Friesland – a gansey shawl

The coastal path is closed, the car parks are closed – this is the current situation all around our coast lines.

Is your heart yearning to hear the sound of the waves, to walk along the shore, quietly just with your own thoughts?

Sea, sky and wind can free our minds, refresh with the salty lightness of the air and soothing uniformity of the waves. New horizons open up, perspectives for now and later.

In my memory I see the Sea in front of me, smooth as glass or agitated and angry. I see the endless expanse, smell the salty air, feel the wind in my hair and hear cheeky seagulls screech.

In all this uncertainty, one thing is certain: The Sea has always been there and will be there when the current situation has calmed down. The Sea teaches us to switch between chaos and order, between retreat and community.

The ebb and flow, the sea, sand and shore are here, doing what they do – All is quiet.

Today I want to introduce my latest shawl design – Friesland Shawl.

I designed this shawl to coincide with a knitting retreat hosted by my sister ( Buntes Schaf) on the German Island of Norderney before the world shut down due to Covid-19. Eleven knitters from Germany, Belgium and the UK got together for a few days, enjoying beautiful scenery, good food and knitting, broadening their knowledge on traditional Gansey/Fishermen patterns and their history.

We were so lucky to have this special time together before the world shut down. Feeling the wind in our hair, breathing in fresh salty air having a wonderful time with like minded souls learning about the rich history of these amazing patterns.

The shawl is knitted all in one piece from one tip to the other forming a long shallow triangle. A few stitches are cast on and then the body of the shawl is worked in a variety of traditional Gansey/Fishermen patterns found along the shores of the North Sea and Atlantic coasts. Increases on one side create a long triangular shape and a nifty slip stitch technique at the end of each row creates a neat I-cord edge. After the centre pattern is completed, decreases on one side edge shape the shawl into a long flat triangle.

This is a true homage to the rich history and variety of these patterns and has been a total pleasure and labour of love to create. The pattern is available in both English and German from my Ravelry and Lovecrafts stores.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can return and walk along a beach feeling the sand between our toes and the wind in our hair.

Stay safe my friends xo

wales retreat 2018 – arrival day

 

#madewithloops #walesretreat2018

The sky was blue, the sun was shining and North Wales was showing itself in it’s best light. After month’s of planning, a lot of organising hard work, the arrival day of the Wales Knitting Retreat 2018 had finally arrived!

Most of our 20 guests flew from Frankfurt airport, where even Herr Goethe was approvingly looking down on them as they got their needles and yarn out to knit before take off.

#madewithloops #walesretreat2018

After a smooth flight and transfer, the arrival at the beautiful Chainbridge Hotel in Llangollen was accompanied with the usual joy and returning guests were greeted by staff like long lost friends.

Soon everyone settled into the usual relaxed routine…

#madewithloops #walesretreat2018

and after a delicious dinner Marion started the week off with a fabulous and very informative talk about the story and history of Bohus Stickning, our theme for this week.

I hope you will join us for a week of colour, yarn, traditions, fun, laughter and a lot of fabulous sisterhood shenanigans.

XO.

pin cushion mini mandala

#pincushion #mandala #madewithloops

Hello friends, how have you been? It’s been a busy old time here at Made with Loops with preparations in full swing for our upcoming Knitting Retreat starting on the 8 May. We still have two places open, why not join us for a fabulous week of yarny fun in beautiful Wales. Find a link to all the details in the right column of this blog.

#knitting retreat #wales #madewithloops

Not long now and we will be starting our Crochet Along. We are thrilled that so many of you have already signed up for this, but just in case you have missed what the excitement is all about, you can find all the details here.

#crochetalong #turkishdelight #madewithloops

To get you into the crochet mood and to practice your FPDtr (Front Post Double Treble), here is a wee free pattern for a

Pin Cushion Mini Mandala

IMG_8448

You will need some leftover yarn, 4ply mercerised is best (I used By Claire No 1)

3.5mm Crochet Hook, a darning needle and some toy stuffing.

UK Terms used

Start: Ch5, ss to form a ring

Rnd 1: Ch3 (counts as tr), 15tr into ring, ss to join (16tr) – change colour

Rnd 2: Ch3 (counts as tr), 2tr in each st around (32tr) – change colour

Rnd 3: Ch1 (counts as dc), FPdtr into tr from rnd 1 directly below, 1dc behind FPdtr just made, 1dc in each of next 2 sts, *skip 1tr from rnd 1, FPdtr in next tr from rnd 1, 1dc behind FPdtr just made, 1dc in each of next 3 sts; rep from * around, ss to join. (8 FPdtr made) – change colour

Rnd 4: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in same space, 1 dc in next st, *2dc in next st, 1dc in next st; rep from * around, ss to join.

Make another the same.

Finishing: With wrong sides together, dc crochet together leaving small gap. Fill using toy stuffing and then close the gap.

These make great little gifts or just spoil yourself.

Enjoy! X.

knitting retreat – the week that was

Retreat Collage 1Retreat Collage 2Retreat Collage 3Retreat Collage 4Retreat Collage 5It took seven months to organise. A lot of work but so much fun, and then it was over in a flash. Here is a roundup of the Wales Knitting Retreat 2015…

1. We played with colour and yarn…a lot.

2. We visited some fabulous places.

3. We learned a lot of new things.

4. New friendships were kindled, old ones re-affirmed and a lot of fun was had by all.

5. A huge and stunning achievement is clear to see.

We were sad to say goodbye, but are ecstatically  happy to announce that we have booked new dates for next year…

Wales 2016 CollageWales Knitting Retreat 2016

Sunday 8 May – Saturday 14 May

More details to follow soon.

We hope you can join us!

X.

knitting retreat diary – day five

IMG_4853Colinette Collage 1Colinette Collage 2

 

The morning of day five greeted us with wind and rain, how wonderful that we are all knitters and have a small selection of woolliness in which to wrap ourselves in to keep warm. Dennis our trusted bus driver was waiting for us and soon we were on our way to Llanfair Caereinion and a visit to Colinette Yarns. I had saved the best for last, and the only thing everyone knew was that they could expect some colourful woolly goodness. If any of you have ever visited Colinette, you will know what awaits when stepping through the entrance…it is simply yarn heaven! There were a lot of joyful outbursts, fondling of yarn hanks and cuddles with blanket or jumper samples. Coffee, tea and biscuits awaited us and we had an informative talk about all things Colinette before spending a good few hours shopping. The highlight was surely meeting Sam, son of Colinette, who showed us around the dying rooms, giving us an insight on how it all works…what a special treat that was.

IMG_1892Projects Collage 3Last evening Collage

 

This was also our last evening together and after another deliciously prepared meal by the hotel kitchen we settled down to enjoy each other’s company one last time. We had a show and tell session during which everyone shared their experiences and project journey, from choosing colours, holding the yarn and incorporating own ideas into the pattern. Claudia and I gave out certificates and everyone received a crochet medal for taking part and doing so well. This was greeted with a loud cheer and immediately pinned on and worn proudly.

I am so so proud of what everyone has achieved, the samples above show what amazing work everyone did and I love every single one of these combinations. The one I totally fell in love with…

IMG_1888

…these shades together are simply stunning and my head is full of ideas and possibilities.

X.

 



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