Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We got post!

So, we settled down to our usual evening of knitting and relaxing only to discover that we had post. There it was. A letter addressed to City Knitty care of City Cafe, 19 Blair St. It was one of those business envelopes with a window and the address was neatly printed on the letter inside. The contents turned out to be a flyer and accompanying letter informing us of the recent publication of 'The History of Knitting Pin Gauges' by Sheila Williams published by Melrose Books. It's the culmination of 2 years research by the author and does seem to cover some other aspects of knitting tools as well. Even though it's a random advert, it is nice to think that we were noticed.

So what was happening knit-wise? There was a soft grey soft toy just starting on the needles following Ysolde's Stuffies pattern. Newly discovered cable techniques were taking bloom in a number of swatches with multi-coloured cables (a really nice idea). A 100% cotton yarn was being knit into a cute chevron scarf in lime, turquoise, yellow and pink. We were also treated to a tantalising glimpse of a cross-stitch project for next week which was a sumptuous image of the Lady of Sharon with incredible colour and detail. Moving to a lighter venue means that we'll be seeing more cross-stitch and other finer projects on Wednesday nights. More rich colours were on display in a knitted sock made from a locally hand-dyed yarn in orange and green hues (called tomato plant. :). If you haven't come across them yet, the Yarn Yard dyes yarns in exquisite colourways, and they're based just outside Edinburgh! - The Yarn Yard:

Oh, and next week's city knitty will be at the Chai Teahouse (on Merchant Street off Candlemaker Row) from 7.30pm onwards: -

Come check it out!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good times!

Maybe it was just me and the fact that I was eating a goodly portion of spicy potato wedges and bruschetta, but tonight seemed like a really satisfying and fun night. There were lots of people sat about talking and lots of interesting people to talk to with varied projects. As suits the season there were two pairs or mittens on the go. One pair, was an elegant brown and black rendition of the Manly Mitts from and the other pair was a dark blue and white pair with really interesting colourwork and lots of detail. You could tell that wearing either pair would be a real treat this winter. There were a couple of pullovers including the Viveka pattern from A nice light blue children's beret was just starting today and a moss stitch hooded blanket from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits was making good progress as well.

Unusually, there were jumpers being knit and crocheted for dolls on 1mm and 2mm needles and hooks. If you're wondering how you find wool that thin, you simply take a nice several ply yarn and unravel to use two strands at a time. The packet of tiny pink doll's buttons were phenomenally cute. Also unbelievably cute was a finished knitted geometric stuffed tube trefoil shape with eyes. Somehow mathematically interesting shapes become insanely cute when knitted and given googly eyes. Another slightly larger one is in the works as well, which allows us to investigate whether the cuteness factor of a googly eyed, knitted shape dimishes with increasing size.

Remember to take the knitted cuteness in life where you can!


City Knitty: 11.10.2006

After all that excitement at the parliament it was quite a quiet Wednesday evening at the City Cafe and one that I lost my notes for it would seem. Although now I think about it, it's quite likely that I didn't take any because I was convinced that I could remember and would blog forthwith on returning home. Hmm. I do remember the conversation though as we started debating whether or not City Knitty needs to find a new home.

We've been meeting in the City Cafe since our first ever meeting but it seems to us now that while being a cool hang out and having tasty generous food portions the City Cafe is somewhat on the poorly lit and rather loud side. So a rough plan has been sketched out for taking City Knitty on tour for the month of November and trying out new venues that our amassed resource of knitters recommend. Initial suggestions include Chai teahouse on Candlemaker Row and Standing Order pub in New Town. So please come forth with any good ideas for well-lit, spacious, friendly venues of a reasonable price in the centre of Edinburgh.

As for the knitting, from who I remember being there I'm guessing it was a scarf swatch, an empress line jumper, a black and red reversible jumper, a moss stitch hooded blanket and a pair of nice twisty wrist warmers. Forgive me if I'm wrong.

All ideas for possible new venues are welcome!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daytime City Knitty: Scottish Parliament Cafe - [07.10.2006]

What with being the seat of the nation's power and having a free creche, it had to be agreed that having a knitting meet up in the Scottish Parliament cafe was a pretty dang cool idea. It was also the first time that we've undergone a full on security check as bags were scanned and belts removed to go through the metal detector. Once inside we found ourselves in a light, airy space with plenty of exhibits, guided tours and freedom to wander into the main chamber (you could smell the scottish wood). Children were taken to the free creche to play and the adults settled themselves round a couple of tables in the public cafe.

So I think our knitters represented themselves very well with a good varied selection of colourful and fun knitting. There were purple and yellow mittens, a pink and white fluffy hat and socks in pink, green, blue, orange and orange regia yarn and dark blue, brown and cream opal yarn. There was a crochet baby blanket in orange, green and yellow. A blue version of the 'Go everywhere, go with everything' cardigan from the Stitch and Bitch book was receiving a blue and lilac fluffy yarn crocheted trim. A cute little bag was knitting up in a Lana Gross merino acrylic mix up in pink, orange and green. Felting was also present with the i-cord handle for a blue booga bag and an already felted version which was very cute. Oh, and there was a completed knitted womb from the pattern for the friend who has everything!

It was also a time for passing round recently discovered knitting books and magazines. Books to look out for included Knitting for the First Time, Scarf Style and From Needles to Hook - Knit to Crochet Patterns Conversion. The last book dealt with how to convert knitting patterns into crochet patterns and in hindsight it seems strange that such a good idea for a book hadn't been realised before. The latest issue of the magazine Knit Today was out and discount flyers for the new McAree Brothers knitting and haberdashery shop were distributed to all.

In summary, it can be said that the parliament is well worth a visit, friendly to knitters (we met an older lady who was thrilled to see knitting and showed us her lovely handspun wool and wooden buttons) and it's a good place to bring along young ones to play in the creche. I do wonder whether meeting in parliament makes this the ultimate stitch 'n' bitch seeing as we brought the stitching to a place where there's sure to be plenty of the latter.

Stitch on and may your voices be heard!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

New beginnings

There were a couple of new faces at knitting tonight, which wasn't unusual but always a nice thing to notice. One new knitter had bravely decided to come along and ask to be shown her very first stitches and another new face produced a very snuggly, fun, loopy, teal coloured scarf. A further rummage in her bag produced yet more snuggly, loopy yarn in a warm brown and bright multi-colours. Elsewhere, the last arm of a children's donkey jacket, some dark blue neat gauntlets (wrist-warmers), a reversible red and black pullover and the manly mittens pattern from were taking shape. Finally, there were over the knee length socks or hose following a pattern for socks worn in the late 17th - late 16th century, which just goes to show that you can keep a good thing down.

Another new beginning was in the air as flyers for the opening of the new McAree Brothers knitting and haberdashery shop were passed around. The shop opens on Monday 9th this month on 19 Howe Street and there's a 10% discount available with their flyer. Knitters of Edinburgh welcome this further addition to the city's knitting opportunities.

Enjoy the new treats!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

City Knitty: 27.09.2006

The last of the autumn drizzle and rain brought in knitters of high spirits and fine company to fill our table. Among projects under way were experiments with a beautiful fine sock yarn, a warm cosy cardigan, good progress was being made on a blue Novita cardigan pattern and more besides. The wet wind also blew in news of the ongoing sock wars. One pair were completed within two days ready to take out their target, another pair were in the post as the harsh realities of chance meant that one knitter had to take out her fellow city knitty goer and a heel had just been turned on a second sock.

Wrap up warm out there, it's a knitter versus knitter world....