Friday, 17 August 2012

We've Moved!

Please come and join us over at the new website where we will be hosting the TUT blog from now on. Here is the direct link for the blog. You can expect more news, more knitting, more features on fabulous designs, and more fun, food and everything in between.

Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds to keep up to date with all the latest TUT news and features.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

FO Parade

As always, here are some highlights of some amazing projects completed in TUT yarns and shared in the TUT group. I know these posts are particularly enjoyed and I love sharing them with everyone. Who doesn't like some gratuitous knit wear images?

First up we have a beautifully stylish cardigan knit up by ClaudiaPetra in Silky Merino Fingering. This 75/ 25 Merino and Silk mix gives the garment a beautiful drape and was a great choice for the cardigan. The pattern is the Alys Cardigan by Bristol Ivy and is a paid for pattern from Quince and Company's pattern range. What I really like about this knit is not only the gorgeous way it drapes but also the crisp definition for the cable details. The colourway is 'charred', a deep grey with interesting highlights and tones that work well over large and small garments. Great work Claudia!

Next is Stringygirl's take on Veera Valimaki's 'Line Break' pattern: a beautiful swirl of a shawl.When I asked if I could share this FO, Stephanie admitted that she's obsessed with this FO and wears it almost every day. She also admitted that she already has another shawl planned in this base! It's always so nice to hear such a positive reaction to my yarns, thank you Stephanie. The yarn is the Heavenly Fingering which is a smooth, plied and incredibly soft mix of Alpaca, Silk and Cashmere. The colour used here is called 'After the Rain' and is ideal for such a solid wrap. 

The next FO made me gasp a little when I saw it, I adore the way it's been worked up, the colour choices and the photography to show it off. Indiecita used up every scrap her three skeins of Sumptuous DK to make this wrap/ scarf. The pattern is by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails and is called 'Black Cherry Lambic'. The colourway used here is called Toast and makes me yearn for Autumn. 

The last FO to share this month is a showstopper. The colourway choices used in this version of 'Spectra' that Konela knit up are perfect for such a bold and graphic design. The colours used here are 'Jonquille, Mais Pas Gentille' and 'Charred' in Super Sock. Super Sock is a 2ply 100% merino base with lots of definition so would have been ideal for such a crisp knit. Great colour choices Kerryn

As always a huge thanks to the knitters who gave permission for us to share their hard work and beautiful images.

Monday, 13 August 2012

New Yarns

In the last post, I told you about a few new things to expect in this coming update and promised to share some more news soon. Well I have two new yarns that will feature in the update on the 17th August 2012 and here's some details to get you excited.

The first base is a beautiful new Merino Lace that is 100% superwash and works up a little like a light fingering as it's a bit heavier than a laceweight yarn. This is a singles yarn so will be soft and lustrous to work with. Ideal for shawls and finer knits. 

'Robin's Egg' will feature in the update

The other base is another 100% superwash but this time is a Silky Merino Lace. The Silk and Merino mix is 70% Merino and 30% Silk spun into singles. Again, it's a slightly heavier laceweight as there is 600m (656yd) per 100g skein. This would be ideal for a larger shawl and is actually the base I used to knit up my Echo Flower Shawl. 

Remember, for full details of each update, sign up to the newsletter or keep an eye on the Ravelry Group's News Thread.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


When I get a new base that I'm interested in stocking or a new colourway that I want to introduce, I really like to test it out and see how the yarn feels or the colour knits up. It's a really nice part of the creative process of dyeing as I want knitters and crafters to love the end product as much as the first moment they laid eyes on their skein to work with.

In the next post I'll be sharing some specific details about two new bases I will be including in the next update. There will be an update when I get back from holiday, on Friday 17 August at 4pm BST. Please keep an eye for news on the Ravelry Group's News Thread as this may well be our very first update on the new website. I will also send out newsletters with spoilers when I get back so make sure you're signed up

In the meantime I want to share some news about the colourways I've created and have been working with to test the colours. One of the new colourways that will be featured in the update is called 'Robin's Egg', a delicate and cool blue that I thought would be beautiful in a lacy shawl. This is also in a new base that I'll be telling you all about next post.

I cast on an Echo Flower Shawl, which is a free pattern by Jenny Johnson Johnen and enjoyed it immediately. I found the shawl really quick and easy to work up despite the heavy lace and it only took me about a week to complete. The shawl is knit top down and I worked 11 repeats of the chart and I realise now that I probably could have managed one more repeat as after I completed the repeats I had 50g of yarn left. I'd hesitated because the edge is full of nupps which I know from experience can really consume yarn, but I probably could have squeezed in another 1 or 2 repeats. Keep an eye on my Ravelry projects page for it to appear soon.

There's also another colourway coming, 'Twig' but you'll have to wait for the newsletter to see that one...!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Reading Along

While plotting and planning what knitting I'll be taking to France with me during my holiday I've got one definite plan sorted: what to read. I rarely have time to read these days between the shop, looking after family and KNITTING. However, I had a great recommendation from another knitter and I love it when that happens so I have a book ready to enjoy.

Beth Kling, the designer behind the fabulous Occitan kit collaboration, mentioned her inspiration for the name Occitan came from a historial novel that she was enjoying reading. It sounded familiar so I wrote to her and asked what the book was. It turns out she also loves Kate Mosse, an author whose books I really enjoy too. We talked about 'The Eight' by Katherine Neville, and realised it is another book we both enjoyed reading. She casually asked if I'd enjoyed the sequel called 'The Fire'. I didn't know there was a sequel! So I instantly got my hands on a copy of the book and am planning on reading as much as I can on holiday. Don't you love it when that happens? You discovered a common author that you and a friend both enjoy and suddenly you have a new book to read that you're sure you'll love.

Perfect! Now I just need to decide on some knitting.....

ppsssttttt  Some of the more beady eyed amongst you may have spotted that TUT has started to move into it's new home. Things are just getting set up and the blog won't be moving just yet. I'll let you know nearer the time when it's time to update your RSS feed.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Obsidian Designer: Lisa Mutch

The new Obsidian kits will be released on 15 August. This series of collaborations have been so inspiring and exciting and I'm glad people are enjoying them as much as we are creating them. Lisa is a distinctive designer who works hard to make clean lines, simple shapes and stunning hand dyes work up into moody designs and satisfying accessories to both knit and wear. I invited Lisa to answer some questions for the blog so that you can get to know her a little better. Here's what she had to say:

The stage is yours, tell us a little about yourself!
Well, besides knitting, dyeing, designing and spinning, I'm a mom to two wonderful and very active children, Brooklyn, 7 and Brodie, 3.  I also love reading, vegetable gardening, red wine and bubble baths.

What’s your knitting journey so far?
My knitting journey began roughly 10 years ago when I quit smoking and decided knitting would be a great way to occupy my hands. I bought 'How to Knit' by Debbie Bliss, a set of needles and some terrible acrylic yarn and taught myself how to knit. My specialty was scarves, or really anything rectangular or square with absolutely no shaping until I stumbled upon the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog. Reading her hilarious stories about knitting disasters gave me the motivation to teach myself a few crucial knitting skills allowing me to graduate to hats, socks, shawls and eventually sweaters. 

How did you start designing and what is your favourite part of the process?
I began designing very quickly after teaching myself to knit. I never seemed to have the right size needles or weight of yarn and I could never, ever get the correct gauge. (Which continues to be a problem for me to this day, I'm a notoriously loose knitter. Ahem.) So I started making up things as I went along with what I had.

Was there a particular inspiration for this design?
 I love garter stich at a loose gauge, it has such a wonderful texture and I've always wanted a sweater with a giant cowl neck so this idea of mine has been brewing for a while now. Ce's BFL Sock is such a wonderful yarn for sweaters, being tough and resilient yet soft enough for next to skin wear. I've used this base before for sweaters, cowls and shawls and it's one of my all-time favourites, especially in the 'Charred' dark and mysterious!
What drew you to working with TUT yarns and a collaboration?
Ce and I met on Ravelry a few years ago and since day one, I've adored her gorgeous yarn. I very quickly acquired quite the collection of TUT yarns and have tried almost all of her fabulous bases. My favourite colourways are all of her wonderful, smokey greys and charcoals, her warm neutrals and of course, I love to sneak in a bit of Debauchery here and there. ;)

What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have so many ideas for new designs, if only I could knit as fast as my mind dreams them up! I've been swatching with some heavier weight bases lately for a few squishy, warm winter garments, and of course, more shawls, cowls and scarves. It seems like I can't leave the house without something handknit and fabulous around my neck.

A huge thank you to Lisa for supplying such lovely answers that shows her gentle and warm nature. If you would like to purchase your own Obsidian yarn and pattern kit, you will find them listed on my Etsy shop on 15 August or check out the Ravelry Group News thread for regular update news.  

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.