There have been some lovely comments about Petulia on social media that was launched with RiverKnits at Yarndale last weekend. I wasn’t there, but I know Becci was wearing the shawl at Yarndale on the Saturday, and she said it was super cosy.

This photograph of Petulia was taken by Anne from Yarn O’clock when she visited Yarndale on Sunday:

Hopefully some knitters now have the means to make their own version of Petulia! I’m itching to knit the smaller version of the shawl myself – and that thought led me to choose some lovely skeins of RiverKnits Chimera and Nene 4Ply this afternoon (at Yarn O’clock)! These skeins are Pumpkin (Chimera) and Zwergpflaume (Nene 4ply) – photographed in evening artificial light so they’re showing up a bit darker than they really are.

The release date for Part One of Barragán shawl (4th October) is drawing closer and there is still just about time to order a yarn kit from McIntosh if you’d like one to arrive by then.

It’s been really interesting seeing people’s reactions to the shawl and the kit on social media – MY Joy and MY Serenity are high contrast colours, with MY Serenity being a vibrant pink/plum colour. Lots of people love it, (even if they don’t usually like pink!) which is wonderful. Sometimes it can be hard to imagine a design in a different colour-way from what is shown, but one of the great things about knitting is that we can take a knitting pattern and make it our own through our colour choices. Someone suggested using two tones of the same shade and I think that could be really beautiful too.

If you love the McIntosh BFL in the colours I used for Barragán, there are a couple of ways you can get a yarn kit:

You can subscribe to The Knitter magazine and select the yarn kit as a free gift (How awesome is that as a free gift!?). There are limited quantities available for this offer so don’t wait around if this appeals to you. You would also need to buy the magazine on October 4th to get Part One as the subscription would start on Nov 1st.

You can order the yarn kit directly from McIntosh (there are four options here; you can also add pattern/needles/both to the yarn/tote bag). (Note – this is an affiliate link; I get a small commission if you order the yarn via this link).

If you don’t love the colours, or already have 150g/600m in each of two colours of 4ply yarn that you’d love to use for Barragán, just buy the magazine each month for the next four months! The first part is in Issue 194 out on October 4th.

I can’t wait to see what combinations people choose to knit this shawl in. Share progress on social media using the hashtag #BarraganKAL

Before Barragán gets going, there’s another pattern being launched! Designs are a bit like buses sometimes…

Bodelwyddan is my new sock design for Treasure Chest YGC – a charity that aims to support and raise funds for patients who have had or are having surgery or treatment for breast cancer in Glan Clywd Hospital, Denbighshire.

Bodelwyddan is a top-down textured design in five sizes with a heel flap and gusset, worked on 2.25mm needles.

I’m donating 50% of the pattern price (that’s £2.50) of every copy sold throughout October to the charity..

I finally have photographs of all five sizes – the largest two sizes are modelled – and the pattern is ready to go live on October 1st. It will be available via my website, Payhip, Lovecrafts and Ravelry.

Bodelwyddan is the village in Denbighshire where Ysbyty Glan Clwyd (Glan Clwyd Hospital) is based and this is the reason for the pattern name.

I’ve now taught three workshops at Shaz’s Shabby Chic now and I’m really enjoying them. This is what my two students last week achieved in just two hours! Three swatches each – impressive!

Tomorrow is Knitting in the Round and there are a few places left. Three more workshops are booked in at Shaz’s Shabby Chic next month, including another Absolute Beginners’ Knitting Workshop. So, if you were thinking about coming to learn to knit and missed out last time, now’s your chance! All workshops are detailed on the “Where I’ll Be” page.

I’m delighted to announce that I’m teaching at The Knit-Tea Retreat again this year. The Retreat takes place at Insole Court in Cardiff on October 28-29 with a social evening in the pub on the Friday night (27th). Booking is open now!

It was great fun last year. There are lots of workshops to choose from – felted landscapes, ‘fun with fibre’ and drop spindling as well as three knitting workshops from me: intarsia, slipped stitches and ‘not basic lace’. There’s a wonderful atmosphere at the retreat, lots of cake, a fab social evening on Saturday and a mini market on Sunday afternoon. I highly recommend it!

In other news, I’ve finally returned to knitting the sleeves of my Umbriel sweater! I hope to have some photos to share with you next week. It will be finished before the end of the year.

Until next week then, take care and I hope you get a chance to do some stuff that makes you happy this week. K x

Harvest Time

The past week has been so busy, and my intention of picking raspberries every couple of days has gone slightly sideways. The high winds today have done some other harvesting for us and there are quite a few windfalls on the grass waiting to be picked up tomorrow. The last two tomatoes are ripening on the kitchen window sill – they are tigerella tomatoes and their stripes are emerging nicely as they change colour.

Various projects I have been working on have also come to fruition and are ready to harvest this week! Partly as a result of these I have been updating my homepage of the website and I have to say I’m pleased with how it’s looking.

You may have seen on my newsletter or social media posts that I have something very exciting happening with The Knitter. Barragán Shawl is The Knitter’s Autumn 2023 knit-along, designed by me in McIntosh’s BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) yarn. It’s a gorgeous British wool and the colours I chose, MY Serenity and MY Joy, are stunning.

The shawl is called Barragán, named after the Mexican architect, Louis Barragán (1902 – 1988) who is quoted as saying, “A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy”. With serenity and joy being the names of the colourways I chose it seemed absolute serendipity when I came across this quote and I had to name the shawl after him.

You can pre-order a yarn kit direct from McIntosh. (By using this link, if you decide to buy a kit, I get a little commission!). Part One of the KAL is out in Issue 194 of The Knitter on October 4th, so in order to receive your yarn kit in time, pre-order by September 29th.

Another piece of exciting design release news relates to my Petulia shawl which I designed for RiverKnits. It is going to be launched at Yarndale, this coming weekend (September 23rd and 24th)!

There are still some tickets available for timed entry to Yarndale on the Sunday if you haven’t got one yet. The pattern is a big one; there are two shawl shapes within the one pattern. Both versions use the same two-colour brioche leaf motif as a structural building block. The smaller version of Petulia is symmetrical and uses 2 x 50g skeins of Chimera and 1 x 100g skein of Nene 4ply, the other is larger, asymmetrical and flamboyant and uses 3 x 50g skeins of Chimera and 2 x 100g skeins of Nene 4ply. If you’re going to Yarndale look out for my large Petulia shawl on the RiverKnits stand – they’re on stand F1!

Just as with Tiffany and Agnes, Petulia will be available exclusively from RiverKnits for the first six months, after which I will be selling the pattern as well.

I finished sewing the zipped project bags on Thursday and was really pleased with how they turned out. I even discovered that my sewing machine has a thread cutter on the side, which I had no idea about, despite having had my sewing machine for over 6 years – doh!

Sewing the tabs on the side was the trickiest part – 12 layers of fabric, 2 layers of fusible fleece and a zip to keep lined up! I’ll be adding them to the website later this week.

Yarn Gathering on Sunday was fantastic. We had a dozen wonderful vendors and over 160 visitors. I really loved seeing all the people in The Daniel Owen Centre having a good time, chatting about yarn, weaving, crochet, knitting and dyeing.

Some of the best moments of the day for me were when knitters came to show me their finished projects, either on a photo or in real life – I wish I’d thought to take some pics of them, but it only occurred to me afterwards…

There have been some great posts on social media, with folk showing off their purchases. The day ran smoothly, after the slightly scary moment when we opened the fire doors to the car park and the alarm went off! Fortunately one of the lovely people from the venue arrived a few minutes later, turned it off and all was quiet again!

My workshops at Shaz’s Shabby Chic are going well and I’ve booked some more dates in for October – more details to follow very soon. Working with Colour – Slip Stitch Knitting is tomorrow (you can still book a place!) and I’ve had fun digging out samples of my designs that use slip stitches to create colour patterns.

If you want to expand (or begin) your knitting skills why not sign up for a workshop? The October workshops will be available to book by the end of week.

Yet again, the day is running away from me and I need to get this posted. I will tell you all about how tomorrow’s workshop goes next week and hopefully I’ll have some news about how Petulia was received at Yarndale.

Until then, take care one and all, K x

Finishing Touches

I finally heard back from the car insurance people today and I managed to get them to reduce the renewal quote by £75, mostly by saying to each new (lower) figure I was given; “Well, that’s better, but it’s still a lot higher than last year’s premium”, and finishing with “Is there any way it can be less than £400?”. The answer was yes – phew! The final price is *still* over £80 more than last year, but I feel like we at least split the difference.

I have much more fun admin in sight for tomorrow – an application for a yarn show I’ve not done before, and would really love to be accepted for. I’m not going to jinx it by telling you which one, but if you could just generally keep your fingers crossed for me, I’d really appreciate it!

This week has been very productive. After deciding I needed to redo the neckband of my Lichfield cardigan (do you remember, the stitches I’d picked up on one front corner didn’t match the other, and was making it pull in too much?), I ripped it out and re-knitted it. I also followed my plan for the top of the sleeve caps and knitted one to my original length and one with the additional four rows added by the tech editor. I pinned them both to the body of the cardigan (unblocked, but that was the best I could do at the time) to see which looked and felt best when worn. The extra four rows helped with the fit on the shoulder, so they stayed and I added them to the other sleeve as well. I’ve now blocked the whole cardigan (on Saturday – and I am STILL aching from those 90 minutes kneeling on the ground…) and it’s nearly dry and ready for seaming. Blocking is often thought of as one of the ‘finishing touches’ that can be done (or not), but I maintain it is an integral part of the knitting process as it makes such a difference.

I think the extremely high humidity with this heatwave slowed the drying process as I would not have expected it to take this long as this time of year. The part that is still damp is the shoulder shaping and collar on the body as the fabric is doubled at that point. By the way, that cardboard box in the background is not a moving box – though it looks like one! We’re not going anywhere, it’s just useful storage.

Once the cardigan was cast off, I knitted one final sock sample for Bodelwyddan (that’ll be 8 socks I’ve made in total, across the five sizes). I gave them all a wash this morning and one pair got the treat of going on the sock blockers! They’ll be photographed by next week and I’ll share them with you in all their glory.

Bodelwyddan will be launched at the start of October with 50% of the pattern price throughout the month going to Treasure Chest YGC, a charity that aims to support and raise funds for patients who have had/are having surgery or treatment for Breast Cancer in Glan Clwyd Hospital (Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Welsh, hence ‘YGC’), Denbighshire. I will post a weekly tally of the total raised through sales of Bodelwyddan during October and hope you can all help get the word out about the pattern and other fundraising that will be taking place at the same time.

I’ve also knitted something else, which I’m not going to tell you about yet, but it’s very very cool! And there is something else extremely exciting happening in early October that I should be able to tell you at least a little about next week.

There are now only four days until Yarn Gathering and I’m very excited to see it all come together again. We have such a lovely selection of vendors joining us and they are all based within an hour or so of Mold!:

Do join us if you have the chance. Sunday 17th September, 10am – 4pm, The Daniel Owen Centre, Mold, CH7 1AP. Free Entry.

I’ve been making some things today on my sewing machine in readiness for Yarn Gathering on Sunday: four zipped box pouches. The first pic is of the two I’ve made before (the first in a workshop with the lovely Jo Paloma Makes) so you can see what they’ll be like. Today’s pouches are all half made so far, as I decided it was far easier to do them on a mini production line, rather than work on one at a time. They’ll be finished tomorrow – I’ve even left the sewing machine out on the kitchen table!

Speaking of workshops, I had a great time last Wednesday teaching my “Absolute Beginners’ Knitting” workshop.

Tomorrow is the follow-on workshop, “Next Steps Beginners’ Knitting” and the same two ladies are currently booked on it. If you have some experience of the knit stitch and you’d like to learn more, there’s still time to book a place!

Next Wednesday (20th) is “Working with Colour – Slip Stitch Knitting“. This one is loads of fun and the results look far more complicated than they actually are to do and you’re only using one colour at a time!

I’m sure there’s more to share, but if I don’t press ‘publish’ soon, it’ll be tomorrow! Take care, have a good week, and get yourselves over to Mold on Sunday if you can. Kx

Follow Your Arrow

The song ‘Follow Your Arrow‘ by Kacey Musgraves has been a proper ear-worm for me this week. I’ve even been singing it in the shower! If you’ve never heard it, I highly recommend a listen.

There are changes are afoot in our household, with my lovely wife moving on from primary school headship to a new pathway of her own devising, and I may be doing some musical stuff in our local community in the near future as well as continuing to knit up a storm. I’ve even been brave and set foot on a big wheel – the one pictured in the main image of Llandudno pier! Once we got moving (after sitting at the top for far too long) it was quite spectacular.

In the meantime, I am preparing for four knitting workshops this month and for Yarn Gathering on Sunday 17th! As part of this, there has been a lot of printing happening today. As you might expect, some of the printing has been patterns, but there have also been posters, risk assessments, pattern spreadsheets and public liability insurance certificates!

A slightly less fun part of today has been trying to find out why my car insurance renewal quote for this year is 50% higher than last year’s premium. That’s without any changes to the policy (and no claims) at all! Fortunately I got to speak to a really helpful woman on the phone, explained the changes I do need to make, and she is going to ring me back on Friday when she’s heard back from the underwriters and then we’ll look at possible discounts. Argh. At least I know I’ll be speaking to the same person, so I won’t have to go through everything again from the beginning.

Admin is one of those things that has to be done and it’s something I generally don’t mind. Having had a week of visitors and then visiting Kent, the only work I’ve been doing is social media and knitting, so I’ve had to catch up with myself a bit today, which means I’m noticing the admin more than usual!

But the knitting? Well! I thought I might have moved on to the sleeves of Lichfield by today, didn’t I? Haha! I’ve done both the sleeves (apart from the very tops of them – I need to decide whether or not to knit the extra four rows added by the tech editor just before the final cast off rows) AND I only have two rows and the cast-off left to do on the neckband.

That means the shoulder seams are already done as well. Although, now I’ve seen the photos of it lying flat I think I might redo the neckband to shift the stitch pick up a little on the left hand front (right side of image). This will get rid of the little ‘pull-up’ I can see at the bottom of the neck band.

Do you see how the stitch pattern in the back panel lines up perfectly with that of the neckband? It does that for every size. That type of detail is important to me as it makes a design (and a garment knitted from it) look really finished and precise.

Once I’ve re-done the neckband and done the last little bits at the tops of the sleeve caps (I’ll probably add the extra rows in one sleeve, leave the balls of yarn attached, pin them to the body of the cardigan and decide which fit I like best, then redo the top of the other sleeve cap to match), that’s ALL the knitting done. Then it’s blocking time, seaming and weaving in the ends. With any luck (and if the weather isn’t too hot) I’ll be wearing it at Yarn Gathering, although I can’t sell the pattern myself until next January.

It’s been an eye-opener knitting a waist-length garment in my size. It’s so much quicker than something long that supposedly ‘hides’ your hips/bum, but in reality does nothing of the sort. That sounds pretty obvious when you think about it, but the full circumference of knitting happens at the bottom of a garment, so to take off 6-9 inches of fabric is a lot of knitting removed from the equation. This might make it sound as though I don’t enjoy knitting. I do – I love it. But I also know (and have been told by other knitters) that it can get very frustrating when it can literally take months to complete a garment when making a larger size. I also seem to be using slightly less yarn than I’d calculated which is interesting. I started each section with a new ball, but I only used 3 on the back, 2 on each sleeve and 1 on each front. It’s 1 so far on the neckband, but that might become 2. Add in a 10% buffer and we’re looking at 12 x 50g balls rather than 13 for size 7. Another saving! I can see potentially more waist-length garments (or ones with a waist-length option) in future designs…!

Anyway, I hope Yarn O’clock doesn’t mind my ‘borrowing’ this photo, but I thought this was an excellent placement of a diversion sign – and a great example of ‘follow your arrow’ too! Why not divert into a yarn shop (though ideally not while still in a car)? On the day of Yarn Gathering (September 17th, 10-4), Yarn O’clock will also be open from 1-2pm.

An Abundance

Yarn Gathering is in less than three weeks! I am excited to tell you that Anne and I did the floor plan at the weekend and there’s going to be a really lovely mix of vendors for you to visit. There will be nine stands in the main hall of the Daniel Owen Centre and three in the cafe space. The cafe itself won’t be open, but you can get refreshments from a variety of places in Mold on a Sunday – or even better, why not visit the Mold Food & Drink Festival while you’re here? There’s a map of the town showing the venue and car parks on the Yarn Gathering page.

One word of caution, especially for the folk who are not from Wales and may be less aware of the upcoming changes in the traffic laws. From 17th September, (nearly) all roads in Wales that were previously 30mph will be 20mph. There will be 30mph signs for any roads that are exceptions to the 20, but the general intention is ‘see street lights, think 20’. I don’t know if traffic police will be issuing fines from ‘Day 1’, but we would hate anyone to get caught out. My town has been one of the 8 trial areas for the 20mph speed limit and there have been very mixed responses from the local community, but it will be happening, starting from Yarn Gathering day, so take it steady on your way to inhale the yarn fumes!

I’ve been baking again!

These are vegan sourdough chocolate brownies and they are truly delicious – especially with vanilla ice-cream and homegrown raspberries. My sister-in-law is coming to visit today, and it seemed an excellent reason to get the baking going again.

Update – Katie loves the brownies and helped pick today’s raspberry harvest.

We’re getting this many every day or two at the moment. Even though they’re autumn fruiting, the canes are really going for it!

Last week when I wrote I was getting to the end of the medium sized sock for my upcoming sock pattern, Bodelwyddan. As you can see, that sock has been finished and the small (second size) sock has also been made! The dark (medium) sock is in RiverKnits Nene 4ply (100% British Bluefaced Leicester Wool) and the light variegated (small) sock is in The Yarn Artist Sock 4ply (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon). Both of these socks were knitted using leftovers from other projects – there wouldn’t be enough for two of each, but who says your socks have to match?!

I’ve also been storming ahead with my own version of Lichfield. This is size 7 and I have finished the back and the left front, and made a start on the right front. As we have a couple of long car trips this week, I may even have finished a sleeve by the time I write next!

Something I forgot to share with you last week was my one purchase at the Pop Up Wool Show.

I bought these two beautiful skeins of 4ply wool from Doulton Border Leicester Yarn. The yarn comes from their own flock and all the sheep live out their full lives, even after their fleeces stop being suitable for use – they have an oap/retired sheep field! I really like their philosophy and the yarn looks and feels very high quality. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it yet, but I have a few ideas up my sleeve!

I’ve been doing a little more crochet recently – what, two crochet projects on the go? Shocking! To the right is my first attempt at puff stitch. Those are the stitches that form the heart in the centre of the granny square. I’m not sure I’ve got it quite right in terms of tension, but I think it’s pretty good for a first attempt! I also decided to treat myself to a crochet blocking board.

This was one of the Amazon images for this crochet blocking board. Can you see what is wrong with it?! 😂

It almost put me off buying it, but at least I could see the pics were of actual crocheted items actually held in place with the metal pins. This was a big improvement on some listings which showed a similar board with badly cropped pictures of crochet overlaid and photoshopped images of the pins floating in mid-air in front of them!

I’m glad I did get it though, it’s decent quality bamboo and metal pins and I like the idea of being able to block several squares at once stacked above each other – guaranteed to be blocked to the same size!

Anyway, that’s all from me for today. Take care of yourselves and I hope you get to do some stuff you enjoy this week. Keep your fingers crossed on the cardigan progress for me! K x

Popping Up Everywhere

I had a wonderful time on Saturday at the Pop Up Wool Show in Port Sunlight. It was great to have space to spread out and give people room to see the different designs. Even so, there were a few times during the day when waves of people that came through and some folk had to wait or come back later to be able to get to see the stand! If you came and said hello, just had a quiet browse or even bought something – thank you! The visitors were so friendly and appreciative of the time and effort that goes into the designs and putting the stand together.

Graham from Coastal Colours did a fabulous job with the organising and it was reassuring that there was help on hand if needed to get stuff up and down the steps at both ends of the day. I’ll definitely apply to be there again next year!

My most popular pattern at last year’s Pop Up Wool Show was What Do Points Make? This summer throw-over attracted plenty of attention again this year, but the most popular pattern accolade was won this year by Jo March Scarf. I’m hoping to see some brioche scarves in the making appear on social media in the coming months.

I’ve starting knitting my own version of Lichfield. I’m knitting it in the colour of the original sample, Rosehip (the yarn is Pure DK from West Yorkshire Spinners), partly as I had some balls of yarn left over from the sample and partly because I really like it! This is Size 7 (of 10) and I’m now on the home straight with the back having completed the armhole shaping. It’s an inset sleeve design so the sleeve seams sit at your shoulder bones, hence what looks like some major decreasing from the full back width. This is one of the interesting things about grading a pattern for different sizes – whilst the full back has a range of 94-190 stitches, after the underarm shaping the stitch count range is only 80-104 stitches. People’s shoulder width doesn’t vary half so much as their chest measurement!

I’m also on the home straight with my sock design – my size 3 sample will be finished later today and the size 2 one will be started. You can see in the close up how the optional extra gusset decreases work – this helps you move down a size (or even two) between the leg and the foot if needed. I’m also pleased to say that the sock now has a name! Say hello to ‘Bodelwyddan’. This is where Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is situated and, as the socks have been designed as part of the fundraising for those who are being treated for breast cancer there by Treasure Chest YGC, and as 50% of the pattern price from sales in October will be going to this fundraising, this seemed a really appropriate name.

That’s all for today – I’m at Mum’s, and there’s a cup of tea and a game of scrabble with my name on it. I’ll have lots to tell you about Yarn Gathering next week. Until then, take care, K x

And Then There Were Two…

You know I enjoyed the sewing workshop last week, when I made the zipped pouch with Jo Paloma Makes at Amanda’s Fabrics? Well, I enjoyed it so much I made another! There will be more…

Are these boxy little bags something you’d like to see on my stand at yarn shows?

I’ve also finished, blocked and photographed my new sample of Amy March Shawl (though I haven’t updated the pics on the webpage yet), so I shall have the new sample and printed patterns with me at the Pop Up Wool Show on Saturday at Hulme Hall. In fact, I’ll have Amy March AND the updated version of Marianne Half Hap – as well as all my other patterns of course!

This week has also seen the completion of the second sock of the largest size in my new design that will be out in October. The pic shows it just after turning the heel. That’s five socks I’ve knitted using this pattern now. I’m going to make one of each of the second and third sizes as well, in different yarns, so folk can see how the pattern works well with striped, semi-solid, variegated and speckled yarns. The pattern still needs a name, but I have a few ideas now, so it won’t be nameless for too much longer.

My Mystical Lanterns Blanket, designed by Janie Crow, now has a fifth row. It’s interesting to see how, despite the random colour selection process, some colours are grouping together in the same area of a row each time. I think I shall have to give the bag a good shake after I put the yarn balls back in next time.

There’s even been some spinning! Having been working hard at getting thicker yarns more consistently I decided to ring the changes and explore the higher ‘gears’ or ratios on my spinning wheel. That just involves moving the elastic band that links the big wheel turned by my feet to the small wheel that spins the bobbin where the yarn goes.

The higher the ratio, the faster the top wheel spins and the faster the yarn goes on to the bobbin. While I’ve been getting used to it I’ve actually slowed my feet down dramatically, just so the fibre doesn’t fly out of my hands before I’ve put enough twist in it to hold together. But it’s certainly more successful than the last time I ventured onto the fastest end of my wheel and this time there was no swearing!

My week hasn’t been all yarn and fabric based. I’ve been busy designing and editing the flyers for my knitting workshops taking place at Shaz’s Shabby Chic and advertising them on social media.

If you know someone who would like to learn to knit from scratch or develop their skills further with slip stitch knitting or knitting in the round, please send them in my direction! You can even scan the QR code in the image above with your phone’s camera, which will take you straight to Ticketsource where you’ll find all the details for each class and be able to book tickets (or click the link!).

The final preparations for the Pop Up Wool Show are taking place, with printing of patterns, checking of kits and wooden items, clarifying my display set-up etc.

I know that I’ve got a space against a wall this year, which is good for me, and I hope you’ll come and say hello to me and my lovely wife if you get the chance.

I couldn’t leave you without mentioning Yarn Gathering.

We’ve got 12 lovely vendors lined up for you this year. There are a few more folk to add to the webpage, but do have a look and see who’s coming. There will be some cafes open in Mold, parking is free on a Sunday (as is entry to Yarn Gathering), and of course, the Mold Food and Drink Festival will be taking place as well, so there is a lot to come and enjoy on September 17th!

What have you been up to this week? Take care and I hope to see some of you on Saturday! Kx

Zip-iddy Doo Dah!

This morning I spent 3 hours at a sewing workshop run by Jo Paloma Makes at Amanda’s Fabrics in Mold. There were four of us taking the class and by the end of it we all had our own completed zipped pouch. I learnt so much during the morning and made copious notes on the handout as well as taking plenty of photos of specific stages.

I chose to make the smaller of the two size options and it’s the perfect size for a sock project or similar!

Another great thing about this size is that you can get two of the smaller bags from two fat quarters of fabric. The large size would be ideal for large scissors, pencils/brushes/projects with straight knitting needles.

Jo is a great teacher – very kind and patient – and was super helpful if any of us got stuck or just wanted to check something before we sewed or cut.

For the majority of the time we were looking at the lining fabric and sewing the corners became quite a feat of origami.

But when we turned it out through the gap we’d left it was like magic! I just couldn’t stop grinning. It’s not perfect; the seams next to the zip are not identical and the tabs aren’t exactly centred, but it was the first time I’ve made anything like this, and I shall certainly be making more – and improve my sewing with each one!

The end of the Summer KAL went well last week and the updated pattern of Marianne Half Hap Shawl (the laceweight sample of this was my KAL project) has now been published. If you have an older copy, please do download the new version.

You may remember I recently started a new sample of my Amy March Shawl using two gorgeous skeins of yarn from The Yarn Artist. It’s zooming along now – and might even be finished before the Pop-Up Wool Show on August 19th.

When you’re knitting two colour brioche, there’s a decrease called the ‘Br4st dec’ (brioche 4 stitch decrease) where you have to put the centre stitch of five onto a locking stitch marker or similar while you work on the stitches around it. I find this quite fiddly as locking stitch markers are quite small and it’s easy for the stitch (and its accompanying yarn over) to slip off. However – I may have a new solution! I popped into Yarn O’clock after the sewing workshop and saw the new ‘Flox’ multitools from Floops Stitch Markers that Anne has. I’d seen them on her Instagram, and had thought they were the size of regular bent cable needles.

They’re really not – they’re much smaller and the cable in the middle is moveable (and stays where it’s put) and I think they’ll be perfect for this brioche decrease. I had to get the rainbow one!

I’ve started advertising my September knitting workshops. They’re all taking place at Shaz’s Shabby Chic in Buckley on Wednesdays 6.30-8.30pm. All the details are here, but the short summary is:

  • 6th Sept – Absolute Beginners’ Knitting Workshop
  • 13th Sept – Next Steps Beginners’ Knitting Workshop
  • 20th Sept – Working with Colour – Slip Stitch Knitting
  • 27th Sept – Knitting in the Round

Places are limited to 8 per workshop, which means everyone gets plenty of individual attention, and yarn is included with all of them. If you know someone who would enjoy one or more of these workshops, please pass on the details to them.

That’s all from me for today – I need to go and marvel again and what Jo taught us to make! Take care and why not think about learning something new? K x

Hey, Marianne!

Tomorrow sees the end of our Summer Knit-along and, to celebrate, there is a final Zoom, 7.30-9pm BST. This is a ‘Show and Tell’ where we can show off our projects, whether they are completed or not, and share laughter and conversation. Tickets are available and there will even be prizes! The prizes are for engagement/completion and take the form of a free pattern of the winner’s choice.

As you can see, my new sample of Marianne Half Hap has been photographed, including the now obligatory ‘flying of the shawl’. I’m really pleased with how these look and I’m just at the final stages of tweaking the layout of the pattern update and selecting which photographs to include in the download.

If you have already bought Marianne Half Hap you will be able to download the updated version after 10 am on Friday 4th August! If you haven’t yet got a copy of this shawl design and you’d like one, why not sign up to my newsletter? Subscribers will be getting a lovely little discount code in their inboxes on Friday morning.

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Another exciting piece of news is that the new logo for Yarn Gathering has been unveiled!

Isn’t it great? We have a version without the date as well, but we think it’s useful for folk to be able to see when it is straight away.

If you use instagram follow Yarn Gathering on: @yarn_gathering_nwales. I’ll be posting there in the coming weeks about each of our lovely stall-holders who will be joining us.

Just like last year, we are timing the event to coincide with the Mold Food and Drink Festival, so there will be plenty to do in Mold that day, and all our stall-holders are based around an hour or less from Mold, so we’re really showcasing local talent.

The venue is the same – The Daniel Owen Centre, the timings are the same – 10am 4pm, and some of the stall-holders will be the same, but there will also be plenty of new faces joining us!

This Thursday (August 3rd), the new issue (192) of The Knitter will hit the newsstands (it comes around quickly, doesn’t it?) and I have a pattern in it! If you have a subscription, you may even already have a copy!

Caramel Slice is a child’s cardigan with 5 sizes: Ages 1, 2, 4, 6 & 8. The sample size is age 4 and it’s knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners’ Elements DK. The colour-work is created through slipped sts, so you only have to deal with one colour at a time.

Things are continuing to grow in the garden, the tomatoes (all four of them…) are turning red, I’ve picked a couple more courgettes/squashes and there are plenty more on the way, and the raspberries are chugging along. I may have missed the moment with the gooseberries, but I did find a bag of last year’s in the freezer, so I think we’ll still be able to have a gooseberry crumble this summer.

I had a great time at the Summer Wool Festival on Sunday, and got a few lovely things, not least of which was my ‘payment in yarn’ for looking after Rachael of Cat and Sparrow’s stand while she taught a workshop. Two gorgeous skeins of Toasty Aran – how generous is that?! The colour names are fabulous; TIGHT FITTING JEANS and PISTACHIOMG. It’s already balled up and I have the perfect design for it – it’s a new one!

We managed to get a walk in the sunshine this afternoon which was lovely after getting rather wet in the rain yesterday. But I’m determined not to complain about the weather – it’s making the veg grow and the jet stream is protecting us in the UK from the terrible heat and fires on the continent.

That’s all for today. I hope you manage to do some things that bring you joy this week. Take care, K x

Do It All Over Again

My new sample of Marianne Half Hap in RiverKnits Northampton Shear Shetland Lace is now blocked and awaiting some proper photos. I’m very pleased with how it has turned out – and the fact that it uses less than 100g laceweight yarn! The updated pattern with new photographs (and some other general improvements to the layout) will be available soon and I will definitely have printed copies of it with me at the Pop Up Wool Show on August 19th.

As I mentioned last week, finishing this new sample of Marianne means that I have been able to cast on my new sample of Amy March Shawl. This uses two skeins of 4-ply yarn from The Yarn Artist: I’m enjoying working with it and am very pleased with how it’s looking already! As I was knitting my new sample of Marianne as my project for the Summer Knit-along, and that runs until August 2nd when the final Show & Tell Zoom takes places, I thought it was only right I should get another knit-along project on the needles asap. Tickets are available for the Show & Tell Zoom event – if you’ve been knitting one of my designs during the past month and a bit, it would be lovely to see what you have created.

One of the things I love about 2-colour brioche knitting is that both sides look great – and very different! More about brioche knitting later on.

I’ve been burning stitch marker pots this week – and coasters and hearts as well! If you’ve seen my stitch marker pots before you’ll notice the ones at the back in this pic are considerably bigger than ones I’ve had previously, at 6cm diameter. These are more the type of pot you would have on the table by where you knit, whereas the smaller ones are ideal to throw in a project bag with just the stitch markers you’ll need for that project – especially as the smaller pots have screw lids! I’ve enjoyed trying out a couple of new designs, as well as working out how to get the lines fine enough on the balls of yarn on the medium pots – that required a very steady hand. Again these will be with me at the Pop Up Wool Show in Port Sunlight next month.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a new shawl design coming out with RiverKnits. Let me introduce you to Petulia – a lacy, 2-colour brioche shawl!

We had been hoping to launch Petulia this month, but the pattern will actually now be coming out in September – so it’s not too long to wait. These are not the official pics, just a couple I took before sending the shawl off to Becci and Markus, and both both shots show the large asymmetrical version of the shawl which takes 3 x 50g Chimera and 2 x 100g Nene 4-ply. It is a big shawl! However, there is also a smaller, symmetrical version using the same motif that only takes 2 x 50g Chimera and 1 x 100g Nene 4-ply. And BOTH of these designs are included in the pattern!

When I was at Wool@J13 in May, several folk loved and bought the pattern for Honeybun Cardigan and many more would have got a copy if the sizing had gone beyond 8 years, as they wanted to make it for themselves. I have made a couple of steps in the direction of sizing Honeybun up for grown-ups: I’ve chosen (and bought) new colours for the adult sample, and set up a new spreadsheet. I’ve got a couple of submission deadlines coming up in the next couple of weeks, and then I hope to get cracking on this as soon as I can!

Alongside all this planning ahead, it’s good to look back and see how the journey is going. Can you believe it’s now 11 years since New York Nights was published in Issue 11 of Knit Now? This beaded lace stole was my first ‘proper’ publication and I was SO excited it made the front cover. I still get really excited, but I no longer go round all the local shops that stock a magazine I’m in and place it at the front of the shelves (I have to admit I did do that with this particular issue!)!

New York Nights Knit Now 11 Front Cover

Yarn Gathering plans are coming on well. It will be taking place at the Daniel Owen Centre in Mold on Sunday 17th September, coinciding with the Food and Drink Festival, just like last year. There are a few small changes, but if it worked well last year, it will be happening again. We have some returning vendors and some new vendors, and we have a new logo! We’ll be revealing this on social media in the next few days, the website will be updated with all the info and I’ll share the logo here next week too as I know not everyone uses social media. It’s very cool and has been designed by someone who really knows what they’re doing!

Last week’s leaving ‘do’ for my lovely wife was super by the way. Just right. I don’t have anything quite as momentous to do this evening, but I will be deciding on the best finish for my stitch marker pots and coasters, as well as starting my fifth row of the Mystical Lanterns blanket!

‘Til next week, take care, K x

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