Putting my tea on a tray was a practical choice, the alternatives being multiple trips between kitchen and studio or a precarious balancing act likely to result in splashed toes. It also makes the everyday seem a little more special, especially when there’s room on the tray for a couple of birthday chocolates. Gudrun’sson taught me that it’s always worth getting out the milk jug, even just for yourself, smart kid! And now I have the perfect little milk jug thanks to my mum’s pottery experiment.
The chaos on my desk surrounding the tea tray is a good indicator of the many and varied things on my to do list, but this little break seemed the perfect time to reflect on a few happy things.
Happy thing the first – I’m going to Iceland and you can join me!
Writing a longer post about it is on the to do list, but I didn’t want to wait to mention it. Visiting mills, geysers, museums, geothermal baths and exploring a rich yarny heritage in a country I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time – this definitely seems worth getting excited about. We’ll visit a mill, select yarn and make our own traditional Lopi sweaters with workshops including lopi knitting, traditional Icelandic sweaters, Icelandic intarsia, drop spindle spinning. I’m coming along to teach fitting and shaping techniques and how you can apply those to your Lopi sweater so you can combine the traditional techniques with a more modern fit. Of course that knowledge can then be carried over into your other garment projects.
Excited about one crafty trip and nostalgic for another I was delighted to find out that the wonderful people behind the Squam Art Workshops have produced what I’m sure will be a beautiful and inspiring journal. You can read more about it here. I’m looking forward to slowly leafing through my copy.
Happy thing the third – Miriam Felton is having a sale
My friend, fellow tea lover, and brilliant lace designer Miriam is having a sale, this is a great chance to purchase 2 of her patterns and get a 3rd free. If you’re already a big fan with an extensive collection you can purchase 2 patterns as gifts for friends and get a 3rd as a gift for yourself. The sale is to raise the money that will allow her to fund a larger initial print run of her new book Twist and Knit. Anyone who’s ever printed anything knows that a huge part of the cost is in the setup so the more copies you can have printed at once the cheaper the cost per copy will be.
I got a chance to see an advance copy at Tnna and it’s really special, so if you haven’t already had a look at what’s included in the book it’s definitely worth checking out. If you’re only interested in some of the patterns the individual pdfs are included in the sale, and they’re also gathered into 3 bundled collections – you could buy 2 collections and get the 3rd free! The designs and photography are stunning but my geeky side really loves all the extra technical details that are included – there’s a tutorial for a cast on method I’d never even seen before! I never really spin or knit from patterns, but Sarah does and I know she’s excited about the fact that the patterns are written to work at any gauge and to use all of your yarn. That seems so perfect for stash busting as well as spinners and I really like the idea of giving knitters the tools to make their own creative choices.
Happy thing the fourth – we’re getting ready for Knit Nation
At the end of this month we’ll be in London taking part in the Knit Nation marketplace, the booth will be a bit like the one we did at TNNA but since this is an actual market rather than a trade fair I wanted to have some fun things to sell alongside the samples to play with. I hadn’t really had a chance to even think about this until a few days ago, but thanks to some very special people I think we’ll have some pretty special things. I’ve got my talented little brotherworking on some silly but adorable illustrations.
Happy thing the fifth – I bought myself a birthday present
A very shiny, very fancy new sewing machine, a Bernina 830. The aforementioned to do list means I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring it, but I did make this dress. As soon as I cut the fabric several days of extremely gloomy weather began and I worried that I’d jinxed myself, but now that I’m wearing it it seems to have brought out the sunshine. This is a terrible webcam photo because I really ought to get back to work rather than setting up a tripod, but it definitely belongs on this list of happy things.
And now, my tea is done and the to do list is calling, but I’d love to know what’s making you happy today?
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Introducing the first in an ongoing series of guest posts. I'm honoured that we're beginning with this vital letter from Emi Ito.
Emi has been outspoken about the cultural appropriation of the kimono in fashion and has helped many makers and designers find a less hurtful approach to naming their patterns and products.