Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Zimmermann Fever

I had a bounty of Elizabeth Zimmermann books for Christmas and my birthday - Knitting without Tears, Knitter's Almanac and The Opinionated Knitter.
I've thoroughy enjoyed the many hours I've had perusing them. Not only are the patterns innovative - even now, but the advice and "opinions" (as in the Opinionated Knitter) are absolutely wonderful too.

With my friends are having their first baby
, it has given me the opportunity to delve into knitted babywear for the first time and why not start with Elizabeth Zimmermann's wonderful designs.
I have completed the February Baby Sweater on Two needles from the Knitter's Almanac.

I'm in the process of completing the Baby Surprise Jacket and it definitely was a surprise. Initially I couldn't get my head around which part of the jacket I was knitting but about halfway through I twigged and it is just genius.

The handspun I had made unfortunately ran out about 6 rows from the end; I suppose I could have used a contrasting yarn but it looked so nice as it was. I have (hopefully) ordered something similar to finish it off and I can perhaps make a matching bonnet/hat with the remainder of the yarn.

I chose the green/yellow yarn because it seemed quite gender neutral but just found out it's going to be a girl so I can knit frilly pink things instead :)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Tatting

Oh boy! It's definitely been awhile since I updated my blog. Not entirely my fault our brand new PC decided to throw a permanent tantrum and we've been computerless (probably not a word!) for quite a few months. Thankfully it was still under warranty so we exchanged it for a different make. Though that's not been without pitfall; since all the hardware that worked with Vista didn't work with the new Windows 7 - so with Christmas and splashing out on new router, printer etc. it has been a rather expensive month. All seems to be working now! I've done a lot of knitting and spinning.

Finally finished the
Liquid Gold shawl and seemed to have been received well at Christmas. I've also started a new hobby; probably not a wise decision since I already have dozens of other hobbies. My friend who taught me how to quilt kindly showed me the very interesting art of Tatting. I must say it's very relaxing and the results seem to be quite quick.

I had a bit of Christmas money and bought a boat load of stuff from Roseground; including some lovely books, my favourite is Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito. I've always loved Japanese craft books; the workmanship is always amazing whether it is temari balls, crochet or tatting. Luckily this is translated into English too; though that's just a bonus really because the patterns are in an universal format anyway. There is beautiful use of colour and the patterns range from the simple to the very complex like the cover of the book.

I pottered around making small motifs including the cutest butterfly and instead of these going to waste I glued them to card so as to make a Birthday card.

I also found a good source for free tatting patterns by Jane Eborall. I made the Flowery SCMR Bookmark minus the tail. I used Lizbeth No. 20 for all the motifs; the blue/green was 117-Countryside, the pink/purple was 140-Country Grape Swirl and the green was 684-Leaf Green(Medium).

The Flowery Bookmark was definitely quite challenging for a beginner as it includes self-closing mock rings and split rings. Though, I was quite happy that I managed to make it after only about 2 weeks tatting.