keeping up to speed

Consider yourself fortunate if you are reading this at a safe distance from the UK. The unfolding drama of the Brexit negotiations has taken on the air of a Greek tragedy. Or a Feydeau farce, depending on your perspective. I have, however, been struck by the impressive speed-reading capability of politicians and other commentators. The ink was barely dry on the draft Withdrawal Agreement when professional detractors were denouncing it right, left and centre, some before they had even got their hands on it! I looked on my bookshelves for something of similar length to its 580 pages and came across Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. Imagine reading that and coming up with a critical analysis on which the fate of nations depends in two hours! I used to rather fancy myself as a politician. Now I think I'll stick to knitting.

Every cloud has a silver lining. A few days off work with a streaming head cold has afforded me the time to get going on a sweater for my husband for Christmas. It's from a fantastic book of knits for men - Rowan's 'Journeyman' with patterns by Martin Storey. As well as a selection of very handsome sweaters and cardigans it also contains a couple of great scarves, some Hemp Tweed socks and a good hat. All knitted in above DK weight yarn -ie relatively quick knits. Here's the back of the sweater I'm making - knitted in two and a half days! This is owing to the fact that a) I have been too poorly to do much else b) it's knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran which knits up like a dream on Knit Pro straight needles and c) it's a slip stitch pattern which means that you don't knit half of the stitches! If this is unfamiliar to you then look it up or let us show you this fantastic colour work technique.





We have had a thorough sort out of hat and other accessories patterns. James has been busy making up folders of these. We also have a mid-season sale on several yarns that are perfect for such projects so hurry on down and get into some speed knitting for Christmas presents. You may, like me, need a productive antidote to the Brexit debacle. If indeed we all face the prospect of going to hell in a handcart, doubtless we will all take our knitting with us.

Happy Knitting

Karen

Elfriede Shawl from Laine 6
Karen has just finished knitting this shawl from Laine 6 magazine and has this to say about it: 'If, like me, you drool over Laine magazines but don't know where to start then here's a suggestion. The Elfriede shawl recently published in Laine 6 is a delight to knit and to wear. The worsted weight yarn knits up quickly and creates a really lovely, substantial shawl that is perfect for Autumn/winter. It is a real statement piece and designed using The Fibre Company's Cumbria - the perfect yarn for this project. All of the shades that we stock are glorious. In fact we have a number of worsted weight yarns  that would also work well. And we have all 6 issues of Laine magazinein stock!'





 

  Pompom Quarterly magazine - issue 27 out saturday!

Th new issue of Pompom Quarterly Magazine is officially out on Saturday 17th November.  You can pick up your copy from tomorrow in store. We will also take mail orders to send out, call 01865 604112 to order.



We are honoured to collaborate with Norah Gaughan as our winter issue guest editor, and nothing could have prepared us for the beauty and drama of the results. Taking the idea of tough Victoriana, the traditional notion of a delicate lady surrounded by flowers is transformed into a warrior woman of strength and resilience.

The knits in this issue are imagined for the modern heroine. Create your own knitted armour with swirling cables and sculptural stitch details; it’s time to celebrate texture and sumptuous colours!

Our stellar lineup curated by Norah, including the designer herself, features:

ANDREA RANGEL // BOADICEA BINNERTS // CAITLIN HUNTER // CIRILIA ROSE // HONOR ADAMS // JOJI LOCATELLI // LINDA MARVENG // VÉRONIK AVERY // XANDY PETERS


Also packed into our winter issue is a column by our resident columnist Anna Maltz exploring knitting beyond traditions, we have a Q&A session with Norah, and a recipe for a braided challah bread – just as comforting and squishy as knitted cables.

 

  New christmas socks!

We have lots of lovely ready made socks back in stock from West Yorkshire Spinners including two gorgeous Christmas patterns - Fairy Lights and Candy Cane!  Perfect stocking fillers!

  entrelac knitting - workshop next week

Join James next Friday afternoon for an Entrelac Knitting workshop here at Oxford Yarn Store (see below for full details).  It really is quite straight-forward to knit (honest!) and you get a stunning basketweave effect!  James has knitted this gorgeous cowl to demonstrate the technique.  You can easliy knit entrelac flat as well as in the round (we will be knitting it flat in the workshop). Call 01865 604112 to book!




 

Introduction to Entrelac Knitting

Entrelac is a knitting technique used to create a textured diamond pattern and the result resembles basket-woven strips of knitted fabric.  It ca be knit in one colour and is also very effective if several colours are used when knitting in entrelac stripes.  

Date: Friday 23rd November

Time: 2pm to 5pm

Price: £30

Skills needed: Intermediate, basic knitting skills only are needed - cast on, knit, purl, decreases and ideally, picking up stitches, but the latter two techniques are covered in the class if you are unfamiliar with those techniques.

Materials Needed:  4mm knitting needles (we will be kniting flat). Two 50g balls of DK wool in contrasting colours. Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK or Rico Merino DK are rececommended. 

  customer knits

Sarah has knitted this amazing Humpy Dumpty baby blanket (of her own design) using Rowan Baby Merino Silk yarn.  She also knitted, in the same yarn, the textured stitch baby blanket below humpty.  The latter pattern features in the Rowan Modern Mini Knits book.





Romayne has knitted this beautiful scarf in a double knitting yarn.




Margaret has knitted another beautiful Adrift Shawl (pattern in Laine Magazine issue 5) in Manos del Uruguay Serena yarn.  The long length of the shawl is very flattering.



Karen Cox has knitted this shawl in Noro Kureyon yarn.  The shawl is called Seashell Ripple by Susan Ashcroft. We have this pattern available in store which is free with the yarn purchase.




This Nordic patterned hat was knitted by Arne & Carlos and James!  It's true, Arne cast it on and Carlos knitted the brim during their recent visit to OYS in October, and James has finished it off!  What a pedigree!  Yarn is Rowan Cocoon.



Helena has crocheted this lovely shawl in a variety of yarns.



Chris has knitted this handsome Tiger jumper for her grandson Jack using Rowan Soft Yak yarn, pattern is in the Rowan book LIttle Rowan Explorers.

  man mitts!

Wrist warmers, or mitts, are hugely popular among many knitters and there is of course no reason that men should not wear, or knit them, themslves!  The perfect Christmas gift for any wrists we say!

Karen has knitted this handsome pair in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted yarn using a pattern in the mens knitting magazine Rib (these are in issue 2).  James models!