One of the stands I was most excited about visiting at Yarndale was that of my friend and colleague Rachel ‘Coop Knits’ Coopey who was launching her new book, Toasty Volume Two.
This is the second instalment of accessory patterns designed by Rachel using the beautiful, 100% British, Titus yarn by Baa Ram Ewe. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed there are a few new colours of Titus – Goathland, Endeavour and Crucible – all of which are showcased in the Sawley hat pattern.
With nine unisex patterns in total including seven hats, a cowl and mittens, plus a myriad of colour combinations, there really is something for everyone. I grabbed 5 minutes with Rachel for a catch-up…
RA: So, Toasty Volume Two! How does this collection build on the designs from the first volume?
RC: Honestly I could never get bored with designing and knitting with this yarn, I’m always thinking about it so it just seems to happen quite organically. I jot things down in notebooks, it’s definitely an on-going process! Since Toasty Volume One was published I have worn the Bedale hat I knitted for myself nearly every day – it’s a rare luxury for me to have a hat that is not a sample and can be worn and stuffed into pockets and bags with joyful abandon, without trying to keep it pristine for display at events and shows. My Bedale hat in Titus yarn has handled all such abuse with poise and grace, and still looks like it came off the needles last week.
RA: Following on from the above question, do you have a favourite or ‘special one’ out of the patterns – maybe one that is the culmination of several designs or ideas?
RC: The Low Laithe hat might be my favourite, I love all the colours of Titus and I got to use seven in this hat. This will be the first one I re-knit for a non-sample hat for myself.
RA: It is lovely to see the Titus range expanding. How do you decide which colours to use within a design – do you swatch various palettes or just use your eye and judgement? Has it ever gone terribly wrong?!
RC: I do swatch for tension and to see if a stitch patterns works but I don’t really try out different palettes, I usually just use my judgement and it hasn’t gone wrong yet. All the colours work so well together, I think it would be very difficult for it to end in disaster! I have sat down and made lists of colour combinations I want to use in the future.
RA: I’ve been keeping the secret about your own label yarn, Socks Yeah! under my own hat for a while now and having now seen the full range in all it’s amazing glory can you tell us a bit more about it.
RC: I wanted to have solid colours to show intricate stitch patterns off, I worked in collaboration with Jeni from Fyberspates and we decided to make the yarn marled, the colours are blended before the yarn is spun and this makes them interesting and complex but still solid overall. I’m really pleased with the colours I chose and I can’t wait for people to get their hands on it and start knitting.
RA: Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks for more about the range.
RA: Toasty Volume Two continues the theme of patterns named after places in Yorkshire – shall we give everyone a teaser about our plans for next years sock club in collaboration with The Knitting Goddess?
RC: Yes! My designs for The Knitting Goddess sock club 2016 will be based on a Yorkshire theme. There will be six instalments, each with a skein of hand-dyed yarn, a pattern and a bonus recipe created by you (Rachel A). You can find out more about this over on Joy’s blog.
RA: I’m really looking forward to this and expanding on the recipes created for 2015. There are lots of yummy treats in store, which along with the patterns, will be exclusive to club members for 3 months.
Rachel has very kindly offered a copy of Toasty Volume 2 as a prize for one of my readers, and the lovely people at Baa Ram Ewe have added a skein of Titus to the prize! If you’re the lucky winner you can choose from one of the new shades, Goathland or Endeavour (pictured below) which will make a Hartwith or Kettlesing hat or the Padside mittens. Simply reply to this blogpost telling me which you prefer, “to pompom or not to pompom”. Entries close at midnight GMT on Sunday 1st November 2015 after which I’ll put all the names in Mr K’s hat for him to draw a winner from. Thank you – entries are now closed.
If you can’t wait to see if you’re the winner then Toasty Volume Two is available to purchase as a printed book from Rachel’s online store priced at £12.00, and each copy includes a download code for a complimentary electronic version of the book. Please contact Rachel by email for wholesale details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Toasty Volume 2 for review but have not received any monetary payment for this post.
All images with the exception of the last Titus shot © Coop Knits and used here with permission.