New Yarn!

Robin1780Earlier this month I blogged about some vintage patterns I’d found. I’m really keen on making the Robin jumper, so even though I already have two projects on the go I’ve started looking for yarn (one of the projects is almost finished so I think this is actually OK!!).

I want to knit the jumper in a cotton yarn and was thinking about a cotton blend. I know pastels are all the trend this season, but they’re not really for me so I’ve been thinking about doing it in off-white instead.

I was hunting around the Internet looking for potentials when I spotted this new cotton and silk blend yarn from Sublime. A lot of the jumpers I fall in love with, but can’t afford are blended with silk or cashmere, so I was quite excited to find this yarn! At £5 for 50g it was more expensive than I was hoping to pay, but EXACTLY what I was looking for! Luckily for my bank balance I wasn’t too crazy about the colours so I didn’t have to pine too much!

Photo taken from Purple Linda Crafts http://www.purplelindacrafts.co.uk/wendy-supreme-luxury-cotton-silk-dk-1501-white-16565-p.asp
Photo taken from Purple Linda Crafts http://www.purplelindacrafts.co.uk/wendy-supreme-luxury-cotton-silk-dk-1501-white-16565-p.asp

I carried on searching, and I’m really glad I did, as I then found this Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton Silk DK. It has 10% less silk compared to the Sublime yarn, but it’s also cheaper, at £4.99 for a 100g ball! I also REALLY like the white. It’s not too white and not too yellow, perfect!

The Robin pattern is for a 4ply yarn, but I think it would take forever to knit a whole jumper in 4ply so I’ve decided to do it in DK instead. The pattern has tension at 30 stitches per 10cm and the Wendy yarn is 22 stitches per 10cm. I want the jumper to be a bit baggier than the picture in the pattern, so I’m going to knit the smaller size in the DK and this SHOULD produce the size that I want. I will also need to keep an eye on the length to make sure it doesn’t end up too long or too short!

When substituting yarn, the trickiest bit I find is deciding how much yarn to buy, especially when the yarn is discontinued. The yarn used in the pattern, Robin Tricel-Nylon Perle came in 25g balls (I had assumed they were 50g balls, which is why I was so worried about the cost!). The modern Robin 4ply comes in 100g balls which have 390m.  The pattern requires 14 x 25g balls, which equals 1365m if you use the modern version as a guide. The Wendy yarn comes in 201m balls, which, based on this calculation would mean I’d need 7 balls.

I’m always sceptical about my yarn conversion calculations, so I found this Wendy knitting pattern which is knit in a DK and is also a bit holey, and this uses 7 balls for the size I’d want, so I think I’ll order 8 for this project just in case!

Exciting! I really can’t wait to get going. I just hope I like it once it’s finished! I shall keep you updated! Let me know if you can see any glaring errors in my yarn substitution calculations!!

#KnittingandStitchingShow

Wooo! I was so excited for The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014. Not only because its awesome, but also because this year I was taking mum and was thoroughly looking forward to spending the time with her!

My experiences from last year had taught me to be prepared with a list, but I still felt completely daunted when we walked in the door and had to do some serious ma herding to get her to stick to the ‘up and down the aisles’ plan!

With a stop in the middle for lunch we were there for 6 hours and by the end I was seriously flagging. I loved that mum maintained her enthusiasm and energy throughout the whole day, spending time to speak with loads of the exhibitors, something which I mostly feel too self-conscious to do.

Mum’s favourite was the Baa Ram Ewe stand, which we made a second visit to so she could buy the Titus wool for her chosen hat from Coop Knits Toasty Volume 1.

One of my favourite stands was the Toft Alpaca stand. I have completely fallen in love with the crocheted animals in the book Edward’s Menagerie by the designer and founder of the TOFT Alpaca Shop, Kerry Lord. The book comprises of 40 crocheted soft toy patterns which were on display at the show. They are sooooo cute!! I love that the book teaches you how to create the patterns, which are split into three different levels of ability, and the book assumes that you have no crochet ability, which is perfect for me and my limited crochet skills. This will DEFINITELY be on my Christmas list!

My bargain of the day was the Woolie Bat knitting kit from Black Bat yarns. They specialise in British rare breed wool and the mittens were a barganous £5, I can’t wait to start them! This will unfortunately have to wait until I have finished J’s santa jumper for Christmas Jumper day, for which I’m using one of the Charity Knitting Patterns I blogged about previously. The Stylecraft yarn for this I also bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show and have dutifully started. Lets see if I get it finished!

Our collective haul from the day included denim fabric, earrings, several patterns, hand dyed embroidery thread and lovely knitting themed Christmas cards from the charity Knit For Peace. Marvellous!

We saw so many amazing things, its difficult to talk about them all! I love the knitting and stitching show for the atmosphere, the lovely people and also for the chance to be surrounded and introduced to so many lovely products!

I’m already looking forward to next year, and hopefully I’ve converted mum so she will come again too!

Knitted Jumper #1

Connemara Jumper

Last October I had my first taste of the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally in London and I loved it! So many amazing exhibitors and products, had it not been so busy I would have been tempted to run from stall to stall buying everything I could see in a complete woollen frenzy!! Thankfully for everyone else at the show, due to the amount of other craft lovers there running was simply not an option and so I was forced to calmly walk around the show and sensibly assess whether I wanted to buy things or not, where’s the fun in that!! My sole purchase from the day was some lovely Sidar Conemarra wool which I bought from the Black Sheep Wool bargain area.

Connemara Closeup
A mixture of acrylic and wool it has a lovely tweedy effect. I bought the Irish Rose shade which I really love as the pink running through the yarn makes it really feminine without being too girly!

I sourced out this lovely Sirdar Connemara Chunky Knitting Pattern 9308 for the jumper,Sirdar Connemara Chunky 9308 but didn’t fancy the cables running down the front so opted to ignore that part of the pattern and just knit a plain jumper. I also altered the neck slightly knitting a much thinner band as I wanted the neck to be a bit wider. As the yarn is chunky it knitted up really quickly and in what seemed like no time at all I had a jumper, hurrah!!

Connemara
Whilst I love my new jumper, this attempt at knitting a new garment has highlighted the need to take measurements whilst knitting. I assumed I would need the 36inch chest size, but actually from measurements taken after I’d stitched it all together, the 34inch size would have been more than adequate. I also knitted the sleeves a tad too long and I think the body could have been a bit longer. All in all though I’m really happy with my first attempt at a jumper and have already started my second!!

Gotta ‘Lova’ That Yarn

The Knitted Jumper and Co were at the 2013 Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally, London on Saturday and we loved it! All that yarn and fabric in the same place, amazing! It also gave us chance to get hands on with some of our favourite yarns, such as Drops and Rowan, and also to find some new ones, such as Schachenmayr Lova. This chunky, acrylic/wool blend yarn is bang on trend with its neon spots and I can’t wait to get it on my needles. If you go along to the Schachenmayr website they have loads of free patterns including this ladies cowl and on the Stitch, Craft, Create website they’re selling Schachenmayr pompoms to match the neon colours of Lova!!lova All I need to do now is decide on a colour!