Heather Knits

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

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Skip North Part 1: The Workshops

Well it has now been nearly a month since Skip North and I have finally unloaded the photos from the camera and am getting round to blogging about it. I'm afraid I don't have any (decent) photos of the participants as I am the worlds worst photographer combined with forgetting to take my camera out and about with us (the excitement of all the yarn went to my head). I had a great time and met loads of lovely people, and now my Bloglines is up to 124 feeds. I'm afraid I wont be attempting the herculean task of doing links to all the people I met as I would be bound to miss someone out.

Photos of all the shopping will come later when I can get to it. Currently the new yarn is barricaded into the spare room by our old mattress which the council are taking away on Thursday. I am looking forward to rediscovering all the fun things I bought! and am actually considering starting a spreadsheet with all the yarn I have an information on it, a rather daunting prospect.

Anyway, on to the first part of my update on Skip North. This was the first time I had been (there was one last year which I only found out about at the last minute and unfortunately couldn't go), and also the first time I had been to Haworth. A lovely area of the country and I enjoyed the great views as you drove across the top of the moorland from Bradford.

As part of the weekend we had the option of doing three out of four possible workshops. These were due to all happen on Friday afternoon, but due to the London train containing at least one of the workshop leaders being delayed we had two workshops on Friday and the remaining one on Saturday evening.

The first workshop I signed up for was cold water procion dyeing of plant fibres with Liz . I had never dyed yarn before, and the most dyeing I had ever done was tie-dye T-shirts while at school, and dyeing jeans in the washing machine. This workshop was marvelous fun and I am really looking forward to trying acid dyeing too soon. Liz brought all the dyes with her, in a wide range of colours and all we had to do was bring our yarn and a tray in which to dye. My yarn was Patons 4ply cotton which has a nice sheen without being too hard.

Here are some of the yarns dyeing:

This one is mine. I think this is a photograph of it after adding the soda which explains the amount of liquid. I was really worried that I had added too much dye and that everything was going to turn out a shade of mucky greenish brown but luckily it came out all right.

This one was Rosie's . I love the colours she has chosen and the way they blend together.

And this is my finished yarn. I absolutely love it and am ridiculously proud :-) I have knitted it into a little triangular shawl / scarf which is currently blocking on the dining table, pictures to follow when it is dry.

The second workshop I went to was making beaded stitch markers with Alex . Apologies for the very dark photo.

On Saturday night I did the bullion crochet workshop with Nic . It was good fun although I was rather tired at that point, and I'm not sure why I decided that black yarn would be a good idea to learn something new at 9pm in a badly lit room.


Thank you all for the lovely comments on the bracelet pattern .

Miss Knotty asked whether I preferred the slip stitch method of knitting with beads, where the bead sits on a thread in front of a slipped stitch, or the garter stitch method where the bead sits between the stitches. I think it depends a lot on what sort of pattern you are creating and the effect you are going for. The big advantage with the slip stitch method is that the beads appear as a surface decoration on only one side of the fabric and it doesn't affect your tension much. So a surface beaded pattern can be relatively easily incorporated into a section of stocking stitch, although it has some limitations, for instance that you can't place beads in front of adjacent stitches. At some point I will get round to blogging about a knitted beaded dress I am making using this method. It has been languishing in a bag in the computer room for about 7 years unfortunately due to it being large swathes of stocking stitch in 4ply yarn and so it gets a little boring. I am determined to have another go soon though.
The big advantage with the garter stitch beading method is that it does affect the width of the fabric, and so you can easily create a shaped fabric just by adding or subtracting beads, without you having to have greater or fewer stitches. All in all, I like them both but for different things.

There is even a comment on the bracelet pattern in (I think) spanish! Although I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea what it says, and Google language tools didn't really help. If anyone would like to translate, I'd love to know what was said.

I'm glad you liked the cabled socks Janey. They are holding up well and in fact I am wearing the brown and green pair today!

Thanks for the lovely comment on the circular cardigan Padraigan. I love the colour and have worn it a lot this winter. I am also hoping not to actually need bullet proof socks! Although I did go to school with a boy who accidentally shot his dad in the welly (Wellington boot, I'm not sure what the American name would be, rubber boot maybe?) with an air rifle, his dad was not best pleased.

Ansley has knitted up a beaded bracelet in the most beautiful colours (scroll down to see). She has also worked out that you need to string about 6 feet (1.8 metres) of beads onto your thread in order to make this pattern. Thank you very much for working out the length of beads! It just hadn't occurred to me, partially I wonder because although I gather in the US (and possibly other countries too) beads are often sold by length in a string, they are rarely sold this way in the UK, and I have always bought beads over here by weight.



  • At 12:19 am, Blogger Fiona said…

    Lovely to see the yarn being dyed - I'm looking forward to seeing the finished shawl!

  • At 10:24 am, Blogger Kat said…

    You seem to be having a fab time dyeing the yarn! Looks yummy!

  • At 10:10 pm, Blogger Gill said…

    Lovely dye colours! (BTW I think the comments on your last entry may be in Portuguese, but my Portuguese is limited to ordering a couple of beers, so I'm no help...)


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