Monday, 19 July 2010

come dine with kate

If you are a fan of crochet, then get down to the Rebecca Hossack gallery in Charlotte Street before next week, as Kate Jenkins of the knitwear brand Cardigan has a lovely little exhibition, Kate's Cafe there. She has crocheted plates of food and set up the gallery like a restaurant.
There are stitchy puns galore; sushi served with sew sauce, shepherds pie with wooly sheep on top for mash and After Kate mints served after dinner; everything is very cute indeed.
I loved the sushi, which seemed to suit the small, neat, crocheted portions, and all the sequinned fishy dishes, with shimmering scales.
Everything was served on little plates mounted in glass boxes on the walls which was lovely, like a tasting menu - it felt like you were trying everything on the menu!
Finally, to finish it off, you could have some sparkling metallic Babysew which I liked very much as I am a fan of the Babycham glasses and must admit to owning a few. I could imagine necking a few bottles of this after polishing off some wooly canapes and a crocheted fruit tart or two. Cheers!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

west dean in summer

The only season I hadn't been to teach at West Dean was high summer, which has now been rectified as I have just spent two days there teaching some beginners classes. The ladies in the class were lovely, even if the weather turned against me and I didn't get a long, lazy, summers evening stroll through the sheep fields.

The gardens were in full bloom however and looking just beautiful, even in the drizzle and the view from my fabulous room in the quaint vicarage was gorgeous.

I am teaching a new class at West Dean next time, looking at adapting vintage knitting patterns to fit the modern sizes and tastes. Come along and peruse my extensive collection of vintage patterns or bring along your own pattern to decipher.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


Today it was the Bust Craftacular at York Hall, Bethnal Green and I was there with my good friend gingerknits (check out the great cartoon about knitting she has posted this week).
The weather was probably a little too warm to spend a lot of time in such a toasty hall, but that didn't put off the hoards queuing to get in when we arrived. It was sometimes too crowded to see what was on the stalls, so we decided to take refreshments in the form of iced tea in these wonderful cups - I want some in china, and the tablecloth to match! All very summery.

Ginger and I noticed that there were quite a few themes throughout the show, including moustaches, birds and perhaps strangely for East London at the moment, foxes! (although these seemed way friendlier than the Hackney ones!)
I loved these birdie buttons from Four and Plenty and couldn't resist them, although I was very jealous of the last flamingo which Ginger snapped up quick smart.
I also loved Brat and Suzie's cute rabbit vest or squirrel on a motorbike cropped tee (more animals!) but resisted temptation. (If they'd had it in a red or green or stripy, like some of their other prints I may have succumbed...)

We then of course had to go to Prick Your Finger as it was just around the corner and had a chat to the lovely owner Rachael, who was busy knitting the new sign for the shop! Ginger had not been before, so of course had to buy some lovely new yarn, which happened to be a J C Rennie yarn in the exact same colour I have at home...I think we are turning into the same person....
I loved the mini exhibit they have in the window promoting John Paul Flintoff's new book, Sew Your Own, a book about a man's quest to find the meaning of life through making his own stuff...or something.
I must now read the book and see what the hype is about, as I love some of the products he made on his journey. This dress is for Rosie, the favourite bear of Flintoff's daughter and his sewing is on a par with mine (which isn't a compliment) but I love the naivety of it and the pretty print and the fact you can tell it is hand made. Fortunately for my sewing skills, I have always admired the childlike finish is sewing and the reverse of sewn works, with all the colourful tangling of loose threads.
All in all, it was a lovely day out in very good company so I am glad we dragged our freckled skin out into the midday sun.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

easy kids knits projects

Before I pop these pictures into my pattern book photo gallery, I wanted to share the beautiful interpretations of the patterns from my books by the wonderful Gabrielle. She is becoming prolific at knitting from both Easy Kids Knits and Easy Baby Knits for her adorable red headed grandchildren and I love how she gives each new project its own individual twist. She loves to choose the prettiest shades of gorgeous yarn from Loop yarn shop and then lets the colours dictate the end results.

Here are two very sixties style interpretations of the smock top from Kids, which is so very pretty.
I am sure Gabrielle won't mind me mentioning that the flowers were an addition to try to hide what she considered as untidy finishing round the neck, but I love the detail and the reason for it! My one big tip for knitters is to enjoy the pattern and knitting and not be too perfectionist with it - after all you could always go and buy a machine made sweater if you want perfection, and knitting is supposed to be relaxing.
Here, the mistake has become a beautiful feature of the top and I love how she has used the differing placements in each smock.
She has also made the ballet style wrap top and bonnet from Baby into a cute little set for the newest addition to the family, and there are those sweet little flowers again - not to hide anything this time, just to add a bit of colour. Gorgeous.
Keep up the good work Gabrielle!
I love to see your finished projects, so please do feel free to send me them, or to point me in the direction of them on Ravelry.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

woolfest 2010

My first ever trip to Woolfest this year was wonderful; I think it shall now be a firm date in my diary each year. The difference for me with this yarn fair is the variety of different events such as live folk music and dancing as well as the presence of actual livestock, like these adorable, punky alpacas.
The ewe's milk ice cream was stunning too, I had to try both the vanilla and mint choc chip flavours, naturally - it was very hot in the barn...

Last weekend the weather was beautiful, the views amazing and the company fabulous, what more can you ask for? Can't wait for next year.

Felt Studio's unusually beautiful handspun yarn

Helen from the Thread of Life with the biggest hairpin loom ever!

Yarn Addict's yummy hand dyed angora