Most Recent Posts

Woodland Creatures – A Toddler Craft for Autumn

Woodland Creatures – A Toddler Craft for Autumn

After welcoming in the cooler days of autumn with our hand dyed paper leaf wreath, we have a bit of a bug for autumn colours and textures in our toddler art and crafting at the moment. As well as the falling leaves we have been […]

Twin Misura Hats: A Woolly Wormhead Treatment

Twin Misura Hats: A Woolly Wormhead Treatment

There are occasions when I feel a bit (as Scarf Lady would say) ‘knit stuck’. In case you do not know who Scarf Lady is, this is she. My future (or maybe present) self. I just need that top knot. Because I do not have […]

What Have I Made?

What Have I Made?

I had an evening that required a dip into the Craft Snack Drawer. My Biopsy results were good, a couple of problems with white cell count, but overall, doing OK. The weight of the wait just meant that I was burned out and needed to let go of my thoughts and employ my nervous hands, so to the drawer did I dive.

I made this.

Do you know… I can’t work out what it is? I mean, it’s a ‘kitsch wall hanging’. It’s ‘festive weaving’. The kit tells me this. I’ve actually seen things like this on Pinterest, so I think it must be… fashion? The colours are cheery and it has some texture, but it makes me feel old and befuddled, like when all of the shops started selling heavy sweaters with no shoulders for two winters running and all I could think was ‘there is no appropriate climatic conditions for that garment’. It made me feel out of the loop.

This sort of does the same. I know that these wall hangings are popular (and there are far more accomplished examples out there made from beautiful natural materials) but they do remind me somewhat of the card loom weaving I did at school where a string warp was decorated with anything that could be manipulated enough to be woven through it (bits of string and shoelace, a lolly stick, a feather, bits of crepe paper) to be presented to an adoring adult who’d put it on the kitchen side, never to be seen again.

But I followed the instructions and I made my wall hanging, and that was the main thing. I just made it. And I’ve hung it up for a while at least. Actually, quite a few times. It has been migrating around the house since I finished it. Currently it is hanging on the wall about four foot above the toilet roll holder where it has brightened up a dull corner, and we’ll see how long it stays there instead of it being left on the kitchen side.

Getting Ready To Learn Something New About Helical Knitting

Getting Ready To Learn Something New About Helical Knitting

The third single-focus, deep-dive technique book by the Arnall-Culliford team is about to land with knitters in the form of a new eBook about …Helical Knitting, and the project promises to be pretty exciting. Following soon behind the release of the new Something To Knit […]

The Paper Leaf Wreath: A Fantastic Toddler Artwork Collaboration For Your Home

The Paper Leaf Wreath: A Fantastic Toddler Artwork Collaboration For Your Home

The last few weeks have ben a bit of a whirlwind here at Castle Codd. I’ve steadily been busy making things to bring us into the new season, which is one of my favourite of the year, and is now always brought in with a […]

Talking About Texture: I’ve Been Playing With Arnall-Culliford Knitwear’s Latest Yarn

Talking About Texture: I’ve Been Playing With Arnall-Culliford Knitwear’s Latest Yarn

I’ve just heard, by way of newsletter heralding good news, that the latest line of yarn from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear has been released for sale, and I’m excited because it’s really, really good.

I have been lucky enough to have an early play with Something To Knit With Aran, the bulkier, warmer, and all together more autumn/winter loving companion to the Arnall-Cullifords’ 4-ply line of yarn, and it’s quite likely the aran yarn you’ve been waiting for.

© Arnall-Culliford Knitwear 2018

When I first received the squishy package of yarn I did what everybody else would do. I put my face into it. It is important to sniff your yarn to ensure that it is good stuff. It was good stuff. It was soft but not tickly on my nose. I could tell we were going to get on. The label gave it as 70% Highland Wool, and 30% alpaca. I could feel the wool, but it wasn’t crunchy, like some highland wool sometimes feels. And it had alpaca-softness, but without that slight itch. Blends: we like them because they work hard.

So, because I am curious and wanted to see this yarn show me what it had to offer I decided I would test these qualities with a tricksy project. Highland wool spun to a fine and even degree can give great, crisp texture, but alpaca can often soften that texture because of the slight halo it often carries. I knew the yarn felt great, but wanted to make sure it looked great when knitted up. Cables, they’d pop easily, but an actual knit/purl textured stitch? It takes a good yarn to make a showstopper project out of the basics of knitting, and this was a great yarn.

There’s texture so defined here, you could see it from space. That’s just knits and purls. No twisted stitches, no tricks to make those stitches pop. They just do. I love this yarn.

Here’s a close up of the texture on the pinecone stitched tank top that I made for my little boy:

The stitches are beautifully separate and each one is given its own form, but the knitting is beautifully smooth and even, which is hard to achieve with rougher yarns. The yarn is soft and round enough for the stitches to glide into place and settle neatly where they should be without getting stuck on the way.

© Arnall-Culliford Knitwear 2018

As the weather turns to a slight chill, this is a great staple yarn for so many projects, and is available in ten shades from subtle and muted greys and the pale blue ‘Sky’ that I knit the tank top in, through a rainbow of saturated shades to suit all. Perfect for colourwork, cables, and ideal for texture, Something To Knit With Aran is in the acknitwear shop now.

DISCLAIMER: all opinions are my own. I have enjoyed the work and friendship of the Arnall-Culliford team for many years, but would not speak positively of products I did not truly believe in.