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.

fabulous friday follies – 5

Hello friends, how is it all with you? Good I hope…

I have been working hard to get my new Etsy shop, the Made with Loops Bazar, perfectly up and running. It takes a while to get it looking just the way one wants, but I think I am slowly getting there. Have you had a look yet? What do you think? I’d be really grateful for some feedback.

Today I would like to introduce two patterns to you that are brand new in the shop.

Haf Socks still 1

HAF – LACE SUMMER SOCKS

You know my love of sock knitting by now, and it will come as no surprise therefore, that my first introduction is a new sock design. These socks have a delicate lace pattern that can easily be achieved by knitters of all abilities. They are pretty enough to wear in open toed shoes and are simply perfect to put your best foot forward. I promise you…you will love them.

Haf Collage

Meleri Tie still both

Meleri – Neckerchief

The second new design is a cute little Neckerchief. This little beauty bears no resemblance to the utilitarian versions worn by scouts and sailors. Quickly knitted in no more than a couple of evenings, this little frippery will jazz up any outfit and keep the chill off just as evenings turn a little colder. I have made a few using different types of DK yarn, silk for beautiful sheen and drape and soft Alpaca for extra warmth. These make great little gifts…think birthdays or even Christmas (it’s really not that far away)…start planning early!

Meleri Collage

Both these patterns are now available in the shop, as well as some gorgeous new yarns just perfect for these two designs. You can have a little browse just here.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, I hope the sun is shining wherever you are.

Enjoy! X.

oma’s socken – a new pattern

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You may recall me talking about my love of sock knitting in an earlier post here. Since that post I have knitted a couple more pairs.

The pair in the above photo was a request, and will be left as a little surprise on the pillow in the guest room this week when said person comes to stay to keep ‘my girl’ company whilst I am away on my girlie week in the Alps.

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This pair was a gift for a very sweet little girl visiting from Oz. She is the granddaughter of my friend Jackie and needed a warm pair to keep her feet snug. I added some anti-slip latex hearts to keep her safe whilst running around on wooden floors.

In my previous post I talked about the truly amazingly easy to follow pattern, which has been well trialled by at least three generations in my family, from which I knit my socks. I have tried to use different methods to knit socks, but a couple of years ago I realised that I really couldn’t be done with all of that. Trying different methods meant that socks were no longer enjoyable, so I stopped trying to be fancy and went back to my trusted old way. Actually, it is my Oma’s (grandma) way…five double pointed needles and the same maths get’s applied every time. As long as I know how long the leg part wants to be, and the shoe size of the recipient, I can be assured of a perfect fit. Simple stitch patterns, fair isle, or anything else one might fancy can easily be incorporated into the socks, it won’t make any difference to the fit.

After my last post many of you asked me if I could possibly make the pattern available? I thought about it (not for long!), wrote it out and had it test-knitted by non-family, and finally…

HERE it is…

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oma’s socken – download pattern under single patterns on the top menu

I am really excited to finally share this family pattern with you all, it has given me many many happy and memorable hours of knitting, not to mention producing many beautifully warm and cosy pairs of socks for family and friends.

I truly hope my Oma’s pattern can do the same for you.

Enjoy! x

Introducing…

dear diary,

First of all I want to say a big huge thank you to all you lovely people who have already purchased a copy of the latest Lola Loops book. I hope you enjoy knitting many of the lovely designs over the next few weeks.

Today I want to introduce the remaining four designs to you, so here goes…

Meleri Tie s2

MELERI – NECKERCHIEF

This cute little neckerchief bears no resemblance to the utilitarian versions worn by scouts and sailors. Quickly knitted in no more than a couple of evenings, this little frippery will jazz up any spring outfit and the styling  fits in perfectly with this year’s preppy look.

 

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BRANWEN – VINTAGE BEANIE

Using the 1920s era and the style of the Flapper girl as inspiration I created this vintage beanie hat. Dainty and quite elegant this style is perfect during the day, knit in fine wool yarn. Using fine cotton yarn with a thread of sparkle, it can easily be worn as a glamorous accessory for evening.

 

Anna Bag 1

ANNA – NAUTICAL BAG

A girl can never have enough bags and this little number says everything there is to say about summer. Bright and cheerful nautical stripes in classic colours are set off by a sharp green top and gorgeous red leather handles. To make it user-friendly the bag is lined and padded, making it perfect to carry all your essentials right through summer.

 

Alwen Scarf still 2

ALWEN – SPRING LEAVES SCARF

Darling buds of Spring are winding their way up (or down) this light but cosy scarf. Knit in Rowan’s new Soft Knit Cotton yarn, this scarf is super soft and right on trend in this colour too.

As you can see, all the designs can be knitted quickly and don’t require large amounts of yarn either. They make perfect gifts or you could just spoil yourself and keep them all. Whatever you decide, all of them are colourfully perfect for Spring & Summer.

Just like the first book, this one wouldn’t be the same without the fabulous Lola illustrations all drawn by ‘my man’. I think you will agree that they make the book extra special.

A selection…

Front cover sig

Lola Bag Sig

Lola Beanie Sig

Enjoy knitting the patterns x

Lola Loops – Six small things for Spring & Summer

dear diary,

Finally, after many weeks of sketching, mathematical work-outs, lamenting about yarn choices, knitting all the items, writing (and testing) patterns and a fun photo shoot, Lola Loops for Spring & Summer 2013 is ready.

Just like the first, this second Lola Loops book has been a true labour of love and I couldn’t have done it without the help and kindness of many people. So this is my official big – HUGE – Thank You to:

‘My man’, the artist Mark Gittins, who spends endless hours of his valuable free time sketching Lola Loops illustrations. Without them the books wouldn’t be the same.

Steve & Helen, of Stash Fine Yarns, who have been enormously kind and supportive, and I am so very grateful for their sponsorship of all my yarn needs for this book.

The stunning photos were taken by the very talented Amelia Gale-Hasleham on location at Pen y Bont Touring Park near Bala in North Wales.

Thank you, thank you to ‘my girl’ Anna-Maria, who did a fantastic job modelling with beauty and good humour in sub-zero temperatures – you are gorgeous.

A special thank you to my dear friend, Jackie Donovan, who yet again gave up many hours in her busy schedule to test knit my designs.

A big big thank you to all of you, I could not have made this book happen without you xx

I will introduce the designs over the next couple of posts. Here are the first two:

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GWENDOLEN – REVERSIBLE SHAWL

Keeping the chill off during the first days of spring and cool summer evenings, this shawl uses the short row technique to give a cresent like shape and is presented in two verions. The first using Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for a warmer hug, the second is knitted using Fyberspates Vivacious for a loftier drape.

 

Haf Socks still 1

HAF – LACE SUMMER SOCKS

Stepping out in one of summer’s main colours, these socks are pretty enough to wear in open toed shoes. The delicate lace pattern can easily be accomplished by knitters of all abilities. Perfect socks to put your best foot forward.

 

Lola Socks Sig

I hope you will enjoy knitting these designs as much as I loved creating them. x