March 2016 Favourites

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March has come and gone and with it I bring you another monthly favourites post. This month has been very busy on all fronts, with a bit of sunshine among all the cloudy and rainy days, which is always welcomed. I am finishing my new design at the moment and already thinking of the next one of course.

As predicted, lately I am knitting more than crocheting. There are not many crochet patterns that attract my attention lately, and when they do it is usually for shawls and accessories but and my garment mood has still not left me. So I am taking it as it comes, making sure that it doesn’t go too long without crocheting something. I think my next project will be the Riveret top from the latest Pom Pom magazine (you can check out this post where I mentioned it), I have a short holiday coming up and it seems like the perfect project for sunnier days.

So, as usual I will begin with a few stats for the month:

FOs: My only FO for this month was my Missed Kingfisher shawl by Joanne Scrace. I love love love how this shawl turned out and have been wearing it a lot with my Ramona Cardigan. I used some Shilasdair Luxury 4ply yarn that I purchased while on the Isle of Skye last year and also from Mei at Be Inspired Fibres. I love the subtle tones of their natural dyes, it matches my style very well and the yarn is also very soft.

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WIPs: My main WIP this month has been the Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I am so anxious to see how it will turn out, I have high expectations for this cardigan and I am a bit scared I will end up disappointed (I have always been a “glass half empty” kind of gal). I am using a 100% BFL yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners and it is so fluffy and soft it is like knitting with butter. Fingers crossed it will turn out alright!

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I am also very proud to say that I picked up one of my dormant projects and it is almost finished, my Red Robin shawl by Helen Stewart. This was one of my first knitted shawls and had been abandoned after I made a mistake and needed to do a bit of unknitting. I don’t have any pictures yet but will share these soon.

Yarn purchased: The only yarn I bought this month was the one I bought at EYF, you can see my complete haul here.

So, the favourites for the month of March are:

Favourite Patterns

I don’t have a favourite pattern that I have worked on this month, my Rosemont cardigan has been OK but nothing special really. In terms of patterns I have been browsing this month I have been dreaming with casting on every single pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge, particularly her Sibella Pullover (for which I already have the yarn, thank you EYF!). There has not been much crochet that has appealed to me this month except for the Yoga Top by Elena Fedotova,  I think this is definitely going to my queue.

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Sibella Pullover © carrie bostick hoge
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Yoga Top © Lena Fedotova (ravliki)

Favourite WIP

Simply because I am proud to be finishing it at last, my Red Robin shawl wins for favourite WIP this month. It is a simple and small pattern (compared to my cardi which is huge at the moment) and therefore it has been my social/train project this month.

Favourite yarn

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Even though I love the WYS yarn I am using for the Rosemont cardigan, I had forgotten how much I loved the Hedgehog Fibres yarn I was using for my Red Robin shawl. This is my first big project using variegated yarn and it was so nice to see how the colour changed through the stitches, never knowing what was coming next. The different tones of pink, fucsia and copper are just stunning. The base is their Sock yarn in the Pheasant colour way.

Favourite New Technique

I have a new section this month since I learned a new knitting technique and have been loving it: German short rows. Since most patterns call for wrap and turn short rows I had learned this but thought it was a bit easy to forget a step or miss a wrap. I had purchased a Craftsy class for short rows so decided to take a look and discovered the German short rows, now I am never going back to wrap and turn! There are loads of tutorials on Youtube and a free class on Craftsy so if you are not familiar with this technique I recommend you check it out.

Favourite Accessory

My friend Sariann from Chopped Ginger made a beautiful project bag using some fabric I purchased when I went on a Highlands road trip last year. I love the size and have been using it for my Rosemont cardi all month. Sariann also sells beautiful yarn through her Wool Project, which focuses on sourcing from local farms, make sure to check it out. I love having such talented friends!

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I also ordered the cutest stitch markers from Of Blithe Spirit, I just had to get them! They came in such a lovely package, there was even a green tea teabag in there 🙂

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Other things I enjoyed this month:

Life Favourites

  • Decaf Peach tea: This is my go-to tea for the evenings, the peach flavour makes me think of warmer days.
  • Sunbites Crackers: Have your tried these crackers? I keep buying them to take as a snack to work, they are soooo tasty.

That is if for last month’s favourites, let me know what you enjoyed during March in the comments section!

xx

Sol

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EYF 2016: The haul

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Happy bank holiday weekend! Hope you all have a relaxing time, crochet and knitting included 🙂 I am currently working on a new cardigan myself: Rosemont by Hannah Fettig from her book Home and Away. I love all the patterns in this book and it is so beautifully presented it is just nice to flip through it, recommend you guys check it out.

I am back today to share my EYF haul with you guys, I am very happy with my purchases and also very proud that I didn’t buy much yarn this time which is a very good idea considering the size of my stash at the moment. I’ll start with my favourite purchases of the festival: I think I stopped by Pink Hazel‘s stall about a dozen times during the festival and managed to buy two of Annette’s stunning creations.

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The first is an interchangeable needle organiser in this awesome sheep fabric. She also sold these really cool rings for you to sew to your organiser and mark the sizes of the needles, so smart! This is SO WELL MADE. The quality of the fabric and the stitching, the details, it is just the perfect needle roll and I had to get it. She also sells a small travel version that I think I may have to buy from her online now!

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My other purchase from Pink Hazel was one of her wristband project bags, again this is such a smart idea to have a bag you can hang from your wrist for those projects on the go. I got this cool stag fabric, love it! Again, really good quality, I am sure this bag will last for a long, long time. Thank you so much to Annette, it was great chatting with her and hope she is back next year 🙂 Oh, and check her website to buy online if you can’t wait until then.

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Continuing the project bag and notions theme, I stopped by Little Grey Girl’s stall and got myself a sheep project bag and some tea-themed stitch markers (tea is my other obsession apart from yarn). I also stopped by Ginger Twist and Chopped Ginger’s stall and got a cute little notions pouch that I couldn’t resist, it s now the home of my stitch markers and they are loving their new place.

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Moving on to yarn, I only got two sweater’s worth this time: three skeins of Ysolda’s Blend Nº1 and four skeins of Baa Ram Ewe’s Dovestone in the colour Aire. Both incredibly soft and my hands are itching to cast on with them, but I shouldn’t…!

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Finally, I bought this beautiful wool blanket from Knockando Mill’s stall (I just saw that it is still available online if you are interested), they were having a EYF special and it simply called out to me. It is funny but I have recently bought quite a few home stuff that I put away the minute I get home because I want to use them in my “future-not-rented” home, and this one will definitely go on the back of a future couch 🙂

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And that is it! I am so happy with all my buys, please go check out some of the websites if you are interested in anything, we must support great small businesses like these.

Hope you have an awesome weekend!

xx

Sol

EYF 2016: The morning after

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It is the day after the EYF 2016 and I am sitting in my living room writing this post, trying to arrange the thoughts and memories in my head of the past weekend.

As expected, the workshops I taught this year are what comes up most whenever I think back, I couldn’t be more grateful to Jo and Mica for putting their trust in me and to all those who showed up each day excited about learning a new skill. Their enthusiasm and their smiles whenever they managed to tackle a new stitch are food to my soul and it made me realise that teaching, even though it came to my life quite unexpectedly, may be a love that lasts a lifetime.

The marketplace was a huge array of beautiful stalls, with everything a fibre enthusiast could want and it was very tempting indeed, I will share my purchases later in the week. The yarn fumes were all around and the atmosphere was amazing, with everyone proudly wearing their projects while at the same time admiring other people’s creations and enquiring after pattern info whenever they couldn’t stop themselves.

It was definitely an event to remember and now all we can do is wait for 2017 to come soon.

Have a great week everyone!

xx

Sol

Empathy and gratitude

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Empathy’s the antidote to shame. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too. – Brene Brown

Last week I wrote a post about my struggles with designing and how I often felt I just wasn’t good enough. I knew I was putting myself out there and wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, I even thought some people would be offended about my rant about “perfect” Instagram feeds maybe hiding not-so-perfect lives. So when so many of you commented here or on social media about how you shared the same fears I was more than surprised: I was dumb struck.

It took some courage for me to hit “Publish” that day, and I thank you all SO much for your own courage to come out and say “yes, I’ve been there too”. Each and every one of your comments has helped others and me see that we are not alone in our difficulties, and as Brene Brown would say: empathy is the antidote for shame. When we share our shame experiences with others and realise we are not alone that feeling of not being good enough starts to shrink. We see that is OK to be imperfect, slow and insecure because despite our constant self talk that “only I am finding this so difficult” it turns out we are all imperfect together.

So THANK YOU. For putting yourself out there, for your honesty and courage to keep it real with me. I could’t be more grateful to have found this fibre community.

Have a great weekend everyone!

x

Sol

Doings and undoings

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Hello everyone, how’s your week going? I have been very busy lately with the blog, my new design and my upcoming classes in Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Did I mention I am teaching three classes this year? I couldn’t be more excited!

I also need to sort out my shopping list for the festival, which let’s be honest: it should be nothing considering the size of my stash but we all know that the yarny fumes at festivals are unavoidable so I might as well be prepared. Any of you going to EYF? Would love to meet up if you are around!

The last few days I have mostly worked on my Owls jumper, the pattern is by Kate Davies and it is sooo cute. I am using a yarn my sister got for me when she was on holiday in the south of Chile last year, it is a very rustic blend of wool and alpaca and I love the colour with browns, greens and pinks showing through. It is very unfortunate that after reaching the underarms I had to rip it all out though… 😦 I realised I was making the wrong size (two times bigger) after forgetting my bust measurements (we all have our days) and getting my gauge wrong. I considered leaving it but decided to rip out and start over and I must admit to being a bit proud of myself for doing this.

It takes so little to undo all that knitting, quite scary indeed to see all those stitches come undone: it’s probably the definition of a horror movie for knitters. It is a quick project though so I am already at the waist with the new size, and now of course I am worried it is a little too small… ain’t that always the case? That is the problem with bottom up sweaters, you can’t really try them on easily. I don’t particularly like fitted jumpers but the pattern calls for a bit of negative ease and it seems to look nice on everyone else on Ravelry so fingers crossed! I don’t think I could rip it out again to be honest so it will just have to fit.

What is YOUR criteria for ripping out and starting over?

Let me know in the comments!

xx

Sol

January 2016 Favourites

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A few years ago I got very obsessed with make up, so much that I created a blog and YouTube channel. In the online make up world YouTube videos are very popular, I guess they are a kind of video podcast where people talk about their favourite products and share great tutorials. One of my favourite types of videos were the “monthly favourites” where each YouTuber would share their favourite products of the month for skin, make up, hair and sometimes non-beauty favourites as well.

I was thinking about new ideas for the blog and thought that I could do my version of monthly favourites, with new patterns I have favourited in the month, yarny tools/accessories I am enjoying, favourite WIP, FO or yarn and some life favourites as well. I don’t want these posts to have a very structured format cause I don’t want to end up choosing a favourite yarn of the month if I didn’t really have one, so I will improvise as I go but I think it will be a fun way to wrap up the month. I won’t put too much detail into these and will opt for making individual posts for things I want to share in more depth with you, such as FOs, WIPs, yarn acquisitions, etc.

Let’s start with a few stats for this month:

  • FOs: just one, a cosy shawl I crocheted for someone very close to my heart while I was in Chile. It was my own design and would like to release it eventually, just need to find the time to write it down and make another sample. In the meantime you can see a sneak peek below…!

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  • WIPs: Apart from the FO I just mentioned, during January I worked on my new shawl design and I also started the Owls jumper by Kate Davies as part of a small KAL we are having at my local knit club. I think I’ll do a post for this later in the month to tell you how its going (in one word: BIG).
  • WIPs on standby: I started a pair of crochet socks by Kat Goldin in the plane and one of the shawls from the Crochet Project but they are both on standby until I finish my shawl design. Has anyone crocheted socks before? Would love some pattern recommendations 🙂 Also on standby are my Freyja shawl by Aoibhe Ni and my Red Robin shawl by Helen Stewart. Both were giving me a headache for different reasons (a complicated chart and a dumb mistake that requires loads of unknitting) so they are in the naughty corner until further notice.
  • Yarn purchased: Way too much! Yarn in Chile is a lot cheaper than in the UK so I admit I went a bit mad… I will share more of what I purchased throughout the coming months, though probably not ALL I purchased…

Now onto the favourites of January 2016:

Patterns

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Here I want to share patterns that I discovered during the month and fell in love with or patterns I have worked on and really enjoyed. For this month I don’t have any favourite patterns I have worked with but I did fall for a few on Ravelry and are now happily sitting in my library:

For knitting I have been obsessed with hats and garments, while for crochet I am always looking for something different and the shawls by Yarn and Style definitely hit the mark. Simple, modern and with great use of colour: now that is the crochet I want to see more of in Ravelry.

Favourite WIP of the month

I think it has to be my shawl design. It has been a love/hate relationship since I started it but overall I am very proud of it so far. Just can’t wait to put it down though… 🙂 For now I will only share the yarn that I am using: some lovely Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4ply, you can see one of the colours I am using below… isn’t beautiful?

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Favourite yarn of the month

I haven’t worked with this yarn but it was my favourite purchase while in Chile. It merits its own post but all I will say is: merino yarn in natural shade handspun by Chilean artisans in Patagonia… stay tuned!

Favourite knitting/crochet accessory

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I was looking for a small pencil case to use as a notions/needles/hook case to put in my suitcase for my trip to Chile and found this one in Paperchase. It is just perfect, not too big or too small, it has three separate compartments when you open it and the one in the middle has its own zipper which makes it perfect for small things such as stitch markers.

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I think those are all of my yarny favourites for the month, other things that brought joy to my life during January are:

Life Favourites

  • Yoga for Bedtime by Yoga with Adriene: I love all of Adriene’s routines and have mentioned her in the blog before, but this was the practice I kept returning to during the month for relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day. It only lasts for 20 minutes so it is very easy to fit it into my evenings. Thank heavens for yoga.
  • Flavoured green tea, particularly Regents Park from Yumchaa Tea. The first time I tried green tea I hated it with my life. Then while in London a few months ago a girl in a stall in Camden Market convinced me to buy this green tea but to only brew it for a minute or two since green tea didn’t need more. Oh boy, I didn’t know what I was missing. This tea is deliciously fruity and is perfect after brewing for just one minute.
  • Marvel Agents of Shield: This show saved me from killing myself during 17 hours of flying time, I’ll be forever grateful 🙂 If you like all things Marvel and want something entertaining but that doesn’t require much brain power then this is your show.
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: This is my third Brene Brown book and it has been my go-to book for those 10 minutes before I go to bed. At first I was a bit disappointed to see that it repeats quite a bit from her older books but it has actually been helpful to revisit some of her insights. If you are feeling stuck in life and looking for some inspiration I cannot recommend this author enough. If you ask me, her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” is the one you should grab first.

What are your favourites for January? Let me know in the comments!

xx

Sol

Hello again…

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Colours of Chile

Loads has happened since I last wrote in this space. I turned 30, visited my family in Chile after more than three years away, I started to learn how to weave, bought (loads) of yarn, started reading Harry Potter again, unsubscribed to Inside Crochet (is it just me or they used to be a lot better?) and much more.

I can’t really explain my absence: all I can say is that it wasn’t planned and even though I missed it I am also glad I gave myself some breathing room. Now many months later my space in the bloggersphere is calling me back so here I am everyone: older (though probably not wiser) and ready to bring you the stories that surround the stitches that make up each of my days. Again. Welcome back to my crochet (and now also knitting!) journey 🙂

Will be back soon with a sneak peek to a new pattern I am working on and some designing confessions…

Have a great week everyone!

xx

Sol

Isle of Skye: Shopping guide for yarn and craft lovers

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When we decided that we would go to the Isle of Skye for our holidays my sister went immediately to her Lonely Planet guides to find all the places we should visit, while I went to Google and typed “yarn shops isle of skye”. In my search the only shop I found was Shilasdair, which I had seen at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year with their beautiful naturally dyed yarn. Once we got to the island however, I was shocked to find a thriving crafts and arts community with little shops spread all around Skye, each one more hidden and remote than the last. All I could think of was: “I need to write a post about this!” So here I am, finally sharing my tips for those of you who may be interested in exploring a different side to the island that does not include hiking! (in case you may not have guessed by now, I am not exactly the “hiking type”…).

The following list includes a wide range of shops for those of you interested in crafts and local products, and also a few recommendations for places to eat while you are there. If you decide to go to the island YOU MUST RENT A CAR. There is no other way I’m afraid, and a GPS is also very useful if you can get one. Please be careful in the roads which some are hellish single-track roads with passing places and very little visibility, we witnessed a horrible car accident while we were there so I urge you to be cautious and drive slowly. That way you will also be able to enjoy the most amazing scenery you have ever seen, it is really breathtaking.

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The list is in no particular order, I tried to group the shops that are close to each other though. There are much more shops in Skye but these are all the ones I visited and can recommend. You can also check out www.art-skye.co.uk for a great craft and arts trail.

I was not smart enough at the time to think of taking any pictures of the shops, my apologies… I guess you will just have to go and see them for yourselves!

  • Skye Quilt Studio (5A Upper Milovaig, Glendale, IV55 8WY): This shop is on the way to Neist Point, a very popular spot in Skye. Here you will find beautiful fabrics and notions along with very attentive service, my sister bought there this gorgeous multicoloured thread that even I fell in love with and I don’t do patchwork! A must stop for those who love patchwork and quilts.
  • Red Roof Café Gallery (Holmisdale, Glendale, IV55 8WS): We stopped at this little cafe for lunch one day, I recommend it if you are looking for something a bit different using fresh and local ingredients, but probably not if you have any children since I didn’t see any child-friendly food on the menu. They had lovely cakes, scones and my sister had a very nice salmon and cheese.

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  • Wheatear Textiles (19 Fasach, Glendale, IV55 8WP): If you like Harris Tweed then this is your shop! Lovely handcrafted accessories, garments and homeware. I got some pretty Harris Tweed buttons from here.
  • Skye Weavers (18 Fasach, Glendale, IV55 8WP): This shop is run by a lovely couple who create the most stunning woollen products with their pedal-powered loom. I loved their designs and use of colour, it is quite unique. Also, you can give the loom a try yourself! What could be better? You can find them on Instagram by @skyeweavers.
  • Raven Press Gallery (Colbost, Dunvegan, IV55 8ZS): This shop has some incredible prints made with wood engravings, the detail on them is astounding! Really worth a visit.
  • Dragonfly Studio (Brunigill Farm, 3 Skinidin, Dunvegan, IV55 8ZS): I must admit this was my favourite shop of the trip, I actually had to go there twice! We met Ann at this lovely studio who sells a huge range of textile crafts and artwork, including handspun yarn from their own flock. The yarn is labelled with the name of the sheep it came from (I almost cried!), and it is so beautifully soft and squishy, I just can’t get over it. To top it all, Ann was so nice and welcoming to us both times we were there, you just can’t get any better than that. I will do a separate post of the project I am doing with this yarn, it deserves its own post!
  • Skyeskins (17 Loch Bay, Waternish, IV55 8GD): Another one of my favourites was this awesome tannery located in Waternish. If you love sheep… you will love this shop. First, you get a free tour where a member of the staff takes you through the entire tanning process, here they explain that they only use sheepskin from sheep which are used for meat, that they are one of two commercial tanneries in the UK, and that the process is mostly by hand. They are also very conscious about sourcing locally. Next you get taken to their shop where you can buy rugs, throws, garments and other leather products. I bought a pair of sheepskin slippers and they are OH-SO-WARM, and to top it even the sole is made in the UK. Needless to say, I really wanted to get myself a rug… hopefully one day. Oh, if you can’t wait until you visit you’ll be happy to know you can buy online at www.skyeskyns.co.uk.
  • Shilasdair Yarns (10 Carnach, Waternish, IV55 8GL): Of course, if you are in Waternish you must stop by Shilasdair. Beautiful yarns dyed with natural dyes in the most amazing setting. They have quite a big selection of colours and also quite a few of patterns and books.
  • Sam Peare Textiles (Loch View, Endinbane, IV51 9PW): This shop may be tiny, but what lacks in space it compensates on beauty. Sam creates unique embroidered pieces with a vintage feeling, and they are all stunning. She didn’t have much stock on her shop when I visited but it is definitely worth to stop by. You can visit her website at www.samanthapeare.co.uk.

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  • Glenview Gallery at The Skye Pie Cafe (Culnacnoc, Staffin, IV51 9JH): I loved this gallery and cafe and it is near the very famous Old Man of Storr. The whole space is decorated with beautiful details all around, the cafe has a really good menu, delicious pies and soups, and they also do takeaway. In the gallery you can find unique pieces including some local yarn and vintage finds. My sister left with the most beautiful set of vintage tea cups, and I am still so jealous she saw them first. A definite must if you are in the area.
  • Handspinner Having Fun (Old Pier Road, Broadford, IV49 9AE): If you are a yarn addict then you will LOVE this shop. Filled with lovely hand spun and hand dyed yarns, as well as some rare breeds and beautiful notions, I was running around in circles like a chicken trying to decide what to get. It is also next to the best bakery in the world… make sure you stop for some bread to take on your journey, you won’t regret it! If you are heading over to Yarndale this year (you lucky people!) then you will be glad to hear the shop will have a stall there, or you can also check the website at handspinnerhavingfun.com.
  • Love from Skye (Main Street, Broadford, IV49 9AE): Just across the road you will find this jewellery shop filled with beautiful pieces created at their own workshop or by other Scottish artists. There is something for every budget, worth a stop.

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We were only there for three days and there was still so much more to see, including more talented people selling their creations. It was so inspiring to see this community of artists and what they bring to the Isle of Skye, it makes it even more magical and I can’t wait to be back there. Hope this guide is useful for those of you planning a trip there, given that I didn’t find much information until I got there.

As you can imagine, I came back with quite a lot of things from my road trip around Scotland, including a vintage 1930 Singer sewing machine I bought at a car boot sale in a small town near Aberdeen (yes… I am that kind of people, I can’t stop myself). I will share my yarn purchases and Lydia (and yes, I name things as well) on a separate post as soon as I can.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

x

Sol

Yarn stash update: gifts from home

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My yarn stash has grown considerably in the last few months and yarn is sort of taking over the flat. When my sister came to visit this month she brought with her quite a few balls including some lovely handspun, alpaca and wool blends and even milk fibre yarn (first time I had ever seen anything like it before!).

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First let me show you this lovely handspun Corriedale yarn. This was the product of an inspiring initiative to train 215 women from rural communities in Chile in the art of handspinning and dyeing. They spun and dyed 15,500 of these balls which were then put on sale in a large department store in Chile. The packs also included a small booklet with patterns and a pair of wooden needles handcrafted by a local artisan. You can see a video (in Spanish) of the project here, even if you don’t understand the language it is worth watching these talented and hard-working people, and see how proud they are of preserving the heritage of our ancestors. I am so happy to be able to work with this yarn and continue this chain of love for tradition and fibre, their faces will be on my mind as my own hands work on what was created with their skilled hands.

Next I have some beautiful alpaca and wool blend from the south of Chile, I just love these colours and they come in quite big cakes so I am definitely thinking of getting at least one sweater out of this yarn.
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Finally, my mum sent this milk fibre yarn she purchased at a local yarn festival. The colour is so stunning and it is the-softest-thing-ever. I am very intrigued by it and may do a separate post to tell you how these types of yarns are produced once I have knitted or crocheted a sample of it to also tell you how the fabric behaves. So far I don’t know much except that after a quick Google search it appears it is not the most environmentally friendly of yarns and therefore I don’t believe I would purchase more of it, however knowing this makes me want to make sure that it is put into good use.
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That is all I have for today, next will be my guide for shopping for yarn and other crafty goodness in Skye so keep an eye out for that 🙂
Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

x

Sol

If you are ever in Cumbria…

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I am a planner. I can’t really start a day without listing what I want to do and what needs to get done, not only because it helps with my anxiety but also because I have a horrible memory 🙂

So when things happen like getting a stomach virus that won’t leave you after a week, it really messes my whole system up. I had planned to write quite a few posts this week, clean my flat, hang out with friends and family that are visiting, but instead it has been work and bed, work and bed. I have been trying to stay positive and not complain or feel sorry for myself, but it is so hard! I know it is not the end of the world, but is so much easier to just feel down. If you have any tips or advise on how to stay positive please share in the comments, would love to hear from you!

Since I am feeling a bit better this evening I am improvising in my usually organised routine and I decided to write a blog post that I have been wanting to share for weeks now. I went to the Lake District for a few days last month and happened to find a flyer for a wool shop on a nearby town, so of course my very-supporting-of-my-yarn-addiction boyfriend had to drive me there to check it out. The shop is called WoolClip and I couldn’t believe how many gorgeous things they had!

The shop is located in a beautiful old building in Caldbeck, a cute small town in Cumbria about 30 minutes north of Keswick. Once you go in you are welcomed to a stunning large range of all things wool: knitted and crocheted garments and accessories, tools, kits and yarn. But it is not only the range that makes this shop special, it is the women behind it. The WoolClip is a cooperative set up by 15 local crafters: weavers, spinners, knitters, crocheters, felters and more. All the products are crafted by them and they each spend a couple of days a month at the shop to run it. I found this description at their website:

The Wool Clip began as a co-operative of Cumbria-based crafts people back in 2001. We were all enthusiastic designers and makers but many of us were juggling our work with farming, families and other commitments. We enjoyed working with wool but also understood the threat to British wool and local sheep farming and the loss of traditional craft skills.

By creating a co-operative, we were able to raise the profile of our work and create a shop that we could share – each member spends a couple of days per month in the shop and the commission from sales pays for the upkeep.

Source: http://www.woolclip.com

You can understand my excitement at finding such special place. Quoting my boyfriend: “It was like seeing a kid at a toyshop”. It is such an amazing and inspiring model, I wonder if there are more initiatives like this across the country since I think it is a fabulous idea.

I wanted to get so many things and after much thought ended up getting some fabulous yarn, including some BFL and Shetland in natural colour by Ruth Strong and a beautiful hand dyed skein by Wild Wood Wool.

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There was no signal to look on Ravelry so I don’t have a project in mind for them, I think the blue one will have to be a nice summery shawl, maybe one from the Shawl Project? I accept suggestions!

I think that is it for today everyone, my body needs some rest and nurturing so I am off to my couch with a cup of tea and Say Yes to the Dress. I haven’t had much energy for working on my WIPs, I think right now I just need to allow myself to do something I never do: absolutely nothing.

Have a great weekend!

x

Sol