Wednesday, 23 April 2014

First Socks!

These little ankle-high socks worked with a classic heel flap are Brenda’s first ever pair of socks! She’s been knitting for years, but only ever knitted socks on single pointed needles before. So how did she feel about finally tackling this new challenge? “I was frightened of attempting them! It was a bit of a challenge because I’ve never done them before.”

Brenda knitted these socks in Fine Art, shade 306 Lapwing, on Brittany Birch 2.5mm needles in the 5” length, explaining that, “for me, the shorter needles are better because the longer ones can get caught up in the knitting as I go along.”

“Although the Fine Art’s a bit expensive, it’s good value for what it is. You’d never get a pair of socks like that in the shops. It’s got a lot of stretch, but I thoroughly enjoyed knitting with it and I’ve got enough left over to make another pair!”

Now a convert to sock knitting, Brenda has big plans to combine her future projects with her love of off-road biking: “I’m going to take the next ones up to Fort William and while I’m waiting for my motorbikes I’m going to see how many socks I can knit!”

Friday, 18 April 2014

Stitch Library - #6 Knot Stitch

Make little knots by working into the same stitches repeatedly.

K – knit
P – purl
Make knot – purl 3 together, leaving the stitches on the left needle.  Knit the same 3 together, and purl same 3 together again before dropping from left needle.

Cast on a multiple of 6 stitches plus 5.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3 (right side): k1, *Make knot, k3; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, make knot, K1
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K4, *Make knot, k3; repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Row 8: Purl
Repeat these 8 rows.

Find more How-Tos in our Stitch Library.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Yarns We Love: Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk

It has been a tricky business choosing my favourite yarn from the endless choices available at McArees but one of my personal favourites has to be the Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk option. I tend to be drawn to natural yarns and this beautiful yarn is a wonderful mix of 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere and is also machine washable at a cool temperature.

Pebble, Piglet and Cuddle

The yarn, which we stock in both DK and 4 Ply, has a beautifully soft texture and comes in a wide range of colours so there are plenty of options to choose from. In the DK range, I particularly like the soft pastels - and their names too -  for example, Piglet 001, Cuddle 002 and Pebble 006 which are ideal for baby knitwear, whether it's a pretty, feminine cardigan, cuddly jersey or even a cute baby beanie! However, I must confess also to being tempted by the bolder, brighter shades of Pinkaboo 162 and Teddy Red 192.

Teddy Red and Pinkaboo

I have a daughter leaving home soon and my current plan is to make sure she is wrapped cosily in a long scarf in Pippin 336 before she heads off, which just goes to confirm that this versatile yarn is absolutely not just for babies!



Post by Kate in our Edinburgh branch

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

McAree Tramcoats

By now, most of you in Edinburgh will have seen the new trams running up and down Princes Street, but have any of you spotted the one with the knitted cover yet? McAree Brothers are delighted to announce that we have been commissioned to design a cover for the Edinburgh trams!

We are all familiar with just how long it's taken for the trams to get up and running on our streets, so when the newly operational trams started stalling due to the recent cold weather, the answer was obvious.

“The weather in Scotland has always been tricky to manage when it comes to transport,” according to one Scottish transport planner. “We knew that we had to act quickly to keep them warm and in working order. McAree Brothers was the natural choice – those ladies really know how to knit up a storm!”

Trams - "too cold to work today"

Deciding on the right design was a difficult task. Originally we were asked about a traditional Scottish design, like the Lothian tartan, but it was decided that a plain colour would be more striking and easier to spot on the roads.

We've only knitted one “tramcoat” so far as a test, but it seems to be working so far! Our test driver commented, “My tram was shivering as I took it back to the depot last night. The knitted jacket from McAree not only looks fantastic, it keeps my tram warm and cosy.”