Mixing Traditional and Contemporary

Hello Friends, I have been mixing traditional and contemporary  again this week! I have been teaching myself all about how to dye yarns with plants, a very traditional craft which has been brought up to date and very contemporary by indie dyers and fibre artists around the world. Remember I did a workshop last year? Well, my interest was sparked there, and its gone on…  I found this article by Araminta Campbell fascinating, and it has given me a real desire to have a go and share the results with you. I am hoping to have a natural plant dyed exclusive kit available in the autumn, initially at Forde Abbey Gardenfest. The yarn will be 100% British wool, and the kit will contain a knit and a crochet pattern for the 3 colours of 4ply yarn. What sort of pattern would you like to see in your kit?

Speaking of kits, we have re-packaged our larger kits and included more for you, so they offer great value as a gift for someone special, or for yourself as a lovely treat, you know you deserve one! These will be available on the website from Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Traditional and Contemporary; I often think that knitting and crochet combine both of these. The oldest fragments of knitting date back to the Egyptians in 11 century BC and show complex colourwork, knit and purl stitches, and it is likely that knitting as we would understand it is even older than this. Crochet is not thought to be so old, and evidence can date it back to the 17 century. The name crochet comes from various derivations of the work for “hook”. (Obviously!) So the patterns we are working today and the skills we are using are both traditional and contemporary. Fascinating! Several years ago, a friend and her husband did a 3 month walking tour of south America, and she brought me home some Cactus spines, about 5″ long and super sharp which local men and women use to knit with. This method had been used for centuries apparently. I have tried knitting with them but didn’t have much success!

Here is my knitting on the go at the moment….. I’m using a pattern from Purl Soho . Its worth checking them out, they are a lovely shop in the USA, and have all sorts of free patterns which will convert to UK terms. Have a look at this blog I wrote for more information on how to do this. I’m using a 4ply bamboo yarn, hand dyed by my friend Steph Thornton of Perran Yarns. Its a bit like knitting with spaghetti, its so smooth and floppy, but the results are gorgeous! Its a shame the weather has changed, its dull and misty today after the sunshine we have had this past week. I was looking forward to wearing my new top in the sun…

Traditional and Contemporary WIP

Bye for now,


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