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Knitting news from p2tog.com for March 2014

Who has enough yarn? No-one? Thought so. It's a good thing that the show season has begun and this month we have a brief review of Unravel. If you're inspired to visit a show this year there's a listing of the major ones at the bottom of the page.

In this month's Purl Two Together there are plenty of tips and tutorials, along with some great finished projects, yarnbombing and a seasonal selection of free patterns.


News, blogs and articles from the web



One of the first woolly events of the year was Unravel, held at Farnham Maltings. Sadie enjoyed the day and spotted this ingenious road sign put up especially for the event.


Crystal Palace Park yarnbombed with knitted drops of blood

Crystal Palace Park yarnbombed with knitted drops of blood

Thanks to Fran for letting me know about this yarnbombing.

It's not a tribute to Stephen King but is to remind us that blood doesn't grow on trees. Blood transplant staff hung more than 100 blood-red wool drops from the trees in Crystal Palace Park.




This amazing creature is a nautilus, the pattern by Hansi Singh is beautiful and interesting in its construction. KenInMaine has made a great job of knitting it.


7 Ways Knitting Keeps You Healthy and Well

7 Ways Knitting Keeps You Healthy and Well

I'm a little bit wary of the alzheimer's claim (which is based on the results of a single study) but I don't think there can be any doubt at all that knitting is beneficial in many ways. It's being used for therapeutic reasons in many places including hospitals and prisons.

For those of us that are doing it simply for enjoyment, Lion Brand points out that you're "knitting yourselves a happier, healthier life" - here are their reasons.


The great penguin sweater fiasco

The great penguin sweater fiasco

This story is so complicated that I've thought carefully about whether or not to dip my toe into the oily water. Because the original appeal is still being shared around, it's probably useful to point out that there are many sides to the story.

I've linked to Mike Dickison's blog who attempts to document the story in detail. In short it seems that there was an appeal for hand-knitted jumpers for oil-soaked penguins, which was way too successful. There was an appeal for people to stop and excess donations were put on toy penguins and sold for funds. Confusingly there seems to have been a subsequent official appeal, giving the impression that the jumpers are for rescued penguins, with small print that states that they'll be sold on toys.


Dyeing experiment

Dyeing experiment

Dawn's husband loved this handknit jumper but found that its light colour meant more frequent washing than he was happy with.

So he dyed it navy blue and it looks great.


Learn to knit socks

Learn to knit socks

Are you sock-curious? Have you never knit a pair of socks but would like to try?

This free ebook contains a number of articles and will help you to find the right method for you, take you through your first sock with a quick, large-gauge pattern plus a toe-up pattern with a tutorial on knitting toe-up.


Finding time for knitting

Finding time for knitting

Earthchick's family laugh at her habit and I'm afraid I had to laugh too. When she's tired she'll knit for a while, doze off, wake and continue knitting.

She obviously didn't mind her stepson's girlfriend taking this picture as she's posted it on her blog.


Four common problems in our knits

Four common problems in our knits

I thought I was alone in suffering from problems such as a loose starting slip-knot or gaping hole under the arm. It's a relief to find out that they're common and encouraging to see that there are ways to fix them.

Thanks once again to Knit N Purl for sharing this great blog post from Kristen which relates to the end of a knit-a-long but applies to many projects.


Tips and techniques

How to Knit a Bobble Stitch

How to Knit a Bobble Stitch

The bobbles on my Extermiknit for my boyfriend's Valentine present would have been neater if I'd seen this tutorial beforehand.

Bobbles are similar to, but maybe a little more extreme than the nupps used in lace knitting.

Craftsy give step-by-step instructions with pictures. If you can't wait to get bobbling, they suggest some patterns which make use of the stitch.


Linen Stitch: A Tutorial

Linen Stitch: A Tutorial

Linen stitch makes a firm fabric with an attractive pattern similar to woven fabric.

Lisa Gutierrez has experimented with colour and found that using two or three colours gives some very interesting effects.


How to felt ends together

How to felt ends together

I've featured the spit-join before but the suggestion of spitting in your hand didn't go down well with everyone.

For the more squeamish, this method from Wool and the Gang doesn't involve bodily fluids.

I'll add my own tip (for 2-ply yarn) - trim one ply of each end back about an inch or so, then twist those single bits together. Once felted, it's difficult to see the join even before you've knitted it.


How to Block a Crescent Shawl

How to Block a Crescent Shawl

I've often thought that crescent-shaped shawls look a nightmare to block, but Rebecca from Chemknits says that they're so easy. Here she demonstrates on video.


Learn it: The Kitchener Stitch

Learn it: the Kitchener stitch

It was relatively recently that I first tried Kitchener Stitch, although it's used in patterns quite frequently. Sometimes called 'grafting', it's a way of invisibly joining two rows of live stitches. sometimes to finish the toe of top-down socks, to join two mirror-image halves of a cowl, to name a couple of examples.

If you've made it this far without knowing the stitch, here's a great post from Kathleen of Knitting Daily which includes a video as well as step-by-step diagrams.


Your crochet and knitted ribbing

Your crochet and knitted ribbing

Toni of Crochet Me sometimes switches her hook for needles and adds knitted ribbing to crocheted garments.

Here she asks designer Karen Frisa to discuss knitted ribbing with some tips if you're interested in trying this.


Mastering Mattress Stitch

Mastering mattress stitch

It's unlikely that you've not used mattress stitch already; it's a popular way to sew up pieces of a garment. If done well it can be invisible.

Even if you know it well, here are some tips from Charlotte Morris, originally published in Interweave Knits Spring 2002.


Mind the gap

Mind the gap

I'm very familiar with the big stretchy gap after joining for knitting in the round.

You can stitch that up using your cast-on tail but here's a very simple and clever trick for avoiding the gap in the first place.



A selection of free knit and crochet patterns that I've bookmarked this month

Pacific Brioche Collar Cardigan by Vera Sanon

Pacific Brioche Collar Cardigan by Vera Sanon

Thanks to Cascade Yarns for this beautiful pattern.


Cable hat pattern by Kirstie McLeod

Cable hat pattern by Kirstie McLeod

This hat is perfect while the Spring weather is still a little chilly, not too chunky but it's aran-weight and uses just 100g so will be a quick knit for yourself or a gift.


Column of Leaves scarf by Brooke Nelson

Column of Leaves scarf by Brooke Nelson

This lace scarf is surprisingly made in worsted weight yarn, but you can use any weight, even lace.

Look out for the link to the pdf version which includes a chart.

With thanks to Knit N Purl for sharing.


Anke Klempner used the snail-like shape of a teapot as inspiration to design a tea cosy with character.


Events 2013

wonderewool wales

Wonderwool Wales

26 & 27 April 2014, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells

Promoting wool and natural fibre production and its use.

Exhibitors and trade stands covering all aspects of felting, knitting, weaving, spinning, crochet and textile art with raw materials, equipment, books and finished products for sale. Competitions and a range of hands-on workshops.

A list of accommodation and camping in the surrounding area is available on the Wonderwool website.




Friday 27 June and Saturday 28 June, Cockermouth, Cumbria

Woolfest 2014 - the 10th anniversary!

Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts.

The event is all about creativity and design with beautiful quality, amazing colours and skilled craftsmanship and this was recognised in 2012 when Woolfest won the Cumbria Tourism Award for Event of the Year.


Fibre East

Fibre East

26 and 27 July 2014, Redbourne Community College, Flitwick Road, Ampthill, Bedford MK45 2NU

The third Fibre East, those in the Eastern, Midlands and Southern Regions an opportunity to join in an event which aims to encourage and promote British wool and natural fibres.

Note the change of venue and date. The new venue is inside.




27 and 28 September Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire

For you if you love yarn and are passionate about all things woolly. It aims to celebrate the beauty and diversity of wool, cotton, linen and silk fibres in all their forms


And finally

If you like this newsletter and you're also interested in spinning your own yarn, you will enjoy hand-spinning-news.com.

I compile and send out Purl Two Together every month. If you'd like to jump on board and sign up for the free monthly email, then please use the form below.

Shiela Dixon - Editor / curator


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