Friday, 9 June 2017

Yarns We Love: Wendy Merino Chunky

Yesterday in our Edinburgh store we had not one, not two, but three different customers coming in to get yarn to start their Christmas knitting!  I admire their organisation, but I have to confess that I often find myself leaving a lot of my Christmas knitting to the last minute, which is why I've become a huge fan of Wendy Merino Chunky for knitting gloves, scarves and other quick gifts and accessories.  With a gauge of 14 sts to 19 rows, it knits up really quickly compared to its Double Knit and 4 Ply cousins, Wendy Merino DK and Wendy Merino 4 Ply: it takes just a few hours to knit up a pair of these simple, cabled handwarmers which make a great stocking filler or last-minute gift. 

My mum's hardwarmers, left, pictured in shade 2477 Soot. My pair, right, pictured in 2481 Ivy.  Photographing your own hands is one of the stranger aspects of working in a knitting shop

Meanwhile the yarn's 100% merino content makes it soft to the touch and gentle on most people's skin so there's no risk of knitting something that's going to irritate the wearer's skin.  It's even machine washable at 30 degrees so is great for baby patterns like these.  Plus, its fibres are fairly loosely spun, allowing it to trap plenty of air and keep the wearer warm and cosy all winter (or all summer if the cold, rainy weather continues...).

Perhaps most importantly of all, Wendy Merino Chunky also comes in a fantastic range of bright and more subtle colours, so is a real crowd-pleaser.  This beautiful Nordic neckwarmer would make a lovely gift knit up in the recipient's favourite colours.

So there you have it: a cosy, colourful yarn that knits up in no time at all.  Perhaps this year, if I'm feeling organised, I'll knit my nephew one of these sheep hats in Wendy Merino Chunky and Eider so I can start getting him interested in all things wool-related.

PS:  Prefer crochet to knitting?  Never fear! These fun crocheted slippers should crochet up in no time at all. 

Post by Emily in our Edinburgh shop

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: 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: 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.