Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas

This has certainly been a productive and busy year. 2016 may have been turbulent in many ways but in my own woolly corner of the internet it has been a great year for community, joy and a shared love of knitting. In fact, I'm not sure how I would have coped with all the challenges that 2016 has thrown at us, without the strong and supportive knitting community which I am proud to belong to.

I probably should round up the year with a fabulous 'best of 2016' post, but to be perfectly honest the usual seasonal overload has taken its toll, and after an endless round of school plays, advent events and family obligations all I feel capable of doing is cosying up on the sofa with mulled wine, knitting and an industrial sized box of Quality Street.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas and however you spend the holidays I hope you have a peaceful and joyful time.

Thank you for all your support during this incredible year and I will be back soon with lots of exciting things planned for 2017.

Ambitious? My weekend knitting plans.

I have high hopes of some serious knitting action this weekend.

As well as two designs that need to be finished - one shawl and one pair of socks - I have two other exciting projects clamouring for my attention.

Keeping busy this weekend.

Keeping busy this weekend.

The first is the new shawl design from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. The Talisman shawl is the first in a series of six shawls which she has called The Shawl Society. Each month sees the release of a new pattern which is kept secret until the release date. As you would expect from Helen, tons of additional information is provided in terms of yarn choice, sizes and top tips to help you achieve a great looking shawl.

I'm not sure that I will manage to keep up with all six - the KAL running over on Ravelry is super busy and full of lots of chatter - but I know that I will be able to work my way through them in my own time and end up with a series of fabulous shawls at the end.

My own personal challenge during this KAL is to use up yarn from my stash, and to use the yarn I have to showcase the fabulous range of indie dyers we have in the UK. Many of the 4ply skeins I have in my stash have come to me via The Golden Skein yarn club and are from some brilliantly talented dyers. As each shawl design is kept secret it is difficult at this stage to know which yarns I will be using but I have quite a lot to pick from so I think I should be OK.

I am knitting Talisman in one of the recommended yarns, which must be a first for me. It just so happened that I had a coveted skein/cake of the Wool Kitchen's Urban Hints yarn which was one of the ones Helen used for the samples.

Urban Hints is a wonderful gradient yarn that gradually introduces speckles of darker colour until eventually you transition fully from light to dark. Interestingly though, Helen opted to start with the dark shade on the outside of the cake and work towards the lighter centre - so I am copying her :) I think the lighter border will work really well with the long crescent shawl border.

Working clockwise we have a sock design using lovely Rusty Ferret yarns from Fluph. My tech editor is primed and ready to go with the pattern draft so I just need to get a wriggle on and get these beauties off the needles.

Next up we have a shawl design using the fabulous new Wenslydale/Shetland 4ply from the Knitting Goddess. Again this is nearly 75% done and just needs a final push to see it on to the next stage of it's journey.

And finally, we have the amazingly addictive Vivid blanket which is approaching completion. Happily the new parents have requested a small pram-sized blanket as all their larger blankets keep dragging on the ground. This means that a 4x3 square arrangement will work perfectly. Just 1 square to go and then I get to practice my mattress stitch skills and turn it into a Finished Object. One more to go towards my Stash Dash total.

Right, that's my objectives sorted. How about yours? Do feel free to leave a comment below or tag me on social media with your #weekendknitting plans.


New class dates and lots of excitement

Something about the arrival of Spring and fresh new beginnings always seems to generate an urge to acquire new skills, to learn and to develop my skill sets.

It also kicks off the season for teaching schedules - nothing makes me happier than sitting down with my planner and pencilling in lots of new class dates for the forthcoming year. So many opportunities to help create and enable new sock knitters and so many chances to meet new people and to spend time talking about my favourite thing ever.

With this in mind it is with a very happy and springy heart that I can publish my new class dates at the Sheep Shop in Cambridge for the coming few months. For more information or to book either check the shop website or phone Sarah for a chat. She will be more than happy to help:

  • Sat 23rd April 10am-1:30pm: Beginner Socks
  • Sat 4th June 10am-1pm: Toe-up socks
  • Sat 4th June 1:45pm-4:45pm: Pi Shawls
  • Sat 2nd July 10am-1pm: Socks - Beyond the basics

I am also very excited to announce that I am one of four teachers who will be running classes at the Geeky Puffin Knit Palooza on 10th to 13th November 2016. The event is being held in Farnham in the UK and it promises to be a really special few days. Lots of opportunities for learning, chatting and also shopping in the pop-up marketplace.

More information will be coming out soon so be sure to check out the retreat website (link above) and sign up to the newsletter so you don't miss anything.