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    The Woolly Thistle — knitting

    A Study of Rauma Yarns, Pt 1

    A Study of Rauma Yarns, Pt 1
    At The Woolly Thistle, we are proud to stock four different 100% Norwegian Wool Rauma yarns: Gammelserie, Finullgarn, Strikkegarn, and Vams. Each has its own weight, characteristics, and range of uses – but how do you know which you need for your project? In this post, I introduce you to the first two of these yarns and show you swatches I’ve knit using them.

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    Shopcast 138: Indecisive about my desert island yarns

    Shopcast 138: Indecisive about my desert island yarns

    Thank you for joining us. If you are enjoying this Shopcast, please be sure to subscribe & invite a friend to watch with you! 

    All are invited to join our Facebook & Ravelry groups! 

    Instagram: @thewoollythistle

    Email list for weekly Shopletter.

    Knitted Patchwork Recipe on Ravelry.

    Star Cardi kits are still in process. We are waiting on yarn from J&S.

    Fancy Hen pattern by Ella Austin on Ravelry.

    Song Bird mittens by Erica Heusser on Ravelry.

    Agatha Sock Pattern in the shop.

    Tapestry Cowl sets expected in late March. 

    What am I wearing? Silver Forest by Jennifer Steingass, knitted in Jamieson & Smith Supreme.

    To enter the giveaway, Leave us a comment for this episode on our YouTube channel, telling me who you’ve introduced to The Woolly Thistle. Give us a Thumbs Up & Subscribe while you're there! It helps other people find our podcast!

    If you were named as the winner in the episode, email with Subject: WINNER & we’ll mail you your $25 Gift Card.

    WIP: Baa-ble Hat by Donna Smith, in Rauma Vams PT3, now becoming a tea cozy!

    Gathered Sheep 100% Corriedale sock wool

    Regia Merino Yak sock wool is back.

    Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature

    The Shepherd’s Life

    Strands of Joy still available as a pre-order for the 2nd printing

    Eucalan Wool Wash

    Knitsonik Stranded Colorwork Sourcebook

    Knitsonik Stranded Colorwork Playbook

    Making Stories 5 is on pre-order

    10 Years In the Making

    Ready Set Raglan by Pom Pom

    Knit How by Pom Pom

    John Arbon Textiles Devonia Tops

    Chiaogoo Needles

    Hiya Hiya Sharps

    Uist Wool Las 4-ply

    Rauma Finullgarn


    Marie Wallin

    The Woolly Thistle Taster Box is coming! We are hoping to have them available by the end of March!

    Vanilla sweater

    Daughter of a Shepherd Anniversary Yarn is coming! Rowan Felted Tweed is coming back soon! Jamieson Spindrift is coming back also. Thank you for watching! If you go out, wear a mask & take your knitting!

    Video editing: Erika Jones

    Embroider Your Knits! by designer Mona Zillah

    Embroider Your Knits! by designer Mona Zillah

    Duplicate Stitch and embroidery are my new favourite ways to show off my handknits. They add a  bit of colour and a beautiful finishing detail to a flower or say, a chicken! This post focuses on embroidery. 

    First of all, know this is a bit of fun and easy to sew and rip, so you can really experiment. Sometimes I go into a project with the idea of additions, but many times I just add a little something to take a break from ribbing or sleeve knitting. I am by no means a pro, I tend to use 3 sts – the Lazy Daisy petal, Straight Stitch, and Staggered Straight Stitch (basically a cluster of Stem Stitches). There are a  number of books and tutorials, if you would like to try some of the fancier elegant stitches. 

    Getting started (these will assume you are using a Shetland, Icelandic, or similarly sticky yarn): 

    I will refer to embroidery stitches as ‘sts’, embroidery yarn as ‘yarn’, and the knit itself as ‘fabric’ or ‘chains’. The needle refers to a sewing needle (rather than a knitting needle, leave those in your bag at the minute!). 

    1. Select the area to be worked, and a few details you would like to include – leaves, flowers, starburst, insects, etc. You may draw the motif out a bit, if you like, on paper. Since knit fabric is basically a grid, you may, more accurately, draw using graph paper. But feel free to just wing it and see where each st leads you. 
    2. You may want to block or at least steam press the fabric, so you can see the chains well and it lays flat. 
    3. Select your needle. I use darning and sharp needles depending on the st I am working. The darning needles (with a blunt tip) allow you to work inside a chain and open it up for an eyelet (and are ideal for Duplicate St). The sharper needle gets your working yarn within the fabric, rather than between chains. This will secure your embroidery without holes. 
    4. Select your yarn. Your motif should dictate the thickness of your yarn. For my TWT KAL sweater, I used a single strand of Shetland jumper weight on Plotulopi (a worsted/Aran weight) for everything but the ladybird beetle. For the ladybird, I held the yarn double and the face and spots single. As far as colours go – you may need to make a st or two to really  see how it looks on your fabric. Particularly with subtle differences. 

    Once you have your basic idea planned out, you are ready to thread your needle and begin. 

    I usually cut/break a piece of yarn 10 – 12 in/25.5 – 30.5 cm, but nothing longer; the yarn tends to  stick to itself (particularly that end that has gone through the needle and is just hanging there). I pull  the yarn through carefully and slowly as I work. I thread my needle and come from the back (WS)  and leave a bit of a tail - about 1.5in/3cm for my first st and hold it to the back, as I pull the yarn  through. This allows me to rip out easily, if this is not quite the place I wanted to begin, the colour is  not quite right, or it simply is a weird looking st. (Once I have the beginning st and am ready to get  going with the motif, I weave the yarn in to ‘knot’ the end in place and continue from there.) 

    I usually work small and build from the first element. I hold my piece gently in my hands, as this gives  me the ability to turn easily and have a ‘feel’ for the stretch of the fabric. Some people like to secure  their piece. You will find what works for you.  

    Work your sts rather loose, your fabric is elastic, and you don’t want your embroidery puckering your fabric, plus you can still stretch your knit fabric over any curves you have. When you do a proper blocking, the fibres will interlock nicely. 

    I've put together a pattern for the coaster pictured here called the Little Enchanting Object, which you can download free either from my Ravelry, Lovecrafts, or Payhip shops.

    The flower uses the Lazy Daisy st. The leaf uses the Staggered Straight st. And finally, the ladybird uses the Staggered Straight st and a number of small Straight sts. 

    Little knit square with embroidery in progress

    Once you have completed your bits, break your yarn, if you can without pulling the embroidery too tightly, or cut the yarn. Then, weave in the end as you would any end of your knitting. Block or gently steam press and you are ready to show it off out on the town or in the woods!

    Mona creates patterns for hand knitters blending traditional and contemporary styles. She focuses on colourwork and designs patterns that are easily adjustable for a personal fit. She draws inspiration from the world around us all and supports ethical sourcing and climate/people conscious yarns and notions!  

    Mona ZillahMona is seen here wearing her design "Hillary Muff and the magic fungi"