dear diary,

After our lovely time at the Welsh Quilt Centre it was time to move on down the road to the National Wool Museum in Dre-fach Felindre near Newcastle Emlyn.

Wool Museum 1

In this gem of a museum, housed in the former Cambrian Mills, you can explore the large industry that produced clothing, shawls and blankets for the workers of Wales and beyond.

Wool Museum 2

Wool Museum 3

Carding, spinning, willowing…Pirn winder and Dobcross loom, by the end of your visit they will be more than mere words. Demonstrations on how everything works take place throughout the day and there are many fabulous examples of the work on display.

Wool Museum 5

Wool Museum 6

Especially the wall of blankets is not to be missed…

Wool Museum 4

Kaffe Fassett has come to Wales for sure as there is also a large exhibition of his work to see here. You can take a trip down memory lane with his knitwear designs from early beginnings to almost the present day.

Wool Museum 8

Wool Museum 9

To finish off you can sample some beautiful designs in the Textile Gallery.

Wool Museum 12

Wool Museum 13

One of the displays is a huge wall hanging made by the knitting group that meets at the Museum on a regular basis. Members have individually re-worked traditional Welsh blanket designs into knitting charts, then knitted them and sewn up into this stunning design.

Wool Museum 10

Wool Museum 11

Like the Quilt Centre, I urge you to go and visit the National Wool Museum on your next visit to Carmarthenshire/Wales or the surrounding near area. It is an amazing place steeped in history.

 

dear diary,

First of all I want to say a big huge thank you to all you lovely people who have already purchased a copy of the latest Lola Loops book. I hope you enjoy knitting many of the lovely designs over the next few weeks.

Today I want to introduce the remaining four designs to you, so here goes…

Meleri Tie s2

MELERI – NECKERCHIEF

This cute little neckerchief bears no resemblance to the utilitarian versions worn by scouts and sailors. Quickly knitted in no more than a couple of evenings, this little frippery will jazz up any spring outfit and the styling  fits in perfectly with this year’s preppy look.

 

Branwen Vintage Beanie g2

BRANWEN – VINTAGE BEANIE

Using the 1920s era and the style of the Flapper girl as inspiration I created this vintage beanie hat. Dainty and quite elegant this style is perfect during the day, knit in fine wool yarn. Using fine cotton yarn with a thread of sparkle, it can easily be worn as a glamorous accessory for evening.

 

Anna Bag 1

ANNA – NAUTICAL BAG

A girl can never have enough bags and this little number says everything there is to say about summer. Bright and cheerful nautical stripes in classic colours are set off by a sharp green top and gorgeous red leather handles. To make it user-friendly the bag is lined and padded, making it perfect to carry all your essentials right through summer.

 

Alwen Scarf still 2

ALWEN – SPRING LEAVES SCARF

Darling buds of Spring are winding their way up (or down) this light but cosy scarf. Knit in Rowan’s new Soft Knit Cotton yarn, this scarf is super soft and right on trend in this colour too.

As you can see, all the designs can be knitted quickly and don’t require large amounts of yarn either. They make perfect gifts or you could just spoil yourself and keep them all. Whatever you decide, all of them are colourfully perfect for Spring & Summer.

Just like the first book, this one wouldn’t be the same without the fabulous Lola illustrations all drawn by ‘my man’. I think you will agree that they make the book extra special.

A selection…

Front cover sig

Lola Bag Sig

Lola Beanie Sig

Enjoy knitting the patterns x

dear diary,

Finally, after many weeks of sketching, mathematical work-outs, lamenting about yarn choices, knitting all the items, writing (and testing) patterns and a fun photo shoot, Lola Loops for Spring & Summer 2013 is ready.

Just like the first, this second Lola Loops book has been a true labour of love and I couldn’t have done it without the help and kindness of many people. So this is my official big – HUGE – Thank You to:

‘My man’, the artist Mark Gittins, who spends endless hours of his valuable free time sketching Lola Loops illustrations. Without them the books wouldn’t be the same.

Steve & Helen, of Stash Fine Yarns, who have been enormously kind and supportive, and I am so very grateful for their sponsorship of all my yarn needs for this book.

The stunning photos were taken by the very talented Amelia Gale-Hasleham on location at Pen y Bont Touring Park near Bala in North Wales.

Thank you, thank you to ‘my girl’ Anna-Maria, who did a fantastic job modelling with beauty and good humour in sub-zero temperatures – you are gorgeous.

A special thank you to my dear friend, Jackie Donovan, who yet again gave up many hours in her busy schedule to test knit my designs.

A big big thank you to all of you, I could not have made this book happen without you xx

I will introduce the designs over the next couple of posts. Here are the first two:

Gwendolen Shawl gp3

GWENDOLEN – REVERSIBLE SHAWL

Keeping the chill off during the first days of spring and cool summer evenings, this shawl uses the short row technique to give a cresent like shape and is presented in two verions. The first using Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for a warmer hug, the second is knitted using Fyberspates Vivacious for a loftier drape.

 

Haf Socks still 1

HAF – LACE SUMMER SOCKS

Stepping out in one of summer’s main colours, these socks are pretty enough to wear in open toed shoes. The delicate lace pattern can easily be accomplished by knitters of all abilities. Perfect socks to put your best foot forward.

 

Lola Socks Sig

I hope you will enjoy knitting these designs as much as I loved creating them. x

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