Knit and Natter 7th May

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.

All in all a busy week for the group.

Knit & Natter 23 April

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

Knit and Natter Group Round up to April 9

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!

STOP PRESS

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.

Poppies for Remembrance Day

This November there have been some wonderful displays on our war memorials that reminded my of a project I took part a couple of years ago – the plan had been to decorate the memorial in Old Eldon Square but after being inundated with knitted and crocheted poppies this stunning river of red was created on the grass and the trees were decorated too.

All over the country statues and cenotaphs, trees and railings have been festooned with handmade poppies in a trend that I think began in 2018, the centenary of the end of the First World War.

In nearby Warkworth the bridge railings are decorated.

Here in Shilbottle this village sign at Shilbottle Grange has been decorated by a talented lady named Brenda who lives close by. She’s incorporated purple poppies to represent the animals that died in service during conflict.

Photo D Sanderson

Also in the village we have a community garden known as Green Hut Corner, which includes memorials to the war dead and also those who died in mining accidents at the two former collieries here. In recent months the garden was decorated with thank you messages to the NHS heroes of the COVID pandemic. The hedge here provides a wonderful backdrop to this year’s poppy display.

This year the gatherings, services and parades have either been cancelled or reduced so that social distancing can be observed, so by adding these poppies to displays over the last week or so people have been paying their respects in their own beautiful way.

But there are other ways to mark Remembrance Day with poppies. My friend Cal Boal posted this on her Facebook Page (where you can see other examples of her work). Cal is a a very talented quilter and I’m sure you will agree that her Poppy Portal quilt is stunning.

Taming the Knitting Needles

I mentioned in my post My Knitting Inheritance that I sorted out my large collection of knitting needles recently. I’d been storing them on a cardboard cylinder – a gift box that came with a bottle of bubbly in it, but everything was jumbled up and there were duplicate sizes so it took forever to find anything – even worse for the double pointed needles and having to to get the needle gauge out every time I wanted to use them.

I decided that it was time to make a storage roll, so I dug out a couple of pieces of cotton fabric, , bias binding, ribbon and a sheet of foam (previously some packaging – I do like to repurpose things.) I sort of made it up as I went along. Initially, the needles fell out the top, so I added an extra pocket along the top to tuck the needle ends in.

I’m so pleased with it! On the principle that everything is easier the second time, and because there was enough fabric left over, I made another smaller version to store my double pointed needles. I put strips of paper with the size on in each pocket (this will save a lot of time in the future!)

To complete the set, I made a wallet to hold all my circular needles,

I’m feeling super-organised now (well as far as my knitting needles go anyway!

Where do you store your knitting needles?