Tuesday, 29 May 2012

French Treats Design Week Day 3

Today we had a trip out to La Rochelle. As it was Sunday most of the shops were closed but there was a craft market down by the harbour. We got to La Rochelle for about 11.15 and all had a walk around.

John and I walked around the harbour from one side to the other and into part of the old town. It was a lovely day so there were lots of opportunities for taking photos.

We then met up again to have lunch together at a creperie (can't spell this). One of the savoury crepes was called 'Fiona'. I didn't choose it but my neighbour at the table did so I took a photo - fame at last!!

After lunch we all had to go and draw. I selected to try and draw the skyline over the top of the craft tents. I haven't taken pictures of my drawings as they were all quite quick (and not very good) sketches, but I might post them another time. However drawing in public does attract a bit of attention and I had several people stop to look at what I was doing. I was very pleased with myself that I managed to tell one lady in French that I was there with my teacher but that was it!

I was asked by another lady if I was an Urban Landscape Artist. I don't think she can have looked very carefully at my drawing. I did take lots of photos while I was there so I could possibly use them instead of my drawings. I know it is a bit of a cheat but 'a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do' to make the most of the design time.

I'll post some pictures of the design development from this day soon.

French Treats Design Week Day 2

The first day was spent in the workshop. John gave use some black and white striped paper and explained the design project for the day was to create some optical illusion pieces of design work by cutting and resticking the striped paper.

I have done this design exercise before. It is a good fun exercise to do but can be very tiring on the eyes as you are looking at black and white and optical effects all day. These are the samples I produced during the day.

These pieces are not meant to be a finished piece but could be incorporated into some other work in small sections. I did start to put some colour into the 3rd piece but have not done any more with these pieces yet. It was a good but very tiring day. We were all in bed by about 10pm!!! very early by knitting holiday standards!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

French Treats Design Week Day 1

I am back in France but this week as a student on a design week with John Allen. We arrived on Friday to lovely weather and a much greener Le Vieux Monastere than last year as year as you can see from the pictures.

There were also some lovely irises outside the church. It looks like it should be a good week.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rib Lace Scarf/Cowl

I've just posted a free copy of this scarf/cowl/snood on my Ravelry page

It is knitted in a chunky Baby Alpaca yarn from Knitting4fun. Bev sent me some of this yarn to have a play with and this is the first item I've made with it. It is amazingly soft and silky, very enjoyable to knit with.

The idea behind this design was to make the piece as versatile as possible hence the scarf/cowl/snood description. The stitch pattern is a simple rib lace eyelet pattern which opens up when the cowl is washed and blocked. The piece is a long rectangle. The version in the photos took 2 skeins of the chunky alpaca but if you knitted 3 skeins it would make a longer piece that could also be made into a mobeius.

After knitting and blocking the rectangle I then sewed buttons onto each end of the scarf. With the stocking stitch edging side facing up I sewed 4 buttons next to the first row of eyelets on one end of the scarf and 4 more buttons on the other end and opposite edge of the scarf. I then turned the scarf over and sewed one button on the outside eyelet at the opposite edge to teh 4 buttons so I could then button the rectangle into a loop or wrap through the eyelet holes.

The eyelet rib allows you to button the rectangle in lots of different ways asshow in the photos above.

I've got a number of other ideas to try out with this yarn but they will have to wait until I have finished the magazine commissions I currently have.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

More Christmas presents, Knitting DVDs

I have been collecting the Knitting Daily DVDs and this Christmas as well as getting lots of books I was also lucky enough to get series 4 and 5 of Knitting Daily from my brother and sister-in-law. They live in the States so can get me knitting related presents from places in the States that either don't ship outside the USA or cost a fortune to get shipped.

Having done a bit of demonstrating on film for Knit1.tv I am always interested to see how other people approach demonstrating on film. Knitting Daily is a bit different from demonstrating for Knit1.tv as it is a Public Broadcast program in America. Each programme runs for about 20 to 25 minutes and covers a number of topics so each topic is only about 5 minutes long. They do lots of interesting things and invite different designers and yarn companies to talk about their work/products but they don't have time to show anything in great detail.

I still enjoy watching the programmes. I haven't quite finished watching all of both series as there are 4 DVDs in each series but at least I can knit while watching.

I've now got series 1 to 5 but Knitting Daily are on series 8 now so I'm hoping for another one for my birthday if I'm lucky!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Knitting Christmas Presents

Time is flying past already this year but I thought I would still share some of my knitting Christmas presents - books as usual. I did receive lots of books on knitting and crochet this Christmas but I still haven';t had time to do more than have a quick look through each book.

I already have a number of Alice Starmore books (her Fair Isle and Aran books to name just 2) and I like the way she puts stranded colour patterns together so it was great to get this book to add to my collection.

I'm currently working on a couple of sock designs so both these sock books are interesting. The Ann Budd book covers a variety of ways of designing and knitting socks as well as having patterns from well known sock designers. The 'Knitted Socks East and West' book has some very interesting stitch patterns which are unusual constructions rather than the socks themselves being unusual. I need to find time to try out some of these stitch patterns!

Lots more interesting stranded stitch patterns and information about constructing Norwegian style sweaters; I've only had a very quick look at this book so far.

When I first saw this book on Amazon I thought it would be an OK techniques book. I was in my local Waterstones before Christmas and the book happened to be in there so i had a look through it. I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of information and different/more advanced techniques and stitches as well as the basics so I added it to my Christmas list and DH got it for me.

I also saw this book in Waterstones at the same time and was very impressed. It does cover knitting from all parts of the world so if you are interested in different knitting traditions this would be a great book to get. I've only had time to have a quick look so far, I just need a few years of nothing else to do to read all these books.

I didn't get any yarn at Christmas but we were in Devon with friends at New Year and visited Totnes (the home of the hippies and flairs!!). At the top of the main shopping street was a shop called Greenfibre (I think). It sold organic cotton fabrics and cloths, lotions, soaps etc but as I pasted the window I noticed some skeins of yarn - alpaca yarn at half price. Those of you who know me will know I don't need any more yarn but it was too good a bargain to pass so in I went and bought several skeins. I don't know what I will do with them yet, I may mix them with the chunky baby alpaca I got from Bev Beattie at Knitting4fun, I'm sure I'll think of something!

At the beginning of January DH and I went up to London as our kids gave us tickets to see Jersey Boys on the first Saturday in January.We met Frances up in London in the afternoon and after getting another ticket for her we were walking around and saw Foyles book shop. I like books shops almost as much as yarn shops so we went in and I found this book which covers the Unravel exhibition in Belgium last year. The book is in English and again looks very interesting hence why I bought it. It wasn't cheap as it has been imported from the States but has lots of intere3sting information about current knitting artists etc.

Well i think I did OK... just need a few years of time to devote to reading.