golden times

You may have noticed a distinct absence of mine here over the last few weeks and I am not going to dwell too long on the reasons why. Let me just say that, even at my ripe old golden age, I still question my ability to judge people’s character. I believe I go the extra mile for anyone in my family and circle of friends, as well as putting in extra hours and hard work for anyone I collaborate with in my working environment. Being let down by people I thought very highly of feels twice as bad and like a huge kick in the stomach. Having taken a step back for a while I think that the best way forward is to scale back and concentrate on what is good for me and if that means going it alone…so be it.

Please do not think that it has been all doom and gloom here as I have also had some wonderful times exploring new places.

At the beginning of September we visited the beautiful West Wales Coast. These places had been on my wish list for so long and I am so grateful that I was able to visit at long last. The incredible and awe inspiring Cathedral at St. David, traditional Welsh weaving at Melin Tregwynt Woollen Mill, Tenby with its colourful houses and glorious beaches and, as special treat, The Boathouse and Writing shed at Laugharne, where one of my favourite writers, Dylan Thomas, penned many of is well known and loved words.

I feel so blessed that I was also able to visit the island of Fanø in Denmark for this years Strikkefestival. My friends and I had a stop-over in Copenhagen before going on to Fanø, visiting the wonderful Tante Groen shop in Odense on the way. The festival can only be described as an amazing place of friendship and Christel Seyfarth, the organiser, gave us three days of exuberant exhibitions full of colour, texture, music and much laughter. It was evident at every corner how much hard work had been put into this to make it a happy experience for everyone.

My hands have not been idle either and I managed to fit in quite a bit of knitting and crochet. The Nightshift Shawl by Andrea Mowry turned out better than I imagined and I am quietly in love with my Penguono, another super clever construction by Stephen West. I have also finished the Gwyrdd Jumper since this photo was taken, but more about that in another post.

Autumn has arrived here in Wales, with leaves slowly turning in colour and the air filled with chill first and last thing of the day. Evenings are drawing in earlier every day, the air is crisp and the light is golden.

My favourite time of year.

Many blessings, Heike xo

Sisterhood Wrap – a new pattern

This is the story about two sister, living in two different countries but trying to earn a crust doing the same thing and sharing the dream to publish some designs together.

Sometime last summer when I visited my sister in Germany, during one of our usual yarn shopping days, I bought the most beautiful merino / silk yarn aptly named: Seidenstrasse or Silk Road in English.

Anyone who knows me a little, knows about my wish to travel the old Silk Road, following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. Places like Samarkand and Tashkent, full of folk tradition, beautiful silks and carpets, and colourful patterned tiles, invite you to visit and gather inspiration.

The purchase of the yarn also coincided with the delivery of Cecelia Campochiaro’s incredible book: Sequence Knitting, a book of over 190 fabrics, many of which are reversible.

The next few days were spent by two sisters thinking and swatching and finally the “Sisterhood Wrap” was born.

Ellen and I have wanted to publish a pattern together for a long time and today you hold the first of many happy sister collaborations in your hands.

The Pattern is available in English and German via Ellen’s Ravelry Store HERE or my LoveCrafts Store. All links can be found on the right column of this blog.

This is a very relaxing and rewarding project which will keep you warm and snug for many years to come. The repetitive stitch pattern is very soothing for the soul and the wrap is totally reversible.

Enjoy and happy knitting! xo.

Lily of the Valley

About five years ago I met my now dear friend Emma of The Little Grey Sheep. Bit by bit I got to know her and her beautiful yarns and during these past few years I have learned more and more about Well Manor Farm and Emma’s vision for it: Farming ethically and sustainably!

Well Manor Farm is a small family farm on the Surrey & Hampshire borders, nestled amongst the rolling countryside and dating back to Tudor times. Here the aim is to care for the landscape by farming in a nurturing and non intensive way, and by not over stocking enhancing biodiversity and  preserve the environment for generations to come.

Susie, the farms shepherdess, manages the flock and shears them at Christmas time. The fibre is then send off for washing and spinning with care before arriving back at the farm for hand dying by Emma. A British product through and through!

For the past few years Emma and I have worked on a number of design collaborations together. Using her beautiful yarns is a privilege and absolute pleasure as it stands for everything close to my heart: Farming and living ethically and sustainably, producing less waste and doing my bit to help save our beautiful planet. Hand-dyed by Emma on the farm the yarn is available in an array of stunning colours and the only difficulty is choosing which yarn and shades to use.

For Lily of the Valley I choose to work with Hampshire 4Ply, a 100% Pure Wool yarn. A little rustic, available in the most stunning shades and a joy to work with, this yarn becomes super soft after the first wash and envelopes you in a soft hug, keeping you snug and warm throughout all seasons.

The shawl is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border, comprising of simple yarn over’s and small bobbles. The crescent shape is achieved by working short rows and the result is a long shallow shawl that is very easy to wear.

Three shades of green work in perfect harmony together and this shawl is set to become a firm favourite in no time.

Launching today, the pattern is available as part of a kit from Emma at The Little Grey Sheep (HERE) or from Monday 29 August 2019 as a single pattern via my Ravelry Store (link in menu on right).

Happy knitting! XO

where is summer

According to my calendar, summer should be around the corner and temperatures rising to the mid twenties (Celsius that is). So far there is no sign of it and right now the rain is lashing against my windows with a very strong wind howling outside and my heating on to keep warm.

Time for pots of tea, blanket over knees and knitting in my hands 🙂

Why not knit yourself a shawl while waiting for Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter on the Southern Side of planet Earth.

Today sees the release of my A Perfect Day shawl single download version. Up to now the pattern was only available as part of a kit but as of now you can download just the pattern from my Ravelry Store HERE.

The shawl is worked from the bottom up starting with the lace border. The crescent shape is achieved by working short rows and the result is a long shallow shawl measuring 180cm x 40cm after blocking. It is a perfect size that is very easy to wear.

You can use yarn from your stash or any yarn you prefer. Singles, sock, fingering – whichever you prefer. Make it your own!

A 10% discount will automatically be applied when purchasing this pattern during the launch promotion from today until midnight Sunday 9th June 2019.

Happy weekend and hope you like it!

Heike xo.

waves – a summer design

Living in Wales one isn’t often inclined to knit short sleeved summer garments. Even at the height of summer the weather is pretty unpredictable and even on a sunny day a light, but long sleeved garment, is often the most sensible option.

Last year however we were all pleasantly surprised by prolonged hot sunny days and we are of course hoping for a repeat this year.

Meet Waves, a lightweight short sleeved T-Shirt style jumper, featuring a fun, yet simple and elegant large lace border. The perfect garment for spring and summer, it pairs beautifully with a summer dress, shorts or lightweight jeans. The length can easily be adjusted for a change in style and if long sleeves are more your thing, you can easily adjust the sleeves too. Just remember: Changing the length might require more yarn.

This is a speedy garment and a keen and motivated knitter , with enough knitting time at their disposal, can easily finish this in a weeks time.

I used a beautifully drapey Cotton/Viscose/Linen mix yarn by Sandnes for my sample, but any soft summer yarn in your favourite colour will work.

The pattern is available from my Ravelry store now and an automatic discount of 10% will be applied until midnight Friday, 31. May 2019.

I have taken the difficult decision to offer my patterns in one size only from now as I can no longer sustain the expense of having test knitters for all different sizes. As I cannot afford to pay a Technical Editor I have to carefully work out the Maths for 7-8 different sizes and that alone is very time consuming and then there is the worry that it might not be correct. As a one-woman show I have to think hard about every penny spent and rather than increasing the price for each of my garment patterns I have decided to offer all my new patterns to fit bust sizes 38/40 only, starting with this design.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support for my little business.

Heike xo.

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