Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Free Pattern - Vianne

I'm very pleased to announce that I am finally able to offer my new pattern for the gloves below as a free download. Please feel free to use this pattern however you wish, though please contact me before any unauthorised distribution. For those of you that do not knit or have not knitted for a while - have a go! This is an easy beginners pattern with fantastic results. Much better than a garter stitch scarf any day!

If anybody out there does knit a pair - I'd love to see some photo's!


Monday, 17 August 2009

Pure indulgence...

Well what an entirely indulgent weekend I've just had!

After taking my little babies out for a walk on saturday morning, followed by a quick blast of housework, Nathan and I decided to treat ourselves. Now, I dont pretend this isn't poncy. Indeed, I KNOW it is! But that's what makes it so enjoyable.

Nathan made a quick trip to the shops, while I pulled out all of my vintage china and laid the table. What followed was a gorgeous feast. We had a huge pot of leaf tea served in my favourite teapot and drinking out of my hand painted tea-cups. Two big plates of sandwiches - the traditional cucumber variety and some beef and mustard for a little more kick! Plus a cake-stand absolutely chocca full with slabs of rocky road, macaroons, butterfly cakes and other goodies. Some easy listening music on the stereo, the patio doors thrown open wide....it was bliss..... (And I wonder why I am the size I am.....)

After gorging myself so thoroughly that my mobility was seriously impaired, fending off the overwhelming temptation to have an afternoon nap, and succumbing to the desire to unbutton my trousers, I decided I really ought to get at loeast SOMETHING done. So I pulled out my laptop and began writing up my new pattern for Artisan Threads. I'd hoped to be able to upload it to my blog today to show you all, but it's not saved to my memory stick properly. Very frustrating. I do, however, have some pictures. So here goes. This is 'Vianne'. A beginner's pattern for simple fingerless lace gloves. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out, and I can just imagine them done in white or ivory silk for an autumnal wedding....

You'll have to excuse my chubby fingers! Unfortunately, in a male only household it is somewhat difficult to model feminine garments effectively! I just love the colours of the yarn though. This is a colourway called 'Terracotta' from Artisan Threads. It's a joy to knit with and luckily, the colours didn't seem to pool which can happen quite easily when using hand dyed yarn. If anybody is interested in purchasing this or any other yarn then please visit http://www.artisanthreads.co.uk/ On the other hand, if any of you are lucky enough to be attending 'fibrefest' in Devon this year, Gill will have a stand there so pop along and see her!

I finally finished another project that I've been working on this weekend too! I thought that this would be a gloriously simple but effective item that would take a matter of a few hours to complete. WRONG! Do you have any idea how long it takes to really encrust an area with different sized beads? I certainly didn't or I'm not sure I'd have started! It took forever! Nonetheless, I think my crocheted choker looks really striking. I've not named the item specifically, but I'm planning on doing a whole series of similar items and the line will be called the 'Geology Series'. That's because the inspiration behind the choker was the piece of rock that you can see behind it in the photographs. What do you think?

The choker is made from 100% cotton and is finished with a single vintage button. Again, the lack of a suitable model prevents me from showing you how it looks on (I was NOT about to take photographs with my hairy chest in the background!) but I can assure you that, twisted to one side, it clasps the throat perfectly and is more than comfortable to wear.

I really like this item. It's different to anything you can buy in the shops and with a simple black top it could make a real statement. Mind you, I'm something of a magpie when it comes to sparkles! I'm attracted to anything that glitters! I'm planning on putting this item for sale on my Folksy shop today. I wonder if anyone will buy it!

That was about it really in terms of crafting this weekend. Nathan did some spinning and I worked on a couple of other unfinished projects. Last week I completed the sketches for my next design and so I am just waiting to have a word with Nathan's mum to get her to send down the wool in order that I can knit the sample. I'm definitely going to start working on some men's patterns too! Honestly, men's patterns are so DULL! I know that, as a (seriously) gay man, my tastes probably differ from your average guy. I mean, I'd sooner shave all my hair off than wear a football shirt out of the house, and I don't even own a pair of trainers. Well, I don't run anywhere, so what's the point! But, why do designers assume that men, REAL MEAN RARGH, only wear shades of black, brown and blue? It drives me crazy! I'm not suggesting for a minute that we should all don paisley prints and large floral motifs every day of the week. But come on! I think that the colours we see every day can have a genuine effect on our moods. How can anyone expect to dispel the Monday Morning Blues when they are dressed for a funeral? (Although, in my office it is somewhat fitting to do so). In fact, and I know this is an extreme case, while browsing the internet last week, I came across a horrific website that was basically condemning all men that dared grow a fringe or wear shades of pink. These middle aged, utterly irrational neo-nazi's were proclaiming that men should be completely unconcerned with, entirely unaware even, of their own appearance. How outdated is that?! More to the point, the fact that this idiot felt the need to start an entire website dedicated to the issue somewhat undercut his own arguement, I thought. He was obviously painfully aware of his own appearance in comparison to others. And I bet he didn't use deodorant!!!!

On saturday night we popped over to see my friend Zola. It was a perfect evening. We fully exploited the remaining sunshine and sat in the garden late into the evening with scented candles burning and a bottle of champagne. I truly believe that in life you only find a handful of real friends and Zola is definitely one of them. She is so genuine and an amazing person to be around. Furthermore, being something of a miserable b*sta*d, it is unusual for me to find somebody that makes me have those full body convulsing fits of laughter that are so often a feature of our times together. She did tell me a hilarious story about her daughter while we were there. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it with you as she did spend the entire ten minutes that I was rolling around the decking in fits of giggles interjecting with comments about what an awful mother she is for seeing the amusing side! It's a cliche, but so many of Zola's anecdotes rely on her style for telling them and this is something that I simply cannot replicate! The upshot of this one was that, whilst out shopping, Zola asked her daughter, Francesca, to pop over and put a baking tray back on the shelf. Evidently Fran tripped and made furious sprinting motions to try and steady herself again, only to fall face first into the baking tray and slide along the laminated floor of the store. It's terrible to laugh but I can gladly report that Francesca did not do herself any serious injuries!

My indulgent weekend ended with a fabulous roast dinner. Nathan was delighted with the fact that ALL of the vegetables were organically grown on the allotment. I, on the other hand, can only get so excited about a cabbage before my interest wanes! Credit where credit is due though - Nathans baby carrots in a honey glaze were to die for! I just wish there was some way that you all could try them! Nathan's also found a gorgeous recipe for muffins that he is going to try next weekend, so it doesn't look like I'm going to be getting any thinner! I don't know if I was lucky or unlucky to end up with somebody that is so good in the kitchen!

I'll end here, but it's been fabulous sharing with you guys and I promise I'll be back before long!

M xxx