And this is why i knit (for other people)

Since I got to the UK and have been able to show off my skill with needles and hook to a whole new batch of friends, I’ve heard the following comment a lot…

“oooh, you could sell those”

or a variation on the theme…

“Have you ever thought about selling things?”

To which I sometimes smile and just say no, or sometimes explain i tried that and it was hard, or for my closer, more patient, actually want a response friends, I explain that actually, what people would pay versus the time and money I invest would make it a pointless exercise.

But the real reason is this.

I am a selfish knitter. I knit for pleasure, so I can take pride in showing off something I created with my own hands, so I can have something that is exactly how I want it (most of the time) and to pass hours that I would otherwise feel are wasted (or my excuse to watch television).

And because of this, when I do knit for other people, it is for one reason and one reason only. Because I care.

The wonderful Yarn Harlot posted today about the love that goes into a knitted present and how it stays with it. How wrapping oneself up in a handknitted gift really is like a woolly hug. And this is exactly how I think about knitting for other people. For both family and friends, and for new little people who don’t even realise that the thing that is keeping them warm is doing so in more ways than one. Even when I take requests, I accept them because I know that the finished object will not only be valued, but will be a reminder of my love and affection. (seriously, my most recent request I argued against receiving any kind of payment, but the recipient objected!)

I have only been in England a year, but I have made 3 gifts for people here and a few for little people back home. You’ve seen Kylie’s hat and I told you about John’s winter set and now here’s the third…

Fade Fingerless Gloves
or “Proper Thug Mitts” as Sam put it

After knitting Kylie’s hat, I offered to knit something for Sam for his christmas/birthday present (as the two events bookend the coldest part of the year). He asked for some mitts in purple and black and I immediately thought of this pattern* (as I have done it before for another male friend* of mine with great success)

It took me a while to find the right shade of purple in the right kind of yarn, but i finally did just after christmas and in less than a week I whipped up a pair of mitts for my dearest, dearest Sam.

I was worried they might be a bit snug, but he loves them!

And I love him.

See how this works?

 

 

*ravelry link

Advertisements

Knuckle Down Mitts – a pattern

Hi everyone, this is going to be my first ‘for sale’ pattern. I am testing this out as a paid pattern, because i really feel like i’ve done something unusual with the design and construction.

 

EDIT: The pattern is now available on ravelry for download for A$2. I’m very excited!

You will need about 150m of worsted weight. I worked my first pair in Zitron Opus 1, a beautiful self striping. Vintagenettles is working hers in Malabrigo. delicious! These would also be amazing in Noro Kureyon or any other self-striping worsted weight. You will also need a large number of buttons, so don’t go crazy here!

As I said, the construction is a little unusual, so PLEASE read through the pattern before starting and DO ask if you have any questions or problems with it! Feedback is great!

The lovely Vintagenettles is currently test knitting and hopefully i will have some gorgeous photos from her up here soon.

 

Calling out to Test Knitters Everywhere…

Hi lovely knitterly people…

I am looking for two or three test knitters who like fingerless mitts…

I recently finished these*, worked in some of my delicious souvenir yarn – Zitron Opus 1, a smooshy worsted single with aloe vera and jojoba (hence their ravelry project name…)

Finger First Mitts sans buttons

I have been envisaging a new way to knit mitts for a while now, and have finally tested it.

I wrote up the pattern today and would love to get some people to try it before i offer it on this blog. I am debating whether to charge a very small fee for these, since they are my 3rd public pattern now… like, $1US or something.

But first things first… anyone want to make sure it makes sense?

You will need about 150 – 200m of worsted/aran weight yarn, maybe something like Noro Silk Garden, or Rowan Kid Classic or the new Silk Twist or DB Cash Aran… Or maybe something rarer? Trust me, these are perfect for that one-off special skein. You will also need about 20 – 22 buttons. I can’t offer payment, but we can maybe discuss a yarn donation to your stash?

*Rav link

The Travelling Stash Collector – UK

I spent four weeks in London attending the summer school at RADA, which didn’t afford a lot of time for yarn shopping, but i did manage to head to two yarn stores, and of course london has the amazing quality of DEPARTMENT STORE YARN SHOPPING. we used to have that here in aus – i just remember it from when i was little. i managed to score an absolute BARGAIN on debbie bliss pure silk at John Lewis! three pounds ninety or similar. got 12 skeins of one colour  🙂 I also picked up a bunch of kim hargreaves pattern books while i was in the UK, since i totally heart her (Precious, Amber and Breeze).

I headed to Loop the weekend before the class started, at a very opportune time as they had 20% off everything! They didn’t have quite as large a range as i envisaged, but it’s a lovely little shop, just near the angel islington. Picked up some more Casbah sock since it was on sale and I was LOVING knitting with it. I also picked up some adorable project bags called Pretty Cheep, with pictures of birdies printed on the fabric. Great for larger projects.

The other yarn store i went to was I Knit, London’s only liscened yarn store! Some of my course mates came with me, one just to drink in a lys – which was a GREAT novelty. It had a fantastic range, a lot of locally produced yarn and fibre, and some yarns from further away – like Biggan Designs from Aus! *proud moment* The whole alcohol policy seems to work – i went a little crazy!

Suprisingly enough, Edinburgh was not exactly crowded with yarn stores. I did snaffle a few purchase – one skein of handspun from a market stall and some of the new Rowan Alpaca Cotton yarn from Jenners department store on my very last day!

UK photos are here and here

1. Cherry Tree Hill suri lace, 2. Rowan alpaca cotton , 3. baby camel handspun, 4. DB pure silk, 5. knitwitches seriously gorgeous, 6. handmaiden casbah in amethyst, 7. DB pure silk, 8. habu cotton boucle

The handspun shetland that i picked up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Markets were transformed in my first weeks back in aus into these mitts – they are super warm and toasty! It’s totally natural colour and the cables look perfect.

*sigh* so that’s my yarn collection from my travels. I am not allowed to buy any more yarn for myself for QUITE a while (besides, when all my stuff comes out of storage, it will be like going shopping anyway!!) I am allowed to buy yarn for presents, since ALL THIS IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU *crazy laugh*. It’s definitely going to be fun working through it and finding patterns for all of these delicious yarns!

so it’s almost christmas…

and i fail at craft blogging! I fail at blogging all over the place pretty much… but that’s because it’s very hard to type with yarn/fibre/fabric/needles/hooks in your hand!

I started making christmas presents about a month ago, knowing that i would feel happier getting them out of the way early. for christmas day we’re having a secret santa type set up, so i’m only giving one official present to the ‘other half’ of the family, but I’ve still made a few extras, plus a few for family members to buy off me to give to other family members! how awesome is that

So for my own spirit of christmas I have made:

2 seahorses for my cousins aged 5 and 7

seahorses

seahorses

a beautiful alpaca silk scarf for my aunty sue – one of my official secret santa presents

alpaca silk scarflette

alpaca silk scarflette

a pair of burgandy mitts to match the hat i made for mothers day, and a hand embroidered apron for my mother

evangeline mitts

evangeline mitts

a tea cosy for my grandfather

diagonal cosy in noro silk garden (226)

diagonal cosy in noro silk garden (226)

a pair of adorable little mitts for my cousin aged 16

Twee mitts

Twee mitts

a beautiful bookmark for one of my best friends and a beautiful striped crocheted scarf in pinks and green for another of my best friends (no photos – they might see!!)

for others to give to people, I have made

A hat for my grandfather to give to my older cousin

Kates beret

Kate's beret

A pair of face cloths for the little girls

)

E + J = 🙂

2 sets of wine charms for my mother to give to people

charming

charming

colourful

colourful

a set of felted bowls for my grandmother to give my mother – I’m still a bit uncertain about this one, if they don’t work out, my grandmother can give mum the fingerless gloves and i will just give her the apron.

and still to make (!!!)

a hat for my father out of zara wool – beeeautiful stuff

a skein of handspun for one of my best friends (I’ve been practicing like mad!)

a felted bag for one of my besties (possibly from hand spun)

a scarf (same as my aunt’s) from alpaca for my cousin – I’ve been planning this present for ages and I’m going to give it to her dammit – even if it’s a ‘late birthday present’

a hand embroidered apron for my grandmother.

a crocheted cuff for a friend

a market bag

arrrgh still so many to make! lol

Some of these can’t have pictures, because then the people who they’re for might see them!! but i have photographed everything, so all in good time.

and then there’s all the stuff i’m making for me lol!!