Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tips For Christmas Knitting and Crochet

This is often the time of year when you will see a steely glint in the eye or a look of complete panic on the faces of knitters and crocheters.  It's Christmas gift knitting time and with just over 2 months to go, the pressure is on.  We turned to our lovely friends on our Facebook page for some ideas of how to get everything done in time and the kind of projects that work well to give to loved ones and friends. Here's their advice for you.

Heather Anderson  I am knitting 4 pairs of socks, an adult sized blanket, a cowl, a scarf and several dishcloths. Im already feeling a bit of panic when I look at the calendar! I have everything "scheduled" for certain dates and times, but am still knitting as fast as I can with all the time I can find!! Fingers crossed that it all gets done in time for shipping before the rush!!! Good luck to everyone else trying to figure out where all the time and energy is going to come from! 

Jayne Stumbles I usually start early in the year....my tip is to give yourself plenty of time

Theresa Pilsbury I make a list as soon as Christmas is over and work my way through during the year. Like others I always have socks on the go and they are easily the most requested gifts.

Solway Kenyon I start my Christmas present making in January, and try to make one a month. Same with cards and ornaments one a month and then no drama in November trying to make 10 pairs of socks.

Kate Jackson I've always got socks on my needles, and any I don't need for myself become presents. My Knit Pro dpn holders ensure my project is portable. 

Jennie Craig I always make socks for family members. I take it in turns who gets them - this year it will be my mum and sisters.  I am usually still knitting them on boxing day for people I will see after Christmas day! 

Alison Routley I usually do scarves or cowls in a colour I know the person loves. I start in August or before that with choosing yarns and matching up patterns for each person. I start work on them in mid to late October, after I've finished my handmade items for a local charity's annual fundraising auction.

Stacey Matheson I take a simple pattern then play around with the colourwork. E.g. socks in different variegated wool, hand warmers with different scandi colourwork. Scarves with different lacework.

Jan Johnson Socks for my sister...I forgot one year and I got a plaintive " no socks?"!!!

Uley Blue Simple but effective shawlettes  for my female friends. Each takes one skein of merino sock yarn, knitted up on my trusty KP Symfonie circs!

Carole Williams I have been making scarf's and cushion covers,throws for my sons and at the moment I am in the middle of making a king size quilt, my first.

Monika Soltysik I've made a list of gift projects in the end of summer already. Hand knitted towels makes great gift for every woman, especially paired with homemade soap. I started to knit them last month and still keep going.

Tessa Ruth Pettitt I make what the person wants or needs, it's not necessarily Christmas themed. It's personal to the recipient.

Lynne Stephens Been knitting gifts since May for presents. Last one finished today just washing and blocking now. Use various patterns but mainly free ones from various knitting sites. Now time to start projects for myself lol x

Karen Nichols-Juniper My tip for Christmas.is to make special things for those who are closest to you. They will know what a yarn nut you are and appreciate the effort.

Daca Milos I only make few gifts so I have the time for it.But always choose simple and quick pattern for something useful.

Carol Warrington I let my family choose what they would like me to knit. It all goes pear shaped when people fail to provide measurements and expect me to make other things at this time of year!

Sue Ticehurst I design my own wrist warmers but make them without thumbs so they are quick. I embellish with beads or fur effect wool or fancy edges so that they are then unique.

Christine Miller I'm making pom pom wreaths, good for using odd balls of wool, I make the pom poms in the evening whilst relaxing, use a hot glue gun to attach the pom poms, I use a polystyrene wreath base available in various sizes.

Ann Graham I am making these Christmas pudding baubles for all the ladies at my knit n natter. I started in January and just knit one every now and then in between other projects.

Rachael Matthewman I'll be making more chocolate orange covers this year - they went down a treat at work last year https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/feb/2/16/1f642.png:)

Linda Kennett I make my friends a little something , to hang on their trees, to have on our last girls night before Christmas. 1st year tiny hats with their names on. Last year little fair isle stockings. This year is under wraps at mo but will be again be something for their trees.

Charlie Ward Making baubles! The Arne & Carlos book is fantastic for following!
Sarah-Jane Ward I knit for a local charity in the run up to Christmas. The money they raise by selling mini Christmas stockings and mittens goes towards providing Physiotherapy for people with M.S.

Anji Warden I'm making blanket, pet beds and hat sets for the homeless this year. I make sure I set three evenings a week to focus just on those. 

Kay Whittaker Have a backup plan!

Thanks to everyone who so generously shared their advice.  Better get back to it!


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Design von Hinterm Stein

We always look forward to the chance to interview our favourite designers and this month we are delighted to introduce you to Jutta von Hinterm Stein.  If you haven’t come across this amazing designer, you are in for a treat.  Her patterns are stylish, contemporary and thoughtful as well as beautifully written.

Cross Pockets

KP: Tell us a bit about you.
JvHS: I live in Austria, in a very old house from 14th century, surrounded by a big natural garden and the charming landscape of the pre-alpine uplands. My head needs fresh air and my hands need to be in the earth, digging holes for new plants or harvesting what miraculously grew. Fortunately, I have a husband who is my IT specialist, otherwise I would be lost…

Quadri Shawl

KP: When did you start knitting and crocheting?
JvHS: During a winter holiday in the alps, my beloved toy rabbit needed a warm coat and my grandmother helped me to crochet a little red coat with golden buttons (the coat got lost but Rotten Rabbit still lives with me…). Soon I moved on to knitting – it was so much quicker! I have spent my whole school- and university-time knitting (a lot!).

Holey Comfort

KP: How did you become a designer and is it your main job?
JvHS: By chance! And what a chance! After a break of 25 years, I somehow felt the need for something warm and cozy in my hands, so I checked out my old wool boxes and started to knit, and a few months later, in search of inspiration, I discovered Ravelry. I posted a few projects and got an incredibly positive response - some knitters even asked if I would write a pattern. Wow! What a feedback! That’s how I started my little designing career that miraculously became more and more successful. I owe a lot to all the nice chaps on Ravelry, who have supported me and my work . Recently the “knitting business” is progressively taking over more time and growing to a full-time job.


KP: What is your favourite of your own patterns?
JvHS: Must I choose? 
Triangle. for its versatility. You can wear it for an interview as well as on weekends.
I like the simplicity of Louvre and the coolness of Holey Comfort. And I wore Cross Pockets until it fell apart.
And of course, QUADRI! Which has such an ingenious technique.

Janukke's Tiling Fish
KP: Which designers do you admire? 
JvHS: As a girl, I passed by a Jil Sander shop and swore to myself that one day, I would wear one of these elegant suits – there’s still time. 
And there certainly is Coco Chanel on top of the list.
On Ravelry, there are Purl Soho’s cool and sleek designs, Janukke’s Escher (!) and Himawari’s clear lines … and many, many other talented people! 


KP: What is your favourite yarn?
JvHS: If you ask me about yarns, there will always be Alpaca in my mind. It is soft and durable at the same time and I love the fact that it does not attract smells. You can cook a whole meal in your alpaca sweater and the next day you won’t smell any onions. My recent design “Flying Feathers” is knit in Alpaca, and it is super-light but warm at the same time.

KP: Do you have any new patterns coming out?
JvHS: For the near future, I have planned BasiX, a very wearable sweater for every day and a festive Trumpet Solo - I have lots of new ideas.

KP: Which is your favourite KnitPro product?
JvHS: I have the beautifully coloured Symfonie interchangeables which I really like when knitting a sleek silky yarn!

Thank you Jutta!