On a cold and dull* November day, what do you need to warm the cockles of your heart? Well, duh: lovely hand-dyed yarn, of course, and a pattern with which to knit it. So don’t you reckon it’s time for another giveaway, open worldwide?
Enter from stage left, Suzie, bearing skeins of marvellously colourful wool.
Twisted: Hello, Suzie.
Suzie: Hello, Twisted.
Twisted (shivering): Cold, isn’t it?
Suzie (also shivering): Gosh yes, it is cold… as one might quite reasonably expect at this time of year.
Twisted: Indeed. Shall we stop speaking as though we’re characters in an exceptionally badly-written play?
Suzie: Yes, lets. Would you like some yarn?
Suzie is based in east London, from where she runs her indie yarn/pattern company, It’s A Stitch Up. IASU started out as a blog, and her tutorials and patterns rapidly became super-popular. Last year, she started selling her hand-dyed yarn, too, shipping worldwide to meet ever-increasing demand. Her yarn is ethically-produced (in terms of animal welfare and environmental impact), British-spun, and dyed with inspiration from her surroundings, especially from the natural world. Yup, I’m struggling to find anything not-to-like, too.
Suzie got in touch with me recently to talk about her yarn. As it happens, she’s a friend-of-a-friend, but that’s beside the point. We talked particularly about her Awesome Aran (think worsted-weight, USians), which is spun from British-produced wool from the always-haughty-looking Bluefaced Leicester sheep.
Have you knitted or hooked with Bluefaced Leicester? It’s soft and it’s tough (in a good way, I promise) which is why it’s often used for sock yarn. It has quite a lustrous appearance, too. Suzie sent me a sample skein, along with the pattern for her Shipwreck Cove cowl. Look at the very subtle hint of variegation in this semi-solid colourway. It’s called ‘Heart Of Glass’, and it’s available in 100g (3.5oz) skeins. It feels soft and dense, and it’s very cosy against the skin. Look!
Anyway, I knitted the cowl. Maybe my gauge was off, but I ran out of yarn just before the end, so I decided to use some spare yarn I had lying around to make the cord and the pom-poms. (It was cotton, so it separated beautifully to make the pom-poms extra-fluffy.)
Ah, pom-poms. I hadn’t made them since childhood.**
Fortunately, I could just about remember what to do. (Yeah, I know you can buy pom-pom makers but really, two doughnuts of cardboard work just fine.) Place the pieces of card together, wind yarn (doubled, quadrupled, or whatever to save time) around and around until you can’t fit it through the centre any more or until your layer of yarn is looking nicely thick. Use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through the centre hole if needed. I also used a crochet hook to wedge the yarn in place whilst I began to cut every strand of yarn around the perimeter of the disks.
Then, when you’ve cut every strand, you’ll need to pull the cardboard disks apart VERY SLIGHTLY to enable you to wind a piece of yarn around all your strands and tie a knot that’s tighter than any knot you’ve ever previously tied in your life.
Now you can remove the card, fluff up your lovely pom-pom, and give it a light trim where needed. Do NOT allow anyone with perfectionist tendencies to complete this stage, as they will trim and trim (and trim) until there’s nothing left.
Isn’t it cutesome? (Oughtn’t I to be taken outside and shot for crimes against language, having used the ‘word’ cutesome?)
And here, expertly modelled by my headless assistant, is the finished cowl. It’s very cosy. And pretty.
If you browse the It’s A Stitch Up website, you can see all the rich shades that Suzie has dyed in Awesome Aran, as well as her other yarns. She also sells knitting kits, her own knitting patterns, and vintage haberdashery.
But let’s talk about the giveaway, because it’s a good’un, thanks to Suzie’s extreme generosity. She is offering TWO shivery-but-yarn-loving readers of this blog from anywhere in the world the chance to win a 100g skein of Awesome Aran, and the cowl pattern to go with it. See? I told you it was good.
Usual Twisted contest conditions apply. To enter, leave a comment at the bottom of this post. To gain an additional bonus entry, visit this blog’s Facebook page, ‘like’ the page and leave a comment on the post about this giveaway, with some way of reaching you if you win – Raverly username, for example.
The contest is open from RIGHT NOW until 12.00 midday (UK time) on Saturday 10th December 2016. After this, a random number generator will be used to select two lucky winners, whose details will be passed to Suzie so that she can contact them and arrange delivery of the prizes. Good luck!
∗ The weather is now scuppering the mood of this blog post by suddenly being sunny. Still it’s cold. Very cold. You’ll need knitwear.
∗∗…when I used to make big pom-pom critters with stuck-on eyes, and arms made of pipe-cleaners. They were irredeemably naff, so let us speak of them no more.
Hi, just found your blog via a convoluted (twisted, naturally) route though other sheepy, yarny & knitty sites. I am enjoying reading your posts & would like to win some lovely yarn, of course, especially since our high temps next week will be single digits with sub zero lows. Knitting weather, most definitely!
hmm…I have disc pom pom makers and had no clue how to use them. After seeing your cardboard ones in action, it all makes sense! Lovely yarn and lovely knit!
Kelly Paquet says
You have great ideas for knitting! I enjoy your blog, and I’d like to win some of that lovely yarn!
Dorothy Griffiths says
Hello and Happy Christmas. I love your blog but have never commented before but wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. I have recently returned to knitting after a long career and would absolutely love to win some of this fabulous yarn. Have a great week ahead.
Lots of love
Love your blog! Thanks so much for the chance to win this awesome yarn!!!
I would looooove to win that yarn 🙂
Beautiful yarn to snuggle up with and knit on a cold winter afternoon. I can’t decide which color is most beautiful.
What fabulous colours who wouldn’t want to try them?
Susanne shumate (@susanne_shumate) says
I just love this yarn and cant wait to see if I win so I can use it
Sue Kelley-Holmes says
Love your yarn, would love to win some so I can start a post Christmas project xx
Wow beautiful cowl and I love the color. I’ve never tried Bluefaced Leicester but keep hearing it’s a lovely type of yarn.
spring ross says
This yarn looks wonderfully soft, it would be nice to try it. Thanks for the chance.