GLYC Designers: East London Knit

As we get closer to this Great London Yarn Crawl, we'd like to give you a sneak preview of some of the designers and patterns that are going to be in the goody bags for this year's event. First up is our good friend, Renée Callahan.

Renée is the fabulous designer behind East London Knit, and her designs celebrate textures and colours, coupled with interesting constructions, resulting in beautiful, wearable garments and accessories. 

Angelus Novelus, from the Klee Collection

Angelus Novelus, from the Klee Collection

Takumi from The Zen Variations for The Fibre Co.

Takumi from The Zen Variations for The Fibre Co.

We are so lucky that Renée been a part of the Great London Yarn Crawl since our humble beginnings in 2013! She was one of our Yarn Guides that first year, and her support has gone on to include running the show at last year's Pop Up Marketplace. This year, she's contributing patterns for the goody bags. In particular, she's contributing this pattern: 

The Zigging Hat & Cowl, which is one of the fab projects in the London Craft Guide. Worked in a plump, aran weight yarn, this matching graphic hat and cowl can be made with less then 350 m of yarn. There are less than 30 tickets left for this year's Yarn Crawl, so don't miss out!!!

Many, many thanks to Renée for her support and friendship over the years. She sadly won't be at the GLYC this year, but you can find more of her gorgeous patterns at www.eastlondonknit.co.uk, as well as finding her on Ravelry and Instagram

Episode 43: Goodies

Some of the fabulous loot going in the goody bags for this year's GLYC. These custom stitch markers are from Yarnistry.

Some of the fabulous loot going in the goody bags for this year's GLYC. These custom stitch markers are from Yarnistry.

We are reunited once again on the same side of the pond, and we are ogling the goodies that have been coming in for this year’s Great London Yarn Crawl! They’re too fabulous not to share so this episode will be lots of love and shoutouts for our amazing sponsors.

So go hide your credit cards, grab your coffee and your knitting, and kick back with us!

Sponsor:

The Loveliest Yarn Company is a new online yarn shop bringing you the loveliest yarn and knitting accessories.  Buying yarn online can be a bit fraught so they have gathered the best into one place.  They have knit, washed and worn everything so people know it’s all been tried and tested by knitters. The Loveliest Yarn Company stock artisan hand dyed yarn from Life in the Long Grass, organic merino from Rosy Green Wool, some great stalwarts of the yarn world from West Yorkshire Spinners, irresistible accessories from Merchant and Mills and lots more.  All from theloveliestyarncompany.co.uk.

Podcast listeners can get 10% off in July, August and September with the code YITCEnabled2016.  If you aren’t shopping for yarn at the moment, sign up for their newsletter on the site. 

News and Events:

There are less than 40 tickets left for this year’s Great London Yarn Crawl as of recording day! Make sure you’re keeping an eye on our Ravelry board and our blog for details about the day as well as logistics and our sponsors.

Now until 4th September – the Missoni Art Colour exhibition is on at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London.

September 4th – Horsley Wool Fair and Artists' Open Studio, Horsley NE15 0NT

September 16-18 – Kirstie Allsop presents The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace

September 24-25 – Masham Sheep Fair, Masham HG4 4DZ

September 24-25 – Yarndale, Skipton Auction Mart (where you can get your Porpoise Fur and YITC fix)

Septembe 29-October 2 – Loch Ness Knit Fest in Inverness, Scotland

September 30-October 2 – Made on Holiday Yarn in the Country retreat in Devon with us

Photo credit: The Canadian Press, RCMP Twitter Alberta Twitter

Photo credit: The Canadian Press, RCMP Twitter Alberta Twitter

Knitting for Fort McMurray - Podcast listener Ramona has been organising a knitting drive in Toronto to benefit those affected by the devastating fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta earlier this spring (the whole city had to be evacuated!). Winters in Fort McMurrary are incredibly cold and woolies would be very welcome. Check out Ramona's blog to learn more about how you can help. Knits are being collected until the end of September.

What we’re working on

Rachel's Lambton Panes shawl is finished and glorious!

Rachel's Lambton Panes shawl is finished and glorious!

Rachel is knitting a big ass shawl - Lothian by Justyna Lorkowska. She's finised her Lambton Panes by Cowtown Knits, and made a bit of progress over her holiday on her Knightsbridge Shawl by Anniken Allis for the #LCGcraftalong, but is sadly probably not going to finish in time...

Another big shawl: Rachel is still working on the Kensington Shawl from the London Craft Guide - in her own handspun.

Another big shawl: Rachel is still working on the Kensington Shawl from the London Craft Guide - in her own handspun.

Allison is crocheting. And finished the toddler hoodie. Except for weaving in the ends and sewing it up, so it actually doesn't really count. She also regrets ever saying that she missed Rachel. ;-) She's almost done with the second mitt for Because Sock Yarn, also for the #LCGcraftalong, and may finish the shawl in time - woot!

Goodies (aka sponsor love)

Awesome, amazing sponsors for this year's GLYC, and we share some good details!

Title sponsor:

Erika Knight

Goodie Bags:

Cowtown Knits

East London Knits

Inspiration Knits

Owl About Yarn

Soak

Third Vault Yarns

Yarnistry

 

Door prizes:

Anna Maltz

Cocoknits

Daughter of a Shepherd

Inspiration Knits

Kettle Yarn Co.

The Little Grey Girl

Loop

Wild & Woolly

Pom Pom Quarterly

SweetGeorgia Yarns

Tin Can Knits


Wrap up

We hope you’ll make a plan to join us on Saturday, September 10th for the Great London Yarn Crawl. Tickets are selling quickly so get yours soon

You can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio and us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, in our Yarn in the City group on Ravelry, or in person on Wednesday nights at our knit night at The Goat on the Rise between 7 and 10pm. Everyone’s really friendly and we hope to see you there!

Have a great couple of weeks and we’ll chat with you soon!

Music (all available on NoiseTrade):
I want you to want me - Letters to Cleo
Pass it on - Candythief

The best mail days are in August

We can always tell when summer is drawing to a close: the goodies and door prizes for the Great London Yarn Crawl start arriving!

If you've been keeping an eye on our sponsors page for the GLYC you'll have seen us adding logos to this page steadily over the last few weeks. We're always blown away by everyone's generosity to this event and this year is no different. Please show them some love and click on the logos to go through to their websites to learn more about them.

Erika Knight's brand new Gossypium Cotton

Erika Knight's brand new Gossypium Cotton

We've already told you about our amazing title sponsor Erika Knight, so how about a sneak peek from some of our other sponsors?

Designers, oh the designers!
The indie designer talent in the UK (and particularly in London!) is nothing short of outstanding. In fact, these designers are worthy of their own post. If you're not familiar yet with Anna Maltz, Kate Bostwick of Cowtown Knits, Renée Callhan of East London Knit, Louise Zass-Bangham of Inspiration Knits or Emily Wessel and Alexa Ludeman of Tin Can Knits - you should be. Kate, Renée and Louise are all contributing patterns to the goodie bags and Anna, Louise and Emily and Alexa have contributed some of their books as door prizes for the after party.

Clockwise from top right: Penguin by Anna Maltz, Knit Play Colour by Louise Zass-Bangham, Lambton Panes pattern by Kate Bostwick, custom GLYC stitch markers from Yarnistry

Clockwise from top right: Penguin by Anna Maltz, Knit Play Colour by Louise Zass-Bangham, Lambton Panes pattern by Kate Bostwick, custom GLYC stitch markers from Yarnistry

Something new, something different
We love trying to find little surprises to include with all of the goody bags. This year we think we've really hit the mark with some custom stitch markers thanks to Emma from Yarnistry. Emma makes amazing laser-cut stitch markers, some of which have clever abbreviations so that you can follow along your knitting and not your pattern. She's created a special GLYC stitch marker for us as a reminder of this year's big day out!

Clockwise from top right: True Brit Knits project bag from Wild & Woolly, Daughter of a Shepherd tote (with yarn!), and SweetGeorgia Yarns Party of Five gradient set

Clockwise from top right: True Brit Knits project bag from Wild & Woolly, Daughter of a Shepherd tote (with yarn!), and SweetGeorgia Yarns Party of Five gradient set

Old faves, new yarns
We're really lucky to welcome back some of our supporters of the GLYC from the very beginning like LoopSoak and SweetGeorgia Yarns. We're also excited to welcome new door prize sponsors Wild & Woolly and the hard-to-lay-hands-on Daughter of a Shepherd. Every goody bag will also feature something special from new indie dyers Owl About Yarn and Third Vault Yarns too! 

Sometimes there's enough yarn
It's a rarity to hear a knitter say they have more than enough yarn! But we love good tools too, and the prizes we have from Cocoknits (a Knitter's Keep!) and Kettle Yarn Co. tick that box perfectly. Plus we can't forget a copy of Take Heart from Pom Pom Press or a brand new project bag design and stitch markers from The Little Grey Girl.

We've still a few more surprises up our sleeve to make this year's GLYC as memorable as possible but you'll have to stay tuned for those! Only a few more short weeks to go now! And if you don't have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for? It's a great cause with all net proceeds from the event being donated to UK charity Refuge. Click here to get your tickets!

Episode 42: Summer Road Trip

Apologies in advance for any sound issues in this episode of the podcast - we're on either side of the pond at the moment, and do not have access to the best recording setup while that is the case.

Places you can knit: the Dordogne, France

Places you can knit: the Dordogne, France

In this episode we chat about taking our yarn on the road - Allison to Scotland and Rachel to the United States - and we've got some great shops to tell you about, along with our tips on what makes the perfect road trip project.

Sponsor:

The Loveliest Yarn Company is a new online shop bringing you the loveliest yarn and knitting accessories. Buying yarn online can be a bit fraught so they have gathered the best into one place. The Loveliest Yarn Company stock artisan hand dyed yarn from Life in the Long Grass, organic merino from Rosy Green Wool, irresistible accessories from Merchant and Mills and lots more.

Podcast listeners can get 10% off in July, August and September by using the code YITCEnabled2016. If you aren't shopping for yarn at the moment, be sure to sign up for their newsletter on the site.

We are delighted to welcome Erika Knight as the title sponsor of the fourth annual Great London Yarn Crawl!

We are delighted to welcome Erika Knight as the title sponsor of the fourth annual Great London Yarn Crawl!

News and Events:

GLYC 2016 tickets are on sale! The event is now over 50% sold, with five routes sold out, out so don’t wait too long to get your tickets! We've also started posting our sponsors for GLYC2016, including title sponsor Erika Knight! Other sponsors include Cocoknits, Daughter of a Shepherrd, The Little Grey Girl, Owl About Yarn, Pom Pom Quarterly, SweetGeorgia Yarns, Third Vault Yarns and Tin Can Knits,

Now until 4th September – the Missoni Art Colour exhibition is on at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London.

30-31st July - Fibre-East, Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

5-6th August - the British Wool Show, York Auction Mart, Murton, York.

12-19th August - Knitting & Crochet in the Faroe Islands with Carol Meldrum

12-18th August - Hiking and Knitting between Fire and Ice, with Helene Magnusson, Iceland.

20-28th August - Yarn Along the Rockies, Colorado Front Range

What we're working on:

Allison is obsessed with her Wavedeck Shawl by Kate Atherley, and will be done shortly. She's also started the Garter Goodness Shawl by Stephen West.

And in fact, Allison finished her Wavedeck Shawl not long after we recorded the episode - which may have partially contributed to the editing being slightly delayed... sorry!

And in fact, Allison finished her Wavedeck Shawl not long after we recorded the episode - which may have partially contributed to the editing being slightly delayed... sorry!

Rachel is working on Lambton Panes from Cowtown Knits, and her Kippen Cardigan by Kat Goldin from the Crochet Project, as well as a men's sweater design for A Yarn Story in the luscious Arranmore from The Fibre Company. The Tour de Fleece is now done - you can see photos of her spinning (and the rest of Team Porpoise Fur) on her Ravelry board.

Summer Road Trip:

Some of the machinery in action at the mill at New Lanark

Some of the machinery in action at the mill at New Lanark

Allison hit five shops in three days in Scotland, and she tells us all about her visits, including a trip to the New Lanark Mill. Rachel has grand plans for Fiber Space in Alexandria, VA; Looped Yarn Works in Dupont Circle, DC, and WEBS in Northampton, MA in the immediate future. She might also hit Dyakcraft, Golding Fiber Tools and Spunky Eclectic!


Thanks so much for listening! Please leave us a comment or send us an email at hello@yarninthecity.com with your thoughts, or let us know what you think via TwitterFacebook and Instagram. You can also find us oniTunes or Stitcher Radio (and please consider leaving a review for us!), or download us directly from the Yarn in the City website.  Or come join our Ravelry group to keep up to date on all the latest news, and join in the London Craft Guide craft-along!

On Wednesday nights you can find us at knit night at The Goat on the Rise pub on Battersea Rise, close to Clapham Junction station in SW London. We meet from 7pm to around 10pm. The food is great and the knitters are friendly. Join us! 

Music (all available on NoiseTrade):
No Matter Where We Go - Whitney
Airport Bar - Martin Courtney

 

Erika Knight: GLYC 2016 Title Sponsor

It's that time of year again when we start firing up the blog to tell you all about the amazing sponsors we have for our annual charity event, the Great London Yarn Crawl!

This year we are beyond excited to be welcoming Erika Knight as the title sponsor of this year's GLYC. If you're a knitter or crocheter in the UK, you're probably familiar with Erika's designs, and her yarns!

The latest yarn from Erika Knight is Gossypium Cotton in eight wonderful, soft shades

The latest yarn from Erika Knight is Gossypium Cotton in eight wonderful, soft shades

Erika's personal mission is to channel her passion for knitting and crochet into projects that are simple, chic and elegant. Her designs are friendly and accessible and have resulted in over 20 books on knitting and crochet. Chances are you might have one or two in your own library!

Erika sat down with us to chat more about her work, her yarns and her designs.

YITC: We're so excited to have erika knight as a sponsor of this year's GLYC! Your brand is an icon in the knitting world - tell us how you got there and about your ethos.
EK: And we are very excited to be a part of it. The GLYC has become a key date in the calendar for all yarnistas and we are just delighted to be a part of it this year, celebrating local yarn stores and the fabulous, hard working people behind them. Well, “iconic” sounds a little dramatic, but I do appreciate the flattery! I never set out to be a knitwear designer, having studied Fine Art at College, but I have always been passionate about craft, and through various decisions and jobs through working up and down the high street and with textile manufacturers across the world, I have gathered experience and developed what started out as a hobby into a new family business. 

My mission now is to raise the status of craft to be with a capital ‘C’. It is about time that the lowly handicrafts, so often dismissed as ‘women’s work’, are taken seriously. 

YITC: How would you describe your style? Do you use the same approach for your designs as your yarns?
EK: I would describe my style as ‘simple’. It has certainly evolved over the years, but I always come back to timeless, classic shapes that are easy to knit and create wearable garments. My approach (as anyone that has worked with me or visited my studio in Brighton will know) is anything but simple! When designing yarns or patterns I always start by collecting bits of colour, tear sheets, found objects – it could be anything to spark an idea, then I make many sketches and go back and forth and around and around, to review, refine and ultimately simplify. 

YITC: What made you decide to get into making your own yarn?
EK: I have been designing yarn for many years on both the hand knit and also industrial side - for ready to wear, but it was a chance conversation that prompted me to explore the possibility of my own eponymous yarn brand. I had been writing craft books really as an evening job since 2001, and was increasingly frustrated that so many of the yarns were discontinued, even by the time the book had gone to print! I think most knitters are control freaks and I am certainly no exception, so the idea of creating my own yarn was very appealing, allowing me to design not only the finished garment, but also the very fibre it is made from! Its really important to me to know where my yarn comes from and every process that it goes through before it reaches the knitter’s hands, so designing my own yarn means that I can ask questions at every stage. 

Another new yarn from Erika Knight this year is Studio Linen

Another new yarn from Erika Knight this year is Studio Linen

YITC: And this year you've debuted two new yarns: Studio Linen and gossypium cotton. How did those come about?
EK: For me a yarn has to be fit for purpose. The four wools in the erika knight yarn collection are made from British sheep breeds and manufactured entirely in Britain. But in growing the collection, I wanted to develop a yarn that would work for summer that would be elegant in both knit and crochet, cool to the touch and with a delicate drape. Linen is a sustainable natural fibre, but it is often very crisp and hard to work with, so I have taken time to design Studio Linen as a blend of 85% recycled rayon-linen fibre and 15% premium natural linen that is uniquely soft, with a dry hand feel and subtle sheen. Of course we do not grow linen here in the UK, so I have worked with a specialist spinner in Italy for this yarn.

I started the process of creating gossypium cotton looking at a concise palette of eight colours that I know work for baby. The idea was to add a new yarn to the collection that would knit and crochet well for summer baby, to sit alongside the British blue wool. For me it makes sense to work with an Indian mill to produce a cotton yarn, as the cotton is grown in India, and in this case literally in the area surrounding the mill. 

YITC: We really love the story behind the gossypium cotton and how the yarn helps a whole community. Can you tell us more about that?
EK: Traceability is a key factor in my ethos and so working with manufacturers that support this is of the upmost importance. The Indian cotton mill, where gossypium cotton is made, is a family run company, which actively contributes to the economy of the village in which it is situated as well as neighbouring areas. It is also fostering the social development of the region by promoting many cultural and religious charitable institutions. The entire manufacturing operation takes place under one roof, eliminating wastages and maintaining a high quality control at every stage from raw cotton fibre to finished yarn, and ensuring fair labour practices and a strong emphasis on the welfare and development of employees. For me, this is a truly sustainable yarn. 

YITC: The palette is lovely and so are the patterns. What was your inspiration for the collection? How did the collection evolve?
EK: The eight chalky pastel shades were taken from the British Blue wool palette. They are all colours that work so well for baby, and look modern. The gossypium cotton baby collection is made up of simple, classic designs in knit and crochet, and we have also released 3 free patterns, available from our website and Ravelry. The designs are basic recipes that I hope people will come back to again and again, and have the confidence to customize and adapt. 

YITC: We hear you'll be 'popping up' in Fringe on the day of the Great London Yarn Crawl too! What can yarn crawlers visiting the shop expect to find there?
EK: We are extremely excited to be hosting an exclusive ‘pop up’ shop at Fringe. Judith and the team are just fantastic, and we are honored to be a part of their discerningly curated store. Myself and my daughter Arabella will be there for the day with a selection of yarns, including Studio Linen and gossypium cotton with patterns and sample garments. I will be signing books and of course chatting all things woolly. There might also be an appearance from Winnie the Chihuahua too! 

YITC: No doubt you continue to have big plans in the works. Anything you can share about what you're getting up to next?
EK: We have been collaborating with some fabulous knit and crochet designers, so watch this space for exclusive new designs in Studio Linen. We are also in the process of developing a new yarn for 2017. Keep up to date with news from the studio by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Knightkraft.

Huge thanks to Erika for taking the time to answer our questions. We're so excited to have her sponsor this year's yarn crawl. And don't worry if you'll miss them at Fringe - Erika and Arabella will be joining us at the after party in the pub for a pint and some knitting!