Staffin Socks – a new pattern

Hello lovely Peeps, how are you all?

I hope you are enjoying these last days of summer before we will all have to settle into our autumn/winter routines (well, Northern Hemisphere that is).

Why not start the journey into autumn and the colder time of year with a lovely pair of new cosy socks – hand-knitted of course!

Now is a great time to start preparing for cooler times ahead. With evenings drawing in and getting cooler, what better time to start thinking about cosy evenings knitting, either for yourself or gifts for friends.

September 15th – “This is the month of quiet days, crimson creepers and blackberries; of mellow afternoons in the ripening garden; of tea under the acacias instead of the too shady beaches; of wood-fires in the library in the chilly evenings.” (Elizabeth von Arnim 1866-1941 taken from the book Elizabeth and her German Garden first published in 1898 )

With all of this in mind, I have designed my Staffin Socks, a new pattern released this week.

Inspired by the sloping buttresses of the Trotternish escarpment on the Isle of Skye, especially the weirdly shaped rock pinnacles of the Old Man of Storr, the pattern is a mix of simple knit, purl and twisted stitches. The heel, using German short rows, and wedged toe shape with a gathered tip, fit the foot perfectly. Add to this Shilsdair’s beautifully hand-dyed yarn using local plants, the finished item does not disappoint, and you will have a super comfy pair of socks you won’t want to take off.

The pattern is available to purchase via my usual channels – you find links in the menu on the right.

I hope you feel inspired to make a pair and if you do, please tag me on social media @madewithloops or #staffinsocks.

Until soon, stay safe! xo.

Turkish Delight Bolster Cushion

Hello friends, I hope you are well.

Maybe you have been able to extract yourself from lockdown in small steps, enjoying some more freedom of movements again. Maybe, like me, you are still not allowed to break free from the constraints and are meant to stay put for some time to come. Whatever the case may be, I hope you are keeping your spirits up enjoying life as best as you can.

In today’s post I would like to introduce you to my colourful crochet Bolster Cushion. Some of you might remember it from a few years ago when it was a crochet along organised by myself and a friend.

I had never really thought about putting it together as a single pattern, until recently that is. In recent weeks I have been asked repeatedly about purchasing the pattern and this got me thinking. So today is the day that I can release this cushion as a single download in both my Ravelry and Lovecrafts stores.

The bolster cushion was inspired by my love of design, architecture and colours found in North Africa and the Middle East. Having extensively travelled in those countries, taking endless photos, my work is often influenced by impressions gathered. This design shows off these influences by incorporating texture and colour in equal measure.

Bolsters are usually firm for back or arm support or for decorative application and have been in use since the 12th century. They are not a standard size or shape and commonly have a button or zip closure. A foam insert is used for additional support. Also referred to as a cushion, in western countries a bolster is usually placed at the head of one’s bed and functions as head or lower back support, or as an arm support on furniture with high rigid sides.

With this bolster cushion you have the opportunity to own a beautiful and useful homeware item inspired by the colours and designs of North Africa and the Middle East.

The cushion incorporates various crochet techniques and by choosing either bold and striking, or more subtle colours you can tailor it to suit your own home.

For my sample I used beautiful Vinnis Colours Nikkim, a soft 100% cotton yarn from South Africa. The yarn is hand-dyed and is available in a huge array of colours. You can of course substitute with any yarn of your choice, however, I recommend that you do not use acrylic yarns.

Wishing you many happy crochet or knitting hours, until soon.

Take care and be safe. xo

Sisterhood Wrap – a new pattern

This is the story about two sister, living in two different countries but trying to earn a crust doing the same thing and sharing the dream to publish some designs together.

Sometime last summer when I visited my sister in Germany, during one of our usual yarn shopping days, I bought the most beautiful merino / silk yarn aptly named: Seidenstrasse or Silk Road in English.

Anyone who knows me a little, knows about my wish to travel the old Silk Road, following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. Places like Samarkand and Tashkent, full of folk tradition, beautiful silks and carpets, and colourful patterned tiles, invite you to visit and gather inspiration.

The purchase of the yarn also coincided with the delivery of Cecelia Campochiaro’s incredible book: Sequence Knitting, a book of over 190 fabrics, many of which are reversible.

The next few days were spent by two sisters thinking and swatching and finally the “Sisterhood Wrap” was born.

Ellen and I have wanted to publish a pattern together for a long time and today you hold the first of many happy sister collaborations in your hands.

The Pattern is available in English and German via Ellen’s Ravelry Store HERE or my LoveCrafts Store. All links can be found on the right column of this blog.

This is a very relaxing and rewarding project which will keep you warm and snug for many years to come. The repetitive stitch pattern is very soothing for the soul and the wrap is totally reversible.

Enjoy and happy knitting! xo.

Lily of the Valley

About five years ago I met my now dear friend Emma of The Little Grey Sheep. Bit by bit I got to know her and her beautiful yarns and during these past few years I have learned more and more about Well Manor Farm and Emma’s vision for it: Farming ethically and sustainably!

Well Manor Farm is a small family farm on the Surrey & Hampshire borders, nestled amongst the rolling countryside and dating back to Tudor times. Here the aim is to care for the landscape by farming in a nurturing and non intensive way, and by not over stocking enhancing biodiversity and  preserve the environment for generations to come.

Susie, the farms shepherdess, manages the flock and shears them at Christmas time. The fibre is then send off for washing and spinning with care before arriving back at the farm for hand dying by Emma. A British product through and through!

For the past few years Emma and I have worked on a number of design collaborations together. Using her beautiful yarns is a privilege and absolute pleasure as it stands for everything close to my heart: Farming and living ethically and sustainably, producing less waste and doing my bit to help save our beautiful planet. Hand-dyed by Emma on the farm the yarn is available in an array of stunning colours and the only difficulty is choosing which yarn and shades to use.

For Lily of the Valley I choose to work with Hampshire 4Ply, a 100% Pure Wool yarn. A little rustic, available in the most stunning shades and a joy to work with, this yarn becomes super soft after the first wash and envelopes you in a soft hug, keeping you snug and warm throughout all seasons.

The shawl is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border, comprising of simple yarn over’s and small bobbles. The crescent shape is achieved by working short rows and the result is a long shallow shawl that is very easy to wear.

Three shades of green work in perfect harmony together and this shawl is set to become a firm favourite in no time.

Launching today, the pattern is available as part of a kit from Emma at The Little Grey Sheep (HERE) or from Monday 29 August 2019 as a single pattern via my Ravelry Store (link in menu on right).

Happy knitting! XO

where is summer

According to my calendar, summer should be around the corner and temperatures rising to the mid twenties (Celsius that is). So far there is no sign of it and right now the rain is lashing against my windows with a very strong wind howling outside and my heating on to keep warm.

Time for pots of tea, blanket over knees and knitting in my hands 🙂

Why not knit yourself a shawl while waiting for Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter on the Southern Side of planet Earth.

Today sees the release of my A Perfect Day shawl single download version. Up to now the pattern was only available as part of a kit but as of now you can download just the pattern from my Ravelry Store HERE.

The shawl is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border. The crescent shape is achieved by working short rows and the result is a long shallow shawl measuring 180cm x 40cm after blocking. It is a perfect size that is very easy to wear.

You can use yarn from your stash or any yarn you prefer. Singles, sock, fingering – whichever you prefer. Make it your own!

A 10% discount will automatically be applied when purchasing this pattern during the launch promotion from today until midnight Sunday 9th June 2019.

Happy weekend and hope you like it!

Heike xo.