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March 2015

February 2015

Unravel 2015


Unravel is one of my favourite yarn shows. Because it attracts designers and smaller yarn companies, it is a chance to see new yarns and colours and to come up with new ideas as well as offering  chance to catch up with old friends.

The 2015 show seemed smaller than the last couple of years but it still lived up to what I expected with some interesting new yarns and fibres to investigate.

In particular there was a lots of Gotland wool appearing in selections and a Nordic influence. I was particularly taken with the colour selection and fibres on the The Knitting Swede's stand although she didn't have exactly what I was looking for today. However, I did pick up some unusual two-coloured, laceweight Swedish yarn from Midwinter Yarns.


Self striping (gradient) yarn by Ullcentrum

Midwinter's Ullcentrum yarn came under the part of my shopping list marked "something new that gives me an ideas" .

The other item that filled up that bit of the shopping was from The Fibre Company. I'd tried their DK yarns before but I was so intrigued by Meadow - 40% merino, 25% baby llama, 20% silk, 15% linen - that I had to tick the luxury box.

IMG_9923Meadow by The Fibre Company

I feel tiny shrug and or caplet coming on.

Also among the new to me folks I met today was the lovely pair behind Native Yarns - I will definitely be checking out their colourful ranges in the future, especially Sudbury a 100% merino chunky. 

There were lots of old friends and favourites to visit and chat to, including showing The Little Grey Sheep team the mitts I've designed using their mini-skeins. The pattern will be up once my new website is finished. There was also chance to catch up with the latest from, amongst others, Easyknits, Debonnaire and Skein Queen.

And it was another yarn show friend that came up trumps with my most difficult yarn search today - merino/silk blend DK in a jewel or other strong colour (sometimes my new ideas are very, very specific). This fibre mix is very popular for 4-ply but as one stallholder put it, not something people want in heavier weights. But I do and thankfully Belinda Harris-Reid agrees. Know for her natural and monochrome yarns, Belinda has recently branched into colour for some limited runs, including Silky in a deep violet, kingfisher and the luscious raspberry below.


And so I headed home happy, full of ideas and also with some cute amber toggle buttons from Textile Garden.

My idea of a good day.

Never give up on your childhood ambitions

Feeling quite emotional today because I realise that I have I have fulfilled a childhood ambition.

When I was a little girl I would draw clothes and make things on my tiny pink hand operated sewing machine.

And I was going to grow up to be a fashion designer. And magazines would have photographs of things I designed and made and would write about how fashionable/beautiful they were. 

Right now there is a piece in a magazine on my desk about collared knits being a spring trend this year with a photograph of a sweater I designed and made.

Collar trendsKnitting, March 2015, p21: My sweater is the purple one

My nine-year-old self is turning cartwheels (something she couldn't actually do).

It is made even better because that nine year old was also going to be a writer - something I've already achieved. But to bring it all together while I didn't write the book reviewed next to the trends piece, I was the copy-editor.

So it doesn't matter how long it takes, if you really love doing something there is always the potential that you will get to that place you dreamed off on rainy school holiday afternoons.

PS My other ambition at nine was to be prime minister.