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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Crescendo - New Pattern & Kit

Crescendo flows from a point into wide lace border to form a gently peaked, asymmetrical crescent.  This shawl alternates between garter stitch and lace with a scattering of beads.

Crescendo is knitted in one ball of Laceball 100 or Laceball (the difference is the 100 is pure merino and the regular Laceball is wool/nylon). I added beads using the crochet hook method and you can watch my tutorial here.

This lightweight, delicate shawl is perfect to wear wither as a shawl or scarf during the cool spring and summer mornings and evenings.

Below you can see one of my Tattysquawk shawl pins. You can see my current selection of Tattysquawk shawl pins here.

I've put together a selection of kits in a choice of colours which you can see here. Kits include one Laceball 100 or Laceball, a bag of size 8 seed beads and a the pattern as a pdf download.

Get 30% off the pattern only until end of April 2018. Use coupon code: crescendo30. Not valid on kits, because they've already been discounted. Purchase the pattern here.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Knitter 123 - Tor Grass Cover Shawl

Look who's design is on the cover of The Knitter issue 123 which is in the shops now? Yes that's my shawl.

This bright and beautiful shawl pairs an elegant crescent shape with a denim lace yarn in a vivid colour. Tor Cross uses Rowan's new Denim Lace yarn, which is available as a limited edition. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn. It wasn't as soft when I was knitting as a wool/wool blend yarn would be but it blocks out into a beautiful, light weight fabric perfect for summer shawls.

Tor Cross is worked from the top down to create a light weight, elegant accessory. It features a beautiful lace stitch which forms a repeating diamond pattern across the fabric. 

I thought you may like to see a blocking photo too.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Invisible Provisional Cast On

If you read my blog last week about my new pattern - La Scala - you may have already seen this tutorial but I wanted it to have it's own blog post.

The invisible cast on is a form of provisional cast on. A provisional cast on is a way of casting on that leaves a row of live stitches. These stitches are used later to either knit an edging into or knit in the opposite direction or something similar.

There are several provisional cast ons but this is my favourite. As I mention in the video, it's not necessarily suitable if you cast on a lot of stitches although I've used it for 100+ stitches. The yarn is basically wound around the needle and can easily untwist either while you're casting on or while you're knitting the first row. So if you are using this for a lot of stitches, I recommend casting on more stitches than you need.

It's difficult to go back and count how many stitches you've cast on before you start knitting, so I recommend casting on a few extras. When you work row 1, just work the number of stitches you need and drop the remaining stitches and let them unravel. You'll just end up with a longer tail.

The same applies if you need an odd number of stitches. With this method you're casting on in pairs of two, so if you need an odd number, cast on an even number. For ex. if I need 39, I cast on at least 40 stitches and on the first row I work 39 stitches and let the remaining cast on stitches drop and unravel.

I don't recommend using a circular needle if you're casting on more than about 30-50 stitches. Once the stitches slide onto the cable, they start to unravel easily. Use a straight needle if possible.

As I mention in the video, before you start row one of the pattern you need to work a set up row. If you're working in stocking (stockinette) stitch then purl one row. If you're working in garter stitch or reverse stocking (stockinette) stitch knit one row.

If you have any questions please leave a comment on You Tube or e-mail me on

You can also watch the tutorial here.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Introducing La Scala

La Scala is inspired by traditional Orenburg shawls using their unique construction method.  Beads are added to this light as air, elegant shawl which is interesting to knit. 

Traditional Orenburg shawls are knitted using a very interesting technique which allows the edging to be knitted alongside the centre of the shawl.

La Scala is 30% off until midnight UK on 17 April 2018. Use coupon code: lascala30. Valid on pattern only.

La Scala is knitted in Navia Alpakka Lace which is a beautiful pure alpaca lace weight yarn from the Faroe Islands. I'm offering a small selection of La Scala kits ready to ship immediately and pre-orders on kits which includes the yarn, beads and pattern in a choice of colours. Due to the time it takes to ship the yarn from the Faroe Islands including clearing UK customs, I don't expect the kits to ship until sometime in May. 

 You can find the kits here in a choice of six colour combinations.

To support this pattern I'm releasing two new video tutorials: Invisible Provisional Cast On and Russian Grafting. You may also be interested in my Adding Beads tutorial.

I'll be teaching my Orenburg Lace Workshop at Handmade Studios in Hampshire on 26 May. This workshop will cover the construction method, invisible cast on and Russian grafting techniques used in this shawl pattern. Find details here. 

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Monday, April 09, 2018

Do you want to try essential oils?

Do you experience issues with pain, sleep, mood/stress/anxiety or seasonal allergies?  Are you curious about essential oils?

I'm holding an informal week long study to see results of essential oils on these issues. If you are interested in participating, apply here.

If accepted for the study you will receive free essential oil samples as well as instructions for how to use them. 

You will be required to fill in a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study, attend a short class (in Liskeard, Cornwall or online) on Monday 16 April 11am OR 1.30pm (when you will be given your samples) AND Monday 23 April 11am OR 1.30pm. If you can't attend either of these dates, let me know and we can arrange an alternative appointment. If you don't live near Liskeard, Cornwall, there will be an online class on the same days (times flexible).

You will be invited to join a Facebook group for the duration of the study where there will be education on how to use essential oils as well as daily prizes. Please commit to checking the group to watch the daily videos (they will be short) and share how you're getting on.

The aim of this study is to see how well essential oils work for pain, sleep, mood/stress/
anxiety and seasonal allergies and for you to get a chance to try essential oils to see if they work for you. If you have any questions please e-mail me on

Please fill in this application form and I'll be in touch soon. 

You can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.

Join my e-mail newsletter for inspiration and education about 
essential oils and other natural products.

It's finally spring

This weekend was the weekend spring finally arrived in Cornwall. As I type this on Monday morning it's beautiful and sunny and I can hear birds singing outside my window. I love bright sunny days! Spring is late here this year and March was unusually cold!

 Yesterday afternoon we drove to a country park, Mount Edgecumbe, which is at the eastern edge of Cornwall. You can look across the water to Plymouth.

Simon and Vanessa went for a walk but my knee suddenly got really bad again before the weekend and I was limping very heavily. Limping gives me really severe pain in my lower back/hip so I found a bench looking out across the water and sat there knitting and listening to an audio book. A quick note about my knee - I've had problems since last summer but next week I'll finally be having an MRI scan. 

The building on the left in the photo below is Royal William Yard in Plymouth where I'm teaching a class next Saturday. The class is on how to knit the Mar Menor and Daisy shawls and I think there may be one space left.  In this class you'll learn how to knit the elongated, twisted stitches used in both shawls, how to add beads, how to do the beaded picot cast off and how to shape the shawls. In the afternoon you'll get to choose which of the two patterns you want to knit and cast on for your shawl. Find more info and book here.

Beautiful views across the River Tamar and out in to Plymouth Sound towards the English Channel (photo below).

Perfect place to knit for an hour. I'm close to finishing my new shawl design. I really need to try to finish it today as the deadline is this week.

What did you do this weekend?

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

On My Needles

Before I share what I'm working on this week, I've got to tell you that I came third in the Knitting Designer of the Year at the British Craft Awards. Woolly Wormhead came first and Debbie Bliss came second. I'm honoured to be in such excellent company. Woolly and Debbie are both designers I admire and they're both lovely people too.

Since I came home from Edinburgh I've worked exclusively on my Laceball 100 (colour 1699) shawl. I weighed my remaining yarn last night and I've got 1/3 to go. I had hoped I was closer to the end as I need to cast on a magazine commission this weekend. I'm hoping to sneak in some work on this shawl though as I'd like to finish it soon. I've had so many lovely comments about this on Instagram and Facebook that it'd be great to finish it and get the pattern released but deadline knitting is calling!

I had a lovely parcel arrive from Australia last week. I've seen a lot of talk about the Lykke needles on social media over the last year. They're made from drift wood and look beautiful. I've not had a chance to try them yet. So when I noticed that The Leatherman's Wife were stocking them I had to order a pair. I got the size I use for socks. I also got a beautiful needle gauge. You can never have too many of those and a beautiful one doubles as a photo prop. Sarah makes these fab leather clips. The small one came with the circular needles and Sarah sent me two larger ones. I'm actually using them to keep my circular needles for my workshops together. I have a pouch with two sizes of circular needles that I use for my classes and I'm struggling to keep the sizes separated and these leather clips are perfect. I'm going to have to get more. As you can see in the photo you can also use them to keep your headphones organised. Sarah also sent me some great stitch markers. Plain stitch markers are my favourites and these are already in use. Sarah has some fab leather goods and knitting notions in her shop as well as the Lykke needles. Go check her out!

I think I forgot to share a photo of my new hand-warmers. I started them two days before I left for Edinburgh and within four days they were finished. I've worn them every day since. The photo isn't great. I need to take a better photo and get the pattern ready.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Learn something new this spring and summer!

My Spring and Summer Workshop programme is about to kick off. 

I'm delighted to say that Spin A Yarn has booked several more workshops over the coming months. You can see them all here.

April and May will be especially busy with several workshops in Devon, Cornwall, South Wales and London.

I asked a few of my Love of Lace Knitting group members what they enjoy about taking my knitting workshops. 

Maughreen said:  'I have enjoyed your patience and a structured approach in teaching You modify your lesson as you go so you’re a great teacher.'

My first April workshop will be at Wool Palette at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon. We'll be doing a project workshop for the Mar Menor and Daisy shawls. Both shawls have similar stitch patterns but different shapes. In the morning you'll learn how to knit the different stitch patterns and in the afternoon you'll get to start your own shawl. You will get one of the patterns for free. Find more details here. 

Jackie said: 'I've done a few of your workshops now; they are all well planned, unrushed, and everyone learns something at their own pace with your gentle help as and when required. The only problem is what to do when you’ve attended all your workshops!!' 

Fair isle knitting is really popular at the moment and my Fair Isle Knitting & Steeking has been one of my most popular workshops over the last six months. In this workshop at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon, you'll learn how to knit with one colour in each hand, I'll share all my stranded colour work tips and tricks and you'll learn how to cut your knitting. Steeking enables you to knit a garment in the round, then crochet a seam to re-enforce before you cut your knitting to create an armhole or turn a sweater into a cardigan. Techniques learnt in this class can also be used to make alterations to garments. Find the details here.

Selbu mittens are traditional Norwegian mittens which feature stranded colour work patterns. You'll learn how to knit in the round using the magic loop technique, how to knit with one colour in each hand and how to shape the mitten. You'll get a pattern to take home. I taught this class to a group of ladies yesterday and they all really enjoyed it. I'm teaching this workshop at Spin A Yarn in Devon and Truro Wool in Cornwall.

Dawn said: 'I have learnt a great deal from attending your workshops. You are always well prepared and make it clear what you are going to cover while adjusting to different levels within the group. I love being in a group with other passionate knitters.'

Shetland is known for delicate, very fine shawls but Shetland lace knitting doesn't have to be difficult. In this class at La Mercerie in Cowbridge, South Wales, you'll get to practice several Shetland lace patterns and learn various lace knitting techniques. Suitable whether you've already done some lace knitting or you're completely new to lace knitting. Find the details here.

Want to learn how to knit socks? I love knitting socks from the toe up on circular needles using the magic loop technique and I'll teach you how in this workshop at the Wool Palette in Plymouth. You'll knit a mini sock during the class and get a pattern to take home. Find the details here. 

Do you already know how to knit socks - either from the top down or toe up? Do you fancy learning how to knit some different heels and toes? I'm teaching a new workshop at Spin A Yarn in May, teaching you different heels and toes which are suitable for toe up or top down socks, including afterthought heels and perfect short row heels. Find the details here.

Another new workshop at Spin A Yarn in June is the Carlyon Bay shawl. In this class you'll learn how to shape the shawl and how to knit the various stitches required. In the afternoon you'll get to cast on for your own shawl. Find the details here.

These are just some of my classes this spring and summer. See all my workshops here. 

Do you run a yarn shop and would like to host workshops? Do you want to get a group of knitting friends together for a day of learning and fun? I'm taking bookings now for the autumn term, which usually books up very quickly. If you'd like to chat about booking workshops, e-mail me on

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