Thursday, December 30, 2010

What can I make with this?

I hope that you all have had a lovely Christmas and have got through the last of the turkey leftovers by now too. Knowing you, I bet there was some yarn under the tree (I hope there was!)

I find myself, that often when you recieve yarn as a gift, it may be something that you've not knitted with before. Perhaps a different weight, colour or even fibre mix than you're used to. But don't be shy: be brave! Strike out and try to make something fabulous with it. It is sure to be a great learning experience.

So, thinking that you've probably got something new that you'd like to try, I've put together a few patterns that might work for both different yarn weights and skill-sets from the Arbour House Publishing collection.

4ply Yarns
Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

Beginner: Sun Ray Ribbing, a lovely, flattering 1930s style jumper from A Stitch in Time, Vol 1 is a very good first sweater project and knits up surprisingly quickly too.

Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

Intermediate/New technique: Elegant Coat Gloves by Susan Crawford from Vintage Gifts to Knit uses small amounts of different colour yarns to make a longer pair of winter gloves.You can learn or practice your Fair Isle technique with these.

Double Knitting Yarns
Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

Beginner Lady's Gauntlets by Just call me Ruby. These lovely fingerless gloves are knitted sideways, entirely in garter stitch and make a brilliant beginner project - so much more interesting than a scarf. The pattern is available in kit form too!

Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

Intermediate/New technique Town and City Tufted Cape from Vintage Gifts to Knit is a lovely little cover-up, knitted with a clever 'tuft' stitch. The pattern is adjustable to fit many sizes and different lengths.

Aran Weight
Image copyright Woolly Wormhead

Beginner: Elfin by Woolly Wormhead is a great little pixie-head hat for children from her brilliant book, Wee Woolly Toppers. It is knitted in the round, knits up really quickly and ends in a pointy topknot.

Intermediate/New technique: Oscar is one of the lovely traditional teddy bears from Sandra Polley's book Knitted Toys. He stands at about 45cm or 18" tall and has a charming waistcoat to wear too. Sandra's book is a good one to dip into for lots of other projects that take just an oddment or two of yarn as well, so a good one if you have just one skein of something.

I do hope that you find something interesting to knit with any Christmas yarn, and let us know what it was!

Happy knitting,
Ingrid x

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Very Last Minute Vintage Gifts!

Christmas Presents by Wysz on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

Sister Diane over on Craftypod has had a fabulous idea and written a great tutorial for turning an e-book into a last minute gift with a personal touch.

I can see you reading this, wondering how a download could possibly be a terribly personal gift, but read on...

Say, you wanted to give Vintage Gifts to Knit as a Christmas gift but realised that the printed version wouldn't come in the post in time (I'm sorry to say that you've definitely missed the last post at this point). Well, instead of just downloading the book from Ravelry and emailing it to the recipient, which is a bit boring really, you could nip out to your local computer shop and buy a funky memory stick and drop by the stationers for some bits and pieces. You'll be able to create a brilliant present...

Basically you need to go to Ravelry, purchase and download the book as normal and save it to your shiny new memory stick. Use Sister Diane's tutorial to make a festive presentation box, et voila! Vintage Gifts to Knit for Christmas without having to wait for the postman.

But Sister Diane can explain it far better than I can, so here is the link to Craftypod and the tutorial (you should really read Craftypod - it's full of really great ideas).

Here also is the link to Vintage Gifts to Knit on Ravelry, if you're so inclined :)

Do let us know if you decide to make Vintage Gifts to Knit, as your Christmas ebook gift.... or you could always send someone else the way of this blog post if you'd like to recieve it yourself!!

Happy Knitting
Ingrid x

Merry Christmas Everyone!

From Susan, Gavin, Ingrid
and everyone at knitonthenet xxx

p.s. If you've forgotten to buy a present for someone, don't forget that you can still pre-order a copy of A Stitch in Time Volume 2!

Monday, December 20, 2010

All Clear!

Thumbs Up by eskimo_jo on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.
I'm very pleased to be able to tell you that all of the malware attack problems with the knitonthenet site and shop from yesterday have been resolved and we are fully functioning and certified safe to use again.

If you were waiting with baited breath to pre-order your copy of A Stitch in Time volume 2, before Christmas, now is the time to do so! Phew!

Happy knitting
Ingrid x

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Knitonthenet Site Problems - 19/12/2010

I'm sorry to have to tell you that the knitonthenet site and have been the victims of malware and currently look unavailable to browse. If you have visited the site or the shop today, you will have seen instead of our usual front page, a large red 'Attack Warning' screen. Knitonthenet was compromised without our knowledge or permission earlier today.

The malware attack on the site has been dealt with, swiftly and completely, behind the scenes and we are currently waiting for the warning ban that comes up to be lifted. If in the meantime, you choose to click the 'ignore this warning' button on the screen, we are assured that you can access the site with confidence.

We do apologise for the disruption to the site in the run-up to Christmas, but please do keep checking back for our return to normal. We have been promised that the warning notice will be lifted within 24 hours and all shall be as it was.


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Friday, December 17, 2010

Susan Crawford Vintage Knitting

Susan has a beautiful new site especially about her love for vintage knitting and craft. Please do check it out here at if you haven't already. Isn't her logo the best?

Although the site is still in its early stages, she has lots going on, with a blog, patterns and lots of information about her books, including the newest: A Stitch in Time Volume Two.

I bet you didn't know all this about Susan, either:
I have worked in the knitting and fashion industries for many years as a knitwear designer, stylist and design consultant. Vintage fashion and collecting vintage fashion and craft magazines from the 1930s to the 1950s has long been an obsession and this fascination is very clear in my designs.

I am currently working on three further book projects, A Stitch in Time, Vintage Knitting patterns, 1930-1959, Vintage Crochet 1930-1959 both of which are due for release in early 2011.

Vintage Shetland, in collaboration with the Shetland Museum Archives looks at knitwear made by Shetlanders during the 1920s to 1950s and donated to the museum’s archives.

In addition to this I am collaborating with John Arbon Textiles of Devon, on a unique 100% British knitting wool, called Excelana, which will feature 3 and 4 ply weight yarn, as well as a double knit and an aran weight. I have created a colour palette that evokes the spirit of yesteryear to be used by today’s knitter.

I also offer knitting workshops and talks about vintage fashion and knitwear.

If you'd like to follow Susan's blog about vintage knitting and sewing and the make do and mend lifestyle, you can find it here at and you can also follow her on Twitter where she tweets regularly about knitting, designing, chickens, cooking and life in general. Susan is @astitchintime.

Please do leave us a comment with your thoughts about Susan's new site too!

Happy knitting
Ingrid x

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pre-Order A Stitch in Time Volume 2 Now!

A Stitch in Time: Volume 2, cover. Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

We are very excited to announce that Susan Crawford and Jane Waller's eagerly anticipated new book, A Stitch in Time Volume 2 is now available to pre-order from the knitonthenet shop.

This is the ambitious follow up to A Stitch In Time. Volume 2 takes us from 1930s to the end of the 1950s, featuring 75 incredible patterns, many multi sized for the first time, authentic styling and gorgeous photography. Available in hardback format.

The pre order package includes:

A signed copy of this remarkable book.

Sample skeins of yarns used in the book, including Mulberry Silk and Susan’s own vintage inspired yarn, Excelana.

Discount vouchers from Yarn companies including 15% discount from Knit Shop for their Mulberry Silk and Pure Cottons, both used in the book and 10% discount from Susan Crawford Vintage for the Excelana yarn range. **

A stylish and practical project bag.**

A printable Gift Certificate with every pre-order *


* An email address is required for your gift certificate to be emailed to you as a pdf. No alternative format is available. Your certificate will be emailed within 48 hours of placing your order.

** These items will be despatched with your book on publication. Samples are subject to variation. Samples can only be sent to same delivery address as book. Please ensure correct delivery address is entered. No alternative or exchange is available. No cash alternative or other discount is available. Applicable terms will be listed on individual discount vouchers.

Postage and packing is charged at only £4.00 to anywhere in the world.

You can pre-order yours by clicking here.

Happy knitting
Ingrid x

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last Minute Shopping!

Miss Laverty's Motoring Hood from Vintage Gifts to Knit

Well, from the title, you can tell that we'd love you to do some of your Christmas and holiday presents at the knitonthenet shop. But I'm not going to get all hard-sell on you. As a reader of our magazine and blog, I'm sure that you know that we have a lovely selection of patterns, books and kits! Ooh, and stationary. Instead, here are some pictures to perhaps inspire you and a nice Christmassy video too.

Sandra Polley's Knitted Toys

Lacy Gloves from A Stitch in Time Volume 1

Ladies Gauntlet Knitting Kit

...and lastly, a bit of Bing Crosby.

Happy knitting,
Ingrid x

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For Regaining Passion and Inspiration: For You.

This post is a little out of the ordinary. It's not about knitting. In fact it's not even about textiles. Instead it's a musical pick-me-up for all of you that need it (and even those that don't).

It's for those who are frantically knitting for holiday gifts and wondering if it will ever end or whether they will be ready in time. For those who are planning for Christmas whilst trying to stay sane. For those who are having a hard time with work, or with school and are feeling that the bleak winter months are never ending.

This wonderfully uplifting video from TED is for you.

When the winter darkness encroaches that little bit too much in whatever way, and gives you a real downer, watch this joyous, energetic presentation by the conductor Benjamin Zander. I guarantee that you'll start to feel a little better and come out the other side inspired, and with shining eyes.

Happy watching,
Ingrid x

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Technical Bits: Intarsia

Following on from last week's post about Fair Isle, this time we are looking at another colourwork technique: Intarsia. This method is used when blocks of colour are required, rather than a smaller repeating pattern. A good example of this are the reindeer on The Perfect Christmas Jumper, below.

The Perfect Christmas Jumper. Image copyright Arbour House Publishing.

Motifs are worked with separate balls or bobbins of yarn, producing a garment only one layer thick (rather than Fair Isle's double layer of wool. Before starting to knit, you will need to prepare by winding small balls or bobbins full of each colour to be used. Bobbins are often easier for this, as it makes it easier to untangle the inevitable twisting turning yarns.

As always, knit a swatch up first ...I'm sure that you always knit a tension square anyway, don't you ;) But seriously, knitting a swatch for colourwork knitting is particularly important in order to gauge the tension, and to have a practice of the techniques, if you haven't done it before.

Image by ActionHero on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.

When changing from one colour to another it is best to bring the new colour over the colour you have just finished using. The twists will show up on the purl side of the work (intarsia works best with stocking stitch). Try not to twist the yarns too tightly around each other or the work will look rather pinched, but be careful not to do it too loosely either or you will be left with a hole. This is where the practice swatching really comes into its own.

On the vertical lines of your pattern, you will need to twist the yarns on each row, but on diagonal lines you'll need to only twist on the rows where the yarn colour changes at the same point as it did on the row beneath.

As with Fair Isle patterns, charts are really essential for Intarsia. It is very difficult to follow written-only instructions

Align CentreHearts and Bunnies Cardigan. Image copyright Arbour House Publishing

If you'd like to try out some Intarsia, you could try one of the following patterns:

The Perfect Christmas Jumper: Ravelry link and Knitonthenet Shop link to the pattern

Hearts and Bunnies Cardigan: Ravelry link and Knitonthenet Shop link to Vintage Gifts to Knit

Happy knitting!
Ingrid x

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Susan Crawford Vintage Knitting at the Clothes Show

For any of you intrepid UK knitters who are venturing out in the snow and ice to The Clothes Show Live, we've a treat for you.

After much persuasion, Susan has decided to take a stand at this year's Clothes Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham. It starts today (3rd Dec) and runs until the 8th of December.

Susan and Gavin will be there exhibiting as Susan Crawford Vintage Knitting in the Sknitch area which is focused on knitting, sewing and craft. This is located in Hall 20, on Stand SK23.

Susan, at a previous show copyright Arbour House Publishing

I haven't seen a picture of it yet, but the stand sounds wonderful. Susan will have as many garments from A Stitch in Time 1 & 2 and Vintage Gifts to Knit as is possible. On top of this there will be lots of other garments which she's designed for knitonthenet and other magazines. This really is a great chance to see what the designs look like in the flesh and also to talk to Susan, herself.

She tells us that after the great success of the Vintage Kits that she put together for the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, The Clothes Show will be the formal launch of the Vintage Knitting Kits collection. Very exciting!

Clothes from A Stitch In Time Vol 1, image copyright Susan Crawford

So, if you are visiting the Clothes Show, do come and find Susan (and Gavin) in the Sknitch area on stand SK23 - Susan Crawford Vintage Knitting (and then tell us snowbound knitters all about it in the comments!)

If, like me you're not able to make it, you can visit Susan's lovely new website here: Susan Crawford Vintage Knitting.

Happy Knitting
Ingrid x