My Trip to Unravel 2014

 

 

Last weekend I went to the Unravel Festival at Farnham Maltings. I had an excellent time and bought a whole lot of yarn. Above is a rather cheesy recap video of my weekend. Filmed on my phone, but I think gives you a flavour. If you love yarn or fibre and are close by it would be well worth taking a look next year!

Here is a list of some of the vendors featured in the video;

Farnham Maltings Unravel site

Easyknits

Sweetgeorgia

Susan Crawford Vintage (Presentation)

Natural Dye Studio

Skein Queen

Aoibhe Ni’s Pax for Beginners at The Sheep Shop

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A pile of beautiful samples.

I love Tunisan crochet, so as you can imagine the beautiful PAX shawl has been on my list of things to make for a very long time. I was overjoyed to hear the PAX’s designer Aoibhe Ni was coming to The Sheep Shop to teach a class on how to make it.

Aoibhe, being the wonderful talented lady she is, has invented a whole new kind of Tunisian crochet – Tunisian Lace Crochet. When she came for the class she brought samples from her Legendary Shawls collection. All unceremoniously dumped in a big pile in the middle of the table, they needed no hype to make us ooooo and ahhhhh in wonder.

As you can imagine I was entranced by all the beautiful patterns. It took Aoibhe quite a while to get us concentrating on actually crocheting rather than pawing at gloriously lacy shawls.

Aoibhe’s new take on Tunisian crochet was, to begin with, quite bewildering. She said her inspiration was seeing those beautiful knitted shawls and wanting to recreate their style in crochet. I can totally relate to that as I love the look of knitted and have only recently taught myself to knit for just that reason.

After much patient tutoring and many confused looks I’m pleased to say everyone in the class eventually had the eureka moment when it finally clicked what we were supposed to be doing. Once I realised the basic structure and stitches it all suddenly seemed so simple and logical. Of course! Why didn’t I think of it that way before?

My samples are in DK and of course scrappy, but I managed to practice all the skills needed to create my own PAX.

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Wonderful Sheep Shop owner Sarah and Aoibhe

Much fun was certainly had by all and everyone agreed that should Aoibhe ever return to Cambridge we would all very much like her to teach another class at The Sheep Shop. I know she does teach an advanced class but I think I would love her to teach a class on the new collection of garments she is releasing soon. I can’t wait for the Classical Elements collection to come out, as I really want to apply this new version of Tunisan crochet to clothes!

A little birdie told me that Aoibhe would be at Fibre East teaching several classes in July 2014. I would heartily recommend them if you plan to get started on any of her wonderful patterns as the classes are no end of help. I quite like the look of the Beyond the Basics class myself!

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A band of merry crocheters!

We are now holding a bit of a CAL over in The Sheep Shop ravelry group. Please feel free to join join us if you would like to make a PAX too. Aoibhe also has her own ravelry group in which there are lots of CALs, discussions and sneak peaks of new patterns. I of course ignored all of my many ongoing WIPS and cast on straight away. So far I’m pretty pleased but have yet to attempt the lace part!

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A simple beginning

Crochet Tutorial – Christmas Snowflake/Star

This week and last I’ve been making lots of snowflakes ready for Christmas. I plan to use them for ornaments and Christmas cards. I’ve been using the wonderful Festive Snowflakes patterns by Valerie Bracegirdle which I think is great value, three great patterns for £2.oo. There has been a whole group discussion in her Ravelry group about things we are making for Christmas now that it is just around the corner. After a little chatting and some lightning fast pattern design by Valerie, she agreed to create a snowflake design for me to share with you for free!

I’ve recorded a how to video;

And as promised here is the chart;

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Here is the link to the Ravelry design page.

I hope you all like it! It was a great pleasure to work with Valerie on this. I really hope I can do more tutorials like this in the future. Any questions just leave a comment here or on the YouTube video.

Autumn Crafting Whirlwind

The start of an Anniversary Sharf in beautiful pumpkin colours

The start of an Anniversary Sharf in beautiful pumpkin colours

I don’t know about you, but Autumn is my favourite season. It shouldn’t be. We have horrid windy rainy days and those days are getting darker and shorter. However I think what I love is the riot of colour that explodes on the trees. I’m a sucker for colour and in my opinion Autumn leaves trumps summer flowers any day.

With the beginning of Autumn well and truly here I find myself in a whirlwind of projects. Not only am I continuing the light summer projects of scarves and shawls, I’ve also hauled the blanket projects back out that were too heavy to work on during the hotter months. So now I have even more projects on the go then I did a month ago! I feel like I’m drowning in them.

To an extent it feels like my head is spinning. I’ve a terrible attention span and hardly ever finish a project before starting a new one. It’s driving me up the wall a little. I know some people who crank out projects at lightening speed and still have time to design patterns at the same time. There must be a way to approach all this. Does anyone find a particular method is useful?

Tunisian crochet blanket pulled from the cupboard, ready to be worked on again.

Tunisian crochet blanket pulled from the cupboard, ready to be worked on again.

I think perhaps because a lot of things that I create are not for a particular purpose or person that could be what stops me from finishing. No deadline means no pressure to finish? Or is it because I’m a perfectionist and often half way through a project I decide its not exactly what I had in mind and this puts me off?

I’d love to know what people think. How do you manage projects, keep yourself motivated and deal with the influx of projects that come with the Autumn/Winter season?

Knitting Tutorial – How to YO (yarn over) at the beginning of a row

 

A tutorial demonstrated on the Anniversary Sharf project showing how to YO at the beginning of a row. Please excuse the colour changes in the video as I’m still in my learning curve. I will look to resolve the issue in future videos.

Valerie Bracegirdle’s pattern for the Anniversary Sharf on Ravelry is here

My Ravelry project page is here

The WIP video for this project is here

WIP Work in Progress – Anniversary Sharf

 

 

My current work in progress the Anniversary Sharf by Valerie Bracegirdle.

Find my Ravelry project page here;
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/KerryWallis/anniversary-sharf

The pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry here;
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/anniversary-sharf

Find the Agrarian Artisan KAL Ravelry thread here;
http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2664758/551-575#564