The These Islands Book Launch – Come See

final cover

Come and have a look at what you missed if you couldn’t join us and if you were there it’s time to see the photos.

It was all hands on deck to set up between the shop closing at 5 and the launch starting at 7.30pm but we managed and it was lovely to be able to see the design samples knitted up.

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The Happy Out Mitts that Sara had knitted up looked fab in the the Cinnabar shade of Smudge Yarns 4ply.

2015-04-09 19.09.11The Hip Hop Hat sample shown here is knitted in Smudge Yarns double Knit.   The beautiful blue shade is Cairn, whilst the lime green is Fuggles, a name you just can’t say without smiling 🙂

2015-04-09 19.08.40Confession time now, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Crosshatched Cowl, it didn’t really appeal to me.  However, I’m a convert, seeing the knitted sample in the shop last night really changed my mind about this piece.  The colours in the Pencil Roving really pop with the Herringbone Stitch, it tempted quite a few people too, judging by how much of it was sold.

2015-04-09 19.10.15As I mentioned in the previous post about the book launch.  There were kits for the Beaker Shawl Knit Along available last night (I also have a few available here in the shop).  Much discussion was given over to choosing the complimentary colour for the KAL and as you can see from the photo, the choice was a made harder by the sheer scrumminess of shades available in the lace weight.

Don’t forget that if you ‘cast on’ your shawl via Ravelry by Sunday you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win a hank of Smudge Yarns Laceweight yarn.  (I’ll pop up a quick post later today on how to this for those of you that haven’t ever done this before.)

2015-04-09 20.07.03I kicked things off with my usual chit chat, minding my p’s and q’s a little and then handed things over to Sara so she could share with us how the book came about.

2015-04-09 20.07.32Sara handed the gauntlet over to Evin to tell us a bit more about the book and the ethos behind the yarns used, before we moved on to the socialising, laughing and general merriment.

2015-04-09 20.26.28The turnout for the launch was fantastic, it’s great to see fibre folk coming out to offer their support and better still when it’s for local knitterly people.

2015-04-09 20.26.34Dina my lovely and ever suffering daughter, went round with the camera gently persuading everybody to smile.  Having reviewed the photos, it evidently meant she wasn’t in front of it at any time.  Does anyone have photographic evidence that she was there?

2015-04-09 20.30.27See those smiles.  Fiona, Rachele, Sadie and Lee Ann seem to be enjoying themselves.

2015-04-09 20.29.35As do Noreen and Liz.

2015-04-09 20.33.08Hilda and Catherina posing for the camera (I think I spy a KAL kit there).  Isn’t Catherina’s crochet Granny shawl beautiful?

2015-04-09 20.33.52Smiles all round from Joan, Erin, Sara and Carol.

2015-04-09 20.20.44Clare and Michelle doing a great job of enjoying themselves and plugging the book at the same time.

2015-04-09 20.29.58I managed to get in on the action too, laughing of course with Orela and Edwina.

2015-04-09 20.33.21How lucky am I?  My best friend Snadra was over from England too.

2015-04-09 19.07.02I know some of you will be eager to hear about the raffle prize, but I’m not quite ready to tell you yet.

2015-04-09 21.01.06It wouldn’t be a book launch, without a book signing or two as demonstrated here by Sara and Evin.

2015-04-09 21.00.11Having roped the lovely Carol Feller in to draw the winner I’m really happy to say Noreen won the hamper of goodies, can’t wait to see what she makes with the ‘special edition’ yarns.

I know you’re probably wondering…..

2015-04-10 14.39.07Yes, I did.

Happy Knitting!

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Edinburgh Part 1 – The Yarn Festival

2015-03-15 10.19.52-2I’ve wanted to go to Edinburgh for as long as I can remember and The Edinburgh Yarn Festival provided the perfect excuse to finally pay the place a visit 🙂

The first thing to mention about the yarn festival is how many ‘stars’ of the industry offered classes, there were definitely more in attendance then I’ve seen at any other yarn show.  Unfortunately, I’d missed the ones that interested me most as demand was incredibly high and most booked up very quickly.  Who can blame them too, with names like Stephen West, Ysolda Teague, Rachel Coopey, Carol Feller, Hélène Magnússon, Nancy Marchant, Veera Välimäki, Emily Wessel and Karie Westermann to name but a few.

I arrived at The Edinburgh Corn Exchange bright and early on Sunday morning to try and avoid some of the crowds, heading straight for the Baa Ram Ewe stall in order to purchase a present for a good friend.  Saturday had been such a productive day with their Titus yarn that certain shades had sold out, including the one I was after.  Undeterred, I had a great time playing with colours and trying to decide on the right colour combination for Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl.

My plan of action when attending any yarn festival is to walk round all of the vendors once without purchasing and make a mental note of any ‘favourites’ before walking round for a second time to spend time investigating further and making any purchases.  This ‘purchase’ round can in practice, lead to a 3rd and possibly even a 4th lap of the stalls, depending on how strong the ‘pull’ of some yarn is 😉

With over 75 stalls to peruse I was a little spoilt for choice when it came to selecting goodies to bring home.

So what did I buy?

Too much as per usual including

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Well, I couldn’t resist the Edinburgh Yarn Festival cotton shopper.  You can never have too many project bags can you?

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I actually only bought the Tin Can Knits 9 Months of knitting book at the show, finding the other ones in a bargain book shop in the city.  I also purchased a couple of books on spinning and weaving in order to work on my ability in these areas.

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I was spoilt for choice with sock yarns, but was rather smitten by this hand dyed 4ply Blue Faced Leicester loveliness, from The Threshing Barn

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Hélène Magnússon’s class was the one I’d hoped to be able to attend, having missed the opportunity this time round it seemed only fair that I bought one of her beautiful knitting kits.  I opted for the Icelandic Spring Shawl in beautiful blues and greens.  The lace weight yarn is a rougher texture than we’re probably use to now and there was another softer option available, I wanted Icelandic authenticity and I’m sure it’ll soften with washing.

Scary lace weight it may be, but the pattern I’m happy to report, is knitted on 5mm’s

I did purchase a few more interesting items including more yarn, but you’ll have to wait until I’ve made the projects up.

Of course no short break is complete without taking in the sights, including Edinburgh Castle and a few of the yarn shops more on that in part 2.

Happy knitting!

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Knitting, What’s New?

Ravi

It’s a disaster again. I just haven’t found as much time to knit as I would have liked this week. Perhaps that’s not strictly true……I’ve signed up to Carol Feller’s KAL Ravi and had been merrily knitting away, when I had some sort of brainwave that resulted in me frogging my work.  I’d managed to convince myself that I could hide my wrapped stitches better and set about casting on again. Because if you’re going to do something you should do it right, right?

WRONG. I discovered I had already been working my stitches the right way and after much playing realised it was indeed the best way (for me anyway). My epiphany was anything but and I had ripped three completed wedges out for no reason……..

Undeterred, I have set to work again.

Ravi Yoke So Far

This is Carol’s 100th pattern. The yoke is knit using short rows to shape from the neck down, with the lace band falling at the top of the bust. Stitches are then going to be picked up around the bottom of the lace and worked to form the body and sleeves.  The pattern is being released bit by bit. So far we’ve had three parts. The initial download contained information on the suggested yarn and tension, etc.  Clue 1 is where I’m at, I have another four wedges at least to do before I have to pick up my stitches.  The joy is to come; if I remember correctly it’s some 200 stitches, hence the stitch markers, I’m hoping they help?

Clue 2 has just been released which has the instructions for knitting the body of the cardigan.  It looks like there’s a couple of helpful sections on possible modifications, but I might stick to the original as I think it’s lovely.  If you’d like more information on the KAL pop over to Carol’s site Stolen Stitches http://www.stolenstitches.com/pattern-shop/cardigans/100th-pattern-kal-ravi/

There’s also a forum for the KAL on Ravelry –  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/carol-feller-100th-pattern-kal

My main reason for knitting the cardi is the yarn, I’m trying it out for the for the shop.  It’s Cadenza by Colinette and although I’ve knitted with it before, it was some time ago now and it was only a wee little cardi for a baby, so Ravi has given me the perfect excuse.  As you can see the colours are beautiful, too beautiful in fact as I’m going to have a nightmare trying to decide which ones to stock.  It handles well and has great stitch definition when knitted up (see the pic below of the lace band).  It frogs well, as we’ve already established, and it’s 100% Merino. And if that wasn’t enough, the 50g hanks contain a generous 120m.  I think it could be a winner.

Ravi Lace Border

In addition to Ravi I’ve also knitted a couple more hats for Chernobyl. I’ll post up the pattern I use over the next couple of days. I’ve also been working on a new scarf design for the shop.  It’s in Rico Merino Aran, which would probably have to be one of my favourite yarns, and as you can see it’s a reversible cable.  Rather spookily, I was sent a similar one last week by Meike for the Chernobyl Children’s Trust collection, which just goes to show nothing is original.

I think you’ll agree it’s looking lovely.

Reversible Cable Scarf

Having said that it’ll look so much better when it’s finished. Knitting anyone?