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January Store Update

We have some lovely stitch markers available at the moment, whether your taste runs to charms, gemstones, or a mixture of both. I am always on the look out for new beads and gemstones; if you don’t see exactly what you want in the Granary Knits store, there is a good chance I can find it for you, just email me. Here are a few of my new markers, available in both crochet and knitting .

Gemstone beads are my favourite markers; they come in a bewildering variety of stones, some shiny some frosted, in every colour and size you could want. I concentrate on 8mm and 10mm beads for stitch markers; the 8mm beads make a perfect small marker, and the 10mm beads workbeautifully as special end of round markers.

Frosted Snowflake Obsidian is my new favourite gemstone bead. Every stone is different, and the matte frosted finish means that each “snowflake” on the surface of the bead stands out in perfect detail. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available singly in store now.

Jade is one of the most beautiful gemstones; it has been used in jewellery and carved ornaments for nearly ten thousand years. Jadeite is the most expensive with delicate colouring and semi-translucent appeal, but Nephrite is also rather lovely. Nephrite is found principally in Western Canada, with lesser deposits in China, South-east Asia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. The colours found in Nephrite range from creamy yellows to dark greens. The beads I use are in the pale to mid green range. They are 10mm in diameter, and make perfect special end-of-round markers. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available singly in store now.

Rainbow Fluorite is another gemstone that comes in a variety of colours. My favourite combination is the most delicate of pale greens and the loveliest of purples. These colours always remind me of Spring. In the Rainbow Fluorite markers I offer in the shop, I have used 8mm round beads topped with 6mm bicone beads; I try to ensure that one stone is purple and the other green. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available in store now.

Another beautiful matte gemstone is the Veined Jasper, a new find for me. Again every stone is different, featuring black on white, white on black, and wonderful shades of grey. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available in store now.

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The Wind That Shakes the Barley Pattern

Another new pattern from me, a lovely semicircular shawl called The Wind That Shakes The Barley. It was inspired by the Irish folk song, and features ears of barley blown hither and thither. It has an interesting construction, being knit from the bottom edge of deep picot-tipped scallops to top, but despite the complicated-looking cast on it is a quick knit in DK weight yarn.

The pattern was first published in Knit Now magazine in March 2020.

Available now in the Granary Knits store, https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/the-wind-that-shakes-the-barley-shawl-digital-download/ .

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Temperature Blanket for 2021

I’m always looking for a new project for the New Year, and this year’s project will truly span the whole 365 days. I am going to knit a temperature blanket to reflect the weather where I live. But this won’t be the usual square or rectangle; it is a Temperature Pi circular blanket, based upon the principles laid down by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I should be delighted if you would like to join me in this enterprise.

To begin at the beginning, you need good data for your locality. I am enormously lucky in that I have an electronics geek for a husband; he created a garden weather station for me some years ago, and since the station outputs its data to a website, I have everything I need to begin. Alternatively, you could use the BBC Weather website or other weather app to gather data. I have prepared an Excel spreadsheet for you to use in gathering data. It is certainly not too late to start.

As well as temperature, I have been recording the predominate weather condition each day. The blanket I have designed can be knit in two ways; you can use just the temperature for each day’s round, or you can add in an indicator of the weather condition to the temperature. I have done this by holding both the temperature yarn together with a strand of fine yarn such as Rowan Kidsilk Haze, to knit each round. This gives a lovely haloed warm texture, as well as a subtle colour modulation.

The second requirement is a good selection of colours for your temperature range and your weather indicator. I selected a palette of 9 temperature colours to range from -5°C to 40°C, in 5 degree increments; you may need to adjust your range based upon where you live; if you generally have temperatures lower than -5°C but never get above 30°C, then alter your range accordingly. I selected seven weather indicators – sun, overcast, rain, wind, fog, snow, and storm (which could be a combination of wind and rain, or wind and sun where I live) – and chose colours to reflect these from the Kidsilk Haze range.

Lastly, you need a pattern to help keep you on track. The Excel spreadsheet helps in keeping track of the day numbers and dates, the pattern gives colour and yarn suggestions, as well as details of increase rounds. There is a pretty lacy edge, charted and written, for the month of December to look forward to. The free pattern has been tech edited, and is available together with the spreadsheet by clicking here.

My progress so far on the blanket looks like this; you can see the marled effect of using the weather indicator thread together with the temperature: Small beginnings, but it will grow!

If you would like to be part of a community of knitters working on the blanket, then please follow @sb97979 (Granary Knits) or @veg_grower on Twitter, or @GranaryKnits on Instagram; post pictures of your progress using the hashtag #TempPi2021.