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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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New in store this week

We have been busy this week discovering new and exciting charms and gemstones to turn into lovely stitch markers. We hope you like the new additions to the store, all of which are available as both knitting and crochet markers.

If you liked our Sheep markers then you will adore the Tiny Sheep we have found for you.

Our Forest Theme continues with the addition of an Owlet to complement the Owl marker and Deep in the Forest marker set.

The Frosted Veined Jasper markers are stunning; every bead is unique, a lovely veined pattern in shades of grey, and the matte surface makes these markers a sophisticated addition to your crafting toolset.

In addition to our cat-shaped charms and hearts and paws charms, we have added this sweet outline paw marker. A great gift for a pet lover.

Finally, for this week, we have added to our range of marker holders/project bag charms with this lovely silver plated outline cat.

Don’t forget, for individual markers the 20% off voucher still applies until the end of February. Just enter coupon code FJG87WW5 when checking out.

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New Granary Knits Shop is Live!

The Granary Knits Stitch Marker Shop has moved from Etsy to a new home, and is now open for business! This move gives us flexibility, visibility, and a chance to bring you lots more lovely stitch markers, as well as old favourites. New markers like this Carnelian bead marker:

Or a holder to keep your stitch markers safe when not in use:

Or old favourites, such as the Sheep marker:

Visit Shop at Granary Knits to see our full range, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with new products.

You will receive the same great service: dispatch within 3 working days of placing your order, a secure large-letter posting box to ensure your markers reach you in a perfect state, and the markers presented in a pretty cotton drawstring bag handmade by me and wrapped in tissue paper.

Little cotton storage/gift bags, made from quilting fabric

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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
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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Chicken Knitting Ebook

Of all animals, I think I have always like birds the best, probably influenced by my Mother, who kept Zebra Finches, Canaries, and Lovebirds, and avidly watched the wild birds in her garden. She even had a Silkie cockerel, rescued from a school egg-hatching program and given the run of the house and garden for many years. It was not until 2007 that I kept any birds of my own, and I started with hens. I liked the idea of fresh eggs for breakfast, but the day we acquired Hetty, Betty, and Letty, was the day I lost my heart to them. As soon as I held one in my arms, I was smitten, and the longer I have kept them, and the better I understand them, the more I see their individual characters, their behavioural traits, their likes and dislikes, their amazing colouring, the variation of comb and wattle shapes, their unique song.

When I started designing knitted textiles, my flock of hens (and one cockerel) featured very prominently in my inspiration. This first collection of patterns is a result of that inspiration, and covers the stranded colourwork designs based upon feather shapes and colours.

The patterns in the ebook collection are:

Feather Cap Beanie

Fingerless Feather Mittens

Full Feather Mittens

Feather Cowl (not yet published)

Each pattern is available individually, or you can buy the ebook collection here: