ConnieLene – KnitDesigner


My Knitting / Creating time

by on May.02, 2011, under Blog

Day 7 – knit and crochet blogging week – Your knitting and crochet time.

Sorry – this was not posted in time for the blog week – as my laptop crashed into a bungling gibbering mess. My old PC has the pet name “Blue Screen Queen” so may not last for the duration of this post either. So apologies if my post is also rather odd.


My knit and crochet time – is whenever and wherever.

I knit and sometimes crochet whenever and wherever the mood takes me – all day long if I choose.

Living in the Netherlands the rhythm has been get up, down 2 flights of stairs, breakfast, coffee, quick housework stuff – you know the kind – you just can’t walk by it for yet another day. Then up the stairs, check emails, write a blog post maybe, music on, or the news, and then I knit.

I am so lucky as I can knit all day should I choose and I often do.

Without the possibility of knitting, thinking, designing, playing with colour, creating time most days of the week I would wither inside and become a gibbering mess just like my laptop.

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Something to aspire to: Fair Isle & steeks, Mange Tak Christel

by on Apr.02, 2011, under Blog

There is a project that makes my mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft that will be required to create it?

You already know that generally I do not knit fair isle. I have created a sweet little pinafore with a row of hearts – which were created with yarns stranded across the back – a very simple Fair Isle. My boats on little boys sweaters were done with intarsia. When I had a knitting machine eons ago – I did manage to create pieces with Fair isle designs.

You also know that I attended a workshop in Amsterdam with Danish knit designer and artist Christel Seyfarth

Christel lives and works on the Danish island of Fano. The changing tides, the special light and the sky are all important source of inspiration for her special and unique knit designs. She is fascinated by traditional clothes and takes the old patterns and designs and translates them into modern creations and her creations are in Fair Isle. She showed us at that workshop in Amsterdam that although it looks complex it is in fact simple fair isle. Her work is amazing in its construction, colour use and the finishing is just superb.

I was gobsmacked on that day and I still think of it with a great deal of pleasure – for all sorts of reasons. We both love the sea and light, our environments, colours, and yarns. There is pleasure in all of those things – but I simply cannot imagine myself with the skills and patience and the dedication to create one of her truely amazing pieces and I am terrified of steeks. Piffle you say! No it is not piffle.

It is not the Fair Isle, that seems to be as easy as Christel has said. It is not the colour – I am in love with colour. The pieces are made in rectangles and triangles – easy. It is the techniques including the steeks, and the dramatic finishing of each piece.

Do I have the patience, the skills, the confidence? I don’t actually know.

So my challenge is to knit a piece designed by Christel Seyfarth. On my “to do” list for me, that is the finished piece which will be created by me will also be for me. It will have to wait until we have settled back in New Zealand. So the winter of 2012 on New Zealand – that will be July to September 2012 – my big project will be a Christel Seyfarth design. It will include steeks – which as I have said already, quite frankly terrify me.

I am no longer going to be a scaredy cat regarding steeks. So there.

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And now for something completely different

by on Apr.01, 2011, under Blog

Day Five: 1st April. And now for something completely different – a bit of our European journey

And why we are going home – our very special grand baby – who will be 8 years old this year. The baby shawl was knitted in garter stitch in a large square. The edge was crocheted with trebles and shells. So it is still nearly a knitting and crocheting blog post.

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Whatever happened to that stained glass sweater!!!!!!!

by on Mar.31, 2011, under Blog

Day Four: 31st March. Where is it now?stained-glass-web.jpg

I do know exactly what happened to that stained glass sweater – but I have not thought about it in a very long time.

This sweater was initially created for a fashion parade in Orewa, north of Auckland, New Zealand. It must have been around 1989. It was a simple intarsia sweater, created with various wonderful browns/oranges/fawns variegated yarns separated by black mohair lines – hence “stained glass”

I believe that our daughter was to wear said sweater in the parade, and right now I cannot remember if she actually did so. But I guess that is okay after all these years.

The sweater was in the parade in Orewa and then went with other local fashion designs and two other knits of mine to Hawaii for a parade and event there.

Our daughter at the time had very serious glandular fever and had been away from school for 6 months – and her recovery was very slow. She had been very down, a young teenager with lots to look forward to, being very ill for some considerable time. We encouraged her to apply for a Rotary Scholarship which if successful would provide her impetus with something so big to look forward to. She had to decide if she could go to Hawaii for the fashion parade as a model or to “somewhere” on the Rotary Scholarship if she was successful.

She opted for the Rotary Scholarship and was successful. – It is another story but even up to a few weeks from departure date for Europe on that scholarship we were all uncertain if she the strength to go – but she did and she had a wonderful year in Denmark.

Back to the sweater – which went to Hawaii without her.

After the sweater was paraded in all its glory along with two other pieces of mine in Hawaii it returned to New Zealand and it became our daughters sweater and she wore it for many years. She went on to university in Auckland, where she lived in a flat with others and one of the others had a dog. Nothing unusual in that of course – except that the sweater faded from view. One day I asked about the sweater which had travelled the world and been part of her life for a long time and it transpired that the “dog” had chewed a great deal of it. That is it was unwearable and destroyed.

She sheepishly brought the sweater home and we looked it and we put it to one side. I did plan to undo, unravel, reknit etc the sweater – but I kept looking, I washed it by hand very gently and looked at it some more.

Eventually I decided that it was just too hard to fix. Mohair is very difficult to undo and the damage was extensive.

So it went to the sweater pile in the ether somewhere.

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I think I want, I think I want to knit socks!!

by on Mar.29, 2011, under Blog

Skill + 1UP or I think I want, I think I want to knit socks!!

Have I been upskilling myself in the knitting world in recent times?

I guess so. In the time since I arrived in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands at the end of August 2008 I have tried a number of techniques that I had never looked at previously and I have rekindled an interest in simple lace stitches. It has been easy to work on new techniques when away from all the interruptions that a normal life at home in New Zealand allows. In New Zealand one had friends to see, family to be with, stuff to do other than knitting, like gardening and so on. Here in the Netherlands Best Beloved is at work so I have peaceful time on my side, time to explore and to play with yarns and concepts and colours and obviously to explore and experience the Netherlands and so I have.

Carbon Footprint - Shadow Knitting

My little list of new or rediscovered skills is as follows:

  • Shadow knitting
  • Moebius Cast on – Moebius Scarf
  • Feather and Fan stitch
  • Hyperbolic Plane playing
  • Knit Graffiti
  • Knitted I-cord Brain Cells
  • and then there is the orange crepe paper crown that I started, required for Queens Day on the 30th of April. I have also used dpn’s for the first time knitting a pair of simple ribbed fingerless gloves.

    Feather and Fan arm warmers

    Skirt with hyperbolic plane inc

    But my big hairy goal – is sock knitting.

    Which sock pattern would you recommend for a new sock knitter, me.

    I can knit in the round, I can knit simple lace, I can follow charts, I can follow written instructions, I can knit with dpn’s, I have sock yarn, and I have IOU’s for 2 pairs of red socks.

    Help please, advice requested. Which sock pattern do you recommend for plain red socks for the two men in my life, my son and my Best Beloved?

    World Wide Words: states that Upskilling is a moderately common technical term and the Second Additions Volume of the Oxford English Dictionary cites a first use as long ago as 1983.

    Upskilling refers to increasing the skills of workers, usually through training. Critics say that upskilled workers are not necessarily better paid, nor do they have better promotion prospects, and that upskilling benefits the employer rather than the worker.

    I think the critics are nearly right – upskilled knitters are not necessarily better paid – but they have lots of fun, gain pleasure, have more to offer other knitters and are all round contented, well balanced, and interesting people.

    Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

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