Sunday, 29 April 2012

3KCBWWC - Perfect Day

Day Seven: Craft your perfect day

Today I chose to go for the 'wildcard' (3KCBWWC) topic: "Plan your fantasy day with your craft, It might just take up one hour of your day or be the entire focus of the day, but tell your readers where you'd love to craft, whether you'd craft alone or with friends, knitting or crocheting something simple or spending a day learning new skills."

I think my perfect knitting-filled day would have to start with poring over my library of knitting books and magazines for inspiration. I've collected rather a lot of them over the years! (the image below shows just a small selection of some titles I own...) This may be followed by having a peek at some knitting blogs and of course, the wonderful Ravelry.

Fibrespates Scrumptious DK
Fibrespates Scrumptious DK from my stash

After that, I would head off into town (Edinburgh, that is) and one of my favourite local yarn havens, k1 yarns, a cosy, bright little shop on the West Bow, just at the curve at the bottom of Victoria Street in the heart of the city's old town. They specialise in Scottish yarns such as Orkney Angora, Jamieson's of Shetland and Harris Tweed, and have a lovely selection of hand-dyed yarns too. It's quite likely that this visit would result in a yarn splurge, but that's part of the fun, right?! Plus I could get another stamp on my loyalty card ;)

Orkney Angora St. Magnus 4ply
Orkney Angora St. Magnus 4ply from my stash

Once I've satisfied my yarny needs, I'd meet up with friends at an alternative bar I'm quite fond of, the Auld Hoose, for some of their tasty food and a spot of pub knitting. The perfect way to round off a knit-tastic day, n'est-ce pas?

Crafting 365 Day 264

I do hope you've enjoyed reading these posts. It's been fun taking part in Knitting & Crochet Blog Week for the third year in a row, not just as a participant but reading other knitty blogs too. To view my other posts for the week, see here. Thanks once again to Eskimimi for organising it!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - Skillful knits

Day Six: Improving Your Skillset

Hmmm... wasn't quite sure where to go with this topic, as I feel I have covered the "things I'd like to learn/could improve on" subject in previous years here and here. Admittedly though, there's always something new you can learn, improve upon or a new approach to something (such as a different cast-on method) to try.


However, I am happy to say that I have learned many aspects of the knitting skillset over the years and I truly appreciate why it is called a "craft" - both from a hand knitting and machine knitting perspective. I'm glad that it's something I have persevered with, as it is so much more than just a hobby to me, at certain points it has in fact been my livelihood as a self-employed designer.

Crafting 365 Day 293

Knitting definitely has its benefits (certainly for me at least) and I have found the meditative quality of the rhythm and repetitive motions comforting on many an occasion - when things seem a little overwhelming, I find it really does help to sort out my emotions and thoughts, as well as being an activity that I like to do to help unwind (pun intended) before bedtime.

I think if there's one thing I'd like to do more of, it's to write more of my own patterns. I have written several patterns - for machine and hand knits - so "improving" is one thing, but it's more about having the courage to just do them sometimes, and put them out into the world. I haven't actually published very many of them but I would like to build on my pattern library in the coming years.

Crafting 365 Day 291

As someone who has read and knitted from rather a lot of patterns in one capacity or another over the years (some of them better than others!!!), I like to think that I have a pretty good idea of how to create a clear, easy-to-follow pattern and accompanying set of instructions.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

3KCBWDAY4 - A Knitter for all Seasons?

Day Four: A Knitter for all Seasons?

I have to confess that although I adore knitting lightweight lace projects (I really do enjoy lace knitting, whether it's a simple motif with only a few rows repeat, or a more complex piece requiring full concentration), the type of projects I seem to spend most of my time making are generally wintery things, especially mittens and scarves.

Crafting 365 Day 290: Up close

This is probably due in part to the fact that I have had a business selling such things for several years now, but I think also because I really enjoy working with woolly, cosy yarns and personally love wrapping up with handmade knits in the wintery weather.


So although I occasionally work with cottons and more summery yarns, I can be found working on warm, woolly things pretty much all year round! I find that this is very much reflected in my stash too, with a definite bias towards fibres which are suitable for giving warmth and comfort such as wool, alpaca and cashmere.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

3KCBWDAY3 - My crafty heroes

Day Three: Your Knitting or Crochet Hero

In the first year of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, I talked about knitters whose work I enjoy. Of course, this is a somewhat similar idea but today I'm going to talk about people whose work I am inspired by and admire. It's far too difficult to whittle it down to just the one, so I've chosen my top 5 (in no particular order)!

· Kate Davies

I really love the beautiful designs of Kate Davies and one day hope to make her "owls." If you're a fibre enthusiast, I highly recommend her blog, needled.

· Anna Hrachovec

You may well have heard of knitter extraordinaire, Anna Hrachovec, of Mochimochi Land. I'm a huge fan of her creative and whimsical world of knitted critters and characters, not to mention her wicked sense of humor! Below you can see a tiny pigeon I knitted from one of her patterns :)

· Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I've long been a fan of the witty fibre-infused banter which can be found on Stephanie's Yarn Harlot blog (and books, for that matter.) - read and enjoy - 'nuff said.

· Carol Meldrum

I was lucky enough to work with the lovely Carol during my time at Rowan. As well as being a published author and workshop tutor, you can find her Beatknit designs here. I also think her book of Knitted Icons is a lot of fun.

Crafting 365 Day 213

· Stephanie Dosen

I have adored the creations of Tiny Owl Knits for a while now. You may be familliar with the incredibly popular Beekeeper's Quilt Stephanie designed and created - I do love seeing all the different colours of "hexapuffs" people have been knitting.

I look forward to reading about everyone else's crafty heroes!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

3KCBWDAY2 - Snap Happy

Day Two: Photography Challenge Day!

Today is about getting creative with craft and a camera, so I thought I'd share this pic which I took a while back. I'd had this rough concept idea for such an image for a while & experimented with different yarns to achieve what I had in mind.

Crafty Cocktail

The idea was to create something eye-catching to use as a flyer for that year's Etsy craft party, as you can see below :)

Edinburgh's Etsy Craft Party!

Oh...and just for fun, here's another snap - the rock chick in me couldn't resist :)

Monday, 23 April 2012

3KCBWDAY1 - Colour Lovers

Welcome to Day 1, year 3 of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week! (3KCBWDAY1)

Day One: Colour Lovers

Colour. Truly one of those things which (in my humble opinion) makes life worth living. As you can see below, I even seem to have a full colour wheel within my stash!

Crafting 365 Day 209: Colour Wheel

Although I appear to have an abundance of different colours overall, I am definitely drawn to certain colours, with a real fondness for rich, jewel-like hues and in particular teals, cobalt blues, evergreens, ruby reds and wonderfully saturated shades of purple...

WIP heart brooches

...not to mention aquatic colours and vibrant fuschias. I've even been known to buy yarn simply because I loved the colour! Case in point: this ball of Noro Iro :)

Noro Iro

When it comes to making a new knit, the part I deliberate over the most after choosing my pattern (or inventing it!) is the choice of colour. Suffice to say that one of the reasons I love certain brands of yarn, aside from quality and availability, is their selection of a wonderful range of colours.

Crafting 365 Day 215

As far as playing around with colour combinations (something which I really do enjoy), I know from my time working as a Design Consultant that many knitters have an inherent fear of straying from the original colour a pattern has been knitted/photographed in. Fortunately I don't seem to have any such issues and mix things up with merry abondon! Above, as an example, is my recoloured take on Dauphine (currently still a WIP; it's kind of hibernating if I'm honest!).

Monday, 9 April 2012

Eastery Wishes

I do hope you all had a happy easter weekend! I had fun making these delectable little lovelies...

...and nibbling on other assorted chocolate treats :)

It has been a wee bit quiet around here for a little longer than I'd like, I won't go into all the details but one major reason is that I've been busy beavering away on several websites - one of these will be a brand new portfolio website for my web/graphic design work. I can't wait to show it off, it's not quite ready yet but it will be here soon!

In other news, was excited to see that the topics for Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2012 have been announced - check this post on Eskimimi's blog for more info.

I'm also thrilled to be heading off to Geneva later this week to visit my sister and get a wee change of scenery - I will be taking my camera (and Ray-Bans, here's hoping for some sun!!) with me for sure! Hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to tell you about when I get back.

I've been taking part in this month's Photo a Day challenge, organised by the lovely Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim. You can find my submissions on my Instagram feed (look here to see my pics). I seem to be doing every other month so far! Are any of you lovely readers out there joining in this month too?