Thursday 27 July 2017

Great London Yarn Crawl 2017

I have bought a ticket for my second Great London Yarn Crawl!! I'm not volunteering this year so I can see what its like to be a normal attendee. The Crawl is split into different routes with a range of craft shops. Most are knitting related but one or two are for fabric and embroidery. There are usually 3/4 shops per route and each route this year is named after a line on the London Underground. 

The best bit about a yarn crawl is the opportunity to sit and knit in each shop. It's ideal to get to know your group, exchange tips and ideas and enjoy being surrounded by people who love knitting as much as you do. 

The most exciting part of GLYC 2017 is that it will herald the first year anniversary of me learning to knit. When I went last year I still hadn't learnt how to cast on or even knit a wonky scarf - the inadvertent initiation project of every newbie knitter. I dived straight in with a yarn crawl (and as a volunteer!) hoping to absorb some knitty knowledge from everyone on my route. 

Wild and Woolly yarn shop on the Crawl last year

I certainly picked up a lot of enthusiasm from my group! 9 months on and I am knitting my fourth sock, a jumper and having a go at colourwork. Not too shabby! I have also discovered a community online and offline of some of the warmest and most welcoming people I have ever encountered.

There will be an after party and pop-up market after the Crawl taking place at the Central Hall, Westminster. I cannot wait! 

The tickets for the Great London Yarn Crawl are now sold out but they may have a waiting list (information here). 

Have you got your ticket already? Which shops are you looking forward to?

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Freedom! AKA the holidays have arrived!

Today is the 5th day of my long awaited three weeks off. I have been catching up on sleep, podcasts, more sleep and my languishing knitting projects in that order. It is wonderful. I have sat down to knit without the normal niggle that I should be working and found that half an hour can go by without realising. Does anyone else ever have that feeling?

I finally put pen to paper and worked out how many works in progress (WIP) I have. 
9 knitting WIPs including 4 lonely socks without partners, half a scarf, a hat, a jumper and a bunny that just needs to be sewn together. 
2 crochet WIPs, a crochet blanket (Moorland from Attic24) and a virus shawl. 
And last but not least a weaving sample that's been ignored for nearly six months.

I think my current time off might not be enough.... Better get cracking!

What are you working on? 

Wednesday 19 July 2017

PomFest 2017

Pom Pom Magazine has been running for five years this year and to celebrate they created PomFest - a three day yarny festival with talks and a pop up market. I didn't have a huge amount of free time over the weekend but I managed to go late in the afternoon on Saturday. I missed the talks but if there's another PomFest I would love to listen in!

The Pom Pom team were manning the door and giving out tickets. It was nice to put faces to the voices I hear on their podcast. They kindly gave us two tickets for the price of one as I'm a student and it was late in the day. Great start! If you haven't listened to the Pom Pom podcast aka the Pomcast you can listen to it on their website (here). They are really cheery and well worth a listen.

Mum had a quick loop of the vendors with me before heading for the cafe. She's not a knitter and unfortunately twisted her ankle on the way. A cup of tea and a tasty cupcake definitely helped. Its great taking her to events like this to show the innovation of the designers and indie dyers. She was very impressed with all the knit up samples and said she wished they were for sale as well. I have a feeling I'm going to have a few requests for Christmas this year including this gorgeous cardigan from the latest Pom Pom magazine:

And this one:

Yarn purchases! I'm trying to make everything I buy a bit more mindful so with that in mind (haha!) I think my stash enhancement was pretty controlled. I did however do a lot of window shopping of the other vendors for future yarn ideas. 

I have had my eye on all of the Coop Knits books and this one appealed to me most on the day. It was nice to talk to the author behind the books although I was too shy to ask her to sign it. Shyness was a running theme on Saturday. 

I'll do a full review of the book once I've had a proper read of it. Look at all the colourwork on the front cover!

I couldn't walk past the highly colourful Easy Knits stall without having a look. It was a riot of colours. Its at this point I wish I had taken photos of the actual Pomfest and the vendors. Learning point for my next yarn festival visit! The Easy Knits guys had a little sausage dog called Sweep (because his ears sweep along the ground I'm guessing). He almost received more attention than the yarn on the stall. Almost. I picked up this mini skein pack with the aim to buy more in the future. Their range of different yarns was impressive and I would definitely like to buy more of it.

I have been eyeing up the Tanis Fiber Arts pattern for multi-coloured cardigan called Lifesavers (link here). The main colour is a dove grey with regular stripes of different colours. Flicking through other knitters versions the cardigan is a blank canvas to try lots of different variations. Either rainbow or a spectrum of a particular colour or even monochrome. There are endless combinations. These minis are a great start.

With my next purchase, I have to start with the bag that came with them. A normal brown paper bag but the handles were wool!

This is 100% organic wool from the company Garthenor. I'm not entirely sure what makes some wool organic and not all wool? Will need to research that at some point. The wool was nice and crunchy but not scratchy and I cast it on as soon as I got home. (Can anyone say 'too many WIPs?') 

This is destined to be a hiking hat one day! Again I wish I had photographed the stall as it was so well put together. The lady running the stall was so so friendly and we had a great chat about different sheep breeds particularly the ones native to Wales where Garthenor is based. If you would like to try Garthenor yarn but want to feel it first, they are sponsoring the after party for the Great London Yarn Crawl 2017. More on the Crawl in a later post but tickets are nearly sold out so get yours ASAP.

And last but most certainly not least was a skein of yarn from Stranded Dyeworks aka Amy from the Stranded Podcast. Again another podcast thats well worth a listen and can be found on YouTube. Look for Amy Edwards Green and the podcast should appear. I have been listening to Amy's podcast for quite a while now and she is exactly the same person in real life as on her podcast - friendly, bubbly and full of energy!

This is a 4 ply yarn with 75% merino and 25% nylon so ideal for socks, shawls, jumpers or anything really. I would love a jumper out of this.

This is a lot of photos but I had to take a few different angles to capture the many facets of this yarn. I'll be interested to see what it looks like once its wound into a cake. 

And thats all of it! I briefly spoke to Amy from Stranded Dyeworks as well although I was too shy to ask for a photo with her. Maybe next time! Will definitely be working on my courage to talk to podcasters especially as they're always lovely when you do :)

Links for the shops mentioned:

Coop Knits -
Easy Knits -

Have a great week everyone!

Friday 14 July 2017

Wo-oh! Halfway there!

Wo-oh we're halfway theeeeere! Wo-oh living on a prayerrr!

Two exams down and one to go! The last exam takes place over two days so I'm tempted to count it as two really. A two day exam is just wrong on so many levels. I haven't posted on here for ages because revision has had to take priority leading up to my end of year exams. But by midday next Thursday I shall be free to relax and do whatever I feel like! I CANNOT WAIT. Can you tell I'm excited?

Knitting-wise a few things have been on the needles. I have taken some speedy photos - be prepared for a bit of blur!

I tried my first piece of colourwork:

The square is a little bit smaller than the plain knit square behind it so more practice needed (and blocking)! It was fun to try something new and get started with a new technique. This is from the Knit Now Enchanted Cottage KAL. You end up with enough squares to make a blanket. There are three square patterns in each magazine aimed at either beginner, intermediate or experienced knitters. Not entirely sure how many magazines you need to buy to complete the pattern, on five so far.

I've started a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks. The pattern is free and available on Ravelry.

Sitting on a beach definitely helps when knitting. This is the lovely West Wittering on the south coast of England. The sound of the sea cures everything and gives you a deep sense of calm. I love this place and if I could, I would be here everyday rain or shine. The yarn is Regia 4 ply in Mosaik Istanbul.

I have also started the Tin Can Knits Flax Sweater, or a jumper as we Brits call it, in worsted weight yarn . There's not much of it at the moment so photos will follow once its more substantial! I am knitting it with some acrylic yarn from Hobbycraft which is obviously not what I would have as my first choice. As a beginner knitter I'm not yet ready to splurge on a sweater quantity of more expensive yarn. It would add pressure to get the jumper exactly right because of cost rather than for the end product. Now I can enjoy discovering how to knit raglan sleeves, shaping and how to make a jumper in general. Its toasty here in the UK right now but it should be done in time for cooler weather in September. 

That's my five minute speedy update! Back to the revision books! How has your July been so far?

I shall leave you lovely people with a picture of Harvey in his normal state of being - asleep and content:

Charlotte and Harvey x