Yarn Shop Day – This Saturday!

This Saturday (3rd May) is Yarn Shop Day!

Yarn Shop Day 3rd May 2014

Launched by Let’s Knit Magazine, Yarn Shop Day is part of their ‘Love Your Yarn Shop’ campaign and lots of yarn shops across the country are holding special events to help you get to know your yarn shop better.  You can find events happening in your local area here.

Yarn Shop Day 3rd May 2014

I’m lucky enough to have the best job a knitter can have, working at my independent LYS (local yarn shop), Stash Fine Yarns in Chester (I work part time and today is one of my days off, so don’t worry I’m not skiving!) and we’re really excited about the event we’re holding this Saturday!

So what’s going on at Stash on Saturday? 

We’ll be open from 11am – 5pm for all this:

Louisa Harding is visiting us in the afternoon with a trunk show!  She’ll be bringing a selection of her design samples from her latest books and will be available to sign her books too.  Louisa has visited us before during her Himalayan Hiking Hats campaign to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and she’s really friendly and enthusiastic so I’m sure you’ll all enjoy meeting her.

Andy from the Chester Wool Company (who supply independent hand dyers with undyed yarns) will be joining us too and he’ll also be bringing along some yummy Fyberspates yarns!

We’ll all be demonstrating knitting techniques during the day, such as mattress stitch, magic loop, Jeny’s Surprisingly stretchy bind/cast off, Kitchener Stitch and more, there’ll be refreshments, goodie bags and a raffle.  It’s sure to be a good day, so do come and join us if you’re in the local area.

You can find directions to Stash Fine Yarns including a map here

So why are local yarn shops important?  Well, as a knitter, if you are lucky enough to have a local yarn shop they really are an invaluable resource and it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.  Who knows, there might be one near you that you didn’t know about, so why not check here, or do an internet search on ‘yarn shop (insert your area/town/city here)’, you could be surprised!

Reasons to Love Your Yarn Shop:

  • Get to feel the textures of the yarns

This can make all the different to your project, enabling you to pick the right yarn to really make your project sing.  Plus, the more yarns you get to know, the easier it will be to choose the right fibres for your next project.  Also if you want advice about whether or not the yarn you’ve fallen in love with will suit the project you want to make, you can get it, which brings me to my next point….

  • Help from knowledgeable staff

Yarn shop staff are as passionate about knitting as you are!  We’re always interested in what you’re making and personally I love being able to give other knitters help with their projects.  If you’ve bought a pattern at your LYS and you’re having trouble with it there is usually someone on hand who can explain that new cast on, or advise you why you need that circular needle and which length you should buy for the collar on that cardigan.

  • Advice on yarn substitutions

You know how it is.  You really love that pattern and you’re desperate to make it, but either the yarn has been discontinued, or isn’t available in this country, or just isn’t a yarn that you like (maybe you’re allergic to wool, or don’t the colour range).  But you still have to knit that pattern.  What to do?  Why not ask for help at your LYS?  We know a lot about our yarn ranges and can usually show you plenty of different options for suitable substitutions, and make sure you have the correct amount of yarn to complete your project (remember, you need the same number of metres of yarn, not the same number of grams, but don’t worry, we’ll do all the maths for you).

  • Colour matching

If you fancy making a cardigan to go with that new dress, or a pretty shawl to go with a wedding outfit, or maybe you just want to see if that colour will really suit your skin tone, seeing the yarn in the flesh is essential!

  • Choosing patterns more efficiently

If you’re just starting out as a knitter, why not ask the assistant to point you in the direction of patterns suitable for your current skills?  Most shops will have a range of patterns for all abilities.  Whether you’re looking for a christening shawl or an Aran style sweater, if you ask an assistant to help you find what you’re after, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

  • A second opinion

Which yarn is more hardwearing?  Will this one have good stitch definition?  Which pattern is easier to knit?  Which needles will suit my style of knitting best?  Your yarn shop can help you with all these questions!

So if you can, go and support your local yarn shop this Saturday!  We’d love to see you 🙂

Lottie x

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A slow news day…..

…. or even a slow news week is common in Britain around this time of year.

Parliament doesn’t meet during this month, so on a domestic rather than international news front there is usually less in the way of important news.  As a result this time of the year is often known as silly season, the time of the year when every journalist desperate for a story digs out a report on someone finding a picture resembling Jesus in a piece of toast, or a new sighting of the Loch Ness monster (particularly useful as it is hard to either conclusively prove or disprove, so the speculation can go on for days), an egg with ten yolks, or perhaps the world’s oldest living chicken or fattest cat.

Well today I thought I should write a post, but the trouble is I don’t really have anything much to tell you about.  I’m working on a new design at the moment, but it has to remain secret (though I am really pleased with it and would love to tell you all about it!) and as a result I’m rather lacking in both news and time to write something entertaining.

So as I don’t have a blurry photo of Nessie to show you, I thought I’d better show you some fun knitterly stuff that I’ve acquired recently 😉

When I started the new design I’m currently working on I realised that all my project bags were full, so my Charm mittens (that are nearly finished and just need a thumb and seaming – shh! don’t mention the KAL!) were unceremoniously jettisoned from one of my project bags to make room.  Something had to be done.  So I went on the Nicsknots website to order a new project bag:

Nicknots project bag

Photo Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

Pretty isn’t it?  The print is fun and makes me happy just to look at it.  I like bright cheerful colours 🙂

At this point it is important to note several things.

The project bag is already full.

The project bag does not contain the new design, but another idea I’m sort of swatching/testing out.

The Charm mittens are still languishing somewhere, not in a project bag.

All my project bags are still full.  (Yes, one of them has half a sock in it, but I won’t mention it if you don’t.)

*sigh*

While I was looking covetously at carefully choosing a project bag, I came across something else that was irresistible….. a crochet hook roll with sheep on!  Sheep!

Nicsknots hook roll

Photo Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

I’m a sucker for anything knitting related with sheep on, so I just couldn’t resist it, especially when I realised that I don’t actually have a case for my crochet hooks, so buying this was completely justified (and it has sheep on – this is what I call a win-win situation).  😉

We also had this book arrive at work, ‘A Knitted Sock Society’ by Rachel Coopey:

A Knitted Sock Society

Photo Copyright Charlotte Walford 2013

So, in my continued quest to force myself to love sock knitting, I bought a copy, along with a skein of pretty Araucania Ranco Multy.  Rachel Coopey’s designs are amazingly detailed and well thought out, so if anything will make me love sock knitting, this book will (the yarn is probably too busy for any of these designs but I just loved the colours – stash busting FAIL – again).

That’s it for now I’m afraid!  Perhaps I’ll have more to tell you next week!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find an egg with ten yolks laid by the world’s oldest chicken and put it on a piece of toast that resembles Jesus!

Lottie x

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013!

knitting and crochet blog week 2013

Just a quick post to tell you that (all being well) I will be at least attempting to participate in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 <— full details of this event can be found on www.eskimimimakes.com or by clicking this link.  I don’t usually post every day due to the pesky constraints of time, so this will be a bit of a challenge……eek!  Wish me luck!

First post tomorrow!  🙂

Lottie x

Bluefaced Open Weekend (or ‘Andyfest’!)

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to a very exciting event with some of my friends from Stash, the Bluefaced Open Weekend,  (or ‘Andyfest’ as it has become known on Ravelry!).

Now I know some of you will be thinking ‘More yarn and knitting things?  What a busman’s holiday!’ and while I suppose you may have a point (and I did see and chat to lots of lovely Stash customers – it was lovely to see you all!) I did thoroughly enjoy myself, and of course, I may have sucumbed to temptation/been weak willed bought a small cough amount of yarn, purely for ahem, research purposes, you understand.

One of the many things that were really nice about Andyfest was the relaxed atmosphere.  There were stands from Easyknits, Posh Yarn, The Natural Dye Studio, Fyberspates, The Knitting Goddess, Nicsknots, Babylonglegs, Felt Studio, Ann Kingstone and Laughing Hens but nothing was too crowded and there was plently of space to sit and chat with a cup of tea and a piece of cake in between stroking yarns!

I didn’t get many photos as I was too busy having a great time and buying lovely yarn, but in case you missed out on all the fun, here’s why you really must come if it happens again (I’ve got my fingers crossed that it does!)

The Natural Dye Studio stand

Beautiful yarns and stunning crocheted blankets on The Natural Dye Studio stand

These stunning blankets from the Natural Dye Studio are in Amanda’s new book ‘Into the West’.  My favourite one was the rainbow graduated one next to the yarns, Rita.

Fyberspates and Felt Studio stands

Gorgeous yarns at Fyberspates and amazing handspun at Felt Studio

There were some gorgeous yarns on the Fyberspates stand, and I may have had a moment of weakness/madness and bought 3 skeins of absolutely divine Fyberspates Faery wings, which is to die for.

And at the end of all this I came home with a lovely pile of gorgeous yarns!

Gorgeous yarns from 'Andyfest'

Gorgeous yarns!

Fyberspates Faery wings, Posh Yarn Natasha and Sylvia 4ply ‘orphans’, Easyknits Twinkle DK and 4ply, Cloud and Biffle-Boo, a pack of Mini skeins in Flower Power from The Knitting Goddess, and a skein of Precious 4ply from the Natural Dye Studio…….

Nicsknots project bag

Fabulous Nicsknots project bag – big enough to hold even a sweater WIP!

….and a bag from Nicsknots to put it all in (well, maybe not all at once!).

Did any of you go to ‘Andyfest’?  What did you get?

Lottie x

P.S. The offer on Moon River has been extended……

Get ready for Autumn!

Get £1 (GBP) off Moon River until 00:00 GMT on 1st October 2012!

Discount is automatically applied at the checkout. Enjoy! ♥

Because I love you….

I’ve put a very special offer on my Moon River pattern until the end of August (23.59 GMT on 31st August 2012)!

Moon River Shawlette

Moon River, a little crescent shaped shawlette knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn

If you would like to make this fabulous little shawlette, you can get £1 off the pattern simply by entering the code: Lottieknits here

Enjoy! ♥

Moon River

Hello, and welcome to my brand new blog!

I start my first post in a rather over excited mood, having just released my first self published pattern:

Moon River

Moon River Shawlette

Moon River, a little crescent-shaped shawlette knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn shade #264

I’ve had patterns published before through my work with the lovely people at Artesano yarns (do pop over to their website if you can and sign up for their newsletter, which includes free patterns), but this is the first time that I’ve taken the plunge and done the whole process from idea, to knitted sample, to pattern and layout, and finally to publishing, by myself, although I did have some help from my friend and colleague Les, who very kindly test knitted and pattern checked for me, making this gorgeous version of Moon River in the process:

Moon River Shawlette

Les’ version of Moon River in Silk Garden Sock shade #301

Thank you Les!

Moon River is a little crescent-shaped shawlette with a simple crochet edging that should be manageable for even those new to crochet.  It is worked from the bottom up, then shaped with short rows and decreases into a gentle crescent shape.  I’ve also incorporated shaping into the tips like this:

Shaped tips of the shawlette

Shaping at the tips of the shawlette

The whole shawlette is then edged with a simple scalloped crochet edging.  Et viola!  One pretty little shawlette that shows off the beautiful colours in just 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn.

Moon River is available to buy on Ravelry or here:

I hope you like it – I would love to see your own versions!

Thanks for taking the time to pop over and have a look, I hope that you might become a regular visitor.

Lottie x