I know we haven't finished Summer yet but our Autumn yarns are beginning to arrive. Last week saw the arrival of Forest re-cycled aran from King Cole and West Yorkshire Spinners Croft DK and Wild Shetland aran arrived today.
Croft DK is a sister yarn to Croft Aran which we have stocked since it was launched. The new yarn comes in a lovely array of colours and, like the aran has fabulous stitch definition and handle. Patterns support comes in the form of a book and doesn't disappoint. You can find the yarn and pattern book here.
Croft Wild Shetland is a roving aran inspired by the ever-changing colours of the landscape of the Shetlands. You can find the yarn here.
Sometimes it is hard to visualise a yarn knitted up so when our new Forest Recycled Aran came in, I decided to recreate a scarf that I had made for Richard around six years ago and write up the pattern for sale in the shop and on Ravelry. Naturally, I hadn't written any notes, I just remember making the scarf up as we went along the motorway on a trip to Birmingham to visit our eldest at University (obvs Greg was driving!). Fortunately I had put the scarf on my Ravelry project page and it told me precisely this much:
Needle 3.5 mm
Yarn Bergère de France Idéal
4 skeins = 497.6 meters (544.2 yards), 200 grams
Purchased at La Mercerie in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan,
Purchase date November 29, 2014
The pictures were a bit more helpful as I could enlarge them and see how many cables I had done and how many times. I remembered the pattern fairly well as it has an almost hypnotic repeat on it. Essentially groups of five cables which repeat on a stagger. Richard's (and the new scarf) are based around five repeats but it can be made wider for a shawl or cowl (the pattern has details about how to make enlarge the pattern). After a false start where I didn't put enough space between the cables vertically, the scarf flew along on the needles and is now sitting proudly in the shop window.
The new yarn, Forest, is an aran weight, not DK so I went up a size in needles and the scarf is wider than the original. I wanted to see how far the yarn would go so I just kept on knitting until I had almost finished two balls before adding the top edging. There was enough yarn left to do about half a repeat more but I wanted full repeats. The result is a very long scarf which can be worn just wrapped around a la Dr Who or folded and looped to look more up-to-date.
Making this scarf reminded me of why I love knitting cables. I find them easy to 'read' and I love the way just moving a few stitches around on the needle produces such a stunning effect. As mentioned before, knitting the cables can be slightly hypnotic, maybe because of the rhythmic nature of cable designs. If you've never tried them, it's not a difficult technique and is well worth the effort. We are always happy to do a class or one-to-one in the shop.
The Forest Re-cycled aran is lovely to work with and has reasonable definition for cables. King Cole have used re-cycled mill waste, re-cycled garments and re-cycled plastic bottles to produce a great yarn which is kinder to the environment than many mixed fibre blends. It's not particularly soft in the ball but is soft to work with and when washed and blocked has a good feel to it. I didn't block the scarf harshly, just pinned it to to stop the scarf curling (stocking stitch doesn't like to lie flat!). It took a lot of pins to block the scarf. Naturally as soon as it hit the blocking boards, the cat decided it would be this week's place to sit (but not for long!) and blocking does mean that yarn takes a long time to dry. The scarf could be washed and dried normally and then lightly steamed (ie steam iron above the fabric, not on it) to finish it off.
You can find the yarn here and the 'Five of Cables' pattern here, just click on the highlighted text.
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Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.