a colourful life

dear diary,

Last week I had the good fortune to be going to an event at Royal Ascot. This meant that I was staying in London and had some time to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition before it closes later this month.

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What a treat!!!!This exhibition, the first in London since Kaffe Fassett’s record breaking show at the V&A Museum in the late 1980’s, features more than 100 of his works in a dramatic installation over two floors.

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Highlights of the exhibition include 9 foot wide knitted shawl columns (above) and a glorious selection of quilts (below).

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Kaffe Fassett is surely best known for his vibrant and innovative work with colour, and this exhibition shows how his approach in handling colour has evolved. From early beginnings in painting, through to his textile work in knitting, quilting, as well as tapestry, and lastly through the medium of mosaic, this exhibition shows every facet of his creative life.

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His work began with gentle colour schemes in historical hues borrowed from the early medieval and Renaissance arts, but a visit to India in 1992 sparked a shift in his use of colour to become more vibrant and exhuberant. In Kaffe’s own words: ‘India proved to me that colour is a vital ingredient in life’.

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The attention to detail is ever prevelant, and his delight in pattern and form infuses his creative output.

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Kaffe Fassett’s ability to delight and encourage people to take up their own needles, yarns and fabrics and experiment with colour is ever evident. I have been lucky to meet the man and have spent a whole weekend at a workshop with him being inspired by his infectious teaching in the use of colour and pattern. I think it is a fair statement that Kaffe Fasset’s life in colour has had a lasting impact on so many others’ lives as well and that the title ‘King of knitting’, given to him by British Vogue in 1970 still rings true today.

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The exhibition is still open until 29th June and I urge anyone close enough to London to go and visit.

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I hope you are all having a colourful week xx

blue is the word

dear diary,

The weekend started with a long planned trip to Colinette Yarns in Llanfair Caereinion with some good friends who, like me, are just a little obsessed with colour and yarn. We shared some good laughs and stories on the way driving through some beautiful countryside in equally beautiful weather. On arrival at Colinette we were greeted warmly and made very welcome with offerings of tea, coffee and homemade chocolate cake which we sampled whilst browsing through the latest design books and then the real fun began…

Colinette 2

colinette

Colinette 4

colinette

Colinette 1

colinette

Colinette 5

colinette – blankets

…we found an amazing cocktail of colours and textures, don’t you just want to take large gulp’s of all this deliciousness?

colinette giotto

colinette giotto

I was a very good girl and only purchased 3 hanks of Lasso. You can guess the colour…

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colinette lasso – colourway blue parrot

…and staying with the colour blue: On Sunday we spent a lovely day on Anglesey. This island is about an hour’s drive from home and we managed to get there before the bank holiday masses decended onto the roads. The sun was shining and the sky and sea were a beautiful crisp blue.

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coastal path near llanbadrig

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moelfre bay

Anglesey 1

lobster pods

We took a great walk along parts of the Welsh coastal path and finished off with a delicious meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Beaumaris, The Gazelle Hotel & Restaurant. We ate fish caught that morning in the Menai straight whilst enjoying vistas across the water to the Snowden range of mountains. Total bliss!!!

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view from the gazelle hotel

What better way to finish on the weekends blue theme than by starting work on a new design using my freshly purchased Colinette yarn. A tunic in asymetrical style inspired by something I saw in one of the discontinued brochures at Colinette.

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afon – asymetrical tunic design notes

Off to wind my yarn and start knitting, I’ll keep you posted on progress. x

 

 

 

 

 

the two way cardigan

dear diary,

this coming Saturday a few friends and I are embarking on our long awaited Colinette outing and I am looking forward to it very much indeed. What could possibly be better than spending a day in the company of like-minded yarn-obsessed friends visiting a place that can only be described as yarn heaven.

Knowing that it will be impossible for me to resist one or two purchases, I thought it might be a good idea to use the yarn from my last visit almost 3 years ago…

Yarn 1

colinette zanziba – colourway mist

…to finally make a cardigan inspired by a garment I saw during one of my visit’s to Germany.

Knit Notes 1

design notes for two way cardigan

This is basically a cardigan made up of three rectangular sections using two different stitch patterns which, when assembled, can be worn both way’s up. This means that the original collar can also become the lower back by wearing the cardigan the other way up. Confused?!? Here are some photos to help…

Two way Cardigan 1

first option with collar being collar

Two way Cardigan 2

first option with original lower back

…and now turn it upside down…

Two way Cardigan 3

second option with original lower back now as collar

Two way Cardigan 4

second option with original collar now as lower back

I am quietly chuffed that my idea, subsequent scribbles and math’s have worked. The two way up cardigan will have it’s first outing on Saturday to visit it’s place of birth in mid-wales. 🙂

the story of an old cardigan

dear diary,

Most of you would have seen pictures on the television about the snow-chaos that gripped the UK yet again during the past week or so. I usually smile about the exaggeration in these reports, as mostly there really isn’t a lot of snow on the ground to get all tizzed about (well, not in comparison with the amount of snow we get where I come from). It was a very different story this time as even in our, usually lucky from too much snow fall valley, we were hit hard.

WEATHER - Snow in Flintshire on Friday. Snow drifting at Calcoed

denbighshire march 2013 – courtesy of the daily post newspaper

WEATHER - Snow in Flintshire on Friday. Monastery Road in Pantasaph

flintshire march 2013 – courtesy of daily post newspaper

It was almost impossible to think of Spring and Easter looking out of our windows, the only reminders being school holidays starting and shivering just born lambs in the fields around us.

I had been working continuously on my next book over the last few weeks as well as the ‘homely blanket’ quest, and needed a wee break from it all. Thinking of what to make that would be very different from my usual knitted or crochet items I remembered seeing something in the April issue of Country Living Magazine that had caught my eye.

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country living magazine april 2013

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simple things to make – country living magazine 2013

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simple things to make – country living magazine 2013

Sarah Moore has a monthly section in the Magazine called ‘Simple Makes’ in which she introduces new, and not overly difficult, items to make to us the reader. These bunnies had caught my eye when reading the magazine and I knew just the person to make one for…’my girl’. She would love it I was pretty sure…she loves bunnies!

Having had a clear out of some old jumpers and other stuff recently I went in search for the best thing to use. To my surprise the bag full of unwanted items held this old cardigan which couldn’t have been more perfect as ‘my girl’ loves pink.

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old cardigan

In all the excitement I totally forgot to take photos during the making process…silly me. At times it was a bit fiddly, poking through the arms and ears of the bunny and then trying to sew the last bit of the seam neatly after filling it, but I got there in the end. Using dried wheat and lavender as the filling this little bunny can lie on ‘my girls’ bed and scent her pillow to aid sleep at night and as the finishing touch a crochet mini heart will let her know how much I love her.

What do you think…

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easter bunny made from above old cardigan

Happy Easter everyone 🙂

PS: You can find many inspirational ideas in Sarah Moore’s book and monthly in Country Living Magazine.

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beautiful ideas by sarah moore

the ‘homely blanket’ quest – square two

dear diary,

I hope you all enjoyed starting your blanket and have made a few versions of square one. Here is square number two for you my lovelies…

6 March 13

rico creative cotton aran – 4mm hook – 12 x 12cm

 

6ch, join with ss to form ring.

Rnd 1: *4tr, 1ch into ring; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss. Fasten off and join new colour at any 1ch sp.

Rnd 2: *[1tr, 3ch, 1tr] into corner, skip 1st, 1dc in next 3 sts; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss.

Rnd 3: *[2tr, 2dtr, 2tr] into corner, skip 1st, 1dc in next 2sts, skip 1st; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss. Fasten off and join first colour to any corner.

Rnd 4: *2tr into corner, 2tr in next st, 1tr in next st, 1ch, 1tr between set of 4tr of first rnd, 1ch, 1tr in next st, 2tr  in next st, 2tr into corner, 1ch; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss. Fasten off and join new colour to any corner.

Rnd 5: *[1tr, 1dtr, 1tr] into corner, 1tr in next 4sts, 2tr in ch sp before down tr of prev. rnd, 2tr in ch sp after down tr of prev. rnd, 1tr in next 4sts; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss. Fasten off and join second colour at any corner.

Rnd 6: *2dc between dtr + tr of prev. rnd, 1dc in next 12sts, 2dc between dtr + tr of prev. rnd; rep. from * 3 times, join with ss.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

28 March 13

svarta faret tilda – 3mm hook – 9.5 x 9.5cm

 

Enjoy 🙂