Thursday, 8 December 2022

Westcountry Tweed Photographs

Thinking of a place to photograph the new Westcountry Tweed range at Blacker Yarns my first thought was to return to Wistman's Wood, which I last visited in the summer some two years ago. It seemed like it would be the perfect place - with the grey granite boulders, beautiful green mosses, rust-coloured bracken, and the mysterious lichen-covered twisted limbs of the tress.

As you will see it did not let me down. Wistman's Wood is one of the few high altitude oakwoods in Britain, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Last time we visited you could walk into the woodland, but there are now little signs asking that you walk around. It is such a special place, and even on a cold autumn day there were so many visitors walking up the hill to see it, that I think this is a good restriction.

My second idea was to try to photograph the wool on Dartmoor with some sheep in the background. I had really underestimated how hard this would be. To place the skeins of wool nicely in front of the sheep, who are pretty much free to roam did not work out at all. Apart from the sheep constantly running away, we also had an angry man accusing us of stealing the moss from his wall. I guess with my big bag full of wool and camera equipment I might have looked a bit suspicious. Is there really a market in moss?

So my next idea was to find some sheep in a field, where at least they would be contained. Even this was difficult, as when the sheep were fairly near, the foreshortening made them look very distant. This is actually a view across the Tamar Valley towards Kit Hill.

A second attempt near Brentor, where the sheep were a bit closer. I could not have got any of these shots without my lovely long-suffering husband hovering in the car, as I clambered across ditches and tried to balance the wool and camera in a suitable position, without scaring off the sheep.

But at the end of a long afternoon we finally found a "sheep super model". I realise I am now going to show rather too many photos, but I wanted to illustrate how this particular sheep was really interested in what I was up to, and started heading across the field to see. She also was a particularly fine looking sheep. She was so helpful that in the end I took a few photos focusing on her instead of the wool skeins.

"Did you get my good side?"

So now I just have to give some thought to the next wool, which contains bamboo. Can I get a panda to cooperate so nicely.

Sunday, 4 December 2022

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Christmas Sale is Open


The final patterns that will be included in my sale which opens today include my Christmas Bird pattern. You could make your birds fair isle, or with a sparkly wool, embroider on them, hang them or even make wire legs. There are just so many choices.

My Tiny Elf Clog pattern is one of my Christmas regulars. I used to hang these little shoes on the tree every year, but now because of my greedy dog, they have to be hung up somewhere a bit safer, as she would definitely go for the chocolate.

And the Christmas Elephant decoration. I am still backing elephants to be the new Christmas animal. Elephants are lucky, cheerful, and I really think Santa could do with a few elephants to help him with the sleigh. The pattern contains instructions for an adult and baby elephant to hang as decorations.

So just a reminder that you can purchase any of the patterns listed below at 50% off by using the code GINXMAS22. The sale runs up until Christmas Day. Just click on the names below to see the pattern, or you can look back through my posts of the last few days. The code will only work on ravelry, and once per customer, so remember to get all the patterns you need to make it a Woolly Happy Christmas!

Christmas Arctic Hare

Christmas Baby Penguin

Christmas Bird

Christmas Elephants

Christmas Polar Bear

Christmas Sand Dollar Decoration

Christmas Tree Decoration

Little Minnows


Spiral Shells


Tiny Clog Decoration

Christmas Sale Thursday

The next group of patterns that I am including in my Christmas sale are a little bit left field. The seaside themed Christmas tree decorations include - Scallop Shell, Sand Dollar, Starfish, Little Minnows, and I have included my Spiral Shell

It was 10 years ago that Mary Ann asked me to design a Christmas Sand Dollar pattern, to hang on her sister-in-law's ocean themed Christmas tree. I had a lot of fun with this design, which was helped by the real sand dollars that she sent me, which still decorate my bathroom. 

So while not completely traditional, why not have an ocean-themed tree? Tomorrow I will be showing the last group of Christmas decoration that are included in the 50% off sale, and publishing the discount code. The sale starts on Friday and continues until Christmas Day, and there will be a few more not very traditional decorations. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Christmas Sale Wednesday


Some more patterns that will be included in my Christmas sale (which opens on Friday) are my three little Arctic animals: Arctic Hare, Baby Penguin and Polar Bear

What I enjoyed about the Baby Penguin and Arctic Hare was photographing them in the frozen world of "Fluffy Dressing Gown".

The full list of patterns and discount code will be listed on Friday 25th November!

Christmas Sale

I've decided to run a sale on some of my Christmas patterns, which will open on Friday 25th November, and run until Christmas. On Friday I will publish a discount code for use on Ravelry, which will give you a 50% discount on my Christmas patterns. Over the next few days I will be showing on my blog and Instagram the patterns that will be included in the sale. 

So you will have some days to see the Christmas patterns. The code can only be used once per customer, so do remember to include everything you might want to make, and to allow yourself enough time to make any decorations before Christmas.

One of patterns that will be included in the sale is Christmas Tree Decoration. This is one of my favourite patterns, because you can use any oddments you have left from other projects to make a really stylish hanging decoration. You can also use your imagination with the decoration. It is the only pattern I ever tried out with the most advanced knitter at the primary school knitting club I ran. (I wonder if Ron continued with his knitting? He was quite a tough kid, and would sit knitting in the playground, and got no grief from the other children.) So if you know a beginner knitter, (or are a beginner yourself), who is learning how to decrease, this is an ideal pattern.

I will be posting about some more patterns that will be included in the sale tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Baby Sail Boat Hat

Another view of my new pattern - Baby Sail Boat Hat. Same cute little great nephew who was in my other photos, who came to visit and has grown a little.

Pattern is for sale on ravelry, Loveknitting and Etsy.


Saturday, 29 October 2022

Fashion Project Bag

My daughter had her eyes on a bag that I use for my knitting, to take as a project bag for college. But I didn't want to let it go, so said I would make her one of her own. Looking back at my blog it is hard to believe that I made the original bag over 10 years ago. I guess it is doing fairly well, as I use it a lot.

I was hoping to find some heavy weight denim for the new bag, but my local sewing shop didn't have this, but did have two lovely pieces of linen in the remnants bin, which were the perfect size. Like the last time I made this bag the sewing was not too difficult, and the biggest job was ironing interfacing on to every piece. I have now realised what the term "bagging out" means.

Knowing it is off to fashion college, I took a lot of care with my sewing. This time I have got the pockets the right way round, so this time it is a reversible bag. Photo below just to prove this. Last time my cat decided to have a nap in the bag, so I wonder if she will do the same with this one before I mail it off.


Lots of other lovely patterns in this book, so I may have a go at another style of bag.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Baby Sail Boat Hat

I have been busy working on the three sizes for my new sail boat baby hat. I made this pattern up for a hat for my great nephew, which you can read about on a previous post. The pattern comes with instructions for three sizes: Newborn, 3-6 Months, and 6-12 Months.

You can see all three hats together below, after they were knitted. I then spent a little while considering whether to add pompoms or not. I really love my instant pompom maker. On the second size hat I knitted a cover for a button, which I also really like, and for the largest hat a plait with a tassel (but not so long that the baby could reach or get tangled with it). 

I had my usual problem with the lack of a baby model. Secret - some of the photos above involve a grapefruit and a kitchen bowl. So here again is my lovely great nephew modelling the original version of the hat. And now to work out sizes for the babysuit, so you may not hear from me for a little while!

The pattern will be published shortly in all the usual places, ravelry LoveKnitting and Etsy, and my sample hats will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Working in a Woollen Mill

I have been a little absent from this blog for a few weeks, as I have been busy at a new part-time job working for Blacker Yarns, the retail section of The Natural Fibre Company in Launceston.

The Natural Fibre Company is a really unique woollen mill: real experts in producing wool from natural fibres, and the only woollen mill in the country that spins wool from wool and worsted fibres under one roof. So while the busy mill, with its whirrring machines is producing wool on the floor below, I am on the upper floor packing wool up for the online part of the company Blacker Yarns.

After four weeks I have learned so much, and it is really nice having work colleagues who talk about wool and knitting. I have also been allowed to use my passion for photography, and the photos for the new Shetland Coffee range were taken by me. Check out there lovely ranges of wool, all made from natural fibres on their website, and their selection of patterns, which really show off the qualities of the wools.

I really can't believe that I have been lucky enough to find a job that lets me use my real interests, knitting and photography, so you will probably be hearing a bit more about Blacker Yarns here.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Autumn Garden Diary

I spent some of today doing a few jobs in the vegetable garden. The pumpkins are still coming along, so will leave them a bit nearer to Halloween.

I am also proud to present my melon, which is still growing in the polytunnel. There is also a smaller one. They are called Melba, and I guess I will leave it a bit longer, and pick when there is sign of frost.

We picked some more apples, which although more abundant than last year, don't seem to produce as much juice. My husband has been pressing them most of the day. I suppose it is because of the dry summer, so overall I think we may end of with much the same amount of cider as last year. Still a lot more on the trees, and pears as well.

Quite a lovely day, and still some colourful wildlife to photograph.