All about Karin

It’s easy to learn from Karin. She has a unique sense of humour which makes you laugh and then anything you are trying to learn becomes easy because you can see the funny side of what is not going right. She has helped many of us achieve her 10 stitch blanket featured in the images above . She has done that with a lot of patience and tolerance peppered with the funny things she says. We become fearless and just do it. Sonya, our roving reporter, is bringing you Karin’s story this week and it’s great to see how much her travels and linguistic skills have played such a big part in her love of yarn:

All About  Karin  (well, nearly all…)

I have to admit, it was hard to prize information from our Karin. Lithe of body, young in looks, and clothed with a mantle of modesty, she had me digging to find out anything about her!

I learnt to knit at school and my Oma, who was actually Italian, in spite of her title, taught me about knitting. I was about eight or nine, as far as I can remember. In fact everyone in my family who showed any signs of getting bored was taught to knit, including my uncle! However, for a long time my knitting got me nowhere because school and studies took over.

When I went to Southern Africa, I worked as a research assistant, dealing with the Namibian Herero tribe, a tall very proud tribe. Although they don’t wear their magnificent clothes for every day life, whenever there is a meeting or occasion of any formality, on go the traditional costumes. And those hats! The women walk so straight and tall, probably as a result of carrying  considerable loads on their heads. They had a phonetic language but not a written one. We worked in consultation with these people to create a written language. They wanted first of all to have the Bible written and translated in their own language.  The African women were knitters! Their mothers and ancestors were no doubt taught to knit by the former German colonists. So these women inspired me to take up knitting again.

Then I went to live in England and New Zealand. But it was only when I came to Australia eight years ago that I started knitting again. I wanted a new challenge. So I took up spinning and revived my interest in knitting. I’ve taught our group here, how to knit shortened rows within a ten stitch pattern achieving a clever triangular corner. I never thought I would be teaching others how to do such things!

With Karin’s skills, creeping out from under her modesty mantle, one can only suspect that this interesting soul has a deal more to teach us. Watch this space…

PS With a great show of courage and skill, Karin has mastered the somewhat terrifying opening and locking of the club room door, with a series of button pressing, coding and sequencing. Not for the faint hearted!

You can find out about the Herero people on Wikipedia.

Herero Women

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Ten Stitch Blanket

ten stitich clanket
Margaret’s blanket

As explained before, Karin did a workshop with us last year for those people who wanted to learn how to do the ten stitch knitted blanket. Alexis brought hers along the next week so we could see a different way of doing it and from there it has grown and one by one we have been mastering the ten stitch blanket. Once you can turn those corners you are all right but you have to find a way to do it so you are happy. It is very good brain based learning which keeps you thinking and problem solving and then there is always a way of improving both the look

ten stitch blanket
Cathy’s blanket

and technique.

Margaret’s blanket has become a bit infamous. She started it on the bus to Equipment Day and lost her stitches as the bus bumped over the road to the hills so had to abandon it. She has since come back to it and her ten stitch blanket is very much up and running and we were pleased to see it.

Cathy has decided to use her spun wool leftovers to make and practise the blanket. She had to get her self in the right frame of mind and then find a path through the corner turning which she was comfortable with. One by one we are all getting there in our own way and in our own time and it’s good to see how different these blankets can look.

The video goes through a technique of doing he 10 stitch blanket and then shows you how to make a round one! Now, there’s a challenge…

Lots of knitting

Plenty of knitting going on at the moment. Marina has finally settled on a good way of making her 10 stitch blanket . She has worked at finding the best way of doing it for her and the result now is a lovely blanket which is growing each week. Meryl’s blue best is expertly knitted and is very neat. It is soft and drapes and the back had some interesting Aran effect knitting so it’s a very stylish vest. Sonya’s slippers, based on Hilary’s pattern are coming along and are so cheerful and colourful. Jan’s cream slouch beanie looks good. We tried it with her felted purple hat and that made a visually interesting impact on the hat which really dressed it up. It’s a good hat because you can style it. Think the knitting needles are still out because our weather has been very erratic and we have hat a lot of cold , windy and wet days which stop us form easily being outside as we normally are at this time of the year.

Woollen blankets

10 stitch blanketAnother two big projects were finished this week. When you work on big projects they take forever and then you feel like you are not doing anything. When you see the finished items, though, it has always been so worth it. Karin’s 10 stitch blanket has been much admired and popular. When we saw it finished we just loved it. She hadn’t chosen the colours as such. She was knitting from her yarn left over from other projects and deciding which colour to do when she got to the next bit. The blanket looks really good. It’s warm, inviting and the colours are restful.

 

 

 

crochet blanketCathy has been spinning and dyeing wool for her crochet blanket all year. Most of it is natural colour from FinnX, alpaca and then natural dyes like avocado, onion skins, Tasmanian blue gum leaves and red cabbage. There are bits of red and green from Susie Horn’s bit and then some orange and yellow and banana fibre silk from Kathy’s Fibres. There is ramswool and BorderLeicesterX. Cathy joined the group in June last year and knew nothing so this blanket is about what she has learned from the group. The autumn colours look good.