Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hexipuffs and Jitterbug

Here are my first few Hexipuffs for the Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. My puffs are made with Colinette Jitterbug in 3.75mm needles and stuffed with polyester stuffing. This is a long term project (himself wants it to be 6' x 4'!) and will be quilt tied. I'm not doing the crochet bind off, just an ordinary three needle bind off and then threading the ends through the stuffed puffs. In the picture they are skewered on a 4 dpn - they don't actually stand on end!

I don't normally knit 'trending patterns' - I've not made a February Lady Sweater or a Clapotis. My BSJ, Fetchings and Monkey socks were done long after the trends seemed to be over - but the Beekeepers Quilt taps into a deep seated need to snuggle under sofa blankets and the days shorten and the temperatures drop. There's something comforting about snuggly blankets big enough for two

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Third shawl and first sister

My eldest sister turned 50 this year - and you'd never know it so I hope the youth genes run in the family - and so I started her entry in my sisterly shawls series. Except it's not a shawl. It could be a shawl, and when I write it up it will have a shawl option but at the moment it's a very long (82" x 8") shaped scarf. My other sisters named it so it's definitely a family affair.

Presenting Rosehip:

Knit in Posh Arabella (Cashmere/Merino) in Souffle, Rosehip has subtle cables and simple undulating lace resulting in a restrained piece of elegance. Perfect (I hope) for my classy eldest sister!

So, a very belated Happy Birthday to her (just over a month late) and this is going in the post.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Secrecy and Science

I'm struggling to blog at the moment as most of what I'm knitting is either samples for publication (yay!) or things that I'm hoping to submit for publication in the near future - hence the secrecy. I'm also really busy at work and in life generally which isn't helping!

That being said there are a few things I can talk about:

The Manchester Science Festival is coming up in October and the knitting group that I go to is knitting a solar system (as you do...). If you're local and interested then you can join in - more details here.

My Audrey has made precisely no progress and is making me feel guilty.

I have just downloaded the Bee-keepers Quilt pattern from Tiny Owl Knits  because I need a long term project like I need a hole in the head. I've also ordered a Colinette Jitterbug Creative Pack for all those hexipuffs.

I have nearly finished the third of my Sisterly Shawls - it's provisionally called Rosehip and is in lovely Posh Arabella cashmere

And really that's all although perhaps I should provide a teaser...

In posts to come I will be talking about Lanaloft Sport, Etruscan inspired hats and thinking about jumpers...

Monday, 12 September 2011

In Print

I may have mentioned that a couple of my patterns are being published in a new print magazine in the next few months. Whilst I don't want to ruin the surprise by saying which ones they are I can tell you about the magazine.

Knit Now is a brand new magazine focussing on accessories and homeware. It's being edited by the gorgeous Kate Heppell (indie yarn dyer and designer) and will be distributed nationwide. You can subscribe here for a truly bargainous price. The first issue is out on or around October 20th and I'm not sure if I'm in Issue 1 or 2 but one or the other...

I'm very, very excited - I've never been in print before!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Knitting for a good cause

After putting my colourwork mitts on the back burner for ages I can now very proudly announce that the pattern is available via p/hop in return for an honesty box donation to Medicins Sans Frontieres.

P/hop is a fantastic programme and I'm very proud to be contributing to it. If the mitts aren't for you then there a plenty of great patterns for all tastes and you get the extra pleasure of knowing you're supporting a very worthy cause.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Yarn shopping in Florence

I wasn't really intending to do much yarn shopping in Florence which is a good thing as we arrived towards the end of Ferragosto so lots of places were shut. Using this blog post from Knitting Tidbits and the comments I only went to Campolmi Roberto Filati but that was quite enough. This is a treasure trove of a shop staffed by very nice people and with some wonderful wool winding machinery turning cones into skeins in the middle of the shop. I bought 390g of a lovely wool/acrylic in navy blue (incredibly soft) and 140g of pale gold silk bourette for the princely sum of E15. They had baby alpaca for E7.50/100g which is about half the price of Rowan

Wall of cotton and cotton blends at E2/100g

Table of English Merino at E2/100g

Odds and sods table at E2/100g

One third of the non-sale stock part of the shop

FO Friday - Mojo knitting

I finished the hat without needing to buy more yarn!

Here it is blocking over the lid of a cake tin. I had about 7 yards left of the yarn which is lots really...

And this is the detail of the centre which has more accurate colours:

Simple cabled hat (improv.pattern)
Colinette Art (0.6 of a skein) in Ischia (I think)
3.25mm and 4mm needles

I don't think it's worth writing up but I might change my mind. Some things I improvise are just 'mojo' knits - I'm in a slump and need to get my knitting mojo back with something simple but lovely.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WIP Wednesday

I rarely remember to participate in blog memes but since it's Wednesday and I have a WIP I thought I'd give WIP Wednesdays a try. This is a new design (possibly - I might not right it up) - a simple cabled slouchy hat in Colinette Art. I bought this yarn unlabelled at Ally Pally and in my head had decided it was Tao (despite not being very silky and definitely not a DK) so I'm knitting this far too tight and will run out of yarn. Still it's very nice yarn and knitting up into a lovely and very warm looking hat so if I can work out which colour it is I'll get another skein and carry on. It's a good colour on me and I need a decent winter hat given the cold damp weather in NW England and the prediction of another hard winter. I'm already in my winter coat and woolly jumpers...

You can see other WIPs via the links here

Postcards from Florence

And some photos from a very hot Florence...

A column detail in the Museo del'Opera del Duomo - potential for colourwork

Art in the very surreal Butterfly House in the Giardinaro Horticulturo (a butterfly house/ cocktail bar hence the surreality...)

Santa Maria Fiore (the Duomo)

Santa Maria Fiore 2

Santa Maria Fiore 3 - I was trying to capture details in the marble design but failing

Santa Maria Fiore 4

Bapistery - floor detail

Bapistery - details above arches

Russian Orthodox Church

View from the top of the Boboli Gardens near the Porcelain Museum

Sculpture in the Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

Sculpture in the Boboli Gardens
I don't tend to take many pictures on holiday but I have lots of sketches of details that might make it into patterns at some point

Monday, 5 September 2011

Postcards from Scotland

As promised here are some photos from the beautiful west coast of Scotland...

A spectacular mountain in Glen Coe

The view driving through the Vale of Glen Coe

The view from the Corran Ferry queue

The view from Lochaline with the white sandy beaches, Ardtornish Point straight ahead and Mull to the right

The very clear waters at Lochaline

Interesting hairy lichen in the Sunart Woods

A heffalump in the Sunart Woods?

Loch Tearnait, near Ardtornish

The ruins of Ardtornish Castle looking over to Mull
Alpaca/Silk Dk from Loch Sunart Yarns and Buttons

Saturday, 3 September 2011

AWOL but with good reasons...

I've been away on and off since I last posted which isn't really an excuse but I have been busy as well. A trip to Scotland to see family took me not far from the most Westerly Point of Mainland Britain which also took me to Loch Sunart Yarns where I bought some gorgeous alpaca silk dk handspun which will possibly become a hat. I have taken some photos of the beautiful Scottish coast but sadly not of the porpoises which were swimming off Ardtornish Point at the foot of the ruined castle when we walked up there one day.

Much of that break was spent frantically knitting a sample for my first magazine published pattern (more to come when it's out) which I'm VERY excited by. Submitting for magazines was one of my design goals for this year so I can tick that off my list.

I've also had another pattern accepted for publication which will mean some more frantic sample knitting in the next few weeks! Hopefully this trend will continue and I can mix self publication with 'proper' publication in the future.

I've also just got back from a lovely, if very hot, week in Florence. This holiday was supposed to be about doing virtually nothing so once we found a lovely enoteca, and some very nice restaurants we were pretty much set. We did go to some of the many museums and I did sketch some possible shapes and colourwork patterns in the Accademia, the Bapistery, St Mark's English Church and the Museum of Archaeology - more on that at a later date.

There are some really nice fabric and household linen shops in Florence, and a wonderful yarn shop  but I was very restrained and only bought 140g of pale gold bourette silk laceweight and 390g of DK wool/acrylic blend from Campolmi Roberto Filati (see link above). I did take some pictures of the yarn shop which I'll post once I've downloaded them. I went on the first day they reopened after their August break and there were several yarn starved people in there.

And finally you'll notice the new look on the blog courtesy of M at From Darcy to Dionysus (formerly Dracula) - thank you M. The blog critics over on Ravelry like it too.

So photos of various things to follow and more regular blogging - promises, promises...