Friday, 21 January 2011

Cables are back (again!)

I started knitting when I was about five and my earliest memories of my mum knitting was her working on a moss green Aran sweater for my dad... it was the size of a small marquee, made amid much tutting and with the cable needle clutched between pursed lips... it took forever to be finished.  However it was the start of a love affair with  cables for my mum viz the amazing pile of Aran knits we found squirrelled away when she died.

I started my first Aran when I was about 10 and finished it two years later and have not stopped since... below are a couple of scarves which I made as Xmas presents for friends

Pistacchio cable scarf knitted across 24 stitches, simple cable with a moss stitch central pattern

Reversible cable worked on rib stitches
My sister very kindly lets me read her copies of the Knitter magazine and Issue 27 has some fab info on the history of cabling in the UK, especially in the fishing fleets and has some gorgeous up to date patterns.

So get your chunky wool out and start to invent  your own cabling patterns!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Valentine's cushions

Thought I might pop these on my Etsy shop in time for Valentine's... and the first cushion is for those of us who know all the words to Janis Ian's At Seventeen.  Big hugs to all of us, wherever we are on the 14 February... in my case probably with my friends having a takeaway curry!

High Street vs Artisan

Stores such as John Lewis, Selfridges, even Harrods, are displaying items which look home crafted, but aren't.  Many products are merely copying the ingenuity of people like ourselves on sites such as this. Our unique designs are regularly copied, then replicated in factories in India or Taiwan, and we all know about the working conditions in these places.  This happens with online homemade products as well. 
Protecting your unique homemade designs is essential – if you see something that you have created offered for sale, then get on the case immediately, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it is may also wipe out your bottom line. All the designs I have created for RosMadeMe are unique, and anyone who tries to pass them off on their own will be in trouble.

Making something yourself has no comparison, especially if creating something for a friend, and aimed directly at them.  They will love you forever. 

 Artisan designers are enjoying a new wave of interest, and deservedly so. Websites like Etsy and Folksy, offering retro or artisan products, are overwhelmed with the creativity that is going on.  Hand spun yarns and fabrics are at the forefront, as we all search for something unique, which is made with a lot of thought, love and care.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Whatever happened to...

my local woolshop and fabric shop?

OK, how many of you out there buy all your supplies online?  Come on now, fess up.

Have you noticed that so many of our little shops are now closing and disappearing, if we do not use them, we will lose them.  These shops are centres of excellence with advice freely given when you seek it.

My fave wool shops are:

Gades in Clarence Road in Southend

And for fabric shops:

Belle Fabrics in Elm Road, Leigh-on-sea

In the 12 years that I have lived in Leigh we have lost two wool shops and a haberdashers.  And frankly the thought of only being able to obtain chemist shop wool does not fill me with passion.  So, listen girls, if we do not support these shops we will only be able to shop in places like John Lewis which is great  but not so wonderful when you need to pop round the corner for a spool of cotton.

If you are not doing anything this weekend, go and take a look at your local shop - you know it makes sense.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Last night I did something new!

Just before Christmas I bought some bargain Crofter wool by Sirdar from my fave wool shop Roses & Rue and I thought I might make some more socks.  The pattern that I really liked started from the toes, a lovely pattern that I picked up on Ravelry but it said, cast on using the Turkish technique... but I had never used it before let alone knew how to do it.

Internet to the rescue, Youtube came up with lots of videos but the best was one from dropsdesign in Scandavia, no sound whatsoever but you have to concentrate so hard on what is happening, it is just brilliant and so easy to replicate.

I love it!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year - New Additions

Happy New Year readers! Let's hope that 2011 is a much better year than last year.

I have a friend who is expecting her very first baby in February, I have already forced on her a couple of pairs of booties and now I have made her a cardigan and matching hat courtesy of Sublime and Ravelry.  Both in essence simple patterns but they look so effective and made in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.

The flower border is knitted and I thought it might look good in a contrasting colour but the borders looked rather plain and unfinished so I added a double crochet around the cuffs, collar and front.

I made a rather lovely hat to go with the jacket, just hope the babe to be will be able to keep the hat on!

The cup and saucer in the background is my very first cup and saucer... so over 50 years old, I still have the egg cup but not sure what happened to the porringer, if you know where it is, please may I have it back?

Hope that Stacey will like them both