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New Knits & Old Knits
New Knits For Lily

OK this is a cross post, but this is relevant to both greyhound and knitting so needs to be on both blogs. Lily has 2 new sweaters. Sadly, I didn't make or design these sweaters although I would have been very proud if I had. The sweaters were designed and beautifully knitted by Laney Chubb, from Greyt Sweaters.

She was originally a hand knitter but was so successful in getting orders for these, that she started to knit them on a machine and the work can be done swiftly and still to a high standard and I would still consider it handcrafting.

She hada special offer during the summer when orders are a little lower so for £50 you get two sweaters which is a bargain. You got to choose the colours of the multicoloured sweater and then she used one of the colours to knit a plain spare sweater. Dizzy is modelling the plain one, it goes on him but is a little too short and tight for him because it is designed expecially to Lily's measurements and they are spot on. If you measure accurately as explained on Laney's website, then you will get a perfect fit.

Lily is such a fusspot
when it is cold, and I have become her blankie slave getting up in the night to cover her up if she gets cold. The consequences of not doing that are that she scrapes at the bed until she has nearly dug holes in the carpet and then yaps to tell me her bed is a complete mess and she wants someone to sort it out! ''Look what you made me do'' she says, she is just like a moody teenage daughter.

The pics I took are awful but it is 25 deg C here today, and too hot to let them wear them for long and the batteries on the camera ran out. Better pics will be done when it is cooler. But have a look at these hounds from the Greyt Sweaters gallery.

Laney is currently only making ready-made sweaters for her sweater shop. Most of the ready-made ones have fitted so well, and the orders have been so high that it makes sense for her to build up shop stock and not take custom orders at the moment.
Old Knits..................
...have arrived home from an age ago. Here is a pic of another greyhound in their sweater. These were things I designed for the Anticraft book Anticraft: Knitting,Beading and Stitching For The Slightly Sinister.

At least now, I have pics of the Belladonna Sleeves showing the fluted flared cuffs. The photos in the book, show the model wearing them upside down and a number of knitters could not see that the sleeves had flared sleeves and some decided not to make them because the pics didn't match the description.

They are designed to be very tight fitting and over the elbow but have quite large flares on the cuff. The underside of the arm has the increases and in the book these were shown showing upwards which was not a good look for the sleeves but the models were so beautiful and the photos extremely well done.

The Pop Art Skulls pillow is now nestling in the corner of my studio
. I really should make more cushion covers they are so simple yet a really good way of trying out different stitch patterns.

And the good ol Goth Glam Yule. I would use a far less scratch fake fur on the brim of this though, as the ones that glitter unfortunately do have tinsel in that scratches.

New Exhibition of Textiles Design

There is a current exhibition Beyond Bloomsbury on at the to the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House open until September 20th. The exhibition is of the designs produced in the Omega workshops by the Bloomsbury Group. These were a group of designers, artists, philosophers and writers that came together in the home of Virginia Wolf. Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant were the main visual artists of this group .

The exhibition includes some of the textiles designs, and sketches given as instructions as a guide and also shows some of the products that were made up from the designs. See more about it in this video clip.

I find this particularly fascinating because like some of these designers, I am not a person who has any kind of technical background or training. I draw up niaive sketches in my design journal and in my mind, these end up close to the finished pieces. I love the way that in this woven rug, you can see that all the imperfections and character of the original piece of art were literally translated in the pattern of the rug.

Now what is quite exciting, is that the gallery are allowing 4 knitters at any one time, so 8 per day to do shifts sitting in the gallery and producing their own 'art'. If you are interested in volunteering for this, then contact David Drozdziak, david@charitiesadvisorytrust.org.uk to let him know your preferred shift.
If I wasn't so weak and wobbly as I am at the moment, I would be down there doing a shift but I shall most certainly be going to visit Somerset House and The Courtauld Gallery at some point to view the exhibition.
Poor Jake

Poor EZ too. Jake passed away this morning.
He was our friend EZ's lovely soft and cuddly Alsatian who had a progressive spinal problem. I haven't forgotten how raw it feels to lose a furry friend, so had prickly tears myself when I heard the bad news yesterday that Jake was going to pass away today.
It is like losing a person, and you don't have a choice about grieving for a pet, it just happens.

Like I keep saying grief is the measure of the emotion that is felt by the person suffering loss and it is not the measure or the value that other people put on those animal's lives compared with humans. I.e. you can't just say 'for goodness sake its only a dog', because your feelings for something you love cannot be rationalised that way.

RIP Jakey.

Some furry friends from our past

Jem and Biggley circa 1989

Jem & Stevie in Weymouth

Jem in our local park

Biggley in the Garden, looking handsome and proud
New Boots New Boots....oh no, Made in China and too small!

OK here is a little anecdote regarding sales of footwear, which sock designers who sell their socks might find interesting

Situation 1
A buyer, goes on ebay, sees some new boots costing £90 GBP, advertised in their size a UK4. Boots arrive, oh no they don't fit. Label is checked, and it reads Aus4/UK4/US6 Well, actually, if I check the length of these....nowhere near a UK4...strange? According to the marketing, these boots give a perfect fit due to

''their unique sheepskin sizing system''

What is this system? Well, it seems the boots are half a size smaller than the Uk size on the label and each pair has a pair of insoles, to aid fitting. Many customers report that they have to go up a size with these, but if they do, as it is in between they find them half a size too big...but no worries because there is a foam plasticky insole, taking away the right your feet have to nestle in 100% sheepskin, and wrinkling up horribly according to a couple of customers.

I check several International Sizing charts...and see actually, there is an Aus 4, but it is equivalent to a UK3.5 and that half a size makes all the difference.
The seller has a refund policy, that states they can be returned within 7 days and a refund will be given but not any costs of return covered. Actually, this is standard, but some companies also will take a 10-15% off the cost of the footwear too, as a re-stocking fee (i.e. to repack nicely and put back on shelf as brand new in box) So what are the consumer rights? Well, they are these. If the description of the goods, including incorrect labels is deemed to be incorrect (there is a small variance for size differences, this is normally to take into account style and width fittings, but perhaps not as much as a half size in length. A trading standards officer would have to measure to give evidence) then the wrong description is covered by Sale of Goods Act 1979. It is in breach of this Statute, and therefore statute law supercedes any contractual obligations of the Refund Policies stated by companies. A consumer who buys from a seller who is in breach of 'description' may have a remedy of full costs covered including postage back to the seller. Situation 2 Same as above except this time, it is not the sizing but the quality of the goods that is a problem. There are imperfections and puckering on the toe, which does not appear on the other toe and is not 'satisfactory' considering the product is being sold at full price of £90 and is not advertised as a 'second'. They buyer also has a remedy of full costs plus postage refund, as once again the Sale of Goods Act 1979 supercedes the refund policies offered by company. In a nutshell, if you buy something of poor quality, or of poor description you have a right under UK law to ask for a full refund regardless of the individual refund policy's terms. Sellers don't seem to know this. If in doubt, you can call the consumer advisors here, and they will give expert advice on the phone http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/. Its good to know your rights, and to be able to outline these for fair trading. You can also take goods that do not measure up, to a trading standards office and they can measure it and see if it matches the description and is within the law. Buyer beware, there is a lot of manufacturing going on in China and some Aus Ugg companies, whilst claiming to have 100% Aussie sheepskin (which is true) don't tell you about them being manufactured in China. Quote

''Consumer demand for sheepskin boots is driven by the mystique of an authentic Australian heritage.''

"[boot brand name] is the Original Australian"

As a consumer, I can confirm that in the past month or 2 I have had to return 4 pairs of shoes with incorrect labels not matching boxes made in China and 4 pairs of shoes which had labels of being a UK 4 but did not fit me. The soles were ok, but the width across the top of the shoe was very narrow. If you have average to normal width feet fine, but if you have chubby trotters like mine....they don't fit.
Even a well known brand like Doctor Martens, which I have bought for years Made in England, and fitted no problem, now manufacture in Thailand and China, and those ones do not fit me. I am not saying they are badly made, they are very good, but won't fit a wide range of people which you would expect with Doctor Marten's marketing as a comfy almost therapeutic type of shoe. Also, a lot of the DMs made in China, still had Made In England as part of their branding. A little strange, but perhaps then uppers are hand stitches in England, and perhaps the uppers are sewn to the soles in China?? And I can see, that perhaps were uppers were sewn incorrectly, rather than throw them away, they probably unstitched, recut, and resewed them a 1/4 inch in from the old seam...thus making them narrower????That is just speculation, otherwise overseas manufacturers are making some odd sizes.

This image is not of an ill fitting sock, this knitter had already planned to felt hers luckily to get the right size

What does this have to do with knitting? Well as a sock designer, if you sell your socks or do custom knits....just make sure the socks you are knitting conform with descriptions given and are the correct size. I know from experience, many knitters fail to achieve gauge and can knit the wrong size...but those who wish to sell their product should make sure they are not in breach of consumer law in their territory.
Interweave KnitsScene

Two posts in one day? Extraordinary for me. Just thought I would pust some pics up of whats in Knitscene this season.

I love this

So retro and cute in a 1960's way. I used to wear 60's clothing and hair in the 80s

I like the hoodie on the left.
Bottomright 2nd one in, it is a sort of cape and a cardi, not sure about that one as I prefer clean lines

Thank You Universe.....

I am being kept very busy at the moment, with new designs later this year. And I am finding opportunities coming my way that are irresistible so that is good. Occasionally, I find myself thinking, is it worth knitting for others? Should I not just knit as a hobby for myself and give up this designing thing? Then, as if the Universe is answering these questions I will be offered something which encourages me to keep going.

The other news I have is this. Last weekend Steve took his bike to Mallory Park, to ride around a race track. He has done it before (that is him up there from last time) and enjoyed it.

On Sat night, he told me he had come off the bike and I had a moment of panic. He went around a bend, caught his tyre on the white line of the track and as it had been raining the wheel spun and lost contact throwing the bike.

Luckily Steve threw himself onto the grass area, and he just relaxed and skidded on his back. he has nothing broken, just a big purple bruise on his hip and another small swelling on his elbow.

He wasn't at all shaken by this and wanted to get back on the bike (which was also undamaged) and get back on the track again. But he wasn't allowed to.
However, it has made him stop and think, does he want to do another track day, or was this some sort of warning? People get hurt doing what he did and got off very lightly. Thank you again Universe.