Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Cecilia Flori

There's been some lovely designs shared in our Ravelry group design thread and I noticed that a regular in our group, Ceciknits, has a few patterns using TUT yarns. I just had to share them here as they are really stylish and great single skein projects (You can see a recent FO from Ceci in this month's FO parade too- she's quite the knitter).

(c) Cecilia Flori
One project I know had been very popular since its creation is 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' which is available for free download on Ravelry. This is a medium size cowl with tiny folded edges and many 'suns' that are created through textured stitches. Ceci thinks that these suns will bring light to our lives in the cold and gray days to come and I couldn't agree more. The pattern calls for just one skein of fingering weight yarn so would be ideal for a treat or a stashbuster. Ceci's colourway is the beautifully warm 'Madras' and I think it's a great pick me up on the cold days we've been having here in the UK. 

(c) Cecilia Flori

Her other design, 'Displaced', is also available for download on Ravelry but this time is a paid for pattern. Displaced is a small asymmetric hat that is a cross between a slightly slouched beanie and a snug beret. The hat pattern includes suggestions for single color and multi-color versions as well as  suggested mods for a deeper crown and/or a more slouchy overall result. The pattern calls for one skein of Lush Worsted and is shown here in the 'Plata' colourway.

(c) Cecilia Flori

Both of the designs are wonderful Cecilia, thank you so much for featuring TUT yarns in your work. For more inspiration of what to do with your TUT skeins, check out the designs thread in the TUT Ravelry Group here.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Share a Little Something

When I first started this blog, I had no intention of it being ALL knitting. I mean, knitting is fabulous and I am completely obssessed but it's nice to share other things on blogs too. So today I thought I would share a favourite shop and online store of mine that I can't rave enough about. 

Verde London is an independent company that make products for skin care, health and beauty and well being using fresh ethically sourced quality ingredients. Established in 1987, Verde have shown total commitment to producing preparations that are tailored to their customers needs, are not tested on animals and comply to the standards laid down by the MCA (Medical Controls Agency). There is lots of information both online and instore to help people choose natural products with many great therapeutic benefits.

I use lots of Verde's products and often recommend them to friends for specific reasons such as problem skin or natural solutions to everyday health problems like bruises or stings. If you'd like to give them a try, why not pop over and see their online store? I cannot recommend them enough but be warned, you could spend hours on this website!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


I've got it bad. All I have wanted to do is knit and everytime I look on Ravelry I'm seeing more yummy knitting things and thinking about another project to cast on. As it is, I'm obssessed with sock knitting and seem to have caught the sock knitting bug. 

I made these lovely socks a while ago, remember? At the time I was doubtful about my sock knitting mojo and wondered if I'd ever be one of those knitters that is always knitting socks. Apparently the tipping point for me was learning how to knit two socks at a time. Now all I want to do is knit socks- no second sock syndrome for me! So not only do I have a serious case of castonitis, I also have the sock bug. 

No sooner had I got one pair of socks off the needles, then I cast on for another pair immediately. Emily had showed me a pair she made in her yarn, and I just had to have a pair for myself. She was knitting hers cuff down so I converted my version to toe up and am knitting a 3 by 1 rib across the whole sock with a cuff that is worked in a 1 by 1 twisted rib. I love them! For extra interest I'm using a contrasting heel and toe to the rest of the sock and I will share pictures when I finish them. 

What knitting bug have you caught lately?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

FO Parade

I am really enjoying this monthly feature as it basically means I get to share wonderful knitwear in my yarn. There are so many talented knitters out there working with TUT yarn and it's such an honour to feature a selection here for everyone to 'ooooo' and 'ahhhhhhh' over too.

Let's start with a real lovely and one that not only combines the beauty of simple lace but also has little tassles for added cute factor! ZarahMaria worked this beautiful Camomile pattern up in two different bases of TUT yarn using the 'Tea Smoked' colourway. The design is by Helga Isager and is quite 'graphic' in terms of lean lines and sharp edges for a lace shawl. The addition of the delicate pink yarn adds a completely different twist on this design. Zarah used the Heavenly Fingering base for the majority of the shawl and worked the tassels up in the Organic Merino Lace. I'll bet it's super soft and so divine to wrap silk, cashmere and alpaca around yourself and play with the delicate little tassles. 

The next FO is also stunning but for completely different reasons. This bold interpretation of the very popular Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig is incredible. Ceciknits worked a summery treat up with plenty of modifications to get just the right layering piece she wanted. It's fabulous. The colour is created by combining two different tones of yellow in stripes throughout the garment and it's so cheerful yet stylish. The first colourway is 'Brassica' on the Alpaca Silk Lace base which is smooth and plied but also soft and gives a gorgeous drape to fabrics. The other yellow is in the popular BFL Sock base in the colourway Gold Rush.

The Colour Affection shawl by Veera Valimaki is incredibly popular right now and KreuzbergStrickt's version is amazing. The bold colours of the Madelinetosh 'Dahlia' were complemented by some Super Sock fingering weight in 'Plata' and 'Les Fleurs'. KreuzbergStrickt's project notes shows that she too loved the super soft 2ply yarn and it really showed the texture of the garter stitch with its great stitch definition and lovely texture. Simply stunning.

The next project combines two favourite things: Lisa Mutch designs with TUT yarn. Knitabyebaby shared her rather delicious looking version of 'Capture' in the Silky Alpaca Sport colourway 'Leaden'. This cool blue really shows off the texture that Lisa is able to create with simple stitches and strong lines. I also love the way the nature of this base (smooth with a slight fuzz) adds a new twists to the open work of the stitches.

From cool and airy to warm and classic looking- these Welted Mitts knitted by SusanneS-vV are fabulous. The pattern is Welted Fingerless Gloves from Churchmouse yarns and teas. It's hard to believe these are Susanne's first ever mitts that she's knit as they are so beautifully worked up in Lush Worsted 'Toast' colourway. The texture of the merino, cashmere and nylon blend of Worsted is really showcased by the plain stockingette and texture contrast in this knit. I also love the buttons!

Lastly, I was rather spoilt by this stunning shawl that ButterflyKnits designed for me as part of a swap I took part in recently. I'll write about it as soon as the pattern is published, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peak at how much I was spoilt. Using the 'Brassica' colourway in the Silky Alpaca Sport base, Butterflyknits designed a gorgeous shawl and I can't wait to share more details with you soon. 

If you''re now craving some TUT goodness to knit with, don't forget there's an update coming very soon. Tune in this coming Friday 13 July at 4pm BST. As always, you can check your local time here. Lots and lots of fabulous new things and if you want to keep up to date with what to expect, don't forget to sign up for the TUT newsletter.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Something New

Things have been pretty busy around here and I've been planning lots of fun things over the last few months to keep things fresh and interesting. One of the things I wanted to do was update the skein labels and I am so pleased with how they turned out. 

They are made of 100% post consumer waste, hand-cut and strung with hemp. Then lovingly hand-stamped by my wonderful assistant Jo. Can you see why I’m in love?

The good news doesn't stop there though as I'm working on a new website that is being built as I type. I can't wait to show you!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Not One But TWO KALs...

Have you visited the TUT Ravelry Group lately? We're very busy chatting about our favourite skeins, projects and suggesting Knit Alongs. It seems everyone is as addicted to knitting as I am!

We have a great KAL for those who aren't very good at sticking to plans or perhaps haven't knit along with a group before. This summer we're hosting the Lazy Summer KAL which means you can knit whatever project you want, as long as it's in TUT yarn. So that's work in progress taming, cast on mayhem or something you have been meaning to knit for ages. There's even a spin off West Knits KAL from this for those people having a go at his second mystery shawl knit along.

We also have had a lot of chatter about the Occitan kits which were a huge success. There was so much excitement in fact, that another KAL sprang up! So that's a lot of different ways to participate in the group which is great as you can count any project you're working on like the Occitan, WestKnits shawl or perhaps your Ravellenics project, towards more TUT chatter. 


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Off the Needles

A while ago, we held a Lace KAL in the TUT Ravelry Group and I wrote about my choice to knit the Crocus Shawl, a pretty big lace challenge for me. The Crocus Shawl is designed by by Hiroko Folkmann Drost and is an Estonian Lace inspired shawl which I initially found very intimidating despite its beauty. 

I think I must have underestimated my skill level as I loved working on this project and really enjoyed the whole experience. I worked this up in Heavenly Cobweb, the new base that I think worked really well on such an intricate lace pattern. It is supremely soft and the end result is breathtaking.

I had a huge sense of accomplishment once I finished this shawl as it was by far the most complicated knit I had ever completed. Having now finished it, I feel completely invincible and feel I can take on more challenging knits in the future. I've already worn it a lot as I'm so proud of the end result. 

What finished item are you most proud of?