Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Mittens and Gloves

The Christmas break involved some rather frantic knitting on Christmas Eve to finish off a new pair of Photographers' Mittens for my other half's Christmas stocking. This inspired me to do some running repairs on a pair of gloves I made for myself a few years ago that were in need of attention. Not that it's actually been cold enough yet for woollen gloves - and rather too wet. But the winter may yet provide some chilly days! Wishing everyone all good things for the New Year of 2014.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

KISS Baby blanket

It's been far too long since I posted here and in thinking about where the time has gone, it's been a combination of a busy life but mainly processing my grief around the death of my Mum in January. It has been hard to access the ordinary things that give pleasure in my life, such as knitting and blogging. But the delight of being able to design a blanket for the first baby of a dear friend has inspired me to pick up my needles. I've called this my KISS baby blanket, KISS standing for Keep It Simple Stripes. It's knitted with nice, stretchy, mixed cashmere and merino double knitting yarn and is currently being wrapped regularly round its owner, dear Nathaniel, who is so welcome.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Shetland Throw

My first long trip up to Shetland for a while has seen the completion of my Denim Patchwork Throw. This project has been not quite two years in the making - with lots of gaps in activity - but I am very pleased with the result. There are examples of several different techniques possible using denim cotton yarn as well as different stitch types honouring Shetland knitting - both Fair Isle and lace knitting. I also worked out my own design for a Shetland Flag. I can see that there have been many influences along the way, the landscape of Shetland itself as well as a battered corrugated fence at my old primary school

I've really enjoyed all aspects of this project: the knitting, the 'distressing' techniques and the stitching together (and you don't usually hear me say that sewing-up is fun!). I particular enjoyed stitching some fishes onto the fishnet lace piece - a good catch! The next challenge will be to see how the colours cope with their first collective wash - but not just yet.


Saturday, 2 February 2013

A Welcome to Lennon

 Long time no blog post here but the latest baby to arrive has now received his Fair Isle jacket, which I really loved knitting. A huge welcome to him...

Friday, 17 August 2012

Knitting the Olympics

It's been a while since I wrote here and the reason is there hasn't been that much knitting going on until recently.  While some other knitters have been enthusiastically knitting the Olympics, yes, really, there are some woolly Olympics out there, I've just been slowly plodding on with pieces for my Denim Patchwork Throw for a while. Then along came my own Olympic challenge, which is the marathon baby knitting for my ever reproductive, now former, work colleagues. I was pleased with how this little cardigan turned out, using up Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarns from several projects with an alternating stripe pattern and pulling it together with some fabulous buttons. As I set out on  new work ventures, I am wishing all the mums and babies, born and unborn, well.


Having left that particular sport, I can now concentrate on piecing together that throw, with my eyes on the next trip up to the Shetland house next month for completion. There were more pieces than I thought once I laid them out although there are a few more to do. As you see, our adopted cat Dora has been helping as always. I've begun washing and shrinking the pieces and thinking about where they need to go and what is left to knit. Next comes the fun of playing with bleach and sandpaper to 'distress' the denim and see what effects I can produce. More soon.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Latest Projects

A delight to have completed a jacket to welcome the latest OIA baby. Pattern from Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino book.

Time now to return to knitting a patchwork throw for the Shetland house. I'm using Rowan Denim and adapting patterns and techniques from Jane Gottelier's Indigo Knits.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Transformations and Shifts

I've had a long knitting break for a variety of reasons. Work commitments have been one thing (and I'm so very grateful to Kate MacDonald for taking on the Oxford Summer School for me - everyone really enjoyed the week). Alongside this has been a deeper discernment process, which has resulted in a big decision to drop my City and Guilds Hand Knitting course and to begin training as an interfaith minister later this year. From now on my main blog will be what I am calling my online commonplace book, with only occasional postings here. Do drop by and take a look. You can also find me on Twitter .

As part of my discernment around this, in June I went back to my old childhood "patch" in Bristol and the first picture here is the corrugated fence outside my primary school. I was struck by the beauty of its colours and patterns. It was fascinating to 'beat the bounds' of my walk to and from school and home, remembering how scary being a child there sometimes was and seeing as an adult how small the distances actually are. It has felt important to revisit the places that I came from before setting out on my new adventure.

In the meantime, I've picked up my knitting needles again, to create a patchwork throw for the Shetland house - I see that the colours of the fence are reflected there. I'm basing it on the Gwithian Beach Blanket in Jane Gottelier's delightful book Indigo Knits,using Rowan's wonderful denim cotton yarn and trying out some of the distressing and bleaching techniques. The transformations and shifts in the yarn occur not only as you knit the stitches, combining colours or twisting cables, but also as you apply bleach or sandpaper and as it shrinks to size in the washing-machine and afterwards continues to wear with use and age. Something about life, here, as always in knitting - change is at the heart of the universe. How exciting!