Thursday, 16 May 2013

Celebrating Scotland 2014

Like I haven't enough to do, I pledged to create a quilt for this exhibition for Loch Lomond Quilt Show for 2014, my Chinese Whispers quilt should hopefully be there now.  It is to reflect what I believe to be the best of Scotland and in the usual way I go about designing a quilt I'm kind of musing on it all the time, the thought is there at the back of my head.  These are my aimless wanderings so far. 

Not tacky but old style - grace and balace.  Colours - soft purple, green, blue, grey, gold - heather, moss/grass, sea sky (grey), granite, sun/barley.
Piecing - shetland fairisle patterns
Pictoral - Tay Bridge, Shanwell Woods, Glenisla, Bellrock,
Embroidered birds that I love - blackbird, goldfinch, blue tit, great tit, housemartin, geese, oyster catchers, rooks, herons, buzzards
Otters, red squirrels, seals, wildcats, deer, sheep (soay, North Ronaldsay), cows (Aberdeen Angus, highland), highland pony. 
Rowan, scots pine - alba

First fabrics brought from The Sewing Station in Broughty Ferry along with 2 I already had.  Goodness fabric is expensive.  Maybe this is why I paper piece, it uses every last scrap!

Catching up!

Well, I haven't stopped being busy, just posting.  So this is a catch up on the things I've been creating.

Firstly I was dead pleased with my beautiful DROPS studio waistcoat, photograph to the left.  The pattern is now called Misty Vines and was easy to knit in one way because it's done in the round, this means that the sides and the back are knitted as one piece up to the armholes then it splits and the only seams are on the shoulders.   The tricky bit was the leaf patterning, I eventually had to note everything down carefully so I knew exactly what I was doing on each round.

DROPS studio are a Norwegian company that produces beautiful Nordic style designs.  They produce their own wool but I used Jarold Heritage DK wool #132, a wool I've used before for a pair of lovely soft navy flipover gloves that I put down somewhere and failed to pick up again.  Bah!  The buttons came from Austria, from the dressmaking shop in St Johann im Tirol that I visit every time we go to Soll.

They were also the designers for what turned out to be two beautiful hats, both using the Halifax pattern.  The story is that these are fairisle stranded knitting which tends to be thicker, so between me measuring Scott's head for the hat, deciding on the Medium / Large size and me knitting it it didn't fit.  So that hat is now shared between me and Caitlin and I went back to knitting, this time the Large / XLarge.  Both were knitted in Sirdar Country Style 4ply black and Rico Design Superba Chinee #008 green, a variegated yarn which knitted to a soft mottled effect.  Luckily I like a challenge, fairisle is a bit fiddly and I probably would be a lot faster if I learned to carry my wools across my fingers right but I'm happy with my plodding pace.  These were an easy introduction to fairisle and are good for beginners to the technique as there are only two colours involved. 

Then, since I'd lost my glittens I made a new third pair in the variegated silver grey / charcoal Fingerless Gloves / Glittens coloured dk yarn James C Brett Woodlander L4, I don't know how many times I've used thispattern by Dawn Beck and I haven't tired of it yet.  The combination of fingerless gloves, actual gloves rather than the handwarmers which don't have the individual fingers, and flipover part make them ideal for me as I bike a lot and have terrible circulation, here in Scotland they are still in use in what passes for May.

And I'm knitting for my sister, well, for her new baby, it's a surprise but I don't reckon she'll ever look at this so that's fine!   I was originally creating an afghan from squares but it looked amateurish, then I found this pattern called The Fish - return! on the Knitting Arrows.  I can do about 3 fish in a night and am sewing them together as I go along.  I'm using various baby wools, although the blue is causing a problem as it's thicker than the others.  Oh well.  I'm actually using double pointed needles rather than knitting needles as they're shorter, at its longest the fish are only 23 stitches wide and that's just as you're about to cast off.  The colours of the picture are a bit off, the lighter blue is a soft aqua.