I went off on a jaunt on Saturday, the sort of jaunt that involved an early start and a happy heart.
Although I am lucky enough to have lots of time during my week for yarny pursuits and pleasures, there is something very exciting about a day stretching ahead that involves other passionate, talented and creative folk who adore yarn and colour as much as I do.
After journeying on three different trains I arrived in the land of Yorkshire Mills............
....specifically this one which has become familiar to me over the past few years. Up on the top floor of this amazing historical mill is a large, spacious, light-filled room where I was lucky enough to spend my Saturday.....
....sat around this table with the rest of the Stylecraft Blogstars. What a friendly, chatty and smart group of ladies, it was a joy to share so much yarny talk with everyone. We chatted about yarn stuff (lots and lots of yarn talk), social media stuff, blog stuff, colour stuff, our current projects and everything in between. There was yarn to squish (oh so much yarn) and cake to scoff (mmmmmmm), and all in all it was very wonderful.
We also enjoyed a technical Tunisian Crochet workshop which I found very interesting, but pretty much straight away knew this wasn't something that would be in my future. I mean, just look at me in the above picture - that is how I generally look when I'm knitting, and tunisan crochet felt much the same. Note the raised-shoulders, tensed-up, no speaking, seriousness of me there. So many stitches and so many rows for so very little crochet - Tunisian Crochet, for me, is just way way too slooooow.
One of the highlights of the day was getting to see all the knit and crochet designs that Stylecraft has created to showcase some stunning new yarns and colourways which will launch this Spring. It's always so good to feel how yarn translates into stitch and fabric, how it drapes, how it feels in your hands and against your skin, how those balls make stripes, texture and pattern.
We were also treated to a glorious show-n-tell from one of our fellow Blogstars, gosh what a lot of appreciative ooohing and ahhhing was brought on by this stunning blanket made by Lucia! It is a real beauty, made using a mixture of Stylecraft Special DK and Stylecraft Batik DK, in 22 colours. You can find all the details on her blog "Lucias Fig Tree".
And here we all are....the Stylecraft Blogstars from left to right :
Jane (Jane Crowfoot), Phil (The Twisted Yarn), Sarah (Annaboo’s House), Heather (The Patchwork Heart), Julia (Hand Knitted Things), meeeee, Helen (The Woolly Adventures Of A Knitting Kitty), Emma (Emma Varnam), Sandra (Cherry Heart), Lucia (Lucia’s Fig Tree), and Kathryn (Crafternoon Treats).
If you don't already know of the above blogs, they are all well worth a visit.
Another yarny happening that is coming very soon is contained within that luscious stripy box there on my studio table. I have been told in no uncertain terms to behave and play by the rules which means I won't be able to show you this project in all it's colourful glory until the end of the month. But I can show you this...............
Here we have 90 shades of cotton yarn, wound into the most adorable little mini 10g balls, aren't they just too cute for words? There are actually 100 shades in total, but me being me, I was forced to remove the ten shades of black/white/grey to another box. This yarn is made by a Dutch Company called Yarn and Colors, and lucky for you, you can snaffle these little dinkies up from Wool Warehouse. Like I said, these are small 10g mini's, but there are also larger 50g balls in the same colours. This is a slightly mercerised, 4ply cotton, so quite fine to work with (think 3 mm hook), but perfect for small decorative projects.
My awesome task was to choose just nine shades and design a project for Amanda's famous Little Box of Crochet....
.....and here is a sneaky peek of the colours I picked out. Lush aren't they?!
For those of you who don't already know, Little Box of Crochet is a monthly subscription box for crochet lovers. Each month, these little boxes will bring everything you need to make a crochet project designed by some very clever hooky ladies. Everything you need to know is on the Little Box of Crochet website. I am the February designer (go me!) and subscriptions for this box are open now until the 20th February - the boxes will then be posted out to you (wherever you are in the world) shortly after that. I'll be able to show you my project as soon as Amanda lets me take the gag off - I can't wait for you to see!!
And the final bit of yarny news is this - after a tremendous amount of thoughtful deliberation, frenzied sampling and irritated frogging, I've finally worked out The Edge of the Moorland Blanket. I celebrated with a mug of cream-topped hot chocolate and a satisfied slump on the sofa.
Here's wishing you a fabulous week ahead, I hope you have plenty of happy stuff coming your way...