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

news round-up

Goodness, is it really three weeks already since I last posted? Time really goes too quickly!

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I thought I pop in today just to give you a quick update on what I have been working on during these past few weeks. Having to spent a bit of time resting under doctors orders, I was able to catch up on some sock knitting.

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First a pair for ‘my girl’. These are from Kerstin Balke’s (@stine_und_stitch) Soxx Book and were a lot of fun to knit. Currently her book is not available in English, but I think there are plan’s for that in the future.

#madewithloops.co.uk

Next up a pair for ‘my man’. My first pair of #scrappyhappysocks using up bits of sock yarn left over from other knitted pairs. I used my trusted Omas Socks pattern for these, it is totally fool proof and is the perfect pattern for anyone wanting to try their hand’s knitting socks for the first time. You can download it HERE.

I got so hooked on scrappy happy socks that I started another pair almost immediately, these may well be a present for someone (Christmas is approaching fast).

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At the end of September I went to Yarndale. I hadn’t been for a couple of years and it was fun to catch up with old friends, chatting with new vendors and soaking in the yarny atmosphere.

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As well as sock knitting, I have also been busy working on a new design. Remember my Everyday Sweater (Here, there will be a Everyday Cardigan next. This is going to be a series of items that can be made fairly quickly, is simple, yet stylish with a twist and will become your go-to items all year round.

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Looking at all of these photos I can see why the last three weeks have flown by, I was just a wee bit busy.

During the next few weeks I will be going on my great adventure traveling to Guatemala. This trip has been a long time coming and as you can imagine, I am so excited. My cases are packed, just a few last minute things to finish and then we are off. We are staying with family and here is one of the gifts I made for the daughter of one of my cousins. All little girls like pink right?!?

You can follow my travels over on Instagram where I will share photos and maybe even the odd video on my Insta Stories.

My travel project will be a new shawl design I have in my head and yesterday I wound the yarn into yummy cakes, ready to take on board the plane to get started. This is beautiful squishy yarn from Antonella of Cosy Posy Yarn in Canada in colours Amber, Siren and Coffee Date. I can’t wait to get started and share photos of progress with you.#madewithloops.co.ukI hope you all have a great October and chat again soon.

Heike xo.

woolfest in germany and vintage mandala

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Hello Friends, what a beautiful day it is here in Wales today and I hope it’s the same for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend I was teaching at the Oppenheim Wollfest in Germany, meeting old friends and making new ones. What a fabulous time I had, especially as some of my knitting group friends travelled with me and my “little” sister and her knitting group joined us too. I taught two shawl workshops and launched a very special design whilst there too…

The Oppenheim Wollfest Shawl!

#madewithloops.co.uk #vintagemandalashawl

This shawl is the first in a series of designs especially created for this Festival and very year there will be a special design created and launched at the Wollfest.

This year’s shawl was inspired by the many Mandala’s we see around us and to make it even more special, a yarn colour with the same name was dyed for this shawl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This semi-circle crochet shawl is a perfect addition to your wardrobe. It has just enough lace sections to make it a little fancy, whilst still retaining a firm body structure. Worked from the centre top down, with increases on the sides only, it can easily be adjusted in size by adding or subtracting pattern repeats.

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The gradient yarn used for this shawl is 100 Farbspiele 4fädig, available from Claudia at Wollsinn. As an alternative to this yarn I suggest Scheepjes Whirl, a beautiful gradient yarn, 60% Cotton/40% Acrylic and with the same running length as the original yarn used.

The pattern is now available to download from the usual places to which you find the links on the right hand side of this blog.

I hope you enjoy making it just as much as I have enjoyed designing it!

OX.

hippie stag – a crochet gift

Watercolour by @annagittins95

A little while ago I was inspired by my Instagram friend Robyn (@crochetgirl99) who had beautified a simple card board stag head. When I saw how amazing some simple crochet had transformed a boring brown head into a work of art, I knew I had to try this too.

You see, my dear friend Julie adores stag heads and is collecting as many different original specimens for her Chalet in France as she can lay her hands on. So it was obvious that I had to give a card board stag the crochet beautifying treatment and little did I know how addictive this process would be.

First I sourced a brown head online from the big A….n shop that sells everything!

Next I applied gold paper mache to the face and ears…

…now the crochet could start in earnest……and before long I had covered on set of antlers.

I was really enjoying this and got quite hooked (excuse the pun)!

I couldn’t really share any of my progress online as this would have spoiled the surprise, but last week I went on my annual trip to Julie’s Chalet in the French Alps. This is always a treat and special time spent with great friends walking, knitting, watching old movies, eating good food and enjoying a glass or two. I took a printed photo of the finished stag head with me as I couldn’t transport the real thing on a plane, and I am happy to say that Julie loved her gift as much as I had loved making it for her.

I can finally share the finished item with you. He was christened “Hippie Stag”, what do you think? I hope you like him too 🙂

 

I can’t wait to see him hanging in his special place next time I visit the Chalet.

Have a happy week all and keep warm!

X.

knitting retreat 2018

#knittingretreat #woolyloops #madewithloops.co.uk #wollsinn.de

Hello friends, I hope this finds you well!

It is high time that I told you about our annual knitting retreat. As in years past I am again organising the retreat with my dear friend Claudia (http://wollsinn.de) and this year we are going back to Wales. This is really great for me as it is virtually on my doorstep and I can make sure that everything runs smoothly. Our theme this year is “Bohus Stikkning” and we will cover everything from History and Tradition to Design and Technique.

Our venue is the beautiful Chainbridge Hotel in Llangollen where we will be looked after to perfection and made to feel right at home.

There will be fun and laughter, delicious food, visits to a beautiful garden and to discover new yarn, lashings of divine yarn and most importantly lots of new friends in the making.

 

If you fancy being part of our knitting adventure come and join us from Monday 7th May to Sunday 13th May 2018, but be quick as places are going fast. All details can be found here, or drop me a note (heike.gittins@gmail.com) with any questions you may have.

I really hope to say Croeso i Cymru to you soon.

X.



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