Monday 26 February 2018

Say It With WYS' Florist Collection + Kate Davies' Carbeth Cardi

Today it snowed in my part of middle England. Whilst the white stuff didn't settle the weather forecast says there's more to come - it's a week for wrapping up in chunky Winter knits and cosy handmade socks. The calendar says it's nearly March but Spring feels like a long, long way away.

What a pleasure it was then to see West Yorkshire Spinners' latest colourful additions to their top-selling Signature 4ply range.

Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
Looking at The Florist Collection you can almost smell the honeysuckle and sweet peas and be transformed back to a balmy summer's evening. The colours are a far cry from Winter greys, dark greens and bottle blues. As per usual the solid and variegated shades are designed to work with each other for sock knitting so your foot can contrast with your ribbing.
Image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
Foxglove is my favourite for no other reason than it looks like a raspberry ripple ice cream. If I whip up a pair of socks in these, possibly using Rachel Coopey's simple Dave pattern that will show off the colour of the yarn, it may be Winter outside but my feet will be stepping firmly into Spring.

The Signature 4ply range is a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon. Each 100g ball costs £7.20 plus P&P directly from West Yorkshire Spinners.

Carbeth Cardi

Kate Davies has released a follow up pattern to Carbeth, her Winter warmer Boxing Day jumper that's knitted with two strands of her own DK Buachaille yarn together. The Carbeth Cardigan has a cropped design and can double up as a warm jacket.

Image courtesy of Kate Davies
For those of us who haven't signed up for Davies' West Highland Way club and therefore have to wait until subscribers have seen all that collection's patterns first, the Carbeth Cardigan will keep our needles busy in the interim. The pattern costs £5.95 to download from Ravelry.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Review of Baa Baa Brighouse's Valentine's Box

Today, with a big thanks to Mr A Woolly Yarn, I excitedly received Baa Baa Brighouse's Valentine's box.

Elaine Jinks-Turner, who runs the online and soon to be bricks and mortar too wool shop, puts together a number of yarn boxes on different themes. The most well-known is the monthly Yan Tan Tethera Yarn Club, where each month subscribers receive exclusively-dyed Yorkshire wool inspired by a photograph of the Yorkshire landscape. She also sells monthly-themed hand-dyed yarn boxes - previous subjects have included Sherlock and Jane Austen. As well as yarn they come with cute little extras. Sometimes they can be difficult to find on Baa Baa Brighouse's website so you may need to hunt for them!

Here are the goodies in my Valentine's box:

  1. Two hand-dyed 100g skeins of Baa Baa Brew 100% Bluefaced Leicester British Wool DK in the one-off shade 'My Bloody Valentine'
  2. A handmade bath truffle from The Yorkshire Soap Company
  3. A cute little organza bag filled with red and white buttons 
  4. A lavender bag 
  5. A heart-shaped chocolate from the world-famous Betty's Bakery 
  6. A bar of raspberry and poppy seed soap.
Needless to say I was thrilled by the well-thought-out goodies in the box, particularly the bath truffle and the chocolate.

The star of the show though of course is the wool: each skein is packaged with a lovely little heart-shaped stitch marker. I really like the fact that Jinks-Turner bypassed the usual Valentine's red shade and instead produced this variegated pink and purple creation. It's vibrant and fun and I can't wait to see what it looks like knitted up. Any pattern ideas you can recommend? Please let me know in the comments box below or on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page.

The Valentine's Box is a one-off and is no longer for sale. As it was a gift I'm too polite to ask Mr A Woolly Yarn the cost. For an alternative Baa Baa Brighouse currently has these themed boxes for sale:

  • Spring Equinox Yarn Box: £37 plus P&P for 200g of variegated hand-dyed Baa Baa Brew DK with goodies
  • March 2018 Yan Tan Tethera Yarn Club: £23 plus P&P for one skein of hand-dyed Unicorn Sock base yarn, a copy of the photograph used as colour inspiration, and a complementary Yorkshire gift
  • February Themed Yarn Box - Votes For Women: £26 plus P&P for one 100g skein of Baa Baa Brew British Bluefaced Leicester DK in a brand new hand-dyed colourway, a contrasting 25g mini skein and goodies
  • Mother's Day Yarn Box: £37 plus P&P for 200g of variegated hand-dyed Baa Baa Brew DK with goodies on a 'pampering mum' theme.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Upcoming Cable Books from Ann Kingstone and Arnall-Culliford Knitwear

Here's some news to brighten up a cold February: two of our favourite British designers have announced forthcoming pattern book releases. That gives us something to look forward to on these cold, cold nights.

Image courtesy of Ann Kingstone
Firstly, Yorkshire designer Ann Kingstone is to publish a print book in late February or March of her Cabled Knits patterns. It doesn't come cheap, at £25 for the print book or £33.50 for the print and ebook option (both prices don't include P&P), but if you buy the ebook it costs a much more manageable £14.45 with a 15% introductory discount.

Cabled Knits will contain 16 skilful patterns for novice and experienced knitters alike, all of which use British wool. Woodkirk (see the image on the left) is our favourite, featuring the tree of life motif on the back.

Other patterns include accessories, cardigans and jumpers. We hope to review the whole collection when the print book is published.

Meanwhile Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford, aka Arnall-Culliford Knitwear, announced in their latest newsletter that plans are well underway for their new book Something New To Learn About Cables. As per their previous book, A Year of Techniques, the pair will include their own patterns that teach a new skill to the knitter. Pre-orders for the book will open on their website the week commencing February 19th.

Time to dig out your cable needles!

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