The Knit Studio – Workshop

Dear diary,

On Saturday at lunchtime I got on a train and travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne to teach a workshop on Continental Knitting at my dear friend Anne’s yarn shop.

The Knit Studio

I don’t think that the term Yarn shop is quite right for this amazing Alladin’s cave of yarns, fabrics, books, notions, fibre and a whole lot more. This has got to be one of the most invitingly comfortable yarn shops there are. I don’t know of any others where the ceilings are so high you could abseil from them, or the sofas are so squishily soft that you don’t ever want to get up again…actually I don’t know of any other place that has huge sofas like this at all. It is enormously hard to leave again and I really want to have a sleepover upstairs (only to be reached by climbing a ladder) in the midst of all those yummy yarns that are stored there. But I digress…

I was there to teach 12 eager ladies how to knit continental style, and eager they were indeed.

Doing the Continental

more doing the Continental

Everyone was incredibly quick in learning the knit and purl stitch and before long needles were flying at quite some speed. Normally the day’s project doesn’t get started until after lunch, but not with this group. Oh no…they were on their way speedily and progressing well.

The Project

By the end of the day we had a few over half finished and beautifully knit cotton facecloths on the table. It is always a pleasure to teach but even more so when the group is so keen and doing so well. Keep practising girls, remember what we said:”A little continental a day keeps the boredom away!”.

Thank you all for making my day so enjoyable and thank you Anne for extending such a warm welcome and looking after us so well. I can’t wait to come back in October. ūüôā

Colour Affection – my take!

dear diary,

having just finished my latest design, the R√ľgen Shawl, I needed a rest from mathematical formulars, tension squares and lace samples.

R√ľgen Shawl

I remembered Angelika, a German friend of mine, wearing a lovely shawl at Wollfest in Backnang and writing down the name of the design on a piece of paper. Of course I couldn’t remember where I put piece of paper in question but I had a vague recollection of Angelika’s mention of designer’s name and after Ravelry came to the rescue I found what I was looking for: color affection by veera v√§lim√§ki. I realised that this was clearly one of those ‘MUST KNIT’s’ as approx. 12800 people have favourited it and about 2300 projects have been listed by Raveller’s.

I rummaged in my Stash and found plenty left-over yarn from my Baltic Coast Shawl,

Baltic Coast Shawl

beautiful Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Silk Mix 4 ply. I also found a couple of hanks of Debbie Bliss’s Andes, a lovely soft Alpaca/Silk mix, which I knew would be perfect to complement the two other colours.

I started knitting a week or so ago and the shawl grew quickly. As I never seem to be able to follow a pattern completely, always getting the urge to change at least one or two things, this project was no different.

Colour Affection - My Take

I didn’t do stripes and I changed the short row shaping slightly, but apart from that I was a ‘good girl’ and followed the pattern. The shawl was a joy to knit and is a great shape to wear, I can wrap it around my neck a couple of times due to it’s length.¬† As the weather is not set to be improving any time soon I¬†should get quite a bit of wear out of it before summer arrives here in Wales.

Colour Affection - My Take

 

Afghan Half Way Stage

dear diary,

Hurrah!!!! We are half way there (well some of us are!). Yesterday we had our monthly Afghan Knit-along meeting at lovely Fibre and Clay in Knutsford.

Lovely Fibre & Clay

You might remember, we started this ‘loopy’ knit-along way back in February giving out¬†two new square patterns per month. The blanket will have twenty squares in total and as everyone is progressing so well and we were getting to the half way point, I thought it would be a good idea to surprise everyone and dish out four new square designs this time. This was greeted with the appropriate oooohhhhsss and aaaahhhhsss¬†and when ¬†I showed them mine (so far) needles started making appropriate loops even faster.

The Afghan half way stage

We had a good crowd of ‘loopy’ knitters and the blanket is coming along nicely. If anyone out there is interested in making this blanket and joining in the fun of monthly surprises, please e-mail me at heike.gittins@gmail.com and I can send out a subscription form and some more info.

A 'Loopy' Selection

For now, enjoy the pictures! Happy weekend ‘looping’

New Discoveries

dear diary…

All who know me also know about my total love, some might call it obsession, with magazines. Not any odd magazines, but those that have great ideas and some good stories mixed with fabulous colour photography. This month I tried two new magazines just out.

First up there is Good Ideas, a Lifestyle magazine from the publishers of Good Housekeeping.

This is a quarterly publication and will be themed ¬†by season, current launch issue is Summer. According to the editor, the magazines mantra is: Quick, Easy, Affordable, the aim being to showcase fabulous photography and fresh ideas in a modern format. The front cover certainly drew me in and I found a magazine packed with¬†articles and photographs on Inspiration, Style, Health, Eating, ¬†Living and much more, and priced at ¬£3.99 it doesn’t break the bank every season either.

The next new magazine reminds me of one of my favourite German magazines and when I saw it winking at me from the shelves, I immediately thought that it might come from the same publishers.

It is called  Landscape and  is much more of a country/outdoor living magazine. It covers everything from Gardening to Crafts, History & Heritage to Country Matters and Cooking. Beautiful photography and really interesting stories will make this a favourite I am sure. It is published on a bi-monthly basis at £3.90 per issue.

Give them a go and see what you think!

Ready to Crochet

dear diary…

I am ready to go…my bag is packed,

workshop notes are printed and I am looking forward to a day teaching some eager “Loopers” the art of Tunesian crochet.

A day spend at beautiful Fibre & Clay in Knutsford doesn’t seem like any work at all…it’s far more like huge amounts of temptation and pleasure.

Filled with goegeous yarns, beautiful accessories and an absolute heavenly selection of buttons, I can’t wait for tomorrow to arrive.

Let’s hope my students will have fun “looping” away making this…

 

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