One of my favourite sabbats is Samhain. As you have probably guessed I love to design knitwear that celebrates this time of year including a lot of Dia de los Muertos designs.
I am working on two Halloween patterns at the moment but as the hand disability has stopped me from working speedily they are nowhere ready to release. One design is my Day of the Dead throw and the other I started on a whim last night and is an earflap hat with sugar skulls and flower borders.
So to make up for my slowness I am rereleasing the Halloween Pumpkin Chart free of charge and if knitters are Speedy crafters they might just be able to use this border and make something for tonight.
Here are a couple of other knitters' projects who made use of this chart:
I also have a large number of other charts and patterns that fit the season on Ravelry.
Despite not being able to do any commercial work at the moment, something I made ages ago has been featured in the magazine Knit Edge published by the Cooperative Press. This design is called Little Saint and Little Sinner and is a baby sweater with either an angel, or a devil design on the front for a little'un.
After fostering Harry, we found we missed him a lot. He also has issues when walking near other dogs and that was putting a lot of people off adopting him. However, we feel we can train some of that out of him and make his life less restricted. So, we have Harry as part of our permanent household now. He is such a sweet loving boy and very good apart from his aggression towards other breeds of dog. But who can blame him for having a killer instinct when he was trained to chase small things? He was a good racer and so making a good pet will be a little harder than most.
There are so many other dogs that are at Harry's kennels who would make good pets but are overlooked because of their black colour. For some reason people want the Blues, the Brindles or the Black and Whites but not the mainly Blacks. However, we think our Harry makes a stunning Goth dog. Harry has been to a local dog show, where he was one of the most well behaved dogs there. He is also going to puppy socialising classes, to get used to being around other breeds of a small and furry nature and to help him recognise that they are dogs as well and not something to chase or eat.
You may have noticed that BBC4 are currently broadcasting a series of textiles programmes. The other night, I watched the Fabric of Britain: Knitting's Golden Age. I loved the inclusion of the more quirky side of knitting and a showcase of stranded patterns and colours. Part of the programme featured art sweaters, like these sweaters designed by David Hockney and Allen Jones.
You can still watch this programme on BBC iPlayer, see more about that here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bgrvf
I really enjoyed the inclusion of vintage knits of the more unusual variety and am so pleased that they chose one of my fave Ravelry buddies Susan Crawford, author of the vintage book sderies A Stitch In Time and the aka Just Call Me Ruby, who in my eyes is the definitive expert in vintage design reimagined for the 21st Century. The programme featured a traditional 1930s swim suit and Susan has a a swimsuit project. on her website.
I was interested to watch the generations of women carrying out true two handed Fair Isle Techniques, which I cannot do due to no grip and was quite envious.
The programme did feature shepherds spinning and knitting, and mentioned they did it whilst walking. However, they did not include a shepherd's belt, where one needle is locked in to leave a hand free.
We have been fostering a real Prince of hounds, his name is Harry. He has been easy to train, instantly got the housetraining so he has not had a single accident and a very sweet boy all round. He is extremely cuddly too. We only had him for a week while the kennels were fixing their roof.
Harry is available for adoption. Anyone who is interested can meet him at Whittingham Kennels. He has been there for 18mths. The trouble is, there are so many black dogs that need adopting and a lot of people prefer not to have that colour. I think he is really handsome in black though with cute little socks. He does get a bit excitable when he sees other breeds of dog, and needs some strong handling in a busy park but after five days he was showing dramatic improvement in his behaviour and we have no doubt this trait will gradually fade away with the right handling. A lot of people might be worried about it, and think it is a big problem, but a lot of greyhounds are programmed to chase and can be like that to start with, but with correct training just grow disinterested. Remember these dogs have been shut away from the world and only know the kennels and the track, so each new thing is exciting for them. With a proper harness and a muzzle, and being on the lead, will mean he has no chance to chase anything and one day it will just wear off like it has with our two.
I really would love to see this hound in a nice home, he deserves it so much. He is 4 years old and very easy to handle and you can read a bit more about him on my Gorgeous Greyhounds blog. My partner and I are more than happy to keep in touch with any new owners if they adopted Harry, so that we can liaise over experience and training and help to continue to deprogramme this hound from getting too excited over other dogs. He would need to live in a cat free home without small dogs, just to make his training easier.