Sunday, 28 February 2016

New Adventures and a Workshop with Arne & Carlos

I've had a busy (not to mention exciting) week and ventured out of my comfort zone and into new territory. On Monday, I left the safety of The Woolnest on a little adventure to a Trade Show, and out into the world of interviewing. Goodness me, I was so very nervous and just a little overwhelmed by the enormity of what was about to happen - and when I tell you who I interviewed first (sometime soon, I promise), then you'll perhaps understand my nervousness. But, between my colleague, Fay, and myself, I think we did a great job (fingers crossed). I haven't listened to the recording as yet, but the lovely interviewee did say that it was the best interview she's had - she loved our questions and passion for the industry. I nearly fell of my chair with excitement (and relief), whilst trying to maintain a somewhat professional exterior.

In the afternoon we interviewed another lovely lady whom I've known for a few years now - she works for a well known yarn company and it was great to hear all about their new yarn. It never ceases to amaze me how you can ask the same questions to different people and in return you get such a wide ranging and interesting variety of answers.

To top this off, we also interviewed a dynamic design duo and I've concluded that the knitting and crochet world is just crammed full of the loveliest people.

I really can't wait to share our interviews with you and I'll reveal more about out interviewees very soon, and more about the exciting collaboration that I'm working on with Fay over at madashper.
2016 is turning out to be very interesting indeed.
At the Show, I also had a little sneaky peak at a brand new Crochet Magazine called Crochet Now, Edited by the talented Hugh Metcalf at Practical Publishing. You can download a digital sampler here.
For the first issue, I've designed a cute little nursery set (toy and blanket) using a new yarn  called Sirdar Evie, which was a joy to work with. I was delighted to see my Unicorn displayed on their very pretty stand. I also have something else exciting to share with you about Crochet Now, but I'll keep you in suspense for now until the first issue is published.
The Trade Show itself was packed with amazing stands with beautiful yarns, great magazines and books, not to mention all of the knitting & crochet paraphernalia that you could think of. We didn't get a chance to look around all of the stands, as we had quite a busy agenda with our interviews, but left feeling quite exhilarated with my head bursting with new ideas.
Then on Tuesday I travelled to Warrington (yes I know - 2 days out in a row). As if the excitement of Monday wasn't enough, I was lucky enough to book a place at a Black Sheep Wools workshop with the Scandanavian design team Arne & Carlos. If you haven't heard of these guys then I urge you  to take a look at their work. They're so inspiring and they have the best stories to tell of their childhood years in Norway.  As well as being awesome, they have a great rapport with each other and had us all in stitches. During the workshop we all made wrist warmers, working in the round and with help from Arne, I finally mastered continental purl stitch. The 2-hour workshop simply flew by, but still had the afternoon talk/lecture to look forward to. We heard all about their house in the middle of nowhere on the shores of a beautiful lake, how they planted up the most amazing garden, their family lives and interesting traditions and what inspires them. We also heard about their infamous Kim Kardashian knitted doll and how it was the cause of their first hate-mail. All hilarious, and so utterly interesting.

I take my hat off to  the lovely Sara at Black Sheep Wools for organising this, especially as the lecture in the afternoon was completely free. You don't get much for free these days, let alone an afternoon of laughter, knitting and inspiration. Sara interviewed Arne & Carlos after the talk and you can view it here.

If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop or talk by Arne & Carlos, I'd jump at it. You'll feel invigorated and inspired and itching to get out your knitting needles.


I'll be back soon with more news on my new venture, but in the meantime, happy crafting.
Lynne xx

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Mrs Moon SIMPLE CHIC KNITS Book Review

I'm an absolute fan of Mrs. Moon yarns, and so I was thrilled when Polly at CICO books invited me to review their new knitting book SIMPLE CHIC KNITS.

I've seen some of the projects in the book in person, including the beautiful herringbone throw which adorns the front cover, and have even stroked and coo'd over them at the various yarn events that I've  attended. I can assure you that they look as scrumptious in the book as they do in real life. Mrs. Moon yarn instantly brings to mind big fluffy clouds or plump marshmallows, just waiting to be squished and smooshed.

The title of the book says it all really - Karen and Susan's designs are indeed simple and chic, as well a super stylish and just downright gorgeous. Their book is ideal for all levels of knitting knowledge and there are projects in the book for your home, your family and for yourself, and I'd definitely recommend a bit of selfish knitting with Mrs. Moon's Plump yarn. It's really hard to choose from this wonderful collection, but my favourite projects are The Triple Textured Snood; Geometric Arm Warmers; Fingerless Mittens; Chunky Lace Scarf; Herringbone Throw and last but not least the Chunky jumpers.

Another thing I love about Mrs. Moon yarns are their delicious shades which are all named after their favourite food, including Lemon Curd, Cherry Pie, Fondant Fancy and Clotted Cream. It's really difficult to choose between the colour because they're all lovely. I spent hours recently at Kirstie's Handmade Christmas Fair deliberating over 3 colours. Karen and Susan were extremely patient!!! In the end I chose  Earl Grey, Sugared Almond and Clotted Cream, which means I can knit 2 pairs of Fingerless Mittens - one for me and one to gift (or if I can't bear to part with them it could be 2 for me???). Some of the projects in the book are knitted with other equally gorgeous yarns and I love how the book intro acknowledges that the yarns used are luxurious, and if you can't justify the cost then you can easily substitute yarns as they're all standard gauge.

So, next time you attend a yarn festival - look out for Mrs. Moon and I dare you to try and walk past without squishing their gorgeous yarns, buying their fantastic book or just having a lovely chat with Karen and Susan (or you can read more about them here: Mrs Moon online shop)
Happy Crafting, Lynne xx

Disclaimer: CICO book sent the book to me to review; however, I wasn't asked to write anything specific and all of this post are my own thoughts and words. I always share my review books with my knit groups or give them away as a competition prize.