Sunday, 30 May 2010

Knitting in Pub(lic)

Things are finally winding down, so I will be back to crafting, blogging and creating more regularly again. Hurrah!

colourful pile of knitted garter stitch
I am excited about Worldwide Knitting in Public Day, coming up in June. Some knitters will undoubtedly be aware of WWKIP Day! It has been running since 2005, grown in popularity every year and (in my humble opinion) is a wonderful way of celebrating this most tactile craft. Normally taking place on the second Saturday in June, this year, it's any day you choose to observe it between the 12th and 20th of the month - to fit around any other events in your calendar.

To get involved, check out, or look out for events in your local area. The general idea is to knit somewhere out in the open (weather permitting!) or just out and about. I love the idea of a Knitting in Public Picnic :)

Purrrl Knitting Kitty print
Print by Laurie Nadeau

Now to the PUB part! I'll be knitting in the pub tomorrow evening. If you fancy learning to knit in a relaxed environment and are based around the Edinburgh area, come along to the Auld Hoose from 6pm. (I will have yarn and needles for folks to play with!)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Brief Hiatus

Hello, dear reader.

Firstly, an apology - this and my WildKittens blog will be on a little hiatus for the next few weeks, as I am finishing off my HNC college course in Interactive Media at the moment. This means exams and coursework a-plenty for me right now! So I just wouldn't be able to commit the time and energy that the blogs deserve, and rather than some half-baked posts, I will be back around the end of the month/early June with some fab fresh new things for you.

Crafting 365 Day 320: Colour Wheel

In the meantime, here are some of my favourite blogs, just in case you need a good read!

Bugs and Fishes

Color Me Katie

Eskimimi Knits

Fifi Lapin

Creature Comforts

Kingdom of Style


P.S. I do hope you also like my yarny colour wheel above :)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Knitting up a Storm

Here is a little treat, in the form of an animated knitted clip. I just love this video for Walkie Talkie Man by Steriogram. So much fun!

I hope you enjoyed Knitting & Crochet Blog Week as much as I did. It was a challenge to write about some of the topics but I'm glad I took part and it was great to read blog posts by the other participants. Kudos to Eskimimi for dreaming it all up!

Crafting 365 Day 308

It's also got me quite psyched up about starting a few projects and designing some new knitting patterns. I'm considering offering more PDF patterns in my etsy shops too - I currently have some baby shoe patterns over in the WildKittens shop, in case anyone's interested :)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Yarn Love

knit cro blog week banner
Day Seven: 'What a Yarn'

Yarn. Where would we be without it? Well, we wouldn't have very much to wear without any, that's for sure!

I've been mulling over this topic for a few days now and I have to say, choosing just one yarn to mention is pretty tough, there are so many incredible fibres, colours, blends and brands out there in today's marketplace. I guess us crafty types are really lucky to have so much choice. Sometimes perhaps overwhelmingly too much choice, one might even say.

I studied textiles for four years, so as you can imagine I am always interested in hearing new developments in the kinds of fibre available to design and create with. There always seems to be some exciting new kind of yarn to play with, how wonderful. I could probably write an entire novel on my love of yarn (but I won't. At least not here.).

bamboo lace border wrap

The yarn I have chosen to write about is bamboo. It's a really amazing fibre, and the plant grows exceedingly quickly, making it a truly sustainable resource. Did you know the growth rate of a bamboo plant can be up to a metre a day?! Regrowth occurs from offshoots, thus reducing the need to replant from scratch. Amazingly, compared to an equivalent amount of trees, bamboo produces 35% more oxygen and takes in nearly 5 times the amount of greenhouse gases.

I particularly love knitting with this fibre as it is lovely and soft with a natural sheen to it. It's got a very slinky feel when you wear it next to the skin, almost silk-like. Garments knitted up in bamboo also have a really nice drape too. As if that weren't enough, the fibres are very breathable and they are also thermal regulating!

The shawl above is my lace border wrap, knitted in the lushest blue Bamboo Soft. It's a Rowan Classic yarn and made of 100% Bamboo Viscose. This means it's produced in the same way as viscose, except with pulped up bamboo fibre and then extruded to create a dreamy soft yarn :)

Eyelet lace patterns seem to come out really well in this yarn, giving a nice stitch definition once the finished piece has been blocked.

Crafting 365 Day 150

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Blast from the Past

knit cro blog week banner
Day Six: Revisit a past F/O; Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that you did but just didn’t like that much…

The 'Finished Object' (FO) I've chosen is one that ended up being quite significant. It was also a project that was a departure from what I usually make. It was actually a special request from a lovely lady who had seen pictures of my Space Invader scarves. These are made from Merino lambswool on my vintage mechanichal Knitmaster knitting machine with Fair Isle aliens, then felted, and the floats cut. So quite different really to an equivalent hand knit. She asked if I could design and make a Pac-Man scarf.

I said yes, of course. Nothing like a challenge to get your creative juices flowing! Ultimately it was agreed that the level of detailing required the scarf to be hand knitted. What I love about the old-school games is the simple pixel images translate remarkably well into knitting patterns because of their geometric composition.

ms pac man motif
I had not hand knitted many motifs in this manner before that point, so it was a great way to build up my confidence getting the balance of tension right between the different yarns and stranding the non-working colour across the back of the design.
It's a design I spent quite a bit of time trying to get right, and it was definitely worth it.

After that, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone asked me to make a scarf with the ghosts on it! I was glad to be asked because it was an idea I'd actually had floating around in my head for a good while before being asked to design it.

pinky the ghostie scarf
Turns out it too was quite a hit! One incarnation of this Pinky scarf even ended up in the UK DIY exhibition, I'm very proud to say.