I had knitted gloves for years but it wasn’t until I looked in Anne Budd’s multiple patterns book (can’t remember exact name) that I saw a glove pattern with the little finger placed lower than the other fingers. This had never seemed necessary as I have great faith in the stretching and fitting properties of knitted fabric. When I started knitting for friends though and getting them to draw round their hands for size, I realised that most people do have a difference. I am at that stage with this pair as shown in the pics. These are taken in the Spanish Pyrenees where the sun is shining but it’s COLD :(
I’m just back from the All Makers Now conference where I gave a presentation about my glove knitting and ran a workshop too. People seemed to enjoy the presentation, plus my gloves were on the poster for the event which was very nice,
I taught three people to knit at the workshop, one of whom was the keynote speaker, the furniture designer and maker, Fred Baier. Others tried out techniques that they hadn’t done before like using two circulars and knitting two colour rib. It was fun – one person said it was an antidote to the other workshops which were almost all about machinery, albeit digital.
Here’s Max with his knitting.
and Fred Baier concentrating hard.
Here’s some of the gloves in the exhibition, looking splendid on some very old furniture:
And here’s the poster for the event with my gloves bottom right in classy black and white:
I have a VERY STRICT rule about not adding to my stash of yarns (as opposed to the one of fabrics). I go into yarn shops and do not make myself popular by saying ‘Well, I’m not buying any yarn because I have a strict rule that I’m not adding to it’. Actually I only have a small tin trunk full of yarn, whereas I have seen pictures on blogs of whole basements being used to store yarn stash, more like a shop, and not a small one.
However, after being in Cornwall I travelled up to Derby on the train where I went to the Knitting and Crochet Guild annual convention and AGM. Actually I only went to the AGM but that’s another story.
There were lots of great things like a de-stash table, a raffle where one of the prizes was ‘The history of Hand Knitting’ as an audio book, and surplus items like books and needles from the collection being offered in return for a donation.
On the stash table there was a whole bag full of 2 and 3 ply vintage pure wools … and so I had to get them by making a donation to the KCG. As these are what I use for the gloves it was totally VITAL that I didn’t leave them there as these are my raw materials. I hope that readers can see that this was a totally justified addition? Here they are:
And these lovely 4plys were not bought by anyone else and came back to Lee mills so I had to give them a good home. Vintage Jaeger 4ply pure wool, what could be better?
Once I’ve completed the gloves I’m knitting for my friend Sharon, the third in a set, three friends from Yorkshire, three Yorkshire gloves, I’m not sure I’ll carry on with this format. I do have more friends who would no doubt like a pair of cosy gloves but I don’t think it’s going to happen, or not just now.
What am I going to knit next? Well I’m very drawn to the idea of text on mitts or gloves and this is an idea I’ve explored in my sketch books. There are other designer/knitters who have gone down this route and I am wary of appearing to copy in any way.
Formal exploration of colour mixing using the three primary colours for pigment – red, blue and yellow, so beloved of the Bauhaus. using any two of the three and small patterns, the effects of mixing them might be interesting. This sort of fabric, if not the construction could be knitted in the machine though, and much more fast.
Text / words / slogans as discussed above.
Environmental commentary: numbers of say, birds or species and dates and numbers, most often in decline.
Constructing designs using patterns from historical Welsh textiles – I did this a bit with a couple of early pairs, but there are more pieces in the National Wool Museum that would provide inspiration.
But these need to have recipients, there is no point in knitting gloves that will never be worn.
I’m travelling to Falmouth to give a presentation about what I call The Glove Project (TGP) on Thursday as part of a conference called All Makers Now and I rather hope that speaking there might nudge me in a good direction.
There was a demo in Central London today against the cuts in public spending being made. The organiser of Woolagainst weapons organised with Lush, a shop on Regent Street, to knit there. The people knitting and crocheting are members of a Woodcraft Folk group in Stroud. It was a lovely interlude, great people, hot sun and lots of interest from those buying soap and bubble bath in Lush.