Bits, Bobs and Other Oddments

Something of a final round-up post before the Festival madness begins (for me at least) on Thursday. That is when the last preparations for the event are made, and the set-up of my stand takes place.

So far, I’ve chatted a bit about the patterns and fibre I’ll be bringing, but there are lots of other goodies too!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or have been keeping an eye on my Ravelry group – you’ll probably have seen these sneak previews. But as a quick summary…

Handspun: I’ll have an assortment of handspun, varying in weights, yardage, colours (including gradients) and fibres. Some are single skeins (50-150g), others are multiple skein batches, (100g to 300g). These are both spindle or wheel spun. These are all hand wash only.

Mini Skeins: There a not insignificant number of mini skeins, with an approx yardage of 18-20 yds (though most should have more). These are perfect for hexipuffs and other patterns which call for many small quantities of yarn. All the yarn is 4 ply/fingering weight, and yarn types / fibre contents / colours can vary. These are all hand wash only. All mini skeins are labelled with fibre details (note that all mini skeins contain animal fibres).

Stitch Markers: Sets available as both 5 and 10 packs, and include ABCDE and 12345 / 67890 / 1234567890 labelled markers – perfect for those patterns which call for you to work between specific markers. There a small number of other sets available too.

Fibre Bags: Lots of different bags, covering a range of different fibres for carding, spinning, felting, etc. I’ll have mohair, silk (tussah and mulberry), ramie, bamboo, soybean, teeswater/gotland locks, silk hankies, angora, firestar and alpaca. All between 5-25g.

Fibre Samplers: Lots of little bits! These small samples (between 3-10g) cover a wide range of fibres and colours, and act as little opportunities to try out the wide range of fibres available. Good for small colour work project if you just need a little bit, or for needle felting.

Buttons: All hand-sewn, using 100% shetland wool and available in two sizes, and several colours. The smaller buttons come in 2 and 3 packs.

I’ll also have a very small number of felting needles.


So… two days, three sleeps to go… see you Friday!

Pattern Preview

We’re counting down the days now to the Festival… so here is a quick reference guide to the patterns I’ll have available there!

Pattern Preview

I’ll have a mix of digital only, and paper-copy+digital, patterns available during the weekend. I will also have all the samples for these patterns at the show too!

All the paper copies (barring Arciform) come with digital codes. These codes are Ravelry compatible and can be used as a discount voucher via the Ravelry shopping basket within the site. There is a very useful blog post from Ravelry here, which explains how to use them.

Don’t use Ravelry? Use the web address on the coupon label (the page is here), and enter the code, you’ll be able to access the pattern. (If you are a Ravelry user, and choose to access your pattern this way, don’t worry, it is still possible to add the pattern to your library).

Pattern Availability

Paper-Copy+Digital or Digital: 72 Degrees North, Apollonie, Briochaubles, Brome, Buttons, Cluaran Tea Cosy, d’Antigny, Duplessis, Evremond, Flexure, Flightless, Flock Together, Geometrickery, Helicoidal, Hildasay Mittens, Hildasay Tam, I Talk With The Moon Tea Cosy, Inverse, Irregularity, La Barucci, La Lune Rousse, La Païva, Léonide, Luck of the Irish, Lundey Mittens, Lundey Tam, Megalos, Metrios, Mikros, Mogador, Notus, Oculus, Peeping Sheep, Planetarium, Puffling, Tesserae, Voar.

Paper-Copy Only: Arciform.

Digital Only: Breacan, Kentigern, Laities, Riverscape, Sanu.

Collections are available as Digital downloads, this includes:

  • Courtesans: Apollonie, d’Antigny, Duplessis, La Barucci, La Lune Rousse, La Païva, Léonide, Mogador.
  • Hildasay Collection: Hildasay Mittens and Tam.
  • Puffinries: Lundey Mittens and Tam, and Puffling.
  • Trio Collection: Megalos, Metros, Mikros.


Bring on the Braids


These are a new addition to my stock, custom-blended tops; these have been produced specially for me and are produced here in the UK. Each braid is 100g, and I have small spun samples of each of the bases to view.

The colour ways are inspired by Iceland following my recent trip there.

Nootka: Merino, Shetland and Soybean. The colour way is inspired by the purple hues of the Icelandic Lupin seen during the warmer months.

Gulfoss: Merino, Corriedale and Tussah Silk. A winter-inspired one, the waterfalls at Gulfoss partially freeze during the colder seasons and the ice takes on different hues – including some lovely turquoise shades.

Hekla: Merino, Shetland and Bamboo. One of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, the deep red of this colour way picks up on one of the shades associated with volcanic eruptions.

There will be limited quantities of these shades available during the festival, but all the colour ways can be custom-ordered and mailed following the festival (allow 2-3 weeks for delivery).

The London Craft Guide

London Craft Guide

Although it has been available for pre-order for a little while, the London Craft Guide from Yarn in the City was officially launched at Unravel last week, and I’m delighted to say that I contributed a pattern to the guide – may I introduce the South Bank Shawl!

The South Bank of the River Thames is a popular and busy tourist destination. With the London Aquarium, the British Film Institute and the iconic London Eye stretched along the riverbank towards the Millenium Footbridge.This lovely lace shawl is an ode to the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel originally constructed for the Millenium. The tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, the Eye is a popular destination for tourists and locals, as it offers a stunning view of the city from 135 metres up. Worked in a luxurious silk-blend fingering weight yarn, this pattern includes half circle and full circle versions, with optional bead accents. (From the Ravelry Page)

The lovely yarn is Uncommon Thread’s Merino / Silk blend in the ‘Breath’ colour way, and the beads are silver-lined translucent crystal beads.

There is more information on the guide over at the Yarn in the City website. And there are reviews from Crafts from the Cwtch (which mentions my shawl!), Inspiration Knits and Knitted Bliss.


And the London Craft Guide will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. One half of Yarn in the City will be at the event vending as PorpoiseFur, and will have copies of the guide plus the samples to look at!

All images in this post (C) Juju Vail and Yarn in the City


All the Batts

Next up in the EYF previews are the drum-carded batts!

Drum-carded Batts - Gradient

All the colours! Compared to the natural batts I shared in the previous post, these batts are colour-focused. There are a variety of sheep breeds ranging from Merino and B.F.L. through to Romney and Dorset Horn. Some batts combine other fibres, including silk, camel, firestar and alpaca, amongst others.

What I’m particularly pleased with are the gradient batts, one of these is pictured above – a yellow-to-orange gradient (Cheviot base). These are perfect to spin up using the Navajo-plying method, in order to maintain the gradient. The big gradients are around 100g each.However, there are smaller gradient batts available (varying 50g-80g), these have been carded with smaller projects in mind. These gradients run from one shade to another and then back again which means that more closely matching items can be worked from the hand spun yarn.

Batts will be available (while stocks last) in the following colour categories: Blue, Brown, Green, Pink, Purple and Yellow / Orange, plus gradients.



If you hadn’t noticed, the Courtesans collection was completed in January. Eight shawl patterns. I’m incredibly pleased with how the collection came together, especially as this was my first big foray into developing a group of patterns together around a central theme.

The theme evolved from the fact that I have a small collection of books (mainly non-fiction) which I love. Two of them focus on Courtesans in the UK and France during the nineteenth century. The history of the women and the society they inhabited described within these texts continues to fascinate me, despite the frequent re-readings. To be blunt, I’ve re-read my paperback copies so much that they are starting to look dog-eared and rather well-thumbed. However, I have a lovely BF who tracked down some beautiful replacement hard copies for my birthday, including an illustrated version of my favourite. I’m rather lucky.

The personalities of these women, and some of the stories associated with them, meant that they were an excellent source of inspiration. I’ve tried to capture some of the individual character of each woman, linking the pattern motifs and other design elements to a specific aspect of them. So for La Lune Rousse, the courtesan Cora Pearl, was unsurprisingly, known for her trademark pearls. Therefore in the shawl I wanted to capture the idea of strung pearls – the short rows, beads and eyelets echo the idea of draped necklaces. With Duplessis, the strong image of La Dame aux Camellias meant that a flower-centred design was appropriate. Each of the shawls has a story behind it.

All of the shawls, included the beaded and unbeaded samples of La Lune Rousse and La Païva, are currently on display at Ginger Twist Studio, as part of Jess’ ‘Designer of the Month’ programme (February is me).

The complete collection will also be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival at my stand (and many of the shawls use yarns which will be available via other vendors attending the festival). Both the individual patterns (hard / digital copies available) and the complete e-book (digital only) will be available for purchase.

Courtesans Complete
The complete Courtesans collection: (clockwise from top-left) Léonide, La Païva (Beaded), Apollonie, Duplessis, Mogador, La Lune Rousse (Beaded), La Barucci, D’Antigny
The Courtesans collection – eight lace shawls inspired by some of the famous, not to mention notorious, women of the Parisian demimonde. With lace, texture and  beading, the collection reflects the personalities and opulence of these femme-fatales.
All patterns have both charts and written instructions, and where applicable, instructions for both beaded and un-beaded options. The collection has a variety of shape and construction techniques. All the shawls are one-skein projects.
For further information, see here.


#NaturesShades is the KAL currently being championed by BritYarn and KnitBritish, with the aim of exploring the fabulous natural shades of wool found in the UK or local to your area. I think this is a brilliant idea as it is so easy to get caught up in the vast palette of yarn colours available from indie and commercial dyers.

The KAL finishes on March 19th, and they are hosting a get-together at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

It seems appropriate then to share a wee peek at some of the natural fibre I’ll have at the Festival.

Jacob Batts - Gradients

I have to admit I am slightly biased, I think Jacob sheep are rather interesting and when I had the opportunity to acquire a fleece a Jacob was the logical choice for me. The fleece came from a small farm in Cheshire. The fleece has been lightly washed (note it may still include lanolin, vegetable matter, etc.) and drum-carded – the finished batts have a wonderful bounce. There are limited quantities of four shades (clockwise from left top: black, dark grey, light grey, white), each available as 50g batts.

In addition to pure Jacob, there will be other natural fibres available as batts (note that quantities are limited, batt size may vary). Fibres and shades are listed below:

  • Alpaca (Brown)
  • Alpaca / Jacob (Brown)
  • Gotland / Alpaca (Brown)
  • Herdwick (Grey)
  • Hill Radnor (White)
  • Merino / Wensleydale (White)

In addition, smaller bags of undyed Angora (Fawn, Grey), Alpaca (Black, Brown) and Gotland Locks (Grey) will also be available.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2016

Are you going?

I am! And I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to announce that I’ll be there as a vendor this year…

Exhibitor page

Alongside the patterns I’ll have a number of other things available, including fibre, hand-spun, mini skeins and stitch markers. I’ll be sharing previews of the items online via this blog, social media (links in header) and on Ravelry.

There is also a page just for the event here on the blog which will index all the relevant links and images.