Oor Wullie Seabird Spotting

Hooray, hooray, the trail starts today! The first ever Oor Wullie Big Bucket Sculpture Trail has begun. All over Scotland sculptures of Oor Wullie, made by Wild in Art and fantastically decorated in more ways than you can imagine, are being revealed to the expectantly waiting public. These wonderful pieces of art are not only bringing colour, happiness and joy to new corners of Scotland, they are also raising funds for the hugely important work of some of Scoltand’s children’s hospital charities. My Seabird Spotting sculpture is hopefully raising money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.

To make all of this even more exciting, my design was selected for a sculpture and I was able to paint an Oor Wullie all of my very own! Let me tell you how it went.

Day 1

My Wullie and I first met in the painting room, kindly given over for artists to use by the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, Edinburgh. There were several other Wullies there already, all half complete and some with their artists too. Although I had been given the dimensions of the sculptures, it was still exciting to see just how big they were and how much surface area there was to cover. The last project I worked on like this was painting a double bass with a Rousseau-inspired jungle design, but that was really some time ago. How on earth was I going to transfer my flat designs onto such an undulating surface?

I started drawing it out in pencil, because I had to start somewhere.

Day 2

Next came the first layer of paint, and what a difference it made! I discovered that some parts of the statue were quite tricky to access, especially the soles of his feet. Today I learned that my sculpture could be placed outside the Scottish Seabird Centre. My first feeling was excitement, what a prefect place! I wanted people to see the birds I had painted, to count them and to maybe look for them in the sky or on the waves. Perhaps even visit the centre and learn more about these incredible special and beautiful creatures. And then a tiny seed of doubt began to grow. what if there were skilled and knowledgeable people seeing my work too? Were my gannets accurate enough? Would anyone mind that I had included black guillemots, which really don’t live near North Berwick but on the West Coast? Please forgive my artistic license, and do let me know if you spot these anomalies.

Day 3

Details! Eyes and beaks and feathers and fish. Each layer of colour made it all the more vibrant, and adding the deepening blues of the sea felt very satisfying.  It’s a lovely sensation, painting on a sculpture. You have to be constantly moving around it, altering your position to see your work from different angles. This felt much like doll-making, thinking about and feeling the surfaces, and working on art that will be viewed in different ways. How will a child see this? Or a taller adult? How do the shapes balance from a distance? How does the surface pattern relate to the shape of the figure underneath? And will anybody else enjoy the hair as much as I am?

Day 4

Almost done. Some of my Wullie’s studio buddies were now  finished, and their talented and friendly artists had moved on. I was the only one to arrive at 7:00 in the morning, in order to get as much done as possible before school pick-up time ends my painting for the day. 7:00 is an eerily quiet hour in a shopping centre.

Here is my Seabird Spotting Wullie next to his studio buddy, beautifully decorated by the friendly and talented MrASingh

Day 5

The final touches were added. My birds were ready to fly and my fish to swim. I snuck back to the studio to finish the final stages, and that evening I had the place to myself. The silver waves and bubbles were the very last thing to go on, being drawn onto the paint with thick and squeaky acrylic pens. As if in celebration, the sky had a beautiful sunset that night, which I could see through huge windows stretching the length of the painting room. What would anyone think of my work? Would people come and look? Had I really painted the right number of fish in the sea? I would have to wait to find out, but nonetheless it had been a wonderful project to work on.

If you are passing by North Berwick, do go and visit my Seabird Spotting Wullie. Go and see how many birds you can find, then go and learn about them in the Scottish Seabird Centre. And do tell me all about it, or share your photos on #SeabirdSpotting or find out more @owbigbuckettrail 

A Place to Knit: Jumper 16

So, this is the end of the project. I feel quite sad to be finishing, it’s been great fun and a wonderful challenge.

I made this patchwork design to use up the ends of the yarns; not quite enough of any single shade to make the last jumper, so a mix of all of them. Looking back over each design I remember where I worked on them, comments from friends, colleagues and followers, and late nights keeping up with the schedule. This jumper, too is a patchwork of memories. Knitting at home, in my children’s music lessons, concerts, diving classes, the school yard, cafes, airports, beaches, Scotland, Italy.

“Which number are you on now?”

“I liked your story for numbers 9 and 10, my teenager solves my technical problems too.”

“Morning Chris, how was your day off? I’ve brought you the next jumper. A latte would be lovely, thanks”

“Hey, Hannah. I had number 7 with my coffee this morning.”

“What are you knitting? Really? For beer bottles?”

“A friend of one of your friends came in this morning looking for your jumpers, she’s sat just around the corner hoping to meet you.”

“We had number 6 on our table and Maxim knocked over his hot chocolate. It went all over the colouring things, down his front, on the floor (the dog licked it up), but at least the red jumper escaped the flood.”

“You mean they’re just left there? On the Tables? Somebody will steal one.”
“No, not here. This is Marchmont.”

Little pieces of story woven through the fabric of a welcoming, bustling cafe; a wonderful community project for a wonderful community. Thank you Red Box, thank you Marchmont, and thank you reader.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with all the yarns used in this project, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and pencil.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop.

You can go and see these jumpers as of TODAY on display as table-number bottles in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ.

A Place to Sleep: Jumper 15

Snuffles has a blanket in the kitchen.
Snuffles has a box in the hall.
Snuffles can sleep on the sagging old sofa,
tightly curled up like a ball.

No Cats allowed in the knitting.
No cats sleeping on the bed.
Take Snuffles out of the laundry bag
and put him somewhere else instead.

The blanket is too cold and soggy
from the morning’s shower of rain
The sofa’s too full of teenager
The box is far too plain.

Snuffles finds himself a quiet corner
Snuffles seeks a smell he loves the best:
Snuffles takes his owner’s favourite jumper
to make himself a comfy nest.

What will she say if she sees him?
Perhaps it’s better not to tell.
I didn’t know, it’s not the knitting or the bed.
Is a jumper out of bounds as well?

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: Malabrigo Worsted yarn in ‘Sealing Wax’, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and pencil.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see these jumpers as of TODAY on display as table-number bottles in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ.

Hey, Look!

Jumpers 13 and 14

Hey, look! We’re the same!
Yes, two read jumpers. Matching!
But yours has holes…
…and yours has bobbles.
Did you cut the holes?


No. It was a tiger. He jumped out on me on the way to school and tried to eat me up. But I twisted and turned so fast he couldn’t hold me down and I got away. But it left holes in my jumper.

Wow!

Did you stick the bobbles on?

No, these are not really bobbles. they are ladybirds who have lost their spots. They saw a boy being eaten by a tiger on the way to school and they were shaking so much with fear that their spots fell off. I found them and gave them all a big hug to feel better and they decided to stay with me until their spots grow back.

Wow!

Shall we sit next to each other at lunch?
Yes. Our jumpers can be friends.


Do you ever find that you begin writing something and then something you were not thinking about at all appears on the page infront of you? This story was perhaps unintentionally influenced by ‘On The Way Home’ by Jill Murphy, which I read many times and loved as a child. I haven’t thought about that book for years, but it’s a great picture book. I can picture just where it is still, on the shelf in my family home. Thanks Mum and Dad for holding on to all of those wonderful books.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and brush.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!

A Jungle Holiday

A holiday would do us all good, they said.
Why not go somewhere new?
A change is as good as a rest.
Recharge your batteries.

Monty had always wanted to go to The Conservatory; maybe stay near the The Pond and do some swimming. We could relax in the tropical heat, climb up to The Windowsill and see the view, explore the jungles of The Pot Plants.

That’s all very well if you’re staying in a posh hotel, with all needs catered for, but we’re camping.
For me, this ‘holiday’ is about trying to care for the family in a place that’s more difficult than usual. There’s far too much daylight and it’s baking hot so nobody can sleep. I haven’t a clue how to cook the food here, there’s nothing I recognise.
If you ask me, holidays away just mean upset stomachs, exhaustion and nowhere to hang your washing. We’re going to need a holiday when we get home.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: John Arbon Knit by Numbers merino double knit in shade KBN 19 on 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and brush.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!

Jumper 11: Sea Mouse

A mouse went to sea on a raft,
To practice his seafaring craft.
He knitted a sweater,
Which helped him sail better,
When tied to the mast fore and aft.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and brush.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!

Double Trouble

This image for me was just as described, ‘double trouble.’ It also came about through a series of highs and lows; successes and failures.

Initially, I came up with the idea of running jumpers 9 and 10 together because life had left me one jumper behind schedule. ‘Why not make a matching pair’? I thought. They could be similar, based on the same design but not identical. Like twins? And here’s an even better plan, I could knit two versions of a pattern I have already designed for dolls thus getting a plug for my pattern into the post too! What could possibly go wrong?

So off I went, merrily and speedily knitting a red version of my Craft Coat. This is the first knitting pattern I have published (the second is not out yet…), and it was a hugely entertaining learning curve.
You’d like to see it, you say?
Oh, alright, I’ll show you a picture:

It took a little tweaking to make the coat fit a beer bottle rather than a doll; the first see-saw experience.
Cast on 20. Too short, rip it out and start again.
Too long, rip it out and start again.
Fitting well but forgot the increases under the arms, rip it out etc.

I decided I would illustrate a girl wearing this one, and a boy wearing the next. And so, on to the second version with a wide double-front and a straight-edged collar rather than the picot edging of the first. This needed different proportions right from the start, so off I went with the ripping out and starting again game. As you can see, I got there in the end.

This to-ing and fro-ing gave me the idea for the seesaw, which I immediately loved (I’m up!).
But I would need a longer, landscape image to fit the seesaw in, and so far I had been designing square images just to make it easier to display them on Instagram (I’m down).
Maybe this was the perfect opportunity to try that clever trick of making two Instagram posts that in situ display one, longer image (I’m up again)!
How hard can it be? (and down again)
Hey, there are Apps that allow you to manage Instagram on your laptop (up)
But they’re really expensive (down)
Maybe I can use Photoshop to play with the image, yey it looks great (up)
But I don’t know how to get the picture onto my phone to finally post it and really want to throw the phone at the wall now (down, down, down)

At this point my thirteen-year-old wandered in, sorted it all out in about five minutes and then even explained what he had done.
Thankyou! (up, up, up)

So here it is. I’m sure you’d like to see it again, just incase you missed it earlier…

Personally I think it’s worth heading over to Instagram to see it if you didn’t arrive here from that source.

The seesaw even lines up in the middle.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: Malabrigo Worsted yarn in ‘Sealing Wax’, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and pencil.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see these jumpers as of TODAY on display as table-number bottles in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ.

A Vampire’s Dilemma

I do apologise for disturbing you but I wonder if I might request your assistance? It is but a small matter I assure you, and will take only a moment.

You see, I have a dilemma. I have heard that capes and cloaks are becoming a thing of the past; knitwear is the way forward they say. I am open to change, within reason of course, and my Mother has kindly helped me out my making me this delightful tunic. But herein lies the problem. My Mother insists that I look truly remarkable, and although she is probably right, she is nonetheless my Mother. I cannot tell for myself because, as you will appreciate, I have little success with mirrors.

I was hoping to ask you: you seem genuinely eager to assist. The look I am after has flair, is devil-may-care, even debonair.

So, think carefully about your situation here and tell me honestly. How do I look?

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: Orkney Yarn from Hammerbrake Farm, Orkney, Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and pencil.

The design for this tunic was inspired by Woolly Wormhead‘s totally fantastic hat pattern ‘Toph‘. I knitted one of these hats for my son (can you see it in my Instagram feed?) and enjoyed the short row shaping so much that I thought I’d use it here too. If you’re a knitter, I strongly recommend Woolly Wormhead’s hat patterns, they’re extremely well designed, very beautiful and great fun to knit.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!

WANTED: Have you seen this penguin?

This afternoon, during the popular Penguin Parade at Edinburgh Zoo, an Adelie penguin escaped from her keepers’ care. The penguin, known as ‘Petra’, made a mad dash through the line of onlookers and stole a red knitted Fair Isle vest from the bottom of a push chair. Petra was then lost in the crowd and was last seen wearing the red vest and heading towards the exit. Zoo keepers fear that the penguin thief is trying to reach Red Box Coffee in Marchmont, where there are several other red jumpers to be found.

“Petra has always had a thing for red,” says her keeper, “if any of us keepers wear red wellies in her enclosure she run over and starts pecking them like crazy. Although Petra is not dangerous, we don’t recommend approaching her as she may fight to defend her red jumper.”

If anyone sees Petra or the jumper anywhere, please alert the authorities.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with: John Arbon Knit by Numbers merino double knit in shade KBN 19, Malabrigo Sock yarn in Ravelry Red, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink and pencil.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!

WARNING: This post may contain fake news.

Red Box Jumper 6: Fisherman’s Rib

One, two, three, four, five
Once I caught a boy alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Then I let him go again.

Why did I let him go?
Because I loved his jumper so.

A fishermans’ rib caught on the line.
Finders keepers: now it’s mine.

This jumper was brought to you by Hannah Sanguinetti, working with; red Orkney yarn from Hammerbrake Farm on the isle of Orkney, 4mm double-pointed needles, paper collage, ink, brush and pencil.

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic yarn shop on my road, Be Inspired Fibres, and this acts as my extended yarn stash. All of my yarn for this project is sourced from this beautiful shop. For those of you who don’t have a yarn shop near by, why don’t you come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March? There is more yarn than you can possibly imagine, and you could pop in to Red Box and take a look at my red jumpers too.

You can go and see this jumper as of TODAY on display as a table-number bottle in Red Box Coffee, 2-6 Spottiswoode Rd, Edinburgh EH9 1BQ. And if you can’t see it out, ask the staff!