April’s Close Knit will take place this Saturday, 27th April at the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall at 2-4pm. Please come along!
Need a little pampering with a touch of luxury every now and again? If a spa retreat isn’t on the cards, treat yourself to a unique designer (that’s you!) 100% pure cotton flannel. Guaranteed to bring a little extra pleasure to every bath-time! Using simple knit and purl stitches to develop ‘gansey’ style patterns, Lucy Burscough will guide you through the process with tips and advice for absolute beginners and challenges for the experts.
December’s Close Knit took place in Manchester Art Gallery’s beautiful Pre-Raphaelite Gallery and was hosted by the gallery’s most skilled (and fastest!) knitter, Projects Assistant, Bev Hogg.
We were honoured to be surrounded by such inspirational art but managed to make ourselves at home to such an extent that many visitors found our group almost as interesting an exhibit as the paintings and sculptures! Some examples of fine Victorian knitting were on display for us to marvel at such intricate work.
Bev made up some excellent information sheets with interesting articles about Victorian patterns and Christmas traditions, and festive patterns were provided by Rachel of Art Yarn. They can all be downloaded via the links below.
Links to download the info sheets:
Many thanks to all those of you who, over the last year, have made Close Knit Manchester such a dynamic, friendly and educational group! We have all learnt a lot, polished up our skills and enjoyed each other’s company. Looking forward to seeing you at Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall at 2-4pm on the last Saturday of the month in 2013. Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year one and all!
Saturday saw another enjoyable session at Platt Hall hosted by Kate Day. We were pleased to be sharing our space with the Costume Gallery’s new cafe and their customers seemed to enjoy knitting as a spectator sport too!
The theme of the session was designer knitwear and Kate kicked off the session by introducing us to some of the knitted pieces from the collection which will be part of next year’s knitwear exhibition at the gallery. We went on to look at some inspirational designers and their knitwear pieces for the Autumn/Winter season 2012. I don’t know about you but I want to knit a jumper with a gap like the one we saw from Acne. Gorgeous!
Artist Sarah Marsh came along to say hello. She was keen to enlist some of our knitters to help with a knitted installation artwork for the gallery that she is working on with another group. If anyone would be interested in knitting some string or wire pieces for Sarah, they can be handed in for Kate Day, at Platt Hall reception or Manchester Art Gallery.
In the practical knitting part of the session, we took our lead from the designers use of snoods and headbands this season, and tackled working in the round.
We tried lots of techniques, using double pointed and circular needles, with many of the group trying out the ‘magic loop’ method for the first time. Even the tricky but interesting technique that allows one to knit a tube on a pair of standard needles was attempted. Our group is not afraid of a challenge! There was something to stretch everyone’s skills from intrepid experts to absolute beginners, and cake too. Knitting aside, one thing is for sure, and we are all expert knatterers! Well done all!
December’s session is earlier in the month than usual. It is at Manchester Art Gallery on Saturday the 8th, same time 2-4pm. See you there!
This month’s Close Knit session, ‘Sheep, Socks and Wire Woollies’ was at the Manchester Museum, as part of the Manchester Science Festival. The Museum was extremely busy with all the festivities going on so we were up in the Resource Centre on the 3rd floor.
Anna Bunney curator of public programmes started the session and welcomed everyone to the museum. She talked a little bit about the museum’s collection which were on display for the purpose of the workshop and about making yarn from natural materials such as nettles. The collection display included showed the 10 stages from raw wool to yarn, woven camel hair and natural fibres including hemp all used for making textiles.
The session began properly with Jude beckett talking to the group about the wonders of spinning. She explained the process from beginning to end advising on the best type of sheep wool to use, sourcing raw wool from farms or EBay and about washing the coat. Jude had brought with her a number of different examples of hand spun wool in a variety of colours and types as well as different things she had made.
The demonstration started with carding which aligns all the fibres in one direction and fluffs them to make drafting easier. Jude’s friend Belinda had a hand-cranker with which she transferred the raw wool into fibres which Jude could begin spinning with.
Using a lot of hand, eye and foot coordination Jude fed these fibres into the spinning wheel creating even, smooth yarn. She made it look very easy and everyone at the workshop was very envious.
After the demonstration Jude invited some people to try out her wheel while other sat down and got on with some knitting.
There was a wide mix of abilities at the session form expert knitters to beginners including a 6 year old boy who came with his Mum and managed to knit a whole line. There were a variety of patterns available, including slugs, acorns and leaves for Ordsall Hall and older sock patterns from the Gallery of Costume.
Local groups include the Stockport Spinners who meet at The Plough in Heaton Moor on the first Tuesday night of each Month: