Welcome to Erssie Knits

To see my new website, and find patterns to download and more go here to the Erssie Knits website
And back to work..............

I can't tell you what I am working on at the moment with regard to knitting. All I can say is that it has a Christmas theme and so will be published before December.

My most exciting news is that despite not being fit to travel (won't spoil anyone's dinner by saying why) I have booked my tickets to New Zealand. I will be seeing my niece for the first time since she was 16mths old and my nephew for the very first time. I shall be in NZ for about a month, travelling back on 1st Jan (it's cheaper to fly on an important holiday rather than before or after) and have every intention of continuing with my Erssie Knits projects whilst there. I always carry my design journal so that I can sketch and plan, NZ has to be the best place to get stuff for swatching and I now have a couple of knitters working with me who can handle any immediate UK projects.

Erssie Knits is ticking over just as I would like it to, my projects are for fun and any money earned (not a lot normally) I just use to spend on materials either for charity or for more knitting adventures. Recently, there has been a bit of pocket money that has tempted me into commissioning a hat from www.woollywormhead.com
I have been trying to support my fellow crafters by ordering the odd thing here and there. I have also asked www.pixeldiva.co.uk to knit a shrug for me, I have the yarn honestly but haven't been to my knitting group AngelknitsLondon since June! I have also purchased stitchmarkers from www.annarella.co.uk
and a pair of alpaca socks from Noblin Knits in the past. I think that quite often crafters love to view other people's wares but in the back of their mind they feel that if they had the time they could make the item themselves so end up not buying it. I'm trying to be realistic, I love Ruth Paisley's textiles, I'm never going to be able to spin like her and despite being able to knit and crochet accessories myself, I want to wear something different. I love some of the loose gauge knits Ann did this year, if I made her shrug for myself it woudn't be like that so where's the variety? As for knitting socks, I don't have the drive or dexterity to knit myself something in such a small gauge. Yes, variety is the spice of crafts.

Just seen Anna of Annarella's designs in Heather's new book, and I am envious. The book Not Your Mam's Knitting looks great and I will be ordering a copy. I do hope I can get to Angelknits Tues to see a copy!

I worked on a book which is out about now but sadly I haven't seen a copy. Neither have I been paid for a single penny for the work I did on that. Annoying because I sacrificed a lot of my own projects and donated my own designs to this book. There is always a chance the situation will be resolved but it has left a bad taste in my mouth, and it has put me off publishing. A shame as I had hoped to put together a book of my own and thought that working on someone else's book would give me a feel for what it was like. There is another book I worked on too and I haven't been paid for that either. My projects I am working on at the moment will be publisheed at Christmas but as it is for charity, I won't be paid for that. Looks like I'll have to stick to the ethos of knitting and crocheting for fun only. I hope that I won't be using this blog to whine but thought I'd just mention the publishing problems as a kind of warning to other crafters. Get a contract or written agreement first!


I had a wonderful holiday in Croyde. We stayed in a chalet with a stile at the end of the road and a path through the dunes to a wild beach. We were also near another surfer's paradise; a 3 mile beach with about 20 quaint beach huts. We rented a beach hut for the day and I took my knitting of course, some good books and lounged around in old fashioned deckchairs with cappucinos whilst my friend Steve went surfing. I will post some photos soon but as for contacts......well I am hoping that this part of Devon will stay unspoilt. As some of you may know, my surname is Cloutman and we were staying a few roads down from a Cloutman's lane which I found very exciting as my actual ancestors came from this area and owned a large farm which it is rumoured had it's boundary along Cloutman's Lane. Needless to say, what with cream teas and eating out I put on a stone in a week!
Recently Skeinspotted - Things a knitting junkie cannot fail to miss

Wildswans 3 Daughters of China by Jung Chang - women students who went to Communist Party meetings just sat gossiped and knitted instead,
The Olive Readers Christine Aziz has a story of a scarf knitted by wife for hubbie to use as bungy jump out off a turret. She craftily knitted it only a few inches from the floor so he hit the ground and got mangled!
'One hour photo' film, heroine was wearing a nice handcrafted sweater with blanket stitch edging
Goodnight Mr Tom TV drama, who did all those lovely classic knits? They look far too good to be standard 1940's knits, if my granny had knitted one of those it would be kept for Sunday best, not put onto a young boy learning to ride a bike (badly).
Loss of a Pet. How much should we grieve?

Jem (Hooter) RIP

Dogs. They are very much on my mind at the moment. Firstly we lost our lovely dog Jem in July and we are still grieving. There was a discussion on BBC London Radio (Vanessa Feltz show) today about whether people should be allowed to take a whole week off work if their dog dies. Also, I keep being reminded from various sources that really we should 'get over it' and 'dogs only live a short time' and of course we 'shouldn't turn dogs into our children, they're only dogs....'. Needless to say most of these people either have never had
pets before in their lives, or they have children and can't imagine
other people loving anything as much as they love their kids. I am tempted to say to these people when they lose their elderly parents ' get over it, humans only live for 70 odd years, you should accept that' but I don't. This is what I feel. Grief should not be measured by assessing the value of the animal/person lost. Grief is the measurement of the sorrow felt by the person experiencing a loss of parent/spouse/friend/child/pet. Judging someone is not going to put a limit on thier grief although it may encourage them to repress it and only give vent to it in private.

I'd like to add that Jem was never our 'child' he was a dog, not just a dog, an exceptional dog to us. We should remember that we are all animals. Parents should remember that the protective kind of love they feel for their child that overwhelms them is after all an animal instinct. I respect the feelings that humans have for each other, why can't humans accept the love that some of us have for animals without thinking we have anthropomorphised them into substitutes for friends/parents/kids? Parents, if you lost your child you would grieve for the end of your days so give us dog lovers a break and let us grieve for our pets for a little while.

Biggley (Warhol) RIP

I know, I said I wouldn't get personal on a blog. I said it would all be totally related to knitting. It doesn't work like that does it?
Welcome to the world of Erssie (or part of it). Yep, I've given in and got myself a blog! Sticking up photos of my knitting on my website is all well and good but not very personal. Every time I had a bit of knitty gossip I was wearing out my poorly working hands trying to summarise it into a text message and sending it to to my fellow crafters and it was all becoming quite repetitive and you all know how I love to prattle on. I was also secretly envious of the knitting rings that indulged in things like Secret Pal and I couldn't be a party to it without my own blog!

Anyway, to those of you who haven't seen me for a while, personal things have been happening but I won't open my very first blog with such boring details. As far as knitty news goes, have had one recent design in Magknits and currently working on the next (to go in Oct/Nov). I've also been knitting a few personal things, some charity stuff to go into a magazine and hopefully another project for a new print magazine coming out soon. I've also had a couple of 'publishers' contacting me, awaitin phone calls to see what they want exactly as I haven't submitted anything to them.

As ever, I'm looking for knitters who can carry out my instructions more speedily than I can knit. I seem to get more requests for knits than I can carry out and those of you who know my 'personal' details will know how I am a bit one armed at the moment. if you know any neat and accurate knitters who want to volunteer to help out I will share my fees fairly for work done and give credits where they are due.

Do come and visit my blog often, I'll try to fill it with knitty things and list any opportunities of interest to my lovely knitting community. Oh...here are some I've been working on for charity, pattern available on www.childsoc.org.uk , find it in their Knit It pages under fundraising.