My love of mountains, trees and steam trains comes together on the BRB! This narrow gauge track goes up the Rothorn from the lakeside town of Brienz. Almost all the engines are steam – little engines which push the two coaches up the mountain.
Today was s’posed to be an easy day, but I still seemed to pack a lot in!
I started off to go up the Harder Kulm Funicular. I have been to Interlaken many times, but I have never done this one before. On my way I had to cross the River Aare, and had a good view of my hotel.
It was a tiny space crammed full of all sorts of yarns – a wonderful collection.
When I have a pattern in a magazine, I put all the files in a folder ready to put out in my format under my name later. Recently I found a couple that I thought I had already put out. I hadn’t – but I have now!
The first is the Dotty Hat and Collar. This was in Knit Edge a while ago.
It is knitted in Cascade Superwash 220, but works with other DK yarns. The lace trim is worked first, then the crown is picked up and knitted upwards. The hat can be worn with the brim up, or with it down. There are four sizes to fit from toddler to adult, and as it is knitted in garter stitch, it is very stretchy, and each size will accommodate a variety of heads.
The collar is the first one I knitted in the wedge shape I have used several times since. It is knitted from the tip, and can be stopped at the end of any repeat of the lace edging. As large holes make up the pattern, any of these can be used to fasten the collar, so it can be worn in a variety of different ways. The fastening I have used is two buttons back-to-back, so they can be moved anywhere, or not used at all.
The second pattern is the Sharks Tooth Crescent Shawl. This was in The Knitter a while ago, and is made up in Fyberspates Cumulus, a haloed lace weight. Other suitable yarns include Rowan Kid Silk Haze, or many 4 ply yarns.
This is knitted from tip to tip. Although the pattern has only one size, it is easy to adjust the size by working more or fewer lace repeats on the increase/decrease section, or the straight section, or both.
The weather has been awful this spring and summer. Cold and very wet. But there have been a few nice days, and some interesting skies. These are a few photos taken on my everyday dog walks.
One walk takes us along a track running above the harbour. The nearer pier is used by commercial boats while the link span (for the ferry) is the one further back.
I had visitors one day, and the ‘guns’ were very popular!
The weather hasn’t always been bad. One evening we went out quite late and the Highland cattle were grazing close to the path.
Northern Lace Press’s book of World War 1 knitting patterns has been nominated for Best British Knitting Book in the Best of British Knitting Awards 2015.
It is a huge honour to have been nominated, especially as the book was published by a small press, not one of the major players.
But now we need your help!
The award is voted for by members of the public. That means YOU (and all your friends!)
Over 100 people were involved with the project, putting in thousands of hours work. It would be great if we could make a good showing.
To vote, click here. You need to vote for other categories too, but that should be easy enough! Jamison and Smith were one of the companies who gave us yarn for the project, so a vote for them would not go amiss!!
I would be very grateful if you would vote, and tell all your friends and relations about it. If you haven’t seen the book, there are more details on the Northern Lace Press website here. Thank you.
The last day for voting is 5th September.
Finally, my new book is available for pre-order! On the Northern Lace Press website.
As some of you know, this book has been in the pipeline for a good while. I started by collecting the patterns for mini shawls from all over my computers. I then realised that, with a bit more work, I had the makings not just of a booklet, but of a book. Over the past few months I have been making the additional shawls to make the collection as complete as possible. I have been helped in this by two knitters from my Ravelry group – Su Lambert and Jenny Vowles – and by Elly Doyle. Su knitted the Pi Shawl; Jenny knitted the Orenburgh shawl and Elly knitted the Wedge Circle. I am very grateful to them, to Patricia Williams for hand-spinning the yarn for the coloured square, and to Judith Brodnicki for doing the page design.
As well as using mini shawls for workshops on the regional traditions, I have used them for workshops on the different shapes of shawl. I split the shapes into three families – triangles, squares and circles. The book gives examples of the main methods of working for all these shapes. Many of them can be made larger fairly simply, and the book gives suggestions of how to do this. Empty charts of the different shapes are also given, so you can copy these to create your own versions.
Here are pictures of some of the shawls in the book.
“Over the years, Liz has delighted students with the use of mini shawls to teach the construction of shawls. For the first time, knitters unable to travel to Orkney for Liz’s workshops can enjoy her shawl lessons along with many other techniques and styles designed specially for this book.”
This book includes
• Mini shawls of all shapes and a variety of constructions
• Points from the pro for finishing
• Instructions on how to resize most patterns to be full-size shawls
• Blank charts for designing your own
• Extra patterns for practicing your new skills
96 pages, 27 patterns, full colour throughout
See photos of all the designs, errata that we know about, and order the book here.
May has not been a good month for me. I am sorry for the silence, but for the past 5 weeks I have had a chest infection which will not go. (Yes, doctors etc are involved!)
There have been signs of spring. Some signs, like the lambs. These are pure Shetlands which live free range on West Hill.
The Skuas have also returned. These are large sea birds which breed on the island. The Arctic Skua is the smaller of the two main breeds. It comes in two forms – light phase and dark phase – and both breed here. This is a light phase Arctic Skua on the nest.
The Great Skuas are known locally as Bonxies. They are big birds which prey on smaller ones. One result of this on Flotta is a smaller number of Eider Duck, as the Bonxies devour the chicks. They tend to nest on slight hillocks in the heather.
Towards the end of the month I had people over and we went puffin hunting one evening. Typically the puffins did not cooperate – I saw one disappear into its burrow but by the time I had told folk where to look it had gone! But we did explore some of the WW2 ruins. This is one of the gun emplacements guarding the entrance to Scapa Flow.