A mathematical workout

dear diary,

One of my longest subscriptions has been to Country Living Magazine and still, after all these many years, it is one of my favourite things to read. Every month it gives me joy and many tips on how to enrich our lives, and ever so often it really makes my heart sing. This month’s issue is just one of those occasions with great ideas for simple pleasures…

or how to be stylish even in the hall way…

I often use the magazine as part of my inspiration to make up mood boards, it’s absolutely perfect for that. Just now however I have been using some of my old photos from the surrounding area of where I grew up in Germany to help with my latest design inspiration. I want to make something special with this…

I am thinking fauna, and what better place to start the inspirational juices going than to look at photos from where I grew up. My old home lies between the Wesergebirge and Teutoburger Wald in North Rhine Westphalia. Large woodlands are thick and green with Ferns growing beneath ancient old beeches.

Using this idea I have been surrounded by various stitch dictionaries, a calculator, pen and paper and chart making software over the last few days giving my brain a bit of a mathematical workout.

I think I am almost there, now I just need to find a cosy corner just like this…

to relax and start test-knitting. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Yarn-o-meter from New York

dear diary,

I thought I share with you my lovely purchases from the Yarn Company in New York…

Lovely Yarn from NYC

what do you think?

Top left is a lovely hank of sock yarn, exclusively dyed by Tilli Tomas for The Yarn Company which I thought I make into a pair of socks for my dearest hubby. He did after all pay for the trip to NYC and so deserves a little something for that kindness. I will come up with a little cabled number to keep his toes toastie I think.

Next and top right are two hanks of Hand Maiden yarn to be made into a shawl yet to be designed. This is a 70% Silk/30% Camel yarn with the most incredible sheen and super super soft, perfect for snuggleness around the neck.

Bottom left are two hanks of Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn. These will be made into Stephen West’s Cumulonimbus shawl which is one of the west-knits official shawl club patterns.

Last, but by NO means least, bottom right is a most scrummy hank of Briar Rose Fibre. A fingering weight of 50% Merino/50% Tencel, this yarn is buttery soft with subtle sheen and I have already dreamed up a perfect pattern in my head for it.

I didn’t go mad, just enough to keep me busy over the next few month’s. It was hard to choose with so much loveliness on display and I could easily have gone completely mad standing in front of these shelves. I opted for yarns that we can’t easily find in the UK and I am really happy with my choices.

The Yarn Company – New York

Happy Knitting 🙂

 

Postcard from New York

dear diary,

Oh what a wonderful time we had in ‘the big apple’, a very hot and sticky and very expensive fabulously exciting time…oh yeah!

The many faces of NYC

Five days went in a flash and before we knew it we were back on a plane home 🙁  We shopped until we dropped (literally) and by the end of a long day on 5th Avenue I don’t think there was anything left for anyone else! We had a great time at Macy’s too as their sale had just started and arrived back at the hotel with more bags. The boat trip around Manhattan on the Hudson River was a great photo opportunity after which the father and daughter team also visited Soho, Little Italy and went up the Empire State Building, whilst I had an afternoon all to myself at the Yarn Company on 82nd Street.

It was quite surprising to find this…

Entrance to The Yarn Company

…you have to ring a bell (there were about 30). After you get buzzed in and climb some very nondescript stairs to the first floor, a very friendly person opens the door to…

The Yarn Company

this

The Yarn Company

As you can imagine I was in yarny heaven and had a wonderfully fabulous time stroking beautiful yarns, many of which we don’t see here in the UK.

The Yarn Company

I must confess, I might have bought a thing or two!!! Shall I show you?…Ok, I will soon 🙂

 

My Granny Love

dear diary,

you all know that my first love is knitting, this has been proven many a time. However, I am also known to like a bit of crochet now and then and when it comes to using  Captain Hook, I like squares best of all.

Why?, because I can sit at the end of the day or in between boring chores and make them without thinking what I am doing too much. The other VIR (very important reason) is that I simply adore beautiful cotton yarn in delicious colours and all who know me also know that I am simply not the ‘I like knitting with fine cotton yarn person’ at all!!!! So what better way to use some of the loveliest scrummiest cotton and make lots and lots and lots of squares that will in turn become a useful something.

Have you ever wondered why these delightful squares are called Granny Squares? …well I have but it is almost impossible to find out anything about them really. This is all I know:

The Granny Square is a crochet technique that is used to make a  square fabric by working in rounds not rows. You start from the center and work outward and most crocheters make lots of small sized squares which they then assemble into blankets, cushions and more.

Multicolour granny squares are also an effective way to use up small amounts of yarn left over from other projects and for the basic granny square motif simple beginners crochet is all you need.

We all know that Granny Squares where all the rage in the 70’s but does anyone know how old they really are and when the first ever one of these little gems was made?

If you know more about the history of these little treasures…please let me know by leaving a comment!

Thanking you in anticipation 🙂

PS: I just found this link to another blog where you can read more about the history of the Granny Square: http://goodtimesithinkso.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/history-of-granny-square.html

 

Fyberspates and RĂŒgen Shawl

dear diary,

About three month’s ago I finished work on my RĂŒgen shawl and even if I say so myself, I was (and am) very proud of the way it has turned out. Inspired by the German Baltic Island of the same name, this large wing-shaped shawl is achievable by knitter’s of all abilities. Incorporating my trademark two colours, I used one of my favourite yarns for this shawl. Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply Sport is a beautifully soft yarn with a lot of drape and a light sheen, lending itself perfectly for knitting shawls and wraps that will hug you when wearing.

When I finished the shawl I posted a photo to the Made with Loops Facebook page where Jeni, the owner of Fyberspates saw and liked it (yeah!), and last week I had a request for it to feature on the Fyberspates blog here.

Please allow me to be chuffed…I am!!!

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