Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Shetland 2016: Day sixteen - Design at Hoswick and Lace Knitting

Friday  Sept 30 : Wool Week Day Seven

I was really looking forward to today. I had two workshops planned. 
Design - The Difficult Part with Neila Nell at Hoswick
I have done several design courses over the years and all too often I have found that whatever they are called, they revolve around a photo and  mainly involve colour. This is fine if you have not done this before but I wanted to go beyond this. 
When I saw this advertised I knew I had to attend. It sounded interesting and Niela produces such amazing knitwear I knew I would be learning from an expert.
I was not disappointed and her approach took me way out of my comfort zone - all that I had hoped for and more. It was mentally challenging which was great and the morning flew by. Neila  kindly offered anyone interested to go to her shop after the workshop and find out more about the design of her camouflage range of knitwear. This was difficult as I only had an hour to the next workshop, but I did go for a bit. Once again we were offered the option of keeping in contact as we developed the design thinking that we started in the workshop. There was much to think about from this workshop as I realised this was just the tip of a lovely iceberg that I would later explore. 

Then there was a drive up to Lerwick and the 'Lace knitting with Monique Boonstra' class  in Jamieson and Smith's shop and I had to try and switch my brain to a completely different sort of thing. I decided I would use my knitting belt. Monique was extremely well prepared, we had useful and extensive handouts and it was so good to be able to see her fine lacework in the flesh so to speak. 
Superb pieces! 
After a demonstration/ talk we set about our  lace sampler using J and S supreme yarn. 

What I hadn't realised was that my eyes would not cope well without excellent light ( I was awaiting an eye procedure and couldn't have new glasses until it was done). I started well but then struggled a bit but kept going. Once home I was able to start again with the added bonus of using my own fine spun yarn. I virtually always use wool but decided to try with some high quality alpaca from my stash ( from a farm in Cartmel Fell Cumbria). I have noted that this is 72 wraps per inch- fine but not my finest! 
I am more than delighted with the result. 

Following this workshop I am designing some seasonal bookmarks with my own motifs before doing a whole shawl. 

Another great day of workshops. 

See more about these people: 
 Neila at www.neilanell.com and if you can get to her shop in person  it is sheer delight. 

Monique's work and her superb patterns at:

Austin Taylor's work can be found at austintaylorphotography.com 

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