Category Archives: Patchwork Knitting

A nephew, a workshop, a conference, and some mittens

I do still exist! As you have probably already guessed August and September have been rather busy, so time for a bit of a catch up with what has been happening.

First and most excitingly, we have a new nephew! Aaron is now 6 weeks old and we have waved to him on the skype several times, and he has made the grumpy face back at us. I had better get a move on with designing his Christmas stocking, especially given the speed of my knitting.

At the beginning of August I helped Jill Brownjohn to run another Patchwork knitting get together. Here we all are getting a bit of direction from Jill:

This year we went for a more relaxed get-together rather than a formal workshop. We had a discussion about joining techniques for pre-knitted shapes, and those who wanted to had a go at the methods that interested them most. It was lovely to catch up with everyone and see what they had been making over the last year, and I think the format seemed to go down well. We are not sure what will happen in 2013 since the hall we have been using for the last several years in Marlow Bottom may be closed for renovation.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the In The Loop 3 conference at Winchester. A wonderful three days, full of interesting and varied speakers and a lot of cake 🙂 I completely failed to take any photos at all 🙁 I am looking forward to having some time soon to see if I can decipher any of the notes I made. Over-excitement and terrible handwriting are not a good combination. It is a good job there is the conference programme to at least tell me who was speaking so I can always google them when my writing of their websites is incomprehensible. I really hope they will run another conference in a couple of years. I thought the programme was very well thought-out and included a lot of different angles on knitting. Lots of food for thought.

And finally I have finished some fingerless mittens:

The pattern is Wrought Mitts, and I used 2.25mm needles and some orange merino/silk handspun that I had left over from making a couple of pairs of socks. In the end I used about 37g which is about 142m. I still have a tiny amount of the yarn left over which I think will be going in the bag for making City and Guilds samples.

My hands are right at the top of the size range of what the mittens would fit. They are ok, but I think if there had been a larger size I would have knitted that. Over all I am very pleased with them, and think they will come in handy now that the weather has turned a bit cooler.

As well as everything else we have been having a bit of a go at tidying up the garden. It has been biting back, in some cases literally, but luckily the latest batch of nasty insect bites are getting much better. I think I need to find a way to make me taste less nice, I manage to get bitten even when I am covered in insect repellant! Today I had a bit of a go at the pond, clearing out some of the mass of weeds. I managed not to fall in but did get covered in smelly black mud. The poor washing machine will be on overdrive tomorrow.

A round up of the week

Today has been a day of finishing up projects and samples begun, and trying out anything we are keen to before we pack up and depart tomorrow.

Sue finished her beret, and coordinated slipper


I finished my beret.


The back would sit straighter if I didn’t have my hair in a ponytail.


Karen finished her beret, it is the same colour as mine but her tension is a little looser so it has come out a lovely slouchy style.


Linda has finished a phone cover using one of the textured stitches we have been sampling, and using yarn she only bought yesterday!


Ruth has also already finished a self-designed brooch with yarn only bought yesterday.


Avril finished her fingerless mittens, using textured stitches and decorative edgings.


My mum finished her beret



Ursula finished her cushion cover.



Joanne finished her fingerless mittens, using moss stitch and moth stitch (say that three times fast!) carefully coordinated to match the beret she finished earlier in the week.


This evening we are going to have a little exhibition of our work so we can all admire everyone’s creations, then we are having a fair well dinner. And then time to see if we can persuade everything into our cases.

Bavarian twisted stitches

Today luckily started with less panic than yesterday. Yesterday my alarm clock didn’t go off, and I ran round like a headless chicken trying to get ready to go out. This morning the alarm clock seemed to have got over its tantrum, and I set the iPod alarm too just to be on the safe side.

The weather today has been beautiful, hot and sunny, but with a bit of a breeze. We have been back at base working hard (in amongst enjoying the sun). Today has been continuing with the patchwork knitting, and also starting some Bavarian twisted stitches. Here we are concentrating hard.




Some people have been making patchwork knitted slippers, some patchwork cushion covers, some have started a twisted stitch beret, and some have been experimenting with samples of different twisted stitches. Everyone has achieved a huge amount, I have been very impressed. Here is some of the knitting so far.













We are going out for dinner tonight so I had better prise myself out of my prime wi-fi-ing spot on the covered patio outside our cottage (it’s a hard life!) and put on my (moderately) posh togs.

Bienvenue en France

We arrived yesterday in a slightly damp Charente-Maritime region of France for a week’s knitting on the French Treats holiday at Le Vieux Monastere. I am Fiona’s little helper for the week.

I am not sure which order the photos are going to come out (oh the technology!) but there will be (in some order) the view from the front of our cottage, the view from the back of our cottage, and some of our knitting workshop this morning. This morning we started with patchwork knitting, which we shall continue tomorrow. This afternoon we are going for a visit to a local chateau. Hopefully the rain will let up a bit!




Handspun leaves waistcoat

Finally after only two and a half years (!) I have finished my handspun leaves waistcoat. As you can see I am quite happy with it 🙂

I actually finished at the beginning of February, but finding a time when both I and the resident photographer were available, and it was actually daylight and not raining (or hailing as it has been today) proved to be something of a challenge.

This has been a fun opportunity to use up some of my early handspun. I stuck to the theme of dyed reds and natural browns to try to give it some kind of cohesion. The pattern is fortunately very forgiving of different thicknesses of yarn!

Those of you who have come along to the Patchwork Knitting Workshops in Marlow will have seen this in progress two years running! It is the difficulty that it is something for me, but not a City and Guilds piece, so always keeps getting put to the bottom of the priority list. It feels very good to have finished it and be able to wear it. It is turning into a very wearable item too, and I wore it quite a bit before the weather turned cold again.

I am planning to write up the pattern, but that might well take me a little while.

Patchwork Knitting Workshop 20th August 2011

Saturday 20th August began fairly early for Mummy and I. After collecting together all our knitting bits and pieces we hopped in the car and drove to Marlow Bottom, Bucks, to help Jill, Rosie, and Jill’s husband Roy get the hall arranged for our Patchwork Knitting Workshop. Sue, one of the attendees, and her husband also very kindly arrived early to help us. The hall is a lovely size, and very convenient, but unfortunately this year we discovered when we arrived that they had just painted all the woodwork the day before, and the place stank of paint 🙁 Something we were not very happy about, especially since Jill booked the hall months ago so they certainly had plenty of warning that we were coming.

At 9 I popped to the station to pick up Mary, one of the other attendees, and then once we were back and everyone had arrived and got themselves installed we started a lovely day of knitting at 9.30.

Here are some of the attendees in action, although this was actually taken later in the day:

The theme for this year’s workshop was chevrons. In his books Horst calls these Herringbone. So we started off with chevrons, either on their own or joined to mitred squares, depending on what each person was interested in. After a tea break (very well orchestrated by Roy), we then looked at triangles, to fill in the space at the top of a chevron, or between two mitred squares on the diagonal. We then got onto different methods of joining as you go. We started off with joining one strip you are working on to one you have already finished, in three different ways, and then went on to three-needle cast-off for joining two already worked pieces after lunch.

Here is Penny’s sample, showing a mitred square, two chevrons, triangles, and a knitwise join:

Lunch was again very well organised by Roy. He took all our orders during the morning and then went out to the Fish and Chip shop to collect them just before we broke for lunch. We had a lunch table set up away from the knitting so people could leave their work in progress as it was without having to pack up, and yet we could all sit together and chat over our meal.

After lunch we continued with joining methods, and then moved on to making a paper template for a jumper, to your own measurements. This is a method that Horst advocates, that you make a paper template and then can keep trying your knitting up against it until it is the right size and shape. It lends itself well to knitting in modules, or also freeform knitting and crochet. However he doesn’t really show you how to create the template from your own measurements. So we talked about how to take your measurements, and where you need to be measuring, and then using the very kind and accomodating Mary as our beautiful model we measured her and drew up a template for her for a long length jumper / jacket with modified drop sleeves (also sometimes called square set-in sleeves), a round neck, and waist shaping. We only covered drop shoulders and modified drop shoulders, since really set-in sleeves can be a day’s workshop in themselves, and the two basic shapes we covered are a good introduction, and also lend themselves well to patchwork knitting.

After everybodies brains were filled up with measuring and calculating, we moved on to show and tell. I love to see all the creative things people have been working on since we last saw them. So many great ideas, and beautiful knitting. Very inspirational.

Here is the table full of items ready for show and tell:

To finish off the day Jill and Rosie had had a great idea for how to go about planning your next patchwork knitting project. Armed with a block of post-it notes, they drew on the row lines for mitred squares, and cut some to make triangles. You can then play around arranging them on a convenient surface until you have a pattern you like, before you start the knitting.

The tidying up went surprisingly quickly, and after hardly any time we were waving everyone off and saying hello to my aunt and uncle who had come to pick Mummy up for the next leg of her round Britain tour.

It was a lovely day, I hope that the other attendees enjoyed it half as much as I did.

Upcoming patchwork knitting workshop Saturday 20th August 2011

Rosie Sykes, Heather Murray and Jill Brownjohn will be holding a patchwork knitting workshop using Horst Schulz’s techniques.

Times: Saturday 20th August 2011, 09.30 – 4.30

Cost: £40.00

Venue: Marlow Bottom, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK

For several years Jill has organised a Patchwork Knitting Workshop in Marlow, based on the join-as-you-go techniques of Horst Schulz, the internationally-known German knitting designer. Horst came over for two of these events, but now Rosie Sykes, Heather Murray and Jill Brownjohn keep his techniques alive with these annual Workshops. We do this with his blessing.

Our formula of informality combined with a full programme has worked really well, so we are offering a similar Workshop this year. The Beginners will work on mitred squares, adhering strictly to Horst’s two books, and previous students can be re-inspired, improve and extend their skills with Chevrons (or Herringbone as Horst calls it in his Children’s book). The two groups come together when they join their shapes to knitted strips and see how these can be assembled into garments, accessories and soft furnishings. In addition there will be some ideas for combining these hand knitting techniques with machine knitting.

We encourage our Returners to bring in their patchwork knitting projects to inspire other students.

Details from or telephone Jill to reserve a place 01628 471397.

Patchwork knitting workshop

Saturday found me in Marlow, teaching a patchwork knitting workshop with Rosie and Jill. This was the first try-out of a new venue, Marlow Bottom Village Hall, and it was lovely. This lady greeted us on our arrival.

It was a really nice bright space, enough room to move but without being cavernous and intimidating.

We covered a variety of different module shapes and joining techniques. Rosie has recently been working on strips made up of hourglass shapes. Here is the shape attendees were working on in class, with a mixture of stocking stitch and garter stitch:

And here is Rosie’s scarf she had made all in garter stitch. I love the sequin yarn used just on the joining sections.

Apart from the teaching, one of the other things I love about these days is the opportunity to see what everyone has been working on. Very inspiring!

This is a blanket by Marion, using a variety of different shapes, and one subtle multicolour yarn:

A blanket in two yarns, one solid and one with flecks, by Jill:

And an example that shows you can create very interesting texture effects using mitred squares in just one colour. I think this one was by Helen, but please correct me if I have got it wrong:

All in all a lovely day. We are hoping to hold another at a similar time of year next year, I am looking forward to it already!

Patchwork knitting this Saturday

Places are still available on the Patchwork knitting workshop I will be teaching on Saturday with Rosie and Jill.

We will be covering a wide variety of different modular knitting techniques, including:

  • Mitred squares, a great and very versatile introduction to modular knitting. These are the basic shapes I used in my Patchwork Jumper.
  • Rosie will be teaching how to make a reversible hour-glass shape she has recently been working on.
  • I will be teaching how to make reversible ribbed leaves

This is the shape I am using to make my Handspun Leaves Waistcoat.

  • We will demonstrate various different joining techniques to attach your modules together, and how to make garments (I will also cover how to increase and decrease within your mitred squares to create shaping, as used in my Patchwork Jumper).
  • Jill will talk about patchwork knitting and machine knitting, and how to use these techniques to combine hand and machine knitting.
  • There will be an inspiration and show and tell session where we all get to talk about what we have made and what we are currently planning (I get some excellent ideas from this session!)

I look forward to seeing you there!

For more info and to book a place email Jill at or telephone Jill on 01628 471397.

PS. I have a shiny new washing machine (arrived this morning)! Woohoo!

Upcoming patchwork knitting workshop Saturday 21st August 2010

Rosie Sykes, Heather Murray and Jill Brownjohn will be holding a patchwork knitting workshop using Horst Schulz’s techniques.

Times: Saturday 21 August 09.30 – 4.30

Cost: £40.00

Venue: Marlow Bottom, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK

This 7th annual Workshop will be small so participants gain maximum practical benefit.

Skills needed: cast on, knit, purl, decrease.

Details from or telephone Jill to reserve a place 01628 471397.