Saturday, 31 October 2009

Blankets, buttons and beads

Bonjour my friends! I'm back from Brittany, bursting with things to tell you about our few days en France. More of that later. First, I simply have to tell you about a workshop I went to yesterday. Meg, the lady who organises our knitting group, had arranged for Debbie Abrahams to come and give a workshop on blankets and throws. There were only twelve of us taking part, so it meant that we were really able to benefit from all Debbie's expertise. What a lovely person she is too. (I love her sweater - knitted in 4 ply, I think, with about 1000 beads knitted into it. Just the thought of threading all those beads onto the yarn before starting to knit gives me palpitations! But it was worth it - it looked stunning!)

Debbie Abrahams workshop 015

She brought a selection of her blankets and throws along with her for inspiration, along with copies of some of her books.

Debbie Abrahams blankets

We each had to choose a square to knit, according to what techniques we wanted to learn. I've been wanting to learn how to knit with beads for sometime now, so I chose a square from the Four Seasons quilt - a Christmas tree! This square also involved colourwork, so I was able to practise my intarsia - something I've not done since I first started knitting as a teenager, and picture knits were all the rage! (That must age me!) Debbie circulated around the group all day, giving advice, teaching new skills, and just generally enthusing us. She said that she loved knitting with beads, and that it would be a life changing experience for us! It was! It's incredibly simple to do, and it's amazing how it transforms a piece of knitting from something rather ordinary, to something rather beautiful. Here's my square....

Debbie Abrahams workshop spend (2)

I'm so proud of my little Christmas tree! The beads are all knitted into the design, and the light green edging was Swiss darned on afterwards. Here's a close up of just the tree!!

Debbie Abrahams workshop spend

Take a look at some of the other squares that were knitted...........

Debbie Abrahams workshop

At the end of the day, there was the opportunity to purchase some of Debbie's lovely beads and buttons. The beads are just perfect for knitting, as the hole is big enough for DK or 4 ply yarn to go through, even though the beads themselves look quite delicate. And the buttons are made by Debbie's Mum! I couldn't resist the two sets I bought, even though I don't have a project lined up for them at the moment! I also bought a DVD showing all the techniques (and more!) that Debbie shared with us.

Debbie Abrahams spend

I already had one of Debbie's books, Blankets and Throws to Knit, so I took it along to get it signed!

Debbie Abrahams workshop spend (4)

It certainly was happy knitting! And I have a sneaky suspicion that 2010 may well be the Year of the Blanket! You'll have to come back and see on January 1st next year!


snoopydog said...

Oh I love your little christmas tree square. You're right, the beads set it off beautifully! Looks like you had a great day. I am sorry I missed it. Love your buttons too! Great post! :D XX

Carrie said...

Hi, that sounds like a fun day! Good job on the square, it looks complicated! I haven't attempted to learn intarsia yet, let alone knitting with beads! Thanks for visiting my bolg - your's was my first comment! xx :)

Jenny said...

How fantastic to spend time with a knitting hero, she does look lovely and not at all scary. I wasn't even there and I feel inspired, love the christmas tree square.