25 Sept 2014

Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw

If you are ever touring in the beautiful Box Hill area of Surrey, South England, you might well find yourself driving through the village of Kingsfold. It is only a small place, although there's a pub called "The Owl" where you can find some old beams, cozy log-burning fires and a warm welcome.

However, Kingsfold is famous not so much for its beer but instead as the location where the composer Vaughan Williams heard an old folk song when he was visiting in 1904. He was enchanted by the tune and arranged it as the setting for a hymn. It became known as "The Kingsfold Hymn" and has become a firm favourite for choirs and organists across the world. Here is a delightful version played as a duet for piano and hand bells.

I heard it recently at St Johns' College in Cambridge and the mesmerizing melody stayed in my mind long after we had returned to the blustery quadrangle outside. The students were making their way to their dorm rooms, coats well buttoned-up and scarves madly flapping in the breeze. I sat in a cafe with a steaming cup of tea and started casting on what would later become the Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw.

This first one was worked using in a two-tone grey colour-block pattern. I so enjoyed working on it, that I went on to work a second one with stripes (pictured in the last blogpost) and a third in a lovely bright green! I stopped then, but I might well return to this again as it looks so different in each new colourway. 

I love working throws and blankets at this time of year anyway because it keeps your knees warm as you work! The knitting seems to keep pace with the weather, growing steadily as the temperatures start to fall. This one proved to be super-cozy as the stitch pattern is very textural and holds pockets of air very well.

The stitch is Moss and Rib Block Pattern from our book Reversible Knitting Stitches and is a delightful stitch, with an orderly squared pattern on the front and a more rounded appearance on the back.

The throw is a good size to go over the back of a sofa but can also be used as an extra layer on top of a bed. And of course if your dorm room is as cold as mine was, then you could wrap yourself up in it so that you keep the draughts away while you are studying!

For more information Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw knitting pattern, please click here.

Happy Knitting!


18 Sept 2014

In praise of covered bridges

Flume Bridge, Pemigawasset River, Lincoln NH
I love covered bridges. I hadn't been aware of these until we moved to the USA and came across the Cabin Run Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania (pictured below). We have roofed stone bridges such as the famous Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge, but nothing like the wooden structures that we found in America. 

They are truly fascinating and all so individual in their design. The ones still standing tend to be constructed of large solid beams, but often seem remarkably graceful considering the weight of timber involved.  

Cabin Run Bridge, Plumstead PA
We like to plan driving routes which include a bridge or two and it is amazing how many other wonderful sights we find along the way: the oldest country store in America, a state park filled with the sound of crickets, or an old textile factory now with trees growing out of the chimney.

Our last trip to New Hampshire included no less than four covered bridges, all within a very small area. One was a tiny bridge and we wondered if it was really strong enough to take the large builders' van we saw crossing it. Needless to say we traversed the span on foot!

Another was a very long bridge with weathered grey wood over a deep pool of green water. Scrambling down the bank (and trying to avoid the hungry mosquitoes) gave a wonderful view of the bridge with the early autumn colours reflected behind.

Cilleyville Bridge, Andover, NH
However, the one that stood out in my mind was named "Cilleyville". I'd love to know how to pronounce that. Is it really like "Silly-ville"? It certainly had a sense of fun, as someone had placed a picnic table and an easy chair inside! There was an enormous flag pinned to one side, the red white and blue showing through the spaces in the latticed walls. 

I draped a blanket over the fence at the entrance to the bridge and the evening light gave a wonderful side-lighting for the stitches. This is the Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw, about which more next time. 

Many other countries have covered bridges, of course, and some of these are centuries old. If you have the opportunity to look for covered bridges in your area, then do plan an excursion! They are well worth the effort. 

I'll come back to knitting next time and will include more details of the new Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw then!

Happy Knitting,


Last Blogpost: Henley Blanket
Next Up: Kingsfold Dorm Room Throw

Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com

Our book: Reversible Knitting Stitches

Many thanks to Tim for his covered bridge photos. To see more of his work, please visit his Flickr site.

. 26/7/18 W


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