September 2016 was ‘Hat Month’

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Pandemonium, a free pattern on Ravelry knitted in Hedgehog Fibres Sock

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More Pandas, this time knitted in Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight

Just for something different, I knitted beanies for a month.

We do lots of knitting for the shop, Convent & Chapel Wool Shop, often simple beautiful items to sell such as beanies, mitts and scarves, but we’re trying to build up shop samples to give people inspiration for projects and see how the yarn knits up. We’re also planning an exhibition next year and would like some interesting displays. These beanies are planned to be on show in the shop and not for sale (which we know will frustrate the non knitters – but maybe it will spur them to pick up the needles for themselves).

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Elephants this time, using Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight

I’m not an experienced fairisle knitter but the beanies are great training ground – not too big, knitted in the round… and I was happy with the results.

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Elephants on Parade in Hedgehog Fibres Sock

Anyway, October is likely to be taken up by another Stephen West Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL 2016 and lots of gardening as the weather hopefully takes a turn for the better.

Pattern details can be found on my Ravelry Projects page.

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Able Cable Hat in Hedgehog Fibres Aran

 

 

 

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Bylong Baby Beanie in Opal Sock (with sparkles!)

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Sockhead Slouch Hat in Zauberball

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Sockhead Slouch Hat in Hedgehog Fibres Sock

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A touch of Lace with Picacho Peak in Hedgehog Fibres Sock

 

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Loved this one – Grenoble Fairisle Hat

Beanie Binging

The Roll Brim Beanies in Noro are one of our popular sellers with both adults and kids.

The Roll Brim Beanies in Noro are one of our popular sellers with both adults and kids.

Zauberball Starke 6 works well with the spiral beanie adding texture with the knit and purl contrasts.

Zauberball Starke 6 works well with the spiral beanie adding texture with the knit and purl contrasts.

We are finding that the hand knits in our shop are incredibly popular – it’s both a blessing and a curse. Whilst it’s great to sell them and they are good little earners, they are also very labour intensive and sell much faster than we can knit them. Sometimes we’d like to see them sit in the shop for a few weeks and we don’t know whether to laugh or cry when a new item comes up to the counter for purchase an hour or two after we’ve just put it on display.

With a bit of a nip now in the air some days, we’re expecting greater demand for our knits. In choosing what to create, we try to mainly use shop stock and patterns that are either our own or can be easily accessed online, so they double up as project samples for keen knitters. We are also fussy with the quality of yarns we use and try to utilise patterns that offer interest in texture and colour (whilst not being overly time-consuming to knit).

Noro beanies - the colour and textures of Kureyon work particularly well.

Noro beanies – the colour and textures of Kureyon work particularly well.

The last few weeks, now Show knitting is over, has been beanie knitting time. I’ve put together very basic patterns for spiral beanies in 6 and 10 ply – simple but effective with a banding effect being emphasised with different stitches and colour waves in the wool. I’m mainly using Zauberballs and Noro for these and they’ve been incredibly popular.

Blokey beanies in cashmere wool blends and alpaca.

Blokey beanies in cashmere wool blends and alpaca.

I’m also using Cashmere/wool blends for beanies – the texture is so beautifully springy. Basic ribbed beanies are particularly popular with the blokes and look natural and rustic in earthy colours.

Twisted Slouchies with a travelling stitch and knitted in luxury blends.

Twisted Slouchies with a travelling stitch and knitted in luxury blends.

Adding to the collection is more of a Slouchy style with an interesting travelling stitch which looks a bit like a cable effect. I’ve tried this in a few yarns and they are all coming up well.

I’m sure there will be a few more styles in our near future – we’re working on berets and more slouchy versions –  and also using some of the gorgeous local alpaca yarns.

Our Lace Scarves sell well year round and we can practically knit them in our sleep (I wish we actually could!). Once the beanies supplies have been topped up (if they stay in the shop for long enough), it will be mitt time again.

Ever-popular Fishnet Lace Scarves.

Ever-popular Fishnet Lace Scarves.