Monday, 9 December 2013


My last fair of 2013 has been and gone and I have decided to take a break from the craft fair scene as Baljaffray Handknits for a while. I am therefore not booking any events in the New Year at this stage. I need to concentrate on our Janet & John business and may do some Spring fairs under that umbrella, where my knitting will be available alongside the work of the many other artists and crafters we have the privilege to stock. Baljaffray Handknits is not likely to return to craft fairs in its own right until Autumn 2014.

In the meantime, I'm still knitting! My work can be found in Janet & John, The Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan and a limited range can be found in the gift shop at the New Lanark World Heritage Site. I hope to return to the Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus Estate next year(Easter - Oct), but this has yet to be confirmed.

Thank you to all my customers who have supported me in 2013. If you're in Glasgow, come and see me in Janet & John.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

New Location For The Magpie's Eye Gallery

The Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan, Glasgow, has moved into much larger premises in the Govan Cross Shopping Centre next to Govan Subway Station.  As well as having a section for local artists and crafters to display their work, the shop also has lots of furniture at very reasonable prices and also specialises in vinyl records and books.
I will be restocking the gallery with Baljaffray Handknits later this week.

Loch an Eilein Gallery Closed for the Winter

The Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus estate near Aviemore is now closed for the winter.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Janet & John Opens Tomorrow

So, as well as a hand knitter, as of tomorrow, I'm now a gallery/shop owner in Glasgow's West End. You can visit the Janet & John website to find out more and also the shop Facebook page.

My knitting forms only a small proportion of the arts and crafts available to buy in Janet & John.  Here are some pictures of Baljaffray Handknits items in the shop:

Price & Kensington teapots sold with cosies
ipod/mobile cases of various sizes
Antique towel rail 
My largest display is on an antique towel rail that we found in a shop near Aviemore a few weeks ago. It currently displays bags, stoles and baby blankets, but they will be replaced by scarves as Winter approaches.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Janet & John Opens On August 1st

Our little arts & crafts shop/gallery opens on August 1st, upstairs in De Courcy's Arcade, Cresswell Lane, Hillhead, Glasgow, G12 8AA.  You can find out more from our website or Facebook page.

Janet & John will stock a variety of arts and crafts, including Baljaffray Handknits.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Vintage Yarns

I've been using some amazing vintage yarns lately.  I got a massive bag for just £1 from The Magpie's Nest in Govan a few weeks ago.  The shop is next door to The Magpie's Eye, which is one of the shops that stocks my work.  Admittedly, some of it's contents were unusable, but there were also some real gems.

Among other things, I have been combining many of the DK, 3ply and 2ply yarns from the bag to make unusual colour combinations.  By using 6mm needles and a mixture of yarns that equate to super chunky when combined, I was able to produce a number of items including Kindle cases and purses.

I sourced a variety of vintage buttons to complement these.  These seem to have become scarce locally, so I ended up using a company on ebay.   For others, I used hand-made buttons from Laura Wilson Designs and Made By Aleks.

And then on Saturday, I went to the Oxfam DIY shop on Byres Road, close to where our new arts and crafts gallery is opening on August 1st.  There I found four 1oz balls of the most amazing yarn I think I've ever knitted with.  At first, I wasn't even sure it was vintage, as it's in such a good condition.  It's called "Moon Gold" and was made pre-1983 by Bernat Klein in Scotland.  I used just over half of it to make this rather special slouchy hat.

The yarn is a luxuriously soft mixture of cashmere, wool and rayon, with an amazing gold lustre.  Bernat Klien pioneered these kinds of natural/synthetic mixtures in at his factory in Galashiels between 1970 and 1983, at one time employing 250 local hand knitters to test his yarns and accompanying patterns.

I thought such special yarn needed a simple lace pattern to show it off to its best advantage.  This version of my slouchy hat has 3 rows of eyelets nestled between 4 rows of plain stocking stitch.

Monday, 10 June 2013

I'm Opening A Shop

My husband John and I are planning to open a small arts and craft gallery/shop early in August.  It will be on the first floor of De Courcy's Arcade (Eli Handmade, which currently stocks some of my work, is on the ground floor of the same building).

As well as selling some of my knitting, we will be stocking many other artists' and crafters' work on a commission basis.

More details to follow, both here and (more frequently) on my business Facebook page (see link on the left of this page).

This photo is quite an old one off De Courcy's Arcade's Facebook Page, and there's no longer a flower seller at the entrance.  Follow the link to find a useful map.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Hats From Special Yarns

I've been working with some beautiful yarns from different sources lately which have inspired me to create some unique hats.

This one was created using beautiful chunky yarn from Strathearn Fleece and Fibre.  Using wool from their own sheep, they produce hand crafted yarns of every weight that are a delight to work with.  This particular hat is now available from the Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus estate near Aviemore.  Incidentally, another picture of this hat has proved to be my most popular posting on Facebook.

This hat was also knitted using chunky yarn from Strathearn Fleece and Fibre.  It has a slightly fuller and more feminine shaping than my standard unisex beanie.

The yarn for this slouchy hat came from Snip, Tack and Sew in Crieff.  The wool and acrylic mix yarn is beautifully soft.  The yarn gradually changes colour to give these vibrant bands in the finished hat.  This particular hat is also now at the Loch an Eilein Gallery, but I loved it so much that I went back to Crieff on the way home to purchase some more and I knitted an identical one.  Now the replacement hat has sold as well!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Up to Aviemore

The Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus estate near Aviemore opens again for the summer this Saturday (despite the fact there's still snow up there).  For a second year, I have the privilege to be exhibiting/selling my work there in 2013.

For more information, take a look at their website here.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How Can I Buy Baljaffray Hanknits Items?

If you browse through my website and see something you might like to buy, you might be interested to know that you can do so in 3 different ways:

  • At Craft Fairs  See the craft fairs page for details of forthcoming events.
  • Through shops and galleries which stock my work  See the relevant page on this website.  The Loch an Eilein Gallery on the Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore will also take orders for items if you live in that area or even if you are just visiting (they will post orders for an additional charge).  Out of season, when the gallery is closed, the estate shop handles enquiries on behalf of the gallery.  In Glasgow, the Magpie's Eye Gallery in Govan also handles orders but only for personal collection from the shop.
  • Online Although I don't currently have a web shop, I am happy to take orders via email.  See the "Contact Me" page.  I would ask you to pay via Paypal immediately prior to dispatch, having previously agreed the price (including P&P) beforehand.   I have many items in stock for immediate dispatch but I can also knit items that are currently out of stock within a day or two, subject to yarn availability. 

Spring Design Update

I've been busy designing new items since Christmas and I thought I best update my blog with a few photos.

This simple striped ribbed unisex beanie shows the beautiful colours of DK New Lanark wool off to their best.  As it's knitted with DK wool, it's a lighter weight of hat than my Aran beanie and will be good to wear on those slightly warmer Spring days we're all looking forward to.  It's available in different colourways.

In the run-up to Christmas I was asked if I did headbands by several ladies.  I had a couple of plain ones but I decided to design this new flower one.  The one in the picture is knitted in a wool/alpaca mix yarn and features a vintage button in the centre of the flower.  I have knitted a few more in different yarns and colours.

This new purse design was knitted in a luxury brand of French acrylic and features a metal button with a flower design.  Last year's New Lanark wool polka dot design purse has been very popular, so I'll continue to knit that one as well.

Finally for now, I have been knitting some traditional cotton face cloths in various patterns: butterflies, tulips and this checker board design.  The white cotton yarn shown washes at 60 deg C, which is really good for keeping it gleaming white.  I also have some dark pink ones where the yarn is more delicate and washes at 40 deg C.

More designs in a week or two .......

Saturday, 5 January 2013

New Free Knitting Pattern

Happy New Year!  I'm celebrating with a new free knitting pattern for this Fan Lace Panel Scarf.  Follow the new link for my free knitting patterns in the sidebar and then click the link to find it.