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October 26, 2013 / KristenMakes

Change and Love

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A big change is coming for me in the next few months, a change that I feel very conflicted about.

My husband and I are leaving Scotland – our home for the past four years – and are moving back to the United States.  On one hand I am really very excited.  I get to be near my family and friends that I’ve only seen a handful of times over the past four years, whom I miss terribly.  I get to now experience first-hand the next stage of life for my friends and family –  where my brothers and I are now each married and will be having children; and I will now get to be a part of that, rather than watching from a distance.  Trent and I now get to be in a country where things are familiar again, where we understand how things work. We get to start the next stage of life – whatever that is.  And we get to do that together, which is the best part.

But on the other hand, I am really sad.  I have changed in so many ways and learned so much here.  I have become someone I am proud to be, I love what I do and I am in a really exciting time and place for it.  I have been so blessed.  Trent & I have joked that we moved here for him and his PhD work, when really the move ended up seeming to be more for my personal benefit.  I learned that my interest in hand-knitting was more than an interest and began to design and write knitting patterns.  Then I got my MA in Knitted Textiles, and began working in hand-knit professionally. I have met and become friends with some crazy-talented and inspiring people, I have begun teaching classes, attended some amazing knitting events,  and even had some patterns published.  I certainly would not have learned so much nor explored so far in hand-knit if I had not have been living in Scotland.  There is so much skill here, so MANY fantastic and accomplished knitters and makers here, and such support and enthusiasm for knit and craft.  I have been welcomed into the group of knitters and felt such love.  And for this, it breaks my heart that I will leave.

In preparation for the move there is so much to do (first off, all our stuff has to either be sold or shipped overseas).  I feel like I have been running around manic for the past few weeks and will continue to do so until the move at the end of December.  I want to spend more time with everyone I’ve come to know, and I feel this need to accomplish so much more before I leave.  I have a few more classes lined up which I’m so excited about, I’m working on some more pattern designs, and I’ve got some really fun projects going on at work.  Things at Eribé have been so busy as we wrap up production on the AW13 season and begin design/development on AW14.  There is so much to do but I love it all.  Everyone at work has been really supportive of this change and I am also really sad to leave this new family of mine.

I cannot thank you all enough for being a part of my life and adventure. I have no idea what will happen over the next year and beyond – where we will be living, what we will be doing – but I am entering into it feeling so full and and blessed. I love you all.

October 15, 2013 / KristenMakes

Mega Backwards Knitting Project

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to be part of something big.  Literally big, not figuratively.  A client at work needed a large knitted panel for an instillation, of an oversized scale (we are talking 25mm needles here!).  Partly thrilled by the idea that I could do it, and partly wary of sending such a project to an unsuspecting knitter of ours (the deadline was tight!) I took it home and took it upon myself to work on the panel.

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The “needles” were originally 1 long dowel rod purchased at B&Q, which my husband sawed in half.  Then we took it to someone who could sand and shape the ends in to tips.  They turned out quite lovely, and were definitely up to the task.

PanelThe knitting started roughly; I had to figure out just the right way to sit on the couch so that the ends of the needles were supported by the floor and held in place by the friction of the rug, with a pillow on top to prevent sliding.  When watching tv, poor Trent was confined to a tiny corner of the couch because this project took up the whole area.  He was very patient though.

The panel grew quickly, and I made sure to document its growth in pictures.

WP_20130928_004This image gives you a bit of an idea how large the scale was.  It wasn’t tiring on my fingers; rather it was a workout for the arms, shoulders and upper back.

I had just the week prior figured out how to knit backwards, which was perfect.  This beast proved too inconvenient to turn at every row’s end, so I was able to knit right to left, then at the end of the row, knit back left to right.  I took a video of it because it was pretty funny – I hope to edit and share the video soon.  I wore out quickly (knitting something like this a few hours every day for a week straight will do that to a person!) and had to pass it on to a very generous friend who completed the final metre and cast off.

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The piece was monstrous when we brought it back in to work, but we managed to keep it clean and orderly while steaming its mass.  Steaming helped regulate the stitches and plump up the wool.

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It was really fun to be part of such a random and huge project.  I’m inspired by how easy it was to make the needles, and am tucking this idea in my back pocket for a future rug or blanket!

September 20, 2013 / KristenMakes

New Pattern: Grace Adieu Capelet

Well there is this lovely new pattern out just now, let’s see, hmmm…  Oh yes, its mine!  The Grace Adieu Capelet (apologies, I just recently rewatched What About Bob and have the book Baby Steps on my mind).  I’m really excited about this pattern and the fabulous issue of Knit Now that has featured it.

(c) Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing

(c) Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing

My description of the pattern says it best:

I love a bit of magic and mischief! Having enjoyed Susanna Clarke’s books, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and The Ladies of Grace Adieu, I am entranced by the idea of fairies entering into our world and interfering with ordinary lives. This capelet was inspired by the intermingling of high society and playful mischief, of reason and madness, giving a bit of lightness and swing to an otherwise elegant piece. I imagine the folds in the sleeves to be fairy wings, prepared to flit off before being caught in your misdoings.

The idea the the land of Faerie is out there, with secret doorways, and meddling fairies is such an intriguing one.  If you want a taster, check out David’s post on Debi’s My Happy Sewing Place, where he shares a story from the latter book.

Grace Adieu Capelet

The design of the capelet is simple, but the details aren’t.  The shoulders feature a honeycomb slip-stitch, and short rows for the “wings”.  By increasing only over the arms, the body is straight and the folds stay right in place centred over the arms.  A garter stitch border at the hem weighs it down nicely, and the buttons of course, add a nice touch.

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Print

The issue is on sale now, so run out and get yourself a copy!  You can also get the digital version here.

The yarn is squishy and gorgeous – Malabrigo Silky Merino – and you can now get some in Knit Now‘s giveaway, on from today until the 4th of October I believe.  They are giving away enough yarn to knit your own – £40 worth!  What a pleasure it was to work with; it is highly knittable, I must say.

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