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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Design your own knitwear workshop with Debbie Abrahams

We still have a few spaces available for Debbie's two workshops - Design your own Knits Part 1 on Wednesday 21st April and Design your own Knits part 2 on Friday 14th May. Book them individually or come along for both days.
Part 1 shows you how to create a knitted swatch from your original source of inspiration, which could be a drawing, photo, painting, card etc. Create motifs, patterns and textured stitches on graph paper ready to be knitted, learn how to choose a colour palette, understand how to work out scale, how to create pattern repeats and make them fit. Choose a suitable yarn for the project, measure tension accurately and convert measurement into stitches and rows.
Part 2 guides you through the process of making your own spec drawing and how to put the design onto graph paper so that it is ready to knit. Debbie will teach you how to work out the yarn quantity needed for a design and how to write up your own knitting pattern.
Both workshops will be held at our Sussex studio and the price of £49 includes unlimited tea and coffee, a tasty lunch and 10% discount on purchases made on the day. Book here, or call 01273 400030 to book.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Kangaloonies knitting group member Caroline

When did you start knitting? I've been knitting since I was 8 years old. My Grandma taught me. I did stop for a while, but when my son was ill four years ago I took it up again.

Favourite yarn? Anything expensive of course! I really love the Noro yarns for the colours and Rowan for the quality. My favourite has to be Rowan's Cotton Glace, it is so lovely to knit with.

Favourite project? I love doing bags, but I also make jumpers and other garments, mostly as presents for people.

When do you knit? I knit all the time... at work, on journeys, at concerts. I also crochet and when I was a witness in a trial at Court, I took in my crochet and an ipod, caught up on the Archers and finished a blanket! I've even taken my knitting to last night of the Proms! Nobody seemed to mind, in fact they are usually very interested to know what I'm making.

Current project? I'm just finishing the Medina Sweater by Martin Storey for my son's girlfriend in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK, she's a size 8 so it should look really nice. I've just got to do a couple of finishing bits and put some tassels on it and it will be done.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Amy Butler Belle organic aran and DK wool cotton

We have just received a huge delivery of the two latest new yarns 'Rowan by Amy Butler Belle Organic DK and Aran'. They are both a blend of 50% wool/50% cotton and are just gorgeous to knit with. The rich colour range has been selected by Amy Butler and the supporting patterns in 'Midwest Modern Knits' include a unique mix of fashion, accessories and homeware.

Kangaloonies knitting group member Wendy

When did you start knitting? I learnt as a child, but I didn't do very much until my daughter reached her 20's and asked me to teach her, so I did and that started me off again. In fact, I actually like the process of knitting more than I like actually wearing anything I've made.

Why did you come to Kangaroo? I wanted to knit socks, so I came to Kangaroo to learn. Not everyone understands knitting socks (comment from Jo: I can't see the point. Why go to all that bother and then hide them in your shoes?!), but I like the challenge.

Favourite project? Debbie Abrahams Mystery Cushion (pattern available to Knitter subscribers only). I'm a real fan of Debbie, I love everything she does.

Favourite yarn? Rowan Cotton Glace and Noro yarns.

Current project? Which one? I've got several on the go, but at the moment I'm trying out the Double Knitting technique with the Cuthbert Hat by Judy Furlong (the one that Wendy is knitting in the image, whilst modelling her trailing leaf sweater knitted in Rowan Pima Cotton DK). It's for a friend's husband, so I hope he likes it.

Ambition for 2010? To finish what I've started. I've got 'hideous' to finish (a camouflage jumper for my husband which involves lots of bobbins, see a hint of it in the top right hand corner of image). I'm also doing Debbie Abrahams mystery blanket and another mystery cushion from my Knitter subscription, plus a Noro jumper and a Noro waistcoat to finish. I really enjoy following other people's patterns, but ultimately I'd like to design my own patterns!

Kangaloonies member Diana

When did you start knitting? I'm a newbie. I've only been knitting for 18 months, although my first project was a fairisle beanie! I got the pattern when I was still living in the States - it was designed by a weaver/dyer and is really beautiful.

Why did you come to Kangaroo? Knitters are wonderful, the whole world over. I'd just moved to the UK and was so relieved to find a fun knitting group right on my doorstep who made me feel so welcome.

Favourite yarn? Well, it is an American yarn called Cascade. The one I'm using at the moment is 100% merino wool. I really like natural yarns especially wool. It's nice to work with and very sturdy. My top tip is to always buy the best yarn you can afford.

Favourite needles? Oh definitely bamboo and the Denise Interchangeable knitting needle set, all you'll ever need.

What is your favourite project? I knitted a baby alligator scarf when I was on holiday in the US, which was great fun.

What are you knitting now? Well, I'm having a go at cables and using 4 needles for the first time. I'm knitting a pair of fingerless gloves, I think they are coming on quite well.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Kangaloonies knitting group member Jo

When did you start knitting? I've been knitting for ever and I've never stopped
What has been your favourite project? Definitely my 'coat of many colours' which I did before I came to Kangaroo. It was knitted in Log Cabin patchwork. I like it because I am really into the construction of the garments and the technical side of knitting.
Favourite yarn? Anything expensive - especially silk! I also like the Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden yarns - they are such beautiful colours and each skein is slightly different, which makes it interesting to knit with.
What have you just completed? I've just finished a shawl in Crystal Palace Mini Mochi (Strawberry and Lime). In fact, I ended up doing it twice as I didn't like the first pattern - I changed it to the Forest Canopy Shawl which I got from Ravelry. It has beads and has turned out really nicely. I did find the Mini Mochi a bit stick to work with though.
What is your current project? I'm knitting a Silken Smoke Ring using Rowan Pure Silk DK. It's a pattern I downloaded from the internet by Angela Ho and Flora Young - a sort of cowl.
Favourite needles? KnitPro for straights and Addi Turbos and Addi Lace needles for circulars.
Why do you knit? My kids think I'm obsessed, but if I didn't knit I think I'd go ever so slightly mad! I'm very determined despite my limited vision (I'm registered as partially sighted) and will tackle anything, however complicated. The only thing that limits me a bit are the very dark yarns, but otherwise the world is my oyster!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Kangaloonies member Sally

When did you start knitting? I used to knit years ago, but then it became so much cheaper to buy knitted things rather than knit them yourself, especially for the kids, so I stopped.

What made you join the Kangaloonies? I'd started knitting again and was doing the Rainbow cardigan in Rowan's Kasbah Collection, but I had got in a mess with it. In fact, the dog had decided it served a much better purpose as a nest! So I came to Kangaroo to see if anyone could help me sort it out. We decided to change to the Sunshine jumper in the same book and I am delighted with the result. I even had enough Rowan Summer Tweed to make a matching scarf out of all the left-overs!

Was this your favourite project this year? Well, I also made some Noro gloves, the frilly ones from Mini Knits Two and the child's hat with ear flaps for my grand-daughter, they were great fun.

Favourite yarn? Noro - I love the colours and textures and it's great to knit with.

What other projects have you tackled? I've done a few of the KnitKits bags from Kangaroo which I've enjoyed doing - the Rosebud one in moss stitch and also the mitred purse in denim yarn.

And now? Well, I have an on-going project knitting squares (mainly when I'm travelling) for the Picnic blanket in Debbie Abraham's 'More Blankets and Throws' book, but have also just started a project using Rowan Siena which is lovely.

Favourite needles? Skinny Prym's - they'r my favourite needles as I love fine, plain knitting.

Aspirations for 2010? That's easy - learn to knit faster!

Easter Bonus - 10% discount on knitting yarns

A little Easter egg for all our customers, go to the Kangaroo website and when you place an order enter the code TENOFF at the checkout and receive 10% discount on your order. (Offer ends at midnight on Monday 5th April and only applies to items currently in stock).

Friday, 2 April 2010

Kangaloonies member Linda

When did you learn to knit? I've been knitting since I was 5. My mother taught me when I was in hospital recovering from nasty burns on my neck when someone threw a sparkler at me on November 5th.
What did you start with? I knitted dolls' clothes first, then moved on to scarves and then bigger things. Then I stopped until I had my children and then started up again knitting things for them.
Have you continued the family tradition? Oh yes, I have taught my children and now I'm teaching my grandchildren to knit, they all have a go. Scarves tend to be what they want to knit most.
Favourite yarns: Noro, Rowan and Colinette. I like natural fibres and unusual yarns. Sari silk yarns are good too, anything with lots of texture and strong colours.
Favourite pattern? I like following patterns, but I also like to introduce my own designs and yarns into something to make it different and more personal. I'll often only have one ball of something but I know it will come in handy to add to the right projects.
Favourite project? I'm into socks at the moment!
Favourite needles? Lantern Moon straights and circulars are lovely, I suffer a bit from arthiritis so the the the wooden needles are great.
Kangaloonies Project: my favourite project this year was my Noro jacket (shown in the image)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Kangaloonies member Iris

Favourite Yarns: Silk and Mohair
Favourite colours: all of them!
Favourite projects: I really enjoyed knitting the Knitkits Beaded Bag Kit. I'd not knitted with beads before, even though everyone was telling me it was easy (which it was), so I was very pleased to have a go and master it.
Best Pattern: I much prefer patterns that are written out, rather than ones with charts, If there is a pattern I want to do with a chart, I'll either avoid it or sit down at the computer and 'write' it up!
Future Project? I'd really like to knit a Shetland 1-ply shawl - in fact, I may make that my 2010 project! I've made 2-ply shawls before and love them, but a 1-ply one would be the next challenge.
When do you Knit?: As often as possible. I was in a hospital waiting room recently for four hours and did a lot of knitting then, I got through 50g in one session.
Other Pastimes: Well, apart from knitting, I also love lace-making and quilting and often go to groups and classes especially for the latter.
Kangaloonies Project: I've just started working on a mohair jumper with a lacy design from a pattern I've had for ages.

Kangaloonies knitting group

Happy Birthday to the Kangaloonies! (the image is of the birthday lunch, which was delicious, they don't always eat quite as much as this.....)

It was the first anniversary of our wonderful knitting group last week. We have a great bunch of ladies who turn up every Thursday clutching their knitting, sandwiches and cakes and sit down to knit and natter all day. A year ago they were all complete strangers and now they know each others most intimate secrets......

To celebrate the anniversary Amanda interviewed each of the members, I will put one a day up on the blog (in no particular order).