Archive | Knitting

Wonderwool Wales

I had a nice day out on Saturday.  DS1 and 3 were camping so I went to the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells for Wonderwool Wales.

I went by train on the Heart of Wales line, which is probably the most picturesque rail journey in Wales, winding its way through from Shropshire to Swansea.  At the railway station I got on, you had to hail the driver for him to stop the train, like getting on a bus! 

The show was fun – it was part of the Smallholders’ show but I mostly stayed in the Wonderwool area.  There were lots of yummy fibres and yarns, and lots of local producers and processors of the fibres.  And craftspeople from all over the UK. 

There were also animals there!  Here are a couple of alpacas which I fell in love with!

two alpacas

And lots of different sorts of British sheep, which I found fascinating because up to now I thought sheep were sheep and didn’t realise they were so different and individual.

ryeland sheep

These are Ryeland sheep.  They have such sweet faces.   A lady there told me that apparently their wool doesn’t felt, which makes it useful if you don’t want it to!

wensleydale longwool

This is the Wensleydale longwool – its wool was very soft!

jacobs sheep

This is the Jacobs sheep.  There were lots of other coloured sheep there with different variations of colours between black, grey, browns as well as whites.  I wished at this point that I wasn’t travelling on the train because it precluded me buying lots of fibre but I did buy a drop spinning kit from Hedgehog Equipment who are based near Abergavenny which isn’t that far from Newport.  I picked up lots of leaflets with links to websites so I can find them again readily if I take to it!

There were also angora goats in another of the sheds.  At least, I hope they are angora goats – I get very confused with the non-wool fibres…

angora goat

Cashmere sock yarn

I bought some cashmere sock yarn at Hipknits at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year.  I’ve knitted one sock so far with it – here is a photo just before I finished.

cashmere purple and blue sock

I love the swirly pattern it makes. 

It is only just big enough so I hope it doesn’t shrink in the wash!

I was in the Newport art gallery foyer a couple of weeks ago and noticed that now they have demolished the old 60s concrete car park, you get a good view of the new pedestrian bridge across the river.  I decided to take a photo before they build the new car park and obscure the view again!

view of Newport from art gallery

Why knitting socks is better than knitting sweaters

Irie’s Fascinating Life: 10 reasons why socks are better than sweaters is a very amusing blog entry.

I agree – in the last 18 months I have knitted 3 pairs of socks. I don’t think I have knitted 3 sweaters in my life (well, finished them, anyway!), and definitely haven’t worn them! I once knitted an aran sweater – it took me two years; I used to wear it when I was a student but it makes me look too fat these days…

Knitting Podcast

I’ve just been knitting and listening to Britknitcast, a relatively new British knitting podcast. It is hosted by Carrie Anne Dennison who lives in the North East of England. I particularly like it because she goes to shows and workshops and records interviews and conversations and it really feels like you are there!


I’ll show you a photo of what I’m knitting later on but it is for a friend (probably late for Christmas but it gives me an excuse to sit and knit instead of rushing round like a headless chicken!) so I won’t reveal it until I know she’s received it.

Silk clapotis done!

I finished my silk clapotis last night! It is wonderful and the drape is beautiful. Here I am in it.

funny woman with blue wrap

Here it is draped over a chair:

blue clapotis draped over chair

The ‘ripples’ on the reverse show up even better in silk:

clapotis draped over chair

detail of above

I only just had enough yarn. I thought four 4oz skeins would be plenty, but this is all I had left:

scraps of blue silk yarn

Thank you for all your suggestions about what to do with my rust hanging. If anyone reads this and has any ideas, more are still welcome! I will post a photo when I have finally decided on a solution.

I don’t know if it is just me, but if I am watching tv or listening to something on the radio while I am working on something, it becomes forever associated with that thing. For instance, this clapotis will in future make me think of Springwatch and all the gorgeous fledglings I was watching for the 3 weeks it was on, while I was knitting it. When I was sewing this orange and green quilt, I was listening to an interview with a woman who was cared for by wolves as a child during the Second World War and now whenever I see it, it reminds me of it. Does anyone else find this?

Another Clapotis

I started making another clapotis yesterday with the blue silk I got from the yarn coop. It is gorgeous to knit with and so smooth and shiny. I’m using a spreadsheet from the Clapotisknitalong2005 Yahoo group to keep track of the rows and am also purling the stitches to be dropped rather than knitting them. It’s a lot easier to see if you’ve gone wrong that way. So this one should be a lot more accurate than the last! I’m definitely addicted to this pattern!

Here it is from the stockingstitch side:

blue silk knitting

You can see a ridge now where the stitches will be dropped eventually.

And here it is from the reverse, which I think I like better so far…

blue silk knitting reverse

Makalu Yarns silk!

I’m on a Yahoo group yarns coop and recently ordered some silk yarn. Here it is – it is yummy! I think I’m going to make another clapotis with it. It is from a place called Makalu Yarns in Canada.

blue shiny silk yarn

I haven’t done very much in my studio recently at all, apart from sewing 6 inch squares of Dutch wax print fabric together to make a table runner for a friend. But I have seen a lot of art – as well as my visit to Craft in the Bay and Model House on Wednesday with Sue, I went to an art open afternoon at Zachary’s school today. Such colourful work! In the style of Klimt, Andy Goldsworthy, Warhol, you name it… Some year 6 pupil had made some gorgeous African style designs using homemade printblocks and silk painted fabric. Inspiration! And you should have seen the colourful work in the Infants department! Those teachers certainly work hard.

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