Friday, 17 August 2012

We've Moved!

Please come and join us over at the new website where we will be hosting the TUT blog from now on. Here is the direct link for the blog. You can expect more news, more knitting, more features on fabulous designs, and more fun, food and everything in between.

Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds to keep up to date with all the latest TUT news and features.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

FO Parade

As always, here are some highlights of some amazing projects completed in TUT yarns and shared in the TUT group. I know these posts are particularly enjoyed and I love sharing them with everyone. Who doesn't like some gratuitous knit wear images?

First up we have a beautifully stylish cardigan knit up by ClaudiaPetra in Silky Merino Fingering. This 75/ 25 Merino and Silk mix gives the garment a beautiful drape and was a great choice for the cardigan. The pattern is the Alys Cardigan by Bristol Ivy and is a paid for pattern from Quince and Company's pattern range. What I really like about this knit is not only the gorgeous way it drapes but also the crisp definition for the cable details. The colourway is 'charred', a deep grey with interesting highlights and tones that work well over large and small garments. Great work Claudia!


Next is Stringygirl's take on Veera Valimaki's 'Line Break' pattern: a beautiful swirl of a shawl.When I asked if I could share this FO, Stephanie admitted that she's obsessed with this FO and wears it almost every day. She also admitted that she already has another shawl planned in this base! It's always so nice to hear such a positive reaction to my yarns, thank you Stephanie. The yarn is the Heavenly Fingering which is a smooth, plied and incredibly soft mix of Alpaca, Silk and Cashmere. The colour used here is called 'After the Rain' and is ideal for such a solid wrap. 

The next FO made me gasp a little when I saw it, I adore the way it's been worked up, the colour choices and the photography to show it off. Indiecita used up every scrap her three skeins of Sumptuous DK to make this wrap/ scarf. The pattern is by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails and is called 'Black Cherry Lambic'. The colourway used here is called Toast and makes me yearn for Autumn. 

The last FO to share this month is a showstopper. The colourway choices used in this version of 'Spectra' that Konela knit up are perfect for such a bold and graphic design. The colours used here are 'Jonquille, Mais Pas Gentille' and 'Charred' in Super Sock. Super Sock is a 2ply 100% merino base with lots of definition so would have been ideal for such a crisp knit. Great colour choices Kerryn

As always a huge thanks to the knitters who gave permission for us to share their hard work and beautiful images.

Monday, 13 August 2012

New Yarns

In the last post, I told you about a few new things to expect in this coming update and promised to share some more news soon. Well I have two new yarns that will feature in the update on the 17th August 2012 and here's some details to get you excited.

The first base is a beautiful new Merino Lace that is 100% superwash and works up a little like a light fingering as it's a bit heavier than a laceweight yarn. This is a singles yarn so will be soft and lustrous to work with. Ideal for shawls and finer knits. 

'Robin's Egg' will feature in the update

The other base is another 100% superwash but this time is a Silky Merino Lace. The Silk and Merino mix is 70% Merino and 30% Silk spun into singles. Again, it's a slightly heavier laceweight as there is 600m (656yd) per 100g skein. This would be ideal for a larger shawl and is actually the base I used to knit up my Echo Flower Shawl. 

Remember, for full details of each update, sign up to the newsletter or keep an eye on the Ravelry Group's News Thread.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Testing...

When I get a new base that I'm interested in stocking or a new colourway that I want to introduce, I really like to test it out and see how the yarn feels or the colour knits up. It's a really nice part of the creative process of dyeing as I want knitters and crafters to love the end product as much as the first moment they laid eyes on their skein to work with.

In the next post I'll be sharing some specific details about two new bases I will be including in the next update. There will be an update when I get back from holiday, on Friday 17 August at 4pm BST. Please keep an eye for news on the Ravelry Group's News Thread as this may well be our very first update on the new website. I will also send out newsletters with spoilers when I get back so make sure you're signed up

In the meantime I want to share some news about the colourways I've created and have been working with to test the colours. One of the new colourways that will be featured in the update is called 'Robin's Egg', a delicate and cool blue that I thought would be beautiful in a lacy shawl. This is also in a new base that I'll be telling you all about next post.


I cast on an Echo Flower Shawl, which is a free pattern by Jenny Johnson Johnen and enjoyed it immediately. I found the shawl really quick and easy to work up despite the heavy lace and it only took me about a week to complete. The shawl is knit top down and I worked 11 repeats of the chart and I realise now that I probably could have managed one more repeat as after I completed the repeats I had 50g of yarn left. I'd hesitated because the edge is full of nupps which I know from experience can really consume yarn, but I probably could have squeezed in another 1 or 2 repeats. Keep an eye on my Ravelry projects page for it to appear soon.

There's also another colourway coming, 'Twig' but you'll have to wait for the newsletter to see that one...!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Reading Along

While plotting and planning what knitting I'll be taking to France with me during my holiday I've got one definite plan sorted: what to read. I rarely have time to read these days between the shop, looking after family and KNITTING. However, I had a great recommendation from another knitter and I love it when that happens so I have a book ready to enjoy.

Beth Kling, the designer behind the fabulous Occitan kit collaboration, mentioned her inspiration for the name Occitan came from a historial novel that she was enjoying reading. It sounded familiar so I wrote to her and asked what the book was. It turns out she also loves Kate Mosse, an author whose books I really enjoy too. We talked about 'The Eight' by Katherine Neville, and realised it is another book we both enjoyed reading. She casually asked if I'd enjoyed the sequel called 'The Fire'. I didn't know there was a sequel! So I instantly got my hands on a copy of the book and am planning on reading as much as I can on holiday. Don't you love it when that happens? You discovered a common author that you and a friend both enjoy and suddenly you have a new book to read that you're sure you'll love.

Perfect! Now I just need to decide on some knitting.....

ppsssttttt  Some of the more beady eyed amongst you may have spotted that TUT has started to move into it's new home. Things are just getting set up and the blog won't be moving just yet. I'll let you know nearer the time when it's time to update your RSS feed.


Friday, 3 August 2012

Obsidian Designer: Lisa Mutch

The new Obsidian kits will be released on 15 August. This series of collaborations have been so inspiring and exciting and I'm glad people are enjoying them as much as we are creating them. Lisa is a distinctive designer who works hard to make clean lines, simple shapes and stunning hand dyes work up into moody designs and satisfying accessories to both knit and wear. I invited Lisa to answer some questions for the blog so that you can get to know her a little better. Here's what she had to say:


The stage is yours, tell us a little about yourself!
Well, besides knitting, dyeing, designing and spinning, I'm a mom to two wonderful and very active children, Brooklyn, 7 and Brodie, 3.  I also love reading, vegetable gardening, red wine and bubble baths.

What’s your knitting journey so far?
My knitting journey began roughly 10 years ago when I quit smoking and decided knitting would be a great way to occupy my hands. I bought 'How to Knit' by Debbie Bliss, a set of needles and some terrible acrylic yarn and taught myself how to knit. My specialty was scarves, or really anything rectangular or square with absolutely no shaping until I stumbled upon the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog. Reading her hilarious stories about knitting disasters gave me the motivation to teach myself a few crucial knitting skills allowing me to graduate to hats, socks, shawls and eventually sweaters. 


How did you start designing and what is your favourite part of the process?
I began designing very quickly after teaching myself to knit. I never seemed to have the right size needles or weight of yarn and I could never, ever get the correct gauge. (Which continues to be a problem for me to this day, I'm a notoriously loose knitter. Ahem.) So I started making up things as I went along with what I had.

Was there a particular inspiration for this design?
 I love garter stich at a loose gauge, it has such a wonderful texture and I've always wanted a sweater with a giant cowl neck so this idea of mine has been brewing for a while now. Ce's BFL Sock is such a wonderful yarn for sweaters, being tough and resilient yet soft enough for next to skin wear. I've used this base before for sweaters, cowls and shawls and it's one of my all-time favourites, especially in the 'Charred' colourway.....so dark and mysterious!
 
What drew you to working with TUT yarns and a collaboration?
Ce and I met on Ravelry a few years ago and since day one, I've adored her gorgeous yarn. I very quickly acquired quite the collection of TUT yarns and have tried almost all of her fabulous bases. My favourite colourways are all of her wonderful, smokey greys and charcoals, her warm neutrals and of course, I love to sneak in a bit of Debauchery here and there. ;)

What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have so many ideas for new designs, if only I could knit as fast as my mind dreams them up! I've been swatching with some heavier weight bases lately for a few squishy, warm winter garments, and of course, more shawls, cowls and scarves. It seems like I can't leave the house without something handknit and fabulous around my neck.


A huge thank you to Lisa for supplying such lovely answers that shows her gentle and warm nature. If you would like to purchase your own Obsidian yarn and pattern kit, you will find them listed on my Etsy shop on 15 August or check out the Ravelry Group News thread for regular update news.  

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Cecilia Flori

There's been some lovely designs shared in our Ravelry group design thread and I noticed that a regular in our group, Ceciknits, has a few patterns using TUT yarns. I just had to share them here as they are really stylish and great single skein projects (You can see a recent FO from Ceci in this month's FO parade too- she's quite the knitter).

(c) Cecilia Flori
One project I know had been very popular since its creation is 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' which is available for free download on Ravelry. This is a medium size cowl with tiny folded edges and many 'suns' that are created through textured stitches. Ceci thinks that these suns will bring light to our lives in the cold and gray days to come and I couldn't agree more. The pattern calls for just one skein of fingering weight yarn so would be ideal for a treat or a stashbuster. Ceci's colourway is the beautifully warm 'Madras' and I think it's a great pick me up on the cold days we've been having here in the UK. 

(c) Cecilia Flori

Her other design, 'Displaced', is also available for download on Ravelry but this time is a paid for pattern. Displaced is a small asymmetric hat that is a cross between a slightly slouched beanie and a snug beret. The hat pattern includes suggestions for single color and multi-color versions as well as  suggested mods for a deeper crown and/or a more slouchy overall result. The pattern calls for one skein of Lush Worsted and is shown here in the 'Plata' colourway.

(c) Cecilia Flori



Both of the designs are wonderful Cecilia, thank you so much for featuring TUT yarns in your work. For more inspiration of what to do with your TUT skeins, check out the designs thread in the TUT Ravelry Group here.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Share a Little Something

When I first started this blog, I had no intention of it being ALL knitting. I mean, knitting is fabulous and I am completely obssessed but it's nice to share other things on blogs too. So today I thought I would share a favourite shop and online store of mine that I can't rave enough about. 

Verde London is an independent company that make products for skin care, health and beauty and well being using fresh ethically sourced quality ingredients. Established in 1987, Verde have shown total commitment to producing preparations that are tailored to their customers needs, are not tested on animals and comply to the standards laid down by the MCA (Medical Controls Agency). There is lots of information both online and instore to help people choose natural products with many great therapeutic benefits.

I use lots of Verde's products and often recommend them to friends for specific reasons such as problem skin or natural solutions to everyday health problems like bruises or stings. If you'd like to give them a try, why not pop over and see their online store? I cannot recommend them enough but be warned, you could spend hours on this website!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Castonitis

I've got it bad. All I have wanted to do is knit and everytime I look on Ravelry I'm seeing more yummy knitting things and thinking about another project to cast on. As it is, I'm obssessed with sock knitting and seem to have caught the sock knitting bug. 


I made these lovely socks a while ago, remember? At the time I was doubtful about my sock knitting mojo and wondered if I'd ever be one of those knitters that is always knitting socks. Apparently the tipping point for me was learning how to knit two socks at a time. Now all I want to do is knit socks- no second sock syndrome for me! So not only do I have a serious case of castonitis, I also have the sock bug. 

No sooner had I got one pair of socks off the needles, then I cast on for another pair immediately. Emily had showed me a pair she made in her yarn, and I just had to have a pair for myself. She was knitting hers cuff down so I converted my version to toe up and am knitting a 3 by 1 rib across the whole sock with a cuff that is worked in a 1 by 1 twisted rib. I love them! For extra interest I'm using a contrasting heel and toe to the rest of the sock and I will share pictures when I finish them. 

What knitting bug have you caught lately?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

FO Parade

I am really enjoying this monthly feature as it basically means I get to share wonderful knitwear in my yarn. There are so many talented knitters out there working with TUT yarn and it's such an honour to feature a selection here for everyone to 'ooooo' and 'ahhhhhhh' over too.

Let's start with a real lovely and one that not only combines the beauty of simple lace but also has little tassles for added cute factor! ZarahMaria worked this beautiful Camomile pattern up in two different bases of TUT yarn using the 'Tea Smoked' colourway. The design is by Helga Isager and is quite 'graphic' in terms of lean lines and sharp edges for a lace shawl. The addition of the delicate pink yarn adds a completely different twist on this design. Zarah used the Heavenly Fingering base for the majority of the shawl and worked the tassels up in the Organic Merino Lace. I'll bet it's super soft and so divine to wrap silk, cashmere and alpaca around yourself and play with the delicate little tassles. 

The next FO is also stunning but for completely different reasons. This bold interpretation of the very popular Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig is incredible. Ceciknits worked a summery treat up with plenty of modifications to get just the right layering piece she wanted. It's fabulous. The colour is created by combining two different tones of yellow in stripes throughout the garment and it's so cheerful yet stylish. The first colourway is 'Brassica' on the Alpaca Silk Lace base which is smooth and plied but also soft and gives a gorgeous drape to fabrics. The other yellow is in the popular BFL Sock base in the colourway Gold Rush.


The Colour Affection shawl by Veera Valimaki is incredibly popular right now and KreuzbergStrickt's version is amazing. The bold colours of the Madelinetosh 'Dahlia' were complemented by some Super Sock fingering weight in 'Plata' and 'Les Fleurs'. KreuzbergStrickt's project notes shows that she too loved the super soft 2ply yarn and it really showed the texture of the garter stitch with its great stitch definition and lovely texture. Simply stunning.


The next project combines two favourite things: Lisa Mutch designs with TUT yarn. Knitabyebaby shared her rather delicious looking version of 'Capture' in the Silky Alpaca Sport colourway 'Leaden'. This cool blue really shows off the texture that Lisa is able to create with simple stitches and strong lines. I also love the way the nature of this base (smooth with a slight fuzz) adds a new twists to the open work of the stitches.



From cool and airy to warm and classic looking- these Welted Mitts knitted by SusanneS-vV are fabulous. The pattern is Welted Fingerless Gloves from Churchmouse yarns and teas. It's hard to believe these are Susanne's first ever mitts that she's knit as they are so beautifully worked up in Lush Worsted 'Toast' colourway. The texture of the merino, cashmere and nylon blend of Worsted is really showcased by the plain stockingette and texture contrast in this knit. I also love the buttons!


Lastly, I was rather spoilt by this stunning shawl that ButterflyKnits designed for me as part of a swap I took part in recently. I'll write about it as soon as the pattern is published, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peak at how much I was spoilt. Using the 'Brassica' colourway in the Silky Alpaca Sport base, Butterflyknits designed a gorgeous shawl and I can't wait to share more details with you soon. 


If you''re now craving some TUT goodness to knit with, don't forget there's an update coming very soon. Tune in this coming Friday 13 July at 4pm BST. As always, you can check your local time here. Lots and lots of fabulous new things and if you want to keep up to date with what to expect, don't forget to sign up for the TUT newsletter.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Something New

Things have been pretty busy around here and I've been planning lots of fun things over the last few months to keep things fresh and interesting. One of the things I wanted to do was update the skein labels and I am so pleased with how they turned out. 


They are made of 100% post consumer waste, hand-cut and strung with hemp. Then lovingly hand-stamped by my wonderful assistant Jo. Can you see why I’m in love?

The good news doesn't stop there though as I'm working on a new website that is being built as I type. I can't wait to show you!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Not One But TWO KALs...

Have you visited the TUT Ravelry Group lately? We're very busy chatting about our favourite skeins, projects and suggesting Knit Alongs. It seems everyone is as addicted to knitting as I am!

We have a great KAL for those who aren't very good at sticking to plans or perhaps haven't knit along with a group before. This summer we're hosting the Lazy Summer KAL which means you can knit whatever project you want, as long as it's in TUT yarn. So that's work in progress taming, cast on mayhem or something you have been meaning to knit for ages. There's even a spin off West Knits KAL from this for those people having a go at his second mystery shawl knit along.

We also have had a lot of chatter about the Occitan kits which were a huge success. There was so much excitement in fact, that another KAL sprang up! So that's a lot of different ways to participate in the group which is great as you can count any project you're working on like the Occitan, WestKnits shawl or perhaps your Ravellenics project, towards more TUT chatter. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Off the Needles

A while ago, we held a Lace KAL in the TUT Ravelry Group and I wrote about my choice to knit the Crocus Shawl, a pretty big lace challenge for me. The Crocus Shawl is designed by by Hiroko Folkmann Drost and is an Estonian Lace inspired shawl which I initially found very intimidating despite its beauty. 

I think I must have underestimated my skill level as I loved working on this project and really enjoyed the whole experience. I worked this up in Heavenly Cobweb, the new base that I think worked really well on such an intricate lace pattern. It is supremely soft and the end result is breathtaking.

I had a huge sense of accomplishment once I finished this shawl as it was by far the most complicated knit I had ever completed. Having now finished it, I feel completely invincible and feel I can take on more challenging knits in the future. I've already worn it a lot as I'm so proud of the end result. 

What finished item are you most proud of?

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Little Knits

A little while ago I mentioned the lovely new design from Loop called 'Mignon' that used BFL DK Light. Mignon is a design that is perfect for little ones and is a cardigan that calls for only one skein of the recommended yarn. I fell in love with it instantly and so cast one on for my niece who was born last Saturday. She'll be getting all the ridiculously cute and girly things out there that I couldn't knit for my child (because I had a boy!)



I chose to knit my take on Mignon by using the TUT Super Sock base which is a great choice for little knits. This 100% merino base is plied with a tight twist thus giving great stitch definition that shows off the cables of the design perfectly. What's more, it's machine washable which is really handy when you've planned this to be worn by a little one. I've pretty much finished it as it's a very fast knit and I just need to find a pretty button to go with it. I can't wait to see the reaction to this gift, I'm really pleased with it. 

The other little knit I've been working on is the Petit Artichaut pattern, a delicate knit designed by Solenn Couix-Loarer. The pattern calls for a single skein of fingering weight yarn and I chose Plucky Knitter's Primo Fingering. This is such an adorable knit, I can't wait to finish it and gift it as well.

Have you been knitting for any little ones lately?


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Occitan Designer: Beth Kling


The Occitan Kits have proved incredibly popular and have generated lots of interest in both Beth and TUT yarns. It is the first in a series of collaborartions that I am very excited about. Beth is a wonderful designer whose accessories are stylish and a joy to knit. I invited Beth to answer some questions for the blog so that you can get to know her a little better. Here's what she had to say:

The stage is yours, tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and from early on, developed an abiding love for reading, writing and dance, which led to my getting my BA with a double major in English with a Creative Writing Focus and Dance Choreography/Performance.

Neither of these particularly helped me in my first real job out of college: Assistant Production Manager of the local newspaper’s advertising department, which required me to do graphic design and ad layout. I’m still not sure what made them think I was a good candidate for the job, but I’m grateful that they did, because I loved that job, and now I can’t imagine not knowing about and paying attention to good graphic design. Ever since, all of my jobs have involved graphic design to varying degrees, though most have also had a liberal dose of writing thrown in for good measure. However, I make a lousy office drone. Corporate America is not for me. Fluorescent lights and corp-speak buzzwords (synergy, anyone?) make me twitchy. Which could explain why I now work from home…for a yarn company.

Next month (July) I will have been married for 12 years. I met my husband when we worked in the same coffee shop over the summer after my junior year of college. The story goes that I won him over by asking him if he’d like to split a piece of chocolate cake with me after our shift.

Also, I have an unreasonable affection for garlic.

I also have an unreasonable affection for red wine, and for finding good ones that taste like they ought to cost more than they do.

I think my affection for our two retired racing greyhounds Ronan and Quinn is perfectly reasonable.

Oh and also, my name is Beth, and I’m a yarn-a-holic (see comments about Ravelry and Etsy, below).


 What’s your knitting journey so far?
My mom tried to teach me knit when I was about 7, and I recall I produced some pretty unwearable, 3-foot-long, “sampler” style scarves, but knitting didn’t really stick until much later, because 7 year olds are not particularly good at sitting still. I picked it back up again after college, when I was looking for gifts to give that were inexpensive (little did I know), but still handmade.

I discovered Knitty and then I discovered Ravelry..... Ravelry led me to Etsy and indie yarn dyers. And lo, an addiction was born. 

How did you start designing and what is your favourite part of the process?
My first official design was for Dream in Color’s February 2011 Dream Club – that was the Pleiades Shawlette, and I did it because they asked. But, I’d say I was already leaning in that direction, because for years, I’d been modifying existing patterns and designs to adjust them to my personal style and aesthetic.

Was there a particular inspiration for Occitan?
Ce and I knew we wanted something that would be both appealing from a design perspective, and approachable from a knitting perspective. A shawl with a stockinette body and lace edging seemed to fit the bill. I wanted to play with increase methods that were a bit unusual (for a shawl, anyhow), which led to the swirly increases in the body of the shawl and working to find a way to make those increases flow organically into the lace.


 What drew you to working with TUT yarns and a collaboration?
TUT was one of the first indie dyers I knew of to start using what I’ve been referring to as “the new luxury bases.” MCN blends had been around for a while, and don’t get me wrong, I still use a lot of MCN blend yarns, but Ce was (and still is) dyeing up these stunning, subtly-variegated colors on other bases too. Bases that had blends like alpaca-silk-cashmere. Divine. Truly. So, in short: beautiful, useable, wearable colors on unique bases is what sold me on the yarn. And Ce is such a warm, genuine, easy-to-work with person, that the whole collaboration was just a natural fit [edit: thanks Beth].

What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have a couple of hat patterns waiting in the wings that should be published sometime late this month, or early next month, and another shawl design on the needles as well. But what I’d really like to do sometime in the next year is venture onto sweater design. It feels very big and scary to me right now, but I have too many ideas brewing for sweaters not to give it a go.


A huge thank you to Beth for supplying such great answers, so full of her character. If you would like to purchase your own Occitan Kits, you will find them listed on my Etsy shop or check out the Ravelry Group News thread for regular update news. 


Sunday, 24 June 2012

June's FO Parade

This is fast becoming one of my favourite blog posts each month as I get to share some of all the very talented knitter's work I've come across in TUT yarns. It's always a pleasure to see new projects being shared in the group and there's always a great reaction from other group members. I think we all like the inspiration. 

This month, Fimaha shared her 'Grumpled' socks which were knit is Lush Twist, a fingering weight Merino, Cashmere and Nylon blend with a tight twist. The colourway is called 'Envy' and the great stitch definition of this yarn showcased the texture in this pattern really well. The pattern is by Alice Yu and can be found in her recently published book 'Socktopus: 17 Designs Worth Showing Off'. The pattern itself is called 'Rumpled!' and Fimaha did a wonderful job on this intricate pattern.


Daily knit this wonderful sweater using the heavier weight Lush base, Lush Worsted, another MCN base with great stitch definition and a smooth ply. The pattern is called 'Shellseeker' and is designed by Heidi Kirrmaier. Daily worked her version up in the 'Teasmoked' colourway, a dusky pink, along with a darker Madelinetosh Vintage yarn to create strong stripes. Daily clearly loves the teasmoked colourway as her pattern notes include a great description of her 'prettiest yarn in the world' and it looks great with her colour choice for contrasting stripes. 


A while ago I knit a 'Cameo' shawl by Paulina Popiolek that proved very popular and IttyBitty's version is wonderful. Ittybitty worked her shawl up in two contrasting stripes of fingering weight, TUT's Lush Twist and Flying Colour's BFL Fingering. Lush Twist is the new yarn from The Uncommon Thread and looks like Super Sock, but feels like Lush Sock so is ideal for the drape and softness that you need in a shawl. Again, this is the 'Teasmoked' colourway and looks fabulous on IttyBitty.  

Maximiliana knit a gorgeously textured hat using Lush Worsted in the colourway 'Nimbostratus', a delicately variegated grey that is perfect for this kind of knit. The pattern is called 'Kirkstone' and is designed by LilyKate France. Maimiliana says she really enjoyed working with this yarn and it was her first time using TUT so I'm hoping we'll see lots more of these wonderful knits from her in the group in the future!

In contrast to wintery knits, Etfeemere has worked up a beautiful version of Heidi Kirrmaier's shawl pattern 'Windward'. I knit this pattern some time ago too for a test knit of the pattern and really enjoyed it. Etfeemere used just over 2 skeins of the 'Pontus' colourway in BFL Sock. Every 100g skein of plied British wool comes in 437 yards (400 meters. This delicate knit looks gorgeous in the blue tones of the colourway.  

Finally, there was an adorable child's knit using Posh Fingering, a decadent blend of 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. Alouisa used the colourway 'Cumulonimbus' as the main colourway for the cute pattern 'Gathering Stripes' from Veera Valimaki. The finishing on this sweater is absolutely perfect and I love the flash of colour used inside on the cuffs and waistband (see her project page for lovely detailed pictures). Alouisa says she thinks there will be a lot of wear for this little sweater and I can see why. 
 
As always, a huge thank you to all the knitter's featured in the FO parade and agreeing to share your work and images. If you feel inspired by the FO's here, why not come over to the TUT Ravelry group?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Blocked!

I have to tell you about some great new wires I've been trying out for blocking because I think they're amazing. The wires come from Inspinity, which is a shop on Etsy that sells different types of blocking wires in kits. I read a review of them some time ago and was curious to give them a try. I'm so glad I did. 

Image (c) Inspinity
The thing that makes these wires different to so many other blocking wires on offer is that they are flexible. I was a little dubious about how well they would work at first due to the amount of flexibility in the wires but they work so well. I bought the Premium set which the description said were perfect for any weight of yarn or project. I'm now really tempted to buy the ultra long set for blocking large lace items. 

The thing I love the most about the Inspinity wires is the flexibility of each wire allows you to get a really good curved shape instead of fiddling about with pins all the time. I used them for my Occitan and I found them strong and easy to use and got a great curve on it as a result. I would really recommend these to anyone thinking about making a purchase to help them block their knits.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Eris

Lisa Mutch, a firm friend and fan of TUT yarn, has released another stunning shawl pattern. As you will know if you've ever read this blog before or seen Lisa's work, she enjoys monochromatic colours, moody tones and strong architextural lines in her designs. Eris is a typical Lisa knit with a mix of neutral colours and clean, smooth knitting.


Lisa's pattern description reads as follows:

"Eris is angular, oversized, drapey and dramatic. Created with short row shaping and three colours, this extra wide shawl can be so many different things, depending on her mood."

This is exactly what I love about this design because it is so versatile in both the colour choices you can make but also how it can be worn. It uses 900 yards of fingering weight and Lisa used a mixture of TUT and other indie yarns to create her version. The majority of the shawl was knit with Lisa's own Alpaca, Silk and Cashmere blend which compliment the Uncommon Thread Heavenly Fingering well. Heavenly Fingering is a smooth and incredibly soft 70% Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere blend and the colourway used was 'Breath', a delicate neutral to balance the dark tones of the metal grey and the black. 


We are already seeing beautiful versions with other TUT yarns pop up on the projects page for the pattern and is wonderful to see the difference between contrasting colours and hamonious blends that were chosen. To start planning your version in TUT fingering weight yarns, you can find a summary of them on the Ravelry page here.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Yarn of the Month

I was very honoured recently when TUT was named yarn of the month by Loop, London. Loop having been stocking my exclusive BFL Light DK base for a few months now and it has proved very popular. It's always lovely to see such a great reaction to my yarn but this made me especially excited.

BFL Light DK is a 100% British Bluefaced Leicester and is smooth, soft and lustrous. Bluefaced Leicester is a strong, resilient yarn that can be worn right next to the skin. This yarn can be used for patterns that call for either Sport or DK weight yarn and each 100g skein comes with 246 yards (225 meters). It’s perfect for baby items, shawls, garments and socks.

Two recent projects knit with this base really caught my eye so I wanted to share them with you. First there is this really sweet one skein project that WesternAvenue knit up in the colourway 'Confetti'. The pattern is called 'Norby' and was designed by Gudrun Johnston for Brooklyn Tweed's 'Wool People 2' collection. The pattern itself calls for one skein of fingering weight so WesternAvenue adapted the pattern to work for this heavier and loftier base by casting on for less pattern repeats. The result is wonderful and really showcases the smooth quality of the yarn perfectly.I can imagine getting lots of wear from this finished object.

The second project is one that I've been watching progress ever since I saw the work in progress pictures appear on Ravelry. Alliecatsmama has been knitting up her take on Veera Valimaki's 'Shift of Focus' pattern and her notes were full of her excitement for both the pattern and the yarn. Alliecatsmama posted this attention grabbing teaser picture a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait to see the finished item. The garter stitch of the design really showcased the moody tones in the 'charred' colourway and Stephanie's final choice of buttons were a perfect compliment. The final pictures are wonderful and I was even more blown away by the finished item. Well done Stephanie!


Don't forget, you can purchase the exclusive BFL DK Light base here at Loop.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Revving up....

... for the Ravelympics!

Have you seen this post on the TUT Ravelry group? We're thinking about creating a TUT Ravelympics group for the upcoming event.

For those of you who have never participated in the games before, the idea is to challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the Olympics. This summer, London is hosting during the period of July 27th - August 12th and the Ravelympics start from the lighting of the beacon at the opening ceremony. For more details, visit the official FAQs on Ravelry and start planning your goal to reach.

I have been lucky enough to get tickets for the athletics so I might get to do some real life knitting at the Olympics. I haven't decided what my 'challenge' will be yet but I know it's going to be lots of fun. Let me know your plans and whether you'd like to join in!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Arabesque

Ever since my recent trip to Marrakesh I've been craving more delicious tagines and the fuller flavour of Middle Eastern food. I've found myself reaching for a trusted recipe book a lot so I thought I would share it with you.


'Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon' is created by Claudia Roden and features a range of dishes from the Middle East. With some cookbooks, you find yourself adapting the recipes or only really looking at it once in a while but I've used lots of recipes from this book. I love how authentic the dishes are and I get a good result every time. I'm particulary enjoying the Chicken and Preserved Lemon Tagine- it's delicious. 

What have you been cooking lately?

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Occitan

I'm so very excited to be kicking off a series of collaborations this Tuesday. The first pattern is Occitan, by Beth Kling and it'll be available as a pre-order yarn and pattern kit from 4pm BST (check your timezone here) on Etsy.






Occitan is a semi-circular shawl with a stockinette body and a pretty lace border. It’s a really fun and easy knit, as we have come to expect from Beth. It has an unusual construction, which will keep experienced knitters interested and a straight forward lace border, which won’t intimidate a novice knitter. I hope you love it as much as I do.


There will be six colourways to choose from each week and the colours will change a little each week. Each kit will comprise of one skein of Posh Fingering and a black and white printed copy of the pattern. If you give us your Ravelry name, we can send you a pdf copy there ahead of time.


I had lots of fun knitting my Occitan, especially as Jody (aka Sabinaknits) suggested I use beads and I think they worked really well with the pattern. If you’d like to bead your shawl, you might find these notes handy: using a crochet hook, I beaded the second cdd in chart A. Had I had enough beads, I would have also beaded the purl stitches which are snuggled between yos in the increase rows - if you’d like to do this, I reckon you’d need at least another 10g. I also beaded the cdds in the final row. Out of my 10g packet of beads, I had 2 left when I finished the shawl. Well, you might find another 2 or 3 under the sofa…




Catrina, Nadia, Jody, Teresa and Vera all test knit this pattern (thank you!) and made gorgeous versions of it too :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

New Stockist

I am so pleased to announce that the Uncommon Thread is now being stocked by The Knitted Poppy in Australia. This lovely online knitting and accessory shop is run by Jennie, a fan of hand dyed yarns. 


In the shop you will find Lush Worsted a 80% Merino, 10% Nylon and 10% Cashmere base. Lush Worsted is luxuriously soft, wonderfully textured and beady - this is the worsted weight version of our beloved Lush Sock. The skeins come in 245 yards (225 metres) per 100 gramsand you will find a variety of colours, like this one featured on the website. 


Also stocked at The Knitted Poppy is Posh Fingering, a 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere base. This is a smooth plied yarn that again, you will find in a variety of colours like the one featured in the image above. It has amazing shine and a soft handle and is very versatile- it may be used for shawls, garments, socks and baby items. The yardage is 440 yards (402 metres) per 100 gram skein. 

Many thanks to Jennie at The Knitted Poppy for stocking TUT yarns. You can find both bases here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

FO Parade

Over on the TUT Ravelry group, we've been enjoying some very inspiring knitalongs. The Lace knitalong has just finished and ran from 1st March - 30 April 2012. The rules were simple: in order for your project to qualify it needed be any lace pattern or laceweight yarn from The Uncommon Thread. The results were amazing, just take a look at some of the beauties that were shared.


Knitasaurusrex completed a beautiful As You Wish shawl in just one skein of Posh Fingering. This shawl was a test knit for the designer, Boo Knits, and the colourway featured is 'Quiet Folly'. The long ripples in the simple pattern repeat of this shawl really show off the subtle variations in the colour of this yarn.



Lizoid worked up a really stunning Semele in two skeins of Silky Merino Fingering. The pattern is from Asa Tricosa and is offered in a range of sizes. Lizoid worked hers up in the colourway 'Dartmoor', a wonderful green tone that seems to suit the green foliage in her garden! Lucky Lizoid also has plenty of yarn left over so we expect to see more lovely green projects in her future.




Raphael used a club colourway to work up a truly amazing Silhouette shawl. The design is by Diana Rozenshteynand is a simple lace repeat on a top down shawl that gives a lovely lace finish. Raphael worked hers up in Silky Merino Fingering in the colourway 'Cerulean' and enjoyed the knit so much, she's cast on another already! It looks absolutely perfect for warmer days ahead.


Stringygirl's Henslowe in BFL Sock is absolutely lovely. This vibrant shawl uses the ' Jonquille, Mais Pas Gentille' colourway and makes great use of the stitch definition that comes from the BFL's plied texture. Henslowe is designed by the very talented Beth Kling and is a wonderful elongated curve with lacy edging. Another great knit to head into summer with.



Another green project that got a lot of attention was Audephil's Holden Shawlette. The Holden Shawlette is designed by Mindy Wilkes and makes use of a single skein of fingering weight yarn. Audephil worked hers up in another club colourway, 'Habitat', this time in Lush Twist a wonderfully bouncy MCN blend.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Lace KAL and if you would like to see more inspirational projects, please pop along to look at the thread here.