Now, I'm going to take you back to last Saturday, which was the Hobbycraft show at the NEC in Birmingham. I volunteered for the Knit and Natter stand which I think is organised by the British Hand Knitting Federation. It also seemed to be sponsored by "Simply Knitting" magazine. The stand was continuously busy through the day. It was lovely to meet Heather Esswood again and meet some other ladies. Saying that you know Yvonne is a good ice breaker! Here's the view from the stand:
I never worked out what the big red bus was about! There were lots of young girls on the stand, both teaching and learning. During the day, I showed one person how to cast off, one girl how to crochet, and about fifteen how to finger-knit!
This is about making an I-cord type thing over your fingers. It looks great in fur yarns and it was a real treat to see some of the little girls making their first piece. One mother looked on wonderingly saying "I can't believe she's been sitting quietly for half an hour!"
Across the back of the stall was a "knitted garden". I'm sorry I don't have any more pictures, as there were beautifully knitted birds, birdboxes, paths and flowers. Heather said they had a lack of animals so I tried to use what was to hand to contribute a rabbit:
Reminds me more of one of those little fluffy dogs! What are they called - the ones that bounce up and down and bark all the time?
I had a little time to look around the rest of the event but the only "real" knitting stall was Web of Wool. Anna said she had been busy all day though. I was running out of sock yarn so topped up with some Stahl Fortissima. One is kind of denim-y stripes and the other is a marled red that shades in and out of other colours. I also treated myself to some Brittany needles in larger sizes, that I only had in ancient plastic. I'm looking forward to using these.
Now, next thing: French Market Bag. Here it is before felting. I followed the instructions to the letter, but thought the handles may not be long enough to turn out like the original picture. Decided in the end to stick with the instructions.
And here we are after felting: Definitely does not look like the picture! Can anyone tell me if there was some erratum or alternative design that I missed? Anyway , the advantage (or disadvantage) of felting is that you can't rip it out, so I've a short-handled basket that's very soft but takes a good few balls of wool. Wonder if another turn through the washing machine would help it to firm up?
Lastly here's a quick progress shot of Stone Argyll - still on the back but into the fifth repeat and decreased for the armholes. I make that almost 20% of the way through.
It was so clear and frosty this morning that I thought I'd go and take some Christmas card photos. There was a LOT of cardmaking paraphernalia at the Hobbycrafts show, and I did get a packet of blank cards. It's a bit hard to know where to start with decoration, I think handmade cards can get a bit over-ornamented with so many stick-on things. Funnily enough, one of the enquiries I had on the stand was from a lady who wanted a pattern for tiny mittens to decorate a card. I didn't have one, but what a lovely idea! Anyway, I thought I would go with some home-grown photos instead - here's a first draft. It was fun anyway!