Grateful to be considered Knitworthy

As a Knitter, I love to see what other crafters are making and I admire the effort and skill that goes into every creation, whether it is yarn-based or not. Pottery, painting, glasswork, metalwork, card-making – I love to see it all!

Being a Knitter also gives me an insight into the time and dedication that goes into the final product and I am sure it helps me to appreciate and care for the variety of hand-crafted items that have found a home with me. Every item has a personal story – so much thought and care has been incorporated into it, so much life has gone on around it.

So when a friend gives me something she has made, I always feel a special gratitude – not solely for the lovely item itself, but also for being considered Knitworthy. After all, not everyone is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

How about these stylish, supersoft Baby Alpaca wrist warmers, handcrafted by my fabulous, talented friend SwissRose? I love them and am honoured to know they were knitted especially for me! Thank you SwissRose! ๐Ÿ˜€

Are you knitting for a Knitworthy person right now? I’d love to hear all about it!

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Upcycling again!

Earlier this year I madeย a bag from an inadvertently felted cardiganย and I had a few pieces of felted material left over to make another, so here’s the result of this week’s bank holiday Monday ๐Ÿ˜€

Continuing the principle of using up existing materials, I used the same cotton print to line the bag, and added a matching brooch using some buttons from The Tin.

The length of the handles was determined by the fabric from the cardigan’s button bands, which (appropriately) I then edged with buttonhole stitch.

I’m now wondering what to make with the small oddments of felted wool that are left over … There might be enough for a phone cover or at least a coaster or two ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you upcycled anything this week’? I’d love to hear about it!

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Guide to Modern Knitting – in 1939!

Thanks to the handwritten dedication to a family member on the title page, I know that this book dates from before Christmas 1939 …

It contains tips and techniques for new and experienced knitters, as well as a range of contemporary knitting patterns – I imagine today’s fashions will seem equally strange in 80 years’ time!

One or two have stood the test of time and could be worn today – although we might not call this a ‘blouse’ …

It struck me that all the photos are in black and white, something we aren’t used to today. Although my initial reaction was negative, wanting to see the colours of the yarn, I then realised that the lack of colour was freeing up my imagination, allowing me to play with different colour combinations without being influenced by the editor’s choice. I’m going to test out this theory when planning my next projects – a quick photo, in black and white, may help me choose my colours!

As if they were aware of the lack of colour on the inside pages, the publishers made a splash on the inside front and back covers …

A very festive red, don’t you think? It makes the book feel very special!

Have you come across any vintage knitting books lately? I’d love to hear about them!

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Turn a Square

A generous friend brought a big bag of stash to our knit-and-natter afternoon, inviting us all to dive for treasure. Lots of oddments, many mysteries, all looking for a good home.

Conscious of my own stash-down challenge, I fought temptation and managed to restrain my haul to two labelled balls of Rowan 4 ply, one in black and one in grey.

I had a project in mind –ย Jared Flood’s Turn A Square hatย – a free pattern for a close-fitting, striped beanie hat. When I got home I realised that the the pattern called for 4.5 mm needles, so the 4 ply wasn’t ideal, but …

Soft and light, it turned out ok – phew! A good use of the stash?

A useful pattern, and a good shape, I’ll definitely use it again and if you’re looking for a hat pattern, you might like to give this one a go!

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Baileys Irish Cream

As part of my self-imposedย challenge to reduce my long-standing stash, I unearthed a pack of eight balls ofย Rowan 4-ply Soft, 100% merino in Shade 393, a classic camel colourway.

A pre-Ravelry purchase, the source details are a bit hazy – I have a vague recollection of finding ‘a bargain’ at a department store that has long since been taken over, which makes me think it must be more than 10 years ago. Three of the balls had been knitted and ‘frogged’ (by me) at some point, before being put into long-term hibernation.

To be honest, I can see why. It’s a hard colour to get inspired by. Especially when there are so many fabulous yarns ‘out there’ to tempt me off the ‘straight and narrow’ of my current challenge.

So, with resolve, I headed over to the Ravelry rabbit-hole and drew up a shortlist of potential patterns. Having struggled for inspiration, suddenly I was feeling overwhelmed by the options! Should I add another colour? Lace? Cables? Long sleeves, short sleeves, cardigan or jumper?

To cut a long story short, I’ve taken the plunge and have cast on Thea Colman’sย Baileys Irish Cream – a perfect name for this colourway!

It’s a bottom-up cardigan, knitted in one piece to the armholes, where the sleeves are added and the cardigan is then finished with a yoke. It has a folded hem, although you can’t tell from this photo, as it won’t be sewn into position until the main work has been completed.

So far, so good … I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you rescued some long-abandoned stash recently? I’d love to hear about it!

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Corrugated Curves

Do you really need three guesses? What do you think this moulded roof remind me of? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Easily overlooked as grey, boring and utilitarian, this roof covers a relatively modern annexe atย Melin Tregwynt, a traditional woollen mill located between Fishguard and St David’s in Wales. I’m not sure what the ridges are made of – at first sight, I thought it was metal, but it felt more like concrete.

I loved the ribbed pattern, especially against the bright blue sky!

Holidays always seem to provide an abundance of inspiration – the challenge is to keep finding it back at home ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you spotted any patterns that have caught your eye this week? I’d love to hear about them!

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Shakespeare References

Unexpected knitting thoughts while out and about?

This time, I was faced with a literary rabbit hole.

The ostensibly calming verse on the bedroom wall at Wightwick Manorย came from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, albeit tactfully omitting the opening line about murder!

Act 2, Scene 2

[Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep”,] ย the innocent sleep,

Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,

the death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,

Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

Chief nourisher in life’s feast

Naturally, this naturally sparked my curiosity – were there any other references to knitting in Shakespeare’s work?

It turns out there are many!

Fortunately for me, the lovely blogger at Dances With Woolย had found this particular rabbit hole before me, and has kindly listed a few referencesย to start us off.

She also explains that the old word ‘sleave’ wasn’t a variation of the word ‘sleeve’ – apparently a sleave was a knot or twist of silk fibre.

Thanks to Wightwick Manor for providing this unexpected knitting trail – there’s knitting inspiration everywhere!

What has made you think about knitting while you’ve been out and about this week? I’d love to hear about it!

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Yarn or tea? How about both?

Coals to Newcastle? Or better still, knitting to a Welsh yarn shop ๐Ÿ™‚

And even better still, this particular yarn shop has a lovely cafe at one end, serving teas, coffees, lunches and cake …

This photo shows part of the wool and notions section inย Jane’s of Fishguard,ย offering yarn of all descriptions and price points.

Another section stocks quilting fabric and jewellery findings – a creative treasure trove!

I wish this this were my Local Yarn Shop … I’d be there all the time!

Have you come across a yarn cafe on your travels? I’d love to hear about it!

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Velcro update

A while ago, I was bemoaning the incompatibility of wool and Velcro. Although I love the ingenuity and efficiency of Velcro, I love my knitted accessories more!

Having looked for alternative solutions, it seemed there was nothing for it but to take the Velcro off my rain jacket if I wanted to save my knitted accessories from being snagged to pieces.

Out came the scissors …

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The first piece came off relatively easily, but the second was less straightforward, as the coat’s top stitching had gone over the Velcro, so I had to risk cutting into the top stitching too. Gulp.

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Tah-dah! Although you can still see where the Velcro had been, and I wouldn’t like to risk it on a more expensive garment, I’m pleased with the result – no more Velcro and no more snags!

Have you modified any clothing to accommodate your yarny accessories? I’d love to hear about it!

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Impromptu Mitts

I needed a simple travel project at short notice, so headed to my stash and looked for inspiration.

I found it in the form of a 50g ball of Drops Fabel, a variegated 4 ply in a range of blues and greens, a lovely present from a thoughtful friend a couple of months ago.

Teamed with a 50g ball of Patons Diploma Gold 4 ply in cream, I planned to use a crafty little technique to maximise the colour effect while also speeding up the knitting time … using the yarn held double on 4.5 mm needles … And here’s the result!

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I can recommend the technique – it’s my tip of the day!

Have you made any impromptu projects recently? I’d love to hear about them!

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