Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The very beginning

A first blog post and it is mine!  I've been planning it for a year, ever since I chanced upon the brilliant stitchy blog by Florence .  I think Florence was selling one of those wonderful Japanese pattern books that you can now get from from M is for make (F had accidentally bought two the same).  I have to confess I bought the book out of sheer curiosity, but although I have not made anything from it yet I will one day.  When I told Florence that knitting was my real love she asked me if I had seen the beautiful book Simple Knitting by the wonderful designer Erika Knight . Quadrille Craft the publisher had just sent her a copy to review, she suggested they might send me a copy too  - and they did!

This book is not simple as in knitting for beginners, although it does contain projects someone who has done very little knitting could make; rather, it is simple as in understated, elegant and unfussy.  It is the LBD of knitting.  As well as projects there are stunningly illustrated sections on the right sort of tools for the job, the difference between the bewildering selection of yarn now available and a stitch directory.

I chose to make one or two of the little notebooks and couldn't wait till my order of Habu cotton Gima arrived from Cocoon

Never one to do things by halves I decided to make six notebooks for friends as Christmas presents, I didn't want them all to be the same so I chose three different colours.  My new yarns are sitting on the open page of Erika's book in the picture above.  The book's photography is so good that it looks a little as though I have finished them already.  I decided on a slight modification of my own and to make endpapers out of some pretty lawn from backstitch .  The beautiful fat quarters arrived, ribbon tied and with a hand written label

The yarn is SO fine, it is rather like knitting with sewing thread but so satisfying to watch it grow centimetre by centimetre and the texture is beautiful

It was about then that I began to take my knitting with me on the train, using a circular needle so that it did not dig anyone in the ribs, the whole kit fitted into a tiny cloth bag in the bottom of my handbag.  I was rather amazed that people stared as though they had never seen anyone knit on the train before.  I remember as a child women knitting at any time, my aunt would knit walking to collect the younger children from school, with the ball of wool held under her arm (more of my knitting aunt another day).  It was then that I decided to tweet about my knitting as @ThereseDefarge, the maddest knitter I know. 

Such hard work deserves the best of materials, to make up the books I found mother-of-pearl buttons and fine bootlace leather by the metre, as well as hand made paper for the pages

In all I made six books from Erika Knight's stunning book, then two more when my son-in-law asked me to make one for his mother and another for his sister

I have mentioned quite a few people here and given links to their websites and it seems a little like an Oscar speech, I hope you will indulge me.  Of course this is not some huge award, or the culmination of years of practice, it is my first post.  But I wanted it to be a big celebration and acknowledgement of all the support and encouragement I have received from crafty bloggers and on line shops and last but not least the writers and publishers of books which so delight and inspire.

So... hello!  and huge thanks to EVERYONE

Happy New Year



fingersandtoes said...

Great first post, and the notebooks are so lovely.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful notebooks-and a site which has a hint of spring about it!

Textile Art Showcase said...

Welcome to the world of blogging. You are a welcome addition and I have enjoyed reading all about your lovely little books. They are gorgeous and I am sure that they were much appreciated by their recipients! I look forward to being able to come back and read some more of your posts. Thanks for lovely comment on my blog. You are correct about the Japanese wraps, my family happily handed them all back to me after they had opened their presents.

Florrie said...

So lovely to be in at the begining of your blogging journey. Thanks for the comment you left, although my blog is about sewing and knitting plus a little bit of everything else, knitting will always be my first love.

I will certainly be back again to see some more of your gorgeous projects, the notebooks are beautiful.
florrie x

kristina said...

Oh your books are simply beautiful. I've always wanted to try knitting with habu. All their offerings are so intriguing.

K x

Florence said...

Catherine! Thank you so much for letting me know that you are now blogful. I adore the notebook covers - they're beautiful.

Yes, isn't it odd - I never really see anyone knitting in public places any more and I do wish it were a more common sight as it may pave the way for me to feel more brave and to get out my patchwork hexagon pieces, which I think would receive an even more curious response than public knitting.

Wishing you a happy new year,
Florence x

Anonymous said...

Beautiful notebooks - have you thought of selling them? I would love one.

Catherine said...

Dear lovely people

Thank you so much for saying such kind things about my first post.

Hi Sarah, nice to see a twitter friend has paid a call.

Kristina it's well worth trying Habu I think it is quite different from any yarn I have had before.

Florence - why not sew your hexagons in public? go for it! tiny bits of sewing are ideal for journeys.

Florrie do please visit again, I shall certainly visit you!

I am sorry that I can't resopnd to you all by name but blogger has labeled you anonymous. I had not thought about selling the books, I am not sure I would have the right as the idea is not mine. But I may think about bartering at some time. Lastly I am off to see if there is some Christmassy patterned fabric in the sales to put in stock for wrapping next year's Christmas presents Japanese style



Little Blue Mouse said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

What a great start to your blog, your notebooks are lovely.

robinintheuk said...

Such a lovely blog. It is so nice to read more than 140 characters of your delightful personality at a time. I, too, love those books. Just fabulous. You probably 'could' sell them on Etsy...

I look forward to reading more...
Robin xx

emmawindsor said...

Looking forward to reading more. Great writing and pictures.

emmawindsor said...

p.s. I've just checked that book out. I just have to have it :)

Margo said...

what charming notebooks! I thought, at first, you were just knitting the covers and then, as you explained, I realized you were making the whole thing. So attractive.
I've never heard of habu, but it looks (from your photo) more like string than yarn. I once knitted a scarf from funny yarn that had blobs of shoe-lace looking pieces. Made a fantastic scarf (blogged here