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.
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.
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
Going to a yarn and fibre show is incredibly fun and exciting! There are so many amazing vendors to see and discover. It’s a great way for us to immerse ourselves in our craft.
It’s no secret that Unravel is one of my favourites but with so many amazing yarn dyers and independent makers it’s easy to get overwhelmed – even for the most experienced show-goer. With Unravel happening this weekend I thought I’d share some of my top tips. Continue reading
It’s half-term this week so I feel like I’m rushing even more than usual!
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
I’m sure I’ve said it before but one of the most rewarding things as a designer is seeing my patterns go off into the world to be knit by so many of you. Knitalongs (KALs) always get me incredibly excited – especially when WIP and FO photos are posted!
February has been fantastic on the KAL front so far. Finishes have been pouring in from the Maltings KAL for the upcoming Unravel show. It’s nice to know it will be easy to spot people at the show with their Maltings cowls! Continue reading
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.
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.
I wanted to create something I’d love to wear to a show – pretty but practical. Cowls keep us warm on a cold morning, stay neatly out of the way when we’re petting yarn, and can be folded up into a pocket as the day warms up. Perfect.
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.
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
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you know that I’m pretty passionate about yarn. I get so excited about it that my design listings on Ravelry often suggestion three, four or even five different yarns that you can use to make the project. I like knitters to have options!
Which is why I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a workshop at the upcoming Unravel festival on Substituting Yarn: Picking the right yarns for your projects. The aim of the workshop is to help you find the best match of yarn to the pattern you’re knitting, with a little bit of theory and plenty of examples, and help you build your confidence to be able to make these choices on your own.
One of the reasons I include so many yarn choices with my patterns is because there are so many yarns I want to try myself! Most have been swatched in a number of different yarns or combinations, depending on what I’m going for. What if the yarn is variegated or semi-solid? What do I want the finished fabric to be like? Does it need to drape or flow or have more structure? I love experimenting, and like most things in knitting there is never only one “right” answer.
Once I’ve swatched and am happy to move forward, the knitting begins – and not just on my own needles. I have a fantastic team of supporters who test knit for me, which allows me to see how the design looks or feels in an even wider variety of yarns.
And then there’s you, dear knitter.
No sooner is a pattern released I get asked about the suitability of a different yarn. Do I think it would work? Or you’ve got something in your stash that you’ve been wanting to use but it’s not the right weight of yarn. In fact, all of your questions were the inspiration for the Play sections in Knit Play Colour and formed the beginnings of this workshop. How would the design look in this yarn, or this yarn…or even in this yarn?
The Substituting Yarn workshop takes place on Sunday, 21st February from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the Unravel festival at Farnham Maltings. Click here to buy tickets. Workshop price includes a day ticket for entry to the show on Sunday. Bring your yarn and pattern combo questions, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Or should that be #yarnstashlove?
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.
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!
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!