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.