Wednesday 25 December 2013

Bringing knitting and crochet into the 21st Century

Merry Christmas all!

Just a quick post to say today, as part of my Christmas present from my sister, the Queen of the Knit has been dragged into the 21st Century. I now have a Facebook page and a twitter account.

The relevant info is thus:

Facebook -

Twitter - @QueenoftheKnit

I have no idea as yet how I will use these to the best effect (I know HOW to use these social media marvels, I just don't know what content will be involved).

Please find me and follow so I don't feel lonely.

Once again, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year and I will post again soon with something a lot more interesting.

Monday 25 November 2013

Crochet until your fingers bleed....a little over dramatic perhaps.

I have been VERY busy crocheting recently. Well, crocheting and knitting actually. I was asked by a couple of friends, in quick succession, to knit/crochet things for them (something I am more than happy to do FYI).

The first thing completed was a tea cosy for a friend to give to a friend for Christmas. I am going to include a picture in the hope that the friend of a friend is not reading this and does not get a sneak preview of their present. I will include no names to protect identities!

I was very pleased with the finished article here. It was a really fun pattern too. I would go as far as saying, clever. You have to pass the yarn behind and if you pull if tight you get this rounded effect on each pleat. It looks great and is very satisfying to create. I will be incorporating this into future projects I can tell you.

The second item I made was a crocheted jumper. This is the first jumper I have ever made (actually it is the second jumper I have made but it is the first to be completed. The first is still in bits waiting to be sewn up). I can not express the sense of achievement I felt on completing this. It actually looked like the picture (although the arms seemed a little long) and I learned a new technique for edging. Effectively crocheting backwards which leaves you with a really tight, neat edge. Again, ever so clever. I should say, the pic doesn't really do it justice. It looked better in real life.

Add to these two projects a new phone case. I received a new mobile phone a few days ago so I unpicked the case I had made for my last phone and remade it to fit the new phone. I waste nothing when it comes to wool.

That is all for today. If anyone wants anything made lease get in touch and I will see what I can do.

Thursday 17 October 2013

When is a jumper not a jumper?....When it is still in bits.

So, my knitting for "Wicked" has been completed and I have received my first ever payment for knitting. The thought of being paid to knit is insane. Since finishing I have received 2 commissions for other things so it is not a mad idea to try and make a go of knitting/crocheting for profit. Btw if anyone else wants to commission me just get in touch *winks*.

You will be pleased to know I have completed the knitting for a jumper I have been making for about a year now (maybe more). I just have to sew it up now which is actually the hardest bit. My sewing skills have never been good. I get bored and rush. I vow not to do this with my jumper. It has taken too long to knit to not finish it properly. Hopefully the next blog entry will include a pic of the finished jumper. I may even model it myself!

I am also busy putting together a Queen of the Knit website. Unfortunately the web host I chose is not the easiest to use so it is proving difficult to get it how I want it but hopefully it will be live in the next couple of weeks. Rest assured you will be the first to know about it

To end let me share a couple of photos of people knitting in costume. The first is of members of the ENO chorus relaxing during Fidelio rehearsals. The second is of a member of the Icelandic Opera chorus. Enjoy.

Monday 30 September 2013

Hang on a cotton picking minute, should your name be there?

Sorry I have neglected you all recently. I have had lots on and nothing interesting enough to write about. I promise to give the appropriate amount of time to this blog over the coming weeks (whatever the appropriate amount of time is).

So, you may remember I mentioned I had been knitting for a West End show recently. This was the result of knitting gloves for a touring production of the same musical. They liked them so much they ordered more pairs for their West End production too. I was, and still am, over the moon and a little flabbergasted. The wardrobe mistress on the touring production sent me a picture of a page of the tour's programme. Now I have been in countless programmes over the years but always in the cast list, never in the technical/creative list. So I thought I would share this momentous moment with you lot. By the way the show is "Wicked".

Look, knitting by...... Hilarious!

That is all I have to report today but you will be pleased to know that a jumper I have been knitting for a fair while now is almost complete and I will post a pic as soon as it actually is. I also have some lovely pics of people knitting in costume that I will also post soon. In the meantime why not get your needles out and join the knitting revolution.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Please help me!....I can't do this alone.

This is just a plea for help with a future blog. I am putting together a series of pieces about knitting in unusual situations. The first will address knitting in theatres. I need pics that people are happy to have included in my blog. Regarding the theatre knitting/crochet blog entry it would be brilliant to have people in costume but just people casually crafting in a theatre is fine too.

The next post I intend to put together is pics of people knitting in unusual places. I say unusual, I mean anywhere really. If you have any pics of people knitting please send them to me. If you are on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ you can send them to me via any of these. If not I have just put a "contact me" app on this blog just to your right. See? So you should be able to send them to me here or contact me to tell me you have pics to send.

I hope some of you can help but I realise it is a peculiar ask. If you help me though I promise to reward you with pictures of cakes in a future blog entry. Can't say fairer than that!

Saturday 14 September 2013

For the love of Han Solo, finish something woman.

I love knitting. I love crochet. Sometimes I get distracted. Sometimes I find something I want to make and can't wait to make. Therefore, I stop what I am doing, put it to one side and start the new project. It's OK, I will finish it later. No really, I WILL finish it later.

I have counted the projects I have on the go at the moment. There are 6. Yes, 6! Plus I have 2 other projects that need starting ASAP. I have always been impatient. I get bored easily. I also, however, hate leaving things unfinished. In addition to my copious amount a crafty projects on the go I am reading 4 books at the moment and still I wonder why my brain is constantly befuddled.

I thought I would document the things I have on the go right now. Let's start with the books:

To be honest I have not read a page of any of these books in the past 2 weeks but that is not important right now. One of these books was recommended and leant to me by a friend so I will read it soon. One was bought for me for Christmas. I have read 2 chapters but it really has not made me want to carry on with it but someone bought it me for so I will read it soon. One of these books I bought as I had an hour to kill so I purchased it and read 2 chapters in a cafe in Cleveleys (little town near Blackpool if you don't know it). I enjoyed the first 2 chapters so I will read it soon. The fourth has been on the go the longest. I bought it while on tour in Southampton and have read about 6 chapters. This one was also recommended to me by a friend so I will read it. That really is all I have to say about my book reading habits. I, like many others, have to be in the mood to read. It wasn't always like this. When I was a child I would read and read and read. My impatience, however, was apparent even then. I would try to read books as quickly as possible in order to get on to the next. Which is probably why I can never remember what happened in books I have read. Do not worry, I am not about to start another blog reviewing books. 

So we move to my yarn based projects. There is a fairly high ratio of unfinished gloves here. Sewing up is not my favourite part of any knitting/crochet task. Maybe my posting all my unfinished undertakings will push me to actually finish one of them. So here they are:

Crocheted blanket. Started 4 months ago.

Crocheted Shawl. Started over 1 year ago

Knitted jumper. Started 1 year ago.
Knitted gloves. Started 4 days ago.
Knitted gloves. Started 1 week ago.
2 pairs of gloves. Started 2 days ago.

So there we have it. I feel suitably guilty but also like a weight has been lifted by telling you of my short-comings when it comes to time-management. Over the next few posts I hope to report that I manage to finish at least one book and 3 projects involving wool. Of course chances are I will end up watching a box set of summat instead.


Tuesday 10 September 2013

Knitting backstage?....It will never catch on.

As I think I said in the very first post, I have been knitting on and off for years but only crocheting for the past 2 or 3. I do prefer crochet and this is for a variety of reasons, the main one being you see results really quickly with crochet and for an impatient soul like yours truly this is quite fortuitous. I do like to mix things up though so I tend to alternate my projects in order to ensure boredom does not set in. Knitting has become much more enjoyable for me in the past year and a half or so because I went on tour with The Phantom of the Opera.

If you are new to this blog, I am a singer/actress/professional northerner and last year I went on tour in the UK. To keep my brain ticking over, when I wasn't on stage, I would knit or crochet backstage. I can't read books in those situations as there are too many distractions and I can't concentrate. I end up reading the same page over and over but knitting/crochet is something that, although at times complicated, I find I don't have to concentrate on in the same way I do with a book. When I started the tour my knitting skills were basic but by the end, due to much help from another cast member, I was positively OK at it.
                     This is me as "Noreen - the wardrobe mistress"
                     in The Phantom of the Opera (Noreen is not the
                     official name of the character, she doesn't have 
one, but it seemed to suit her).

I began the tour able to knit scarves, that was about it. I am now about to finish knitting a jumper. I particularly enjoy making fancy gloves with or without fancy patterns (although a fellow soprano is the master of this. She makes gloves with owls, penguins, whatever you want knitted into them. All patterns she has devised in her head). My real talent (I say talent) lies in crochet and while on tour I made a number of hats, shawls, teddy bears, capes, tea-cosies, recepticles for electronic items (phone/ipod covers) etc... Some I made for myself some I made as presents for people. 

By the end of the tour we had formed quite the knitting club. At least 11 members of the cast were knitting during quiet moments in the show. All had differing abilities but all were so excited to see what each of us would come up with. Dogs were knitted along with Union flag cushion covers, scarves and snoods, cardigans, jumpers, gloves, elephant doorstops and even a garter for a fellow cast member's wedding. It was a joy to be a part of this knitting renaissance and I am positive that it kept us busy and it kept us sane!

Monday 9 September 2013

We will unite soon crocheters I promise.

This is not a proper post, I just wanted to show off the new look of the blog complete with colour logo. Note the eyes are much friendlier. There is still a little work to do on the crown but I will not blog about it anymore but I do expect you to point it out when you see her change, even slightly.

Sunday 8 September 2013

OK, Crocheters Unite is coming but first let's think about logos.

So my very clever sister has been tinkering with a logo for Queen of the Knit and she has come up with this:

I am umming and ahhing as to whether it should be in colour and, more importantly what colour it should be. if you have any suggestions they would be welcome. The eyes might change as at the moment she looks a little less than friendly. For now, though, she will be my working logo.

For your delectation here are a couple of the other logos my sister came up with:

Yes, the music notes are the wrong way round. We know.

This is more like it. A better colour with the music notes the right way round.

Much as I like the red one I prefer the pretty "Queen".

Anyway, this is just a little silly nonsense and nothing to do with knitting or crochet. Hope that is OK.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Why "Queen of the Knit" Claire?

Welcome one, welcome all to the inaugural post from the "Queen of the Knit".

Before we go any further I should say I much prefer, and am better at, crocheting. However, truth is I am not "Queen" of either. "Queen of the Knit" is the culmination of much brainstorming with friends on Facebook as I was looking for a business name. I have been knitting gloves for a very famous West End musical (and getting paid to do so) and thought this could be the start of a new business venture. My friend David came up with the winning name. Other contenders were "Knit Happens", "Knitting Nancy", "Knitting Noreen" and "The Claire Stitch Project" (that nearly won so no nicking it as I may use it for summat else). I also really liked my friend Hannah's suggestion of "Cashmere for Mere Cash". Very clever. For those a little bemused as to how "Queen of the Knit" won this very hard fought contest read on please.

If you have read my "About" page you will know that I am an opera singer. The "Queen of The Night" is a character in Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" and so by changing night to knit it kept the knitting venture relevant to me. Henceforth, in a crafting capacity, I shall forever be known as the Queen of the Knit.

I have no idea how often I will post in this blog as most of my time is spent on my other blog Diary of an Incompetent Soprano. Be advised that this blog will involve pictures of my efforts (both fabulous and hideous) and I welcome your opinions on my attempts.

I think the next post will be called "Crocheters Unite" so look out for that in the next few days.