Wednesday, 13 May 2015

KCBW6: Continental knitting in action

Today I thought I would try something a little different and experiment with filming a very short video. For a few weeks now I have been diligently practising my Continental Knitting after signing up for an online course with the very talented Anniken Allis aka YarnAddictAnni.

As with most new skills she advises that spending 15 minutes a day practising is much more beneficial than doing a 1-hour long stint. So, as well as my drop spindling for 15 mins every day I have also been adding in a little Continental Knitting.

I have been using my go-to travel project - my Arne & Carlos toe-up vanilla socks for this. 
Arne & Carlos Regia yarn

They are on my magic loop needles and I find that once I get set up I can whizz along each needle relatively quickly. I'm still not as fast as when I use my normal method but I feel that I'm getting there.

Today I was in the garden and thought I would try using the Continental technique on the never-ending Mitered Crosses blanket. I am using straight needles for this -  a rare event so it was fun to try it out on a different needle type.

This video is a short clip of how I got on:

PS - If you have the sound turned on, on your device please turn it off. Unless you want to hear the demented blackbird which refused to move from the tree whilst I was filming.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

KCBW6 Day 2: It's All About You

The Secret Writer

Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to be a writer. I would write out stories longhand and then type them up on an old manual typewriter (why yes, I am in my 40s - why do you ask?). I was so proud of these little manuscripts and I would painstakingly file them away in a little box file under my bed. They never saw the light of day and at some point when I moved away to Uni they fell foul of my Mum's decluttering - Marie Kondo has nothing on my Mum - and I never saw them again.

I grew up, moved away and got a Proper Job - with science and everything. In time I found knitting, or rather it found me and in time I began to remember that I once had a creative side. I found that I could express my creative instincts in knitting, in pattern design and also through my blog, in writing again and I have to admit that it felt wonderful.

Since becoming more involved in the blogging world I have been fascinated by the practice of journalling although I'm yet to find a method that works for me. Techniques which have piqued my interest include:

Regardless of what it is called and how I do it, I have made it my own private goal to write something everyday. And no, my to-do lists (of which I write many) don't count. I have to write something in my new girly notebook every day. 

My new notebook for Writing Important Things

Whether it is 1 line or 1 page doesn't matter. Sometimes I sit down in a grump thinking of it as a chore but often those are the days when it turns out that I have the most to write.

At the moment these writings, like my childhood stories don't see the light of day but eventually, who knows. At least they will be safe from my Mum and her decluttering boxes.

For more information on the KCBW6 event and to follow along with other bloggers please use the hashtag #KCBW6 on social media, pop along to the Eskimimi Makes blog here or join the Facebook group.

Monday, 11 May 2015

KCBW6. Day 1: If you were a yarn...

If I were a yarn what type would I be?

After spending way too much time thinking about this I plumped for something I am working with currently - on a WIP freshly out of hibernation.

Shilasdair Luxury DK is a fabulous British yarn. Like me it is robust and practical, yet given to moments of luxury and self indulgent. I am currently knitting a modified Mitered  Crosses blanket in it and I love that the range of beautiful natural-dyed colours take inspiration from the natural world. 

My current favourite is the Uig Sea Green and I can't wait to get onto these squares next.

I am adopting a production line approach at the moment and knitting as many squares as I can get out of 1 skein - usually 5 or 6 and then adding the cream border to them all. All ends must be woven in before the finished squares are allowed into the storage box.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Indie Designer Month

If you weren't aware of the Love Knitting website last year you almost certainly be now after the EU VAT Moss saga which unfolded at the start of the New Year. Having been a well established online store for yarn and notions, the LK site has recently begun hosting pattern sales including those from some very well known indie designers.

The team at Love Knitting worked very closely with Ravelry over the past few months to ensure that pattern sales to and from the EU were largely uninterrupted to the relief of buyers and designers alike.

It is really nice to see that the LK team are furthering their support for indie designers by hosting an
Independent Designer Month.

The purchase of any indie designer pattern from the 1000s available will give you 10% off a yarn purchase during the month of May.

It's great to see the work of independent designers being showcased in this way, so why not pop over to their website and show them a little love.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Joining in with the Makealong

Those of you who are regular readers will know that I can never resist a KAL and now that my Aestlight Shawl for the Knit British Hapalong is finished my 4 mm needles were in need of a new project.

It was perfect timing then to join in with the Makealong, hosted by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch. Knitting or crochet - anything goes and the intention is to try a new technique or somehow challenge yourself.

I couldn't decide on a pattern so in the end I cast on for a simple heart shaped garter stitch shawl of my own devising - so I guess it does count as a challenge. I'm enjoying the squishy gartery goodness for now but the intention is to add some contrast stripes and maybe a fancy border.
How about you - if you are joining in I would love to know what you are making.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Me Made May 2015

I was intrigued by the Me Made May event last year and watched with interest as lots of people I follow shared pictures of their handmade garments and accessories online.

I watched from the sidelines last year but this year I am raring to go and eager to join in with what is shaping up to be a great, vibrant and fun event.

I recently shared the information about the event here and plucked up the courage to make my official pledge:

'I, Louise Tilbrook of Louise Tilbrook Designs, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a handmade item each day for the duration of May 2015'

I also plan to use the opportunity to assess my wardrobe and work out which items I wear and which I don't. Those that I don't wear will be gifted or sent to the charity shop and I will be reassessing my Ravelry queue with wearable items in mind.

I am full of a cold today so I will spare you a photo of my unmade up self and instead share my school run outfit for this morning. My cosy Isis Tailcoat in yarn from Purl Alpaca - a trusty wardrobe staple on chilly spring mornings.

You can commit to as much or as little as you like - wear just 1 handmade item per week or wear a full outfit every day - the choice is yours. Just use the hashtag #mmmay and join in the fun.