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

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!

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 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

Knit Play Colour love at Yarndale!


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!

The quest for souvenir yarn

Hello! It’s Allison here again as Louise is busily editing patterns in the book and teasing out some photos of the new knits on social media (follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the sneaky peeks.).

This is sneaky peek at Trailblazer - which Louise is editing while I take over the blog today!

This is sneaky peek at Trailblazer – which Louise is editing while I take over the blog today!

I’ve been on holiday in Canada popping into yarn shops where I can and I thought it might be fun expand on the idea of souvenir yarn shopping that I mentioned in the holiday knitting blog post and share my tips. I hope you’ll share yours in the comments!

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!


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

Yarn show recap: Wonderwool [was Wonderful!]

Every time I got to Wales the closer I get, the greyer the landscape becomes.

Whizzing through Wales

Allison makes her way to lot of the UK yarn shows so when I heard she was making the trek to Wales again this year for Wonderwool Wales, I asked her to guest post about her trip. Read on for a recap of the show, and her weekend with Cast On knitting podcaster, Brenda Dayne! I think she even took her selfie stick again… Continue reading

Yarn show recap: Edinbugh Yarn Festival

It’s just possible I missed myself at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Luckily Allison Thistlewood made the journey North. After seeing just quite what I was missing via Alli’s Instagram feed over the weekend, I asked her to share her exploits here.

One of the things that I enjoy most about working with Louise is the very genuine passion she has for the knitting and fibre community – and the creativity that thrives within it. If you haven’t gathered it yet from reading her blog, Louise is a real knitter’s Knitter. And I’m not just saying that because she asked me to guest blog for her today!

All kidding aside, what I’m getting at is that Louise is just like the rest of us knitters who are a just a wee bit crazy about our craft – especially when it comes to a yarn show. She loves the energy, the vibe, and oh! the yarn fumes from the smooshy goodness!

So this post is written with that in mind so as to help Louise (and you too, dear reader) have a taste of what #EFY2015 was really like… Continue reading

Ginger Twist Studio: shop profile

We’ve had some great yarn reviews on the blog over the last year but then it always results in in the question, “But where does one find all these great yarns Louise?”. To help answer that, I thought it would be fun to profile some of the amazing shops that I’ve come to know online or in person (or that I know so well online that it feels like I’ve been there in person!).

Happily, Jessica James of Ginger Twist Studio opened her door and agreed to answer some questions – and also sent along these amazing photographs!

shop front 1

Jessica James and Ginger Twist Studio

Continue reading

Siren Song

Siren Song

Siren Song

This elegant shawl develops in beautiful Art Deco waves. Yes, Siren Song is the long-awaited shawl version of Song of the Sea cowl. Continue reading