Monday, July 30, 2007

Pattern available for purchase!

I finally got around to writing up the pattern for the Summer Tank (as shown on right-hand side) and it is now available to buy using paypal. This is all new territory for me so fingers crossed that I've set it all up correctly. I will email patterns as PDF documents once purchased.
I most certainly plan on adding more...looks a little sparse right now but got to start somewhere right?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Another Wee Shetland Tribute

So although I'm knitting like a maniac I still can't really blog about my current projects so instead I'm going for a blast in the past!
I recently received a book from my Dad (in Shetland) on the traditional Hap shawl and had to share some of the images of hard core blocking techniques and head-to-toe knitted outfits (note the seated man with knitted stockings, sweater, scarf and tam this one is removed temporarily as I check on whether I can use it or not!- and then I've also included a picture of me as a babe in full knitted attire....almost didn't post that one)!

The hap shawl was usually the first piece of lace knitting that a Shetlander would knit progressing from there to more complicated lace. They were made a lot in the Victorian era for use at home and as an exported good (note the layers of shawls behind the picture of the 3 seated knitters).
They were also often used as baby shawls (and still are by some Shetlanders-both my sister and I were given them for our first born...however mine (or my daughter Maya's) ended up with a huge hole in it after a lot of dragging around and chewing!. One of the images below shows me wrapped in one as a newborn (as were all my siblings).
Funnily enough as I visited Cirilia's blog today I saw a similar looking shawl in a link she provided to the recent Rowan pattern book, scroll down to Bressay.
( Cirilia just informed me that this is a hap shawl and is actually designed by the author of this book-Sharon Miller)

It's kind of mind boggling to imagine knitting lace shawls of this size and in such quantity! However after getting this book I feel it may be in my duty as a Shetlander and knitter to make one. This wonderful book provides patterns (and colour charts) for hap shawls and scarves with some modern interpretations. It's called "Heirloom Knitting's Shetland Hap Shawls-Then and Now" and is written by Sharon Miller and can be found here.
For a wee reference I've included a map of Shetland and if you look really hard on the left hand-side about halfway down there is a wee pink arrow to show the approximate spot where my parents live (and where Jamieson's mill is). I also wanted to include the picture of my Mum in her days of designing Shetland knitwear (she's wearing one of her designs) as she looks gorgeous and I love her and it was her birthday on Friday...happy birthday again mum!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More skirts

I've had a few more photos of completed skirts so have created a wee gallery which you can link to on the top left of the blog here. If anyone else is making this and stops by here please email me a photo so I can add it in!

Monday, July 9, 2007

New Yarn....New Kitty....Old Mags

I'd been looking for an opportunity to post our new kitty on my knitting blog and he provided that today when he curled up in some recently arrived silk yarn. (I had sort of made a decision to only post about knitting related things on this blog as we have a separate family blog that I post to also).
He's fresh off the streets of Fresno (by way of the SPCA) so he's pretty tough but also very sweet. We've named him Melio after a character in my husbands most recent novel who's a bit of a handsome toughie himself (the character, not my husband....)

On to the yarn. I did remove the kitten and took some photos that more truly represent the deliciousness of the colours! This is handpainted silk noil from the Sanguine Gryphon. I'm going to come up with a design for Gryphon using this which if she likes it will be sold on her etsy site. She has a bunch of other lovely yarns there so go and check her out. She is also the designer of the Ogee Lace skirt in the current Issue of Interweave and the Merry Maiden Dress which was in the Spring 07 Issue, both of which I love.

Speaking of Interweave I just received an order of back issues (they have a promotion on them just now which includes Knitscene) and I was so excited to get my hands on them. I'm really into examining everyone's patterns these days to learn new ways of construction and be inspired design wise. There are also some great designer profiles/interviews in the ones I got, Veronik Avery, Teva Durham and Robin Melanson (all designers I love) which again have been informative and fun to read. Then there are the technique sections...again very useful to have as many aids on hand when it comes to knitting techniques and their descriptions. I think I may have to order more!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Happy Hip In Hemper!

I've had several emails from people saying they are knitting my 'Hip In Hemp" design but here is the first completed skirt that I have received pictures of. This came from someone who documented her progress on Crafster. Her and her sister-in-law made the skirt simultaneously for their respective daughters. It looks great in a longer length (she decided to knit the size 8 but give it the size 10 length) and I love the colour combination too. I'm so excited to see my design and pattern fully realized by someone else (as I wipe my brow in relief that the pattern made sense and didn't have any math errors).
Hope to get some pictures from others so I can have a little gallery of this design in all it's various interpretations.