Sunday, 30 January 2011

Guild day, busy day.

First, can I show off the lovely merino that arrived in the post on Friday from Longdrawjames Isn't it lovely? its probably going to be spun and plied with white and knitted into another shawl.

Saturday was guild day and Jennie Parry was running a workshop on making braids and tassells, there was plenty of inspiration from the many piece of ethnic embroidery that she has collected over the year.

So armed with wool, beads and buttons we started to follow her instructions, occasionally getting into a mess but learning a lot very quickly.

So the hall was split in half, tassel makers with theirs heads down and spinners chatting at the far end.

This unusual Frank Herring wheel also made an appearance although it seems to be missing one or two parts which a member of the guild is trying to trace. As far as I can find out , this wheel was retailed by
  Frank Herring rather than made by them sometime in the 70's

Sally, Pete and myself finished the day going to see Me and Mrs Jones followed by drinks in a local bar.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

short and sweet

Hi, knit night tonight was manic, our largest ever turnout of 25 people which is just about the maximum that can fit into the basement room at Lee Rosies cafe. So many new faces, good to see so much interest in knitting especially amongst the younger ones. No photo of knit night or the pub spin that followed although the choice of pub was interesting...don't think they had ever had a group of knitters and spinners in before  especially with the punk/rock music that they play although I sort of felt that I should have been wearing my leather jacket rather than the smart work skirt and top!

Thanks to everyone who is coming up with ideas for using the shop wool, I see I am going to be very busy over the next few week!!

I leave you with a photo of the biscuits I bought today, aren't they sweet?

Monday, 24 January 2011

Playing again

I seem to have a bit of a dilema, I'm a spinner and I always knit with handspun mainly because I am a slow knitter which sort of matches my spinning speed/time at the moment. Anyway, I am also the co-owner of a knitting shop which stock lots of lovely knitting wool that I don't knit with.....are you beginning to see my problem?
So, it's my turn to write on the knitting shop blog about knitting and the shops yarns...HELP!! I've already written 3 post about spinning as we stock basic drop spindles and small amounts of fibre so now its out into the big world of shop yarns.
So today I've been playing with some oddments from the shop and my embellisher just to make a start and I'm going to make a list of crafts other than knitting that I can use the yarns for. This is where you, my friends ,come in. Any ideas, I've been thinking braids, tablet weaving, maybe lacemaking I would welcome any suggestions.

Todays efforts......

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will keep me going for a bit :-)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

So, what do you do when you suddenly have a free Saturday?

You ask friends that you haven't seen for months to join you for coffee and it seems such a good idea that your friend asks a group of his friends to join up for coffee and before you know it you have a gaggle of spinners and stitchers at the local art gallery cafe :-)

We got there to find that the cafe had already been yarn bombed by the local school. Check out the spelling of guerrilla...conjures up some image of monkeys knitting!

and swiftly set up wheels and a drum carder, drop spindles appeared out of bags and 3 versions of the same shawl made an appearance.

It was good, a real buzz that made people stop and watch, even come in and find what we were doing. A few new recruits for Ravelry and possibly even one for ourselves...we can work on that one.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

look, I made that

I recently discovered a blog called Knit a Year where the writer is aiming to knit a minimum of 2 rows everyday for a year so I offered up some of my handspun remnants and asked for a contact address. Don't you always find that its a small world? although the writer lives in London it turns out that we met a few months ago at my regular knit night in Nottingham when she was visiting family and friends!!!

 Anyway, she has been knitting with some spindle spun Merino with felted flowers and you can see the results of this and the other threads over the next few days on her blog. This reminded me that I have a knitted sample of the same yarn so here it is...


Friday, 21 January 2011

Fluff update

This year I have found myself taking a SAL/KAL with a spin a shawl group on For the uninitiated this is a spin along knit along where the group chooses a pattern and sets a deadline for the finish. Now I was sort of pushed in this direction by a certain person who has not only spun the yarn but already finished his shawl!!! and I will ask if I can post a photo of his work on here.

As you can see, permission was granted!!! This is Petes amazing shawl, Blue Face Leicester dyed by UKFeltStudio spun as a soft single. If you are a Ravelry member you can find him under Wikkidknitter.

So I have been spinning some very soft Falkland and have made a start on the knitting. I'm a little under half way through the shawl.

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and I'm hoping it won't take too long as on Saturday I'm hoping to start spinning this for the spinnotts spin a shawl challenge!!

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or I might just finish spinning this..

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 from Babylonglegs

have a good weekend everybody :-)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

lacey update #2

OK, as mentioned in the previous post, I did go looking for my magnifying glass and found that two of the bobbins were dated 1814 and 1823 and all except two had similar markings on them.

here's the detail on two of them, please excuse my sketches

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My small Book on bobbins describes Honiton lace bobbins as having anchors, ships, fish, diamonds and hearts as decoration. Honiton lace was made in East Devon before being badly hit by a machine lace factory being established at Tiverton. Before 1816 there were 2400 lace makers with the number dropping to around 300 by 1822. The description matches the markings on my bobbins.

lacey update

Firstly let me say thank you to all those who have commented on here and on facebook with get well wishes. What I thought was going to be a couple of days of cold and sniffles has turned into two weeks of virus infection affecting throat and ears, Yuk and double Yuk!! I hate being ill and having time on my hands but not being able to do anything crafty, managed a few rows of knitting and some lace whilst having coffee with a friend ( and not realising how ill I was) Still I'm on the mend and will be back at work next week but I suspect I will still be coughing as I have been for weeks now.

In the middle of last year, I was contacted via the Stitched up group by a lady who had been left a considerable amount of lace equipment so I visited her house, had coffee, identified what I could and she decided that she would sell what she was able to over eBay. There were some lovely bobbins and a couple of nice pillows but I wasn't in a position to make a serious offer for them.

Some months later she emailed me to say that she had sold most of it but had a few bits and pieces left and would I like them to use in teaching or to pass on to other lace makers. So I collected a cardboard box one night and put it on one side to explore later when I had time although I did open a round tin that had 20 or so bobbins in it, mixture of beds and east mids with broken beads on them.

I have now had chance to explore the contents and spent time with my young student going through old patterns and magazine cuttings dating back several years.

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In a separate bag I found these wonderful honiton bobbins. I am going to try and find my magnifying glass and see if I can read the inscriptions any better.

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Another bag contained lace threads which I suspect will be used :-)

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Three of these patterns had the lace samples with them and I suspect they will become the next project for Pete. The samples look like they have been made from silk and I forgot to photo them!!!

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and these that have been very well used over the years.

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And I'm not sure what to do with the homemade roller pillow at the moment. I have quite a few old bobbins so may set it up as some sort of demo.

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And this is my progress so far on the bookmark.

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Hopefully my next post will be more details about the bobbins if I can read the inscriptions

Monday, 17 January 2011

Knit Nottingham: What are spinnotts????

shameless promotion for spinnotts :-) normal service will hopefully resume tomorrow

Knit Nottingham: What are spinnotts????: "You may have heard the word 'spinnotts' in association with 'spinning' and 'drop spindle ' whilst in the shop or reading the blog so I tho..."

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Cold but Bright

I think this best describes the sort of day we have had today, nippy but clear blue skies. I managed to steal a couple of photos before a meeting this morning during which I managed to make a bit more lace.

 the view from outside our shop this morning
 a rare shot of me

Saturday, 8 January 2011

book of inspiration

A dreary Saturday moring following a fairly sleepless night ( still can't get rid of the cough) was brightened up by hubby collecting this from the post office parcel depot. Hopefully it will help to get the creative side of me fully back into gear. This was followed by nearly 4 hours of bobbin lace, mainly teaching as I wound bobbins for my next project. You may remember that I couldn't make my mind up  what to make? well it was made up for me as someone has asked me to make some lace for them to take overseas as a gift. Nothing complicated especially as I have a tight deadline for this so it is going to be a torchon bookmark that can be easily framed.

  Petes second lesson with lace is coming on nicely, theres a couple of mistakes but as long as he can see why it's wrong then all is well. Footside, half stitch and initial set up of bobbins have now been introduced and practised.

Friday, 7 January 2011

not resolutions, just a few pointers for 2011

No resolutions as such this year, not really any point as I never stick to them but I have a few challenges lined up. I like challenges mainly because of the deadlines, that is not to say that I always complete them but it does then to focus my thoughts.

So for the first part of 2011 I have to spin and knit a shawl  for a group on Ravelry, the shawl is a Haruni and the pattern is available on Ravelry.

The spinnotts group on Ravelry also have a spin and knit challenge, this time to knit 198 yds of heaven shawl which I have knitted before and hopefully won't take too long.

For my own development I want to try out different knitting stitches and increase my knitting knowledge, fortunately I have many friends who are willing to help me in that direction.

Finally I would like to keep my lace making and embroidery skills from going rusty.

As for today, I am taking a few bobbins to work to empty and rewind at dinnertime ready for lace lesson number two. I'm also still looking for a pattern for myself but can't make my mind up as it has to be an easy one that can be picked up and put down without having to think too much about where I am with it. I am thinking Torchon despite the fact that I love Bucks Point Lace.

By the way, I've not killed the plants yet!!!