Winter Winds

We went to Llandudno on Sunday. Our main mission was to photograph Llandudno Promenade. on the pier and also on the promenade. Sue even lay down on the slipway to photograph the shawl flying as I threw it in the air above her. We hadn’t banked on it being *quite* so windy and cold, but we had a lot of fun. We also managed to get lunch at The Cottage Loaf which warmed us up a treat afterwards!

The shaw pattern is now with my tech editor and it should be having a relaunch in the second half of February.

Part Two of Am Byth MKAL was released on Friday and the photo below shows you Part One and a little bit more. I even did a little video to help folk with the 1-5 increase that is used during Part Two. If you are joining in with the MKAL and want some help with that, head to my Free Video Tutorials pages.

Two typos were discovered in the Special Stitches section (not the pattern itself, just the explanation of two of the cables) of Am Byth MKAL Part Two. It’s really annoying when these slip through, but it’s been corrected and the new version has been sent out to all those who signed up for email updates. If you missed it, the instructions affected are 2/2 RPC and 2/1 RPC which had the knits and purls the wrong way round (doh!). They should read as follows:

  • 2/2 RPC          Sl 2 sts to CN and hold at back, k2, p2 from CN
  • 2/1 RPC          Sl 1 st to CN and hold at back, k2, p1 from CN

Do keep sharing progress if you are knitting along with us using the hashtags #AmBythMKAL and #Yomkal.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours at Caffi isa, having a cup of tea (which turned into two!) and working on one of my current projects. The time spent away from other distractions was clearly helpful as last night I cast the shawl off and I blocked it this morning! This is Petulia, the third of my shawl designs for RiverKnits. As you can see it’s two colour brioche knitting and it has THE best shape – it’s just SO funky. The lighter coloured yarn is Chimera and the darker yarn is Nene 4-ply – both of which are fabulous yarns to work with.

I’m working on the chart now – brioche charts are always fun – and I’m thinking of including the sketch I used to work from as well as the chart and the written pattern. It’s a little bit like the idea of Stitchmaps, but simplified even more to give just the details of the movement of lines on the right side/light coloured rows (increases, decreases etc).

Keep an eye out for Petulia, as this shawl will hopefully be coming out in the next few months (once the charts, pattern, tech editing and photography are done).

The reason for my being at Caffi isa yesterday was so that anyone who was interested in Knitting for Beginners classes could come and have a chat with me or even have a mini taster session to see if they were interested. Actually, the one person who did come (hi Bev!) wanted to ask advice about picking up for thumbs on mitts and gloves. She’d seen my announcement that I’d be there on social media and thought she’d see if I had a spare five minutes. Well, I certainly did! Hence the second cup of tea and a lovely chat. I’m hoping to get some bookings in the next couple of days, otherwise I’ll probably need to postpone. Anyone can book a place by emailing me at or sending me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

My Sealy MacWheely fibre is now fully fledged yarn, skeined, washed and dried. I think it looks fantastic, even though there are occasional places in the yarn where the ply isn’t quite as even as you might wish for – but it is hand-spun, so it’s not meant to look the same as commercially spun yarn, is it?

Now I just need to decide which fibre I’m going to spin next!

I know I showed you this embroidery last week, but I’ve actually managed to make quite a lot of progress with it and have found the right angle for the photograph to show the stitches I’ve been doing! I’ve been working on the white and very pale beige stitches (beige currently on the needle here). If it wasn’t for the daylight magnifying lamp I wouldn’t have a hope, but these colours are (whisper it) nearly done and it *should* be a little bit easier with darker/brighter threads.

I shall be taking this with me tomorrow to Mum’s so she can see it in person, along with the current issue of The Knitter (my design is on the cover, did I mention that!?), and my Am Byth. I should probably take my socks in progress too as they are not going to finish themselves! I’m only there until Friday and there will be a lot of other things to do, but I don’t want to get caught out again like I was that other time, when I only took one project and finished it the first evening I was there!

I also made blackcurrant jam this week – but I forgot to photograph it. It’s VERY good, even though the blackcurrants had been in the freezer since July 2021…

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Take care, stay warm and do some stuff that makes you happy this week. K x


The most exciting news for me this week has to be the publication of The Knitter, issue 185 last Thursday. See that shawl on the cover? That’s Branwen, my design, and it’s a five part knit-along that is begin run during this and the next four issues! Part One is in this month’s magazine. It’s the top centre section of the shawl (in green). It’s a DK weight shawl, using West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece (2 skeins of cream and 3 skeins of green) and it’s sooo soft and cosy! Once I’d bought my copy of the mag in WHSmith’s I wanted to go round the town showing it to everyone and saying – look! I made that!

But not only that, this video shows you a glimpse of the (three page!) interview with lots of pics of my designs and lots about me, my designing, inspiration etc. If you ever wanted to know where it all began, this article will tell you!

Speaking of knit-alongs, this is the completed Part One of Am Byth MKAL. Also, a DK weight project, this one only uses one skein. You can see the design taking shape now, but can you work out what the project is going to be yet? All will be revealed on Friday, when Part Two is released.

I’ve had a burst of activity with my spinning in the past week. I finished spinning the braid into singles on Sunday, and today I chain plied the whole lot! The thing about chain plying is that as you are making a big loop in one hand to catch and pull the strand of yarn from the bobbin through (to form the next big loop – it’s like really fast giant finger knitting), you’re using the other hand to control the twist and your feet are working the treadles. I tend to find that the singles yarn tries to turn and twist back on itself when I’m getting going, until I get a regular rhythm going, at which point I don’t want to stop and have it all tangle up again!. This is partly because the singles are spun (twisted) in one direction and this makes the yarn unbalanced. Plying twists the yarn in the opposite direction which balances the twist and gives you a yarn that doesn’t want to turn into nightmare corkscrews.

I’m pleased with how the chain plied yarn has come out. The clear shift from one colour to the next has been maintained which I wanted, with a subtle blending of colours in places. It’s a little thicker than I was hoping for, but considering it is a 3-ply structure it’s pretty good. About a sock weight I think, but I’ll check it later once it’s been washed. I absolutely love the colours – the fibre was dyed by Sealy MacWheely.

Finally, there is some progress on mum’s picture embroidery that you can actually see! I’ve done (nearly) all of the column on the right hand side which was half a page wide (20 stitches) and three and a bit pages long (190 stitches) and I’ve made a start on the next full page width to the left. The sections where there are more colours, such as the bottom right corner, are much more interesting, but take so much more concentration – and there are about 40 different colours in that section, so it’s quite hard to keep track of as well.

I baked my first sourdough loaf of the year today as well. Audrey 2 (my starter), was living up to her name after going into semi-hibernation over Christmas, and it took a lot of feeding to get her active again! It’s a good loaf, although I dived into it for lunch before I took any pics (don’t worry, it isn’t all gone!). I shall have to remember to photograph the next one before slicing it.

There are still spaces available on my Knitting for Beginners workshops!

These are due to start on Feb 6th 1-3pm at Caffi Isa in Mynydd Isa, near Mold, Flintshire. If you or anyone you know fancies learning to knit in a small group, in a relaxed setting with access to tea/coffee and cake, contact me to book a space!

This is what we’ll be making (these are Knitting for Beginners workshops 1, 2 & 3 on my Group Workshops Tuition page):

There are also some spaces on the workshops I am giving at Yarn O’clock, but they are booking up fast! In brief they are:

  • Introduction to Socking Knitting, 16th February, 6.30-9pm
  • Stranded Colourwork, 7th March, 6.30-9pm
  • Finishing Techniques, 18th April, 6.30-9pm
  • Moebius Knitting, 18th May, 6.30-9pm

Full details are on my “Where I’ll Be” page and also on Yarn O’clock‘s website. Contact Anne to book a space on one of these.

Just before I sign off I want to tell you that I am sitting here typing this in the dark, running the laptop from the battery. There’s no problem; we’ve signed up to take part in the energy reduction trials that are happening. There was one from 5-6pm yesterday, today is 4.30-6pm. It’s amazing how many things are on or on standby all the time even when we only use them for a small part of the day. Or rather, I should say how many things were on or on standby. They’re not now – I’ve been going round unplugging stuff or switching it off at the wall! (Just like my dad – but then he used to unplug the tv aerial every night as well) The multi-sockets that each have their own switch are proving handy too. It’s also striking how much quieter the house is, which is interesting as I never really considered ‘things plugged in’ to have a noise, but I suppose they must!

Anyway, take care, stay warm. Dw i eisiau un deg un paned! (I want eleven cups of tea). Tell me what you’ve been making lately. K x

All Are Welcome

I picked up the Safe Space cross stitch from the framers today! We go to P G Framing in Mold and Paul did a fabulous job as always. I had to request a perspex front because it’s going to be hung in a school and glass isn’t allowed. Taking pictures of things behind a shiny surface is always tricky, so you have a faint reflection of me in the pic too!

On Thursday (that’s the 19th, in two days), the new issue (185) of The Knitter comes out. If everything has gone to plan there should be a pattern in there from me and… an interview! I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m beyond excited. Do let me know if you get a copy!

Do you remember those brownies I hadn’t had time to make last week? They got made on Wednesday and lasted until yesterday! Very squidgy in the middle and particularly delicious with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice-cream. Pictured is the whole bake before cutting and a small corner cut off as soon as it was cool enough (essential for quality control).

Am Byth MKAL began on Friday and I get so excited seeing people share their progress on social media. Part One is fairly quick – I had to put anything that could tell knitters what they were making into Part Two, but it looks cool none the less! It’s also amazing when people say they’ve learnt a new cast-on, a new increase, done some cool baby cables and they’re loving it even though they have no idea what it will be! (Thanks @RobandThread!). Of course, now there’s a fairly long wait until Part Two is released – a whole extra ten days from now!

Here’s a little bit (but not all by any means) of Am Byth Part One, next to the image I designed as the pattern placeholder – can you see a connection? I’ll share my completed Part One next week.

Llandudno Promenade got blocked today. Because of the crocking (excess dye that had transferred to the cream yarn) I didn’t take my usual approach and leave it to soak for 15 minutes (or longer – I have a tendency to forget things if they’re in a different room!). Instead, I immersed it in hand warm water and gave it a good squeeze – to encourage the excess dye molecules into the water – and then repeated this twice more, the last time in colder water and holding the cream sections under the running water. It seems to have done the trick as the blocking photo looks to be less blue in the sections that shouldn’t be blue than the pre-blocking photo did!

Trying to minimise the amount of floor space taken up with blocking (this shawl wasn’t a suitable candidate to try the hap stretcher out on because of the straight edges), I ended up blocking it right side down. It’s not an aggressive block at all – just a case of getting the right angles sides straight and easing out the hypotenuse. Here are the before and after blocking pics:

A series of Knitting for Beginners classes has been booked at Caffi Isa on Monday afternoons (1-3pm), on Feb 6th, 13th and 27th. (Not the 20th as that’s half-term). I did a post about them on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday. If you know anyone who would like to learn to knit, is in Flintshire or Cheshire and is able to come to an afternoon class, please point them in my direction!

I’m also hoping to arrange a series of the same classes on an evening (in Mold) as I know afternoons don’t work for a lot of people.

That’s all from me for today. Have a good week, wrap up warm (Oh, I didn’t even mention the snow!), and do stuff that makes you happy. K x

Cymru Am Byth!

There will be no surprise I’m sure that when I chose the name of our newest MKAL I was influenced by the wonderful phrase “Cymru am byth” – Wales forever! On it’s own ‘Am Byth’ also gives a nod to some of the design features – I wonder if you can guess what they might be?

Dw i’n mwynhau dysgu Cymraeg – very much. I’m on Day 66 of my Duolingo ‘journey’ – I know that because I’m on a 66 day streak and I haven’t missed a single day since I started learning. I’m currently on Unit 8, which is the last of the ‘Intro to Welsh’ units and there has already been a noticeable increase in difficulty level! Phrases are spoken more quickly now and words are gliding into each other. I’m often very grateful to the tortoise button, which replays the phrase at a slower speed, although it does rather sound like someone speaking sarcastically slowly to the hard of thinking!

There are some words I’ve found really difficult to remember – particularly the different between the various versions of the verbs ‘did’, ‘made’ and ‘went’. The present tense is fine, but the past tense seems to have all kinds of complications! I started off the course by writing words and phrases down in my journal and those have really stuck, so my plan is to revisit the more recent lessons that had me most flummoxed and write these down as well. Sometimes writing by hand can stick in the brain more than typing – I don’t know why that is, but it seems to hold true for me when I’m trying to learn something new!

(The groovy red dragon at the top of the post is a version of a Welsh flag available from wikimedia under creative commons license, designed by NikNaks.)

Speaking of new things…

There are only three days until Am Byth MKAL is launched! You’ve still got time to buy the pattern from me or get a kit from Yarn O’clock. I’ve even recorded, subtitled and uploaded the video for the Pinwheel Cast-On. You can find it under ‘Knitting Tuition – Free Video Tutorials‘. I’ve moved things around on that page so the most recent videos are at the top as I think that makes it easier to locate the latest additions. There’s quite a collection of these short videos now.

There’s also a new page on the website! Titled “Where I’ll Be”, it lists all events and workshops I’m booked for. Two days ago, when I set up the page, there were two yarn shows listed. Now there are four workshops added as well, and there’s going to be more! I’m adding contact details and links where I can so you can go straight to the right place to book a place or a ticket.

The way it’s set up you only see one ‘event’ at a time, and you use the arrows at the right and left of the screen to move through them. I’m considering adding a calendar underneath with the same info, so you can see it all at a glance as well if you want to. Would you find that useful?

I got accepted for the yarn show I applied for last week! I really wasn’t expecting to hear back from them until after the closing date, so that was a lovely surprise. I’ll add it to the page of ‘Where I’ll Be’ once I’ve paid the invoice and it’s all confirmed.

The Safe Space cross-stitch has been stretched onto mounting board and is at the framers! He’s a busy chap, so it’s in the queue; he expects to get it framed at the end of the month. The stretching took about an hour or so and used a HUGE amount of thread! I’m showing you the back as well as the front as this work will never be seen again once framed.

Since finishing this cross-stitch and getting my magnifying lamp (I wrote about that on social media last week) I have done quite a bit on Mum’s photo embroidery. I’m not sure you can actually see much of a difference from the last time I took a pic of it (last July!), but I promise you there are at least 8 hours of stitching added in, if not more. The July 2022 pic is on the left and the January 2023 pic is on the right.

This morning I cast off the reworked Llandudno Promenade. As the pattern went on, more changes were needed, including a rewrite of the border lace as the number of stitches and rows were different from the original. The shawl will now be blocked and I’ll get the new version of the pattern written up and off to a tech editor. I’m really pleased with it, especially with how well these colours match the paintwork on Llandudno pier! You can probably see how the darker turquoise sections are shedding colour onto the cream – that’s the crocking (the excess dye rubbing off) – it *should* all just wash out when I soak it for blocking. I’ll report back next week!

That’s all for now – unbelievably it’s already 8.30pm. It looks as though the brownies I’ve been trying to make since Sunday might have to wait until tomorrow!

Take care, stay warm and do something that makes you happy this week, K x

…And a Happy New Year!

Well, we’ve made it to 2023! We’re only a few days in to the year, but already the adverts on the telly are full of the seasonal ‘buy a new sofa’, ‘book a summer holiday’ etc, and social media is full of the ‘New Year/New You’ ads.

Fortunately the majority of the people I follow are, like me, more into intentions and goal setting than ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. I can’t remember exactly when I last made New Year’s Resolutions, but I know for a fact they included not doing/eating this/that and they were guaranteed to fail and make me feel as though I’d failed in the process.

Nowadays I set goals for the year, based on the framework in The Maker’s Yearbook. I bought this yearbook a couple of years ago and really liked the structure of it, but found the space for writing too specified – there seemed to be either too little or too much, never quite the sweet spot I was after. So, in January 2022 and this year I have looked back at the goal setting pages from my copy of the 2020 Maker’s Yearbook and used the questions from it in my bullet journal. It asks things like ‘What is your biggest dream for the year?’ and, perhaps more importantly, ‘What steps do you need to take to get there?’.

I’m not going to share all my goals here, but you should be seeing some new things happening during the course of the year. For example, I applied to be a vendor at another yarn show this morning – fingers crossed for that one. I won’t find out if I’m successful until the end of Feb/start of March, but I’ll be sure to let you know!

Am Byth, the latest MKAL from Yarn O’clock and myself, begins on Friday 13th January. That’s in just 10 days time! Remember we are not going to tell you what you are making until the start of Part 2 (released on 27th January). All you need to take part is 225m/100g DK yarn (we are using West Yorkshire Spinners Croft DK) and 3.5mm needles. We are beginning with a pinwheel cast-on (there will be a video for this on my website and Yarn O’clock’s youtube channel), so you’ll need double pointed needles or your favoured type of needles for a teeny-tiny starting circumference.

You can get the pattern from me on the website, Payhip, Lovecrafts or Ravelry (no link as I don’t want to spark a migraine for anyone!) and the relevant part of the pattern will be uploaded on each release date.

If you want a kit, or to have parts of the pattern emailed to you, you should contact Anne at Yarn O’clock. She is open again from Wednesday 4th January, so you can pop in or ring the shop from tomorrow!

Here is a selection of some the colours of Croft DK (photo from Yarn O’clock’s website):

The Fasten Off YAL has now come to an end and, just like last year, it was great fun. I got to know the work of some designers I hadn’t previously encountered and, just by playing along with some of the social games on Twitter and Instagram, I won two prizes!

The first prize was from Kate Atherley, from whom I chose Mackinac Mitts (I’m still pondering the yarn to use for these – there are so many splendid single skeins of 4-ply in my stash at the moment). If you haven’t come across her designs before, do have a look – they’re great!

The second prize I one was from Síle Thiels of Knit Dance Repeat Designs. From her designs I’ve chosen the Treble Jig Legwarmers.

I really like the fact that she uses music to inspire her designs (as have I in the past) and, even better, her legwarmer design fits calves up to 22″ in circumference! Mine are 19″ so I have the added excitement of a pattern that goes over the calves that I don’t need to alter to make it fit!

Fasten Off YAL covers knitting, crochet, loom knitting and Tunisian crochet, and with 109 designers taking part in the most recent one there were so many wonderful designs to choose from. If you do any of these four crafts (or design for them) I heartily recommend getting involved next year.

This morning I had to phone the dentist again. On Saturday I felt extreme pain in my gold crown whilst eating cereal of all things (toasted rice and wheat flakes) followed by a terrible crumbling sensation from the tooth behind it. It was just like you get in those dreams where all your teeth fall out. If you’ve never had that particular dream I envy you! One corner of my back molar has broken away leaving a very jagged edge and not a lot of tooth. They have been able to fit me in for their first available appointment, which is in two weeks. Fortunately I’m not in pain as long as I keep cold liquids and food away from that corner of my mouth, but these teeth of mine have been letting me down over the past twelve months – and I’ve nearly ground my way through my third or fourth mouthguard. I’m hoping they’ll be able to help!

When I was having a rummage through the freezer drawers just before Christmas I found something wonderful; two bags of blackcurrants! You may remember that I didn’t pick any last summer and so hadn’t made any jam and I’d forgotten that the crop the year before had been so plentiful that I’d only used half of it and frozen the rest. So I will be making blackcurrant jam in the next couple of weeks, staving off my need for the Seville oranges to arrive at the Farm Shop for marmalade making.

(Please note – there is no connection between my jam and marmalade-making and my dodgy teeth! I’ve just been grinding them for years and they’re literally reaching breaking point.)

That’s all for today. Next week I’m going to be telling you a bit more about my Welsh learning and the stitching I have been doing, as well as hopefully having some knitting to show you! ‘Til then, take care, stay home if you’re poorly and keep warm, K x

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We’ve come to the last blog post of the year! I know there is still one Tuesday left, but I am taking a week off (!), so my next post after today will be in 2023. I’ll still be posting periodically on social media during the next two weeks, but not daily.

Speaking of social media, I’m now on Mastodon ( as well as Twitter (@KathAndrews7), Instagram (Kath_Andrews_Designs) and Facebook (Kath Andrews Designs)! I’m finding my feet there and that’s where I share my progress in learning Welsh. This week I learnt how to say “Dw i’n hoffi gwisgo sgert a ffrog” – I like wearing a skirt and dress (yes, both at once, it’s called layering). Also; dw i’n gwisgo siwmper newydd, heddiw! (I’m wearing a new jumper today). It’s not hand-knitted, but it’s 80% wool and 20% recycled nylon, from Seasalt. It’s what I’m wearing in the pic of me and my lovely wife while we were in Chester this morning.

Christmas is only five days away now, but the cake is decorated, most of the cards are written (just the very local ones to do later today), everything is wrapped and the tree looks fab. Apologies for the very poor styling of the photo – a tub of tomatoes next to the cake isn’t exactly slick is it? It is however, very real.

I only made one knitted gift this year, which I shared on here a few months ago. Socks for one of my niblings – they know they’re getting them as we did a ‘try on’ part way through the first sock to make sure the fit was right, so I’m not spoiling any surprises here. They were knitted with British BFL/Nylon yarn from The Knitting Goddess in semi solid black and transgender flag colourways.

There have been times in the past where I’ve wrapped up one sock and a second one in progress on the needles, and another occasion where I’ve wrapped up a pattern book with a note saying “choose the style you like and I’ll make it for you”! That was when I was working full time in a school as well – it’s good to be more in control of my time now and to have been able to get these finished a while ago.

Looking back on the working year there has been a LOT happening – I published nine patterns during the year (they’re all in the picture above), completed my online course Introduction to Lace Knitting for Craftucation, taught several workshops, some for Yarn O’clock and some at The Knit-Tea Retreat, was a vendor at my first yarn show (Pop-Up Wool Show), jointly organised a yarn show (Yarn Gathering), had space on the RiverKnits stand at Yarndale, was on the cover of The Knitter with my first design with them and took part in the Fasten Off Yarnalong once more. There’s loads of other stuff too that hasn’t even come to fruition yet, but has been bubbling along in the background.

Next year I will be adding a new page to my website – a “Where I will be/What’s on” page listing events and workshops, which I think will be even more useful as I get out and about more.

The event that will be happening first in 2023 is my next MKAL (mystery knit along) with Yarn O’clock. Called “Am Byth”, it just requires 100g of DK yarn (We are using West Yorkshire Spinners Croft DK) and 3.5mm needles (dpns or circulars). Can you believe it will be our 7th MKAL since September 2018!?!

There will be three parts to the MKAL, each released on a Friday:

  • 13th Jan – Part One
  • 27th Jane – Part Two, where you find out what it is you are making!
  • 10th Feb – Part Three

To take part, you can buy a kit from Anne at Yarn O’clock at £15, or just the pattern at £5 from either Yarn O’clock or myself. I will be adding a ‘placeholder’ for the design with just the basic info to the MKALs page in the Patterns section of my website, to Payhip, Ravelry and Lovecrafts very soon so you can buy the pattern if you want to get it from me. The three parts of the pattern will be uploaded to those places by 10am GMT on the dates given. We’ll be sharing our progress on all the socials using the hashtags #AmBythMKAL and #YOMKAL.

And you might want to keep en eye out for Issue 185 of The Knitter…!

For now, though, stay warm, stay safe, and hold those you love close. Take care one and all and thanks for reading! K x

Open the Door

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago in our local Welsh shop along with The Welsh Learner’s Dictionary. It was encouraging that I could understand the title (Agor yr Drws, 6 stori i ddysgwyr – Open the Door, 6 stories for learners) even then, and that each page has a couple of new words in bold with their definition at the bottom of the page. Today I sat down to read part of one of the stories and, although I didn’t know or quite understand every word, I certainly got the gist of the first half and was using my dictionary as best I could with some of the other new vocab! I’m looking forward to finding out how Martin gets on with his plan to get fitter now he’s turned 50 – he’s already visited the gym and bought lots of vegetables (llysiau) and fruit, but his boss is causing him stress.

Having said last week that I thought my plan to finish the Safe Space cross stitch by the end of the month was looking more possible, I went and finished it on Sunday! It needs a wash and a press and then it can be stretched over the mount board that I picked up from the framers today. What do you think? I’m really pleased with it.

The Christmas Fayre on Saturday at The Rise was well attended and it was good to see people getting out and supporting a local event even though it was snowing for much of the day.

I didn’t sell a lot, but I did have some lovely conversations with other stall holders and visitors to the fayre. Sometimes we were talking about the knitting they used to do but found themselves unable to do any longer, sometimes about types of knitting needles, techniques or letting people know about my online courses. And sometimes it was talking to the primary age children with their parents who were quite fascinated seeing knitting in action. A number of people said they didn’t knit, but wanted to learn – or refresh their skills from many years ago. This makes me think that it would be a good idea to book in another series of Knitting for Beginners classes in the New Year – so watch this space!

Saturday was also a great opportunity to catch up on my sock knitting. The ball of yarn can easily sit in my dress pocket while I move around and chat with folk. The heel and gusset fit really well, although the toe is less marvellous. I’d got carried away on my rounds and had done 40 from the end of the gusset before I realised it. Never mind, thought I, I’ll just do a squarer toe. It works well by my big toe, but there’s far too much spare fabric by my little toe, so it won’t work in shoes. Fortunately I didn’t have my tapestry needle with me on the day so was unable to graft the end. This will make it a lot easier to rip back and reknit. Normally I find my socks are a bit too short when I do 30 rounds between the gusset/instep decreases and the toe shaping. Maybe 35 rounds will be the sweet spot?

This Friday sees Ceridwen published as an individual pattern on all my usual platforms (my website, Payhip, Ravelry and Lovecrafts). The pdf is nearly ready; I just need to do a final check that everything is in the right place, comparing it against the version that went in The Knitter in September, and choose a second photo for the front cover. It takes 250g/2000m of lace weight yarn. Yes, that is 2km of yarn! The Lammermuir Wool I used was so gorgeous to work with and so comfortingly sheepy. They are currently sold out of the lace weight yarn – hopefully they will be getting some more spun.

Today I popped into Yarn O’clock for a natter and to set some dates for our next Mystery Knit-a-long in the New Year – more on that on the socials at the end of the week! While I was there I picked these up; Repair Hooks. You get 5.5mm, 4.5mm and 3.5mm in the pack, each with a crochet hook at one end and knitting needle point at the other. I’ve been doing some brioche knitting in the evenings recently and if a stitch pops off the needle in the middle of decrease it can have unravelled a couple of rows before I catch it – especially if it’s happened on the other side to the one I’m looking at! I think these little tools will be just the thing to quickly hook any dropped stitches back into place without stretching the stitches near the tips of the knitting needles out of shape.

Next week I might even given you a little sneak preview of what I’m working on!

Until then, take care, stay safe and warm – knitting really helps with this! K x

All At Once

It’s one of those week’s where everything is happening at once and some of them are coming to fruition after quite a while!

I’m on the final flag of my Safe Space cross stitch! Once that is complete I shall do the final bit of cross stitch (the word “Welcome” in the middle), then crack on with the outlining and blackwork.

I do want to get this finished in 2022 and it’s starting to look more feasible, which is very encouraging.

On Thursday I will be teaching my Introduction to Two Colour Brioche Knitting workshop. I’ve re-jigged the course and re-written the notes, and therefore also re-knitted the samples! We’re going to start with straight brioche knitting with a garter stitch border so folk can get comfortable with the brioche stitches before having to deal with the fancy cast-on. We’re also using DK yarn this time, so the stitches will be bigger and it will be easier to see how it all works.

Once the straight sample is done we’ll move on to the Italian two-colour brioche cast-on and add an increase and a decrease into the mix!

On Friday I’m launching Nevern Lap Blanket on my website, Payhip, Ravelry and Lovecrafts. Newsletter subscribers have had their discount codes already! The pattern is already live on KnitPicks and it’s selling well so far. If you’re not a subscriber and you can’t wait until Friday you can buy it there!

And on Saturday I have a stall at the Christmas Fayre at The Rise in Buckley! It’s open 10am – 4pm, so if you’re in Buckley and you still have any Christmas shopping to do, this will be the place to come. (This pic is from a post on their facebook page in October, so there probably aren’t stalls still available now!)

I will have my knitting patterns, kits and pyrography (wood-burning) decorated coasters, hearts, wooden spoons and spatulas with me. I’m really looking forward to it, and have been adding a couple of items to my products in preparation – sheep- themed wooden spoons!

Among other kits, I will have the Mini Socks Advent Calendar kits with me. You may think this a bit strange as Advent has already begun, but bear with me… If you start now for next year and knit one sock every week or so you will be ready without having to knit lots and lots all at once!

Speaking of Advent and Christmas things, how cool is this post box topper? It’s on the post box outside the Spar in Buckley and was made by a group of knitters who meet regularly in the town. A huge amount of work has gone into it and it looks very impressive. It makes me smile every time I go to the post office (which is in the Spar) – a frequent activity at present!

I do have a very exciting piece of news to share with you. Next March I will be a vendor at the Buxton Wool Gathering! This is held in the Buxton Pavilion Gardens and tickets are only £5 for the day, or £8 for the whole weekend, which is brilliant value. There will be over 50 exhibitors there alongside me, so lots to enjoy as well as the beautiful town of Buxton to explore.

I’ve paid for my table, booked the accommodation, but somehow when the leaflets came through the post that was what made it feel totally real.

As well as all this I’ve been selecting a few more patterns from the #FastenOffYAL pattern sale (which finishes at midnight on 8th December Eastern Standard Time – that’s 5am on the 9th GMT), and this morning I wound the yarn for the next design I’m going to cast on. It’s Confluence Cowl by Mary W Martin and it’s a new technique to me as well as being a pattern from a new-to-me designer. Two yarns are held together and knitted together for the main fabric and then some magic is worked so that there are different cables on each side of the fabric! I’m using two colours of Amble from The Fibre Co. It’s a sport weight rather than fingering weight yarn, but it’s so soft and I think it will work really well.

All in all, the rest of the week is quite a busy one, but in a very good way. The Christmas presents are mostly posted (or wrapped if they’re not going in the post) and the cards are written, so I can tick the most pressing aspects of home Christmas prep off the list, which is a great feeling at this stage. I even remembered to feed the Christmas cake with brandy at the weekend – you should have seen my lovely wife’s face when she walked into the kitchen at 11am to see me putting the brandy bottle back on the shelf…!

That’s all from me today – quite enough, I hear you say – so I will leave you with this: Mae smygu’n ofnadwy, dw i’n hoffi cerddoriaeth a dw i eisiau paned a bisgedi! (Translation: Smoking is terrible, I like music and I want a cup of tea and some biscuits!)

Take care one and all, K x

Turning The Lights On

It’s just turned 4pm, I need the main light on to see what I’m doing and it’s getting really foggy outside. This morning there was bright sunshine and a pale blue sky as I walked up to town for an appointment. For myself, I’m glad the fog waited until now, but I’m sure those driving in it as it gets even darker won’t be thinking that way. (The photo for today’s blog was taken at 5pm – very dark and still foggy. Yes, it seems it does take me an hour to write this!)

I have good news! I went with the concept of the Nevern Lap Blanket with full joining instructions, rather than just a set of six charts as an expansion pack for Nevern Throw, and today the pattern has gone live on KnitPicks‘ website! You can find the pattern here.

As it’s been published as part of the KnitPicks’ Independent Designer Program(me), there is no exclusivity period before I can also publish it here on my website, and on Payhip, Ravelry and Lovecrafts. It will be going live on my platforms on December 9th – and newsletter subscribers will be hearing from me next Monday with details of their special new pattern discount code.

I’m waiting until December 9th as that is just after the Fasten Off Yarn-a-long sale period ends and I can a proper ‘launch’ with the bells and whistles.

And shortly after this, likely around December 16th, Ceridwen will be launched as an individual pattern!

There will be a subscriber code for this too, so if you’re not a newsletter subscriber, but you’d like discount on either of these patterns, now is definitely the time to sign up!

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Speaking of the Fasten Off YAL, I cast on and completed my first purchased pattern from the yarn-a-long today! It’s a mosaic stitch coaster called Jasmine Tea Coaster by Arella Seaton, a designer I’ve not come across before. Mosaic stitch is a technique I’d never tried previously and once I understood the concept it was quite straightforward and very satisfying and the pattern was really well written and clear. I think this coaster will definitely be getting some friends.

One of the brilliant things about the database that has been put together for Fasten Off YAL is that it is fully searchable. You can search by designer, by type of pattern, by yarn, by technique and so on. You can also search by inclusivity features such as patterns for low vision. There are 109 designers taking part this year and ALL their available patterns are in the database, not just the ones they’ve included in the 25% discount period; that’s well over 4300 patterns for knitting, crochet, loom knitting and Tunisian crochet, with over 3500 eligible for a discount using the code FO2022!

Several designers are putting together collages of some of their designs, such as this one I posted yesterday. The globe/yarn ball in the centre with the crochet hook and knitting needle through it is the Fasten Off YAL logo.

Even if you don’t want to get involved with the games and social media side of the YAL, it’s a great resource and a wonderful way to find ‘new to you’ designers. AND the databases for 2021 and 2020 are still available to search as well.

I’ve joined seven extra rows of hexiflats on to my Beekeeper Quilt. That’s 161 hexagons added in total, all with the yarn ends from the joins at each corner hidden inside them. I don’t even want to think about how many ends of yarn that adds up to, but it is looking really good. I haven’t got a photo of the ‘updated version’ yet, but I’ll be sure to take one to show you next week.

At the beginning November when I set my monthly goals I wrote that (among many other things) I wanted to finish my socks, finish the Safe Space embroidery, spin at least three times a week and go out for a walk daily. I’ve achieved the spinning goal and the walking goal has been partly achieved. I’ve walked 20 days out of 29 so far. I’m not sure you’ll see much difference in the amount of yarn on the bobbin since the last photo of my spinning wheel – the photo on the right is from today.

The socks are still very much in the singular (and I haven’t finished that one yet…), so a definite fail on that goal and, while the Safe Space embroidery won’t be finished either, there has been a lot of progress! It now looks like this:

I think that when I go December’s monthly goals in a couple of days I will need to be a touch more realistic about what can be achieved. And remember that these things are in addition to my work goals!

Take care out there folks. K x

Something New

These beautiful stitch markers arrived today. The postman was a little concerned as the corner of the box was a bit squashed and water damaged, but I checked and everything inside was untouched! They are made by Yarnistry and they are super – I highly recommend having a look at her Etsy shop. There are lots of different items on offer – including glow in the dark stitch markers!

Last night’s workshop at Yarn O’clock went well. There were five lovely people there learning new ways to cast on and cast off and which ones work particularly well for different stitches or different purposes.

We covered four of the six samples on the notes I’d prepared for them: Garter stitch with a crocheted cast-on and a basic knitted cast-off, stocking stitch with a cable cast-on and a graft, ribbing with an alternate cable cast-on and sewn cast-off and lace with a long-tail cast-on and a Russian cast-off. We didn’t have time for the pinwheel cast-on and picot cast-off or the two-colour braided cast-on and cast-off – but we did only have two and a half hours!

They sound like simple things, but pairing up the right techniques with the right stitches makes such a difference to the finished piece of knitting and it never fails to delight me when something ‘clicks’ for someone or they learn a technique they then really want to use in a specific project.

It was the first workshop I’ve given in the shop itself since the before times and it was nice to be back, surrounded by yarn. In the early part of the year we were in the very chilly church hall, all spaced out and masked. Later in the year we moved to the Daniel Owen Centre cafe space and now we are back in the shop. We have smaller groups in the shop than in the cafe or the church hall, partly as a result of the lovely new arrangement of the shop and the beautiful new wooden counter that Anne has, but also to avoid overcrowding the space.

We were all so engrossed in what we were doing that once again I forgot to take photos of the event!

The next workshop I am giving is an Introduction to Two Colour Brioche Knitting on Thursday December 8th and I am determined to remember to get some pics then. This workshop will also be at Yarn O’clock in Mold, and there are a couple of spaces available if you would like to join us! Ring Anne at Yarn O’clock to book a place (01352 218082).

Fasten Off Yarn-a-long begins this Friday and I am delighted to be one of the participating designers again this year – and it begins with a pattern sale! Fasten Off YAL is an off-Ravelry event with a focus on patterns that are accessible (size-inclusive, colour-blindness friendly etc), and all designers have to have their patterns available on at least one platform other than Ravelry.

From November 25th until December 8th all my available individual patterns will have a 25% discount ON PAYHIP when you use the code “FO2022”. I am only putting the discount code onto Payhip, but as my website is linked to my Payhip store you can still use this discount code if you buy a pattern via my website. The only patterns it won’t work for are ‘Leaf & Vine’ cardigan as you can only buy that through KnitPicks until 2024 and the three eBook collections.

Have a look at the Fasten Off Yarn-a-long website – there is lots of info there about how you can get involved. There are games and prizes and all sorts of fun to be had. And because it’s a ‘yarn-a-long’ and not just a ‘knit-a-long’, many of the designers will be offering crochet designs, and maybe even loom knitting or Tunisian crochet designs!

You may have seen that Ceridwen has come home from The Knitter. I’m busy putting the pattern into my own house style and taking, editing and adding new photographs. It will be available as soon after the 8th December as I can manage, and there will be a new pattern discount exclusive to newsletter subscribers!

I’m also in the last stages of getting the new charts for Nevern ready to publish. Following some photography requests from KnitPicks, it occurred to me that the six squares all joined up make a jolly good lap blanket, so my plans are having a mini re-jig.

Rather than publishing the charts simply as an extension pack to Nevern Throw with the joining information only in the original pattern, I’m now thinking of publishing it as Nevern Lap Blanket (a little sibling to Nevern Throw), with all joining instructions included and highlighting the fact that the charts between the two patterns are completely interchangeable and all come from the Nevern Cross. What do you think?

There are several other things in the pipeline too and some exciting news about something I’m doing next March that I’m looking forward to sharing with you very soon!

Til next week then, take care out there, K x

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