31 July 2006

Sunlit stitches

The photo shows one of my favourite shawls.

Linen dyed in safflower. 2003.

I've been neglecting this spot terribly. I've got about 5 minutes to touch base with the knitting kind. Summer hols are here and kids keep me busy! However, my wonderful sister has taken them out for a walk this afternoon and I spent that time knitting. (I've got to snap a picture of progress on the cardi.) It was just great! I got completely immersed in it (not so good for the old chores, which did not get done ;)

PS: Thanks for all your lovely comments. Glad you like the colours. But let me tell you, this pattern is going to be only for those who are not afraid of epics.

23 July 2006

A warm welcome

It is so lovely to receive welcoming messages from the members of the knitting path ring. Thanks a bunch! I am very glad to have discovered you.

Special thanks to Kendra, as I spotted it on her blog. Thanks to Sharon and Dianne also. Hooking up virtually with all of you is so much fun, Knitterly Partners in Crime.

And to celebrate new beginnings here is a picture of the cursed cardigan. I think I might be beginning to have my way with it.

20 July 2006

Keep & Share

Well, I thought it might be a good idea to jot a few words down about some of my favourite links.

Today is time for Keep & Share. It is an unusual recommendation, considering that I am a knitter (alas capable of knitting things up myself), but I still think it is well worth knowing.

Here is why (besides that it is a lovely idea):

  • all things are knitted up by skillful clever people in UK (not everything is made in China after all)

  • is far more sounder in terms of sustainable thinking than acquiring a load of fashion fads, which will be so out of date three months later that it is simply not true (just think what we could do with all energy we put into being slaves of fashion and invest in long haul pieces instead)

  • provides service that is tailored to suit individual needs

  • is unique and taking care of a dreadful gap in the marketplace

  • it is a real tribute to a more original and personal attitude towards dressing

For all those reasons and possibly quite few others, which I won't go into right now as I am running desperately short of time this morning, you would be smart to remember it. You never know! To give you an example, last year I had a baby and was so busy getting used to a new little person in the family that I had absolutely no time to knit or even think about knitting. So I got one of those lovely cardis as a treat for myself for getting along so well, and also because it was getting colder and colder as I was being faced with the eternal "I've got nothing to wear" (which actually, as I think about it, was perfectly normal given that pregnancy had left me completely unable to squeeze into any of my favourite clothes). I love that cardi to bits, and it felt good knowing that my indulgence was helping another knitter to thrive!

Well done Amy. And all the very best!

17 July 2006

The cardi is cursed!

I am positive this cardigan I am making for Clara is cursed. How else would you explain that although I am making heroic efforts to have it come out right, it resists like hell.

I took the work off the needles today and was horrified by how irregular the stitches are, especially in the sections between birds. If you didn't know me you would of thought I had more than an occasional glass of red whilst making it. Oh, how I hate those birds for being so stubbornly difficult.

Admittingly - all the pleating has gone, but it is so far from perfection I can hardly stop myself from doing something horrific to it. Like shredding it to bits.

The only reason I have resisted the urge to succumb to this wild instinct is that I am not so easily beaten. I am not giving up yet.

I have soaked it in tepid water for a while and the stitches do look a bit more even.

It isn't much help to be such a damned perfectionist. Maybe I am cursed also?

...Maybe I need to stop right here before it escalates to "we're all cursed" or " the world is cursed" or something else completely out of proportion ("cotton is cursed"?)...

I think I need to remind myself that ideas, whilst being born into the physical world, do lose their idealistic purity and have to conform to the laws of physical world which, unfortunately, sometimes manifest as uneven tension.

13 July 2006

Lavender oneness

This top was an attempt at creating a garment that is put together in a way that is effortless, smooth and graceful. All parts of this top are "fused" together by means of directing the flow of stitches wisely, so that they all join up imperceptibly.

I am so pleased with the result that I have got a plan to make yet another one for Clara, and then treat myself to one as well!

This summer top reminds me of warm and jasmin scented air in my parents garden, where I made it during my last visit. It brings up some lovely memories - I love that about the way knitting can conjure up images. It's like those moments ended up tangled in the stitches, a bit like non-verbal memoirs.

12 July 2006

Ancient powder blue

Now, this is one of my very favourite pieces. Its simplicity and lightness are exceptional. I used a very old receipe for this silk shawl, and the dyeing session went on for days. Indigo is rather labour intensive at its purest, most ancient and authentic.

It looks rather stunning on beautiful Tanga.


11 July 2006

Made on the 38 Route Master

I was clicking randomly through my extensive picture folder and I found this:

PS: For all those of you not familiar with London buses I found a really nice picture of a Route Master.

Photographed just around the corner, a proverbial throw of stone from my home.

Cute. Eh?

They are officially a part of London's history now...

Well, my best memories of no.38 are to do with making wooly blankets for my children whilst commuting to and fro West End.

10 July 2006

Apple tree leaves

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you immersed fibres in the concoction made of apple tree leaves?

During one of our trips to Poland I picked a load of them from a tree in my Dad's orchard. And the colour that they produced is most gorgeous bronze. As pictured. 2001.

09 July 2006

Looping up

Gaps in writing like the one I just had is exactly what I mean when I say that my children are a source of endless distractions. I hardly had time to even think of knitting - leave alone actually doing any knitting!

This morning I took some time linking up with my favourite knitting sites and subscribed to a ring of UK knitters. I need to evolve to a Connected Up Knitter, as opposed to a solitary one. Be a part of a bigger knitting conversation, not a spot of an obsessive monologue. The intention here is to have some fun, maybe even make friends?

This is meant to be a gallery as well. Above are some pictures of my wildest projects to date ( pre-children, hence the truly magnificent scope!)

Three dresses: 1) Yellow safflower hand-dyed silk. 2) Bleached linen. 3) Lilac cochineal hand-dyed silk. All dresses are seamless - not sure if I mentioned that yet - seamlessness is my signature.