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Friday, 27 January 2012

Some extra curricular piste with a Pom Pom hat!!

Take one Toft beginner Pom Pom Beanie knitting pattern and eight old friends... Add lots of snow, a few mountains and a couple of hours embroidery time.

Team Toft hats are born...

This is a really easy and super quick knitting pattern and is unisex one size fits all- the lovely chunky garter stitch is very stretchy and a perfect head hugging shape.

We can now without hesitation assure with certainty that this hat is great for the slopes. Our survey confirms that they are incredibly warm, and due to the weightless Pom Pom they stay on your head at high speed.

Sewing the initials was a bit of a challenge initially- as you can see!

Maintaining the flexibility in the fabric was essential, so keep the stitches loose. Following several experiments the final letters were sewn using four strands of an Aran weight yarn. We chose to use a bright red Merino wool yarn- but any yarn including our Aran alpaca yarn would be fine.

Now we've cracked it there's no stopping us. A steel hat with a cream Pom Pom and letter for example will look fantastic.

The knitting kit for the hat can be bought here. The pattern is also contained in our Pattern Book.

For subscribers to the Toft Mailing List
(sign up here) the knitting pattern for this easy beanie will be coming out to you FREE a bonus. You're welcome! Thanks for staying up to date with us.

Finally...send us your photos or share them with us on
Facebook- we'd love to see them.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Crafty things made from... crafty things.

Take a look at these crafty items made from, well, crafty items.

Many of you may be familiar with knitting needle bangles and rings, 'zip' earrings, and needle point necklaces, well good for you. We'd just like to marvel at them for a short time and think about how lucky we are to be surrounded by crafting tools. We admire them not simply because they help us to create beautiful knitwear, or keep our knitting needles safe, or do up our jackets, but beacause they have their own pleasing aesthetics. It's a bit like buying a fur pom pom, just because it's so pretty, we know it's done and we know who you are!

Take a look at this article written in 2009 about designer Liana Kabel (maker of the craft jewelry) we're coveting several more pieces! We'll be showing you how to make your own jewelry from alpaca felt in May's shearing and felt workshop and Liana has provided us with lots of inspiration.

Carrie would like to thank her dear friend April for the beautiful cowhide needle case above and Liana Kabel knitting needle bracelet brought for her birthday several weeks ago and thereby inspiring this post!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

What is your knitting style?

Now that the Christmas and new year chaos is behind us (although the mince pies that Shirley keeps bring into the office are a constant reminder - particularly for our waistlines) it's time to get down to some serious knitting of our own. Not only are we working on the new designs for the Spring collection but we've actually got time to do some knitting of our own - for ourselves - I know, amazing!!

Carrie for example has cast on the Toft Striped Jumper and is already wondering if the 3.25mm needles are going to get the better of her. It's her knitting style to have at least 3 projects on her knitting needles at anyone time and although that is sort of the case right now (a pair of ugg style slippers 3/4s finished, and a new pattern for an intarsia baby-growbag 1/3 on the way) but a new year's resolution to finish one project at a time and use up the huge stash hidden throughout the house is causing some her some guilt about casting on anything more!

Which made us think. We all have different knitting styles just like our tensions.

Kerry is project in an evening kinda girl - any longer and she's not really interested. Big needles, thick yarn, finshed! Like the Pom Pom Beanie Hat for example.

Myra (she of Toft Alpaca Stud fame) has rediscovered her love of knitting, clicking away over the Christmas period. Having completed the Chunky Cable and Lace Scarf as a gift. So much so that she's missing it now that her projects are finished. We think she's probably in the market for the matching wristwarmers!

So what's yours?

Stitches_0029 Toft-0811_0245

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The need to ski.

It's that time of year when those who love to ski and board are dusting off their kit ready to brave the slopes. Kerry will be heading off in a week or so and with that in mind we thought a little look at the fashion of knitted skiwear through the ages would be fun, culminating in Kerry's outfit of choice for the 80s themed ski day (or could that turn into the whole week?).

Hopefully she'll bring back some pics of everyone wearing their matching alpaca pom pom hats complete with initials! As Vogue Knitting of old says what "Gay Glamorous Gadabouts" they'll be!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Spot the difference birthday special!


Today is Rob of Toft Alpaca Stud's birthday, we won't say how old. Yesterday Kerry and Shirley undertook a special secret mission to pick up his special present... and here he is, Archie the llama. Isn't he a beaut?! Apparently his face was a picture of surprise and shock (Rob's that is, not Archie's). His first thought was that some strange reverse llama rustling had been going on over night, until Shirley and Kerry assured him that Archie was in fact a new addition to the herd.

So can you spot some differences between llamas and alpacas? Regular Toft followers will notice the difference in shape, height, ears and jaw not to mention the look of his fleece and colouring. We can't wait to show him off during the farm tour on the next knitting workshop at the end of January for some real life spot the difference fun!