Feeling Woolly

The Chronicles of a Dropped Stitch

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Month: June 2018

Much Love from Us Lot Up North

I am very lucky.  I am the youngest of four girls and am proud to say, although naturally not mirror images of each other, we are still close.  For all our differences, there are of course many similarities.  I think us girls agree, we are all uncomfortable with confrontation.  We reflect on events and act accordingly and don’t just jump in.  There is kindness and empathy in all of us.

Gorge Walking Gals 2016

It is a rare occurrence for all four of us to be in a room together, our different lives spread out over long distances throughout the United Kingdom.  However when this does happen, let’s just say there are giggles of laughter resonating through the walls!

Since starting knitting three years ago, I have slowly been creating pieces for all of my sisters.  For me the process of hand knitting an item for somebody, whoever that may be, enables me to focus fully on that individual.  There is a constant feeling, a presence if you will, that this person is there, right by your side.  This is an unexpected phenomenon which I hadn’t prepared for when taking up this craft.  It is an almost overwhelming connection between person and creation, which inevitably keeps you going.  The art of making a gift for someone, wherever they are, undoubtedly draws you closer to that individual.  I concur with the phrase ” there is love in every stitch “.

So it is with great pleasure that after three months of steady knitting, I have finally been able to send a very belated birthday gift to my biggest sister Kate (ironically she is the little one on the far right of the photo!).  It is a shawl, well more specifically a Hap, and although it is my first, it will certainly not be my last.  I am brimming with enthusiasm about this piece.  The pattern is called A Hap for Harriet which I bought as part of a kit from Kate Davies Designs.  There is something lovely about receiving a parcel in the post don’t you think.   In this case, when it is a kit, you suddenly become armed with all the tools to go on and create something wonderful.  I ordered the needles separately, but when put all together, there’s a huge excitement brimming inside as you suppress that urge to just down tools and get cracking straight away.

Ready, set, go!

What can I say about this particular kit though?  There is the stunning Fyberspates Gleem Lace in ‘Tweed Imps’, which I previously mentioned in my post A Tall Storey in Yarn.   It is such a treat to handle, with sweeping, subtle colour changes of purples, indigos, raspberries……oh I could go on!  However, it is the pairing with a seemingly simple repeat pattern which is so clever.  After the final phase of stretching and blocking (don’t ask!)…..

Blocking with pins

Yes that is a giant dragonfly!

….you suddenly see how beautiful this hap is.  And I am so pleased with how it came out!

A hap for Kate

Simple beauty

I could now proclaim a multitude of expressions, such as  ‘Good things come to those who wait’ or perhaps ‘Patience is a virtue’.  Both will be well versed by my family when it comes to associations with little ol’ me!  However, I am of the mind that in the good old fashioned sending of a parcel in the post, with a gift for someone, we can waver any preconceptions that it should have arrived earlier.  I believe that a gift that is sent, will somehow always arrive just when it is supposed to.   One can never be disappointed, just heart-warmed.   In this case, when I had asked Kate three months ago, what she would like me to knit for her, she would not have known how poignant her answer of a shawl would be.   To me it epitomises the need for comfort, wrapping yourself up, feeling loved.  So then I’ll finish by saying, “Much love from us lot up North….. better late than never!”

Fluffy White Clouds in the Sky

I wanted to share a quick knit with you, which I completed at the weekend.  Although I am still in the process of finishing my Hap for Harriet, as mentioned in my previous post,  I was at a bit of a loss when I ran out of wool last week.  So whilst awaiting the arrival of a new skein for that one,  I found myself having a conversation with my Photographer friend Katie of The Picture Patch Ltd She was looking to add a few baby shawls and bonnets to her collection of props which she uses when photographing new babies.  I have previously knitted a few items for Katie, and she already had in mind the kind of knitted items she wanted.  So I sent her to get the yarn and she came back with this!

What can I say? Gorgeous!

I had the patterns at the ready so was set to go.  Armed with some size 9mm (13US) needles I was off, and proceeded to knit the Easy Knit Lacy Baby Wrap by Posh Patterns.   There are beautiful patterns to be found here for sure, so it is definitely worth taking a peep. This is a simple but effective repeat pattern which once again I managed to misread!!  Thankfully you can’t really tell when looking at it.  This is probably because I was at least consistent with my mistake throughout, continuing to add that extra knit row which was not required!!  Such a beautiful colour yarn, it was as though I was knitting through blue sky, with interruptions of white clouds floating through.  Drops Kid-Silk long print, is a mix of 75% Mohair and 25% Silk.  Oh so soft for baby!  As you can also see my companion nicely shows how well this colour goes with chocolate!

Goes well with Chocolate

Although my friend doesn’t look so sure…..

Not sure if it matches my eyes

Ok, so this ball of yarn goes a long way, I had loads remaining, so continued with a bonnet also by Posh Patterns, called  Mohair Lace Bonnet.  So relaxing to knit, and didn’t take long to complete.  I cannot help but feel a sense of contentment when knitting items for babies, in fact there’s always a smile on my face when the end product is finally seen.  Definitely a feel good knit.

Awww…….

Fluffy blue bonnet

And still yarn leftover…….what next?

Yarn goes a long way

 

 

I’ll tell you what next, I will endeavour to finish my Hap!

A Tall Storey in Yarn

Well it’s been a couple of weeks now since I was last here, and do you know what?  I’ve missed it!  That’s a sure indication of how much I am enjoying doing this blog and certainly a tick in the box, in terms of surprising oneself.  For anyone contemplating doing this sort of thing and are doubting themselves, I can honestly say (as the biggest self doubter around!), that there is therapy in writing, which I have found so liberating and cathartic.  Once again we are using that creative side of our brain to string words together and communicate.  It is also fun!  Anyway it has been a busy few weeks and my attention has been drawn elsewhere.  What with our eldest boy Ewan turning 11 and organising a trip to London for him.  Aswell as tests at school (yes SAT’s, those mean ones they make Year 6’s take).  Last but not least my marathon effort to complete a shawl for my sister’s birthday (incidentally her birthday was in February, but I always say you can’t rush these things!)

To be more precise I am knitting a ‘Hap’, which is a Scottish term for a shawl/wrap/scarf.

Knitting a Hap for Harriet

Knitting a hap

It is the first time for me in knitting such a garment.  The pattern is called ‘A Hap for Harriet’ and is designed by Kate Davies of Kate Davies Designs.  It is absolutely beautiful and the yarn being used is Fyberspates Gleem Lace It has been a pleasure not only seeing the most gorgeous pattern emerging, but handling this luxurious yarn.   A yarn that beautifully compliments the pattern with it’s myriad of changing colours.  I’ll go into more detail about said ‘Hap’ in my following post, but as you may have guessed, it is not quite finished…..yet!

More importantly for us though Ewan and his Dad went on a two day (one night) trip to London.  A very special treat for a boy who is fascinated by ALL skyscrapers, he has been longing to go and see the big City for a couple of years now.  A modernist I suppose in his taste.

View to the City

View to the City

The Scalpel and Gherkin

The Gherkin reflecting in The Scalpel

He can name them all (even the ones under construction), place them with accuracy by their address, and knows all their heights.  Yes this is his ‘thing’.  London of course is not cheap, but by all accounts cost was kept to a minimum.  You see this whistle-stop trip saw big boy and little boy, tubing, bussing and walking past all the major building developments.  From Canary Wharf to the City of London, Piccadilly Circus to Buckingham Palace.  It was true sight seeing.  ‘Seeing’ places and buildings from the outside and absorbing the hustling, bustling atmosphere.  This costs nothing.

There was one special treat which was paid for though.  A visit to the top of The Shard – our tallest building here in the UK.

The Shard

A long way up to the top of The Shard!

And Ewan was naturally thrilled.

View from the Shard

View from The Shard

On his return home he proceeded to ask when we could all go together, as a whole family. Gulp!!  I have deviously avoided answering that one…..major saving up required without doubt!!

Ok getting back to the unfinished ‘Hap’, it suddenly occurred to me why it has taken so long to complete.  Apart from the fact you’re using a 2-ply yarn on very small needles, I took a passing glance at the label and what do I see?  This 100g skein comprises a whopping 800m of yarn!  And then BINGO!  My subconscious shouts out!  That is the equivalent of a very tall building indeed.  The many retorts of Ewan in all his enthusiasm, reciting the heights of all the tallest buildings (in the world).  I have to acknowledge, I may have only nodded and pretended to listen here and there.  However, without realising it my subconscious was listening.  In effect I have been knitting my way to the top of The Shard, back down again and more than half way back up!  At 309m this immense building is still not as tall as an outstretched piece of yarn.  In actual fact it would take you almost to the top of the worlds tallest building, The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828m (excluding the antenna).  Wow!  At around £16.00 per 100g skein I’d say that’s pretty good value for money wouldn’t you!

So until next time (when I hope to finally share my ‘Hap’), remember to embrace your passions whatever they are and share them with others.  Enthusiasm is infectious and should be encouraged.  It may not always be obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people are really listening.  What was that Ewan?