Squishy Fingerless Mittens in Manos Wool Clasica

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It’s so very cold in parts of Australia at the moment. Such weather calls for mittens, hats and scarves. In a three part series we’ll post one of each for free using the very lovely Manos Wool Clasica. With a bit of luck the winter will last long enough and we’ll squeeze in a snugly couch rug as well. The Manos Clasica comes in a variety of delectable colours. Fortuitously the Manos Clasica has a tension of between 14-18sts to 10 cm and recommends needle sizes of between 5.00-6.00mm. This broadens your choice quite a bit.

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To start us off, here is an easy and quick pair of mittens. These mittens are ideal for beginner knitters who want to take their skills up a notch. They are knit in the round and the thick yarn makes them a quick knit. Either mitten can be worn on either hand. Easy!

Abbreviations

k-knit; p-purl; m1-make one; pm-place marker; sm-slip marker; dpns-double point needles.

Requirements

1 hank of Manos Wool Clasica in a variegated or solid colour way. We worked quite sparingly with the yarn. If you are knitting a larger size we recommend you buy an extra hank of yarn.

4.5mm dpns and 2 stitch markers and a length of waste yarn.. If you are familiar with the magic loop method of knitting in the round , use a 4.5mm circular needle with an 80cm cord.

Directions (make two the same).

Cast/on 39sts. Close to work in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.

Work * k2, p1* rib for 8cm.

Thumb Shaping

Set up round: k2, pm, m1, p1, m1, pm, continue in rib pattern to the end of the row.

Round 1: k2, sm, m1, kto centre st, purl centre stitch, knit to marker, m1, sm, knit in pattern to the end of the row.

Round 2&3: Work the stitches as they present themselves, (ie knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches). Repeat last three rounds until there are 15sts between the stitch markers. Knit 2 more rows.

Next round: work to the first marker, remove the marker and slip the thumb gusset stitches onto a piece of waste yarn, remove the marker, cast on 1 stitch, and continue in pattern to the end of the round.

Work 12 more rounds in rib pattern as set. Cast off.

Finish Thumb

Pick up stitches from waste yarn. Pick up 3sts in the gap between first and last stitch of thumb. Distribute stitches on three or four needles. Work 6 rows in pattern as set. Cast off.

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Some hints on how to change the size of the mittens.

  1. Use 4.00mm needles instead of 4.5mm. This will make them a little smaller overall.
  2. The pattern repeat is 3 stitches. To make them smaller or larger subtract or add stitches in lots of three.
  3. For a larger thumb gusset repeat thumb increases until there are 17sts between the markers.
  4. For a smaller thumb gusset repeat thumb increases until there are 13sts between the markers.
  5. Although we have not experimented with this we think that using 8 ply yarn and 3.25mm needles will produce a child’s size.

We wish you lots of fun and experimentation! Let us know how you go and send us images we can post on Facebook. Clare couldn’t help herself and just had to model our sample pair. A big thumbs up from her!

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Happy knitting and we look forward to presenting our Manos Wool Clasica Beanie to you soon!

 

 

Manos is in the house!

Manos del Uruguay has arrived in our stores. It’s all here and we are selling it out of the boxes. These kettle dyed fibres will break down all your resistance to building yet more stash. Remember that resolution you made to use what you have, well forget that, that resolution is gone! We found a customer wandering around the pillar, mumbling ‘delicious, delicious’.

In our delicious woolly arsenal we have the following:

Manos Maxima – 100% extrafine merino, Manos Fino – 30%silk and 70% extrafine merino, Manos Silk Blend – 30% silk and 70% extrafine merino, Wool Clasica – handspun pure wool, Manos Serena – 60% baby alpaca and 40% pima cotton, Manos Lace – 70% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 5% cashmere, Manos Alegria (sock yarn) 75% superwash merino and 25% polyamide.

100% Fair Trade and Handmade in Uruguay. You can read all about the history and the way the co-ops function here.

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Marelle’s sock is coming along nicely and the colours are awesome. Knit in colour 9275 and loving how the heel colour has worked out.

Give Manos Maxima a go and crochet a little kerchief with two hanks of Manos Maxima, It’s soft, squishy and warm. Also, a heads up to those of you who find wool a little uncomfortable against the skin. Not this one.

You will need:

4.50mm crochet hook

2 hanks of Manos Maxima in your chosen colours. Our sample uses M2552 Foil and M2175 Shocking.

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Work 8ch and close to a circle.

Row 1: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr, 5ch, 1tr, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 2tr into the circle. Turn.

Row 2: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next stitch, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next stitch, 7tr in 5ch space, 1tr in next stitch, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next stitch, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 3: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 2 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 2 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 4: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 3 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 3 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 5: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 6: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 7: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 8: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 9 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 9 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 9: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 10 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 10 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

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If you don’t want to put beads in, just ignore the little black dots.

At this point the increases will make sense. Continue until the yarn has been used up. The colour sequence runs as follows. (Of course, you know you can buy more yarn and keep going and make a big wrap around for winter).

19 rows in colour A, 1 row in colour B, 3 rows in Colour A, 2 rows in colour B, 4 rows in colour A and 11 rows in colour B. Last row in Colour A, scalloped edge as follows:

Ch3, 4tr into base of chain, skip 2sts, dc in next stitch, skip 2sts, *5tr in next stitch, skip 2sts, dc in next stitch, repeat from * all around.

Sew away any ends and block if you so desire.

Yarnman Miranda

Yarnman Miranda discovers Manos! It really is that good!

Until we meet again. Happy crafting.

 

 

 

 

New Noro and a PomPom or Two

Blog Collage 08.04.14

 

This week, come on an adventure with us as we make the most perfect, velvety pom poms ever. Attach your new pompoms to our week end winter knit cowl in the new Noro Yarn, Kibou.

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We are loving the new Noro Kibou yarn. A wool, cotton, silk mix. Sort of like Taiyo without the polyamide, and, of course, thinner. It knits up as an 8 ply. For those of you who are sensitive to wearing wool too close to the skin, this is certainly an alternative yarn. It has the most gorgeous tweed look about it when it is knit up. As a result you get the snugly, warm, wintery look without the scratch-itch factor. The world is indeed a lovely place when this happens!
The meterage goes on forever. Our cowl took only one ball. You could probably whip it up over the Easter week end (good alternative to overindulging in chocolate Easter eggs). This cowl is just the right size to pop into your handbag, to wear under a coat and, well, it has pompoms for some winter cheer! We know you’ll love it and want to make it, and we do aim to please, so, without much more ado, here is the pattern:

Materials: 1 x 100g Noro Kibou in Col 3 and a 60cm circular needle size 4.00mm.
We used Col 3 because we thought it looked particularly tweedy. There are other colours available.
Top row from left to right: col 01, col 03, col 05.
Bottom row from left to right: col 08, col 09, col 11.

Kibou Collage 1

Kibou Collage 2

Cast on 162 sts and stocking stitch 20cm in the round. Change to a 3×3 rib and continue (about 10cm) until you have enough yarn to cast off and then cast off loosely.
Use the left over two ply yarn for the neck tie. Double it up a few times and make a cord. Thread the cord through the base of the 3x3rib and attach the pompoms, one at each end.

On to the pompoms…
There are pompoms and then there are these pompoms. First of all, throw away those cardboard circles and forks. They may make pompoms of some sort but they don’t make these pompoms. We are talking about soft velveteen pompoms that make you want to stroke them. According to those in the know this pompom maker from the Clover brand is the best thing since sliced bread. It is what we used to make the pompoms for our cowl. There are instructions on how to use the tool on the back of the packaging. Follow our tutorial to get the best results. You may not want to stop and will certainly find yourself in pompom heaven. We hope you enjoy the tutorial and find time to send us images of your pompoms and how you have used them.

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What you will need:
Large Clover Pompom Maker as above. (We used the smaller one of the two).
1 x 50g/700m Morris and Sons Empire 2 ply.
1 skein of DMC stranded cotton in a colour to match your pompom yarn.
Sharp pair of scissors.
A saucer of water.

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Flip open the two ‘hooks’ and using the 2 ply yarn start to wrap the first half of the pompom.

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Keep wrapping until the ‘hooks’ are full. Make sure they are really fat and full and you have wrapped the yarn around evenly. Fold the hook back when you are done.

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This entails quite a lot of wrapping. You may want to rest your arm and have a cup of tea before embarking on the second half.

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Repeat for the other side. Your wrapped work should look like this. We had 15grams of yarn left after this.

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Using a sharp pair of scissors cut the wound yarn along the outside. Hold the tool in your hand and make sure the hooks don’t flip open. When the yarn has been cut right round put the tool down.
Take the DMC stranded cotton, cut about a meter length off. Fold it in half and wet it in the saucer of water. Dab the excess water off. Slip the cotton between the discs and tie the pompom tightly. The wet cotton sticks when you tie down the knot and ensures that the tie off remains tight. Do not cut the threads of cotton. You’ll use these to tie the pompom onto the neck thread. Remove the hardware.

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You will have a pompom that looks like a cross between and bedraggled mouse and a wrecked ball of yarn. That’s all ok and perfectly normal. Underneath all that hides the makings of the real thing.

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All it needs is a haircut. Not a trim, a haircut. Again take your scissors and begin to cut the pompom into shape. It’s perfectly ok to take off about 1cm.

Ba-da-bing, Ba-da-bang! The secret is out, 2 ply yarn and a decent haircut, that’s all it takes really.

Good luck and have fun!

Manos del Uruguay – Dragón Cooperative

Last month our managers Adelaide and Albert went to visit Manos del Uruguays’s Dragón Cooperative in Placido Rosas, Uruguay. They were enthralled with the beautiful yarns Manos had to offer and are looking forward to bringing it directly to you!

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Manos del Uruguay is an not-for-profit organization which provides craftswomen with paid work in rural areas of Uruguay and some other parts of South America. It is a member of the World Trade Organization and is 100% committed to Fair Trade. The organization allows sustainable economic growth communities and promotes handicrafts of the region, which are culturally significant to the Uruguayan people.

The exquisite Manos yarns are handspun, kettle dyed, and come in a range of plies, colours and textures.

Morris and Sons look forward to these unique yarns arriving in to stores at the beginning of the new year and supporting such a great organization. Watch out for these beautiful creations.

If you’d like more information on Manos del Uruguay you can check out their website here or their blog: http://manosdeluruguay.wordpress.com/.

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(All images are from: http://www.manos.com.uy/dragon_cooperative/)

Fair Isle knit: Ainsley Beret

This week Emily, our very talented staff member, brought in her newest knit; the Ainsley Beret.

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The Ainsley Beret pattern has been in store for a while, and as soon as Emily started working she was interested in giving it a go. Within a couple of weeks, Emily had knitted up the Morris and Sons Ainsley Beret in the new Morris Estate 4ply yarn.
The Morris Estate is great for fair isle. As it is a merino wool it is great for regulating body temperature. So good for chilly outdoor days. Fair Isle originated in the Shetland Islands on the island of Fair Isle and became very popular during the 1920’s. Traditionally the Fair Isle technique uses Shetland wool which is very sticky. This means that the colours stick together like glue. After blocking the yarn becomes very soft, lovely for garments worn close to bare skin such as berets. The stickiness of the Morris Estate 4ply Merino creates the Fair Isle effect perfectly.

A great achievement for a first fair isle knit. The pattern and yarn can be bought online and also in store.

Skills and techniques used for the Ainsley Beret:

  • stranded colour work
  • knitting in the round
  • knit and purl stitches
  • blocking

The Ainsley Beret is a great short project for someone interested in learning the Fair Isle technique.

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Gorgeous New Noro Ranges!

There was joy and excitement in the air…

Word had flown around the store that the new Noro yarn had arrived, and the staff were eager to rip into the boxes and see it with their own eyes.When they saw it, they were not disappointed!

So, without further a-do, we would like to present Noro Haniwa and Noro Kirara!

Kirara Together

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1Haniwa Curl Whole2

Noro Haniwa is a 10 ply blend of 50% silk, 30% wool and 20% nylon. The twists of colour in this yarn are beautiful!

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Noro Kirara is an 8 ply blend of 51% wool, 29% cotton, 10% silk and 10% angora. There’s so much variety in colour in this range!

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Now that you’ve seen the yarn, you should head over to a previous post of ours because some of the garments pictured are in Kirara and Haniwa and show you what these yarns look like knitted and crocheted up!

NEW – BABY ALPACA WOOL – INSTORE NOW!

Hi Everyone, I hope you are enjoying this fine weather we are having first week of Spring and September! We’ve had a wonderful shipment in of our new range of 100% Baby Alpaca wool, Maya.

Alpacas if you are not familiar, come from South America and have been mainly bred over the years for their fibre bearing body.

unshorn alpaca (photo via informedfarmers.com)

Maya is available in 25 shades in lace-weight, 8ply and 14ply.

100% Baby Alpaca

We have a great number of pattern books that feature alpaca yarns, below are just are few that I have selected.

“Sensual knits” is for people who like a bit of luxury in their yarns and classic modern knitting projects.

Sensual Knits by Yahaira Ferreira (5691)

We’ve had a few requests from people lately inquiring about chunky knit pattern books for scarves, accessories etc, and “Cowlgirls” is a wonderful book to suit all those chunky/bulky knit lovers out there!!

Maya 14ply would be very suitable for several patterns within “Cowlgirls”

Cowlgirls – The Neck’s Big Thing To Knit by Cathy Carron (39272)

For Maya Lace-weight why not try “The Art of Knitted Lace”! This book contains everything from casting on to blocking finished garments. There is also many patterns that would be great knitted in Morris and Son’s very own Avalon 100% Pima Cotton (please see previous post for more details)

The Art Of Knitted Lace by Potter Craft (41448)

For someone that is wanting to expand their knowledge on lace knitting and aspiring knitwear designers, the following book is for you!

Just to note, the book only contains patterns of the different stitches, no garment patterns.

50 Fabulous Lace Stitches by Rita Weiss (36378)

Some colourful inspiration for the coming weeks, wonderfully bright knitters from Peru and children with their alpacas….aren’t they fantastic!

knitters from Peru
Peruvian children and their alpacas (photo via fraddamalpacas.co.uk)

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Unveiling Avalon Cottons!

We all know that Sydney’s weather is unpredictable, but judging by the increasing warmth and humidity, spring has almost sprung.
Which means, it’s time for cotton!

Fresh out of the box, we present ‘Avalon’. This stunning new range of pima cotton comes in 4, 8 and 10 ply, each in 47 glorious colours. Yes, you read correctly; fourty-seven. For those of you who counted the 42 colours in the above photo and are wondering about the other five, here they are!

Here we have five lovely variegated colours to add to the mix. Just think of all the possibilities! (We know we’ve tried to!)

These are some staff selections of magazines and books that contain patterns perfect for putting the Avalon cottons to use.

We absolutely adore Debbie Bliss’s magazines! They come packed with patterns, some of which are taken from her equally wonderful pattern books. We have her Spring/Summer 2011 and Spring/Summer 2012 magazines available in store and online, as well as a great range of her larger books. This ‘Knitscene’ magazine from Interweave Knits is also filled with wonderful cotton creations. We have several editions in store and online. Browse through and be inspired!

This here is one of Debbie Bliss’s fantastic pattern books, ‘The Knitter’s Year’. The reason we love this book is there’s a pattern for every week of the year, organised seasonally. For cotton patterns, check out the spring and summer sections of the book. There’s a mix of homewares and garments for both adults and children. It’s one of those books where there really is something for everyone.

Although, if you’re just dying to try out all those colours, then we have just the thing for you. ‘300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects’ by Linda P. Schapper is a hugely comprehensive guide to crochet motifs. All shown in white, the only thing left is your imagination as to which colours you’ll use. Cotton afghans are useful and hardy, and with so many options as to which motifs and colours you can use, there’s plenty of room for you to create a truly special blanket. That said, many of these motifs can be used as decorative embellishments and incorporated into other projects. If you just feel like trying out some of the motifs, why not make a set of coasters? Or a centrepiece for your dining table? Options, options, options!

And then there’s ‘Knitting Block by Block’ by Nicky Espstein. Just about every knitting technique imaginable is covered in this book in order to give you a wondrous collection of squares to mix and match for your own afghan. Think cabling, I-cords, sewing other knitted pieces to your squares, beading, intarsia, textural stitch patterns… the list goes on! What’s more, there is also a section on ways to use your squares to make things other than afghans such as bags, hats and garments. This book is a great way to practice some more advanced knitting techniques as finishing a sample square is far less daunting than a whole project.

We all know that wool can be harsh, and with the weather warming up, it can be totally impractical for those of us who want to make something for baby. Cotton is perfect for young, sensitive skin. ‘Knits for the Modern Baby’ has plenty of sweet baby knits that will work up in next to no time and make great use of Avalon. The hard part will be choosing which pattern, and then which colour…

So there you have it. Cotton galore, and more crafting possibilities than you and the Morris and Sons Team and most any other person can poke a knitting needle or crochet hook at.

What would you make with Avalon? And for whom would you make it?
Comment and let us know. We’d love to be inspired by your ideas!

Happy creating!
Best,
The Morris and Sons Team

C is for Cardigan, Crochet Class, and Cross Stitch…

This week we have a whole mix of exciting things to show you! There are new patterns, new yarns, new cross stitches and new classes, as well as some sample garments waiting for new homes.

First up, here are a couple of wonderful garments made from some of our new Grignasco yarns and patterns.

This gorgeous and soft cabled cardigan is made from Tikal 14ply, a baby alpaca, merino, polyamide blend. The pattern is “Marea” from ‘Knitting an Italian Day’. Tikal yarn comes in a number of neutral browns and creams and knits up super quickly.

Another fantastic Grignasco pattern is this poncho-style coat from the book ‘Knitting Notes’. The yarn used is Loden 10ply, which has a lovely tweed fleck, and a slight fluff as it contains alpaca.

This coat makes for something a bit different if you’re looking for a change from cardigans and jumpers. And just look at those sweet matching crochet covered buttons!

In other crochet news, we have our Sydney Learn to Crochet Stage 2 class coming up this Saturday (25/08). If you’re wanting to further your crochet skills and progress beyond the humble granny square make sure you reserve yourself a place! The class focuses on making this fantastic floral scarf in Morris Estate 8ply…

Over the three hours you will learn how to make and join these floral motifs and cover techniques such as changing colours. You can book in store, over the phone, or online here.

And now for the stitchers among us, here is something for you! We have some lovely, new Lanarte cross stitch kits which we’re just dying to stitch.

Pop into our store and have a look, or check them out on our website here.

We’ve been clearing out a bit of space for all our new stock and so we’ve decide to part with some of our samples. At the rear of our knitting department we have this display of knitted and crocheted garments and homewares that are for sale. These items include jumpers, cardigans, scarves and children’s clothes*. Make sure you come in and have a look!

*(These samples are made from yarns or patterns that we no longer stock at Morris and Sons.)

Thank you for joining us for another post! Make sure you subscribe to our blog, and don’t forget to leave us a comment letting us know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.
Happy creating!

Best,
The Morris and Sons Team

New patterns, and a twist on an old one…

Our expert pattern-writer has been tremendously busy over the last while. Here is a preview of some of the lovely new garments we have for you to make…

Beginning with something classic, we have the Emily jumper in Morris Norway 8ply.

Patterns are available with both vee- and crew-neck options. This sample is made in colour number 2803, but with the whole Estate and Norway ranges at your finger tips there are plenty of colours to choose from.

Another simple and classic pattern is for the Alice vest in Morris Empire 4ply. This particular vest is made in the colour Sesame Twist, one of the several “twist” colours in the Empire range, which gives it a very subtle texture. There are many other colours available too, including some that are variegated if you’re after something a bit more adventurous.

Next, if you want a quick and simple cardigan, look no further than the Emma cardigan. Made from Morris Fuel 20ply, it knits up quickly making for a very gratifying project, particularly if you’re new to making full garments.

This chunky knit looks wonderful in off-white, but for those of you who love a bit of colour we have a vibrant red and electric blue, among other shades. Not to mention several variegated colours.

A favourite among the staff members, here is the Hannah jumper in Morris Woollahra. The colour shown here is Grass Stain. The tweed fleck in the yarn gives it some texture, while the sweet button detail makes it a little bit more interesting than a plain sweater.

The patterns for these, and other new garments, are available in store and over the phone, and will soon be available to order online.

For those of you familiar with our single-leaf patterns, you might recognise this little beauty. A recent experimentation with some of our new yarns, namely Merinogold 8ply and Kid Seta mohair 2ply from Grignasco, has resulted in this glorious take on our very popular Alexandria cowl pattern.

By substituting the Empire 2ply with Kid Seta mohair*, you get a gorgeously soft and lush texture; perfect for keeping you nice and cosy. Experimentation is the key to discovery, and in this case we’ve made a wonderful one.

(*Note: You will need two balls of Kid Seta in place of the one ball of Empire the pattern requires as they are shorter in length.)

Thank you for reading. We’d love for you to leave us a comment! Which of these patterns would you consider making? Would you make it for yourself, or do you have someone else in mind?

Best,
The Morris and Sons Team