Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sunny Stirling

I went to Scotland for the weekend to scope out the accommodation for KnitCamp.

What a lovely place Stirling is:

This is a little path round one of the student residences.

There's a lake in the middle of the campus:

There are lots of places, both inside and out, that will be just the ticket for sitting and knitting and chatting and generally enjoying oneself. If you aren't coming, I really think you are missing a treat.

This pair look like they could do with some knitted items:

(I expect they will have, come August.)

We had meetings all morning and saw all over the campus - some lovely little wooden chalets down by the lake look really nice.

In the afternoon we had a little recreation.

We took a felting class with Ewa Kuniczak (one of the tutors at KnitCamp):

(that's Ewa, with the pink and blue hair).

We had such fun. Ewa taught us to make a felted picture and then how to make beads and other felted shapes.

This is my picture:

Cheryl made a washing line:

and Jo made a tempest scene, with a handmaiden offering a golden orb to placate the goddess:

(actually, I just made that last bit up.)

I would certainly recommend anyone who has even the faintest interest in felting to consider taking a class with Ewa; she certainly taught me a lot.

There was knitting but I've taken no photographs so you will just have to wait with bated breath.

I leave you with Saturday back field in Scotland:

Don't you wish you were coming?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Running to Stand Still

Is what I feel like at the moment.

Tickets for the Ravelry Weekend (13th - 14th August) at the beautiful Stirling University Campus went on sale at the beginning of April, so there has been a lot of work to do.

I'm still working in the yarn shop:

It actually looks much better than this now because more things are arriving every day. We are the only UK stockist of Grignasco, beautiful yarn at a reasonable price, which takes me back to my Italian days - I used it all the time. We are getting some Noro in and (at my instigation) Dorothy Sieman's beautiful Fiddlesticks patterns and yarn.

We also have plenty of Jamieson & Smith:

I'm still knitting things for the shop, too.


is a rather dark shot of the "Helleborus Yoke" cardigan by Matthew Gnagy in Knitscene, Spring 2010.

I used Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica (available at Yarn Gathering) and had the body knitted in no time. Of course, I had to modify the thing - it's worked sideways from the right front and he suggests keeping the yoke stitches live throughout but casting off the stitches of the body at the side seam, only to cast them on again to start the back. I don't think so. I just carried on and ignored him. (Something I do in daily life, too.) I also did a provisional cast on for the sleeve and then grafted the seam at the end. In this endeavour I was greatly aided by an article in the latest Interweave Knits by TechKnitter. Her blog is well worth a look if you need to be reminded how to do some fancy manoeuvre (of even if you haven't a clue how to do it and need to be led by the hand). Thanks to her, the graft is invisible to the naked eye - so invisible that I didn't take a picture of it because I couldn't find it (and now the garment has gone to the shop, to star in the window.)

The collar of the Helleborus Yoke was an entirely different matter. The first attempt followed the pattern as written. No go. The second attempt reduced the number of rows in the straight section and used a chain selvedge. No go. Then I looked to Ravelry and found that most people had been having problems with the collar - one knitter even left it off altogether because she couldn't fathom it. The designer chimed in with his corrections. One word of advice - don't even think about doing it his way. That was my third attempt and it was fearful. On the fourth attempt I decided to go my own way (see "carry on and ignore him" above). This is how it's going to stay because I've had enough of frogging - it's not perfect but it is wearable. (I know "it will do" is not the attitude but I really am at the tearing of the hair stage.)

What I did (if anyone is interested):

Work 5 repeats of the corrected short row increasing section; work 1 short row repeat without increasing (to the centre back); work 1 short row repeat without increasing; work 5 repeats of the short row decreasing section.

This is the start of the collar:

and that's how it goes on.

That's enough for now - I'm going up to the shop to teaching children to knit - snaring them early.

We're going to Stirling this weekend for a recce, so pictures of that next week (if I remember the camera!)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Here Again

Yes, I know, I know. Long time, no hear.

It's been far too long for catch-up so I'm just going to start again.

Some Twilley's Freedom Spirit

has been maturing in my stash and being remarkably quiet as to what it would like to be when it grew up.

Finally, the yarn spoke:

Stefanie Japel's Textured Circle Shrug. The pattern is available for free on the Lion Brand website (you do have to register). Just be warned that there is a lot of 1 x 1 ribbing, followed by a lot of seed stitch (which is also 1 x 1 ribbing in essence). If I'd realised there was quite so much of it, I might not have started. However, I'm very pleased I did.

Here's the front:

We did try to get a picture with my head on it but according to #1 daughter photographer I kept "pulling a funny face".

I added the button - sewn through both fronts; no button hole. It just looked didn't look right open - too well-endowed, I think.

You don't know the biggest news - I started working in a yarn shop. Talk about a kid in a candy shop - I spent a whole day counting balls of yarn and making lists. Complete bliss. Of course, it is also extremely dangerous - the stash is growing exponentially.

I made this:

(see exchange above for explanation of lack of head).

The back:

to go on display. It's the Transverse Cardigan from the Spring 2010 Interweave Knits. I used Malabrigo Worsted in "Dusty" (available from Yarn Gathering) and had it knitted in about four days. Come and see it for yourself if you are passing Earlsdon Street in Coventry.

I've also been very busy with KnitCamp organising. August doesn't seem all that far away.

That's all for now. I can't promise I'll blog every day but I really will make an effort to blog more than once every Preston Guild.