iceland

next year I am going to Iceland!!!!!

photo by kate davies

photo by kate davies

As you know, I have a love for Icelandic textiles (ahem, ahem, ahem) which I thought like some of my knitting phases would come and go BUT ever since I got into it, rather than abating the urge has grown stronger.. So, I took a deep breath and booked myself a place on one of Helene Magnuson’s knitting tours in  May 2015, this one to be exact: Spring Knitting Retreat.

photo by kate davies

photo by kate davies

I am so excited. I booked my place on Monday, and my flights from Edinburgh (the irony of flying south to go north isn’t lost on me..) the trip contains so many things I would love to do and I cant believe I will be doing them!! I’m not a big traveller and I am an especially nervous island girl but somehow, rather than being nervous about going on my own to a foreign country (either a great idea or idiotic) so I am beside myself to be going on a knitting holiday to Iceland!! I’m sure this is what knitterly people feel when they come to Shetland.

photo by kate davies

photo by kate davies

sigh.. so if you would also like to go to Iceland, I would urge you to come on this trip if you can. Luckily I have a large stash of Icelandic Wool so apart from my business knitting (I am a cushion making machine atm..) I shall spent from now til May making myself many Lopi Jumpers

Speak soon,

Ella xx

my wool week

If you read my blog you are probably interested in Shetland Textiles, so you probably knew last week was Shetland Wool Week. It is by far the busiest week of work for me and Sandra who I work in the shop at J&S with. We are pretty busy anyway but at Wool Week everything goes into overdrive! I blogged over at the J&S blog so head over there for some more in depth info as to what was on throughout the week at Jamieson & Smith. I met loads of people who told me they read my blog which is very exciting and crazy to me, and it makes me quite proud of my little old blog. So thank you to anyone I spoke to, and sorry if you spoke to me at the end of the week. On Friday afternoon one lady asked for my colour help and my brain had actually melted so I just garbled at her.. very helpful!

I was taking photos all week so I thought I’d share some of my photos.

fleeces at the Guild Teas

fleeces at the Guild Teas

Ganseys at the Shetland Museum

Ganseys at the Shetland Museum

Sandra inspecting some lace

Sandra inspecting some lace

Felicitys brilliant new book and a swatch from it

Felicitys brilliant new book and a swatch from it

speaks for itself..

speaks for itself..

amazing sewing at the Shetland Museum

amazing sewing at the Shetland Museum

look familiar? I was so excited to meet this lady who chose her colours based on Annie's Loki cardigan!

look familiar? I was so excited to meet this lady who chose her colours based on Annie’s Loki cardigan!

Samples from Gudruns Trunk Show

Samples from Gudruns Trunk Show

the middle woolstore ready for Oliver's talk

the middle woolstore ready for Oliver’s talk

Mini Hap Shawl from Gudrun's class

Mini Hap Shawl from Gudrun’s class

Gudrun's new half hap patter

Gudrun’s new half hap pattern

Mary Janes amazing sample

Mary Janes amazing samples

fleeces at the opening ceremony we took down from J&S

fleeces at the opening ceremony we took down from J&S

Fair Isle Cake

Fair Isle Cake

The shop ready and tidy

The shop ready and tidy

chunky waiting to be ransacked..

chunky waiting to be ransacked..

It was a great week, but very tiring to work I’m sure you can understand.. but I loved it! As I always do, this is my 4th Wool Week that i’ve worked at J&S and it was actually through helping at my first one that I got my job so thank goodness for Wool Week!

I am now on full scale craft fair knitting mode so things might be a bit quiet here til after it in November, although I’ll try to post when I can,

speak soon xxx

my knitwear collection

collection

I have quite a large collection of knitwear (your so surprised..) some of which I’ve never mentioned on here before, and some of it certainly doesn’t warrant an entire post BUT I thought people might like to see and its also handy for me.. to keep an eye on what I already have.. before I go wandering over to ebay.. again.I have added most of my stranded knitwear but I still have all my Lace garments to add, If it proves popular I may add all my accessories too.. who knows. So if your interested in what kind of knitwear I have please hop on over here.

Speak soon xxx

hermaness hat

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oh hey there! so on this Saturday I have made good progess on my Hermaness Hat as unfortunately I have been struck down with an infection that’s making me feel truly rubbish.. BUT silver lining and all that means I can share my progress and also some more information about Gudruns beautiful book which me and my friend Vivian were lucky enough to model for..

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if you preorder the book you get the pattern for the Hermaness Hat as an instant download to tide you over til the book comes out, so as Gudrun started a little Knit-a-long I dutifully cast on. now.. many a time you can look at a hat pattern and think its nice but not be sure if it will look the same on your head as in the pictures.. but in this case. Its my head in the pictures so I know i like it.. I would be a lot further on if it wasn’t for my sisters wedding/hamefarin etc and if in my haste I hadn’t made a mistake that meant I had to rip out half a repeat (arrgh) none the less, good progress is being made and I would love to have it finished to show Gudrun when she arrives for Shetland Wool Week.

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I decided to stick with what I had modelled and make the slouchy version, Vivian is wearing the Beret version, both which are given in the pattern, I would love to try Brooklyn Tweed Loft which the samples were made in but as it is a 4ply I decided to go for my old faithful and use 2ply Jumper Weight – anyway we JUST got in new stock of FC39 which was a discontinued shade and I thought this was the perfect chance to try it out, it is a lovely bluey green marl and I cant wait to use it in some fair isle.. but I also think it is working beautifully with a simple lace pattern to show it off..

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Gudrun has told me that the book is being printed as i type and should be ready to ship October the 6th! Which is so exciting, you can still pre-order on Ravelry and as well as a printed copy that includes an ebook of the book too, I love all of the designs and me and Vivian had a great time modelling, she is currently away on a four week trip in the USA (me, jealous? never..) so I cant wait to show her when she gets back as I will have a copy by then! We will be selling ones in J&S at Wool Week as well as Gudrun having a Trunk Show for the collection.

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You can also view a lookbook for the collection here which gives you more information about each pattern and inspirations behind it, there are ten patterns in all ranging from a lace scarf up to and aran jumper and of course some lovely fair isle and lace, something for everyone and if I could I would knit them all.. I still might.. Oh and of course the photography is beautiful which was done by Kathy Cadigan.

Thanks Gudrun for asking me and Vivian to model, I cant wait to see the finished book!

Speak soon xxxxx

autumn is on its way

hello folks, so I have had a busy couple of weeks, thank you all for your lovely comments about my birthday yoke, on here and on instagram. its much appreciated as always. I had such a bad cold on my birthday that I had to leave work after an hour so only a few saw my yoke in person but don’t worry, its getting chilly so I’ll be wearing it again soon!

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the wonders of a good instagram filter..!

the day after my birthday and still dosed in the cold I went to Edinburgh for my Sisters wedding, we were just down for a few days (one whole extra day spent in the Edinburgh airport because of mist at Sumburgh.. groan) but it was great to get away and I do like Edinburgh

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on the royal mile, where we stayed

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Dad, Annie, Mam,Karl, Magnie,Marianne, Me and Peter

so on the very day of the wedding, after the meal and everything we had a bit of time so Me, Mam,Marianne and Annie went for a wander and I ended up at my favourite vintage shop W.Armstrongs in the Grassmarket.. and surprise, surprise your thinking (not) I found some Fair Isle knitwear!

IMG_3438 I found this great all over Fair Isle jumper for only £8! Its made in acrylic (bought wirsit we would call it) so not good for naked flames but great for machine washing. It has had a lot of washing in its time so it was very bobbly, but I bought one of those jumper shaver.. things and it has come great! I think the bobbles was why it was so cheap, it just needed a bit of TLC

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I am not one for choosing browns and peaches in my own knitting but I actually love the look of this, I have always like the look of these shaded patterns which are very common in fishing communities, you often see them on Burra and Whalsay men! I’m pretty sure this would have been made for a young boy but it fits me fine so I will wear it proudly!

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I haven’t found much time for hand knitting but last week I did my part for an exciting collaboration with my knitting designer pal Kate. Her book all about YOKES (hyperventilating.. you keen I love a good yoke!) is coming out soon and she wanted to include a machine knit body for a yoke so on my knitting machine I knit her the sleeves and body of a cardigan and she is going to hand knit a yoke. Just like how I did with both my Puffins and my Fair Isle Yoke. It is how almost all yokes were and are made in Shetland. Very exciting, so Im really looking forward to seeing that.

You might not hear much from me for the next peerie while, soon is Shetland Wool Week and where I work (Jamieson & Smith) will be FILLED with knitters day and night, I will be blogging everyday over on the J&S blog so keep an eye oot. Then I will be starting my build up for the Christmas Craft Fair (i should have started already but as usual, life has gotten in the way) unfortunately that means I wont be able to take on any Crofthouse commissions til after November. :(

(hopefully) speak soon xxx

birthday yoke

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if you read Kates blog you’ll know she was up in Shetland last week on a yoke mission for her new book, of course all that looking,talking and thinking about yokes gave me the urge to make one too.. (hello to all my new followers who have found me through Kate!) a peerie while ago now I bought a a very basic chunky knitting machine off ebay for about £80. (a zippy 90 to be exact!) It was during the height of my icelandic knitting faze and I had all these ideas about the bodies I could whip up for Icelandic yokes.. In short the machine needed a new sponge bar and even when I got one its just didn’t knit very smoothly, anyhoozels I put it away for when I had more time to work with it. Last week I had no time but somehow I decided to try out some of my Lopi stash on the machine and it worked great! so over two nights I knitted up the body of a Vormorgun vest, since it was sleeveless I thought I was a good quick thing to try.

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So.. 6 days later I have a finished yoke! I used the grey and orange left over from my Strokkur, and the yellow and light grey left over from Annie’s Loki. To try and combat the loose sleeves some people seem to have in the project pages on Ravelry I provisionally cast on the sleeves then when I was finished the body I went back and knit the edgings on a size smaller needles with a few decreases before the rib. My smugness is all totally premature as I haven’t even tried it on yet (update: tried it on before I posted this, fits great!) but it is currently drying, tomorrow is my birthday so I’m hoping to wear my birthday yoke! If i do ill put a picture on instagram which you can see on the right hand side —>

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perhaps the yoke reflects the fire from how many candles will be on my cake?.. haha

speak soon xx

knitting room

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When I am busy, tired and a bit stressed (don’t know why just now but I am..) I seem to lose all my creativity. I cant seem to fully formulate ideas and I just wander aimlessly from project to project but not getting anywhere with them! I am very lucky that when my sister moved out my Mam graciously let me take over Marianne’s bedroom as my knitting room. Every morning on my way out the door this past couple of weeks my stress hasn’t been helped when I looked in my knitting room. It had got a bit messy so yesterday in my afternoon off I did a lot of tidying.

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Sometimes I think the best way to get yourself motivated is to get everything back in order again, and get things back into their place. I’m quite pleased with my knitting room as it gives me a place to have everything that inspires me in one place. Its quite a small room but I have managed to pack it full with stuff. Mainly wool…

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But also I keep some of my treasured textile possessions.. like my large collection of books..

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I just bought a dressmakers dummy, which I now see I should have done long ago, but never mind. I have begun to get slightly interested in sewing.. (oh dear, I see another addiction coming on..) but until I start pinning things on it I have decided to put my favourite bits of Fair Isle on it. This Jumper was my Granny Noelle’s and when she died I was given it. I just love all the bright colours on the black background, she used to wear it a lot and always looked fabulous in it. As she did most things, anyway I have it there now to inspire me.

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Its also the perfect place for things like this rug which was made by my Great Granny. Its just a simple latch hook rug but I love all the colours. I’ve also been able to make use of some of the things I made at college, like this foot stool which goes nicely with my rug..

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and this picture, which I made as part of my final project (the bairns, not the kitten – i got that for 20p from a charity shop!) Of course my knitting machine takes up the most room. I have it on an old rickety formica kitchen table that is definitly not stable enough but its a nice yellow colour and used to be Dads so I like it.

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By organising and tidying up then taking some nice pictures I already feel a bit more inspired!

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That cushion is another college make, crofthouses galore! I need it with that chair, I found it at the dump and I love the colour but it doesn’t half give you a sore bum sitting on it without a cushion!

Speak soon,

xxxx