So, this is what the floor of Belinda’s studio looks like at the moment:
News for the ‘knitting’ Category
WORK IN PROGRESS…
So, this is what the floor of Belinda’s studio looks like at the moment:
Monday Mood – Edgy Soft Pastels
This mood board sort of fits with the paper bag series but without a paper bag!!
It was put together at the same time so follows the feel of the last 4 boards.
The inspiration has come from some great interior shots of rugs, tea towels, ceramics and blankets, but we included grey/charcoal tones to make the palette and bit edgy and ‘unpretty’ – it’s often a good way to make something predictable and obvious more interesting and unusual.
The yoked mohair sweater is such a fab shape – love the look!
Somewhere on somebody-or-other’s Pinterest* board a few weeks ago I saw a photo of a smart-looking child’s sweater. Not twee, not (thank the Lord Harry) pink, and not particularly childish. This one:
Rubble, by Alison Brookbanks of 6.5 Stitches. I forwarded said pic to best friend to see if she liked it enough for me to knit it for her little girl (I know, like I haven’t got enough knitting to do…). She did. So, I hoofed it off to Ravelry to have a closer look and promptly bought the pattern. I read the pattern, and immediately decided that this Rubble would be different. Firstly, it would be in cotton and striped, and secondly it would have shoulder seams. Shoulder seams are good, and here they would be a feature, a 3-needle cast-off on the right side.
There it is. Knitted in a combination of recycled Rowan Denim and James C Brett Craft / Dishcloth cotton (which I have blogged about before, here).
In the above pic it’s been washed at 60 deg C, tumble dried and it’s super-soft and really, rather nice. You can see it’s shrunk lengthways a bit, and that it all looks a bit more even. I don’t, you see, unravel, wash and re-wind the recycled denim, I merely undid the sleeve seam on an old jumper, unwound a bit and re-knitted it. As it’s going to be washed and tumbled I don’t see the point. And anyway, I wanted to start it there and then and if I’d done the unravel, wash, dry, re-wind faffing I would never have started.
More about the denim yarn and Rowan tomorrow… a sorry tale.
* I lie here – it wasn’t on any Pinterest board at all, it was on the fabulous Fringe Association blog, written by Karen Templer.
For North American Readers…
The arrival of the internet has undoubtedly been a fabulous thing for knitters all over the world. The chance to chat to like-minded individuals, browse patterns, learn all sorts of things about all sorts of people and places, squabble, moan…
Living in our tiny island bubble as we do (famously the weather forecast once reported fog in the English Channel as ‘Europe cut off’) we were used to certain phrases within our knitting patterns. It was assumed that you knew how to work a 1×1 or 2×2 rib, or moss stitch. ‘Complete to match left side, reversing all shapings’ is something we’re totally used to in cardigan patterns and holds no fear. The very first time I saw an American pattern that wrote all of these shapings out I was bemused. I mean, why? I thought. Surely everyone can do that?
The one aspect of patterns where we were perhaps always more prescriptive is demonstrated below. I found this little gem in a 1987 ‘Harmony Guide to stitch patterns’, and it made me laugh lots:
We’ve always been a bit more fussy over YOs…
If one of our patterns has holes in it, it’ll tell you exactly how to make those holes…
Newberet and Sca Fell Peak…
Ok, so one reason for getting so wet on the photoshoot at the weekend was to photograph our final (for the moment) beret pun, and also to get some pics of the Sca Fell Peak on a chap. Just to prove that a. it fits a chap and b.that it doesn’t look ridiculous on said chap.
So, we gathered our models, bags full of samples and assistants and set off. We were originally going to do this Saturday but had put it off because the weather was so bad so we absolutely had to do it Sunday regardless of the weather. Which was just about as bad as Saturday, so we still got wet and cold.
Our location managers (Wendy and her husband) had decided that Tredegar Square in Bow would be a suitable location. It was. Even better, after we’d got wet taking the pics there’s a fabulous pub, The Lord Tredegar (they don’t seem to have a website), in an adjacent road where we shuffled off to for a drink and a few indoor pics (the staff there were lovely and didn’t mind us faffing about in the least).
As I said, we were there primarily to photograph the latest (and for the moment, last) beret offering, the Newberet, a couple of jumpers that will be ready very soon and, as we have a chap available, a few pics of said chap in the largest Sca Fell Peak, just to prove that it looked good on a man. Here’s a closer look at the lovely Bryn in said hat:
Isn’t he fab? And he’s a very good cook, too. Anyway, onto the Newberet:
The Newberet is a chunky knit with twisted ribbing, moss stitch and stocking stitch. Wendy has finally stepped away from the pom-pom maker for a short while and resisted a pom-pom here, we just finished it off with a classic beret ‘stalk’ – basically a few rows of i-cord. It’s quite quick and perhaps easier than the Beret St. Edmunds as the moss stitch is gentler on the hands than the blackberry stitch with the chunky yarn. Still, we think that it’s really rather smart, proving that ease of knitting is in no way proportional to final stylishness of garment. We used Mondial Kross Chunky from Yeoman Yarns, but any fairly chunky yarn would work, Quince & Co’s Puffin might be a good substitute.
More details and pattern here (Ravelry link), TBk pattern page up later today. It’s going to snow again, knit yourself a beret, quick!
Finished Objects! As it is still unpleasantly cold here in Blighty (and likely to be damp, nay – wet – for the foreseeable future) here are a couple of warming things. Warming thing number 1:
This is a version of the Knotted Kernal cowl from my fabby pal’s book, Cloudy Apples. (Fabby pal is Jen Arnall-Culliford, in case you’re wondering. I also met co-author Kyoko Nakayoshi once, and she seemed very fabby too but I don’t really know her). Anyway, this was a lovely little knit, despite it being on circs which I loathe with a passion. Not big enough to be annoying or get boring and an easily rememberable pattern and a decrease which I just LOVE working (I’m sad like that). Poor photo, I admit, but there was nobody around to model it and it’s just not worth risking fingers and sanity by trying to plonk in on Iman. Knitted in some unidentifiable merino / cashmere mix (possibly) that I bought 2 hanks of in School Products in New York, oooh, possibly 6 years ago. This took just under one of those hanks, so I could, in theory, knit another if I ever get time. But what I really have to say is that Cloudy Apples is a lovely e-book of accessories and well worth a look / purchase.
And here we have warming thing number 2, a London Cowling.
In John Arbon’s Knit By Numbers (which makes me want to break into ‘Karma Chameleon’ every time I write it, despite that being Colour By Numbers. Still not got over that confusion), colour number KBN20, a tomato-y red. Posted off to fab friend Amanda over at The Women’s Room blog to brighten her (increasingly) beige coat collection. Perhaps soon we’ll be wearing t-shirts and not worrying about tucking woolly things around necks. Please?
Spring Clean, and finally, Hat Wittering…
Oh dear, where has this week gone? Well, my desk was looking like this:
so I had to do some serious tidying before I could get to the computer. Mind you, Wendy would say my desk always looks like that, but she is an uber-tidy person that actually, shockingly – throws things away! Either that or she’s very clever at shuffling all the bits of paper and cones of yarn and other stuff my way… hmm. I shall keep that in mind! Wendy, meanwhile has been so busy doing different teaching gigs that we’re considering setting up a ‘Where’s Wally?‘-esq* web page called ‘Where’s Wendy?’ and knitting her a bobble hat to wear so that I can try and find her more easily (she already has a stripy t-shirt).
Speaking of hats, I am really here to witter on about the four (yes, four) hat patterns I uploaded last Friday. So, in alphabetical order, we have… the Cheshire Hat:
One of Wendy’s students was wearing a (mass-produced) hat a bit like this, so this is our version of that. Really simple ribbing but clever construction gives you little cat ears when you wear it (hence the name, another of our awful puns). Cute or what? Ideal for kids and teens, but even adults can wear it and not look stupidly ridiculous:
Knitted in King Cole’s Merino Blend Chunky and only taking 2 balls, it’s both machine washable and also a very economical knit. Win / win. Our teenage models loved it, as did our far more grown-up twenty-something model. Obviously you could knit it in something more luxurious if you wanted to use up stash, at between 117 and 148 metres it doesn’t need a huge amount of yarn. More details and pattern link here.
Second up, there’s the Luton Cloche:
Which is a far more grown-up proposition entirely. Knitted in the stupendously lovely Artesano Aran you could easily transport yourself into Bloomsbury Set times as you wander around, trench coat buttoned and belted, or even in this rather lovely number from Toast. This one’s knitted in-the-round, and has lovely shaping details at the crown. We did it in two colours because we could, but one colour would be just as nice. We called it the Luton Cloche after the town where hats have been made for centuries, and where even the football team are nicknamed ‘The Hatters’. Again, deets and pattern link here.
Thirdly, we move back into Teen Territory with Rose Hip, a slouchy number.
Again in the King Cole Merino Blend Chunky, it’s a quick, easy knit that’s a cross between ribbing and cables. Show here on our adorable girly model, but this would work just as well for a teen-chap if knitted in a more sober colour. Or stripes. More wittering about Rose Hip here.
And finally. Possibly my favourite, the Sca Fell Peak:
Inspired by vintage cycling caps and old school / university caps, I think this is just so cool. Partly because for years I have adored the 1970s adaptation of ‘Three Men in a Boat’ by Tom Stoppard starring Tim Curry, Stephen Moore and Michael Palin where they sport vaguely similar caps.
Isn’t that a lovely print of a cycling cap?
The peak gets knitted first (all the shaping is integral) and then the rest of the hat is knitted onto it, so there’s no sewing involved. There are three sizes, and the possibilites for putting your own stripes / fairisle patterns are endless. Again, it’s the divine Artesano Aran. As you can see, the demon pompom maker of Bow has been active again, but a pompom is by now means necessary on this hat. Single colour Sca Fell:
More Sca Fell Peak details and pics here. So. It’s still really quite nippy and by no means too Springy for hats, certainly here in London anyway. Lots of choice for you, slouches, cables, berets, caps… Be warm. Look cool. In a Tbk hat.
* could any US readers attempt to explain why Wally is not Wally but Waldo in the States? Is Wally a Rude Word there? I mean I know that some parts of the UK call a pickled cucumber a ‘wally’, but even so, ‘Wally’ is still a name, if a tad old-fashioned ( a diminutive of Walter or Wallace, as in ‘Wallace and Gromit’).
Monday mood – Hats 3
Here is the third of our hat quartet of Monday moods. This is the Luton Cloche which we think is a very clever shape for a knitted hat (but very easy to knit) and reminiscent of the Bloomsbury Set, which always provides us with inspiration.
We love Vita Sackville-West and Dora Carrington especially although we have given our cloche a much more down at heel urban setting than Charleston or Sissinghurst! We have used the colours from our original colour inspiration board of pink and donkey grey. it would also work well made in one colour or with a contrast band. Watch out for our colour ideas later this week.
Monday mood – Hats 2
I can’t believe how quickly the Monday mood comes around each week, here we are again with our second hat mood. We hope you like and are knitting our new patterns in the hat and accessory story.
We have had fun designing and making them. Anyway here is our second mood which features the Canterberet and lots of pink (and grey of course!).