Monthly Archives: September 2010

She’s here!

My niece, Jennifer Anne, was born on Thursday! They got home yesterday afternoon and mum and baby are both doing fine, though have been a bit busy so I haven’t spoken to them yet.

Lace classes with Chris Williams

Back in May and June I went along to a very interesting course of classes on knitting lace with Chris Williams held at Fleet Library. The format was a two hour class each Thursday morning for 5 weeks. It worked really well giving enough time in the class to learn something new, then enough time in the intervening week to practise what we had learnt.

In the first class we looked at what needles and yarn to use, and went over chart reading. Chris designed a sampler scarf for the class to familiarise us with a variety of lace stitches. It took me more than a week to finish though!

I used 4mm needles and 4ply Shetland yarn from Uppingham Yarns.

In the second class we looked at different shapes of shawl, and Chris gave us a pattern for a small triangular shawl she had designed, but also encouraged us to have a go at designing our own. I decided to have a go at my own, although I think I may come back and knit Chris’s as well in the future. I have gone for a leaf pattern using 2ply cotton and 3mm needles, and am still working on it 🙂 I am contemplating whether to add beads to the edge, and for that matter what to do about the edging. This one will require a bit more thought.

In the third class we looked at Shetland hap shawls. Chris knitted us each a little triangle in garter stitch and we picked up stitches and knitted a feather and fan border and then a sideways edging.

Again for this I used 4mm needles and 4ply Shetland.

I really enjoyed this, and it is definitely on my list to make a full sized one soon.

In the 4th class we looked at shawls from different geographical areas, and different ways of constructing shawls.

Then in the 5th and final class we looked at designing our own shawls. I am attempting to design a Faroese shawl, but I haven’t got very far with it yet 🙂 It is still very much at the fiddling around with the graph paper stage. Chris is hoping to run another course in October so I am hoping I might have a bit more to show for it before then!

Burnt Bark Cushion

Another bit of catching up. This was my third project (out of four) for the City and Guilds Certificate.

This is the front:

And this the back:

My original inspiration were some photographs of burnt tree bark I took down at the Eden Project a couple of years ago.

For the back of the cushion I came up with a pattern inspired by the geometrical fracturing of the bark when it burnt. Here is my test sample, done in different yarn to the stuff I finally used, and with a different number of stitches and rows in each section, but I did end up using the same basic idea.

For the front I started by sketching one of the knots on the bark, and then manipulated this until I got a kind of flower shape. I knew that I wanted the flower shape to be worked in a textured stitch against a stocking stitch background, so I swatched several different textured stitches, and different yarns until I settled on k1,p1 moss stitch as the most effective.

Out of all the yarns I tried I decided I liked cotton best, but a soft cotton, not mercerised. I experimented with holding several strands of 2ply machine knitting cotton from Uppingham Yarns together, and knitting with 8 of them at the same time on 5mm needles. I tried one sample with all strands the same colour (brown):

one with 6 strands of blue and 2 of purple:

and one with 4 strands each of brown and red, which was the one I finally decided on:

For one project out of the four we also have to produce a mood board / display board, so I thought that this project would lend itself well to that.

Fiona has marked it and it is all OK (whew!). I had better get a move on with the last project!