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November 7, 2013 / KristenMakes

Oh the Activity!

I’m sorry guys.  I keep too busy to blog and them bam!  There is so much to blog about!  Quick updates:

1)  Thanks SO much for the support on my last blog post.  While I’m leaving a lot behind, I know I will at least get to take my connections and relationships with me wherever I go.  You guys are awesome.

2)  Really old news: my husband has his PhD now!  He passed his viva back in July, and if we were being all 1950’s about it, you could call us Dr and Mrs Trent Orme!  I am so proud of him.  Graduation is later this month.

3)  My Polished Knits class at Be Inspired Fibres was great!  Mei has a terrific space for classes and made us all feel at home with the tea and treats.  The students were fantastic – eager to learn and great chat to be had.  I always get so busy and excited during a class that I never take pictures, but I did at least take a photo of the class before it started.  It is a very prop-heavy class; I love to bring in my tools to share.  Don’t worry if you missed it – I’ve got another session scheduled for Saturday, 7th December.

That Polished Knit class

4)  I’ve had another pattern published in Knit Now magazine: the Tartan & Barleycorn Scarf.  It looks so great on the model (Fiona for Boss Models), and I’m so excited that it made it to the cover!  It was a nice Autumn project, and anything with tassels is just tops, right?  The yarn is King Cole Baby Alpaca DK, which is super cosy and soft.

Photography by Dan Walmsley

Photography by Dan Walmsley

(C) Practical Publishing

(C) Practical Publishing

Well that’s all the latest on me!  There is so much going on, I’m sure there will be another update soon.  Hope you are all having a great week and enjoying some lovely Autumn weather.

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!

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