Meet the indie dyer: Countess Ablaze

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Manchester, and the home of those amazing, boldly-coloured yarns from Countess Ablaze. Rather excitingly, the Countess (as I’ve learned people DO call her!) has opened her new studio doors to the public – making it the best kind of indie yarn-lovers space for miles around! Lyndsey kindly took the time answer my questions so that I could share more about her space with all of you. Read on and enjoy!

Countess Ablaze herself, Lyndsey Blackwood

Countess Ablaze herself, Lyndsey Blackwood

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Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock: yarn review

Louise is on Easter holidays with her kids at the moment so this is Allison stepping in to introduce today’s yarn review. 

Last year Louise was blown away by a gorgeous version of Knit Night by Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks (who hosted yesterday’s stop on the Palette blog tour!). Clare had knit it in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock – a yarn that Louise wasn’t familiar with but that gave amazing results! 

Socks that Rock in Titiana - a more muted option

Painted knit up in Socks that Rock in Titiana

Clare also mentioned that the yarn was really lovely to work with (which gave Louise a good excuse to try it out knitting up a sample of Painted) so I thought she’d be the perfect person to ask to review the yarn. Over to you Clare!

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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

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Setting the bar for 2015

I’ve never been really sure how to feel about New Year’s resolutions. There’s nothing like making yourself resolve to do something to take the fun out of it, which is why I really can’t bring myself to make any resolutions about my knitting.

But I do love a good challenge and setting strong goals at the beginning of the year is just the motivation I need to push myself and reignite the creative fires. Over the holiday I’ve been considering how I want to challenge myself in 2015 and I’ve got a pretty solid list now from which to work: Continue reading

Knit Night

Knit Night

Knit Night in Whimzy Silkie & beaded

I’ve been too busy designing to blog. I will catch up soon, I hope, and share that design process.

Right now, I just need to cut to the chase and explain that I really wanted to design a project that I could make whilst chatting to my friends at knit night. After a couple of diversions into things that didn’t quite fit the bill, I hit on this idea.

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Stay Awhile

Stay Awhile

Stay Awhile

I was actually trying to make a garter stitch shawl. Luckily (with glorious hindsight) it didn’t work. It went in two different directions. One direction became Knit Night; a garter stitch scarf. The other direction became Stay Awhile; a completely reversible shawl with a curious construction. It’s easy to wear and easy to make. It’s perfect for when you’re going to Stay Awhile and need more than a little Knit Night project. Continue reading