Tuesday, 19 October 2010


The Autumn chill has descended in Berrow and despite the sunny days the wind off the sea has definitely lost its balmy feel.

My thoughts have turned to Christmas this week and the making of gifts for friends and family.  I have constructed a list and last weekend I cast on for two pairs of socks and some fingerless mittens as well as knitting the camouflage type hat for my fishing cousin, using the handspun falkland roving that I was spinning up last week.   It helped that Film 4 were running a Star Trek weekend so I was able to settle in front the t.v. with an endless supply of yarn, my favourite way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Autumn!

Our thoughts also turn to thick, cozy jumpers and accessories as well this time of year and I am pleased to see that cables are making a comeback in fashion at the moment as well as the colour grey.  I do happen to have a large stash of Gotland yarn in double knit thickness and am hoping to use that up with handknits for the online shop. 

If, like me, you enjoy getting something for nothing then take a look at http://www.elann.com/ where you will find a whole pile of free knitting patterns in some pretty amazing designs.  All you have to do is register your email address and details and the patterns are accessible as pdf downloads.  Also this week I came across Patons website, http://www.patonsyarns.com/ where again you can access a whole lot of free knitting patterns and they have some wonderful afghan patterns or throws to knit.  You can save these to your "hive" on the site and download or print them when you are ready, saving on ink of course.  If anyone else has links to free pattern websites then please feel free to list them here so everyone can benefit.  If any of the links above dont work, let me know and I will check the web addresses. 

The loom is silent this week as I am concentrating on knitting items for the shop and spinning up some gorgeous Bluefaced Leicester and Tussah silk roving hand dyed in lemons, blues and pinks and mauves that was a purchase on etsy.

Have a good week whatever you are doing and happy knitting.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Forgive the long delay, again, life seems to have overtaken me.  My beautiful grand daughter was born on 5th October and all are well so now I can relax and enjoy being a grandmother.

Obviously a lot of my spare time has been taken up over the last months in making clothes for the new baby.  I am going to make a few more things for Christmas but now in bigger sizes as my daughter has been given so many clothes there will be no need to buy anything new for a long time to come. 

Consequently I have a lot of baby wool left over and began to think how I could use this up and decided to weave up some baby blankets using this.  I dont normally consider using acrylic fibres when weaving, I'm not sure if anyone out there does, do let me know.  However, I have warped up the loom using a four shaft, six treadle tie up which I found on the All Fiber Arts website, http://www.allfiberarts.com/ for a baby blanket.  I am using Sirdar Snuggly baby 4 ply yarn in a soft blue and the weft is a double knit acrylic yarn which graduates in colour throughout the ball.  The weaving is quick to grow and fast to warp up.  See pictures below.

It has made me realise that I have had rather a blinkered view of weaving todate.  I have always used silks, and natural fibres for my items, forgetting the vast range of man made fibres that are available to use.  And what if, like my son in law, you are allergic to wool?  It makes buying handmade items very difficult.  Also there is the question of cost.  In our current climate it is difficult to price up garments made from expensive materials.  One is caught between the two ends of wanting to make a profit out of ones hard work but at the same time wanting to sell items regularly.  So either the profit margin is very narrow or the time spent making the item is not taken into consideration in the final price.  So to use cheaper yarns doesnt necessarily mean that the finished item will not be just as lovely as if you had used the finest and most expensive of the natural yarns available.

This week I am spinning up some hand dyed Falkland wool tops from Mandacrafts called Autumn to make a knitted hat for my cousin who is a keen fisherman and wants something to blend in with the background! 

I purchased a turkish spindle recently from the Etsy site, it is handmade in beautiful woods and the two cross pieces are similar in colour to the Knitpicks wooden needles, those lovely multi coloured ones.  See picture below.  It is a dream to spin with and solves the problem of not being able to take my spinning wheel with me when I travel.  This is small enough to tuck inside my handbag. 

I am also using my Ashford Knitters loom to make some handwoven scarves and bag lengths for Christmas stock in my online shop.  Keep a look out for these as they will be fairly reasonably priced and I am hoping they wont be around for too long.

So lots going on here and I hope you all have a very good week whatever you are doing.