Saturday, 3 March 2012

Scottish Spring Quilt Festival, 2012

Since discovering Ravelry in May of last year, all of my crafting attention, and leisure time, has been taken up with knitting. When I started this blog, patchwork and quilting were my main focus. Here in Scotland, in March and September there are national quilt shows at Ingliston, just outside Edinburgh. March is the Spring Quilt Festival, and September is the Scottish Quilt Championship. Although I only started attempting patchwork last year, I’ve been fascinated by it for years, and have been regularly attending both events for the past 4 or 5 years. When the September 2011 show was coming up, although I was focused on knitting and had no inclination to get the sewing machine out again, I still went along to get some quilting eye candy. I thoroughly enjoyed the show – you can see my write up of the show in this previous post – but didn’t come back itching to get going with the patchwork again. I was coming to the conclusion that perhaps knitting was my ‘thing’, and that would be it for the other crafts I like.

So this year, when the spring quilt show came around, I thought seriously whether it was worth travelling all that way to spend one of my precious weekend days on something other than knitting. On the morning of the show, I decided yes, I’d just go. It would be a shame to miss it. If I got there early, I might just leave early, and get back to my beloved knitting in the afternoon.

Wow, how wrong I was. The show was fantastic, and after getting there for the doors opening, I stayed until the show was closing! So many beautiful quilts on display. I’ve come back feeling thoroughly inspired, and I can’t wait to get back to my Sunshine and Shadow quilt that’s been languishing since May last year. I’ve put photos of my favourite quilts up on my Flickr page so feel free to go and have a browse there. It was difficult to come up with just one favourite from each exhibition, but here goes...

Undulations by JanHassard,

Swatch Potch by Judith Wilson,

Stash Cupboard Blues by Rebecca Collins,


Now, I'm racing to get my Laminaria shawl and Sedum Jacket finished so I can get to work again on my Sunshine and Shadow quilt...and I'm already planning a few more!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

First foray into lace

Back in November, I found out that a friend who had been out of the country for 10 years was coming back home for good. Since he's been away, he's got married to a lovely girl he met on his travels. They've been home for visits at least every year, so we've all got to know her, but apart from these flying visits, she's never actually stayed in this country before. When I saw them in November, she was very taken with the little cardigans I had made for another friend's twins, so I thought it might be nice to knit her a welcome gift.

Although I've never knitted charted lace before, I've had the Frozen Leaves pattern in my list of favourites for a while, and had decided it would be my first proper lace project. That seemed ideal, and as they were planning on coming home at the end of February, there was plenty of time to get it done. I bought the yarn mid December (beautiful Drops Kid-Silk, in a deep red) and cast on straight away. The very next day I found out their plans had changed and they were now coming home in two weeks time - just before Christmas! My original plan had been to post it to their new address so that it arrived within a couple of days of them getting there, but clearly that was not going to happen now. I decided that if I had it done within a reasonable time of them coming home, I'd still gift it, but if not I'd keep it for myself.

The pattern was quite straightforward, and I really enjoyed knitting it. It took about 5 weeks to finish, and then about another 3 weeks to get round to weaving in the ends and blocking it. I knew the first chance I'd get to see them would be early February, at a friend's birthday party, so timing wise that was all OK.

I'm delighted with the way it turned out, and I do hope she likes it.
Pictures are available at my Flickr page, and a regular commentary can be found on my Ravelry project page.