Some of you might have seen on my social media that last week was a rather exciting time for my friend Claudia and myself. A week ago I was on a plane to Frankfurt, accompanied by two of my friends from knitting group, for the launch of my second book…
…A little Book of Shawls – Eight cosy shawls for strong women – another fabulous collaboration with Claudia.
Surely there is nothing more fabulous than draping a soft warm hug around your neck and shoulders. Who doesn’t like the feel of luxurious fibres enveloping your body, giving that extra bit of warmth or simply finishing of an outfit giving it that special little ‘je ne sais quoi’.
A shawl on your needles or hook is the comfort food of knitting/crochet. A shawl lets you forget about the rigors of gauge and always fits its wearer, whether it ends up an inch shorter or wider than intended. Works of art can be created with a little effort and a few basic materials and of course nothing makes a better gift than a hand knitted or crochet shawl – a virtual hug to the recipient with our carefully constructed stitches.
In our first book, “A little book of Sox”, we dedicated each pattern to some of the world’s most dangerous mountains. In this second instalment in the “little book” series we decided to pay homage to some of history’s most notable and strong women. Each one of these women was a Pioneer in her field and own right, and each one, we are sure, would have loved wearing one of our shawls. Shawls in all shapes and sizes – Some are knitted and some are crochet, there is a shawl for everyone.
Currently the book is available in German only from Claudia’s shop with the English version being printed in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled on my social media and here for announcements about the release date.
The launch in Germany was a very happy day with many lovely people attending, lots of cake and champagne and much much laughter and fun.
It is with enormous pride that today I can introduce a brand new shawl design
I am so very fortunate to be working with many talented professionals in my world of knitting and crochet, as well as meeting a host of new people every time I teach a new workshop either here in the UK, in Germany or during one of the fabulous knitting retreats I have the pleasure in organising. However, once in a while some of us are extremely lucky to meet an extra special person, you know the sort of person I am talking about, the one that you connect with after just a few minutes and feel you have known all your life. The one that touches your heart in that special place and you feel a kindred spirit with.
For me that person is Claudia. We met, we chatted and the rest, as they say, is history! Claudia and I have the relationship were we don’t have to say a lot or explain a lot as most of the time the other knows exactly how..what..when..where! We compliment each other in every possible way: She has a yarn shop…very handy for me and all the designs that whirl around in my head. She is a magician in the dyeing kitchen…very handy for me as she will whizz something new up for me whenever I have one of my special requests. She organises one of the best Wool Festivals in Europe…very handy for me as I get invited to teach there every year.
You see what I mean! and because this is such a great partnership we decided about a year ago to make it official and started WoolyLoops together. WoolyLoops means that we can co-produce our knitting retreats (always sold out before they go live), publish books together (our Little book of Sox almost sold out now) and work on individual designs together. At the same time we can keep our individual businesses separate and work on joint ventures with others. It’s truly perfect!
With this design we have taken it a step further. An acquaintance of Claudia has dyed this special limited edition colourway for us. A gradient yarn which is dyed using a special technique with long slow subtle colour changes, 4 threads – 500m per ball. We called it Fireball, and I have designed a special shawl of the same name.
The yarn and pattern are available via Claudia’s website – www.wollsin.de – as a kit and you can specify if you need this pattern in either English or German. Pre-order starts today with shipment from 8. November, but you better be quick as it is flying off the shelves and when its gone…it will be gone.
The shawl starts from the lace up and uses short rows to shape it into a crescent style accessory which is easy to wear in a range of different ways.
Fireball is a glorious colour explosion making even the gloomiest of winter days into a happier occasion!
The sun was beaming down as Julie and I set off very early on Friday morning to catch our flight to Frankfurt and onward travel to Nierstein am Rhein. We settled into our home for the weekend, a lovely hotel very close to the river, pretty quickly.
Waking up to birdsong early the next morning I decided to sit on my balcony and crochet whilst enjoying a cup of tea. Shortly before leaving the UK I had purchased a jelly bag from a company called sun jellies with the intention to decorate it with crochet flowers. I decided to make a start!
Soon however we were on our way to Schwabsburg for the 7th Woolfest. Organised by Claudia of Wollsinn in this very old picturesque little town it is always a total treat to visit and participate. I am lucky to be invited year after year teaching workshops and I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.
Like always, this year did not disappoint! A sea of colour, fabulous handmade items, the latest designs in knit & crochet and many smiling happy faces. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always a highlight of the weekend, but this year it was extra special.
During the knitting retreat in Wales in May we had talked about a meet-up of whoever could make it. To my surprise almost everyone managed to come and thanks to Marion we had plenty of bubbly to clink our glasses with. Spending a couple of hours with these fabulous ladies was the cream on the cake and made the weekend extra special for me.
I leave you with this happy photo. It sums up a totally wonderful weekend!