Brioche Hat – officially published!

The Brioche Hat pattern is now professionally tech edited and I feel more confident about releasing it for sale!

I managed to rope in the ever willing(suffering) East London Knit Рaka Renee (a talented designer in her own right Рcheck out her new designs here Р and a fantastic photographer to boot) Рto help me get some shots of the hat on my actual head!

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Most of the photos were unusable…not due to the photographer, but my own seemingly unlimited store of goofy looks! It was a long day in the rain, wind and then sun but she finally managed to catch me not being self-conscious in a few shots!

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It feels pretty weird to be splashing photos of myself all over the internet after years of avoidance, but I am determined to suck it up…at least until I can find a willing model, that is! ūüėČ

I have 3 Aran yarns that give the gauge needed for this hat – BANFF Aran – BFL/Baby Alpaca, LOMOND Aran – Baby Alpaca/Merino/Bamboo, and WIMBLEDON Aran – SW Merino.

Just to contrast the two most similar, BANFF (left) and LOMOND (right), you can see how the BFL in the BANFF creates a higher shine and more compact stitches, while the LOMOND is fluffier due to the higher content of that soft Baby Alpaca :

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I currently have all of the the Aran blends on the shop at the moment and have released the last two skeins of red from my Boreal  jumper if anyone fancies a bright, happy version like my personal hat!

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Boreal recapped

Just realised I never managed a blog recap of this jumper before xmas, so here it is belately. In the end I actually did get my Boreal sweater done in time for the holidays, which surprised me a bit.

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I have to be honest, it isn’t perfect…there are a few areas of colourwork that are a bit lumpier than I would have hoped for but as the problematic upper sleeves loosened up after the first wear I can’t really complain. For my first full size fair isle attempt – and one with some really long floats, I think I’ve done alright.

I am particularly pleased with the colour combo as I managed to get just the right tones of red and grey in the BANFF Aran to have the colours zing off each other a bit!

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I spent ages trying to take good selfies one afternoon and this one came out in the mix, which I really love, so including it as well:

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I love how the red looks rather Rorschach blot-ish!

Brioche Hat – new colours!

I’ve added some new colours for the Brioche Hat kit on the shop this weekend:

Just a heads up that there is only one set of the variegated grey and teal!

The variations listing seems to be a bit dodgy so please just message me with your colour choice after paying.

And don’t forget the 20% off until next Thurday!

Boreal

So Close with the xmas jumper now! I’ve joined the yoke and am in the last stretch of the chart. Very excited but having to keep things a bit slower as the weight of the garment is wreaking havoc with the wrists. I’d truly forgotten how hard working with thicker weights can be on the hands after all my fingering projects.

This being my first Fair Isle jumper I should have probably picked a beginner’s project instead of something that is clearly suggested for experienced colourwork knitters with its long floats!¬†As predicted by looking at the other project pages, I did have some issues with the colourwork on the sleeves and have had to re-do the top bits 4 times, each time trying a new technique to get the gauge closer to the required. On the last go I ended up knitting on DPNs to help keep my tension more even in the small diameter and also went up to the largest size chart on the arms to get more bingo wing room. ;-D

Below is the last attempt on the left and the previous (fail) on the right:

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You can see the area I was most irritated by more clearly in the detail shots below. Notice how much the sleeve dips in from a straight line at the sides of the photo? It is a little less on the newer sleeve (bottom) now and the long red floats  are showing through  less on the bit right above the purple stitch marker.

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All in all, though, I do feel this has been a good project for me as I have learned a lot about colourwork knitting and now feel much more confident in tackling future projects!

Hoping to get the whole thing finished this weekend, and praying it is going to fit comfortably in the arms with this last attempt. This is going to be one big, warmer than warm sweater!

I will be adding some more Aran weight yarns to the shop in the next week, so keep an eye out for new listings on Twitter and the RSS feed for the shop.

 

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Thanks to all of you for your help with my xmas jumper! I redid the arms a third time with longer floats which seems to have helped. They are still a bit wobbly, but much better. (apologies for the grainy phone-photo!)

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It is rolling along nicely in this thick Aran weight and I am well into the colourwork on the body now, which is looking a lot less wibbly. I may have to go back and redo the colour portion on the arms a 4th time, but think it will be wearable when the cold finally hits!

What a relief!

Shop update with new colourways!

I managed to squeeze in quite a few photos this weekend and am posting a number of the yarns for Friday on the shop…just for the week until the morning of Dec 6th, and then they are off to PARTY! So if you see anything you like, grab them before they go…

I’ve dyed a number of new colourways in the glorious Westminster baby camel/silk:
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I’ve also dyed a gazillion little Twist superwash BFL mini skeins and took a quick photo of a handful for the shop:

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I am trying a new method of listing – variations – and am hoping it goes smoothly as it doesn’t let you give an indication of how much in each colour is available! ¬†Fingers crossed.

I also decided to try this method for the hat kit and have listed the colours I posted previously this way as well to make it easier for people to order until Friday.

LASTLY …there are also more Islington and Kensington greys going up and a few surprise colours! Phew.

Shop update is today Sunday December 1st at 5pm GMT –¬†check your local time.

Warm things on the way…

I have been working hard to get a quick knit kit together for our next KAL Рa super simple, and QUICK, Brioche Hat!! Shown with pom or without below, the pattern is unisex and can be made as a beanie or slouch hat for those last people on your xmas list. Note: This pattern is free for a limited time with any purchase of Kettle Yarn Co. Aran yarn!

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The pattern is nearly ready for release and I hope to have some ready to hand out with yarn purchases at the Pompom party on Dec 6th!¬†¬†It is a really quick knit and should knit up in a few hours…the prototype in size medium took 2 nights and this is while working out kinks, so should be much faster for you!

The kits will include a mini skein of fingering for the pompom in a contrasting colour and one of 3 Kettle Yarn Co Aran yarns – or you can just go for the solo skein for the non-pom option:

Lomond Aran Рa buttery soft fluffy blend with  a gorgeous halo (pictured in the prototype photos on this page)
60% Baby Alpaca
30% Merino
10% Bamboo

Banff Aran Рa slightly more wooly/sturdy blend, which still has a bit of downy Alpaca halo
55% British Bluefaced Leicester/ 45% Baby Alpaca

Or for those of you needing superwash hats:

Wimbledon Aran – a smoother, more compact blend of soft warmth
100% Superwash Merino

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I’ve started a Brioche Hat KAL thread on the Kettle Ravelry group page, so if you are interested in taking part and want your yarn asap for gift knitting, leave a message and we’ll get you sorted out with a kit!

Barely fair isle?

I finally sucked back my trepidation and started the xmas jumper the other day but am having some serious doubts as to whether I should continue!

Maybe some of the more experienced Fair Isle knitters among you could weigh in? This is the current wobbly state of my stranding technique (worked inside out!):

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Which I was thinking wasn’t TOO bad, as I assumed it would block out, but then to be sure I tried blocking one sleeve (was working 2 at a time which probably wasn’t doing me any favours!). This is what I am still left with on the worst, if inner part of the arm sleeve:

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What do you think? Will this even out eventually, or should I just throw in the towel? Maybe I am just not advanced enough for this and should switch these bits to a colour pattern with less long floats like a simple double lice stitch or something?

Help! Am despairing. :-{

Should I continue on, or frog?

Quick warmth

A few more quick, warm knits to stave off the chill!

The fun and very free Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia would look fantastic in a mere two skeins of BFL/Alpaca

…or one skein of this nutty BFL DK ¬† is the perfect hue for a cute little cabled, unisex beanie like¬†Knotted Pine¬†by¬†Alicia Plummer

…and last but definitely not least to cheer up dreary winter days,¬†Aureus¬†by¬†Michele Wang¬†from the beautiful winter¬†Pom Pom Quarterly, would look stunning in Waltham DK in Havant yellow:

So many gorgeous patterns, so little time!

One sheepish post!

I’ve another guest spot …this time over on Meredith’s lovely blog – one sheepish girl!

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She sent a call out for some help blogging as she is writing an amazing craft book, which I am so excited to see!

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 Head over to the post to see what I keep in my yarn bag!