Sunday, September 24, 2006


The photos of the display have now been uploaded to Flickr and can be found here.


I made it out to the Knitting & Crochet Guild exhibition in Sunderland Art Gallery yesterday, so today I feel like a small piece of chewed rag.

I also have toothache... Still haven't found a wheelchair-accessible dentist in the area!

Richard took loads of photos, so we'll be posting them soon. In the mean time, here is a picture of Tigger with his new ornamental friend:


PS. The problem with leaving comments has apparently been sorted out now, so you shouldn't have any more problems. Why not test it out today :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Odds 'n' sods

It's been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegon Esh Winning, my home town. Oops, been listening to a little too much Garrison Keillor...

Apart from Tigger bringing in another two pieces of meat, and a child's fireman's hat turning up on my wheelie bin, nothing much has happened. I did get my new Rowan magazine, which has some lovely items in it and blissfully plain photographs. In other words, in this issue you can actually identify what the knitted item is :) I'm still not quite sure about the ball gown, though...

Talking of new issues of magazines, my Simply Knitting also arrived this week. The jumper featured on the cover is a wildly vibrant orange bobbly cabley thing, which would lift your spirits every time you wore it, were it not for the rather unfortunately placed bobbles on the chest!

Speaking of Simply Knitting, I had a good chat on the phone with Debora Bradley this week about my plus size patterns. She absolutely loves the sketches I've sent her, so it's just a matter of our deciding on yarns and colours. Watch this space...

Finally, I know a few people have had trouble leaving comments since I switched to Blogger Beta. I've found this to be one of the main drawbacks (it also means that I can't leave a comment on a blog which isn’t using Blogger Beta), although I suppose that these snags will disappear once the new version has reached everyone. In the meantime, you can always leave a comment as "Other", entering your name and blog URL manually. Bit of a pain, I know, but I hope it won't be long before everyone can switch to Beta.


Tigger says, "Don't disturb me, I'm waiting to see what she chucks out next..."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

And the runner up is....! Like I expected (having had a quick vote for the others in my category to check on their totals), I came second in my section of the blog awards. I am so chuffed to have been nominated that I could have come last and not cared :)

This entry will probably be shorter than usual, as I am missing my faithful amanuensis. For the last few weeks I have been dictating and the Beamish Boy has been typing, like Eric Thingummy for Delius. Except I don't write music... Anyway, this week I'm flying solo!

I've almost finished my swatches, and I'll soon be onto the sketches. I love doing those, as I've only discovered in the last few years that I can make marks on paper which can be recognised as the thing I intended them to be! Until I was 12, I attended a school where art lessons were all about free expression, which was great; unfortunately I had a teacher who constantly put my work down and told me I couldn't draw. Then I went off to my convent high school, where we had lessons with a rather eccentric working artist - great at her own work, but didn't teach us much, and used to tell us all we couldn't draw. So, when I left school, I was pretty much convinced that I was a dud at art.... It was only when I wanted to keep a note of my design ideas that I tried sketching figures, and found I could produce rather stylised models which were ideal for hanging my pieces on!

The yarns have all been very pleasing to work with, but I am the most impressed with Inca Cloud by Artesano Alpaca. I've been wanting to use this for a while, as it is a Fair Trade yarn (something in which I believe very strongly), and I finally found the correct project for it. I swear, the stuff is like knitting with butter - there's just no effort needed to make the stitches and move them along.

I love alpacas, with their funny little teddy-bear faces. I wonder if I might be allowed to keep one on the lawn in front of the bungalows here? It would be so much more pleasant than putting up with the council's earsplitting, stinking petrol mowers, and would be lovely to look at:

My Pet Alpaca

(Thanks to the Beamish Boy for the photoshopping!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Swatch It!

Firstly, two snippets of news: the voting for Knitting Fiend's blog awards has now closed, and the results will be announced on the 6th. I am expecting to come second. Also, I have now switched to Blogger Beta, which probably won't make any difference to your reading enjoyment, except that the archives are now easier to get at.

It's been a bit of a rough week, because I foolishly enjoyed myself by having three lots of visitors last week. It was well worth it to see two of them, but I could have done without the Methodist minister turning up in the middle of my Friday afternoon nap, plonking himself down in the chair, and proceeding to tell me how awful his job is for the next half hour. I must have one of those faces...

Anyway, all this excitement meant that I wasn't really in a fit shape to work on anything larger than a swatch this week. So, I've spent the week producing samples to go with the latest round of sketches. I'd already sent three sketches of possible plus size items to Simply Knitting - they didn't need samples because I've worked with SK before. I'm also now submitting a dressy top and a sweater to Interweave Knits; a shrug and a man's sweater to Vogue Knitting; and a baby cardigan, a sweater, and a jacket to Knit Today. If you have fingers, prepare to cross them now :)

The beauty of swatching, of course, is instant gratification. You get to work on a small scale, not some huge and heavy piece of knitting, and after a few hours, you have a finished thing of beauty which you can admire. It's also brilliant for trying out new stitch patterns, which is also something I've been doing this week. Even with my befuddled brain, if I use enough row counters, stitch markers, and little bits of paper I can follow new patterns with only a minimum of frogging...

Their other benefit, when produced as a sample for editors, is that I can take my tension from them and start writing up the pattern, rather than selling the idea and then having to make a tension square when I'm itching to start the garment itself.


Tigger says, "See this claw? If you stop me sleeping on your yarn one more time, it's going right in the middle of that nice lacy pattern..."