Tuesday Huesday: Jumbo cable knit throw

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jumbo cable knit bed set

I LOVE this jumbo cable knit throw, it makes the bed look so inviting. Hand-knitted soft furnishings make a bedroom feel cosy, comfortable and luxurious.

I’d love Granny Glittens to make us one but the pattern on the NZ House & Garden website only gives the pattern instructions for the matching cushion cover. I’m sure she could rustle us something up that’s similar!

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’11

"Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair '11" blog post banner

Ken Eardley ceramic jugs and spoons on display

The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2011 is being held this weekend in Manchester city centre – we went to the preview night on Thursday.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves

It was great to see designer-makers whose work we’ve long admired – there was also the thrill of seeing fresh, new exhibitors.

a selection of Ken Eardley ceramics on display shelves with a recent article about him in BBC Homes & Antiques magazine open on a table

We featured Ken Eardley, whose ceramics are shown above in last year’s GNCCF blog post – once again, his stand had real impact. Things are going really well for him with magazine features such as this recent one in BBC Homes & Antiques.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden artworks, lampshades and jewellery

Another striking space belonged to Jane Blease who works primarily with bentwood & reclaimed plastic often with her characteristic hand worked thread detailing. A recent artist residency in India has clearly inspired some of Jane’s new pieces. It’s interesting charting artists’ new developments & influences.

a display of Jane Blease's handcrafted wooden jewellery

The Radiance stand belonging to Hannah Nunn always delivers the goods – her hand cut paper light shades look great when displayed en masse…

a display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance mini lamps

…and we loved her new seed pod window hangings.

detail of the display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanging a display of Hannah Nunn's Radiance newly designed seedpod window/wall hanging

Ruth Green, who we’ve seen at GNCCF in previous years, also had some lovely new works…

display of Ruth Green's limited edition framed prints

…and she’s also branched out into illustrated books, notebooks & note cards.

display of Ruth Green's limited edition prints, posters and illustrated books & notebooks

With autumn setting in, Andrea Lord’s &made display offered some warm seasonal comforts…

display of &Made's cream coloured hand knitted mug cosy with grey felt cushion in the background

…such as these gorgeous cushions & cosies.

display of &Made's yellow ochre hand knitted tea cosies

As we mentioned earlier, it’s really exciting to discover new makers and their work…

Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

…we’ll highlight just a couple who made an impact on us.

The first was Gemma Truman, whose hand-blown glass & seagrass hangings and vases are absolutely exquisite – they’re inspired by South African weaverbird nests. We also thought they were very reminiscent of those old fashioned glass fishing net floats.

detail from Gemma Truman's seagrass & glass works inspired by weaverbirds' nests

Second was Louise Hibbert.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

Her pieces have a natural feel and use subtle, earthy, yet striking colours.

display of Louise Hibbert's wooden salt & pepper mills

As you can see from her salt & pepper mills, they’re organic, tactile and oh so beautiful – they just cry out to be picked up, handled and caressed.

display of Louise Hibbert's coloured wooden salt & pepper mills

The show runs till this Sunday, so visit if you can! We’ve only featured homewares in this post, but there’s also lots of jewellery and fashion on display… and all of it’s for sale… so go on, get your Christmas shopping done early!

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair ’09

We spent a splendid few hours at the launch of the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. This year, it’s being held in Manchester city centre at Spinningfields.

There are almost 150 stands featuring the work of top class designer-makers from as far afield as Cornwall, Bristol, Argyll, London… with a strong representation from Greater Manchester and the North West. There was a huge turnout of visitors – many bagging themselves some fabulous early Christmas presents (for friends, family & themselves!).

We couldn’t blog about absolutely all the craftspeople there, so here’s a bit about some of the ones who especially caught our eye…

We were both really taken by these delicate and tactile hand-thrown porcelain vessels from Belfast-based Derek Wilson Ceramics. His display was the epitome of pared back, understated loveliness!

Adelle has a soft spot for colourful & playful jewellery like these felt pieces from Lynsey Walters

…and a well-known penchant for vintage and vintage inspired handbags & purses!

These ones above are from Monica Boxley who, as well as using original vintage fabrics, makes beautiful handmade leather handbags inspired by a 1950s one belonging to her mother. It’s named the Marianne in homage.

As we’re on the subject of bags & purses, here are some lovely natural linen examples below from Teresa Green who makes an array of goods using textiles that she designs & hand prints.

If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, you’ll know that we love pottery. The timeless slipware made by Hannah McAndrew is just the kind of thing that gets us excited.

Her pieces would sit equally comfortably in both an ultra modern pad as well as well as an antique furnished country cottage.

There’s another Hannah exhibiting who’s work we’ve known & loved for a very long time. She’s Hannah Nunn, a lighting designer based a 10-minute drive away from us in Hebden Bridge.

If you’re ever in the area, her shop Radiance is in Hebden town centre. If not, she also sells online.

Ruth Green Design had a lovely display of eye-catching silk screen prints.

In addition to screen prints she has a lovely selection of linocuts and oil on paper works available on her website.

Tricia Needham is another screen printer whose work caught our attention. She makes these tea cosies as well as cushions, bags, scarves and ties (seen adorning the neck of Jon Snow no less!).

One stand that was getting a lot of attention from visitors on the night was Ingrid Wagner‘s…

Ingrid was encouraging people to try their hand at knitting with her giant needles and huge balls of wool & fabric. Ingrid in fact broke the world record last year for ‘extreme knitting’ – using needles three and a half metres long!

The Fair’s on until Sunday 25th October so get down there, it’s well worth a visit!

Granny Glittens and Her Amazing Mittens!

'The Tall Book of Christmas' book cover illustrated by Gertrude E. Espenscheid

We hope everyone out there had a lovely Christmas.

Now that the festivities are over, we can concentrate on the website launch.

We’ve spent the last few weeks tying up loose ends – we’re very happy with the site design and the database bit functions so smoothly even Justin can operate it! Thanks again to our web builder Mike and design company Sputnik.

The short delay in launching has given our army of knitters (all one of her!) some extra time to produce some great stuff for the shop.

We’re always very excited on our frequent trips to see Shirley, our amazing craft knitter and very own Granny Glittens. We share tea, home-made cakes and a natter. Anyone who’s not familiar with Granny Glittens, she’s to be found in The Tall Book of Christmas available at Amazon, a charming 1950s collection of children’s stories, one of which is entitled Granny Glittens and Her Amazing Mittens.

The Tall Book of Christmas Granny Glittens

Shirley’s always got a box of treats waiting for us to collect. We supply the wool, old buttons & vintage fabric sourced from charity shops, markets etc; she supplies the skill, time & love that go into making these wonderful goodies.

She hand knits, crochets & sews all kinds of things – from pan grabs to cushions – they combine beauty with functionality. Below we’ve got a sneak preview of some of the most recent things Granny Glittens has conjured up!

The website’s coming soon (promise!!)
Adelle & Justin

knitted collage
this week’s haul!

pan grabs
pan grabs- no more burnt fingers!

hot water bottles
hot water bottle covers

teapots galore!
collective noun for teapots?