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Knitting and Stitching Show Madness!

Well, it’s a week since I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in London.

My Mum was kind enough to come up with me and left me with a little present in the form of a nasty cold!

So I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself, what better way to cheer myself up other than having a gander at the lovely stash that I brought home with me!

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Olympia before, for the uninitiated, it’s an exhibition centre in Kensington, West London.  I love this old photo – much has changed in the area, but Olympia remains pretty much as it is here.

 

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I was a bit remiss in taking photos on the day – blame my yarn obsession for that!  As we arrived we only just had time to book into a needle-felting class which began immediately…  We were making a bee – mine wasn’t quite finished and a bit, erm, shall we call it ‘rustic’ so I haven’t taken a picture of it to post here!

As well as the expected suppliers and manufacturers, there were a few fun surprises.  The lovely people at Toft had brought their crochet jungle with them (sadly I didn’t get a picture!) full of monkeys crocheted by newcomers and experts alike – with funds and awareness-raising of Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and Noah’s Ark Hospice.

Another fun thing was the Knitted Farm – some of the work was quite remarkable.

 

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This was a competition organised by the Show and the winners can be found here.

I was thrilled to see a stall there by Cats Protection – I worked for them for several years before I moved down to Wiltshire.  I also met up with an old friend who was manning the stall – she arrived just at the same time as I found the stall – what a happy coincidence!

So, onto the really fun bit – all of the wool / yarn…  I did go a bit mad, I had a budget and only slightly blew it!  But what I did get was such lovely and unique pieces and yarns which I have never seen before as well as some bargains…

Firstly my bargain yarns – I got four balls of Sirdar Escape DK as well as three balls each of King Cole Galaxy Chunky – all for £20 – bargaintastic!

 

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Next up is some beautiful yarn by the Japanese firm Noro – a gorgeous mixture of 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lambswool.  The overcast weather here in Wiltshire has dampened the colours of this – it is absolutely glorious.  The colourway is a mixture of blues, green, purple and yellows.  I’ve wanted to try Noro yarns for ages – I have a great respect for the craft skills of the Japanese people.  One day I hope to go to Nippori in Tokyo – my dream craft destination!

 

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This Debbie Bliss Winter Garden is a tweedy mix chunky yarn made from 30% Llama, 30% Merino Wool, 20% Silk and 20% Linen.  The colours are gorgeous – rich purple and a russety conker colour.  Makes me think more of Autumn than Winter!

 

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These next yarns are made from recycled Sari silk and are such beautiful, vibrant shades, unfortunately again my overcast weather doesn’t really show them at their best!  I’m looking forward to working out what I can do with these…

 

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Further rummaging was needed to find the next ones – by this point Mum had given up and gone home.  I couldn’t resist these from the Little Knitting Company – 80% Cotton and 20% Cashmere, they have the most lovely feel to them.

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Finally I went a little mad at the last knockings, buying (left) Debonnaire Silk/Lurex mix in jewel colours (regular readers will notice a pattern here!) from Ehdknits and last, but certainly not least, my most favourite stall was Watercolours & Lace – (right) – such wonderful hand-painted and dyed natural fibres.  I bought two and then went back for another one – I couldn’t resist!  I bought Cashmere Silk lace in the softest purples and blue-greens, a Baby Alpaca/Silk mix in soft rose pinks and at the back a Merino Fine Lace in gorgeous blue-purple, reminding me very much of Delphiniums.

This is such a beautiful shop, I heartily encourage you to seek them out at a Fair or even buy online.  I can’t think of a more gorgeous range of quality yarns.

 

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So that was the sum total of my first Knitting and Stitching show – lots of beautiful wools and yarns to be going on with.

When is the next one!?!

Happy crafting

 

Lou x

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My Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015

Morning all!

I’ve had a lovely week off at home – poring through all of my favourite magazines – Craftseller, Simply Crochet and Homemaker – as well as trawling the internet for inspirations for Spring 2015.

So I thought I’d put together another Top 10 (see my previous posts, you’ve gotta love a Top 10!) for the season to come.  Spring is one of my favourite seasons, it holds so much promise for the year to come and the buds and new growth spied on a frosty walk brings a warm feeling that’s nothing to do with the temperature outside!

One – Marsala is the Pantone colour for this year – a rich earthy warm red-brown – expect to see this throughout our homes and fashions all year.  It’s a difficult colour to match without a direct comparison, but this lovely wool from Wool Warehouse comes fairly close.

ce154b643acb6d31e03c1f78ddda8e6aTwo – Upcycling seems to be a trend that is showing no signs of going away – the latest edition of Craftseller had a whole supplement devoted to it.  There are some wonderful ideas on Dixie Henderson’s Pinterest including this use of recycled drawers.  It’s a bit too pinky frou-frou for me but the idea is fabulous…

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Three – Crocodile stitch (crochet) – there is a great tutorial for this on Lost & Found Lane – this would make up a fabulous dinosaur or amigurumi monster.  On a more practical level I think it could make a most stylish cushion or scarf as found on Yarn Muse.

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Four – Crochet jewellery – I think we can now safely move on from loom bands to something a bit more stylish!  In the last few months I’ve seen quite a bit of crochet jewellery and have pinned some lovely ones to my Pinterest board.

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Five – Farmland animals – as well as the ubiquitous woodland animals which I’m pleased to say are still here.  Getting a little bit political for a minute, some hunting morons – I mean enthusiasts – think the British public are turning back towards their favour in repealing the hunting foxes with dogs ban.  This is clearly not the case when you see the popularity of the fox in every corner of British life over the last few years.  Just look at this Etsy page for inspiration, fox fans!

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Having had a lovely day with Mum in Southampton on Thursday, we enjoyed our trip to our Mecca, John Lewis.  These were the farmland scenes that awaited us in the cushion department.  Being an avid woolie fan the sheep in particular do appeal to me.  But I love ducks as well!

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Six – Yellow – all shades of yellow (particularly those going towards green) are going to be big this year.  I love yellow, it’s such a bright and sunny shade.  Most of us can wear a shade of yellow which suits our skin tones.  I personally live bright, acid yellows.  Deramores have a wonderful selection of yellow yarns, I have my eye on a few from Bergere de France. I’ve pinned these to my new Colour Pinterest board.

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Seven – Polka dots and gingham are going to be everywhere (not together – imagine – what a dog’s breakfast!).  I particularly love them on ribbons and adornments.  Knock me down with a feather if this gorgeous satin ribbon from the ever-reliable Wool Warehouse doesn’t tick three of the Top 10 boxes in one – yellow, grey and polka dots!  The grey gingham ribbon, again from Wool Warehouse covers two trends.  I can see this as a plain contrast on a very bright article.  I shall have to get my thinking hat on…

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Eight – Blue and white – all the trends are included in these gorgeous fabrics from Craftsy – I spy (with my little eye) gingham, blue, grey, yellow, and possible some polka dots.

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Nine – Grey (forget 50 shades of…) is the hottest neutral – it’s everywhere from clothes and furnishing to fabric and yarn.  It’s a great colour to use in knitting and crochet for men’s garments – my Dad was very chuffed with his Ombre for Hombre scarf made in blue and grey (made for Christmas – I am officially a trend-setter and so is he!)

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Ten – Macramé – initially I wasn’t sure about this one as I grew up in the 70s and it was everywhere (and naff!) but I have seen lots of stylish macramé influences around.  Back to good old Pinterest for this inspirational board by Ana Maria.

So I hope you have enjoyed my little tour around the Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015 – hopefully I can get some serious crafting done so I can replenish my stash with some of the delights I found in researching this blog.

I’d love to hear your ideas about trends and whether they differ across the world – I am assuming most of these trends will be prevalent in the UK but what about Canada, Australia or the US?

I have some very exciting news which I will share in the next few days about my online presence and what new plans are afoot – more to come soon.

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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