Friday, 29 March 2013

knitty neck hugs

Oliver Twist yarn pack neck hug
In my last post I mentioned my neck hug. I wear these a lot. When I was very small, my ma and grandma used to knit 'polo' necks with an extra panel front and back which sat inside our jumpers. These were amazingly effective and designed to 'keep the chill off your chest'.
We grew up in old houses without central heating, when duvets were eiderdowns and winter mornings were a race to get dressed and yes, jack frost painted the insides of the windows with beautiful patterns.
Morph forward to a few years ago and into my passion for textiles.

'Happy Pack'
in Orange
My lovely friend Debbie Cripps introduced me to yarn packs made by a company called Oliver Twists... you can buy them here in Debbie's store Whenever I taught a class for Debbie at her store, I'd come home with at least one pack. The packs have lengths of different yarns carefully selected in delicious colour palettes, a definite stash favourite. My first neck hugs were worked by knotting all the lengths in a pack together, rolling it up into a ball and then knitting them as a long strip (no fancy knitting skills needed, (just keep knitting 'til the yarns all used).
To finish off, one short side is stitched to one long side to make a V and viola! the perfect knitty collar to sit in a neck line and keep you warm, whilst indulging in a lovely colour mix of textured yarn.

soft and snuggly neck hug using three fancy
yarns together
I love yarns almost (only almost) as much as beads and there are Sooo many truly scrumptious ones, but seriously, I am pants at knitting garments and way too time starved for craft hobbies that take too long.
My solution is to indulge the yarn desire with a purchase of just one ball or hank.
Current neck hugs are knitted as a short row to make the same long band, and stitched together in the same way. You can knit a bunch of thinner yarns together with bigger needles too.
I wear my neck hugs all winter because.... big reveal....
They are just perfect for showing off a beaded brooch.  I'm often asked for an instant tutorial and I've discovered that many beaders are yarn stash hoarders too.

Turquoise neck hug with Winterfleur brooch

Quick tutorial
Turquoise neck hug so you can see the shape
1 or more lovely yarns or Oliver Twist yarn pack
1 pair knitting needles (2.5mm - 5mm depending on yarn thickness)
cast on approximately 15 stitches (8 - 10 for a chunky bunch of yarns.)
Knit until you have about 60cm.
Cast off.
Sew one short end, to the side of the other short end.
Pull over your head and add a gorgeously beaded brooch.