Review of Fenella – a lovely yarn by Susan Crawford Vintage

I took a class at Edinburgh Yarn Festival with Hazel Tindall to learn fair-isle colour work. I liked my little cuff I created that day, but I sensed that I wasn’t quite ready to dive into making my dream fair isle vest. I mention this, because I still have a fantasy that one day I’ll knit a fair isle vest. When I heard about Susan Crawford’s Vintage Shetland publishing project, I knew instantly I wanted to support it.

So I was delighted when I was offered a sample of Fenella yarn to try out! Susan launched the yarn in March 2014. She developed the yarn specifically for the Vintage Shetland project.

“Whilst working on the Vintage Shetland Project I have hit a snag with some of the garments that I wish to recreate. As most of the garments are from the 1930s to the 1950s, the most commonly used yarn weight in their construction is that all too elusive 3 ply. Added to this was the lack of appropriate colours available in any yarn that did happen to fit the weight I needed. I realised that the only way I was going to be able to successfully recreate these garments was to have yarn produced specifically for them.” – by Susan about Fenella yarn

The Feel of the Yarn

I hand-wound the balls on a long drive so I had some time to feel the yarn and ponder it before knitting. It feels so light and airy! And the colours really did seem to glow. This might be due to the airyness, with light passing through, as well as the natural transparency of wool. But the dye seems to be through the fibres and not just on the surface, if you know what I mean. Here’s a pic of “Baked Cherry.”

Now that I’m more familiar with spinning, I can see that Fenella is loosely plied. The fibers themselves are well spun in each strand, but the plying is loose and open. For comparison, I put it next to the shetland wool to show you the difference. This is Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight on the left. It’s dyed in the wool, and woolen spun. With the Fenella on the right, you can see there’s a definite lustre to the yarn. The label doesn’t specify the breed, but it looks like a long wool, and it looks worsted spun. (I wonder if I’m on the mark?) It actually reminds me a bit of John Arbon’s Exmoor Sock yarn just in the way it is plied (not the hairy texture).

In the Fair Isle class, Hazel Tindall responded to a question about using superwash for fair isle. Hazel said that superwash treated fibers tended to be “too stand-offish from each other,” the thought of which made me laugh. But it does make sense. The fibers need to grab on to each other. When you steek fair isle, you cut the strands. They fibers will have bonded well enough with friction that they hug each other affectionately. Meaning, they don’t unravel. Because Fenella is a light airy yarn, it would be perfect for colour work. I think this yarn would actually also work well for lace, and if I can think of a project I’d like to see what I can make with these yarns.

There’s also the added bonus that the colours really pop with brightness. Look at this funky Pthalo green!

Working with Fenella

I was given four colours: two light, two dark.


  • Myrtle (dark green)
  • Pthalo (bright green)
  • Delicot (peach)
  • Baked Cherry (red)

I took a picture of them in black and white and the lighter colours really looked to be the same tone. For the design, I opted to put the contrasting the colours together light v dark. I decided to refer to the awesome Knitsonik Colourwork book to create a new cuff. And I began doodling!

I started by drawing a grid to fit the number of stitches I needed in the round. I came up with the idea of writing “WOW” around the cuff. I used 3mm needles to knit with. If I were to do this again, I would probably go down to 2.75mm for colourwork, but I’m a loose knitter.

Contrary to what you might think, I didn’t find the yarn splitty. I struggle with that when I purl usually, but of course this was in the round and I only purled for the ribbing.

When I finished knitting I thought my stitches looked pretty wonky. I don’t have much experience with double pointed needles, so I was getting some gaps especially when starting new rounds.

I washed it and squeezed it a bit roughly. After squeezing out the water, I noticed my stitches looked more even and the colours blended better. I literally said “WOW” outloud, and then laughed, DUH. I had to explain this to my husband who did a good job of pretending to be impressed! Here you can see my little cuff swatch drying.

Buy Fenella Yarn

You can buy Fenella Yarn right from Susan Crawford’s shop, Deramore’s and Love KnittingOh! And ALERT! There’s a sale on Baa Baa Brighouse right now

Support the Vintage Shetland Project

At the time I’m writing, the project is 253% funded(!) This is a great chance to not only support her publishing project, but you can get a few little extras too. The Pubslush campaign is on for just a few more hours!

If you’d like to see more of the projects and inspiration – you can check out the blog tour.

Yarn review: Lyonesse by Blacker Yarns a linen-wool blend

I was very pleased when Sonja of Blacker Yarns offered to send me sample skeins of their new Lyonesse yarn to review, and I’m delighted to share a review with you. I was given two samples to play with: One icy blue Aquamarine in DK and a shimmery Ruby in 4 ply.

Blacker yarns - linen wool blend yarn

I have to say right off, I’m a massive fan of Blacker Yarns, so this review might be biased! I credit them with getting me into learning more about sheep breeds and eventually learning to spin. However, I’m going to stick to the facts so you can get an idea of what it’s like to work with.

In this review I take a close look at the yarn to give you an idea of what it’s like.

  • The theory
  • In the ball
  • Swatching and knitting with it
  • Washing
  • Wear testing
  • Overall Impressions
  • Pattern ideas

Theory: For a state of constant transition

Here’s the theory: The worsted spin of this squishy soft wool blended 50/50 with linen means this will yield a drapey fabric that would hold its block. It might even wrinkle or loosen with wear, but the wool will give it that bit of elastic spring back. Exactly what I’m looking for.

I love the idea of transitional clothing which is warm but cooling, light and easy to layer. Spring or autumn, seasonal transition might mean warm and balmy in an afternoon, and cold in the evening. Where I live, we’re pretty much transitional weather all year round, and you rarely get balmy weather at all. And with air conditioning and heated building, you need to dress in layers to adjust to the transitioning temps all year round.

Intuitively, I’ve wanted to use linen/wool blends. Though I’ve never spun or knit with pure linen before, but I’ve spun with a flax/wool blend from Hedgehog Fibres recently and I was truly amazed at the benefits of both fibres. You’d be surprised to find there aren’t actually that many wool/linen blend yarns on Ravelry (12 in DK weight.) I was delighted to know hear Blacker have a new wool/linen blend launching soon!

In the ball

If you judge a yarn like this in the ball, you’ll be completely misled. It doesn’t yield when you squeeze it, with the strong linen fibres pushing back. I suspected it was going to be fun to swatch and discover the transformation.

This is a very well-blended combination. You can see little errant flecks of linen here and there, so it’s not so blended that you can’t see the distinct fibres. The sheen of the linen does come through, as does the way the dye is take up differently by the fibres.

  • The 4 ply yarn has two plies, and it’s not tightly plied. I’d expect this to take lace very well and for the stockinette to be a bit nubbly.
  • The DK weight yarn has three plies (the same singles in the 4 ply weight), and it’s nice and round. I’d expect this to work well with lace and subtle textures.


I decided to start my experimentation by making two flat swatches in each yarn, one in the suggested needle size, and one in the needle size up. Going up a size could emphasise the drape, and it’s often used for adding a little swing to a project such as a tee or tunic, which are precisely the types of garments I have in mind.

The yarn was really nice to work with. It’s a bit grabby, so I used metal chaigoo needles. I didn’t find it rough in the hand like I’ve heard reported about pure linen yarns. It was easy to work with.

You can see in my unblocked samples that my knitting suffers from “rowing out”. I do a lazy purl which means my purl rows are shorter and use less yarn than my continental knit stitches. I know that linen is meant to show every tension problem you have, but I was curious if the wool would be more forgiving.

  • 4 ply: As I said, I have a funny way of purling which sort of unplies the yarn, so I did notice some splitting with the 4 ply. I still loved knitting with it.
  • DK: I expected some splitting, but I didn’t have any trouble with that with this 3-ply DK.

Here you can see I swatched with garter stitch edges. Unwashed, the swatches curled at the ends. I was curious if I was going to need to pin them after washing.

Lyoness 4 ply yarn - curling before washing


This yarn didn’t melt in the water like some silks and merinos do. It held its own. I gave it a good 30 mins soak in warm water with a tiny bit of wool wash. Overnight, they dried perfectly flat with no pinning needed.

And sure enough, my wonky stitches and rows looked more even after washing. Yay for wool!

When I picked up the swatches I found them crispy to touch. They weren’t floppy or squishy, but had quite a lot of body, like new linen. I was sort of disappointed that they didn’t have the drape I expected: but my test wasn’t yet finished! After wear-testing, the yarn was transformed.

Wear testing

On first squeeze, the swatches get wrinkled and hold a shape!

Wear testing

But as soon as I flattened them out, the wrinkles smoothed out instantly. Literally, just after smoothing out, the wrinkles were disappearing as you can see in this pic. With more wear later, they even got smoother, the wrinkles are gone as if I had pressed them.


Wow! I roughed up the swatches vigorously, rubbing them together and generally abusing them. I saw some blurring with individual strands of flax giving way, but no pills whatsoever.

In fact, the more I roughed up the swatch, the softer and more supple it got.


Now the drape of linen and the worsted spun wool was coming through! I love the old linens my mum has given me. They are soft and supple like nothing else. As linen ages, the fibres break down and get softer, while still staying very strong. Overtime I’d expect a garment knit in this yarn to get softer and softer.

I’m super excited about the way this yarn wears. I think you could wear this all day and still look pretty sharp.

What surprised me was the elasticity of the swatches. Cotton or Linen yarns are known for not springing back, but I don’t think that is a worry here at all. The wrinkles smoothed out instantly, and looked so sharp and nice. I found myself thinking “tailored” as I look at the swatches.

Overall Impressions

In this pic, left is DK, right is 4ply. Top is recommended needle size, bottom is one size up, both after washing and wear-testing.

For the 4 ply yarn:

  • 3mm – 27 sts x 39 rows. 4 mm – 22 sts x 32 rows.
  • I liked the yarn in a needle size up, 4 mm, as compared with the 3mm needle. It’s light and airy feeling.
  • The 3mm fabric was intriguing though, it wasn’t stiff, but it was firm, almost had a tailored feel to it.
  • This is the same singles in the DK yarn, but in two plies. This indicates that lace patterns will show up well. I even noticed that the simple yarn overs I created to mark my needle size stayed nice and open. And yes, the stockinette does have a slight nubbly look it it, but I really like that.

For the DK yarn:

  • 4mm – 21.5 sts x 30 rows. 5mm – 17.5 sts x 24 rows
  • I noticed I liked the recommended needle size for 4mm more than the results with 5 mm. At 5mm, the fabric was a bit slack, whereas the drape was great on the recommended 4mm needles and it has a nice plush squish to it.
  • This is the same singles as in the 4 ply yarn, but in three plies so texture is going to show up well, as would any twisted or mock cable patterns. Lace patterns would hold a strong block, and for that reason it would suit all sorts of shawl patterns which need drape rather than squish.
  • The stockinette is so smooth and sharp.

Here you can see the crepe-like surface of the two plies in the 4-ply weight yarn at the bottom. And the smoother surface of the round three plies in the DK weight yarn.

Pattern ideas: Transitional knits

I have trawled Ravelry recently gathering up 74 tee patterns and 50 tanks in my faves list. I really love tees and tanks, I layer over a cardigan or hoodie and feel comfortable, whereas I feel a bit locked-in with a pullover. Eventually I’d like to replace my collection of free tech tees with handknit ones.

One of my favourite garments to wear is a grey knit linen tunic, with large matte metal beads on it. It’s drapey, and it’s gotten softer overtime. I wear it all year round, layered under various weights of cardigans, and over a tighter tank top. I’d love to knit another beaded tunic like it, or a lace tunic.

Another of my favourite items of clothing is a boxy tee, but its bright white and coral scream “summer” so I usually let it rest over winter. Because of the drape you can choose boxy patterns and they’ll look pretty not bulky.

  • 4 ply: Because of the two plies this would be lovely for lacy garments.
  • DK: I think the DK weight would be a perfect open cardigan. Patterns which have waterfall sides would benefit from the drape and sheen of the linen.

Get your hands on it!

Lyonesse will be available May 1st. You can stalk Lyonesse yarn on Ravelry here.

You can order the colour cards here. My default is usually blues and greys, and I certainly love the Aquamarine, but what’s interesting is that the deeper Ruby tone shows off the linen contrast more. I really like that flecked look which would be more visible in the darker colours.

I think I’m zeroing in on stripes using Lyonesse 4ply in Ruby with a natural contrast stripe on on 4mm needles. This would be nice in a boxy tee like Vasa or tank like Saco stripes.  The Vasa tee would need 1 skein natural and 5 skeins in Ruby. At £5.75 a ball, that’s £34.50 for a large sized boxy tee, and hours of knitting fun.

Tips for anyone embarking on YarnKonMari

I started writing what was going to be one blog post and I decided to write it all out. So this is part 3, wherein I warn the gentle reader if they are about to start on their YarnKonMari project. You can read Part 1 or Part 2 of this epic cull.


You need time and space

I planned this originally thinking I had time off in April for Easter, but I have to go on a sad trip. So I had to wrap things up quickly last weekend. As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to photograph the yarn and I thought I’d queue it (ha no!) And even on the day, I tacked BOTH books and yarn. Don’t do what I did. Start KonMari early in one category. I wish I’d had the whole weekend, but I was booked.

A sound track helps!

I think it’s really helpful to hear people TALK about organizing and decluttering while I organize.
And a special Google Talk by Marie Kondo.

You need a vision

I think in the end I have a KonMarieFail. I did eliminate a good bit of yarn, but I feel like I just pushed stuff between boxes. I certainly know better what I have now, but I didn’t even get photographs as I had planned.

I think KonMarie says you should start with a vision of the lifestyle you want so you can work towards it.

I do want a lively, big, fun stash. But do I want it all out in the open exposed to dust/air? I think if I maintained a small stash then it would be easier to keep out on the open and enjoy it.

I don’t think I looked into how people store and display yarn. And that is why everything pretty much just ended up in boxes again. I think if you have a vision, you also know when you’re successful.

Danger zone: Don’t wake sleeping yarn dragons

After clearly eliminating the joyless yarn, I looked at the rest, and decided to sort it further. I had a “Hall of Fame” of yarns; I had “spark joy” yarns and I had this whole pile of “moderate joy” yarns.

I sat down with this moderately joyful pile, and organized it by colour. I woke it all up. I found I was surprised by the sparkly joy that the scraps and leftover yarn bits had. Suddenly they seemed like some exciting materials to play with freely without fearing using up too-precious yarns.

I wanted to try combining them immediately, to hold them together multi stranded. I made a quick swatch. Clara Parkes talks about it in her Craftsy class on stashbusting. (Follow the link in her newsletter for a cool discount!)

I decided to combine 2 neutral with one pop of colour, and use up some bits with texture.

But my husband caught me and we had a discussion about the whole project. It was clear I wasn’t making progress. Of course, first I finished and cast off the swatch. Then returned to business.stash-swatch-combine

This might be the yarn equivalent to reading a book while you’re doing konmarie on your books. I really should not have started knitting! I love the swatch though and I think this would be a really fun project. I can picture it in a jacket: which would like being thick and heavy. I love Stephen West’s Marled Madness coat.


I think this is the “magic” part of the process. You open up your ideas to what you have around you, and then you are less likely to accumulate mindlessly. (hopefully!)

Reflecting: Was I successful?

Though I didn’t start out with a vision, I started to develop one. I would like to achieve a state of active, live, exciting stash.

Clara Parkes calls this “slow stashing“, which I mentioned in the previous post.

“At its core, slow stashing involves being mindful of every skein we own, and only bringing in new skeins that are truly deserving of our time, our attention, and our resources.

Slow stashing starts with an unblinking survey of our stashes. Pull everything out—including deep in the closets and attics where yarn tends to congregate. Remove it from cover of darkness, take it all out into the bright open air, and study what you have…. You are seeking yarns that inspire you, yarns made from noble fibers and by good people, yarns that are truly worthy of your time, your attention, and your dollars.”

I think in terms shaking up the stash and getting familiar with what’s in there, I know what I have now. But the problem is, will I remember?

I really like Hanna Fettig’s advice about organizing your stash.

TIP FOUR. Take a a few hours to organize your materials in a pleasing manner.  I’m not a big fan of storing things in ziplock bags inside plastic bins.  I like to have everything out, sorted by color or coordinates, so it can inspire me on a day to day basis.  I shuffle everything around from time to time to give me a fresh perspective.

I have put the yarn back in plastic bins because that is what makes sense for the amount of stuff I have in relation to the space. However I have pulled out current projects into a basket so I can see what I’m working on. A spinning project and a few WIPs.


What I should do is take out yarns from time to time so I can just enjoy them, play and wake them up.

And I still have fibre to sort through!

How to KonMari your yarn stash (part 2!)

I love the KonMari method. In the previous post, I mentioned how I started sorting through my stash. I mainly wanted to do this because I know I have too much for me right now and I’m worried that my past self wrote knitting cheques my future self can’t cash, or knit (?).
In her guide on How to Organize your Stash, Hannah Fettig has lots of good tips, but I love this one:
“TIP THREE.  Sometimes we save materials for too long because we love them so much. We want to be sure they match up with just the right project.  There have been cases where I held onto something for years.  And then what happened?  I’m not in love with it anymore.  If you really love a yarn or fabric in your stash, don’t stress, just USE IT. “
And I think that is where I am with my stash. I bought a sweater’s weight worth of a thick aran weight yarn last year, which is lovely, though now I know I prefer DK weight to knit with. I couldn’t finish because the project really doesn’t suit me (and I couldn’t figure out how to modify it so it does). I would prefer that I could start a sweater with yarn in a weight I like now. So there ya go.

Get Ready to KonMari that stash

Marie Kondo says to tidy up and do it all at once and only one time. It might take several weeks, but it should be done in one shot. She has a particular order too. I mentioned in my previous note, I’m trying to KonMari all the things, and just started tackling the yarn.

I’ve done the first step which was to sort out my clothes. She says to start there because clothes are easily replaced and people usually have too many. And this morning, I tackled my books. Even my husband joined in on the fun. But I’ve got to tackle yarn next.

KonMari doesn’t cover yarn in her book. In terms of order, I think yarn is such a large category, I think yarns don’t fit in komono (stuff). I think collectors and hobbyists will always have categories like this. Now that I’ve started, I can safely say I probably should have done komono first, but I’m impatient and hubs and I have had “words” about the stash.

The StashI think on a scale of difficulty it fits between books and sentimental items. Potentially useful like books and snackable purchases which accumulate easily. So much of the authors book advice fits for yarn. Though she has some book-specific advice which won’t translate to yarn. With yarn,  once you use it up it doesn’t become a collection. And it costs quite a bit more than books. For example, she says ‘just give it away if you’re not sure. If you do like it, then you can just buy it again.’ Um.. not with yarn!

I’ve interpreted the steps to how I think Marie Kondo’s method translates to yarn.

However, this is all theory as I’m literally right in the middle of this process now. I’ll report back on what I discover!

1. Gather the yarn

I took the first step: Load all of it on to a pile. Don’t skip this step and think you can just pull out things you don’t want to keep. That is the wrong way around. It all comes off the shelves and out.

But I did that step over two weeks ago. So, today I guess I’m at least making progress.

2. Sort: Does this yarn spark joy?

Touch each yarn. Do you sense joy? Only moderate joy? Only keep which resonates. I thought this sounded pretty trippy. The notion that you communicate with objects which respond to you seems childlike because of the sense of magic. I was a bit skeptical that I wouldn’t feel “joy”.

However, when I touched these shetland yarns, they literally sparkle with excitement. These are from Blacker Yarns and Jamieson & Smith.

3. Discard/donate

She says throw away, but I think donating is going to be a happier future for anything unwanted or unused. Some yarn is going to a friend in England, some in Belfast and to a women’s knitting group. This stuff was easy to spot.

#stashbusting #nobrainer #KonMarie #yarnkonmarie

A post shared by Heather McNamee (@nearlythere) on

Whastash-boxes-donet was I left with?

I boxed up the yarn into categories.

  • Yarn for projects I have queued and will start next. The Shetland Hap *gulp* that is a doozy! And a knitted skirt project and a few WIPs.
  • Yarn for gifts: Hats and mitts. I won a massive amount of yarn from LoveKnitting, and this makes up the bulk of it!
  • By weight: Fancy pants fingering, DK/chunky, My handspun (tends to be Aran-Bulky)
  • Crazy odd ball yarn.
  • FUN SCRAPS. I love my scrap bag! It’s clearly all stuff I love and I’d like to use again. MinaLoves has a great post about yarn leftovers.

What patterns of habit did I discover?

stash-all-lovelyColour habits:

  • I have lots of blue/turquoise/green, and lots of natural neutrals.
  • And a few random yellows!
  • Recently I’ve bought pinks and purples and it’s all I want to knit with. I think that is the problem with “collecting stash”… your past self commits to knitting your future self might not want to do.

Shopping habits:

  • I tend to buy when stuff is on sale, I get a bit grabby. Much of my odd ball yarn is like that.
  • I buy yarn to swatch. I have a problem with Blacker Yarns, I love their yarns and want to try them all.
  • I buy sometimes because I fear all the yarn will disappear. That is the biggest overall thing. What if I can’t ever find this stuff again ever?

In the future, what I’d like to do is just buy what I’m ABOUT to use. Clara Parkes calls this “slow stashing“.

Hannah Fettig also talks about Stash Control in a recent podcast. She is a true stash minimalist, and only gets yarn for a project she’s about to work on.

What’s next?

1. Stash on Ravelry? Yes. What I wanted to do was photograph it and put it on Ravelry. I think if I do that, and I’m connected with an app, I can make sure I “know” what’s in my stash. I can then shop my stash before starting a project. And rainbows will spring from my fingers because I will be in perfect stash harmony. But that is going to have to be done box-by-box now.

2. To queue or not to queue: NO. I thought I’d like to connect the yarn to projects in my queue, however I get the sense (again) that this means my past self will be committing to things my future self might not want to knit. In fact, I went right to my queue this morning and just moved out any aspirationally queued items.

3. Frog! I think this is where Clara Parkes’s class on Stashbusting comes in helpful. I’ve started frogging projects I’m giving up on entirely.

stash-frog stash-frog2And getting ideas for what to do with all the crazy odd-ball yarns I have.  stash-swatch-combine

I’ll talk more about that in my next post!

The Life Changing Magic of Stashbusting

I recognize that writing a blog post belies my struggles with decluttering. Why am I at the computer and not elbow-deep in stash? Well I didn’t accumulate the stash in one day, so this isn’t going to be easy.


I got the idea to sort my stash after being reminded of the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up on the Curious Handmade podcast.

I watched Clara Parkes’s Craftsy Class on Stashbusting. But I really craved more detail in the section on sorting your yarns. Because it wasn’t obvious to me. Where Clara’s class really excels is helping you figure out how to say goodbye to WIPs, frog, re-set your yarn’s twist, matching yarn to projects, combining in new ways. It’s chock full of great ideas, I fully fully recommend it. BUT, I needed much more detail on the sorting step.

I think that is where KonMari can help. I thought it would be interesting to compare the approaches. Clara Parkes says you should “prune” the yarns, so you are eliminating. KonMari says only: Keep what you love; there’s only one rule: does it spark joy?

When do you know you have a problem?

Both Clara Parkes and Marie Kondo refer to the invisible stash/stuff. Clara Parkes says, “If you no longer know what’s in your stash, your stash no longer works for you.” Marie Kondo says items, such as books, become invisible when they are stashed away. Even books, which sit on shelves baring their spines, in full view: they become invisible and dormant. You need to wake them up, and make them conscious again.
I think the act of going through the yarn brings awareness to you about what you have and the intention behind it, and knowing what you have. I think the overall aim is to *stop buying stuff you don’t need*.
When are you done?
If you love everything in your stash and it makes your heart sing, then you don’t need to declutter even if you have a shed load of yarn. KonMari doesn’t prescribe the size or amounts of what to keep (33 items of clothing/100 things, etc). She said those methods are pointless, hard to follow and don’t serve the purpose.
The vision is to be surrounded by a joyful environment. If that’s a library full of books, or a spartan white room, it’s totally up to you.

The emotional feelings in fibre

Clara Parkes and Kon Marie agree that there are going to be easy wins, things you just KNOW you want to keep. For books, KonMari calls this the “Hall of Fame.”
Clara asks you to detect the feelings you’re getting when you sort the yarn. She suggests you’ll feel there’s a burden, for unfinished projects or untouched yarn. Let it go.

What about the “ambivalent” yarns?

This is where I think there’s a difference in the approaches.  Clara says to bag it up and check back in 6 months. Kon Mari would probably just say “bin it!” (or Donate of course!)

Next: Step by step

OK – This was getting a bit long and now it’s bedtime. I’ll break this into another post and break down the KonMari steps in relation to yarn!

Going to Unwind Brighton! Knitting, yarn and crochet festival

I found out recently I’m going to be in London for a work related week of intense work/fun/production. So I could easily rationalize getting to London on the Friday before to check out Unwind Brighton. Quel coincidence! Minor problem is that I had *already* rationalized booking into Fibre East one week later in July. Why so much good stuff all at once?!
Wooly people need to spread all this good stuff around better. There’s some months which are sorely lacking.

Unwind Brighton fun workshops

Unwind Brighton is a weekend event with a marketplace and workshops. There’s also apparently a printed guide planned which will include nice things like a free pattern by Joji Knits and the design contest’s winning entry by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

There are many classes and workshops during the event. There are still workshops with some places and 2nd runs of some workshops have been opened up.

I signed up for a workshop by the lady organizing the event, Dani Sunshine.

Do I Really Need to Swatch? with Dani Sunshine

Sunday, 13th July 2014 12:00 – 13:00 Register here £10.00

I’m excited to see the results in the workshop. As “homework” before the event, you have to bring a swatch in sock weight yarn; 40 sts, 50 rows on 3.75 mm needles. How cool will it be to see everyone’s results?And I have no business in the workshop about Contiguous Method of sleeves with Susie Meyers, but she’s like, a knitting unventor, which is kind of amazing.

Map of Unwind

On the Unwind chat thread, a user named Dutte created a map of the locations. That is super handy.


Admittedly it is a far hop down to the south of England. Even Louise of Knit British spoke of suffering from “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Which is a terrible affliction. I only just heard about it, but I know exactly what she means.

I get FOMO everytime there’s a DrupalCon (open source software event) on and I’m not there. But events like that are really expensive. I had to call it quits on DrupalCons when my husband copped on to the fact that it doesn’t count as a holiday. Since I am there run off my feet from 8am in the morning til 3am the following morning…. Each day. Somehow I sense Unwind isn’t going to be that insane. However, there’s also the added danger of purchasing wool when you get near places like this. It will be my first fibre-related festival or event. So we’ll see if I can survive the temptation.

Brighton is beautiful

I’ve been to Brighton before. It’s lovely. I’m sort of at the “what to pack stage now. I have to bring work clothes for the following week, so I’m going to look like I’m at work unless I pack some extras… but YARN and FIBRE needs space. These are good problems to have. If the weather is really fine though you could actually swim! I can bring a swimsuit just in case.

Here’s a good map of the beach there, it made me laugh!


Interviews with Di Gilpin, knitwear and yarn designer

I love the work of Di Gilpin. The textured patterns, and simple lace and gansey designs. I can’t wait to try some patterns.

Have you see these videos? They evoke Di’s location, inspiration and style. She talks about designing knitwear and also designing yarns! A total dream, and so well produced.

Here you can see Di Gilpin’s knitting patterns, and luxury yarn.

Gansey Inspired Knitwear : Di Gilpin

Moray Star Gansey: Di Gilpin Knitwear

Lalland : 100% Scottish Lambswool: Di Gilpin