Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Favourite Books

We recently asked our wonderful Facebook followers for their favourite knitting and crochet books and we had so many interesting posts.  We thought we would take a closer look at some of them in case any of you are thinking of asking Santa for a book on your Christmas list.

The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman is not only a fantastic technical book but it also gives an insight in to how this doyenne of knitting approaches her craft.
Edward’s Menagerie by Kerry Lord is a lovely book of crocheted animals.  When Kerry was pregnant with her son, Edward, she learned to crochet and created these super cool animals just for him. We particularly like Audrey the Goat.
Sue Pinner’s Granny Squares book is a brilliant source of inspiration as well as having some lovely crochet patterns for projects for the home
Many of you will know the blogger and Facebook star Winwick Sock Mum.  Now she has brought out a book called Super Socks by Christine Perry, which hopes to take the fear away from knitting socks.
55 Christmas Balls to Knit by Arne & Carlos is a seasonal must have but should come with a warning.  These lovely Yuletide decorations are seriously addictive.
Winter Crochet by Marie Wallin shows how you can combine knitting and crochet to create some beautiful garments and accessories.
Jane Crowfoot’s The Ultimate Crochet Bible is the book we reach for if we can’t remember a technique or want to learn a new crochet skill, and it is now available as a paperback.
Sequence Knitting by Cecelia Campochiaro will transform the way you look at knitting. It leads you through how to knit reversible fabrics but it is so much more than that.  You will understand so much more about the engineering if a knitted fabric.
If you need to brush up on any knitting techniques from beginner to advanced, then The Knitters Handbook by Eleanor Van Zandt deserves a place on your bookshelf
200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton is quite simply one of those books you will find endlessly inspiring.
If you want to develop your sock knitting technique then why not try Socks Toe up by Wendy D Johnson.  This book has lots of really lovely, and useful, patterns as well as explaining this way of knitting socks in way that is easy to understand.
Starting and finishing your knitting in the best way is essential to finessing any project so why not invest in a copy of Cast On, Bind Off by Lesley Ann Bestor.  There are lots of interesting and unusual techniques as well as advice on when to use them.
No book list would be complete without one by this design guru and The Book of Haps by Kate Davies is our current favourite.  Kate has pulled together patterns from designers around the world and interspersed them with interesting articles about the history of the hap and techniques that you will find useful.

We hope you enjoy our recommendations as much as we enjoyed leafing through them.
If you leave a comment about your favourite book here, one of you will win a lovely prize from us.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Christmas Stocking For You

With Christmas just around the corner we thought we would create a couple of festive designs for you to try out.  Both the knit and crochet version of our stockings were made using DK but any yarn from your stash will do, it will just change the size.
Why not pop some gold coins in them and hang them on your tree or around your home.
You could even use them as little stocking fillers for your loved ones or make a few and turn them in to bunting.

Our little crochet socks are worked in the round, except for the heel which is shaped in rows. Make in one colour or as many as you like – perhaps you could make the heel in a contrast colour.
Yarn: any DK
Hook: 3.75mm or 4mm
Abbreviations Ch - chain Dc – double crochet Ss – slip stitch St(s) - stitch(es)

Make a magic ring and work 6dc into it. Join in first dc with ss, 1 ch
Round 1: 2dc in each st to end. Join in first dc with ss, 1 ch. 12 sts
Round 2: 1dc in each st to end. Join in first dc with ss, 1 ch.
Round 3: (2dc in next st, 1dc) to end. Join in first dc with ss, 1 ch. 18 sts
Round 4-10: 1dc in each st to end. Join in first dc with ss, 1 ch.

Row 11 : 9dc turn
Row 12: 1ch, 6dc, turn
Row 13: 1ch, 3dc, turn.
Row 14: 1ch, 3dc, 1dc in next st from row 11, turn. Four sts
Row 15: 1ch, 5dc, 1dc in next st from row 12, turn. Five sts
Row 16: 1ch, 6dc, 1dc in next st, turn. Six sts
Row 17: 1ch, 7dc, 1dc in next st, turn. Seven sts
Row 18: 1ch, 8dc, 1dc in next st, turn. Eight sts
Round 19: 1ch, 9dc, 1dc in next st, cont working 1 dc in each dc to end of round.
Leg Rounds 20-31: 1dc in each st to end. 18 sts.
Make 12ch and join into hanging loop with ss. Fasten off Sew in all ends.

This lovely little stocking is knitted flat and then sewn up.   You start at the bottom and finish at the top. You might want to finish it off with some festive eyelash yarn at the cast off.

Yarn  any DK
Needles 3.75mm or 4mm
Abbreviations St(s) - stitch(es) St st - stocking stitch K – knit P - purl M1 – make a stitch by picking up the loop between 2 stitches. K2tog – knit 2 sts together Ssk – slip 1 st, k1 and pass st over the knitted one P2togtbl – purl 2 sts together through the back of both sts P2tog – purl 2 sts together

Cast On 33 sts Beginning with a knit row work 2 rows of st st.
Row 3: (k1, m1, k15, m1) repeat to last st, k1 (37sts)
Row 4 and all even rows purl.
Row 5: (k1, m1, k17, m1) repeat to last st, k1 (41sts)
Row 7: (k1, m1, k19, m1) repeat to last st, k1 (45sts)
Row 9: knit all sts Row 10: purl all sts
Row 11: K20, k2tog, k1, ssk, k20 (43sts)
Row 12: p19, p2togtbl, p1, p2tog, p19 (41sts)
Row 13: K18, k2tog, k1, ssk, k18 (39sts)
Row 14: p17, p2togtbl, p1, p2tog, p17 (37sts)
Row 15: K16, k2tog, k1, ssk, k16 (35sts)
Row 16: p15, p2togtbl, p1, p2tog, p15 (33sts)
Row 17: K14, k2tog, k1, ssk, k14 (31sts)
Row 18: p13, p2togtbl, p1, p2tog, p13 (29sts)
Row 19: K12, k2tog, k1, ssk, k12 (27sts)
Row 20: p11, p2togtbl, p1, p2tog, p11 (25sts)
Work 14 rows of st st
Next row: (k1, p1) repeat to last st, k1
Next row: (p1, k1) repeat to last st, p1
Next row: (k1, p1) repeat to last st, k1
Cast off in rib. Sew stocking together.

We’d love to see the stockings you make so don’t forget to post them on our Facebook page.