Creativity · Designing · Knitting

Worse problems to have

Just going through my sadly dwindling supply of Erika Knight Maxi Yarn…

I’m planning an open side easy tank top in the Artisan; I have a little of the Mallard left and will use that lovingly to edge the garment… something like this. that’s IT! No more adding to the collection until I’ve collated and checked all my patterns… honest guv’nor.

I’m pretty sure that will take most of the Artisan I have… then there’s what to do with the 400g of Pretty I forget what the grey and the purple are called… hmmm choices, choices….

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Second leg

I’m taking a break from knitting second leg of the leg warmers as I can’t find my anti histamine and I’ve got itchy eyes and mouth. I’m teaching spin in a bit so I’m giving it a chance to calm down!

It is more usual for leg warmers to be knitted on 3 or 4 needles; that’s maybe why I hate doing them so much… Apart from that I wanted to make something that could be recreated easily by a beginner. Wrestling with lots of needles is not very beginner friendly. That said, my husband went to a Steiner school in Edinburgh and they made socks as their learning to knit project.

This pattern introduces the beginner to simple increases, changing colour and rib. The Super Chunky yarn knits up quickly so even the slowest knitter will be able to see good progress which is a great motivator. The sewing up will also introduce mattress stitch (or Henson stitch as I first came across it making puppets!)

The next stage will be to try it out in different brands of yarn to see how they come out and each repetition gives me the opportunity to check the pattern. At the moment it’s in my pretty illegible shorthand on the back of one of my doodles.

I’d love these leg warmers to be mine, but I think they’ll just make me itch! Let’s see hey!?

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Making as meditation

This two sided knitting lark really is a meditation! It really is terribly simple, you just have to keep your mind in the moment, on the task.

You know when you’re meditating and you wander off thinking about this and that…. and then you catch yourself and bring yourself back to the breath or a sound …. Only with the two sided knitting my little wanderings are all too evident as the wrong coloured stitch waving at me!

I’m getting really good at undoing stitches vertically and reworking the them the right way. Well I thought I’d give it a go after undoing several whole rows which had me in a real pickle!

And the work is giving me so many ideas, how I could use this fabric, and has set me wondering how I can develop it. Of course there’s colour work, textures etc etc. Of course I’ll be looking to the YouTube community for help and ideas but also the ‘making it up as I go and seeing if it works’ method that serves me well (even if it doesn’t work).

I’d love to hear what other people are working on 🙏🏼❤️

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My life in techno hell!!!

Hurrah for the nice people at WordPress for dealing with my Luddite understanding of all things technical! And while I’m being waiting between being hand held through the various technical difficulties I’m unpicking the cods I made last night.

I did think about just leaving that little, lone green stitch there, maybe try and cover it with a stitch over the top but no. Because although I won’t be selling this one, I can’t wear it as it’s wool so I’ll have to be a gift and I don’t give second class gifts to my first class friends!

ooh…better go… things to put right!!

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Perseverance & Slow progress

This two sided knitting lark is slow. I keep getting my yarns (and my knickers) in a twist; I’m sure there must be a trick to keeping the yarns apart. Any suggestions are most welcome!

I’m used to my work taking shape quite quickly…. not this time. I love how it feels though and it’ll be super warm. If only I could wear wool!

I’m wondering how I’d do yarn overs and knit two together???!

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Now is the time

Today’s the day… I’ve been chucking ideas around in my head for a quite a while…. It’s time to get serious with THE PLAN.

I need to put in place the foundations for my ideas to become real. I need to weed out the woolly and nurture the necessary. You know the deal, what do I need to DO to make these wonderful ideas come to fruition. Like many of us, one of my super powers is procrastination or perhaps more accurately, fear of committing and perhaps inviting failure.

Also like many of us creative folk I’d rather be doing. I’d rather be knitting something, anything rather than sit with a blank piece of paper. So I put it in my diary, in black and white and underlined. PLANNING DAY. Tick tock. Time is marching ever forward. Time to crack on.

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While you were sleeping

Who needs sleep! Super proud of my Erika Knight capelet – knitted in ‘pretty’ a gentle dusky pink. I even remembered to write stuff down as I knitted… how novel! If I can read my notes I’ll be knitting another in artisan with a mallard contrast next.

Adding the finishing touches of beautiful light tan leather buttons. It’ll be on my stall tomorrow at Wells and on my Ready Mades page when I get a good photo. It fits Uk size 10-14. Is it bedtime yet 💤💤💤 ❤️ 🙏🏼

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Home Spun – capes and family capers

I’m really enjoying knitting with the Erika Knight Maxi wool… a few rookie errors

1) don’t rub your eyes while knitting if you’re allergic to wool….

2) don’t try and wind the hank in to a ball while standing up at a windy market…

3) don’t let your five year old ANYWHERE NEAR IT when trying to untangle the mess you made at the market

Yesterday I discovered that an extra pair of hands ‘Little House on the Prairie’ style works wonderfully especially when said 5 year old happily playing elsewhere and a you have a nice cup of earl grey and some malted milk biscuits on the go!

I’ve also taken to knitting in the kitchen because the spirited 5 year old wants to learn to knit and has decided that the cape I’m knitting is the ideal place to start. Me: let me start you off with these needles here [offers some nice child friendly needles and yarn] no mummy, I’ll finish that for you. Just no.

I’m starting to shape the shoulders and debating how I’m going to do the neckline… I’ve plenty of drawings but being quite kinaesthetic I’m not entirely sure how to do it until I get there so that’ll have to wait until later when I’ve got some quiet time.

In the mean time the little one and I are having a slow day, watching Annie and eating toast thinking about getting dressed ( her not me… not yet mummy I’m drawing). It’s a busy time of year for us all so it’s nice to have some downtime, well for us anyway… my husband is working hard delighting the folk of Bath with his busking and won’t get a proper break til after Christmas 🎄

So I feel very lucky. ❤️🙏🏼

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I’m so excited! …. WIP

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At the weekend I split milk all over my ‘phone.  No point crying over that one, the screen is gradually becoming less and less responsive but this gentle decline is at least giving me enough time to back everything up!  Anyway a new one will be winging its way to me drekly. As well as some software which will hopefully transform the design process – well that’s the promise!  I’ve also bought my husband his Christmas present which is super exciting as I know he will love it.  I will want to give to him as soon as it arrives; hopefully I can be restrained and keep it a secret until Christmas Day!

I found the pattern notes I’d made for the gauntlet mittens that I sold before working out the pattern. With these scant scribbles and the photo I should be able to work it out.  BUT THE MOST EXCITING THING…

THE ERIKA KNIGHT WOOL HAS ARRIVED!!!!

I’m working on some new pieces and I am so excited.  Almost frenzied.  This is how it feels when I’m working on something new.  I feel like I’m fizzing inside! There’s a beautiful muffler and a lovely gentle contouring hat, plus a cape and so much more…. I’m making a start….. and smiling from ear to ear.

NB, please forgive any typos or spelling – my screen is dark blue and some of the touch screen areas don’t work xx

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Life; based on a true story.

When I was studying Fashion at Falmouth School of Art, I loved to look at the design books of the designers…  I loved the wonderful fashion illustration, the mood boards and so on.  In my year there was a girl there who used to do the most striking design drawings, I can’t remember her name, it was a long time ago.  Many years on here I am with a list of colours and a question mark as to whether to use Mallard with the storm or Ice Gem…. Oh yes, that decision I made … I decided that the Flax needed to go and replaced it with Storm.  I’m still sad that I’ve not included Marni – the wonderful red in the Erika Knight Collection.

So I’ve got my designs, I’ve knitted them in a super chunky yarn but not the Erika Knight yarn so it’s the moment of truth.  When the yarn arrives I’ll cast on and see if my designs and the patterns I’ve sketched out work.  The Erika Knight comes up a bit smaller than the Super Chunky I’ve used for the ‘roughs’ – I’ve tried to allow for that.  I’m also working on different sizes for the Cape,  working up a UK 8-12 and a 14 -18.

It’s a process you never get to see in the books about fashion designers, I guess a list with errors and question marks might not portray the right image!  That’s a shame. We create myths around things where errors and questions are erased… that’s so often true in the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we tell others. The best we are able to offer is as Derran Brown said in his show one based on a true story.  We leave the bits out that don’t suit us at the time for better or for worse.

Facebook and other social media gives us the edited highlights of others lives.  I know for myself  that every now and then when ‘Timehop’ presents me with a picture full of happiness and good times I was having a pretty miserable day.  I’ve since endeavoured to make my posts more authentic.  On the flip side, the stories I tell myself about myself, when examined are not accurate either, you know the sort, when you’re having a bad day and make it worse by falling into the ‘worst person in the world’ hole. So here I am, in my 40’s and in everything I do I try to find the truth of things. Not the ‘based on a true story’ truth but a truth borne out of examining facts with understanding and a critical eye.