Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury Sock

We’ve been working with Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury Sock which comes in a large, and exciting array of colors. It comes in 100g balls, and is 75% Super-wash Wool, and 25% Nylon.  The yarn we’ve chosen to work with is 04 Ultra, which is a gradient of different greens, ranging from quite dark to a lovely spring, leafy green.

IMAG1605

It was a slow start because I cast on the wrong number of stitches! I cast on stitches for knitting a thicker pair of socks, and was happily knitting along shaping the toe when I realized my mistake. So I had to rip out and start again. I like toe-up socks because it’s easy to try them on while knitting, and I can work an Afterthought Heel, of which there are many, but one of the simplest is shaped like the toe. Thus, they are a good portable project, or an easy project to work on while at knitting group, or watching television, as the heel is left until last.

I like to knit socks on two circular needles, and I am using size 2.5mm needles for these. Double-pointed needles or Magic Loop work equally as well, if you prefer either of these methods.  I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, which is so quick and easy, and makes a beautiful, seamless toe. I usually knit with metal needles, but it’s often a good idea to cast on small numbers of stitches with wooden or bamboo needles, as those materials are less slippy than metal, and the stitches are more likely to stay on smaller diameter needles. I cast on with wooden needles, work the first and trickiest rounds with them, and then switch to my favourite metal needles. I’m shaping the toe with Make 1 increases, but a simple knit in the front and back of the same stitch could be used.

I have small feet, so I cast on 20 stitches, 10 on each needle. I then knit one round, and then began to shape the toe, thus:

Round 1  (Increase Round ):

First Needle:       K1, M1L, knit to last st, M1R, k1

Second needle:                K1, M1L, knit to last st, M1R, k1

Round 2:              Knit all the stitches on both needles.

I’m going to repeat these two rounds until I have 56 or 60 sts. I will try on to see what number of stitches fits best. After that, it’s plain sailing with stocking stitch until the foot measures 2 inches     (5cm ) less than the length of my foot.

Here is the toe in progress. The socks will probably be a project that I take my time over, knitting a few rounds when I want some simple knitting to do. I will post progress in future blogs.  I’m hoping that I will be able to do a tutorial on Judy’s Magic Cast On in the future.

Wendy D. Johnson has written two great books on toe-up socks: Socks from the Toe Up and Toe-Up Socks for Every Body. These books look at all the techniques required for toe-up socks, and should be available in libraries, if you don’t want to buy a copy. Wendy covers different cast-ons, types of toes, heels, and stretchy cast-offs. Most good, general sock knitting books also cover Toe-Up socks.

Please contact me if you have any knitting queries, or specific questions about this post.

In the meantime, knit on!

Lesley

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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! 🙂

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! 🙂