15 April 2019

I Went North...

to Scotland last week. My sister moved just over a year ago from the North East of Scotland down to the South East of Scotland just outside of Edinburgh.  My mother was down visiting for a week so I took the opportunity to fly up from London for a couple of days to see them both.  It is an area I don't know very well so we had fun exploring and being tourists :) My sister lives just 10 minutes from the beautiful countryside of the Pentland Hills.  I had wanted to see the Kelpies for some time and we had a beautiful day for it.  You can read more about these incredible sculptures here if you are interested. http://www.thehelix.co.uk

The next day we visited the world heritage site at New Lanark an 18th Century Mill Village on the River Clyde.  It was fascinating to read about and see what life would have been like for the workers living there.  You can read more about the history here http://www.newlanark.org

The Mill originally spun cotton but it has now been converted to spin wool, so of course I bought some from their shop! All the money they make from the tea rooms and gift shop go back into maintaining the Mill.

I bought some of their gorgeous 100% wool in a lovely Cherry Red shade.  I think I will knit this design from Marie Wallin https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/petal-18

I did bring my knitting with me and managed to get a few rows done, in between teaching my niece aged 12 to knit.  It was lovely to see her so enthusiastic, we bought some fun striped chunky yarn and big needles for her to practice on, she was really getting the hang of it by the time I left.  I am making good progress on Tenaya motivated by wanting to start knitting with my new wool :)

I am very disciplined when it comes to knitting and only have one project on the go at a time, unlike quilting when I have multiple projects! It seems easier to put down a quilting project and pick it back up again than with knitting I don't know why.

26 March 2019

I've been Knitting!

Unlike quilting which I like to do year round, I find myself with the urge to knit as soon as the temperatures drop in the Autumn.  I don't need such good lighting for knitting as I do for sewing, so it's the perfect hobby for winter evenings.  You may remember the Guernsey Jumper I completed back in November 2017?

As soon as I had finished it, I wanted to knit something else, I decided to try something different and so signed up for a Craftsy Class in Icelandic Knitting, I wanted to learn colour work techniques and steeking (you knit in the round and then cut the knitting to make an opening for the cardigan front!)

It is knitted in special Icelandic Lopi wool which is lovely to knit with and very reasonably priced, I found a source here in the UK which was obviously cheaper than buying the Craftsy Kit.

The class was really good, but definitely not for beginners:) I learned a lot and the nice thing about Craftsy classes is that you can go at your own speed and watch the videos as often as you like. Just as well as I have only just finished!
Ravelry notes here: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/suller/top-down-icelandic-sweater

I am really happy with it, it is warm and fits really well. I found some beautiful Celtic style button in my favourite shop (Liberty) which I think really work well.

While looking through my yarn for something else to knit, I came across this cardigan in pieces. I abandoned it years ago as I did not know how to sew it up properly! I decided to take another class in finishing techniques and it is finally done! It looks an odd shape in this photo  but it does fit well :) Pattern is 'It's the Berries' by Carol Sunday.
Ravelry notes here: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/suller/its-the-berries

I still feel like knitting at the moment so I have started 'Tenaya' by Elizabeth Doherty, Ravelry link: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/suller/tenaya  It has a lovely combination of lace and cables.

I am using a yarn that I bought a couple of years ago. It is a gorgeous native British yarn from Blacker Yarns, all of their yarns are from regional and rare British sheep and spun at their mill in Cornwall. This is from Gotland sheep and is a wonderful natural mottled silver colour

In the accompanying leaflet they say that if you give them the batch number of your yarn, they can tell you where the fleece was raised - really? I had to try, apparently I am the first person who has ever asked! I had a lovely email from them telling me:
"The fibre in your batch is from the 2013 clip of Sue’s very own Gotland flock, based near St. Austell in Cornwall. It was spun on our mill near Launceston – like all our yarns."

My yarn came from these sheep!

I bought it in October 2015, so it's about time I knitted it up!

The cardigan is knitted top down in one piece so you can very cleverly try it on as you go, I don't know how long this will take, but I am enjoying the process, and the combination of the natural lanolin from the wool, and wooden needles have been wonderful for my arthritic hands this winter.

I have it all stored in my lovely knitting bag I made a few months ago