Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Crochet Project (part 1)

Way back in 2011 I crocheted my first... thing...

not pretty

It wasn't pretty.

It led to the development of our Crochet Kit.  Surely I wasn't the only one who couldn't get the hang of crochet?!?!

Through the repetition of one stitch and no additional scary diagrams, that can also encourage you to run before you can crawl, I managed to make my second item... a crocheted cloth.

Fast forward 2 years and I managed to crochet a WHOLE blanket (admittedly a small one).  I used the excellent Granny Stripe pattern/tutorial by Lucy at Attic24.

I don't find crochet comes naturally to me.  I struggle to see where to stick my hook and it's a battle to keep my edges straight.  My hands automatically want to knit and my stitches can be very uneven!

But like most things perseverance does pay off.  I have to remember the problems and struggles I had when learning to knit.  It does get better!

So when I say the crochet cloth was my 2nd attempt it took several false starts before I got to the end.

And the blanket was a lesson in tension (one I learnt the hard way in knitting too).  So it turns out I'm a loose crocheter just like I'm a loose knitter.  But whereas I also cast on loosely in knitting my foundation chain (the start of all crochet) is a good bit tighter...

So I had several false starts when making the blanket too.

I do like the idea of crochet... I love it that you only have one stitch on your hook and (thank goodness) ripping back is a breeze.  Blankets seem quicker and less cumbersome when crocheting and little flowers are cute too...

wonky crochet flowers!

And I don't expect perfection in my knitting so there is NO way I'm going to beat myself up about flaws in my crochet.

So when I saw the team behind the Crochet Project had published a book of shawls (one of my most favourite things to knit) I was inspired to dust off my basic crochet skills once more.

The Shawl Project - see it on Ravelry and in the shop!
{photo credit - Kat Goldin}

The Shawl Project contains 6 shawl patterns by Joanne Scrace (notsogranny on Ravelry) as well as very helpful instructions on designing your own shawl.

Beautiful photography from Kat Goldin means this book looks good too!

So what was my first project?


Northmoor Lock has a shallow triangle shape.  It starts at one end and increases up to the centre point (half way through your ball of yarn) then decreases back down... (abit like the Baktus knitted scarf).

I crocheted ours in Vivacious 4ply, in new shade Dove Stone.

This was a challenge... as only the 4th item I've ever crocheted.

So it took a few attempts to get the increasing even and then the decreasing too.

I first attempted it in a Zauberball but given my novice crochet status the yarn was bit too woolly.

The Vivacious on the other hand was smooth and shiny!  And it was much easier to see where I needed to stick my hook.

This was very quick to make too (despite the half dozen false starts).  And I would highly recommend it as a next step beginner pattern - you only use one stitch and you can practice your increasing and decreasing.

You do need to get it relatively even so the increasing matches the decreasing (roughly!) but it's easy to spot and rip out any overly wonky bits.

Like I did... frequently.

It would look great in Definition Sock Yarn too.

Other shawl patterns in the book...
4 of the 6 patterns in the book!
{photo credit Kat Goldin}

Cherry Pi (top right corner) is likely next and I would love to do Spirographical (bottom right corner), if only to hang in our shop window!

Although I imagine there would be much debating over where to stick my hook...

Our Start to Crochet kit, Shawl Project books and Vivacious yarn are all in the shop  and we're happy to post!

We still have places available on our Next Steps Crochet workshop on Sunday 28th June and we're sorting out our new workshop schedule which will be starting in August - so keep an eye out for our beginners crochet workshop too!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Rowan Summerlite 4ply cotton is in the shop!

Rowan Summerlite 4ply is our new 4ply cotton.

It comes in 12 gorgeous matt shades and we have lots of patterns in the shop.  It's a standard 4ply weight so could be used as a substitute in other patterns!

Its featured in Filigree (in the shop!) and its own pattern book and an online childrens' collection too

Anemone from Marie Wallin's crochet collection  - Filigree

book in the shop!

from the Summerlite 4ply book

Children's collection available online at Rowan

Remember our BIG move around sale is still on!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Fliskmillan Fibres at The Woolly Brew

We're very excited to announce a new local yarn is in the shop...

Fliskmillan Fibres

Fliskmillan Fibers - 100% Romney Lambswool

Fliskmillan Farm is based in North East Fife, just outside Newburgh, on the south bank of the River Tay.

It's a 350 acre livestock farm, specialising in pedigree Highland Cattle and New Zealand Romney sheep.

overlooking the River Tay... we just need some Sheep now...
{photo credit - Fliskmillan Farm}

Their yarn comes from their small flock of New Zealand Romney sheep who graze the fields on Norman’s Law.


Ahh... that's better!
{photo credits - Fliskmillan Farm}

And we have the first batch of yarns from the farm's very first lambs!

The lambs were sheared in October with each lamb producing on average 2.5kg of raw fleece. The raw fleeces were then processed into hand-knitting yarns by the Natural Fibre Company.

Currently Fliskmillan Fibres are available in DK weight in 4 colours and an Aran weight in a classic cream.

Retailing at £6 per 50g, this yarn would make a very special garment but you can make beautiful and warm accessories too from just a few balls!

We were really impressed by this yarn - it feels wonderful.  It's soft but has substance and it knits up beautifully.  So far we have a hat (in Fiona's current favourite hat pattern) and we're also working on some hand warmers too.

We need a photo of someone wearing the hat!  Any volunteers?  It feels lovely!

But the yarn isn't just for accessories. Barbara from Fliskmillan has knitted some pretty impressive garments using her yarn.  More photos to come!

We have a small supply at the moment but we have a hotline to Barbara to get more and once we've done our BIG move around next week we'll have a permanent space for more!

You can follow Fliskmillan Farm on Facebook.

Friday, 5 June 2015

now in the shop - our BIGGEST range of Opal sock yarn ever!

Gallery, Best Friends and Potpourri of Dreams

Over 23* shades of Opal 4ply sock yarn now in the shop!

We now have Gallery, Best of Friends and Poupourri of Dreams.  Each different in design and shade but all in standard 4ply sock weight wool - one 100g balls is more than enough for a pair of socks.

We have a basic sock pattern in the shop and we're happy to help you get started,  Check out out sock tips board on Pinterest for more helpful hints and tips!

* if you add in Opal Cotton and balls from previous collections there are in fact 35 different shades in the shop!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

It's a Hoot...

2 Tooley Owls

Remember when I said I struggled to decide between a shawl and a toy for my donation to this year's Pittenweem Arts Festival project?

I went on and made Hogwart's Express by Susan Ashcroft (pattern available to buy on Ravelry).

Well... I did some toys too...

Tooley Owl by Amanda Berry is a very easy pattern available to buy Ravelry.  The pattern is written for a DK weight but you could easily use another thickness.  Just remember to use a thinner needle than your yarn suggests so you get a nice firm fabric.

Great for using up leftovers!

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