Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Knitting And Dinner With Emma Bridgewater

The Naughty Knitters

Knitting circle circa 1958
Lower Tuffley Junior School

My lovely neighbour gave me this photo to put on my blog (she is the cheeky one second on the right) to explain that in the 1950s most girls schools actually taught knitting as part of the syllabus. I had never heard this before and found the idea quite enchanting, and as in this photo, the classes were held outside in good weather. How nice is that?

This picture was taken at Lower Tuffley Junior School in Gloucester in 1958 and she would so love to hear from anyone in the photo or who knows someone in the photo (via email to me please).

Todays knitting circle was definitely not held outside - it is very cold and windy and a little wet here in London - but was held in the comfort of a warm John Lewis store. It is tempting to buy lots of new wool each week as they have a great stock, even if to just pile it up in a basket to look pretty.

This week I fell for the colours and textures of the Amy Butler range of  Belle Organic DK for Rowan. The colours are sumptous and the texture is so soft and comforting. These were some of my favourite colours ...

Amy Butler Belle Organic DK Yarn Peony
Amy Butler Belle Organic DK Yarn Slate
Amy Butler Belle Organic DK Yarn Indigo
Amy Butler Belle Organic DK Yarn Moss
Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran Yarn in Zinc
'Zinc' Arun yarn

Oops! I missed out all the pinks and reds!

There are sixteen colours in this range and twelve  in the Aran colourways ... 'Peony' is my favourite - yet more pink you sigh! The butterfly blanket below is very pretty and the pattern comes from the newest book  - a collaboration between Rowan and  the designer Amy Butler and  it is called 'Meadow' (Price £9.95). The wools are priced at £5.50 per 50 gram ball.

Butterfly Blanket
Butterfly blanket pattern by Amy Butler

Meadow by Amy Butler
This new book has some stunning designs

Bad photo of page with pretty picnic rug
Damn! Tried to get a snap of the four row pattern in pic to copy!
Shall have to buy the book now!

I bought this wool for my next project (I was trying to steal the pattern to make a new baby pram rug, sadly will now have to find something else to keep me busy until my next class when I may have to buy the book). As you can see I am definitely not into baby pastels.

Colours are 'Cilantro', 'Robin's Egg', 'Indigo', 'Peony'

Sadly my sock knitting came to yet another hitch this week - is it me or is it the pattern? Probably me!  I have now managed to knit the welt down to the heel - divide the heel, round the heel and then  ... oh no what do I do next?  Well, what I actually did was to knit the second sock to the same point and wait to see the experts who could explain just what a stupid person I am (again) for not being able to follow a pattern. Yes it was me ... I just did not understand what was expected of me ... now again on the straight and narrow thanks to the ladies in the knitting circle. Perhaps I can finally finish them now as I am getting bored with this whole sock thing.

Two sadly unfinished socks in 'Crofter's DK

These are a few pics of some of the groups work ...

Sleeves for a teal jumper - both knitted together - how clever
This had crystal beads at the bottom - hard to photograph
Still not too visible - maybe I  needed to use a flash
The wool was delicate and supersoft
I loved this denim blue cardigan - it said "easy" on the pattern,
yet looked so very difficult.


Last Nights Dinner
With Emma Bridgewater

This is a quick snap of last nights dinner just to show that I can actually do something right. We had pan fried trout and almonds with saute pink anya potatoes and brocolli,  all washed down liberally with wine. It was yummy.

The pottery again is by Emma Bridgewater - none of it matches and that I really like - it is all on the same cream ware and same shapes and is hand painted so no two pieces are ever the same. I think this mis-matched casual style really reflects our family life (and it really does not matter if you break a piece as there is no 'set'!)

'Sweet Pea' dinner plate, 'Fig' cereal bowl and 'Pink Hearts' pasta bowl
'Cherry' dinner plate
Small detail of my dresser
Small detail of my dresser

Small detail of my dresser

As you can see I really do adore Emma Bridgewater and have been collecting it since she started making this original pottery in the 1980s. It is literally everywhere in our home ....

Over the Aga
As a teaspoon pot
Holding kitchen scissors - it says "I love you more than Marlon Brando".
As a pen pot in the kitchen
Pot for washing up brush
Pot for vegetable brush

For more information on Emma Bridgewater pottery click   here .
I love to give her a  plug every now and then!
Did I ever mention that I just love Emma Bridgewater stuff?


  1. Lovely knitting and yarns, I like the blanket, I am getting into crocheting blankets....quite satisfying. I love the Emma Bridgewater too!Have a good day!

  2. Absolutely lovely to see your EB collection. Try not to break any though because the lovely stuff you have would fetch lots on eBay. Great that you use and enjoy it! I use much of mine too but some pieces, that I know are irreplaceable,are just displayed.

  3. Great knitting and you are definitely not stupid!

  4. Looks like a fun time knitting, and I want your kitchen, contents and all!

  5. Oooh, i love the EB stuff!!!!

    Not only in 1958 . . . year 4 children at Trinity St Stephen First school in Windsor are learning to knit in class in 2012!!!!!

  6. Love the photo of the Naughty Knitters ... they're so cute! The peony yarn is my favorite ... wish I could knit. My great grandmother knitted beautiful afghans. Your dinner looked delicious ... love your Emma Bridgewater (we're mis-matched too). Wow! You have quite a collection! I haven't seen Emma Bridgewater before ... not sure if we have it over here. I'll have to look it up. Thanks for sharing.

  7. And I showed my desk to you? How long does it take you to dust the dresser? I love Emma Bridgewater too, but I only have one piece, but I prefer the less commercial pieces that you appear to have found.
    Knitting and sewing should still be on the cirriculum (for boys and girls), I've put it on the home cirriculum!

  8. What a great post, you do share the most wonderful pictures... The Emma Bridgewater factory is very close to me. 15/20 minutes, there's a great factory shop with a lovely cafe, you can paint a mug all by your very own self too!... you could add it to your list of reasons to come up to Stoke-On-Trent maybe.

  9. Knitting and Emma Bridgewater!!! Two of my favorite things!!!


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