Summer 2021 planning

I’m not wishing time away and definitely not ready for this summer to be over… but I always think that late summer is a great time to assess this year and to plan ahead for next.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my summer wardrobe and what I want to make before next summer. This summer, more than ever before, has been about comfort! My most worn items have been: two dresses which have elasticated waistbands, my Burnt top with an old favourite skirt (which has an elasticated waistband), my Alder shirt dress, my Peony dress and loose tops with denim shorts for walking.

Sewing-wise – I’m currently trying to re-create one of my elasticated waistband dresses and I definitely want to make another Alder. On the knitting side of things – I really want to make some more cotton summer tops… but there’s so many I want to knit I haven’t chosen which yet!

Above: Eventide by Inyoung Kim from Pom Pom Magazine 30, Place in the Sun by Sarah Hatton from Simply Knitting issue 174 (June ’18) and Soleie Shell by Skeindeer.

I’ve also been having fun planning my 2021 veg patch. It’s the second summer since I changed the layout of my garden and it’s been so much more productive! I’m making some tweaks based on what’s working and what’s not and will be doing more companion planting to help with pests.

I just love this time of year where I can nip out to the front garden and dig up/pick what we’re having for tea. It’s the best!

Are you thinking ahead to next summer?!

Rowan SS20

Rowan launched their new Spring/Summer collections last weekend and there are some gorgeous garments… here are my faves!

Lace Sweater by Chloe Thurlow from Mode at Rowan Collection Two, knitted in Summerlite 4ply.

I love this jumper – it would be so nice over a summer dress. A great extra layer for the unpredictable UK weather.

Striped Tank Top by Chloe Thurlow from Mode at Rowan Collection Two, knitted in Handknit Cotton.

Super cute and simple! I’d love to go extra nautical with navy and white stripes.

Bowie by Lisa Richardson from Rowan Magazine 67, knitted in Fine Lace.

Just look at those flouncy sleeves! This would take forever to knit… it’s going on the long list.

Bari by Lisa Richardson from Rowan Magazine 67, crocheted in Summerlite 4ply.

There’s a whole section of crochet in the main magazine this season which is great – this might be a good starter project for me!

Palermo by Lisa Richardson from Rowan Magazine 67, crocheted in Summerlite 4ply.

I love this! Pretty sure it’s beyond my crochet skills right now but you never know.

Which is your fave? Are you summer knitting yet?

Knit Dreaming!

I’m so busy with secret work knitting (I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on) that I haven’t had any time at all for selfish knitting!

So of course I’ve been dreaming about what I want to knit when I have a bit more time over the summer… and, as usual, I’ve been drifting towards some lovely Kim Hargreaves designs.

Kim has just launched her new book Sand and I’m really loving Sandy and Buff.

Buff has a scoop neck at the back and could be worn either way around. They’re lovely simple patterns that would be perfect to relax with when I’m less busy!

I’m also a little bit in love with a couple of things from Kim’s previous book Form.

I might have enough Kidsilk Haze left over from my cardigan to knit Mode

And I might just have to invest in some Alpaca Classic to knit Shape.

But first things first – I have a few more weeks of intense work knitting before I can give my wrists a brief rest and then finish my Esme cardigan!

What are you knitting?

Rowan SS19

This week saw the launch of the new Rowan Spring/Summer collection. That means that sitting in the garden sipping a spritzer in a floppy hat is just round the corner yes? Come rain, snow or shine – I will be doing some work in the garden this weekend and dreaming about summer knitting!

Here are my favourites…

Mareel by Sarah Hatton in Cotton Cashmere from Rowan Magazine 65.

Witter by Martin Storey in Softyak DK from Rowan Magazine 65.

Yatlen by Grace Jones in Kidsilk Haze from Rowan Magazine 65.

Puffin by Georgia Farrell in Summerlite DK from Rowan Summerlite Horizons.

Blenny by Martin Storey in Summerlite 4ply from Rowan Summerlite Horizons.

Tern by Georgia Farrell in Summerlite 4ply from Rowan Summerlite Horizons.

Happy Knitting!

All New Knit Nottingham

Have you seen the all new Knit Nottingham? It’s gorgeous!

The shop was closed  for a top secret makeover as part of a tv programme competition. It’s still semi-secret until it’s on tv…

They’ve done a fantastic job of incorporating a lot of fixtures that were already in the shop, but covering them with plywood, tiles or painting them. It brings everything together and the use of wood makes the shop feel warmer and cosier.

There are lots of lovely little display areas and they’ve also increased the storage space by taking fixtures right up to the ceiling with cupboards at the base (you can see the side of a fixture behind the community blanket in the image above).

The back of the shop is now blocked off by an old fixture on it’s side with display shelves facing into the shop. Although this makes the shop slightly shorter it makes it a nicer shape and turns a slightly awkward long narrow bit into really handy stock storage!

I’m a huge fan of the new rug which makes your eyes go a bit funny and reminds me of the Moody Blanket.

The main yarn display is in cardboard tubes!

Eleanor was brave handing over her lovely little shop to strangers… but she’s so happy with the results and I’m not surprised! If you can’t pop in in person – you can see a full tour on the Knit Nottingham vlog here and you can shop online with Knit Nottingham here.

Eleanor might need a bigger shelf for all the awards…

 

Rowan Mag 63

I don’t know about you…but I’m very ready for Spring now!

I’m keen to get out to do some gardening without the risk of chilblains, walk around in flip flops (or at least less than two pairs of socks) and to do some summer knitting!

The new Rowan Magazine is now in the shops and I thought I would share my top picks so you can join me in dreaming about long days, warm feet and blue skies…

Nabeela by Martin Storey

I love the colours and stitches in this cardigan – and the different textures created by combining Softyak DK, Felted Tweed, Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace.


Barlin by Sarah Hatton

Knitted in Creative Linen – I love this beautiful and simple everyday cardigan.


Beswick by Sarah Hatton

I want this whole outfit! But particularly the cardigan – it’s blooming gorgeous. Knitted in Original Denim.


Garima by Marie Wallin

Yummy shoulder detail and a lovely shape for the soft drape of Summerlite 4ply.


Which brings me onto the other exciting news…

There are lots of amazing new shades to play with in Summerlite! I even felt compelled to stick little hearts on my shade card.

I would definitely recommend popping into your local Rowan stockist to check them out in person.

And just look at this new shade of Handknit Cotton… I’m pretty sure they made this for me?

Are you ready for Spring to arrive or are you still getting Hygge?

 

Stitches

This week I got to spend a few days fondling and hugging yarn on the Rowan stand at the ‘Stitches’ trade show.

Yarn hug

It’s no secret that my favourite part of the day job with Rowan is nattering with knitters and merchandising yarn…so trade shows and consumer shows are always good fun.

We had a beautiful new display fixture, lots of gorgeous yarn to fill it with and no shortage of passionate and inspiring yarn shop owners!

We showcased lots of new things for Spring/Summer – including the super cute new book from Martin Storey, Little Rowan Explorers, and Quail Studio’s latest – Kids Essential Knits. These and other new Rowan books are hitting the shops now – so keep your eye out at your local yarn shop!

We also had an exciting sneak preview of the first in a new series of books from Kim Hargreaves! Coming soon…x

Kim Hargreaves Grace

This week saw the release of Kim Hargreaves new book Grace. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I’m a huge fan of Kim and a lot of the garments I knit for myself are Kim’s designs – so I get rather excited when a new book arrives!

I recently wrote blogs about creating a capsule summer-knit wardrobe and capsule winter-knit wardrobe. Below are my favourite designs from Grace – but I’m going to be strict with myself and pick which to knit based on whether it will fit in with my capsule wardrobes!

Elin

This beautiful simple jumper knitted in Rowan Alpaca Merino DK would be the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe! But I didn’t put this on the capsule wardrobe list so perhaps it should go on the list for after I’ve completed my capsule knits. I wear more cardigans than jumpers so I think when I next knit a jumper I want it to be a super special fair-isle one.

Escape

This short cardie definitely passes the capsule wardrobe test! However – it’s knitted in Rowan Super Fine Merino 4ply and having just finished knitting Jamie in the Aran version of this yarn I quite fancy something different. I have a few 4-ply yarns in my stash so this would be a good opportunity for some stash-busting.

Esme

I love this cardigan! Pink isn’t my colour – but it does actually look lovely in these shades. It is knitted with Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace worked together and having knitted Captivate with this combination, I’m keen to knit with it again. The two yarns together were a pleasure to knit and after wearing the cardie quite a lot – it still looks new. A long cardie is on my capsule winter knits list…but I’ve just finished Jamie. Am I allowed two long winter cardies or should I tackle the rest of the list first?!

Gift

This little top is so pretty! It definitely doesn’t fit in with my capsule wardrobe knits…but just look how blooming lovely it is!

So which is your favourite? I don’t have much time for selfish knitting at the moment, but it would be lovely to have something new on the needles over Christmas…which should I knit first?

Yarndale 2015

Last weekend was the third annual Yarndale in Skipton – and my first solo show!

One of my favourite parts of working for Coats and Rowan, was helping at the consumer shows. Meeting other makers, talking about their projects and helping them choose yarn and fabrics is always fun! Since becoming self-employed, I’ve been lucky enough to still be asked by my friends at Coats to help out at the odd consumer show. So I’ll see you at Alexandra Palace for Knitting & Stitching show next week?!

I visited Yarndale last year as a customer and decided that it would be the perfect place to have a stand solo.

The small sheep pen was a perfect size for me and it was really exciting to do a little preview of my new book ‘The Knitted Nursery Collection’. The official launch date is January 2016, but I’m hoping to have some stock before then – so watch this space!

I had three different kits for sale: the Lazy Lace Cowl, Shuggie Sheep and the Dice Cowl (in two colourways). All of these kits will be available to buy from my online shop which will launch in mid-Oct (perfect Christmas presents)! Or if you prefer digital – you can find more information on my patterns page here.

I loved pulling all of my designs together in one place and working on the whole show, from planning the stand and preparing stock through to the fun bits of creating displays and meeting hoards of lovely knitters! I couldn’t have done any of it without my trusty sidekick Nettynot who helped me out for the weekend and also took the pictures above. Thanks Steph!

If you bought one of my kits or patterns at Yarndale – I would love to see pics of your finished knits!