Wednesday 9 May 2018

Have You Knitted A Kate Davies Carbeth Yet?

Every now and again a knitwear design hits the zeitgeist, inspires numerous knit-a-longs and becomes a craze amongst the knitting community, to be spotted in multiple at craft gatherings and festivals. Previous favourites in the last few years have included Tin Can Knits' Lush and Karie Westermann's Scollay cardigans.

Now it's the turn of Kate Davies' Carbeth. What first began on Davies' needles as a Boxing Day jumper has spawned a cross-Atlantic knitting sensation. There are now three Carbeth designs to choose from:

The original roll-neck jumper:

Image courtesy of Kate Davies

A cardigan version:

Image courtesy of Kate Davies

And now Carbeth Swan Dance, a comfy, oversized version with a simple lace pattern:

Image courtesy of Kate Davies
Davies herself has written a blog post celebrating all the different Carbeth versions knitters have produced. Carbeth has inspired other designers and wool spinners too, with Knit Now magazine publishing a photo of the Editor's stripy version (sadly the photo isn't available online), and the American website Mason Dixon Knitting running its own 'Bang Out A Carbeth' knit along.

The Carbeth jumper and cardigan are knitted with two DK strands held together. Davies' patterns are written for her own Bauchaille range costing £7.49 per 50g ball plus P&P.  Northumberlan-based yarn company Whistlebare has posted on Facebook a picture of a Carbeth knitted in their own Cheviot Marsh yarn. Cheviot Marsh retails at £16.50 plus P&P for a 100g skein.

Image courtesy of Whistlebare

Jess James-Thomson, owner of Edinburgh yarn store Ginger Twist Studio, has used her own Ginger's Hand Dyed Sheepish DK for her Carbeth.

Image courtesy of Jess James-Thomson
Lovers of naturally-coloured British yarn could plump to knit a Carbeth in Daughter of a Shepherd's Brume DK, which is a blend of 50% Hebridean, 25% Zwarbles and 25% Exmoor Blueface pure undyed wool. It costs £20 per 100g skein plus P&P.

Brume image courtesy of Daughter of a Shepherd

Or Blacker Yarns offers a range of plain yarns, its Tamar Blend DK Ottery Dark Undyed being a good choice for Carbeth. Direct from Blacker Yarns each 100g hank costs £16.20 plus P&P.

Ottery image courtesy of Blacker Yarns

Davies has a new pattern book out inspired by The Scottish West Highland Way. Who knows if one of these patterns will become a classic? To buy one of the Carbeth patterns head to Ravelry. Each one costs £5.95 to download.

Why not share your Carbeth knits with us on our A Woolly Yarn Facebook page? Which is your favourite of the three Carbeth designs? Share your preferred pattern in the comments section below.

June update:

Here's my Carbeth, which I knitted to give to a good friend for her birthday. I used Debbie Bliss yarn from my stash, made the length longer and thankfully managed to get hold of a couple of extra balls online when I ran out early.

It's all blocked and ready to go to a hopefully happy recipient!

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