Sunday, 27 April 2014

Shetland Wool Week 2014

Looking forward to Shetland Wool Week!
Shetland Wool Week, which will take place in October, is in now in its fifth year and is a series of events to celebrate Shetland Sheep, Shetland's crofting traditions and it's textile industry.  The programme for 2014 has been released and tickets for the workshops will go on sale on Monday 28th April (tomorrow) and it looks really exciting!.  There will be a large range of workshops in a variety of woolly subjects, Fair Isle knitting, steeking, spinning, dying, lace knitting are only some of the topics that will be covered.   Lots of other exciting things will be happening that week throughout Shetland, several businesses have opened up their doors for textile tours, and the Wool Week Hub in the Lerwick Museum will be an excellent place to meet other textile lovers and to see demonstrations. You can see the full program on the Shetland Wool Website.

I hope to be able to attend more this time, other commitments last year meant I only managed to do two workshops, both in Jamieson and Smith's shop.  The first was taken by Shetland's own Hazel Tindall (the Worlds's Fastest Knitter and this years wool week patron).  I forgot to take any photo- taking devices to this workshop.  The other was a Master Darning workshop by Tom de Deijnen (also known as Tom Of Holland and is author of the Visible Mending Programme).  You can see him in full flow teaching mode in the second photo.

I thoroughly enjoyed both workshops and learned a lot while meeting lots of lovely people and just enjoyed being in such an exciting place watching people coming and going and buying their wool.

I attended to the Makers Market in the Town Hall on the Saturday, where I had a table selling some of my felt things and again had the chance to talk to lots of lovely people and eye up the knitwear going past.


I certainly hope to attend more this year and if you are in Shetland and you have any interest in textiles at all I urge you to have a look through the programme.  The tickets for the workshops go on sale at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, but be quick, they are usually very popular and sell out fast!


Friday, 18 April 2014

Some New Knitting Books

I have to admit I am not much of a reader but I do have a weak spot for non-fiction books, especially cookery books and of course knitting books!

 Over the last couple of weeks I have bought 3 new knitting books to add to the collection.  The first was the spring 2014 edition of Pom Pom Quarterly which is almost a cross between a book and a magazine that arrived through the post beautifully wrapped with a personal note on the label.

There are eight beautiful and contemporary knitting projects as well as article on various things including the craft (or is it science?) of pressing seaweed and a recipe for chocolate bergamot cookies.

 The pattern that caught my eye and persuaded me to order Pom Pom Quarterly, is the Confetti cardigan, which has been knitted in Jamieson's of Shetland Spindrift.  I have inherited a sizable quantity of Shetland jumper yarn and have 2 cones of shades of purple which will be perfect for this design.

They sum the publication up very well on their website:
"Printed in the UK on lovely heavy paper, at a project bag-friendly portable size, it’s the go-to magazine for lovers of independent craft".

If you have read my previous post you will see I have thinking about and trying out knitting Fair isle gloves. I had seen the book knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble in one of the local shops a while back and wished I had bought it as it is now out of print.

I recently borrowed a copy from the local library, which is something I have made a note to do more when I get a chance, but I wanted to have permanently on my bookshelf.  I managed to get a copy from Abe Books after a friend found one there. The author collected many examples of Fair Isle gloves and mittens over a few years, and gives patterns for Forty different designs. There are general patterns for the gloves and mittens and once you have mastered that the design possibilities are endless as demonstrated in the book.

This is another book whose pages will be turned over and over again I am sure.

Since I was ordering books I thought I might as well order another (as very often happens). I am a big fan of Elizabeth Zimmermann's writing as I know many knitters are. I didn't have the Knitters Almanac in my collection so decided it was time to buy it.  In the book there is a pattern for a different project for each month of the year, and while I don't think I will be making any of the garments exactly how they are in the book, I will certainly be using the book for reference. I purchased her book"Knitting Without Tears" about a year ago and found it is invaluable when it comes to knitting your own designs. Someone mentioned to me that they had the book but hadn't read it as it was quite wordy and didn't have many pictures.  But I find it very easy to read, EZ (as knitters refer to her) writes in a way you would imagine her to speak with a lot of humour.  Her books are well worth investigating if you haven't done so already.

My problem is now I am starting running out of book space, especially considering I bought another yesterday!