Episode 68: GLYC Wrap Up

September has been an incredibly busy month, and on this episode we recap the fifth annual Great London Yarn Crawl, including our live interview with special guest Erika Knight. 

Our sponsor:

This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Garthenor, providing a variety of sustainable, organic British wool products in an ecologically responsible way. See Garthenor’s glorious yarns, including a kit for Isabell Kraemer's new Amory sweater, on their website at www.garthenor.com

News and Events: 

Drawing for prizes from last podcast: 

Two skeins of Brushwork from Blacker Yarns: pinkpot on Ravelry 

A copy of the gorgeous Stranded Gradient Sweater pattern: LuisaM 

Congratulations to both, and thanks to everyone who posted a comment!

Upcoming events:

7 – 22th October – UK Wool Week 

11 – 15th October: The Knitting and Stitching Show, Ally Pally London 

14 –15th October: Bakewell Wool Gathering 

13 – 15th October: Loch Ness Knit Fest 

14 October: West Wales Wool Show, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire 

28 – 29th October: Kendal Wool Gathering 

1 – 30th November: WOVEMBER!!!! This year's theme is Woolness: where wool meets wellness 

11 November: Festiwool, at a new venue! 

11 – 12th November: Nottingham Yarn Expo 

23 – 30th November: London Guild exhibition – The Thames and Southwark: Threads of London Life, Southwark Cathedral 

In the future...

20-21st October 2018: The Knit-Tea Retreat, sign ups open 8 October

Make Happy – aka – What we’re working on

Rachel is finishing off her shawl pattern for the handspun KAL that will kick off on October 9 after Spinzilla is over – head over to her thread in the Ravelry group to sign up! She’s also working on a new sweater design in Erika Knight British Blue 100 that will hopefully be available at the end of the month. 

Allison's finished Bousta Beanie - just in time for Shetland Wool Week!

Allison's finished Bousta Beanie - just in time for Shetland Wool Week!

Allison finished her Bousta Beanie, and is almost done with her Martinique Beach Cowl. She's been spinning Turning on Shetland from Porpoise Fur, and is currently working on Lemon Difficult by Kate Atherley. 

GLYC Wrap up: 

Getting cosy with Erika following her chat at the GLYC after party.

Getting cosy with Erika following her chat at the GLYC after party.

The fifth edition of the Great London Yarn Crawl was a huge success! Many thanks to our volunteers, sponsors and all the participants who came out on the day and made it such a great time, and brought over 100 items to donate to Knit for Peace!

The event raised a total of £817, bringing the five year total to over £4200 donated to Refuge. 

We share our fantastic interview with knitting designer extraordinaire, Erika Knight, who was our special guest at the after-party.


Many thanks for joining us for another episode! You can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio (please rate, review and subscribe!) and you'll find us on InstagramFacebook, 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.

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

Music credits (available on NoiseTrade)
Ridiculously Happy (feat. Twilight Meadow) - Owl City

 

GLYC 2017 Yarn Sponsors: Erika Knight and The Fibre Co.

We love August! It's that time of year when door prizes and goody bag treats start arriving at YITC HQ meaning that the Great London Yarn Crawl is that much closer!

EK_Logo_blk - small.png

We are SUPER excited this year to have TWO awesome yarn sponsors for the GLYC goody bags! Erika Knight and The Fibre Co. are great stalwarts of the UK yarn industry and we're thrilled to have them aboard.

Erika is a prolific knitting and crochet designer who has evolved her brand to include her own range of yarns. Erika's ethos is all about simplicity in making she focuses on creating simple, classic designs that are enticing to knit.

British Blue 100 from Erika Knight

British Blue 100 from Erika Knight

One of Erika's passions is supporting the British talent and manufacturing. In 2012 she launched her own range of yarns with wool sourced, processed and spun right here in the UK. British Blue Wool is made with 100% Bluefaced Leicester - one of the UK's most luxurious wools. Due to popular demand, Erika Knight have created British Blue 100, launching this autumn. British Blue 100 features a richer, deeper colour palette than the original British Blue Wool and a sophisticated pattern collection to match.

Yarn crawlers will also have a chance to meet Erika at this year's Great London Yarn Crawl as she'll be joining us at the after party and chatting about her life in yarn!

Yarns from The Fibre Co. start from the fibres themselves. Founder Daphne Marinopoulos has always wanted to create yarns that she couldn't find on retail shelves. Using high quality natural fibres The Fibre Co. has created decadent yarn blends using baby alpaca and llama, camel, silk, merino, masham and more.

Arranmore Light from The Fibre Co.

Arranmore Light from The Fibre Co.

The Fibre Co. have also launched a new yarn this autumn, Arranmore Light. A lush blend of 80% Merino, 10% cashmere and 10% silk with colourful wool nepps, Arranmore Light is a DK version of their lush Aran tweed blend Arranmore

Binsey by Fiona Alice

Binsey by Fiona Alice

To coincide with the launch of Arranmore Light, The Fibre Co. also released Fell Garth II, a collection of 19 patterns from 10 knitwear designers. The designs are inspired by Cumbria where The Fibre Co. is now based, and are a stunning showcase of what happens when inspiration from local, natural beauty and decadent yarns collide.

A huge thank you to Erika Knight and The Fibre Co. for being our yarn sponsors this year. Thanks to their generosity, each participant in this year's Great London Yarn Crawl will receive a full hank of yarn in their goody bag, randomly split between each company! Thank you so much!

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!