Thursday, 30 October 2014

Love Hats

Hats are great projects: they’re quick to knit, fun to wear, and rarely take more than one and a half balls of yarn.

Another nifty advantage to making hats is that they give you a very good excuse to try out a new or intriguing yarn that’s caught your eye, especially if you’re just not sure whether you want to commit to making a full garment. A hat gives you the opportunity to see if you actually like how the yarn looks when it’s been knitted or crocheted; you can get a better sense of how strong the colour is, and which sections are dominant in a self-patterning yarn. Best of all, they’re relatively inexpensive. Buying two balls of good yarn for a hat is much less of a commitment than investing straight away in twelve balls for a jumper!

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This cute beanie hat is made from SMC Apiretto (a soft angora blend), and the pattern is from Sirdar 9884. It took exactly one ball to knit, though I knitted it in the round. To knit it following the pattern (flat with a seam) would probably take about one and a quarter balls, so 3 balls would easily give you two hats. I learned that this yarn would definitely be soft enough for a sweater, though the colour was brighter than I thought it would be.

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On the left, one of our popular Hita Hats, Switch, has been crocheted in Adriafil Unico Chunky, a soft and dense chunky yarn. On the right, pattern 9906 knitted in Faroe Chunky. When viewed only in the ball, it is not obvious that Faroe Chunky actually has a pleasant and subtle striping effect, along with the mottled colouring, but this hat shows it off very well.

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This cosy hat and scarf set was knitted from a single ball of Wendy Duo. This “one ball wonder” yarn comes with a free Wendy Bon Pom included, for finishing off the hat, and all the instructions are written on the ball band. The only thing you have to supply is the knitting needles!

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These final two hats feature some of our less well known yarns - SMC Lova and Adriafil Scozia. Each shade of Lova is a neutral shade with flashes of neon at random intervals throughout the ball. Free patterns for a simple, slouchy hat like this one can be found on our website (there are 12 designs to choose from), and it can be topped off nicely with a matching Wendy Bon Pom. Scozia has an excellent tweedy look when crocheted, and a soft handle to work with.

For knitters and crocheters, it’s not surprising that hats have been a staple project for generations! 


If a full size hat seems like more than you want to work on at the minute, we are also collecting hats for Innocent Smoothies in our Stirling shop. Please drop off any hats you have completed and we will send them on to Innocent.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Hita Hat Competition


** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED **




To celebrate the recent arrival of our Hita Hat patterns by Adriafil, we are running another competition.  We've got 3 Hita Hat Crochet Kits to give away, so don't miss out! Each kit contains everything you need to make a cool crochet hat including the yarn, hook, pattern, and a Hita Hat label to give it that professional finish.

All you have to do is fill in our simple Adriafil quiz below and send your answers to skim@mcadirect.com.   All correct entries will go into a prize draw, and the first 3 names to be pick will win a Hita Hat Kit.

Our competition closes at midnight on Sunday 5th October 2014, so don't be late!

Here are the questions:

1.  What is Adriafil Sierra Andina DK made from?

2. What colour is shade 56 of Adriafil Globe Uni?

3. Which Adriafil yarn is named after a volcanic mountain?

4. How many metres are on a ball of Adriafil Duo?

5. In which country is  Adriafil based?

Good luck!

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Psst...you might find some clues on our website...

** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED **

Congratulations to our winners:
Grace Caldwell
Mandy Ridland
Miggy Mackey

Thursday, 11 September 2014

New From Artesano

In recent months, more and more Artesano yarns have been sneaking their way onto our shelves. We now have a nice big family of them, with more on their way! I thought I’d introduce you to some of our lovely newcomers, in case you didn’t notice them on their way in.

Artesano Alpaca Silk 4 Ply

Alpaca Silk 4 Ply in shade 4133 Signal Blue

Silk and alpaca: two luxurious fibres that have been spun into a yarn that is warm and cuddly, with a soft shine in its appearance. Artesano’s new Alpaca Silk 4 Ply has a slight fluffy halo- just enough to make it even softer while managing not to shed fuzz all over your clothes and furniture. There are 16 tempting colourways, and a collection of lovely, contemporary patterns to accompany the yarn.


Artesano Alpaca Silk Lace


Alpaca Silk Lace in shade 2083 Aubergine

This beautiful 2 ply lace weight yarn has a soft handle and a wonderful sheen to it. The silk fibres make it very strong, despite its delicate appearance, and the alpaca lends it its excellent insulating properties. This richly coloured yarn is also fantastic value with an impressive 400m per 50g skein.


Artesano Definition Sock Yarn


Definition Sock in shade 4908 Perky

A classic sock blend with 75% merino wool and 25% polyamide. Artesano seem to have a real knack for choosing gorgeous yarn shades, and Definition Sock is no exception- there are plenty of bright, vivid shades as well as a good range of more subtle and neutral colourways.

I’ve just cast on a pair of Azure socks (from the Definition Sock Yarn Booklet) in shade 6705 Azure and the yarn is thus far proving excellent to knit with: hard wearing and resistant to splitting, with a good bounce to it.


Manos del Uruguay Merino Tops


Manos del Uruguay Merino Tops in shade 7292 Stellar

Spinners and felters are also catered for with these beautiful hand dyed merino tops. These combed tops are hand painted by women’s cooperatives in Uruguay and are distributed in Europe by Artesano in accordance with WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) requirements. I love the idea of supporting these women by buying fibre, especially when it’s as soft and colourful as this!