Shetland Wool Week and Travel journal inspiration.

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Knitting my Bousta Beanie

After many years of lusting over Fair Isle knitwear, Puffins and all things Ann Cleeves, I will be making the long journey to the Shetland Islands for Shetland Wool Week in September and I couldn’t be more excited. My Bousta Beanie is finished, my ferry, hostel, and classes are booked too,  Lerwick, here I come!

It will be a long journey from here in Lancashire to Lerwick, 800 miles and 17 hours in total but it will be worth it to visit such a special place in the UK and knitting traditions. I will be taking my journal which was a Christmas gift from a very special friend last year as well as a travel journal. This is a first for me and I’m excited to journal and keep all of the postcards, my tickets, and photographs in one place.

But where do I start? My travel journal is from Paperchase  The oversized A5 kraft multi-journal with dotted, squared and lined pages makes an ideal travel journal. I know it will be filled with mementos and inspiration for many new knitting projects and maybe a design or two.

The plan is that I am going to sew linen fabric to make a book sleeve for my cover so I can embroider the front cover of my Shetland travel journal.  Pinterest has some amazing tutorials to make a composition book sleeve – like this one here  

and here.

I hope to get my supplies and ideas together this week so I can make a start on my first ever embroidery project- wish me luck!

If you have any advice, please let me know I would love to hear from you.

Emma x

 

 

Girlinknits in 2015

My wanderlust has taken hold again.. After last year’s succeessful trips to the Danish capital, Copenhagen and my home city of London.  I have booked the Generator Hostel in Berlin Mitte for the end of  February.  My first trip with my brother. 

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Work has calmed down now so I’m really making progress on my worsted boxy sweater by Joji Locatelli.  I hope to have it finished before the year is out.

If you have any recommendations for our trip to Berlin  than pls leave a comment at the end of this post.

A twin room at Generator Berlin Mitte. – http://pinterest.com/pin/56576539044883844/?s=3&m=wordpress

A case for the defense of British Wool

poppy red BFL aran
BFL Aran WYSpinners

Did you know that a farmer receives just £1 per fleece for his wool! Really Shocking isn’t it? when you compare how much we buy our yarns for.

30p per Kg. Wool prices range from 1p per Kg for Jacob sheep and around 80p per Kg for Wensleydale or the like! It really is shocking. I was shocked when I saw how little a farmer is paid for the hard work needed in raising his herds. Whenever possible I have used British yarns in my crafting. because I want the farmer to receive a fair price for his work. This is the main reason for lack of British spun and reared wools on the shelves of our local LYS.  I would like to see more british wool in stores.

Festivals like the British Wool Weekend need to happen because at one time in the UK, all yarn you could buy was British wool, which of course made people itch.. so when the softer, modern yarns became available tastes changed.. and British wool became lost in the background. Now, British made yarns are now seen as a luxury. There is change happening out there.

Big retailers such as John Lewis and yarn companies such as Rowan, Artesano and others independent retailers such as Blacker yarns and Jamieson and Smith are now manufacturing British yarns. Debbie Bliss and Rowan have British breed yarns avaliable within their ranges. The designer Kate Davies creates some incredible work with British yarns

One thing is sure in my mind, with big events such as Wool Week in October and The Wool House in London has seen high street retailers join in the campaign to bring about more awareness of the yarns I hope, people will open their eyes to what is made within the British Wool Industry when they are buying yarn and other wooly goods.

Let me know what you think and if you use British Yarns.. I would love to hear from you

Us Vogue and the debate that keeps on going..

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Looking at the long aisles of magazines in my local branch of WHSmiths on the high street, I pick up US vogue and see an article on Debbie Wasserman Schulz, the US Representative for FL-20 and making sure that it was her and not somebody else. She is unrecognisable. And after a little while  longer looking at other magazines and buying my usual copies of Elle UK and Instyle. I thought nothing more of it. Until I went online later that evening to refinery29.com and read their article ‘ Why is it still an issue for a woman to be pretty and competant’

Debating the age old question of beauty versus competence. Are women deliberately underestimated by potential employers because of our appearance? Do we have to ‘dumb down’ and consider fading into the background to advance our careers.I firmly believe that being a woman in business is hard enough, a recession also makes this even tougher than ever before. What, with being taken seriously, the question of marriage and children hanging around our necks, First impressions are important but should we have to become a weaker, quieter more submissive version of ourselves to please everyone else but ourselves.

However, all things considered this is US VOGUE is not a political pamphlet. Its a fashion bible. There is no way in a blue moon that Anna Wintour would allow a woman to  a appear in her magazine without looking done. This has got me thinking.. My immediate thoughts.. Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin during her campaign for office in 2008 was awarded more column inches because of her makeover (Do they have Valantino in Alaska..?) and her beauty queen history than her policies. This line of questioning is the same for the current coverage of the political party conferences here in the UK, this month.

Headlines included:

(Wife of Prime Minister, David) ‘Samantha Cameron arrives to the conference in Jeans’ (it was a Sunday)

(Wife of Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg) ‘Miriam Gonzalez Durantez is unflattering in white’

Wife of opposition leader Justine Milliband has lost weight, a new haircut and gained a stylist.

To the wider world, all of these women who are all successful capable and incredibly confident have been reduced to appearances, to be seen and not heard. Again I am reminded that in today’s modern world its appearances that matter and not our ability. This is 2012, not 1912.A woman’s appearance should not hinder her career prospects. The real reason  the debate keeps on going  is that we are strong, ambitious and confident women, there is only a thin layer of glass to keep us from our ultimate goal. Just because something has been believed for a long time doesn’t make it right. So, Next time your in the office or at an interview, stay true to yourself. That way you’ll look and feel confident in you and your ability.