dear diary,

Dried Oranges

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

The festive preparations are well under way around here at Made with Loops, and I am loving every minute of it. To me there is nothing more exciting than Christmas time…getting all the decorations down from the loft…

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…and lovingly waking them from their long sleep. Finding them perfect places around the house, so that they can shine and sparkle in all their finery, whilst all the while Michael Buble is singing in the background. What could possibly be better?!?

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I have almost finished all my handmade gifts, that’s a first for sure, just a few ends to sew in on this Nordic Shawl…

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…a gift for a vsp (very special person). After that I am done and can start thinking of ‘me’ knitting or crochet…Yay!!!

We won’t have a tree this year as we are not going to be here. I am so excited, as in…

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…days we are going to Germany to spend Christmas with my family. So so soooo looking forward to staying with my ‘little’ sister, chatting, knitting, drinking tea, crocheting and more chatting…what could possibly be better. The whole family will be together on Christmas eve to celebrate the traditional German festivities and to me there is nothing better than that.

I can almost smell and taste all the delicious festive treats already…

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Are you enjoying your festive season as much as I am mine?, I hope you are x

dear diary,

Today is one of those special Ta-Dahhhh moments… you know the ones I mean!!! The ones that make a lot of hours spent working on a project worthwhile.

As you know, I almost never use a pattern for my work unless I see something that jumps right at me and looks extra special. The Nordic Shawl is one of those extra special designs, and today I want to share it with you.

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Earlier this summer I discovered the wonderful world of Annette’s blog called my rosevalley, and was immediately hooked. A native Swedish girl, married to an American and living in Switzerland, Annette’s blog is vivaciously full of life and beautiful photography. She shares her passions for crochet, sewing and general crafting by inviting us to join her in her colourful journey. As well as making some beautiful patterns available, she sells the most delicious of yarns. Tilda Yarn from Sweden is wonderful to work with and has a huge colour range, I strongly suggest you give it a try.

So there I was, totally hooked and looking at photograph’s of Annette wearing a beautiful crochet shawl for which she promised to write up the pattern, and what an extra special pattern it is. I could not resist and started work on my version of the Nordic Shawl almost immediately, as I had the perfect yarn in my stash.

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For the main colour I used Dibadu’s Funnies, a 100% Merino yarn in a colour called Teerose, for the contrast colours left-over yarn from some of my own shawl designs was used.

I worked mostly following Annette’s pattern, apart from making some increases to create a wavy edge for a slightly softer drape. I couldn’t work my shawl quite as large as the pattern, as I ran out of the main colour yarn, but I am totally chuffed with the result 🙂

What do you think?

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If you want to see more versions of the Nordic Shawl go and look on Instagram #nordicshawl, I have a feeling there will be quite a few beautiful examples on show before too long, and why not visit myrosevalley today and download the pattern to make your very own colourfully cosy version of this beautiful shawl.

Thank you Annette for sharing your Nordic Shawl with us. x

dear diary,

Last week I had the good fortune to be going to an event at Royal Ascot. This meant that I was staying in London and had some time to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition before it closes later this month.

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What a treat!!!!This exhibition, the first in London since Kaffe Fassett’s record breaking show at the V&A Museum in the late 1980’s, features more than 100 of his works in a dramatic installation over two floors.

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Highlights of the exhibition include 9 foot wide knitted shawl columns (above) and a glorious selection of quilts (below).

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Kaffe Fassett is surely best known for his vibrant and innovative work with colour, and this exhibition shows how his approach in handling colour has evolved. From early beginnings in painting, through to his textile work in knitting, quilting, as well as tapestry, and lastly through the medium of mosaic, this exhibition shows every facet of his creative life.

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His work began with gentle colour schemes in historical hues borrowed from the early medieval and Renaissance arts, but a visit to India in 1992 sparked a shift in his use of colour to become more vibrant and exhuberant. In Kaffe’s own words: ‘India proved to me that colour is a vital ingredient in life’.

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The attention to detail is ever prevelant, and his delight in pattern and form infuses his creative output.

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Kaffe Fassett’s ability to delight and encourage people to take up their own needles, yarns and fabrics and experiment with colour is ever evident. I have been lucky to meet the man and have spent a whole weekend at a workshop with him being inspired by his infectious teaching in the use of colour and pattern. I think it is a fair statement that Kaffe Fasset’s life in colour has had a lasting impact on so many others’ lives as well and that the title ‘King of knitting’, given to him by British Vogue in 1970 still rings true today.

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The exhibition is still open until 29th June and I urge anyone close enough to London to go and visit.

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I hope you are all having a colourful week xx

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