Tag Archives: Knitcol

What goes around comes around

Hello again! It has been about a fortnight since I last posted and so much has happened since then that I am going to make a real effort from now on to update you on my adventures in Woolly Wonderland on a weekly basis.  We have had lots of lovely new arrivals land on our doorstep and we have been busy hosting a series of Spring workshops to add some sparkle to these chilly, wintery days.

The first amazing event took place at the end of January when Woolaballoo ran our very first Magic Loop Knitting Workshop.  This was really well attended and in fact, the demand was so high that we are now repeating it in a couple of weeks time.  There were a series of fantastic project ideas that were undertaken during the class including a set of fingerless mitts and and a child’s beanie with cute pompoms adorning it.  Subsequently, participants have tried out more ambitious projects and have experimented with making an adult sized floppy beanie – once knitting in the round and using miles of cable became second nature to them!

Below is my prototype being constructed in time for the class, knit from the bottom up, but we have now developed a top down version which means that you can adapt it to fit most head shapes and sizes.  It is a great project to stash bust and use up all those odds and ends that you thought you would have no use for.

The images below illustrate how to knit up the child’s size pompom hat should you wish to have a go at home. I cast on 100 stitches using the Magic Loop method.  You can watch numerous demonstrations on YouTube if you are unfamiliar with this technique. It seems a little strange at first but once you get the hang of it you will soon discover how versatile knitting in the round can be, plus there is always the added bonus of no stitching up at the end!

I then proceeded as follows: knit one round, purl one round (repeat 3 times). The next section is just plain garter stitch for 12 rounds followed by another knit one round, purl one round (repeat 3 times) section.

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Very quickly the hat begins to take shape and you can adapt the pattern to fit smaller or larger heads by adjusting the number of rounds of plain garter stitch knitting you do above the second ridge.  I did 16 rounds in this example before I started my decreases.

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To decrease I simply knit 8 stitches, k2 together for the first round.  Next I knit a plain garter stitch round.  Continuing to decrease, I knit 7 stitches and k2 together, then completed another plain garter stitch round. This was followed by knitting 6 stitches and then k2 tog and a further plain garter stitch round.  Continue in this way until 10 stitches remain.  Knit 2 together for the final round then break off the yarn and pull the thread through the remaining 5 stitches and tie off tightly. As you can see from the image below the decreases should form a series of spokes radiating out from the top.

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To complete the look it is fun to add a couple of small pompoms to the top of the hat which can be made with the remaining yarn.  I made this hat with one ball of Knitcol which can be purchased in our Hexham store or online by clicking on the link above.

Great fun was had by all at the Magic Loop Workshop and one of the participants made a fabulous pair of fingerless mitts again using a single ball of the knitcol. Below you can see the finished article.

Ruth Hawkin Magic Loop Mitts

If you can knit and you can purl but you want to learn a new skill then this is the workshop for you. Give us a call, book online or pop in to the Hexham store to find out more about this truly magical trick of the trade!

Total Whiteout

It’s been a funny old week up North – last weekend’s massive snowfall meant that we sadly had to postpone our first Learn to Crochet Workshop of 2013 but it has now been rescheduled for early February.

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In fact, the snow was so deep that on Monday with further downfalls forecast that we had to do the unthinkable and close the Hexham store for the day. Whilst, this was a disaster for those that had braved the elements to come and see us, it did afford me some much needed knitting time and I was able to crack on with a few of my numerous unfinished objects much to my husband’s delight.  For those of you that know me (and those who will get to know my knitting habits via this blog), I have a hundred and one things on the needles at any given moment and a stash of yarn to rival any store’s inventory. In all seriousness, the UFOs must be into double figures and one of my resolutions for 2013 is to complete as many as possible and remove them from their various unsuitable resting places around our home. One example, would be the gorgeous little Debbie Bliss Striped Baby Cardigan, which has been housed in a vase in our living room (don’t ask me why) for at least the last six months awaiting buttons to be stitched on to complete it!

I have used my time wisely and this week I have taught myself a new skill… the magic loop cast on which has truly changed my life.  Why have I not discovered this top tip before now? I have made a lovely beanie using the fabulous knitcol yarn and we are now hoping that the snow stays away tomorrow so that others can benefit from this new found knowledge at the Magic Loop Class that we are hosting at the shop. Here are a couple of snaps of my hat taking shape…

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All cast on and starting to take shape.  This hat was made with a child in mind and can be comfortably knitted with a single ball of self striping knitcol yarn. This is an aerial view of the finished article!

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In the weeks to come I will be sharing some of Woolaballoo‘s pattern ideas with you and helping you to master some new skills.  The Magic Loop Cast On is a great technique to have in your knitting bag of tricks, however, as with a little confidence you can even start to design your own patterns with a variety of yarns.  You will be able to confidently knit projects from the top down, knit fingerless mitts two at a time and even make garments with no stitching required!

So fingers crossed, tomorrow’s class will go ahead as planned and things may finally get back to somewhere near normal once this snow finally starts to melt away …