‘Light’ a Test of Knitting Inspiration

What do you make when you only have one word to inspire you?

I’ve been a member of the Handweavers Guild of Cork for over four years now and one of our regular events is the exchanging of Kris Kringle gifts at our January AGM.

Before I move on, I probably should point out that ‘Handweavers’ is probably a bit of a misnomer nowadays.  The guild was originally established in the 1980s and includes spinners, weavers and dyers, as well as felters, knitters and crocheters.  It’s currently the only guild of it’s kind in Southern Ireland outside of Dublin and includes members from all over the county and further afield.

The guild includes some very well known craftspeople and as a relatively new member, I can only aspire to know half of what some of them know in my lifetime.  If only there was a way to bottle it, then perhaps I’d have the time.

Anyway, back to the Kriss Kringle.

The brief centers around and exchange of handmade gifts, based on an idea or a theme.  This year our prompt was ‘Light’ and half the fun is seeing how the group interpret the cue.  Stumped as I was, for a while and looking for inspiration, I had a quick look on Pinterest, before remembering the lampshade I had created for the shop many moons ago now.

Now whilst I do posses a couple of old lampshades and even an old lamp, all picked up in secondhand shops, just for something like this.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea and tying all the ribbon and yarn around the lampshade frame, takes a hell of a lot of time and rather a lot of ribbon.  Which, as I no longer own a shop, might not be so easy to come by anymore.

During my Pinterest search, I did happen apon several knitted lampshades, which got me to thinking about ways of incorporating knitting and lights.  Initially, my head went in the direction of knitted fairy lights, probably because my house was smothered in the little gems, twinkling for Christmas.  (As a result of that tangent, I have several ideas that I plan on experimenting with just as soon as I have some time.)

Twinkling lights, finally brought me to tealights and jars, so I went off and had a little look at Ravelry.  Whilst there are patterns there for tealight holders, the majority of them are made using crochet, rather than knitting and I was loathed to pick up a hook instead of my needles.

In ode to my word or the year, ‘Discover’ if you can’t find one, make your own.  Yarn, needles and Erika Knight’s Lace & Eyelet Stitches book at the ready, I sat down one afternoon and had a play instead.

Wait!  I almost forgot to mention a jar.  No prizes for guessing that I have a box of them sitting in one of the sheds.

The Golden Syrup ones from Tesco are a great shape and size for tealight lanterns, so I tend to keep everyone of them we’ve ever bought.

I measured the height and  circumference of the jar first and then played with a few of the lace stitches in the book.  Having settled on stitch pattern I liked, checked the tension and tinkered with it to incorporate it into some form of a design, I got to work.

My first attempt came out far to big and I ended up reducing the number of stitches and my needle size.  The panel needed to be a little smaller than the circumference of the jar, so it would stretch to open the lace and also stay in place.

The second attempt was perfect and fitted much better than I had anticipated.  So much so that I didn’t have to tie it in place onto the jar.  Something I’d anticipated being rather fiddly.

I’m kind of thrilled with how it turned out and hope my friend who ended up with it as her Kriss Kringle likes it too.  It looks pretty enough to adorn a shelf or mantelpiece during the day, but comes into it’s own at night when you can light the tealight.

I did keep a note of what I did, so maybe I’ll knit another few up to double check my instructions and then I’ll add them here.  Either way, I wouldn’t mind having a few of them myself and it might be a good way to use up some of the jars I’ve been hoarding 😉

In other news, I was lucky enough to get sent a ball of Stylecraft Swift Knit Mega to review for Olann and.  It’s a big, big yarn, that you knit on hefty 15mm needles, so it’s perfect for quick, last minute makes.

My Pink Lady Cowl took less than an hour and a half to make from start to finish and has kept my neck super cosy whilst walking my dogs on the farm.

Keeping with the pink theme, my second washcloth for #yarnhoarderdishclothchallenge is the Zickzack Dishcloth by Stacey Winklepleck.  It was designed for Knit Picks and is available free to download via Ravelry.  I’ve knitted mine in an odd ball of Adriafil’s Nature, that I found languishing in the Yarn Museum.

After all that pink, I think I might be in need of some blue, just so I can re-establish it as my preferred colour.

Happy Making

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4 thoughts on “‘Light’ a Test of Knitting Inspiration

    • Thank you, the ribbon lamp drew comments from almost everyone that ever visited my shop. I’d forgotten exactly how much I love it, as It has been stored away since I closed and having got it out to take a photograph for this post, it is now sitting in my living room.

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