Thursday, 29 November 2012

Feeling all Christmassy!

I had another lovely day at Manfield Crafts in Rushden yesterday with a group of 11 lovely knitters, shop owner Emma and her trusty assistant Deborah. I have said before how lovely the shop is and how great Emma is at making all her yarns and projects look scrumptious. Walking into the shop yesterday was like walking into a knitters Christmas wonderland. I knew already that it was bound to be lovely in there this time of year and of course it did not disappoint. Emma has lovely knitting kits for all things Christmassy, including knitted wreath and bauble kits, heart kits and even a lovely knitted Angel kit. If you’re looking for gifts for friends who knit, or fancy treating yourself in advance of all the hard work that needs to be done over the festive season, then look no further than Emma’s shop!

One of my workshop attendees had brought along her version of my LOVE panel, which was one of the projects in the 2012 Bead Club run by Steve at Debbie Abrahams beads. It’s always lovely to see the projects that people make and it makes me very proud when I see my designs reproduced. Shelagh made her panel into a cushion and I think it is so great that I am going to have to make myself another one!! There are still places left on the bead club, so if you would like to make the LOVE panel along with the other exclusive beaded knit projects then check out Steve’s web site by clicking here.

I had been invited along to tutor a Christmas knitting workshop, so I took along a small project for the group to do in the shape of a Fairisle Christmas Cracker. I had a great group of knitters, many of them already knew each other, but not all of them had tackled the Fairisle technique before. Because the pattern was designed in a way that did not need large amounts of weaving in, I managed to get a lot of the group to try the two handed Fairisle method, where a single shade of yarn is held and knitted from each hand. If you can crack this technique it makes things so much easier, especially when working in the round.

Inspired by Debbie’s Norwegian bag project, which my group made on the Norway cruise a few weeks ago, this small Christmas cracker is made in double knitting yarn and is the perfect introduction to learning Fairisle. By the end of our workshop day, half the group at least had completed their pieces ready to head home and wrap around their Smartie chocolate tubes. The cracker would make a great tree decoration, a small gift or a table favour.

If you would like to knit the cracker you can download the free pattern here

You will need:
Approx 25g DK yarn in cream and black
Small amount DK yarn in red – enough for 4 rows
3.25mm needles
4mm needles
Knitters Sewing Needle
Approx 80cm ribbon

Note: the tension on the piece is tight so that the Fairisle keeps neat and sturdy.

After a great day with lots of lovely knitters I endured the delights of roadworks on the M1 on my journey back and arrived home 2 and a half hours later, more than a little hot under the collar (journey should have taken hour and a half tops!), but look what delights had made their way into my bag to perk me up on my return home! Cant wait to get stuck into this lovely Rico cotton - my goodness the shades are just so scrumptious!