Kaffe Fassett at the American Museum in Britain, Bath

Thursday was an exciting day for us at work last week.  We were heading to the preview day at the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at The American Museum in Bath, and we were all a little excited! We took the free shuttle bus from Bog Island in town and made our way up to Claverton Manor, which houses the main museum. It was a lovely day which was brightened still by the sight of 350 lanterns and pom-poms decorating the huge yew tree outside the building where Kaffe’s exhibition was taking place.

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As we entered the main space, we were dazzled with wall to wall colour and flower garlands over the door to the exhibition, where you can see Kaffe himself stood in the photo below.

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Kaffe’s collection is stunning, and spans his 50 year career.  Displaying paintings, tapestries, quilting and knitting, this show is on until the 2nd November and is a must see for any textile or knitting fans.

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Kaffe was animated and excited by the exhibition, where the space has been transformed into what he described as something a lot like his studio at home.

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“This is the grandest show of my career – every item is part of an intricate opera of colour. I have always wanted this approach to my work, but other museum designers and curators have steered me to a rather mixed approach in my exhibitions. This show is so unique to me because it explains in a visceral way my growing obsession with the power of colour. This show is closer to my desires than ever before in my many, many presentations around the world.”

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Kaffe has been associated with The American Museum in Britain for many years, and the main museum is showing some line drawings he created of the period rooms there during his visit in 1964, which have never been publicly displayed before, as well as quilts and tapestries from their permanent displays.

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Entrance to the exhibition is free with a ticket to the main museum, which costs around £9 for adults.  Full details can be found at theamericanmuseum.org.

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Crochet, Fabric, Fashion, Handmade, Knitting, Sewing, Yarn | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Love a good blanket!

Oops, I’ve fallen out of blogland again.  I think I might just have to accept that just happens sometimes! I’ve been so busy on the old making front recently I’ve forgotten to make any posts about any of it.

Some of you may have seen these pics on instagram, but for the rest of you, I thought I’d share!

Recently I’ve been working on some designs for The Knitter and Simply Knitting, which I can’t post about, but in my spare time, and to change the motion my wrists are doing, I’ve been doing a lot of crochet.  3 blankets have been started.

  Blanket #1:

I actually began this blanket over a year ago I think, the yarn is from a crazy stash of tiny single skeins I was given (you can see it in all it’s entirety here, scroll down to the bottom.) I dipped back into it a couple of months ago, and just seeing all the squares sitting together is enough inspiration to carry on.

However, I then got distracted by this,

Blanket #2

I’d had the urge to do a ripple stitch blanket for ages, and I love the monotony of it, and the fact I don’t need to think about colours, just keep going blindly whilst watching a good show. Like House of Cards, which I’m a bit stuck on at the moment!

The yarn is something I brought back from Zakopane in Poland, I found an old lady selling a lot of huge skeins (you can see in the top photo) of this scratchy handspun stuff for next to nothing – I think it cost me the equivalent of £18 for 3 kilos.  I made my friend Matt carry it back in his suitcase, as it wouldn’t fit in mine, and I’ve had it sitting around for the best part of 6 years.

Blanket #3

We had a small problem with moths recently and it led me to having a proper look through my stash.  I had so much Erika Knight Vintage Wool, but not enough to make anything big for me in a colourway I wanted to use.  I like the purple, but I don’t need any more purple clothing right now.

It feels so soft and luxurious I decided to cast on (is it called casting on in crochet?) a third blanket.  First I made this square, which worked up quickly and provided instant gratification.

Then obviously I just had to make more! One square can be made in just a couple of hours, so this blanket won’t take too long at all.  It’s going to go on our bed, I can visualise it there already, which spurs me to keep going at it.  I love all these colours together and can’t wait until it’s finished.

And lastly, I upcycled this ring on Sunday! I had the button lying around for ages, it’s from a bracelet made up of a few of them, but my skinny wrists meant I had to take one off.  I had one of those “ta da!” moments and decided to sew it onto a ring.  Love it!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Crochet, Handmade | Tagged | 5 Comments

February resolutions

It happens every year, January comes around and I think “I must get on top of my blog posts this year!” But then life gets in the way and I seem to totally forget about it.

I’ve noticed a lot of my recent posts have just been about new pattern releases, which always seems the obvious thing to talk about, when really there is so much more to say! It’s just sitting down and finding the time.

Last week, for instance, saw my modelling debut (socks and hands don’t count!) for The Knitter. I had the full hair and make-up treatment by the lovely Charlottle Foster-Brown, who made me feel very glamorous, and modelled a beautiful shawl by Anniken Allis. I wish I could have taken it home with me. I can’t show those photos yet as it would be giving things away, but I do have a couple of iphone pics:

Also I was one year older last week! It’s not so great to admit that anymore.. but with each year comes more wisdom, direction and confidence, and that is no bad thing! Plus it means my other half will go out and buy me things like this, so I’m not complaining!

 

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Holiday!

We went on holiday to Sri Lanka over Christmas and New Year and I managed to not only completely stop knitting (it was too hot) but I don’t think I even talked about knitting or work either.  To those of you that don’t know me, or the office I work in, that may not seem like such a big deal, but the subject and the craft itself probably take up around 85% of my waking life. Youch!

I didn’t expect it to happen but it was actually really lovely.  I rediscovered books, lying in the sun doing nothing and did a lot of people watching as everything was just so different. Who would have thought that relaxing could be so enjoyable!

Here are a few holiday snaps in case you’re not jealous yet:


Tuk-tuking..


A baby water buffalo! I love this pic.  We went on a safari around Uda Walawe National Park and I couldn’t stop snapping away.  There are so many photos, just getting down to these few was tough!


Our paradise beach in Polhena – that’s our balcony looking over the sea on the top right.  We stayed here for 5 nights over Christmas and New Year.


Probably the best sunset I’ve ever seen, from the beach at Polhena


Coconuts!  We found this stand at a moment of dehydration, like it had just popped up just for us.  The guy who sold them to us took this picture of us – one of the first ones we have in the four years we’ve been together that we actually both like!


We stayed on an old tea estate called Samakanda, in the old tea planters cottage.  These tea pluckers were out every Wednesday collecting bags of tea leaves. Later we  went for a visit visit to the tea factory and saw the whole process from start to finish, which was really informative (and delicious!)


Monkeys at Rawana Falls!  We stopped here on the way up to Ella to look at the waterfall, but I was a little over-excited to see monkeys so tame.  I know it’s a bad thing, as they’re fed by the tourists and will start to rely on it, but it was still a novelty to see them with their corn on the cobs!


The train journey to Kandy – this is supposed to be one of the best train journeys in the world, and I took about 100 photos to prove it.  Crammed in like sardines, we were lucky to get a window seat, where I proceeded to snap for the entire 7 hours. Tea plantations, mountains, rivers, the views were amazing.


Dambulla Buddha Caves


Beautiful original batiks at Jayamali Batiks, Kandy.  I should have
asked him to pose with the one we bought!


Just before climbing Siguriya


Breakfast by the sea!

Three weeks after our return, life is very much back to normal.  Except of course the things I need to catch up on at work and the designs I need to actually start working on..  That will be another post!

* There are another 490 photos over at flickr.com/fayetuesday!

Posted in Holidays, Photography | 1 Comment

Fair Isle Hat Pattern in The Knitter 67

Apologies to my regular readers for my lack of posts lately, we were on holiday for 4 weeks over Christmas and I couldn’t get the WordPress app to work on my phone!

Issue 67 of The Knitter was released on the 7th Jan and features my new hat design, Kolka.  I even made it onto the cover!

I was inspired to make this hat by traditional Scandinavian techniques and began looking at different ways to work the head band.  I settled on the Latvian Braid, which is fun to make and looks really effective.  There is a masterclass in this issue of The Knitter on how to achieve this.

The hat is knitted in the round on 3.5mm needles using 4 different shades of Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino DK.

The braid is snug around the ears, and because the rest of the hat is worked using the Fair Isle technique, the hat is double-layered and really warm.  Instructions are given for both a slouch hat (pictured) and a shorter beanie style hat for those who prefer.

Also featured in Issue 67 is a gorgeous jumper by Sasha Kagan, a tweedy aran cardigan by Linda Parkhouse and an amazing elephant cardigan by Martin Storey – all things I would like to knit when I get the time!

You can order your copy online at myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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Fair Isle Mittens pattern in Simply Knitting 115

Here is the second of my patterns published in the new issue of Simply Knitting, available on the 6th December. These mittens are seriously cosy, knitted in Blacker Swan Falkland Islands wool DK, which sooo soft! The pattern came about by mistake when I was charting an old vintage chevron pattern and messed it up, so I flipped it over and ended up with this.

Simply Knitting 115, Fair Isle DK© Philip Sowels Future Publishing

The pattern is a simple two-colour Fair Isle design which is fun to create.  The mittens are knitted in the round, increasing for the thumb, which is then added on afterwards.  The pattern is charted  clearly and is available in 3 sizes – Women’s Small-Large and Men’s large.

Simply Knitting 115 Fair Isle© Philip Sowels and Future Publishing

Simply Knitting issue 115 (January 14) is available on the 6th Dec (in all good newsagents!) and also contains my slip-stitch “Cute Cabled Socks” pattern. You can also purchase the magazine online it at myfavouritemagazines, where it will be available for 6 months, or as a digital issue from iTunes or Zinio.

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Cabled Socks Pattern in Simply Knitting 115

I’ve got two patterns in the new issue of Simply Knitting, so I’ll start with these cabled socks, which appear in the free supplement.

Knitted in Rowan Fine Art, I played around with cable slip stitch patterns to show of the variegation of the yarn.

Simply Knitting 115 supplementPhoto © Philip Sowels Future Publishing

The pattern is easy to learn as the repeat is only 4 rows, which make these socks a great tv knitting project.  They are worked top down on 2mm needles, the ribbing designed to flow nicely into the pattern.

Simply Knitting 115 supplementPhoto © Philip Sowels Future Publishing

This yarn is scrummy to work with – 45% wool, 20% mohair, 10% silk and 25% polyamide, making these socks really soft and cosy! I love how each of the slipped stitches shows up as a different colour.

Simply Knitting issue 115 (January 14) is available for £4.99 on the 6th Dec (in all good newsagents!)  You can also purchase online it at myfavouritemagazines, where it will be available for 6 months, or as a digital issue from iTunes or Zinio.

The mittens in the top right corner of the mag are also my design – I’ll be posting about them tomorrow!

Posted in Knitting Patterns, Simply Knitting | 2 Comments

Hat KAL in Fyberspates Ravelry group

I’m a bit late in posting this, but there is a KAL featuring two of my hat designs in the Fyberspates group on Ravelry.  There’s still time to join, and you could win a skein of Fyberspates Vivacious DK!

Lace Fyberspates DKGwithian

The options are the recently published DK weight Gwithian, from issue 63 of The Knitter, which is still available to purchase as a back-issue here.   Or if you prefer, you can knit Autumn Gold in Vivacious 4ply.  Knitters taking part in the KAL can purchase this pattern at 25% off until the 30th November.  Details are in the thread!

Autumn Gold Lace Slouch HatAutumn Gold

Get hat knitting for Christmas!

 

 

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On my needles..

Currently I’m still fixing my Twist Collective cardigan, which although it’s simple it just hasn’t grabbed me recently.  I haven’t picked up my “Sunshine Shawl” in a few weeks either, but seem to be quite content knitting around in circles for a bottom up seamless sweater I’m kind of designing as I go.  About 40% of me is tempted to rip it out and make a fitted cardigan instead but we’ll see.

I’ve also designed some socks for Simply Knitting, but you’ll have to wait a while to see them!

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