Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Among Stones

Among Stones is a collection of 10 designs by Carol Feller, the garments and accessories are all incredibly wearable and beautifully photographed. I love the colour palette Carol has chosen, it ties in so well with the nature and weathered stone at the locations for the photos. One of things I really love about this book is that Carol is modelling many of the pieces, she makes them look so stylish and effortless.

If you'd like to enter the prize draw to win a digital copy of this book (generously donated by Carol), leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite pattern from the book is and I'll pick a winner on 24th October.

The Tourmalite shawl is one of my favourites, it has an interesting construction and the generous size is perfect for the colder weather. Combining a colour changing yarn like Noro with a solid yarn is really interesting, this shawl has larger blocks of solid breaking up the thinner Noro stripes and the little stocking stitch wedges (that remind me of pleats) among the garter stitch.

(Photo belongs to Joseph Feller)

The Liathite Jr is very appealing to me, I've got two boys who are woefully under knitted for and this hoodie would be perfect for both of them (I'll start with the one for the biggest child just in case he does that stupid growing thing while I am knitting and it can be used by the smaller one instead!).

(Photo belongs to Joseph Feller)

I've got to talk about the Pyrite socks, these are sized for children and adults (I don't often make socks for children due to the aforementioned stupid growing thing) and they look great in both solid and variegated yarn. The colours in yarn used for the woman's version make me very happy:

(Photo belongs to Joseph Feller)

You can get the print or digital version (or both!) of the book here.

Ally Pally

I had a fantastic (and exhausting) 4 days at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last week. I was there with Rowan, signing copies of my new book.

I met so many people, caught up with some friends and marvelled at the fantastic clothes many of the attendees were wearing, knitted, crocheted and sewn - the creativity was extraordinary! I started and finished one sock and made a start on the second of the pair during the show:

(Photo belongs to @rowanyarns)

I'm making myself a pair of Mixalot Socks with the leftover sock yarn from the book, I love stripy socks and these are no exception to the rule, I'm looking forward to wearing them.

I spent a LOT of time on the Rowan stand planning what yarns and colours I am going to use to knit most of the garments in this book. I did a little bit of shopping;

Some buttons from Kate Holliday:

Some chunky alpaca from Toft (who are crocheting in the window of John Lewis on Oxford Street for Wool Week):

And a skein of the very lovely Breathless by Shalimar Yarns from the Loop stand, this is one of my very favourite yarns, I have used it in a few designs and it is ALWAYS a delight to knit with. I chose (after a long deliberation) the Silver Sage colour:

Thanks to everyone who came to see me, see you there next year!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Out and About

I had a great time at both Fibre East and Yarndale this year, thank you to everyone who came to see me at either of those events!

It's always great to see everyone at events, both people who come to shows to shop and chat and the other stallholders, here's me and the lovely Debbie from Skein Queen in our matching dresses:

Yarndale 2013

Next week I'll be at Yorkshire Wool Week, I'm teaching a workshop at Armley Mills Industrial Museum on the 17th October - all the details are here. Then I'll be at baa ram ewe Headingley for a trunk show and book signing from 6pm-8pm it is a free knit night event, all welcome- no need to book (Bob the Sock Peacock will also be in attendance).

On Saturday 19th October I'll be at The Knitting Goddess open studio, this will be great fun - keep an eye on The Knitting Goddess blog and newsletter for more details.

I've got my bags packed for The Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace starting tomorrow, I'll be on the Rowan stand - if you're coming to the show say Hello! (and read this blog post for great tips on how to have a great day)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet Volume II

When I went to TNNA last Summer I met lots of people, one of them was Hunter Hammersen. She's a lovely person with a beautiful design aesthetic and her self-published books are extremely deserving of a space on your bookshelf.

She was nice enough to give me a copy of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet Volume II to give away, if you'd like to enter the prize draw to win a copy leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite pattern from the book is and I'll pick a winner on 16th October.

The book has 18 patterns, a mix of socks and other accessories, all in beautiful yarns. The patterns are all inspired by vintage prints which are included in the book:

I grew up with some botanical illustrations on the walls, the skill and artistry that went in to these prints is overwhelming, they truly are treasures.

Maybe because it's Autumn and the weather is getting colder, my favorite patterns are these 2 hats:

This is the Delias eucharis hat, that little bit of slouch is perfect and even though this is knitted with a lace patten there is no way this hat isn't going to keep you warm.

I love the photography in this book as much as I love the pattern - the styling and the models are great, I'm a big fan of the happy photo. I think it's a nice juxtaposition to high fashion which quite often seems serious and miserable. As and example of this I show you exhibit A above; the Erasmia pulchella hat. It's an unusual brimless construction, the sample is a beautiful yellow (you know how I feel about yellow) and the model looks like shes having fun!

You can get the book here or the digital version here.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Van Gogh Socks - update 2/8 FINISHED!

At the end of August I went to France, there was a lot of driving involved. We went on the Euro Tunnel and queueing in a line of cars to get on that train was quite surreal, the landscape is bleak and stark, the train is huge and very industrial looking, it really felt like we were leaving the planet (maybe I've been reading too much dystopian teen fiction).

Early in the journey I realised I hadn't brought enough knitting with me. That's not quite right, I had LOADS of knitting with me but not enough plain going-round-and-round on a sock knitting suitable for a person who gets travel sick doing anything else. I realised when I had turned the heel of the second in a pair of socks when we stopped for coffee before we left England (I had started them ages ago and grabbed them on the way out of the door), after those were finished I had the second Van Gogh sock to finish and the heels to put in and that was it.

What have I done to ensure this doesn't happen again? I've put a skein of yarn and a set of needles in the car next to the spare wheel and the first aid kit. I really feel as if this should be some sort of legal requirement to prevent boredom and fidgety hands.

Needless to say the Van Gogh Socks are finished, this is the second of eight pairs and although I'm woefully slow working my way through all 8 shades, I am getting there.

Van Gogh finished socks 2/8

I put afterthought heels in this pair, I used what is call a hat heel - with decreases like the crown of a hat rather than like a toe. I used the same heel in Carlottina and Paignton, I find it fits me better than the other type of afterthought heel.

Van Gogh finished socks 2/8

I have started the next pair, the yarn is doing it's thing, being beautiful:


I'm going for a heel flap and gusset for this pair - that's three pairs and different heels, I'm not sure I can (or want to) carry on that trend. I just want socks that fit really well, I love these yarns and want these socks too much to experiment too much.