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November 2012

Park life - a design in all its varied glory.

Pictures of two lovely versions of my Barnett Park lace scarf design coincidently appeared last week as two people finished the pattern almost simultaneously.

The first is by Anna aka OneHandKnits:


I have to admit when I looked at the picture at first I thought "how pretty" and then only slowly realised it was my design. I'm not used to the things that were in my head being knitted by other people yet.

She has kindly agreed that this picture can be added to the ravelry pattern page.

Meanwhile Ginny who originally checked the pattern for me has had time to make her own.


The pattern and the colour (she used Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball) reminded her of autumn in the London Parks which she's missing this year.

Being inspired by colour is at the heart of this pattern.

My original came about because a skein of Ripples Craft 4py brought to mind walks as a child in Belfast.

image from

RC-150707-20022011Ripples Crafts always has beautiful colourways on its site - they have a tendency to send me off musing about shapes and textures. 

Currently Bramble Wine (left) is making me think of blackberry stitch gloves because of another childhood memory - purple stained hands from blackberry picking - but I also think Barnett Park would look stunning in it.


Yarn labelling - the story goes on

Did you know that doe to EU law changes, the information you find on a yarn label or ball band is being restricted?

If you don't, then you haven't been talking to me at a knitting show, reading the Planet Handmade blog or in any other way been in communication over yarn lately.

It's a topic that I've been researching a lot lately and one guaranteed to make me cross. In simple terms the EU has set out to make textile labelling clearer and end problems like a jumper being advertised as "wool" when it's 80% acrylic. As part of the changes the EU has issued a list of what names of fibres can be used on labels and what comes under each name. Unfortunately the process doesn't seem to have involved anyone who actually buys textiles.

So yarn producers can no longer put specific sheep breed names in the official composition information on their labels - all fibre from sheep and lambswool in "wool". So out are labels saying "100% merino", "75% BFL, 25% nylon", or "100% Britsh lambswool" - these are now "100% wool", "100% wool, 25% nylon", and "100% wool". Not exactly informative is it?

Baby alpaca must be labelled "alpaca" or "wool" - huh? - and bamboo is not a recognised fibre (it probably comes under viscose), to give some more examples.

There are more examples in my feature in The Knitter this month (November 2012).

Yarn lbel montage
There is some good news though, my research with the EU and the feedback yarn producers are getting from trading standards suggest that more fibre can be given elsewhere on a label. So your yarn may say 100% wool and all wool sourced from merino sheep,  or say 100% alpaca and be called Baby Alpaca DK.

But it does make life more difficult for those of us who buy yarn based on its composition. We may have to work harder to find out what's in a yarn and I'll certainly be more wary of buying any yarn just labelled 100% wool unless I can give it a good touch test to ensure that doesn't mean "100% over priced, poor quality, scratchy stuff that happens to have come from a sheep".