Meet the Indie Dyer: Triskelion Yarn and Fibre

triskelion photoHello! The kids are back at school this week so I’ve been turning my thoughts to making a plan for the upcoming Wonderwool show. I can’t wait to visit this highly popular show in Wales, in just a couple of weeks. Going through the list of exhibitors I realised that I hadn’t had an indie dyer profile on the blog in a while and it seemed the perfect opportunity to have a chat with someone whose yarns I’ve long admired: Caerthan Wrack of Triskelion Yarn and Fibre. I’m looking forward to seeing Caerthan again and after our chat about everything he’s been working on I’m sure I’ll acquire some new pretties at his stall once again! Continue reading

Quiet time

The knitting continues, my friends. And with it reflections on which projects to move on to next. It’s been an intentionally quiet time this spring, and I’m truly enjoying it, instead of trying to feel as though I must be constantly rushing to the next thing.

In the meantime the Affinity KAL has been ticking along nicely on the Inspiration Knits board on Ravelry and I wanted to share some of the lovely WIP photos that have been popping up. Continue reading

WIP Wednesday: What have I been working on?

I was chatting with a friend last week about feeling like I’m in a limbo, float-y kind of feeling since the launch of Knit Play Colour last year. After being focused on such a big project for such a long time, I’m just not quite sure what I’m supposed to be doing next.

My friend gently reminded me that it has only been less than six months since my book came out (really?! seems like an age ago!), and to not be so hard on myself at not figuring out which direction I want to go in next. But her best advice? “Get back to your knitting, just the knitting.” Continue reading

Affinity KAL with Purlescence

A while ago Sarah from Purlescence and I talked about the possibility of our linking up on a knit-a-long (KAL) using one of the patterns from the Knit Play Colour book. Purlescence have a great group of followers who have keenly participated in their KALs in the past. Since Purlescence have several of the yarns which I used in the book, it looked like it would be fun to do a KAL together.

Colour? Texture? How will you create an affinity for your yarns?

Colour? Texture? How will you create an affinity for your yarns?

Continue reading

Book review: London Craft Guide

Every so often I’m asked to review a book or give a shout-out on my blog for various things within the knitting world. It’s a fun part of the knitting world as I travel to shows and meet more people people, dyers, and designers.

London Craft Guide - cover

 

Having been a Yarn Guide on the Great London Yarn Crawl in the past, the gals at Yarn in the City recently asked me to review their new book the London Craft Guide. I readily agreed, although privately I wondered what they might say about various shops in London that I’ve known for years. Having had the opportunity to preview a copy of the book though, I was pleasantly surprised by what I read – enough that I found myself wandering over to their stand at Unravel to purchase my own print copy.  Continue reading

Just a few more…

It’s half-term this week so I feel like I’m rushing even more than usual!

I missed posting this Maltings WIP last week by vivieknits - such a wonderful WARM view when today is so chilly!

I missed posting this Maltings WIP last week by vivieknits – such a wonderful WARM view when today is so chilly!

It was wonderful looking at so many photos of Maltings last week that I almost forgot about the other KAL that has been happening with Inspiration Knits designs – the Knit Play Hearts KAL in our Ravelry group featuring the Heart Deco cowl and Warm Hearted blanket patterns from Knit Play Colour. Continue reading

Local yarn love

It has been incredibly exciting this last week seeing all of the Maltings cowls slowly starting to take shape in the Unravel KAL on Ravelry. As wonderful as it is to see one of my designs go off into the world and be knit and loved, I’ve been completely thrilled by the sharing of yarn porn that has happened on that thread! There was some serious #yarnstashlove happening as people were diving into their stash and emerging with gorgeous skeins.

I was so inspired seeing everyone else’s Maltings that I had to start knitting one that can be just for me and not a design sample!

What I really love and appreciate so much about this KAL though, are how thoughtful people have been with their yarn choices. Most have been making the decision to use yarn that is local to them, or even finding precious souvenirs from Unravel or other yarn shows past. Even knitters joining in from far away have picked up the theme and chosen yarns that are local to where they are. I’m happy that so many of you have taken the opportunity to re-discover some long-lost loves in your own stash.

Continue reading

Get ready for: Unravel KAL

I do love to collaborate with others in my work, whether that is with yarnies, bloggers, stores, other designers or other wonderful knitterly people. To start this year in style, I have been working with the lovely team at Unravel to cook up something special for this, my favourite, yarn show.

Test KAL image 2

I’m thrilled to give you this early sneak peek of a special knitalong, commissioned by Unravel. It starts next Thursday, 28th January, and runs until the show closes on Sunday 21st February. The pattern will be free to download while the knitalong runs – keep your eyes peeled on the 28th!  Continue reading

A Year of Yarn Stash Love

Or should that be #yarnstashlove?

Loving the sheen on this Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul that I stalked for ages

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you may have seen me posting a lot more photos of yarn than usual since the beginning of the New Year. Who are we kidding? Let’s call it what it is: straight-up yarn porn.

As 2015 came to a close I found myself thinking about the year ahead without a large project such as The Book to keep me occupied. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to working on a number of different new designs that I have in the queue but it’s the getting started on them that’s the problem. Its always SO easy to be distracted by a new and covetable yarn coming home to play.

These lucky members of the stash are all contenders for new designs and are wound up and ready for swatching

Actually – if I’m being honest – it’s not just new yarn that’s distracting, but the yarns in my stash as well. You’d be right in thinking that as a designer, as well as being a lover of fabulous yarns, that I have an excellent stash. I do! I LOVE my stash! I like to think of it as a jewellery box of colourful beauties just waiting to be knit up into something that shows off how spectacular they are.

On one of my forays into the stash before Christmas I was struck by the usual thought that I have this time of year, “oh, I really must get some of this knit up before I buy anything else, cold sheep for me, etc, etc”. The problem I have with these proclamations is that they feel negative to me. As if there’s something wrong or that it’s a dirty secret that I have this much stash, or any stash at all!

If there’s one thing I love, it’s jewel tones and my stash definitely has some beauties – like this skein of BFL and baby alpaca blend from Triskelion Yarn

But while I was digging through the stash (looking for the perfect yarn for a new design, of course!), I was also struck by how much I LOVE my stash. I still remember where I bought them, the trips where they were souvenir yarn, or the indie dyers they came from. They’re all wonderful!

The sad part for me though, is how easily a yarn can be forgotten when it’s not cast on right away and tucked into the stash. Out of sight, out of mind. Then I had an idea, and I’d like to challenge you all to join me as well.

I’m declaring 2016 the Year of Yarn Stash Love. I will endeavour, every day (or as close to it as I can), to post a photo to Instagram of something from my stash. It might be the stash itself or perhaps a WIP pic of how it is turning into something and I’d love for you to do the same.

Share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #yarnstashlove (please tag me too and follow me to see mine!). Include a note about where it was from, or what made you buy it. Do you have specific plans for it or did you just buy it because you thought it was pretty? Maybe it was a gift from your BKFF or yarn that came to you after your grandmother passed and so is all the more special. Let’s celebrate those stunning skeins in our stashes this year. No guilt. No judgment.

Don’t confuse this with cold sheeping; this is about celebrating yarn. Photos of new additions are just as welcome! Impulse buy for which you have no plans (yet) but you couldn’t let it get away? That’s #yarnstashlove too.

Can’t wait to see your pics!

Last shipping dates before the holidays

There’s no sign of snow but in spite of that, Christmas is quickly approaching – and Chanukkah is already here! We’ve been crafting along merrily on the Inspiration Knits board on Ravelry, keeping each other cheered on and motivated with all of the wonderful things we’re making for loved ones this holiday.

Umbra: Eden Cottage Whitfell Chunky & The Fibre Company Tundra

Umbra: Eden Cottage Whitfell Chunky & The Fibre Company Tundra

The Cosy Cables KAL also is wrapping up on the board, with most people having opted to knit the super quick Umbra cowl so that it can double as a gift for someone on their list. There’s just something so satisfying with how quickly bulky yarn knits up and I love that this pattern has helped people with their handmade goodies for the loved ones on their list this Christmas.

If you’re haven’t yet managed to get your hands on a copy of Knit Play Colour, you’re in luck as there’s still a wee bit of time for me to get one in the post to you. Maybe you want to treat yourself for finishing your holiday prep ahead of schedule, drop a big hint to your significant other that you’d like to see it under the tree, or send a copy to your favourite knitting friend?

The dates below are slightly ahead of Royal Mail’s recommended last posting dates, so that I have time to get your book packaged and over to the post office in plenty of time:

Caribbean, Central and South America – Tuesday, 8th December (that’s TODAY!)

Australia, Greece and New Zealand – Wednesday, 9th December

Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Poland – Friday, 11th December

Austria, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and USA – Monday, 14th December

Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland – Wednesday, 16th December

United Kingdom – Wednesday, 16th December

We’ve got more KALs planned for the new year too and it would be wonderful to have you join us!