I said goodbye, but now I’m back

I said goodbye, but now I’m back

Woohoo! Custom orders are back!

They will have a different format from now on and you won’t need to contact me as they will be listed directly on the website. Not all colours and bases will be available, but I have selected a wide range of the most popular bases and colourways and hopefully you’ll find something you love. I’ll also consider other bases and colours if you order 5 or more of the same base/colour combination – just get in touch!

Listings will be going up on Wednesday 31 October at 4pm GMT (for times around the globe click here) and will be available on a first come, first served basis, as there will be limited amounts. I plan on updating them weekly, however, so don’t fret if you miss them the first time around. I will be alternating between superwash and non-superwash every week, though, so on the first week there will be a choice of superwash bases and the following week there will only be non-superwash ones. As always, I am happy to combine orders, so if you are ordering both superwash and non-superwash and would like them sent together, just pop a note to me on Paypal as you check out. Orders will be sent within approximately 4-6 weeks and listings will be marked PRE-ORDER to differentiate them from in-stock items. Pre-order items will be listed by colour and you can choose the base of your preference from the drop down menu.

These will be the available colourways:

Sumptuous DK

Nimbostratus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silky Merino Fingering

Plata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lush Twist

Charred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lust in Super Sock

Lust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Praline in BFL Sock

Golden Praline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutcracker in Tough Sock

Nutcracker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meadow Grass in Tough Sock

Meadow Grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaden in Super Sock

Leaden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Envy in Lush Twist

Envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toast in Tough Sock

Toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orion in Super Sock

Orion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobble in Tough Sock

Cobble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrome in Silky Merino DK

Chrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confetti in Super Sock

Confetti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulonimbus in Super Sock

Cumulonimbus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After The Rain in Heavenly Fingering

After The Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attic Room in Lush Twist

Attic Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Smoked in Heavenly Fingering

Tea Smoked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peat in Super Sock

Peat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robin's Egg in Super Sock

Robin's Egg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pitch in Tough Sock

Pitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ripe Plum in Heavenly Lace

Ripe Plum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manuscript in Lush Twist

Manuscript

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silky Merino DK in Breath

Breath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are the bases:
Superwash (week 1):
Tough Sock
Super Sock
Silky Merino Fingering
Silky Merino DK
Lush Worsted
Lush Twist
BFL Sock
Non- superwash (week 2):
Heavenly Lace
Heavenly Fingering
Heavenly DK
Heavenly Cobweb
Alpaca Silk Lace
Sumptuous DK

I hope you like what I picked out!

Urban

Urban

I realise that I haven’t christened the new blog with my own knitting yet so here’s a sample of what I’ve been finishing off. As always, I have tons on the needles but getting something finished is always a good reason to blog. This was a heavily modified knit that I really enjoyed and think I’ll get a lot of wear out of.


The pattern is a Veera Valimaki design called Urban which she published in her recent collection called ‘Modern Times’. It’s a really stylish, simple garment that is worked from top down in one piece and calls for fingering weight yarn. I decided to change mine up and I’m so pleased with the result.

First of all, I worked the garment in Malabrigo Lace which is a lot lighter than the recommended yarn but blocks like a dream. The colourway here is a stunning blue called ‘Tuareg’ that I know will match lots of my wardrobe so I can layer this peice over and over again. I also opted for ‘raw’ edges and omitted the seed stitch to encourage the curl. I love the effect and I didn’t include buttons or the v shaped back either to keep things simple. You can see more pictures on my FO page here.

 

What have you been finishing up lately?

FO Parade: Occitan

FO Parade: Occitan

To celebrate the success of the collaboration kits, I’m going to make this month’s FO parade all about the first kit: Occitan. There’s some beautiful FO’s starting to appear on Ravelry so please do go and check them out here.
First up is Knitizanne‘s version of the Occitan shawl, knit with the Orion colourway. Knitizanne said she liked both the shaping and as well as the overall shape of this shawl because it goes beyond a semicircle so there’s a nice curve around the neck. She also loved this yarn and especially the colour, which she felt works beautifully with this pattern. It’s a stunning version of the shawl and it’s so pleasing to hear that she enjoyed the kit.This delicate and feminine version of the shawl was knit by Marielol using the tea smoked colourway. I love the contrast between the soft pink and flecks of this shawl compared to the striking blue of the last project. It’s amazing how the same yarn base (Posh Fingering) and pattern can produce such different outcomes for different knitters. It’s what keeps us all knitting I’m sure!CatReading was one of our test knitters for the shawl and I think you’ll agree that she did a stellar job working this up for us. Working the pattern in Silky Merino Fingering gives another idea for bases in this pattern to try out. The colourway used here is ‘Ripe Plum’ which is warm and very versatile. It’s always so exciting to see new test knits and Cat always does a lovely job with hers.Another ultra feminine version of the shawl has been completed by Lililana in the ‘Into Dust’ colourway. There is something about the way this picture is composed that really shows off the shawl and yarn combination. I absolutely love it!Sabinaknits completed an extra special version of the Occitan when she helped out with test knitting. This version is knit up with BFL Sock which gives a crisper, more defined stitch definition to the finished object. Using the Nutcracker colourway also makes it a stunning peice for Autumn and it’s so different once again from the other versions already shown.

Once again a huge thank you to all the knitters who let us share their fantastic work. Remember to share your wonderful TUT knits with the group so we can feature you too!

Changing Bases

Changing Bases

I have decided to discontinue our single-ply Silky Merino DK in favour of a plied version. This new yarn is lovely and everything you could want from a blend of wool and silk: drapey, smooth, shiny and warm. It’s 50% superwash merino and 50% silk, 212m (251 yards) per 100g skein. With its ply, softness and drape, this yarn will be great for comfortable and durable accessories and garments alike and it’s predecessor, the single ply DK, was very popular so I can’t wait to start seeing finished objects in this base too.  I’m sure this will be very popular in future updates as it already flew off the shelves in the previous update and at 212m per skein there’s a good amount of yarn to whip up some warmer accessories as we head into cooler weather.

Show in 'Nimbostratus' colourway

I hope you love it too!

 

 

Hand dyed yarn and colourwork

Hand dyed yarn and colourwork

The studio is brimming with activity with all the Play kits we have sold. With all this, it comes to mind that those of you who are new to working with hand dyed yarn may not know it’s always a good idea to wash the yarn beforehand to prevent bleeding. I know there’s a little note on our tags saying so, but it’s never a bad thing to have a reminder, is it? And this doesn’t apply just to our yarn, but any hand dyed yarn and even some commercial yarn too! If your project is worked in one colour, there’s no need to worry and you can go ahead and start knitting, but if there’s more than one, it’s better to be safe than sorry. At the very least, knit a little swatch with all your colours, let it soak in warm water and your usual detergent and see if there’s any bleeding.

OK, so you are ready to take the plunge and start rinsing your skeins, but how to do this, you may ask?! Well, read on.

Start by unwinding your skein and having a look at it. By and large, all our yarn will come to you with two very loose ties. Because the ties are so loose I’d recommend adding another 1-2 ties before you start washing your yarn, otherwise you may end up with a tangled mess. The best kind of tie when working with yarn is a figure-of-eight tie and this is how you do it:

Next, fill a sink with warm water and use the regular amount of your favourite wool washing detergent (Soak, Eucalan, Ecover, whatever…), put the yarn in and let it soak for 5 or 10 minutes. Depending on the colour, that first rinse might look a bit scary and you’ll see why you have to go through all this bother. Now repeat this process as many times as it takes for the water to run clear. It’s important to always use the same temperature in in each rinse to avoid the risk of felting, although this will be minimised if your yarn is superwash.

I guess this is the time I get to reassure you that no, the dye is not all going to come out! We use professional acid dyes and long simmering times to ensure that as much dye as possible bonds with the fibres – what you are seeing here is the excess, after this your yarn will look just the same.

I picked a very bleeding-prone colour that took quite a lot of rinsing (I didn’t count the number of rinses, sorry!) The last rinse was still a bit pink, but seeing as the contrast colour was quite dark, I didn’t think it’d be a problem. Squeeze the excess water out with your hands, then wrap the yarn in a towel and squeeze it some more. I like to put my towel and knitting/yarn sausage on the floor, then I step on it/jump on it/have a little jig, that way I can get even more water out. Unwrap your skein, and stretch it out a bit, place both your arms in the centre of the skein and tug firmly to stretch it out and get the skein looking all neat again (this is not essential, but if you like a neat looking skein like I do, go for it!) Hang your skein to dry and once dry, knit to your heart’s content!

Once you have finished knitting and it’s time to block, I’d recommend washing your knit in cold water with your usual detergent, plus a teaspoon of vinegar. Do this for the first few washes, just to be on the safe side. Also, don’t leave it in the water for ages and ages as this will encourage the dye to come out and bleed on your contrast colour. I’d say 10 minutes is about right.

That’s it! I hope you all love working with your Play kits – I can’t wait to see all the different colour combinations!

Green River Shawl

Green River Shawl

One of the nicest things about the TUT Ravelry group is when regular members who have been so supportive of my yarns publish a pattern. It’s so nice to see my yarns helping to create inspiration in designers and being able to share their talents here on the blog. Maanel has been a regular in the group, sharing her many wonderful projects and so when she published this design, I asked instantly if we could share it as it’s truly beautiful.

The Green River Shawl  is a top-down triangle shawl with two edge stitches and a 1 stitch center spine. The increases are worked four at a time on every RS row so this is a quick and easy to memorize knit. The construction makes the lace easy to read and the motif is simple enough that I’d say this would be good for adventurous beginner’s to dive into the world of lace. I think the lace detail is charming.

(c) Maanel

The shawl is worked in Super Sock, a super soft 2ply yarn that can be worn right next to the skin. It has a high twist and lovely texture. Although I recommend hand-washing to prolong the life of your knits, this yarn may be machine washed on a gentle wool cycle, then laid flat to dry so it would be a hardy accessory that could be worn time and time again easily. The colour of the sample is called ‘Dartmoor’ a deep and luscious green but I can imagine this in lots of different colours due to its’ striking motif.

(c) Maanel

A fabulous shawl pattern Maanel, well done!

Red Roaster Coffee

Red Roaster Coffee

The plan with the TUT blog was to write posts about all the good things in life and while much of that is knitting and yarn, I have a complete addiction to good coffee. There’s an independent company that roasts near where I live and I’m very lucky to know the roaster (his partner is a knitter, naturally). I asked Paul of Red Roaster about his experiences and thought I would share them here for all you coffee addicts out there.

(c) Red Roaster Coffee

Located in the centre of Brighton, Redroaster is an original and independent coffee house that that until recently, hand roasted on the red roaster located behind the counter. Due to demand and popularity of the fabulous blends, a second roastery was required just down the road which Paul., the chief Roaster manages.  Paul was a member of the winning UK team at a specialty coffee competition in Moscow last year and has uniquely been placed in the top four of the Speciality Coffee Association’s annual cupping (tasting) competition for three years so when it comes to coffee, you’re in great hands. Here’s what Paul had to say:

What started your passion for coffee?

I never drank tea or coffee at all when I was young except for a trip to Portugal when I was 18, I tried a coffee in a cafe on the Spanish border, I was slightly surprised to get some treacle-like substance in the bottom of a small cup!

What exactly is your role at Red Roaster and how did you train for it?

I am not sure when I started drinking coffee regularly, perhaps sometime in my early twenties, I progressed from “fancy” instant to filter and then to espresso after buying a machine at a car boot sale. I also started collecting coffee paraphernalia at this time as I was fascinated by all the different inventions for producing a cup of coffee.

My first job involving coffee was at a sandwich bar in Lewes, where I thought we were making really good coffee but looking back it was awful. I left to take care of my sons full time until they went to school and once they were in school I looked for a job and found an ad for a coffee enthusiast to work in a new coffee house in Brighton. I got the job in January 2001, Redroaster had opened the previous September. At the time my boss, Tim, was doing the roasting on a the small 3k roaster but was himself a beginner as he had only recently done a course in the US and practised a bit of home roasting. I started roasting in Easter of  2001 so that Tim could go on holiday. There was no information anywhere about roasting techniques, the coffee industry in those days was still secretive about blends and methods. I persevered and by trial and error I developed my style of roasting and was also learning what beans were available and when to buy them.
Over the years Tim relinquished more control to me so that now I choose all the coffees, create all the blends and calibrate the machines. What I love most about coffee is all the variables there are to play with. The entire process from growing to drinking is full of choices from bean varietal, harvesting,  processing, storage and shipping, roasting, grinding and brewing. There is something of a search for the holy grail of coffee, that one cup that is just perfect, that you don’t want to end. There is also the surprise of a new coffee from a new region or farm that is just so interesting and delicious.

(c) Red Roaster Coffee

Any recommendations for recipes/ unusual drinks including coffee?

I am a  total purist, I have never tried coffee with milk or sugar despite the fact that I have made 1000′s of lattes and cappucinos. The secret to good coffee is to buy freshly roasted whole beans and grind just before brewing, drinking it as black as it comes. My favourite method at the moment is a “Clever Dripper” as it gives you all the flavour and body of a french press but without the sludge. The golden rule when making coffee is to use a ratio of 60g to 1litre of water.

A huge thank you to Paul for sharing that insight into the roasting word with us and making me crave more fabulous coffee. To get your supply of coffee, visit the Red Roaster website here.

Weld

Weld

A few months ago, I was part of a swap and was lucky enough to have designer Meghan Jackson aka Butterfly Knits, as my swap partner. Not only was  I spoilt with goodies but I also received a summery shawl of her own design. I insisted that when she released the pattern, she should let me know so I could share the details here.

(c) Meghan Jackson

Weld is a customizable shawl by knitting as many or as few repeats of the main body as you like. The size of shawl may also vary with how severely the project is blocked. Due to the flexible nature of the design, this pattern would look great in fingering or DK weight yarns as well. Meghan used TUT’s Silky Alpaca Sport in the Brassica colourway and includes this note on her pattern page about this source of inspiration:

From the Brassica family of plants, weld has been used throughout history as a natural yellow dye. Inspired by the Brassica colour of a gorgeous skein of The Uncommon Thread Silky Alpaca yarn, Weld is a textured and lace one-skein crescent shaped shawlette knit from the top down.

(c) Meghan Jackson

This base is exclusive to Tangled Yarn, one of our fabulous stockists so to get your hands on a skein, please visit their website here. For more options, of different TUT yarns, please visit the yarn page to start plotting your new shawl!

Play Designer: Veera Valimaki

Play Designer: Veera Valimaki

Kits for Veera’s latest creation ‘Play‘ went on sale at the end of last month and were a huge hit. This is the third installation of the collaboration series that I have enjoyed sharing with designers and I have loved each and every design. Working with designers to create colours and kits has been so much fun and each designer and pattern has a distinct personality that I’ve enjoyed so much. Veera Valimaki is a wonderful designer, known for her use of colour and affection for stylish accessories and garments. I asked Veera to share some facts about herself here on the blog and here’s what she had to say:

Tell us a little about yourself

I live in a small village in Southern Finland with my husband and two boys and a cat called Väinö. I’ve never thought myself as a “country-person”, but it looks like it suits me well! I’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet – and there’s a wonderful community around here! I previously studied architecture, but I do feel that the best I can do is to stick with sticks and fibre.

(c) Veera Valimaki

What’s your knitting journey so far?

I learnt to knit in school – though my mother had given me a quick lesson before. I switched schools and all my new classmates had already learned how to knit. We were supposed to knit a vest and everyone was sketching rainbow-coloured beauties but I was so afraid of all the colour changes (stripes, mind you!). So I decided to keep the vest in two colors: red ribbing with blue body. You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I discovered that how fun and easy changing colour actually is! Maybe that’s why I have been sort of fixed on stripes for all of my adult knitting journey! Later I picked up the needles after my boys were born, knitting was a perfect way of creating something of your own and something not baby-related! Plus it is easy to put down and pick up again. That’s when I found my passion.

How did you start designing and what is your favourite part of the process?

I started because I couldn’t find the”perfect” sweater. At first I didn’t write up the patterns, but when people started to ask for them, I thought I’d give it a go! Turned out, it was the most wonderful work I’d ever done! I just love the whole process of designing: from early ideas to taking the final photos; you must do so many different things! The best part though is to see the a happy knitter wearing one of my designs! It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening!

(c) Veera Valimaki

Was there a particular inspiration for this pattern?

This shawl is a new approach to short rows and shawl shape. I wanted to create a deep and dynamic piece and I think this is just that! With two colors the possibilities are endless, from a low contrast (like the sample) to a very striking combination.

What drew you to working with TUT yarns and a collaboration?

I just love Ce’s way of seeing colour, her choices are always so intuitive and well thought out! I have had the pleasure to do quite a few designs in TUT yarn and I think the colours each time are even better than I think is possible. It’s absolutely amazing to have this opportunity.

(c) Veera Valimaki

What else can we look forward to from you in the future?

Many fun things ahead! I’m working on a book at the moment, we’ll see how that comes along.

A huge thank you to Veera for taking time out from her busy design life to share some answers with TUT readers. If you would like to purchase your own ‘Play’ yarn and pattern kit, check out the Ravelry Group News thread for regular update news or please sign up to the newsletter.

Blight

Blight

For those of you who love lace, shawls and delicate accessories, you’re going to love this new pattern. Designed by Deborah Frank who designs and publishes patterns under the title ‘Oblivious Knits’, Blight is a beautiful shawl featuring TUT as a recommended yarn.

(c) Obliviousknits

Blight is a triangular lace shawl, knit from the center top down to the bottom edges. It uses one skein of fingering weight yarn, but could easily be made larger by working more repeats of the charts, although additional yarn will be necessary. The size can also be increased by changing needle/ yarn size.

The pattern calls for a skein of Heavenly Fingering, a delicious base that is perfect for such a luxurious knit. Each skein is approx 100g of fingering weight  yarn that blends 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. Supremely soft, it has a slight shine and takes dye beautifully. It has lovely drape, making it perfect for shawls. The sample is shown here in Nimbostratus.

(c) Obliviousknits

A beautiful pattern Deborah, thank you for using TUT yarn!

 

 

 

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