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So many thanks for your kind feedback after the last episode with Felix Ford, aka KNITSONIK. You’ve knocked our socks off with your love for that one and it’s got us thinking that we should try and do it again one day soon
That Pensive Pocket of Time
It is the combination of the last of the EYF hangover and the changing of the clocks and the visible lengthening of the day, but I’ve had some time to think about a lot of things – some slight changes to the podcast (more on that in a future episode) and other thoughts about my own knitting, wool events and the knitting world in general.
After my thoughtful yarn buying at EYF for a particular project and after making plans for finishing WIPs, in episode 55 I’ve been looking at my stash and my queue and trying to pair some projects up for future cast ons. Not all my stash and queue, you understand – that would be too overwhelming! But just trying to rekindle the stash/queue magic! Now I have Hetty, with Jamiesons Aran, and Talavera with two yarn choices ready to rock when I finish my current big WIP!
Countess Ablaze and BritYarn
Saturday 30th April is Yarn Shop day and the awesome BritYarn and Countess Ablaze are going to be hosting an open studio at Ablaze’s studio at 101 Chorley Road, Swinton. Isla will have Tamar and West Yorkshire Spinners as well as some single breed undyed yarns for your delectation. Of course, the amazing Ablaze will have a very incredible range of her own hand-dyed yarn and fibre. Both ladies like their British wool so you can tell there will be a lot of local wool love here! #LoveLocalWool. The studio is open from 10-5 and I am really glad that Yarn Shop Day is celebrating the not traditional LYS – fantastic that an indie dyer and online purveyor of British yarns are coming together to celebrate wool and knitting!
Today Joeli from Joeli Creates is kicking off a #NoNylonsockKAL. The rules are simple – just knit adult size socks with natural fibres! There is a ravelry thread for the chatter and where you can share your yarn and progress. I’ve cast on Hermione’s Everyday Socks with The Knitting Goddess’s new Wensleydale and Shetland – a yarn I will be reviewing for you very soon! The KAL is a great idea – there are lots of yarns which are just incredible for socks without nylon and I really look forward to seeing the British wool socks in particular – though Joeli’s KAL is for any wool you like, as long as it’s all natural.
Coffee with CC Review and Giveaway
(all images copyright CC Almon)
The lovely CC Almon sent me a copy of her book to review and also has offered one for a give-away. The book consists of 6 sock patterns and a shawl design all inspired by CC’s love of coffee! Like there is a coffee drink for everyone so to is there a design here with a different flavour, texture and strength. The patterns are laid out from easiest (one cup of coffee) to the more advanced (five cups) and each pattern has helpful instructions, is laid out clearly and includes charted and written instructions, where applicable, My most favourite part is that the instructions include both toe up and cuff down construction…that is just awesome! No excuses not to cast on in your preferred method here!
As usual you should listen in for the whole review for my full appraisal but I think this is a great book for sock fans and particularly great if you are setting out on your sock journey as you can progress through the different stitches and techniques. Personally I love the textured socks Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Latte and I just adore the yarns CC chose for the vanilla sock and how the dye techniques really show off the plain sock at its best! The Coffee Date Shawl is also a great addition and will be well needed for chilly spring coffee shop trips when the weather is just nice enough to sit outside!
You can order the book from CC’s website for $18 or you can purchase the digital copy via ravelry, You can be in with a chance of winning a digital copy of the book go over to the KnitBritish Rav group and find the give-away thread and answer the question there. Thanks so much to CC for that lovely prize and for letting me review the book!
We’ve had some give-aways recently in the KB thread. Congrats to NeuroticBunnyLady and Everelda who won the Blacker Tamar and the Kate Davies Epistropheid kit, respectively! Both these lovely ladies have their prizes now and thanks so much to Blacker and Kate for the lovely prizes,
The Natures Shades KAL is now over (sob) and all participants took that remit of using a minimum of 3 undyed shades of British wool and they RAN with it! Isla and I have enjoyed another BritYarn & KnitBritish -along and choosing the winners has been excruciating. Both our favourites show just how striking natural shades can be – so congrats to MazKniter and Practical Cat for your incredible Crazy Stripes tee and Puffin Sweater! Mazknitter wins my goodie bag of Lammermuir Shetland Wool, Take Heart, Wool badge and bag by Kelly Connor Designs. PracticalCat wins the BritYarn tote with two skeins of jacobs yarn and a set of Of Blithe Spirit stitch-markers.
There was a surprise prize addition when the lovely Suuf (Anne) donated 4 skeins of Faroese Sirritogv yarn – sharing her own local yarn as a prize! We decided to award this prize to the chattiest group member and that is the lovely DaneAbroad! Thank you so much, Suuf, for that incredibly generous prize!
Well done to absolutely everyone who took part in the #NaturesShadesalong – you are all total starts and winners! Thank you for your enthusiasm for the project – you won’t catch anyone around here saying browns are boring! Don’t forget there is another give-away on the blog at the moment to win one of three copies of Wool Tribe, the EYF souvenir magazine!
The Buachaille Song
My lovely mucker Felix has let me play out today’s episode with her glorious Buachaille song. This is a song in tribute to Kate Davies and her awesome yarn and, let me tell you, that chorus is catchy! Thanks to Felix for the use of the song and you can find more from her at www.knitsonik.com
I am going to visit Fluph, in Dundee next week and I will be bringing my mic – if you have any questions for Leona about the shop, the life, the universe or anything…maybe her Rusty Ferret hand-dye? Then drop me a line! I’ll be back on April the 22nd with that episode for you and a lovely meaningful knit story too.
Music: Carefree by Kevin McLeod and Singin’ in The Rain (demo) by David Mumford – Both are on FreeMusicArchive and are both shared under Creative Commons Attribution license. Images are copyright to owners as stated, otherwise belong to me.
Thanks again Louise and Isla for coming up with the Natural Shades KAL. It was a real eyeopener. I had a great time knitting my two projects and I was absolutely blown away and so inspired by the many projects in the ravelry group (and such a lovely group it is), not least by your two worthy winners. I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be doing more projects in natural shades in the future – once again, another highly addictive, fun and thought-provoking KAL.
The irony of ranting about “knitting celebrity” in an episode closed by basically an ode to Kate Davies… well – I laughed.
which is 100% about how inspirational the singer finds the subject, her friend. Not quite the same.
Oh but it is! I’m not complaining, mind you. I loved it, and I agree wholly. But of all yarns and friends to sing about, certain things make it onstage don’t they? I have worked behind the scenes with three different large U.S. wool fests, not to mention have my own following to contend with myself. Knitting celebrity is very real, and very present. And even as we denounce/deny it (I have done this many times myself,) it often just cooks the crow more thoroughly for us. Perhaps you do not like the word “celebrity”, but the dictionary definition fits. It’s very real thing in our fibery world, and Kate Davies is one of them now. I would say that’s very much a fact.
I agree that a “knitting celebrity” is a real thing – both in the sense of being something some people seek to be, and an identity that is thrust upon others. To me it’s simply someone who’s known and recognized as a leading light in the knitting world – I was just at a knitting retreat two weekends ago where Clara Parkes taught a class, and I definitely had an “oh my gosh it’s Clara Parkes!!!!” moment when I first saw her in real life as opposed to on Instagram.
There may be a cultural gap here because celebrity may have a more negative connotation in the UK than in the US. But I also don’t see “celebrity” and “inspiration” as incompatible. I don’t think Clara Parkes has ever set out to be a celebrity in any way, and she’s a pretty unlikely one by a lot of popular media standards, but she’s both hugely known and hugely inspiring.
I also think the less savory sides of celebrity (which I DON’T associate with Clara Parkes, or Kate Davies) are somewhat inevitable when talking about something that is an art/craft/hobby/passion, but also a commercial endeavor for so many people. I don’t think that side of knitting can be ignored.
(Sorry to barge in with such a long comment, I just found the “knitting celebrity” argument interesting! There certainly are probably more congenial terms to use for the phenomenon.)
Thank you for the yarn love, I must say Faster than Light looks particularly spectacular in C.C’s French Vanilla Cappucino pattern! I need her size feet 😀
haha! yarn love so well deserved! Are you doing any yarn shows this year?
Thank you 😀 A few from august, though i’m still waiting on confirmation for a couple in the next few months. I will definitely be at Festiwool this November, or if you are Sci Fi and fantasy inclined the Nine Worlds Geekfest Expo on the second weekend August.
Finally catching up with another lovely podcast. I know exactly what you mean about the thoughtful pause after events like EYF.
Couple of things:
Bakewell Wool Gathering in October might be something you could consider visiting – as one of the smaller shows (and a nice finish to the season although there is Kendal (smaller) the following week.)
And I’m surprised you didn’t mention Wonderwool Wales next weekend! Probably my favourite of the big shows, it’s a very special atmosphere, and you ought to visit next year.
Thank you so much for this episode, I enjoyed it! I totally agree with what you said about the Natureshadesalong. It is a pity that it is over now because it was so much fum! And I love it that you and Isla chose your winners in stead of doing it randomly. This is so much more rewarding, even if I didn’t win.
This is the first time that I have listened to this podcast and now I want to go back and listen flight from the beginning! What a soothing voice!!
Definitely going to be a regular listener from now on!