Skyscrapers and String


Deep Blue Something

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a jolly week and looking forward to the weekend.

Today is my day off and I love the peace of a long weekend. It is seriously good for the soul.

I have a lot of things to get done, my list is long, but they are all fun things in the main. Or productive tasks. For example, the week after next is a week off for Jon and I, and today we decided what we needed to get for the decorating we plan to do, so, tick!

The poppies were all sold, we raised over £1200 plus £4£ matched funding, which was amazing.

Amber got the Internship she had applied for, and was also asked to speak on a Panel debate on children’s human rights, which was being filmed, and, according to the reviews, and to us the proud parents, she stole the show; giving a passionate, thoughtful and rousing call to action which moved everyone, confident and strong even though she was speaking alongside some very eminent and respected experts, including a High Court Judge.

On the knitting front, Club met several times this week, we have been making plans for a charity christmas sale, so the juggernaut never stops. Accordingly, I have been racking my brains as to what I can contribute. Hmmm.

One of the sillier work projects on my plate has been removed, so I am very pleased, and I finished another that I thought would never end, so today feels like a celebration day all round.

Also knitting related, I have finally started my “Deep Blue Something” project. It’s the usual story. Stash builds up, colours sing to each other and I put them together, a random acquisition of gorgeous yarniness gets added, then you end up with a basket of woolly harmonies singing to be knitted next!

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I took them after Poppying and shawling this week, and swifted the 1200 grs of yarn into mini balls. Then I ordered the colours until I was happy.

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I loved the stripe pattern of the Alder Shawl by Kaffe Fassett; and thought I’d take that as the basis for my design.

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I’m using totally different yarn, in different colours, it’s a different size and a different construction, so is my “Deep Blue Something” an Alder or something else?

How do you decide if you have altered something enough for it to be your own design?

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Blocking Orchids

Just a little preview of the wrap Jon helped me block today…I can’t believe I have a man who will happily help me with blocking!!

I’ll give you a proper tab daah tomorrow, I’ll get some nice pictures in daylight.

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Do Knitters Knit Alike?

Wednesdays are my favourite weekdays.

Knitting Club, which has been going two years now, is on Wednesdays. Our group has such a diverse membership, we are all such different people, yet the one thing we have in common glues us together – knitting. Club is fun, we chat, we sort each other’s problems out, we laugh, and we ooh and aah over what is on each other’s pointy sticks or hooks.

But I was thinking today, for all we might admire another’s knitting, do knitters really ever like to make the same knitting projects?

In our group we have crocheters, designers, sock makers, and baby clothes makers, we have all made blankets and hats and scarves and cardigans. But they are all to our own quite individual tastes!

I have friends in real life, and Ravelry friends, and their knitted goods are often wondrous, and I might marvel at their skill, and I certainly regularly covet what they have created! But, if you ask me would I knit that exact item myself? No would be the answer I would honestly have to give.

Even if we were to settle on the same pattern, it is unlikely we would follow it the same way. Would we us the same colour? Definitely No, we might also not even use the same make of yarn.

I once had the privilege to attend a Rowan Crochet Club weekend workshop at the fabulous Rowan Mill in Holmfirth. I learned so much there, and Jane Crowfoot who runs these is a genius. I saw at first hand a room full of crafters, supplied with the same yarn and pattern, and all committed to making the same project, yet they all did it their way.

A knit-a-long is the nearest you’ll get to knitters agreeing. And then all you will notice is how wildly different the end results turn out!

I cannot say that my view on things is a hard and fast rule that other knitters would instantly agree with, however, I do know that when you make anything stitch by stitch yourself it becomes an alchemy between hand and eye and heart.

Unique to you and to your own pleasing, even if it is a gift.

Part of you goes in amongst the raw materials you are using and as if by magic, the creation happens.

What comes out is part craft, part you, and the result is a new and unique thing entirely.

This is the beauty and splendour of being a maker, and it sets you apart from the majority who are non-makers, and gives you the personal pride and sense of achievement that comes from being a crafts person.

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Rowan 53, Knitting Triumph or Disaster….

To my delight Rowan 53 arrived this morning. Can I say from the outset that I am very proud of Rowan, I love their yarns and I support them with my hard earned cash in every way I can.

What I cannot always guarantee will delight me is their magazine, which is published twice a year.

In previous years, the magazine and the subscription service has caused me a huge headache, with my loyal subscription lapsing because they couldn’t manage to issue a reminder, with the magazine coming so late it was available in the shops weeks before I got it, and the endless difficulty in dealing with their offices for any of the above. In 2011, I had to speak with two different people to renew my subscription as they couldn’t update their spreadsheet and take my credit card in the same department….

Anyway, enough of that! This year, my renewal reminder came promptly, I was able to renew on line and choose my gift, and my gift came inside a week, which is first class service. Am so pleased!

Back to the magazine. My issue with Rowan is that some of the designs are lovely, but a bit dull, and some are shocking and completely ugly and unwearable. In recent years, there has been a total absence of nice finishing details, otherwise super items pinned together with no edgings, square sleeves which make an un appealing boxy drop shoulder and so on. If you look on Ravelry, you will see the best projects from other up and coming designers use interesting details like contiguous shoulders, slip stitches, lace edgings and top down construction.

The first design, Santorini, is a beautiful floral summer tee, however the sleeves are hacked on and don’t even look like they are sewn on straight. Anyone over a size 14 or with a wide upper arm will find this style does not suit. At all. No.

The next item is a wrap, worn like a bolero. The garment is one size, yet it is sprayed on tight to the the pencil thin model. None of the other images show it being worn another way, so that one is a straightforward “no”.

The next design is a floral 4ply jumper. Only the brave and most experienced of knitters will be able to turn this one out without horrid gaps where the yarns swap. No.

Kos, the next design is a pretty crochet top, but it is in a hard cotton yarn like fine string so it will make a stiff fabric. There are holes at nipple height so might be a bit hot with another top underneath. Unless revealing your parts appeals.

Crete is a pretty jumper but Rowan love nasty keyhole neckline details. And you can tell the edges all curl up which would make it irritating to wear as you’d look like yesterday’s sandwich.

Corfu is a nice floral pattern, good colours, yet again the same bingo wing design sleeves. The 18 year old model with a BMI of 8 looks like she needs to workout with dumb bells.

Artemis, pretty colours and texture, fashionable longer length, nice appliqué but no edgings and the buttonholes gape. And a weird neckline.

Rhodes, ugly sleeve caps, boxy, Rorschach test inkblot design, I say it’s an approaching sandstorm.

Samos, lovely lace stitch and colour. Why the peculiar coat tails at the back? And why boob holes in a summer jumper again?

Am feeling a bit weak. Might just be the New Year’s diet and the lack of blood sugar. Will park my review here, but I’m warning you, I have skipped through the pictures just now and there are some shockers ahead!!

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