Fair Isle Knitting and Curling

Keeping my knitting needles crossed for our GB Curling teams. I’ve been hand knitting a Fair Isle cardigan whilst following the Curling – both traditional Scottish pastimes.

Fair Isle Cardian

 

 

 

 

Good  luck Team GB xx

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Killers have never been this close-knit

Sightseers 2012 (Dir. Ben Wheatley)

This film has been on my “must watch” list since its release in 2012 and last night I finally got to see it! I was anticipating another quirky comedy from director Ben Wheatley and wasn’t disappointed, but what a surprise to find that I had a little something in common with one of the lead characters.

“If the caravans a rockin’, don’t come knocking.” This one liner from British movie Sightseers, written by co-stars Alice Lowe and Steve Oram is a great clue to what’s in store for the viewer. Yes, there was raunchy stuff a-plenty, but far more importantly for me; there were lots of wonderful knitting references throughout the film. Sightseers was released to fairly mixed reviews – movie bloggers either loved it or rather unfairly slated it as being very juvenile. It wasn’t perfect, but I found myself hooked once it became apparent that Tina, the female lead character, was an avid knitter!

Don’t bother seeking out this low budget British movie if you don’t like very dark comedy – think Fast Show meets Natural Born Killers, add a splash of Woman’s Weekly (circa 1968) or Elizabeth Zimmerman and you will be somewhere close to understanding what’s in store.

If you are in any way squeamish (there’s a lot of brutal killing involved), are offended by filthy language, or squirm at graphic sexual references (there’s plenty of both), then fast-forward to the knitting bits, they are worth spotting. Err, having said that, the knitting bits and the sex and violence were rather inextricably linked. The first taster came in a flash back to how Tina’s beloved dog “Poppy” met its maker – a stark warning not to leave your giant knitting needles on the sofa!

There were plenty of knitted knick-knacks in the film – both on show in their touring caravan and at Tina’s mother’s house. However, my favourite knitted piece by far had to be the wonderful woolen split crotch bikini pants, which Tina had made especially for her first holiday with new boyfriend Chris, for when they were in the mood for a “mint”.

There were moments in the film where Tina was seen knitting something featuring a yellow triangle motif, which turned out to be a sweater for her beloved Chris. She was obviously a very prolific knitter as she had it finished in time for Chris to wear in the brilliant final scene filmed at Ribblehead Viaduct, which (spoiler alert!) was a bit of a nod to road movie Thelma and Louise.

Popular literature and culture have given us many famous knitters; Madame Defarge of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities fame has to be my all-time favourite, but this film has given us a new malevolent knitter in the shape of Alice Lowe’s character Tina.

Welcome to the knitters’ Hall of Fame, Tina. Keep the skills alive!

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Knitting Masterpieces Archive 1

photo 1

I’ve been revisiting my pattern archives and yesterday came across the original, hand-drawn chart for the Mona Lisa sweater featured in my first book “Knitting masterpieces”. I’m so pleased that I have kept this piece as I love the fact that I have scribbled the calculations and notes around the pencil crayon drawing – it’s a real working drawing.

Discovering this piece also took me back to how the original idea for this sweater was borne out of a challenge from the late Paula Yates. I was invited to have dinner with Paula at my friend Karen Manner’s flat in Maida Vale; Karen was a fashion PR and wife of singer songwriter BA Robertson and since leaving fashion school I had been commissioned by BA to knit him an array of intricate intarsia sweaters for TV and film appearances. With her music biz connections, Paula fell in love with the Beatles Abbey Road album cover sweater, which I had knitted for BA – it was particularly hilarious. After a couple of glasses of wine, I found myself rising to the challenge to knit the Mona Lisa; I started working on the chart the following day (no doubt nursing a proper hangover) “Knitting Masterpieces” was great fun to write, in part because Karen organised for the knitwear to be modelled by celebrities. Paula was pregnant at the time of the photo shoot, so the Mona Lisa sweater was modelled by a friend of mine, a little known, jobbing actress called Michelle Collins…… the Mona Lisa sweater story continues.

Paula Yates 1959 -2000.  British TV presenter, writer, mother and a great laugh. RIP.

 

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The Knitted Great Escape

To mark the 50th anniversary of the original film release, K1P1.com in association with Baker-bunch present Knitted Steve McQueen in The Knitted Great Escape. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as our hero rides to the Swiss border on his trusty Crochet Triumph TR6 pursued by Airfix German soldiers. The thrilling chase takes Knitted Steve McQueen across a knitted mountainous landscape with stunning views of Switzerland scrawled in marker pen on the backdrop. Then what happens next is part of movie history………….

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K1P1 TV Feedback

I’m pleased to report that the response to the K1P1 TV videos has been really positive.

Here is just one of the comments posted for the “How to Knit Intarsia – Part 1″.

“This is the first video explaining Intarsia that I’ve actually understood. ^_^;; Very clear instructions, and I love how you show exactly what you’re doing and explain. Thank you very much for posting this! ”

Thank you for your support and look out for more technique demonstrations very soon.

Happy Knitting and Keep the Skills Alive!

 

Intarsia Sweater design by Ruth Herring

 

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How to Knit Decrease stitches Part 1 skpo k2tog p2tog p2togtbl k1p1TV

Hand knitting designer, author and lecturer Ruth Herring demonstrates how to work decreases using the skpo, k2tog, p2tog and p2togtbl stitch methods. K2tog and p2tog are used when the decreased stitches are to lean to the right and skpo and p2togtbl to lean to the left. The demonstration will help you to identify the best stitches to use for your garment shaping to create a neat and professional finish.

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How to Knit Increases Part 1 M1 M1P k1p1 TV

Hand knitting designer, author and lecturer Ruth Herring demonstrates how to work increases using the M1 and M1P stitch methods. The neatest way to work increases, these stitches can be worked anywhere within a knitted piece. Perfect for producing neat sleeve shaping or fully-fashioned fitted garments like socks. Check out our Toe Up Sock patterns Cabled Ankle Socks and Stripey Socks.

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How to Stitch Knitting Part 2 Kitchener stitch k1p1 TV

Hand knitting designer, author and lecturer Ruth Herring demonstrates how to join Stocking Stitch knitting using the Kitchener stitch method. Kitchener stitch is used for grafting two pieces of knitting to create an invisible join, which looks like a continuous piece of work as with Pixie Hat with Pompoms. It is also a perfect method for joining Bulky/Chunky shoulder seams.

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How to Stitch Knitting Part 1 Mattress Stitch k1p1 TV

Hand knitting designer, author and lecturer Ruth Herring demonstrates how to join Garter Stitch and Stocking Stitch seams using the Mattress stitch method. Mattress stitch is worked from the right side of the work and once mastered will produce seamless looking projects. It is the method of choice for joining Fair-Isle and other patterned work as the row ends can be matched to create a continuous looking piece of knitting. Perfect for those not confident at working in the round.

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How to Knit Cables Part 2 Rib Cable k1p1 TV

Hand knitting designer, author and lecturer Ruth Herring demonstrates how to knit different Cable stitches. In part 2, learn how to work Ribbed Cable stitches; T5KPB (5st rib cable to Right) and T5KPF (5st rib cable to Left). Both are featured in the pattern Cable Rib Hat with Ears and are knitted using a cable needle.

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