Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remberance Day

My son is in the army cadets, so each Remberance Day Service we head to town to watch with pride as he takes part in the service.

His platoon is part of the Gloucester Rifles whom many of my partners family have served with in the army.

Today's blog is a snap shot of the service today held in Cheltenham.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Release of my shawl or poncho design. "Coming Together"

When I was growing up I was very lucky as my mum took the time to teach and nurture my creative desire and taught me to knit.

I am so glad she did.  There is not a day goes by that I am not either knitting or doing some crotchet.

Last weekend my son took this lovely picture of us both crafting together. 

This year I set myself a challenge. I wanted to get back into designing.  I had the privilege of going to De Montfort University from 1994-1997 where I graduated with a BSc in Knitwear Design and Production.   It was an amazing experience, but I didn't really make the most of it upon graduation.

However my son is now growing up rapidly and I wanted to get back into my passion.

Over the years I have been lucky enough to meet two inspiring ladies who have helped build my confidence.  Jeni owner of Fyberspates has been such an amazing mentor and Maggie of Textile Garden has such faith in me and is always so encouraging.

Earlier this year I headed to Wonderwool
I do love this show as their is a great cross section of indie dyers.  One of these dyers that I do love is Triskelion Yarn.

I fell in love with the yarn. It's laceweight yarn with in a range of gorgeous colours, made from 100% Falkland Merino. It comes in 100grams with 800 metres.   I used the colourways Anvil and Maes.

My inspiration initially started from this image.

I wanted my design to mirror itself,  but I also wanted it to be delicate with the lace edging and bold with the contrast of colours. 

During the time I was starting and working on my design myself, my Mother and my son where heading off on a trip to Angelsea as my mum is from Holyhead. 

During our time here my knitting went everywhere.

On the top of Snowdonia. 

At the harbour in Holyhead.

In the cafe during a day trip out.

It was a very special trip.

On our return I finished the design and with much patients, guidance and help from Woollen Words Amelia who has tech edited the pattern for me it is now available to buy On Ravelry.

If you are an instagram user why not use our #comingtogethershawl link to share your lovely finished projects.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Emily Quinton Make Light Photography Course

For two weeks in October I have registered to take part in Makelight Photography course for Knitting and Crotchet.  

The course I have taken part in is an online one over two weeks as opposed to a day course that Emily also offers.

The first task was to take an image of your knitting.

I have teamed this up with another course I'm doing run by Joeli Kitchen Designer Bootcamp.

For me it's an incredible opportunity to learn more about designing which is my love and incredibly the course is free. Joeli is an amazing and supportive teacher.

So my first image encompasses my sketchbook and knitting that I will be using.

Our photography workshop is teaching us to try and portray a story with our images and find a style that suits us.

The image of the flower I like as I love the vivid purple against the green and the seedheads showing the end of the flowering season.

The brickwall depicts the fact that this wall was painted with anti climb paint and yet people have tried to climb it and I love the shades of browns and blacks.

Today Day Three of the course I took an image of my current wip crotchet blanket I am making for my son.  It is a basket I use everyday and I love it.

This image is a close-up showing the lace and stitch detail along with the 10mm buttons used.  The pattern is my design called Coming Together Shawl.

Next on the lesson from Emily we are learning about composition.  I personally like images that are not too "fussy".

This image is my swatch I am working on for the next project.

Then we move onto the Rule of thirds.

Their are many helpful sites on the net but this is a quick overview.

The first of my two images were taken on a dog walk in the local park where I spot the solitary Dog Rose in amongst the berries on the bush.

The second image was me wanting to capture a close-up of my knitting against the still flowering Rose in my garden.

To finish the week I took the some images firstly on the morning dog walk of sheep's fleece blowing in the wind.

Then spurred on from seeing lovely images from fellow Instagram friends I decided to head out to my favourite local Cotswold town of Winchcombe.

Initially on my walk down to Sudley Castle I noticed a wide variety of mushrooms growing in the grass verge.  I do love mushrooms, they so make me think of Pixie's and Fairies.

I then decided to walk part of the Cotswold Way around the outskirts of the castle and came into a field to my pleasure they had four Alpaca's of varying colours.

Oh my goodness softness does not even cover it!!

I then found a perfect log and decided to sit down, get out the knitting and enjoy the amazing setting.

After half an hour I was starting to get a little chilly, but I guess it is mid October so not really surprising.

So I headed off around the town to have a look at the scenery.

Winchcombe is so so pretty, from lovely allotments to gorgeous quaint buildings.

I hope you have enjoyed my week.  Please feel free to leave any comment.

Until next time...

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Joeli Kitchen Designer Bootcamp

At the beginning of October Joeli set up an online free course that is open to anyone to join.

It is an incredible opportunity for anyone who would like to be able to design their own pattern.  It can be anything you want and with her guidance each week she shows you through the process.

With the aid of an app that I had not previously used called Periscope Joeli posts a live video that you can asks questions, whilst she is broadcasting then the link stays live for 24 hours for viewers to watch.

In the initial week Joeli encourages us to Swatch and get some ideas flowing with yarn choices, needle gauge, stitch definition that we would like to use.

For me personally I have approached this Bootcamp in a different way and delved back into my past knowledge when I studied Knitwear Design at De Montfort University.

I tend to start off with an initial inspiration which this time for me was the yarn I will be using.

I have used Triskelion Yarn on many of my own projects and have a love of the colours that Caerthan produces.  His eye for colour and the blends that he uses are just amazing.

The colour I am using is called Freo.  It is a blend of 50% Blue Faced Leicester and 50% Baby Suri Alpaca.

My next plan was to start thinking of inspiration.  As we are now in full throws of Autumn here I decided to turn to the countryside whilst walking the dogs for ideas.

From just one walk I collected this amazing abundance of beautiful coloured and different shaped leaves, so this was a good starting point.

I then got out my trusty sketchbook and have started to draw out ideas and with the help of Pinterest which I use a great deal for many different reasons, be it personal storing of family images, to getting inspiration, or keeping a record of designers work I follow.  I find it such a great tool to access.

So I shall be busy now starting with my swatching and seeing what develops.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Yarndale 2015

I was exceptional lucky enough to take my third trip up to Skipton this year and visit Yarndale.  
The show has grown massively in popularity each year and this year there were over 10,000 visitors! 

For me it's not just about visiting the show, it's the whole package of seeing talented designers, Indie dyers, meeting incredible people and soaking up the atmosphere. 

I apologise in advance as I was so busy chatting I didn't take enough photographs but here is a snippet of my trip.

I love this yarn by a company called Teeswater Wools.  There fleece is from there flock of Pedigree Teeswater Sheep. The 4ply hanks are Teeswater and Wensleydale Worsted spun yarn.  Each skein is uniquely dyed.

I used a skein of there yarn to produce my own shawl design scarf Falling leaves.

Whistlebare yarn is "Soft, lustrous and natural knitting & crochet yarns from the wilds of Northumberland.  Mohair from our Angora Goats and wool from our Wensleydale Sheep is spun in Yorkshire before being hand dyed" and the in house designer produces some stylish  Knitwear design patterns.

Knitting4fun offer the whole range of KnitPro needles such a lovely stall.

I just adore the colours and the Alpacas, when I win the lottery :)

Susan Crawford is phenomenon in the knitwear industry and her Vintage inspired designs are just incredible.

At the end of the day I decided to take a workshop on Intarsia knitting run by Jaki Bogg.  This style of knitting is not something I will do often as my "handle" is "Textureknit" as texture is my passion, but I love to learn and explore as much knitting related knowledge as possible.

Over the years I have slowly started to build up a knowledge of a few knitwear designers and have the pleasure of chatting to them, which for me is just fascinating. 

Louise is the founder of Inspiration Knits.  She has produced a beautiful new book called Knit Play Colour which encompasses 10 patterns including shawls, cowls and a blanket, head over to Ravelry to see the patterns.

I can never go to a show and not visit Maggie the owner of Textile Garden. If you need any button she will have it along with amazing ribbons and shawl pins.

I just love PomPom Podcast they are such a dynamic team and the podcast is so uplifting and fun.

Manning the stand when I called round was Amy Collins the Associate Editor as she said "behind the scenes", she was modelling the Maude jumper from the latest issue 14 Autumn 15.

I love this picture of this Christine the brains behind Winwickmum.  Her passion to get people knitting socks is infections.  She has produced a guide to help with this challenge and as she describes the book is as if she is in the room with you.  I can't wait to get started!!

Eden Cottage company is run by the most incredibly and talented lady Victoria.  Her yarn is just exquisite with the colour ranges on offer.  To cap this talent she has produced the most divine book Drift Collection it comprises of 12 patterns. Three hats, fingerless mitts, cowls, a child's jumper, shawl, cardi's and a jumper in an amazing size range.

My last people picture is of Lucy who as it stands today has 320,750 followers on Facebook alone!!! She is the most down to earth, kind, knowledgeable lady who has inspired so many people not only to blog but create and join in with crotchet.  Her blog Attic24 is a joy to behold, the photography and the way she engages the reader is just inspirational.  Thank you so much Lucy for letting me share in your world.

My last two images are of the canal that runs through Skipton and I just love to walk along.

I do hope you have enjoyed reading my blog, please do comment and share my little piece of Yarndale happiness.