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A Colourful New Year! - Oxford Yarn Store
  A COLOURFUL START TO THE YEAR!

People coming into the Store for the first time are frequently overwhelmed by the colours of yarn that immediately assault the senses. Rather like entering the Boticelli gallery at the Uffizi in Florence, I always think, where people have been known to faint from sheer sensory overload. Are James and I immune to this effect after all these years? Not at all! We share a love of colours and of colourwork. And we are not alone.

So - how about making a New Year's resolution to be bold with colour choices? Many of us get stuck in a rut and stick to what we like/know best. I never used to wear blue until a cutomer suggested it at around the same time that James told me to stop knitting everything in green! 

Colourwork is great fun. Our favourite yarns for colourwork include many Rowan and Isager yarns as well as Jamieson's Spindrift and Baa Ram Ewe's Pip Colourwork. We run classes in colourwork techniques, taught by James, and several are coming up - see below.

So this is what James and I are currenly up to. I have knitted a hat from Martin Storey's Scandanavian Knits pattern book and have started a sweater from Dee Hardwick's Colourwork Knits. Both are knitted with Rowan's Felted Tweed DK using Fair Isle and intarsia techniques respectively.






James is knitting a sweater from Marianne Isager's pattern book, Daexal - Knits for Men, using Isager Jensen yarn in two autumnal shades.  When the second sleeve is finished all of the pieces will be joined together to knit the yoke. The pattern uses slip stitches to create the knitted motifs, so you are only ever working with one colour on any row. This is a fabulous collection of designs for men based on the patterns on manhole covers!



For those of you who like sock knitting, how about pairing up a lovely variegated yarn such as West Yorkshire Spinners' Country Bird sock yarn with one of their solid shades as I have done with these socks? The coulourway is Blue Tit and I knitted them from the toe up - a favourite method for using up all of the ball of yarn which can be divided and then you keep going until you run out of yarn.


Another cause for excitement this week on the colour front was the arrival of Kate Davies's new book of hat patterns. See more on this below.

We hope that we can inspire you to combat the dreary winter weather by enjoying some colourful knitting. Call in for a sensory experience and do sign up for a class if you are new to colourwork knitting or fancy a refresher.

Happy Knitting!

Karen

PS: Our 15% Off All Yarn Sale finishes tomorrow (Saturday 19th January 2019) so don' t miss the opportunity to grab a bargain and get stocked up on a project or two!

  Customer knits

Fiona has been knitting this glorious array of cushions using Isager Spinni yarn.  The three patterns are found in the Isager book ALJ (remember that there is 25% off selected Isager books including ALJ at the moment plus 15% off Isager yarn until 19th January).





Alexandra has knitted this very special selection of sweaters for her Grandsons.  The yarns used are Rico Merino DK and Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK both of which are perfect for little people's garments as they come in a great colour range and are machine washable!




Karen S has knitted his cabled sweater for her son Rupert using a vintage Rowan pattern and Rowan Felted Tweed Aran yarn.


Laurien has knitted these fantastic legwarmers using two yarns (Adriafil Sierra Andina and Rowan Valley Tweed) combined . The pattern is Basic Patterned Legwarmers by Laura Careless (find on Ravelry).



Camilla has knitted this colourwork vest for her husband based on an old Kaffe Fasset pattern.


Fiona has knitted a version of the Churchmouse Easy Poncho pattern using a gorgeous Adriafil chunky yarn, Morfeo.


More socks and a poncho from Alison. Socks are knitted in Rowan's Baby Cashoft Merino. The poncho is a pattern from Kate Davies' Haps book and is knitted in an alpaca yarn. It is fabulously warm and cosy - no wonder she looks so chuffed!





Here is Rosie modelling a shawl hat she has knitted using her own handspun yarn from her own sheep that we stock here at OYS.



A customer was wearing this sweater today and we just loved it! It's from a Ysolda Teague pattern. She used a combinaion of West Yorkshire Spinners' Blue Faced Leiceser yarn and Malabrigo Rios.



  Kate Davies Milarrochy Hat book

We have the new Kate Davies pattern book in store now.  Milarrochy Heids features 15 designs for hats in various styles and levels of complexity of knitting so there is something for everyone to have a go at! 

Isager Tweed is the perfect yarn for knitting all of these patterns.

  colourwork knitting workshops

If you have been inspired to have a go at some colourwork knitting by any of the many examples featured above why not try one of our classes coming up this month and in early February.  Call 01865 604112 to book any class.
 

Colourwork Knitting

Learn the basic techniques used to achieve beautiful two-coloured knitting. We will explore a range of knitting techniques that can be used to introduce colour into knitting including slip stitches and intarsia. Knitting will be done 'flat' on straight needles.

Sunday 27th January

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm

Skill Level: Intermediate knitters, you should be comfortable with basic knitting techniques (cast on, knit and purl).

Price:  £55.00

Materials: You will need 4mm knitting needles and two 50g balls of DK weight yarn in contrasting colours.

 

WORKSHOPS IN FEBRUARY 2019
 

 
Learn to Knit 

This class is an ideal introduction to the basic skills needed to turn you into a confident knitter.  Over two sessions you will learn to cast on, make knit and purl stitches, decrease and cast off.  No previous knitting experience is required. Please note that knitting is taught right handed and using the English style.

Saturday 2nd and 9th February

Time: 10am to 1pm  

Price: £40

Skill Level: No knitting experince is required.  

Materials: Knitting needles and practice yarns are included.





















 
Introduction to Fair Isle Knitting

Learn Fair Isle stranded colourwork knitting in this class by mastering the basic skills needed to tackle two colours per row including -  understanding written and charted Fair Isle patterns; stranding yarns; Fair Isle tension and dealing with ends.

Saturday 2nd February 

Time: 2pm to 5pm

Price: £30

Skill Level: Intermediate level, you should be comfortable with basic knitting techniques (cast on, knit, purl). 

Materials: 4mm knitting needles and two 50g balls of yarn in contrasting colours.
Introduction to Steeking

Learn how to knit Fair Isle in the round and steek your work - literally cut it open in the Shetland tradition. As you are always knitting the front of the work his method allows you to knit a flat piece (e.g. a throw) or a garment with an opening (e.g. a cardigan) in the round. We’ll take you step by step through the process to ensure a happy outcome.

Saturday 9th February

Time: 2pm to 5pm

Price: £30

Skill Level:  Intermediate to experienced level, you should be comfortable knitting the Fair Isle / stranded colour work technique in the round on a small circumference. 

Materials: 50g of contrasting colour WOOL yarn in two shades.  There wil be a small amount of pre-knitting to do before the class in preparation.  4mm circular OR double pointed needles to knit a small circumfrenece in the round, 3mm crochet hook and sharp scissors.
Learn to Knit Socks in a Day!

Learn to knit socks in the classic style, using 4mm double pointed needles and working top-down from the cuff to the toe.

In just 1 day we will explore; knitting in the round using double pointed needles (DPNs); turning a heel; shaping for the ankle and toes plus grafting using kitchener stitch for a seamless finish.

We will knit a double knit yarn sample sock on 4mm needles.

Sunday 10th February. 

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm.  

Price: £55

Skill Level:  Intermediate level, you should be comfortable with basic knitting techniques (cast on, knit, purl). 

Materials: You will need 50g of double knit weight yarn and a set of 4mm double pointed needles.