Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – January Update

I started my 2021 Temperature Pi Blanket project a little late, because I was waiting on delivery of several of the yarns, but I made sure I had recorded temperature and weather each day on my spreadsheet so that, once I had them, I could steam ahead. January represents relatively short rounds and several rounds could be knit in a day, so there was no problem in keeping up with events.

The weather here in January can be very variable; we can be buried in snow or deluged with rain. 2021 started quite mild, and although the overnight temperature dipped below zero Celsius once or twice, the maximum temperature hovered mostly around 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. We had some snow, and the first storm of the year, Storm Christoph, but also several days when it was sunny but cold. As the month drew to its close, it became milder but also wetter with odd flurries of snow, and then the last two days were very frosty and cold.

January

I have completed 31 rounds, beginning with 9 stitches per round, and have now reached 144 stitches per round. It will be interesting to see what February will throw at us!

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/temperature-pi-blanket-free-digital-download/

Posted on Leave a comment

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/ .

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on 2 Comments

New in store – Knitting Patterns

If you are a knitter or crocheter, you will no doubt have heard about the controversial new design of the Ravelry website. For many dedicated and enthusiastic users of Ravelry, the site has become unusable, and so in solidarity with the crafters who are unable to buy patterns from Ravelry any longer, I am making my patterns available here in the Granary Knits Shop. These patterns are downloadable pdf files, and can be bought either singly or added to a basket of goodies. I am gradually adding the patterns to store; just go to Shop and select the Knitting Patterns category to see my pattern catalogue.

Posted on 5 Comments

Sock Yarn Mittens

My second free pattern, designed to help you use up oddments from stash,  is for full mittens with gussetted thumb and an interesting ribbed cuff. This pattern was part of my Love Your Stash Challenge for 2019, in which I aimed to use yarn from stash for a series of simple accessories.

It is knit from the finger tip to the cuff, incorporating the pre-knitted thumb as you go, and uses any standard sock yarn.

You will need:

Any standard sock yarn (I used Regia for the sample , but West Yorkshire Spinners Signature Sock would also be a good choice). If you only have small quantities of multiple different sock yarns, use them up by randomly striping, or use different colours for the thumbs, cuff, or finger tips.

Your choice of circular needles or dpns (or AddiCraSyTrio Sock needles!) in the following sizes:

2.00 mm [UK/Canada size 10, US size 3]

2.25 mm [UK/Canada size 11, US size 2.5]

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Waste yarn

The PDF version of the free pattern can be downloaded from the Granary Knits Pattern Store. Have a look through your stash, gather your tools together, and happy knitting!

Posted on Leave a comment

Wild Geese Hap

Did you know that a group of geese on the ground is known as a gaggle, but in the air, flying in V-formation, it is known as a skein? I love the idea of geese and yarn being connected in this way.

Wild Geese flying into the sunset over our house

Wild geese fly over our house every Autumn, sometimes just one or two, sometimes in huge skeins of a hundred or more birds. They gather around our local reservoirs, ready to move off to their winter pastures. Their flight and call has long been a source of inspiration to me, and feeds into my sense of place in this landscape of dry stone walls, small streams and becks, hills and reservoirs.

The Wild Geese Hap is my response to this Autumnal landscape. Its texture denotes the skeins of geese in flight, becoming gradually larger as the hap grows, divided by ridges forming the dry stone walls, and ending with the ripples on the surface of the reservoirs, in the colours of the Canada Goose. The hap can be finished with either a plain cast off, or a knit-on edging in a triangular lacy design which looks uncannily like the wing of a goose in flight.

Wild Geese Hap blocking on a hap stretcher

The pattern for Wild Geese Hap is available from the Granary Knits Pattern Store. It features two sizes, a 2m square hap or a 1m square lapghan. It is knit in scrumptious aran/worsted weight yarn in lovely natural colours, and in the round from the centre out. I used Daughter of a Shepherd Ram Jam and Castlemilk Moorit DK (which knits up as aran weight) yarns for both the hap and the lapghan. I love the sheepiness of the DoaS yarns, their wonderful bloom when they have been washed and dried, the natural colours of sheep, and the sheer warmth of the finished item.

Blanket size

Both sizes of the Wild Geese Hap are worked from charts, from the centre out. The blanket size is shown above with the lace border; the lapghan, shown below, has been finished with a very stretchy simple cast off, which accentuates the rippled edging and the points at the corners.

Lapghan
Posted on Leave a comment

Snake’s Heid

The sinuous pattern and lacy “head” for this hat was developed during my City and Guilds Handknit textiles course, and originally formed part of a table runner. But the image of the snake’s head would not lie still, and eventually I had to turn it into a wearable accessory.

Aran, DK and 4ply hats

The result is a cosy beanie/toque style hat, which can be knit in fingering/4ply, DK, or aran/worsted weight yarns, in a large range of sizes. I knit the samples in 3 different blends of wonderful Blacker yarns – Lyonesse 4ply, Tamar DK, and North Ronaldsay Aran.

4ply slouchy
DK Beanie

The pattern for Snake’s Heid can be purchased from the Granary Knits Ravelry Pattern Store.

Posted on Leave a comment

Votic Hat

Today sees the publication of my latest design, the Votic Hat. I have been very fortunate in having a preview of the lovely new yarn from Blacker Yarns, Cornish Garden, launched on 20th September 2019 as their 14th birthday yarn.

This is a beautiful soft woolly yarn in a gorgeous range of colours, and I have been delighted to provide a pattern knit in this yarn.

Slouchy broken striped hat seen in side view

The design is based on a fragment of knitted material found during an archaeological dig in Estonia. The fragment dates from the 13th century and is believed to be from the cuff of a mitten. I have taken part of the motif shown in the fragment and created an unusual broken striped hat, which knits up perfectly in the 3ply/light fingering weight of Cornish Garden.

Thank you to Sue Blacker for giving me the opportunity to design with this lovely yarn.

The Votic hat pattern can be found in the Granary Knits Ravelry Store.

Posted on Leave a comment

Feather Cowl pattern published

Feather Cowl complements the Feather Cap Beanie and Feather Mittens patterns previously published. It is worked in the round, in stranded colourwork, using ten colours of Jamieson’s of Shetland wonderful pure wool Spindrift yarn. The motif itself and the colours I have chosen reflect the feather patterns and colours of my flock of hens.

The pattern can be purchased from the Granary Knits Pattern store, either as the single pattern, or as part of the Chicken Knitting e-book containing all four patterns (coming soon)

Posted on Leave a comment

Diagoniella Cowl Pattern Now Published

The textured design for this pattern sprang from my research into the fossils found at the Burgess Shale fossil site in Canada, a wealth of amazing plants and creatures which lived in the pre-Cambrian seas over 500 million years ago. Diagoniella was a protosponge, tubular in shape but with an intriguing diagonal skeletal structure which just cried out to be turned into knitting!

Short Cowl in Sublime Cotton Silk DK

This cowl is designed to suit everyone. The textured pattern is understated but detailed enough to be interesting, and the deep moss ribbing ensures that cold winds are kept firmly away from the neck. It can easily be turned into a deeper cowl/snood by adding more vertical repeats of the pattern; it is written for knitting in the round. It was designed for someone who cannot tolerate wool next to the skin, and the yarn suggestions are both cotton blends that give excellent stitch definition. The cowl/snood can be knit in any DK weight yarn which has good stitch definition.

Snood in Rowan Softyak DK

Instructions are given for three sizes, a short cowl 25 cm (approx. 10”) tall; a medium cowl 40 cm (approx. 15 ½”); and a snood 55 cm (approx. 21 ¾”).

The pattern is available in the Granary Knits Pattern Store.