Saturday, 16 March 2019

Stylecraft Blogstars Get Together aka Yarnaholics have fun in Yorkshire!




Last weekend I was in Slaithwaite, home of Stylecraft yarn, to catch up with the other Blogstars and find out what yarny treats Stylecraft had in store for knitters and crocheters around the globe. Some of us arrived on Friday afternoon and spent some time looking through Stylecraft's pattern archive. There were lots of real classic, timeless designs there as well as a few shockers! It shows how fashions change. It's Stylecraft's 30th birthday or 'Purl Anniversary' as they are calling it in 2019. There are going to be lots of exciting things going on this year which I'll tell you more about in due course. 





We were joined by some of the other Blogstars who arrived a little later and spent Friday evening being wined and dined in a most marvellous manner by Annabelle and Juliet; and yes - knitting and crochet did appear at the dining table! It's normal for us when we get together! 






We made our way down to the Mill on Saturday after breakfast, to be joined virtually by our overseas Blogstars. We always begin with tea and a catch up. Lucia had brought along her amazing Havana blanket - made with a huge variety of different yarns. It is absolutely stunning and I think we would all have liked to take it home with us!








As well as her Havana blanket, Lucia also brought along her January Blues blanket; you can find out a lot more about it if you head over to her blog. Be prepared for an absolute feast of colour! She made it using leftovers of Stylecraft Special DK, so it's a perfect project for using up all those half-used balls of yarn! 





Phil also brought along her AMAZING knitted pond picture. It it seriously breathtaking and must bring into question Phil's sanity! (Only kidding!) You can read a lot more about it and see more detailed photos on Phil's blog.




After our catch up, Annabelle then took us through the new yarns that Stylecraft are bringing out over the 2019 Spring/Summer Season. Because our February meet up was postponed by the weather, many of these yarns are already in your local yarn shops. This season has been inspired by two moodboards. Tribal Eccentric features a soft and strong vibrant colour palette with a playful, exuberant and energetic feel while Radiant Romance features a soft palette of pastel colours to create feminine garments with drape and fluidity.

The first yarn is Dream Catcher, a roving type yarn with gradual colour changes. There are currently 6 colourways available. It's 90% acrylic and 10% wool and is unbelievably soft. 




Lucia had already crocheted the Havana shawl using two different colourways alternately and it was amazing to see how the two worked so beautifully together. 

Copyright Lucia's Figtree

Copyright Lucia's Figtree

Copyright Lucia's Figtree

There are four new shades in the Bambino yarn range. It's 100% acrylic and perfect for baby clothes and blankets. It has a lovely soft, plump, velvety feel to it.




There are two new shade of Jeanie. This is an Aran weight yarn, 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. I think that Jeanie will work well with one of the new yarn releases this season. More of that in a minute!




Classique Cotton is very popular with crocheters and there are six new colours to play with. I love these beautiful soft, chalky shades. Lucia has been trying some of them out in a new blanket and they look gorgeous.





Monet is a new Aran weight yarn, 50% acrylic and 50% cotton, inspired by the Impressionist paintings. Looking at the finished garments, you can really see the dots and brushstrokes of the likes of Monet and Renoir. I think it would also go very well with Jeanie.






Moonbeam is another new yarn this season. Made of 75% cotton and 25% viscose, it has a matt or shiny effect depending on which section of the yarn you're looking at. I think it will be perfect for lovely draping shawls and wraps. 




Last but not least for now is one of my favourite of Stylecraft's yarns - Linen Drape. There are four new shades to add to the existing range. They are all beautifully rich and deep colours. 




After a delicious lunch, we were taught how to make a simple sewn notebook by Juliet Bernard. It was a fun way to conclude the day and my notebook is now residing in my knitting bag, ready for me to scribble down ideas and design notes. 






There was just time for a group photo before we all went our separate ways. Our next weekend together in July looks like it's going to be Very Exciting! xxx















Thursday, 14 March 2019

Perfect springtime socks




I am delighted to be able to tell you that my 'Tiptoe' sock pattern is now available to download for free from the Stylecraft website. You can find the pattern here.

The Head over Heels All Stars range of yarn was created by some of the Stylecraft Blogstars. We each came up with a range of colours inspired by one of David Hockney's works of art. Then the colourways were put to the public vote and the six most popular, as chosen by you, were turned into actual balls of yarn! My colourway, as shown above, was inspired by the colours in his work 'The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate' which was a series of iPad drawings.





If you've not tried Head over Heels All Stars before, you really ought to give it a go. It's 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. It's not only perfect for socks, but is soft enough for shawls and baby items too. There are 6 colours in the range - 3 self-striping and 3 ombre. 






I hope you enjoy making my 'Tiptoe' socks. Please share photos on Facebook and Instagram and tag me in so I can see them. xxx

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Missing my hooky time


Since finishing my Sweet Pea blanket, I've felt a bit at a loose end, unable to focus on any yarny project for any length of time. I know that I'm a bit unsettled as I'm waiting for some test results from the hospital, but I'm going on the basis that 'no news is good news' for now. I actually sat down and made a list of all the projects that I've either started or have plans to start and there are more than 40 on the list! So you'd think that I'd be spoilt for choice and something on that list would appeal to me. But no, I wanted some more hooky action and luckily for me, a friend of a friend had a baby recently. So I went stash diving and pulled out a cake of Stylecraft Batik Swirl. Perfect for a small granny square blanket. I used the Granny Square tutorial from my fellow Blogstar, The Patchwork Heart's blog. It's different to the way I've made Granny Squares in the past as you turn your work over after each round in order to keep it more square. It worked! Can't wait to see the new baby snuggled under it. xxx






Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Sweet Pea Ta-Dah!


Since the beginning of the year, I have been joining in with Attic24's Sweet Pea CAL. Lucy has designed a blanket for some years now, releasing the pattern week by week, and crocheters around the world are able to join in and share their hooky love. This is the first time I've joined in and I have to say that I absolutely loved it. I managed to keep up with the crochet each week and dealt with the ends as I went along. (So, so happy that I've changed my thinking on ends as I used to leave them all to the very end of the project!) From getting the yarn (Stylecraft Special DK which is THE PERFECT YARN for blankets) and making a colour card to starting the very first row, from wrestling the blanket from Flo's clutches as I tried to crochet with her on my lap to hooking the final stitches on the border, the whole process has been an absolute pleasure. I love Sweet Peas; they remind me of my uncle who used to grow absolutely magnificent blooms in all the rich deep colours in this blanket. The sweet, heady scent is simply summer to me. Here's a glimpse of my Sweet Pea journey. Enjoy! xxx