Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Knitting & Stitching Show Competition

Our latest competition will take place at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh! We’ve teamed up with Rowan Yarns to run an Instagram photo contest and have 20 balls of the fabulous Softyak DK and a copy of the Softyak Collection, a prize worth £160, up for grabs.

In order to take part you will need to visit our McAree Brothers stand at the event. You can find us at D20/D29. Take a picture there and upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #McAreeRowanKnitnStitch. Be creative! We will be exhibiting lots of beautiful yarns and samples including work by Martin Storey and Kaffe Fassett so you should have lots of inspiration. The winning photo will be chosen by the staff at McAree Brothers and Rowan Yarns. Don’t forget to follow us (@mcadirect) so that we can notify you if you win!

Our competition will run from 10am on Thursday 27th April 2017, when the Knitting and Stitching Show Edinburgh opens its doors. In order to qualify, the photos must be taken at the McAree Brothers stand (D20/D29). The Knitting and Stitching Show closes its doors at 5pm on Sunday 30th April 2017, but you have until midnight that night to post your images on Instagram.

By entering our competition, you are agreeing to a complete release of Instagram and acknowledging that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, or any other social media used throughout the contest.

Monday, 3 April 2017

What's on the Sock Needles?


Socks in Progress

Here at McA, there’s always at least one pair of socks on the go. Portable projects that require less than 100g of yarn, they’re the perfect side gig to a ‘main’ knitting project.


The purrfect sock patten for using up partial balls of sock yarn

Susan H is currently making a pair of Yin Yang Kitty Ankle Socks (free pattern via Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yinyang-kitty-ankle-socks) using Regia 4 Ply in shades 2066 Black and 2143 Linen Marl. She’s using KnitPro Symphonie double pointed needles, and would never be without her trusty row counter. According to Susan, “The Symphonie needles are beautiful to work with - they’re very smooth and the yarn slips along!”


Sock number two: under way

My (Heather’s) socks are a pair knitted from my go-to sock pattern: Regia leaflet 504 (free on our website: http://www.mcadirect.com/extras/reg4pp/socks4and6ply.pdf). The yarn is Regia 4 Ply Design Line by Arne & Carlos, and the shade is 3657 Summer Night. This pair has been on the go for quite a while, as they have been living in the shop as my emergency knitting project in case I forget to bring something from home to knit on my lunch break. I’m in no real hurry to finish them but, when I do, I’ll have a lovely new pair of socks to wear!


I’m knitting with KnitPro Zing DPNs in 2.5mm. At 15cm, they’re shorter than my usual sock needles, so I’ve been using a DPN tube to keep the stitches safe whenever I’m not knitting them. These tubes have a slot up the side for the sock to come out, and a cap for the end, to ensure that the stitches don’t trip off either end of the short needles.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Easy Thrummed Mittens

My favourite new technique of the last year has been learning how to knit with thrums. At the minute, I’m just finishing off a pair of thrummed mittens and they are hands down (!) the cosiest things I have ever knitted.

The inside of the mitten feels soft and fluffy like a sheep!

Thrummed mittens are traditionally knitted in the colder parts of Canada, but they are certainly handy during the chilly half of the Scottish calendar. They are also really straightforward to make. I used a free pattern by Debi Wilbur, called Easy Mittens with Thrums (available through Ravelry) and knitted the pair from one ball of Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted shade 121 Morello. For the thrums, I used some unspun merino tops from my stash, but you could totally get enough thrums for a pair of mittens out of one packet of Clover Felting Wool. One of the most fun parts of this project was deciding which colours to put together - I decided to go for two plain shades, but I’ve seen thrummed projects using multi coloured thrums and they look incredible!

A nice big pile of pre-made thrums

To make a thrum, you will need to pull a length of your felting wool (approximately 15 to 20cm in length), and then pull thin pieces off the side, up to about 5mm wide. Fold this length into a loop. Pinch it together in the middle, then roll your fingers together, so that it stays in an 8 shape.

Pull the thrum through the stitch, along with the working yarn

When it comes to knitting a ‘thrum stitch’, simply lay a thrum across your right-hand needle, just next to the working yarn, and draw it through the stitch, along with the working yarn.

The thrum and the stitch are knitted together as one

On the next round, you will knit the thrum and the stitch together as one (effectively a k2tog).

All the thrum guides I’ve read have pointed out that it is absolutely worth making a lot of thrums at the beginning, so that you don’t have to keep pausing your knitting to make them. This seems like good advice to me - I think I used around 180 thrums per mitten!

Completed Mittens :)

Thrummed mittens were a quick and satisfying project to make - and they're sure to keep my friend's hands warm and toasty whenever she wears them.