Wonderwool, a magical woolly place

Hello, again fellows knitters, crochet hookers and all yarn addicts.

Today I wish to share with you the wonderful experience of visiting for the first time A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres aptly named: Wonderwool.

If you think that definition is a little exuberant, then my friends you are wrong. It was a truly magical place, where I met hundreds, maybe thousands of other yarn lovers like us.

Let’s start from the beginning: Wales.

Wonderwool happens in the same spot every year aka the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, and from what I learned it started back in 2005!

I have been living in England for a little over six years now, and I am a little ashamed to admit that I never crossed the borders either into Scotland or Wales. I suppose that has happened to all of us: we plan grand trips to visit the marvellous places that are at our doorsteps, and then as life happens, these project often remain in the air.

However, this year I made a commitment to myself and to a good friend of mine, that this trip was going to happen, no matter what. So on April 28 off we went towards our woolly adventure.

Wales was such a pleasant discovery. The green, the scenery, the hills! I have to say I really enjoyed my driving trip there, even if I had no clue where I was heading and my SATNAV decided to bring us through the smallest villages and roads available on the route.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the road trip, because I was driving. I have however taken a picture of the view from the village while I was walking to the hotel on Saturday evening.


The yarn festival takes place in a three big “hangars” where exhibitors have their own boots where they can showcase their products which vary from yarns to buttons and tools for your favourite fibre craft.


Some wool producers also like you to meet their sheep and goats. Of course, we were not allowed to touch them as they didn’t need to be stressed, but I really couldn’t have enough of these little sweeties.


I was particularly keen on this little chap, an angora goat who was irresistibly charming.

So after having spent a good amount of time admiring the animals, I started scouting the exhibition. It was a sensory overload for someone who loves yarn as much as I do.

I surprised myself “oohing” and “aaawwing” as I was walking from stand to stand. The best part? I didn’t have to conceal my excitement and admiration as everyone else there was having my very same reaction! The exhibitors were all so nice and helpful, you could really see how much they loved their products and what they were selling.

Some of them had some items made with their yarns (which was super helpful to understand how the wool was going to look and drape once knitted), while others were there to demonstrate their skills as spinners, weavers or machine knitters.


I was particularly impressed with spinning, although I haven’t decided to add it to my list of new crafty adventures. This lady was selling handmade drop spindles. Check out how easy she made it look! (apologies for the vertical video *hides in shame*)

I was lucky enough to have the whole weekend to attend the festival so after a first day filled with excitement, surprise and wool overload, I went to bed early to discover the wonderful wool on sale the next day.

In my next post, I will show you some of the most interesting bits I found there, the yarns and items that caught my eye, and I might also show you which wool made it home with me…

Stay tuned, and happy knitting!

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Simple Eyelet baby blanket -free pattern

Hello everyone!

Life has been quite full lately, so I didn’t have a lot of time to update my blog.

To make you all forgive me for my prolonged absence, I decided to post a free pattern for you knitters to enjoy.

The Summer is over, and we can start thinking about knitting cozy wolly blankets once again.

I had a couple of balls of chunky yarn staring at me for quite some time. I don’t even remember where or when I purchased them (let’s say it was so long  ago, that the yarn maker discontinued this shade – eeeek!!).  I loved the subtle hues of this yarn: they are clearly visible, but they are not too strong to distract the eye.

I don’t often work in chunky yarn. As you might have noticed from my past projects, I enjoy lace and fine yarns the most. Nevertheless, I also appreciate how fast and cosy the chunky knits are.

Knitting this blanket was a funny project for me, mainly because it took shape while I was working it. There was no real planning, the choice of which stitches to use just came to me naturally.

Now, I am not suggesting that I am a yarn listener (or maybe I would like to be a yarn whisperer) but sometimes I think it is fun to let our imagination take control and let our needles guide us along the way.

So after a few rows of garter, and some more of stockinette stitch I decided to add a very simple eyelet motif.

I think simplicity paid it off this time. I really liked the contrast of the chunky yarn and the lightness of the eyelets.

So I wrote down the pattern for all of you to try, hopefully it will make sense, since as I said before it was quite an improv knitting experience for me.

Simple Eyelet Baby Blanket

The finished blanket will measure approximately 60 x 57 cm once blocked.

Materials:
2 x 100g balls of Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky Yarn (25% wool – 75% acrylic) of your preferred shade. You can use another chunky yarn that meets the gauge.

1 pair of 5,5 mm knitting needles (you may use circular needles if you prefer, but you will knit flat)

tapestry needle to weave the ends in

Gauge:

10 cm / 4 inchess = 15 sts / 20 rows

Stitches used:

Garter : Knit all on RS and WS of the work

Stockinette Stitch: Knit on the RS and purl on the WS

Eyelet Pattern: See chart

Execution:

Cast on 90 sts.

Work 6 rows in garter.

K5 at each end, work 4 rows in stockinette stitch.

K5 at each end, work the eyelet pattern, plus K2 at the end of the 13 repetitions.

Repeat the eyelet pattern, which is composed of 8 rows for each repeat (in the chart you see the stitches worked on the RS. On the WS keeping the first and last 5 sts in garter purl all the stitches). Repeat the eyelet pattern 12 times (96 rows in total).

K5 at each end, work 4 rows in stockinette stitch.

Work 5 rows in garter, on the WS knit all the stitches while binding off.

Weave the ends in and block to measure.

Eyelet pattern chart:

  repeat 13 times, then at the end of the RS row + k2

Eyelet pattern written instructions:

Worked on the central 80 stitches

Row 1: (k4, k2tog, yo) repeat 13 times, + k2

Row 2: k5, p80, k5

Row 3: (k3, k2tog, yo, k1) repeat 13 times, + k2

Row 4: k5, p80, k5

Row 5: (k2, k2tog, yo, k2) repeat 13 times, + k2

Row 6: k5, p80, k5

Row 7: (k6) repeat 13 times, + k2

Bonus picture:

Please send me your feedback, I would love to hear your experience with this pattern 🙂

Happy knitting!

 

 

Edit: 23/03/2018

Since some of you were confused by my written instruction I decided to edit the original post and to add a more extensive explanation. I hope it helps! Happy knitting!


Disclaimer:
Simple Eyelet Blanket is an original design by Simply Yarn
© 2015 Simply Yarn. I have created this as a pattern for personal use. Items made from this pattern may be sold, but the creator of the design should be credited. No part of this pattern may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the copyright owners having been given in writing. Please contact me at simply.yarn@gmail.com for further information.

 

Kindle Case and crocodile stitch

Kindle Case and crocodile stitch

I decided to open this personal blog with an image that, despite its semplicity, represents me really well.

My inner passion is Literature, more in specific translation. It is something I am working hard to transform into my profession. At the moment I am a translator in training: research and thesis writing… the joys of Academia’s life. I simply love it. I enjoy the thought of bringing readers from my country books and authors coming from such different realities.

I consider translators to be silent and hidden weavers of words, sounds and images. Sure they have a pattern to follow, but the final result of their work is determined by the level of care and attention to detail they devote to it.

While my brain is continuously stimulated and challenged by my Academic activities, I find myself with an intense need and desire to create something of my own. Maybe it is a simple ambition of ownership, reclaiming something as totally mine.
Whatever the reason behind it, I find that having a project in my hands really helps me relax and keep up the delicate balance that many struggle to find.

And so here you have me: a person who wants to create, through language or through yarn, I want to reach you.