Archive for October, 2012

A Fancy Fleece

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Easily recognizable by their Romanesque nose, and fine white facial hairs covering dark skin, Bluefaced Leicester sheep are as British as ‘bangers and mash’ or ‘bubble and squeak.’  A heritage breed, originally from Northumberland, and dating back to the early twentieth century, these large sheep are known as longwools with curly threadlike fleece that is highly favored for its superior drape and lustre.

 

Blue Faced Leicester Sheep

This season, Debbie Bliss introduces her Blue Faced Leicester Aran, a superwash wool locally grown and produced in Laxton’s, a century old mill in Yorkshire.  This is a high quality yarn with a springy texture that gives incredible stitch definition.  Spun and dyed in sixteen shades, Blue Faced Leicester Aran is the first of its kind to carry the British Wool Marketing Board logo.

Take a peek below at some of the latest textured designs knit in Blue Faced Leicester Aran from Debbie Bliss

 

Cable and Bobble Scarf

If you are a bit hesitant about taking on an Aran sweater full throttle, start out with a smaller project like this enticing Cable and Bobble Scarf, its a great way to learn the ropes, no shaping required.  ‘Ecru’ (shown above).

 

Generous Cabled Tunic

This Cabled Tunic, an oversized adaption of a classic will provide plenty of twists and turns, complete with dramatic stitch interaction and crisp lines.  ‘Duck egg’ (shown above). 

 

Lace Stole

A British necessity for damp days, this Lace Stole combines a pretty fan and feather stitch with seed stitch borders.  ‘Mustard’ (shown above).

 

Lattice and Rib Sweater

Far from being a wallflower, this Lattice and Rib design accents the new trend in peplums, with wide ribs cleverly gathered into a tightly cabled bodice.  ‘Heather’  (shown above).  

 

Raglan Aran

This Raglan Aran pullover borrows from traditional design, and adds a fresh spin with a high-waisted ribbing and a wide-angled cowl neck.  Regal in ‘red’ (shown above).

The Season Of The Sock

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Sock knitters covet this time of year, for one simple reason, they have a stash of guilty little pleasures.  When the first frosty morning strikes, instead of turning on the furnace, they just slip on a pair of handknit warmth, in sassy stripes, or cosy cables, and welcome in Socktober with glee.  By far the most appreciated of all the knitted gifts you can give to a friend or loved one, but be prepared, not only is it a gift that keeps on giving, it’s also a gift that keeps on asking…. for more.

Whether you favor toe-up or top-down, magic loop or double points, self-striping, lace or fairisle, handknit socks are one of life’s luxuries, a chance to splurge on a skein of fabulous yarn without breaking the bank.  Wear them as your little secret, or flash and flaunt them with pride.  Socks are generally the most portable projects for knitters on the go, a set of four needles and a skein fit easily into a purse or coat pocket, ready for a lunch break, a long sit and wait in an office, or on a trip.  Take time out from your other knitting projects this month and slide into The Season of the Sock.

Things to do in Socktober-

Join Socktoberfest on Ravelry and show off your latest projects in the ‘Sock Parade’.  This group has over 1660 members, the original event began in 2005. 

Sign up for a class at your lys and take your sock knitting skills to the next level.  It’s a great way to get out and meet new people.  

Start on your Christmas sock list.  Who has been asking for a pair this year?

Host your own Socktober gathering.  Invite a few friends, have a potluck dinner and teach them all how to knit a basic sock.  

Upgrade your sock needles.  Symfonie Cubics from Knitter’s Pride are made from rosewood and provide a comfortable grip.  Available in 2.00 mm to 4.00 mm, ideal for socks!    

Challenge yourself with one of these four irresistible sock styles shown below.  Each project features different design elements.  Double the fun, and start a knitalong with a friend!

 

Leaf Lace Socks

Pick your favorite combination of colours and cast on from the top down!  Start with a twisted rib and transition into a lacey leaf pattern.  This sock design is knit with one ball of Silk Garden Sock from Noro, a twist of lambswool, silk, kid mohair and nylon for durability.

 

Cabled Socks

Ready for a twist?  Try a pair of toe-ups!  These Cabled Socks are knit on two circular needles, and begin with only 10 sts.  Knit with one ball of Taiyo Sock by Noro, a seasonal favorite spun with cotton, wool, silk and nylon.  Seventeen colourways are dyed and ready to choose from.

 

Rainbow Knee Highs

A flouncy rib makes this pair of knee-highs a must-knit gift for a daughter or niece. Knit with two skeins of Silk Garden Sock by Noro in a vivid rainbow of self-striping fun.

 

Oxford Socks

Over the knee we go!  With cables and ribs, this sporty design is a boot topper, legwarmer and foot warmer all in one.  Knit in Oxford, by Katia, a 50/50 blend of wool and acrylic in nine self-striping tweeds.

 

An Autumn Palette

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

As Canadian as maple syrup, Tom Thomson (1877-1917) is known not only for the mysterious legend surrounding his death but as one of our country’s greatest painters.  With a panache for capturing the dramatically alluring landscapes of northern Ontario, he was notably inspired by the rugged beauty of Algonquin Park, and during his less than forty years regularly found his way back to this area, working as a guide and woodsman during the summer months to pay for his art supplies while he completed sketches in the fall.  Broad brushstrokes and bold colour combinations became his distinctive style, with a palette of crimson red, maroon, fiery orange, and harvest gold, some of Tom Thomson’s most famous works of art were stirred into being by the changing maples and birches, profiled against the pines.

Inspired by Tom Thomson’s Autumn Palette, here are a handful of the latest designs from Diamond Luxury Collection

 

Lake and Red Tree by Tom Thomson

 

DLC Leaflet #1485

On the Bias!  With the sweep of three complimentary colours, this pullover depicts the changing woodland hues.  Knit in Fine Merino Superwash Aran, a refined wool with a full range of forty-six, including a few spicy picks-  ‘paprika’, ‘dark plum’, and ‘cumin’ (all shown above).

 

Northland by Tom Thomson

 

DLC Leaflet #1484

Golden Days!  Very cheery and an especially welcome embrace on a chilly morning, this cable edged jacket is knit in Galway Chunky, a classic wool heaped with an abundance of zesty colour choices- ‘spice’, ‘burnt orange’, or ‘gold’ (shown above).

 

Autumn Foliage 1916 by Tom Thomson

 

DLC Leaflet #1501

Belle of the Fall!  With the emphasis on a stunning ruffle and lace decolletage, and built-in glitter, this pullover needs no extra accessories.  Knit in Stellabella, a light ‘n’ lofty blend of baby alpaca with a (barely there) trace of stellina for that special occasion.  Infuse your autumn wardrobe with ‘sangria’, ‘marron’, or ‘champagne’.

 

Petawawa Gorge by Tom Thomson

 

DLC Leaflet #1492

Autumn Splendor!  A cosy shawl doubles as a striking capelet accented with chevron striping and ebony buttons.  Knit in Lima, a chunky weight pure wool gathered and spun from the Peruvian highlands, in a rich palette featuring sixteen shades this season.  ‘Cranberry flare’, ‘lichen’, ‘burnt orange’, and ‘burgundy heather’ (all shown above).

 

The Pool by Tom Thomson

 

DLC Leaflet #1489

Pumpkin Time!  Knit your way from side-to-side with this honeycomb design jacket.  Knit in Lima, a whiskery soft pure wool dyed in heathery tones and solids.  Take your pick from the harvest wagon- ‘golden heather’, ‘forest’, or ‘burnt orange’ (shown above).