Week in Pictures

It has been a busy old week for us, packed with fun adventures spanning two continents with very little sleep in between. I might be tired but I am happy and we are very lucky to be having such a brilliant family adventure. I thought it might be nice to share my highlights in pictures with you. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are in the world.

The week started with a ‘wee’ adventure with my mom in Scotland. We went to see the Kelpies, two brand new sculptures just north of Edinburgh. They are amazing, and if you are in this part of the world I highly recommend a visit this summer. IMG_8557

The little one likes her new dinosaur backpack, which is handy as I need to try and stop her from running off too much. Especially in busy places or on busy roads (her new favourite activity is to try and launch herself off the pavement – not great).

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It was a grey and drizzly day but the sculptures are so beautiful I did not mind a splash of rain. I am getting used to the Scottish weather now, and usually remember my raincoat.

We then whipped across the world to Canada (my brother in law is getting married in two weeks so we are here for the wedding). I was even able to get some secret knitting done on the plane. The joy of traveling with another adult who can share the the child minding responsibilities on the plane. Watch this space for more details on this super exciting project. More news in a few weeks!

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We are staying in Calgary for a few days before we head into the mountains. The first day was rainy (much like Scotland) and we were tired so we had a wander through the Devonian Gardens in town, a indoor garden on the top floor of the mall. The plants were beautiful but I was more interested in the sculptures and the beautiful grey patterns of the glass roof against a grey sky (it is always about the grey with me).

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I was over the moon to find this green tea frozen yoghurt, it was delicious. I love green tea flavoured things.

IMG_8670Summer is fast approaching here and the streets are full of colourful flowers.

IMG_8707 IMG_8708 IMG_8709On Thursday I went to a local yarn store called The Loop. In a few days I will give you the full low down on my trip there, but they put me onto a brilliant mill about an hour north of Calgary called Custom Woollen Mill. More details on them soon, I have lots of pictures and a yarn haul to share with you. Here are a few snaps from our trip yesterday. The sun shone and we had a brilliant time.

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And I am happy to say my yarn purchases were approved by the small person. Here is a sneak peak of some of the yarn I got at the mill.

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How did you knit yours?

Packing for my recent trip I hauled out my Northmavine Hap and packed it in my rucksack. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have hardly worn this shawl during the winter months. I love this shawl, it is the perfect size and wraps around you like a warm embrace. The lace is simple but striking and the mix of colours make my heart sing. I shall be wearing it with pride as I wander around on our holiday.

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I had lined up this “How did you knit yours” a while back but time slipped by and I did not post it. Packing my shawl spurred me on to share these beautiful examples made by other Ravellers.

The Northmavine Hap was designed by Kate Davies and released as part of her Colour of Shetland collection in December 2012. As soon as I opened my book, I instantly fell in love with this design. The design features 5 shades of Shetland wool by Jamieson and Smith and is the perfect vehicle for experimenting with colour. I also vowed to knit a single colour one when I finished my first. I have yet to cast on, but I think it would also be a fabulous single colour shawl.

To inspire you I have picked some of my favourite finished objects from the Ravelry project pages. I hope you enjoy these beautiful shawls.

The muted purple and green shades of this example by CaroleCaris result in a feminine and delicate shawl. 

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Used with permission. Copyright Carolecaris

Lady Marian picked a brighter palette of pinks with lilac on a white background. The end result is vastly different from the original sample by Kate Davies but very beautiful in its own right. A perfect example of how changing the palette can completely transform the look and feel of a design.

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Another completely different pallet by HeathcoteRoad, the strong colours in this shawl really stand out, creating a bold statement shawl. 

Used with permission. Copyright: HeathCoteRoad

Used with permission. Copyright: HeathCoteRoad

One thing I did not love about knitting this shawl was the ends, oh the ends, they were endless. I felt like I was weaving in ends for days. I probably should have been disciplined and done then as I went along but I didn’t and the end result was endless weaving in of ends. Two knitters who have circumnavigated that problem are MartheB and Fidlstix. They have created magical haps with rainbow yarns featuring long repeats. The solution to all those ends, rainbow stripes without the weaving. Bold, bright and colorful, these shawls are just what I will need in the grey winter months at the end of the year.

Used with permission. Copyright: MartheB

Used with permission. Copyright: MartheB

Used with permission. Copyright: Fidlstix

Used with permission. Copyright: Fidlstix

Last but certainly not least I will leave you with a wonderful example of the shawl knitted in the yarn and colourways suggested by Kate. The colours of this shawl work so well together and if you have read the essay that accompanies the pattern in the book you will see clearly how they reflect the landscape described by Kate Davies.

I also love the way HannahKRoss photographed her shawl. Dancing in the wind and resting on the beach pebbles. 

Used with permission. Copyright: HannahKRoss

Used with permission. Copyright: HannahKRoss

Used with permission. Copyright: HannahKRoss

Used with permission. Copyright: HannahKRoss

Have you knitted a Northmavine Hap shawl? I would love to see your pictures if you have.

 

Caught My Eye – Mr. Rabbit

This week’s Caught My Eye is another glorious design suitable for the small people in your life. It is also perfect for the young at heart too, or those who love whimsical little creatures in their lives.

It has been created by Amanda Collins, the talented designer behind Owl Print Panda. I first came across Owl Print Panda at the Glasgow School of Yarn last year. I had been in the country a few weeks and it was a brilliant baby free day filled with knitting and lovely people. Amanda had a stall behind me, I was working on the MSF p/hop stand. She had a beautiful selection of whimsical knitting related items like stitch markers. There were also some little coin purses in her signature style. I had great fun looking at all her wonderful goodies and having a little chit-chat. You can find her items over on her Etsy store. I highly recommend a look. 

Amanda also design the famous Bru shawl celebrating the drink Iron Bru, a bright orange cold drink that is something of a Scottish statement. Jess at Ginger Twist Studio made a lovely example of this from her stunning hand dyed. Everytime I pop into the shop I feel compelled to make one. I really should just cast on.

Moving onto the pattern for this week, Respectable Mr Rabbit. I immediately fell in love with him when I saw him released on Ravelry recently. He oozes whimsical charm. I know my little one would love to cart him about everywhere with her other treasured rabbit friend. Mainly knitted in the round, he has been designed with Rowan Fine Tweed, which is a magical yarn to work with and comes in a vast array of stunning colours. You could also substitute other yarns very easily for a larger rabbit. I wonder if you could make a tiny version with lace weight? I love the idea of a really tiny fine bunny, might have to invest in some tiny needles for that.

He really is a lovely little chap!

Used with permission. Copyright Amanda B Collins

Used with permission. Copyright Amanda B Collins

Used with permission. Copyright Amanda B Collins

Used with permission. Copyright Amanda B Collins

 

The Passing of Time (and a knitting clock)

I am in that strange limbo between holiday mode and frantic panic mode as I try to get everything done before going away. It has been a busy week, but the end is in sight. I am happy to be going away, very happy indeed. Now all I need to do is decide what knitting to take (panic resumes).

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Travel is my favourite pastime, well …. okay, after knitting and eating. Though if I could travel somewhere amazing, eat good food and knit along the way that would be a winning combination.

The journey is always a time for reflection, I find myself thinking about the passing of time in many different ways. It is one the main reasons I love train travel, a real sense of time and place passing, much more vivid than the feeling experienced by flight. Being transported from one place to another in a flying box does not give the same sense of connection with places and the time the journey takes. That said, if I was to take a train from Scotland to the western parts of Canada I may be gone a long time, so hooray for flying boxes.

Today I wanted to share something with you that I stumbled across on the internet. The 365 Knitting Clock. Yes, you read that correctly – a knitting clock! The artist / designer, Siren Elise Wilhelmson, has created as clock that knits as it moves through the hours of each day, thus creating a memento of the passing of time in knitwear. Genius, I love this on so many levels!

The article I first found is by James Cartwright and you can find it here. 

Siren Elise Wilhelmson has some awe inspiring ideas, take a look at her website to see what I mean. 

Until next time, happy knitting.

C

x

Weekly Round Up #2

This regular features showcases things that I have seen on my journey during the week. It make take the shape of some pom pom shaking for people who I think are fab, however it is not an advertising slot and all thoughts are my own.

This week I have a pattern that I had to feature. There have been a few releases from big names this week but this one is especially gorgeous and I would love to knit it once the knitting fairy arrives with my extra time. A Hap for Harriet by Kate Davies is a lace weight shawl knitted from Shetland wool. It is based on a % system, meaning you can get the most from your yarn – which I love as I always want to maximise those beautiful skeins. 

Hap_Kate Davies_Rav

I love it even more because it uses yarn from Old Maiden Aunt. She is a local Scottish (Canadian) dyer who produces the most spectacular palette of colours. I have not knitted with much of her yarn but she holds a special spot in my knitting journey as this was some of the first ‘fancy’ yarn I ever worked with. I got my mom to buy me some and send it all the way to Brisbane. Lilith wound it into cakes for me as I did not have a swift while I was traveling. I thought this was an excellent customer service touch. The colours and yarn bases are just gorgeous. I highly recommend a wee peek at her website.

Old Maiden Aunt

Finally, this blog is amazing. Tech Knitting is a blog about all things knitting and jam packed with technical info. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have found something wonderful on this blog. I highly recommend it for all you technical knitting fans out there. It is also perfect for learning great techniques to make your knitting easier and the finished object more polished.

tech knitting

Hope you enjoy the links for this week.

Happy knitting

C

x

 

Shoes for Socks

Last week I showed you my lovely Hedera socks, a brilliant Cookie A design as part of the blog week challenge. I promised to deliver a solution to their quest to find the perfect partner, and here it is.

I have to start this piece with a caveat. I like shoes, but I also like to be comfortable. I walk a lot and frequently carry a toddler on my back. All of these factors contribute to the fact I can usually be spotted pounding the pavements of Edinburgh in my trusty (and rather old) North Face walking shoes. They are not pretty, I bought them in Australia, they have travelled across the world with me, spanning four continents, they are my trusted and faithful companions.

That said, I did not come here to talk about my old walking shoes. I came here to dream my friends! To dream of the magical combinations of hand knit socks and beautiful shoes.

As an avid sock knitter I think the discussion about how we show off our beautifully crafted items is an important part of sock knitting. I have scoured the internet and Ravelry to find some inspiring examples of sock and shoe combinations that will hopefully make your heart sing.

Prepare yourself for a smorgasbord of delightful hand knitted socks and some spectacular shoes.

Flats, heels, brogues, loafers, trainers, plimsoles … the choices are endless when it comes to finding the perfect match for your knitted socks. Here is a selection of my favourites found on Ravelry. The boundless talent of knitters never ceases to amaze me.

Mary-Jane style shoe fan? Comfortable, practical, and simply brilliant at showing off your favourite socks.

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Thanks to the Ravellers Peaknits, Kinara, Coopknits, SA Knitter and Dussaultnbattery for the use of their gorgeous sock and shoe combinations.

Loafers and brogues more your style? How about these examples for some inspiration.

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Thanks to the Ravellers Coopknits and Nina 90 for the use of their gorgeous sock and shoe combinations.

If you are looking for some irresistible sock patterns to complement your fabulous shoe selection look no further than Rachel Coopey. This utterly brilliant British designer has a phenomenal talent when it comes to designing socks. She has a number of sock books and clubs available and the patterns are exceptional. Additionally, she has just released an accessories collection Toasty (in case you fancy a change from hand knitted socks).

Ballet pumps and lace ups dominate your shoe collection? Whether your socks are patterned or plain, you can’t go wrong with the flats and hand knit sock combo.

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Thanks to the Ravellers Evilcb, Leah and Hildegunn for the use of their gorgeous sock and shoe combinations.

Comfort your main priority? If you are like me and love trainers, I think (though I may be biased) that nothing, and I mean that, absolutely nothing beats some hand knit socks and a pair of Converse. I am biased, and I did spend my teenage years in the 90’s try to scuff up my Converse (much to my mothers disgust). I may be a little older but I still have a big place in my heart for some well worn canvas plimsoles.

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Thanks to the Ravellers Leah and Pixisis for the use of their gorgeous sock and shoe combinations.

If you really want to let your socks shine you could opt for the clear Converse. They were released a few years ago and I am not sure how easy they are to find in the shops but they are, without doubt, a spectacular option for the hand knit sock show off in you.

Used with permission. Copyright: Sundogstudio

Used with permission. Copyright: Sundogstudio

Thanks to the Raveller Sundogstudios for the use of her gorgeous sock and shoe combination.

I am not very good at walking in heels. I think it is a combination of lack of training and being seriously clumsy that have meant I am very rarely seen in heels. That said, I was in awe of some of the sensational hand knit sock and heels combinations I found on my Ravelry hunt. Here is a small selection of those gorgeous combinations.

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Thanks to the Ravellers AnnikaAlmgren, What the Hay, Pneuma, Peacethrufibre, Knittymuggins and BrittanyLaine  for the use of their gorgeous sock and shoe combinations.

That brings me to the end of favourites from Ravelry, but I felt it wouldn’t be fair to leave you there. In my typical enabling fashion I thought I should at least show you some options to fulfill all your shoe shopping desires. Admittedly I may have a rather eclectic taste, and I am certainly not a fashion expert (ahem, scruffy walking shoe alert) … however I do love to dream a little sometimes. This is my selection of dream shoes to show off my socks.

I have paired each shoe with a sock from my Ravelry pages. I highly recommend knitting these sock patterns too!

These bright striped socks knitted from Trailing Clouds would be the perfect match for these clear Jelly boots from Office. 

Trailing Clouds Self Stripe - Mind the Gap

Trailing Clouds Self Stripe – Mind the Gap

Juju Jelly Mega Glitter Boots from Office.co.uk

Juju Jelly Mega Glitter Boots from Office.co.uk

How about all the metallics? Silver socks and copper shoes, a match made in heaven? I think Dr Martens has a brilliant selection of shoes worthy of your favourite socks. 

Thelonious Socks by Cookie A

Thelonious Socks by Cookie A

Dr Marten - Jocelyn in the colour Copper

Dr Marten – Jocelyn in the colour Copper

Spring Socks need spring sandals I love these socks and think that these Irregular Choice shoes are the perfect match. I know technically people say socks and sandals don’t go, but I think fabulous shoes and hand knit socks are an exception to the rule.

Zig-Zag Spring Socks by Judy George

Zig-Zag Spring Socks by Judy George

My Cup of Tea by Irregular Choice

My Cup of Tea by Irregular Choice

A well documented love of mine is bright socks. I love that you can wear something out of your colour comfort zone on your feet a little easier that you would around your neck. Funky white Converse are the perfect showcase for these socks by Fiona Bennet, a FAB free pattern on Ravelry that I highly recommend knitting.

Scylla by Fiona Bennet

Scylla by Fiona Bennet

White leather Converse

White leather Converse from Office.co.uk

Last but not least, the real dream shoes. I can see myself wearing these and I think they would go perfectly with my Hedera socks. I might need a little cash windfall before I can splash out on a pair of these, they are beautiful though. Fluevog make some pretty spectacular shoes. 

Hedera by Cookie A

Hedera by Cookie A

Simon by Fluevog

Simon by Fluevog

And there you have it folks. Think of yourselves as ‘enabled’ … go forth and match your socks with fabulous shoes.

Enjoy!

Cx

Caught My Eye #2

This gorgeous little summer top is perfect for the little human in my life. It is fun and summery with pretty lace details which make it an interesting knit. The pattern is designed to be knitted in a merino / silk blend that is very luxurious and maybe not suited to my messy toddler. That said, I think it would look stunning in other yarns too or be the perfect top for a special occasion in a more luxurious base.

Designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge the Immie Tee is knitted from the bottom up and has charted and written instructions for the lace. The pattern comes in six sizes from 3 months to 2T (24 months) and costs $5

It has lovely details and some Ravellers have also added long sleeves which make it perfect for transition into the cooler months. It would also make a brilliant winter top if you live in the warmer southern hemisphere.

Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge. Used with permission

Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge. Used with permission

Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge. Used with permission

Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge. Used with permission

 

A glance back, and looking forward …

I missed the end of the blog week, I knew it was a possibility. I had a hectic work schedule and spent all day Saturday at a conference. I am not going to go back and do the post for day 6 just yet. I am going to turn into into a feature instead. Coming up over the next few months I will be revisiting my interview series and chatting to some inspirational souls in the knitting world. I already have some fabulous people lined up to chat with and would welcome your input on anyone you would like to see featured here on the blog. I can’t wait to get started. It will probably be a monthly feature, though we will see how we go. Watch this space for more details.

In the spirit of 5KCBWDay7 I thought I would stop for a second and take stock of where I have ended up. This is my post from last year and looking back I can’t believe how much has changed.

We moved across the world, instead of the Australia plan we ended up in Edinburgh! Who would have thought. Since we arrived 8 months ago we have moved twice and are still trying to find out feet. I have learnt that knitwear is very useful for the Scottish winter months but blocking knitwear is almost impossible. This is in direct contrast to South Africa where I could block anything in a matter of hours but never had the chances to wear all my lovely knitted items.

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I achieved some of my knitting goals and others fell by the wayside. I finished the Rock Island shawl and knitting one more pair of Cookie A socks, then my personal knitting ground to a halt as my knitting adventure took me on a new and exciting journey.

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Inspired and encouraged by my friend Heidi I decided to start designing some baby socks. These became Sock Anatomy, published at the end of last year. Since then I have written for The Knitter and taught at Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh.

FRONT COVER_Ebook

What does the rest of 2014 have in store? I have more workshops coming up in Edinburgh and I will be venturing further afield and will be teaching in Dundee and hopefully Newcastle. I have some designs coming out in knitting magazines you will know (and hopefully love) and have a very special collaboration due to be launched in July.

Then there are the plans for 2015, they are glorious and bold. I am in the planning phase for some exciting new projects and I promise to update you as soon as I can.

Thank you for sticking around this year. I know it has been haphazard at times. I enjoy your company though and hope you choose to stay with me for another year of adventures.

Happy knitting

Clare

x

 

 

Weekly Round Up – 5KCBWDay5

The task for today was to do something different. I know this is technically not that different from my normal style, words on a screen and links, but I wanted to start a new feature. So this is my something different. My aim to to get my act together and blog more, to do this I need some features and there is a lot of stuff I see that I want to share. So, here goes …

Friday’s weekly round up (part 1)

Martine from iMake has launched a new website. I think it looks fabulous and advise popping over for a little browse. She has great articles and an amazing selection of tutorials. You might also benefit from having a scout around her old website too as some of the content has not been migrated to the new site and is well worth a look. Martine also hosts a regular podcast featuring all things craft and Guernsey. It is well worth a listen.

New website

Old website 

Ripples Craft had an update last night and if you are after some yarn goodness to brighten your weekend there is certainly plenty to choose from. I love this purple skein. Helen is based in the Scottish Highlands and has the most magical colour sense.

Finally there is a new yarn shop opening in Glasgow tomorrow (17th May) and their grand opening is taking place between 5 & 9pm. The Queen of Pearls is in the centre of Glasgow and will be stocking lots of lovely goodies if the list on their Rav group is anything to go by. I can’t go because I have to attend a work conference (boohoo) but if you are in the area I bet it is going to be a blast. New yarn shops are almost always a good thing.