Mutti’s Cushion

Exactly a year ago today another Angel joint the heavenly realms – my Mum.

Fondly called Mutti by me and my siblings and Mimi by my daughter, she now spreads her wings over the sky looking down on us.

Around the time of her passing, I received a package from South Africa containing beautiful yarn sent by Carle (the owner of Nurturing Fibres Yarns) for me to try out.

As a professional player with yarns working from my studio in North Wales, I love trying out new yarns and cooking up new things for you to make. Every day when I work in my studio I can feel Mutti’s presence by my side, her voice speaking softly to me, sometimes telling me to stop dreaming and getting on with the job in hand.

Mutti was a lifelong lover of crafts of all kinds and I can’t ever remember a time when her hands weren’t busy making something. When she was young she made her own clothes and then, when my sister and I where little, she would spent hours making beautiful clothes for our dolls, sitting up late into the night before Christmas, putting finishing touches to little doll’s dresses. However, knitting was her real passion and she created many beautiful things with a pair of sticks and some string.

With that in mind, being able to cope with my overwhelming grief and the knowledge that my hands needed to make something in memory of her, I decided to use the beautiful yarn from South Africa and Mutti’s cushion was born. She had always wanted to visit that amazing country, but in the end she ran out of time.

Using two shades of the super soft Nurturing Fibres Super Twist DK, a 100% Merino Yarn, I decided that I wanted to do some stranded colour work for the cushion and living in the British Isles, what better than using traditional Fair Isle patterns. Traditionally Fair Isle patterns use only two colours per row or round and limit the length of a run of any particular colour. Even though many use the term Fair Isle for any stranded knitting, it is actually reserved for the characteristic patterns of the Shetland Islands.

Initially when I showed Carle photos of the finished cushion she liked it very much and suggested to offer the pattern as a KAL (knit along), unfortunately this never happened.

Today is the first anniversary of Mutti’s passing and I need to commemorate this day with something special.

I have decided this is the perfect day to release the pattern for the cushion for free and offer it as a download PDF via my Ravelry Store https://www.ravelry.com/designers/heike-gittins .

It would make me so happy to see many cushions being made around the world helping me to spread my Mutti’s shining light across the globe. I ask you to please share your photos by tagging #muttiscushion on social media.

Please stay safe and well during this difficult time 🙂

Sending love, Heike xo

scheepjeswol diary – day one

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The excitement was becoming almost unbearable as pick up time got nearer! Luckily the drive to Scheepjes HQ was short and soon there was a buzzing sound of about fourteen women chatting. Some of us had met before, but for me it was almost all new faces and new surroundings. We had an exciting first day and I won’t (or can’t) tell you too much. I let the photo’s speak for themselves.

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It may well be hot outside, but I can feel a little stranded knitting slipping from my fingers later!

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knitting retreat diary – day four

 

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Chainbridge CollageDay four was greeted with blue skies and sunshine, perfect for a little early morning knitting outside whilst watching brave people in canoes go by. First things first meant teachers inspecting progress so far now that everyone is working on the actual weeks project. Some beautiful colour combinations are emerging and even Seamus, the handsome kind owner of the Chainbridge Hotel, joined in the jolly good banter and fun we had this morning.

After a good hearty lunch we set off to Chester.

Chester Collage

People CollageI truly love Chester on a beautiful day like today. The architecture and cobbled streets never lose their magic and I can visit the Cathedral and Cloister Gardens over and over again. After a little retail therapy the tranquility was just what we needed before finishing the day with a visit to an Italian Restaurant, sampling delicious food and a little vino.

I think it is fair to say that day four went far too quickly and everyone had fun again today. I wonder what they will think of tomorrow’s surprises?!?

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christmas gift bag – a free pattern

Scheepjes festive blog hop buttonA little while ago I was invited by the lovely peeps at Scheepjeswol to participate in their advent calendar blog hop. Coming up with an idea using some beautiful Scheepjeswol what was not to like and I set to work right away. Today is my day to share my idea with you.

Before I start I would like to introduce you to yesterday’s contributor, Annelies Baes and her blog here Go and check out her cute little crochet snow man ornament, I dare you not to find it irresistible and make a few. All other previous contributors can be found via the Scheepjeswol link here. There are some truly amazing creations there which should keep you busy during the festive season.

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So, a few weeks ago I received my happy mail of yarn from Scheepjeswol and set to work. My idea was to produce a small gift bag using the above colours in a stranded colourwork pattern. I love colourwork in knitting and crochet and have always been inspired by Scandinavian, Estonian and Fair Isle patterns.

What do you think…?

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…I am quietly chuffed with the way it’s turned out. The Scheepjeswol Stone Washed yarn is not only fast becoming one of my favourite yarns to work with, but is also absolutely perfect for this kind of work.

The bag measures 22 cm high x 18 cm wide and is perfect transportation for a small knitting/crochet project, as a gift bag instead of wrapping paper, or simply a gift for someone special.

The pattern is available totally free in three languages. You can download your own PDF version by clicking English, German or Dutch versions.

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I hope you enjoy making this bag as much as I have designing it.  Why not share your version of the bag with us on the Scheepjeswol facebook page or by emailing a photo to me (my email address is on the right).

Tomorrow will be Nerissa’s turn to share another beautiful blog hop advent creation with us. Make sure you visit her blog MissNeriss and see what she has in store for us.

Happy Knitting!

X.

 

A Christmas Gift

dear diary,

I had been thinking of a gift from me to all you lovely loopy follower’s for a while, and last week when visiting one of my fave shops, Stash Fine Yarn’s in Chester, I had a light-bulb moment…hurrah!!!

On seeing a basket full of gorgeously squishy Louisa Harding – Thistle yarn, a combination of 60% Merino and 40% Baby Suri Alpaca, I knew exactly what I could whip up for you. Here are the colour’s I chose…

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On returning home I set straight to work and after a couple of false starts I was soon on a knitting roll…

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…and every stitch knitted brought me closer to giving you these (or rather the pattern to make them)…

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A beautiful pair of Mangas!

Mangas (Spanish word for ‘sleeves’), as worn by the people of the Andean mountains, have traditionally always been very colourful and my design is no exception.

A few little stripes plus some simple Fair Isle make these Mangas a fun knit. Using Aran Yarn and 4.5mm needles they can be knitted in a couple of evenings, just in time for Christmas.

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So go on, what are you waiting for!!! Download this special gift from me to you and treat yourself (or someone special) to these squishable, huggable, warmingly beautiful Mangas…or arm-warmers if you prefer.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and see you back here in 2013 🙂 xx



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