schwabsburg day three – happy days



Another fabulously colourful woolly day was had by all! The photos speak for themselves:

1. Stall Impressions

2. Teaching new things

3. Freeform workshop creations

A huge big thank you goes to Claudia and Anja for organising another amazing Festival for knitters, crocheter’s, weaver’s, spinner’s, dyer’s and other yarn mad people. I hope I will be lucky enough to be invited back next year!


A big happy bonus for me, five of my closest knitting friends from the UK joined me this time. We had so much fun together, even trying to teach our wonderful waiter to knit. Our jaws dropped when he picked up yarn and needles, cast on without problems and started knitting flawlessly. Amazing!

Today will be very quiet I think as we are all a little exhausted. Maybe just a little knitting or crochet, catching up with all the news and endless cups of tea.

I think we have earned it!


schwabsburg – day one – arrival




Leaving Manchester and 14C behind, I was greeted by 34c on arrival at Frankfurt. Bright blue skies, lovely sunshine and Claudia’s wonderful mum Ruth greeted me. I was instantly whisked away and driving along picturesque roads beside the mighty river Rhein, we soon arrived at Claudia’s house. I am staying in the most perfect room of all…the wool room! Slightly empty of yarn, as everything has been packed for the Woolfest, I can still feel the presence of much woolly gorgeousness that normally lives here. There is however the sample wall to be admired and on my pillow I found this fun card that by pulling the tab turns from sheep to wolf…such fun!


Another lovely surprise was seeing Ruth’s finished project from the Wales knitting retreat. Isn’t her cushion simply beautiful?!

Tomorrow will be a long day! I am teaching first thing and then helping out wherever I am needed.

Better turn the lights off..Nosta all, see you tomorrow!


knitting retreat diary – day three

Trefriw Collage

Day three, and my sun dance must have worked as the sun was out again when we woke. First stop today was the Woollen Mill at Trefriw.

At Trefriw Woollen Mills traditional Welsh tapestry bedspreads, tweeds and travelling rugs are being made using traditional Welsh patterns that have been around for hundreds of years. Trefriw Woollen Mills is one of the few remaining mills of what was once an important Welsh industry. Originally a Pandy (fulling mill) where hand spun and woven cloth was brought to be washed before the Industrial Revolution, it was situated on the fast running River Crafnant in order to use the water to drive the waterwheels and to wash the wool. We enjoyed our guided tour being shown around by Elaine who explained the mill and all the machinery to us, and we were all impressed with the skills used by the staff operating these traditional spinning and weaving instruments. The Mill is still owned and operated by the same family that originally bought it in 1859 after it had been in operation for 30 years.
Conwy Collage
After a little lunch and retail therapy on we went to Conwy. There we found knights, boats, the smallest house in Britain and an imposing castle guarding the town.
Our knowledgeable guide Neil and his German speaking nephew gave us a brief but comprehensive history lesson of the castle. Conwy Castle is a medieval fortification on the north coast of Wales and was built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289. Constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy it played an important part in several wars, withstanding the siege of Madog ap Llywelyn in the winter of 1294–95, acted as a temporary haven for Richard II in 1399 and was held for several months by forces loyal to Owain Glyndŵr in 1401.
Before the English built the town of Conwy, the site was occupied by a Cistercian monastery favoured by the Welsh princes. The location also controlled an important crossing point over the River Conwy between the coastal and inland areas of North Wales. The kings of England and the Welsh princes had fought for control of the region since the 1070s and the conflict had resumed during the 13th century, leading to Edward I intervening in North Wales for the second time during his reign in 1282. The building of the castle was controlled by Sir John Bonvillars and overseen by master mason James of St. George, and the first phase of work between 1283 and 1284 focused on creating the exterior curtain walls and towers. In the second phase, from 1284 and 1286, the interior buildings were erected, while work began on the walls for the neighbouring town. By 1287, the castle was complete. The castle housed the constable who, by a royal charter of 1284, was also the mayor of the new town of Conwy, and oversaw a castle garrison of 30 soldiers, including 15 crossbowmen, supported by a carpenter, chaplain, blacksmith, engineer and a stonemason.
Today the Castle is still one of the most imposing buildings in North Wales and UNESCO considers Conwy Castle one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe”.

photo from cadw website

The drive home took us through beautiful Welsh countryside and we arrived back at the Hotel to a delicious meal followed by the arrival of my knitting group for some German/British knitting fun. A wonderful day was concluded by an evening of chatter and a lot of laughter. Knitting and crafts bond us all together and we are already looking forward to our visit to Germany in June.
Day four awaits, I better get a move on!
PS: To see and read more about our fabulous week visit Claudia’s blog here.

new design – teaser 2

… and so the story continues…

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen's farm MBagathi in Africa, Her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design - photos all author's own

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen’s farm MBagathi in Kenya, her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design – photos all author’s own

Shetland meets Africa and Denmark!
Launch date tomorrow 9 April 2015
All will be revealed!

new design – teaser

Hap Teaser 1

Mood Board photos found in travel brochures and at


This week I will be launching a brand new shawl design. A co-production with my friend Claudia of Wollsinn in Germany and part of our WoolyLoops partnership.

What is the connection between Shetland and the author Karen Blixen you ask?

All will be revealed over the next couple of days.

Stay tuned!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...