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Fibre in the Frame

Over the past few days I have been doing a fair bit of Netflix and knitting (well it is half term!). Or rather Netflix and knitting/weaving/sewing. There have been two shows in particular that have held my attention, the George RR Martin series Nightflyers and the fabulous adaptation of the Dark Horse Comic The Umbrella Academy. The latter has proven to be an instant hit amongst the members of my virtual knit night (I have obviously encouraged them to check out Nightflyers too). Not only are these shows well produced with an engaging ensemble cast but being SciFi and superheroes they are right up my alley. However there is something else that ties these two shows together. In both shows we see a character indulging in the fibre arts.

Now we are all used to seeing women knitting, crocheting and embroidering in films and on tv – that is what genteel ladies used to do apparently. Supposedly it made them more marriageable. But in Nightflyers it is Rowan, the male xenobiologist (played by Angus Sampson), who not only sports a knitted cardigan but is seen knitting – one can only presume that he made the cardigan himself.Screenshot 2019-02-18 22.50.01

The much lighter show The Umbrella Academy also features a male knitter in the form of Klaus (Robert Sheehan). The Umbrella Academy doesn’t wait to slip the knitting in as we watch the series, ninja style, but instead includes it in the trailer.

Screenshot 2019-02-18 22.58.49

With both these shows being hot on the heels of each other it got me wondering where else we can see men on screen (outside of YouTube) indulging in the fibre arts. And from what I have been able to find, with the assistance of Google, there are precious few instances of male knitters for us to gawk over. I’ve found a further four.

So in no particular order…

Cary Grant knits in the 1943 film Mr Lucky.

cary grant

Morticia Adams taught Lurch to knit in the 60s.

Lurch

In the 70s it was Hawkeye of M.A.S.H. fame who took up the needles.

Hawkeye

And of course no list of fictional male knitters would be complete without Gromit!

grommit

Here’s hoping we see more male fibre artists featured on film before long. And if you know of any I’ve missed, by all means let me know!

 

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Merry Christmas!

So all the presents are wrapped, the suitcase is almost packed, and the sewing machine has been tucked away for the festive period (knitting is far easier to take on the train!).

We are heading away for a couple of days, and would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very merry Christmas (or whatever other festivities you celebrate at this time of year).

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November Round Up Show Notes

WIPs:

Latvian mittens – I got my kit from Love Knitting. https://www.loveknitting.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=latvian+mittens

Socks, to my own “pattern” in Paintbox Sock Yarn, I got mine from Love Knitting. https://www.loveknitting.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=paintbox+sock

Big Red by Mina Philip, the Knitting Expat – this is a test knit so the pattern is not yet available (Mina has given permission for test knitters to share progress on this project). I’m knitting mine in Cascade 220 which I got from Love Knitting https://www.loveknitting.com/cascade-220-fingering

Believe it or not I am not sponsored by Love knitting!

Plans:

Man knitting = Forest Hill by Erika Knight https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/forest-hill

FOs:

Hi-Low hem cardigan

Pattern = Simplicity 8377

https://www.minervacrafts.com/shop/sewing/patterns/simplicity-8377-a-simplicity-ladies-easy-pattern-hacking-sewing-pattern-8377-knit-cardigans

Fabric = Lurex Open Knit Fabric Navy and Gold

https://www.minervacrafts.com/shop/fabric/dress-fabrics/mf-310718-47-lurex-open-knit-fabric-navy-gold-per-metre

Minerva Crafts provided me with the fabric for free in return for a blog post.

Teeny Tiny Yoda from Star Wars Crochet by Lucy Collin, pattern linked on my Ravelry project page: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ZozieM/yoda

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18th November 2018

Ewe Sew You Podcast Show Notes – 18th November 2018

Part 1 and Part 2

Introduction

Welcome to Ewe Sew You, I’m a knitter, sewist, weaver and teacher living and working in Buckinghamshire, UK.

I can be found online as follows:

Instagram: @zoziemozie

 

Ravelry: ZozieM

Blog: ewesewyou.com

YouTube: Ewe Sew You

Works in Progress

I’ve been actively working on 2 projects since the last video.

The Throwback by Andrea Mowry in Universal Yarns. This is a Worsted weight open cardigan with a colourwork yoke. I’m knitting on KnitPicks Interchangeables with 5mm tips for the stocking stitch, 5.5mm for the colourwork and 4.5mm for the rib as this is what gave me guage. Project Page linked below.

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/ZozieM/the-throwback

Latvian Mittens from a kit which I bought from LoveKnitting (link below) – other retailers will also have the Knit Like a Latvian kits. I am knitting on Hiya Hiya Steel DPNs in 1.5mm for the cuff and 2mm for the rest. I cast these on as part of the #blamedunderknitalong run by Caroline of the Knitting Vicariously podcast.

https://www.loveknitting.com/knit-like-a-latvian-knitting-kit-latvian-grey

Plans

I received some navy and gold open knit fabric from Minerva Crafts in return for a blog post which I am planning to make in to a cardigan using Simplicity K8377 which was a cover gift with Sew magazine.

I am also planning to make the jacket from this months Craftine box, which is a subscription service available from https://www.craftinebox.co.uk

Temptaptions

Whilst preparing for the #blamedunderknitalong I have been thinking about the knitting projects that are tempting me to cast on at the moment. Here is my current list until I get distracted again!

Knits for me!

I’ve also put together a Ravelry bundle on Man Knits which you can find under the bundles tab in the Ewe Sew You group on Ravelry.

Favourite Podcasts

These are the podcasts I try to keep up with, there are others I dip in and out of:

Knitting:

Sewing:

Spinning:

Mixed Crafts:

Non Craft, dip in and outable – audio podcasts:

If anyone has any recommendations for weaving podcasts please do let me know!

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Comfort and Elegance

Cowl Close UpHaving just sent my second blog post to Minerva Crafts I’m coming to the conclusion that I need more elegance in my wardrobe. I made a Freya dress from Tilly and the Buttons out of a gorgeous tan floral velour. I’m not going to go into great detail about that particular make here but I’ll add a link to my Minerva post once it goes live – which I expect won’t be for a little while as Minerva coordinates their blog well ahead of time.

There is something about tactile fabrics like velour and satin. They can take the simplest of garments and elevate it to a luxury piece. The simple elegance of a clean lined item in a luxury fabric is pleasing to me. It means I can dress a garment up with statement pieces of jewellery for a night out, or make the everyday a little less mundane by adding dressing it down. I can see myself making a series of velvet tops to wear with jeans through the autumn and winter, or silky camisoles for the summer. And yet I regularly turn to plain jerseys, and needlecord to make my daily wear outfits. I rarely think of the more luxurious fabrics when I plan a make to wear from work to weekend. But I so love wearing them!

When I knit I have moved away from acrylic yarns, mostly. Not only because that will help reduce my plastic consumption, but also because I generally prefer the feel of natural fibres to acrylic (although the Paintbox Baby DK I used for some baby knits is buttery soft). Does that mean I will never work with acrylic yarn again? Doubtful as it does have it’s uses and is often what is found in schools to use in weaving etc. It does, however, mean I am paying more attention to the feel of the fabric I am producing when I knit of crochet. So why not when I sew?

Certainly knitting is a slower process than sewing garments on a machine, so I like to use yarns that are pleasant to work with, rather than the artificial feel of many acrylic yarns. But surely the same level of thought should be given to the clothes I sew. My pledge, therefore, for future fabric purchases is to think of my sewn everyday garments as not just utilitarian items, but items that should be a pleasure to wear and stroke. I want to be able to grab a simple and comfortable outfit from my wardrobe and have it make me feel elegant – what better way to do that than to pepper my clothing with splashes of luxury fabrics?

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Festive Crafting

man in santa claus costume
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

How has it got to the 4th November and I still don’t have my festive crafting organised? Normally by this time of year crafters have been busily turning into elves for at least four months. Not me.

I have started a cross stitch tree ornament. And I do have some needle felting projects lined up. All of these are featured in my October Round Up over on YouTube. I did also buy some wool in a sale over the summer anticipating a knitted present, but that is not yet even cast on. So I am feeling decidedly unprepared for the holiday season this year.

With a mere 7 weeks to go before Santa starts to load his sleigh I know that the time is simply going to fly past – not least of all due to the silly season kicking off at work this half term with the sugar rush of Halloween and the premature excitement of the school fireworks display over the past week. In addition I have a test knit on the go, and blogs to write for Minerva Crafts (my first one comes out December 23rd), not to mention a growing list of selfish need to makes (and a scarf to finish for the OH). So this may not be a year when I repeat my feat of entirely handmade christmas presents, which I’ve achieved twice, once being entirely knitted from stash and hand delivered wrapped in the previous years left over paper (can you tell I was on a budget?). However that is a goal I have in mind for another year. Who knows, if I start now maybe I’ll have it all done in time for Christmas 2019.

I will be keeping you up to date with the progress of my needle felting and cross stitch, both here and on the YouTube channel, so keep an eye out over the coming weeks to find out how many times I stab myself with a felting needle. In the meantime I’m off to swatch a card I simply HAVE to have now the weather is turning frosty (seriously, I’m chipping ice of the bike saddle before I cycle to work these days), and to put a few more rows on the Big Red I am test knitting for Mina Philip (Knitting Expat) in blue. You never know, I may even get out the scarf in the oh so exciting black and grey acrylic brioche that the OH asked me to make him last winter… … …

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Musings on my History with Knitting

 

IMG_2642
Knitted toys.
Knitted by Ewe Sew You.
Patterns by Knitables.
Yarn from Paintbox Yarns.

Having found myself a few minutes of non-crafting downtime this evening I took the opportunity to mooch around the internet and decide to knit all the things (well it is knitting season after all). Much of this time was spent admiring the gorgeousness that is the V&A Knitting Collection. If you haven’t yet taken a look I highly recommend you do. Not only are the items varied and intricate but they trace a history of knitting from the 12th century.

As I was meandering through the virtual archive of this craft I began to ponder about my own personal history of knitting. I come from a family where knitting always happened. Both my mother and her sister learned to knit at a youthful age – they were certainly knitting in their teens (and indeed dressmaking), Mum still knits, whilst my aunt has become more of a quilter. My Dad even had a go whilst my parents were still dating. My maternal grandmother is the earliest relative I know of who knitted – I suspect her mother knitted too but I don’t know. Grandma is certainly the oldest knitter I remember participating  in the craft. As a result  I learned to knit young. I was about 5 I believe.

Like many knitters who grew up knitting I started with straight needles. Progressing from wonky doll clothes and accessories to baby clothes pieced and seamed together and on to adult garments – the first garment I remember knitting myself was also the first cabled pattern I remember. These days, as an experienced knitter, I knit more on circulars. This seems to be far more common now than I remember it being. It used to be that I only saw circular needles in use for circular yokes and hats, but now I rarely knit on straights. I find them useful for toys, but when it comes to most of my projects circulars have become my go to. They allow me to knit socks two at a time, or a jumper I can try on as I go. Perhaps it is my current minor obsession with shawls that has led me to my current needle preference – I have 3 crochets, 2 knitted and 3 in progress (knit & crochet) at the moment. Whatever the cause it does seem to echo the fluctuating trends in hand knitting tools.

i cannot help but wonder which method will be the preferred choice for knitters in the know in another 35 years time.