Celebrating two years of The Bletchley Collection

Another celebratory blog post!! Woohoo!

This post is going to do what it says on the tin, if I’m honest. In December 2014 we published our first collection featuring our then-still-new yarn, Milburn 4ply – The Bletchley Collection, designed by Joanne Scrace who I’m sure many of you will know as one half of The Crochet Project (and aka NotSoGranny). It was a huge learning experience for both of us; and felt like it kicked off lots of good stuff for us both too. We had a great laugh working on the photoshoot, despite it ending up being horribly rushed. Bletchley Park were great as well – we didn’t get a proper look around though and I’d love to go back.

Before I start, HERE is the print book (it’s very lovely) and HERE is the collection on Ravelry.

In the intervening two years (two years!!) a gallery of beautiful Bletchley projects has developed, and I really just wanted to share some of the lovely things with you. I still wear both my Baudot hats loads, and my orange Hut 8 cardi is probably my most worn item of knitwear. Anyway, without further ado, let’s have a look through the pieces in the collection and what you (and us) have done with them.

First up is Baudot. This is a knitted hat with morse code in it which reads ‘knit, tink, knit, tink’. It’s very cool and makes a pretty lace pattern.

Here are mine – the purple one is in Milburn 4ply in Damson and the orange one is in Askham 4ply in Crocosmia. Being baby alpaca/silk it does drape more than the other one but it’s just as lovely to wear.

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I’m actually just making another one in Milburn 4ply in the new shade Rain. I’m loving how the silvery colour makes the hat look more delicate and lacy. I’m quite a bit further on with it since this pic (I’ll share the finished project at some point).

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Next up we have Bombe, which is a colourwork cowl worked in the round and with its ends grafted together. It’s ideal for using up small quantities of 4ply as the stripes of circles use approx. just 3g of yarn each. We’ve sold lots of 4ply Yarnling packs for this project as they’re 5g per Yarnling. The cowl on the left here is in the original colours, and the one on the right is still using Milburn 4ply in Steel as the base, but uses Askham 4ply in Walnut (brown), Milburn 4ply in Night Sky (blue), Milburn 4ply in Damson (purple) and Askham 4ply in Blossom (pink) for a twist on the palette.

 

Our first garment from Bletchley is Colossus, inspired by the early computer of the same name. This is a vest packed with beautiful cables, and it has this gorgeous bit of cabling on the sides which give it shape. These two below are Debbie1608’s in Milburn 4ply in Steel and Isla111’s in Milburn 4ply in Misty Woods. We don’t have that shade any more, but I will be replacing it with another soft green shade pretty soon (yey!).

Next is Hut 8 – this is a lovely simple top-down cardigan which goes with everything and is super-easy to make. I have one in Milburn 4ply in Steel and one in Askham 4ply in Crocosmia (yes I love that shade of orange).

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And there are lots of lovely ones on Ravelry! We particularly love cathyrobb and debbie1608‘s where they’ve both used proper colourwork stripes on the garter stitch stipe sections.

And here’s another one with a beautiful adaptation of the yoke stripes – how awesome is this?! It belongs to walkyouhome on Ravelry and you can see it HERE. She even very kindly took new pics of it for this blog post which was thoughtful. πŸ™‚

 

The Bletchley Collection does include crochet as well as knitting, and Morse Code is a crocheted garment with dots and dashes worked into a pattern across the top of the shoulders/back of the neck. It’s very easy to make – I’m primarily a knitter and am crocheting a Morse Code cardi, and I’m finding it easy enough. The original was worked with Night Sky as the main colour and Harvest Gold as the contrast, however I’m making mine with Steel as the main colour and Natural as the contrast. It might sound boring but sometimes you do just want a grey jacket with a cream edging and pattern – I think it’ll be really smart. I’m onto the sleeves now (so the body is about four inches longer than this pic) but HERE it is on Ravelry, and here’s a progress shot:

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Finally, in more crochet loveliness, there’s Tunny – a beret inspired by the cogs of the Lorenz cypher machine (or ‘tunny’ as it was referred to). It looks like it involves some sort of stranded colourwork but it doesn’t – you only use one colour at a time. The original hat uses Rust as the main colour (Milburn 4ply), but we sold out of that and haven’t produced any more, however we do have Harvest Gold or Autumn Fields which would work well as a substitute. Or you could use a different colour combination altogether… like Steel along with Askham 4ply in Air (that’s the duck egg – it’s selling out but Milburn 4ply in Estuary would work instead) and Damselfly (that’s the teal/turquoisey blue). You could really easily make this into a full beanie or slouchy hat as well, as you can just add more depth to the body.

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I hope this wonderful gallery helps inspire you anyway. As we celebrate this milestone, we are also celebrating the fact that Milburn 4ply remains popular and as a result I’ve been able to invest in more shades – five last month (November) and I’ve got quite a lot more in progress right now (I won’t spoil the surprise just yet though). It’s a really exciting time and I know many of you have been along for the ride with us, which is so lovely. I hope you’ll enjoy the next chapter! πŸ™‚

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