Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Knitting Trends

Following our trend-spotting theme we have turned our attention to what’s popular with knitters.

For this season the big trend in garments seems to be for delicate textures and lace.  These can look beautifully feminine and nostalgic.

This lovelyjumper from Bergere De France is knitted in a yarn that is as light as a feather. 

From RowanYarns Magazine 61 we spotted this cardigan for mother and daughter in their Soft Yak yarn. 

Fair Isle
We have also noticed a huge surge in interest in Fair Isle or stranded knitting.  

One of our biggest stars, Kate Davies, has been showcasing some really lovely designs including garments and accessories in her Inspired by Islay club.  The Oa is one of our favourites. 

We also love to keep an eye on what Martin Storey is up to. He has a new book out called Easy Fair Isle Knitting packed full of accessible designs.

Marie Wallin has a global following among Fair Isle aficionados and her website is packed full of beautiful designs.  We particularly love Finch which we thinks encapsulates her talent. 

Home Grown
With so many more yarn shops stocking yarns ‘grown’ and made in the UK, their popularity has been mushrooming. 

Little GreySheep yarns come from a flock of more than 250 Gotland and Gotland Merion crosses on a pretty farm near Farnham in Hampshire.  The yarn is spun in the southwest and then dyed by the brains behind the operation, Emma. 

Baa Ram Ewe launched their Titus yarn a few years ago which is a combination of Wensleydale, Blue Faced Leicester and UK Alpaca, and is spun in Yorkshire.  They have now added a new yarn called Dovestone which is a blend of Masham, Blue Faced Leicester and Wensleydale.  Definitely a couple of yarns for your wishlist. 

The KnitBritish podcast is a great way to keep up with new yarns and producers – make sure you sign up for the latest broadcast. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Sixty Million Trebles

Last year we were involved with the Mother India’s Crochet Queens Guinness World record to create the world’s largest crochet blanket which was measured at 11,148.5 m².  Following this amazing achievement, the blanket was made into smaller ones which were given to a number of charities.

Now we have heard about a new record attempt that you might have come across on social media.  It’s called Sixty Million Trebles so we thought we would share some of the background with you.

At the end of 2015 the UN estimated that there are approximately 60 million displaced people worldwide which is the equivalent of the whole of the UK population not having anywhere to live.
An amazing lady called Ellen got together with a group of 6 friends, who have never met, to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees and bring a little bit of warmth to their lives. So the Sixty Million Trebles campaign was born – to create a blanket containing 60 million treble stitches to represent each of the refugees.

The organisers need around 8,000 36 inch squares to make a blanket with that many trebles.  But they have now decided to go one stage further and take on the world record.  They estimate they will need 13,000 of these squares.

In the summer of this year, the group, with a host of volunteers, will descend on London for the record attempt. So far the Facebook group has more than 2,600 members with more than 20 countries involved. The Mayor of London has been approached for a venue and after the event the squares will be remade into blankets for a variety of charities including Hand In Hand for Syria.

If you want to help them achieve their dreams, then why not join their Facebook group and get hooking or knitting. Your square can be in any yarn or any design but it must measure 36 inches square. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Crochet Trends

We have been doing a bit of crochet trend-spotting.  This is such a vibrant craft at the moment with so many wonderful ideas, patterns and crochet-alongs so we thought we would highlight a few gems for you.

Mandala Madness
Every where you look there are the most beautiful manadalas which are a great way to try out new techniques and make something beautifully decorative.

Arne and Carlos have produced a lovely e-book with 5 patterns.  We are so full of admiration for the way this design duo put colours together.

Tatsiana Kupryianchyk’s LabyrinthMandala Pillow is inspired by vector graphics and is quite a challenging option. 

Many of you will remember the lovely Mandala created by Attic 24 for Yarndale and it’s still one of our favourites. 

Zigging and Zagging
Blankets are always a big draw for crocheters and, while granny squares remain popular, we have seen more and more zig zag designs emerging since Attic 24’s famous ripple blanket.

Shiri Mor has deftly mixed stripes with with zig zags in this fun offering which works up really quickly.

This beautiful textured blanket comes from the Bernat Design Studio 

For a zig zag with a difference try a lovely blanket we found at  Churchmouse Yarns and Teas 

It’s great to be part of a ‘community’ all working on the same project together.  If you join a group on Ravelry or Facebook there is always someone to help you out. It’s early days for CALs this year so keep your eyes peeled.  Our favourite at the moment is the Moogly CAL 2017.  

You can dive in to the project any time throughout the year and create a lovely blanket.