#treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.ukHello friends, how have you been?

Today is International Women’s day 2017 and seems the perfect day to introduce you to a new free pattern and a very special new yarn called “From the Mountain” – Afghan Cashmere. The yarn is distributed by Michelle du Plessis of Scaapi and available from April at Knit with attitude in the UKTrollenwol in the Netherlands and Ekolikka in Finland, with more stockists in the pipeline. It is a 100% Cashmere, Hand Spun & Undyed Sport Weight Yarn available in four natural colours on 100g/250m hanks with a gauge of 22-24 sts using a 3.5 mm needle.

#treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.uk

Like all the yarns Michelle supplies, this one comes with it’s own very interesting story.

War torn Afghanistan is home to some 73 million cashmere goats, but only about 30% of them were being harvested for fibre according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Susan Inglis, the founder of From the Mountain met Abdul Basir Hotak, the owner of a cashmere processing business in Herat, Afghanistan while working as a consultant for USAID in 2011. Contracted by the Sustainable Agriculture Programme to work with him and to bring new opportunities to rural areas, she and Mr Hotak seized the opportunity to invest in building a supply of this premium fibre.

#treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.uk

He sourced a network of spinners in remote areas and is now managing a cottage industry that supports 100 women. After over a decade of conflict, many of these women have been left head of their household, with very few safe and socially acceptable ways to earn an income. Spinning this cashmere provides families with an economic alternative to growing poppies for opium.

treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.uk

From the Mountain cashmere is available in 4 natural shades. The yarn is untreated and is handspun using a drop spindle. It is deliciously soft and has been described as “absolutely luscious”, “silky as butter” and “incredibly soft”.

I absolutely loved working with this yarn and know that you will too. By purchasing this yarn you will help women and their children who have paid a high prize due to the many conflicts of war in their beautiful country.

#treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.uk

#treeoflifemittens #madewithloops.co.uk

For further information please visit the Scaapi website or get in touch with Michelle via e-mail at info@scaapi.nl

The Free Pattern can be downloaded by clicking on this link HERE.

Enjoy and happy knitting!

X.

Note: Some information & photos supplied by Scaapi

Hello friends from a cold and snowy Wales!

At the end of December last year I came across a lot of photos of a particularly lovely shawl on Instagram. As I was looking for some easy knitting after all the hard work and many hours that went into the “Little Book of Shawls“, I thought it would also be a fabulous way to use up some of my stash of odd hanks of yarn. As it is always fun to knit something in unison with someone else, I asked my ‘little’ sister (find her brand new blog here) if she fancied joining me in this knitting adventure. She was keen and off we went!

First I spent ages looking in my stash for the right colours and after a lot of umming and ahhing…I was ready to wind lots of yummy cakes…lush cakes made up of yarns from Skein Queen, Rowan and Koigu.

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

I started knitting during the Christmas break and instantly fell in love with this pattern by Andrea Mowry of dreareneeknits. The ‘how to’ is easily memorised and it was perfect telly knitting for me.

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

As the shawl grew it became very clear that a seventh colour was needed to finish it off, so back to my stash I went to find something befitting all this gorgeousness. I could tell this was going to be rather on the large side as far as shawls go, and by the time I finished it was very clear that blocking this ‘monster’ was going to be a challenge. So, unlike my normal blocking method of pinning on the flat, this one was hung over the balustrade to stretch out and open the eyelet pattern.

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

It worked a treat and I am totally chuffed with the result.

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

A very versatile large shawl that will get a lot of wear. The perfect shawl to use up a lot of stash yarn and a very relaxing knit even a total novice can tackle.

Until soon, enjoy!

X.

#find your fade #madewithloops.co.uk

#12monthsofhappy #madewithloops.co.uk

#12monthsofhappy – february 2017

Hello friends, how are you? Well I hope and keeping warm.

Time has certainly flown by these past few weeks and it’s hard to believe we are already half way through February. I must admit though that I am not crying about it as January is my most disliked month of them all. So flat after Christmas, and so long dark and wet here in Wales. Half way through February, days are getting longer and friendly snow drops are cheerfully dancing in the wind in my garden. Altogether a happier month!

It’s also that time again for our monthly installment of dishcloth pattern…

#12monthsofhappy #madewithloops.co.uk

…and after a friendly reader from Germany suggested that I should write the pattern out in both English and German I thought; “What a good idea!”…so here goes:

What you need – Man braucht

Approx. 50m of soft cotton yarn – I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran 50g/85m

Ungefähr 50m weiches Baumwollgarn – Ich nahm Rico Creative Cotton Aran 50g/85m

4mm Knitting Needles – 4mm Stricknadeln

Darning Needle to weave in ends – Stopfnadel zum Fäden vernähen

Finished size of the cloth: 20 x 20 cm when slightly stretched

Fertige Maße des Spültuchs: 20 x 20 cm etwas gedehnt

How to – So gehts

Cast on a multiple of 8 sts plus 10 – 50 sts for this cloth

Ein vielfaches von 8M plus 10 anschlagen – 50M für dieses Tuch

Rows 1 + 3 (WS): K4, *p2, k6; rep. from *, end p2, k4

Reihe 1 + 3 (RR): 4Mre, *2Mli, 6Mre; von * wiederholen, enden 2Mli, 4Mre

Row 2: P4, *k2, p6; rep. from *, end k2, p4

Reihe 2: 4Mli, *2Mre, 6Mli; von * wiederholen, enden 2Mre, 4Mli

Row 4: Knit

Reihe 4: Alle M re

#12monthsofhappy #madewithloops.co.uk

Rows 5 + 7: K8, *p2, k6; rep. from *, end p2, k8

Reihe 5 + 7: 8Mre, *2Mli, 6Mre; von * wiederholen, enden 2Mli, 8Mre

Row 6: P8, *k2, p6; rep. from *, end k2, p8

Reihe 6: 8Mli, *2Mre, 6Mli; von * wiederholen, enden 2Mre, 8Mli

Row 8: Knit

Reihe 8: Alle M re

Repeat rows 1-8 six more times.

Reihen 1-8 noch sechs mal wiederholen.

Cast off and weave in all ends.

Alle Maschen abketteln und Fäden vernähen.

Enjoy! X.Viel Spaß X.

As before, a PDF of the pattern (in both languages) can be downloaded by clicking HERE

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