Tuesday, 25 June 2013

(Maybe) the last word on the subject

I'm still full of busy from the BIG Knit.  Two blankets fully completed, squares put together,

borders crocheted

and ends sewn in,

were delivered to the Hospice today.

And the ladies of our knitting group are working hard on sewing up another four!

And then just before leaving for the hospice the sun was shining I decided to photograph the blankets on the lawn.  As there was dew on the grass this meant I needed to lay out our old picnic blankets first.  And underneath the blankets in my dining room (now renamed the yarn room) was another bundle of 49 squares!

How amazing is that?  Seven blankets which will decorate the day room and individual bedrooms at the hospice and keep chilly toes warm.

What has also been so lovely is how many people who asked if we would organise another event.  So we are!  And there has been a little bit of re-branding.  I have updated the facebook page to explain that the BIG Knit Fundraiser will be an annual event in association with The Hospice but we shall also hold BIG Knit Gatherings from time to time to meet as a bigger group to knit, chat (and drink coffee and eat cake).  The first Gathering will be on 9 November at one of our local community halls, the details will appear on the Facebook page and Ravelry forum

If truth be told I am also keen to get back to my stash-busting project.  Not that blanket squares are not a good stash buster but I have this

and this...

waiting in the wings to make up into something glamorous (red) and warm (green/grey) that I am longing to get my needles into



Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The BIG Knit BIG reveal

Gosh - over 75 knitters making nearly 400 squares, aiming to make a blanket in a day and we did it!!  

Cathie and Claire who did ALL the sewing up
More than that we have enough squares for 3 more blankets which the Basingstoke Knitterers and Natterers will be sewing up (well probably crocheting) in the next few weeks, with breaks to get on with our own knitting.  The blankets are for our local Hospice, St Michaels.   We collected money too but I can't tell you how mush as we haven't counted yet!

As we set up on Friday, transforming this neat but dull space

into something more knitterly and festive

with a banner,


wool chains

tubs of yarn
and needles
We were a little worried that we would not have enough people.  That was the least of our worries...

These ladies were busy planning and knitting by 10 O'clock.  And soon we were looking for more chairs!

We had a visit from the Mayor

and the Little Model

The atmosphere was lovely. Some people even met up with old friends or colleagues they had not seen for a while

Lots wore their favourite knitted items, 

I loved this scarf

Also spotted, flowery brooches and hair slides, cardigans and shrugs 

As the squares piled up
Cathie and Claire got out their crochet hooks

With all the coming and going, how did we keep count?  A book circulated for peoples contact details, we have 75 e-mail addresses. 

I-pad artist Sue Howe transformed photographs into beautiful portraits

We had requests to do this again and we will.  We are also thinking about other events that would bring our town's knitting community together.  So watch this space

And Facebook 

And Ravelry

If you belong to neither but would still like to be in the loop e mail me your contact details (my address is on the About Me page)

BIG thank you

Firstly to the knitters, obvious really but we couldn't do it without you.

Then Festival Place, for lending us the space and for all its lovely staff who helped us find tables and chairs, let us dress their penguin waste paper bins in scarves..

and were so hospitable on the day, checking we were all OK

We also had help from other people in the town. The manager at a nearby cafe (Ed's Easy Diner) very kindly lent us several chairs when we had people standing.    We were given coffees by Cafe Nero, Costa and Pure independent local bar.  And when the technical assistant (AKA my son Ed) had problems with the slide show of pictures by our artist in residence Sue Howe which we were showing on a big screen TV, the manager of our local Sony store came to the rescue.

Well, that's enough excitement for one month, I'm off to cast on a cardi



mascots K1P1 and SSO,
hung around Festival Place with labels advertising the BBK

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Little Things

I was thinking today, what does a dedicated knitter do when she (or he) begins to realise that the yarn stash really has extended beyond life expectancy?  For my part the substitute for yarn buying is yarn accessory buying, in particular, vintage accessories.  I was reminded of this when I joined in with a discussion on the Graffiti Grannys face book page about yarn organisers.  Actually the organiser they posted on their page prompted a lot of ridicule because as you will see the model appears to be knitting a crochet blanket with both knitting needles held in one hand - twice the magic!!

Anyway in the course of the discussion someone mentioned the Bakelite bee skeps that Patons sold in the 1950s.  The particular Granny on FB duty at the weekend had not heard of them so especially for the Grannys, here's mine...

Its quite small and clearly made for a time when yarn was wound into tidy little round balls

But it is a thing of true loveliness and in addition to the compartment that unscrews to fit the yarn, in the base there is also a needle gauge

 Not vintage but also a thing of beauty is my pottery yarn bowl, made for me specially by a potter friend of a friend.  This one is suitable for any size ball of yarn

I have found little vintagey things all over the place, beginning with my late mother's work basket where I found these tiny crochet hooks (the larger one is stamped 2 1/2 and the smaller 4 1/2)  They are so fine that I could crochet sewing cotton with them (if I ever had the time!)

the coin is a 5p piece

 And then there is this tiny pair of scissors, I have used these for snipping away fabric when embroidering broderie anglaise

Last night I was comfortably settled on the sofa and about to turn the heel of a sock.  I needed a pencil to make a note of the rows but really did not want to get up!! (lazy, I know).  What luck!  I remembered I had this row and stitch counter in the bottom of my bag, bought recently at a yarn fair

I can't remember where this tiny leather pouch came from

but inside the worn lining of cherry coloured silk it contains a penknife with three tiny blades and a mother-of-pearl handle

Now that I knit my own socks perhaps I shall darn them too using this darning mushroom (or perhaps not!)

I don't think buying little things like these will ever quite cure me of my yarn buying habit but they are treasures and I love how they connect me to previous generations of knitters.