I’ve been hanging on to the good feelings I have from visiting Unravel last weekend. It’s one of my favourite shows on the yarn-y calendar and it’s always nice to catch up with old friends and new ones.
One friend I was especially happy to see was Sue Stratford, formerly of The Knitting Hut. I’ve long been a fan of her books and her latest one Knit Me, Dress Me, Love Me features more of her signature knitted animals and a whole wardrobe of hilarious little outfits for them. I particularly loved the frog sweater for the puppy, the mouse sweater for the cat, and the knitted y-fronts. So much fun.
Some of Sue’s delightful creatures
Today’s blog post features an interview with a London-based indie dyer who I’ve long admired: Travelknitter. Like many of the indie hand-dyed yarns I love, Larissa’s colours are bold and rich, but also have a luxurious elegance to them. She doesn’t have the widest range of colours but instead sticks to a refined palette that sings!
Read on for my interview with Larissa to learn more about the Travelknitter and her yarns.
Larissa knitting in Portugal
Happy New Year!
Is is just me or are the colours of the sky more spectacular in the winter time?
I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back, especially after last month’s end-of-year thumb fiasco. The thumb is definitely on the mend, and while I still can’t do much with fiddly little bits like finishing the Santas that were my goal for the end of December, I’m hoping to cast on and comfortably knit in the round on endless stockinette. I’m likening it to a kind of physical therapy – or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! (Don’t worry, I’m going to get to those Santas finished soon since the kids are still asking for them, I just need a bit of time where I can concentrate once they’ve gone back to school.) Continue reading
And things were going so well too!
I’m a bit frustrated this week. I help to coach a young women’s basketball team (I’m not frustrated about that, it’s great fun!) and last weekend at practice there was an accident involving a basketball and my hand, well, thumb. I just thought it was bruised but as the evening wore on and it rapidly turned black, it was time to go for an x-ray. And came home with this:
Since posting this photo on Instagram earlier in the week I have tried knitting but only with limited success. It’s slow going and too painful to really feel like I’m accomplishing anything or get any enjoyment out of it. Continue reading
It was amazing to see so many of you at the Yarnporium in London earlier this month. Thank you for popping by! I loved helping enhance everyone’s stashes with new skeins of Countess Ablaze and Eden Cottage Yarns – as much as I would have liked to take them all home myself!
A little Countess Ablaze on the IK stand at the Yarnporium
Post-Yarnporium things have been a whirlwind getting ready for Christmas. I’ve been doing lots of knitting for the kids but not much for myself, except for some new top-secret knitting that I hope to tell you about in the new year. Since I can’t share what I’ve been working on I thought it might be fun to share what some other fabulous folks in our yarn-loving community have been doing.
Woolly Wormhead is a knitting designer here in the UK that I admire hugely. A self-proclaimed “hat architect”, Woolly’s thing is HATS. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a better example of the old adage, “do one thing, and do it well”. Woolly does it the best. If you’ve ever thought that knitting hats is boring, you’ve clearly never tried one of Woolly’s patterns. She’s single-handedly reinvented hat knitting! Okay, that might be taking it a bit far, but her designs literally turn things on their head with interesting constructions that result in hats that are beautifully sculptural.
With this weekend’s Yarnporium happening in London I was reminded that while I’ve done a Meet the Indie Dyer profile on the Countess Ablaze before, I’d yet to feature Eden Cottage Yarns. Since I’ll have both of these gorgeous yarn companies on my stand at the Yarnporium there’s no better time to profile Victoria from Eden Cottage. Happily, she took some time out from her busy dyeing schedule to answer my questions.
Eden Cottage Yarn’s beautiful Bowland DK in Hedgerow
Earlier this month I was delighted to meet Michelle from The Loveliest Yarn Company while I was visiting the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally. A new online yarn shop located in the Midlands, The Loveliest Yarn Co. has been stocking Knit Play Colour since opening this past summer. I hadn’t realised how many samples Michelle had made with her yarns using patterns from the book! Her yarns are wonderful and a couple of very pretty balls of West Yorkshire Spinners found their way home with me. I am still thinking about the gorgeous Life in the Long Grass though… You know I love to share a good yarn-y find so I knew I had to share this shop with you! Read on for my interview with Michelle.
Michelle chatting with a customer on her stand at Ally Pally
It’s no secret that I love a secret. And a secret that involves delicious yarn? Well it’s almost too much to bear!
Happily, my secret is out! Last week Countess Ablaze revealed on her Instagram that I will be bringing a selection of her yarns with me to the Yarnporium happening on November 5th and 6th in London. As if that weren’t enough of an announcement to cause yarn-y delirium, I’m also bringing a variety of yarns from Eden Cottage Yarns too!
I’m really thrilled to be bringing both of these ladies’ amazing yarns with me. While it’s great to bring my book and patterns I really love helping knitters choose their yarn for the project. It means I can help answer questions about yarn choice or the pattern, or a combination thereof. And really, if you’re getting a pattern and want to get started right away, what’s better than being able to get the perfect yarn in the same place?
So what am I bringing?
A scene from Rams
Ha! Try saying that three times fast! (wool week workshop, wool week workshop…) Apologies, but I may be just a wee bit excited that there’s finally more than barely-there nip in the air on the school runs in the morning. It must be October!
October is one of those months that seems to catch me off guard completely. We’re no sooner settled into the new school routine when all of sudden there’s the Knitting & Stitching Show and UK Wool Week back to back. The minute there’s time to catch your breath it’s Wovember and then the steady downward spiral right towards Christmas. This year there’s even more going on than usual as I’m preparing for the upcoming Yarnporium show in November where I’ll be an exhibitor (more on that in another post!).
YARN – the movie: what more could I ask for?
But before all that can happen, I’m delighted to be part of a day-long line-up of events celebrating UK Wool Week at the Maltings in Farnham this Sunday, 9th October. I get to kick things off with my workshop on playing with colour and then enjoy the rest of the day’s offerings. Emma Boyles of The Little Grey Sheep will be giving a talk in the afternoon about her small family farm that I’m really looking forward to hearing. Then there are two woolly film screenings: YARN the movie, and Rams, about two Icelandic sheep farmers.
Let’s have some fun playing with colour
If you haven’t had a chance to take a workshop with me before and are curious about playing with colour in your own knitting projects we’ll be looking at choosing colour combinations with confidence. With a nod to Wool Week, we’ll also discuss how fibre type can influence colour. This is also a hands-on, playful class so bring your yarns or scraps that you’ve had a hard time deciding how or which colour combos would work best and we’ll work through them together.
It’s going to be a great day out on Sunday – I hope you can join me!
One of the things that I love most about working as a knitwear designer are the collaborations. They could be with other designers, or yarn dyers or shops but they’re always a thrill. When the creative juices start flowing and we’re bouncing ideas off of each other is when I feel the most inspired and energised about my work. There’s also nothing like a fixed deadline to help spur things along too! This was the case with my new Saltfleet Cowl.
Introducing the Saltfleet Cowl