Episode 66: North American Yarn Adventures

On this episode we get to share with you some of the amazing makers and shops we’ve had the opportunity to visit during our travels on the other side of the pond this summer, as well as updates on GLYC, what we’re working on, and a session with the Knitting Doctor.

GLYC2017 Update

We have a new vendor to announce for the Mini Yarn Market: Owl About Yarn will be joining us with yarn and project bags and other gorgeous goodies!

The DIY version of the GLYC is now underway! If you aren't able to join us on GLYC 2017, you can do a DIY version for a minimal donation - please consider adding multiple copies of the passport to your shopping cart to increase your donation to Refuge! More details here.

Make Happy

Rachel's Fireflies Rising is now blocked and ready for the GLYC! She's also finished the first half of her Starting Point and started the second, but also managed to finish a new shawl design using some handspun from the Tour de Fleece – there will be a knitalong starting on 6 September for the shawl, so check out her Ravelry group for more details.

Bead knitting on a plane!

Bead knitting on a plane!

Allison finished Sprite’s Fen in time for the wedding, and has finished knitting lots of bunny pieces that now need to be seamed together. She needs to swatch again for Raindrops, which leads us to a moment in which Rachel plays Knitting Doctor and we talk about what to do when you realise you haven't used the right size needle for your project (and you really, really don't want to start over!)

North American Yarn Adventures

We've both spent some time in North America this summer, and have had the chance to visit some new shops and makers.

Rachel spent one week in Vermont, and since her in-laws live in a perfect storm of fibre arts makers, she got to spend an afternoon with Hannah Reiger, the artist behind Sky Like Snow – one of a kind hats dyed with farmed and foraged natural dyes, and dyed to create specific pooling patterns in her knit hats. 

Just a handful of shops on Allison's yarn-y tour of Canada...

Just a handful of shops on Allison's yarn-y tour of Canada...

Allison spent some time working while she was back in Canada, and got to visit some glorious shops, including: Maiwa on Granville island, A Twist of Yarn in Vernon, Stash Needle Art Lounge in Calgary and a plethora of shops in her old stomping grounds of Toronto (The Workroom, EweKnit, Yarns Untangled and The Purple Purl).


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

 

Episode 53: Yarn Love

On this episode of the podcast we  chat about what's making us happy at the mo, including an update on our progress with the Blacker PodKAL for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and the new #yarnlovechallenge on Instagram. We also find out what happens when you love yarn so much that it leads you to making your own. For that conversation we’ll be chatting with our friend Carmen from A Yarn Story in Bath, who’s been working with Sharon from Great British Yarns on a new joint venture, Walcot Yarns.

Grab your favourite beverage and your WIP and let's go!

What we’re working on (aka Make Happy):

Exciting progress on our projects for the #BlackerPodKAL. There's still time to join in!

Exciting progress on our projects for the #BlackerPodKAL. There's still time to join in!

The Blacker Yarns PodKAL continues apace! Allison has her SSS well underway, and Rachel is casting on for her Inglis Mitts as we record (better late than never!)

The projects shown on Ravelry and Instagram all look amazing and there are some truly speedy knitters out there! We have some special kudos too, for those of you who have come on board #teamYITC:

  • Hdayananda is knitting with a gorgeous green Cornish Tin for her In the Pines Pullover
  • Mariette694 is making a capelet/wrap of her own design in both Tamar and Cornish Tin that is look stunning already
  • And then there’s Josh (breiwerken on Instagram) who is also making his own colourwork design out of Cornish Tin that is nothing short of amazing!

If you want to join in with the Blacker PodKAL, it’s not too late! Here are the details:

  • Any design or pattern you want (some great freebies on the Blacker Yarns website)
  • Must be knit with Blacker Yarns to be eligible for prizes and discounts at EYF
  • Can be used in combination with other yarns too
  • Chat thread in Blacker Yarns Ravelry group
  • Tag with#BlackerPodKAL on social media & Ravelry
  • Cast off date is 4th March (just in time for EYF!)
  • If you wear your FO at EYF you can get a discount on more Blacker Yarns!
  • There are multiple teams and you can be on more than one – we hope you’ll tag your projects with #teamyitc so that we can see what you’re working on for the KAL (we’ll have a special #teamYITC prize too!)

In other make happy news, Allison has been working on a (gorgeous!) super secret deadline project, and doing lots and lots (and LOTS) of sewing.

Rachel has been working on a design for Walcot Yarns, but has managed to finish her Vestvember project (again, better late than never). She's also been doing lots of #spinningSundays.

Yarn Love Challenge

Okay, the #yarnlovechallenge is something that you’ve probably seen popping up on Instagram in the last couple of day and it’s pretty fun so we wanted to let you know about it. It’s a daily Instagram photo challenge put together by @oharethey and @maryheatherb from Ravelry to celebrate the idea that “Yarn is Love”. We agree!

Yarn Love

Brand new Walcot Yarns - we've got the inside scoop for you from Carmen at A Yarn Story

Brand new Walcot Yarns - we've got the inside scoop for you from Carmen at A Yarn Story

There are fewer things we love more than a new yarn. And we were particularly excited when we found out that our friend Carmen was working on a brand new bespoke yarn – Walcot Yarns.

If you haven’t heard us mention Carmen before, she is a North American transplant like us and the owner of A Yarn Story – a specialty yarn boutique in Bath that is stuffed with gorgeous yarns from around the world. Aside from the yarn itself, what got us really excited to chat with Carmen is that she developed this new yarn with in collaboration with Sharon from Great British Yarns – also in Bath.

We got Carmen to chat with us and tell us more about Walcot Yarns and what exactly is involved with bringing your own yarn to market.


Wrap up

You can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio and 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. Everyone’s really friendly and we hope to see you there!

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

Episode 46: Mad About Colour

We're back from Yarndale with lots of colourful news to share, including interviews with Alexa from Tin Can Knits (and a giveaway of their new book!) and Joy from The Knitting Goddess!

We had a great time at Yarndale on the Porpoise Fur stand. Many thanks to @Mariette694 for taking this super photo!

We had a great time at Yarndale on the Porpoise Fur stand. Many thanks to @Mariette694 for taking this super photo!

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 October with the code YITCEnabled2016.  If you aren’t shopping for yarn at the moment, sign up for their newsletter on the site. 

Shout outs, news and events:

3rd-9th October: Spinzilla

5-9th October: Knitting & Stitching Show, Ally Pally - If you're going, please say hello to our awesome sponsor Michelle from The Loveliest Yarn Company who will be on stand C28 with her beautiful yarns!

8th October: Little Grey Girl birthday party, Countess Ablaze Studio in Manchester

9th October: YARN the movie, various locations - we'll be at Hackney Picturehouse in London

10th-16th October: UK Wool Week

15th October: Stitch Solihull stitch up

22nd-23rd October: Bakewell Wool Gathering

29th-30th October: Kendal Wool Gathering 

L-R: Brioche with Renée Callahan, Crochet for Knitters with Joanne Scrace, Yarn & Fibre 101 with Julia Billings and Knitting the Landscape with Karie Westermann - just a few of the workshops on offer at this year's Yarnporium.

L-R: Brioche with Renée Callahan, Crochet for Knitters with Joanne Scrace, Yarn & Fibre 101 with Julia Billings and Knitting the Landscape with Karie Westermann - just a few of the workshops on offer at this year's Yarnporium.

But of course our big and exciting news is that advance tickets and workshop registration for Yarnporium the 5th and 6th of November are now available! 

We're thrilled with the stellar line-up of tutors and classes that we've arranged for the Yarnporium. Classes run 3 hours each and are on both Saturday and Sunday with offerings from Julia Billings, Renée Callahan, Kat Goldin, Joanne Scrace, Juju Vail and Karie Westermann. Click here to see the list of all workshops or click here to register or buy your tickets!

What we're working on:

Allison is working on the sleeves of her Porpoise Fur handspun sweater (see? they're hidden in the photo above!) as well as getting ready for Spinzilla this week. What to spin? What to spin?

Rachel was too busy getting ready for Yarndale (and recovering from Yarndale) to get much knitting done but did manage to finish her sweater design in The Fibre Co.'s new Arranmore yarn which will be an exclusive pattern for A Yarn Story. 

Mad About Colour

The Knitting Goddess herself, Joy, and partner Bobbie

The Knitting Goddess herself, Joy, and partner Bobbie

Our theme for this episode is a colourful one thanks to the release of Tin Can Knits latest book Mad Colour and a new collaboration between The Knitting Goddess and Blacker Yarns for Blacker's St. Kilda limited edition lace weight. We interview both Alexa from Tin Can Knits and Joy from The Knitting Goddess with lots of chatter about colour and why we love it.

Some of our favourites from Tin Can Knits' latest book, Mad Colour. L-R: Bounce, Marley, Prism

Some of our favourites from Tin Can Knits' latest book, Mad Colour. L-R: Bounce, Marley, Prism

Mad Colour Giveaway!

Tin Can Knits have kindly given as a copy of the Mad Colour e-book to give away to a lucky listener! If you'd like to enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on these show notes by Thursday, 13th October.

Tell us which pattern you'd knit first, your favourite colour, and your Ravelry name so that we can notify you if you're the winner. We'll announce the winner on the next episode of the podcast. Good luck!


You can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio and 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. 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):
Michigan Left - Arkells
Hey Doreen - Lucius

London Craft Guide Project: Waterloo Mitts

We had a question early on in the planning of the London Craft Guide when thinking about the number of projects to have: could we include one from ourselves? We decided that since the London Craft Guide was our book, we not only could our own design, and we definitely should!

Photo credit: Juju Vail

Photo credit: Juju Vail

The Waterloo Mitts were inspired by the Union Jack. You often see many Union Jack flags in London and there's always Union-Jack-everything in the many tourist souvenir shops. We thought it would be great to have a project that used those colours and evoked the feeling of a souvenir but in a more subtle way. 

We worried a bit about colourwork and whether or not it fit our creative brief for being a portable project. Since only two colours are used at a time and there are only three different colours in all we thought we could get away with it. They're also mitts, not a Fair Isle jumper, which helps to keep things more compact!

Photo credit: Juju Vail

Photo credit: Juju Vail

When we're traveling about the city and meeting up to plan the Great London Yarn Crawl or any of our other events you'll often find us with a project bag or two (or three or four!) and something on the needles. Finding and discovering all of these amazing yarn shops and crafty places can be a bit of an occupational hazard. We love seeking out yarn though - whether it's Rachel stumbling over the Dale of Norway factory outlet shop on a Norwegian family holiday to Allison learning about new shops as a yarn sales rep - and we often bring back little souvenirs for each other.

Just like the book, our creative process on the Waterloo Mitts was truly collaborative. We talked about the mitts and the kind of colourwork "look" we were after but also about we wanted to keep things simple. Having to follow a complicated Fair-Isle-esque pattern didn't strike us as being particularly travel-friendly! Since Rachel is a designer she wrote up the pattern and Allison did the test knit - making a few mods along the way that were incorporated into the final pattern.

Our next project following the book will be setting the wheels in motion for this year's Great London Yarn Crawl - we hope you'll save the date and plan to join us on Saturday, September 10th!