Podcast Episode 11: Gamha

Episode Eleven of the Plutonium Muffins Podcast: Gamha updates you on all of my projects, my new fibre hobby and Edinburgh Yarn Festival! I am publishing this from the p-Lush British Design and Fibre Festival, so some of the images have not uploaded because of a connectivity issue – please check back on Monday to see the EYF album and some of the other photos!

It’s a really long one this week – sorry about that. I’ve made it really clear where Edinburgh Yarn Festival chatter starts so you can skip that if you want to. Continue reading

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Saguaro Cowl

I’m doing a KAL with Wild and Wooly at the moment, working on Saguaro by Renee Callahan. Here is my progress, worked up in Malabrigo Rios.

More than half-way through Saguaro.
More than half-way through Saguaro.

It’s a short one for today – check out the John Arbon giveaway to discover where my Wednesday Words have gone.

Much love,

Corrie xx

m4s0n501
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[GIVEAWAY] John Arbon Goodies

If you’ve been following the blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I love John Arbon Textiles. I did a nice big feature on them on the blog in January, I knitted the Icon Dress in Knit by Numbers yarn, and I have made a point of heading over to see them at as many of the festivals as I’ve been to in recent years. I’ve got to know John and his lovely wife Juliet as people to have a chat with and say hi to when we cross paths, and I’m so excited to be able to continue this association in the future!

John Arbon Goodies

I won’t talk too much more about the company, but I do urge you to find out a little about them – either through my blog or their website. I will mention that there is a Mill Open Weekend on the 16th and 17th of May. I intend to head down and spend some time getting to know the mill and the John Arbon family a little better, and would love to know if you are going too so I can meet up with you and have a chat!

I have just watched John Arbon Textiles: The Movie again, and I cannot explain how excited I am about all of this!

So, on to the goodies. I asked on the off-chance that there was a spare skein of something kicking around, and was thoroughly spoiled by the package that Juliet sent me. With four skeins of yarn and two pairs of socks, there is some truly amazing wooly goodness to get your hands on!

A full selection of goodies from the wonderful John and Juliet.
A full selection of goodies from the wonderful John and Juliet.

Exmoor sock yarn

A skein of delicious 85% Exmoor Blueface / 15% Nylon in the smoke colourway is on offer. This is a light 4 ply yarn, and with 400 metres to the skein, you’ll get a good pair of socks out of this. In case the colours are different on your screen to mine, it’s a purple-brown-grey colour, and would make a sturdy pair of comfortable walking socks! The yarn is on the John Arbon Textiles website here.

Exmoor Sock Yarn in gorgeous smoke colourway.
Exmoor Sock Yarn in gorgeous smoke colourway.

Organically Farmed Merino Laceweight

This is a skein of 100% merino wool. With 650 m of gorgeous lace-weight yarn to get the most out of, this is in the “Dove Grey” shade. It would make a beautiful delicate lace item, and I’ve found it quite hard to accept that I have to part with this! More info on the yarn specifics here.

Organically Farmed Merino Laceweight in Dove Grey.
Organically Farmed Merino Laceweight in Dove Grey.

Viola

Another 100% merino wool, this is a relatively new range of yarns which are dyed by Emily Foden, using a dry-dyeing technique to create the most incredible depth of colour in the spun yarn. I have one skein of a limited edition colourway, Ginger Nut, available for you. This is the most stunning skein with tones of browns, reds, greens and greys to get lost in. You can’t get this on the John Arbon website…just saying! There is 250 metres of double knit yarn in a 100 g skein – perfect for a cosy hat.

viola in Ginger Nut - a limited edition colourway.
viola in Ginger Nut – a limited edition colourway.

Knit by Numbers

As I am the world’s biggest fan of this yarn, it would be a travesty if I didn’t have any to offer to you. With over 85 shades available (let me refer you back to the photo of their display at Unravel, which just makes my heart sing), I have one skein in shade KBN 22. I would describe it as a candy pink, almost. You can see the range of colours here – there are no colour names because the range is so enormous, hence the name “Knit by Numbers”. This is also pure merino, and you get 250 metres in your 100 g skein – I have made a hat from one of these skeins, and it is super comfy.

The Knit by Numbers display on the John Arbon stall at Unravel 2015.
The Knit by Numbers display on the John Arbon stall at Unravel 2015.
Beautiful Knit by Numbers in KBN 22.
Beautiful Knit by Numbers in KBN 22.

Socks

John Arbon Textiles are also well-known for their socks; I have two pairs of “The Exmoor Stroller” for you, in 75% Exmoor Blueface and 25% Nylon. The blue pair is a medium, or UK size 8 to 10, while the green pair is for small feet, at UK size 4 to 7. Find out more about the socks here.

The Exmoor Stroller socks in Small.
The Exmoor Stroller socks in Small.
The Exmoor Stroller socks in Medium.
The Exmoor Stroller socks in Medium.

Entering the Giveaway

So, how do you enter!? Please head over to the John Arbon website and let me know what your favourite product of theirs is – whether it’s a specific colour and blend of roving, or a darning mushroom. Do this by commenting on this blog post – each of the six items constitutes ONE prize, and if you have any preference for what you would like, make sure you say what you would like if you win (ensure you include sock sizes if you go for those). Prizes are drawn randomly and I cannot guarantee that you will get what you would like, but I will correspond with the winners at the relevant time.

For an additional entry, watch the below video and let me know what your favourite part of it is via a comment on my blog (and not on YouTube as I have no way of getting notifications for that).

I’ll give you a hand – at 0:52, brown and white roving is squished down into a barrel, and if I were given half the chance, I would love to do something like that. It looks like the most incredible, tactile experience – and I adore the way the colours blend together too, they look like icing on a cake or something.

For up to three additional entries, you can share this post on three different social media platforms of your preference and let me know about it, making sure to link to the shared item. So that’s five possible entries for six possible prizes.

Anyone can enter, and the giveaway will close on the 15th of April 2015. Good luck!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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The Angel Socks

I have finished my March socks, called the Angel socks as I got the yarn from SugarAngel on Ravelry as part of a Secret Santa swap! I cast these on March 1st, and they were my ‘go-to’ project at Edinburgh Yarn Festival as the other project I had taken was lace(ish) – no good for chatting!

The Angel Socks

I did mention these in my Friday post, but I got round to taking photos today, so I thought I’d show them off – it makes a nice change from event and shop reviews, in any case! The pattern is from Stitch Style Socks: Twenty Fashion Knit and Crochet Styles, a book which is now out of print, but available second-hand on Amazon or wherever else you are lucky enough to find it.

I chose to do the “Ribbon Socks”, because this pattern is a toe-up pattern, and SugarAngel had already halved the skein so I had exactly half of the yarn to work with for each sock – I could just keep going until I ran out. I tried out Judy’s Magic Cast On for this first time. I love this technique. I found YouTube most helpful for the tutorial – I’ll embed the video I used at the bottom of this post. Instead of leaving eyelets for the ribbon that they wanted me to thread through, I decided not to do that and just knitted straight stockinette for what is essentially a lovely vanilla sock.

The yarn is Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids – you will not be able to get this colourway because SugarAngel dyed it herself. The colours are so incredibly unusual – I would never have bought these colours, but I think I have been converted now! The yarn was nice and soft, the socks are incredibly comfortable, and I am super thrilled with the knitting.

I was turning the heel on my second sock while in Edinburgh, and umming and ahhing about doing it. In fact, I faffed so much that by the time I did turn the heel, I got a round of applause in the Podcaster’s Lounge because everyone had been hearing me talk about it so much! It was then extremely fast to just whip up the cuff, and I sat in a gallery in Edinburgh with a cup of tea from the coolest tea-pot ever to finish. These will forever be my Edinburgh memory socks.

The Angel Socks - blocking on the door because Tonks finds them irresistible to play with.
The Angel Socks – blocking on the door because Tonks finds them irresistible to play with.
One compete sock.
One compete sock.
Close-up of the colours - aren't they fab?
Close-up of the colours – aren’t they fab?
Working on my Angel socks with a matching teapot in Edinburgh!
Working on my Angel socks with a matching teapot in Edinburgh!

I am now suffering from a lurgy – still – and am going to head back to bed with some podcasts, knitting and a big cup of Lemsip. I’m sick of getting colds and coughs and fevers – literally!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Local Yarn(?) Shops: the Handweavers Studio

Lucky enough to live a few hundred metres away from the Handweavers Studio, I have never got round to actually reviewing it. Well, my friends, that has all changed! I went in a few weeks ago and spent a good long time taking photos and enjoying the vibes of the shop. The layout had recently changed, so I was a little bit lost, which made for a better review as I had to pay proper attention to everything.

The Handweavers Studio as you approach (complete with reflection of workmen!)
The Handweavers Studio as you approach (complete with reflection of workmen!)

The Handweavers Studio can be found at 140 Seven Sisters Road, London, N7 7NS. The website is here!

The Handweavers Studio

The shop is laid out into three sections, so I’ll go through them from front to back for ease of sorting out my photos!

Front of House

Walking into the shop, you are hit by the fact that there is stacks of wool, everywhere. I don’t mean that in a haphazard sort of way – more of a mind-boggling array of ordered merino tops, selections of yarn, and woven samples on a number of looms that are arranged around the floor. Display cabinets contain some of the more luxury items, including Turkish spindles and needle felting equipment that has fossilised dinosaur in it (see the photos for information on what this means).

Walking into the shop with a beautiful view towards the back of it.
Walking into the shop with a beautiful view towards the back of it.
Merino tops in the very front of the shop.
Merino tops in the very front of the shop.
A couple of looms, the Ashford Knitters Loom is closest to me.
A couple of looms, the Ashford Knitters Loom is closest to me.
A range of Turkish spindles in the front of the shop.
A range of Turkish spindles in the front of the shop.
Needle felting tools - with a fossilised dinosaur bone embedded in the handle of the needle holder.
Needle felting tools – with a fossilised dinosaur bone embedded in the handle of the needle holder.
The front of the shop, welcoming you with a riot of colour.
The front of the shop, welcoming you with a riot of colour.
Some felting supplies to grab and go.
Some felting supplies to grab and go.
Stacks of glitter fibre near the till.
Stacks of glitter fibre near the till.
Yarns and looms in the front of the shop.
Yarns and looms in the front of the shop.
More of the welcoming colourful fibre.
More of the welcoming colourful fibre.

The till is also here, always occupied by a lovely person – all of the staff have some interest in the world of weaving, and I’ve never yet had an experience where I’ve asked for advice or help and been unhappy with the response.

Almost the best bit in a shop full of best bits, is the book selection. They have everything you could possibly ask for and more. With a huge range of ‘how-to’ manuals on all the fibre crafts they cater to, as well as reference material and magazines that I honestly had no idea existed until I really looked at them, every time I go in I have a look at the selection and wish I were a millionaire! I have bought more than my fair share of tomes from here, and no doubt there will be more before I leave London.

The Handweavers Studio has got the most amazing selection of books, from general reference to knitting, spinning to felting, and obviously a lot of weaving!
The Handweavers Studio has got the most amazing selection of books, from general reference to knitting, spinning to felting, and obviously a lot of weaving!
A big range of spinning books.
A big range of spinning books.
Knitting Books are not left out!
Knitting Books are not left out!
Books on felting - not that I'm obsessed with felt at the moment...
Books on felting – not that I’m obsessed with felt at the moment…

The Middle Aisles

The centre of the shop is where the yarn is. Catering mostly to weavers, the majority of the yarn is on cones, in a bewildering array of fibres, colours and textures. It is quite hard to appreciate how incredible these yarns are as a (primarily) hand-knitter, as I’m so used to skeins – I will have to go back once my weaving skills have improved and have another look to fully appreciate everything. However, the amount of choice of colour alone is fabulous, and there are also beautifully presented samples on each shelf-end and wall to inspire you as you browse.

This section also has yarns that I would consider more ‘hand-knitters’ yarns, with beautiful hand-painted skeins, pure wool spun in interesting ways, tweedy yarn, fibre blends and ‘plain’ pure wool. There is colour and texture inspiration here in spades.

Can you see how you could get absolutely lost in the yarns?
Can you see how you could get absolutely lost in the yarns?
Yet more wool, and a noticeboard at the end.
Yet more wool, and a noticeboard at the end.
Bobbins full of yarn and a beautiful piece of weaving.
Bobbins full of yarn and a beautiful piece of weaving.
More yarns, more weaving.
More yarns, more weaving.
Beautiful silk yarns.
Beautiful silk yarns.
A selection of pure wool yarns.
A selection of pure wool yarns.
A bookcase full of handpainted yarns.
A bookcase full of handpainted yarns.
Another beautiful passage lined with yarn.
Another beautiful passage lined with yarn.
Close-up of those gorgeous hand-painted yarns.
Close-up of those gorgeous hand-painted yarns.
A lovely noticeboard with local messages.
A lovely noticeboard with local messages.
Notice for the London Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
Notice for the London Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
I'm going to contact this person - but for anyone in North Islington, a group for you!
I’m going to contact this person – but for anyone in North Islington, a group for you!

Equipment Shop

The back of the shop is where the majority of the equipment lies. With an army of spinning wheels, big looms and a variety of fibre preparation accessories, I normally head straight here to admire the architecture of my craft. I fairly regularly walk in looking for some random piece of equipment that I need right now that I’m sure I won’t find, only to see it nestled on a shelf exactly where I need it.

If by any chance the accessory I need isn’t there, asking for it normally produces results – I enquired on a specific size of niddy-noddy on the off-chance once, and within a couple of minutes it had been brought down from the top of the shop. Magic.

Sacks full of roving are also found here, whether it is different varieties of wool, processed tops or artificial fibres.

An army of spinning wheels - these are used in the lessons.
An army of spinning wheels – these are used in the lessons.
A hand-turned spinning wheel.
A hand-turned spinning wheel.
For the aspiring dyer, a huge range of types and colours of dye.
For the aspiring dyer, a huge range of types and colours of dye.
Weaving and spinning accessories, from carders to shuttles to wool winders.
Weaving and spinning accessories, from carders to shuttles to wool winders.
Sacks full of roving of artificial fibres.
Sacks full of roving of artificial fibres.
Sacks of more artificial or processed fibre roving.
Sacks of more artificial or processed fibre roving.
Here are sacks of wool roving for spinners and felting.
Here are sacks of wool roving for spinners and felting.

Lessons and Workshops

I have done a spinning workshop at the Handweavers Studio, with the talented Brenda Gibson. (Find out more here.) It took place on the shop floor, and it was great to have the whole shop at our disposal on a Sunday – it was not open to the general public, but we were able to browse as much as we wanted. I understand there is a big weaving classroom upstairs, but I’ve never been up there – I may ask for a tour the next time I go in, especially as I’m now a weaver too! Heehee.

They have a great range of classes and workshops, and you can also do a handweavers diploma through the shop – the full range and schedule is here.


If you hadn’t worked it out already, this is one of my favourite places. I would love the shop to have a sofa so that I could go in and just hang out…although I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon, just at my request! I have just one comment which I will include for the sake of balance.

First off, the shop is relatively pricey. I understand, as I’m sure most people do, that excellent quality equipment comes at a fair cost; but you can get a lot of the equipment that is sold here cheaper off the Internet. That said, I always prefer to support bricks-and-mortar shops, and I have bought many ‘somethings’ from the Handweavers Studio in the past when I could have ordered them cheaper off Amazon. It’s part of the experience of being able to handle things yourself before you buy them, and also not having to pay post and packaging! The chance to touch my roving and yarn before I buy it is also invaluable to me, really.

I fully recommend you make it your mission to visit the Handweavers Studio if you are a fibre crafter living in London, and have never been. The nearest tube station is Finsbury Park (which is also on the National Rail network…) and bus links are excellent.

If you do head over, let me know! It’s a ten minute walk for me to come meet you, and there are some fab places to grab a cuppa on Seven Sisters Road.

Happy Saturday!

Much love,

Corrie xx

The front of the shop from the middle of the centre aisles.
The front of the shop from the middle of the centre aisles.

Shop Indie Patterns

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Podcaster, weaver, knitter

I had a big badge at Edinburgh Yarn Festival which proclaimed that I am a podcaster. And I am! Isn’t that strange? Who knew this time last year that I would own things like microphones and audio editing software.

I’ve been feeling reflective for the last few days, as I’ve had a sinus infection which I caught off John just before going to Edinburgh, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time in bed, trying to catch up on reading blogs and watching podcasts. I’ll try not let the reflection get too deep…today. Additionally – it’s International Day of Happiness today! In addition to the normal parties, I’m linking with Happy Friday over at Planet Penny today.

I am a Podcaster

As I say, I had a big badge saying I was a podcaster last weekend. Oh my goodness, Edinburgh Yarn Festival was amazing. Really wonderful. The best bit was the people. I got to meet so many of my Twitter friends who I have ‘known’ for years, but never spoken to face-to-face. I met the podcasters, who I feel like I know and who I spend a lot of every day with as I work my way through their shows. I met people I’ve emailed about things, my ‘exhibition family’ in the form of vendors such as Purl Alpaca and Belinda Harris-Reid, people who I see at every show. I spent two days with my people. It was glorious!

I also realised that I am a podcaster. You can listen here!

The wonderful friends I made at Edinburgh Yarn Festival (photo from the pop-up studio)
The wonderful friends I made at Edinburgh Yarn Festival (photo from the pop-up studio)
A tiny selection of the podcasters I got to spend my time with.
A tiny selection of the podcasters I got to spend my time with.

I will record a new podcast episode when I sound less like a muppet, and all the low-down will go into that. I’m still on a high, though, and can’t wait for the next event*.

I am a Weaver

While at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I bought a loom. I have been thinking about making this purchase ever since Martine over at iMake got an Ashford Knitter’s Loom…and I was so excited about it that I proceeded to tell everyone that I met about it. I also told the people I had already told about it that I had bought it. Every five minutes. Sorry about that!

I ‘cast on’ a project as soon as I got back to London (please let me know what the technical term for that is?) and finished a scarf on Tuesday. It’s far too short and the tension is so funny – but I’m sure this will be another project which I frame and add to my display of “first spun yarn”, “first machine knitting” and so on.

My first ever woven scarf.
My first ever woven scarf.

You’ll hear a lot more about weaving in the future!

I am a Knitter

There are multiple parts to this identity this week! I got so much knitting done while in Edinburgh – I finished the Angel Socks, which are currently blocked and drying and therefore un-photographed.

Working on my Angel socks with a matching teapot in Edinburgh!
Working on my Angel socks with a matching teapot in Edinburgh!

I also (finally) cast on Naloa by Renee Callahan, and am a good way through the first chart. I’ve had the yarn for this for months, the pattern for slightly less amount of time, and I’ve been promising myself I will cast on for as long as the pattern has been out. It feels wonderful to have started a brand new project that has been weighing on my mind – and I’m loving how it is turning out!

On the subject of Renee, I went to a lesson with her at Wild and Wooly on Wednesday night. I met some old friends there, as well as a couple of new people. We started working on Saguaro, a beautiful pattern of Renee’s, which involves two-colour cables in absolutely divine Malabrigo Rios yarn. I had a skein of “Indiecita” in my stash, and bought another of “Sunset” from Anna at WandW – the two colours are knitting up beautifully, and I am loving the new technique.

Working on my cowl during our lesson at Wild and Wooly (photo copyright Renee Callahan 2015)
Working on my cowl during our lesson at Wild and Wooly (photo copyright Renee Callahan 2015)
A half-done cowl with Renee's beautiful Saguaro pattern.
A half-done cowl with Renee’s beautiful Saguaro pattern.

That’s my five things for today! They are all making me feel incredibly happy, positive, and blessed to be part of this little fibre-y community, and the misery of my sinuses have been overshadowed by the joy I’ve felt while working my way through the network I am fortunate enough to belong to.

So, have a wonderful weekend, and hopefully by next post I will be back to my normal non-reflective, brash and silly self!!

Much love,

Corrie xx


Just a quick note, sometimes at the bottom of a post you’ll see a badge linking to things like “Five on Friday”, “Wool on Sunday” and so on. These are link parties, and clicking on them will take you to other bloggers who are concentrating on that rough theme too, so that if you find you want to catch up with the world, you have a good starting point.

* The next event I will be at will be p-Lush in Coventry on Friday and Saturday next week. I hope to see you there!

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planet-penny-happy-friday

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The Spring K&S Show 2015: Part Four

This is the last post on the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015. You’re either breathing a sigh of relief, or unhappy about it! Never fear, there are more shows for me to review, Edinburgh Yarn Festival just the first of them.

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one, two, three and four.

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show: Part Four

These are the final few vendors that I visited at the show. No more introduction…straight into it!

Black Bat

As a fan of wool, and especially British at that, I was excited to find out more about this company, which I had not heard about before. The company is truly inspiring; they buy fleeces off small-holders who would not otherwise be able to get their wool spun. They concentrate particularly on rare breeds, and spin the wool in limited runs.

With a huge range of different types of wool, beautiful patterns and samples of various yarns knit up, it was wonderful to see the stand. None of the yarn was dyed, which was a wonderfully refreshing sight in amidst the riot of colour that most of the other stands had.

Find out more about the company here.

The corner of the Black Bat stall, with a wonderful range of yarns.
The corner of the Black Bat stall, with a wonderful range of yarns.
Samples of the yarn knitted up into beautiful scarves.
Samples of the yarn knitted up into beautiful scarves.
Fleece for spinning from a number of different British breeds.
Fleece for spinning from a number of different British breeds.
More yarns, with samples below.
More yarns, with samples below.

Cashmered

Can you say luxury? I spent a good, long time admiring the yarn of Cashmered. This is all 100% cashmere, with a range of twenty different colours, patterns and kits available to the fibre artist who wishes to indulge themself. With a well laid-out stand and a beautiful photo of goats to lure passers-by in, I kept getting drawn back to the stand as I came past it. I have added this yarn to my wish-list.

Find out more here.

The range of Cashmered yarns.
The range of Cashmered yarns.
Cashmered samples - isn't the crocodile stitch shawl on the left stunning?
Cashmered samples – isn’t the crocodile stitch shawl on the left stunning?
More Cashmered samples enticed me in.
More Cashmered samples enticed me in.
Cashmere child clothes? Your tot would be so comfy!
Cashmere child clothes? Your tot would be so comfy!
Who doesn't love a good picture of goats?
Who doesn’t love a good picture of goats?Cas

Debonnaire

If you have ever listened to my podcast, you will know how much I adore sparkly yarn. Well, Debonnaire had it in bucketfuls. I absolutely adored walking past the stand, touching the yarn softly, and getting lost in the shimmering colours. The dyer is Erica, and she has an incredible amount of yarn available. The knitted samples looked so beautiful! I loved the colour and was very excited about the beauty and quality of the yarn.

Find out more about Debonnaire here.

The full range of beautiful Debonnaire yarn.
The full range of beautiful Debonnaire yarn.
Sequin yarns, a kaleidescope of colour.
Sequin yarns, a kaleidescope of colour.
The yarn, slightly more close-up.
The yarn, slightly more close-up.

Jennie Atkinson

I bought a lot of Kidsilk Haze in Hobbycraft once, and half of it is designated to a Jennie Atkinson design. These are vintage inspired patterns which have a delicacy that is really compelling. I first saw them at Unravel a few years ago, and ever since have admired the design that I will one day knit. It’s for a night-dress, and if you would like to find out more, you can do so here.

Jennie was also selling her book, “A Handknit Romance”, which is just beautiful, and has a lot of projects on Ravelry.

The Jennie Atkinson dress that I will one day knit.
The Jennie Atkinson dress that I will one day knit.
More of Jennie's designs.
More of Jennie’s designs.

The Knitting Hut

I was lucky enough to do a giveaway of one of Sue Stratford’s book last year, and was excited to see her stand once again. She had a large number of knitted samples arranged around the stand, as well as a full range of books and kits. It was wonderful to see them all around, and makes me want to get my Knitted Cats and Kittens book out once again! Find out more here.

The Knitting Hut cats and kittens.
The Knitting Hut cats and kittens.
Knitting kits in a box, with all of our most loved characters from the books.
Knitting kits in a box, with all of our most loved characters from the books.

Namolio

This was yet another new-to-me yarn company, and the range of gradient yarns they stocked had me stop in wonder as I tried to walk past the first time. I have never seen such beautiful balls of yarn, and I knew that I must have one of these one day (more on that another time). The company concentrates on linen and wool, as well as accessories – she had some hilarious greetings cards for knitters on the wall which were fantastic. The full range is here.

Namolio gradient yarns.
Namolio gradient yarns.
Beautiful cards on the wall of the stand.
Beautiful cards on the wall of the stand.

Rachel John

I’ve been excited by gigantic knitting in the past, and with a beam of sunlight highlighting some of Rachel’s samples, this stand was no less entrancing. I was with Kelly, a friend from the Great London Yarn Crawl, at this point, and she decided to buy a giant crochet hook to try out. It was fun looking at a number of different shapes and objects on this stand, which was almost an Aladdin’s cave. Find out more here.

http://www.serenaanncollections.bigcartel.com/
http://www.serenaanncollections.bigcartel.com/
I enjoyed this fella - no idea what it's meant to be, but looks like a delightful face.
I enjoyed this fella – no idea what it’s meant to be, but looks like a delightful face.
Samples lining the top of Rachel's stall.
Samples lining the top of Rachel’s stall.
Stacks of gorgeous yarn to transform into architecture of knitting.
Stacks of gorgeous yarn to transform into architecture of knitting.
A wire cat! Of course.
A wire cat! Of course.

Serena Ann Designs

This company was not on my list of people to go visit, until I got a message from someone on Twitter asking me to go. The website is here: it’s a start-up company run by Alex, who sources beautiful bags from Thailand. These bags are a wonder to behold. They are changeable, from a shoulder-bag to a back-pack, as well as big to little. A bag was my one big purchase of the weekend – in a beautiful paint splatter pattern. I will take a photo of it for you another time; for now enjoy this one of a beaming Alex, who you can find out about here.

Alex with some of his Serena Ann Collections bags.
Alex with some of his Serena Ann Collections bags.

Tall Yarns

With a collection of clothes and yarns, I enjoyed looking at the skirts that the Tall Yarns ladies were selling. I love the style of the clothes, the text the company name is written in sings to me, and can I say I love colour again? Not only is the pattern support for the yarns absolutely incredible, but Jennie Atkinson from earlier in this post (!) has written some of her designs in their yarn. I’m in love with this company. Find the full range here, and do not blame me if I have enabled you.

The Tall Yarns banner! Love this.
The Tall Yarns banner! Love this.
Yarns and clothes, jewel bright and wonderful.
Yarns and clothes, jewel bright and wonderful.
Shawls and Scarves and Tops and Skirts....I think there's a song in there somewhere.
Shawls and Scarves and Tops and Skirts….I think there’s a song in there somewhere.
Those greens are beautiful!
Those greens are beautiful!

Watercolours and Lace

This is the last one! And the description of the company matches the yarn absolutely brilliantly. The skeins are handpainted, in beautiful soft colours that blend together gently and complement the feeing of the yarns. The weight of the yarn does not go above 4-ply, so for delicate patterns and something a bit different, this is where you must go. Find out more here.

Watercolours and Lace yarn knitted up into samples.
Watercolours and Lace yarn knitted up into samples.
Cages full of hand-painted yarns.
Cages full of hand-painted yarns.
You can get a better idea of the colour variations here.
You can get a better idea of the colour variations here.
More yarns, with accompanying pattern support.
More yarns, with accompanying pattern support.

That’s it for the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015! I hope you enjoyed the recounting of it – I’m going to breath a sigh of relief for a bit, and go do some weaving. I will delay the giveaway that I promised for today to next week – so make sure you head over on Monday to find out what you can enter for.

Much love,

Corrie xx

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one, two, three and four.

Clicking on the Amazon affiliate links will help keep the lights on at Plutonium Muffins HQ if you choose to buy one of the brilliant books I’ve linked to.

Online Sewing Class

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The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015: Part Three

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show was a hive of activity for me this year. I’ve already talked about the various exhibitions that I enjoyed, hanging out on the Sincerely Louise stall, as well as some of the vendors. Now for the next instalment!

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one,two, three and four.

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015

More vendors galore today! Grab a cup of tea, it’s a long one for your pleasure. Enjoy yourself and feel free to contact me either using the Plutonium Muffins form, or via email using my address, corrie[at]plutoniummuffins.com.

Knitting Aid

I was very keen to check out the knitting aid, and give it a go too. A new invention by David Hill, this is a gadget that is designed to help knitters with arthritis, by taking the weight of one’s knitting and allowing the main work to be done by the gadget. You can find out more about it here. I did give it a go, but I wasn’t too sure about it. I suspect it would take a bit of getting used to, and I would have to learn to hold my needles in a different way to the present position.

The story behind the aid is what makes me so eager to watch what happens with it, and I am looking forward to seeing David in the future.

David Hill demonstrating use of the Knitting Aid.
David Hill demonstrating use of the Knitting Aid.

Mrs Moon

This is a yarn company based in Twickenham – it used to have a bricks and mortar store, but has since become online only. At this show, they launched a new range of yarns – Plump. The yarn was wonderful and soft, and they had an incredible blanket sample knitted up which made me want to forget about budget and splurge!

I somehow missed taking a photograph of the fabulous blanket, but you can find Mrs Moon’s patterns here. I didn’t make note of what it was called either. I will send them an email and chastise myself later.

Mrs Moon patterns and samples.
Mrs Moon patterns and samples.
Mrs Moon's new range of yarn, Plump.
Mrs Moon’s new range of yarn, Plump.
More of the Plump, in interesting colours. Very tempting!
More of the Plump, in interesting colours. Very tempting!

Natali Stewart

A new-to-me yarn and fibre company, Natali Stewart excelled in the area of silk. With a huge selection of colours and blends, roving, dyed but otherwise unprocessed locks, skeins of yarn, bricks of silk…this was a luxury fibre dream. Again, I could have bought so many things from Natali, who was lovely – you can find out more here.

I was very eager to have a root around through a big pile of dyed Wensleydale locks (I believe), but I resisted as I knew I would not be able to resist. However, if you are a spinner and you come upon Natali’s stand at a show, have a look. You won’t regret it.

The Natali Stewart Stand with a glorious selection of yarns on the wall.
The Natali Stewart Stand with a glorious selection of yarns on the wall.
Stack of yarns and roving and felt and fabric...heaven.
Stack of yarns and roving and felt and fabric…heaven.
A huge pile of the most delicious fibres.
A huge pile of the most delicious fibres.
Silk Bricks on the Natali Stewart stand.
Silk Bricks on the Natali Stewart stand.

Redhound for Dogs

Next up was Redhound for Dogs, a company which designs kits, patterns and accessories for dogs. They are at every show I go to, just about, and their kits are a delight. I asked if they did one for a cocker spaniel sized dog and was told that those types of dogs don’t need clothes…I beg to differ, but fair enough!

The range they design for is for small, slim-type dogs such as whippets, jack-russels and so forth. Find out more here. If I ever decide I need to make knitwear for a dog, this is probably where I will go to find it.

The Redhound for Dogs stall with a range of kits for punters.
The Redhound for Dogs stall with a range of kits for punters.

Sheep on Mars

There was one reason I headed for the Sheep on Mars stand – the name! Everyone knows that Plutonium Muffins is based on the idea of a muffin shop on Pluto (what do you mean you didn’t know that?!) and I wanted to say hi to my intergalactic neighbours. The added bonus was that the stand was lovely!

Natasha is a dyer with some gorgeous yarns, fibres and products to admire – I am so pleased I made a point of going over to meet her. Find her Etsy shop here. She has not been going for very long, and has a very supportive partner who is helping her get going. I can’t wait to get some fibre from her.

Sheep on Mars with Natasha beaming at me.
Sheep on Mars with Natasha beaming at me.

The Little Knitting Company

This vendor was also, somehow, new to me. The stand was located just opposite Louise, and I spent much of the weekend admiring the displays of Soak, the wool-friendly detergent. Once I decided to go and check them out, I was delighted by the range of fuzzy yarns, stitch markers and knitting kits available. Of particular interest were the juggling ball kits!

The prices were also reasonable, in my opinion, and this is where I nearly fell down on my resolution not to buy any extra yarn. You can fall down too – go here.

The Little Knitting Company with a corner of Soak.
The Little Knitting Company with a corner of Soak.
Some gorgeous yarns, what a halo these would produce.
Some gorgeous yarns, what a halo these would produce.
Juggling kits! I'm loving the penguins, this is what I nearly bought.
Juggling kits! I’m loving the penguins, this is what I nearly bought.
Cashmere skeins in royal colours, for a good price. I nearly did it!
Cashmere skeins in royal colours, for a good price. I nearly did it!

Art Felt

With my new fascination for felt, I spent some time chatting to Andrea over at Art Felt, a company which produces kits for creating products using a combination of wet and dry felting. I loved this idea! Even better, Andrea is passionate about sharing ideas and knowledge, and I am excited to see how my relationship with her develops! You can find her kits here – be sure to check out the hedgehogs.

The Art Felt Stand, the proprietor was passionate about community and sharing of knowledge, which resonates with me.
The Art Felt Stand, the proprietor was passionate about community and sharing of knowledge, which resonates with me.
The Art Felt stand, with flowers on the wall as a bonus.
The Art Felt stand, with flowers on the wall as a bonus.

 

That’s all for now! Check back tomorrow for the final instalment on the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015, and on Thursday for a fabulous giveaway from one of my favourite fibre companies.

Much love,

Corrie xx

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one,two, three and four.

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The Spring K&S Show 2015: Part Two

Part One of the low-down on the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2015 can be found here. This part is where Corrie goes crazy and takes over three hundred photos. I promise, I’m not going to show them all to you now! I will split my wanderings over the show into two halves, and hopefully this will make it more manageable for all involved.

If you would like to find out any further information about any of the vendors or what I got up to, please feel free to contact me on corrie[at]plutoniummuffins.com.

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one,two, three and four.

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show: Part Two

Whilst spending some time on the Sincerely Louise stand, helping out Louise and generally chatting to people who found her faux taxidermy highly amusing and inspiring, I also got to go around and check out the rest of the show. There were lots of lovely vendors, some old friends and some new ones made. I was very restrained and only bought one ball of green acrylic yarn, for a quick project I promised a friend a long time ago – so no stash to talk of, but lots of interesting people to share with you.

I have already told you about Toft, Belinda Harris-Reid and Purl Alpaca, so head over to Part One to find out what they were up to.

Ann’s Orchard Beadwork

This was the neighbouring stand to Sincerely Louis, run by the fascinating Emma. With kits and supplies to make up bead pictures and works of art, I spent some time cooing over her designs. My favourite design was definitely Bob the Penguin – closely followed by Bert the Mole. You can check them all out here.

Ann's Orchard Beadwork, Louise's lovely next-door neighbour.
Ann’s Orchard Beadwork, Louise’s lovely next-door neighbour.

Emma used to study the science behind potatoes, and was really interesting to talk to. Not only that, the company was so called because the land the home of Emma and her family is built on was given as part of Anne Boleyn’s dowry on the occasion of her wedding to King Henry the Eighth! I loved talking to her, and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Black Sheep Wools

I did not take a lot of photos when I visited Black Sheep, but I enjoyed looking at their display for the first time this year. The bulk of their stand is generally made up of lots of yarn in a big pile – fun if you’re looking for a bargain, but I was trying not to tempt myself. I loved the colourful blankets they had pinned up around the place, and also some mugs they were selling.

The Black Sheep stand is always huge, with lots to look at.
The Black Sheep stand is always huge, with lots to look at.
I also loved these fluffy softies. They're a nightmare to knit up, but you can't beat a fluffy teddy bear!
I also loved these fluffy softies. They’re a nightmare to knit up, but you can’t beat a fluffy teddy bear!
Black Sheep Wools mugs - I wanted the one of the sheep knitting himself up, it was cute!
Black Sheep Wools mugs – I wanted the one of the sheep knitting himself up, it was cute!
The Black Sheep Wool stand with a beautiful crochet blanket for our pleasure.
The Black Sheep Wool stand with a beautiful crochet blanket for our pleasure.

Black Sheep are a stalwart of big exhibitions, so if you go to a ‘large’ show, you’re bound to find them there. Otherwise, they’re also online here.

Little Gem Knits

Next up was Little Gem Knits, an exhibitor who I was really interested in because of their felting kits. I don’t know how well you can see in the photo, but they have some fabulous landscapes with the most incredible combinations of colour! There were also a number of African scenes, which always draws my eye. The guardian of the stall was needle-felting some giraffes, which tickled me.

Little Gem Knits, with a plethora of beautiful kits, as well as finished objects for sale.
Little Gem Knits, with a plethora of beautiful kits, as well as finished objects for sale.
I adored this sheepy scene! Aren't the colours beautifully blended?
I adored this sheepy scene! Aren’t the colours beautifully blended?

Don’t be confused by the name – they deal more with felt than with knitting. Find out more here.

international feltmakers association

Sticking with the theme of felt (can you tell I was inspired by my purchase of Jenny Barnett’s book?), I also visited the IFA to find out more about this side of the world of wool. I was just in time for a demonstration on how to make a gorgeous felted flower – something I am certainly going to have to try myself!

The chat with the ladies was inspiring, one from New Zealand who immigrated to the UK a very long time ago and got involved with the IFA as a way to stay with a community, and the other a felt-maker who has literally covered her house from top-to-bottom in glorious wool creations.

The IFA display - isn't that coat incredible?
The IFA display – isn’t that coat incredible?
Another beautiful felted coat.
Another beautiful felted coat.
Time for a demonstration from one of the IFA volunteers!
Time for a demonstration from one of the IFA volunteers!
Samples on the wall, showing the progression from a loosely felted leaf on green background, to the finished article.
Samples on the wall, showing the progression from a loosely felted leaf on green background, to the finished article.

You can find out more and join the association here.


Although I’ve written up a lot of the other vendors, I’ve lost my steam a little for now and I’m going to head off and finish a scarf I’m knitting for a commission! (And get a cuppa, that’s important.) See you tomorrow!

Much love,

Corrie xx

The full story of the Knitting and Stitching Show is spread over parts one,two, three and four.

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