Showing posts with label Patons UK Vintage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patons UK Vintage. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 March 2014

There and Back Again....

Gallery of a Public Transport Knitter





Some Vital Statistics

Excluding the London Underground network, 2.5 million people commute to work by rail in the United Kingdom every day. More than a third of those commute to work to and from London. With a population of 13,614,409, the London commuter belt, which is also defined as the Southeast Metropolitan Area, is the largest in the European Union. The geographical boundaries of the Southeast Metropolitan Area are in constant flux. As the urban sprawl continues ever on and transport links are improved or created, it is expected to further expand.

My stretch of the line is operated by Southeastern. 70% of Southeastern's services transport passengers from Kent and parts of East Sussex to the major London termini. On their website Southeastern claim to be transporting 570,000 commuters to the capital every weekday morning. I happen to be one of them.




Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Last of the Vintage...or an ideal yarn for beginner lace knitters

...and with a little melancholy, I note that I have used up the last balls of Patons UK Vintage. Well, never mind I'm quite happy with the finished object.


Introducing: The Oaklet, aka the Last of the Vintage

The designer is Megan Goodacre. The yarn (Paton's UK Vintage) was purchased a long time ago at Kemp's and has long since been discontinued. I have used Vintage in several projects and, even though it's not an overtly pretty yarn (in all honesty, the colourways are somewhat questionable), I feel a little sad to see it go. 


Megan Goodacre's Oaklet Shawl Pattern

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Noro Bias Lace Scarf in a Less Than Posh Yarn

Bias Lace 

Another project, completed entirely during the daily commute. It turned out to be an excellent commuter knit for several reasons:




Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Weekly Swatch, Part 3 - The Left Slanting Turkish Rib Stitch



Turkish Rib stitch (left - slanting) is one of those uncomplicated, easily memorisable (is that a word?) stitches that can lend great texture to a knitted piece, especially in combination with other ribbed stitch motifs, emphasising either texture, direction or both. At the same time, it is certainly more interesting than mere two - by - two ribbing, which can get a bit tedious - both to look at and to knit.

Left - slanting Turkish Rib Stitch in Patons UK Vintage (4mm needles)

Monday, 13 June 2011

Meandering Vines

It's off the needles, it's finished blocking and here it is....

Meandering Vines in Paton's UK Vintage











For further blog entries about the project, please look here (on blocking 


P.S. Now that I am the proud owner of a shawl, I will need to source a shawl pin.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Meandering Vines by Susanna IC - Almost Finished...

According to an earlier blog entry, I began to work on "Meandering Vines" back in March 2011. It seems so long ago and I started several other projects whilst knitting the shawl.  

Meandering Vines


Finally, after three months of knitting on and off, it is finished. Well, ... almost finished. It's currently blocking. The shawl is knitted in a relatively thick cotton / acrylic yarn (Paton's UK Vintage) and blocking was an absolute must on this project.

The pattern is simple and straightforward, and, as promised by the designer, it can be knit in pretty much every type of yarn.  -   An easy knit for the beginner lace knitter.

My blocking method is a little quirky (see below). I neither own a blocking board, which would accommodate the full length of the shawl, nor do I have blocking pins, which would be strong enough to hold the fabric in place.

Meandering Vines in Patons UK Vintage - Blocking in Progress


Meandering Vines in Patons UK Vintage - Blocking in Progress


After some deliberation I decided to suspend the shawl with the help of two pegged coat - hangers from the top shelf of the wardrobe. The triangular corners on either side of the shawl are fastened to both sides of the wardrobe with the help of some scrap yarn (inserted in the eyelet stitches and then tied to the sides of the wardrobe). A further two coat hangers keep the garment in place at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Once this arrangement was in place, I lightly misted the garment with cold water.

Pictures of the blocked garment can be found here.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Substituting Rowan Kidsilk Haze



Kidsilk Haze must be one of Rowan's bestselling yarns. As I am writing this entry, Kidsilk Haze has been stashed 11813 times on Ravelry, knitters have produced 14396 garments with the yarn and it's a consistent favourite amongst designers. I have personally met the yarn in my local yarn store, I have touched it, my eyes have feasted on the fantastic colourways in which it is produced and I regularly drool over photos of Kidsilk Haze and other yarns in the Kidsilk family when browsing through online yarn shops. Yes, there are several members in the Kidsilk family: Kidsilk Spray, Kidsilk Night and Kidsilk Aura, which I believe has now been discontinued. I love them all.

Rowan Kidsilk Haze


And yet, I have resisted buying Kidsilk Haze. I first came across Kidsilk Haze in a pattern book by Laura Harding. I had been knitting for a mere few months then and didn't know anything about yarn and the price tag that comes (quite rightly) with certain materials - Kidsilk Haze is a blend of Super Kid Mohair (70%) and Silk (30%). Blissfully ignorant, I looked it up on the internet and was quite simply taken aback by the price. Just about having completed my first fingerless glove in an awfully cheap acrylic yarn, I was after a yarn that was a bit more luxurious, yet affordable, a yarn with a purchase price, which I, an absolute beginner, could justify in case my project went horribly wrong. Therefore, I was unable to buy Kidsilk Haze. I didn't think my level of skill would do the expense and the beauty of the yarn justice.

Nevertheless, if I didn't allow myself Kidsilk Haze, I at least wanted something like Kidsilk Haze. And so the endless quest for a substitute had begun - alongside the perennial search for Kidsilk Haze at a knockdown price: That illusive skein of Kidsilk somewhere on sale for less than £3.50. (Yeah, I know...it's never going to happen.) Considering that 25g currently retail at just over £8.00, you are lucky if you are able to locate a skein for £5.95, and that would be in a discontinued colour, of which probably only one skein is held in stock. It has crossed my mind that instead of buying gold bullions for investment purposes, it might be just as prudent to have a few skeins of Kidsilk in your vault. I don't think prices for the stuff are about to drop any time soon and it might be a good hedge against inflation.



Patons UK Misty


In the light of all this praise, I need to make absolutely clear that I don't think any substitute not equivalent in materials will ever come close to Kidsilk, but this is not necessarily the task a cheaper alternative is supposed to fulfil. When substituting yarn in this particular case, I am aware that a cheaper alternative will produce an approximation in texture and look. I am perfectly happy with this - for the time being.

Patons UK Misty

After months of searching for this alternative, I found a possible candidate: Patons UK Misty, a blend of Mohair (70%) and Polyamide (30%) with a recommended needle size of 3.25 - 5.00mm (US: 3 - 8). Due to the Polyamide replacing the Silk content, Misty is a lot shinier than Kidsilk Haze. I haven't started to knit with Misty in earnest, but as far as first impressions go, I think Misty could be a frugal alternative. The yarn looks and feels luxurious. Whether it can live up to my expectations will soon be put to the test.




I have ten skeins of Misty in my stash and a few suitable patterns in mind. I will probably start swatching next weekend.  Ice Queen by Rosemary (Romi) Hill, which is available free on Knitty's website, or Branching Out by Susan Lawrence, a pattern which was the subject of a previous article and which is also available on Knitty's website, are two possible candidates.

Update: I decided to use Patons (UK) Misty for Citron by Hilary Smith Callis. For more on this, please have a look at my Citron blogpost.

Another update: I have used Misty for another project. This time, it was a stole designed by Cheryl Niamath. Project notes are now available on the blog. For a preview picture, please see below.

Wisp by Cheryl Niamath

Monday, 14 March 2011

Lost in Lace - A Lace Knitting Newbie's Quest for a Suitable Project

...the Highs and Lows of my Weekend Lace Knitting Quest

Sitting on the bus late Friday evening after work, I thought about my weekend knitting. I have a habit of starting new projects during the weekend, as I am able to source patterns and I have enough time to engage in all the preparatory work (choosing yarn, knitting swatches etc.). During the week, I like to return to the project, pick up the needles and simply enjoy the process.

As of late and in my quest to find new challenges, I got increasingly attracted to lace knitting. Once I arrived home and after saying "hello" to the cats, I started to sift through my pattern library and dug out Susan Pierce Lawrence's scarf pattern for "Branching Out", which was featured in Knitty's spring 2005 edition.

Susan's  design, though relatively straightforward, incorporates the most common increases and decreases the lace knitter is likely to encounter. Once you have gotten to grips with these, you will have gained confidence and are likely to master more complex lace patterns.

To have a look at the scarf, please click on the the link to Knitty below:



That it  looked like the ideal project for the beginner lace knitter, is exactly what I thought. I started a trial with some cheap acrylic yarn. Owing to the yarn, my swatch didn't look great, but I wasn't prepared to waste posh(er) yarn during the first stages of my lace experiment.

After an hour or so, it clicked and I really got going. Mastering the stitch sequence wasn't all too hard and I went to bed with a great sense of achievement. sl2-k1-p2sso isn't scaring me anymore! Result.

I continued my lace experiment on Saturday, sorting through my stash and trying to locate a yarn that was going to be suitable, but I was in the end unable to find anything...I am sure a lot of knitters must be familiar with this scenario. You want to knit a pattern, you have a huge stash and not a single resident yarn is up to the job or would do the pattern justice. Oh, it is so frustrating!!! Friday's euphoria was followed by complete and utter frustration on Saturday.

Adamant that at least one yarn in my stash might be suitable for lace knitting, I decided to go on  another pattern search and finally I succeeded. By now it was Sunday morning and I was close to giving up, when I remembered a pattern by designer Susanna IC  -  http://artqualia.com/. The pattern is called "Meandering Vines" (http://artqualia.com/patterns%205.html) and Susanna states in her introduction to the pattern that it's possible to knit the stole with just about any yarn, provided suitable needles are chosen.

It has to be said that Susanna's "Meandering Vines" is far less intricate than "Branching Out", but by now I just wanted to knit and get a project onto my needles.

I decided to trust Susanna and started a trial swatch with some of my Paton's Vintage (30% cotton and 70% Acrylic). I originally bought it in bulk from Kemp's as it was an absolute steal at £0.59, but never quite succeeded in finding a suitable pattern for it.



I am pleased to report that after Saturday's ordeal, Sunday turned out to be a success. Meandering Vines (in Patons Vintage - Burnished)  is now  firmly installed on my needles and I can return to my  new  project over the next few evenings. It is easy to memorise the pattern and I am anticipating a relaxed and enjoyable knit. Once I have used my stash of Paton's Vintage, I will go on a hunt for yarns to be used when knitting Susan Pierce Lawrence's "Branching Out".

For all those who wish to have a little venture into lace knitting, I strongly recommend you  have a look at Susanna IC's website:  http://artqualia.com/. There you will find Meandering Vines, a pattern every beginner can knit with virtually any yarn, alongside various other (sometimes free) lace patterns. It will be worth a visit...or maybe two!






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