27 Aug 2018

Stripes for Summer and Winter

Today is Autumn Bank Holiday in the UK, usually seen as the grand finale of the Summer Season. Up and down the country, families will be returning from their holidays and getting ready for the start of the new school term.

It can feel a little sad to see a season end, especially when it has been as exceptional as this one! However, I have to admit to liking these transition times. The summer is wonderful with bright clear skies, the feeling of the sea breezes in your hair and walking aimlessly on sandy shores. But one day along comes a slightly cooler wind and you feel that wonderful thrill of anticipation imaging knitting warm scarves and blankets ready for the winter ahead. 

So here in the last of the Summer and Winter series, I am thinking of stripes: stripes to capture those beautiful summer colours in a set of cushions, and stripes on a warm rug to step onto when you emerge from the shower.

It is one of the delights of knitting that you can be sitting one moment by a limpid pool with a set of colouring pencils in your hand, sketching the rocks or perhaps just letting the sound of the gulls wash over you. Then a short while later, you find yourself in a yarn store and the self-same colours are in your hands.

These cushions arose from just such an occurrence. There was a brief 15 minute interlude between a walk by the harbour in Venice, Florida and finding these yarns in the small yarn boutique close by. I wrote about this in a previous blogpost, but it still amazes me. The very same blues and turquoises I had just seen down by the harbour, and now they are a set of cushions

A memory of summer.

Of course, at the moment you don't need to go very far back to remember the summer-time. But now delve further back in your mind to last winter... Can you recall that cold feeling when you stepped onto the icy bathroom floor first thing in the morning? The heating hadn't fully kicked in yet and the tiles seemed to be draining away every last ounce of warmth from your morning shower... Remember that feeling – argh!

Well, here's something to help. A cozy bathroom rug with colours to chase away the chills! The rug is worked in a soft chunky wool-mix yarn and knits up quickly. You'll be able to knit this as the leaves change colour around you, then when winter sets in you'll be able to face your shower without the shock of the cold floor to follow.

The cushions are my Derwent Cove Cushions and you can read more about them here
The wonderfully colourful Loopy Rug is one of Anna's patterns, and you can find it by clicking here.

Both patterns are available for instant download from the pattern sites, and both are also graded as "Easy" – perfect for getting back into knitting after the long lazy summer.

I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of knitting patterns for Summer and Winter. See you in September!

Happy Knitting,


Anna's Website: www.kikuknits.com

. 10/9/18

17 Aug 2018

Summer at the Beach, Winter by the Fire

There's nothing quite like being by the beach, whether it's Bondi beach in Sydney or Brighton beach in Sussex. We are drawn to the gentle sounds of the lapping waves in the summer and the ferocious storms and crisp electrically-charged air in the winter. Both are exhilarating, recharging, refreshing. 

Certainly there's nothing quite so invigorating as trying to walk on the shingle shore of Brighton against a gale force wind and then retreating laughing and salt-encrusted to a local café for a most necessary cup of tea.

But when you live by the sea you get used to that clammy damp that settles as the sun goes down. Even in the height of summer, you find yourself reaching for a warm throw to place over your knees as you watch the lights coming on around the bay or to spread over the bed as an extra layer.

So, continuing my thoughts on Summer and Winter from last time, here are a pair of Anna's knitting patterns for blankets – one which would be perfect for a cool evening at the beach hut, and another for when you are sitting in front of a roaring fire in your winter log cabin.

The first blanket is Anna's brand-new pattern, the Siesta Beach Blanket, named for the world-famous beach, Siesta Key, that we are lucky enough to call our "local" beach in Florida. And yes, that's Siesta Key in the top photo!

The blanket is worked in a soft wool mix yarn and features a riot of colours, with rich blues, oranges and naturals echoing the colours of the sun shades dotting the gulf shore-line.

The blanket uses a reversible stitch, Banded Bamboo, from our book Reversible Knitting Stitches. This is a lovely stitch pattern and resembles the growing pattern on tall stalks of bamboo. The knitted fabric is flexible and warm, just perfect for a summer evening throw.

The second blanket is, in contrast, worked in a single off-white colour. Anna originally designed this for the father of one of her school friends. He was in hospital bravely fighting cancer and said that he found his hospital room rather chilly. 

Anna took up her needles, selected some soft, chunky yarn and produced a blanket that kept him warm during the remainder of his stay. The blanket is called the Laurie Blanket in his memory.

It is worked using Sirdar Denim Ultra yarn, a super-chunky cotton/wool mix which gives a lovely weight to the final item and brings out the graphical nature of the reversible stitch pattern, Wide Chevron. 

Both blankets are a good size for a handy throw to keep you toasty warm. 
The Siesta Beach Blanket is 90cm/36 ins wide and 110cm/44 ins long, while the Laurie Blanket is a little longer and slimmer, 82cm/33 ins wide x 130cm/52 ins long. 

Find both these patterns and other Homeware items on Anna's website: www.Kikuknits.com. The patterns are available for instant download so you can started knitting today!

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!


Anna's website: www.kikuknits.com

. 28/8/18


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