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too many shawls?? – never!!

17 Mar

When I decided to knit my sister a shawl for her 30th birthday I didn’t think it would take me this long to pick one!

Her birthday was on 28th Feb!!

I knew I was leaving it late as I still hadn’t finished my brothers socks, (due 19th Jan! Still waiting to be posted!) but even though I’m never normally on time with knitted gifts, this is even late for me!

The first point I was stuck at was picking the yarn. I gave Jen six options and she got it down to two……


Wollmeise Pure in Petite Poison



Madeleine Tosh, Tosh Sock in Moss

Eventually I decided to go with the Wollmeise as Amethyst is her birth stone and I wanted a shawl with more delicate drape than comfort squish.

Other than finishing Adams socks and picking a yarn, my main issue was that I couldn’t decide on a pattern. I had a few ideas in my head but wanted it to be special and perfect for her. So I took to Ravelry to see if it would help.

Looking through Ravelry just made it harder, there are so many amazing shawls out there, all pulling me in different directions!

So I decided to put together my favourite five shawls and compare them all together to help me decide.

The greatest thing about Ravelry is having the ability to see many knitters versions of patterns, it different yarns, weights and colours.

The pics shown are a mixture of the designers own and other Ravelry knitters projects.

I love the bold, determined style of Trilinear designed by Cindy Garland, but the thought of having to make another decision for the second colour has put me off this but has also put this at number eight in my Ravelry queue!


© Wild Prairie Knits

The delicate draping leaves of The Lonely Tree Shawl designed by Sylvia Bo Bilvia are just gorgeous and the border adds such a pretty finish but I didn’t want a block lace pattern for the entire shawl. (I think this would be awesome in another yarn in my stash too)


© Sylvia Bo Bilvia

The shape of Lazy Katie has me obsessed! Brigit Freyer has designed a work of art in this shawl but it needs a bold, colourful, variegated yarn to create the brilliant effect.


© BonnieRed

Semele Shawl designed by Asa Tricosa is practically perfect, it has a delicate drape a base of stockinette stitch and pretty lace border, I think it has made the final cut….



Whenever I think to knit a shawl my default designer will always be Susanna IC and Oslo Walk is fantastic. I love the dangling ice crystals and the yo’s breaking up the main section of the shawl. Susanna’s construction is always a winner for me so into the final it goes…


© OrangeLauren

The final decision has been hard but due to the weather at the moment being so cold and so icy I’ve made my choice…..

The winner is Oslo Walk!!


A Stitch in Time 1930-1959 – Volume 2

6 Nov

When I first came across A Stitch In Time 1920-1949 :Volume 1 knitting pattern book I thought my dreams had come true!

I have tried before to knit a vintage sweater using a vintage pattern and to be honest I gave up pretty quickly, the pattern wasn’t really that old either, late 70’s!!

To begin with it was quite tough to find a suitable yarn, the sizing was very boxy and the pattern structure was sometimes quite difficult to read and although I do love designing my own patterns, i’m not terribly confident altering a pattern for such a large garment myself. This is why I fell in love with Susan Crawford, Jane Waller and A Stitch In Time.

Using their uber genius minds they took some of the best vintage patterns,  put them together in a manner that was easy to understand, included current yarn and sizes and published them all in a book with excellent instructions and descriptions, not to mention awesome new photos! What gives them the edge  is that they include the original patterns in the book too!

Since I bought A Stitch in Time I have knit quite a few patterns and love every single one! (I have blogged about them all  but my favourites are Concentrate on the Sleeves and To Wear With Anything) There are many more patterns I just cant wait to knit!

I really did not believe it could get any better…..

That was until, at Knit Nation this year, I learnt about A Stitch in Time  1930-1959 : Volume 2!!!

Immediatly I signed up!

I was gutted at the time to hear that it wasnt being published until September but knew that I would be so excited when it actually arrived. Unfortunatly there were a few publishing problems and the book was delayed for a while. This was not a problem at all as they were so nice about it, we were sent a free pattern from the book, via email, to whet our appetities and I must admit that it really did hype it all up for me not knowing when the postman would knock!

That day arrived last week, the doorbell rang just as I was on my way to the gym, and it was the book!!

I opened it immediatly to find not only the book

but a lovely bag and 2 money off vouchers!

It really just kept getting better!

This volume, a beautiful hardback copy signed by Susan herself,  knocks socks of the previous, something I thought I would never say.

Not only do we once again get the most incredible vintage patterns plus the originals, with photos, we also have an in-depth guide to ‘Perfecting The Vintage Knit’ covering all you could need to know from sizing to trims and (to my utter enjoyment) a whole page on ‘Choosing The Right Buttons’. Undeniably an invaluable addition.

The book is just full once again of fantastic patterns to suit every taste and shape and as Emmms proved whilst flicking through the book in the cafe last week, there is so much to coo over and so many pages to stroke that A Stitch  In Time will definitly keep your attention for a long long time!

My ultimate favourite has to be Cryscelle, which is used as the cover image.

Here are a few more of my favourites, I say a few as I couldn’t include the whole book!

(from left to right, top to bottom: ‘Lady’s Jumper-Cardigan’; ‘Lady’s Evening Jumper’; ‘Box Coat’; ‘Colourful Winter Sports Outfit’; ‘A Pretty Frilled Jumper’; ‘Tyrolean Jumper Coat’)

Emmm’s favourites should be up here soon!!

Thanks once again to the amazing Susan Crawford and Jane Waller !!!!

(All photos taken from A Stitch In Time 1930- 1959 : Volume 2)

knit nation 2011

26 Jul

It’s been a week since Knit Nation and me and Emmms are finally getting back to normal, but what a weekend it was!!

We need to first say a massive thank you to Pippa at Sweet Clement because if it wasn’t for her Made by Loumms would not have been there having one of the best times ever, so thanks Pippa!!!

Pippa setting up.

Pip has such a great eye for design which she used so well in the set up of the stall, a classy Black and White boudoir theme, and you can just see our excitement about the whole thing!!

Emmms doing some last-minute finishing.


We displayed our bags and sample socks around Pippa’s yarn, in wicker baskets,

Large Wristers, sweater-sized!

on a coat stand,

Socky Wristers!

on our paper mâché foot, made from the final copy of the News of the World,

SCANDALOUS! Soon-to-be-released 'June' sock in Beloved (in Blueberry Sundae).

Emmms’s wedding present lamp which proved very popular (Emmms: Because it is GORGEOUS! Best wedding present ever! We had so many lovely people comment on it and several disappointed faces when they learned the pattern will for ever stay in Lou’s head. I can understand their disappointment, but I’m pretty chuffed to have a Lou Original!)

[You can see it in the finished stall pic up at the top, but a proper picture and dedicated post all of its own are definitely to come!]

and also very handy when all the lights cut out!!

Twinkly! Handy in a black-out!

The best bit, of course, were Pippa’s delicious yarns,

Lovely yarn, with a sneaky Pink Flamingos Wrister.

which go rather nicely with our bags, don’t you think?

Sock-Perfect project bags, a tableau with delicious yarn!

Adorning the walls were both the sock patterns by us and shawl and mitts patterns by Michaela and Anna, and the samples knitted up in Sweet Clement yarns.

Patterns lined the walls, with some Wristers up top showing off Pippa's yarns.

Two 'Agatha C.' samples, in Smitten (in Buttercup and Mallard).

It was great to see Michaela and Anna again, as well as the usual faces, Old Maiden Aunt, Ysolda, Nimu, Susan Crawford, Alice (of course, who bought a Sketched Owls Wrister), The Bothered Owl, and many others, as well as meeting new faces, too!!

We had a great chat with so many people, the owner of Temptation Cafe in Brighton, who showed us a pic of his knitted Brighton Pavilion and seagulls; his friend, shawl designer Knit and Fiddle; Martine from iMake who bought an Owly Wrister; Vicky from the awesome Twisted Angle online magazine, and the rest of our great customers who stopped by!

Thanks to one lovely lady who threaded a needle I was using to sew in the end of one of our wristers! And an extra HUGE thanks to the Knit Nation Team who came to the rescue and helped with some last-minute drawstringing of our Socky Wristers before the marketplace opened!! (Emmms: And a huge thanks to them for being such an amazing calming influence when sleep deprivation and hunger got the best of us. They were truly amazing!)

Some of our main highlights was Stephen West and his friend Sam buying a good handful of Wristers — the gaggle of fan girls (including ourselves) outside our stall said it all!! — they, as well as Lillith of OMA, picked up one of our favourite Wristers, the Red Robots!!

Lillith and her Wrister!

It was a perfect showcase not only for the re-release of some of our edited Loumms Year of Socks patterns, such as ‘Singing in the Rain’, but also for Emmms’s new design, ‘Agatha C.’, knit in Sweet Clement of course!

'Singing in the Rain' in Beloved (in Cornflower).

‘Agatha C.’ was so popular we had to get more patterns printed and I’m not surprised as it is totally amazing! Great intricate cables! make this the sock pattern of the year I say!! (review by Lou of course, Emmms is unfortunately not that big headed about her designs, don’t know why not!!)

Official 'Agatha C.' pattern pic in Smitten (in Mallard).

Due to how busy it was we didn’t get to wander as much as we would have liked but we did manage to pick up the following goodies!!

A needle holder from The Bothered Owl (Emmms: Lou snapped this lovely up but I totally lost track of all time and failed to get one for me. Thank goodness Sarah’s getting the Undercover Owl up and running, so I can pick one up for me!)

Whale needle case from Bothered Owl.

The new A Stitch In Time book from Susan Crawford, which I cannot wait to arrive in September (Emmms: GAH! Me too!! I am totally in love with the Miss Marple coat!)

The much-anticipated A Stitch In Time Vol. 2!

A gorgeous sweater pattern from Nimu, ‘Folded’ (Emmms: This was my one purchase for the entire event! It’s such a lovely design, but I’m having so much trouble deciding on the yarn to use — do I start bugging Pippa to get her Adore up on Etsy or do I stash dive? Decisions, decisions!)

The pattern pic for 'Folded'.

An equally pretty shawl pattern from Michaela, ‘Tumbledown’.

Pretty, pretty 'Tumbledown'!

Two great dresses from Twisted Angle in the softest acrylic I’ve ever felt — pics to come next time Loumms finds time for the pub! (Emmms: If you follow us on Twitter, you may recall Pippa regaling the internet with my table-side changing into said dress once the marketplace closed on Sunday! It had to be done!! I love my vintage dresses, but there are times when a lush cashmere-soft sweater dress is the way forward!)

And last but certainly not least an order of the scrumptious Corriedale yarn from Old Maiden Aunt! (Emmms: I swear that was Fate! I was complaining of the general lack of Corriedale in my life just that Sunday morning!)

All in all it was an incredible weekend but most of all it got me and Emmms sewing again! Woohoo!!

Oooh, and whoever won our Raining London Summer Kit in the Bingo get in touch!!! It was part of the big Grand Prize basket and we want to know what else you got!

'Singing in the Rain' Wrister Kit, with pattern, rainy Wrister and a skein of gorgeous Beloved in Cornflower!

knitting and stitching show – part 1, graduate knitting exhibition

10 Oct

Yesterday me and emmms took a trip in Purple Percy (my car) up to Alexandra Palace and the Knitting and Stitching Show 2010.

I know the show itself is slowly being taken over by big companies who can afford the increasing stall fees however there are still a few great fabric stalls still surviving, one of them being The Eternal Maker.

Me and emmms came across this stall last year and lost our minds over the great prints and fabrics they had in stock, however, when we came to check them out on line when we got home we could not find their card with their name or website details on!!! So annoying!! We searched and searched to find them without success so this year our main goal was to see them again!

We did and now have some more awesome fabric and their website details so we can visit them whenever we want!!

More on our great purchses in part three as this post is all about the Graduate Knitting Exhibition!!!

One of our joint favourite parts of the K and S show every year is the Graduate Exhibition, and this year we were once again very impressed.

Pleats, twists and smocking played a large part in the designs this year with greys blacks and and silvers being popular colours, mixed with bright, garish colours and 60’s style.

I adore the structrure and chunky texture of the following piece by Motohiro Tanji from Nottingham Trent University, the mutli pleated sleves and hem are broken up by the smocking on the body of the jacket, genius!

The other pleat focused piece is this detailed dress by Emma Philpot also from Nottingham Trent University.

The attention to detail is just breathtaking,

Samantha Brook is another student from Trent University and her aim was to portray the internet and digital age through complex and intricate knits, she has totally succeeded!!

The twist down the back of the vest is a something I have tried to do with socks and have never succeeded in doing, she is obviously very very talented!!!!

I really want to own one of these 60’s science fiction inspired jump suits by Ellen Chatelain from Chelsea College of Art and Design!!!

Staying with the 60’s feel the following photo’s are of the 2010 winner Deryn Relph’s ‘Retro Rainbow Rejuvenation’. These are some incredibly designed pieces all created with the idea of reinventing interiors and creating stronger attachments to objects to sustain their existance.

The lampshades just blew us away and have inspired us to try and create some of our own!!, I am not sure if they could possibly be as good as these ones, however once we manage a trip to the second hand shop for some lampshades to work with we will be sure to post about the results no matter how horriffic  hillarious!!!

So another fantastic day with emmms to look forward too!

Check out the knitting and stitching part 2 for photos of our yarny purchases and other yarn we saw and loved!!

for the love of gloves

27 Sep

The one thing I love most about knitted socks is the versitility in patterns and styles you can use to make them unique,

There can be cables, lace, slipped sts, not to mention the huge range of different heels and toes however it never occured to me that you can put the same practice to a pair of gloves until I spotted these beauties by Julia Mueller’s Laris Designs at Knit Nation!


Julia adds stlye and individuality to each of her glove designs, she also occasionally changes the original structure and when she does the results are amazing, like these Glitten Gloves, my particular favourite!!!


The detailed cables on Rococo are so interesting, especially as they creep their way up the finger! This I find fascinating as fingers are always the hardest part for me to knit on a pair of gloves never mind with cables too!!!


Another one of her re structured designs is Guinevere, a glove knitted from the tip of the thumb out!! Genius!!

Julia’s most recent pattern is Chimera, which looks like a cosy warn mitt for the upcoming winter months!


Not only is she a really talented designer she also has great taste in yarn choosing to knit a lot of her patterns in Wollmeise!!

Julia also does KAL’s from her ravelry group page too!!

Thanks Julia for some truly inspiring designs!!!

(All pictures taken from

for the love of socks

24 Aug

My main knitting project for the past couple of weeks has been a delicate snood for my mam for her birthday (photos to come as don’t want to ruin it for her!)

As I have been designing it at the same time and have mainly been working on it at work, it is taking a while. It’s her birthday tomorrow and I have about another 3 inches to go!! Agh, probably not going to be ready in time!

I am really enjoying it and the yarn, 2-ply alpaca/silk/cashmere in lun-dubh by Old Maiden Aunt, is just divine — so soft and fine yet strong! It is a perfect shawl lace weight; however, I cannot fail to admit that I miss socks!

I know I did my sister a pair for the baby, but it’s just not the same as a really good sock pattern that you can really sink your teeth into, so I have been pining over a few delicious sock pattern on Ravelry to try to curb my desire long enough to get the snood finished!!!

Here are a few of my current favourites:

Francie by Rebekkah Kerner

I have had this particular sock in my favourites for a while now but just have not had the time to get it onto the needles. The detail on the sole gives it such a rare quality and that mixed with the simple ribbing adds up to an interesting but easy knit!!

Frankensock by Star Athena

I spotted these yesterday in a sock search and just love their originality. The red stitching over the toe and down the back of the leg gives such great contrast and adds to the feel that they are ‘parts sewn together’!

Lakeside by Julia Vaconsin

Nothing beats a good pair of knee-high socks and these are so pretty, they really do make me want to sit by the lake!

Bex by Cookie A

No sock pattern wish list would be complete without a Cookie A and there are so many to choose from. Bex is my current favourite and as I was given the book Sock Innovation for my birthday and now own the perfect yarn for them (the British merino from Sparkleduck) I have no excuse not to get on with the knit!!

Heart Strings by Emma Haigh

I don’t mean to be biased but these socks by our own Emmms are just fab, the story that goes with them is equally fab, and I just love the medical edge — viens and blood appeal to me! I am also very keen to try out the Welsh heel!

I must admit that I do feel better now, a bit of sock love always works!!!

Keep an eye out for some new sock patterns from me and Emmms coming very soon!!!

if in doubt, just make it up

2 Mar

Another of the knitting projects I have been working on at the moment is this sweater, To Wear With Anything from A Stitch In Time by Jane Waller and Susan Crawford.

Ever since this book was released I have been obsessed with it, and a little jealous as I would love to have come up with this idea myself!

They have taken 60 patterns both written and knit between 1921 and 1949 and made them relevant to today, adapting the patterns to use with beautiful modern yarns and techniques.

If only all I did was sit at home and knit!

Anyway I have been working on this sweater for a few weeks now, knitting it in a combination of egyptian cotton and a bamboo/cotton blend from Garn Studio and Love Luna. I love the effect the two-tone combination has created in breaking up the diamond lace and the moss stitch.

It has been a really fun and relatively quick knit; however, when I came to sew the piece together I found that not only had I obviously not read the pattern correctly but I had managed to miss out an entire pattern repeat on the front piece! I is quite strange, as even though I had missed out about 12 rows, both pieces were the same size!!

Really don’t know what I have done there but I am going to look at it as a crazy design feature. I have a bit more to sew up, with the help of Emmms who has become a fantastic seam sewer! Thanks, Emmms. I will make sure I put up another final finished pic!!

I also have some amazing buttons to add to this, so cant wait to get it finished.

Once it is done, I am marching straight onto my second project from the same book, Concentrate on the Sleeves