I don’t know about you, but I have mixed feelings about winter. On the one hand, it’s knitting weather, which is a good thing, but on the other hand, there are less hours of daylight and sometimes there’s very little of that, depending on the weather. I’m not saying I have seasonal affective disorder, but I do find my mood is affected by the weather and seasons.
This year seems to be slightly different however. I’ve joined a group over on Facebook who are knitting and crocheting temperature blankets. The group is formed of the association of independent yarn shop owners and also their customers. The idea is that we all make a blanket which records the temperature for 12 months. It’s up to each individual crafter to decide what rules they set up for it.
My blanket rules are as follows:
- Garter stitch
- 2 rows per day
- Divide each month by eyelet rows in grey
- White = below zero degrees Celsius
- Blue = 1-5 degrees Celsius
- Purple = 6-10 degrees Celsius
- Green = 11-15 degrees Celsius
January segment looks like this. I’m loving the daily excitement of reading the temperature and adding more rows. The time I read the temperature isn’t always the same – it’s just when I sit down to knit that particular day. The funny thing is many of the group, me included, find ourselves wishing for colder weather, just to have a change in colour on our blankets.
I’m thinking of doing another one of the year I was born, just to see the effects of global warming. You can get data online from the Met Office in the UK. It’s quite an amazing what records are kept! It might be some time before I get started though because I have too many WIPs (works in progress) to start anything new.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of late. Big life changes do that, I’ve found. It’s part of settling in to a new situation and becoming stable again. My Dad moved in with us before Christmas, and oh boy what a difference that’s made to my life – no more worrying about if he’s eating, or safe etc. It’s a mother child relationship in reverse.
Others are exploring issues too: a recent Twitter thread has got me thinking as well. We are very lucky in the West to have spare cash that we can choose how we spend. Some have loads more, some only a little, but we have choice as to how to spend it. But I hear that some people impose their feelings on others and the ugly side of human nature rears its head. We all craft for different reasons. Some do it to make clothes, some like the slow fashion movement, others for something to do with their hands, me – I craft for a variety of reasons – it de-stresses me, I like making things and also I cannot buy things to wear that I like in the shops, so I make my own. My yarn collection, for that is what it is, a collection, is there as I bought it to make things with. There is no contract that states what I will make or when, or even if I ever will. I live in a rural area and my yarn shops are between 5 and 17 miles away so I find it helpful to keep some yarn at home. I often give away my yarn or finished objects but I don’t feel guilty for owning what I have worked hard for.
The debate has been widened though. It’s been taken to a level where the words feminism, male dominance, self-worth and assertive enter the equation. Does your partner belittle your hobby? Do you find yourself justifying your hobby? Do you get paid peanuts for commission pieces? I guess it all depends why you knit, how you value your time and skill and your own feelings of self worth. I’ve come to realise over recent years that I’ve undervalued my skills, charged less than I should have for my yarn and knitted items and allowed others to make fun of my “granny” hobby.
Its time for change. No more will I feel guilty for things I worked hard for, or what I’ve created, and I will put the right price tag on my work. PS I will also not hoard to obscene levels of gluttony. That last statement is so subjective. What constitutes a level? Does a carrier bag full of yarn or a whole room of yarn constitute excess? It depends on how prolific a knitter you are and how old you are! What I’m trying to say, and not very well, is that we should only look at ourselves, not judge others. We don’t walk in their shoes and don’t know the details.
i knit because it keeps me calm. Long may it continue to be so.
As many of you who watch the podcast know, I’m trying out colour work, and specifically Norwegian mittens . I was inspired by Eli from the Skeindeer Knits podcast. She has designed a mitten club called the Selbu Mitten Club, and I’m currently trying to knit a pattern from her collection called the Mebonden mittens.
I’m on my third attempt, having frogged the previous two incarnations. My first problem was not knowing that when you read charts, if you’re knitting in the round, you only read from right to left. Enter frog number 1. I also decided that the yarn I was using wasn’t right, so I changed from a Blacker yarns DK to a Rowan.
I have a short attention span and am easily distracted. Enter frog 2 because I got it all wrong and lost my place.
I’m currently on version 3. The yarn is better. WYS Aire in white and Peer Gynt in red. I’ve lost the white Peer Gynt!
Frog Number 1 – no discernible pattern.
Attempt 3 – the pattern now looks something like it should.
The plan is between now and my 60th birthday, to learn as many new knitting skills as possible. I want to learn double knitting, brioche, steeking and I’m sure I will find a few more skills to learn. Now I know the basics of colour work, I plan to knit a coloured yoke sweater and then I can learn to steek at the Knit Tea Retreat I’m booked onto this time next year (if I’m allocated that class of course! ) For those of you that are curious, I’m 60 in 2021. I think it’s an achievable target. Let’s see!
Autumn is here already and with a slight chill in the air, knitting season has kicked up a gear or two. A few weeks ago I went to the opening of Northern Yarn, a new yarn shop in a local town. They stock local to the area breeds and unusual yarns from the local area. As its British Wool Week, they have some exciting offers on, so please do go and check them out!
A few days ago I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of another yarn shop that is opening in the same town. This is very different to the first!
Episode 49 Is available now where I interview Amy and she gives us an insight into her aesthetic and a tour of the yarn shop. It’s apt that it’s opening in Wool Week, so if you can, drop in on Saturday 14th October 2017 at 10 a.m. Or if you can’t make it, for whatever reason, you can shop online at www.freeholdyarnco.com
Hi, welcome or welcome back! It’s been a few weeks of birthdays, George’s first, my Dad’s 80th and as I podcast, my eldest daughters 36th birthday. Each year seems to come round faster and faster.
This week I show you my linen top, George’s owlet jumper and Rachael’s Boxy jumper designed by Joji Locatelli. I also show you my latest spinning that will be available to purchase in the Knatters Knits shop.
I talk about some inspiration from Instagram, the goldfish jumper by Tincan Knits. This was being knit by a lady called Mimi Codd. It inspired me so much, that I ordered the yarn and bought the pattern immediately – not something I often do!
I’m opening a thread or two on the Knatters Knits ravelry group to discuss knitting resources and podcasts. Do drop in and share what you’ve found useful.
Georges Owlet Jumper
No rainbows without rain dyed by Kralalien from Colourful Creativity.
George on a trip to see his Great Grandad who was 80 this week!
The last few weeks for me have been pretty full. My grandma duties have taken up more time than usual as George’s first birthday came and went. It never ceases to amaze me, what an accomplishment making and raising a baby can be. He delights me every day with his innocent approach to life, and excitement on making a new discovery. The latest are finding that he has hair on his head, and crawling. Things I personally take for granted!
This cake was made by one of his mum’s friends. It tasted delicious. His favourite character just happens to have the same name as him.
Knitting and spinning have taken a bit of a back seat as its been so very hot, too hot to handle fibre. Also, I don’t take my spinning wheel down south, which is crazy as I have a portable wheel with its own rucksack! It’s been so hot recently that, following on from watching the Espace Tricot podcast, I was inspired to buy some linen yarn. I’m designing a linen top for beginners. It’s a layering piece which is one size.
I bought some DMC Natura linen from the Wool Warehouse. I love the bags they put their deliveries in and the speed with which the yarn arrives – less than 24 hours this last time – super impressive!
I’m using 5.5mm needles and knitting straight. The fabric is extremely light and has lots of drape to it.
My stash dash plans have taken a bit of a hit with the very hot weather, but thankfully, now it’s cooled a little, I hope to get back on track. The big blanket is coming on nicely, and I’m on my final ball of yarn. I’ve decided to crochet the sections together using some black Patons 4 ply yarn from the Fairytale Fab range.
I have also, finally, seccumbed to the latest knitting trend of ‘fade’ garments. The pattern by Andrea Mowry entitled ‘Find your fade’ caught everyone’s imagination and since then a series of blended or ‘fade’ projects has been born. I started my find your fade shawl last week. The colours I’m using are not my usual colour palette but I think they work well together. I’m also using a mix of handspun and commercial yarns to add some extra textural effects.
The latest episode of the podcast is uploading as I type.
Stash Dash started last Friday. It’s a three month project to finish fibre craft projects over on Ravelry. It’s only a competition with yourself. I decided it would be a good thing to do to try to clear up some of those languishing works in progress (WIPs). This episode is all about those WIPs.
First of all is ‘the dreaded blanket’. This is made from Rico Design Pompon Print. The colourway is 007.
Other projects include:
P8275 cabled jumper
Shawl currently being designed
Keep following the podcast to see how I get on, or join the Ravelry group and follow my progress there. Or, if you want to join in too, come on over to the Ravelry Group and tell us how you’re doing!