Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Yarns We Love: Adriafil Azzurra

The problem with working in a yarn shop (if this can really be classed as a problem) is that there are just so many great yarns. How can I possibly single out just one to write about? It's been something of a personal battle. In the end, Adriafil Azzurra emerged triumphant from the short-list and now I intend to justify this choice to you, dear internet, and to the yarns I didn't choose (I'm sorry, Felted Tweed, can we still be friends?).

Firstly, the Azzurra is a fine yarn. Well, obviously it's very fine indeed if it's the subject of this article, har har, but what I mean is that its weight is somewhere between a 3 ply and a light 4 ply. This is an incredibly versatile weight. 3-4 ply can be used for projects ranging from adult garments to shawls to dolls clothes... even toys made on a miniature scale or featuring small shaping and detail.

As anyone who actually knits or crochets light-weight projects will testify, however, 3 ply is usually a domain reserved strictly for the palest of pastels. That's fine, but it's not always what I want. This problem leads me nicely to Azzurra's second major strength:

Azzurra's colour range is superb!  There are bold, bright colours (including the best orange in the shop); there are a nice variety of tonal neutral shades; there are even pastels for those who are into that sort of thing!

Finally, I can't stand to use only one colour on a project and Adriafil Azzurra's shades have the amazing ability to look excellent together in a surprisingly wide vairety of combinations. Orange and blue? It's great! Purple and green? It's great! Red, turquoise and grey? Great! You get the idea... Azzurra is definitely a yarn I love.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Royal Visitor

Queen visits Stirling wool shop and has a royally good time

In a move that defies the tradition of paparazzi, pomp and ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen's recent visit to the City of Stirling has thus far been a remarkably modest affair. Accompanied by one knitted corgi, she arrived on King Street earlier this week and made a surreptitious entrance into the Stirling branch of McAree Brothers- her residence for the upcoming weeks' preparation for the Jubilee festivities.

Bunting and flowers were commissioned from expert crafts-people, local to the wool department, in celebration of this historic event and many regal wools are on hand in Royal Blue to make her feel quite at home.

During her time in Stirling, Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed local sites, including the Castle and the Wallace Monument and can usually be spotted relaxing in our large conservatory (the main window), with her corgi nearby and an elegant string of purls around her neck.
Queen pattern from Knitted Icons by Carol Meldrum
Corgi pattern from Best in Show by Sally Muir and Joanna Osbourne

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Spring Competition 2012

We thought you might like to see the entries for our Spring Competition...

Sky Cardigan by Alessandra Parsons

"At the moment I'm making a cardigan based on the sky. I'm knitting one row a day matching the colour to the sky that day. I'm halfway through the sleeves at the moment."

Yarn: Regia 4 Ply plain colours

Little Monsters by Clare Trowbridge

 "I made the attached monsters as gifts for my young cousins with your Anchor Style Creativa Cotton DK yarn. This yarn is brilliant value and comes in a great range of colours for all kinds of projects."

Yarn: Anchor Creativa Cotton DK

Fingerless Mitts by Dagmar Mora

 "On those chilly spring evenings that are only too familiar here in Scotland, I still like to protect and warm my hands with a pair of lightweight fingerless mittens. They are knitted in Regia 4 ply Plain Colours. The thin 4 ply yarn makes them warm, but not excessively so - just right for spring chills!"

Yarn: Regia 4 Ply plain colours

Coat by Heather Garbutt

"This coat is just below knee length, snuggly warm, and goes with everything. Can be dressed up or down."

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed Aran

Pram Blanket by Kay Thomas

"Hope you like my creation. Had the fabulous Knitcol trends from your good selves. 100% Merino Wool. I loved using it :)"

Yarn: Adriafil Knitcol 

Aran Sweater by Liz Dahl

"I have just finished knitting this sweater from the Debbie Bliss book Cotton Denim Aran. I substituted Sirdar Recycled Aran as the tension is compatible. I loved the yarn, it's very soft to work with and true to the shade card, it is also very economical. This is probably the most complicated pattern I have followed but I loved the challenge."

Yarn: Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran

Coin Purse by Mandy Beer

"My entry for the spring project comp is actually a Mothers' Day present - I used a vintage pattern and Patons Fairytale 4 Ply from your Stirling shop."

Yarn: Patons Fairytale 4 Ply

Kilt Hose by Nina Vivanco

"I used Patons Merino DK and Patons Pattern 3285 adapted to give more bulk at the top."

Yarn: Patons Merino DK (this yarn is now discontinued. Why not try SMC Extra Soft Merino DK as an alternative?

Pattern: Patons 3285
Socks by Christine Janet

"I've just finished The World's Wildest Wee Welly Socks for a little girl in Skye, for those April showers and muddy May days. The socks were so much fun to knit."

Yarn: Regia 4 Ply Kaffe Fassett Design Line

Crochet Cushion by Tracy Reynolds

"It was crochet with Anchor style Creativa 100% Cotton. May I say this yarn is so lovely to work with and it has inspired me for loads of other projects! I've made this for Mothers Day gift. I didn't use any pattern, only the one in my head!!"

Yarn: Anchor Creativa Cotton DK
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