Circular shawl made into parasol
I have trouble wearing any kind of shawl and looking as cool as the models on the pattern.
Here's a very different idea for a circular shawl, carry it in the form of a parasol.
The pattern is Lady of the Lake by Lotta Groeger and in her blog post she includes instructions for making the parasol (it's easier than you think!)
Venus de Milo by Sara Elizabeth Kellner
This beautifully-knitted figure is by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner and is available as a pattern from Ravelry.
She's worked mostly in the round, and mostly in one piece using short rows.
By coincidence, I reported in Hand Spinning News of May last year a reconstruction of the statue based on the idea that she was using her arms for drop-spinning yarn.
Coffin route blanket laid to rest on Black Mountain in Brecon Beacons
This twenty foot circular Cwtch blanket weighs 8kg was knitted by Swansea artist Ann Jordan from 12 miles of yarn from local Black Mountain sheep, it took 1,500 hours of knitting.
The work was lain in an ancient burial cairn on the walking route known as the 'coffin route'. It marks the textile history of the area and has been sewn with heather seends to help to conserve the peat as the wool returns to the land from which it came.
Training with David Babcock, the Knitting Runner
Last year David Babcock set a Guinness record for knitting the longest scarf while running a marathon. (How many have even tried?) As if that wasn't hard enough he knitted the words 'I'll remember for you' into the scarf.
This year he's running two marathons. One while crocheting a doily and one while crocheting flowers.
Lion Brand interview David about his endeavours.
Minimum number of stitches for various circular needle sizes
Avoid the stretch! This chart has been shared so much that it's difficult to know who to credit for making it. (Thank you if it was you.)
A very useful resource to bookmark, save or pin.
Why Don't I Have A Knit Sheath?
Knit sheaths are rarely used these days, although I do know people who anchor the working needle under one arm (requires a long needle).
The sheath is fastened to a belt or somehow to the body and holds the needle so that the right hand is free to throw the working yarn while the left hand moves the left needle against the fixed right one.
Jenn takes a look at the history, some ancient sheaths and the Terrible Knitters of Dent.
32 cool yarnbombings
It seems that yarnbombing won't go away.
Here's a collection of 32 examples. Some are clever, some are amusing, some are wacky, some are cute.
Old yarn labels
By her own admission , Jenn is a "a sentimental squish-squish"
Prompted by a mention of 'virgin acrylic' and wondering what that meant and whether she had any, she's been going through some very old yarn (77 cents anyone?) and has taken these pictures for us to enjoy.
Do you remember any of these?
Blossom and Yarn
Teams of knitters began creating 4-inch squares in early 2014 and under Lois Gill, these have been sewn together to create six scenes consisting of lifesize characters, flowers, food and other colourful objects.
Each rural Norfolk church hosted a different event; Easter, wedding, harvest, remembrance, Christmas and baptism.
The displays were amazing, but only on display for three days, leaving only memories and photographs. Thanks to josiekitten for taking so many fabulous photos of each scene.
NHS could soon prescribe home improvements and knitting
In an effort to make the NHS more radical and ambitious, the government is considering 'social prescribing' to ease pressure on the service, such as insulation for those having trouble keeping their homes warm and knitting groups to tackle problems such as depression.
Make it modular and make it manageable
This heirloom afghan is a huge four feet by six. There is no patter, stitches were chosen from a stitch dictionary.
It would be almost impossible to make in one piece, but easy in strips or sections and sewn together, as this was. Lisa Shroyer discusses the options.
Sculptures using leaves and crochet
These images have done the rounds of the social media but in case you've not seen them yet...
Susanna Bauer blends fragility and strength. She uses crochet with found natural objects, often overlooked.
Explore the 'work' menu on her site for more leaves, stones and wood.
With thanks to Knithacker for sharing.
Look Who's Knitting
Here's a great collection of pictures of celebrities, past and present, engaged with needles and yarn, some staged, some genuinely.
With thanks to Wool and the Gang. Link doesn't require Facebook login.
Photos from The Gnome Genome Project
I love Anna's tiny knitted world so much. The little gnome has become her trademark, so it's no surprise that she's chosen it as the theme for her solo art show, The Gnome Genome Project in Seoul.
In this blog post, she gives us a large number of pictures from the preview and they really are a delight.
Guinness World Record for largest crochet blanket
The "67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela" group have stitched together 6700 blankets, knitted, crocheted or quilted, to set a new record for the area covered by a blanket.
The event marked Mandela Day. The blankets, which covered 3133 square metres, will now be distributed to the needy.
With thanks to Knithacker for sharing.
Jamieson's of Shetland
If this picture raises your pulse then you'll love this podcast episode in which Louise of KnitBritish visits Jamieson's of Shetland (not to be confused with Jamieson and Smith).
She discusses with Garry and Lizzie the history of their family business (Garry is fifth generation), the refurbished shop and 100% shetland yarn of the present and the future.
A brief history of crochet
Have you recently learned to crochet? You're in good company, it was number 3 in Google's most popular how-to searches of 2014.
Wool and the Gang have compiled this wonderful walk-through of crochet from Victorian (that's Her Imperial Majesty busy making a doily in the picture) through to today. It includes the stylish, the ridiculous and the mind-boggling.
Franklin Habit, self-confessed curmudgeon and knitting evangelist is well worth following. He's very witty and will provide a smile when you need one. Here's an enjoyable project - you've seen cats and dogs being shamed but what about when the yarn misbehaves?
Knitpro's Dreamz needles are colour-coded for size, which is really helpful.
Valérie has personalised these regular bamboo needles using sharpie pens and a bit of something to seal the colour. You could devise your own system for denoting the different sizes!
A treasured gift
These little flowers are details from a "wee knitted hoose".
Kate Davies has been in touch with the Royal Edinburgh Repository and Self Aid Society - also known as the Treasure Trove - for many years. After speaking at their recent AGM, they presented her with this gift which was made by a society member.
Click through for some close up pictures of the beautiful work.
What made you fall in love with knitting?
What made you fall in love with knitting? Cotton and Cloud shows us the amazing book which turned her onto knitting.
A fascinating idea; a story book combined with patterns (some looking deviously difficult!)
No yarns of danger could deter this old lady
This lovely story from a 1908 New York Times tells the story of one knitter's stand against Health and Safety.
With thanks to the Knitty Blog for sharing
The Queen's colour-chart
This amazing chart shows The queen's outfits sorted by colour and shows which is clearly her favourite colour.
Thanks to http://www.facebook.com/WeLoveWool for sharing. "Lots of wool outfits in there too!!" they say.
Stainless steel yarn
Have you used stainless steel yarn?
Minniemoll has given it a go and says that it's fun and that you can shape the finished item.
Here she writes her thoughts about how to avoid the 'chain mail' look and knitting straight from the cone.
How to spin and knit this shawl in ten days
One of my own blog posts, I'm very proud of this project.
I managed to spin and knit this shawl in 10 days of the Olympics, leaving time for some WIP wrestling.
Here are the details and lots of photos.
Blogpick: a traditionally constructed Haapsalu Shawl
Jobo Designs has made her first Haapsalu Shawl - knit as a rectangle with a separate border seamed on.
The result is a rectangular shawl with beautifully rounded corners.
Despite being a slightly larger yarn than called for, it fits through her wedding ring.
Click through for more pictures and information.
Hand Carved Crochet Hooks
Knitsnthings has a new look to her blog but she's being just as crafty as ever.
Wanting to do something with a dead branch from her pear tree, she's learned to carve crochet hooks which look cute and work well.
Many knitters are frightened of reading a chart for the first time, but when you know a few basic rules, they're not scary at all, says Anniken Allis.
She gives us an easy-to-understand but comprehensive tutorial which will help you to knit more quickly by following the chart rather than written instructions.
Bigger on the Inside
Thanks to Knitty Blog for reporting this wonderful 'knitting meets Dr Who moment'.
Knitter and Doctor Who Fan Lisa Pinedo made this 'Bigger on the Inside' shawl and wore it to a convention. She made a spontaneous decision to give it to actress Karen Gillan (Amy Pond). She says it was "tough parting with it" but she now has this amazing photograph.
Bigger on the Inside is a free shawl pattern from Knitty.
Bride knits her own dress
Lydia Tayler and Ash Pears went budget on their wedding in order to save money for a house, but Lydia still looks a million dollars in this beautiful dress that she knitted herself.
She spent four months knitting and says, "everyone just loved it. They could not stop looking at it and taking photographs"
She adds, "'If someone else was considering knitting their own dress, I'd tell them to go for it."
With thanks to VonnieS for sharing
Fair Isle nail art
These detailed Fair Isle nails were one of the finalists of a competition held by Motel Rocks earlier in the year.
Kokoro says that they'd be perfect at Christmas.
With thanks to Rosy Retro for sharing
Crocheted wedding dress
In another wool wedding dress, crochet this time, Lucy looked lovely in this dress which was crocheted by her grandmother for her mother in 1973.
Many thanks to The Creative Crochet Crew for the news.
25 ways to wear a scarf
If you find yourself stuck for the best way to wear a scarf, or if you've seen a photo that made you wonder "how did she put that on?" then this video may help.
Wendy demonstrates 25 ways to wear scarves and shawls and she has made the video in a very clever way.
After you've watched the video, do have a look at this slightly less serious take on the same subject shared by We Love Wool.
Blogpick: Joyuna's Lazy Katy
One of my favourite finished objects recently, Joyuna says that this pattern was unbelievably quick and easy to knit but more difficult to block.