This week I have more reason than usual to smile, as those of you who follow us on tumblr will already know. The super powerhouse that is Biggan Deisgn HQ have been furiously clacking away on their needles to get things ship shape and bristol fashion in time for a photoshoot for the website. As a result a larger than usual number of 4ply remnants have been created which is jolly good news for me. I’ve been given this delightful care package of colour which means just one thing – HEXIPUFF SUPPLIES!
Me + bag of little balls of yarn = manic smiles = attempting to throw them in air to illustrate said joy = failure. They went everywhere. Oh well.
Now that I’ve covered my smiles it’s time to share a reason for North American Biggan fans to smile – Interweave. This year will host another special appearance from Biggan Ryd-Dups herself. She so adored her last trip she can’t wait to get back to, with her glamorous assistant/daughter Ellie, teach classes, sell products and generally share the fun of everything Biggan Design is about. She’ll be sharing her wisdom by teaching classes on Continental Knitting (trust me, go for it), Steeking and how to design a stylish knitted wardrobe.
If you’re geographically lucky enough to be nearby the event then check it out, you lucky thing!
Sometimes your average freelance knitting blogger and yarn enthusiast will find themselves a little lost for ideas. The overstuffed bag of yarn has been sorted, you’ve finished an exciting project and can’t bring yourself to work on any from the not-finished-so-I’m-ignoring-you pile. For me this particular malady usually strikes about this time of year, when the southern hemisphere temperature starts rising and the disturbing nearness of Xmas makes you give up before you’ve even started the planned projects for the rest of the year.For me there are two magic phrases that can lift this fog of seasonally out of sync knitting malaise. They are ‘vintage knitting books’ and ‘Susan Crawford.’
A while ago I was stumbling around a market in Noosa and snapped up my first little collection of old knitting pattern books. Other than the appeal of neatly coiffured ladies in grey scale knitted wonders what I enjoy most about them is that they can inspire you to be even more ambitious in what you attempt. When you’re mind is a bit sick of the old comfy jumper, scarves and hats routine it’s great to see old knitted dresses, suits and skirts. Now I’m not yet quick or disciplined enough to make myself a whole spiffy suit of wool (like the game lass on the front of Patons book) but it reminds me that a knitted garment, especially one made with lovey luxury merino, can be classy as hell as well as comfortable.
This lead me, as it usually does, to browsing through Susan Crawford patterns on Ravelry and trying desperately to convince myself that buying her pretty books just to stroke the pictures would be financially justifiable. Her Stitch in Time two volume series is quite possibly what I dream about at night, the bright and fresh reworking of vintage patterns with that smack of sub culture cool that really get hands twitching for some needles and yarn. If that were not enough she even has a spiffy cape made using Biggan Design DK yarn, specifically Light Khaki 495 and Black 000. Check it out here – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/town-and-city-tufted-cape.
(c) arbour house publishing
So as I result of this meander through vintage knitting inspiration from print and internet distractions I’ve promised myself to try my hand at the Such Flattering Puff Sleeves
jumper because it is amazing and I must have it, even though it may take me about a year at my current pace. I’m leaning towards a startling Scarlet colour (N0. 230 below) for soirees and gallery visiting and the like. Thoughts?
(c) arbour house publishing
Until next time
It seems if you spend your time, as I do, perusing the knitting related websites of the glorious internet, that it is almost mandatory for every knitting blogger to try their hand at hexipuffs at least once. I, dear blog reader, am no exception. I am not immune to the power of the adorable hexipuff or the blind hope that one day I might turn them into a glorious beekeepers quilt a la the famous tinyowl pattern from which they come. For those new to the wonderful world of hexipuffs do yourselves a favour and look up them up on Ravelry because even if you don’t want to make one yourself I guarantee you will be charmed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the pattern and people who are bravely attempting it. Anyway, the reason I bring this up here on the hallowed pages of the Biggan Design blog is that I think bubbly Biggan colours are perfect for this sort of thing.
The idea came to me when I was procrastinating in my usual way by taking advantage of being in the BD office to play around with the shelves and shelves full of yarn. Now I must admit this often results in nothing more productive than me testing out which colourways or challenging myself to try create the most lurid possible jumper stripes in my head (hint: actually very difficult with Biggan yarn – they all go so well together)! On this particular occasion however I spied some pertinent stationary in the office and it sparked the idea in my head that a bright beekeepers quilt in Biggan colours would be FAB!
So I set about utilizing the ever so useful scrap yarn basket to see how it would look. I have been terribly slack when it comes to remembering to knit them but I think my little collection of hexipuffs that I’ve made so far are a delight, like a box of sweets.
Apologies for the varying colour in some of them – phone pictures are not always your friend.
One of the greatest things about the Biggan Design range of luxury merino yarn yumminess is that the colours are all so carefully selected by Biggan that you could be certain all 64 could go in your quilt and tone with each other wonderfully. Plus there’s the fact that the colours don’t change seasonally so will ALWAYS be available. The point is that, while very much doubt that I’ll have the dedication to finish them all anytime soon, I am seriously excited by the prospect of cuddling up a vivid bed of them one day.
Hope you are all having a good August, half way through the year already!
Some of the beady eyes amongst you might have noticed that we got some new pictures on our website a few months ago. Well, it was all down to a fantastic day-long photo shoot with resident BD photographer, the wonderful Hannah Millerick.
The Lovely Hannah
Check out her website http://www.hannahmillerick.com.au/ to see more of her stunning work.
Now that the chosen few photos are up on the website I thought I’d show you some of the behind the scenes/extra snaps to give you an insight into our hectic day working with babies, toddlers and yarn!
Mischief, mayhem and yarn.
As you can see everything looks fantastic but it wasn’t all pain sailing, You know what they say about working with children? Well, it turned out that while trying to focus toddlers on the camera required Ellie to break out her best yarn throwing skills ….
it was actually the blankets that proved the most difficult to work with. Trying to find the best way to capture all the texture and brightness of Biggan’s best blankets required a whole lot of messing around with pillows, binders and various other building blocks to get the perfect look. It was all worth it though as the blankets look good enough to eat in the final products. Yum!
It was a massive job that required hands on deck from everyone. Here’s a lovely snap of the Queen of the Shop knitting away to make sure everything is perfect.
Biggan Ryd-Dups in action
By the end of the day we’d gone from smiles all around to a little bit unhinged. Even the ever dedicated Eleanor was starting to loose it! Celebratory g+t’s at the end of the day were not just refreshing, they were necessary!
Losing the plot
Until next time, keep knitting!
p.s. obviously all the nice photos are Hannah’s and the shoddy camera phone pics are my doing.
Just a few words this week. I’ve got some more yarn colour wheel pictures for you all. This time they are based off a Summer pallette (although a browny one) and are full of delicious jewel tones.
If you want to get your hands of any of these particular colours then you are in luck because I’ve got myself together enough to write out a list for you!
Buy any or all of the above in 4ply here or in 8ply here.