Pattern Release & Giveaway | Waverley Kisses Scarf


Well what a time we are having folks! Covid 19 or coronavirus has many of us feeling anxious I’m sure. It has already impacted on every aspect of our lives and we’re left feeling worried about loved ones. Although crafting isn’t the answer to everything it can provide us with something positive and practical to focus on can’t it!

So in the hope that I can momentarily distract you or keep you occupied during lock down I was going to tell you that I’ve had my Waverley Kisses Scarf back from the Unravel Festival.

It’s now available for purchase on Ravelry but I thought I’d spread a little cheer by having a giveaway! So I’m giving away a couple copies of the Waverley Kisses Scarf pattern here on the blog, a couple on Facebook and a couple on my Instagram (so if you don’t have one method of entering you might have another). 

❤️ WAVERLEY KISSES SCARF ON RAVELRY ❤️

This lovely and organically shaped wave scarf includes a fun crossed stitch in the design which creates a lovely subtle texture that you just want to run your hands over. Combine that with some beautiful yarn to make a winning combination scarf!

🎉 GIVEAWAY 🎉

How to enter simply tell me what colour you’d make your scarf in and be sure to let your friends know about this giveaway too!

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pictures on this post and copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below. 

Winners will be randomly chosen on Friday 27 March 2020

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends x

Votes for Kisses | Unravel Design Competition


Did the title get your attention? Want to know what it’s all about – well I shall tell you, because I’m looked for help from my lovely blog readers! Excitingly I’ve had got a brand new pattern that’s been shortlisted in the Unravel 2020 design competition called The Waverley Kisses Scarf…

There’s nine designs now up for a public vote to pick a winner which will be launched at Unravel as part of their show guide during the festival on 21-23 February 2020.

Unravel is a three day yarn show in Farnham Maltings in Surrey. There’s over 80 exhibitors, craft shops and workshops and all the other lovely things you’d expect at a woolly festival! I’ve never actually had the opportunity to attend yet but I’ve heard only good things about Unravel!

You know me, I do love a bit of a crochet challenge, so when I saw the call for designers to enter their design competition on Instagram I thought I’d give it a bash!

My idea for the scarf comes from my own, and I’m guessing many other’s experience, of yarn shows. You know the times where you see some gorgeous yarn that you fall completely in love with so you have to take it home with you. But you didn’t have a plan when you bought it and now you don’t know what to make with just one skein!

Such as this gorgeous handyed skein that I had of Devon Sun Yarns … That’s where the Waverly Kisses Scarf comes in!

This lovely and organically shaped wave scarf includes a fun crossed stitch in the design which creates a lovely subtle texture that you just want to run your hands over. Combine that with some beautiful yarn to make a winning combination scarf that everyone is sure to admire whenever you wear it.

FAVOURITE WAVERLEY KISSES ON RAVELRY

I’m really chuffed with how this design turned out. It was one of those that just worked from conception to completion just how I wanted it too and I love everything about it.

So here’s where I need your help! The voting started at 5pm today and will run until 11:59pm GMT on Monday, 27 January. The person with the highest vote at the end will win.

Supporters can vote once per day and will need to enter a valid email address. You can choose to opt-in to receive emails from the yarn festival but of course that is not mandatory to vote! 📷

I’ll be doing reminders on all my social media but the link to vote is below:

xx VOTE FOR WAVERLEY KISSES SCARF xx

I’m asking for your votes not just for me, but crochet is at stake (against knitting) and it would be great for it to have a feature!

There are so many amazing designs from inventive designers that have been shortlisted and I’d like to wish the best of luck to all the designers taking part! … now go vote for Waverley Kisses!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends x

P. S If you share on Instagram on your stories be sure to let me know so I can send you some kisses back!

Win tickets for Stitching Show at Ally Pally!


It’s been AGGEESSS since my last giveaway hasn’t it – so I’m quickly going to rectify that now! How would you like to win FREE tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace?

You’d love the chance – well awesome! Just keep on reading…

If you’ve not heard about the The Knitting & Stitching Shows before, and are wondering if you want to enter or not, they are the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events. Events are run in various locations usually four times per year and there are LOADS of exciting features for crochet fans!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

But if you dabble in other crafts, alongside crochet, there are things for needle felting to embroidery to dressmaking –  in fact pretty much covering every textile craft imaginable. And the show is great for complete beginners, experts or folks somewhere in between, as there are demo’s and workshops to try, or you can just fill your boots looking at all the crafty and yarny goodness!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

In fact for this show, in The Creative Living Theatre, there are going to be free, 30-minute demonstrations to inspire future crochet projects including Tapestry Crochet: Fair Isle Techniques with Diana Bensted.

And for those visitors wanting to learn new skills, The Knitting & Stitching Show’s Learning Curve workshop programme is extensive! Offering over 250 workshops with top tutors where crocheters could have the opportunity to learn how to make seasonal snowflakes, Christmas baubles and mini amigurumi monsters or baskets, owls, scarves and fingerless mitts.

And there are over 350 specialist retailers who will be selling yarn, crochet equipment and craft supplies…swoon right!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I’ve attended different shows, and really enjoyed each visit, so I feel that I can tell you about them with experience, but if you want to read my FULL experience of the shows (you may want to get a cuppa before hand) then you can check out when I visited London Olympia earlier this year here or the time I went to the show at the Ally Pally here.

I was excited to see that Italian textile artist and contemporary crochet designer Luisa De Santi, will be showcasing her amazing work again at the Ally Pally.

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I was amazed by her extraordinary exhibition when I saw it earlier this year. Magical Crochet Spells features colourful three-dimensional artworks, soft sculptures and jewellery that is just amazing and inspiring! Her work really is something to see – I also got the pleasure of meeting her in person too and she was lovely!

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to make the show on this occasion, as I already had family plans on this date, but just because I can’t go doesn’t mean that you have to miss out because I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets to giveaway hurray!!!

Giveaway

The tickets are for redeemable any day except Saturday 12th October  for the Knitting and Stitching show at the Alexandra Palace which runs from 10th – 13th October 2019.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post about why you’d like to go to the show. 

The competition closes on Wednesday 18 September at 7pm (GMT). Winners will be contacted via the email supplied from their comment.

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KEEPCALM19 and you can save £2.50 on advance adult ticket price (£13.50 instead of £16.00 adult advance/£13.00 instead of £14.50 concessions), plus £1.95 fulfilment fee per transaction (£2.50 for posted tickets). 

This discount is for advanced bookings only and can be redeemed before 23:59pm (GMT) on Wednesday 9 October. Tickets can be booked online here  or by calling 0844 873 7343 and quoting the discount code. Full Terms and Conditions are available on the show website.  Information is correct at the time of writing.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

Good Luck everyone! Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Yarn Shows 2019 | Wool@Jct13


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

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My visit to Spring The Knitting & Stitching Show 2019


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Howdy folks, how was your weekend? Mine was a greatly creative one! Mum and I went down to The Knitting and Stitching Show in Olympia London for a weekend away and we had such fun! 

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I’m feel that I should start with a photo of one of the showstopping photos I took of The Enchanted Wood by the Norfolk Knitters just to entice you in…

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Though you might just want to grab a cuppa before you start to read the rest of today’s post, as it’s a bit of a long one with lots of photos… right…you all sorted..then I shall begin. 

Have you ever visited a craft show? For a craft lover it’s like a little slice of heaven! The Olympia London may not be as grand a venue as The Alexandra Palace we visited a couple of years ago (you read about that here) but it was still a jam packed with lots of stitching themed loveliness! 

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After a uneventful journey from Staffordshire (which is always the best kind of journey) we got to the show about midday on the Saturday which was the third day of the show. All the knitting and knitting show events run for a whopping four or five days so there’s usually plenty of time to attend one (or more) of the show dates.  

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As we were going to be there for two days we decided to be fairly systematic in our approach – the venue was kind of split into two sections, so we thought we’d spend the first day in one half and the second in the next. This worked out pretty well and we got time to see everything we wanted to and have a bit of time to chat to folks – which is the bit I love!

Guess what! We got to chat with the very lovely Katie Jones of Katie Jones Knit

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If you follow Katie, as I do, on Instagram (KatieJonesKnit) you will know that she’s a lover of vibrant bright designs and bold colour combinations. So as you can imagine her stand was just a fantastic pop of colour…and isn’t her t-shirt just the most awesome thing!

We got to see a close up of her amazing Blooming Bomber (which is a FREE download from Katie’s website)…

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and the stunning Casa Kahlo Blanket which I just adore (this is ALSO a FREE download from Katie’s website). 

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She was such a delight to talk to, she’s done so much and worked with so many different people, and was telling us a bit about her history in the fashion industry and how she’s now concentrating on her Make-It-Yourself collections. 

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We then thought it best to stop monopolising Katie’s time and go and see some of the other things on offer.

Around the corner from Katie’s stand was the Zandra Rhodes exhibit, which was a showcase of garments celebrating iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes’ 50th anniversary.

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Zandra Rhodes is well known for her bold iconic prints and this collection was no exception, really interesting to see these statement pieces up close. So much inspiration!

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The next stand I was excited to go and see was the fabulous exhibition from the Italian textile artist and designer Luisa De Santi with her Magical Crochet Spells.

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Up close it is just the most stunning work! She was explaining to us that everything she crocheted for Crochet Magic Spells was with sort of embroidery cotton and a 2.5mm (US size C/2) hook! Some of her pieces are really quite big so I can’t even imagine the length of time it took to create them.

Crochet Magic Spells (of which you can buy the book of here from Luisa’s website) is just such a wonderful fusion of crochet and embroidery! She was so kind in taking some time to tell us more about her pieces – she’s such a lovely lady.

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Much of her work, she says, is just created in an organic way, she may sketch a rough idea but she just lets her pieces develop and grow into the fantabulous pieces of art that they are. Her work is just so intricate and seeing it all up close it just amazing as you can really see and appreciate all the detail, it really was a magical collection.

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Around the corner from Luisa was some of  Catherine Kaufman’s sculptures. Catherine is a sculptor but not in a traditional sense as her medium is wool. She spins it and needle felts it into large scale sculptures that are just unbelievable!

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We did some more browsing of stalls and then found ourselves at Sue Strafford’s stand. I’ve seen Sue’s name a lot in Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine so it was really lovely to put a name to a face. And actually my yarn purchase from the show came from her stand!

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I completely fell in love with the yarn colourway (by Skein Queen) that she’d used on her Voltage Shawl – so I bought the kit for the yarn (Sue didn’t mind)! The knitting pattern actually hasn’t gone to waste as it went to knitter mum who’s going to have a go at making it (though not with the yarn because that’s all mine!). Just take a look at these beauties!

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Meet urban graffiti, charcoal and neon kiwi! Every time I look at them it makes me ridiculously happy! Aren’t they just gorgeous! Sadly I don’t have the time to play with them at the moment, as I’m working on commissions, but I can’t wait till I do! I’m thinking some sort of shawl but the design hasn’t come to me yet!

After all that it was pretty much the end of day one! We’d walked our legs off and needed a bit of a rest! For the start of Day 2 we had already decided we were going to do a workshop.

I always like to take the opportunity at craft shows to try a craft that’s completely different to my own. I’ve found it’s really enjoyable to attempt something I probably wouldn’t otherwise and so that’s how we found ourselves at the RowanDean Embroidery stand.

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The workshop was to play around with some techniques that the lovely Katrina from RowanDean has developed in her book Hand Stitched Landscapes and Wild Flowers (available here). And what fun it was! Mum and I spent such an enjoyable couple of hours creating our little wild flower scenes – who knew that french knots could be so addictive!

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Both mum and I bought a little hanging hoop in which we can display our finished pieces and once I’ve just added a few more french knots (they really are ever so addictive) I’m going to hang mine above my desk at home.

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And now if you were pulled into this post by the Enchanted Wood image at the start then you’ll be delighted to know that, that was our next stop! And can I just say WOW! It was just unbelievable! Fairies, elves, unicorns, gnomes to name a few in a stunning magical knitted and crochet setting.

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Everywhere you looked there was something new to see…

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A veritable feast for the eyes!

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Such a wonderful collection of creativity – and I really also now want to make a crochet tree!

Next it was my complete and absolute delight to meet the one and only Erika Knight! Erika, as you probably well know, is is a highly respected knitwear and crochet designer, who has published more than 20 booked on knitting and crochet. Her designs are always classic yet modern (if that makes sense) and are what I would class as wardrobe staples that you’d get a lot of wear out of. I’ve got to admit I was a bit intimidated to meet her but she’s so lovely!

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We were chatting for ages about various things including my goal (to some day) crochet myself a wearable garment, my mum’s crocheted wedding dress and Erika’s love of supporting British manufacturing and wool.

As well as designing Erika also has her own yarn label and she asked me if I’d like to try some yarn that she’s designed especially for crocheters. I squeaked my surprised thank you at her lovely generosity and she allowed me to pick a 50g hank of her Studio Linen to try. I picked the colour Velvet which is a rich, dark heather / auberginy sort of purple.

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I’m thinking maybe some lacy summer mitts or maybe a skinny scarf when I get a moment to play!

There’s was so much more than this that we saw over the weekend and so many wonderful other people we met but I think that this blog post is getting quite long enough!

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Hopefully you get the general idea about the show and maybe fancy attending one yourself.  The Knitting and Stitching Show runs in several venues across the UK with two dates in London each year, the next one for London is in October – you can sign up for the latest news about the shows by subscribing to the newsletter (link on the bottom of the website).

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I had my step counter on whilst walking round the event and over the two days we walked the equivalent of 9.6 miles (15.6km) so it was great exercise whilst enjoying ourselves! Aside from the yarn and the frame for my embroidery I bought myself a few bits and bobs including some new scissors, some copies of magazines I hadn’t got, a fun £20 note themed hook case, some material that I wanted and some more safety eyes – I didn’t go too crazy (for once).

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Like all the craft events I’ve attended the show is not only about the pretty things I have the opportunity to buy it’s about the people I got to meet. If you get the chance to go to a future Knitting and Stitching Show I can thoroughly recommend it.

Before I finish off this post I’m just going to say a quick thank you to the organisers of the show for my complimentary tickets and goodie bag and for also giving me a press badge – I seriously will never lose the glee of that! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Win tickets to The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show 2019


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EDITED: GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED, congratulations to Heidi Bradshaw, Sharon Bowles, Candida Carvalho, Cristiana Alexandra Ferreiro do Vale,  Jackie Walter and Michelle Smith! 

Hey folks, would you like a chance to win some FREE day tickets to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia? 

I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets, most generously donated by the shows organisers, for all you lovely readers – plus they’ve also set up a nice discount on ticket prices for anyone that doesn’t win (more about that in a moment).

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

If you love a good craft show, which of course I do, and you aren’t familiar with the Knitting and Stitching Show then you are really missing something. These shows are the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events and the Spring show will open its doors to thousands of crafters for FIVE whole days at London Olympia on Thursday 28 February until  Sunday 1 March 2019.

You may remember I went to one of the shows back in 2017 with my lovely mum  and we had a blast (you can read about that visit here). So we are going back down to the show  together again this year for more crafty fun!

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© keepcalmandcrochetonuk.com

Any hoo, if you want to go straight to the details on how to win tickets scroll to the bottom of this page, if you’ve got a few more minutes I just want to tell you about another couple of things that’s happening at this years Spring show…

I for one am extremely excited to see the amazing work by Italian textile artist and designer Luisa De Santi who is bringing her extraordinary knit, crochet and embroidery work to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. Her exhibition called Magical Crochet Spells sounds like something not to be missed out on! I’ve seen some of the photos of her work and it’s just so intriguing!  

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show / Magical Crochet Spells by designer Luisa De Santi

Lucia creates complex and colourful 3-D modular structures that are amazing and mind-boggling, weird and wonderful all at the same time and I can’t wait to see them in the flesh! 

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show / Magical Crochet Spells by designer Luisa De Santi

I’m also looking forward to seeing The Fashion and Textile Museum who are hosting a 50 Years of Fabulous. They are doing a showcase with a collection of garments from its forthcoming exhibition celebrating iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes’ 50th anniversary. Although I don’t sew I do admire those that can (and I LOVE The Great British Sewing Bee) so I bet that’s going to be a whole lot of  fabulous fun to see!

dame zandra rhodes. photograph by simon emmett. copyright zandra rhodes ltd

© Photograph by Simon Emmett. Copyright Zandra Rhodes Ltd

I also can’t wait to see the stunning Enchanted Wood – an elaborate scene of
knitted and crocheted magical creatures created by the Louise Hamilton Knit and Yarn Group and Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers. It looks so amazing doesn’t it!

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show / Enchanted Wood

Ooo the more I’m writing about it, the more excited I’m getting! As well as all these exhibits there’s going to be over 150 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies (including yummy yarn that needs to come home with me), and there’s going to be hundreds of workshops and demonstrations too. I’m still looking at the full workshop list deciding what to do as there are so many I just want to do!

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Spend a day re-stocking your yarn stash, learning to knit, mastering the art of tailoring and just so much more. There has never been a better excuse to go to a show – it’s been designed for us to enjoy to the max!

Right enough enthusing from me, I think you get that I’m quite excited about going, let’s get on to how YOU can win tickets to the show…

Giveaway

I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets to giveaway and the tickets are for redeemable any day except Saturday 2nd March. These tickets are only for the Spring Knitting and Stitching show at the Olympia London which runs from 28th February until 3rd March 2018.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post about why you’d like to go to the show.  The competition closes on Thursday January 31st 2019 at 7pm (GMT) with the winners being announced later that evening here on the blog. Good Luck Everyone!

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KCACO19 and get £2 off any advance adult ticket or £1 off any advance concessionary ticket.  This means that tickets will be £12 instead of £14/£13 (please not there is a £1.75 fulfilment fee per transaction). 

This discount is for advanced bookings only and can be redeemed before 23:59pm on Wednesday 27th February.  Tickets can be booked online https://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/spring/ or by calling 0844 581 1319 and quoting the discount code.  

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers and maybe we will catch up with some of you at the show?

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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A Very Woolly Weekend


It’s quite ridiculous how long it’s taken me to get this blog post written up! It’s been one of those posts that I half wrote, then got caught up with the launch of Dear Ewe, the Stitch Story CAL, my best friends wedding, Little Miss’s 2nd birthday, school holidays and unexpected hospital visits that I just didn’t get chance to finish. But today I sat down with the sole purpose of finishing this post as I really do want to tell you all about the very woolly weekend I had in the middle of May.  This is a bit of a mammoth post so may go grab yourself a cuppa and then I’ll tell you all about it.

Yarn Shop Day 2018

It all started off with Yarn Shop Day on the 12 May – have you heard about Yarn Shop Day? It’s an annual celebration, facilitated by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines, which aims to honour Britain’s much-loved independent wool shops.  I personally think it’s incredibly important to support any small or local businesses, especially since becoming a small business owner myself,  but anyway who am I kidding, I don’t need an excuse to visit a yarn shop!

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You may remember that this year’s Yarn Shop day was also a bit special for me as I’d been asked to design the crochet mascot, Milo the Cat specifically for the day. Along with particularly produced knitted and crocheted blanket patterns, Milo and Dixie, the (knitted) Llama, mascot patterns were exclusively available in all participating stores. 

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This year Yarn Shop Day took place in hundreds of yarn and haberdashery stores across the country and I headed off to Abakhan in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent – which is luckily just a short bus ride away from me. 

Abakhan are a group of stores in the Midlands which stock a great range of yarns like Sirdar, King Cole, Stylecraft, James C. Brett, Wendy and Rico and they have also now  started stocking some American yarns like Caron.

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The Hanley store is pretty big and has a large range of fabrics, haberdashery items and craft items for pretty much every hobby you can think of. I love it in there, I always find some goodies of some variety or other and more often than not I end up in there on a trip to town.

I’d made a brand new Milo to take with me and we arrived just as the day started. In store there were lots of festivities including prizes for purchases made and there were store discounts on all yarn and accessories at different times throughout the day and there was also cake. Cake and yarn….what a winning combination!

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Milo felt quite famous…though we won’t talk about the fact that his nose got a bit wonky on the bus trip and I didn’t notice until after I’d taken all the photos…it doesn’t annoy me…much!

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The lovely Kim, from Abakhan, was busy giving demonstrations of crocheting Milo (complete with a straight nose) at the front of store so I spent sometime with her and the customers that came to talk about crochet. It was very exciting to see them picking up there free copy of the Milo pattern and I know I was tagged in some people’s Milo makes (see more below).   

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It was wonderful to be in the middle of the crafting community and meet people with shared passions – and I got to learn something new! We got chatting to too lovely ladies who were double filet crochet enthusiasts. Double Filet crochet is two inter woven layers of filet or net crochet in contrasting colours. It’s not something I’d heard of before but Wendy (far left below) was kind enough to give me a demonstration and even let me keep the little sample she made and it’s something I’m definitely going to investigate further! Never show a designer something new right!

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In the afternoon I spent sometime with Debbie who showed me her fabulous Tina Turner-esque creation – that hair is everything isn’t it! 

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And then Debbie got children of shoppers involved in making Pom Pom monsters – I love the fact there were crafts for the kids! Milo had fun making friends with the monsters too – AND I managed to straighten up his nose for his group photo!

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And then it was time for me to go! And what did I buy…well it’s pretty unusual for me not to enter a craft store and not buy anything…and of course I couldn’t make this the exception! I got a cute fabric bundle, I don’t sew but I do line crochet purses and bags with fabric so it’s good to have some in. I also got a extra long tape measure and picked up some cute Ricorumi mini’s which I wanted to try – and yes I also bought a giant peg. I had no specific use for the peg I just fell in love with it!

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And I just need to share some of the photos of some of the wonderful Milo makes I’ve seen – if you made a Milo please do share a photo as I’d love to see.

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Yarn Shop Day tends to be celebrated either the first or second week in May so keep a look out for the dates for next year. Just one final note about Yarn Shop Day – I just want to say a HUGE thank you to all the Abakhan staff, they made me feel very welcome and looked after me well whilst I was there.

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Then on the Sunday the 13th of May the whole family went along to Wool@J13, a yarn show set on Lower Drayton farm, in the midlands.  We went for the first time last year and had a great day so I’d already planned for the family to go along again this year.

It’s was an absolutely glorious day – blue skies and sunshine and, with things happening inside and outside, it was just the perfect setting for a yarn festival!

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This year there were a lot more vendors than last year so there were plenty of stalls to wander around. You can just see my two girls below walking hand in hand totally at ease with the yarn show vibes – such cuties!

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Little G had a go at Satori weaving with a lovely lady from SAORIMor, Wales who was incredibly patient and kind to her. Satori weaving is a japanese freestyle approach to hand-weaving which is supposed to encourage people to express themselves intuitively. Little G got really into it! And now wants to visit the studio in Bangor sometime.

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And it was really nice to see some friendly faces! Wulla Yarn were there with there fabulous mega yarn. You may remember I teamed up with Kaz (on the left below) to create the free Wulla Wreath pattern so it was lovely to catch up with her. I also treated myself to one of Kaz’s fabulous 15mm string theory jumbo hook (in neon blue) as I’d been eyeing them up for awhile!

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I’m also completely in love with her new fades range but I really want to have worked out the perfect project to use it on before I get some of that – so I didn’t get any on this occasion (but it’s on my list!).

I also saw Fay from Knit it, Hook it, Craft it. I met Fay for the first time when I went to the Nottingham Yarn Expo last year and she was so fun to talk to. She  was actually the first person to introduce me to the idea of creative podcasts – something I’d not heard of before. Fay does a monthly podcast, The Crochet Circle Podcast, which is available as audio and on Youtube and it was from listening to her, and her suggestions for other podcasters, that I now have a list that I listen to regularly. I find them great to listen to particularly when I’m typing up patterns!

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I also got to meet Lynne Rowe, from The Wool Nest, for the first time. It was great to finally meet her, not only do I have several of her crochet books on my own bookshelves, but we’ve worked together, so to speak, for Let’s Get Crafting magazine and we’d talked a bit through comments on Instagram.  She was just about to run a workshop for the Crochet Sanctuary (I’m running a workshop in September) so we were chatting a lot about that and just other general crochet things – it so nice to talk to people that share your passion!

I also very much enjoyed talking to Lee aka The Crochet Man who is such a lovely guy. I’d seen him through a feature in Simply Crochet (Issue 70) – so it was great to meet him in person.  

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He’s not been crocheting for that long but he’s designed a fabulous range of amigurumi patterns that you should really check out! I adore his rainbow sheep!

I was that busy chatting to people that I didn’t actually have much time for buying but I did pick up a few goodies. I fell in LOVE with this colourway from Manchester Tart which is a silky baby DK, 70% baby alpaca and 30% mulberry silk. It’s sooooo soft and I’ve got 200 grams of it…I don’t have a plan for it as yet but I just HAD to have it!

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Besides that I  bought myself a couple of mini skeins, some hooks from Black Sheep Wools (who I also enjoyed chatting too) and my hook from Wulla yarn. A conservative (for me) but fabulous set of purchases I think you’ll agree!

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We had such a great day out and I can see us going again next year. I really love the fact it’s like a mini festival, it’s got quite a laid back vibe about it and it’s a very family friendly show. 

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my very woolly weekend as much as I enjoyed attending Yarn Shop Day and Wool@Jct13. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Yarn Shop Day, did you do anything? Or what about yarn shows, been to any good one’s lately?

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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And the winners are…The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show 2018


Is everyone ready! We have have ourselves some winners…but first I’d like to say thank you to everyone that submitted an entry, I really enjoyed reading your reasons why you’d like to attend and / or who you’d like to go to the show with.  And we also have to say a big THANK YOU to lovely people from the Knitting and Stitching Show for providing the ticket prizes. 

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So without further ado the winners are…

  1. Samantha Wormleighton
  2. Libby
  3. Posydog1
  4. Peter B
  5. Cheryl Gardner

Congratulations my lovelies! I’ll be in touch today to request your contact details so that the tickets can be posted out to you. 

And to everyone else sorry if you didn’t win this time but there’ll be more giveaways and special offers for you coming soon (if fact later today!)

And don’t forget the special discount for tickets still applies. Just quote KEEPCALM18 and you can save £2 on advance adult ticket price (or £1 for concessions)  which makes the tickets £11.50 instead of £13.50/£12.50).  You can buy tickets here or call 0844 581 1319.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

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Win tickets to The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show 2018


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It’s giveaway city here at KCACO.UK headquarters! Next week I’ve got my big blog birthday giveaway starting and this week I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets, kindly donated by the lovely organisers of the Knitting and Stitching show, to giveaway to KCACO.UK readers!!!

The Knitting & Stitching Shows are the UK’s biggest textile art, craft and design events and the Spring show opens its doors to thousands of crafters at Olympia London on 1st – 4th March 2018.

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

From crochet to needle felting, embroidery to dressmaking,  there are over 200 workshops and free demonstrations hosted by expert tutors, covering every textile craft imaginable. Whether you’re a complete beginner, an expert or somewhere in between, there is something for everyone, and with nine workshop classrooms, it’s the biggest Spring show programme ever.

Jo Smith Crochet a Mandala Wrap

© The Knitting and Stitching Show – Jo Smith’s Crochet a Mandala Wrap

You can read all about my visit last year to the Ally Pally here (it’s a bit of a long post so make a cuppa first) – but in a nutshell it was really, really fab and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to make the show at Olympia London (sad times) so I’ll be living vicariously through everyone else that attends…and of course if there’s any beautiful hand-dyed yarn that you want to send my way…

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Any hoo, if you want to go straight to the details on how to win tickets scroll to the bottom of this page, if you’ve got a few more minutes I just want to tell you about another couple of things that’s happening at the Spring show…

Campaign-for-Creativity-website-logo.jpgHave you heard about the campaign for creativity? It’s the aim to provide more and better opportunities at school for children to be creative and to think creatively, there’s a petition you can sign here, but the The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show are hosting a wall of embroidered signatures as a visual representation of the Creativity Petition. They are asking crafters to get creative and send your stitched signature (this can be crocheted, embroidered, knitted, cross-stitched, the more creative the better) to be added to their wall of signatures. Alternatively if you are attending you can bring your stitched signature to the show yourself. To find out where to send signatures to see the link here and don’t forget to share your crafty creations on social media and encourage others to get involved by using the #campaignforcreativity

Also this year the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show are hosting an all crocheted and knitted afternoon tea competition in partnership with Betty Blythe Vintage Tea Rooms. They are challenging visitors to crochet or knit any item you would find in a traditional English tea room, think knitted scones and jam, crocheted Prosecco flutes, cucumber sandwiches, tea sets and more. 

Knitted tea room

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

You can use a pattern or design your piece yourself. To find out more about the competition see the full details here.

Right let’s get on to how you can win tickets to the show shall we!

Giveaway

The tickets are for redeemable any day except Saturday 3rd March  for the Spring Knitting and Stitching show at the Olympia London which runs from 1st – 4th March 2018.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post about why you’d like to go to the show.  The competition closes on Tuesday, January 30th at 5pm (GMT) with the winners being announced later that evening here on the blog. Good Luck Everyone!

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KEEPCALM18 and you can save £2 on advance adult ticket price (or £1 for concessions)  which makes the tickets £11.50 instead of £13.50/£12.50).  You can buy tickethere or call 0844 581 1319.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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My visit to the Nottingham Yarn Expo 2017


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Oooo I’ve just realised I’ve not told you all about my visit to the Nottingham Yarn Expo yet have I?

So my story starts back in June when Mr. KCACO.UK and I celebrated our 10th Wedding anniversary. The boy did good and along with a beautiful stamped tin heart necklace he surprised me with tickets to the inaugural Nottingham Yarn Expo which this year was held on the 11-12 November.  How he found out about it I don’t know as I hadn’t come across it before so I was super surprised! And it turned out there was a mountain bike trail not far away from the expo too which was handy…

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My family actually herald from Nottinghamshire, though we moved away when I was twelve, and I have fond memories of catching the number 90 bus with my Nana to go to the cinema in the Victoria Centre. Although alot has obviously changed since my childhood when hubby dropped me off to head for the trails I was able to find the expo easily enough.  Held over two floors in the Nottingham Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University it’s about a 2 minutes walk from the Old Market Square (located in the heart of the City Centre).

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The conference centre is a fabulously big and airy modern venue and on the Sunday when I visited we were greeted by the delicate sounds of a harpist…which is exactly what you want! Nothing like wafting dreamily around yarn stalls eyeing up  wonderful yarn accompanied by the angelic sounds of the harp! Such a great idea! And I heard on the Saturday they had a string quartet entertaining the crowds.

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And oh my! Wasn’t there just a fabulous array of yarn! 

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And the expo, for the most part, was filled with gorgeous artisan and hand-dyed yarn…

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…okay stop drooling! I understand though, the gorgeousness of these yarns was something for the eye to behold!

And amongst the exhibitors I got to meet Caz fromWulla Yarn who was showcasing her wonderful meta yarn at the show. Although we’ve spoken by email, when we collaborated on the Wulla Wreath, we’d never actually met in person so it was great to put a face to the name.

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And she’d made a Wulla Wreath to display on the stall, you can just see it in the background there, I may have squeaked a little to see it, it’s always so fun to see a design you’ve created made by someone else.

Caz was super lovely and kindly gave me an impromptu spinning lesson as she had her spinning wheel with her. I really enjoyed having a go at spinning but found getting my hands and the feet moving in sync akin to trying to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. So in my case definitely more practice is required! 

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I also got to meet with designer Marie Wallin (whose book I reviewed here on the blog: Winter Crochet). 

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There are times where I wish knitting were my thing as her beautiful colour-work designs are seriously gorgeous! Even though I don’t knit I could certainly appreciate the mastery behind the designs and I really enjoyed chatting with her.

Over both days at the Expo there were some inspirational lectures from designers and artisans and also some skills workshops. I was so busy looking at everything that I forgot to actually look at my watch so I missed the talk I’d fancied going to and although I did look at the workshops to book before hand they seemed predominately targeted at knitters rather than hookers. I have seen recently though in the Expo Ravelry group that they are investigating suggestions for more crochet and advanced crochet classes for the 2018 Expo.

So what did I think of the Nottingham Yarn Expo? Well if you like luxury yarn then this is definitely the show for you!

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Lots of choice of hand dyed loveliness to choose from but there were only a few other stalls selling other things, there were some stalls for felters, and only one I could see for buttons or beads (which I was looking for on this occasions) so it would might have been nice to see a bit more diversity in craft products.

I actually ended up spending my money not on yarn but stationery! The fab Stationery Geek was exhibiting and all their crochet themed stationery is awesome! It’s so nice to see crochet represented! Sometimes it feels as if crocheters are knitters lesser-known cousin!

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I LOVE their crochet bible, which I have already started using for charted designs as it comes with handy squared graph paper, and I also ordered their Bloggers Bible which arrived yesterday – it’s going to help me be super organised in 2018 and it has stickers too!!

But back to the show. What I also really liked is that they had plenty of places to ‘sit & knit’ (or hook) in break-out areas which was a great idea (and there should be more of this at all yarn shows!). I also loved the inclusion of the live music. One thing that I hope will be included for future years is a floor plan of exhibitors and a little map of where the talks / workshops are being held. 

And what did I get? Well you know me! I find it almost impossible to go to any sort of craft event and not buy something! Well I was fairly restrained (as it wasn’t that long since I’d spent a small fortune at the Knitting and Stitching Show).

Well aside from the stationery and for saying it was a yarn show I actually didn’t buy any yarn at all (I can only say I was sickening for something) but I did get the beads that I needed for projects which I found in a little basket underneath some yarn, a new 2.75mm hook (as the hook monster has eaten my previous one), some new Clover yarn needles (possibly the sofa monster has eaten my others), a notions case, a fun crochet themed card, a cute little stitch marker and a fab new crochet project bag.  

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For me the show was again about the people I got to meet rather than my purchases but I will say if you get the chance to go to the Nottingham Yarn Expo in 2018 I think you’ll have a great day out.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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