I was delighted to be asked recently, by Simply Crochet magazine, if I wanted to talk about the very first piece of crochet that I’d ever done for their regular Hooky Treasures back page feature.
If you have Issue 112 and you turn to the back page you will see some photos of the first thing I crocheted, from start to finish, just over ten years ago!
I was extremely exciting to be asked to do this feature and it feels like quite an achievement as a designer (as I still suffer from imposter syndrome at times! 🙈) and although I’m usually more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, I was happy to send in a photo on this occasion.
The Hooky Treasures page is where a designer talks about one of their favourite projects they’ve made and the story behind it. It has to be something very personal, like the first thing you made, or the thing that gave you confidence to be a designer, or just something made for a special person in your life.
I decided I had to choose the Filet Bunny Blanket I made when I was pregnant with my daughter, it is most definitely the thing that, if you’ll excuse the pun, got me hooked on crochet and which eventually lead to my designing crochet patterns of my own.
This project is quite precious to me, not only because I still remember how proud I was when I finally finished it, but because it wrapped up both of my daughters – and it’s still going strong to this day! Who knows; it may one day wrap up my grandchildren – what an amazing thought!
I also have many wonderful memories of working on this blanket with my mum’s help. What was particularly lovely was the magazine arrived on my doorstep on a day when she was visiting so I proudly got to show her the feature.
I’m not going to tell you what I said in the article, you might wish to read that yourself, but I thought you might enjoying seeing a few more photos of my first make.
I’d love to hear more about your first makes; do you still use or have your oldest crochet item? What was it and how old is it? Let me know in the comments below.
Issue 118 of Simply Crochet magazine is available to buy from your local supermarket or you can grab a digital or print subscription from buysubscriptions.com.
And if you are interested in making the filet bunny blanket yourself it’s still available as a free download from Yarnspirations.com here.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
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Hooky New Year everyone! I’m going to start of with a positive greeting to everyone – and I do hope you are all well. 2020 for me and my family has been rather a horror, but I’m not going to dwell on that here, I’m going to talk about what you are all here for – the crochet!
Somehow amidst home-schooling and lockdowns I managed to do ALOT of crochet in 2020. But like so many of you I’m sure, crocheting was just one of those things that helped to calm me, kept me sane and helped me to get through the year.
So let’s have a quick look back at this amass of crochet shall we…you might want to grab a cuppa first, it’s rather a long post.
There was also little Reginald Rat to celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Rat. I’d actually set myself a mini challenge to try to release 12 new independent designs in 2020, I only managed 9, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it, I can always try again this year…
February started off quite exciting with the Waverly Kisses scarf shortlisted in the Unravel a Festival of Yarn 2020 design competition! I still love how the design and the hand dyed yarn work together on this scarf – I really want to make myself another one of these one day in a different hand dyed colourway to see how it comes out.
March and April’s colour scheme seemed to be filled with oranges, reds, yellows and pinks. It was filled with bunnies, which are actually one of my favourite animals to make, such as my Battenburg Bunny and my Deramores Bunny which I think is my first creature to sport a snazzy pair of dungarees.
There was also the Nessa Cowl and a blanket called Don’t Box Me In (which is available for free) that I designed especially for Dear Ewe as sometimes I sneak in some new crochet designs over there too!
May & June 2020
It’s hard to make a designer choose a favourite design but if you twisted my arm some of my favourite designs of 2020 were created in May and June; including Timmy the Tribal Cactus, and possibly one of my most favourite shawl designs ever, the Pelagia Shawl which was inside issue 56 of Crochet Now magazine
As the the weather turned cooler and our thoughts perhaps turned towards Christmas there were some more autumnal makes for September and October – another twelve designs in total, and one for Dear Ewe for luck!
The one that I was really honoured to be part of was creating the pattern for the Remembrance Day poppy for The Royal British Legion and Deramores.
And that brings us nearly up to date with some more recent pattern releases (in fact I’m sure some of the later magazines designs are still available in the shops). There was actually 17 patterns that came out in November and December – though I’ll hasten to add that they were spread out a bit through the year when I was actually making them!
Woah when you look at it like that, that seems like a crazy amount of crocheting! Who knows how many items I’ve actually crocheted this year but counting multiples of things both large and small I’d have to say my output much be reaching the over 100 mark, what do you recon?
It’s been a busy ole year! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a year where I’ve crocheted so much! But I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you, my design work goes to support my family, so when you buy a pattern or a magazine, no matter how big or small, it really does mean the world to us.
What’s in store for 2021?
Well I’m delighted to say that I’ve got some new patterns coming to you soon from some of my favourite crochet magazines, there are a couple of new designs planned for my Deramores Designer Shop, a new exciting summer collaboration with the wonderful Yarn Whisperer, more collaborations with the lovely folks at Anchor Yarn and of course (finally) a BRAND NEW Crochet Along!!! More on that soon soon!! I can’t wait to share it all with you!
I’m not going to set any resolutions specifically for 2021, but what I want to work on is to try and making sure my patterns are more accessible. This will including updating old patterns, releasing patterns that once appeared only in magazines, and making sure that my patterns are available on different platforms like Ravelry, LoveCrafts and Etsy to give people the choice of where to purchase from. As you can imagine it’s quite a feat to get all my patterns in order – and it won’t be quick, as if I’m honest they do get pushed to the bottom of the list more often than not, but it is on the list!
I’m also looking forward to bringing you some new free patterns here on the blog for you to enjoy too, I’d love to hear what you’d like to see, more amigurumi? Blankets? Things for the home? Let me know below!
Here’s to a thoroughly hooky 2021!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Ever have those times where you just need a little bit of yarn for a project, or perhaps some small amounts of double knit yarn in certain colours? Or maybe you just LOVE making pom poms or want to make pom poms with the kids but don’t want to have loads of yarn hanging around your house?
Maybe you want to teach someone to knit or crochet – but don’t want to scare them with loads of yarn? Well that’s where my new Etsy store ‘Yarny Bobs’ comes in.
Yarnybobs is a new place to pick up yarn oddment sets which are ideal for all sorts of mini projects such as creating pom pom garlands and wreaths, learning to knit and crochet or french knitting projects.
They are also perfect for little ones school and craft projects, or other little mixed media art projects where you just need small amounts of yarn. Just let your creativity run wild!
I’m actually a big pom pom fan, I find it very therapeutic making pompoms, just winding the wool round and round, it’s a really mindful sort of project. In fact pom poms are probably one of the first yarn related crafts I ever did as a child!
I remember making loads of them, and then french knitting a short strip and adding a pom pom on the end for a bookmark that everyone had for Christmas!
Pom poms are such a great way to get kids involved in crafts, they don’t take long so offer a nice quick crafty reward! But it’s a craft that all age groups seem to be attracted to because it’s just fun to make a pom pom – and it doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone just wants to have a bit of fun in their lives don’t they!
If you like looking at pretty pom poms or are looking for a bit of yarn oddment inspiration you should check out the Yarny Bobs Pinterest board, I’ve been busy pinning lots of lovely fluffy things!
As well as yarn oddments in the Yarny Bobs Etsy store I’m also selling full pom pom kits. These DIY kits come with yarn, 2 x large Knitpro Nirvana pom pom makers, and a pair of sharp scissors (with a protective sheath) which are perfect for snipping those pom pom’s into the perfect shape!
And I’d like to offer my lovely blog followers a special 10% off their first order from the Yarny Bobs Etsy Store. Until 30 June 2020 just add code: KCACOUK
So fluff up your creativity with some yarn oddments from Yarny Bobs today! I can’t wait to see what you get up to!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
If you are reading this post in real time then you are perhaps coming to terms with the fact that we are about to start another 3 weeks of staying at home and social distancing. Or if you are one of those amazing people that are continuing to support the community in some way; you are combining these troubling times with work.
It’s stressful to say the least isn’t it! Some of us are facing unemployment and / or uncertainty about what the future might bring, and also many of us are worrying about loved ones – that perhaps we are now only speaking to virtually!
I think it’s only natural that we are going to have times where we feel low, worried, bored, anxious, helpless, frustrated and lonely. I’ll be the first to confess that I’ve been find everything quite hard to deal with at times.
Now with a slogan like ‘keep calm and crochet on’ I bet you can guess what I’ve been doing to try and help keep my worries at a lower level – that and drinking copious cups of tea!
The wonderful thing about crochet is that it has that mindful quality of making you present in the moment. You have to concentrate on what you are doing sometimes so you can’t think of other things, or you can just let your fingers dance with the yarn and feel a sense of peace from a repetitive project.
Here are some suggestions that I’ve been trying to do to try and take care of my mind and body;
Do things you enjoy: When you are anxious, lonely or low you may do things that you usually enjoy less often, or not at all. You could re-discover reading, writing, playing games, doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaws or drawing and painting.
And if you just love crochet but you’ve lost your crojo how about looking for a new project? I’ve got loads of free patterns that I’ve now bundled together on Ravelry if you are looking for some inspiration.
Join a CAL / support others: CALs are great places to make friends, feel part of a community and work on a large project. Just by being there you might also be able to help those around you by answering someones question about something – it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too.
Connecting with others: Thanks to apps like Zoom,WhatsApp and FaceTime you can keep in touch with friends and family and see their faces at the same time. I think it really does make a difference to not only see someone’s voice but to also see their face! I’ve also sat in with some fab virtual crafting sessions with friends to – there are many virtual knit and natter groups popping up everywhere, just keep an eye out for them.
Talk about your worries: It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about what is happening right now. Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling with family and friends can help them too. If you don’t feel able to do that, try these NHS recommended helplines.
Look after your physical wellbeing: Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. I’ve been joining in with the free PE sessions with Joe Wicks each morning and it really has made me feel a lot more positive (and I’m not really a typically exercise kind of gal!).
We’ve also been trying to get outside whilst the weather is nice – we are really lucky to be close to areas of space we can freely walk around in without seeing hardly anyone, but even just a walk around the block to get a bit of fresh air can make a world of difference.
Look after your sleep: Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep, this is the one I’m really struggling with at the moment! I’ve started listening to audiobooks to help me get to sleep, or rather than tossing and turning I get up and go and crochet for a bit to calm down.
Another important one for me has been to try and managing my media intake, as it can make me feel more worried. I try now, especially before I go to bed, to not look at a screen and just read before turning off the light.
Do you have any other suggestions that you’ve been doing to keep yourself active and drive down stress? I’d love to hear them.
Wishing you all the best wherever you are!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
I’m very excited to say that I’m going to be back at one of my local craft shops this year to run some more weekend workshops.
The Artisan Boutique in Stone, Staffordshire is a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous handmade and artisan products, and provides a fabulous backdrop to a lovely hooky morning or afternoon! The workshops that I’m hosting in 2020 are listed below:
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone that wants to refresh their skills. In this class you will be shown / reminded of some of the basics of crochet such as holding the hook and yarn and some basic stitches. By the end of the session you will have started a fun facecloth or dishcloth to finish off or take home with you.
Intermediate Crochet:Let’s Make a Llama! Sunday 1st March: 12.30pm -3pm,£35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun llama together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
In this fun and relaxed class we will build on your existing crochet abilities to create a crocheted mandala. De-stress from life’s difficulties by working on a pattern that requires focus, stillness, and attention to the present moment – key components of mindfulness meditation. Take home a beautiful mandala by the end of the session.
This class is ideal for beginners or for anyone wanting to refresh their skills. Through the morning we will be looking at all things granny square! This will including treble crochets and change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘granny square’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Shaped Scarf! Sunday 5th July: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This is the perfect workshop for those looking to advance their crochet skills or try new stitch techniques. This scarf will include elements of filet crochet and combine a fun series of stitches using just 100g of lovely yarn. We will cover how to read a pattern, and look at different shaping to start making a beautiful scarf that everyone is sure to admire.
Intermediate Class: Let’s Make a Sloth! Sunday 20th September: 12.30 – 3pm, £35pp
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make their fun sloth together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
This class a great class for someone who knows the basics of crochet and would love to learn a new technique of corner to corner crochet. Through the morning we will be looking at how you do corner to corner crochet. This will including the ‘box stitch’ and how you can change colours, as well as reading a crochet pattern. By the end of the session you will have started a ‘corner to corner’ themed project, to complete at home, using your new skills.
This class is great for someone that knows the basics of crochet and would like to develop their skills to learn the technique of amigurumi crochet. We will be working from the Sidar ‘Happy’ amigurumi books to make one of bauble designs together. This class will cover how to read a pattern, how to begin working in the round, increasing and decreasing and sewing parts together.
With each class you get the yarn and hooks, and anything else you need along with a drink and cake – which is always delicious! The minimum age for the workshops is 13 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
So if you are in located in or around Staffordshire and fancy taking part in a crochet class why not pop along toThe Artisan Boutique. Susan also has another lady running ‘learn to crochet’ workshops, if you are a complete beginner, where you can learn how to hold your hook and yarn and get a feel for the craft before booking onto one of my classes.
It’s such a nice relaxed atmosphere and such a sociable and friendly way to pass the time when you work on a project together! Bookings should please be made directly to The Artisan Boutique.
I hope to see some of you at a workshop soon!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Attention all crochet beginners! Have you perhaps stumbled upon this blog because you’d like to learn more about crochet? Do you live near Staffordshire? Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve been asked back to Abakhan in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, to do some more crochet demonstrations in 2020.
If you are in the neighbourhood then why not join us in store for a range of crochet demonstrations. You do not need any prior knowledge of crochet to come see what it’s all about just an interest. You could learn tips for a new hobby and find something to be inspired – and should you have any pressing crochet questions then I’ll be there to help anyone that needs it.
Learn to Crochet – Saturday 18 January: 1pm to 4pm
Always wanted to learn how to crochet? In this free in store demonstration I will be sharing tips on how to hold your hook and yarn, how to read a pattern, how to make a foundation chain and how to work your first stitches.
The other FREE crochet demonstrations that I’m facilitating in 2020 at Abakhan are listed below:
Granny Square Therapy – Saturday 7th March: 1pm to 4pm
Always wanted to know how to make a granny square? In today’s free demonstration I will be sharing how to make a granny square, changing colours and sewing granny squares together.
Learn to Crochet – Saturday 5 July: 1pm to 4pm
If you missed the learn to crochet session in January don’t worry as we are re-running the demonstration just before the summer holiday season begins!
I’m also going to be in Hanley for Yarn Shop Day 2020 which is always a fun yarny sort of day – so make sure you save the date of Saturday 2nd May 2020!
If you’ve not heard about Yarn Shop Day before you might like to take a look at a couple of my previous blog posts about they kind of thing that goes on for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
If you love a crafty workshop then Abakhan always have several classes and workshops available in their stores (in Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, Altrincham and Shrewsbury) including dress making, sewing machinery, creative sewing, knitting and crochet and patchwork and quilting.
I hope to see some of you at one of the demonstrations soon!
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
When I was asked if I might like to do another workshop at The Crochet Sanctuary, and this time the Christmas one, I may have squealed a little bit in my head! Christmas is my MOSTEST favourite time of the year and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to come up with a fun festive design.
If you’ve not heard about The Crochet Sanctuary before it’s a crochet retreat set in the beautiful Cranage Hall in Crewe. The hosts of the sanctuary, Lisa and Lynda-Rose, always plan an amazing weekend for their guests and it’s usually extra special at Christmas – and this time it was no different!
On this occasion we were a nice cosy group of about 20 weekenders (to be joined by roughly 5 more day guests on the Saturday). The room we were in, as always, was arranged with a circle of comfy chairs covered in crochet blankets and cushions to make ourselves at home.
Excitingly this weekend myself, with myDear Ewe hat on, and fellow small business owner Mrs G Makes had a pop up shop in the room, and Amanda from Craftopia had a pop up shop in her van!
It was really nice for me to let people see the Dear Ewe products up close as I think it’s a totally different experience from seeing them just on your computer screen. And it gave me a chance to try out my new stall display format as Dear Ewe is hopefully going on the road in 2020 to some yarn shows near you….
We started off the afternoon with a really fun ice-breaker to get to know each other with us having to confess a time when we’d been naughty. Santa presided over us and checked his list to see if he agreed that we’d been naughty or nice! Apparently I was naughty – I’m sure that can’t be right!? And then we were all given a present…if you are Instagram you need to check out this video to see our reactions!
Inside the parcel was our very own Scheepjes Whirligig which was just unbelievable! I’ve been drooling (like so many others I’m sure) over these since they were released earlier this year. These decadent gigantic yarn cakes (1000m / 450g) are a super soft blend of alpaca and virgin wool and have gorgeous long repeats. Mine is the pink to plum version which is a pale pink that transitions to rich plums and deep purples. It was definitely love at first sight!
We were given two patterns to choose from, either the Scheepjes Valyria Shawl by Johanna Lindahl or the new Nolkag Wrap pattern designed especially for the weekend. I chose the Nolkag Wrap which is just a deliciously mindful pattern with a pretty cabled texture. I enjoyed working on the pattern, and with the yarn which just glides through your fingers, so much that I found it really hard to put it down the whole weekend!
But a gal’s got to eat so we hooked until 7pm then it was time for a three course meal in the restaurant (which was delicious) and then we went back up to the room for more crochet and chatting.
I was a bit more sensible this time and was in bed for 11pm (not the usual wee hours of the morning) and before I knew it it was time for a buffet style breakfast then back up to the room for our next project which was completely awesome! We were given everything we needed to make giant baubles! I still need to finish mine so I’ll have to share a photo when I’m finished.
Next it was Christmas dinner for lunch and with all of us feeling full and maybe a tad sleepy it was time for me to do my workshop! Lisa and Lynda had let me decide what I was going to do for my workshop, and when I’d suggested a stocking design they thought that was great – I think everyone was thinking it was going to be another amigurumi!
I came up with the Starlight Stocking designwhich I think would make a great addition to those handmade decorations you bring out year after year.
My chosen yarn for the stocking was the new Scheepjes Chunky Monkey yarn, which is becoming a fast new favourite of mine, so soft, combined with Scheepjes Catona and Scheepjes Lizzy (for a bit of bling). You can just see them hanging in situ below on one of the gorgeous Cranage Estate fireplaces!
As always it was great fun watching everyone get stuck into making the stockings (I don’t usually get to see that part!), we had a break for the evening meal until 7pm-ish (when the day people left us) for another scrumptious three course meal in the restaurant, then it was back up to the room again to continue with the stockings.
As always much belly laughter was had (you pinocchio nose people know who you are!)…then it was time for bed again, the weekend really does seem to just fly by so quickly!
Sunday until 3pm (when the Sanctuary finishes) is normally when we have time to finished off our projects but Lynda and Lisa had another fun project in store! We got to have a go at making our own custom shawl kilt pin and I got to use a glue gun for the first time. I now kind of want to glue aallll the things because I REALLY enjoyed using the gun. I chose some festive felt balls and bells to adorn my kilt pin to match my Nolkag Wrap.
After that it was wonderful to see that nearly everyone wanted to finish off their stockings…and some did get them finished or nearly finished over the weekend. Everyone did such an amazing job with them!
And some more stockings modelled with the gorgeously decorated fireplace!
I’m a bit addicted to attending The Crochet Sanctuary days / weekends they have throughout the year. It’s always such fun and I get to just talk crochet till I’m fit to burst which is especially refreshing because no one’s eyes start to glaze over – they are just as enthused as me!
It was a thoroughly wonderful weekend, which I knew it would be, that I was lucky enough to share with the most wonderful group of people! Just a lovely occasion to catch up with old friends and make some new ones!
If you are looking for a weekend of yarn, crochet, relaxation and just pure wonderfulness then the The Crochet Sanctuary is definitely the place for you. As testament the weekend dates for 2020 have already completely sold out – but you can still book the remaining few day dates that are left here.
I’m going back for a day visit again in February as a guest which I’m already looking forward to! How many more sleeps is that….
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Hello!!! I’m so sorry for my absence on the blog – in the third week of September I came down with what I thought was a stomach bug and which actually turned out to be a gangrenous appendix complete with abscess and perforation!
After a long hospital stay, where I was pumped full of IV antibiotics, I can thankfully say that I’m now home. I’m still working on my recovery, but I’m beginning to be much better than I was, thank goodness! It’s been rather a scary time!
From being ill it’s probably been over a month in all since I picked up a crochet hook, which is a pretty long time for me, and as I’ve been feeling better I’ve been looking forward to crocheting. It was actually really nice to pick up my yarn and hook – like greeting an old friend!
I wanted to start off with something small and it coincided with my eldest daughter asking me if I would make her a fox hat. So I went looking in my stash and discovered that I’d got some lovely Scheepjes Chunky Monkey anti piling, in a rust colour, that was just the perfect colour for a fox.
If you aren’t familiar with Scheepjes Chunky Monkey anti piling it’s a new aran / worsted weight yarn that compliments the colours in Scheepjes Colour Crafter. Classed as hypoallergenic premium acrylic it’s lovely and thick and squishy! And as it’s anti pilling it’s just perfect for children’s hats which will be in frequent use no doubt this winter.
I let Little G decide which style hat she wanted and she chose the Fox Hat by Sarah Zimmerman which is actually a free hat on Ravelry / or her blog. I just love the little cheek tufts on the side, makes it look very foxy!
After I’d made the one for Little G (with a few modifications for her specific head and comfort) I realised I had enough left to make Little Miss one too so I made a slightly smaller second hat. I do love to see my girls in matching things sometimes (only if they are happy about it of course).
I was really pleased with how they turned out, both girls have been wearing them round the house (pretty much as soon as I made them) – you can’t get a bigger compliment than that can you! The only thing left for me to do is I’m going to make a bow for each hat of their favourite colour as an accessory for ease of knowing who’s hat is who’s in a rush.
It was nice to end up with two finished items, I’m terrible at collecting WIPs, but I’m looking forward now to catching up with a couple of projects that had to be put on the backburner whilst I was poorly.
I hope you have been enjoying good health and a hooky time – what have you been making? I’d love to hear about it.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
Exciting news! Dear Ewe my little fledgling business has turned ONE!! And we are doing a big ole sale to celebrate it! It’s often said that more than half of new businesses fail during the first year but we’ve made it and that’s another reason to celebrate too I think!
It’s super scary trying something new – fear, uncertainty and self-doubt all the way! And that step into the unknown was a BIG step, especially for me, but I’m proud of the fact that I took a step out of my comfort zone to try something new. And thankfully you all seem to love our mugs, bags, prints, photo prop cards, greetings cards, patterns and kits – for which we are so very thankful and grateful!
So we wanted to say a big thank you for all the support that everyone out there has given Dear Ewe in it’s first year! Which meant we had to line up some treats!
There’s a 30% discount running on all items sitewide – so if you’re thinking of presents for a crafty friend or as a treat for yourself now is the time to grab them – but get them whilst you can, offer ends 21 July 2019.
Wool@J13 is the most local yarn show to me so I’ve started to mark it on the calendar each year. This year was the third time the show has run and subsequently my third visit to Lower Drayton farm where the show is held in May each year.
For an avid crocheter a day out to a yarn festival is great for your sense of well-being and feelings of harmony with like minded souls. If you’ve not been to a yarn show before you probably need to prepare yourself for so much yarn (all of which you will probably want) and lots of people talking about yarn and knitting and crochet!
As yarn shows go Wool@Jct13 runs over two days (a Saturday and a Sunday) but it isn’t massive, and this year it was smaller than the year before. The stalls for the event are all held in a big structured tent with rows of stalls at each edge and along the centre which you get to walk around in a big sort of loop.
The last two previous years have been blessed with tremendous weather for the shows. This year it was a grey and cloudy so it was great to see lots of people still turn out for the show. Luckily the weather was still warm enough to sit outside and listen to the outdoor music by various artists.
Food-wise there are picnic tables available but most people seemed to just be buying lunch as there were quite a few food stalls at reasonable prices – we all enjoyed sampling pizza and tea and cake over the course of the afternoon.
My girls loved the bands and we were able to sit around and chill as they danced along to each track which was nice. That’s one thing I really love about Wool@Jct13, it’s extremely family friendly – you can just see my two girls (below) walking hand in hand through the stalls and even my husband was quite taken with the colours of the yarns available and by the artistry of some of the felt pictures we saw.
My girls also loved all the animals and the play-park that they have on site. In fact my husband played with them on the play-park whilst I got to have a first leisurely look at stalls then we all went round the stalls again together later. The kids also loved the fact that they got a tractor-trailer ride (there and back) to the show! My three year old was very impressed by the big wheels!
On offer at the show was mainly hand dyed yarn, things for spinners and needle felters, and products celebrating ‘wool’. Actually it is a very WOOLLY show, which based on a farm I think it was bound to be, there are sheep around and also fleece shearing demonstrations which are really interesting to watch. You certainly get a sense of where the yarn is coming from!
In the main tent there was just so much yarn prettiness to drool over that if I had all the money in the world I could have gone crazy – because I pretty much wanted everything I saw!
And I did buy yarn, I can’t lie, I felt it would be rude not to when at a yarn show! I just fell in love with the colourways of five skeins of yarn that had to come home with me. The first two are from Siobhan Crafts and the last three are from Bellica Yarns.
I just loved the speckles and flecks on the first two which are 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon Double Knit. Together they make 200g and the colourways are OOAK – Prism and Mermaid Scales which I think will go beautifully together in an, as yet unknown, future project.
The gorgeous yellow toned yarns I had to have because I just envisioned them in a summer shawl. I’m going on holiday next week so I’m thinking of caking it up and taking it with me. The vivid block yellow is 100g and the smaller two lovely speckled variegated yarn are 50g each so I have 200g in total which should make a fair sized shawl. There were no colourway names on the labels but both are 4ply 75% SW Merino and 25% Nylon – perfect for a light and airy design I was thinking!
So all in all we enjoyed our visit to this years show and I’m sure you will find us back at Wool@J13 next year! If you are in The Midlands you might want to check it out. But actually if you love yarn then I hope you’ll go along and support any local yarn show, they’ll only be able to keep going if we help keep them running – if that’s not a good excuse for having to buy yarn I don’t know what is!
If you are looking for a yarn show near you I’ve found this comprehensive blog post, by the Travel Knitter, which seems to list all Yarn Shows for 2019 which is just fab (thanks to her for doing that!).
Are you visiting any yarn shows this year? I’d love to hear which ones you are going to and why you’ve chosen that particular one… feel free to drop a comment below.
Until next time – keep calm and crochet on my friends xx