Tag Archives: yarn

Georgeous Plum Yarn and a New Indie Dyer

I recently discovered Mellifera Yarns. I ordered Tuesday and this lovely package arrived Wednesday with faultless customer service from Mel.

New Yarn!

The yarn is a merino blend (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon, 420m/460 yards) and I’ve decided its going to become a pair of socks but I’m still playing around with design ideas, twisted stitches? Mini cables? Slipped stitches? I can’t wait to get swatching and try them out!


Graceful Chartwell

I finished this a while ago but only got around to blocking it this last weekend. It didn’t need a lot of blocking but it has sorted out the edges, opened it up a bit and it now drapes lovely rather than laying like a fluffy cloud.


I have a lovely monochrome flower print dress that I think it’ll look fantastic with. I’m thinking it’ll work both as a wrap for fancy evenings out or as a scarf for a bit of luxury during the day.


The yarn is Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the colour Ghost which I was lucky enough to find with 10% off. I love Kid Silk Haze, it has great colours and is so soft with such a lovely sheen. In my opinion, there’s no other yarn that can match it*. The only downside is that it sheds a lot. I could probably have spun some mohair yarn with the amount that came out of my project bag at the end!


Chartwell is a pretty straightforward pattern. It starts from the long end with a daunting 263st to cast on. But it gets better from there with decreases every other row although it takes a while before it actually feels like its going faster! I did have just one gripe with the pattern, it has one of the smallest charts I’ve ever seen! It’s not an incredibly complex or intricate pattern so it didn’t need every stitch for the first 66 rows to be printed out, a box marking the pattern repeat would have sufficed.

Overall, I enjoyed knitting it but I’ll enjoy wearing it even more!


*Debbie Bliss has recently bought out Angel, a yarn with very similar fibre content. I’ve squidged it in a shop but I haven’t tried it as I’m not so keen on the colours.

A Swift Arrival

I had a lovely little parcel waiting for me when I got home today:

Yarn Swift/Winder

It’s a vintage Swift/Yarn Winder. I’ve been wanting one for a while, not because I really need one, but simply because they’re pretty and make things easier. I’ve been looking at the vintage ones on ebay because I’ve noticed they’re often prettier and sometimes even cheaper than brand new ones. I spotted this one last week and loved it.

Close up

I’ve never seen a swift quite like it! The arms are plastic (possibly bakelite) and I won’t need to worry about finding a surface to clamp this one to as the metal post is set on a cast iron foot which will ensure it doesn’t tip over!

Arial Shot

It was also a bargain at just £15 (+ £10 postage). :) I was surprised how small it was when I opened the box, it’s only ~9″ tall and ~6″ across so it won’t take up much space on my shelf when not in use (which may be never!). I’ve pictured it with a mini skein of sock yarn as that’s what was closest when the camera was out, but it holds 100g just fine too.

The auction only ended on Sunday, I’m so glad the seller was super quick at dispatching! :)


Frugal(ish) Shopping Trip

I only intended to buy a magazine and some stiffener today. I didn’t go overboard but a closing down sale and a bargain bin meant I got a little bit more and best of all it came to just under £15. :)

Frugal(ish) Shopping Trip

I have lots of interesting projects planned with these. From the left:

  • Stiffener for a bag I’m going to try to make at the weekend.

  • Sunflower yellow dye for some sock yarn. (I wanted white yarn but what I unknowingly ordered was un-dyed off-white, rather than return it I decided it would be sacrificed to my first attempts at dying).

  • Ribbon for finishing off my Ambrosia cardigan.

  • Sparkly black thread! I probably would have bought it anyway as I love anything black and sparkly but I do actually have a project planned based on some artwork I saw at The Forum last week. I’ll tell you about it when it becomes less awesome idea and more awesome reality.

  • Teeeeeny tiny hook for placing beads in knitting.

  • Homestyle sewing magazine, lots of interesting projects inside and came with the materials to make a red spotty bag. I don’t think I’ll be doing the one printed inside, but I like the generous 50x100cm of material to play with.
  • That lot should keep me busy for a little while… :)

    Brighton Spoils

    Last week I was in Brighton for the weekend and of course I couldn’t resist popping into a yarn shop. I visited Purl, a small shop brimming with yarn, a good selection of books and (when I was there) a lot of excitable children! They were just finishing up a crafting session and it was clear the kids had thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I walked away with these goodies:

    Yarn and Book from Purl Brighton

    The yarn (Austermann Alpaca Silk) is a gorgeous deep purple colour. It’s very soft with a lovely sheen, just what you’d expect from an 80% alpaca and 20% silk blend. It’s probably a good job they only had two purple left, otherwise I might have bought even more. I’m thinking it will make a good a cowl/neckwarmer…

    The book is Make Do and Mend, a collection of official second world war instruction leaflets. Some of the advice is still relevent today, especially the advice on cutting down waste and recycling more. I find it interesting how the war affected almost every aspect of daily life in one way or another and I like the character of Mrs. Sew and Sew who (unsurprisingly) gives sewing and knitting advice and tells you to “Never send a hole to the wash!” or “Smarten up your men!”

    There’s some tips I’ll try, like switching the sleeves on a jumper so they wear evenly and last longer but I don’t think I’ll be following the advice of reinforcing my knickers! It’s perfect for the coffee table and you can easily read a leaflet (or two) whenever you have a few spare minutes.

    Chocolate and Vanilla Socks

    I’m going to Brighton for the weekend, partly to support my brother who is doing the half marathon and partly to see one of my housemates from uni and I want some don’t-have-to-look-at-a-pattern-or-count-my-rows knitting so this:

    Chocolate Box

    is going to become vanilla socks. :)

    The yarn is Take Five sock yarn (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon) in the colourway Chocolate Box. I’m going to do stockinette stripes with chocolate toes, heels and cuffs. Yum!

    I’ve also mastered managed magic loop knitting this week! My previous attempts were hindered by an unflexible and short cable. I ordered some KnitPro needles and they have a wonderfully flexible cable (I also love that it’s pink!) and I’m now confidently knitting magic loop. So confident in fact that I might even try to do my vanilla socks 2 at a time on one circular…

    Gothic Anastasia Delight

    4ply Gothic Delight 80/20 is a combination of 20g of black yarn and 80g of violet streaked with black. I had no pattern in mind when I bought a skein but that was fine because 100g is plenty for a pair of socks. However, as I sat fondling admiring the yarn I realised that I didn’t want to make a regular pair of socks, I wanted to knit knee-high socks.

    So one skein wouldn’t be enough. And it was sold out. And different hand-dye lots are never the same.


    So I bought another two skeins when it came back in stock. You can’t have too much of a good thing, right?

    Gothic Delight

    And look! I photographed purple yarn and it actually looks purple!

    Since then I’ve been having fun trying to decide what exactly to do. I did some stockinette knee-highs last year and I’ve also started Rhiannon, a cabled knee-high. The stockinette pair shows off colours while the Rhiannon pair are very much about showing off the pattern. In this case I want to show off the colours more than a pattern but I don’t want the socks to be entirely plain.

    I thought about having a small detail, a cable twisting up the back of the leg, or a zigzag or small lace panel. Then I remembered Anastasia. Anastasia is pattern with a simple lace stitch that spirals around the sock and is very adaptable to changing sizes. I can easily do wide repeats for the calf and narrower repeats for the foot. There’s a fair bit of stockinette so they’ll knit up quickly and show off the colour nicely.

    Anastasia was also the first sock pattern I ever attempted, and unfortunately it really didn’t go so well. I used the wrong size needle for the yarn, I didn’t realise the sole of the sock should be stockinette and I didn’t notice the cream flecked stripes in the yarn before I started (I didn’t like them). Eventually I frogged, changed needles and knitted them up for my mum instead. Although it didn’t go well, it was great in some respects because I learned so much from them.

    However, now that I’m at the swatching and planning stage I’m not entirely sure I will be knitting an Anastasia sock. The pattern is for toe up but I want to knit cuff down, it has a wrap and turn heel and I’m going to do either a heel flap or an afterthought heel, I’ll have to include decreases down the calf and I want to do a different cuff. So in construction terms it’ll be virtually unrecognisable when compared to the pattern but the finished sock will still look almost the same. I’m not sure whether to link to the pattern on Ravelry or just acknowledging where my inspiration came from.

    Either way, I won’t be casting on immediately no matter how much I want to. In an attempt to get some WIP’s out the way I’m not letting myself cast on until I finish the second of my Popped sock. I only have the foot to go, I really really want to cast on for these socks! :)

    Sock Innovation Revelation

    Last week I visited my local library to pick up some books on teaching (I’m looking into teacher training) but of course I couldn’t resist looking in the knitting section as well. To my surprise, I found Cookie A’s Sock Innovation, which I quickly grabbed off the shelf.

    I was expecting it to be good.

    However, after reading just a couple of sections I’ve realised it’s not good at all, nope, it’s really, really good. The first section on sock construction and designing is fantastic. There is so much information and inspiration here. Right at the start Cookie A writes “I hope this book will enable knitters to take more control of their knitting.” and I think the first part of the book achieves exactly that.

    Two patterns have jumped out at me as MUST KNIT. Firstly, Kai-Mei. I love how the pretty stitch pattern loops around from the side of the heel and when I read that the pattern’s namesake was also a physicist like me, well how could I resist? I haven’t got a suitable yarn at the moment though, so this one is going to have to wait in my queue.

    The second pattern I really want to knit is Rick. A very neat and bold pattern which I think calls for a bright and bold yarn. Happily, I already have a yarn that fits that description and I’m sure it will be perfect for this:

    4ply, BFL, semi solid orange

    I also got this yarn last week:

    4ply, BFL, Semi solid blue

    It’s such a gorgeous colour and will also solve the problem of no blue socks in my drawer. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet (other than make socks!) but I’m thinking after reading through Cookie A’s section on sock designing I’ll be more than inspired to find something to do with the yarn. :)

    Colour Combinations

    HWB yarn

    These pretty yarns are going to be my palette for my hot water bottle cover. They’re Rowan Pure Wool DK with a Classic Yarns Cashsoft Baby DK perched on the top. I can’t wait to get started!

    The only thing stopping me is my WIP’s. I don’t know the exact number of my unfinished projects on the needles; I stopped counting at 8. Although I refuse to feel guilty about casting on even when I have many projects already on the go, I do love the satisfaction of finishing a project and being able to use it. I finished a sock last week (I’m about to turn the heel of the second too!) and I’ve almost finished my Ribby Baktus Scarf (Ravelry link), so surely that counts as finishing enough projects to cast on for a new one? Swatching doesn’t count as starting a project, does it?

    No, I didn’t think so either. ;)