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Gobbledygook…

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When knitting and crocheting, you have to contend with codes… k1tbl, p2tog, c6 etc. And on the whole you’re given a key to use and are able to translate everything very well (knit 1 through the back loop, purl 2 together, cable 6)
But what about all of the terms that seem to pop up but are never explained?
There seems to be an expectation that as a knitter/ crocheter you automatically know them all- some kind of telepathic downloading that takes place as soon as you touch wool! Soo not the case!

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FROGGED: this refers to having knitted/ crocheted something up either completely or partially and then deciding that you don’t want the item after all, and undoing it all (ripping it back) so as to be able to use the yarn again.

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FUDGED: alas this does not refer to the gorgeous sweet (drools), but carrying on regardless when you make a mistake or the pattern doesn’t work, and fudging it so that it still looks right. I.e. when you forget to do an increase on a row but don’t realise till you’re half who through the next one, and so increasing invisibly on that row instead to keep the correct number of stitches.

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WIP: also referred to as “whipped” is a project you’re currently working on; there is now the common phrase of Whipped Wednesday where you share your current projects with others every Wednesday.

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UFO: these are all of your Un Finished Objects – all of those projects that you’ve been distracted from and haven’t yet finished (I have a shed full!)

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FINISH OFF FRIDAY: is a bit like work in progress Wednesday, but you show every one all the things you’ve completed since last Friday 🙂

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STASH: what’s in your stash? All of that wool that you’ve fallen in love with and had to have, all of that sale wool you have yet to figure out what to do with, and those odds and ends left over from other projects.

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HIBERNATING: the same as UFO, something you have yet to finish and aren’t currently working on.

Hopefully this will help disentangle some of the mad phrases in the yarn world! Good luck 🙂

Cornwall Inspiration

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Last week i was honored to be invited to the opening of a wonderful art exhibition in Bude, Cornwall!
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The exhibition was entitled “In our Element” and was full of the wonderful works of Chris Edwards and Elaine Nash.

Elaine Nash has got to be one of my favorite artists! She works mainly in water colours, creating an is so ethereal and some how magical feel to her work. They are almost representative of a calm and peaceful dream world, full of colours and shifting shadows that you want to step into. Often with figures wandering off into the distance on a wonderful journey.

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photo(14)Don’t get me wrong though, Chris Edwards pieces are also pretty damn amazing!

photo(13) photo(12)She uses oil for her pieces, and has the amazing ability to recreate Cornish landscapes, especially the rocks. You could almost be looking at a photograph; except that her brush strokes seem to add movement, the wind and the sea swirling gently around.

Chris and Elaine also invited 3 new and upcoming artists to exhibit with them.

Claire Catt picture 01By Clare Catt

Clare works mostly in mixed media, creating abstract works inspired by the Cornish coastline and it’s ever changing weather. I love the bold colours she uses, i really feel the sea swirling and crashing against the rocks looking at these pieces.

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By Liane Tancock

Liane’s work focuses on the smaller aspects of nature, and is currently working with charcoal and ink. I love the painstaking detail she manages to capture, making even the smallest things beautiful and eye catching.

Bryan Sentance pictureBy Bryan Sentance

Bryan is a wood worker, creating 3D pieces from drift wood off the beaches and being inspired by the birds and nature he is surrounded by at the time. Each one of his gorgeous creations has it’s own personality- inside the gallery you still felt surrounded by wild life.

The exhibition will be on until the 22nd of August, and i definitely recommend going and having a loo and maybe afterwards going for a wander along the coast line? And a cream tea in the cafe as well 🙂

http://www.thecastlebude.org.uk/exhibition-programme/chris-elaine/

Their work is for sale and i can only regret being unable to purchase it all! But i did come away with some lovely cards with their pieces on the front- though they have now been sent out to friends and family as opposed to the traditional holiday postcards! I may have to start putting some money aside for the real things 🙂

I can honestly say i feel inspired and moved by their works of art, and after a week away camping in the fantastic Cornwall, I have come back itching to start new projects!

Elaine and Chris

              Elaine and Chris

 

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                Me, Elaine and Dave

(Yeah, that’s right! I got a photo with the artist! 🙂 )

 

 

KAL WEST

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Last week I finally found a window of time to cast on a new project for myself! (Always an exciting prospect!) It had to be something easy to transport as I was going off to a Hen Do that weekend, yes you heard me right, knitting at a Hen Do, but hey! knitting is fashionable nowadays (plus people would find it weird if I wasn’t there with yarn in my hand!).
After much scouring through the wonderful Ravelry I settled on something by Stephen West, but now which of them do I choose!!? Go have a looksie yourself at http:// http://www.ravelry.com/designers/stephen-west
Well he’s famous for his scarf and shawl patterns, so that seemed a good place to start….except that he has loads!!!!! I didn’t really feel like I’d narrowed the list down at all :s
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In the end I settled on his latest Knit A Long: a collection of 3 different shawl patterns to have fun with and put your own colour stamp on.
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Ok yet more decision making! But in the end I went with Lumpy Space due to its wonderful shaping throughout. Plus I had some love drops lace weight to use from The Yarn Cake ( http://www.theyarncake.co.uk/) in Glasgow which is full of colour and I’ve been itching to start knitting it!
Here is my progress so far:
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A mass of clashing colours, with some bright lace cotton from Brazil mixed in as well. And yes I did knit on the hen do:
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(How I wishing lived by a beach!)
Hopefully I’ll get time to finish it soon!

Over whelmed!

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There seem to be hundreds of knitting, crochet and sewing projects that i’m working on at the moment, and i am now feeling a little overwhelmed (something that doesn’t really happen that much). I keep trying to organize my time and put things in order, but some how life just seems to get in the way- not to mention the fact that i want to do everything!

I’m using this as an excuse for not blogging in a while, but i really should have found time :s The plane pictures from knit in public day are now up though, (yay!) and i’ll add more as soon as i can get the memory card from the camera to comply to my demands!

Other exciting news is that i have finally got the Malabrigo Sock weight yarn up for sale on my Etsy shop MagpieShineyEmporium

There are a variety of gorgeous colours to choose from, and i am happy to alter postage costs as needed if you want more than one skein or don’t mind going second class etc.

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Whilst doing everything in the world at once I came across this wonderful “how to” from a vintage knitting magazine. It’s by Margaret Maino and is about knitting blunders- in this case dropping stitch, which i’m sure is most knitters worst nightmare! I wanted to pass it along to you to try and ease any sleepless nights you may have in the future because of this 🙂

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Happy problem solving people 🙂

 

 

Knit in public week!

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Yay! That’s right, it’s time for all of us to get out there with our yarn, hooks and needles to spread the word of this wonderful craft!
It also means that tomorrow is plane day! 🙂

Come and join me at Birmingham central library to knit and crochet planes, between 10 am and 4 pm. All materials are provided and everyone is welcome- whether you can knit/ crochet already or want to learn.
Here are the knitting crochet patterns that I’ll be using tomorrow:

crocheting plane pattern

  knitting plane pattern

Or why not bring a project you’re already working on, and find a comfy spot between the books or out on the lovely balconies? Hope to see you there!

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Love is all you need!

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In 1 year and something or other days I will get to marry the man of my dreams!
Not only do I love him because we can drink each other under the table, but he also puts up with me and he has OCD! Not scarily so, but enough to be able to….

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DE-TANGLE WOOL!!!
He unwittingly has the gift that all yarners dream about 🙂 and doesn’t even seem to know quite how special he is!

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This blog is somewhat gloating about his wonderousness, but hopefully Gnasher will never get around to read it and his ego won’t grow too big… 🙂

Etsy Shop now Open!

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Exciting news!!! My Etsy Shop is now open!
MagpieShineyEmporium
I am currently in the process of adding items to it, namely vintage knitting and crocheting patterns for instant pdf download (so no waiting for the posts, you can get started immediately).

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Come and have a look at what else there is, I’m constantly adding new exciting items.

What are you looking for though? Good quality needles perhaps? Or shiney new yarn? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do about getting it, for an affordable price too 🙂