blanket knit along

#knitalong #isager #knitting #madewithloops

Hello my lovelies, how have you been? Sorry for my absence and not posting earlier, but it’s been a very busy couple of weeks here at Made with Loops HQ.

Today I can finally show you this beauty of a blanket which has been a secret since the beginning of the year. Back in December of 2015 my WoolyLoops partner Claudia and I invited people to take part in a secret knitalong. A knitalong using beautiful Isager Merilin yarn where participants would receive two new square patterns each month over a period of ten months, with the end result of a beautiful blanket. Two squares per month seemed a realistic amount for even the busiest of people to achieve without stressing anyone out, this was supposed to be fun!

#knitalong #blanket #isager #madewithloops

The response to our initial call out was amazing and working on this project has been much fun. Initially participants chose the colours for their blankets from the palette of Isager Merilin, two colours in most cases. Claudia then used the chosen colours as a guide and dyed the yarn for the blanket border, which gave the finished blanket a very personal and unique touch. Originally there were going to be twenty squares in total, with two new designs being e-mailed out to each person every month. However, I could not resist to give everyone a little surprise and added four bonus squares to the project, which have just been mailed together with two suggestions for the border.

Throughout the knitalong the final look of the blanket has been a secret and it has been very difficult not to share anything of the progress with you. Finally the wait is over and the big ta-dah moment has arrived…

#knitalong #isager #blanket #madewithloops

…happy happy happy me!

Soft and cuddly, a truly cosy warm hug!

X.

PS: If you fancy making one of these beauties (a perfect Christmas gift), you can order a kit from Wollsinn’s website or drop Claudia a note (wollsinn@t-online.de)

miss winkle – a knit along

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Hello my lovelies, I thought I tell you a little more about the knit along that I just took part in, and which is still going strong over on Ravelry. I don’t often have time to taking part in knit alongs, but as I hadn’t done one for so long, I thought:”Why not!”

This particular knit along was organised by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch, who incidentally is the daughter of Lynda who, until last night, was a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee. Sarah’s Ravelry group had an open discussion about which pattern should be used for the knit along, and it was decided that we would be knitting Miss Winkle by Martina Behm. I am sure many of you know Martina’s famous Hitchhiker design which is one of the top downloads on Ravelry. All of her designs are very much achievable by all standards of knitter’s, are a joy to make, and Miss Winkle is no different.

I quickly decided on the yarn I was going to use, a hank of Natural Dye Studio yarn that I had bought a couple of years ago, and which had been especially spun and dyed in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The colour is called Withy Pool, and the yarn is super soft with a combination of 75% British Blue Faced Leicester, 20% Silk and 5% Steel for a little sparkle.

With excitement I started knitting on the 16 March and got into the swing of the pattern very quickly. It was very addictive and instead of the usual: “Just one more row!”, I found myself saying: “Just one more Loop!”, and soon I had knitted quite a few…

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…and after one week…

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Being part of a knit along is great fun for many reasons, first you can see the yarns that all the members choose, this is followed by updated photos of their progress every so often, and then, bit by bit photos of the finished items appear. Best of all, anyone who is stuck with the pattern or has any other question, can get help from a pool of knowledge and resources. It’s a real camaraderie thing which I totally enjoyed being part of again. Thank you to Sarah for organising it, I will look out for the next one. In the meantime here is my finished Miss Winkle, hope you like it? (much better light for this photo too, showing off the true colours of the yarn).

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Why not have a go yourself, trust me…you will love it!

Enjoy! X

the week in pictures

This week has been a busy one for me, here are some of the things I have been working on…

Preparing for new workshops is always a lot of work but also a lot of fun…

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…these two photos show preparations for my workshops in Germany at the end of April. I have been invited to the Backnanger Wollfest for the third time. I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone and hearing what they all have been up to during the past few months.

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I am taking part in a knit along for the first time in ages. This one is organised by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch and it’s not too late to join in. You can find all the details on her blog (link above) or by looking for Ravelry group of same name.

We are knitting a shawl called Miss Winkle, a design by Martina Behm (remember the Hitchhiker shawl), it’s a little unusual with the little loops running along one side of the shawl. I have really got into this pattern and can’t wait to finish it.

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On Wednesday the postman delivered a surprise package from a new friend who I have yet to meet in person. Louise and I met via Instagram (such a friendly place), when I posted a photo of a new crochet design for a table runner and she kindly purchased it from me. We have been in touch ever since and this was a lovely surprise and generous gift – thank you Louise. You can find her and her lovely shop in Chepstow/S.Wales, but if that’s a bit far for you to travel, you can browse and purchase her lovely wares here.

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I also had a little play with flowers! I am working on a wee design to pretty up my (and possibly your) life. More detail about it soon, I promise.

Have a lovely weekend all, whatever you might be doing!

X.

Afghan Finale

Dear diary,

Back in January when Riana Martin of Fibre & Clay in Knutsford and I first put our idea of an Afghan Knitalong to the test with you lovely knitter’s, we had no idea that the response would be so great.

Pat’s Afghan

The idea was that I would design new squares every month, this meant that some month’s there would be 2 new squares and some month’s there would be 4 to do. The squares were going to be a nice and easy size (30 x 30 cm) and we would use Aran yarn. This made them enjoyable to knit and also not a chore to sew up afterwards. All was to be finished with a simple border, a choice was given of a knitted and a crochet version to choose from.

Jackie’s Afghan

Valerie’s Afghan

Sam’s Afghan

Almost immediately we had about 12 knitter’s signing up and more joint during the first month. A small subscription fee bought the patterns and also included a monthly meeting to collect new square designs and have a general get together to exchange Knitalong gossip and get help. Everyone chose their own colour scheme as I didn’t want to impose my taste on anyone and a blanket needs to fit into everyones individual home decor.

Lesley’s Afghan

Heike’s Afghan

The photos here show about half of the finished Afghan’s as unfortunately not everyone was able to be at the great Afghan show and tell meeting. I am hoping to do another post with photos of the other beautiful finished blankets in the not to distant future, so watch this space!

Almost everyone chose to knit their Afghan with Aran yarn apart from Margaret. She decided that she loved Rowan’s 4ply Heritage Tweed so much that she chose to use this yarn instead. On show and tell day we were all totally gobsmacked when she got her blanket out of the bag…

Margaret’s Afghan & Cushion to match

…I think you agree, it is absolutely gorgeous!! A real Ta Dah moment and I am seriously thinking about making one myself 🙂

Afghan Half Way Stage

dear diary,

Hurrah!!!! We are half way there (well some of us are!). Yesterday we had our monthly Afghan Knit-along meeting at lovely Fibre and Clay in Knutsford.

Lovely Fibre & Clay

You might remember, we started this ‘loopy’ knit-along way back in February giving out two new square patterns per month. The blanket will have twenty squares in total and as everyone is progressing so well and we were getting to the half way point, I thought it would be a good idea to surprise everyone and dish out four new square designs this time. This was greeted with the appropriate oooohhhhsss and aaaahhhhsss and when  I showed them mine (so far) needles started making appropriate loops even faster.

The Afghan half way stage

We had a good crowd of ‘loopy’ knitters and the blanket is coming along nicely. If anyone out there is interested in making this blanket and joining in the fun of monthly surprises, please e-mail me at heike.gittins@gmail.com and I can send out a subscription form and some more info.

A 'Loopy' Selection

For now, enjoy the pictures! Happy weekend ‘looping’