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!

Cosy Cables KAL – and a prize from LoveKnitting

It’s unfathomable to me that this post finds us at the end of October already. It feels like I’ve been head down on the book for so long that it’s almost a surprise that autumn is well and truly here now that I’ve poked my head back up and resurfaced!

One of the things that has kept me busy this month has been knitting my own Yarn Tamer with the yarnlings that I bought on the Eden Cottage Yarns stand at Yarndale. I’m quite in love with how it’s turned out, but am AMAZED by the wonderful versions I’ve seen as the Yarn Tamer KAL wraps up on the Inspiration Knits Ravelry board. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, go take a look. The colour combinations are so beautiful…

Shadowlines

Shadowlines wrap in MillaMia Aran in colourway Cinder

As the Yarn Tamer KAL is wrapping up, we’ve already been looking ahead to having a longer KAL for November/December. What better way to welcome winter than with some cosy cables? (Apologies for the alliteration but I’m just so excited about this KAL!) Continue reading

London Launch Party for Knit Play Colour and Yarn Tamer KAL Kicks Off

Hello! Hello! Things have slowly but surely getting back to normal here and it seems like the franking machine and I may have made friends at last. The next batch of orders of Knit Play Colour went to the post office today so they should be with you soon!

Anna Feldman and Wild & Woolly

Anna is ready to welcome you at Wild & Woolly!

If you’ve been waiting for the chance to get your copy of the book from a yarn shop local to you, or to see the samples in person then I’ve got another chance for you to do so. I’m very happy to announce that Anna from Wild & Woolly will not only be carrying Knit Play Colour but hosting a launch party for it as well. And the party is this Saturday, 10th October! Continue reading

Knit Play Colour love at Yarndale!

Wow.

No, really. That’s the word that comes to mind to describe an amazing, woolly time in Skipton at Yarndale last weekend. Now that I’ve had time to catch my breath, not only from the long drive back but also from launching the book yesterday, it’s been lovely to look back at the photos and re-live the weekend all over again.

No, I'm not really knitting on the motorway! We were stopped for an hour due to an accident.

No, I’m not really knitting on the motorway! We were stopped for an hour due to an accident. The engine was OFF!

It was a very early start from Twickenham on the Friday morning and we were making good time until we came to a closure due to an accident. Is it only us knitters who welcome the opportunity to come to a full stop on the motorway? The rest of the weekend was so busy, this is probably the most knitting I accomplished over three days!

My traveling companion, Alli, and I made good time to Yarndale once we were moving again, and even managed to beat Victoria and the Eden Cottage Yarns team to the venue for set up! Pretty soon though, we were lugging boxes and boxes of yarn into the ginormous quadruple stand and making it ready for Saturday’s opening:

This is just a small portion of the stand filled with Victoria's yummy yarns!

This is just a small portion of the stand filled with Victoria’s yummy yarns!

Victoria was launching her collection at Yarndale – Drift (more on that in another post as it deserves it’s own!) – but was kind enough to offer me a little corner of her stand where I set up for the launch of Knit Play Colour. Victoria has also arranged for samples from the book to be knit in her own yarns, and they were wonderful! It was hard not to get carried away showing them off and helping people choose yarns and colours to make their own projects.

My own little corner of the Eden Cottage Yarns stand

My own little corner of the Eden Cottage Yarns stand

Aren’t those little yarnlings delicious? Perfect for a stripe-y version of Yarn Tamer or Resonate

And look how AMAZING the Shadowlines wrap came out in Eden Cottage Yarns’ Whitfell Chunky! This is what happens when you play:

You'll need 8-10 skeins of ECY Whitfell Chunky to knit this indulgent wrap

You’ll need 8-10 skeins of ECY Whitfell Chunky to knit this indulgent wrap

The rest of Yarndale was a bit of a blur, to be honest! I spent so much time chatting with many of you and I can’t tell you overwhelming it is to finally have the book out there in the world and see your response to it. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, tried on the garments, picked up a book and gave me good wishes. Thank you!

One of the few things I managed to get a picture of - these gorgeous yarn bowls!

One of the few things I managed to get a picture of – these gorgeous yarn bowls!

And for those of you who thought it might be torture being on a stand all weekend with all that lovely yarn? Well, you were right. There was no way I could resist this:

My Yarndale splurge - time for something for ME!

My Yarndale splurge – time for something for ME! It’s such a “Louise colour” isn’t it?

I figure after knitting all of those accessories that surely I can take a break with knitting a garment? I’m looking forward to the kids’ half-term, when I’ll be knitting this.

If you were there, I hope you enjoyed Yarndale as much as I did. Look out for more yarnie confessions on Instagram, as I get myself organised again!

PS if you pre-ordered Knit Play Colour, all the pre-orders have now been shipped. Yay!

A Yarn Story: shop profile

I’ve been hearing a lot about A Yarn Story – mostly through Yarn in the City, Allison, as well as seeing Carmen’s photos of her new shop on Instagram. Owned by expat American Carmen Schmidt, A Yarn Story is a beautifully curated shop that sells online, as well as from their bricks and mortar space in Bath’s charming artisan quarter. Looking at the photos it’s hard to believe that the shop isn’t even a year old yet! I’m always excited by a new shop, and asked Carmen to answer some questions for our next shop profile.

_MG_4193

Continue reading

The Purple Purl: shop profile

It’s Allison here again as Louise is off-the-grid on a camping trip with her family since wrapping up THE BOOK! Today we’ve got a shop profile for you that’s near and dear to my heart, as it’s my own LYS from Toronto, Canada – The Purple Purl. Run by business partners Jen and Miko, the shop is an unabashed celebration of the knitting community, Canadian yarns and creativity. I might not have become a knitter if I hadn’t found this wonderful shop!

TPP_logo_onPurple_tagline2

Jen took some time recently to answer our questions so that we could share a profile with you of this ‘purl’ of a shop!

Continue reading