Welcome to Erssie Knits

To see my new website, and find patterns to download and more go here to the Erssie Knits website
The Anticraft Book

OK, here is a sneak preview of a project I am involved with. It is The Anticraft's book coming out in Autumn (Fall) 2007. I have a design in it not once, not twice, but three times. After all, I did submit 13 designs so not such great odds.

So I guess I sort of wore the sisters down in the end but I have proved how valuable a theoretical design submission can be (with a colourful sketch) and beats having to make all 13 projects in order to get a submission accepted. I have seen a sneaky pic of one of my knits, looks fantastic.

I also had a knitter making me a version here but it was not to be (knitters , if you go near an Erssie Knits pattern she ain't joking about doing a gauge swatch first!). However, I don't bear any malice with regard to people who don't achieve size through gauge, I just think they should go and practice getting it right, adjusting it and being consistent. There is no greater joy than doing a gauge swatch, knitting the item and finding the measurement is spot on! I learned this through baby garments and kids garments where there is no room for a couple of extra stitches in an Aran weight,as a stitch out on the gauge can make an overall difference of quite a lot of inches. It was popping over to Woolly Wormhead (hadn't been to the blog for a week or two) and seeing her list of ideals. Just wish that people like that could knit for me but alas, anyone good at their gauge is inevitably a designer already and not a maker for designers!

Yay, we passed our homecheck. We are now looking to give a very special lurcher a forever home.It might not be easy, if we get a young rescue dog, but hopefully we will be able to set some boundaries because a happy dog is a dog that knows its place without having to be told. We believe in positive re-inforcement in dog training (does it work with humans too I wonder?) Being home all day will help the pooch, but I might have to hide all my wool in a very high place as lurchers are natural thievers of things like that (so I hear).
A Maiden's glory

Beltane has been and gone but as it is still May here is a photo of a headdress made by Elaine Lawton of the Shropshire Pagan group for the Clun Green Man festival. The Erssie Knits crochet pattern was previously published in the Beltane issue of the Anticraft last year.

I remember clearly the beautiful day we spent in the fields taking pics of the other Beltane project as well. Especially as it was not long after that we had to part company with our faithful hellhound Jem.

his leads me on to mention, we had our home check by a lovely couple yesterday, with their own lurchers, and we are awaiting the result. I am hoping we have an ideal home, the only thing that could possibly hold it up for us, is that lurchers can easily scale a fence, so we need to fix at least a 6ft one with no skinny gaps underneath. We are also going to get a new patio done so it had better be a good summer!

Alas, still no current pics of knits that are WIP because they are all in a private confidential gallery, unlikely to be released publicly until the end of the year!

I will still be bringing pics and features to this blog though, and let you know about all the crafty gossip in our lives. There will be the odd Erssie Knits pattern cropping up in the usual places, will keep you posted.

Here's a pic of 'The Boys' last year, I hope the boy on the right can understand we are not replacing him when he looks down and sees a new dog lying in his old house getting the same privileges he used to enjoy!
Here is the link to the free pattern ( in a pdf)for these hand felted Erssie Knits Baby Beanies shown here in Noro Kureyon yarns

We are going to be a Mummy and Daddy! No, we aren't having a baby. But we are thinking about getting another dog. It has taken nearly a year before we felt ready but we recently had a look at some dogs in the RSPCA kennels and found a beautiful greynbound saluki cross that we loved. However, he was recently stolen and then left by the road with a shattered leg and in agony. He was found 2 weeks after he had been taken from the RSPCA kennels and had to have his leg pinned and his body built up as he was emaciated.

However, he is a little media star, and he has already got a huge waiting list of people interested in rehoming him. We registered with Lurcher Link for a home visit and once we have had that and if we have passed the home check, we are sure to find the right dog for us through that charity. Here is a pic of another dog we have fallen in love with, he is sill a puppy really at 13mths old. I won't tell you who he is or where he is as sadly these dogs get stolen frequently and he has a right to his own anonymity. We may not end up with this one though, as we will be allocated a dog that is suitable to our situation only if we pass our homecheck. Which is happening Saturday!

In the Company of the Courtesan

I have just finished this novel. I really enjoyed the setting and I followed the narrative of the main character ( a courtesan's dwarf) avidly, waiting for there to be some sort of major disclosure and some sort of adventure (rather than him running around town getting muscle worn on his little legs) but it never came.

I can't even report any real sauciness considering the subject matter. So, it is an interesting portrait of Venice as a novel but I think it is a less interesting portrait of Venetians as such. Too static and evocative of life drawings with little movement. Perhaps I am just grumpy, I didn't find the book boring, just an anticlimax (ha ha). The courtesan herself was constantly moping around with face lotions on and her gold hair spreading over her shoulders and down her back, just in case we had forgotten about Titian's Venus (although it is on the cover) but nothing developed as far as her character.

And like the student in an exam who has to suddenly speed up the ending and conclude neatly, this did so and for an exhilarating few pages I thought it was really going to.......but then it ended!

Far more sauciness and wet your pants childish giggling was obtained by putting my knitting website through a 'saucy language converter' and then finding that my quaint knitting habits had far more double entendres of a morally dubious nature than i had realised! Has anyone else done the childish but giggle snorting deed yet? Remind me to tell the Anticraft about it. And I wish I could remember what it did to Ruth Paisley's report on Kitchener stitch. Well.....it amused us here for an evening!
New Beanie Patterns

I made these baby beanies ages ago. They are knitted in Noro Kureyon and hand fulled (felted). It didn't occur to me at the time to write the pattern up because of it's simplicity but some people who wish to have a go at fulling for the first time or who are beginners at knitting on dpns have asked for it.

So, I will be adding i
t to this site as a free pdf, including my slightly unorthodox way of getting a tumble dryer to help with the felting. When it has been checked for errors it will go up straight away, but if anyone wanted it immediately, then do email me.

I have had a funny sort of day, on the one hand I have been elated by people who have come forward to help me with my yarns for my 'special' project, and the
y have done this without asking too many questions and responded quickly too so I am ever so grateful for that. Also, I have had another book offer, for a one off pattern, which means by next year my work will be in 5 books that I can remember which is good.

I haven't really published a pattern that is very complicated or what I would call advanced. Although I am capable of knitting one, I tend to stick to designing things to make people's lives easier and something obviously that my hands can cope with. However, I do feel myself itching to get into some more complicated pattern writing but I reckon I would need a year off to experiment. I could never decide on a particular technique being the best one with so much on offer in the advanced range, so sticking to the classics and the basics make that easier. Also, if I needed to design advanced patterns and have them knit up, there is only me and one other knitter here. I did recently invent my own stitch pattern and that felt good and I want to do that more. However there are so many good traditional stitches that are lost in the archives of 1950's knitting books they should be revived too.

So, on the downside I am down to one knit
ter and finding the amount of work I need to do quite overwhelming. I am torn between just doing all my own work with my one good knitter and just getting on with it or beginning a search again for someone to add to the team of two who can work as professionally as we do. I do still have to do a tremendous amount of preparation in pattern writing to avoid errors occuring and as an insurance against disasters when I hand things out to knitters to do, as well as having to be on line a lot for queries. Perhaps this time could be best spent just knitting the things I need rather than being on line all day, typing up patterns, sending emails and trawling for information to help the knitting run smoothly if farmed out. The maths can be a nightmare,it is all theory until that first knit, how many of us design with every single number intact?, We don't know until we get there what we would do, but obviously, if I do something for another knitter all that has to be done in advance and sometimes when I sit here all day with a calculator doing maths on a baby sweater, I think darn it I should have just knit it straight off and be done with it!

Cable Hoodie from Vogue Knit-1 Spring
Ice Baby Beanie in Hip Knits Silk Aran

This Erssie Knits beanie pattern is now published in baby sizes Newborn, 6mths and 12mths.
It is available free with the purchase of Hip Knits Silk Aran go to their website for more details. This silk is so beautifully soft, it reminds me of the sort of consistency of organic cotton but with a sheen. Hipknits have these silks in Jades, Blues, Mauves, Oranges, Reds, Pinks and are always updating their shades as well as providing custom dyes so you could adapt this beanie to any season, any gender really.
Erssie Knits

My website gets a mention in Simply Knitting this week, which is exciting. This is the third time in 6mths that Erssie Knits has been featured in one way or another in Simply Knitting so thanks to them for the exposure. I am always happy to get more traffic coming through not because I care so much about getting more business but because it makes putting my work into an orderly fashion all worthwhile. It takes a while to get into the swing of writing a regular blog, displaying current work, writing reviews of products as well as film, TV and books. I do wish there was more time to show tutorials, especially in video form as these are invaluable for technique.

Actually, you may have noticed a slight change in that www.erssieknits.com rather than going to the normal Erssie Knits Gallery directs you here. This is because I have a brand new website under development but all the usual services of Erssie Knits are unaffected and you can access my gallery of works on the sidebar here as well as go straight to my Etsy shop if you need to. This blog contains access to free Erssie Knits patterns and tutorials as well as other craft site links. When the new website is ready it should incorporate the Etsy shop, the gallery, the blog, patterns and tutorials for sale or download as well as news and events all under one umbrella rather than having separate addresses.

I had a quick peek at my designer's variations on the Erssie Knits logo last night, cannot wait to use the Gothic version for my biker knits! We are keeping the retro style logo though because it has been so useful when reproduced either in a magazine as part of an article or on a T-shirt or mug and when I flicked through Simply Knitting yesterday, I had no idea there was going to be a review of Erssie Knits and it was the tiny logo on their copy of a screen that caught my eye when I did my initial fast flick through so we are keeping that and the general layout for the photo part.

If there is anything you would really like to see or would find useful on a website (about yarn crafts of course) then do let me know and I will try to incorporate it. You might want competitions, or forums, or a chance to do yarn swaps (far too much wastage going on) or link to charities that use knitting as fundraising. Whatever it is you'd like to see or even what you'd prefer not to, just let me know and if we don't do it now, we might think about it as a future project.