Know your yarns: Alpaca

Another useful Fibre profile

Continuing with our occasional look at the different yarns and fibres we can use in our knitting and crochet, we turn to alpaca which is soft, cosy and drapes beautifully.

Where does the yarn come from?

Alpaca yarn comes from the fleeces of alpacas, a South American camelid related to Llamas. The animals originate in the Andes but are increasingly bred and farmed in Europe.

Although, due to selective breeding, the most common colour is white, fleeces come in 22 natural colours including black, browns, fawns, silver-greys, and rose-greys.

huacaya alpaca

There are two types of alpaca – huacaya (pictured) and suri. The huacaya’s fibre grows vertically out of its skin in crimped bundles with what is described as a “teddy bear” look. Suri fibre grows in bundles that twist and hang down on the animal.

The huacaya fibre is more akin to wool and produced in a similar way through carding…

View original post 223 more words

Know your yarn: Cotton

A fantastic summary from m UK Hand Knitting

When you look back through old knitting books, you can see that for a long time they were written for yarn made from wool because it was readily available and cheap to knit. This is why for some people “knitting yarn” and “wool” mean the same thing. As you look back through patterns of the last 60 years you see more and more different fibres being introduced whether natural(with different levels of processing) or manmade, until today when a read of yarn labels shows a wide range of fibres and yarn sources. Can you imagine yarn made from crab shell? Well it is now a possibility.

With this in mind we thought it would be useful to take a regular look at different yarn fibres to help you navigate your yarn choices – starting with that summer staple, cotton.

Where does the yarn come from?

Cotton fibre grows as a…

View original post 467 more words

Pattern: Phoenix Pouch

A great idea for keepsakes

On the Needles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA perfect pouch to put things in, decorated with Professor Dumbledore’s familiar, Fawkes the phoenix. This little drawstring pouch is of a size to house a deck of cards, a small camera, or a handful of Bernie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Originally designed for a Harry Potter-themed gift exchange, the Phoenix Pouch would be well received by Potterheads, or anyone else who loves a good fiery bird.

Knit from the top down, the construction of the Phoenix Pouch is very simple. A row of eyelets allow the addition of a drawstring. The suggested I-cord drawstring may be substituted for a ribbon, if you so choose. The Phoenix is created through Fair Isle knitting following the included chart.

Get the pattern here for free!

Phoenix Pouch

View original post

Knitting is Healthy!

As if we needed an excuse…..

TanisKnits

This article has been floating around for a while, but it’s very interesting (and nothing we knitters didn’t know already!). Enjoy!

——-

Don’t stop knitting! It keeps you healthy.

woman knitting

Last month I wrote an article called “Why bother knitting a scarf?” Much to my surprise, I received thousands of positive reactions from readers who share my love of homemade, local, and beautiful “slow fashion” items. Clearly, knitting is being embraced by people from all walks of life who benefit from its peaceful, relaxing repetition. It got me wondering – what’s really going on when people knit? Why is it so tremendously popular?

It turns out that knitting has incredible health benefits. It makes people feel good in just about every way. A bit of research has revealed a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally.

1…

View original post 450 more words

When a Scarf is not a Scarf – a Pattern

What a fantastic idea! Versatility is king with ambidextrous garment

Monster Yarns

We’ve all been there –  most people start with knitting them. You can never have too many after all! Of course, I’m talking about scarves. But they can be a bit boring to knit and what if you want to use it to keep more of you warm than just your neck? I’m all for multi-functional items – see my 3-in-1 scarf and I wanted to make a more versatile scarf that could be worn in many ways.

Scarf done Is it a scarf?

I used an aran weight self striping yarn with a little girlie glitter in it and started knitting 7 rows of seed stitches, keeping 7 stitches of seed stitch on either side, adding a YO, slip 2 knitwise, k1, slip the 2 stitches over, YO in the middle of the material – the total width is about 45 cms. I carried on for six 100g skeins of yarn…

View original post 100 more words