Wednesday, March 26, 2008

F is for....

Fair Isle Meanderings!

Remember the Endpaper Mitten of Doom, I did look at creating my own fair isle pattern, but felt the drawings were too contrived. These Fair Isle swatches are knitting homework from the City and Guilds course I'm doing. The original design source was a stencil I made from a simplified drawing of seaweed. We then had a look at turning the stencils into repeat patterns and I found that isolating a part of the stencil into a shape of a triangle changed it into something more abstract and interesting. This month we transferred the image onto knitters squared paper.

These first two are the image transferred to small squares, the pattern itself is actually 19 stitches by 25 rows so not very practical in reality, but the exercise is really looking at how the original image can change by using different scale knitters graph paper, and knitting it at the same gauge!

This second photo is the same drawing onto larger squares, the actual repeat is 14sts by 14 rows, possibly more manageable.

This final swatch is a slight tweaking of the 14 sts x 14 rows pattern, into a 12 sts by 16 rows repeat, having 12 sts means that I can repeat the design by stacking repeats directly above each other or by offsetting the design by 6 sts on alternate rows which is how I've knitted this final swatch!

They may not grow up into anything yet, it could be an edging or a mitten, but what's important at the moment is the journey, and the discovery, not the final 'product'.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Batty's Box!

So exciting! My UK Swap package arrived this week, Batty has been one of the names my secret swap pal has been known as, and it's been such fun reading the comments on my blog and the regular e-mails she has been sending, and getting to know her but not knowing who she is!

This is a perfectly gorgeous box of delights, I can't believe I actually managed to get it all in one photo! So I'll just talk you through everything, and leave you to ooh and ahh at your leisure!

From bottom left we have a sheepie tape measure a ball of 4ply wool (from Wingham Wool Work), Vanilla soap from l'Occitane (almost good enough to eat), Sheep post it notes (genious!), a selection of Thorntons chocolate bars (yummy), I love this butterfly postcard, (it's a special card that if you move it one way it's a butterfly and if you move it the other way it's a caterpillar, so cool!). Then there's the fibre.... LOOK, Merino Silk Angora Cashmere, it's gorgeously soft, and as if that's not enough a bag of Pure Beige Cashmere too, I am well and truly spoilt!

Alongside this is a fabulous crochet felted pot that my special pal made just for me, and in there are some Quills, which I have never heard of before and some Clover Bamboo needles too! Last up we have another ball of 4ply from Wighams and a fantastic retro fair isle mitten pattern.

It really is the most well thought out fibery themed package you could possibly imagine so with no further ado I shall reveal the Batty Behind the Box is none other than Rosie, thankyou so very much Rosie, you've made my week!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Watch Out Humphrey's About

Sorry to my overseas readers, the title of this post is referring to an advert for milk from my childhood, although this post has nothing to do with milk!

If any of you subscribe to Berocco Knitbits you may have already seen Humphrey, but what you may not realise is I am one of the designer's that Norah Gaughin met on Ravelry.

Basically I joined the Norah Gaughin fans group in Ravelry, and since Norah was a member there I decided to add her to my friends. When Norah added me to her friends I sent her a message thanking her, and telling her how much I love her work, and next thing you know I'm crocheting another little bear, like the one I made last year, and I'm writing up the pattern for Berocco, all thanks to Ravelry!

Actually that reminds me I didn't get around to stitching that second bear up, that would be another FO for this year!
There is a little knitting going on, I am knitting cakes for a window display for an Art Gallery and Cake Shop opening early May. I am desperate to start 'something' but that something eludes me at the moment, and I'm feeling a little lost.

There is also a little dyeing going on (pictured), I had a small order to supply a local Crafts Website with some handpainted fibre in 5 colourways, these are 50g bundles for feltmaking!

And there's been a little spinning going on!

I was attempting to spin a 3 ply sock yarn, although it's a little on the thick side, and wouldn't do a pair of socks. This is my first 3ply, and it needs a little work, I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I'll keep practicing!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

E is for ....

Embroidery. Before knitting and spinning took this hold on me I used to design and stitch needlepoint, these are all worked on 18 holes per inch canvas. I have got a couple of recent works, which haven't been stretched and mounted yet, and when I look at these I do miss it but there are only so many hours in the day!