Heather Knits

Where Heather waffles on about knitting and anything else which crosses her mind.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Horst Schultz Workshop

Finally the long awaited thoughts on the workshop I went to with Horst Schulz. I'm not sure they will live up to the expectations after all that!

On 6th April me and my Mum went on a one day workshop in Marlow with Horst Schulz. It was the first workshop we had ever done with him before though I had heard him speak at the Design for Knitting day at the V & A a couple of years ago, and we had a chat to him at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace a few years ago too.

He was very organised and the workshop was very interesting. The first thing we all did, was joining our 4 stripey homework squares together by knitting a square in the middle of them.

This was knitted backwards and forwards rather than circularly and then the diagonal seam was sewn using both colours so that each colour sewed together just its coloured stitches. It is one of those ideas which seems so obvious when someone suggests it but had never occured to me before!

Here is the same in different colours

Next we used our homework strip of knitting to learn how to knit another strip onto an existing strip.

The homework strip was the denim blue at the bottom of the page. We cast on the second strip (in this case the grey one) and then knitted it while at the same time attaching it to the first strip (denim blue). We used two different ways of attaching, both attaching one stitch every two rows. The first method was invisible from the right side, and the second created a decorative chain up. They are actually the reverse of each other so that the first method created the chain on the wrong side of the knitting, and the second method was invisible from the wrong side.

This method of joining involved picking up a stitch from the side of the first strip for every two rows of the second strip. Next we tried a join where we picked up stitches along the whole side of the second strip (the grey one), knitted a couple of rows, and then left these stitches on the needle to be joined to the third strip (purple). This pick up and knit is in blue so you can see it clearly on the sample. There are actually a couple of rows of the blue at the start of the purple strip but I can't now remember why. The actual joining was very similar to the invisible join from the first two strips, the main difference being that the stitches had already been picked up and knitted from the side of the second strip, ready for attaching to the third, rather than picking them up one at a time as you got to them. We did a mitred square at the top of this strip to show that you didn't just have to be knitting linear strips.

Lastly we picked up and knitted a kind of corrugated rib. Unfortunately I got the wrong end of the stick and messed this up. I think I was rather tired by that point in the day. Horst was very kind and actually went through this rib again with us in the pub after the workshop. Definitely beyond the call of duty! The green is the rib I did wrong, and the cream is the right one. It is a little hard to see from my picture but the purl furrows are different. The rib he was trying to get us to do involved working one row with the first colour, then sliding all the stitches back to the other end of the circular needle so that without turning the work you could knit the second row in the second colour. Then knitting back with the first colour, and again back with the second.

After that lot we had a go at his falling leaves pattern which he had used on a scarf.

I didn't manage all this in the workshop, most of it was done at home afterwards so I could get more of a feel for how the leaves fitted together.
I really love the fact that this is reversible and I am definitely looking forward to doing some more experimenting with it. One of the ladies at the workshop had knitted a jacket using this idea and it was very nice.

All in all a very enjoyable and informative day, I had a wonderful time and learned a lot. I really must get round to finishing the mitred sweater I started in the Knitting Olympics!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Woolfest

While I busied myself with the yarn at Woolfest , my other half photographed all the animals. This is one of his pictures of the alpacas, I tried to post it as part of the previous post but Blogger decided it was no longer my friend and wouldn't let me upload it. Blogger seems to be back and speaking to me again so here we are:

Aren't they lovely! I am still trying to convince my sister that she needs to be an alpaca farmer. Then she could do all the hard work and I could come round and stroke them.

It has cooled down a bit here so I might actually do some knitting today, it has been rather too hot for me recently.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Well I think I am probably the most late in doing a post about Woolfest . We had a lovely two week holiday, a week in Ambleside, then a week up around Hadrian's Wall, and did Woolfest in between. I have just about caught up with my emails and blog reading now, two weeks after we got back!

I didn't go last year since I only found out about it just before it was on, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was sort of cross between a knitting show and a livestock show, although the knitting yarn was definitely leaning towards natural yarns rather than sparkly man made stuff. Good fun was definitely had! Hi to Mary , it was lovely to see you, the new purple hearing aids are beautiful! Sorry my blogging still doesn't seem to have sped up.

First off some pictures of the animals, first up the sheep:

I'm afraid I can't remember what kind they are, but they were very photogenic!

More sheep:

and some Angora goats:

It was really interesting to see all the animals in the flesh, I was quite surprised by the variety in sizes of sheep, I think that the ones we usually see round here by the side of the road are all raised for their meat and so probably never get particularly big, since lamb is eaten more than mutton.

Now for the yarn, first from Wingham Wool Work , the loudest yarn you have ever seen!

My friend C (not a knitter but she makes jewellery and so understands!) was actually struck dumb by this - quite a feat I can assure you!
On the left we have the softest yarn you have ever felt, superfine merino in cream, and alpaca in black by Knit Global , bought from Spinning A Yarn . I think they are going to be hats, and I am going to have a go at dyeing the cream.

Then there is some Margaret Stove laceweight merino bought from KCG Trading . I also bought the new Norah Gaughan, Knitting Nature, and a shawl pattern and a circular needle (one size which I found I bizarrely didn't already have) from them, but I forgot to take a picture.

The yarn on the right is Lana Grossa sock yarn, I can't remember which stall I got it from and although I found a receipt in the bag it had no shop name on it either! Some one has missed out on a marketing opportunity!

Lastly the haul from Jamieson and Smith :

At the top we have hand dyed cobweb weight, and at the bottom two colours of their 2ply jumper weight. Sorry about the quality of the photograph, I still haven't really got the hang of getting the lighting right.

Better go and have a panic now as the parents are turning up in about 15 mins and there is still stuff on the beds they are hoping to sleep on and a pile of yarn in the lounge. I doubt the pile of yarn will really be going anywhere but I might try and shuffle it round a bit to at least give the illusion of space.

I really will finish the write up of the Horst Schulz workshop (sorry Rosie!), I got half way through before we went on holiday and then accidentally deleted some of the pictures and then ran out of time. Things are calming down at work now though so I hopefully will have more blogging time soon.