Glasgow School of Yarn

Hope you are having a good week, I am recovering from a whirlwind few weeks culminating in the Glasgow School of Yarn event over the weekend. It was a real reminder for me of what difference a year can make. This time last year we had just arrived in Edinburgh, I had a little baby who was crawling but not walking and we were living in a dingy cold damp flat. Fast forward a year I have an exuberant toddler, a new home with space for my office, that is not dingy or damp (it is a little cold but this is Scotland and it is October) and I am working for myself as a designer and freelancer. Wow!

Some things don’t change though and one of those things is my passion for humanitarian work and causes – the old job, the one that came before knitting and small children. With that in mind I was very grateful to be part of the team of volunteers who helped run the p/hop stand for MSF (Medecins Sans Frontier) at the Glasgow School of Yarn. The initiative started by some lovely knitters a number of years ago raises money for MSF by matching up skilled designers with knitters who love patterns – all that is asked is the knitters give a donation in line with how much enjoyment the pattern with bring them, hence P/hop (pennies for hours of pleasure). We raised a whopping £729! Thanks for all your support generous knitters of Scotland and beyond.

I was also helping out on the Ginger Twist Studio stall with my pal Jess and her lovely yarns (they really are fab). We had a selection of my books and patterns too – it was very exciting to see my work in print at a yarn event.

Here are some pictures from the two days – it really was a fab weekend.

The lovely Jess from Ginger Twist Studio in her booth.

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My patterns on display at the GTS booth, exciting times!

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Brilliantly bold yarn from John and Easy Knits

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Feeling a little weary at the end of day one, wearing my winter Brunswick, a thicker cozier version – the revised pattern will be released in November.

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Skeining yarn in the car on Saturday morning as we made our way across to Glasgow.

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  The MSF stall and some fab raffle prizes donated by the generous vendors at GSOY.

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My restrained purchases from GSOY. Some beautiful ceramic earrings from Susan Sharpe, they are super cute and I have worn them all week. I also bought some lovely Polwarth fibre from Easy Knits in the Dusk colourway. I am going to use it to make the new slippers Cadeautje by Ysolda from her Knitworthy collection. 

Did you go to GSOY? I would love to hear about your adventures. If you did not make it to this event have you been to one of the other fab events over the summer months. Share you thoughts and links to blog posts in the comments – I love hearing about yarn related adventures.

Happy knitting,

Clare

x

Designer Spotlight: Louise Tilbrook

Hope you are having a great week. To mark the middle of “Socktober” (where has the first half of this month gone) I have an interview with an exceptional British sock designer and one the speediest knitters I know – Louise Tilbrook.

Hoar Frost by Louise Tilbrook. Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

Hoar Frost by Louise Tilbrook. Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

I had a quick chat with Louise last week about her love affair with socks, I hope you enjoy the interview.

CD: When did you first become enthralled with socks?

LT: A few years ago now I picked up some Regia self-striping yarn and I was hooked. Some days I think if I could knit nothing else, ever, I would be happy knitting stripy socks.

I love stripy socks too, watch out on the blog next week for a special post about some very special self striping sock yarn from The Golden Skein.

CD: How did you make the leap from knitting socks to designing socks?

LT: It was a logical progression as I started to knit more for male family members. Whilst I love to knit lace and I do like a good pair of lace-patterned socks I found that truly unisex socks in larger sizes were a little harder to find. To pass the acid test a sock pattern must be fun to knit, look far more complicated than it actually is and be officially approved as ‘non-girly’ by my DH.

CD: Does magic loop rock your boat or are you more of a DPN fan?

LT: Magic loop all the way. I’ve lost too many DPNs on trains, in cars and under sofas

CD: How do you pick a good sock yarn?

LT: I love yarns with a good firm twist that have excellent stitch definition as it helps cables and twisted stitches to really pop.

CD: Solid, tonal, variegated or stripes? Which yarn makes your heart sing?

LT: For my designs I love handpainted tonal yarns and for plain (knitting-for-me socks) it is self striping all the way – the more colourful the colours the better.

CD: Toe up or top down?

LT: I started with cuff down and then converted to toe-up. I started on the Hexipuff craze some time ago and realised that if I could cast one of those on, I could cast on a sock toe. Then I discovered Judy’s magic cast on and never looked back.

CD: Afterthought heel, love or loathe?

LT: Love them and am working on one right now.

CD: What is your favourite sock design? And why?

LT: My favourite is always the one I’m currently working on – I’m quite fickle like that – but of my published ones I’m most proud of my Silver Birch design featured in Pom Pom magazine. The yarn was heavenly to work with and I was so pleased with the finished socks.

CD: … and your favourite socks designed by someone else?

LT: Heavens – I can only pick one? For a great, effective and satisfying pattern I would have to choose the Monkey sock by Cookie A. I’d also love to try the Stitch Surfer socks by Louise Robert as they look amazing.

CD: Besides yarn and pointy sticks what is your most treasured sock knitting tool?

LT: My collection of sock project bags from Daisy Bun Boo. Since rehoming 2 kittens everything in my house needs to be under kitten-lockdown. Especially yarn and pointy sticks.

Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

Bleaberry Tarn by Louise Tilbrook. Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

Louise has a lovely range of sock patterns available on her Ravelry store and she has very generously donated some lovely prizes for the readers of this blog. She is offering a pattern from her collection to three lucky readers. To enter this competition please leave a comment below. You need to include the following in your comment to be entered.

1) Which is your favourite Louise Tilbrook design? You can find all of her designs in her Ravelry shop. 

2) What yarn would you knit this design in?

3) Please also leave a way for me to contact you should you be the lucky winner. A Ravelry ID is probably the easiest.

This competition will run until the 30th of October, and the winners will be announced on the blog on the 31st of October as we say farewell to “Socktober”

Happy knitting

Clare

Sty Head Tarn by Louise Tilbrook. Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

Sty Head Tarn by Louise Tilbrook. Copyright: Louise Tilbrook

Sock Anatomy: Now available in Print

Hi,

Hope you are having a great week. Things are really busy around here and I am very excited to announce that Sock Anatomy is now available to purchase in print from my online shop. 

Each book comes with a download code for the digital ebook so you can have the best of both worlds, a gorgeous printed book for your bookshelf and a digital copy on your electronic devices.

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Sock Anatomy features nine sock patterns in four “itty bitty” sizes (new-born – toddler), perfect for warming the toes of the little people in your life. This book is also the perfect tool for learning about different heels and toes. Each sock pattern features a different heel and there are details instructions for each design.

I will be releasing the adult sizes of these patterns later this year.

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Happy knitting

Clare

x

 

 

Join in with the Head to Toe KAL.

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Hope you are having a wonderful week. It is pretty chilly in Edinburgh today and it has spurred me on to work on my Elgin socks in lovely squishy Brigantia. 

Are you knitting anything from the Head to Toe collection? Come and join us in the “knit-a-long” currently running in the Ravelry group. It is a very relaxed affair, a place for knitting and chatting about knitting. Any pattern from the Head to Toe collection goes and you can use any yarn. There are prizes too, including some gorgeous hand dyed yarn from Ginger Twist Studio and some other exciting goodies.

The group is a friendly place to chat and show off your latest Yarn and Pointy Sticks knitwear. I love to see finished objects (and wips) from my designs.

Have a wonderful week.

Clare

x

Jozi: New Sock Pattern

Happy Monday folks. Hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was packed with moving chaos, book launch fun and workshops. I think another cup of coffee may be required this morning.

I am so very excited to announce the launch of my latest pattern. This design has been waiting in the sidelines for a little while. It means so much to be able to share the design and a little bit of the background with you all.

Johannesburg sunrise - Creative Commons - Wikipedia

Johannesburg sunrise – Creative Commons – Wikipedia

Two years ago my dear friend Sally, (aka Pink Hair Girl) decided she wanted to design a series of patterns showcasing out beautiful home country, South Africa. She asked me to design a pair of socks inspired by my home town, Johannesburg.

The result:

Jozi

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Inspiration

Johannesburg is my home city. Although I have lived all over the world and no longer call Johannesburg my home, the city’s skyline always tugs at my heartstrings. The skyscrapers and towers rising high on the horizon frame a busy and vibrant city. These socks have been designed to capture the mixture of strong lines and richly textured detail found in the city I hold a special place in my heart for – Jozi.

Johannesburg Skyline - Creative Commons - Wikipedia

Johannesburg Skyline – Creative Commons – Wikipedia

Description

A striking top down sock with a heel flap and rounded heel turn. Columns of twisted rib frame the slipped stitch panels. A patterned toe finished the look. Available in six sizes (baby to adult large). The slipped stitch panel makes it perfect for showcasing variegated yarn but it would also look spectacular in tonal or solid shades too.

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The sock features in Mzanzi: South Africa on my Needles by Sally Cameron

It can be bought as part of the ebook, where you get 15 beautiful patterns for $20 or as a single pattern.

Sally also has a print version of the book coming out in November. More details can be found on her website http://www.pinkhairgirl.com

A little more about the inspiration …..

The design was inspired by the busy streets and mixture of high rise and low rise buildings of Johannesburg. This vibrant city has such depth and offers a richly textured experience of life. I hoped to echo this in the panel of the sock. The colours of the Hartlam yarn are reminiscent of the red earth of my homeland with the gold and silver of the rich mineral wealth of the area.

Johannesburg CDB - Creative Commons - Traveldudes

Johannesburg CDB – Creative Commons – Traveldudes

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Hope you have a lovely week.

Happy knitting,

Clare

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

Don’t miss the party ….

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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.

Clare

x

 

Corrugate: New Sock Pattern

Good morning,

In the spirit of celebrating Socktober I have a new pattern to release. Please welcome …

Corrugate
(verb: contract or cause to contract into wrinkles or folds)

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A fun, easy going sock. The perfect travel knitting companion. Subtle texture and eyelets flow down the leg and onto the foot while squishy garter stitch envelopes the heel. These top down socks are a soothing knit and a great project for the adventurous beginner. The pattern is written in 4 sizes from child to adult L.

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The sock is knitted in Hartlam Calvinia. A fantastic hand dyed yarn from South Africa. Michelle tells me she is dyeing up more Calvinia today and will be adding extra skeins of “I Dare You”, the colourway featured to the dye pots. She will post yarn from South Africa too.

To celebrate the launch (and because it is Socktober) the pattern will be 50% off until Friday. Use the code ‘corrugateblog50′ when you add the pattern to your Ravelry basket. 

Click here to buy your copy

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This would make perfect weekend knitting and would also be great for the weekday commute as the pattern is easy to remember, and socks – well they are perfect for travel knitting.

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Hope you have a fabulous day.

Happy knitting,

Clare

x

 

Did you know …

Socktober-01

I have lots of big plans for Soctober, here is my first round up for the month

New pattern 

Last week I released Elgin. Knitted in gorgeous aran weight Alapca, Merino, nylon blend these make the warmest slipper socks. You can buy this as a single pattern for £3 or as part of the Head to Toe collection. 

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Workshops

I also started my teaching programme for October at Ginger Twist Studio this past Sunday.

In the morning I taught some fabulous ladies how to knit two socks at once using magic loop. I love this class as it is very rewarding to see the ‘spaghetti junction’ style of knitting needles, cables and yarn gradually unfurl to become a pair of socks. I caught up with both knitters last night at our local knit night and they are coming along well, ready for next weeks class.

I also taught a beginner sock knitting workshop. This is perfect for those of you who have yet to knit your first pair of socks.

Sock knitting workshop 2

Lovely knitters learning about socks at Ginger Twist Studio, Edinburgh

 

Sock knitting workshop

In the workshop you create a mini sock and practice all the techniques you need to create your own larger sock

I have a jam packed teaching schedule coming up this month with sock workshops in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow. There are still a few spaces left at some workshops – if you want to try your hand at sock knitting, what are you waiting for?

Toe up socks and Heel Masterclass  at Ginger Twist Studio, Edinburgh (contact Jess to book or for more details)I also have some other exciting beginner classes and a special workshop on getting to grip with cables in November.

Ginger Twist Studio

 

Heel Masterclass at Queen of Purls in Glasgow (contact Zoe to book or for more details) 

Queen of Purls

 

In November I will be at Fluph teaching my Beginner Sock workshop and Finishing School (finish those knitted beauties off in style). 

Fluph

What are you planning for Socktober? I would love to hear what you have on your needles.

Happy knitting

Clare

x

PS: Before I go, I have a new pattern coming tomorrow. Perfect for solid or variegated yarn and oh such a soothing pattern repeat … watch this space for details.

Head to Toe – Book Signing, Edinburgh

This week I launched the full Head to Toe collection. The book is now available as a complete ebook or as a print book (with complimentary ebook). You can also buy the patterns as single patterns if you prefer.

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The book is being stocked at some lovely local yarn shops in Scotland, and I am very excited to announce that Jess from Ginger Twist Studio and I are hosting a book signing next week on the 11th October at 4pm. Come along to see the samples and have a chat. There will be some bubble and nibbles too. It would be great to see you there.

You can also find the book at Kathy’s Knits in Edinburgh and Fluph in Dundee. It will be available at Queen of Purls in Glasgow soon.

If you would like to buy directly you can purchase the book for £12 plus P&P from my Big Cartel shop. 

The ebook can be purchased from my Ravelry page. 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Happy knitting

C

x

Maryfield

A little while ago I shared Maryfield with you as part of some exclusive kits I did with Jess from Ginger Twist Studio.

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I am excited to announce that this pattern will now form part of the Head to Toe collection and is available to download on Ravelry. If you have already bought the e-book you will be getting an update that allows you to download the pattern.

For a limited time this pattern will be available for £1 with the discount code ‘quid’.

These fabulous cuffs are cute and stylish and knit up in no time. Using only 20 – 30g of yarn. The perfect accessories to glam up your outfit.  Enjoy.

DSC_0168 Happy knitting C x