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


The Madness is coming…

On a different (i.e. not related to Edinburgh Yarn Festival) note – Sock Madness is celebrating their 10th year on Ravelry. You can find the group on Ravelry here. The premise is quite simple:

Sock Madness consists of 7 rounds. Round 1 is open to everyone who registers during February. Everyone that finishes their pair of socks will move on to the next round, those who make a “reasonable effort” (which we’ve defined as one complete sock or two at a time both half finished) will continue to receive all the patterns. For the remaining rounds there will be a certain number of competitors on each team allowed through to the next round and each round that number gets smaller. In the final round the teams will compete against one another. (From the Ravelry Group)

So, competitive sock knitting with no clue as to what the patterns will be. They have shared an initial materials list, and excluding the warm-up / bonus patterns, the remaining seven socks will form the core of the event. Since my sanity is apparently on holiday I’ve signed up and have been sorting through stash to locate appropriate yarns, and have come up with the following:

Sock Madness Planning

  • (A) Old Maiden Aunt Merino (Berry Good) with translucent, silver-lined amethyst beads.
  • (B) Schoppel-Wolle Best OF (Flei ages Lieschen)
  • (C) Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight (77 Black) / The Yarn Yard BBFL (Howzatt)
  • (D) Yarn Pony Mustang (098/200)
  • (E) Easyknits Super Sushi (Dusk)
  • (H) Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarns Reliable Sock (Orkney Sea & Sky) with transparent, silver-lined sky blue beads
  • (I) Easyknits Super Sushi (Torte), with appropriate contrast yarn (10g)

Sign-ups close midnight (wherever you are) 29th February 2016. Are you going to join in?






Holla Knits Blog Tour: Arciform

This is a very exciting pattern for me. As it is my first garment, and I adore it. A customisable-length, super cosy jacket with colour blocking and short row shaping.

The pattern is worked with three colours, though more could be added – maybe a contrast trim? And worked from the top down. Sleeves are worked with short row caps for a neat fit. And barring a little seaming at the shoulders, the whole thing is knitted as one piece.

Image (C) Holla Knits

The gray / green combination above is worked in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in the Light and Dark Gray Heather, and Lime colour ways. The version shown below uses Knit Picks Brava Bulky in Seraphim, Mulberry and Peacock.

Image (C) Holla Knits

This pattern and the rest from the Holla Knits Winter 2015 collection can be found here.

Competition Time!

If you’d like to win a copy of this pattern, leave a comment below. The winner will be announced at 5pm GMT on Saturday 14th November!

The Blog Tour

Oct 26: Launch Day

Oct 27: The Sweatshop of Love

Oct 28: Cosmos and Cashmere

Oct 29: Brown Sheep Company Blog

Nov 3: Klever Knits

Nov 4: Canary Knits

Nov 5: Aphaia

Nov 9: Ashwini J Designs

Nov 10: The Owl and the Bee

Nov 11: Cosmos and Cashmere

One very busy summer

I honestly have no idea how it is August already. Five minutes ago it was May. Where has the summer gone? Actually a better question would be where the summer weather has gone. I’ve never needed so many woolly items during the summer months before.

But weather aside, it has been one of those ridiculously busy summers. I’m still reeling at the moment, but things are starting (I say starting, I’m wary of something popping up unexpectedly) to come back under control. I can breathe! Finally!

So, in terms of non-knitty stuff, I’m still at University and about 3.5 weeks away from submitting the dissertation. Things have gone well with it, and the research and data gathering elements are pretty much done and I’m now on the writing up stage. All is going smoothly at the moment, and fingers crossed that it stays that way! Unfortunately, this has taken a lot more time than I perhaps anticipated (you’d think having done this kind of stuff of before I’d have been prepared for this, but never mind) and when combined with other things means that I’ve neglected the social media side of things.

In knitty news, things have also been exceedingly busy. Between Uni work and knitty work I don’t really feel like I’ve had much time off. However, the last of the commissions (of four… I think? Or was it five? I lost count… I think it is five) was sent off on Friday and I can fall over (at least on the knitting side of things for a little bit).

I cannot say much on most of the commissions but I’ll post more about them when I can. I think the first preview is coming up on August 12th, and I’ll share the links when I get them. One of them is now out (Notus) and I’ll be posting on that later this week. There have been some re-releases to discuss too. The Luck of the Irish Socks from the Three Irish Girls Sock Club is now available for individual purchase, and I’ll be adding a post on those too.

That was a very brief round-up but I’ll be posting more during August on the aforementioned patterns, and some upcoming self-published patterns coming out soon.

Pattern | Cluaran Tea Cosy

Cluaran Tea Cosy
Cluaran Tea Cosy

The Cluaran Tea Cosy was released in October last year, following on from the Design Competition for the Glasgow School of Yarn. (The theme was Homecoming in Scotland, can you tell?)

It uses my perennial favourite – Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumperweight; using three shades (although you can get a great effect using just two – more on that in a future post). The pattern comes in four basic sizes, with additional guidance for customising the fit for your own tea pot. The slits for the spout and handle are steeked and finished with an i-cord bind-off. And the best bit in my opinion? The wee thistle tassel at the top!

Full pattern information can be found here.

Notes: Cluaran = Thistle.

Exploration Station Shawl

Off the Needles | Exploration Station

Exploration Station Shawl

This is not a very recent FO, but I did just get it blocked yesterday. I still need to finish off the ends but couldn’t resist sharing.

I’m looking forward to getting this finished off and in a wearable state. I loved some of the colour combinations on other finished projects on Ravelry but decided on a slightly different approach. I’d just finished an afghan using a rainbow of sock yarn scraps and had a bag of neutrals left over. I’d also had this pattern in my library for a while too. Seemed like the perfect combination. I could have done it in browns and creams – which I may still do, now I come to think about it. But I had plenty of oddments in various shades of grey, and in various textures / fibres. I only actually used 1 whole skein (the Fyberspates); everything else was leftovers from other projects.

It is enormous, far larger than I expected when I got it blocked. However, I do like an oversize shawl so that is perfect.

When I started I did wonder about the double yarnovers, but with hindsight I’m glad I knitted them as written. A single yarnover would not have worked as well in my view.

Exploration Station Shawl

Yarn: A wide assortment! Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 Ply, Garnstudio DROPS Kid-Silk, Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumperweight, Lotus (Trendsetter) Mimi,  Snaeldan Nappað tógv 2tr, Uncommon Thread Merino / Silk 4 Ply and Rowan Pure Cashmere DK.

Needles: 4 mm

Pattern: Exploration Station by Stephen West

Mods: None, other than my own colour substitutions

Are You Ready? #giftalong2014

The Indie Giftalong 2014 starts at 8pm (EST) tonight!

I’m participating this year as a designer – you can find my bundle of discounted patterns on Ravelry here and also look at them on Pinterest as well. The offers are only available via Ravelry so you’ll need to log on over there.

And it is going to be huge! Check out the stats…

Apparently I cannot count

I had planned a to complete a full month of blog posts for November in honour of not only NaBloPoMo but also Wovember!

However, some things have got in my way. Primarily my inability to schedule posts successfully. It is not 2015, nor is it January, February or March of 2015. When I’m scheduling posts, I really need to make sure I’m correcting the day not the month… Oops!

Rather than publish a glut of posts in one go, I’ll restart the month and act as though November started on the 3rd (so today is post #1) and continue through until December 3rd with the daily posts.


NaBloPoMo returns, which is always a good incentive for me to start blogging again!

So in terms of what is coming up over the next month, expect photoblogs, socks, event recaps, socks, new pattern launches, socks, future design projects, socks, the abomination known as moths, socks, darning (see the moths again)… And did I mention socks?

Also in shopping news, has everyone spotted the Indie Gift-a-long on Ravelry? I’ll be taking part this year, so a number of my patterns will be on sale later this month and I’ll also be contributing some pattern prizes too!