KAL

Stripy socks and a celebration

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That feeling of new socks never gets old does it?
No matter how things are going or how bad your day, you can pull on your freshly finished pair, wiggle your toes and feel instantly so much cheerful - and not a little bit smug.

I knit these as a long sock snake with a toe at each end, and then snipped to add cuffs/heels. After lots of questions on the way I did these I’ll be doing a blog post on it later in the week but for now you can hop over to my Instagram Stories highlights where I’ve saved a short photo tutorial for you.

It also seems appropriate to wear new socks for the launch of my new Comfort Blanket KAL today. You can find all the details here but basically this is an 8 week KAL combining pattern ideas/recipes for a Mitered Square blanket with self care tips and suggestions along the way.

If that sounds right up your street or you are in need of #ablankettohideunder please do think about joining us, and if you have any questions fire away. I’d love to have you on board.

Comfort Blanket KAL

Well, that escalated quickly.

So many of you were so enthusiastic about me running a Comfort Blanket KAL that I dived in with both feet and have now got the pattern page up on Ravelry and ready for your purchasing pleasure.

For a serial prevaricator like me you’ve no idea how unusual this course of events is. I can dither for weeks sometimes before hitting the Ravelry publish button.

The KAL kicks off on Monday 8th April and will run for 8 weeks, but please don’t worry. I’m not expecting you to knit a blanket in 8 weeks, I promise.

Each Monday, you’ll get a pattern update on Ravelry and it will alternate between a pattern for a particular mitered square, and self-care tips and suggestions. On Ravelry at the minute there is a pre-KAL Information sheet available for download after purchase. That just sets out the key dates for your diary and gives you a bit more information on the closed Facebook group for the KAL and some basic information on yarn/needles.

If you’d like to find out more I’ve summarised it HERE

And if you are ready to jump in and join me for the most gentle of KALs - just click HERE

Any questions? Just drop me a quick email and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

A blanket to hide under

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Yesterday I did something that I don’t normally do, and posted an off the cuff and deeply personal caption on my Instagram feed. I do normally try to ‘keep it real’ and be authentic there as much as possible but like most people (I suspect) I do heavily filter what I chose to share (and to not share) with the world.

Yesterday though I admitted that I’ve been really struggling with anxiety lately. Partly due to personal circumstances, partly due to the uncertainty and political turmoil of the whole Brexit saga - it’s hard to stay positive in a world where you seem to be bombarded with horrible divisive rhetoric everywhere you turn.

My salvation, as ever is in my knitting and that probably explains why my favourite thing to knit right now are mahoosive garter stitch mitered squares. No thought required, just pretty yarn and soothing stitches.

So many people got in touch yesterday to share their anxieties and their coping strategies that it turned what started off as a pretty dark day into something much more positive, more upbeat, more manageable.

Jokingly we discussed the idea of knitting your own survival blanket - anyone else remember making a blanket fort as a child? And so, obviously my crafting little brain went off at a tangent.

As the Precious Metals Socks KAL is drawing to a close my thoughts turned to the possibility of a very gentle, no-pressure, blanket KAL - think soothing garter stitch, think squares of different sizes, think about an adaptable, flexible pattern (or recipe maybe?) where you can just relax and enjoy creating for the sake of it. Whether you decide to make a cushion cover, lap blanket or full-on “hide from the world” blanket.

I’d like to do this one a little differently though and my ideas are still sketchy so bear with me. First up, there would be a charge for this KAL as I would like to run it more as a community based event, with a closed Facebook group and maybe with a yarn swap component. The pattern will be purchased via Ravelry and purchase will give you access to the weekly prompts/pattern downloads and the Facebook group. The actual KAL itself will run for about 8 weeks with a weekly email from me. I’ll alternate the emails so that one week you’ll receive a weekly pattern/recipe for a mitered square (along with tips and tricks for a neat finish) and the following week you’ll receive some ideas for self-care and mindfulness. I’d also like to use the KAL to raise money for charity, so from each purchase I’ll be donating a fixed amount to Mind - the mental health charity.

So what do you think? If it sounds like something you might be interested in please click the link here to express an interest and as soon as I have more information you’ll be the first to know.

And we're off...

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The Precious Metals Sock KAL starts today - and I have to admit I’m just a little bit excited. It seems like ages since I did a sock KAL and I’ve really missed it.

The first installment should be in your inbox, if not now, then very shortly.

If you haven’t yet signed up there’s still time, just click this link to subscribe .

I’ve also created a pattern page on Ravelry - please do generate your own project page and share your progress with the hashtags #preciousmetalssockskal and #preciousmetalssocks

Happy Knitting

A new sock KAL

Precious Metals Socks KAL

Precious Metals Socks KAL

Who doesn’t love a good knit-along?

It’s been ages since I did a good old-fashioned sock KAL and so I thought with the coming spring, lighter days and a general burst of creative enthusiasm what better way to celebrate than with a shiny, new cast on.

This KAL is offered, free to those who subscribe to my email newsletter, with four weekly installments starting on 4th March.

Just in case you are heading to Unravel this weekend I’ve put together a pre-KAL information sheet - with a few suggestions on yarn choices etc. You can find this in your email inbox if you are already an email subscriber, or if not - just click this link to subscribe and you can download it from your Welcome email.

I’ve also created a pattern page on Ravelry for those among you who like to be super organised.

I’ll be back in a few days with some more information but for now, do feel free to have a rootle in your stash and see what you can come up with. I’m using the beautiful BFL Supersock from TravelKnitter but any solid or semi solid sock yarn would work well.

A new KAL around the corner

The Bob Socks  - the last KAL that I ran via Instagram

The Bob Socks - the last KAL that I ran via Instagram

If you subscribe to my email newsletter you’ll have already had a sniff of this but starting in March, I’m going to run another sock KAL.

The last sock KAL I did was a simple, sock designed for the adventurous beginner and I ran it as a free, weekly installment type KAL over on Instagram. It eventually then became the Bob Socks, a paid-for pattern on Ravelry.

This time, to keep things a little tidier I’ll be running it through weekly email installments, and again the final pattern will be a paid-for one on Ravelry - with email newsletter subscribers receiving a free, gift copy.

If the thought of this fills your knitting heart with joy please do sign up to my email list - here.

And if you want to vote on whether it’s run as a true mystery KAL or with a photo upfront - vote here.

And as an added bonus. If you are taking part in the UK Sock Knitters Periodic Table KAL this year, the KAL socks will have a tie-in to the March prompt. What more could you want?

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.

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!

A new KAL you say? Oh.. go on then...

Fuss Free Festival Shawl by Louise Tilbrook Designs

Fuss Free Festival Shawl by Louise Tilbrook Designs

And why not? Its a bank holiday in the UK and a project this simple and straightforward practically knits itself.

We all love a good excuse for a cheeky bank holiday cast on, so why not grab a skein of lovely sock weight yarn and join us. No rules, just lots of fun and garter stitch.

Join us over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group or use the hashtag #fussfreefestivalshawl on social media so we can all see what you are working on.

The pattern is still free for another week or so if you sign up to my email newsletter so if you haven't snagged a copy yet you might want to while you have the chance.