Thursday, 29 July 2010

Oh boy, toys

I found myself bored and fidgety at 10pm Saturday night (yeah, I'm in at that time, what of it?) so I cast on for a new project. It should be noted that I currently have around 6 unfinished objects (that's a conservative estimate), but I also have Knitter's ADD, so I'm not going to feel guilty about this. 

This is Elijah, from (who else?) Ysolda Teague. Here's the details:

Pattern: Elijah (ravelled here)
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic in some deep red colour - why don't they give the colourways names like the other cool yarn companies?
Needles: 4.5mm DPNs. I should note that the yarn calls for 5.0 - 5.5mm, but it is a DK. I think it calls for bigger needles because of the halo, but I would go smaller even than 4.5mm as the stuffing shows through. Stupid Rowan.

This pattern is brilliant. I've never knitted a toy before, and this fella looks complicated, but the pattern is so well written that it's incredibly easy. I mentioned I cast on at 10pm Saturday - he was finished by midday Monday. I put a photo on Facebook and had a friend ask for one for his niece, so I've already cast on for that, in a baby-friendly acrylic. I'm so nice that I'm only charging him for the yarn.

A note about knitting for other people: I only knit what I know. If knitting a pattern involves learning a new skill, I probably won't do it on demand. I'll happily take it on when I've taught myself that skill, but generally I will only knit something if I know how to do it, it's super easy, and/or I love knitting it. In the past, I have knitted in exchange for artwork and chocolate, but I think charging at least for yarn is a good idea. It's always tricky to ask for reimbursement for knitting, particularly if I charged for my time - this fuzzy elephant guy would total over £60 if I was charging minimum wage plus yarn. I think he's sweet, but he's not worth that!

In non-knitting related news, I've been offered a volunteer placement with my favourite museum. It's going to be an amazing valuable experience, as well as a huge challenge. It involves a lot of responsibility and, ultimately, an event and exhibition which I will be largely in charge of. That's pretty mad. 

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Purple haze

This week's photo theme was purple. 'Expect flowers!', I said. Lo:

We went for a lovely walk round Denby Hillside, which was chock full of butterflies. I also captured this:

which gave me the urge for some tiny laceweight knitting. 

Still busy busy, had some good news recently, and have been knitting commissions! Some FOs to come.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


I reckon you should always think carefully when branding yourself. I didn't, really. A little background of the name EmmaFolds: towards the tail end of my very first grown up job, with an internet marketing company, I found myself unmotivated and basically bored to tears most days. So, I took up origami. It's a pretty sneaky procrastination activity, even in an open-plan office, and there's never a shortage of supplies. So I started spending my days folding paper, with far more enthusiasm (and skill) than I ever had for my job, and when I first signed up for Etsy, I thought up a username in a hurry. Thus, I created EmmaFolds - after all, I do. Fold.

My best work, amusingly, was used for the company website - I made a little string of elephants led by a big elephant, showing we're the best in our field, or some other rubbish. Unfortunately they've since rebranded and my incredible skills are lost somewhere in intarweb limbo. And I've mostly replaced my origami with knitting, but every now and then I get on a folding kick. Yesterday I folded some flowers.

I'm not as good as I used to be but I quite enjoyed how these came out.

I enjoy origami for much the same reason I enjoy knitting - it's about maths (well, in the case of origami, geometry); about being able to take one object, be it a piece of paper or a ball of yarn, and manipulating it in your mind to transform it completely, then creating that as a 3D object. It's smart, both origami and knitting are smart hobbies, and far more complicated than people give them credit for. They can be basic or complex, and the smallest mistake can completely throw off the rest of the piece. It keeps my brain active and I need that.

When I was taking these photographs, I realised this last flower reminded me an awful lot of a recent FO:

This is the Meret (ravelled here), knit in Noro Silk Garden. The detail of that last flower was, I felt, reminiscent of the top of the hat, which almost looks like a star. This is the second time I've knitted this pattern, and I think it's great for a beginner hat. It has a simple lace pattern and a number of variations, to change the brim or make it slouchier, so you can knit it to suit your style.

By the by, if anyone wants this hat, it's up for sale in my etsy store here - I love the style but decided the colours just aren't for me.  

Apologies for the webcam photoshoot - it seems that when I try and take photographs of myself on a timer, they come out like this:


I'll, uh... I'll keep practicing.

Photo assignment

I've got more knitting chat coming up, but am somewhat occupied at the moment with The Degree from Hell (pretty sure that's how it's listed in the prospectus). In the meantime, to keep the creative juices flowing, I set an assignment for myself and the Yank. Each week has a theme, a colour, an emotion etc., and we have to take a photo conforming to that theme. The first week was yellow, so, mustering up all my creative energy, I took a picture of a flower, because I feel like that's never been done before.

This week's theme is purple. I'm going to try and be a little more imaginative, but probably you should just expect a photo of lavender.