We had a great time at the Southern Wool Show last weekend. It’s a really nice venue – lots of free parking and plenty of space to move around the stands. It’s also our closest show which means we can stay at home (this also makes my dog very happy as he doesn’t have to go on holiday to the kennels!)
We launched our Christmas self-striping yarn, ‘Deck the Halls’ – which sold out very quickly (sorry! We dyed twice as much as last year’s Christmas special but it obviously wasn’t enough. It will be available in the shop soon).
I taught two Tunisian crochet beginner’s workshops which were both great fun – I really love Tunisian crochet (you can see my Amplitude shawl in the photo above)! I also launched my new ‘Do you TSS?’ pin badges.
Our ‘cake’ display – before Christmas sold out!
We are now busy dyeing up more yarn for our next show – which is Yarndale 🙂 It will be our first time there and we’re really looking forward to it. Hoping to have a special self-striping colourway for the show (more details when Andrew has decided what he’s doing), and more of our ‘Deck the Halls’! I’m also teaching at Yarndale but both my classes have been sold out for a while. If you want to know more about Tunisian crochet, pop by our stand and if we aren’t too busy, I’m happy to give a quick demo 🙂
The drive home from the show takes me over the Ridgeway – and I had to stop and admire this amazing view for a few minutes!
This was our second time as a vendor at Fibre East We had a larger space this year which was really nice – we had room to spread out a bit. We dyed a very special ‘Fibre East’ self-striping sock yarn, based on the Fibre East logo colours (and I even kept some to make myself a pair of socks with, yay!) We also launched our new 100% Superwash Merino sport weight yarn (300m/100g). I’m working on some new designs for this lovely, squishy yarn. The first one will probably be another Tunisian crochet something…….
I really enjoyed the show – we stayed in our little campervan on-site and had fun catching up with some friends in the evenings. Next year is Fibre East’s 10th anniversary! The dates are July 25th & 26th and we hope we will be there to help them celebrate 🙂
I always mean to write a blog post after we’ve done a show. I don’t always remember (must try harder!) but Wonderwool Wales 2018 was our first proper yarn show, so that means Wonderwool Wales 2019 was our ‘show’ anniversary! We were much better prepared this time as we knew what to expect and had a better idea of how we wanted to have our stand (although we still managed to spend hours setting up!) We’ve done 5 more shows since then (yikes!) and things have mostly got easier! We’ve worked out the best way to pack the van (not easy as it’s a small campervan, so there is a bed in the way!) and who does what when putting the stand together / taking everything down.
We had more stock this time and some extra gridwall too. I’m pretty pleased with how it looked – you get plenty of space at Wonderwool so I’m always worried it might look a bit empty!
This is our Launceston Lace and DK – with a beautiful sample kindly made for us by a friend (the pattern is ‘A Rainy Day‘ by Romi Hill). (Excuse my pretty rubbish photos – I did take my camera but I forgot to leave it with our stuff when I parked up my van and I’ll be honest – I just couldn’t face going to get it. I know!)
A glimpse of our Ashby DK, along with 2 sample hats (Rhinebeck and Diponaea – both by Woolly Wormhead). We’ve added a couple of new colours to our Ashby DK range and have plans for quite a few more just as soon as we have some time for testing 🙂 You can also see our Alum Bay Shawl and Childrey Cowl kits (I’ve just added these to our Etsy shop – we’ve only sold them at shows before now).
We got some new models just in time for Wonderwool 🙂 They take up a lot less room than our floor standing mannequin and they worked really well.
Our self-striping sock yarn display – we’ve now got just over 30 colourways and have started adding matching 25g mini cakes for some of them too. We try to have at least one new colourway for each show we do – I think we had 3 for Wonderwool. We’ve got some ideas to try out over the next couple of months and should have some more new ones dyed in time for Fibre East at the end of July 😉
Andrew’s favourite new colourway, launched at Wonderwool this year 🙂 I really need to get the sock machine out and make a sample pair (he wouldn’t let me have any yarn before the show!)
Last photo (I promise!) showing our fibre, needle snugs and Eucalan (and our very important coffee cups and knitting bags haha!) Don’t ask me how we fit everything in the van LOL!
On Saturday evening we walked into town and went to the Lion Hotel for a folk session. This is the second year someone has arranged a session for the Saturday evening (we didn’t go last year – too tired!) and it was really good. I took my tin whistle and managed to join in with a couple of tunes 🙂 There was some really excellent singing and playing – I hope it happens again next year!
I am off to North Wales next month to teach a Tunisian crochet workshop (we will also be having a trunk show on Saturday & Sunday – come and see our self-striping sock yarns!) The workshop is being held at ‘Find me Knitting‘, in Bettws-y-coed. You can find all the details here.
Come and learn the basics of Tunisian crochet! The workshop is suitable for beginners and although some knitting or crochet experience will help, it isn’t essential.
Although it has a reputation for producing rather dense fabric, you can make more delicate, lacey items as well. Tunisian crochet is great fun and when you work with thicker yarns, your pieces will work up really quickly!
My new Childrey Cowl pattern has been designed with beginner’s in mind and would make an ideal first project. I have included links to videos to help you with all the stitches and techniques and we will also have a kit available next month in our Etsy shop.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, check out my Alum Bay Shawl. Inspired by the different layers found in rock formations, a variety of Tunisian stitches are worked in one or two colours to create different textures and interesting patterning. The pattern also includes links to tutorial videos for all the stitches used. We sell kits for this pattern and they will be available on our Etsy shop next month.
Tunisian crochet is brilliant for making blankets, especially multi-coloured designs (like my Pencil Box Blanket shown below):
We had a fantastic time exhibiting at Unravel! I’d been to the show several years ago and really enjoyed it so I was really happy that the atmosphere was as lovely as I remembered.
We were greeted by a friendly black cat when we arrived to get set up and we saw him (her?) several times over the weekend, including for breakfast! He also came round a few times to inspect the stands when the crowds had gone home 🙂
Our space was upstairs in ‘Tindle Studio’. We knew we wouldn’t have space to take all our stock, so we had to leave one of our ranges at home (we took alllll the self striping yarn, of course!) but I think our stand still looked nice 🙂
We took our special ‘Easter Treats’ colourway and sold out on Sunday morning. It’s always really difficult to know if something is going to be popular or not! I think the mini eggs might have helped 😉
I failed miserably to take any other photos apart from this one of the entrance, decorated with skeins of yarn….
The show was busy on all three days, although Sunday afternoon was (relatively!) quieter and I managed to go and do a bit of shopping of my own. Yay! I actually had a list this time because I had wanted to buy a slipper kit and a few other things at Waltham Abbey show in January but failed! I don’t have photos but I bought a lovely purple wrist ruler from The Slow Wardrobe, a book and supplies to make some Dorset Buttons from Beaker Button and a slipper kit from Joe’s Toes.
A final inspection from the cat on Sunday, just as we finished packing up! Hopefully we will be able to go again next year and if you haven’t been, I really recommend putting the dates in your diary – Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd 2020. Farnham is a lovely town with some nice places to eat (although we failed to get in to a couple of places on the Saturday evening and ended up back at our hotel with a ‘picnic’ style supper from the supermarket and a bottle of gin! Note to self – book a table next time!)
We had a super early start on Sunday to drive over to Waltham Abbey for 7am to get set up for the day. I always have trouble getting to sleep the night before a show so it was no surprise that I woke at 3.20am! It was our first time doing this show and we really enjoyed it. We dyed a special self-striping colourway for the show (still a few cakes left over on our Etsy shop so go grab one if you like it because we won’t be dyeing any more in exactly the same colourway!)
My friend Helen came to see us at the show and took some nice photos (just as well because I only got a couple of snaps!) and also fetched us food and much needed caffeine! I forgot to take a photo before the crowds arrived so our self-striping yarn display is looking a bit untidy here!
My Alum Bay shawl got lots of attention during the show – it often confuses people as they aren’t quite sure if it’s knitting or crochet and that’s because it’s Tunisian crochet! I remembered to take along a Tunisian hook this time so that I could show people the basics. I’m working on some ideas for other Tunisian patterns, including something more suitable as a first Tunisian project. If you’ve done a little bit of Tunisian and know the basics, then you should be able to tackle this pattern – I have created short videos showing how to do all the stitches used so it’s a great way to learn some new stitch patterns.
Next year’s Waltham Abbey Wool Show is on the 19th January so get the date in your diary! Full details will be up on the WAWS website.
Our next show is Unravel This is a 3 day event, from Friday 22nd Feb – Sunday 24th Feb (only 4 weeks to go – eeek!) Tickets are on sale now! It’s our first time as exhibitors at Unravel and we’re really looking forward to the show. We’re planning to have a couple of new self-striping colourways ready to launch at Unravel and also plan to have our Launceston base (Alpaca / silk / cashmere gorgeousness!) available in 4ply, alongside our laceweight and DK versions. We’ll have hand dyed fibre, needle snugs and Eucalan wool wash too.
We had a lovely weekend at Fibre East – many thanks to the organisers for putting on such a great show and to everyone who came to see us! Friday was absolutely boiling hot which made for a ‘melty’ few hours getting our stand setup. Fortunately the weather was a lot cooler on Saturday and Sunday….and there was rain too but we stayed dry.
It’s always lovely chatting to everyone (ok, I might have done too much chatting – I didn’t have much of a voice left by Sunday afternoon!) and catching up with friends. I managed to have a wander round on Sunday to look at all the other stalls.
Our next show is the Southern Wool Show on September 1st at Newbury racecourse, 10am – 4pm. We will be bringing our self striping yarns, some of our other yarns and some fibre too. We will also have some Needle Snugs (anyone who uses fixed circular needles needs some of these!) and a supply of Eucalan wool wash. This is a new show, run by the same team who run ‘Spring into Wool‘ in Leeds. We are really looking forward to it – there will be 60 stalls, food, workshops and demos and there is plenty of free parking. It’s about time we had a wool show in this part of the Country! We have got 2 tickets for the show to give away – head over to our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram to find out how to enter our free draw to be in with a chance to win.
The latest issue of Knit Now magazine (Image copyright Practical Publishing) has arrived on my doorstep and my pattern made it to the front page 🙂 I worked on this design at the end of last year and knit the sample over Christmas & New Year. I love cables and went a bit crazy with this one but it really isn’t as difficult as it looks. I was thrilled to be partnered up with Skein Queen for yarn support and we settled on ‘Crush DK in a gorgeous green (called ‘Sweet Pear’).
There are, as usual, lots of lovely patterns in this issue. I really love the cardigan on the front page (‘English Rose Cardigan’ by Deepika). There’s also an interview with my friend Hannah (HeyJay Hand Dyed Yarns). You should be able to find a copy of Knit Now at your local supermarket (check here for ‘where to buy’). Be quick because this issue includes the super cute Paddington Bear pattern (and it sold out very quickly last time they included this!) as well as a really nice little kit with 12 pattern ideas. This is my third design for Knit Now magazine 🙂 I used the wonderful Stitchmastery software to create the charts and to generate the written instructions. Although it would of course be possible to create the design without using charting software, it would have taken me much longer to do and I really wouldn’t have fancied writing out all the instructions by hand.
(Image copyright Practical Publishing)
Designing has taken a bit of a back seat so far this year (although I have had 2 designs published in Crochet Now) as we have been concentrating more on building up our self-striping yarn range. I’m just starting to get back into working on some designs now. I still find it incredibly hard to think of knitting / crochet time as ‘work’ so I’m determined to change that and spend more time designing. I really enjoy doing magazine work – there is nothing like a deadline to get you to finish projects! Our next yarn show is Fibre East (July 28th/29th), followed by the Southern Wool Show (Sept. 1st)
I can’t believe it’s almost 3 weeks since Wonderwool Wales! We have been to this lovely show quite a few times as visitors but this was our first time exhibiting and I have to say I really missed being able to have a good look round at everything but I did still manage to buy a couple of things 😉
We are really happy with how our self-striping yarns look on our new ‘stepped’ display. This is the 4ft wide version – we have also now got a slightly smaller 3ft wide version which will be useful for shows where we have a bit less space.
Saturday was quite busy and the atmosphere was great 🙂 It was pretty chilly (I think it might even have been a bit warmer outside at times) and I was wearing a t-shirt, alpaca jumper, woolly socks and a DK weight shawl! Sunday was quieter and we both managed to have a bit of a look round. Andrew bought some yarn – 2 cones of 5ply from Propagansey (watch this space! I think this might be a long term project) and I bought myself a telephone wire basket from Injabulo and a cute ‘Knitting & Gin’ pin badge from Sue Stratford
Wonderwool is a lovely event – there is so much to see (and so much yummy food to keep you going!) – if you’ve never been, be sure to keep an eye on the website and get next year’s dates in your diary!
I recently tech edited a couple of patterns for Sarah Devantier of ‘Knit a bit of whimsy’. Knit in bulky yarn (the gorgeous ‘Tundra‘ from the Fibre Co), they make for a satisfyingly quick project and will be keeping you warm in no time! You can purchase both patterns on Ravelry: Barents Cowl and Barents Hat