genevieve – print and pattern

print and pattern


pickles wedding shrug

wedding shrug - genevieve blog

morning of the wedding

I mentioned before about a top secret project I was planning. Well, here it is: a hand-knitted shrug for my wedding day!

I didn’t have many shots of the shrug itself from the day, so I was forced¬†to put on my wedding dress again to take these… what a hardship!

pickles wedding shrug - genevieve blog

pickles wedding shrug - genevieve blog

back of wedding shrug - genevieve blog

And all the credit goes to my talented friend and knitting buddy, Ali, who made it for me, after I spotted the Pickles pattern on Ravelry.

I spent a few weeks agonising over which yarn to go for. It was tough to find a shade of white/cream/in-between that exactly matched the ivory dress but I was determined to find one.

wedding yarn - genevieve blog

decisions, decisions

I love the way things work out sometimes, because I found the most wedding-appropriate luxurious silk and merino yarn in my local knitting shop Knit With Attitude, which just happened to be a darn good colour match.

wedding yarn - genevieve blog

scrumptious dk/worsted - genevieve blog

scrumptious dk/worsted - genevieve blog

wedding yarn - genevieve blog

I was thrilled with how it came out. Having had most of the outfit planned for a while, I only saw and tried on the shrug for the first time a couple of days before the wedding, and it was wonderful to feel the super soft yarn in classy moss stitch and see it fit perfectly. It was like the icing on the, er, wedding cake. The moss stitch draped beautifully and was a great contrast to the satin on the upper half of my dress.

On the day itself, I put it on in the evening when it got a little chilly and it totally did the trick. It felt pretty special to wear such a beautiful hand-knitted item.

wedding shrug - genevieve blog

Ali has come up with the genius idea of dyeing it a different colour to give it a new lease of life. I’m still in the afterglow of the wedding and feel a bit protective of it right now, but it’s a great idea and one I may well try…. I’ll keep you posted.

wedding shrug - genevieve blog

ooo pretty shoes

I asked Ali if she’d like to write a mini-guest post on making it, and she wrote the following which was just lovely for me to read ūüôā

Jen and I bonded long ago over a love of knitting, and soon learned we shared more than that in common. We would put the world to rights after work over a hot drink and a little knitting session, and did some great projects together. 

I couldn’t have been happier to watch Jen prepare for her marriage, and although I couldn’t be there in person to celebrate, it was only fitting to be there in spirit with this project.¬†¬†

I tend to be a bit of a maverick knitter, using patterns as a guide (and occasionally messing up along the way!) but I wanted this to be perfect for the big day. After talking through the fit she was after and knitting up some swatches to get the tension and needle size right, I followed each stitch to the letter and was pleased with the result. Having a five month old at the time meant it took a little longer than expected, and the shrug came all the way across the Atlantic with me (knitting in the Florida sun was bliss!) but arrived in the UK just in time. 

Knitting has always been something special to me and to make this for Jen felt like the perfect way to share in her happiness. The years ahead of us will hold a lot of changes but I know we’ll always be able to sit down with a cuppa and our knitting, and pick up right where we left off.

(NB. Top and penultimate pics by Camera Hannah)



wild flower cigarette cards / rubber stamps

I’d been searching for a good copy of The Observer’s Book of Wild Flowers but I was thrilled to get one better than that for Christmas in the form of a set of Wills’s wild flower cigarette cards.

I used to press wild flowers as a child in Cornwall and I love them all the more now, as they remind me of a time when I lived closer to fields, hedgerows and streams. But nostalgia aside, the mini flower cards are just so pretty. I’m hatching a plan to display them somehow, perhaps all lined up as below, or perhaps in a smaller batch.

I’m known as a bit of stamp fiend (of the craft variety, although I’m rather fond of old postage stamps too), so I was super chuffed with these knitting-themed rubber stamps and assorted ink pads I got as well. My love of stamps and knitting all brilliantly rolled into one.

They are by¬†Skull and Cross Buns, a make I’d never heard of, but having checked out the Etsy site, I already want at least half of them. They are so nicely made, and the stamp comes out clean and crisp every time. I also really like the way the rubber stamp is raised quite far from the wooden ‘handle’ bit, which means no nasty accidental marks.

So that’s my print/pattern Christmas present round-up. I reckon I did pretty well! I can’t wait to put them all to good use.


mustard yellow baby cardigan

mustard yellow cardigan

Hooray – my first knitted garment!

I’ve always thought I’d have ‘arrived’ in a knitting sense when I make my first adult jumper, and whilst that still seems a way off, I’m pretty pleased to have completed my first proper garment, even if it is mini-sized. The arrival of my friend’s daughter was a great excuse to try making a simple cardigan and I found this free pattern on Ravelry. The name ‘5-hour Sweater’, I hasten to add, only applies to speedy knitters and mine was completed bit by bit, rather more slowly.

5 hour baby sweater

niece with yellow cardigan

I’m glad I didn’t know whether it was a girl or a boy, as it made me to pick a gender-neutral mustard yellow colour which I just love with the brown buttons. It’s not a colour you see on babies that often, but I think it looks darn cool, even though I say so myself!

crumpled yellow cardigan yellow cardiganMy littlest niece kindly modelled the finished product as it fitted her perfectly (at 6 months) but I’m looking forward to seeing the owner herself in it in no time at all.

For more details about the pattern and yarn, see my Ravelry page here.

yellow baby cardigan


the ephemera fair

the society describes ephemera as “minor transient documents of everyday life”

Despite being a big fan of¬†ephemera, I didn’t actually know it had a name, let alone specialist fairs – until I came across the¬†Ephemera Society. This is one of the reasons I love this city – if it exists, you can get it London.

Last Sunday I paid my first visit to one of the fairs, incongruously held in the swanky Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Holborn. We paid the ¬£2 entrance fee and were greeted with an overwhelming array of bus tickets, theatre programmes, maps, magazine ads, postcards, posters, greetings cards, magazines – if it’s made of paper, they had it. Some were frighteningly expensive (¬£250 for a tiny ticket, clearly rare and for serious collectors only) and others pleasingly budget (50p for a bus ticket) – but all were from times gone by.

My first find was this gorgeous Carter’s Lemon Syrup ad (love its bold claim to prevent cholera) and was pleased to discover a fantastic bonus print on the back of the Great Wheel at Earl’s Court, the world’s tallest ferris wheel at the time.

Unsurprisingly, I cleared one seller out of sewing and knitting-themed items (resistance was useless), which I plan to make into a framed display for my as yet non-existent craft room.

I’m going to do a similar thing with these lovely bus tickets. There are some beauties in there, my personal fave is the Last Tram Week one.

I longingly left some other items that would have blown my budget. But there’s always next time – fairs¬†are held approximately every two months.


baby blanket

I’ve wanted to knit this Pickles¬†‘Born Under A Star’¬†pattern ever since I bought Purls of Wisdom by Jenny Lord a couple of years ago and the arrival of my niece recently was the perfect opportunity. I was really chuffed with how it turned out and it’s the perfect size for a new born baby. Despite looking tricky, it’s easy once you get the hang of the stitch pattern but slow going due to the endless purl-threes (probably quicker if you don’t knit tightly like me) and it needs heavy blocking (soaking and stretching into shape) to bring out the pretty star pattern.

Purls of Wisdom is a book of genius. It is honestly the only book I’ve ever found where I’ve wanted to knit every pattern in it. It nails that chic modern look that seems so elusive sometimes in the world of knitting. Along with the opening of the brilliant Knit With Attitude shop near me (very sadly just closed), it ushered in the start of a surprising new obsession which has not showed signs of going anywhere fast.

You can check out more details on this pattern on my Ravelry page here.


introduction to screen printing

I don’t even want to think about how long I waited to do this workshop at the Make Lounge, taken by Helen Rawlinson. But I’m so glad I finally did. After all the designing, careful cutting and finally printing, the results were fantastic. If I had a bigger flat I would lose no time in buying the kit to do it at home.

There are a few types of screen printing but the simplest description of what we did is 1) cut out a stencil from paper, 2) place stencil on the fabric and put the permeable screen on top of the stencil, 3) apply paint to the screen.

Cutting the designs out from paper took quite a long time (and gave me arm-ache for a few days), but the actual printing bit – with aprons, big pots of colourful paint and squeegees – more than made up for it in pure hands-on fun. You can’t argue with that satisfaction as you slowly peel off the screen to reveal your design perfectly printed on the fabric. I was surprised how clean the designs came out, despite some messing up on the cutting.

The red triangles was my first design, which was inspired by a Design Sponge project I did a couple of years ago decorating terracotta flower pots with masking tape and spray paint.

where my love of triangles all began

My design came about through messing about with lots of black triangles on a white page on a long train journey from Cornwall to London.

Design number two is probably my favourite as it brings together the knitting and Scandinavia obsessions I’ve been developing over the past two years. It’s a block version of the classic repeating Scandi Fair Isle pattern, which I would, nay, will, knit absolutely everything in once I learn how to do it. It’s hard to know whether I liked it before The Killing came on the scene and Sarah Lund’s jumper-clad anti-heroine swept me off my feet (and made me cancel all plans to leave the flat) but it’s fair to say that the TV series cemented it in my mind as the ultimate knitting pattern nirvana. So, it was a joy to be able to create it on fabric, and I dare say I like it just as much as I do knitted.

It was a great introductory course and my only frustration was not being able to cover the whole tea towel with one pattern which wasn’t possible due to the size of the screens, and the time available. But I’ve left with an appetite for more and I can tell my foray into screen printing will not end here.