Archive | June, 2011

A post hijack!

It’s teenage knitter’s turn to write the blog post but I think she will let me off…

as I have just been unloading the car into jelly with the yarn for tomorrow’s yarn sale.

Never been to an outcasts yarn sale?

Well it can be a little crazy as it’s all top quality yarn for £1 per ball/ skein – so far I have spotted

Debbie Bliss: angel, lima, baby cashmerino, cotton glace, felted tweed, aran, paloma (new yarn type), glen, viva..

Then there is some rowan pure breeds

Sale starts at 5.30pm tomorrow, Wednesday 28 June, at jelly, 42 Market Place, Reading. We won’t be laying the table with tea and cake as normal as that space will be covered in yarn but feel free to bring your knitting along and there will be self service hot drinks and a honesty box if you need a cuppa.

See you tomorrow!

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knitting on a machine

Emma’s machine knitting workshop at the jelly artpad on Sunday 8 May
I was a complete novice at this. I had no idea of what the machines could do, but the one day session was perfect. There were only three of us, so we had plenty of Emma’s attention, and enough time to try out various stitches, yarn combinations and techniques.
It was a meticulously organised day, from the ‘welcome to knit school notice’, the carefully laid out and labelled samples, the reference books, the tables with a set of tools for each of us, and reference sheets to remind us of how to do things when we’re on our own. We started straightaway, threading the machines, casting on, changing colours and casting off. Daunting at first, when you haven’t got a clue about what’s happening, but with individual tuition, it quickly gets easier. But if you get too confident and go too quickly there’s a definite danger of the stitches popping off the hooks. We learnt how to pull up stitches to make patterns and do picot edges and make lace holes, so were equipped with a good range of things to try out, even before lunch.
After a lunch break, and salads from Picnic, we each had a go at the things that most interested us. I thought that, since I don’t usually have access to a machine, I’d do a sampler snood sort of thing, and happily whizzed backwards and forwards and watched the knitting grow at a phenomenal rate. I did do some bands of different colours with simple lace patterns in them, and easily managed to make a length that will go twice around me. Speed thrills, definitely. The principle of how the hooks and stitches work sinks in quite quickly, and Emma was always ready to advise and help, so by keeping to just the lace holes technique, I did feel I was getting the hang of something.
Pat and Debbie were more exploratory and did very fine gauge, intricate sample pieces which were extremely impressive – great patience, really close attention and beautiful sculptural results. Just look at this talent:
It was an excellent workshop and I’d recommend it to anyone – beginners or experienced machine knitters – because being a small group meant we had individual and patient attention, and plenty of equipment to go round. Maybe regular sessions in the future?
With thanks to Pat, Debbie and Emma for photos.
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Medicinal knit

Medicinal knit

What do you like to watch on tv/dvd when you’re curled up in bed ill? Do you remember The Clangers? – the friendly little pink creatures that conversed in whistles and lived a peaceful existence on a blue moon, creating wonderful machines from salvaged objects and welcoming all manner of strange creatures to be their friends? Along with Bagpuss in the early 70s, The Clangers were nourishment for my little mind and soul back then – and ever since (just like tomato soup which I don’t normally eat anymore) they are never more craved than when I am feeling really ill!

Well, I’ve had a slightly scary episode of illness this weekend but now thankfully recovering at home and the tomato soup is lined up. But where are The Clangers?

Well Small Clanger, Tiny or maybe Granny Clanger will be joining me very shortly as I’m propped up in bed with my knitting bag, scraps of pink wool (a little hard to find in my house but my amazing DH did a grand job of hunting through my stash without complaining!) and … THE CLANGERS KNITTING PATTERN that I found here! … slight squeeeeeee of childlike excitement

They’ll be a screening of my favourite Clangers episodes later too – my girls love it! so there’s still a lot to be said for shoestring-budget arts and good storytelling … I’m feeling so much better already.

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