KALs and Events

It's Indie Gift-along time

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I’m really pleased to be able to announce that I’m taking part in the Indie Gift-along 2018 sale over on Ravelry. If you are new to the GAL you are in for a treat.

There are hundreds of participating indie designers who team up for a few days at the end of November each year to offer a 25% discount on a selected range of their patterns. But then the fun really starts. There is a knitalong which follows on from this and runs along until the end of December. There is a whole group devoted to chat, competitions, prizes and lots more over on Ravelry and it’s always great fun to be involved in it, both as a knitter and as a participating designer.

You can join the Ravelry group here and when the full list of participating designers goes live you’ll be able to see, browse and buy patterns using the special “giftalong2018” coupon code. The sale goes live on November 23rd, 2018 at 8:00 pm US EST which is 1 am on Friday for us UK folk, so you’ll have plenty of patterns to browse over your coffee on Friday morning.

If you want to see the patterns I’ll be offering in the sale you can see my GAL Bundle here but please note that the “giftalong2018” code won’t work until the full GAL kicks off.

On Wool - and other thoughts

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Last week I announced that I was going to run a small knit-along - the #winterwoolkal - aimed at carrying on, in some small way, the fabulous Wovember love from previous years. You can read the original blog post here.

I had planned to do a slightly bigger event but my enforced wi-fi break the week before during our family holiday meant that it was all a bit rushed. Still, I was very pleased with the enthusiastic response. Lots of knitters gleefully rootled through their stash or took the opportunity to buy a skein from a new-to-them producer or dyer.

So far so good. It was a bit of a surprise then to be greeted with, what a friend laughingly termed a ‘wool backlash’. I received a steady stream of emails, PMs and messages suggesting that my focus on 100% wool (the original Wovember principles) was somehow elitist and risked alienating a large number of knitters.

Quite apart from the hysterical thought of a bunch of grown adults being scared off by 50g of Blue Faced Leicester DK, my grandma (who always knit with with wool) would have been tickled pink to be called elitist.

Seriously! How can the choice of wool over other fibres be controversial. It has been such a staple of textile production for 100s of years. I think many of the comments stem from the misconception that wool is somehow expensive and that certainly seemed to be a recurring theme in my emails. This is an excellent article by Louise of KnitBritish which most excellently debunks that myth.

I have always maintained that there is a valid place for acrylic yarn. But that place is not in a KAL aimed at promoting wool and the British wool industry. Including acrylic and other fibres in the KAL would detract from the whole message in the same way that calling a £1 ball of acrylic yarn from Aldi “wool”, detracts from the value of wool as a living, breathing, essential resource for knitters.

In addition, just because a group of people have chosen to apply the term “wool” to anything you can knit with (as opposed to calling it yarn) it doesn’t mean you can use it in a wool KAL. If it didn’t come from a sheep then it isn’t wool.

Wool has so many wondrous qualities, which others have expressed far more eloquently than I can - just browse the Wovember back catalogue of articles for inspiration. Acrylic yarn and other fibres obviously have their place but can never replace wool in my opinion

Nothing beats the the feel, the squish and the smell of real wool. No one - to my knowledge - has ever ripped open a bag of petroleum based yarn product and gleefully inhaled the aroma within. And for that reason, I am and will remain a wool enthusiast to my very core.

Winter Wool KAL

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As we all know, sadly Wovember isn't happening in its original form this year but I'd love to keep the Woolly Love going and do something to celebrate 100% wool this November.

So I thought I'd host a #winterwoolkal running for the month of November.

Just pick something 100% wool from your stash and grab your needles. I'm honouring the original intention of #wovember with this one and being strict on the 100% sheep's wool. As beautiful as alpaca, mohair etc is - this is all about the Wool.

You can either join in over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group, or jump in on Instagram with your woolly project. Look for the #winterwoolkal #wovember and #britishwool hashtags. That will help you to find other folks are who participating.

We cast on, on 1 Nov and will cast off on 30 Nov.

I'm offering a 25% discount off all of my self published patterns and I know that some other indie designers are doing the same. So grab a yarn - 100% wool - pick a pattern and let’s share the woolly love this November.

Summer Knit School is open.

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The school holidays are looming large on the horizon and I'm trying to make plans - both knitting and otherwise for the summer.

Somewhere between the change in routines, the warm weather and the holidays I often find that I go through something of a creative slump.

In previous years I used to really worry about this but now I've accepted that some seasons are just a bit more productive than others and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

What I am planning though is a bit of a creative summer challenge - both for myself and also for you if you'd like to join me. You can click the link to sign up to receive a weekly prompt from me and I'll be running it mainly over on Instagram with the hashtag #summerknitschool.

Nothing too taxing, nothing stressful - just some thoughts and ideas you might want to try to give your creativity a gentle nudge. It's all totally free and hopefully stress-free too. And this way, who knows, by the time the cooler weather and sweater season is upon us you might be raring to go and fizzing with new ideas. Oh - you might want to buy a new notebook too!

Sign ups are open now and the first challenge starts on Monday 23rd Jul.

An exciting new venture

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I'm excited to be able to share with you some exciting news today - that I have joined up with the fabulous Lucy of Magnolia Tree Yarns in an affiliate program.

If you don't know of  Lucy already she has a wonderful site full of woolly goodness, that's packed full of some amazing yarns. She also has a really comprehensive range of resources on the site and runs in person workshops too.

Based in Cheshire, Lucy aims to offer a well stocked, friendly and knowledgeable LYS and she also backs that up with a comprehensive website too - so she can be your LYS no matter where you are.

To kick start our affiliate relationship Lucy is offering a flash sale, starting today with 40% off everything in her online store - while stocks last. And as I'm about to start my 12 Days of Christmas Event it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share this with you.

Just head over to her store by clicking here and have a browse - you might find the perfect yarn to go with one of my 12 Days' pattern offerings.

 

Full disclosure here: if you click on the link above and make a purchase a small percentage comes to me as an affiliate.

12 days of Christmas

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I'm sure it won't have escaped your attention that Christmas is hurtling towards us at the speed of light and knitters everywhere are frantically burning the midnight oil to finish those holiday gifts.

This time of year can feel stressful and hectic, often I just want to bury under a pile of blankets (handknit of course) and emerge in the New Year. Last year I was inspired to try a Random Acts of Kindness challenge - doing something for someone else every day in December.

This year I thought I would step things up a little by running a series of 50% pattern discounts - one per day - for the first 12 days of December.

The final line up is still in draft form but I will probably try to alternate a shawl pattern with a sock pattern. I know that many of you lovely, loyal folk might already have some of the patterns that I offer, so in that case you could always consider having your own random act of kindness event and gifting a discounted copy to a friend. The ever helpful Ravelry makes gifting a pattern really easy and it's always lovely to get a gift message in your Ravelry inbox.

Each day for the first 12 days in December I'll send out a short email notification with the pattern and the discount code and each promotion will run for 24 hrs (please note that I am on GMT, London time). If you don't currently subscribe to my email list - this might tempt you to sign up.

Please feel free to share the code with others and on your own social media - and I'll also announce it via the other usual channels - Instagram, my Facebook page and Twitter. Although I might need a fortifying glass of mulled wine to get all that scheduled.

So, tell a friend, set your reminders and get ready to celebrate a bit of seasonal giving with me. And yes, mulled wine is absolutely encouraged.

Hats for Humans - a KAL to make a difference

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A while ago I shared a social media post from Joy (aka The Knitting Goddess) on the pointlessness of the Innocent Smoothie Hats for smoothie bottles as a money raiser for Help the Aged. It generated quite a bit of online debate - always a good thing - and one of the comments that was made really stuck with me. I'm afraid I can't remember who posted the comment but they said that they would rather knit hats for humans than for bottles.

That really struck a chord with me and I found myself returning to it again and again. There was also lots of chatter about a possible KAL (knitalong) over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook Group and so, ever the multitasker, I saw the opportunity to combine two fun things together, and also to do some good at the same time.

So, starting on Nov 1st and running for the whole month I'm kicking off a Hats for Humans KAL. You can knit any design of hat in any size with the proviso that it must be intended for a human (even preemie sizes count - which - heartbreakingly are about the same measurements as for an Innocent smoothie bottle).

What you do with your hats is up to - be they for you, for a loved one or for holiday gifts. But, if you chose to help out another fellow human and donate it to charity then that would be extra special. I will be knitting for Knit for Peace - a fabulous British charity who take year round donations, but you may donate to whatever charity is closest to your heart and which is local to you.

For every hat that is knit and donated to charity I will enter you into a prize draw to win a skein of something special from my stash. To enter all you need to do is to go to the Everyday Knitter Facebook group (join up, if you haven't already) and look for the Hats for Humans spreadsheet at the top of the group. Open up the Google Sheet and add your details. I'm going on a trust-based system here - I won't be checking individual entries. Life is too short and let's face it - you are all lovely people. I'll do the draw at the end of the month and will happily post to wherever you are in the world.

Feel free to chat about your hats in the Facebook group or on social media using the #hatsforhumans hashtag , and I can't wait to see all of your hats.

Added bonus - use British wool and it would totally count for Wovember too!