Monday, 23 March 2015

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015


Last weekend saw the return of Edinburgh’s favourite knitterly celebration of all things woolly: the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. For two days, Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange played host to the finest knitting and crochet delights the city has to offer, and we were delighted to be part of the action. The festival had a very positive, friendly atmosphere and it was wonderful to see the knitting and crochet community catching up with like minded folk who share our love of making beautiful things from beautiful yarns.

We ran into many good friends, incuding Kat Goldin from The Crochet Project - a delightful designer and talented tutor with one of the most inspiring blogs we know (seriously, check out www.slugsontherefrigerator.com) - and designer Karie Westermann (her excellent blog can be found at www.kariebookish.net), with an incredible array of gorgeous, literary inspired shawls. It was also lovely to catch up with the infectiously enthusiastic Carol Meldrum of Beatknit, who was teaching workshops throughout the weekend for the Teapot Trust. The success of her classes was in evidence from the high number of happy people seen milling around with cute little bird brooches afterwards! How lucky we are to have such talented and friendly tutors as these for our own workshop program (details of our upcoming workshops can be found on our website here: www.mcadirect.com/shop/workshops-c-82.html).


Returning home on Sunday (basically penniless but with a good supply of exciting new yarns), it was great to chill out and relax with a new knitting project but now, just a few days on, we feel like doing it all over again and are already looking forward to next year…!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Inject Some Colour Into Your Knitting

Stripes are the simplest way to introduce more colours to a piece of knitting. They’re also great for using up odd balls of yarn. Here are some excellent striped projects to celebrate this classic, colourful technique!




Top Row (L-R): Minnie from Sublime Booklet 676, Celeste from Rowan Magazine 55, Mina in Mirage and Bucaneve

Middle Row (L-R): Olle Socks & Mittens from Aran & Nordic Knits for Kids, Bag from Sublime Booklet 670, Tribe from Scarlet

Bottom Row (L-R): Imperial from Studio 23, Helene in Alpaca Silk 4 Ply, Matelot from Sublime Pattern 6013

Friday, 6 February 2015

Block Party



My favourite thing about these KnitPro blocking mats is the way they slot together in a really satisfying way. It’s one of those simple pleasures, fitting a jigsaw piece into its proper place, but magnified onto a giant fun-sized scale. The mats fit together perfectly - there’s no twisting or squashing to persuade them into place and, once joined, it’s easy to move the whole board without any of the pieces coming loose or being left behind.




Although these are technically called lace blocking mats, I found them to be more than up to the task of blocking DK and aran weight crochet squares. They were capable of supporting several squares per mat, with just a pin in each corner, and there was no risk of the mats curving or folding as the squares were stretched over them.


One pleasantly surprising thing about these blocking mats is how quickly they dry. They basically feel like the foam used for swimming pool floats so, unlike the carpet and towels that formerly served all of my blocking needs, they don’t absorb water from the knitting/crochet and leave the work pinned to a damp surface that takes as long to dry as, well, a wet carpet or towel. These squares were pretty well saturated with water and, with the board propped up in front of a radiator, they took about two hours to dry. Lighter weight yarn, like 2ply or lace, would dry even faster.


They’re also SUPER lightweight so you can prop them up against even the flimsiest of supports (like this plant) and they remain steady.


Really, my only complaint with these mats - and it’s quite a petty one - is that I don’t really like the colours. Orange, green and blue would never be my first choice of palettes but, even so, it is not without merit. Light and dark colours alike would show up easily against these bright colours and, even if the main colour of your project is worked in one of these shades, one of the others is bound to provide a contrast!