Today I’m Making… Brioche scarf

Ta dah! I finished it. I love soft squishyness and the contrast of the riot of colour peeping through the calm natural cream.  I love brioche.img_0757

I’ve fancied having a go at brioche knitting for ages but as you might have picked up from other posts I have a ton of outstanding projects (1 pair of beaded gloves, I pair of mittens, 1 jumper, 4 pairs of socks, 1 scarf, slippers, 2 blankets, a cowl, various snoods – these are just off the top of my head) so I sort of put it off because I really should finish some of what I’ve already started…

Course then when I went on that Knitaway break to the excellent Westcliffe Knitting Hotel Paula treated us to a trip out to the incredible Beckside Yarns in Clapham, Yorkshire and they had the most incredibly luxurious feeling kimono style brioche jacket and it’s been on my mind ever since.

Most Wednesdays you’ll find me very happily at the I Knit London  knit night, the owner was knitting the most gorgeous Le Moelleux – he’s really good with colour so his one is really yummy.  Then, he only sent out a newsletter advertising a beginner’s brioche workshop. imageWell. You can imagine how fast I signed up for that. He has more lined up so if London is accessible to you I highly recommend doing the class.

Turns out the basic brioche stitch is pretty easy once you get the hang of it and really enjoyable.  OK so I did cock up my increases and decreases a bit at first but I go the hang in the end and its all part of the learning process so I don’t tend to unpick unless I really have to.

I love the way it looks, with the bright mix of colours peeping through the cool calm neutral. The yarn is I Knit or Dye DK and is the most soft and snuggly thing you’ve ever felt. I’m almost looking forward to cold weather so I can wear it all the time.

 

Thanks to Gerard at I Knit London I feel confident enough to take on Le Moelleux myself.

The Make It Show, Farnborough 2015

I have had a great day at the Make It Show at Farnborough Airport (yes, there is an airport at Farnborough and its quite busy, though lord knows who feels the need to fly in to Farnborough).  This is turning into my favourite mixed craft show of the year, I swear it gets better every year.  Its on tomorrow too if you fancy it – £9.50 entry and there are quite a few stalls doing free or super-cheap informal workshops so well worth the ticket price. http://make-it.org.uk/home.php  

Personally I bought a 3 day ticket for £15 in advance but that option of course isn’t open to you but I’m giving you the opportunity to marvel at my thriftiness for free.

The first thing I did was walk the whole show just to scope it out.  As usual there is a huge seating area with the usual catering (I’m not a fan, its particularly rubbish for veggies or anyone who fancies something healthy but that’s pretty much the deal at all of them) but they’re quite happy for you to bring your own.  They have staff patrolling collecting rubbish so its always tidy enough.  TONS of seating.  Very unusual for a craft fair and I hope they continue to stick with this policy in coming years.  The loos up at the catering end get busy but they’re fine.  At the other end of the hall behind the workshop area there are chemical loos.  I won’t go into details but expect festival conditions.  This is several shades beyond my idea of acceptable.

The variety of stalls gets better every year. There is quite a lot of card making but also knitting, crochet, UK yarns, kits, beading, art, lighting, storage, food, artisan brewery (See the GIN!!), patchwork, embroidery, cross stitch, stamping, oh blimey so much I’m sure I’ve missed out a ton of stuff.

My first purchase was from Made by Ewe. She has knitting and crochet kits, hand dyed yarn and knitting supplies like knitting and crochet needles. She also had a lovely kit to make a little fox wearing a pirate jumper that she designed because she keeps chickens.

wpid-20150228_172825.jpg

To be honest I wasn’t intending to buy anything on my first walk round I was just scoping but then I saw a really nice shawl/scarf and noticed it was made from that ladder yarn I hate.  Well, my local knitting club has a yearly competition and this year the theme is to make something with ladder yarn.  I wasn’t going to play because I hate novelty yarns and I’m still annoyed that I didn’t win last year after I made a gorgeous cuff with knitted in beads (the theme was Knitting with Beads) and didn’t even get placed.  The woman that won entered a completely repulsive felted bag that she’d tied some beads on to, and the same with the 2nd and 3rd place. Horrible work and the beads were not knitted in.  I’m still put out.  I mean I don’t want to bang on about it but I was robbed. ROBBED I TELL YOU.  So Mrs Made by Ewe had this lovely kit for less than a tenner, you get the yarn, pattern and a big chunky crochet hook with a ceramic bead on the end and I definitely didn’t already own one of those.

wpid-20150228_173354.jpgwpid-20150228_122005.jpg

I made a bit of a start on it, to be fair it looks like sort of chain mail g-string at the moment but I’m sure it will be divine when its finished.  I’m going to add some skull beads to stop it being too twee.  You’ll see more of those later.  I’m taking home the prize this year or that local knitting group is going to have recounts until I do.

wpid-20150228_174008.jpgwpid-20150228_174022.jpg

In the background you will see the back of the bag for life I also bought on this stand.  Very fine thing it is too, I now have enough bags for life to turn Buddhist.

wpid-20150228_174408.jpg

Next up I went to Anita’s Beads. Where is Anita? Has anyone ever met Anita or is the nice bloke who runs it Anita?  The woman ahead of me in the queue to pay had bought literally tons of stuff, she’s bought so much that I lost all shopping guilt and added some crystals to my skull beads.

wpid-20150228_173450.jpg wpid-20150228_173509.jpg

I bought a couple of rings from him too, I really like polished semi-precious gemstone rings, they’re so cheap at only a pound each. What I’m going to do is use these to weigh the shawlly wrap thing I’m making with the ladder yarn rather than tassels.

wpid-20150228_173735.jpgwpid-20150228_173802.jpg

The second picture looks like I have sausage fingers, let me assure you my fingers are mere chipolatas, not bangers.

Last year I tried really hard to get to the Beaker Buttons stand to buy a Dorset buttons kit but it was so popular I couldn’t get near it, this year she has a bigger stand and I managed to get in at a quiet moment and have a bit of a chat.  She’s adorable. Really friendly and knowledgeble about the history of Dorset buttons, she also dyes her own yarn and spins. They do workshops and drop in sessions at her shop and I wish she was nearer to me.  You know one of those people that you instantly want to go to the pub with?

wpid-20150228_173144.jpgwpid-20150228_173313.jpg

At the end I did a workshop with the excellent Riverside Beads. I did a kumihimo workshop with them last year and it was so well done I was happy as larry when I saw they were doing workshops again this year.

I made this!

wpid-20150228_173120.jpg

Tell me that’s not fantastic?  They do loads of workshops, they’re based in Peterborough so well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby.  This only took an hour to do, I swear you could do it faster.  They sell a kit for only £8.  They ask you not to share the pattern but they are happy for you to sell any you make and only ask you to donate some of the money to The British Legion. She said they make loads of them in November and donate them to the Legion.  You could use the same principle to make other flowers but the poppy is really lovely.  So easy to do too.

I’m going back tomorrow to have a go at Zentangling, some embroidery and to have a massive chocolate and Bailey’s cookie.

Today I’m Making – Scissor Keeper dangle thing

I know I must have said it half a dozen times already but I do love a workshop.  They’re the main reason I go to craft shows.  Last October at the Knitting and Stitching Show, Ally Pally I signed up for Kathleen Laurel Sage’s workshop to learn to embroider bullion knot roses. What attracted me was their lovely vintage look, they make me think of boudoir sets, they also look fiercely difficult and I think there was even something in the blurb about them being intimidating so that was me in. Here is the front page of the kit so you know what we were aiming for. wpid-20140526_115342.jpg

 

I am getting back into hand sewing rather than just knitting and crocheting, its the think I love most and I’ve been avoiding it because it makes me too upset to think I’m not doing it for a living any more, but then again not doing it is probably making me miserable so this is one of my attempts to recover my old skills.  So there we all were, a nice mixed bunch as usual at these things. Really good kits all ready and waiting, the strong colours were all snapped up pretty fast which left me with the creamy peachy tone that I wanted anyway. Result.  The kit was really good, plenty of everything so you can do more practice or start something else off when you’ve finished this one or even unpick and start again if you make a horrible pig’s ear of it.

Kathleen Laurel Sage is easily one of the best workshop tutors I’ve come across, she got us all whipping them out with barely any fuss at all. I fell in love with what looks like a tricky technique straight away, she also was full of ideas for other uses and brought fantastic examples of things she’d made that were embellished with bullion knot roses.  She had this gorgeous little box that I’m sure all of us wanted to ask her to sell to us.

Turns out they’re not too hard to do. So here’s mine. I love it. Really do love it and my head is full of things I want to embroider using bullion knots and French knots now.

wpid-img_20140526_111742.jpg

Its a bit wonkily off centre but its my first go.

wpid-20140526_112510.jpg

I’ve already attached it to my scissors but I think it will get on my wick so if anyone can suggest another use for it I’d be glad to hear it.

wpid-20140526_112530.jpg

I think I chose the wrong shade of green for the leaves, mine are a bit on the dark side but then rose leaves are glossily dark aren’t they? I’m not an outdoorsy person so I could be wrong…

wpid-20140526_112617.jpg

The kit suggests a beaded loop or ribbon, I prefer ribbon I think the beaded loops look a bit scruffy.

wpid-20140526_112521.jpg

I sewed a button on the back to hid the ends of the ribbon and to give it a bit of weight on the back so it hangs nicely.

wpid-20140526_112645.jpg

The kit version has beads on the front too but I love French knots so I just went a bit mad with those instead.

wpid-20140526_112628.jpg

Kathleen has a website but she doesn’t seem to be selling these kits but maybe if you emailed her she could rustle one up for you. http://www.kathleenlaurelsage.com/misc.html

wpid-20140526_112601.jpgwpid-20140526_112636.jpg

 

 

 

 

Workshops – Design your Own Fair Isle. Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, Olympia

When I saw that this workshop still had places available on Thursday I signed up straight away – this is how it was advertised:

“This workshop will give you the opportunity to design several pieces of Fair Isle knitting…” “…learn how to use grids to design [your] own patterns…” “…learn how to change colours and how colour choice determines the finished outcome.”

I imagined we’d be given yarn, needles, graph paper, a pencil, eraser and examples of traditional fair isle motifs and their meanings if relevant.  What we actually got was some graph paper, 4mm needles to borrow and some 4 ply yarn. No option to choose colours.  The only practical advice we were given was to only carry your alternate yarn choice for 3sts before twisting.

Because the needles she lent me were much too big for the yarn my attempt was pretty awful, I binned it as soon as I got it home.  My design wasn’t up to much either.  One of the other people produced the most gorgeous swatch but I think she must have used her own needles?

It was pretty useless as a workshop but nice to sit down for an hour in the middle of the Knitting & Stitching Show.

Next time I try fair isle I’ll use a Susan Crawford pattern.

Unravel – photography workshop booked!

Why do all the craft festivals come at once in the south east? I love going to them but I could do with them being spread out a bit more.

We do a bonus ball sweepstake at work, I’ve won it for the second time now, only £15 each time, I never seem to win when it rolls over above £50. Mustn’t grumble though because that’s ticked off my first craft festival booking of the year.

For £27.50 I’ve now got a weekend pass to Unravel at Farnham Maltings at the end of February.  I’ve booked on to this workshop: https://farnhammaltings.com/events/unravel-click-1-purl-1-beginners-photography/ A beginner’s workshop in photographing your crafty projects, aimed at those who want achieve great pictures without the professional equipment. Photographer and knitter, Louise Walker will show you how with just a point and shoot or smartphone. The workshop will explore the use of light, props and basic photo editing. An ideal chance to improve your ravelry, etsy and instagram. Please bring your digital camera or smartphone and a finished project and prop such as fabric for a backdrop (optional). Suitable for all levels.

Sounds brilliant doesn’t it?  I do badly need some help with my photos, I had a fantastic piece of luck last year when Dawn Elliott and Vintage Vi agreed to take photos of my snoods for my Etsy shop in return for a bit of cross promotion (www.dawnelliottphotography.co.uk and www.vintagevi.co.uk). If you have a look at my Etsy shop all the good photos of a woman wearing a snood are modelled by Vintage Vi and photographed by Dawn Elliott, everything else is taken by me and frankly doesn’t do my work any favours.

The Unravel workshop is such good value, 2 hours of tuition for basically about £15 I think.  I’m going to take along one of my snoods, my nice little camera that is capable or much more than I have worked out and I thought a vintage headscarf to use as a backdrop.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Last year I did a knitting with beads workshop at Unravel with Fiona Morris that was fantastic.

If you don’t know about Unravel its well worth a visit if you are local.  Its a festival of knitting with workshops, exhibitions, tons of shopping and its all held in a fantastic venue.  The Maltings is well worth a visit at any time of year just for the café, last year I had the most ginormous bakewell tart.  If you are going, I would recommend going on both days, its a bit of a crush and you’ll need a few hours to see it all. I like to have a look on the first day and spend on the second day. I’m kidding myself again that I’m not going to spend any money this year but if I can get a seat in the café I’m going to invest heavily in cake.

Goldwork day

Yesterday I went to a goldwork workshop in the Pandora crafts shop in Guildford. I didn’t get off to the best of starts by arriving 45 minutes early and being told to go away and come back in half an hour, when I did get back the owner was serving someone else so I ended up bring a couple of minutes late. oops.

 

The course was taught by Sophie Long who is RSE trained. she is absolutely fantastic, a really good teacher who doesn’t assume to much but equally doesn’t patronise. The samples of her own work she brought along were amazing, I recommend you have a look at her website: www.sophielong.co.uk where she also sells supplies.

 

Here is what I managed to produce after four hours work, I think I’m over half way.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.