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Casalana The Woolhouse

Casalana

Here’s another great article from Karen Boyce introducing her Casalana business and giving some valuable business tips…

Casalana
Karen’s new house

Hello again.  I thought I would talk a bit today about my business and how I started as well as telling you about what I have been doing this week.

I started my business when I lived in Spain for 10 years. When we moved there we bought an old finca [farm house] at the front of a goat farm which was quite remote and in an agricultural belt of Southern Spain. The house came with a lot of land so we were pretty much self sufficient in fruit and veg. I also kept a lot of animals including goats, chickens, ducks and geese, a donkey and 2 pot bellied pigs which found their way to my home as rescue animals as did Donkey [which was her name as I couldn’t think of anything to call her at the time as I was rather unprepared for her arrival!] Continue reading Casalana The Woolhouse

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To Russia with Love

To Russia with LoveTo Russia with Love Coat

As a designer it’s not often I do this, but the To Russia with Love Coat was knitted totally off the cuff. The pattern was invented as I knitted so it really is a one-off! I just couldn’t wait to get started with the gorgeous saffron chenille I had invested in so I wrote the pattern as I went along. Normally I will come up with ideas for the design, design it in my software with all the correct measurements for the sample size, translate and write out the pattern from the software graph, print off the pattern, then knit. This routine is the same for hand knits and machine knits alike. Continue reading To Russia with Love

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Plus Sizes

Plus Sizes

Plus sizes

This article on machine knitting for plus sizes was written by Sally Butcher. Sally gives her tips on how we can use our machines to knit for larger sizes when sometimes we are restricted in needles and width of needle bed. A great article. Thank you Sally.

Sally’s Tips for Plus Size Machine Knits

-The first might seem obvious, but strangely people do overlook it, and that is to use the full bed of needles.  You have 200 on a standard gauge, and I can knit up to a 56 inch chest in plain stocking stitch using 4 ply.  Commercial patterns rarely exceed 42-44 inches, so there is a general assumption that bigger isn’t possible – it is!

-Keep your edge needles in good working order and, when you deep clean your machine, swap the centre and edge needles around, to even out the wear and tear.  On the Silver Reed machines, keep your side racks in tip-top condition, these are essential for pattern knitting on the full bed. Continue reading Plus Sizes