Festive Fiver Fest Mitts

Lampeter is part of the TotallyLocally movement. Encouraging people to consider how and where they spend what money they have – mindful of how local economics works and how money spent in big companies leaves local communities and doesn’t readily return.

As part of the campaign local shops club together and promote offers just like super markets do to encourage spend locally. See totally locally lambed on face book for the Lampeter deals. As part of one of these offers we have a Fiver Fest Kit. Currently wool (Wendy Ramsdale), needles and pattern for mittens. There is sufficient yarn to make a cowl instead. Same pattern less finishing.

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The pattern is so easy I have been making them as presents. Easy for a beginner and mindful for the stressed!!

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They make up in any 50g main and small amount of contrast DK, I use 3.75mm needles to get a good 22st to four inches.

The Cowl pattern is:

Cast on 54st in contrast colour and work 1 row K. Change to main colour.

Row 1 (P1,K1) repeat 4 times P to end

Row 2 (K1,P1)repeat 4 times K to end

Work until all main colour yarn is used. By chance I have found this happen at the end of a K row. If your yarn does not please end on/after a k row, or work 1 row in contrast.

The tricky new skill bit is the finish cast off. You can cast off and sew up the seam to avoid this but I have found that by using equivalent of three needle cast off  I can finish and sew up at same time, and this gives a nice detail having the cast off edge showing.

To do this – fold knitting with wrong sides together (if you finish with a K row the live stitches will be at the back with cast on edge nearest you). Pick up the first cast on st and knit it together with first st on needle. Repeat and then cast off one.  To leave a hole for the thumb cast off 12 st (test fit the length of the top of your mit now add st to cast off if you want the top longer and make a note for the next mit). To leave the hole just cast off 8st from the working needle only. Miss 8 cast on st and begin again knitting cast on edge and needle st continue to Knit the tow together and cast off – work to end.

I have found that it is easy to add some fun to these mitts with simple stranding colour work too. It works for other DK AND adapts for 4ply  yarns. I even made Peter some which he like cause they let him fiddle and keep his hands warm!!!

The mitts wear easily with or without the thumb. Make sure your tension gives a stretch to the fabric produced and make the mitt length slightly smaller than the circumference of your hand.

HAPPY KNITMAS

Snow Way!!!

As I crunched through the snow this morning I did wonder how busy the shop will be and tried to: A avoid sliding and B think of a topic to write about here. Its been a while (I have been under the influence of antibiotics as well as …this is well…. supposed to be retails biggest time of year you know!!) since my last rant and well …… less said quickest mended. I am not out to fleece any of my customers and I sell products I think are best quality rather than just a ‘brand’.

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To the blog….. I went off to look through my photo images for inspiration and photos of WYS The Croft (above) and Gems (more on that later) when I came across these…..

We have a bit of a week last week. Health was an issue for various people. I hope Pauline is now on the right road to recovery. Both Jacob and Ceri had a few hours in hospital. The later resulted in a few days at ‘work’ in the shop for Peter. We made pompom and coloured, tried and failed to crochet (patience is not his thing), at one point I gave him my camera – there were a number of customers in the shop at the time (their images not included to protect the innocent) and I hadn’t realised he was taking shots. This is a Peter’s eye view of RedAppleYarn!

By Peter aged 4 and 1/4 —- There are some strange views of the fittings and fixtures and the stock, but another perspective…

Onto WYS, as a stockist I get previews and promotional emails from them. It is good to know new products are coming out in advance (look out for new colours in the Signature in the spring). The last one I got made me start. Not because they are up for Awards with the British Craft Council ( vote here). They get nominated because they are good British products, produced with the maker in mind. Modern colours and yarn that is really good to work with. Have to say we have stocked them since we opened because we like the Britishness and they are based in my home town, quite a lot of things to like really……

Nominations for Knitting Brand and Knitting product – The Croft a yarn produced in collaboration with Jamiesons and Smith Shetland, lovely to work with and soft to wear, it is a tweed effect yarn.  For Crochet product and best brand. I was a bit taken by the idea of Gems (the new Wensleydale wool yarn) being best crochet product and had to go try it. It crochets well and gives fluffy look to ‘granny squares’ especially after washing (knits nice too)…… there are some lovely bright colours in the range ‘very crochet’!

 

It was more the promotion encouragement to vote —— does anyone else think it is odd (weird, counter intuitive, cynical, just a sign of the times ……..) that an organisation all about promoting and maintaining individual hand-making skills and crafting should be sponsored by the biggest on-line retailing, commercially motivated, money interested, mega company, juggernaut on the planet?  Must be the William Morris in me!!