Winter 2012/2013

Knitting, spinning, food and good stuff

Welcome...
Welcome to the first issue of Sheepish. In preparing this issue I have been busy with lots of things– knitting, spinning, stirring and most of all, taking lots of photos so you can join the fun. I hope you find something to inspire you, maybe to try something new, a twist on an old favourite or visit a new place. I would love to hear any comments or ideas you have. You can get in touch via email to contact@alittlebitsheepish or through the A Little Bit Sheepish group on Ravelry.

Contents
2 Yarn goes head to head– Yah bitte! Two German yarns that are hard to find Good stuff Sweetheart mittens Rip and re-use Snug Try something new– Raw chocolate Rescue me Get out there– London Aquarium What’s cooking?- Rocky road crispy cakes Scrappy square Pattern abbreviations Information
Image © D. Faulkner 2012

3 4 5 11 13 16 17 20 21 23 25 26

Fibre tasting– Baaaaaa humbug!

2

Yarn goes head to head
Yah bitte! Two German yarns that are hard to find
Wollmeise sockenwolle Composition– merino wool 100% Regia silk 4 ply
Image © D. Faulkner 2012

Image © D. Faulkner 2012

superwash Composition– 20% silk, 55% Price– Around £21 for a 150g skein. merino wool, 25% nylon. Yardage- Approx. 524m per 150g Price- £4.39 for Availability– Hard to find, online 50g at Modern updates sell out FAST. Available in Knitting a few UK shops. Ravelry destashes Yardage– are your best bet Approx. 210m Durability- 100% wool yarns can be per 50g less durable than those with nylon. The high twist of this yarn increases Availability– Limited availability, can be found most easily online. Carried the durability. by a few yarn shops. Softness– Not overly soft out of the Durability- nylon gives added skein, softens a lot with washing. durability making this useable for Stitch definition– Excellent, a very socks. smooth yarn that shows stitches Softness– Beautifully soft, could sit well. squishing this yarn for hours. Colour range– The range is Stitch definition– Good, but the yarn huge and has a slight fluffiness that slightly beautiful, but reduces definition. getting hold of Colour range– limited in the UK, the colour mostly pastels with a couple of your heart stronger colours (navy and desires can burgundy) be tough. Pick one This is a really tough choice, both are lovely to work with, producing a super finished object and showing good durability. In the end, the Regia wins it for me due to its more affordable nature.

3

Good stuff...
Craft book: Fleece and Fiber Source book by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius
A beautiful book giving details of just about every type of fibre you can imagine. Great for spinners but also useful for knitters and as a fascinating read. Available here from £16.

Blog: Wisdom begins in Wonder
Follow Andrea’s adventures, from weaving, spinning and knitting to running the Wonder Why Alpaca farm. Andrea also hosts “Fiber Arts Friday” each week– a blog party where you can link to your fibery blog posts. www.wonderwhyalpacafarm.blo gspot.co.uk/

Website: Holy Crap! Yarn and stuff
Pictures of amazing fibre based crafty projects from across the web. Typically linked back to the originator so you can get the project details. Great for inspiration. www.holycrapyarnandstuff.tum blr.com/

Pattern: The Brandywine shawl
by Rosemary Hill A simple but beautiful garter stitch triangle with a lace edging. Each sale also contributes $5 to Doctors without borders. Buy it here.

Podcast: CrafLit
At CraftLit the beautifully eloquent Heather Ordover discusses crafty goodness, followed by book talk where a section of a classic is discussed then read. Currently working through Jane Eyre, there is a huge back catalogue available too. Find it at www.crafting-a-life.com/craftlit/

4

Fibre tasting...

Baaaaaa Humbug!
Humbug Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) is a combination of dark and light fibres mixed together to give a streaky fibre that results in a tweedy yarn as the colours mix. The fibre spins easily, this one is recommended for beginners as the long staple length (length of the individual fibres) makes the spinning easy. BFL can be spun into a range of thicknesses, the long staple length means it is easy to spin finely. Here it was made into a fairly thin single, then plied with itself to give a two ply yarn of double knit weight. The yarn produced is soft and bouncy, a little less soft than merino, but still next to skin soft if wool doesn’t tend to irritate you.

5

Sweetheart Mittens

These snug mittens have a heart pattern on the back of the hand, formed using cable stitches and a moss stitch pattern. The palm is ribbed for a comfy fit. Needles: 3.5mm, either double pointed needles or circulars for working in the round. Yarn: 100g of DK or worsted weight yarn. Shown in Noro Kureyon. Knit at a tighter gauge than suggested by the ball band to give a denser, warmer fabric. Notions: Tapestry needle, 3 stitch markers, cable needle, spare yarn or stitch holders for storing stitches. Sizing: The rib means these mittens will fit a wide range of sizes; stitch counts are given for small (medium, large) adult sizes. Gauge: 20sts and 32 rows over 10cm in lightly stretched 2x2 rib Abbreviations used can be found on page 25.

6 Sweetheart stitch pattern chart:

7 Cast on 48(52, 56)sts, the long tail cast on is a good choice to accommodate the stretch of the ribbing but any stretchy cast on will work. Divide over double pointed needles or circular(s) and join for knitting in the round, placing a stitch marker to show the start of the round if desired (this marker is not mentioned in the pattern instructions, slip it as you pass each time). Be careful not to twist the stitches as you join. *p2, k2, repeat from * around. Repeat for five rounds.

(p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, k2, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Repeat until row 21 of the chart has been worked once.

Work the appropriate thumb gusset for the mitten you are making. Continue working sweetheart chart while working the thumb gusset. Rows 6 to 21, inclusive, are worked twice.

Right Thumb gusset: Rnd 1: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, pm, k1, M1, k1, pm, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Rnd 2: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, sm, k to second marker, sm, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Rnd 3: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, sm, k1, M1L, k to 1 stitch before second marker, M1R, k1, sm, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Rnd 4: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, sm, k to second marker, sm, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Repeat rounds three and four until there are 20 stitches between the gusset stitch markers.

8 (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, remove stitch marker, k1, store 18 stitches on scrap yarn or evenly divided on two stitch holders, k1, remove second marker, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round.

Left Thumb gusset: Rnd 1: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to two stitches before end of round, pm, k1, M1, k1, pm. Rnd 2: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to first marker, sm, k to second marker, sm. Rnd 3: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to first marker, sm, k1, M1L, k to 1 stitch before second marker, M1R, k1, sm. Rnd 4: (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to first marker, sm, k to second marker, sm. Repeat rounds three and four until there are 20 stitches between the gusset stitch markers.

(p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, remove stitch marker, k1, store 18 stitches on scrap yarn or evenly divided on two stitch holders, k1, remove second marker, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round.

Work following instructions for both hands. (p2, k2) 0(1, 2) times, p2, work sweetheart chart pattern, p2, k2, *(p2, k2) repeat from * to end of round. Repeat until row 37 of the chart has been worked.

9 Set up round: Move final stitch from previous round onto needle one, this become the first stitch of the next round. *(p2, k2) repeat from * for 24(26, 28)sts, pm, repeat once to end of round

Decreases: Rnd 1: k1, ssk, work in established pattern to three stitches before marker, k2tog, k1, sm; repeat once. Rnd 2: work in established pattern for all sts Repeat rounds one and two until 12 stitches remain. Graft stitches to close end of mitten.

Thumbs are worked in the same way for both hands. Move stored stitches from scrap yarn or stitch holders back on to needles. Before rejoining the yarn arrange the stitches as follows on three double pointed needles: Needle one- last 3 sts from thumb gusset, pick up 4 stitches from the hand section above the thumb gusset, first 3 sts from thumb gusset. 10 sts total. Needle two- 6 sts from stitch holder. Needle three- 6 sts from stitch holder. Rejoin the yarn at the start of needle one leaving at least a six inch tail. The start of the round is between needle three and needle one. Place a stitch marker here to mark the start of the round. k all sts for one round k1, p1, k1, p2tog, k2tog, p1 *k1p1 to end of round *k1p1, repeat from * around. Repeat for fifteen rounds.

10 Decrease for top of thumb: k1, k2tog around k2tog around Cut yarn, use a tapestry needle to draw the yarn tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Weave in ends, using tails to close any holes at the top of the thumb gusset if required. This pattern can be found on Ravelry as a pdf here.

11

Rip and re-use
Image © D. Faulkner 2012

Image © D. Faulkner 2012

Rework a charity shop find into something new by pulling it apart to recover the yarn.

Pattern: Meathead hat by Larissa Brown

Things to look for: Check that the seams are sewn together with a mattress stitch, this shows the piece is knitted in pieces and sewn together rather than cut from fabric. Is the original item knit in a yarn you like? Consider the colour, yarn weight and fibre content. The amount of yarn you will recover will be less than in the sweater as some will be lost. A small sweater will make enough yarn for accessories or baby knits. Go up several sizes to get enough yarn for a sweater for yourself.

12 How to Remove any labels and embellishments. Unpick the seams, depending on the construction you will have seams at the top of the arm, down the sleeves, sides of the body and shoulders. Once the pieces are separated start frogging them. Identify the cast of edge and snip the last stitch. Unpick the cast off. Pull the yarn tail to frog the knitting. Wind the yarn into a ball as you go to avoid tangles. Use a niddy noddy to wind the yarn into a skein. Tie loops of yarn around the skein in at least three places to hold the skein together. Once the pieces are separated start frogging them. Identify the cast of edge a snip the last stitch. Unpick the cast off. Wash the skeins in hot water to remove the kinks. Squeeze out (don’t wring) and hang to dry. Check the wraps per inch to find the yarn weight you have. Weigh the yarn to see how much you have.

Choose a pattern for your new yarn and enjoy knitting it up into something new!

13

Snug

Make a cosy cover for your hot water bottle to help keep it warm and make it soft against your skin. The suggested yarn is a super soft cotton and acrylic blend, machine washable and non irritating for those who are sensitive to wool. Yarn: Wendy Sorrento (45% cotton, 55% acrylic) 145m per 50g, 2 balls. Needles: 3.5mm circular needle Notions: 2 stitch markers, stitch holder, tapestry needle, 50cm low snag Velcro, needle and thread in colour to match yarn Gauge: 24sts and 30 rows over 10cm in stocking stitch Sizing: Pattern makes a cover to fit a 1.5 litre hot water bottle Abbreviations used can be found on page 25.

14 CO 48 sts using Judy’s magic cast on. You will be working in the round. Rnd 1: k24, pm, ktbl24, pm Rnd 2: *k1, M1R, k to one stitch before marker, M1L, k1, sm; Repeat from * once Rnd 3: k all stitches Repeat rounds 2 and 3 eight times to 80sts k all sts for a total of 62 rounds. Switch to working flat across 40sts for the centre opening. The remaining 40 sts are stored on a stitch holder. R4: k40 R5: sl1, *p2, k2; repeat from * to 3 sts before end, p2, k1 R6: sl1, *k2, p2; repeat from * to 3 sts before end, k2, p1 Repeat rows 5 and 6 a total of four times BO the 40 sts for the opening in pattern Using long tail cast on, CO 40sts, pm, k40 live stitches from the stitch holder, pm, then join for knitting in the round, be careful not to twist as you join. Rnd7: k1 *p2, k2; repeat from * nine times, p2, k41 Repeat round 7 nine times total Rnd8: *k1, ssk, k to one stitch before marker, k2tog, k1, sm; Repeat from * once Rnd9: k all stitches Repeat rounds 8 and 9 eight times to 48sts

15 R10: *k2, p2; repeat from * twelve times total Repeat round 10 twenty five times total Rnd11: k all sts Rnd12: *p2, k2; repeat from * twelve times total Repeat round 12 twenty five times total BO all sts in pattern Sew the side edges of the first ribbed section worked to the inside of the cover. Weave in all ends. Cut two lengths of low snag Velcro to the width of the centre opening. Use sewing thread to attach the Velcro to the cover so that it secures the opening when in use. Make it your way: Work stripes in varying widths. To work stripes as shown in the picture, work the first twelve rounds in your main colour, then change colour after working every ten rounds. The ribbed neck is all worked in the main colour. Make a plain cover and use duplicate stitch to add details Add buttons to the opening, these can be decorative or work button holes in the ribbing to make them functional. This pattern can be found on Ravelry as a pdf here.

16

Try something new...

Raw chocolate
Dark and delicious, raw chocolate is made using ingredients heated as little as possible during processing. It is dairy, sugar and gluten free. Cocoa butter, is melted in a bain marie, then cocoa powder, sweetener and flavouring stirred in. Proportions vary from equal quantities, depending on your own preference. Check out kits and recipes online for ideas. Once mixed the chocolate is cooled in moulds, then eaten! Kits are an excellent way to have a go at a new craft. Typically everything you need is contained. However, they do tend to be expensive. If you enjoy using the kit or find a recipe you like the look of you can find the ingredients available separately for a much lower price. Make it your way...
 Add

more or less sweetener to suit your tastes.

 Flavours  Try

can be added, such as mint or orange. Choose extracts rather than “flavouring” for the best taste. adding extras such as fudge chunks, coffee beans or dried fruit and nuts.

17

Rescue Me

A cowl designed to make the most of a precious 50g skein of aran weight yarn, the sort you save from the yarn shop bargain bin. Lace stitches make the yarn go further and by weighing the yarn you can work out how to use every last gram. The herringbone lace stitch pattern gives a very stretchy fabric that sits snugly around the neck. For a looser cowl block firmly. The size can be altered by adding more pattern repeats. The pattern can be worked in other yarn weights, using the appropriate needles, by increasing the stitch count.

Image © D. Faulkner 2012

18 Yarn: 50g aran weight; shown in Sublime yarns cashmere merino silk aran (86m per 50g) Needle: 5.5mm, either double pointed needles or circular(s) Notions: Tapestry needle Gauge: 18 stitches and 28 rows per 10cm in herringbone rib, lightly stretched Sizing: Pattern gives stitch counts for small (medium, large, extra large) adult sizes. Abbreviations used can be found on page 25. Herringbone lace stitch pattern: Rnd 1: *p1, YO, ssk, k2tog, YO, p1; repeat from * around Rnd 2: *p1, k4, p1; repeat from * around Rnd 3: *p1, k4, p1; repeat from * around Rnd 4: *p1, k4, p1; repeat from * around

Herringbone lace chart:

19 Cast on 78(84, 90, 96) stitches using the long tail cast on. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. The cowl edging is worked in garter stitch to prevent rolling. Rnd 1: k around Rnd 2: p around Rnd 3: k around Rnd 4: p around To make the most of your yarn, weigh the remaining yarn after the edging is complete; make a note of the weight used for the edging. Work 13(14, 15, 16) repeats of the herringbone lace pattern around the cowl. Work until you reach your desired length or you have the same amount of yarn left that you used for the edging plus 2 grams, whichever comes first. Work round 1 once more. Rnd 1: p around Rnd 2: k around Rnd 3: p around Rnd 4: k around Bind off using the sewn bind off. Weave in ends, block if desired.

This pattern can be found on Ravelry as a pdf here.

20

Get out there...

London Aquarium
A marvellous exhibition of aquatic life, with turtles, sharks and rays in the main tank, plus many other species to be seen in the many smaller tanks. Penguins can be seen in the recently added exhibit. There are Sealife centres across the country if the London Aquarium is too far to travel.

Admission prices Adult- £19.80 Child- £14.40 Family- £68.40 Tip– You can make savings by buying online, or if you have Tesco Clubcard tokens, change them for Sealife centre tokens online and enjoy a bargain day out.

21

What’s cooking?

Rocky road crispy cakes

Ingredients
 Plain

chocolate flavoured crispy rice cereal

 Chocolate  Mini

marshmallows bar

 Crunchie  Glace

cherries

22

Melt the chocolate Break the chocolate into chunks. Place into a large glass mixing bowl and stand the bowl over a pan of boiling water. The bowl should not touch the water Chop the ingredients While the chocolate melts, chop the cherries into fours. Break the Crunchie bar into chunks (whacking it with a rolling pin is easiest).

More mixing Stir in the marshmallows, chopped cherries and Crunchie pieces.

Stir it up Once the chocolate is melted remove the mixing bowl from the pan of water. Stir in the crispy rice. Adding it in thirds makes mixing easier. Keep stirring until the cereal is covered with chocolate.

Spoon it out Spoon the mixture into cake cases and leave to set. Enjoy!
Make it your way...
 Use  The

your favourite type of chocolate, milk, plain or white.

only essential ingredients are chocolate and crispy rice, leave out anything you don't like, and add other things you do– chocolate chips, fudge chunks, dried fruit and nuts are great examples. your favourite cases– patterned, colours or plain

 Use

23

Scrappy square

At the end of a project there is usually a bit of yarn left over, these part balls often get thrown back into the stash to languish, unloved for ever more. Use up those ends with this garter stitch mitred square pattern. You can keep increasing until you reach the size you need, or until you run out of yarn. Cotton squares can be used as washcloths, wool ones could be combined to make a cushion cover or an afghan. Abbreviations used can be found on page 25.

24 For a basic square: CO 3 sts R1: k1, pm, k1, pm, k1 R2: k to marker, M1R, sm, k1, sm, M1L, k to end of row R3: k all stitches Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the square is the size you want it to be, or until you run out of yarn. Cast off all stitches Wash and block the square. Make it yours: Working stripes allows you to use up even very small amounts of yarn. To make stripes, as shown in the photo, change the yarn colour after every two rows. The unused yarn can be carried up the edge of the square. Cast off after row 2 has been worked. The square can be worked in stocking stitch by purling all stitches on row 3. Blocking will be needed to pull this version into a square shape. Work yarn overs to increase instead of M1R and M1L. This will give two rows of lace holes diagonally across the square. This pattern can be found on Ravelry as a pdf here. This pattern was inspired by the Reverse Mitred Dishcloth pattern by The Students of Subway Academy II found here.

25

Pattern abbreviations
BO CO CN dpn k ktbl Bind off/cast off Cast on Cable needle Double pointed needle Knit Knit through back loop

k2tog Knit two together M1L Make one left leaning stitch M1R Make one right leaning stitch p pm R sm ssk sts YO Purl Place marker Row slip marker slip, slip, knit Stitches Yarn over

p2tog Purl two together Rnd Round

26

Information
Unless otherwise stated all reviews are independent and unsolicited. Items used have been purchased from the suppliers for the purpose of the review. Modern knittingwww.modernknitting.co.uk Raw chocolate making kit– Sweet sensations, www.sweetsensations.uk.com London Aquariumwww.visitsealife.com/London/ Sealife centreswww.visitsealife.com/ Brandywine shawl by Rosemary Hillhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/ library/brandywine-shawl Craftlitwww.crafting-a-life.com/craftlit/ Wisdom begins in Wonderwww.wonderwhyalpacafarm.blo gspot.co.uk/

Holy crap yarn and stuff- Ravelry– www.ravelry.com www.holycrapyarnandstuff.tumbl Meathead hat by Larissa Brownr.com/ http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/ library/meathead-hat Fleece and Fiber SourcebookAvailable here Humbug Bluefaced Leicester Fibre– Meadowcroft farm www.shop.willoalpacas.com

Contact us If you have any questions about anything in this issue or would like to make suggestions or contributions to future issues, please contact us via: contact@alittlebitsheepish.co.uk Or come and visit the “A Little Bit Sheepish” group on Ravelry All work in this publication is copyright F.Hamilton-MacLaren 2012 unless otherwise stated.

Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren Designs
Image © D. Faulkner 2012

Find the complete collection on Ravelry here

A Little Bit Sheepish
Hand dyed yarns and fibres, accessories for knitting, spinning and crochet www.alittlebitsheepish.co.uk

Image © D. Faulkner 2012

Image © D. Faulkner 2012

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