Monday, 28 January 2013

October Clubs - Mojito

A not very autumnal theme for October -  one of my favourite cocktails!

Superwash merino/nylon sock which took up the colours beautifully...

Merino for Roving Medley members.....

And the Fibre Adventure club was an exotic blend of milk protein fibre, cotswold x southdown fleece and merino roving.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Finger-knitting good!


They say timing is everything and the Craft Club finger knitting session was perfectly timed, just ahead of an invite to teach finger knitting to the SGS 6th formers as part of their general studies experience day.

The plan was to have 15 students per session with 3 sessions and I did wonder if I would have full groups but I needn't have worried. My first session was full, for the second session half the first group asked if they could stay on as well as my second group. By the third session I had students from the first group and the second group both teaching the third group and a full contingent for the third session. Cascade training in action!!!

Longest finger-knit in progress....

And after an hour....

 And a lovely scarf, finished off with two cute pompoms (made using a plastic fork!)

It was a great day with lots and lots of knitting made so thanks to all the 6th formers for making it such a fun day and to the teachers for the invite :-)

Thursday, 10 January 2013


...or, to the non-knitters out there (esp. those who were expecting another gig review!), cutting your knitting.

I love teaching this workshop as it's a technique that lots of people don't try but that is really awesome when you've got the hang of it. And it really isn't difficult! Practice on a swatch before you dive in, use the right yarn and sharp scissors and you will be amazed at how much it speeds up your knitting, especially colourwork.

So why would you do it? Well, with a bit of planning, a sweater can be reduced to virtually no seams, even when knitted from the bottom up. Sweaters can be knitted in the round from the cast on edge.  Add your bridge stitches for your steek at the armholes and keep knitting in the round, right to the top of the shoulders. Snip open the armholes and pick up and knit the sleeves in the round (so no sleeve seams). With a 3-needle bind off (so no shoulder seaming), there's only the neckline to deal with and the steeks to tidy up. And if you're doing colourwork there are barely any ends to darn in as you're mostly working in the round. Fantastic! You can use steeking for armholes, to convert sweaters into jackets, for thumbs in gloves, handle holes for tea cozies, all sorts!

Here's my class at Purl City Yarns taking the plunge.....

All looking very calm...

Getting those scissors out....


And checking the end result - perfect!

And in true Blue Peter tradition, here's one I prepared earlier.....

Swatching for the steeks (the jacket is steeked down the front and armholes, the little vest top has steeked armholes....

And here's the lovely Georgina, kindly modelling the finished jacket and top (thank you to mum, Liz)....

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Workshops 2013 - details now online!

Pete's been busy updating the website with workshops and events for the forthcoming year. And it looks like being busy, especially as there are new dates coming in thick and fast!

For shops, guilds, colleges, groups and organisations, I have just updated my list of workshops on offer and there are some great new classes. New this year are themed and seasonal workshops, dyeing, knitting, crochet, felting, mixed media and some new courses on fabric dyeing (ideal for textiles students) so if you'd like to see the latest list, just drop me an email.

Friday, 4 January 2013

September Clubs - Lazy Afternoons


September's club colourway was inspired by late summers, sitting on a warm porch, enjoying a glass of wine/Pimms* (*insert drink of choice here!)

Falkland roving

Lusciously curly and lustrous Leicester Longwool, Baby Camel/Silk and Falkland roving

And our exclusive Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Imperial Leisure (x 2)

(No, this is not a trick photo - I really am that small!)

 Not content with seeing London-based Punk-Ska-Rock band Imperial Leisure once, we liked them so much we caught up with them twice in one week!

Charismatic, larger than life and with a sound to match, this is one excellent band! (And don't be fooled by the t-shirts - IL are anything but average!).

Here they are at Manchester Academy...

 And at the Cockpit, Leeds...

Oh, and the band are keen supporters of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and their t-shirts are promoting the Save the Male Campaign.

To quote the charity "The campaign against living miserably (CALM) exists to prevent male suicide in the UK.  Suicide accounted for the deaths of more young men in England & Wales in 2011 than road death, murder and HIV/AIDs combined." 

Calm are a small charity, tackling a big problem, and there are events, music and loads of great stuff on their site, so whether this is an issue that affects you directly, indirectly or not, it's well worth a visit.

If energetic punk-ska-rock is your thing, check out Imperial Leisure here....

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