Sunday, January 11, 2009

Above and Below the Waves

Alison Murray is an amazingly imaginative, talented knitter with oodles of energy and ideas and she just happens to live in my home county of Devon, and it's been a privilege to meet her (and her mother Ann Murray who is also a great knit). Alison's day job has been working as a chaperone for young people, children and sometimes even babies in the music, arts and media world for the past 15 years. This involves residential work all over the country and abroad working with TV, film and theatre companies.

When she's not doing that, she works as a a textile designer and has knitted items on commission including a full English Breakfast. Alison also make installations for theme parks in the South-west, ranging from life-size polar bears for a Christmas grotto to Elvis Presley aliens and a cloning machine for a science-fiction ride (none of these were knitted).
Over the last few years she has been the driving force and brain behind two enormous community projects, encouraging and inspiring everyone to take part. This includes her family, with mum Ann, brother John Murray and uncle John Garrod all lending a hand. A 60feet high Christmas tree and a giant gingerbread house have raised over £20,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Alison loves to paint and read and relax at her home here in Devon when not rushing around the country. Her favourite colour is green, and she loves chocolate eclairs and all things ginger.

"I want to show people that knitting is not something that granny does," she said.
If you'd like to join in her latest project then read on...

"Dear Nautical Nutty Knitters,
Thank you for your interest and support in our latest adventure in all things watery. The theme is “Above and Below the Waves” and it will be our most ambitious project so far.
We are hoping to construct a tunnel that will make it possible to walk under the sea, while above there will be rocks, a lighthouse, boats, beach etc. As this is more complex project we are still working on the technical details and because of this the completion will be in 2010.
However, we can start knitting and crocheting now, and the following patterns are a rough guide to what we may need. As before there are simple patterns for rectangles and SQUARES, fish and coral, but feel free to improvise and make shells, starfish, seaweed etc.
Because of the theme we are aiming to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The project is already booked for a national tour in 2010-2011 and we will keep you posted.
We are also aiming to produce another book, as we did with the Knitted Gingerbread House. This will be called ‘Fishy Tales’ so we would love to receive any of your recipes or stories connected with the sea.

The following patterns are just a guide to get you started. Feel free to make whatever you feel inspired to do: Starfish, jellyfish, Seaweed, Crabs, Shells etc.
Please send all knitted items (or contributions to the fishy book) to
Alison Murray, “High Rising”, Northdown Road, Bideford, N Devon EX39 3LP
Patterns, September 2008

8” wide x 20” long,All shades of blue, white, grey, black, turquoise, sand or brown.


Make 2 pieces the same:
Knitting needles – 1 pair 3.25mm (UK10, USA3)
using A (main colour), cast on 13 stitches.
1st row (Right side): knit

2nd row: P1, *K1, P1 rpt from * to end

These two rows form pattern.

Keeping pattern correct dec 1 st at each end of next and following 2 alt. rows. 7 st remain.

Work 1 row.

Keeping pattern correct, and working in stripes of 2 rows in B (contrast colour) and 2 rows of A, inc 1 st at each end of next and every alt row until there are 17 st.

Work 5 rows straight, thus ending with 2 rows in B.

Keeping stripes correct dec 1 st at each end of next and following alt row. 13 st remain.

Work 1 row. Break off B and using A only continue to dec. 1 st at each end of next and every alt row until 5 st remain. Cast off.

To make up:
Using black, embroider an eye on each piece. Sew the two pieces together leaving a small opening. Stuff firmly and close opening.

The fish can be plain as well as striped. Size can be altered by using larger needles and thicker yarn.

Crochet Coral

Foundation ring: using double knitting wool and a 4.00mm crochet hook make 5 into last chain to form a ring.
Round 1: 3 ch (counts as first tr) 14 trs into ring.
Round 2:3 ch (counts as first tr) 2 trs into next st, (3 tr into next stitch to end) ss into top of 3rd chain.
Round 3: as round 2. Fasten off.

To make a larger size repeat round 2 as many times as required.

(I'm not a crocheter so I'm hoping I transcribed that last pattern correctly).

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