Archive for December, 2011

Top Ten Trends Of 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

It has been a phenomenal year in the knitting universe.  Like a snowball rolling downhill gaining momentum and swelling in size, yarns have reached an all-time pinnacle, creating a new wave of popularity for the craft, and astounding knitters with an eye-popping assortment of colours and unusual textures, richer and more appealing than ever.

As we unwind from all the excitement of 2011, and eagerly anticipate the year to come, lets take a few minutes to reflect back on the Top Ten Trends Of 2011 and predict which ones will carry on-

Let the countdown begin!!!

*TEN*

Sirdar Bohemia

MEGA-SIZED YARNS! Somehow the yarns just kept growing in thickness, yet surprisingly lighter and loftier, thanks to innovative hollow core construction.  Knitting shops were stocking up on 20 mm needles in an attempt to keep up with the demand for these larger than life yarns.  Sirdar Bohemia

*NINE*

Knit Your Own Royal Family

KNITTED ROYALTY! It was comical and sweet, and caught on like wildfire.  In the Spring of 2011, knitting groups were busily creating their own royal ensemble complete with corgis just in time for the televised event.  Tea parties took place inside knitting shops and royal displays were set up in the front window.  Knit Your Own Royal Wedding’ was the brainchild of British author, Fiona Goble.

*EIGHT*

Noro Yarn

I LOVE YARN DAY! October 14, 2011 marked the official launch date.  Finally a day of celebration, for knitters to unite worldwide and bring their treasured yarns out of the closet.  Festivities were planned well in advance at local yarn shops, in the workplace and public venues.  I Love Yarn Day

*SEVEN*

Knitters Pride Cubics

CUBIC NEEDLES! Canada welcomed Knitters Pride with such a surge of enthusiasm causing shipments to sell out well in advance.  Once these inventive square shaped needles were in hand, the love affair began.  Knitters marvelled at the easy flat grip and arthritic hands were happily flying again at full speed.

*SIX*

Sublime Book #655

FAIRISLE RETURNS! Hot off the European runways earlier this year, and straight onto our knitting needles.  Fairisle recaptured the ski lodge vibe from the sixties and brought the fashion back to the masses.  For most knitters it felt like it had never left.  Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed Book #655

*FIVE*

Diamond Luxury Collection #1473

NEW ANGLES! The wrap cardies and vests became trendier than ever as knitters hunted for patterns designed in a simple one piece construction.  Suddenly new angles took shape.  Diamond Luxury Collection #1473

*FOUR*

Sublime Book #656

TUNICS! No more bulky sleeves!  These hybrids emerged into mainstream knitting combining the warmth of a vest and the look of a sweater.  Favored by all ages, as a relaxed slipover style to wear with tights and leggings.  Sublime Lustrous Extra Fine Merino Dk Book #656

*THREE*

Murano Lace

COSY COWLS! a.k.a. ‘circle scarves’ to the University kids, became the replacement to the traditional fringed scarf.  An ideal project for beginner knitters, and with so many variations in style, it was ultra chic to toss on a different cowl every day of the week.  Murano Lace Free Pattern download

*TWO*

Midnight Sun Wrap from Universal Yarn

SUBTLE SPARKLE! It took knitters only a second or two to adapt to the unexpected appearance of shimmer in all their favorite yarns, from alpaca to cotton and everything in between.  Knitters went ga-ga for glitter, happily wearing it day and night.  Universal Yarn Garden Metallic

*ONE*

Papillon Ruffle Scarf

RUFFLE YARN! Perhaps the greatest knitting trend to date, shaking up the yarn industry and creating a festive frenzy when shops were sold out just mere weeks before Christmas.  Thank you to the makers of ruffle yarns for bringing new and former knitters back to the circle!  Nova Papillon Free Pattern Download

Wishing you health and happiness in 2012

Fleece On Earth

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Now that the hustle and bustle has settled down to the pitter patter of little feet scampering through the house on Christmas Day, the quietness of the season can fully be enjoyed.  Take time to set your knitting needles down for a moment and truly treasure the wide eyed looks of surprise and toothy grins of gratitude from the recipients of your hard work. 

Knitting is a creative outlet for many of us but it is also a gift from the heart.  Those who have never picked up a pair of needles and cast on stitches can only begin to appreciate the sharing of time and thoughtfulness.  A pair of woolly socks with one foot slightly shorter than the other, fuzzy mittens sporting a few extra loops picked up along the way, or a cosy cabled scarf with stitches that wander and change directions now and then, these are the gifts that money just cannot buy.   

Fleece On Earth and Good Wool To All!

 

Wishing you joy and peace this holiday season

from all of us at

Diamond Yarn

Last Minute Mittens

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Experiencing a bit of festive fatigue from all the last minute knitting and holiday preparations??  If you are down to the crunch and still need to come up with one more speedy gift idea for a helpful neighbour, a favorite teacher, or maybe have on hand for an unexpected guest at the dinner table on Christmas Eve, take a look at this week’s festive project- 

These colourful chunky mittens will be finished and ready to wrap after an afternoon of knitting, complete with nostalgic charm,  just like Grandma used to make from her scrap basket.  Knit in Escape Chunky from Sirdar, a tweedy mix of wool and acrylic in sixteen fun stripey colourways.    

Last Minute Mittens

LAST MINUTE MITTENS

Size:  Women’s Medium (Large)

Yarn:  2 balls Sirdar Escape Chunky col #178

Needles:  4.50 mm and 6.00 mm double pointed

Tension:  14 sts and 19 rows = 4 in/10 cm in st st

Right Mitten-

Cast on 24 (28) sts with smaller needles.  Divide sts evenly onto 3 needles.  Join in round and place a marker.  Work in K1/P1 ribbing for 3 (3.5) in/7.5 (9) cm.  Change to larger needles and work in K rnds, inc 2 sts evenly across 1st rnd = 26 (30) sts.  Place a marker on needle between first and last st, and between 13th and 14th (15th and 16th) st.  K 10 rnds. 

Thumb Opening:  Using a 12 in/30 cm length of scrap yarn, K the first 4 (5) sts, slip these 4 (5) sts back to left needle.  Note:  This will act as a stitch holder.  K across all sts with Main yarn.  Cont in K rnds until work meas 8.5 (9) in/22 (23) cm.

Shape Top:  *K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to 3 sts before next marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker*, rep once more across rnd.  Rep these decs on each rnd until 10 sts remain.  Cut yarn and draw through all sts.  Tighten and secure.  

Thumb:  Remove scrap yarn carefully and pick up 11(12) sts around opening with larger needles.  Divide evenly onto 3 needles.  Attach yarn and K 10 (11) rnds. 

Shape Top:  *K2tog, K2*, rep *to* across rnd, end with K2tog, K1 (2) = 8 (9) sts.  K 1 rnd.  *K2tog*, rep *to* until 4 (5) sts remain.  Cut yarn and draw through rem sts.  Tighten and secure.

Left Mitten-

Work as Right Mitten until Thumb Opening:  K to last 4 (5) sts, using a 12 in /30 cm length of scrap yarn, K 4 (5) sts, slip these 4 (5) sts back to left needle, K across with Main yarn.  Cont to work as Right Mitten. 

(Design by:  Michele Meadows)  

Cheery Red Wrist Warmers

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Just a dozen or more days to go, with gingerbread houses still to decorate, frosted ornaments to dangle on the tree, presents to wrap and ribbons to curl, that to do list seems to keep growing instead of shrinking.  If you are searching for a quick and easy stocking stuffer to knit for under ten dollars, here is this week’s festive project-  

At the top of the wish list this season for teens who text and twitter, a cosy pair of chunky wrist warmers to keep hands warm while fingers are free to update friends minute by minute.  Trying cables for the first time?  This simple design features a stylish stag horn cable with side ribs for the perfect fit, knit in Galway Chunky from the Diamond Luxury Collection, pure wool in eighteen classic shades including ‘cherry red.’

Wrist Warmers in Galway Chunky

CHEERY RED WRIST WARMERS

Size:  Women’s Medium

Finished Width- 9 in/23 cm

Finished Length- 10 in/25 cm

Yarn:  100g Galway Chunky col #44 (cherry red)

Needles:  5.00 mm and 6.00 mm

Tension:  14 sts and 20 rows = 4 in/10 cm in st st

Left Wrist Warmer-

**Cast on 34 sts with smaller needles.  Work in K2/P2 ribbing for 3 in/7.5 cm, inc 2 sts evenly across last row = 36 sts.  Change to larger needles and cont in Pattern as follows-**

Row 1- K2, P2, K2, P2, K8, *P2, K2*, rep *to* 5 times

Row 2 and 4- work sts as they appear

Row 3- K2, P2, K2, P2, C4B (slip 2 sts to cable needle at back of work, K 2 sts from left needle, K 2 sts from cable needle), C4F (slip 2 sts to cable needle at front of work, K 2 sts from left needle, K 2 sts from cable needle), *P2, K2*, rep *to* 5 times

Rep these 4 rows a total of 6 times.  Change to smaller needles and work in K2/P2 ribbing for 4 rows, dec 2 sts evenly across 1st row.  Cast off. 

Right Wrist Warmer-

Work **to** as above then cont as follows-

Row 1- *K2, P2*, rep *to* 5 times, K8, P2, K2, P2, K2

Row 2 and 4- work sts as they appear

Row 3- *K2, P2*, rep *to* 5 times, C4B, C4F, P2, K2, P2, K2

Rep these 4 rows a total of 6 times.  Change to smaller needles and cont in K2/P2 ribbing for 4 rows, dec 2 sts evenly across 1st row.  Cast off.

Sew side seam leaving a 1.5 in/4 cm thumb opening approx. 3 in/7.5 cm from top edge.

(Design by:  Michele Meadows)

Festive Party Scarf

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Feeling festive?? Looking for a few last minute gift ideas to knit?  Check in weekly right here at the Diamond Yarn Blog from now until Christmas for the latest in budget friendly projects, to sashay across your needles before old St. Nick does his shimmy down the chimney.  

This week’s festive project will add bright holiday cheer, knit in a very simple two-sided lace design.  One ball of Party Angel, in whispery soft kid mohair swirled with silk and frosted with a filament of glitter, is a little splash of luxury for someone special on your list.  

Party Angel Scarf

PARTY ANGEL SCARF

Finished Size:  9 in/ 23 cm x 42 in/ 107 cm

Yarn:  1 ball Party Angel by Debbie Bliss col #7 (poppy red)

Needles:  4.50 mm

Tension:  20 sts and 24 rows = 4 in/ 10 cm in st st

Cast on 47 sts.  K 2 rows.  Cont in Pattern St as follows-

Row 1- K2, YO, *K3, P2, P3tog, P2, K3, YRN, P2, YO*, rep *to* twice, end with, K3, P2, P3tog, P2, K3, YO, K2 

Row 2- K2, *P4, K5, P4, K2*, rep *to*

Row 3- K2, YO, *K4, P1, P3tog, P1, K4, YRN, P2, YO*, rep *to* twice, end with, K4, P1, P3tog, P1, K4, YO, K2

Row 4- K2, *P5, K3, P5, K2*, rep *to*

Row 5- K2, YO, *K5, P3tog, K5, YRN, P2, YO*, rep *to* twice, end with, K5, P3tog, K5, YO, K2

Row 6- K2, *P6, K1, P6, K2*, rep *to*

Rep these 6 rows until work meas 42 in/107 cm, ending with Row 6.  K 2 rows.  Cast off.  Block gently with steam iron.

(Design by:  Michele Meadows)