books, British Wool, casting off, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, friends, giveaway, hap, KnitBritish, KnitBritish Rav group, Podcast, Podcast Lounge, wool
comments 53

episode 23 give-aways, reviews and haps (oh my!)

UPDATE: Due to space I can no longer host the audio files on the blog, please use your favourite podcatcher or right click the Podgen link below, to listen in a new tab (y’know, so you can also refer to the shownotes whilst you listen!)

You can also listen on iTunes, Podcast app and my podgen page

This episode of the podcast comes to you with a bit of a podretreat hangover, but it was the most fun. I have two reviews and related give-aways for you, namely The Bletchley Collection, by Joanne Scrace with Eden Cottage Yarns, and beautiful yarn from Ginger Twist Studio.

It’s TWO WEEKS until the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (14-15 March). It is nearly time to scrape me off the ceiling! I will be doing a preview next episode and telling you all about Podcast Lounge. I will also announce the winners of the competition of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival tickets next time too.

 | PodRetreat 

I went to North Wales the other week on PodRetreat. This was organised by Nic, who is Yarns from the Plain, and we holed ourselves up in a beautiful farmhouse near Llansannan. My fellow podretreaters were Shinybees, Gingenie, Stedders, Greenside Knits, Feltaria, Just-Gem and PokedaGoblin and it was a very memorable weekend, which included workshops, pop-up shops, beach trips, fish ‘n’ chips, large gins and an almost-fire!  As well as having the class and shop visit from Bee, from Crafts from the Dungeon, Nic also brought her wares from Yarns from the Plain. I bought the GORGEOUS Mobberly Exmoor/Alpaca yarn in DK Dusky Rose and Aran Granny Smith. We were also the lucky recipients of our own PodRetreat goody bag which included a bespoke YFTP Chelford yarn in a Hendre Aled colour!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was an awesome weekend and I am full of inspiration and ideas and – after GSK’s lovely scarves and Nic’s new loom  – there are quite a few of us who are now considering buying a starter loom! Well done to Nic for a fantastic weekend and thanks to all the Podretreaters who were awesome company!

| Book Review: The Bletchley Collection

Joanne Scrace and Eden Cottage Yarns have brought out a very special collection, which is inspired by the Second World War Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. The capsule collection of 6 pieces – 4 knit and 2 crochet – is knit in the milburn 4ply range and is playful, very wearable and with a lovely vintage edge. The layout is really lovely, very easy to read and ticks a lot of boxes for knitters with charts AND written instructions, as well as schematics for the garments.  The photography, by Victoria Magnus, is shot on location at Bletchley and really gives excellent emphasis on how these items look on. They have a real playful feel too.
I have fallen in love with the clever Baudot hat (with secret code!), Bombe cowl and Hut 8 cardi!

Utterly charming, this collection will be the treasure of your knitting libraries. While the patterns, photography and layout are wonderful, I really love that there is emphasis on where the inspiration comes from and the info that accompanies each pattern – whether inspired by cogs in the cypher machine, or secret code – it is a lovely insight into the collection. The Bletchley Collection book is available from Eden Cottage Yarns and costs £15 and you can purchase the e-book or single pattern downloads via Ravelry.

Victoria, from Eden Cottage Yarns, has given one KnitBritish listener the opportunity to win a copy of the collection – and you really will be a lucky winner! Please comment on this thread telling me which of the Bletchley patterns will be first to cast on?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

| Yarn Review: Ginger Twist Luscious Worsted

Thanks to Jess, from Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh, for giving me a skein of her Luscious worsted to review. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I cast on the Cupido cowl in this yarn as I wanted to knit something special to show off Jess’s colours. This yarn is BFL, CASHMERE AND SILK and is ridiculously soft and shiny and with those 3 fibres you can imagine how wonderful it is next to the skin. It will be a big hit with fans of the soft-soft-soft yarns, but it also has an amazing amount of bounce too so while its drapey, it also has quite a bit of structure too. Also available in a 4ply this yarn cost £23 and the worsted is 115g/200m it will make exceptional one skein projects, as well as a special sweater…did i mention it is BFL, cashmere and silk?????

Jess has also given us a skein of her super sheep aran as a prize. This is 100% BFL and it is so warm and squishy. To enter this competition please follow this link (i.e. please keep the comments on this post for the book giveaway). Thanks to Jess for these lovely yarns and if you are going to EYF please stop by to see her stall.

| Community

Thanks so much for your feedback on last episode’s chat on our craft and knitting communities. Some of you have been adding your experiences to the KnitBritish Ravelry group thread on the topic and I read out a couple. Some of us find it hard to join established groups and it makes me think of Tuckman’s model of groups – some groups have already formed and stormed their norms, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to new members or can’t evolve again. Let’s keep up the chat on this. It is really interesting to know about your craft communities and also where they come up short.

| KnitLocal

Last time I asked all of you outside the UK to tell me about your local wool and wool industry. There was lots of feedback on this and we will have a good recurring section on this. Please read Iriberio’s message about the sheep and wool from Portugal, including the breeds Bordaleira Serra da Estrela; Bordaleira do Minho; Churra Galega Mirandesa; and Iberian merino.  

| Hap-Hap-Hooray

The cast on date for this is April 10th and we will have a wee virtual Knit Night to kick it off. There is heaps of interest over in the Hap Thread and I will have a hap pattern inspiration post each Friday. Please check out the Gudrun Johnson and Brooklyn Tweed posts. You can post your pattern and yarn/colour choices in that thread too. 


Hello to all the new kids in the KB rav group and thank you all for your recent feedback, messages and reviews – you make my KB heart sing!

| Next time

I will be back on Thursday 5th March….a mere few days! In this episode I will be talking to Cathy Scott, from Stitchmastery, about her exciting new software and I will have a preview of Podcast Lounge and Edinburgh Yarn Festival!

| Information

Opening music: Stress Bitch with Jonesy’s Jukebox from Musicalley

End: Made up your Mind, by Antiqcool on NoiseTrade


  1. Jamie Walcott says

    I would cast on hut 8 if I won this collection. Looking forward to the hap-a-long and am still in the process of choosing a BT design for that. Lovely blog & fantastic podcast. Thanks so much for going to all the trouble to bring these to us!

  2. Sherlock_knits says

    Such a lovely collection. It would definitely be Hut 8 for me – it looks like such a versatile cardigan.

  3. As the grand-daughter of one of the women at Bletchley during the war, I think it would have to be Hut 8, although I do change my mind every time I look at this collection!

  4. Jules says

    Love the Hut 8 cardigan, one for the wish list if I am not lucky enough to win.

  5. Liz Smith says

    Colossus is beautiful. I love the shaping – how clever and flattering! This is my definite cast on project.

  6. Oh my gosh they’re all so gorgeous. I’m on a bit of a cowl kick at the moment, I’d go for Bombe – and I’d do it in handspun using some of the samples I got at Unravel, where I met Joanne. It’d be the perfect marriage of memory and pattern 😀

  7. What a fabulous knitting book! I went to the Bletchley Park museum last December and had a fun and informative day out. I’m a great fan of 1940s fashion. My favourite pattern in the book has to be ‘Morse Code’ – it’s bright and fun and definitely the first I’d knit from the book.

  8. I’d knit colossus first. 😀 I love this collection, I’m a computer programmer by trade so I’m really inspired by Bletchley Park – Alan Turing is my God, but can you believe I’ve never actually been there? I keep meaning to go. 🙁 anyhow, knitting + computers = love.

  9. Abby says

    I love Hut 8 and actually added it to my favourited on ravelry last night! I love the simplicity of it – it would make such a diverse cardigan thst could be worn all the time!

  10. Penny Richardson says

    Definitely Hut 8, it is gorgeous! Bletchley Park is only about 20 minutes from where I live. If you ever get the chance to visit you won’t be disappointed, it is fascinating!

  11. Silvercloud says

    Must be a fascinating place to visit and Bombe would have to be my first cast on – evocative, with a fabulous back story and yet modern and vibrant!

  12. Terri says

    Ooh, definitely Hut 8 would be the favourite for me, though it is a tough one!

  13. Carol says

    Bombe – I love the look of it and need more colour work practice!

  14. Angela says

    I love Bombe but I’ve only made one colourwork project so far and it’s not my neatest work so I might need some more practise before I cast that on, so Baudot would be the first on my needles

  15. Jenn says

    Bombe hands down….
    I’m determined to knit a cowl for my sister this year….

  16. gailD says

    I love the yoke detail on the Hut 8 cardigan so that’s what I would make first.

  17. Amelia says

    I would immediately cast on a Hut 8. My grandparents met while working at Bletchley, so I wouldn’t be here without it!

  18. Emily says

    Hut 8! This looks like the perfect cardigan pattern I have been searching for.

  19. Catherine Rowan Jones says

    All the patterns are great, but Morse Code really calls out to me: I love the subtlety of a message as pattern. I’ve never crocheted a cardigan and there’s one I’d really like to make.

  20. Lynda Thompson says

    I love bombe and would wear it loads I think. I really want to win this collection for my mum, she’s visited Bletchley and loved it.

  21. Corinne says

    Definitely Bombe ..lovely cowl! So enjoyed our Bletchley visit.
    Corinne x

  22. Heather Jones says

    My first knit would be Hut 8, but I would definetly do several of these patterns

  23. Charlotte says

    The Hut 8 cardigan in a lovely vintage colour (for my sister, who loves all things Bletchley related)

  24. I loved the Bletchley Circle tv series and as soon as I heard about the Bletchley Collection book on your podcast, I ran to Ravelry to see all the patterns. Its so hard to pick one pattern above the others, they are all so lovely. I think Bombe is so amazing that I might finally overcome my fear of colorwork to knit it up. Thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Quiltercaroline says

    It would have to be Bombe as I love those coloured circles. Thank you

  26. I’m rather taken with Morse Code as a design. I think that one would be first. I’d probably amend it if I could so the code said something particular to me.

  27. Bron says

    I’d cast on cable-icious Colossus – just the ticket for Spring! (and I could always sling a cardi over the top if the weather doesn’t play along…)

  28. Definately the Baudot hat, it’s exactly the sort of hat I love! Though Hut 8 does come a very close second…

  29. Definitely the Baudot hat, it’s exactly the sort of hat I love! Though Hut 8 does come a very close second…

  30. Anita says

    It would have to be Hut 8 — Couldn’t you envision Anna Maxwell Martin or others in The Bletchley Circle in that lovely, face-framing cardi?

  31. Terry says

    I’ve never made a sweater, but I would love to try Hut 8 if I won this collection.

  32. Lisa says

    Wonderful collection–the geeky side of me likes the background stories that go with it. I’d think it would have to be Hut 8 in my friends handspun Jacob.

  33. For me, it would have to be the Morse Code Cardigan (I’m mainly a crocheter!). I love the idea of writing a secret message on the back!

  34. Susan Campbell says

    Love Hut 8 cardi from the Bletchley collection, a really nice wearable style that would be my first choice to cast on.

  35. Ruth says

    Hi. I’d go for Colossus in a beautiful sludgy khaki – smashing over a white work shirt or a black long sleeved tee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.