international women’s day – tree of life mittens – free pattern

#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

#12monthsofhappy – february 2017

#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

#12monthsofhappy – january 2017

Hello friends, how have you been? Today I want to introduce you to a new monthly feature here on the Made with Loops blog.

#madewithloops.co.uk #12monthsofhappy

I am calling it #12monthsofhappy

Knit a square a month to use as a dish/facecloth. A simple stylish design every month for 2017 will make a beautiful stack of soft squares at the end of it. Use any soft DK cotton or linen yarn of your choice plus some 4mm knitting needles and you are good to go.

Why?…well, I ask you: “Is there anything nicer than a homemade dish/facecloth?”

Ever since I made my first one a few years ago, I have been totally smitten and have never wanted to use a shop bought one again.

Whether you are just learning to knit or you are a seasoned knitting pro wanting a quick project, a knitted dish/facecloth pattern is a perfect tool for many reasons. This is a perfect way to try out a new stitch, a bit like knitting up a swatch to determine gauge before beginning a larger project.

#12monthsofhappy #madewithloops.co.uk

Another reason for loving to knit these beauties is that they make wonderful homemade gifts. In no time at all, you can create a beautiful and practical gift to give to a friend or family member. Knitted dishcloths are both a practical and fun way to explore and expand your knitting skills. Finally, everyone can use a few extra dishcloths around the kitchen, and in the bathroom a pretty stack of facecloths looks fabulous too.

Please share your beauties with the rest of us by tagging your photos with #12monthsofhappy on social media – you can also tag me in your pictures (@madewithloops on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).

Can’t wait to see what fabulous colour and yarn combo’s you come up with!

Here is the first pattern:

#madewithloops.co.uk #12monthsofhappy

What you need:

Approx. 80m of soft DK yarn – I used Rowan Lenpur Linen 50g/115m

4mm Knitting Needles

Darning Needle to weave in ends

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

How to:

Cast on a multiple of 5 sts plus 2 – 47 sts for this cloth

Rows 1-5: *K1, p1; rep. from * – finish K1

Row 6 (RS): (K1, p1) twice, k4, *p1, k4; rep. from * to last 8 sts, k4, (p1, k1) twice

Row 7: (K1, p1) twice, k1, *p2, k3; rep. from * to last 7sts, p2, (k1, p1) twice, k1

Repeat rows 6 & 7 until piece measures 17cm and then work rows 1-5 once again.

Cast off and weave in all ends.

Enjoy! X.

If you prefer you can also download a PDF version of this pattern here!

 

advent give-away part 4

#adventgiveaway #madewithloops #dalahorsepincushion

Happy 4th Advent everyone! A week today and we will all be enjoying festive Christmas cheers with gifts, good food and drink and loved ones by our side. Earlier today the winner of last week’s give-away was drawn, warm congratulations go to Simone from The Netherlands who I had the pleasure meeting last summer when I was staying with my dear friend Marianne.

Today is the last part of the Advent give-away. A last minute gift or small treat for yourself, it takes no time at all and is also perfect for anyone new to stranded knitting.

I love Dala Horses, such a lovely festive Christmas ornament from Sweden. To celebrate my love for these beautifully decorated mostly wooden ornaments, I have come up with a small version of my own in the shape of a pin cushion.

What you need:

Small amount of yarn in two colours, preferably 4ply

3mm knitting needles

Darning needle

Small amount of toy stuffing

How To:

Using colour A cast on 24 sts and work 2 rows in stocking stitch. Work the complete chart once.

#dalahorsepincushion #madewithloops.co.uk

Fasten off colour B and continue in colour A only. Knit 26 rows in stocking stitch. Cast off all stitches. Weave in ends and block lightly to open up the pattern. Close all sides using backstitch, adding toy stuffing as you go.

#dalahorsepincushion #madewithloops.co.uk

I have made mine using traditional red and white, but this will look equally pretty in many other colour combinations. The choice is yours! If you prefer, you can also download the pattern as a printable PDF document by clicking here.

#dalahorsepincushion #madewithloops.co.uk

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Enjoy X.

 

advent give-away part 3

#adventgiveaway #madewithloops #shawlproject

Happy third Advent everyone! Only two more weeks and Christmas is upon us. Is is just me, or are the days flying passed at some super-sonic speed? So many things still to do, and so little time left to do them in! Zillion’s of projects still to finish, and my mind is already racing ahead planning new ones…I really must slow down a bit and work on something purely for my own pleasure. But before I do that, let me tell you about this weeks give-away.

#adventgiveaway #madewithloops.co.uk #springshawl

Remember the Spring Shawl? This is a design I did a little while ago as a free pattern during my time as a Scheepjes blogger. This week I am giving away the yarn to make one for yourself, because even though it is called the Spring Shawl, it’s really an all year round favourite.

#adventgiveaway #madewithloops.co.uk #springshawl

The give-away consists of one ball Scheepjes Invicta Colour in shade 967 and one ball Scheepjes Invicta Extra in shade 1347, the only other thing you need is the pattern which you can download directly from here for free. The shawl is a quick and relaxing knit with a shape that is versatile enough to wear in many different ways.

To enter just subscribe to my blog and leave a comment telling me what it is you like about shawl knitting. This give-away is open to anyone anywhere in the world, providing your postal system is reliable enough to receive the package. The winner will be announced next Sunday.

Get commenting and good luck!

X.

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