Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WIP Wednesday

This week I have returned to an old project to make changes which will hopefully enable me to make more use out of the finished cardigan. It is the Peasy cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaier, in Cygnet Superwash DK, a lovely soft pure wool. The yarn is lovely, but lighter than the Rowan Felted Tweed originally used, so that the bottom of the cardigan refused to stay flat but persisted in curling upwards and I had lengthened the sleeves without tapering them, meaning that they are far too wide around the wrist.

Therefore I am re-knitting the bottom of the cardigan, adding about an inch in length and ending in ribbing rather than garter stitch, redoing the sleeves from the elbows down with appropriate tapering and then I will have to redo the button bands and collar, possibly also in rib, though I haven't get decided on this. Due to the small size of buttons I originally used on this cardigan I'll have to come up with a smaller buttonhole, or change the buttons, which would make me sad, as they are so beautiful.

Hopefully all this will result in a cardigan I can wear more often, because I love the neckline and lace on this cardigan. So it's just a matter of relaxing with the extremely long ribbing rows and a good audiobook - currently Miss Buncle, Married - a book I would recommend, it is a sequel to the brilliant comic novel Miss Buncle's Book, by D.E. Stevenson, both are available on audible and have been re-published by Persephone books.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

WIP Wednesday

Log Cabin Dish cloth from Purlbee, using Rico Creative Cotton

Please excuse the bad photo, it's dark so much at this time of year and I'm rarely organised enough to get photos during daylight. This is my first time using the log cabin technique and I can see why people get so hooked, I'd recommend the pattern too, makes it very clear and is a good size to practice on and use up oddments of yarn. Hopefully I will have sufficient to knit another using the colours in a different order.

In other news: the weather has been unseasonably warm here lately, I've known Augusts when it's been similar temperatures! But I was mighty surprised this afternoon to step outside the front door and see a bumble bee working its way around the flowers on the hebe hedge. I do hope it survives and does not get killed off if the weather gets cold again. We very much like our bumble bees here and do everything we can in our garden to encourage them, including allowing clover to colonise the lawn because they like it and growing plenty of flowering plants for as much of the year as we can.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Fifth knitaversary

Today is my fifth anniversary of learning to knit. I was taught by a friend at university and have never looked back, my only real wish is that I had learned sooner. Knitting has brought me occupation, solace in hard times, fun, wonderful friends, socialising, warmth, new knowledge about myself, new skills, new confidence and a huge amount of yarn! Anyhow I thought I'd mark the occasion by posting a picture of my favourite project from each year that I've been knitting.


Wavy Scarf from Stitch'n'Bitch Nation (my first ever knitting book) in random acrylics from Durham's indoor market


Drop Stitch Scarf from ravelry, in Colinette Iona, colourway Jay


Poppy by Ysolda Teague


Fair Isle scarf I designed for a Knitting magazine competition

Argyle socks from Veronik Avery's book Knitting Classic Style (these win the prize for most patience needed for all that embroidery).

Who knows what the next year will bring, though I am hoping to prise myself away from the knitting needles for long enough to learn to sew.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WIP Wednesday

Peaks Island Hood by Ysolda Teague in Mirasol Miski, it's dragging on a bit so I did a long stretch on it today.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Homemade and Handmade

I was extremely excited this morning to receive a disproportionately huge jiffy bag containing my pre-order of Rend Collective Experiment's new album Homemade Worship by Handmade People. I have been looking forward to this album's release for weeks and had listened to the first single released over and again.

As well as excellent, inventive and interesting music and lyrics, which take them well outside the usual Christian worship music, I love Rend Collective's ethos and ideas. They are trying to do things differently, they recorded all the music on the album in their homes and they are trying to live in community and embrace the family aspects of being the church and the body of Christ here on earth. Some of these ideas link into the general craft sub-culture that interests me and the move away from the mass produced towards things made with love and skill. The album's reference to "handmade people" then reminds us that each of us was handmade by God:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139

The songs reflect this, exploring themes around surrender, the cross, redemption, forgiveness, God's kingdom coming here on earth and bringing change to us and to the world. Messages we so sorely need in this world, hope and the idea that things can be different. I love the language of God re-crafting us into redeemed people, as the first single, Second Chance, puts it:
"Countless second chances
We've been given at the cross

"Fragments of brokenness
Salvaged by the art of grace
You craft
Life from my mistakes"

The Bible says that we are made in God's image and so just as God is creative, so we are creative. So that just as our earthly love is just a shadow of God's all encompassing love, our craft, our up-cycling and reusing and creating is a shadow of God's ongoing work of recreation through Jesus and a reflection of Him in us and us in Him.

On the whole the music is "louder" and less intimate than some of the songs on their first album, the Organic Family Hymnal. Walking to knitting group today the music was making me tap my toe while waiting at the pedestrian crossings, however, I did manage not to sing along out loud in public! Anyhow I am going to go back to listening to my new CD and get on with my creating (my Peaks Island Hood at present), while I sing along and pray for God's kingdom here on earth.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

WIP Wednesday

Rover jumper by Sublime yarns, featured in Knitting Magazine. The eyes are done with duplicate stitch: my favourite!