Don’t Miss Our 100th Episode Party?!?

Don’t Miss Our 100th Episode Party?!?

Tonight is the 100th episode of this thing that Loraine, from Woolly Madly Deeply and I do. We do it on a Thursday evening and a Sunday afternoon. And we do it live. That is a live stream podcast in our Knitting Across the Pennines Facebook group. Have you seen us do it yet? If you haven’t, then this is the perfect time to join us. Celebrate our 100th episode with us!

We started Knitting Across the Pennines way back in February. In the elapsed time from our 1st to our 100th episode the world has become a very different place. We have a very laid back format, just some general chit chat like you would hear at any knit night. Mainly about knitting with some crochet and sewing thrown in there. We show WIPs and FOs. We talk about yarns and patterns. Both those we love and those that have disappointed us. You can watch all those early episodes on You Tube.

Sometimes we have a real treat from Loraine. What she doesn’t know about knitting and yarns isn’t worth knowing. She has even been on the telly news! She has given us hints, tips and tutorials on all sorts of techniques. And she is spot on with her knowledge of colours.

Some of our 100th Episodes highlights….

As we have reached our 100th Episode I thought I would share with you some of the crazy things we talk about.

In Episode 36 Loraine share with us her story of explaining climbing techniques at a funeral (don’t watch whilst taking a drink!)

Whilst in Episode 88 I show off my cowl that I have been developing the pattern for. Loraine wasn’t impressed with the look when I wore it as a headband and compared me to Hilda Ogden! How rude!

And I can’t not share with you Episode 97 where I confused an Excel pivot table with a lazy Susan!

Future 100th Episodes

On a Thursday evening we tend to try and have a bit of a virtual knit night. We all grab a beverage, often a huge bucket of tea but sometimes something more of an adult version. We grab a WIP, usually something that isn’t too complicated or needs too much concentration. And we chat. Our regulars show us what they have been working on and their finished items. We also share what has been happening during the week. We do have a giggle! And we hope to continue to enjoy ourselves for the next 100th episode.

On Sundays we will share patterns that we have seen and liked. Yarns we have tried. Loraine might share a tutorial for a skill with us. And sometimes we have a guest. In the past we have had a couple of pattern designers, and a yarn dyer.

Going forward we would love your ideas. Is there something you would like some hints and tips about? Is there a designer you would love to see as a guest? Or someone who makes project bags or stitch markers? What kind of patterns do you like? Would you like us to share our favourite kids knits or relaxing crochet project ideas? We love to hear from you so please get in touch.

Where Can You Find Us?

If you would like to join us live we are in our Facebook group – Knitting Across the Pennines. If you join our group you will receive an invitation to join our live streams and you will be able to chat with us via the comments. If you can’t join us live you can watch us on catch up. Or if you would prefer you can watch any of our videos on You Tube. Leave us a comment to let us know what you thought. We have a Ravelry Group too! Come and join us and join the party!

Coming Soon…

Just a heads up that at the end of the month I will be releasing a new pattern called Knickers! If you haven’t done so yet now is the time to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers will receive and exclusive discount coupon! You can sign up here – Newsletter.

If You Liked This Post…

If you enjoyed reading this post please check out the rest of my blog – Emma’s Blog. One of my recent posts was about Patterns You Might Have Missed or you might enjoy one of my earlier posts about Who Taught Me to Knit.

Follow me on social media! I love to see your WIPs and FOs. Please find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag me!

Don’t Miss Our 100th Episode Party?!?

Knitting Across the Pennines – Are You Missing the Party?!?

There is this thing that Loraine, from Woolly Madly Deeply and I do. Its usually on a Thursday evening and a Sunday afternoon. And we do it live. That is a live stream podcast in our Knitting Across the Pennines Facebook group. Have you seen us do it yet?

We started Knitting Across the Pennines way back in February when the world was a very different place. Just some general chit chat. Mainly about knitting with some crochet and sewing thrown in there. We show WIPs and FOs. We talk about yarns and patterns. Both those we love and those that have disappointed us. You can watch all those early episodes on You Tube.

Sometimes we have a real treat from Loraine. What she doesn’t know about knitting and yarns isn’t worth knowing. She has even been on the telly news! She has given us hints, tips and tutorials on all sorts of techniques. And she is spot on with her knowledge of colours.

This Week We Did This….

In Episode 89 of Knitting Across the Pennines, which we recorded on Sunday 6th September, we discussed autumn and winter trends for 2020. Loraine did a brilliant presentation on combining the colours.

I made a Pinterest board with ideas of how to wear (and not wear) the colours. Although my contribution was no where near as good as Loraine’s!

And even better, Loraine wrote a blog post on her website. You can find it here – Loraine’s Blog.

Future Episodes

On a Thursday evening we tend to try and have a bit of a virtual knit night. We all grab a beverage, often a huge bucket of tea but sometimes something more of an adult version. We grab a WIP, usually something that isn’t too complicated or needs too much concentration. And we chat. Our regulars show us what they have been working on and their finished items. We also share what has been happening during the week. We do have a giggle!

On Sundays we will share patterns that we have seen and liked. Yarns we have tried. Loraine might share a tutorial for a skill with us. And sometimes we have a guest. In the past we have had a couple of pattern designers, and a yarn dyer.

Going forward we would love your ideas. Is there something you would like some hints and tips about? Is there a designer you would love to see as a guest? Or someone who makes project bags or stitch markers? What kind of patterns do you like? Would you like us to share our favourite kids knits or relaxing crochet project ideas? We love to hear from you.

Where Can You Find Us?

If you would like to join us live we are in our Facebook group – Knitting Across the Pennines. If you join our group you will receive an invitation to join our live streams and you will be able to chat with us via the comments. If you can’t join us live you can watch us on catch up. Or if you would prefer you can watch any of our videos on You Tube. Leave us a comment to let us know what you thought. We have a Ravelry Group too! Come and join us and join the party!

Coming Soon…

Just a heads up that at the end of the month I will be releasing a new pattern called Vera. If you haven’t done so yet now is the time to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers will receive and exclusive discount coupon! You can sign up here – Newsletter.

If You Liked This Post…

If you enjoyed reading this post please check out the rest of my blog – Emma’s Blog. My last post was about Patterns You Might Have Missed or you might enjoy one of my earlier posts about Who Taught Me to Knit.

Follow me on social media! I love to see your WIPs and FOs. Please find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag me!

The Life-Changing Reasons Why I started Emma  Sadler Designs

The Life-Changing Reasons Why I started Emma Sadler Designs

My Knitting Journey – Why I Started Designing. Part One

If you have read my previous blog about how I learnt to knit you will know that my Nana taught me when I was around the age of 8.  But she only taught me the basics and how to follow a pattern.  I don’t have any recall of her adapting patterns or designing her own.  Now I would like to share with you the story behind Emma Sadler Designs.

How did I make the leap?

My husband would say necessity is the mother of invention.  And when it comes to my knitting designs this phrase couldn’t be more true!  But it took me many years to come around to the idea of designing my own knitting patterns.  Or indeed even that I had the ability.  For years knitting wasn’t even something that I thought about!

Aran Jumper

Between being taught to knit and leaving home I know I knitted, but I don’t really remember what.  I do have a vivid memory of making a blue jumper for my sister’s first baby.  And I do know that I knitted a little when I first moved out.

I moved in with my now husband at the age of 18.  For a while I was unable to find a job so I was at home a lot on my own during the day.  Its a very long time ago now, and more than a little hazy, but I do know I knitted during those early days.  I knitted a jumper.

It was the most gorgeous cream aran jumper.  I can still see the complicated cables on the body.  And the blackberry stitch on the arms.  It must have taken me hours to make that jumper.  And it fitted me beautifully.  But there was one hitch.  Phil didn’t know I knitted!

Secret Knitter!

Now, I am not sure exactly why but I kept my knitting a secret at this time.  I was 18 or 19.  I hadn’t long moved in with Phil and I didn’t want him to know that I knitted.  I was embarrassed and didn’t think it was something that a young woman should do.

So that aran jumper would be hidden at the back of my closet.  And when Phil was out at work and I was home on my own I would bring it out to work on it.  Eventually it was finished, but what would I do with it now?!  I couldn’t wear it or Phil would start asking where it had come from.  I couldn’t possibly admit I had made it.  And for the same reason I couldn’t give it to anyone I knew.  For months it remained hidden in the cupboard and I agonised over what to do with it.

Eventually I put it in a charity bag.  I have regretted that ever since.

I Didn’t Pick Up the Needles for Years!

Strange as it seems to me now,  I didn’t knit at all for over 30 years!  I think the whole jumper incident was the catalyst for this.  I honestly don’t remember picking up the needles again after finishing it. 

I didn’t even knit a single item for either of my children when they were babies or young children.  During this time I still crafted, but I was mainly into cross stitch.  I made many pictures of Winnie the Pooh characters to go in the nursery, but no clothing.  Not even a blanket.  I certainly had no plans for my own designs.

So what changed?  How did I go from not knitting a single stitch for decades to writing my own knitting patterns for my Ravelry and Love Knitting stores as well as being published in Knit Picks, Knit Now and Interweave?

Part Two

Find out how I made this exciting leap in the second part of this story.

If you can’t wait until then why not check out some of the patterns I have available?

Do you have a similar back story? 

A Technique I Love – The Provisional Cast On

A Technique I Love – The Provisional Cast On

One of the favourite techniques that I have learnt over the years is the provisional cast on.  I have been using it in more and more of my designs.  There are a few ways to do it, but I have developed a favourite.

Scrap Yarn?

One of the ways you can start a provisional cast on is with the use of scrap yarn.  In this method you make a crochet chain and then knit into it.  I would add a few extra chains than the number of stitches you need just to be on the safe side.

When you have finished knitting you take the scrap yarn out and transfer your live stitches back on to a needle ready to work with.

Pros and Cons

As with everything in life, this method has its pros and cons.  For me it was a nice, quick and easy way to get going with a new project.  And most of us have scrap yarn laying around and a crochet hook handy.

But I would find getting the yarn out a bit tricky and I did lose a few stitches here and there.

What’s the Alternative?

I had heard a rumour that some people used a cable from their interchangeable needles instead of scrap yarn.  They would cast directly on to the cable and leave the stitches there just ready for when they wanted to use them again.  So I pulled up You Tube and looked into it…..

Infinite Possibilities…

As you can imagine, You Tube is filled with videos on how to do the provisional cast on.  I watched a few and eventually decided how I wanted to go forward with this method.

I would need two sets of interchangeable needles and two balls of wool.  This is how I use them to cast on…

The Zig-Zag Method

Apparently this method of casting on is officially called Judy’s Magic Cast On.  I have always called it the Zig-Zag method as you zig zag between the two strands of yarn.

There are many more videos of this method on You Tube which show this cast on in a much more easy to see way.  But I just wanted to give you an idea of how I do it.  In this video I have used two different coloured yarns for clarity, but when you do it for your project use the same yarn on both needles.

I put both needles and cables together, make a slip-knot with the two yarns and place it over both needles just as an anchor.  I separate the two yarns with my fingers and use the top one to make a loop on the bottom needle and the bottom yarn to make a loop on the top needle.  Keep alternating until you have the number of stitches you want on each needle.  So if I need 50 stitches I will do 50 loops on each needle or 100 in total.

Begin Knitting….

The first row can be a little tight to get going, but you just knit the top stitches as you would normally.  I pulled the bottom cable out of the way, took off the needle tip and replaced it with a stitch blocker.  This just keeps your stitches safe and also makes knitting the first couple or rows a little  bit easier. 

You can now carry on knitting as you would normally, keeping your stitches nice and safe on the cable.  Below you can see the provisional cast on from a project I am working on.  I have used the same yarn for both sets of stitches.  This project is knitted in the round, but as I always do I have knitted the first few rows flat and then joined as I find it prevents twisting.

Casting Off!

So you have finished knitting your project and you are ready to cast off!  This is where I feel this method really comes into its own.  If you had used scrap yarn you would now need to transfer your stitches back on to a needle.  But not this way!  Simply take the stitch blockers off and replace with needle tips.  And here comes the fun part!  You are going to do a three-needle bind off!

How About a Project to Practice?

I absolutely love to use a provisional cast on.  If you are looking for a project to practice the technique here are some of my patterns that use it!

Brookland Cowl, Stormtrooper in Stilettoes, Doing Great, Doing Alright, Elderwood Breeze

And look out for my new pattern in February which will use a provisional cast on!

Tell Me Your Thoughts….

Over to you now!  Have you used the provisional cast on before?  Which method do you like?  Have you tried working directly onto a cable? 

If you liked this post don’t forget to check out my other posts!

Don’t forget to share your projects on social media.  You can use the buttons above or find me as @allneedles on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or using #allneedles #emmasadler #emmasadlerdesigns

The Little-Known Story of Who Taught Me to Knit!

The Little-Known Story of Who Taught Me to Knit!

My Knitting Journey and Who Taught Me to Knit

So who taught me to knit?  The simple answer to that is my Nana, my maternal grandmother.  She was an amazing woman.  From Rotherham in Yorkshire originally and from a background of being in service.  As is typical for the area she was from, she was an honest, straightforward and incredibly talented woman who had the most wicked sense of humour!

Four Generations of Legendary Women

Four Generations of Ladies

In this amazing photo you can see four generations of ladies.  My sister, Julia is the little girl.  My mum, Marian, is on the left wearing the fetching 1970s print top.  My Nana, her mum, is on the right; she is wearing some fabulous Dame Edna style glasses! Finally you can see and her mum in the middle.

If you look closely you can also see some bold orange and brown soft furnishings in the background!

Unfortunately, the photo was taken before I was born.  But I think my mum might have been pregnant with me.

The Agonizing Early Lessons

I don’t really remember the early days of learning.  The struggling to remember how to knit a stitch.  Or worrying that my stitches would get lost when I had worked them and pushed them off the needle.  And I certainly don’t remember what my first project was.  A scarf that should have been rectangular but was almost certainly I triangle I should imagine.

How Do I Knit Backwards?

What I do remember is being convinced that I could only knit in one direction.  I would hold my knitting in my left hand and then  I would dutifully knit them all onto the right hand needle.

Now I was stumped!  There was no way I could knit backwards and get all those stitches from the right hand needle back on to the left.  I am left handed, so it made sense to me that I could do just this one direction.  Obviously only right-handed people, just like my Nana, could get the stitches to go back on the other needle.

Who taught me to knit like this with two colours?

Stitches on the Needles

Instructions!

I assume my Nana had tried on many occasions to explain to me that I needed to turn my work.  Perhaps I wasn’t listening.  Perhaps I had a mental block.  But in any case, I would work my row and then hand it to my Nana for her to work the next row.  It was a win win for me.  She would sort out my too tight stitches and spot immediately if I had lost or gained any stitches.

You Tricked Me!

What I can clearly remember is sitting on the floor next to my Nana whilst we both worked on our knitting projects.  On one particular day I handed my knitting over as always and after a while it was handed back to me.  I did my row and tried to give it back to my Nana.  This time she smiled and shook her head.  She had worked two rows, not one.  And as I had just worked the wrong side I was now pronounced a knitter and could work forwards and backwards!

Emma Sadler Designs @allneedles a selection of fabulous yarn

Emma Sadler Designs @allneedles a selection of fabulous yarn

And That Was Just the Beginning!

I don’t have any pictures of my early projects  I know I knitted a little blue jumper with a purl effect yacht on the front for my nephew what he was born.  And I will have to tell you about the cabled jumper I made.  But what I do know is that since I learnt how to knit ‘backwards’ the knitting world has been my oyster.  I have never looked back since….

Pathological Fear of Purling

I haven’t really got a fear of the purl stitch.  But I do have to admit I’m not a fan.  Again, I don’t remember learning to purl, but I do know it was my Nana who showed me.  I do have a vague recollection of the awkwardness of the motion.  And to this day I would much rather knit garter flat or stocking stitch in the round.

When I came back to knitting years later I taught myself all kinds of new techniques, including cables and lace.  But that is a story for another day.

Over to you!  

You know who taught me to knit, so tell me.   Who taught you to knit? 

Do you remember how old you were or what your first project was?

Say Hi on Facebook or Instagram I’d love to hear from you.

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