Knit Night Thursday

Sadly I will have to cancel tonight’s (30th June 2016) event. I need to be in North Wales tomorrow early.

The regulars will know that some people are not due in for various reasons – Pauline get better soon

We will be taking a break in August (2nd to 25th ) so those of you who aren’t regulars why not drop in over the next few weeks get to know us see if you like us …. bring a knitting buddy… and share your current project.

 

Welsh Hap

Well it is nearly finished ..I can’t decide whether the fringe is going to work yet. It is a classic triangle in the Cambrian Mountains Wool 4ply slate with single rows of mineral, ironstone and Welsh red.  It has the usual start – make a slug of 4st 3 rows pick up 3 st along each side (10st). After that its all knit, with increases (knit into the front and back of st) on alternate rows. Increase row (Inc, K2, Inc, K2 Inc, K1, Inc K1) the increases fall 1st in from eacg side and make a nice rib down the centre of the shawl. Next row K. repeat……for …..ever

DSCF5540

The single rows of colour (on the K row) are put in after 56 rows and have 3 rows worked between each one. The edge is made by working a row of K1, (YO, K2tog) repeat to last st, K1. followed by cast off row. I think there were 200 plus st to cast off (but it might have been more) I didn’t count it didn’t matter.

DSCF5541

Just need to be brave and cut the fringes….

 

Gooseberry Club

I do not have the best of short term memory and if recent research is to be believed we none of us have perfect recall.One memory for me has repeated itself in my head this week. I share it because …….

Imagine a disco 1980, a Valentine Ball I believe, I was a skinny first year in my second term at uni, he was a post grad captain of my Badminton Club (and I had a crush). We bumped into each other on the dance floor – the chat up was —

“Oh fancy meeting you here” (yep, the chat up expert!!), “Oh yes”, I said, “I’m here playing gooseberry ” (I’d come with my best mate and her boyfriend ,and he with the couple he shared a flat with), “Me too, we should knit green fluffy jumpers and start a club!” This was the era of mohair sweaters (remember George Michael). That was the begining of a lifelong friendship and a connection with a lovely, funny caring man . He is one of my life’s anchors, who I will alway think of as a big brother.

I can’t think of gooseberrys and not think of him.  I never asked him if he remembered that conversation. But green fluffy jumpers have been mentioned more than once over the years. Even when he married my best mate 10 years later and both flatly denied they had met that night. Now I never can ask him. He left this world too early, last Monday, my heart goes out to all those who loved him and so many did. Gareth you will be missed

Bear Parts …knitted of course

Yesterday’s game was bear parts (read that carefully!) and by knit night I had all the parts for a Bertie Bear not the usual Bertie he is small and cute. DSCF5476

Here at Red Apple we are inclined to enlarge. As customers might know the window of the Old Post Office is at least 4m long and 2m high and to cap it all, it starts at waist height. Good for privacy if you are PO not so easy to furnish with small things like balls of wool. It also has small panes so making a display is a challenge. Small bears like Bertie need numbers to make an impact which is time consuming even though they are quiet easy to make or …….

Enlargement ….we have tried this before with a lovely pattern for DK wool called Bramble bunny from Cameron James Designs  ( see Ravelry page) with much success. They are always being picked up and cuddled not always by small people either!

DSCF5475

We used a Super Chunky Brisith wool Big Brit that knits to 10mm patterns (9st x 12rows) and used 6mm or 8mm needles ( we have 2 ) to get the dense fabric you need for toys. So the proportions worked out, I know a bit hit and miss but the shaping toys is fiddly to do   and with toys anyway it is worth a try…..

Well off I set with a Bertie Big Brit and 8mm needles, I have made Bertie before and the pieces grew…. and grew .DSCF5470Small Bertie is 24cm on 3mm needles… and grew….

DSCF5471

His/her body is 40cm long, the arms are 25cm long??? The features are small stitches which on a small bear look neat – on a big face …? and the small Berties legs are pivoted on lengths of yarn. Big Bertie is currently pinned together with big knitting needles which work very well as a pivot but are not very cuddly

DSCF5477

The big probelm when its sewn up will be getting it to sit!!! Back to construction and an update to follow

After thinking about it I went for button joints and several lengths of dk wool. The stuffing is wool too, so it should hold and it isn’t a toy so I didn’t need to pull the legs with weights to check they won’t come off!!

DSCF5479

The character of any toy sort of grows with the making and a face is always tricky. Berties pattern has clothes and is a boy bear. But will have to play with the sizes now he is finished. His arms are a little long but that might deminish with clothes. I went with his need to lean over and a slight inclination to look Koala and I have considered a sterotype G’dayBruce as a name but maybe thats for another day…. after I’ve made some pants!

 

Ramblings and knitting

You know, people used to knit everywhere even while they walked from place to place. Heavens I can knit in the car sometimes but…… those were other times and that was work!! Anyway as some of you know I have over the last weeks been ill an illness that required bed rest ie sleep but didn’t get much. Anyway this has lead me to the pile of holiday reading books collected in case I get one. I’m not a reader of any old novel or the great masters, I favour story over verbage anytime. As  a consequence the pile contained in no order a new Elly Griffiths; a Historical novel about medieval Wales; the new Phil Rickman (the only author that I own all of his books); a book about The Welsh Weaving Industry; a Children’s version of the Just So Stories (don’t ask) and a novel called Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody. There are themes there, detective with difference type books;  references to places I live or lived or been; historical?

Over the last few days I have read the last one.  I went for the novel with wool in the title and a natty 1920s cover!!! Imagine Miss Marple (20 years younger) meets Foyel’s War (But WW1 not WW2) meets Bradford (Worstopolis) just post its WW1 boom still up but just. The story is set close to my home town of Keighley and about the death of one of big mill owners. Facts and fiction  wandered about abit and the referece to a skirt being caught in mistletoe nearly lost me early on (she would have had to be up the tree not walking past it!!). Never a mention of the Airedale?

What kept me reading wasn’t the story as such (some of the characters did things abit out of character towards the end) but for the nostalgic glimpses of places and the industry I sort of remember  – not that I remember 1920’s Bradford but I do remember the Airevalley – Silsden (the town I grew up in) having 7 or 8 mills/sheds in the 1970s. The constant rumble of weaving looms, the noise that hit you if the shed doors were open on hot days.

It made me think about of the how much of the history of the industry  and the area  I don’t know. The power of the mill owners and the money they made on the backs of ordinary people. How big the Mill buildings were, how dangerous the work was and how skilled people needed to be just to survive and how it has gone….. somewhere else or just contract I’m not sure? China after all, is the biggest importer of wool in the world. Not all of the industry has gone there, though most imagine it has.  Wool is used for other things these days, carpets and knitting yarn!!. We don’t wear wool cloth like we used to and personally, I blame central heating.

 

Yorkshire  retains at least some of its skills tucked away in small mills and spinning sheds, dye houses. In big institutions like The Wool Exchange and the British Wool Marketing Board. The likes of Stylecraft’s mother company are still spinning, as are  West Yorkshire Spinners and Woolyknit promoting British wool. There are small numbers of weaving and dying companies holding on to their skills and expertise and they are mostly based in Yorkshire home of the wool industry. There are people who have worked there for forty years, some since leaving school at 15!! How many of our current young people will be able to say that?

Oh pass me my Welsh Wool knitting;

DSCF5446

I haven’t lived in Yorkshire for 35 years and I feel a little home sick!!!