Sunday 19 February 2017

Moss Stitch Table Mat

This is a quick and easy one square knitting project in bulky t-shirt yarn. A textured surface is created with alternate knit and purl stitches. Make just the one as a trivet  or several for place mats.

For this project I used Hooked Zpagetti which is a 90% recycled cotton, with 10% other recycled fibers. The label states a min. 120m (131yds), just enough for three of these table mats, each one requires about 39m.

The pattern uses size 12mm knitting needles and makes a square about 25cm x 25cm (10ins x 10ins).

Click on the image or click here to download the free PDF pattern from Ravelry.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Knitting & Crochet Guild Collection: Part 2

Following on from my previous post about visiting the Knitting and Crochet Guild Collection (KCG), I have some more treasures to show you, all crochet items. Well I can crochet a few basic stitches but am no expert. The following examples are stunning in their details and complexity.

Not having any knowledge of Irish Crochet previously, it was with anticipation I watched as white boxes were brought out and placed on the table. Somehow I had a feeling these would contain special items and was not disappointed.

White gloves were put on for handling the delicate pieces which originate from the Edwardian period.

Part of this Irish Lace collection was featured in Rowan Magazine Vol 55 February 2014. This particular volume also has a piece about the KCG history, collection and members.

There is a blog post by Katie Bevan which talks about the photo shoot for the Rowan article showcasing the beautiful Edwardian dresses and other items.

If you'd like to read more about the lace collection held at the archive and it's history, Barbara the Publications Curator at the KCG has a post about it on her blog - Knitting Now and Then - click on the image below.
Knitting Now and Then - Irish Crochet

Next this very large bedspread with lemon yellow and white daisies crocheted with mercerised cotton and originating from the 1930's. The pattern instructions describe it as a masterpiece, no exaggeration, it is truly a work of art and patience.

The stitches are so tiny and uniform, this must have taken some considerable time to complete.

More crochet from the 1930's, doilies were very popular and the collection has hundreds of these items. Here are two examples in mercerised cotton with a spring flower theme...

Close up of this daffodil dollie with hopes of the spring to come...

There are many more items in the collection, new items being added all the time. The aim is to preserve the history of the crafts and provide inspiration for the future. 

I was certainly inspired by my visit to the collection and hope to make many more visits there in the future.

Monday 13 February 2017

Knitting & Crochet Guild Collection: Part 1

In my previous post I wrote about meeting with a group of knitting and crochet friends. On the Friday afternoon we had the opportunity to visit the Knitting and Crochet Guild Collection (KCG) in the village of Scholes, near Huddersfield. Having heard of the collection via a blog post by Kate Davies when she was researching a Shetland hap shawl, what I didn't realise was how close the collection is to my home in Yorkshire. So was thrilled to be invited over to the archive to be shown a selection of the vast number of items held there. (Thanks to Stylecraft and Juliet Bernard for arranging the visit).

From left to right: Kathryn (Crafternoon Treats), me, Angharad (KCG Textile Archivist), Sandra (Cherry Heart), Sarah (Annaboo's House), Lucia (Lucia's Fig Tree), Barbara (KCG Publications Curator), Phil (The Twisted Yarn), Jane Crowfoot (Janie Crow), Alex (KCG Volunteer).

The people who look after the collection are all volunteers. Here we are in the office with some of the staff and one of the items in the collection on the table, a box of knitted art by Jan Messent.

A selection of knitted and crochet items had been chosen by the staff, we were allowed to handle the pieces wearing white cotton gloves. There was a brief history of how the collection had acquired each item and details about who had made it and when.

Here's a sample of some of the pieces we were shown. Firstly, this colourful unmistakable piece by Kaffe Fassett. The pattern is called the Foolish Virgins circa 1980's.

As the retro them is quite popular at the moment, it was interesting to see this original crochet jacket in these popular 1970's colours. Note the price on the Sirdar pattern 7 1/2p...

Moving further back in time to the 1950's now with this publication from Vol 47 Vogue Knitting. Priced at 2/6 in old money, which I can hardly remember, let alone convert into new money...

One of the patterns in this Vogue book is a crochet shawl which has only recently been matched up to an actual shawl held in the KCG collection. 

Here's the colourful shawl, my picture doesn't do this justice. How very current these crochet squares are and the colours so vibrant. There are 250 squares in total worked in 3ply yarn on a size 13 hook, that's size 2.25mm in metric.

And finally here's a close up of that box of knitted art work which was on the table in the photo at the beginning. 

There will be more photos and details to follow later in a second post about my visit to the Knitting and Crochet Guild Collection Part 2...

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Stylecraft Blogstars Meet Up

Last Saturday saw the second meet up for the Stylecraft Blogstars at Spa Mill, Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. It was lovely see everyone again and meet some new faces along with Annabelle, Sophie, Charlotte and Juliet from Stylecraft. It was great to get together with such enthusiastic and positive knit and crochet people.

...From left to right....

Also joining the group via Skype were southern hemisphere bloggers, Angela from Australia and Zelna from South Africa.

The day started with a presentation showcasing the new Spring and Summer collection. There will be more about the new yarns here on my blog in the coming weeks and months. 

Juliet and Annabelle made sure the Skype participants were comfortable and had front row seats. 

Image used with permission from Helen

Along with presentations and discussions there was a chance to chat over coffee and tea...

After lunch, a Tunisian Crochet teaching session was led by Sophie.

Not having crocheted for some time I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to follow and keep up with the instructions. More about this technique in a future blog post. But here's a quick shot of my efforts...

Before the end of the afternoon I had chance to take some photos of items on display and items some people had brought along to show the group. The theme seems to be blankets and throws and what lovely things they are. Here's a taste of the talent...

Colourful crochet blankets by Heather from The Patchwork Heart Blog

More from Heather...

And finally this colourful crochet throw inspired by an exhibition of Abstract Expressionism Art 

Thank you to Annabelle, Sophie, Charlotte and Juliet for organising such a great day for us all...