News for July 2017

The month started with a visit to Estonia for the annual Craft Camp, my third time. I took workshops in knitting with Kristi Jõeste and Riina Tomberg, both of which were excellent. The other two workshops were indigo dyeing and Happsalu lace, again, both were excellent. The samples I produced are below and I hope you can tell which is which.


My own knitting which is ongoing is the gloves for Nick, almost complete. The other pair, for Jenny, are in the planning stage and I’m wondering whether to introduce some Baltic style patterns and techniques that I’ve seen and learnt in my visits to Latvia and Estonia this spring and summer.


These are actually almost complete, just the thumbs to knit, but I don’t have a more recent photo and I’m away from home in the very west of Wales. 

Farfield mill, outside Sedbergh, have invited me to show my gloves, planned for September and October. I went there on my birthday to discuss the arrangements accompanied by my partner and London grandsons. We stayed at Ingleton youth hostel and then visited Dent, home of the ‘terrible knitters’, and of Mary Allen, who was known to knit the patterned Dales gloves. Fewer than 20 pairs of these survive in collections in the U.K. 

So that’s it for now, I’m battling very slow internet and an iPad so perhaps more later in the month.

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News for June 2017

As you may know from last month’s news, I was in Latvia at the end of May and start of June for the mitten knitting workshop organised by Senaklets,

http://www.senaklets.lv/eng.php

the folk costume and textile centre in Riga.

It was a packed programme including several workshops with glove and mitten experts, visits to museums and cultural centres, and a tour of the city where we were based for most of the trip, Leipaja, Latvia’s third city.

Here are some pictures from that visit. There are more in the Ravelry group ‘Knit like a Latvian’.

The mitten kits at Hobbywool in Riga

Similar colours to the pair I am knitting at the moment, above

A fine pair showing the ‘simple’ thumb construction 

A wonderful way of displaying mittens in this circle 

These are worn at funerals, hence the black.

Once back home from that I caught up with some machine knitting that I’ve had on the go for over a year, a jumper for Gordon, my partner. Since I try not to buy new yarn, this had to be made from what I had in my stash. I’d used the better colours in a previous jumper, so this one was tricky to design. I used the really small bits in the sleeves and then moved on to quite large amounts of red and black, left over from a Dennis the Menace jumper for a grandson some while ago. This is the result:


It’s all machine washable, very important I think.

The weekend of talks and workshops planned for March and postponed from then, took place over the weekend of 17th and 18th June. There was a heatwave in the UK then, so it was hard to even think about gloves of any sort, let alone woolly ones!

Here I am at the Knitting & Crochet Guild London branch meeting, the host for the talk, with the vintage Sanquhar and Yorkshire Dales gloves from the collection that I took to show.

On the Sunday I gave a workshop at Anna Feldman’s shop, Wild and Woollyhttp://www.wildandwoollyshop.co.uk/ 

huge thanks to the participants for making it a very enjoyable occasion. Here’s the hands with what was produced: by the way, the aim was to produce a sample with the techniques needed to knit gloves.

On the glove knitting front I am working on 2 pairs for very old friends. The first pair has a musical and Yorkshire theme, as befits the potential owner, a musician with family roots in Halifax. He chose the vintage colours as seen in a pair of Sanquhar gloves, yellow and brown. There’s crochets and quavers round the wrists and treble and bass clef son the palms. The Yorkshire tree of life pattern goes up the back of the hand and fingers.

Here’s both hands, photographed on a marble table in a very cold wet Brittany, where Gordon and I are staying with our friend Francoise. Good knitting weather! A bientot!

News round up for May 2017

Someone asked me if I have a newsletter and I thought no I don’t but perhaps I could try having one. At least that way I might post more regularly.

So, I had an article published in Vogue Knitting, about Sanquhar gloves. I felt extremely honoured to be invited to do this and very much enjoyed doing it, especially going to visit Sanquhar again, staying at the Blackaddie and meeting fellow glove knitter, May McCormick.

Here’s the cover and the first page of the piece:

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I’ve restarted knitting gloves for friends and so I’ve been sampling and designing for my friends Nick and Jenny.  Nick is a musician and he chose the vintage Sanquhar colours of brown and yellow. These are the cuffs so far:

I have also opened a glove knitting Instagram account where you can find me as Angharadt. The pics are the same as what’s here though.

My work got retuned from the Make exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre after a lot of kerfuffle with the post office or Royal Mail. It turned out they were just trying to be helpful but t seemed as though the parcel had gone astray for a few hours.

Finally, I write this from Latvia where I am attending a mitten knitting retreat. It is the last evening of a packed week in which we have seen other places than Riga, being based inThe southern city of Liepaja. We have seen more mittens than I would have thought possible and met more knitters ditto. I have tried techniques I’ve not even heard of and been to places I didn’t know existed. I’ll leave you with a picture of the Russian Orthodox cathedral here, the nearest I’m likely to get to the Kremlin.

I am part of an afternoon of talks

I’ll be at Ruthin Craft Centre tomorrow afternoon as part of their afternoon looking at ‘The Nature of Craft’. Also speaking are Edmond Byrne, glass and Sebastian Cox, furniture.

This is the link to the Ruthin web site which includes an image of my gloves:

http://www.canolfangrefftrhuthun.org.uk/be-sy-mlaen/oriel-1-2-3/ (in Welsh)

http://ruthincraftcentre.org.uk/whats-on/gallery-1-2-3/ (in English)

The previous talk I was planning, in London a fortnight ago, was cancelled, or actually, postponed. It will be rescheduled for June I hope.

I’m giving a talk!

Just thought I’d let you all know that I’ll be giving a talk in London on Saturday 18th March 2017 at 1pm. It’s a Central London Branch Meeting of the Knitting & Crochet Guild with speaker Angharad Thomas (that’s me!)
AAT, 4th Floor, 140 Aldersgate St, London EC1A 4HY

The title of the talk is Gloves: History, designing and making and I’ll show examples of my own and some made by others too – historic and from other countries.

Contact me via this blog or if you are a KCG member you can contact Tricia Basham to book a ticket – £5 members and £10 non-members.

After I gave an introductory talk for my glove exhibition people were very complimentary – so it is highly recommended! (That’s enough self promotion, Ed.)

Exhibition ends soon

Happy New Year!

My exhibition at the Bankfield Museum ends this Saturday, 14th January. It’s open all week from tomorrow to Saturday 10 am – 4 pm so I do hope that you can get there to have a look if you haven’t been already. There’s lots of other interesting exhibitions on there too.

Here’s some pictures if you can’t get there:

 

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Estonian Craft Camp 2016

It’s day three already and I’m torn between feeling as though I’ve been here forever and thinking that it’s half over.

So far I’ve taken a class on constructing the fringes for wedding gloves which is an Estonian custom and done embroidery in the Mugli style.


These are the materials for the fringed glove workshop; note the double pointed pins are 1.25mm in size. The teacher was my glove knitting heroine, Kristi Joeste, who wrote a lovely book called Ornamented  Journey.

This is my first sample of three:


There is a film this evening so I hope to add more tomorrow.