New Toasty Knits Out This Week

Hello there,

Goodness it is cold out there folks. This southern hemisphere gal does not know what to do with herself it is so cold (for me anyway, I know it is much colder for others at this time). I hope December is going well for you, and you have lots of toasty knits to keep you warm. This week my aim is to wear as much knitwear as possible, usually all at once.

It has been a busy few weeks around here and I wanted to share some amazing and exciting projects I have been working on. First up these warm and toasty mitts are out in Knit Now this week. Crumpet are lightening fast to knit up from a single skein of chunky yarn. Perfect for warming your hands during this cold snap.

Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

Next up an exciting client project I have been working was released yesterday. I am immensely proud to have been involved with this project. Eden Cottage Yarns has just released their first collection. The Bletchley Collection comprises of six fabulous designs in Victoria’s stunning Milburn 4ply, by Joanne Scrace. The BlueFaced Leicester and Silk blend is amazing to work with and the colours work so well with the vintage inspired designs.

I worked on the layout of the patterns and designed the book layout. It was a great project to work on and a fantastic team of people to work with. I think I might cast on a Baudot hat when a get a moment spare over the next few weeks. I love the inspiration behind the design. Pop over the Victoria’s | Eden Cottage Yarn blog to find out more about this brilliant collection. 

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Also – don’t forget that Jess from Ginger Twist Studio and I will be in Glasgow at The Queen of Purls this Saturday. Zoe has organised a great fundraising event and Jess will have all her amazing hand dyed yarn available to squish (and buy). The samples from Head to Toe will also be available for you to try on and I will have books and patterns for sale too. Hope to see you there.

Lastly for today Rachel at Tangled Yarn sent me some brilliant Asymmetrical Needles to try knitting some socks with.

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needle. Photo copyright Tangled Yarn, used with permission.

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needle. Photo copyright Tangled Yarn, used with permission.

I will be road testing these over the holiday break and will update you about my thoughts in the new year. If you want to know more about choosing knitting needles for sock knitting listen to my latest segment on the Shinybees podcast. 

I have some more news coming later this week, including a round-up of next years workshops and another design (this time to warm your toes over the holidays).

Have a fantastic day.

Happy Knitting.



Don’t forget about the book launch party this weekend …

Don’t miss the party ….

Ryan McGuire of Bells Design_celebrate_low res

Image by Ryan McGuire. No copyright restrictions

Are you coming to see us on Saturday? Jess (of Ginger Twist Studio) and I are holding an exciting book launch party for the Head to Toe collection.

Come along to the shop (11 London Road, Edinburgh) from 4pm until 6pm on Saturday 11th October. We would love to meet you. There will be laughter, nibbles, bubble and fun. You will be able to try the samples and squish the gorgeous Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yarn. I will be signing books too.

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Have a wonderful day.




Autumn, a fresh start and a new design

Creative Commons - Purple Sherbet photography

Creative Commons – Purple Sherbet photography

Tomorrows marks the meteorological start of Autumn. I had not even real thought about it until I started seeing my Southern Hemisphere friends posting about summer being on its way on social media.

I can’t quite believe summer is over at the end of today. The air is a little crisper here in Edinburgh but the days are still lovely. This morning we went on a long family bike ride which was the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. The weather was cooler, not so muggy but the sky is still blue and the sun still shining.

Autumn marks a big turning point for me, a fresh start on the blog. It is knitting season and I have so much going on that I can’t wait to share with you. I have taken a little break from blogging to regroup and have a lot planned for September and beyond, starting tomorrow when I launch the third pattern in the Head to Toe series. Hope you have a restful Sunday, pop back tomorrow for more details about the new pattern.

Here is another sneak peak of the design … its perfect for autumn!





Weekly Round Up #6

Its been a busy weekend here, I still feel like I am walking around with my eyes open but my brain half asleep. It is a very odd feeling. I am fueled up on coffee but soon I will need to reduce the silly amounts of caffeine I have been consuming and return to a more normal coffee intake. Hopefully my brain will wake up in the next few days.

Yesterday was the fabulous Indie-burgh Yarn Crawl organised by Jess from Ginger Twist Studio. I am going to do a separate blog post about that for tomorrow so won’t update you about it here.

This week I thought I would share some events coming up in the next month that I am either attending, or that I thought might be of interest to readers.

First up is an event in a few weeks. Unwind Brighton promises to be a big deal and lots of people are going. I am very excited to be flying to London to stay with a friend and then travelling on to Brighton for the yarn festival. Are you going? I will be at the podcaster meet up on Saturday and then mooching around squishing yarn and nattering with fellow knitters. Can’t wait.

Next up is this coming weekend. I am heading to Glasgow for a knitter’s day filled with adventure. I am meeting some lovely folk and we are going to eat cake and visit two fab yarn shops. Yarn Cake – which does exactly what it says on the box, sells yarn and cake. A genius combination. We are then heading to a new shop called The Queen of Purls. Next week I shall be sharing a full report of yarn squishing and cake consumption.

I am a little disappointed though as I came across a flyer for a great event in Edinburgh. Unfortunately I will be in Glasgow. It’s called Knit the NLS (National Library Scotland) and kicks off at 2pm on Saturday. They plan to ‘yarn bomb’ the NLS. How fab is that? Are you local? Do you think you will pop along? I would love to hear about it if you do.


I would love to hear if you have ever been involved in a yarn event like this before. Have you made something for a mass yarn exhibition or attending something like the Woollen Woods? 

I would love to hear about your experiences.



Week in pictures #3

This week was incredibly busy dotted with some moments of pure bliss. We spent some quality time as a little trio, mainly hanging out in the wonderful local playgrounds here in Canada. Today is the big day – the wedding – and then we will be able to take a deep breath and relax.

Here is a selection of my snaps from this week.

Family days exploring the mountains …

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A moment of adult time sampling the local beers at a craft brewery


and a day hiking in the mountains without the little one, followed by a slap up lunch.

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Lots of time playing in parks and strolling through the forests with the little tot.

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Stolen moments knitting on my Knit Night …


Realising my little baby is growing up so quickly …


My first taste of S-mores … homemade and roasted over the fire


And today … the big day … looking forward to a good party and hopefully a toddler who has fun and gets some rest too.


Hope you had a wonderful week ….


The Loop – Calgary

As every self respecting knitter would do, the first thing I checked about our holiday destination was the availability of knitting shops.

We touched down in Calgary and off I went to the first shop on my list. Admittedly this was the only shop on my list, but I am happy to say they did not disappoint.

The Loop in Calgary was just down the street from where we were staying and had a handy park nearby (great for toddler and husband entertainment). The staff were really friendly and helpful. On hand to give advice but they gave me plenty of space to wander around (and around, and around) looking at the beautiful yarn available.


I went in with a pretty firm idea of what I wanted. Local! It had to be as local as possible. They stock a great selection of Cascade and other mainstream yarns and It was great to see one of my current favourite work horse yarns – West Yorkshire Spinners in stock. However, this was not what I was hunting for.

I was almost tempted by this highlighter yellow Manos but I resisted.


Moving towards the back of the shop, I was quickly distracted by the bountiful selection of local hand dyed yarns.


The Loop stock Zen Garden from Ontario, Dragonfly DyeWerx from Alberta and Sweet Georgia. 

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I could have bought enough skeins to keep me going for a very long time, the selection was fabulous.

Instead I treated myself to a skein of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the colourway Tourmaline. The colour reminded me of the pictures I had seen in guide books showing the lakes we would visit in the Rockies. I thought it would be fitting to design a pair of socks in this yarn to commemorate our road trip (it is on the to do list).

This is Peyto Lake I think the yarn really captures the key colours I have seen recently.

I shamefully have had to lift a picture of the yarn from the Sweet Georgia website as I just can’t capture the colours at all. I think I may have fallen head over heels in love with the range of colours available in this yarn. I know there is a talk by Felicia Lo at Unwind Brighton, I might book myself a ticket to go along. I would love to learn more about their work. 

Image taken from Sweet Georgia Yarns website.

Image taken from Sweet Georgia Yarns website.

I then stumbled across a small basket on the floor containing Aran weight yarn from Custom Woollen Mills. It was rustically spun and a beautiful shade of grey. I was already sold. The lovely owner of the shop then told me it was from a mill about an hour away where they process and spin the yarn using antique spinning equipment. Needless to say a skein joined my stash immediately and a trip to the mill was planned. More about that later.


I am really looking forward to exploring more yarn shops as we continue with our trip.

Do you enjoy yarn shopping on holiday? Do you buy souvenir yarn while you are away? I would love to hear about your holiday yarn shopping.

Happy knitting.


Week in Pictures

It has been a busy old week for us, packed with fun adventures spanning two continents with very little sleep in between. I might be tired but I am happy and we are very lucky to be having such a brilliant family adventure. I thought it might be nice to share my highlights in pictures with you. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, wherever you are in the world.

The week started with a ‘wee’ adventure with my mom in Scotland. We went to see the Kelpies, two brand new sculptures just north of Edinburgh. They are amazing, and if you are in this part of the world I highly recommend a visit this summer. IMG_8557

The little one likes her new dinosaur backpack, which is handy as I need to try and stop her from running off too much. Especially in busy places or on busy roads (her new favourite activity is to try and launch herself off the pavement – not great).


It was a grey and drizzly day but the sculptures are so beautiful I did not mind a splash of rain. I am getting used to the Scottish weather now, and usually remember my raincoat.

We then whipped across the world to Canada (my brother in law is getting married in two weeks so we are here for the wedding). I was even able to get some secret knitting done on the plane. The joy of traveling with another adult who can share the the child minding responsibilities on the plane. Watch this space for more details on this super exciting project. More news in a few weeks!


We are staying in Calgary for a few days before we head into the mountains. The first day was rainy (much like Scotland) and we were tired so we had a wander through the Devonian Gardens in town, a indoor garden on the top floor of the mall. The plants were beautiful but I was more interested in the sculptures and the beautiful grey patterns of the glass roof against a grey sky (it is always about the grey with me).

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I was over the moon to find this green tea frozen yoghurt, it was delicious. I love green tea flavoured things.

IMG_8670Summer is fast approaching here and the streets are full of colourful flowers.

IMG_8707 IMG_8708 IMG_8709On Thursday I went to a local yarn store called The Loop. In a few days I will give you the full low down on my trip there, but they put me onto a brilliant mill about an hour north of Calgary called Custom Woollen Mill. More details on them soon, I have lots of pictures and a yarn haul to share with you. Here are a few snaps from our trip yesterday. The sun shone and we had a brilliant time.

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And I am happy to say my yarn purchases were approved by the small person. Here is a sneak peak of some of the yarn I got at the mill.


A glance back, and looking forward …

I missed the end of the blog week, I knew it was a possibility. I had a hectic work schedule and spent all day Saturday at a conference. I am not going to go back and do the post for day 6 just yet. I am going to turn into into a feature instead. Coming up over the next few months I will be revisiting my interview series and chatting to some inspirational souls in the knitting world. I already have some fabulous people lined up to chat with and would welcome your input on anyone you would like to see featured here on the blog. I can’t wait to get started. It will probably be a monthly feature, though we will see how we go. Watch this space for more details.

In the spirit of 5KCBWDay7 I thought I would stop for a second and take stock of where I have ended up. This is my post from last year and looking back I can’t believe how much has changed.

We moved across the world, instead of the Australia plan we ended up in Edinburgh! Who would have thought. Since we arrived 8 months ago we have moved twice and are still trying to find out feet. I have learnt that knitwear is very useful for the Scottish winter months but blocking knitwear is almost impossible. This is in direct contrast to South Africa where I could block anything in a matter of hours but never had the chances to wear all my lovely knitted items.

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I achieved some of my knitting goals and others fell by the wayside. I finished the Rock Island shawl and knitting one more pair of Cookie A socks, then my personal knitting ground to a halt as my knitting adventure took me on a new and exciting journey.


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Inspired and encouraged by my friend Heidi I decided to start designing some baby socks. These became Sock Anatomy, published at the end of last year. Since then I have written for The Knitter and taught at Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh.


What does the rest of 2014 have in store? I have more workshops coming up in Edinburgh and I will be venturing further afield and will be teaching in Dundee and hopefully Newcastle. I have some designs coming out in knitting magazines you will know (and hopefully love) and have a very special collaboration due to be launched in July.

Then there are the plans for 2015, they are glorious and bold. I am in the planning phase for some exciting new projects and I promise to update you as soon as I can.

Thank you for sticking around this year. I know it has been haphazard at times. I enjoy your company though and hope you choose to stay with me for another year of adventures.

Happy knitting





Weekly Round Up – 5KCBWDay5

The task for today was to do something different. I know this is technically not that different from my normal style, words on a screen and links, but I wanted to start a new feature. So this is my something different. My aim to to get my act together and blog more, to do this I need some features and there is a lot of stuff I see that I want to share. So, here goes …

Friday’s weekly round up (part 1)

Martine from iMake has launched a new website. I think it looks fabulous and advise popping over for a little browse. She has great articles and an amazing selection of tutorials. You might also benefit from having a scout around her old website too as some of the content has not been migrated to the new site and is well worth a look. Martine also hosts a regular podcast featuring all things craft and Guernsey. It is well worth a listen.

New website

Old website 

Ripples Craft had an update last night and if you are after some yarn goodness to brighten your weekend there is certainly plenty to choose from. I love this purple skein. Helen is based in the Scottish Highlands and has the most magical colour sense.

Finally there is a new yarn shop opening in Glasgow tomorrow (17th May) and their grand opening is taking place between 5 & 9pm. The Queen of Pearls is in the centre of Glasgow and will be stocking lots of lovely goodies if the list on their Rav group is anything to go by. I can’t go because I have to attend a work conference (boohoo) but if you are in the area I bet it is going to be a blast. New yarn shops are almost always a good thing.

Happy New Year

A belated Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you had a wonderful time over the holidays and that 2014 is going to be a stellar year for you.

2013 was a big year for me, I had a baby, moved across the world and dabbled in the world of designing knitwear. It was an exhausting and challenging, but also a wonderful, experience.

I have lots of big plans for 2014. More knitwear designing, more blogging (I have some excellent posts planned for you) and a bit of studying. I am starting a masters course in Scottish History in a week – I need to gain additional credits before they will allow me to register as a teacher in Scotland. I think I can safely say I intend to steer some of my research towards knitwear in Scotland! Watch this space.

Some pictures from the last day of 2013 and the wee hours of 2014. I saw in the new year at the Hogmanay street party (needless to say it took me a while to recover, I am not getting any younger).

More knitting news to follow shortly.



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