Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
Another crop of makes from our Knit and Natterers were on show on Friday,.
T is crocheting colourful wraps (shown above) for the yarn bombing installation we are taking part in this summer. We hope to identify a site within Alnwick Garden that we’ll be able to decorate with our handiwork. One suggestion was the Chatty Bench – a designated place to sit and chat, which would fit in with what our group is all about. We found out that this was right next to the toilets though, which put us off somewhat! We are now looking for somewhere else but wherever we end up it will certainly stand out with Tracey’s crocheting!.
A has crocheted a baby blanket.
She knitted this baby top (which has a matching hat too).
We’ve seen a lot of R’s gorgeous hexagon patchwork as it has grown over recent weeks. She’s not the only quilter in the group though. This week L showed us a quilt she’s been working on. The fabric prints, in lilac shades, have a butterfly theme.
The reverse is deep pink with polka dots.
Y has had a busy week but has not neglected her knitting. She’s been working on this cabled cardigan.
I’m still spinning alpaca and have tried dying some of it.
We had another lively session on Friday. Y has completed this amazing sweater for husband, C, made from his handspun yarn. isn’t it amazing. Y joined us from her car as she was out of the house – even the car has some of her handiwork in the form of this crocheted rainbow.
A borrowed my knitting loom set to have a go and made this baby hat. We agreed that loom knitting can be a real yarn guzzler, with several strands needed to get a decent finish.
L has been loom knitting for ages and uses chunky yarn when she can – here are some of her adult hats.
She’s also working on this pretty pink striped blanket.
S has made this barn owl motif, which will be added to a banner depicting endangered wildlife. The banner will be on show at the forthcoming Climate Change Summit.
She’s also finished a pretty baby cardigan and found the perfect buttons.
R’s patchwork is getting huge!
I’m still spinning alpaca for a jumper for myself.
We had a small but select gathering online for our Knit and Natter Group on Friday. As you can see, we are all keeping busy!
R’s hexagon patchwork (pictured above) is growing rapidly.
A is also working with hexagons – in crochet, being pieced together to make a pretty blanket in shades of pink.
L is making this knitting T shirt top.
We recently heard about an opportunity to take part in a yarn bombing event at Alnwick Garden. We are all rather excited about this and T has started already. This colourful scarf will look amazing wrapped round a tree!
I’m still spinning alpaca fleece. I’m working towards a sweater for myself.
It’s always great to see what everyone is working on.Knitting,crochet
When there’s a new baby being fussed over and showered with gifts, older siblings can get left out. When I delivered the Teddy Bear Baby Hoodie for my friend’s new baby boy I wanted to take something for his big sister. I didn’t have much time to come up with something but I made this flower hat on the knitting loom and it didn’t take long at all.
I used three strands of DK yarn, each in a different colour (purple, magenta and lilac).
When I finished it is felt there was something missing.
I crocheted a flower and sewed it on. Much better!
It was lovely to see the children and their mum this morning when I took their presents over. We sat in the garden and had coffee. What a nice way to spend a morning!
What do you make when you need a last minute gift?
It’s been a strange few weeks. The weather is all over the place (four seasons in one day) and as we gradually come out of Lockdown and readjust to yet another “new normal ” it is reassuring to find a few constants in life. Friday Knit and Natter Zoom meetings have become that, though of lately knitting seems to have ground to a halt. Fortunately the other group members have been very productive, whether they fit knitting in between work and family commitments or knit around the clock. I’m always curious (and Inspired) to see what everyone is up to because they produce such range of items. We all have such diverse knitting interests, whether that is participating in a community or charity project or knitting for ourselves and family members. Some prefer to knit smaller items such as hats or baby clothes and others prefer longer term projects like blankets or adult sweaters. There are always so many techniques being used too, whether that is colour work or cable…..and not just knitting but crochet too…and in this selection, embroidery and patchwork! Here are some of the many items they have been completing via screenshots from our weekly Zoom meetings.
LC was inspired by a pattern in a magazine and quickly completed this Fair Isle Cushion cover in bright primary colours.
Y completed her sock knitting challenge and raised money for charity. She also made a boy’s hoodie with a diamond cable panel, a red jacket with a contrasting white design on the yoke and a reverse stocking stitch jumper in pretty pastels with a lacy panel (from her “Knit in a Box” subscription). She even made some mittens at the request of someone with a Bearded Collie – they already had some yarn spun from their dog’s coat and wanted an item made from it. They look super-warm! Both Y and her husband spin yarn – he’s been prepping several different sheep fibres on the drum carder and now Y is knitting him a jumper with the yarn he’s spun. Teamwork!
R finished her aqua ombre scarf and is now working on something completely different. She’s returned to a project she began with her mother some 50 years ago! She’s hand sewing a patchwork of hexagons. It’s been lovely to see all the fabric colours and designs and watch it growing with each week as more sections are added.
Also getting bigger is T’s blanket. We’ve all fallen in love with the raspberry pink/red shades.
LG’s crochet blanket in black and grey with a hint of pink is now finished. It’s a great colour combination….sort of girly goth! She then moved on to a colourful rainbow scarf and is now making a much paler baby pink blanket
The group have made a lot of baby clothes since we began, and these have been sent to good causes at home and abroad. Gill has been busy continuing this and producing some lovely items, including a very pretty multicolour cable jumper.
S has been making baby items too.. These her most recent completions.
She also told us about a project she’s been involved with to create a banner for the Climate Change Summit being held later this year. This will be comprised of many small panels made by participating crafters, each with their own environmental themed designs. S has used some examples of endangered wildlife on her contributions. The finished banner is going to give an amazing depiction of biodiversity under threat from climate change.
Our newest member A has also been making charity baby clothes including, bootees and hats as well as a cuddly bunny. She recently acquired a new book full a patterns for different hats and scarves and made a flowery one – perfect for using up oddments of yarn!. She also made a cabled headband with a Celtic weave design
After some information was circulated round the group about a plan to create a display of knitted poppies for Remembrance Day later in the year , we were all a bit puzzled by the pattern supplied. It included a twist to give the shape but it wasn’t very clear about how to do this. We put our heads together one Friday and Y worked it out, then A found a You Tube video that showed a similar technique. What a collaboration!
No doubt I’ve missed some items out for which I apologise….I really need to keep up to date with my blog!
The group met again today and I just had to post about LC’s Fair Isle cushion, now completed with a stylish ribbed edge and button closure as it looks amazing. I didn’t take any other photos as we were enthusiastically discussing potential plans to take part in a yarn bombing project. !
Have you ever done yarn bombing? I’d love to hear about what you did.
We had a lively online get together on Friday and as usual there were some beautiful projects in progress and recently completed.
Pictured above are some silk/mohair socks that Y is making as part of her charity challenge for Versus Arthritis – she’s being sponsored for the number of socks she can make in a given time. The socks are promised to the person who supplied the yarn (I think it is handspun – it looks very warm and cosy). She also just completed this children’s cardigan from materials that arrived as part of her Knit In A Box subscription.
R finished her pink cardigan.
Her next project planned is this lovely Fair Isle design cushion.
L has mastered cable as part of her jacket – the cables run up the front edges.
G just cast on with this pretty variegated yarn she bought recently – It’s going to be a baby top.
Last week T acquired a long, narrow hot water bottle – such a practical shape. It’s going to be so much nicer to use now that she’s crocheted a cover for it.
I just started another alpaca hat with a twisted rib edge.
We are a busy lot!
Are you managing to keep in touch with your knitting friends?
The group met again on Friday . Here are a couple of screenshots of group members’ recent projects.
The beautiful lacy baby blanket is now finished, Last week we were talking about how the maker was going to do the edge and she’s chosen this pretty scalloped crochet design. It works beautifully.
She’s also about to start a knitting challenge to raise funds for the Versus Arthritis charity – this will involve knitting as many socks as possible within a set time period – she’s planning on using a silk yarn, so they are going to be very luxurious socks. She’s got her teeshirt to wear during the challenge!
With her pink cardigan almost done except for the sewing up, this member has returned to the sparkly ombre scarf – up to the pale stripe now.
I’ve been working on a project in handspun undyed alpaca. Can you guess what it is?
Friday was the first meeting of the year for our online knit and natter group. As always there were some lovely projects in progress.
My fellow spinner finished these pretty striped socks during the session.
Before Christmas she was running out of yarn for a green sweater she was knitting for her son – she ended up having to spin 200g more, but got it finished. She’s also been crocheting some cute little dolls to go in a dolls house.
She is selling one of her traditional spinning wheels and I am very tempted to buy but I really need to think about space and weight before I buy a traditional wheel – I’ll stick to my little Electric Eel Wheel Nano for now. It easily fits in a drawer so no storage problems.
Having made a load of Christmas decorations in December this member is now back to her waterfall front cardigan in this gorgeous pink shade.
This blanket is progressing well in beautiful vibrant raspberry shades – it’s a really stunning variegated yarn.
I’m finishing off a cabled hat made from my handspun alpaca. I just need to attach the pompom – I’ll used a press-stud so it can be removed for washing. This is going to be lovely and warm to wear.
It was good to see everyone after the Christmas break. We talked about how well the COVID vaccine is being rolled out in this area – local sessions are working really well. Jane from the Social Prescribing team at the GP practice, who runs our Knit and Natter sessions has been helping to run the immunisation sessions. I hope that everything goes to plan and those concerned are able to work through the different age/risk groups and get to me – I can’t wait!
A few years ago a lovely friend of ours gave birth to a daughter. I usually knit clothes for new babies but this time I decided to do something different. I thought it would be fun to make a soft toy. The new mum has been a keen horsewoman since she was a little girl and has several horses. I thought I’d make a toy horse and make it as much like her favourite one as possible. I found a crochet pattern on Ravelry but adapted it quite a lot, changing the hooves, legs and ears significantly. That’s how I came to make a toy version of Mr Messy the chestnut cob. He’s very showy with a blonde mane and tail. I copied his white feet, crocheting them in white yarn – this worked at the second attempt. I was working from a picture of Mr Messy that had been taken after he’d been through some mud so I didn’t realise he had any white on his legs at all! I used beads for eyes, sewed on a felt patch for his white face and embroidered on his other features then attached a fringe for the mane and some longer strands for the tail.
When our friend had a second child, a boy this time, what could I do but make a version of her second favourite horse, Hettie the black mare.
Having seen the two I made for the babies, another friend ordered one of each of her two horses, a couple of hunters, both bay geldings, Roper and Toasty. I only have a picture of Roper here. but when I made these two I became aware of just how many different browns there are. At one point daughter was following a horse around holding up three balls of yarn so she could find the best match. I only make them now and again, but if I ever set up a business doing these I’d have to call it “Fifty Shades of Bay”!
Before long that baby girl I first made a horse for was big enough to be riding a pony of her own. Here she is with Tansy the Exmoor pony.
Around this time I’d learnt how to do needle felting, and this seemed like a great way to do facial details so I surface felted the little white star or Tansy’s forehead, her nostrils and the lighter colouring on her muzzle.
The other detail I always add are the horseshoes, like on the latest mini horse that I just finished last week – a nice finishing touch!
They are fun to do (though I wouldn’t want to be making them full time) and once you’ve overcome the initial colour matching challenge they come together quite quickly. They’ve always gone down really well with their new owners, a sort of cartoon miniature version of a much loved horse or pony.
Many thanks to A Heatherington and A Straughan for the photographs of their children and horses!
There were more lovely projects on show at Friday’s online Knit and Natter session, which is organised by the social prescribing teams at GP surgeries here in Northumberland. Our big news this week is we’ve had a write up in the UK national knitting press! This follows a request for more information about the group from Simply Knitting magazine.
Christmas knits continue with this cute little snowman….
…and a pair of Christmas angels.
This Fair Isle project is getting bigger. I absolutely love the duck egg/teal colour combination here.
If my memory serves me correctly, this next project is a baby jumper. The central panel with its lacy design is just gorgeous.
One of our recently joined members has taken knitting up again after a break and though it took her a while to get hold of needles and yarn during lockdown, she is now steaming ahead with charity knits including these two lovely baby hats.
The crocheted elephant that was still in pieces last week is now all done, complete with pink toenails! I think we’ve all fallen in love with him/her, especially having seen him come together over recent weeks.
One of the ladies from the Berwick group joined us on Zoom for the first time this week. She is a keen spinner too. I loved being able to talk to her and her husband (who is also a spinner and joined us briefly). Since I started spinning in September this is the first time I’ve actually had a conversation about my new obsession to a fellow enthusiast! They told me about some great sources of equipment and supplies. She is taking part in a Mystery Knit Along which has been organised by the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. In return for a donation to the charity, sections of a pattern were released gradually over 4 weeks. As the project is well underway now I don’t think it would be spoiling the mystery too much if I show a screenshot of her work on this.
Click on the link above if you’d like access to this lovely pattern by donating to a very worthwhile cause.
I think this was one of the best supported sessions we’ve had since the Zoom group got underway. It’s such a friendly group and I always look forward to Friday lunchtimes and seeing what everyone’s been up to.