Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The IKnit Fandango 2015

The IKnit Fandango 2015 took place in the Royal Horticultural Halls in London on Friday and Saturday 15th & 16th May. The hall was overflowing with colour and gorgeous yarn! On Saturday I was helping on the Knitting & Crochet Guild stand.

The K&C Guild Stand at the IKnit Fandango
The big draw on our stand was the yarn winding. We had a display of swifts from the collection and Barbara had also brought along her wooden swift. For a small donation to the Guild, we wound visitors gorgeous skeins of yarn into balls so that they could go home and start knitting immediately!

Yarn winding on the K&C Guild Stand
Yarn winding on the K&C Guild Stand
It was incredibly hypnotic to watch the winding and fascinating to see the colour blends change from Skein to ball.

Our K&C Guild and Yarn Stories competition was very popular and we handed out lots of leaflets. I can't wait to see the entries! There is still time to enter: details here

I had a chance to chat to other exhibitors and am over the moon about my lovely Navia yarn from the Island Wool Company. It was a pleasure to chat to Fiona and Anna. Anna's sweater designs are just amazing in the gorgeous yarns she has chosen. I also had a chance to chat to the very talented Jennie Atkinson. Her stand was so beautiful and it was lovely to see her designs close up.

Right across the aisle from our stand was the extremely popular Easyknits Stand. I spent all day looking at a shawl knitted up in their wonderfully dyed yarn and was very impressed with the graduated colour changes. The shawl design is Orbit and the yarn in question is the sushi roll dyed yarn. The sushi rolls come in many colour combinations and you unravel the roll as you knit up your shawl - so clever!
Orbit Shawl on the Easyknits Stand
I really hope that the success of the show this year means that the IKnit Fandango is back on the calendar as a regular event.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Etro at London Craft Week

London Craft Week is a new event showcasing the best in craft at many locations throughout the city. Workshops have been opened up and designers are demonstrating their skills, from delicate watchmaking and engraving at Vacheron Constantin to weaving by the London Cloth Company in the window of Daks! One very special event that took place on Thursday 7th May, was when the Italian Fashion House, Etro, invited visitors to see an artist at work in their Old Bond Street Store.

Signature Etro design
Photo by Emma Vining
Mr Maury was working on a very delicate Paisley design. Paisley patterns are the iconic signature design used prominently by Etro and it was amazing to see the tiny details Mr Maury added to the beautiful paisley swirl in front of him.

Mr Maury at work on a Signature Etro design
Photo by Emma Vining
A signature Etro design in progress
Photo by Emma Vining
There were beautiful designs on the walls of the store and I loved the way they showed both the initial drawing and the added colour / black and white work on the same piece. We were also able to see the final printed designs on the garments and accessories on display.

Signature B&W Etro design
Photo by Emma Vining
Etro designs on the wall and on garments
Photo by Emma Vining
There was great attention to detail in all of the designs and this wonderful jacket had a surprise edging that was only obvious close up!

Signature Etro design and jacket
Photo by Emma Vining
Signature Etro design and jacket
Photo by Emma Vining
Signature Etro design and close up of jacket edging
Photo by Emma Vining
Time for a quick selfie in the big mirror as we made our way back downstairs to look at more gorgeous garments and accessories!

The Etro London Store was a beautiful place to visit and seeing the creation of the Etro paisley designs was a fantastic treat. Thank you Etro!

London Craft Week 2015 runs until Sunday 10th May and there are many demonstrations, exhibition and events to visit. You can view the full programme details here.

Exciting Competition!

As you may know from several of my previous posts, I am extremely interested in and enthusiastic about the Knitting & Crochet Guild and the wonderful Collection of knit and crochet items that the Guild holds. A short while ago, I received very exciting news: the lovely yarn company that I design for, Yarn Stories, have teamed up with the K&C Guild Collection to announce a design competition open to everyone.

K&C Guild Collection
The aim of the competition is to promote the K&C Guild Collection and encourage more people to join the Guild. I have been a member for several years now and love being a part of this community. Sharing knowledge and information with other members has encouraged me to try new techniques and attending the Guild Trunk Show has meant I have seen some of the wonderful knit and crochet items in the collection up close.

The competition is all about using the K&C Guild Collection to inspire new designs. Yarn Stories have added inspirational images of items from the collection to a Pinterest board and would like you to design a 15cm knitted or crocheted square in DK yarn, inspired by any of these images. Full details of the competition, including the judging panel (Debbie Abrahams, Jane Crowfoot and Angharad Thomas from the K&C Guild Archive as well as the Yarn Stories design team), the prizes (lovely Yarn Stories yarn!) and the closing date (5th June 2015) are in the press release below.

Happy designing and knitting!

The Knitting and Crochet Guild Archive is an amazing resource with knitted and crocheted samples going back to the 1830s as well as a huge collection of pattern leaflets and every kind of knitting needle and crochet hook you can imagine. 
Yarn Stories believe this is an historic collection, arguably larger than the Victoria and Albert Museum and one that should be treasured. So we have come up with a very special design competition for knitters and crocheters from all around the world to enter. 
We have gathered together a selection of inspirational images of items in the archive on Pinterest - Knitting and Crochet Guild design competition We would like you to design a 15 cm blanket square in DK yarn inspired by the archive, which can be created in either knit or crochet. 

The competition is now open and closes on 5th June. A judging panel including Debbie Abrahams, Jane Crowfoot and Angharad Thomas from the KCG archive as well as members of the Yarn Stories team will choose 10 finalists by the middle of June. Then Yarn Stories will throw open the judging to knitters and crocheters all over the world to vote for their favourite square during July and August. The overall winner, announced on 4th September, will receive £100 of Yarn Stories yarn and each finalist will receive two balls of the Yarn Stories yarn of their choice. 
But the excitement doesn’t end there. All the finalists’ squares will be put together into a blanket pattern that will be available on the Yarn Stories website with 50% of the revenue going towards the continued protection and support of the archive. The finished blanket will be at The Knitting and Stitching show in October for you to see. 
You don't have to be a guild member to take part, but it is an organisation we highly recommend you join. 
Amanda Crawford, Head Designer at Yarn Stories says: “I have been lucky enough to visit the Knitting and Crochet Guild Archive and it is such an amazing collection. We wanted to do something to support this vital piece of history for knitters and crocheters everywhere. Our competition is a fantastic project and we are very proud to be able to help the archive.” 
Entries for the Yarn Stories competition should be sent to 
Yarn Stories/KCG competition 
Spa Mill 
New Street 
Huddersfield HD7 5BB 
Or by email to