Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Knitwear at Nottingham Yarn Expo

A couple of weekends ago I went to Nottingham Yarn Expo and saw life from the opposite side of the stand to my usual one. I was thrilled to get to help on Beyond Measure's beautiful stand. Grace sells stunning things for makers of all varieties, do go and check her shop out. I had a great time surrounded by beautiful things, gave my muscles a work out, met interesting people and had a prime position for knitwear spotting.

One of the things I love most about going to shows is looking at other people's knitwear. I love seeing what everyone else has been making, especially when it is things that I tend not to make as I wouldn't wear them (looking at you shawls) but I love what they look like. I am very rarely in my knitwear at shows as I find they are often overheated (odd for a wool show) and then I get hot and grumpy! I am always marvelling at everyone else though.

For ages I have wanted to ask people about their knitwear, take a photo and talk a little about it but have hesitated as I wasn't sure if people would just thing I was a random weirdo and be a bit freaked out. This time, encouraged by Grace I went for it and everyone was super responsive. So big thanks to everyone who I stalked for their knitwear and for finding some time for a chat. I was taking notes on my phone and a combination of auto correct and over excitement may have led to some errors for which I am sorry!

This is Jo, wearing her amazing, recently completed Speckle and Pop shawl by Stephen West. This pattern was the Westknits Mystery Shawl Knit Along 2017. She used yarn from A Homespun House and Madeline Tosh. She also works in a yarn shop, A Good Yarn in Cleethorpes.

Lots of knitted goodness between these two! Wonderful!

On the left is Vanessa from Killtocraft. Her scarf is the Canopy Shawl by Melody Hoffman, knitted in Malabrigo Arroyo. Her hat is Take Heart by Fiona Alice, knitted in Drops Alaska. Vanessa's jumper is Cesium by Sachiko Burgin, knitted in Wooltops merino and silk. Then just when you thought there was no more knitwear she is also wearing hand knit socks. It is her own pattern I Heart Bees knitted in A Homespun House Olsen.

On the right is Hannah from The Corner of Craft. Hannah's scarf is Exploration Station by Stephen West, knitted in La Bien Aimee merino twist sock, Spud & Chloe fine, The Knitting Goddess 4 ply and Voolenvine Yarns Wolke. Her socks are New Depths Heel by Becky Sorensen knitted in Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed which she purchased as a souvenir from Dublin.

Completing Hannah's outfit is this:

Why have I not made one of these yet?! I love it! This is the Pumpkin Beret by Twinkie Chan and it is going to feature in my autumn wardrobe next year!

Here we have Catrin in her lovely Catkin shawl/wrap/capelet/scarf by Carina Spencer. It is knitted in Malabrigo sock.

Credit to Kayleigh from Truly Hooked for matching her scarf to her hair. This is the Playful Shawl by Verity Castledine and it is knitted in Truly Hooked yarn.

This is the lovely Blithe Spirit wearing her Ella Gordon Ola Yoke jumper. You can read more about the making of the jumper on Blithe Spirit's blog.

I did stalk this jumper as I was pretty confident that it was a vintage knit and I wanted to be sure. The lovely Tracy knitted it from a 1940's Sirdar pattern that she has in her collection. It is knitted in Holst a Danish yarn that knits as 3 ply. We had a marvellous chat about vintage knitting, our respective pattern collections and knitting in general. In a 'isn't it a small world?' kind of way it turns out that I knew of Tracy from a friend who had talked about her lovely vintage knits, I just didn't know that this was Tracy before we got talking. Tracy is one of the organisers of the Leeds Wool Festival.

This is Hannah wearing her fabulous Funchal Moebius wrap by Kate Davies. It is knitted in Rowan wool/cotton.

Here is Sylvie from Phileas Yarns wearing Abram's Bridge by Mer Stevens. She knitted it in her own yarn, Wanderer Aran in the colour Bedouin. This pattern is also in Pom Pom Quarterly magazine, issue 14.

Plenty of knitting inspiration here! I can't wait to see what I spot at the next yarn show I attend.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

An autumn walk - Digley Reservoir

Did you catch that glimpse? The sun on the water sending sparkles through the trees. The tall straight pines hiding it from view.

As you come round the bend the trees have formed a frame for a tantalising view of the water. That will have to suffice for now.

Turning away from the water there are views of sunlit fields.

Blue skies, stone walls, turning leaves, lengthening shadows.

A path leading onwards.

Past a stone barn, moorland, cloud.

Heather moorland and cloughs to be discovered.

Looking back up the grassy path. What lies at the bottom?

Listen. Water rushing past the rickety bridge at the bottom of the clough.


Take a deep breath and cross over.

Climbing up. Looking back. Old stones in shadow. A home?

A stop at the crest of the hill. Looking back on the route so far.

A heather bed.

The view.

Onwards. The path becomes a stream. Clim upwards. Water, mud, sun, glare, slip, repeat.

Nature tamed.

A face made of clouds. A return to the water.

Grasses, bracken, a dry stone wall, a lone tree.

Getting closer.

Deep water. Head of the dam.

A final look before heading home.

There is a version of this walk on the Yorkshire Water site.

I so enjoyed my walk today. It was a perfect autumn day, bright, light, beautiful colours, cool and sharp. Grassy paths, stony lanes, moorland, woods, water, short sharp climbs, views, mud. Glorious.

A super day out with my fabulous walking companions. Big thanks to Caroline for having way more sense then me and keeping a spare hat in her car boot. How, as a knitter, an owner of many a hat and a long time resident of West Yorkshire, I could let a sunny day persuade me that it wouldn't be woolly hat weather on the moors I do not know.