Spanglish Socks are coming!

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My new sock pattern will be released this week! Now that I have uploaded all my new yarn colourways into the shop I can focus on something else for a little while. This sock pattern has been tech edited and test knitted, and I’m so very grateful to all my wonderful test knitters! It was lovely to see such a range of yarn colours knitting up my pattern.

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Socks knitted by (from l to r) Lilangelsg2, Cailleach412 and annele76 (Ravelry names)

Spanglish Socks will be released on Friday 25th May and for the first week of release you can buy the pattern with a 50% discount, no code needed at the Ravelry checkout. Going forward the pattern will also be available in my own Etsy shop and on LoveKnitting.com but the initial discount will only be available in Ravelry.

All of the lovely yarn!

If you are on my newsletter list or follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I had a bumper shop update last Friday. Seriously, it was huge! I hadn’t put yarn in the shop for aaaages, and so I had so many new colourways to upload it was a little overwhelming!

Anyway, the shop update went well and the first bundle of packages went out yesterday. This week I’ve been thinking about which of my yarns would work well in popular patterns. I’ll be writing a special blog post about my thoughts very soon.

My next shop update will be full of project bags and (if I have enough time for all the photos and writing!) stitch markers. I have oodles of new bags and marker sets which I made for Wonderwool and Wool@J13, so there will be plenty to tempt everyone in that update!

In knitting news I’m still plugging away on my Angelus Novus Cardigan. I think I’m about half way through the triangle which will form most of the back and part of the front of the cardigan. It’s such an interesting construction, I’m really looking forward to the next part just to see how it works! I’m using my own DK yarn in a whoopsie colourway – it was supposed to be my “Erin” colourway except the purple came out far too dark and so I decided that it needed to live with me forever! Oh darn! I’m really glad that we’re doing this Renee Callahan knitalong in our Knit-Tea Retreat group because I don’t think I would have made myself find time to knit this otherwise, and I’m loving it so far.

In non-knitting news, I’m determined to conquer the garden this year. I have sadly neglected it for the last couple of years due to a combination of bad weather and being very busy elsewhere, but I would love to have a colourful oasis to retreat into when the weather is good enough. So, I’ve decided to go out and work on it, just for half an hour each day to start, to try to regain some sort of order in the chaos. I battled some brambles on Sunday and as a consequence I currently look like a feral cat has attacked my arms. However, it’ll all be worth it in the end!

My next show is…Craft4Crafters at Exeter Westpoint

In a few short weeks, from the 15th to 17th February I will be exhibiting at Craft4Crafters in the Westpoint Arena in Exeter. I’m excited and nervous as I’ve not been to any multi-craft shows as a trader, so I’m not sure whether that means that the customers will want different things compared to the ‘normal’ yarn shows I vend at. Plus, this is a three day show and I’ve only ever done one or two day shows before.

I have some tickets up for grabs, very kindly provided by the organisers of Craft4Crafters so, if you’d be interested in getting your hands on a pair, keep your eyes and ears open. I’m most likely to announce that on my podcast first, although I’m sure I’d make a note on Ravelry and Instagram as well.

I’m right in the middle of my preparations at the moment. Lists have been made, stock has been taken (as in I’ve done a stock take, not suffered a burglary, touch wood!) and a tentative show prep diary has been laid out. I have oodles of gorgeous fibre to dye, and bundles of yarns clamouring for colour. Zoe and I are planning on opening pre-orders for a new kit at about the same time as the show and so I’ll need to prepare my samples ready to have on show. Plus I have to make all the other fun things that I make like the microskein earrings, stitch markers, progress keepers, project bags, miniskeins etc. Suffice to say, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy over the next four or five weeks!

One thing that I will need to do is draw up a rough stall plan sometime soon. My stall doesn’t vary hugely from show to show but there are always slight differences in the space I’m allowed to inhabit, and it will make set up so much faster if I can have a layout in mind before we get there. It saves me sitting on the floor in a flat spin trying to work out how to organise my display furniture!

Year of WIPs

I’ve decided that this year I will defeat my WIP* pile. I can think of nine without even trying, which is making my brain feel itchy! So, slowly but surely I will dial back those unfinished items and, as a pleasant side effect, reclaim many sets of knitting needles. I think that by the time I’ve finished I’ll be amazed by how many knitting needles I actually own!

First up for the year are my Monkey Socks. These started out as socks for me, but unfortunately my skin won’t tolerate the yarn and so my husband becomes the lucky recipient! When I was looking through my project bags for knitting needles to use for my Christmas Eve Cast On (another WIP, but so recent that it doesn’t make me feel guilty yet) I discovered a nearly finished sock and felt inspired to knit on. Weirdly, when I was first knitting the sock (over a year ago – this was a true hibernation) I couldn’t get the very simple pattern to stick in my brain. I think that’s why it took so long, and why I walked away from it for all that time. But within a very short length of time after picking it up again, the pattern was memorised and the other sock and a half have flown off the needles! I will show these socks off on my next podcast, and now I need to move on to another WIP.

I’ve got several part-finished jumpers. At least one will need complete frogging and restarting, or maybe a new pattern choosing to go with the yarn. One other was actually finished but doesn’t fit well and so needs me to rip back to the armholes and reknit the yoke (sob!). I’m fairly sure that my Tonks Togs jumper (started nearly 3 years ago, the shame!) only needs half a sleeve and a fairly quick yoke, so I think that might be high up on my to-finish list.

Blankets. Ah. Two sock yarn blankets, one intended to use as a wall hanging display at yarn festivals, about 75% done I’d estimate. Another which will be just for me is not even close to a quarter. I need to put my own sock yarn blanket where I can see it regularly so that I remember to add squares more often. Maybe I should set myself a target of a square every other day? I also have many part-made modular blankets. For these I think the best outcome would be if I made a couple of Franken-blankets out of all the assorted knitted squares that I have sitting lonely in bags all over the place. And finally I have a half finished fairisle blanket with an elephant parade motif. This was intended for the baby of a friend; she is currently expecting the next baby along! Oh dear!

Please someone tell me I’m not alone in this ridiculous amount of half finished knitted items? And please offer encouragement (carrot or stick, whatever works!) to get me through my attempt to whittle down the WIP mountain into something a little more manageable!

 

*Works In Progress

Happy New Year!

Happy new year and welcome to 2018! I hope it’s a wonderful year for you all. I’m really looking forward to all of the shows that I will be attending, and I’m so looking forward to having the opportunity to meet and chat with more of you through the year.

I’ve just overhauled my Events page, and I’m hoping to keep this up to date as and when I hear that I’ve been accepted to exhibit in new shows. Go and have a look and see if I’ll be vending anywhere that you are likely to visit!

I was wondering, what would you like to see more of on my website this year? Are you interested in the chatty blog posts, or maybe you’d enjoy links to things that I find interesting? Would you like to read journals of my preparations for and trips to yarn festivals? Detailed discussions about my current crafting projects? Leave me a comment and let me know what you would enjoy, and I’ll do my best to provide more of that.

Show Season

It has been so long since I wrote anything here, and for that I apologise. The last few months have felt so busy and have flown by in a heartbeat. I’m sure it’s probably the same feeling for you too! So much has been going on since my last podcast and post, but it would take forever to catch you up so let’s pretend that we just spoke last week, yes? I’ll catch you up from there!

Last Saturday, Zoe and I went to Yorkshire and visited Yarndale. It was my first visit to that show, but we had heard so much about it that we just really wanted to see it for ourselves. The journey was absolutely horrific; I think we were stuck on three different motorways at various points, and instead of the 4.5 hours that Google Maps told us it would take, it ended up being nearer to 8! So, starting off exhausted is not ideal, but the yarn fumes kept us going!

[I should let you know while I remember, Zoe recorded a vlog of our trip and it will be uploaded onto her Youtube channel tomorrow, if you’d like to see how we got on!]

We both bought some nice things, and I even had a separate budget to spend for our friend Ellie who couldn’t come with us! (I’ve yet to give her her yarn, but she’ll get a nice parcel in the post delivered to her cosy little smallholding sometime soon.)

I bought a skirt length of wool fabric from a local shop which had a stall, as well as a length of Liberty Tana Lawn which I plan to use to make myself a top. My bags were actually remarkably light on yarn. The only yarn I ended up buying was some bombproof Opal to make mansocks for Mr OwlAboutYarn.

We decided to make a weekend of it and so had tickets for both days of the show. The Sunday was definitely less frantically busy which meant that there was a bit more space to look around the stalls, and a little more time to talk to the people we knew. We set off early afternoon to head home, and finally got back late evening (after a disappointing stop at Tamworth services which was fully and hilariously chronicled by Zoe on her vlog – I think mild hysteria brought on by exhaustion had set in by then!!), ready to collapse into bed and sleep for half a week!

All in all, it was nice to see all the lovely people there (although we did somehow miss a couple of people I would have liked to chat with), but it wasn’t so easy to get around as Wonderwool Wales, and the nature of the built in pens meant that the stalls were very crowded in. We liked that the organisers had provided much more seating than I’ve become used to at a yarn festival, and the effort that people had gone to to crochet bunting, hearts, mandalas and bollard covers was outstanding. Queues for food were horrifically long, but I think that’s the same at pretty much any event like this that you go to.

My next event will be in a fortnight when I vend at West Wales Wool Show. It’s a one day event in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, and I went for the first time last year and loved it! This next fortnight will be spent dyeing, carding and sewing in preparation!