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Art Nouveau

If you’re a fan of Art Nouveau and haven’t caught it so far, I can highly recommend the BBC4 series Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau. I watched episode 2 last night and really enjoyed it. It charted the history of British Art Nouveau from Aubrey Beardsley with his Japanese influenced, racy ink drawings, through the Arts & Crafts movement, Mary Watts, Liberties and William Morris, to the Glasgow School and how Margaret MacDonald, and her more famous husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, went on to influence Klimt when they exhibited in Vienna. The presenter is really down to earth and engaging and some of the work he shows is really breathtaking. I want a Margaret MacDonald print for my living room now and Mary Watts’ chapel in Surrey has to be seen to be believed!

There’s a previous episode on iPlayer about the start of the movement in Paris, and next week’s explores Klimt further – I shall be looking out for the museums I visited in Vienna a few years ago.

I can also highly recommend visiting Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House if you are ever in the English Lake District.

(Sorry for my absence recently, I’ve been a tad busy – there’s a Making Monday post to come which will probably give you a good idea of why but my partner seems to have taken my camera to uni with him by mistake so it may not appear before tomorrow)

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I didn’t get around to taking any photos in daylight. I’m busy working on my first lace shawl at the moment. I had left it for a few weeks because I kept making mistakes and getting frustrated but it’s going really well now. I have 2 rows to do on this pattern repeat and then I’ll have done 3/6 repeats of chart 1.

I love how my life lines highlight how it is growing so I decided to leave the ones marking each full chart repeat in until I’ve finished it.

Yesterday also saw the rainbow beret go on it’s way to my sister – I hope she’s pleased with it when it arrives! I was pretty happy overall as I made a better job of matching the stripes across the sections than I expected. My seams aren’t the neatest though.

My sister loved the rainbow cheat’s mitts I made for her and requested a matching hat so I dutifully cast on for a simple beret pattern a couple of weeks ago. I immediately came up against a problem – the coloured sections in the yarn aren’t long enough to stripe on something so big and it looked awful as soon as I started the increases. Undeterred, I came up with a somewhat mad plan to do the ribbed band as one piece and then knit off it in 4 separate sections, each small enough for the stripes to work, and then sew them together. And it’s working:

Rainbow beret WIP

I just have the last section to knit and 2 more seams to sew and then it’ll be finished.  And I shall never have to knit a hat flat again – the more hems I have to do, the more I’m converted to knitting in the round.

Next week, there may even be something other than knitting to show off – I have some wire work to do for jewellery and I’m thinking of making myself some stitch markers at the same time. I’m going to be casting on for my first lace shawl for about the 7th time so they may come in handy!

FOs and succumbing to yarn

I finished the Boy’s fingerless mitts and beanie hat set last night, he’s rather pleased with them:

Sirdar Crofter 'Fair Isle Effect' DK mitts and hat

I had great fun with the hat because I’d started it on my 24″ circular needle that I bought for my lace shawl so I had to move onto DPNs when I did the decreases at the top. I should have taken a photo of it on umpteen different

needles at the same time, I was rather proud of myself but I’m not sure I’d have managed if I didn’t already have the fabric well underway! Either way, he decided he wanted a cross-shaped top seam so I only did a few sets of decreases and then bound it off and sewed it together instead.

The other thing I have to show off is my first skein of hand-dyed yarn. I succumbed to this beautiful 4ply merino from The Yarn Yard. It goes from yellow green through various shades of green into sky blue and is gorgeous in colour and feel. I can’t wait to knit something lovely out of it… after I conquer the lace shawl in my lovely magenta merino, that is!

Yarn Yard Stanley Merino

Making Monday

Recently, I’ve been making a hat

Fair Isle Effect Big Beanie WIP

and foot prints in the snow

Glen Doll in the Cairngorms National Park

How about you?

It’s Valentine’s Day next Tuesday and there are a whole bunch of earthernware heart pendants on my stock page if anyone is looking for a special gift:

Heart pendants, £6 each

There are two dark red glazed hearts with beads too if you check out my stock page, and I also have some spare beads and leather cord if anyone wants to order a custom necklace. Email me by 5pm tomorrow and your pendant will be in the 1st class post by Saturday morning to arrive with your intended recipient on Tuesday (UK only). I’ll even throw in free P&P (usually £2) if you order a second item!

Knitting update

My last pair of cheat’s mitts are just waiting to be sewn up:

These are cheat’s mitts twice over because all the pattern is in the yarn, which is called ‘Fair Isle Effect’. They are just stocking stitch with a purled border.

 

I’ve also started my first lace patterned shawl with the beautiful magenta merino I was given for Christmas. So far so good!