Archive for the ‘knitting accessories’ Category

a trip to knitting heaven

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Friday arrived so David and I drove down to Struan Farm.

Fall colours were everywhere.

It looks like middle earth in this part of the country, and coincidentally, they were filming Peter Jackson’s Hobbit in the vicinity recently.

Here’s how Struan Farm looked when we arrived late on an autumn afternoon.


I think it’s agreed that we all love sheep. During the weekend I learned some important facts about them that escaped me back in childhood when I was tending to Bunty, my pet lamb.

Romney sheep (which these are) can have difficulty giving birth so may need help. I mention this because all the sheep you see here are pregnant, mostly with twins. Note to self: return to Struan Farm soon after lambing has occurred.

Sheep are perfectly fine with posing when you’re at a distance, but come closer and they’re off at a gallop, or maybe it’s just me. They obviously didn’t get the memo that I don’t eat lamb. [I tried for an evening to upload a video here – wordpress, I’ve had it with you – to no avail so you can click here to see those sheeple skedaddling]

Struan farm is a beautiful place set amongst rolling hills.  We stayed in the cottage, which is charming and cozy, perched on a knoll with acres of green to be seen out of every window. Little touches of Karen’s thoughtfulness are everywhere:

Candles made with vintage creamers on the bathroom window ledge


 She has decorated the homestead with knitting memorabilia.

Karen plans to host knitting retreats in future. Watch this space.

There was great relief on Saturday when we woke to sunshine.

Clifford the family dog, watching the proceedings from his temporary exile.

Just a few of the 75 knitters and fibre artists who attended.

Please remind me to try for the elegance displayed by this woman in her poncho

 You can take your spinning anywhere

I wish I’d had time to learn everyone’s name

On the left is Julie, of the Riverdale Alpaca Stud and Fibre Mill.

Do not be fabulous in red high-heeled Mary Janes (with shorts and tights) and expect to avoid my camera

Karen and John, our gracious hosts


An important part of the feast: cup cakes decorated with yarn balls

Inside the homestead

My friend Marian looking positively Bloomsbury with her sharp bob and black stockings


 Hand made everywhere. Who said sheep have to grow wool?

In the cottage bathroom, there was a picture on the wall with a quote from Mae West: “when in doubt, take a bath”.

I’d like to add to that: when in doubt, paint your front door black. It’s always elegant.


This was the most beautiful book event I’ve ever attended, and it was for my own book! A big thank you to Karen and to all the lovely people who joined us.

Karen and the caterers relaxing after the knitters had left.

David is ready for his next trip to middle earth, with or without a crowd of knitters. He didn’t want to leave.

jewellery for knitters

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

I’m a later starter when it come to shawl pins. I shy away because most of them look very pointy and liable to stab you in the heart if you stumble when you’re running across the road in your high heels.

So, how delighted I was to find these knit fasteners, which I heard about through the grapevine because the Los Angeles artist, Laurie Gilbert, was having a trunk show at my old shop in Santa Monica.

I love the organic shapes and the fact that they’re inspired by nature. The one below is Calla, after the lily. It’s photographed on the ladylike Mrs Lovechild Shawl, featured on the cover of my book.

After looking at Laurie’s website I  got excited and placed an order for three, one for myself and two gifts. Now that my order has arrived I find myself tempted by the Wave Pin Fastener. Love that it closes like a brooch! What to do!

Laurie holds some stock, but also makes to order, in sterling silver if you’d like. You can email her from her website and ask as many questions as you like.

This one is Pebble

It’s on a wide mohair scarf I knitted several years ago, from GGH Kid Mohair. Now I can wear it as a shawl. If any one is interested in making it, I used 6 balls and the stitch pattern is “Scroll” on page 220 of Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting patterns. 


Happy knitting!