Come rain or shine

The weather certainly wasn’t on our side when we drove through the pouring rain to Ampthill in Bedfordshire on Friday evening. We were heading in convoy to Redborne Community College for Fibre East – I was driving the transit van full of wool and John was driving ‘Snowy’ (our camper van and my home for

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For the love of wool

I love the fact that are so many fabulous knitting and crafting shows in the UK. I can’t get to Woolfest this weekend as I’m going hiking in Derbyshire with a group of girlfriends. Well, I say hiking – the plan is that we will walk 10 miles on Saturday and 12 miles on Sunday

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On the road again (I wish)

Finished front

As soon as the sun comes out, I start thinking about how nice it would be to get away for a few days in our trusty old motor home. However, I can’t drag myself away from the shop for a wee while yet so I’ve done the next best thing and knitted a campervan cushion.

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Big Knit – Big Fun

Once again Innocent and Age UK have teamed up to raise money to help keep older people warm this winter. The call is out to knit mini hats for innocent smoothie bottles. Age UK get 25p for every be-hatted bottle sold. The money raised goes to help make winter warmer for old people – providing

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To Err is Human

During Sunday’s crochet workshop we were talking about how, like many knitters and crocheters, we always feel the need to point out the mistakes that we have made whenever sharing our completed projects. Why do we do this? Do other crafts invoke the same masochistic compulsion? We seem to feel this need even when the mistake

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Countdown to Wonderwool Wales

This time next week I’ll be at day 2 of Wonderwool Wales at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells and my preparations are well under way. For the previous 3 years I’ve had a stand at the show as half of Knit ‘n’ Caboodle but this will be the first time on my own so

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To celebrate Burns Night I have just finished knitting some kilt socks for John. Actually, they were supposed to be for Christmas but I got side-tracked with other projects so tying them in with Burns Night seems like a reasonable excuse (to me anyway!)

Aran-weight kilt socks

Aran-weight kilt socks

I bought the wool on a trip to Inverness because I had been searching for a pattern for kilt socks for a while and this wool came with a free pattern. The pattern, originally hand-written on brown paper, was found in a knitting bag in a house sale. An old receipt showed that is was from the Scottish Western Isles and the date on the receipt was 1937. There was no name to put to the pattern but it was obviously a pattern for ‘stockings’ for the whole family with instruction for infant, child and adult sizes.

The socks are knitted from the cuff-down on double-pointed needles. The cuff is knitted and then turned inside out by pushing it through the middle of the needles so that the wrong side is facing before continuing with the leg. I found the only way I could make this work was to push the cuff through the needles and then knit in the other direction but maybe that was just me.

The socks did seem to take forever but I’m pleased with the end result. I think John will probably wear them under motorcycle boots rather than with a kilt (he’s wears tartan ‘trews’ when he’s in formal Scottish dress) but, nevertheless it seems fitting to finish knitting a bit of Scottish history on Robert Burns’ birthday.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

In his poem, Tam o’Shanter, Burns writes:

But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed, Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white – then melts forever

One of the things I love about knitting is that the pleasure involved is more long-lasting than this. Well, most of the time anyway; I’ve had some projects – often abandoned before completion – that have provided very little, if any, pleasure at all. For the most part though, I get pleasure from the actual knitting,  a sense of achievement at finishing the project and the enjoyment of seeing someone else appreciate the end result.

What have you most enjoyed knitting and why?

Close Knit

Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Close Knit exhibition at Hull Maritime Museum. The exhibition, organised in partnership with the Moray Firth Gansey Project and Hull School of Art and Design,  featured a wonderful range of ganseys from Yorkshire and Scotland. So what is a gansey? This extract from the booklet, Fishing

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