Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why Merino?

As anyone who saw this week’s Australian A-Plus section knows there will be a very special competition happening this Saturday at London Fashion Week. The International Woolmark Prize will be handed out to one of six designers (including Australian Dion Lee) who best highlights ‘the beauty of the Merino wool fibre’ (“International Woolmark Prize – The Preview”, The Woolmark Company, http://www.woolmark.com/mr-iwp-preview2013). With luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Donatella Versace and the one and only Posh Spice herself busy judging Merino masterpieces it is as good a time as any to revisit the many advantages Merino brings to everyone from fashion giants to your humble knitting blogger.

Woolmark itself published an article just last month detailing why Merino is such a good chioce for fashion and design (http://www.woolmark.com/benefits-fashion-and-design).  Obviously the luxurious drape, versatility and extremely soft feel of Merino are big advantages to anyone, but it is the lightness and breathable quality of clothing made from Merino that makes it so comfortable to wear, particularly in a variable climates.

When it comes to knitting the unique benefits of Merino really come into their own. The softness means that any yarn made from Merino is pleasant to handle and easy to knit with, in the fleeces used to make Biggan Design yarn Merino’s softness is crossed with the more durable Border Leicester fibers to make a yarn that is as strong as it is luxurious. When you’ve had the pleasure of knitting together a garment from BD yarn you’ll notice even more benefits. The resulting clothing will be breathable, able to release heat and absorb water while resisting odours, all while staying so comfy you can wear it right against your skin.

So next time you cast on with some scrummy, luxury Merino yarn remember that what you are about to make will be a delight to look at AND a delight to wear!

Quick Christmas Knits

When My Heart Finds Christmas

Materials

2 x 3mm double pointed needles
1 x Tapestry needle

1 x Red Pipe Cleaner
1 x 15 cm length of contrasting ribbon

3g of Biggan Design DK yarn in Mc Raspberry #985

Pattern

When My Heart Finds Christmas

Cast on 4 sts with Mc.
* Knit 4 sts. Do not turn work but instead push stitches to the right end of the needle. Pull yarn to tighten sts into a tight neat loop. Rep from * for 25 cm.

Cast off.

Making Up

Thread the pipe cleaner onto the tapestry needle with a 1 cm tail on the other side. Bend the tail down on itself to secure the pipecleaner to the needle.

Carefully thread the tapestry needle through one end of the i-chord through the centre and up through the other end.

Unbend the i–cord tail and remove the tapestry needle. Slowly pull the pipecleaner back down through the i-cord until the top of the tail end is just covered by the i-cord. Cut the excess pipe cleaner off at the other end, flush with the i-cord.

Now bend the heart into shape, by firstly folding i-cord in the centre then shaping the two curved arches of the heart  and bringing the two i-cord ends together into a point and neatly sewing them together with the tail ends of yarn.

Fasten both tail ends of the i-cord.

Now the When My Heart Finds Christmas decoration is finished. All you need to do is attach some contrasting ribbon to the top of the Heart and hang in your Christmas tree.

Calorie Free Candy Canes

Candy canes

Materials

2 x 3mm double pointed needles
1 x Tapestry needle

1 x white Pipe Cleaner
1 x Brooch Back (optional)

Left over pieces of Biggan Design DK yarn in two contrasting colours.
Mc Scarlet #230

Cc1 White # 080

Pattern

Candy Cane I-Cord

Cast on 4 sts with Mc.
* Knit 4 sts. Do not turn work but instead push stitches to the right end of the needle. Pull yarn to tighten sts into a tight neat loop. Rep from * for three rows.

Change to Cc1 * Knit 4 sts. Do not turn work but instead push stitches to the right end of the needle. Pull yarn to tighten sts into a tight neat loop. Rep from * for three rows.

NB: when working Cc1 ensure that Mc stays in the centre of the i-cord by hanging it over the needle to the left of the stitches being worked.

Change to Mc * Knit 4 sts. Do not turn work but instead push stitches to the right end of the needle. Pull yarn to tighten sts into a tight neat loop. Rep from * for three rows.

NB: when working Mc ensure that Cc1 stays in the centre of the i-cord by hanging it over the needle to the left of the stitches being worked.

Repeat the above until you have 5 lots of each colour.

Cast off.

Making Up

Thread the pipe cleaner onto the tapestry needle with a 1 cm tail on the other side. Bend the tail down on itself to secure the pipecleaner to the needle.

Carefully thread the tapestry needle through one end of the i-chord through the centre and up through the other end.

Unbend the i–cord tail and remove the tapestry needle. Slowly pull the pipecleaner back down through the i-cord until the top of the tail end is just covered by the i-cord. Cut the excess pipe cleaner off at the other end, flush with the i-cord.

Fasten both tail ends of the i-cord.

Now bend the candy cane into shape.

Now the Calorie Free Candy Cane is finished you can decide whether to make it into a brooch, a Christmas tree decoration, or make a pair and attach them to fish hook earrings for festive jewellery.

‘Tis the Season to be Holly

Holly

Materials

 2 x 3mm double pointed needles

1 x Tapestry needle

2 x Green Pipe Cleaner

1 x 15 cm length of contrasting ribbon, or a backing pin for brooch

3 x Small red wooden beads & 1 x Large red wooden bead

6g of Biggan Design DK yarn in Mc Ocean Green #620

Pattern

‘Tis the Season to be Holly

Cast on 4 sts with Mc.

* Knit 4 sts. Do not turn work but instead push stitches to the right end of the needle. Pull yarn to tighten sts into a tight neat loop. Rep from * for 25 cm.

Cast off.

Repeat for second leaf.

Making Up

Make up one leaf at a time; thread the pipe cleaner onto the tapestry needle with a 1 cm tail on the other side. Bend the tail down on itself to secure the pipecleaner to the needle.

Carefully thread the tapestry needle through one end of the i-chord through the centre and up through the other end.

Unbend the i–cord tail and remove the tapestry needle. Slowly pull the pipecleaner back down through the i-cord until the top of the tail end is just covered by the i-cord. Cut the excess pipe cleaner off at the other end, flush with the i-cord.

Now bend the Holly leaves into shape, by firstly folding i-cord in the centre then shaping the two curved points of the leaves and bringing the two i-cord ends together into a point and neatly sewing them together with the tail ends of yarn.

Fasten both tail ends of the i-cord.

When both leaves are finished, use left-over yarn to sew the two leaves together, and attach beads.

Now the ‘Tis the Season to be Holly decoration is finished. All you need to do is attach some contrasting ribbon to the top of the Holly and hang in your Christmas tree; alternatively you can attach a backing pin behind the beads to make a brooch.

 

A Tree for a Tree

trees low res

Materials

2 x 3mm double pointed needles
1 x Tapestry needle
2g of Biggan Design DK yarn in Mc Spruce # 610

Pattern

A Tree for a Tree

Cast on 3 sts. K 2 rows.
Row 3: inc 1 in first and second sts, K1. K another row. Row 3 & 4 = 5 sts.
Row 5: K1, inc 1 in second and third sts, K2. K another row. Row 5 & 6 = 7 sts.
Row 7: K1, inc 1, K2, inc 1, K2.  K another row. Row 7 & 8 = 9 sts.
Row 9: K1, inc 1, K4, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 9 & 10 = 11 sts
Row 11:*cast off first 4 sts, K until end of row. Rep from* on next row, leaving 3 sts on needle. K another row.
Row 14: inc 1 in first and second sts, K1. K another row. Row 14 & 15 = 5 sts.
Row 16: K1, inc 1 in second and third sts, K2. K another row. Row 16 & 17 = 7 sts.
Row 18: K1, inc 1, K2, inc 1, K2.  K another row. Row 18 & 19 = 9 sts
Row 20: K1, inc 1, K4, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 20 & 21 = 11 sts
Row 22: K1, inc 1, K6, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 22 & 23 = 13 sts.
Row 24: *cast off first 4 sts, K until end of row. Rep from* on next row, leaving 5 sts on needle. K another row.
Row 27: K1, inc 1 in second and third sts, K2. K another row. Row 27 & 28 = 7 sts.
Row 29: K1, inc 1, K2, inc 1, K2.  K another row. Row 29 & 30 = 9 sts
Row 31: K1, inc 1, K4, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 31 & 32 = 11 sts
Row 33: K1, inc 1, K6, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 33 & 34 = 13 sts.
Row 35: K1, inc 1, K8, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 35 & 36 = 15 sts.
Row 37: K1, inc 1, K10, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 37 & 38 = 17 sts.
Row 39: K1, inc 1, K12, inc 1, K2. K another row. Row 39 & 40 = 19 sts.
Cast off loosely.

Making Up

Fasten off loose ends. Measure up 18cm/7″ length of red yarn, fold in half and tie the two ends into a knot. With a 3mm crochet hock draw the top loop of string through the top of Christmas tree, as shown in picture, thread the knotted part through the loop on other side and pull tight. Christmas tree is ready to hang onto the real tree!

VALENTINE HEART

VALENTINE HEART

 

3hearts thumb

KNITTED HEARTS FOR DECORATION or JEWELLERY

Biggan Design DK (8Ply) Merino First Cross Wool
Fully grown and Manufactured in Australia

Yarn:*

1

ball

230

* Yarn is in balls of 50g / 1¾ oz net standard conditions – 105 m / 115 yds
Needles: 1 set straight needles size 3mm (UK 11, US 3)
1 crochet hook size 3mm
Tension: 13 sts and 28 rows garter stitch = 5 cm (2”)

Abbreviations:

alt = alternately

beg = beginning

cm = centimetre

Cc = contrast colour

cont = continuedec = decrease (knit 2 sts tog)

gart. st = garter stitch
inc = increase (knit twice in same sts)

K = knit

Mc = main colourmm = millimetre

mos.st = moss stitch

P = purl

rep = repeat

rib = rib stitch (K1, P1 alt)RS = right side

st(s) = stitch(es)

st.st = stocking stitch

tog = together

WS = wrong side

US Glossary:

bind off = cast offseed stitch = moss stitchgauge = tensionstockinette stitch = stocking stitch 

NOTE! Before starting to knit, please read carefully through this page.

TENSION is very important to follow to get the Right Size!

YOUR TENSION MUST COINCIDE WITH TENSION GIVEN IN PATTERN, OTHERWISE YOUR GARMENT MAY COME OUT ONE TO SEVERAL SIZES SMALLER OR LARGER!!!
To check tension cast on 40 sts on size 4mm straight needles and knit 44 rows stocking stitch. Then check with a tape measure that you have the right number of sts and rows as indicated below.
If tension is too loose (too few sts) use half to one size smaller knitting needles and if tension is too tight (too many sts) use half to one size larger knitting needles.

13 sts and 28 rows st.st = 5 cm (2”)
in Biggan Design Merino First Cross DK Yarn

——

VALENTINE HEART


One ball of yarn will make about 16 hearts. Heart is worked in K st only to form garter stitch.

Cast on 3 sts on size 3mm needles.
Work 2 rows.
Row 3: inc1 in 1st and 2nd sts, K1. There will be 5 sts on needle.
Work 1 row gart.st.
Row 5: K1, inc1 in 1st and 2nd sts, K2. There will be 7 sts on needle.
Work 1 row gart.st.
Row 7 and all odd number rows inc as follows: inc1 on both sides of heart, 1 st in from edge. Rep until there are 21 sts on needle.
Work all even number rows as normal.

When there are 21 sts on needle, work 10 rows gart.st. On next work K10, dec1, K10.
Work either side of heart separately.
Left side:
Work 4 rows gart.st.
On next row dec1, 1 st in from outer edge.
Work 1 row gart.st.
On next row *dec1, 1 st in from edge on both sides.
Work 1 row gart.st.
On following row rep from*.
Cast off quite firmly.
Right side: Rep as left side, reverse shaping.

Making up:

Fasten all loose ends.

Biggan Ryd-Dups