Events

Fibre East 2019

Although this happened two weeks ago, I wanted to put up a quick post of my Fibre East experience. In the last two weeks I have packed up all my things and moved across the UK to live with my boyfriend and start a new job. Exciting times! But onto the fibre festival:

I didn’t have a full day to explore Fibre East and I think you definitely need a good few hours to see every nook and cranny of this place. Set in a school in Hertfordshire, just north of London, Fibre East keeps growing. I last went two years ago and I think it has at least doubled in size since then.

Entry costs £10 and you’re provided with a map of the place. You will need this as the stalls are spread out in different halls and buildings around the school.

The first building I entered had various guilds and societies from the local area including the knitting’s and crochet guild with a table covered in knitted and crocheted items. Just look at these mice!

Then there was the Northants Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

They had an amazing stall displaying naturally dyed yarn and lots of different looms with samples on them. You could even try weaving yourself! It’s inspired me to have another try at weaving and attend my local guild in Winchester.

Another interesting stall was from British Wool. There were huge wraps of wool in boxes, on tables and hanging from coat racks.

Unfortunately because this was a few weeks ago I can’t remember all of the stall holders whose booths I photographed. One of those moments you’re sure you’ll remember all of them!

Although you can’t help but recognise the John Arbon area. Walls of colour in either fibre or yarn. With beautiful samples.

I’m trying to make a conscious effort this year to save money and not buy random skeins. I loved the jumper above but I don’t think the colours were quite right. I wandered away to think about it and spotted another jumper I couldn’t walk away from. This is from Wensleydale Longwool yarns. Sadly their shop was flooded in the recent flash floods in the north of England. The ladies running the stall were delightful and I hope not too much of their stock was damaged.

I instantly bought the kit which was my single purchase from the show. The colours stand out enough to see the colour work but blend together beautifully from a distance.

A few other things I want to buy in the future are some yarn from Shropshire Ply:

This specific red from Skein Queen that caught my eye and wouldn’t let go:

And this jumper in Aran weight yarn. The design is Brookins by Olive Knits and the yarn is from Sherwood Yarn (thumb helpfully over the website!).

And finally all of the colours from Triskelion Yarns!

It was a great day of wandering around, chatting to stall holders and hearing the story behind their yarn. I can’t wait to buy more skeins once I’ve put a dent in my current stash!

Did you go to Fibre East?

https://kcguild.org.uk

https://www.wsd.org.uk

https://www.jarbon.com

https://www.wensleydalelongwool.co.uk

https://www.skeinqueenyarns.co.uk

https://www.triskelion-yarn.com

Have a great week x

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Summer knitting

The weather has turned a corner and is absolutely glorious. The tourists are filling up the sea front and filling up on chips and ice cream.

On my days off I have been walking around the corner from my flat to this view:

And having my morning coffee.

I finally finished the wedding shawl for my best friend and only took one photo! On the blocking mats as well. Hopefully more photos will appear soon from my friend.

One or two people have mentioned it looks a bit like a manta ray.

Now it’s done I’m picking up previous projects such as a small blanket for my cousin:

And the cardigan for my Mums birthday (which was last September….)

No photos just yet although the local stray cat approves of the yarn.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! X

Events

Craft Events

Welcome to the events page! Below is a list of all the events I have found so far and will keep adding as I find them. I hope this helps you find the perfect event for you!

May

4-5 Knit and Stitch Show, Penrith, Cumbria

11-12 Buxton Wool Gathering, Buxton, Derbyshire

8-12 London Craft Week, London

18-19 Wool @ Junction 13, Staffordshire

25 Festiwool, Watford, Hertfordshire

25-26 Festiwool, Hertfordshire County Show

27 Shipston Wool Fair, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire

June

1 Leeds Wool Festival, Leeds

9 World Wide Knit in Public Day, everywhere!

9 Aberdeen Yarn Festival, Aberdeen

7-9 The Contemporary Craft Festival, Devon

14-15 Woollinn, Dublin, Ireland

15-16 The Wool Monty, Sheffield

28-29 Woolfest, Cockermouth, Cumbria

July

13-14 Yarningham, Birmingham

17-21 Super Summer Knit Together, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

27-28 Fibre East, Bedford

August

2-4 Woolness Festival, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

3 Yarnfolk Festival, Whitehead, Northern Ireland

9-10 British Wool Show, York, Yorkshire

16-17 Ewefest, Dundee

24 Wool at Portsoy, Portsoy

31-1 Southern Wool Show, Berkshire

Internationwool, Anglesey, 2020

September

Great London Yarn Crawl, London

7-8 Cornish Festival of Yarn, Penzance, Cornwall

7-8 Perth Festival of Yarn, Perth

13-15 The Handmade Fair, Hampton Court, Surrey

28-29 Yarndale, Skipton, Yorkshire

28-6 Shetland Wool Week, Shetland

October

5-6 Knit City, Vancouver, Canada

5-6 Masham Sheep Fair, Masham, Yorkshire

10-13 The Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London

12-13 The Bakewell Wool Gathering, Derbyshire

19-20 Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival, New York, USA

16-20 The Lochness Knit Festival, Lochness

24-27 MADE, Marylebone, London

26-27 The Big Textile Show, Leicester

26-27 The Kendal Wool Gathering, Kendal Cumbria

November

2-3 Yarnporium, London

2-3 Stitch Fest Southwest, Totnes, Devon

9 Festiwool, Hitchin, Bedfordshire

7-10 The Knitting and Stitching Show, Dublin, Ireland

17 Nottingham Yarn Expo, Nottingham

The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate, Yorkshire

22-23 MADE, Brighton

30-1 MADE, St. Mary’s, London

30-1 Brighton Art Fair, Lewes, West Sussex

December

2020

January

20 Waltham Abbey Wool Show, Essex

February

21-23 Unravel, Farnham, Surrey

27-1 The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, London

March

Cornwoolly, Redruth, Cornwall

Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Edinburgh, returning 2021

28-31 MADE, Canary Wharf, London

April

Spring into Wool, Leeds, dates tbc

Wonderwool Wales, Builth Wells, dates tbc

Uncategorized

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter!

We have had fantastic weather here in the UK! It feels more like June or July than April and you can see the change in people here.

On the knitting front I am getting closer and closer to finishing my Iara Shawl for my best friends wedding gift. 18 rows to go and the bind off! I’m hoping to finish this week so I can wash and block it next weekend. I have enjoyed this pattern a lot. The slip stitches and yarn overs have been easy but produce a really effective look.

And will hopefully look even better once it’s blocked. It’s hard to take photos at the moment as the long rows are bunched up on the needles.

My only slight complaint is at two points in the pattern where it states ‘continue as before keeping the repeats central’. Admittedly it took more brain power on my part than it probably would for most people but I do like patterns that make it clear what I should do. Two extra lines describing the stitches would have been very helpful. Saying that, I would definitely knit this again but with my added notes from this project.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, this is the Iara Shawl by Renée Callahan and is a paid pattern available on Ravelry. The link to my version can be found here.

I hope you have had a wonderful Easter weekend. Have you been knitting?

Mini Adventures

Weekend away

This weekend I did something a bit different and headed up to Oxfordshire to see my boyfriend W’s brother and sister-in-law. His brother was performing in an amateur dramatics play set in WW2 on the Saturday night leaving the rest of the weekend free. It was beautifully sunny on Saturday so we headed out to Blenheim Palace which was about half an hour’s drive from where we were staying.

Most famous as the birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is the only non-Royal, non-episcopal residence with the title of ‘palace’. The land was awarded to Churchill’s ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough, by Queen Anne after a victory at the Battle of Blenheim in Bavaria, Germany during the Spanish War of Succession. The palace is impressive not just in its size but the sheer level of detail everywhere you looked. Every corner and flat surface was filled with statues, sculptures and decoration.

Entering into the entrance hall, the decoration overload continued. Every room had incredible ceiling paintings or tapestries and paintings adorning the walls.

Blenheim Palace entrance hall ceiling

I really liked the table decorations in the main dining room which had Easter eggs in all the silver ready for Easter weekend in a weeks time.

Easter time!

My favourite part of the Palace was the library. Rows upon rows of books and very comfy looking chairs that have clearly had many years of use. If they weren’t behind heavy red velvet barriers I might have sat down!

At the end of the library was an organ.

There was a volunteer playing at the time, pressing all the different buttons, pulls and keys just to play a simple piece. I have to admit, I’m not sure I would appreciate a full organ recital while trying to read in the library!

At the other end was a statue of Queen Anne commissioned by the first Duchess of Marlborough as a tribute and thank to the Queen after her death. I took a close up image of the Queen’s dress – the detail chiselled into the marble is exquisite. You can almost imagine Queen Anne appearing from the statue itself.

We took a little amble around the grounds but it was getting chilly by this point and we slowly walked back to the cars.

We bumped into a few locals on the way back.

Back at the hotel we had amazing grounds near our room. On Sunday after breakfast we had a wander around.

We watched a bit of duck yoga, perfect for Sunday zen time.

It’s been an amazing weekend getting away from work and going somewhere different! The play on Saturday night was great and W’s brother performed really well. It was lovely to go and support someone’s passion in acting.

How was your weekend? X

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In the garden

The weather in the UK has been yo-yoing up and down but gradually getting warmer and sunnier. I live on the south coast and the nicer weather reaches us that bit quicker. When I moved back in January, one of the highlights of my new place is a little courtyard at the back of the building. It’s a mini suntrap and I’m looking forward to sitting there with a cup of tea and my knitting. Just need a little bit more sun.

In the meantime, I have been trying a bit of gardening! I went along to my local gardening centre and wandered around looking at all the different plants and shrubs and other green things. I am a complete novice but excited to have a go and see if I have green fingers.

I bought a small tray of what I thought were sugar snap peas but were actually broad-beans (or broadband as autocorrect keeps trying to change it to). Two sweet peas which are meant to produce pretty flowers, three strawberry plants and completely at random – an orange tree. As you do. *

That was about a month or so ago and they’re all still alive! ** I call that a win so far. Here’s how they are doing:

Broad beans
Broad beans

More broad beans

The first strawberry!

Sweet peas, no flowers yet

Orange buds

They’re doing really well and the warmer weather is definitely helping. I can’t wait to see if I get any produce. Home grown always tastes better, yum!

* I may regret that last purchase when I next move in four months

** well, so far

Knitting · Travel

Travel Knitting

It has been a great week this week!

Last Saturday I flew off on my first holiday since I started my job last August. My boyfriend and I booked a week in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. Although the evenings were slightly cooler, the days were warm. Perfect for cocktails and not moving too far from the pool!

The view from our room:

Daytime sea view

Nighttime Sea View

The ocean changed colour everyday with so many different shades of blue. There’s something about the sea that is so soothing and helps reset everything.

In the opposite direction were the mountains:

Despite the sunny days, those clouds never moved from the mountains.

I even managed to bring a project with me that matched the holiday!

Iara Shawl by Renée Callahan

Close up!

I have enjoyed every stitch of this project so far.

This is the Iara Shawl by Renée Callahan, a designer based in East London. The yarn is by Debonnaire Yarns and is Debonnaire sock shimmer in Pacific and Tropic Blue (perfect names right?). It’s 75% merino, 20% nylon and 5% stellina. So sparkly.

This shawl is going to be my wedding gift for my best friends wedding in May. The colours match her bridesmaids dress and I am so excited to give it to her when it’s finished. Now the only challenge is to get it finished on time!

I’m still on the way home, this time on the train and working on the shawl. And catching up on the latest series of Queer Eye, love this show. I love the positivity and encouragement these guys bring to every person on the show.

Queer Eye and knitting – perfect

Yes Queen!

Can you spot the scrappy paper in the photo above? That’s my knitting plan for the Iara. It’s messy and has stitch number scribbles all over it but it really helps me keep track of where I am in the pattern. I like having each pattern row numbered to make it easier to know what I should be doing. Without giving away the pattern, it has two sets of repeats which are straightforward to follow but due to the way it’s laid out it’s easy to lose your spot.

One designer who has really resolved this and helps the knitter is Helen Stuart. Each of her patterns has each row written out and a percentage system so you know how much of the pattern you have completed.

How do you keep track of your patterns?

Have a lovely Sunday x