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The Sights & Sounds of Autumn Knitting

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Being without an internet connection wasn’t all bad, you know. I did an unusual amount of reading, splashed some watercolours around, managed to connect my Strat to my Macbook, and even ventured into a bank. Oh, and I made this trailer for the Cornflower Hat. It’s a bit better than my last attempt, I think, but hopefully not nearly as good as my next. :)


(click here if you can’t see the embedded video)

I think the work you put into your knitting will reward you richly, not just in the beauty of the final piece, but in more profound ways, just like the pretty spring blossoms bear fruit in autumn. That’s the story I tried to tell in this video. Also, of course, that a hat with a drawstring is an excellent place to keep your lunch, perhaps Paddington-style marmalade sandwiches?

You can also amuse yourself by spotting all 5 types of fruit in the trailer, and identifying the following quotations that were going through my head as I shot the clips:

  • “…sloeblack, slow, black…”
  • “…it is only flowers, they had no fruits…”
  • “nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries…”
  • “the pears are not viols…”
  • “hope is the thing with feathers…”
  • “when I am an old woman I shall wear purple” (I might start now!)

Many thanks to Granddad’s orchard, Grandma’s greenhouse, Dad’s camera, providential butterflies, birdsong and the D chord.

The pattern will be released this week, knitters! I hope you enjoy it…

12th September, 2011  // Inspiration, Roundelay // tags: , , .

Ruskin

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ruskin baby hat

I squealed with delight this morning on finding a download link from WoollyWormhead for her Bambeanies ebook! A while back when she was looking for name suggestions for the patterns, I nominated a few of my favourite Jabberwocky words, and I was lucky enough that she chose one of them. And now I get to squeal once a week as the patterns land in my inbox! Hmm, I wonder which one is Beamish? :)

Well, I was so excited that I cast on for a Ruskin right away, using some leftover yarn from my first Parasol Shawlette. There’s a very special baby girl who is to make her début in September, and hopefully she’ll enjoy wearing it.

ruskin baby hat

The pattern is very quick & easy, but I did learn something new. I tried out WoollyWormhead’s Alternate Cable Cast On for ribbing for the first time. It’s a clever variation on the usual cable cast-on, and very easy to remember, so I shall certainly be using it in the future.

The name reminds me of a vague little daydream I’ve had for a few years, to be in a band called “Buskin’ Ruskin”. I wonder whether the man himself would approve? ;)

12th July, 2011  // Inspiration // tags: , .

Why Knitters Are Nicer

live

I was so so so cheered by all the lovely messages, newsletter replies, tweets, and of course blog comments I received yesterday. And a mention on the Electric Sheep Podcast was just the icing on the birthday cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely knitters! Replies are on their way.

I’m usually a pretty upbeat, positive person, and I adore doing this here, with you. I still find this a little hard to define, because as you know I do a lot of random, silly things, and knitwear design sometimes seems like a small part of it. I love ideas more than anything, and design more than most, and knitting as much as, well… you, and all together they make me very happy indeed. But every day I meet people who scoff at my work, who ask me snidely how much I make, and inevitably wonder when I will get a proper job (& my own place). Luckily for me, none of these people are in my family. I don’t get hurt by these comments (that would be ridiculous), but I certainly get cross. There was a time when they made me doubt myself, and I sat in a dark office and did work that made no one on earth happy, least of all me. But now I brush them aside and try to use my crossness to fuel me in my work. Still, if it wasn’t for the positive feedback I get from you, I don’t know how long I’d be able to sustain this.

So THANK YOU! & if you’re just heading out on your own path and working for yourself, please don’t listen to the naysayers. Listen to your own true, brave voice and no other. Trust your own confident, capable hands. Don’t let anyone come between you and the joy of steering your craft.

You might be interested to note that my cynics all share one common factor (apart from cynicism, that is): they’re inevitably non-knitters. Which leads me to believe that there is a higher preponderance of nice people among knitters than in the general public. I have some theories about this:

  • Knitting is a calming occupation. Because knitters relieve stress through knitting, they’re less likely to lash out at others.
  • Knitting is a creative act, and it’s my belief that creating something makes people feel more fulfilled, so that they don’t have the urge to belittle the work of other people to make themselves feel better.
  • Knitting is contemplative, and anyone who takes the time to slow down and listen to their thoughts is better able to assess their relationships with others.
  • Knitting teaches you patience.
  • The devil makes work for idle hands. A knitter’s hands are always busy.

Of course we all have a long way to go, but I do believe that knitting can help us get there. Don’t you agree? :)

21st June, 2011  // Inspiration, Life // tags: , , .
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