Friday, July 31

Urchin cosy mark II

Latest finished object is this tea cosy, a gift for my friend Emma for her birthday which is tomorrow.

Like my previous urchin cosy, I based the design on Ysolda's Urchin hat pattern from Knitty. I made it slightly longer top to bottom, and made it in two parts (each eight panels which I folded in half to make the cosy thicker). The parts were then sewed together leaving a gap for the spout and handle. With this version, however, I left the bottom of the handle end open, and instead put a large button and loop on it as I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get over the teapot I was knitting for. It's a bit difficult when you have to do it from memory - and to be honest, dimensions of teapots do not figure highly in priority for information to retain in my grey matter!

Instead of an oversize pompom I used the last scraps of yarn to make a long piece of I-cord which I then used to decorate the top.

Wednesday, July 29

Tuesday, July 21

Sheep music

Two great words, and a very fun little festival in Presteigne, just over the border in Wales last weekend. To be honest, we went as much for the name and the location as for anything else! Difficult to describe where it is - you go to Worcester and then drive west for about another hour or more, as the roads get smaller, the scenery more beautiful and the cars more scarce.

A sensible call by the organisers meant that all three main performance stages were under cover, and there was plenty of seating to be had all around the site. In fact we were spared rain until Sunday morning, when we had a few hours of showers but not enough to dampen the spirit.

Of course we found knitters - the local Stitch n Bitch hosted a sit and knit for a couple of hours each day outside the 'Village Hall' tent. We met Lisa, who runs the First 4 Yarns shop in Knighton (I nearly wrote Knitton then!) with her mum, and leads a life that many of us would envy! Of course she disabused me of the notion that it's not as idyllic as it sounds - rather than sitting around knitting all day, there are plenty of accounts to be done and other not so glamorous tasks. But I'd still like to give it a try!

Naomi and Claire were also there both days and we enjoyed a few hours chatting and knitting in great company.

The site also had bits of sculpture dotted around, including this - the Mothership. This view inside the large rocket-shaped sculpture explains the theme, a miniature kitchen complete with 1950's kitsch accessories! I suspect the empty beer bottle was added by a festival goer!

Drink: Ludlow Best
Food: Barbecued trout, freshly caught that day.
Cake: Gingerbread
Ice cream: Toffee crunch

Music: 3 Daft Monkeys, Martin Harley, New Rope String Band, and more.

Wednesday, July 15

Public knitting at the plinth

On Monday evening I met up with Greenwich Meantime knitters Caterina and Ellen for a vaguely impromptu public knit next to the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, which is currently the focus of a public art project curated by Anthony Gormley.

It wasn't just a random place to meet - we were there because knitter Marian Cinnamond was on the plinth for an hour, and we wanted to support her.

We were blessed by a pleasant sunny evening, not something to be taken for granted in the unsettled weather we are having at the moment, and we settled down on the steps and were very quickly joined by half a dozen other knitters who had come along for the same reason.

Marian took her place on the plinth and knitted away for an hour, pausing occasionally to answer questions from onlookers or to throw Cadbury's eclairs to the crowd. Everyone was very interested in what we were doing, and we got constant questions about whether we knew Marian, what we were doing, why we were here, what we were making, knitters who hadn't got any knitting with them wishing they could join in, photos taken, and some of the group were even interviewed for a documentary about Wensleydale sheep.

Which leads neatly on to the lovely 'real world' happening of the evening - I finally got to meet Felix of the Domestic Soundscape! I've been reading Felix's blog for some time now, enjoying her musings on food, knitting, domestic chores, music and life in general, and we even swapped mixtapes earlier in the year - she sent me a fantastic blend of knitting-related tracks and folky favourites, and I responded with some of my best-loved listening.

Felix was knitting with her giant needles and also carrying out some interviews with knitters for the documentary she is hoping to make, if she can get funding. I always enjoy meeting cyberfriends in the flesh, and have not been disappointed yet (if you ignore several rather disastrous online dating experiences but that all has rather different expectations attached).

Unfortunately since it was an impromptu knit I didn't have my camera with me, but a couple of Felix's friends have blogged about the evening, with photos, and you can read them here and here.

Skullholders for Sal

These groovy potholders were crocheted for Sal's birthday, and presented to her last weekend when I visited Leicester for the night. As is now traditional, handmade gifts were to the fore, with Lisa making a beautiful silver necklace for Sal's birthday too. You might remember Lisa and Sal from the homemade gifting on my birthday at the end of last year.

As you can see from that post, Sal does a lot of baking, and so the potholders seemed like the perfect gift. The pattern is Skullholders from the Happy Hooker book, the yarn is Rowan Allseasons Cotton which I bought from MCA Direct - I needed two balls of each colour. It didn't take long to make the potholders and it was quite simple once I got the hang of carrying the second colour along through the middle of the crocheting. However I did have to keep a close eye on the number of stitches as I found if I didn't, it was quite easy to add or lose a stitch or two without noticing.

The potholders were very well received, I hope they prove useful and practical!

Tuesday, July 7

Socks for Laura

I've finally managed to send the first Pay it Forward gift - and having had confirmation from Laura that she received the socks, am going to share them with you at last! I really enjoyed knitting the Spring Forward pattern from Knitty, in Lang Jawoll sock yarn - both the pattern and the yarn were a delight, and it was strange and rather exciting to be knitting something for someone I had never met. I am definitely going to do this pattern again, for myself this time!

My other two PIF recipients seem to have gone under the radar somewhat - possibly also as a result of me taking so long to send them yarny goodness I'm afraid :-( I'm going to try and nudge them and resurrect the plan, although I might have to extend my deadline a bit!