Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Confessions of a knitter

Are you a knitter? It seems that lots of artists knit – printmakers seem particularly drawn to knitting . . . is it the meticulous repetition, I wonder?

I knit purely for pleasure – I get lulled into a cosy stuper by the rhythm of knitting; not a mindless state, no, you need to use bits of your brain: counting, choosing colours – it's creative but therapeutic.

Last winter I was looking for interesting knitting patterns on the web (admit it, I bet that a few of you have done that) and I came across Cranford Mitts – the pattern had been generously donated by Jane Lithgow to p/hop . . . that's "pennies per hours of pleasure" – a clever fundraising idea for Médecins Sans Frontières which was the brain child of knitter and dyer Natalie Fergie. It's such a simple idea – you can download free patterns or swap free yarn and in return for the hours of pleasure gained, you give a donation to MSF via the p/hop Just Giving site. Simples!

So I had my pattern and I'd given a donation . . . I needed some yarn; I had a look at Natalie's web site The Yarn Yard, ooooo! it's full of scrummy coloured yarn!!! And they have such imaginative names (I like that) – I chose Velvet and Spicebox in a gorgeous soft Merino sock wool.

Cranford Mitts

There was loads of yarn left over . . . ahaaa! I had a cunning plan . . . matching socks!

Cranford Mitts
Don't ask for the pattern
– I didn't keep notes!


And, as there was still a little yarn left (and I was well and truly back into the knitting-zone) I went for a rummage in my stash of balls of wool – this stash goes back to my youth! But you just never know when a ball of wool, however small, will come in useful . . . I found enough balls of soft greys, fawns, terracotta and heather to knit a cardi :-)


I really enjoy making up repeated patterns and working with stripes so this was my idea of knitting heaven; and those beautiful ceramic buttons I bought from from Catherine Daniel finish it off just perfectly!


Now, I need a new knitting project, what luck that I bought that chunky felted yarn last week – that will be a nice little quick knit; and after that . . . well I've treated myself to some of Natalie's gorgeous Lace Yarn – I'll show you when I've finished, but it may take some time.


Celia
x

30 comments:

  1. The Mitts are just great, they really work with a the contrast edges, don't they?

    Have you seen Jane's blog?

    http://janesprobablyknitting.blogspot.com

    And yes, she usually is!

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  2. wow they are all fab :-) I especially love the mitts ...
    I dream of being a knitter but am so so slow but my socks will get finished one day soon :-)

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  3. Thanks Natalie - yes I've popped into Jane's blog a few times (maybe I should put her on my ever expanding list of blogs to read!)
    I'm so looking forward to the trying lace knitting - getting ambitious!

    Hi Sally - the mitts are much easier than they look. Easier than socks!

    Celia
    x

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  4. I knit, and crochet, but not very well! It's not the actual knitting that causes me the problems but following the pattern properly - I made fingerless gloves but they're not quite the same size as each other! Yours look lovely.

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  5. how lovely :) i am a beginner knitter & have been told that i'm a right-handed person who knits left-handed. i also enjoy counted cross-stitch.

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  6. Stunning, absolutely stunning, sweater.

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  7. Celia! So lovely to see my little buttons in use, as it were. I often wonder what happens to the bits and bobs people get from me. I'm a hopeless knitter myself.

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  8. I can knit but prefer crochet....although I don't get much done these days! I love those mits!!!

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  9. Wow those mitts are just fab!!! My gran taught me to knit when I was 6 but I didn't get much past knit one, purl one. I am in awe of your craftiness!

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  10. Obviously you're an accomplished knitter! mittens, socks and a cardigan - all great. Last year I knitted a little hat for my not yet born grandchild; then a dear little cardigan and a charming rabbit; but haven't touched my needles since. Maybe it's like riding a bike!!

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  11. If it was not so perishing cold just now I'd knit some mitts!

    Instead, I stuff my hands into the "kangaroo pocket" in my sweater. ;-)


    (I'll put up another quiz later today, with clues this time!)

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  12. Ohh these are lovely!! I just knitted some wrist warmers for my daughter as she has to travel long to get to school ( my first foray into knitting for about 18 years- I used to knit just about anything)- so my warmers didn't have thumbs in them just openings- but I can feel the old bug coming back!

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  13. Celia, the mitts, the socks, the cardi...all are terrific. You are a very fine knitter, and I do agree with you about how some artists are also ardent knitters.

    Thank you also for introducing me to yet another fine knitting site. How can we expand our daily days beyond 24 hours...so many stitches to cast on, and knit and purl. But when?

    xo

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  14. Celia, you are so talented, everything is just beautiful. The cardigan is stunning.

    I've always wanted to knit but have never learned . . . would you believe it's on my "bucket list" for the very near future!

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  15. Perfect mitts and I adore the matching socks, do you have the details of that pattern? And a cardi too! Woo Hoo for wool. :-)

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  16. Thank you for all the lovely comments - suddenly it's cool to admit to being a knitter!

    Do download the Cranford Mitts and donate to p/hop - the pattern looks complicated but it's easy peasy!

    Baa-Me Kniits - sorry I don't write out my patterns (that would make knitting into 'work'!) If you're a pretty good knitter and can knit a sock, you can easily adapt the Cranford Mitts pattern into the leg part and make up the rest ;-)

    Celia
    x

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  17. You need to come over to the dark side and start crocheting... an order of magnitude more obsession-inducing, faster, over 100 stitches at your disposal. I had to slap Nancy in a wool shop yesterday to stop her getting over-excited. It was for sale. The shop. Like a lost cave but with wool instead of the sparkly bits lit up by the potholer's flare...

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  18. Oh... I crochet too ;-) I veer between the two - at the moment I'm reaching the zenith of the knitting swing!

    Terry and I stumbled upon a teeny wool shop in Saffron Walden - we took a diversion down an alley to what used to be a cake shop and it had transformed into 'The Little Wool Shop' - so many yarns to stroke!!! Such temptation now I know it's there.

    Celia
    x

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  19. Absolutely *gorgeous* knits, I especially *love* the cardigan. Are you on Ravelry at all? Plenty of patterns to browse through there - I have just over 200 queued.. ahem... not quite sure when I'll get round to doing them all ;)

    Just crocheting a very bright shawl at the moment.

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  20. Hi Erasercarver
    I can't say I'm 'on' Ravelry as I don't post photos or queue stuff.

    But I look at Ravelry and that's where I find some patterns - including the one I based the cardi shape on.

    Now doing giant knitting!

    Celia
    x

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  21. I can knit, just about, but find patterns daunting. Scarves and warmers are just about my limit.

    Lovely cardi Celia and the mitts and socks look very cosy. I have a weakness for woolly socks (in fact I'm wearing a pair now - its fereeezing!!)

    Jeanne
    x

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  22. The mitts and socks are great but the cardi is just stunning! And yes... I'm a knitter too although I've been doing more crochet lately.

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  23. your cardi is adorable Celia - serendipitous collection of shades you managed to put together

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  24. Wonderful! The only thing I ever knitted was a Dr Who scarf in the 1970s!!

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  25. What lovely mitts, I'm currently having a battle with the gloves i'm making. Fortunately, I, the knitter won and I've now completed the left fingerless glove.
    Love the buttons too!

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  26. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous and more gorgeous! Love the mitts, the socks, and the cardi, and I love the endless yarn and how it went into all the different garments. The close up of your cardi is really nice to see, you get a really good idea of the texture and earthiness of the beautiful yarn. I went to your Yarn yard link, it looks like very beautiful yarn, I bet it all sells very quickly. Thank you for the link. Love Vanessa xxx

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  27. Need a project then try my sisters site... www.knittedlacedesigns.net.au some of her techniques are truely original, the patterns start with easy - not so easy.
    She is in her 70s, lives in Australia and still designing wonderful patterns.
    Best regards
    Rob

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  28. What color is "faun?" I ask because a very exasperating designer I work with specified "faun" and then had us use a browny-purple color. Are fauns purple in England?

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  29. Hi Lisa and Robb, I think of fawn as being a pale yellow-brown like a lovely light brown dog's fur.

    Pale purple? I think someone needs some Pantone swatches ;-)

    BTW I've been reading your interesting blog - good luck with all your projects.

    Celia

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