattern for a shrug (below), a perfect extra layer to cover your arms with a nice dress for the party season!

Party Angel leaflet

Happy Knitting!

Fun project inspiration for Sari Ribbon!

sent wrapping ideas from Louisa Harding Etcetera

We love Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon!  It’s an amazing sparkly ribbon yarn, which can be used for garments (2 skeins for a little shrug), accessories, or for some really lovely and unusual trimmings making it a very versatile yarn.

Sari Ribbon close up

With 120 metres in a 100g skein, even if you just use it as a pretty ribbon for tying around presents, it’s a bargain, working out at just over 8p per metre at full price or just over 5p per metre if you use your HEATWAVE discount code to get 35% off!

Sari Ribbon Bag

If you fancy making a cute accessory instead, how about this lovely free Easy-Peasy bag pattern which you can find on Knitting Fever’s website here?  It only takes one 100g skein!

Louisa Harding’s Etcetera book has a range of patterns for Sari Ribbon, Mila, Jesse, Mulberry, Grace Hand dyed and Mulberry Hand beaded.

Sari Ribbon CardiIf you fancy making a garment, how about this pretty little cardi? It takes 2 – 3 skeins of Sari Ribbon, just add an extra skein if you want to make the version with elbow length sleeves.  Sari Ribbon CushionOr how about this lovely lace cushion cover?  Just 3 skeins will make a really eye catching addition to your sofa that knits up quickly on 7mm needles.

If you’re looking for another creative idea for Sari Ribbon, how about making little yarn eggs?  Anne has been busy making these cute little packages which are perfect for filling with chocolate as little gifts!

Yarn eggs

To make these, get some little balloons (those sold for making water bombs are perfect), soak the ribbon in glue and wrap it randomly around the inflated balloons, leaving a few little gaps (so you can fill them later) and leave them to dry.  Then pop the ballons, remove them from inside the yarn eggs and fill them with whatever takes your fancy.  Great fun!

Happy Knitting!

Get set for autumn with chunky yarns at Stash!

As the end of summer grows ever closer, we find ourselves planning our knitting ready for the cooler months, so with that in mind, we’ve been picking out some of our favorite quick and cozy projects in chunky yarns!

Rowan Alpaca Chunky

We love the soft and squishy warmth of Rowan Alpaca Chunky and this cute hat from Rowan Big Accessories knits up quickly and takes just one ball!

Alpaca Chunky Hat from Big Accessories

Rowan Tumble is another soft and warm yarn made with alpaca, this time spun up into a yarn with a slight halo.

Rowan Tumble

We love this cozy waistcoat from the Tumble book, perfect for throwing on over some jeans and a t-shirt when the weather cools down.

Slide in Rowan Tumble

Yarn Required: 4 (4: 4: 5: 6) balls of Rowan Tumble for sizes 32-34 (36-38: 40-42: 44-46: 48-50) inch bust

It only takes four to six balls, so you should have a finished garment nice and quickly!

Don’t forget that you can still get 35% off everything using the code HEATWAVE on our website!

Last but not least, a quick reminder about our new opening hours on Saturdays:

From September we will be opening on the first and third Saturdays of the month only.

So we will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 5th September and Saturday 19th September.

When there is a fifth Saturday we will be open then too.

Happy Knitting!

What are we knitting? Part 4

Next to tell us about her project is Donna, who is knitting with some yarn that she dyed herself!  Over to you, Donna:

I’m knitting a cardigan using Sirdar pattern 7187 from the Sirdar Wool Rich Aran book.  I’ve decided to substitute the original yarn for some Debbie Bliss Rialto DK which I’ve dyed myself using madder root (a natural dye) which has given it a semi-solid orangey red colour.  I’m knitting it using my 5mm Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable circular needles.

Donna's project

We had a sample garment of this pattern in the shop, which I would sometimes borrow when working in the shop in the cooler months and I fell in love with it and thought it would be the perfect match for the yarn I’d dyed myself.

I’m only a short way into the pattern.  I’ve knitted two pattern repeats on the back so far and I’m enjoying it very much.

Sirdar Wool Rich Aran compared to Debbie Bliss Railto DK

The recommended yarn (Sirdar Wool Rich Aran) is quite thin compared to some Aran weight yarns, so I felt that Rialto DK would work quite well as it is quite a plump and bouncy DK yarn (see how they compare in the picture above).

Stitch details

The pattern has a variety of stitches which would keep an intermediate knitter interested, however you do have to pay attention to keep your place in the pattern, so it’s not a project to take to knit group!  Despite the complexity of the pattern, I’m finding that it’s growing quite quickly because of the 5mm needles.

Progress so far....

I’m really looking forward to wearing the cardigan and think that the autumnal colours will really fit the coming seasons!

Thank you Donna!  It’s looking great!

Happy Knitting!

What are we knitting? Part 3

Next in our series of posts on what we’ve been knitting is Lottie, who’s knitting a shawl in Louisa Harding Amitola.  Tell us about your project Lottie….

I’m knitting with Louisa Harding Amitola shade #120/Winter Rose, using Stephen West’s Dotted Rays shawl pattern (available to download on Ravelry) on my favourite Addi Premium circular needles (the shawl isn’t knitted in the round, but as the rows get longer you need a circular needle to accommodate all the stitches comfortably, so I’m using a 100cm long needle).  I like to try out new constructions and techniques because for me part of the fun of knitting is that there is always something new to learn!

Dotted rays

The pattern is is really interesting construction with short rows creating wedges of garter stitch between the rows of eyelets, so I chose to knit it in Amitola as I thought a self striping yarn would create some really interesting effects and highlight the unusual construction.

Although the pattern calls for 4ply weight yarn, Amitola is quite thin for a DK weight yarn so although garter stitch would usually create a fairly dense fabric with DK weight yarn on 4mm needles, in this yarn it makes a lovely lightweight fabric which drapes nicely, perfect for a shawl.  With shawls, as long as you have plenty of yarn and are happy for your shawl to come out a bit bigger or smaller you can experiment with different yarn weights!  This pattern is perfect candidate for this as it is written so that you can cast off after any of the short row sections to make a larger or smaller shawl.

Dotted rays cast off

I’ve only made one alteration  to the pattern, I have a little less yarn than recommended so I’ve decided to work all but one short row wedge for the small size, so that I don’t run out of yarn.

I’ve actually just cast off the shawl, so I’ve only got to block it now as I’ve already sewn in all the ends!  I’m pretty excited to wear it when the weather cools off again!

Dotted rays 2

The thing I’ve enjoyed most about this project is the way the shifting colours of the yarn have worked with the short rows in the pattern.  I really love working with self striping yarns, I always want to knit just one more row to see which colour is coming next!  As the whole shawl is worked in garter stitch it leaves you to concentrate on the short row shaping, which is a surprisingly simple technique, so it’s actually quite relaxing to knit. A really fun project!

Great colours aren’t they?  Thanks of telling us about your project Lottie!

Happy Knitting! :)