Softer

Last week a new textile exhibition called Softer opened at the Mill. A follow-up to last year’s Soft show, Softer  showcases the variety of textile talent in E17 and includes a crocheted reindeer head, an applique wall-hanging, a patchwork piece and a book of children’s stitches, to name a few. Oh, and our knitting group’s piece, Softer Light is proudly on display in the window!

Take a look at the Mill’s website for more info, or, better still, come and see the show in the flesh fabric.softeropening1 softeropening4softeropening5softeropening2softeropening3 softeropening6 softeropening7

The Weekend

millfete02         This weekend I helped out at my local community centre’s Midsomer Mill Garden Fete. With the theme of Midsummer Murders in mind, I put on my most saccharine sweet flowery dress (no pictures of that, thankfully). millfete01millfete06millfete03millfete04millfete07millfete05millfete08millfete09millfete10millfete11millfete12millfete13To the tunes of The Moodswingers, we sold plants and knitted goods, ate cakes, drank tea, painted faces, blindfolded local police officers (yep – and charged them 20p for it) and generally felt like we lived in a sweet little village. Thanks to Kate and Isabelle for masterminding the day!

Mitred squares

Here’s my (slightly) modified version of Aunty Penny’s pattern for a mitred square. These measurements are specifically to make a 10x10cm square in Debbie Bliss ‘Angel’ mohair yarn.

Debbie Bliss kindly donated this and lots of other beautiful yarn to The Mill, so we’ve been putting it to good use for our group piece for the forthcoming Softer textiles exhibition.squares

Abbreviations

k – knit

k2tog – knit two together

sl1 – slip 1

psso – pass slip stitch over

Cast on 31 sts on size 5mm needles.

Row 1 and every following alternate row: Knit.

Row 2: k14, sl1, k2tog, psso, k14.

Row 4: k13, sl1, k2tog, psso, k13.

Row 6 and all following alternate rows: Continue reducing in the same way, with decreased stitches forming central diagonal line, until 3 stitches remain.

Following row: sl1, k2tog, psso.

Cut yarn and pass end through loop.square

Many thanks to Aunty Penny for putting me on to this. Here’s her original, excellent advice:

20th April 2013

“I just discovered an interesting way of knitting squares, where you decrease a stitch in the middle of each row, forming a diagonal, as follows.
Cast on an odd number of stitches, 2n+1
Row 1: knit n-1 stitches, slip 1, k1, psso, knit
Row 2: as row 1
Row 3: knit n-2 stitches, slip 1, k1, psso, knit
Row 4: as row 3
Continue until there is only 1 stitch. You can either pull this through, or start on a new square by picking up n stitches along one of the edges of the first square and casting on a further n.”

24th April

“Re my comment of 20th April on diagonal squares, I’ve just been trying different decreases, knit 2 together or knit 2 together through back of loops, and for garter stitch it doesn’t seem to matter which one you do as long as it’s always the middle stitch and the stitch before that you knit together and you are consistent. These squares are particularly fetching in rainbow yarn.

I’ve also noticed that it’s a way to get a scalloped edging. Instead of carrying on decreasing until you’ve got one stitch remaining, you stop sooner and then just knit straight.”

Softer Light – A Group Knitting Project

Right now we’ve got an exciting group knitting project at The Mill. Inspired by the light shining through some pretty pastel-coloured baby clothes in the window recently, we’re knitting up a wooly stained-glass window to be exhibited at the next textile show Softer.

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Here’s the work done so far. The beautiful thing about collaborative knitting projects is seeing it grow so quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing how much we can do in one week, two, three..

Sunday Photo Challenge at the William Morris Gallery

This Sunday I’ll be helping out at the William Morris Gallery’s Sunday Photo Challenge. The gallery’s recently been nominated as one of the ten finalists for the Museum of the Year award. I, for one, am incredibly pleased about this.

As part of the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2013 Photography Competition, visitors to the gallery are invited to borrow a camera and explore the space with it, hopefully taking a picture or two they feel worthy of entering into the competition. It’s all free, and a great opportunity to see the gallery in a new light – through the lens. Oh, and did I mention there are prizes?

There’s more info on the WMG’s website – http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/whats-on/events-calendar/sunday-photo-challenge-

and the artfund website – http://www.artfund.org/news/2013/04/02/museum-of-the-year-photography-competition

If you miss this one, the photo challenge is also on following Sundays 28th April, 5th May and 12th May.

The Mill

It’s high time I paid my respects here on my blog to a favourite local hub of mine – The Mill, on Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow. mill

A former library that was closed down, the building was rescued and revived by local residents determined to maintain a space for neighbours to meet, play cards, read the paper, exchange language skills or do anything they liked. Over a year on, there’s an exhibitions programme, children’s activities, a book club and, very importantly, a twice-weekly knitting circle. After a long period of absence I made a return to Friday morning’s session, to find a hive of activity, ready for a craft sale tomorrow afternoon. If you’re in the E17 area..

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Click here for more information about The Mill and its programme.