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