Monday, 30 August 2010

Baby Socks For Sale

I knitted these baby socks a few weeks back using Rowan Cotton yarn. I intended to knit lots of sets like this to sell at the craft fair this Saturday. I didn't give myself enough time though and I didn't want to just have one set of these. So I have posted them for sale on my folksy store.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm Still Here!

I am still around and still crafting away but I have been busy preparing for a craft fair that takes place this Saturday. That and I have been working. This work malarky is getting in the way of my craft time.

I was though, able to design my own business cards this weekend. Once I did all the stitching my lovely sister did the rest. I love them and will have them with me on Saturday. Speaking of, had better get busy.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Bridal Shower!

One of my best friends is getting married in October. She has been swithering over whether or not to have a hen night for months now. I think maybe she doesn't like the attention but her mum eventually talked her into having one (which is about a month away) and a bridal shower (which is today). I have never been to a bridal shower before so as soon as she gave me the info I immediately googled bridal shower (yes, I am one of those who goes to google when I don't know something). Hen nights are more popular here in the UK than bridal showers but having both is actually a fantastic idea. It means that her gran and wee old aunts can help celebrate too.

My problem though was coming up with a gift in two weeks. She has been living in her flat for 8 years now and I had no clue as to what to get them. Then I remembered that a friend of mine makes baby scrapbook albums for baby showers (they are the cutest, most amazing things you have ever seen). I decided to make a wedding one for my friend. The point being all she has to do is add her photo's. Now my scrapbook skills are pretty mediocre at best. All these intricate pages you see I can't do. I am too symmetrical when I do layouts. I can't help it. I have tried not to be but it seems I need balance.

I decided with the wedding album simple was best. Her colours are cream, gold and black with a touch of red. Basically she is getting married in Vegas and has these colours in mind as a Vegas theme for her reception when she comes back. I decided to use that (I did try to get some (Vegas like motifs but they hardly screamed out wedding). I decided to split the album into three parts and colour coordinated them accordingly. Wedding - cream pages, Honeymoon - gold pages, Reception - black. I then used cream, gold and black ribbon to thread through the pages (something I am never doing again). The cream and gold bows are also something that can be found on ever page. I used the same gold pen she used for her invitations (luckily I was there when she picked it out so knew which one to get) to label each page.

It turned out better than I thought it would given my lack of scrapbook talents. I just hope both herself and her husband to be like it. I apologise for the poor photo's but I have also never been good at photographing scrapbook pages. Maybe it's a sign!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Knit Camp: Girasole with Jared Flood

My second and last class at the KnitCamp in Stirling was with Jared Flood of BrooklynTweed fame. If you remember I knitted a tweed baby blanket and this was designed by Jared Flood. To say I was geeking out about going to that class would be putting it mildly. I was also very nervous. I suppose it might be hard for non knitters to understand but it was a but like being taught by an idol. Still I was excited too. Jared was very nice and immediately went into teaching mode. You can see what he was teaching us to knit in the photo above. We learned that it the name is actually pronounced with a soft g and is actually Italian for Sunflower.

I actually learned a lot in this class. I learned the best way of casting on when knitting circular shawls. I learned better ways of doing some of the stitches, little tricks that give your knitting a neater look. I also learned some hints and tips about chart reading. I actually taught myself to move beyond knit and purl through using charts. This was back in the day when I only knitted scarves. There were some in the class who found using charts difficult. People like my mum who have been knitting for years and so learned to knit with the pattern written out. It can be difficult to move to charts after that (much like myself finding it difficult to follow crochet patterns as I am used to knitting instructions). So Jared gave some hints as to why specific symbols were used and I learned quite a bit from it.

It was a fun class and the other women were lovely and once again from all over the world. One lady sitting next to me had been in the fair isle class I took on Tuesday and we both exclaimed over the Portuguese knitters. She also told me about some of the other classes she had taken which sounded like a lot of fun. Then Nancy Bush was pointed out to me and once again I geeked out. Nancy Bush designs lots of things but she is famous amongst sock knitters. I have a few of her books and have knitted a number of patterns by her. She is one of few knitwear designers whose books I would specifically go out of my way to get (normally I go by my interests at the time rather than who wrote it).

This is what I managed to get done in the time I was there. Unfortunately, time seemed to fly past. I very much enjoyed knitting lace on such thick yarn. We weren't given enough of the yarn to finish the project (Jared himself thought we would be given enough yarn) so I will probably not finish this. I have yarn there that I do have enough of to start again and complete it. Once I have a few projects out of the way this is going straight back on the pins.

I also couldn't not take some photo's of the Stirling university grounds. How lovely does it look? I think I studied in the wrong university!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Craft Fair

A friend of mine does a lot of craft fairs. She doesn't want to pay the large amounts some organisations charge for a table. She had tried it and she is usually lucky to break even (not including the cost of supplies). So being the super organiser that she is she has decided to organise one of her own. She still charges for the tables (although not quite as much) but the money left after hall hire goes to charity. There is also a £1 entry charge but that also goes to charity. The first one is on Saturday 4th September and I have agreed to take part. So I am working my ass off at the moment trying to get enough things done for then.

The photograph above is a sample of the cards I plan on selling. I decided to use what I learned at my class on Tuesday. All my own design mind you. I will also be selling my sock key rings and with luck baby sock sets. Only one stall is left empty and since the shout out for those only started yesterday I think we will have a full hall of crafty vendors. So if you are in Shawlands that day come along to the Kirk church hall between 11.00am and 4pm and give me a wave.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Knit Camp: Introduction to Fair Isle

I have been looking forward to knit camp for ages and can't believe that it's finally here and I have already had one class (mind you I did only sign up for two). Yesterday I had a class with Liz Lovick who was teaching an introduction to Fair Isle. I had so much fun in that class and I learned loads. We got given the yarn we needed and the pattern and went from there. Whilst we knitted away we got a wee talk on the history of Fair Isle and the Island. I love this sort of thing and found it very interesting. Although I now want to visit all of the Scottish Islands. We got to see lots of lovely photo's of examples from over the years and told ways of telling which islands the pieces came from.

You can see my work space and my neighbours work space here (a lovely American lady).

Also got to see lots of different ways of knitting amongst the class itself. This lady and her friends are from Portugal and they wrap the yarn round their necks. We also had more ladies from America, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and various parts of England and Scotland.

An example of another lady's work. Liz deliberately gave out a mix of colours and light and dark yarn as our first one so that we could see the differences in colour combinations. It really was amazing the change just by alternating back ground colours.

A friend was brought in to show us how a lot of people on fair isle knit. They used three needles on the round. The one they are knitting onto is held against a belt. This prevents too much movement in the wrist which can cause health problems later on. You can also see the vest she is wearing which was designed by herself. Most knitters on the islands design their own.

You can't really see it here but the needle she is knitting onto is leaning against the leather belt. The way she is holding the yarn is just one of many ways of doing it.

Last but not least this is what I managed to get done. I am actually amazed that I did that. I had this image of having complicated ways of twisting the yarn at the back but it wasn't like that at all. We even got a bit of advice on colour choices and designing our own. I am looking forward to actually spending some time practising and experimenting.