Monday, 25 May 2015

The Magnificent Sev(en)!

Hello! Do you remember the days when all your knitting patterns were in paper or book form kept in one place for you to browse whilst enjoying a cup of tea and trying to decide on your next project? I do and if I am honest still have lots of those paper patterns. 

However with fast moving technology and the internet being the place that most of us look to for inspiration for the next new project our patterns are now stored mainly on devices or in the 'ether' waiting to be dragged and dropped for us to use. I have patterns on my kindle, laptop and i pad and sometimes, if I am honest, I forget what I have downloaded in my pattern purchasing frenzies at midnight on Ravelry!

But there comes a day when you are glad you paid for that PDF at one in the morning and my moment came on holiday last year,it was amazing! 

Loop & Leaf - the shop just looked like a house from the outside 

My husband and I were fortunate enough to do our dream road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, and we loved it!! As you can imagine as a knitter in a car, being a passenger most of the time, I had a few projects to complete along the way. When not knitting or crocheting I was looking at the next town we were due to arrive in and googling Yarn Stores, (just out of interest you understand). When we arrived in the beautiful Santa Barbara we were both ready to have a relaxing few days with a trip to the Zoo  being the one thing we really wanted to do. However a yarn store flashed on my radar, Loop and Leaf was it's name and it wasn't too far from our base, it would have been rude not to visit!

Behind the front door was an amazing display of yarns

 My ever patient husband took me along to the destination and I got out thinking we were in the wrong place, the yarn store looked just like a regular house, that is until you opened the door....Behind that door were the most amazing yarns and colours and it was all so beautifully displayed and then in another room was a large table with ladies working on projects, I felt like a child in a sweet shop, each way you turned there was just more and more to see. After some time of browsing and chatting with the store owner, who made me feel so welcome, I noticed it... a project which I had stored on my computer and emailed to my kindle so that I always had the pattern with me, but had never used in the 12 months (or maybe more that I had had it). The SEV(EN) Circle by Kirsten Johnstone ( I immediately knew what my next project was and the yarn  which it was knitted in was so beautiful that I knew a purchase was about to be made. I had to contact the shop this week to find out what the yarn was and Celeste was prompt to reply to let me know that it was Sayonara by Schulana - 100% silk tape. This yarn is like nothing I have ever used and I recommend it so highly for this project and you only need to use one ball. I was sad to leave the yarn shop but eager to get back and cast on my cowl!!

My Beautiful Sev(en) cowl knitted in Sayonara Schulana

The pattern is so simple but ever so effective and it only takes one skein of yarn, because as Kirsten says in the pattern you can do as few or as many loops as you like. It is fabulous to give as a gift as it is so wearable I have it in different yarns and colourways and am always being asked where I got my beautiful cowl! 

If you are new to knitting in the round it is the perfect pattern to start on too and you can easily adapt it to knitting on straight needles if the round really does not suit you.
Knitted using Rowan Tetra Cotton

Knitted using a ball of aran cotton From my stash
The yarns I have made this in are all available in the UK although I would far rather visit Loop and Leaf again to get my silk yarn (in my dreams). If you do visit Santa Barbara I guarantee you will get a warm welcome. I would love a yarn store like this near to my house!

For a gift for someone special the silk is lovely and also comes in block colours (I used variegated yarn) it costs £15.95 per ball from

It also knits up beautifully in Rowan Tetra Cotton which is widely available RRP £6.50 per ball making it a great value gift to knit.

Well that's it for this time. We hope you have made the most of your Bank Holiday Weekend, we have to wait for August for the next one! Speak soon Helen & Sarah

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