Tag Archives: knitting

Sterling Silver Knitting Markers

Sterling Silver Knitting Markers

My lovely sister had knitting markers on her Christmas list this year, so I thought I’d have a try at making some silver ones!

Sterling Silver Knitting Markers

I wanted to decorate them with tiny glass beads, but I also wanted to solder them closed so that they wouldn’t catch on the knitting.

Sterling Silver Knitting Markers

I often say you learn something new every day – and that was the day I learned glass (well, those beads, anyway!) will withstand 700⁰C plus temperatures. Seems logical, given that glass is sand, which presumably melts at a higher temperature than that – I was a bit worried to put my theory to the test though! All’s well that ends well – and happy Christmas to my sister!

Knitting – Dollies

It’s been a while since I posted about the amigurumi knitting I did, so I thought I’d share a bit more of my crafty world with you. Knowing how I like to knit, my lovely London sister sent me a copy of “Knit Your Own Royal Wedding” by Fiona Goble. (This was back in 2011, as a tribute to the wedding of Kate and Will.)

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding - Fiona Goble

I have gorgeous twin nieces, and I thought they might love to have a dolly each with a wardrobe of clothes!

The need for decoration on these tiny clothes saw me feverishly collecting sequins, buttons, ribbons and all manner of other embellishments – I love a good excuse to make a new stash!

Fiona’s book is beautiful, her instructions are clear and concise, and shoes, hats and handbags abound.

Knitted Dollies

I adored creating these girls for my pair of sweeties. Who knows, one day I may just get busy and make them little dolly husbands – and corgis!  🙂

Knitting – Amigurumi

Blogging about the knitting we did for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital recently got me thinking about the many other craft pursuits I have. Yes, long before becoming a silversmith, craft was already in my blood! My mum is a very creative woman, and taught me just about everything I know about most of the various handcrafts I’ve taken up. My granny is a fantastic artist, I have two of her beautiful oil paintings hanging in my home – one of them I keep in my workshop, which always inspires me! My dad loved to play the guitar, as did my uncle; my grandfather was an author, and as I’ve blogged about before, three of my ancestors were blacksmiths, just to mention a few. Lots of creative juices in there!!

Anyway, back to the knitting. Even though I’m left handed, my mum is right handed so that’s how I learned to knit, back when I was six! A few Christmases ago, she gave me the most divine book, Amigurumi Knits, by Hansi Singh.

Amigurumi Knits

Amigurumi is more often seen in crochet, but Hansi has created the most wonderful knitting patterns for all kinds of amigurumi creatures and things – everything from tomatoes and earthworms:

To octopi and deep sea black devil angler fish!

Hansi’s book is really well written, with very clear instructions. I learned so many new techniques from knitting these fabulous creatures, I feel quite competent now! Knitting – satisfying, creative, relaxing, and very Zen. Speaking of creativity running in the family, It is a shame I can’t ask my grandpa about his experience of it. I believe he wasn’t a bad knitter himself!

Knitting for a cause – Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital Ethiopia

Silhouetted Tree - Ethiopia

Silhouetted Tree – Ethiopia (photo credit April Lahti)

I don’t quite recall how I came across the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (on Facebook I think) but the more I read, the more the story of the Hamlins and their fine work touched me. In our western world, we take it for granted that we have access to medical facilities, in particular obstetric facilities should something go not quite right while we are giving birth. (Both my children were delivered by emergency caesarean section, so I know how that can be!)

Hospital By The River

Catherine's Gift

It wasn’t until I read ‘Hospital By The River‘ and ‘Catherine’s Gift’, written about Catherine and Reg Hamlin’s life in Ethiopia, that I started to really understand what life might be like if I had not been able to have those caesareans. For thousands of Ethiopian women, their lives are torn apart when they have difficulty in birthing their babies. First, their baby dies. As if that wasn’t more than anyone should have to bear, as a result of days of labour with the baby pressing down into the pelvis, blood supply is cut off to the walls of the vagina, and tissue dies, resulting in holes that are known as obstetric fistulae. The contents of the bladder and bowel leak uncontrollably through these holes. The woman is usually ostracised by her village because of the leakage and the smell; often her husband leaves her, and sometimes, there is nerve damage to the legs and feet, making walking difficult. Also, from lying still over many weeks in an attempt to stop the leaking, she can suffer atrophy and tightening of the tendons making it impossible to walk.

Catherine Hamlin

Catherine Hamlin and her late husband, Reg, have dedicated their lives to assisting these long-suffering women, not just by providing life-changing surgery to repair the fistulae, but by helping these women to make a dignified return to their lives; and also by providing them with ongoing support to ensure that they are able to give birth safely next time.

Hamlin Shawl Knitting

One of the items that the women are provided with during their stay at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital is a new shawl. My mother, sister and I are in the process of knitting one to send. Acrylic yarn is required so that the women may wash their shawls in the river and have them dry quickly. Information about sizing, a basic pattern, and when and where to send your blanket can be found here.

I highly recommend you read either the books I mentioned above or have a look at the website to see the story of these wonderful people, and of some of the courageous women who suffer so much and sometimes travel hundreds of miles in order to have the operation which will make them whole again. Donate if you can, knit or crochet if you can. Every little bit helps!

This month, 10% of all Silver Forge sales will be donated to this very worthy cause. Head to The Silver Forge shop now, and see if you can help out, and get yourself something lovely at the same time!