Thursday, December 09, 2010

Nimble fingers

I have to say I've been finding it easiest lately to knit. It's easy to pick up something and knit for a few minutes, then put it down when the inevitable interruption comes up... "Muuuuum! She's taking my cars!".... "Waaaaaaaaaa!" "Darling - what did you do to your sister?" "NOTHING!!".  You get the picture.

So as I mentioned in my hot water bottle post, I joined Ravelry, and it has been nothing short of a revelation! Loads and loads of ladies (and men) around the world, knitting away, and sharing their work, patterns, their experiences interpreting the patterns, their experiences with certain yarns. There are patterns you can get for free, and there are single patterns that you can buy instead of buying a whole pattern book! An amazing model of IP (intellectual property) sharing, with just about every possibility available! It's a giant stitch and bitch group, available straight from your computer. Given I don't get to see many of the people I know who knit very often, this has accelerated my learning about knitting quite a lot, and I'm trying all sorts of new things.

Is my enthusiasm showing through enough?

One thing I'm short of though is "friends" on Ravelry. So if you're a member (it's free to join), look me up (under the user name "Meririsa") and befriend me!! I'm keen to have more people to share with.

So what have I been knitting? my first garments, for little baby girls! First this one for my little girl in cotton yarn:

...only it's HUGE on her. A lot of lessons learned about different yarn types (cotton vs wool, and different thicknesses) and needles, and getting your test patch right. But anyway, it'll fit in a year or two. I've knitted another one in wool for a dear little girl I know who is about to turn one - I just need to sew in the threads, block, and sew on daisy buttons.

Next up is a little sundress with a knitted cotton bodice and gathered fabric dress.  I hope to take it to my mother in law's and finish it with her while on summer holidays! Then there's a few other projects lined up - vests and tunics for the kids for winter, fingerless mittens for presents for folk in colder climates.... I'll never be idle again!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Oh you - you're such a card!

So Friday night I ran a card making workshop in the office, at the kitchen table. Around 8 of us (give or take a few visitors) settled in with beer and snacks to craft ourselves some Christmas (or Summer or end of year or other) cards. We used 220 and 250gsm card, in either brown recycled, red, white or buff recycled, along with DL sized enveloped in a lovely soft recycled brown colour.

People got cracking with reusing their year's calendars, drawing, and collaging images. We all did a 'words' focused card to break the ice and get started, and then collaged trees, then using stripes. N got busy with the fabulous stamps that A brought in, stamping up a sustainable storm with images of row houses, bikes and trees - a profusion of cards, a veritable cottage industry of cards. Others used a mix of techniques, and everyone's were wonderfully, distinctly different. It's interesting to see how given the same materials everyone was drawn to different colours, shapes and techniques, and we created such a diverse range of images.

We eventually worked up an appetite, so stopped for takeaway Indian, and then wound up over cups of tea. It was heartening to see people so attached to their creative process, so in the groove that they took bits home to keep making. T even planned to make some more while watching the cricket the next day.

well done craftsters!

and more card pictures...

and lucky last card pictures...