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Friday, 10 February 2012

Ponderings of a Toft Knitter

This time on the Toft blog we bring you the first in our series of Toft knitter interviews. Kerry and I would have no chance to run the shop and office, send out your orders and go to shows if we had to hand knit all the lovely alpaca goodies we sell by ourselves. So of course we have a team of amazing ladies who do this job for us. They range from knitters who love skinny pins, to chunky yarn and big needle knitters, pattern designer knitters and all those in between. We're very lucky that they seem to love knitting for us and as such throughout the year we'll run a little series of these interviews to get their side of the story.

Cheryl is first up. She's been knitting for Toft for about 2 years or so. She will try her hand to anything and is often first in line to help us out of emergency knitting situations.

Firstly Cheryl, what are your top five things to knit?

C: Aran Sweaters are my very favourite, I love all the detail, I'm just finishing one for my husband actually. Closely followed by any kind of sweater or cardigan with patterns and shaping, as I get bored knitting just stocking stitch. I'm currently knitting baby clothes for my first grandchild (due anytime). Of the Toft staples that I knit, probably wristwarmers and leg warmers with their interesting but easy to memorise cable pattern are my favourites, although anything knitted in Toft Alpaca yarn is fine with me - it handles so well and is superb to knit with.

Where can you usually be found knitting?
C: I knit at home, usually in a comfy chair looking out at the garden during winter and then I like to get outside, in a sheltered spot, as soon as there is a bit of sunshine.

When do you usually knit?
C: I knit most evenings, and always when watching TV. I don't like to sit idle. If the pattern is simple I have also been known to read at the same time!

What is your favourite Toft yarn?
C: All the Toft yarns are fabulous - I love the soft Suri lace yarn for fine knitting but I think the Aran is the most versatile and gives such a good definition to cable patterns.

What is your favourite Toft yarn colour?
C: It is difficult to pick a favourite, though I do love Silver or Steel, they both have a lovely depth to them.

What is your favourite knitting or crochet stitch and why?

C: Tongue in cheek I'd have to say Hyacinth Stitch!! [Cheryl is responsible for two beautiful hyacinth snood samples which took her many hours to complete, we did only need one but Rob accidentally sold that one in the shop so we had to have another made quickly - she's a star!]. No seriously, I really enjoy cable patterns because they can be very simple or varied to give very complex designs.

Thank you Cheryl!

[N.B. We didn't pay Cheryl for any of her generous answers!]

Dissecting a cable stitch.

Cables are a great way to add texture and interest to your knitting, they might seem scary at first but they are the perfect 'next step' for beginnners.

Cable are often written C2F or C2B, for example.

Broken down C2F means, using a Cable needle slip 2 stitches and hold them to the Front, knit two stitches from your left hand needle and then knit the 2 stitches on your Cable needle. Of course the 2 stitches could be 3, 4 etc etc. In C2B, B means hold the stitches on the cable needle to the back of the work. Your cable stitches are the 2 (or more) stitches you slip, plus the 2 (or more) you knit before going back to you the slipped stitches on your cable needle, i.e a total of 4 stitches wide in this example.

Subscribers to the Toft newsletter will today receive a free cable wristwarmers pattern since they are one of Cheryl's favourite Toft knits. If you would like to receive our exclusive free patterns and news about Toft click here and sign up.
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