August 02, 2016 by Sarah

Knitting with handspun yarn has to be one of the most lovely knitting experiences. I really treasure my small stash of handspun and so have been gazing with awe at all the handspun yarn created last month by knitters taking part in the Tour de Fleece. I need to join in next year! With all that spinning in mind, I had a look at some beautiful projects created with handspun yarn.

Shawls are such a perfect project for handspun, keeping that yarn round your neck right where you can see and admire it! This is Sarah V. Miller's lovely Isbhel.

This charming Elijah was made by Sarinahl. He looks wonderful in the variations of her handspun and I love the little tusks! There are more details on her project page here.

A handspun sweater is such a wonderful thing! This amazing Strokkur was made by Cheryl Burke (the designer of Dutchess from The Rhinebeck Sweater), with fibre from sheep named Elle, Shirlee and Leroy.

Scroll Lace Scarf is another great choice for handspun yarn, and this version by frkstrik is just lovely!

And finally, a stunning handspun Gretel. Wonderful too to see the fibre, and then yarn that the finished hat started life as - this one was made by knit1spin1.

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July 06, 2016 by Ysolda Teague

The most challenging part of Polwarth is the brioche triangle detail at the front neck. Because the sweater is worked top down seamlessly the detail is worked at the same time as short rows to shape the neck and raglan increases. If you're an experienced briocher you shouldn't encounter any problems diving straight in, but if not I strongly recommend swatching the triangle detail by itself before beginning. Brioche stitches aren't hard to do but they're a bit of a nightmare to describe in words so here's a visual tutorial for exactly how to convert the pattern directions to a swatch of the detail and how to work the individual stitches. My apologies to anyone who has been waiting for this since the pattern was released — life very much got in the way (that's the excuse for the sorry state of my nails too, we took these photos while I was in the midst of a lot of diy). 

Working with a circular needle or two double pointed needles cast on 24 stitches. If you want to practice work a tubular cast on and follow the directions in the pattern for the first row. A tutorial for the long tail tubular cast on can be found here, but only the initial cast on should be worked without the following set up rows. 

From now on the swatch will be worked entirely from the right side using the method shown in my Swift Swatching in the Round tutorial. Without turning slide the stitches just worked to the other end of the needle and carry the yarn behind. 

Follow the directions in the pattern to set up your brioche stitch. 

Work enough brioche stitch that you can see the pattern clearly, ending with rnd 4 (so on the final row the knit stitches are slipped):

Place markers for the triangle stitches.

Work the first 3 stitches: brk1, k1, brk1, pm,

Work the triangle stitches according to the "placing markers for yoke shaping" round: p1, (brk1, yfsl1yo) 8 times, brk1, p1. 

You should have 4 stitches remaining. Place a 2nd marker and knit these 4 stitches (brk1 for the ones with yarn overs). 

Beginning with row 1 continue to follow the pattern for the triangle between the markers and knit the stitches outside of the markers. The stitches used to shape the edges of the triangle are illustrated. 

Brssk (when the stitches are a knit with a yarn over followed by a purl):

Brk2tog (when a purl stitch is followed by a knit with a yarn over):

Knit both stitches and any of their yarn overs together:

Sl2yof:

Brssk (when the stitches are both knit stitches sharing a yarn over):

Slip the first stitch by inserting the right needle tip into the stitch as if to knit. Slide the stitch, but not the yarn over off the left needle and bring the right needle to the front under the yarn over. 

Brk2tog (when the stitches are both knit stitches sharing a yarn over):

 

Brsk2p:

The process for slipping the stitch in more detail:

Then knit the following 2 stitches and the yarn over together: 

Increasing into the centre stitch on row 29:

Cables without a cable needle. BrkC2B:

BrkC2F:

The completed triangle swatch:

polwarth, brioche

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June 28, 2016 by Ysolda Teague

If you've been following me for a while you might know that every year I do a birthday sale — for the last few it's been a percentage discount based on my age. After last year we were joking that I'd be 30 forever, at least for that discount. This year though we're mixing things up a little more. 

I know we're not alone in feeling deeply rocked by the events of the last few weeks. Honestly, it's tough to feel like knitting patterns are very important, but I know how much our therapeutic craft, and more importantly our caring, outward looking community means to so many. And so this year on my birthday there will still be a discount for you but we'll also be donating an equivalent amount to two organisations doing work that is very close to my heart: Stonewall UK and the British Red Cross Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal. 

The sale will run while it is July first around the world — noon on Thursday in the UK until noon on Saturday. For the first time we'll be including both individual patterns and books ordered on this site or my Ravelry store. If you're in Europe your books will be shipped from the UK and if you're elsewhere they'll be shipped from the US. 

Use the code 'sharethelove' to receive 33% off your order. We'll take care of splitting 34% of the total price equally between these two organisations. And maybe we can all feel a little bit like we're participating in a desperately needed group hug. 

 

 

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June 28, 2016 by Sarah

Knitting is such a great hobby for holidays - perfectly portable and relaxing (hopefully!) I know many knitters spend longer planning the holiday knitting than packing their suitcase. My holiday knitting tip is to make a small start on all your projects, in case you haven't already. It's not pleasant to sit down to work on something only to find that you don't like the fabric, the pattern, or you have the wrong needle etc. And always pack an extra skein of sock yarn, you know, for emergencies...! Here are a few projects that were all worked on during a holiday to give you some inspiration.

A stunning Hap Blanket, knit in just six days by bagheraa for a friend's baby. Beautiful! There are more of her knits, and her lovely cat on instagram.

Liesl's a great one for knitting on a trip, and even better if you manage to finish it and wear it home! This lovely sweater was knit by violetmagpieknits, who you can also find on instagram here.

Mitts are good option for holiday knitting too, and Veyla have a little lace for when you can focus, and stocking stitch for when you can't. This gorgeous purple pair were knit by Tracy Vincent.

Shawls must be one of the most common holiday projects (I think I've knit Damson myself on two different trips...). This Damson was knit by Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt during a week-long stay in Paris, lucky lady!

I love the colour of this Ishbel that theknittingsquid knit on her trip, so cheery and dramatic!

And finally, another Damson. Treehouse-Nisse says that she bought the yarn and pattern during a trip to Dublin and cast on in the park by Saint Patrick's Cathedral. It sounds lovely! 

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June 21, 2016 by Sarah

Team Ysolda recently welcomed a new member - say hello to Nuala! For this week's Beautiful Projects post it was her pick, and she went for Cria. It's a sweater she's had the yarn ready for since trying on the original sample at Edinburgh Yarn Festival three years ago, and there are plans to cast on soon. Here are a few of my favourites that are making me want to add it to my own queue too...

I just love this version by Amber from Fancy Tiger Crafts, so stylish! You can read more about her sweater on the Fancy Tiger blog. (Photo copyright: Fancy Tiger Crafts)

The contrasting buttons on this Cria by FrlRolle work so perfectly, grey and yellow is such a great combination. There's more on her sweater on her blog here.

The body of Cria is a great canvas for experimenting with different stitch patterns and textures, like in this lovely example by Freddy.

Another perfect combination of colours with the contrasting buttons in Catbus's Cria, and a perfect fit too. 

I can't stop admiring the great colour of this Cria by whitehart, and another lovely fit.

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June 14, 2016 by Sarah

Project pictures with pets are one of my most favourite things ever. My own pets though aren't that cooperative when the camera comes out, so I love it when others manage it. So for today, here are some very photogenic pets, and some gorgeous knitting too.

It was ChristalLittleK who inspired this post - along with other Follow Your Arrow knitters I loved seeing her progress photos, all with her gorgeous little bunny!

A great Vivian that looks as if it if would work with any outfit, knit by ContinentalCat. The sweet cat model looks as if they agree, or maybe they just want to claim that sweater as their own...

Awww! Tooti's cat Elling looks as if they approve of her goreous Ishbel.

Salinaknits made a gorgeous Cria, and her cat Mr Boys looks proud of it too!

Another beautiful Follow Your Arrow mystery shawl, knit this time by keyinherpocket. Her pup Emi is her favourite model.

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Say hello to Nellie! Here she is modelling owner maggieblueberry's BFF cowl. (She has the same expression my own dog gives when wearing knitwear, I think they'd be well suited as best friends...)

Such a great kitty expression, BlossomingKnits cat Mimi certainly seems to like her knitted Stuffy!

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