Not only did I have a fibre-filled Saturday, but this Sunday I had the pleasure of joining A Playful Day‘s Kate and Curious Handmade‘s Helen at their Muse Connection event. This is the second (Volume 2, as they are calling it) of the events which are like a knit night with added goody bags, door prizes and inspirational talks.
It was wonderful to hear about creative beginnings from knitwear designer Rachel Coopey, (spoiler: keep calm and keep yarn in the boot, also, learn to love the startitis)…
and co-founder/editor of Pom Pom Quarterly Lydia Gluck (my cliff notes on that one: Don’t think, jus start. Wise words I live by…).
We all enjoyed some beautiful meringues and possibly the tastiest brownies I have had this side of the Atlantic. The goody bags featured a beautiful shawl pattern from Pom Pom Quarterly, sock pattern from Rachel Coopey and a skein of Anzula, a super luxurious 4 ply yarn.
This weekend was packed with craftastic events. Saturday was the Brighton Knit and Make Social organised by the lovely ladies of Yarn in the City.
It’s a great idea: a mini-tour of craft shops in Brighton giving crafters a chance to get to know each other and find new sources for materials. Our first stop was The Brighton Sewing Centre, just minutes from the station.
Photo copyright of Brighton Sewing Centre
The BSC is a small shop with a great selection of haberdashery, fabrics (particularly of the quilting variety) and sewing machines. I was sorely tempted by some marled grey jersey, but strangely I always find it difficult to buy something in the first shop at these events. A quirk of the mind I suppose. I managed to get over that particular quirk by the time we reached the second stop. Ditto Fabrics specialises in dress making fabrics and tongue-in-cheek signage.
The shop seems to have a lot going on, including a ‘Dressmakers Social’ which sounds not unlike a knit night.
They have a less predictable range of fabrics, with some real treasures hiding in plain sight. I made off with some unusual cotton printed fabric that with a fantastic selvedge before our final stop.
Yarn and Knitting is one of my favourite local yarn stores and the subject of previous blogging. YAK’s owner, Kate, has curated a wonderful collection of indie dyers and, in spite of the fact that I needed nothing, I bought a stunning skein of Life in the Long Grass Dappled sock yarn. The colour way Tin Shed, is a blue-grey with large rust-coloured speckles. I can’t wait to see it knit up. The Ravelry projects look super-fab!
And finally, I won! There were great door prizes and I actually won one. Unbelievable. And awesome.
Last week I blogged about a pair of cardigans I knit for my family back home. I had the overwhelming urge to make a gif of the little one after a fun photo shoot which I almost managed to keep the dog out of.
In my rush to finish by the time, I totally forgot buttons. In fact, I was still knitting on the plane, but that wasn’t really a problem. The buttons, however, were. I had hoped to use the lack of buttons as an excuse to do some crafty shopping, but was thwarted by the fact that the baby showed up hours after the plane touched down. So I got creative with my options.
My mother kindly found me some gold buttons, but I really wasn’t into the colour combo. Upon snooping around Dad’s closet, I found his old LL Bean shirt, which had just enough buttons left to help me out. This shirt is such a classic, right? It has a fine patina of wear.
I sewed the new (err, quite old) buttons onto the baby’s cardigan and replaced them on my Dad’s shirt with Mom’s shiny gold numbers. Now my Dad may not have been best pleased with this. In fact, I don’t know; I didn’t ask. It seemed for the best. I couldn’t miss the photo op…..
I like to think he understands. And maybe he loves his new blinging buttons even more than the old. Maybe…..
Next time, I will have a little tutorial for sewing on patch pockets.
I rarely knit things for other people and I’m all about the selfish knitting, not only but also because I barely have enough time to knit the things I’ve designed or been commissioned to do. But last year I made an important exception.
I visit Seattle every year and a recent addition to our family took me back to my hometown bearing gifts of the knitted variety. The first was for my new nephew, a cardigan in the baby size. The second was a matching cardigan for my grandmother, which I had long promised her, but was only now delivering. My grandmother is of the generation of women who were expected to do needle work and she really enjoyed it, but by the time I was born, her rheumatoid arthritis had bent her hands into painful shapes, and she was not able to hold knitting needles or do the embroidery she had enjoyed. When I began knitting I promised her a cardigan, knit to just her size, but I never quite managed to make it.
When I heard news of my sister’s pregnancy, however, I wanted to knit something for both the oldest and the youngest in my family; something with a family resemblance.
I think I inherited my love of Autumn from Grandma, and she dyed her hair a bright red for many years. So when I decided to design something for her, I wanted it to represent her–a brightly colored, celebration of our favorite season.
I made a bottom up, raglan sleeve cardigan with broken-rib trims and an intarsia patch pocket. The main colour of Grandma’s cardigan is Knit Picks Stroll Sport in Firecracker Heather, and the contrast colour is Kettle Yarn Co.’s discontinued Sport weight superwash merino in Melonballs.
In the next few blog posts I’ll use these cardigans for mini-tutorials on patch pockets, sweater surgery and misdemeanor button theft.