moving on..

Hello everyone, I’m so sorry I have been so quiet since I came back from New York, this year has been a bit tough so far but in two days I leave for Edinburgh Yarn Fest and I am. so. excited..!! I thought I’d do a quick blog and remind you all that after Friday when the new patron and pattern for Shetland Wool Week is announced at EYF the Crofthoose Hat pattern will no longer be available for free!

look at all those happy hats and people, don’t you just want to make one? Well, you better download it now! I will be doing a bit of pattern rejigging and then will have it available to buy from my Ravelry store in a month or so. As an aside, I still have a couple of Crofthoose pattern ideas, do you think I should let it go and move on or would you be ok with me developing them..? Let me know.

Im sad that my year of being patron has come to an end but I will always be so grateful for how much it has helped me, my confidence and my skills in designing, I also have all the people who read here to thank for that too so thank you! I finally feel I am getting into the groove again with designing and have been working on a new…. yoke (of course) pattern:

I am hoping to have the pattern out in April all going well so keep an eye out for that! I will probably wear it to EYF on Friday so if you see me come and say hi!, actually if you see me either of the days say hi! I am really looking forward to catching up with friends old and new and doing some serious damage to my bank account. I have been saving up since christmas so I feel a spending spree coming on..

I have been having some family stuff going on which I won’t go into detail about because for one It’s all a bit boring actually and for another, it’s not my problem so probably shouldn’t go around blabbing about it, but anyone who has a parent or family member with addiction issues will understand. I swing from it completely taking over my thoughts and draining me of creativity to being able to carry on ok but at the end of the day I have to live my life too and things like going to Edinburgh will really help take my mind off things!

So hopefully I’ll be back soon with maybe a EYF haul, would that be good? Speak soon xx

new york

Hello everyone, I’m sorry I haven’t been back sooner to tell you about New York, I thought I’d try something a bit different with the gallery above so you could see some of the pictures I took (just on my phone) while I was away. I also filmed a video today with a haul and my thoughts about being in New York, It all gets a bit rambly at points but I hope you like it!

Things mentioned:

Purl SohoLinen Quill and Alpaca Pure Helix

Do Ewe Knit Hedgehog Fibres Chubby

Yarn CupboardWoolfolk Tynd

Upscale Hare

Loome

Dustys Vintage Buttons

Prado Delano

Eric – Sticks + Twine podcastRib magazine

Michele Wang

Romi Hill

Gudrun Johnston

Mary Jane Mucklestone

Lori Graham

Jaclyn – Brooklyn Knitfolk Podcast

Kirsten – Voolenvine

Bristol Ivy

Up Helly Aa

2016

Hello and Happy New Year! thank you for the kind comments on my last post, today I thought I’d take a look back over 2016 and some of my knitterly escapades..

This year was definitely a year of designing for me, that begun with my Crofthoose Hat and the announcement that I would be 2016’s Shetland Wool Week Patron

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I am so proud of my hat and truly feel it will be one of my most favourite designs forever, this of course, led to my going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival to launch the pattern.. (I can’t wait to go again in 2017!)

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I also designed a few more patterns using the Crofthoose Motif, the Crofthoose Jumper, Bairns Crofthoose and Crofthoose Mitts which were featured in the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2016thumbnail_SWW Annual vol.2_cover IMG_8167 IMG_8538

I also released two other patterns, the Hap Cowl and Flora Mitts, both contained skills I previously was afraid of – lace and fingers!

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I have been so grateful and pleased with the response from my designs this year, it has really helped my confidence with designing and I hope to do much more in 2017, some are already in the pipleline!

Of course one big highlight for me this year was Shetland Wool Week, it was a great privilege to be asked to be patron and It was another great week even though I was so busy!

the wool week banner at the museum

the wool week banner at the museum

crofthoose hats

crofthoose hats

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I also did lots of posts with photos which I really enjoyed this year, from clipping Sheep in Bressay, Lambs, the Whalsay Exhibition, Voe Show.. the list goes on.. (I encourage you to scroll through the blog and look at older posts, theres too many to link to!)

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Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog and comments, I really appreciate it! I hope things continue to grow and get better in 2017, In just under two weeks I am doing my last thing as the 2016 Wool Week patron by heading to New York for Vogue Knitting Live, yes me – going to New York!! So ill be sure to be back soon after it to tell you all about it,

thank you, xx

winter knitting video

Hello! I thought it was time for another video, apologies about the lighting and shadows but it’s winter now in Shetland and the show must go on! I hope you enjoy it :)

things mentioned:

Gamaldags

Crofhoose Vest

Adelaide Yoke Pullover

Woollens

Knitting From the North

Big Book of Mittens

Knitted Cable Sourcebook

Westknits Bestknits

A Shetlanders Fair Isle Graph Book

Gentle Knitter Podcast

Charm of It Podcast

 

shetland wool week 2016

Hello! I’m sorry I haven’t posted sooner after Shetland Wool Week, what a crazy week it was! I felt like it just flew by. I did two classes and a talk and of course I was working at J&S the whole week. I really did try but failed to take too many pictures but I thought I’d share some of the pictures I did get through the week..

the wool week banner at the museum

the wool week banner at the museum

some of my knitwear at my class on the Sunday

some of my knitwear at my class on the first Sunday

a few photos in the new Sheila McGregor cabinet

a few photos in the new Sheila McGregor cabinet at the Museum

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there were a couple of crofthooses at my class on Sunday

Oliver and his Oh Henry chocolate bar, how we laughed!

Oliver and his Oh Henry chocolate bar, how we laughed!

Crofthoose Hats

Crofthoose Hats

one of my favourite things about Wool Week - te Annual!

one of my favourite things about Wool Week – the Annual!

Sunday Teas

Sunday Teas

some of my dads pictures at the Makers Market

some of my dads pictures at the Makers Market

a naturally dyed and handspun crofthoose hat and mitts set, it was so soft!

a naturally dyed and handspun crofthoose hat and mitts set, it was so soft!

organic hap at Vaila Fine Art

organic hap at Vaila Fine Art

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mini haps by Ina Irvine and prizewinning fleece

crofthoose hats

crofthoose hats

It was really a great week, but so incredibly busy – I’m still getting over it! The shop (J&S) was mental everyday but its such a good way to see everyone that’s up that we probably met almost everyone! I was quite surprised how shy I felt though, I suppose I’m not used to doing speeches and talks although I was really pleased with how they went* it was probably just the quantity of people I was meeting that make me feel quite overwhelmed. Also I was ridiculously nervous for my speech at the opening ceremony..

I can’t really put into words how weird (in a good way!) it was to see so many Crofthoose Hats, at the opening ceremony they asked everyone who had one to hold it up – I couldn’t believe how many I saw, I am still so happy with the design and really proud of what I have done this year. Being the Wool Week patron has given me a confidence in my skills and helped me to believe maybe I can do this designing stuff…

Anyway I’m going to have a bit of a rest and do some selfish knitting, speak soon!

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*I’m working on putting my talk into an article for those who were vexed it wasn’t streamed so ill let you know when I know more!

flora mitts

A few weeks ago, I shared a photo on Instagram of a yoke cardigan I had got from eBay, it emerged when I bought it that I had purchased it from my auntie Louise, in Shetland!

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However I loved the colours in the yoke and particularly the mixture of moorit and blues which I had never really seen before, it gave me the idea to try the motif and colours on a pair of fingerless mittens.

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Doing my pattern for the Wool Week annual (Crofthoose Mitts) had made me feel much more comfortable about doing the fingers on mitts and it was really easy to translate the yoke motif for the gloves. Many yoke patterns and glove patterns follow the same size Norwegian star so I did a bit of fiddling on illustrator until I was happy with the design then hit my stash of 2ply Jumper Weight to try and match all the colours which I was able to do quite easily! The original yoke is quite felted so the colours look even nicer and blended but even so I was pleased with what I came up with.

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The mitts are knit from the cuff up with an afterthought thumb, you knit the thumb stitches in a waste yarn, slip them back onto the needle then reknit them in pattern. After you have finished you go back and unpick the waste yarn and pick up the stitches for the thumb. The fingers are knit by placing all the stitches on stitch holders and picking up stitches for the front and back before joining in the round. They are a bit fiddly but there are not that many stitches and hardly any rows so it doesn’t last long.

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Although I use 7 colours in the pattern it would be equally effective in less colours and it’s perfect for using up odds and ends of jumper weight. I like to knit my fair isle on 3.5mm needles but for these, I went down to 3mm for a more dense and warm fabric. If you would like to knit your own Flora Mitts you can purchase the pattern on my Ravelry page here!

I will most probably/definitely now not be back here until after Shetland Wool Week, it begins a week on Sunday and I am very nervous and excited – so keep me in your thoughts and wish me good luck with my speech and talk and classes – eek!

Speak soon xxx

hap cowl

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Hello! I’m back, sooner than I thought with my new pattern! It is a cowl, which if you know me you know I wear most days. It is inspired (obviously by the name) by Shetland Haps. Haps seem to have been everywhere lately, what with Kates book and the numerous Hap knit-a-longs there have been. Last year I made a Half Hap, from Gudrun’s brilliant Hansel pattern and that planted a seed in my head about the construction of a Hap inspired pattern.

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My favourite thing about Haps are that the elements of it are not complicated at all, but the final thing is extremely effective to look at and makes you feel like a smarty pants. I decided to use the garter stitch and simple lace elements in my cowl, Now, I’m a Shetlander who as a group avoid purling If we possibly can, so the pattern is knit flat and then sewn into a cowl. (this means you can keep the piece as a scarf too if you like (a two in one pattern… truly a bargain….!)

I am constantly inspired by nature in Shetland and there are two distinct things which inspire me, the land and the sea. These two things are both represented in my colourways, of which I provide two in the pattern.

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My first colourway was inspired by the sea,sand and cliffs of Shetland, I use J&S 2ply Jumper Weight in the pattern for both colourways and this one uses shades 54 (grey) FC61 (blue grey) FC45 (camel) FC43 (beige) and 202 (light fawn) I actually did quite a lot of swatching and samples (shock horror, I know – I’m learning!) before I decided on the order and manner of colour changing

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I was so pleased with how my first sample came out but I still had an idea for another colourway inspired by my other favourite thing – the land.

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This year the heather on the hills in Shetland has been so lovely, it’s starting to fade now but the colours are still beautiful which was my inspirations for the second colourway of the pattern. This sample uses FC58 (brown heather) FC55 (purple) FC38 (orange) 1284 (light pinky mix) and 202 (light fawn) The actual knitting is not hard at all but I asked Sandra that I work with if she would knit up this sample for me which she did!

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I used the good old yarn wrap technique to decide on this colourway which for these kinds of patterns is a fail safe way to help plan out colour changes. You simply wrap and stick the yarn in the same amount of rows as you will be knitting and it gives you a great visual as to whether the colours will work or not. I knew I was happy with the lace placement so for my second colourway before I got Sandra to knit it I just did a yarn wrap.

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So, if you like my Hap Cowl pattern you can now purchase it on Ravelry here! I’m really enjoying trying to do more designs and I hope you like it!

Speak soon :) xxx

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