Saturday, March 28, 2009

a whole lot of stuff

It's been some weeks since my last blog post. Lots of life, not much time for recording.
I've discovered etsy, via Ravelry. Nice Pear Studio advertised. I was tempted by the pictures, had a look and ended up buying! Janice was very very helpful. She had never posted internationally before. But went out of her way to make it all happen. Here is one of two sock yarns I bought:

It's called Cherry Blossom and was hand dyed by Janice.
And of course I have been busy knitting up a few things for the Red Hill Show. I entered four items this year: a toy, socks, a teacosy and a toddler's cardigan. I was lucky enough to pick up three firsts this year and a second for the cardigan.
I love the feeling of participating in a community event. It's quite special to see your handmade items displayed regardless of whether they have received a gong or not. It' s really interesting to see what other people are making too, including k girl. I think we have both entered various bits and pieces for the last three years. Long may it continue!
Last year my plum pudding teacosy didn't get a place. I think it's a great teacosy and very amusing. I love the leaves and berries on the top. This year my cosy got first place. I love this one just as much as last year's one. They are very different but they both had an equal level of skill and effort invested in them. I cannot really work out the judging. Ranking items must be difficult, because beyond a certain level of skill and complexity which can be assessed, how do you differentiate? I think that there must be a certain amount of subjectivity, but who knows.
I knitted it in Patons Jet and then felted it. It felted brilliantly in one go! I then sewed on felt flowers and leaves. I'm only learning to embroider - hand sewing is really not my skill - but I really want to be better, so I am trying to find opportunities to practise.
Here is the back:
And here is the orange aran cardigan with hood. It's an amalgam of two patterns plus a some of my own invention. I learnt a lot about design by knitting it. It's knitted in Naturally's Loyal DK. 100% wool and machine washable. The inspiration is a Zoe Mellor pattern called Robin Hood Jacket which is knitted in Rowan Cork. It's a discontinued chunky weight yarn. So to produce something close required dramatic changes. I'm pleased with the result and I think it'll be great as a winter woolly for Mr S.
And the socks - they are knitted in Tofutsies soy blend yarn. The pattern is a basic lace. The socks are a modified version of Rainy Day Socks. You can find the pattern on Ravelry. I used a different weight of yarn and really just used the construction method I always use (cuff down).
And I entered the hedgehog. It's knitted from a Fiber Trend pattern and is felted too.

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