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October 2011

September 2011

Woolly Hat Day 2011

As I mentioned the other day I have been knitting a bobble hat for the St Mungo's Woolly Hat Day which raises awareness of homelessness.

However, St Mungo's also features in my life already - by day I'm the group editor of Community Care a magazine and website for social care, so I'm well aware of the charity's work. So a few of the team kindly agreed to publicise the campaign before the hat was sent off to St Mungos. Who knew there were so many ways to wear a bobble hat.

Making Monday: Magazines and Shetland Glory

Sometimes I feel like I don't have much to say for Making Monday but that's probably because I'm tired from the day job which on Mondays is very focused on making a magazine. Monday is the press day - the final day pages go to the printer - for the weekly magazine I edit, Community Care.

But even so, this evening I've been working on the final graft of my first foray into Shetland lace and indeed knitting with cobweb yarn (very very fine, for the uninitiated). This is number nine of my 11 shawls in 2011 project and being me I took on a challenge producing a stole measuring 210cm by 40cm knitted on 2.25mm needles (that's very very tiny, for the uninitiated). 

Proj 055
The pattern Crowning Glory by Lucinda Guy was interesting and challenging - making bobbles in this size of yarn and needle takes concentration and determination - and the end product is glorious even if I say so myself.

Meanwhile you can find out more about other people's making at the Yarn Yard blog.


Finding my inner wrapper

Jessica Rose, who runs what seems to be rapidly becoming my home from home, the London Jewellery School, recently told me that she thought I'd really love wire wrapping. She is a great judge of character. I am totally hooked. 

A day's workshop is a big step up from the cocktail ring taster class I'd already attended but that had made me much more confident with the tools and wire.

We worked with square and d-shaped wire - often several strands at a time - and learnt how the make coils and spirals (and even our own earring wires).

We started with rings which were to some extent familiar but with far more techniques. First up was a simpler creation using two lengths of wire and some shorter parts for wraps.

  Jewel 030

But then we moved on to more elaborate creations built from four strands of square wire...

  Jewel 022

What we learnt from manipulating several strands at once we then applied for setting pendants - for which I chose a challenging shape - circles and squares are recommended - and continued to work in the stiffer silver rather than copper wire. But am really pleased with the result.

  Jewel 018

And finally we applied the setting technique to earrings - much fiddlier but a fun challenge.

  Jewel 032

Sweater from the inside out...

...well the centre to be acutrate.

I've been making Sarah Hatton's Framboise top published in The Knitter magazine.

It is basically made up from two lace squares knitted from the centre out - Such an interesting idea I cast it on almost immediately to see how it worked.

Having established I don't like magic looping with very few stitches . I cast on again on double pointed needles and then swapped to circulars as it grew.

Proj 050
Lace being lace the pieces were quite scunchy when they came off the needles so I decided to block them to size (for my own peace of mind) beforre joining and knitting the neck, arm and bottom welts. The pattern has blocking after the welts have been added.

Proj 051
A  this point I did wonder if Iwas making a giant granny square top...

...but a bit of seaming and rib welts and you have a pretty and shapely top.

Proj 053

Making Monday: Making a difference

This Monday I'm meeting up with Lauren O'Farrell of Stitch London to collect yarn for a very important orange bobble hat just like this one modelled by Martin Freeman.

Martin Freeman - Orange Woolly Hat (1)

Stitch London are making 30 of these hats to help homelessness charity St Mungos publicise Woolly Hat Day which encourages peopleto don a woolly hat on 4 November and donate to support homelessness projects.

Charity projects for knitters used to be about squares for blankets for Africa but now we can do all sort'son things. I've written before about p/hop raising money for MSF and right now it's Innocent Smoothies' Big Knit - where you are asked to knit hats for smoothie bottles which are then sold to raise money for Age UK

There are always ways where making can now help to amke a difference.It's a matter of keeping your eyes open for opportunities to to do something you love and help at the same time.