Poncho fit for a princess!

I haven’t been able to knit much over the last couple of weeks as I have been away at my daughter’s. Before I went, though, I managed to finish a poncho for my two granddaughters, or ‘Princess Cape’ as the four year-old calls it.

I loved making the poncho. It was custom designed for both girls, and they had their own input. It shouldn’t be too close fitting around the neck, as neither girl likes that; it must have stripes; it shouldn’t use ‘scratchy’ yarn; and it should be quite long. Robyn, the younger girl, wanted it to reach the floor, but I managed to talk her out of that.  Armed with these instructions, and considerations, I did my best. I used an Aran or worsted weight yarn for the main color, and Noro Silk Garden self-striping yarn for the contrast garter stitch stripes, collar, and border. Suitable yarns for the main would be Debbie Bliss BFL Aran; Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran; Rowan Wool Worsted: Sublime Aran; Juniper Moon Aran.

I decided to work the poncho from the top down. I enjoy working in this manner, and it’s easy to try the garment on while in progress ( or it would be, if the intended recipients didn’t live 250 miles away. ) I started with the collar, in Noro Silk Garden, and in garter stitch, and then joined the work into the round when the collar was long enough. The body of the poncho was then worked as if I was knitting a raglan sweater, working eight increases on every alternate round. When the ‘sleeve’ section was long enough, I ceased increasing in these sections, and just continued with four increases in the Body sections every alternate round. I then continued in this manner until the poncho was the desired length, minus the border. I decided to work some short rows on the Back and Front borders to give some extra detail, but it could equally well be worked as simple garter stitch. I used a stretchy cast-off, in this case, the Russian Cast-Off, to create a nice edge.

Yarn requirements
Child (10year old) size:
4 x 50g balls Noro Hanabatake
250g Aran weight yarn, so effectively 3 x 100g balls/skeins
Adult size:
5 x 50g Noro Hanabatake
300g Aran yarn
Tension: 18sts and 25 rows to 10cm/4ins. 

Pattern will be available soon.

 

As ever, knit on!
Lesley

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! 🙂

What are we knitting? Part 2

Continuing our series of posts about what we’ve been knitting, this time it’s Les’ turn to share her project!  

So Les, what have you been knitting?  

I’m knitting a jumper with cabled sleeves for my Mum from the Sirdar Giselle pattern 9892 using Louisa Harding Mila.  I decided to substitute Louisa Harding Mila because it was more to my Mum’s taste than the Giselle yarn.  She prefers a solid coloured yarn to a self striping yarn like Giselle, but Mila still has a bit of sparkle to keep it interesting!

Giselle pattern 9892

Even though Mila is an Aran weight yarn, because it has a chainette construction it knits up into a nice, soft, lightweight fabric and goes quite a long way.  It gives brilliant stitch definition over the cable pattern too, I think that being a solid colour it shows the pattern better than the recommended yarn.

It’s such a shame that Louisa Harding Mila is discontinued, (we do still have quite a good selection of it in our sale section, but when it’s gone, it’s gone) as it knits up really nicely for a variety of uses.  Last year I made some fab Christmas decorations in the red (#11/Cracker) and white (#01/White) shades!

Les' Mila Jumper

I changed the pattern a bit, I’m knitting the body in the round to the armholes as I thought it would be neater without a seam.  I’ve had to make the sleeves shorter to fit my Mum, so because I’m knitting fewer rows I’ve worked increases every 8th row instead of every 10th row so I can fit them all in.

Les' Mila jumper

The yarn is nice to work with and it grows quite quickly so it’s quite relaxing to work on.  I’m enjoying the cabling most of all because it sits so nicely.  I’ve just got one more sleeve to do and once I’ve sewn them in that’s it!

Thanks for telling us about your project Les, it’s looking great!

Happy Knitting! 🙂

 

What are we knitting?

We love to see what you have been knitting, it’s always really exciting when a customer brings in a lovely project in progress or a beautiful finished object to show us.  So we thought it would be fun to share what we have been making with you!

First to share her project with us is Anne, who’s knitting a cardigan in Fyberspates Cumulus.  Over to you Anne…..

Fyberspates Cumulus is so light and airy that it really does remind me of clouds!  I was keen to knit a cardigan in it ever since I first had a ball to squish.

Finally I came across a pattern which I could use… ‘Wave’ from Kim Hargreaves’ Echoes book.  I know it’s not a pattern for Cumulus, but it’s working out superbly.

Wave by Kim Hargreaves

‘Wave’ is designed to be knitted using Rowan Kidsilk Haze doubled, which is near enough the same weight as a single strand of Cumulus and for this slouchy cardigan it is ideal!  So I am one happy knitter.

I’m making a few modifications to the pattern.  I’ve knitted the body in one piece as it gets rid of the seams; as the knitted fabric is be so light I didn’t want them showing.

The pattern uses a 4.5mm for the knit row and 8mm for the purl row to create the striped effect so I’m using Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable needles with one point of each size on a single cable so I’ve just got one long circular needle!

I used at three needle cast off on the shoulders so there was no sewing up.  I know some folk have trouble with finishing garments….

Anne's Wave cardigan in Fyberspates Cumulus

At the moment I have picked up the stitches for the front band and am trying to decide how wide to do it.  In the pattern there are only 10 rows, but I think I will make it wider so that I can wrap it round me.

Then it will be time to knit the sleeves!  I’m planning to pick up stitches round the armholes and knit down with short rows to create shaping for the sleeve caps instead of knitting the sleeves separately from the bottom up and seaming them.  I’ve never used this technique before so I’ll be looking for guidance from this informative blog post on DayanaKnits.

When it’s finished I’ll let you know!

Happy Knitting! 🙂

Echo Mittens

Every wondered what the the Stash staff get up to when they’re not working in our shop?

Well wonder no longer…..

Echo Mitts

Copyright Let’s Knit 2013 (used with kind permission)

Charlotte (or Lottie as you might know her) who works with us here at Stash, designs patterns when she’s not here in the shop and she’s got a pattern in the latest issue of Let’s Knit magazine, out today!

Her Echo Mitts are knitted in coordinating shades of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in shade #659/Ultra and Manos Del Uruguay Fino and feature a lacy edging and a faux placket adorned with cute little buttons.

Echo Mitts by Charlotte Walford

Copyright Let’s Knit 2013 (used with kind permission)

While we don’t stock Manos Del Uruguay Fino, Artesano Alpaca 4ply in shade #7609/Paraguay would be a perfect substitute and is an almost identical colour (but you could use any 4ply yarn instead).  Or you could try Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply and Debbie Bliss AngelParty Angel or Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse for a more glamourous look!  The mittens use less than half a ball of each so you could make two pairs from a ball of each yarn.

If you’re curious as to what goes into a design like this, Charlotte has written about the design process behind the mittens on her blog here.

Have a good weekend and Happy Knitting!

Craft Hobby + Stitch International 2013

Last month Steve and Helen (the Boss’s!) managed to grab a nice day out to the Craft Hobby + Stitch International show at The NEC, Birmingham.

Craft Hobby + Stitch International is Europe’s largest dedicated trade show for the art, craft, needlecraft, fabric, and hobby industries. So, of course this involved a day of browsing, stroking and caressing lots of lovely new and existing yarny products. I’m sure you all feel just as jealous as the rest of us that didn’t manage to get down there for the weekend. Thinking of us here, Steve and Helen took a few photographs to show to us, surely not to brag? but for work purposes only haha. Here they are …

photo (2)            photo

         Helen Browsing the DY stand.                                 Jeni & Andy – Fyberspates.

photo (3)

                                           More of the Designer Yarns Stand.