Monday, April 27, 2015

The YarnAddict 2015 Retreat - Mastering Lace Knitting

Mastering Lace Knitting
 Friday 23 to Sunday 25 October 2015
at the Portbyhan Hotel, Looe, Cornwall

Fancy joining me for a weekend of lace knitting in the Cornish fishing village of Looe?

I'm holding my first knitting retreat from 23 to 25 October in Looe, Cornwall. I'm so excited to announce this. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. As lace knitting is what I'm best known for, I've decided that the topic for the week will be 'Mastering Lace Knitting' and it's suitable for all abilities of lace knitting. Whether you're completely new to lace knitting or you're a more experienced, lace knitter, you will learn something from this retreat.

I'm combining lessons on various topics with time for you to work on a lace project. I will give you a choice of lace projects to work on during the weekend. They will be graded according to difficulty. So if you're completely new to lace knitting, choose the easiest project, or if you're more experienced, choose the intermediate project.

There will be five sessions over the weekend and each session starts with a lesson on a specific topic and the rest of the session will be spent working on your project with my help if needed.

This is a holiday so there will be time to relax and explore Looe as well. We've also included a Cornish Cream Tea  and delicious meals in the hotel's fantastic restaurant. Wait till you see the view from the restaurant. We'll be fighting over the window seats.

The retreat will take place at the newly refurbished 3 star Portbyhan Hotel overlooking the fishing port of Looe. Take a break from knitting and take a stroll around Looe and enjoy the many shops and pubs on offer. Or perhaps take a walk along the Cornish Coastal Footpath. If non-knitting partners or families wish to accompany you on your trip to Cornwall, there is plenty of attractions in South East Cornwall for them to enjoy including gold clubs, theme parks and the nearby Eden Project.

Topics taught will include:
·         The basics of lace knitting
·         How to read charts
·         Use of stitch markers and lifelines to make lace knitting easier
·         Cast ons/cast offs suitable for lace knitting
·         Provisional cast on
·         How to add beads
·         Fixing mistakes
·         Knitted On Edgings
·         Blocking
·         Shawl shapes

On arrival you will get to know each other over a Cornish Cream Tea while I introduce the weekend and the projects you can choose from. The projects will be shawls/scarves aimed at various levels of experience. Whether you've never knitted lace before or you're a more experienced lace knitter, there will be a project suitable for your skill level.

The weekend will be a combination of lessons and free knitting time where you will gain experience in lace knitting while working on your chosen project.

Cost: £300 which includes all lessons, a lace shawl project which includes yarn, pattern, knitting needles, beads and crochet hook, a goody bag with a selection of knitterly treats, Cornish Cream Tea, two dinners, two lunches, afternoon tea and refreshments during lessons.

Accommodation is not included but you are encouraged to book accommodation at the Portbyhan Hotel and we have organised special rates for you (£45 per person per night if sharing and £65 per person per night for single room, which includes breakfast). You are not required to stay at the Portbyhan Hotel to attend the retreat, so if you wish you can book other local accommodation.  

Please read before booking:
  • Retreat price does not include accommodation. If you wish to stay at the Portbyhan Hotel please book your accommodation directly with the hotel, stating that you are attending the YarnAddict Retreat.
  • Payment schedule:
    • £100 deposit is due on booking. Your booking is not confirmed until we receive £100 deposit.
    • £100 is due by end of June 2015.
    • £100 is due by end of July 2015.
  • If preferred, full payment of £300 can be paid on booking.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the retreat by 14 August 2015 if there aren't enough bookings. That will give you two weeks to cancel your hotel room at the Portbyhan Hotel.
  • If we cancel the retreat, a full refund will be given.
  • If you need to cancel your booking, we will refund the money paid to date minus a £50 administration charge.
  • Cancellations made after 14 August 2015, will not be refunded unless we can fill your space from our waiting list. In that case we will refund the money paid, minus £50 administration charge.

The YarnAddict 2015 Retreat will cost £300 which includes:
  • A lace shawl project in a YarnAddict Project Bag which includes yarn, pattern, knitting needles and beads/crochet hook if applicable.
  • A goody bag containing various knitterly goodies in a YarnAddict Tote Bag.
  • The Lace Basics Booklet
  • The following meals are included:
    • Cornish Cream Tea on arrival on Friday
    • Afternoon Tea before departure on Sunday
    • Three course dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings
    • Two course lunch on Saturday and Sunday
    • Refreshments during teaching sessions
  • Drinks during meals and 'free time' are not included
  • Minimum knitting skill required: knitters must be able to cast on, cast off, knit and purl with confidence. No lace knitting skills are necessary.
  • Please note: the hotel does not have parking but there is a public car park a short walking distance away. If you require transport to/from the car park please let us know and we will arrange that.
So do you fancy joining me in Looe for a weekend of knitting and spending time with other knitters? Go ahead and book your place now!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cardinham - Between The Lines

It's time for the next installment of The Between The Lines Collection. Cardinham is knitted from one skein (100gr) of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock and 2 skeins (50gr each) of Koigu KPPPM. I chose one nearly solid colour (Madelinetosh) and one very variegated colour (Koigu).

Until 30 April 2015, Cardinham is 25% off. No coupon code needed.

Cardinham is worked sideways from tip to the lace edging to create a large asymmetrical shawl. Garter stitch is blended with large eyelets and mesh lace. Cardinham is finished off with a beaded picot cast-off.

All you need is 200gr of sock yarn and basic lace knitting skills. The lace mesh section is easy, just a combination of double yarn overs and decreases.

Here are the full pattern details:

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (4ply/fingering weight; 100% Superwash Merino Wool; 361m/395yds per 100g) x 1 skein. Shown in shade: Flashdance
Koigu KPPPM (100% Merino Wool; 160m/175yds per 50g) x 2 skeins. Shown in shade P123B1654mm (UK 8/US 6) circular needle, 80cm (32in) length
32 6mm miracle beads, colour: Turquoise 
0.75mm  (US 13) crochet hook (for adding beads)

Difficulty level:

Length (along top edge): 122cm/48in
Depth: 94cm/37in

20 sts and 30 rows over 10cm/4in in garter stitch after blocking.
Exact tension is not essential but a difference in tension may affect the final size and amount of yarn used.

You know I love a beaded picot cast off so I used big miracle beads (size 6mm) from Frampton Beads to create big impact with the picot cast off. I added the beads using the crochet hook technique and here's a video demo (scroll down and click on the 'Knitting with beads' link).

Cardinham is part of the Between The Lines Collection which is currently available for £8 until all the five patterns have been released. If you've already purchased the collection, then Cardinham is available for you to download (check your Ravelry library). If you'd like to purchase the collection, you'll also receive Caprice and St Aubin's immediately and the next two designs as soon as they're published. The next design will be published in 3-4 weeks.

Cardinham is also available individually for £3.50 but until 30 April 2015, you will get 25% off. No coupon code necessary.

Happy knitting x

Monday, April 20, 2015

On The Needles - The Two Day Shawl

Did you see my post on Friday about the next round of the Beads & Lace Club? To celebrate the launch, I've got a discount running and it finishes today. Use discount code: aprilbeads to get 10% off any YarnAddict order till midnight tonight, 20 April. You can use it on club memberships or yarn orders.

On Saturday my new project bags arrived. There will be a larger size coming in May plus a tote bag but for now, I've got the small size of 'I'm a YarnAddict' project bags in stock. The bag measures 19.5cm wide and 23.5cm tall and is perfect for carrying a sock project or a one skein project on circular needles. Or why not use it for knitting notions? It can be ordered here or is free with orders over £30 (ecxl club memberships). 

Shows bag in proportion to two 50gr balls of Navia Duo (4ply).

This weekend was a case of speed knitting at it's best. First thing Saturday morning I cast on for a new deadline shawl and late yesterday afternoon, I cast off the same shawl. It was one skein of sock yarn (400m/100gr) in Kettle Yarn Co Islington and a mix of easy lace and garter stitch. I know I knit fast but I also spent a lot of time knitting this weekend. I was in a lot of pain all weekend, my neck/upper back was very bad and I had severe headaches all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Saturday night I was awake for 3 hrs so got quite a bit of knitting done then too. When I'm in a lot of pain, all I'm fit to do is to sit in my comfy chair and knit. As long as I support my upper back/neck/head knitting easy stuff doesn't aggravate the pain. I started binge watching 'The Good Wife' on Netflix. I never watched it when it was on UK TV and I watched the Formula One race on Sunday and qualifying on Saturday.

I must admit though, when I got back from church yesterday, I weighed the yarn I had left and I was surprised when I realised I had to start the edging or I'd run out of yarn.

I immediately cast on for a new slip stitch project. This is the class project for my Slip Stitch workshop at Spin A Yarn next week. I'm not sure if the class is full or not, so if you're interested, contact Spin A Yarn to book.

I also spent yesterday evening swatching for some new designs for a design submission which I need to e-mail off immediately after lunch today. I still have two swatches left to knit.

I'm working on a very exciting project at the moment involving a weekend in Looe in October or November and lots of knitting. I'm hoping to reveal all later this week.

I also found out over the weekend, that Amazon US is shipping my new book. Here's the UK Amazon listing. I'll be sharing more about the projects in the book later this week but if you're interested here's the Beaded Lace Knitting Look Book. If you're a UK yarn shop who wants to stock my book, contact Search Press who's the UK distributor.

What's on your needles this week?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Beads & Lace Club + discount

The Beads & Lace Club was very popular when it launched earlier this year. I'm sending out the second parcel in the current round next week. So I've decided to continue the Beads & Lace Club until the end of this year.

Both my clubs, the Beads & Lace Club and Easy Lace Club includes parcels every other month and you get three parcels in total. For the Beads & Lace Club, parcels will be sent out in August, October and December 2015. Each month you will receive a kit comprising of a skein of luxury lace yarn, beads and an exclusive lace pattern. You will also receive an extra little something each month. A crochet hook for adding beads will be included in the first parcel.


This club is designed for knitters who are familiar with lace knitting and who want to take their lace knitting to the next level. Projects will be rated intermediate and will include charted and written instructions. Each project, which will be mainly shawls and scarves, will have beads added using the crochet hook method.

Total value of the club is over £100 and includes postage.

Sounds like fun? Sign up now. Spaces are limited. 

Do you think the Beads & Lace Club sounds a bit too challenging? Then the Easy Lace Club may be for you. You can sign up for that now too. The parcels for the two clubs will be sent out in different months so if you fancy a treat every month, why not join both clubs?

You can do it by 20 April 2015 for 10% off by using code: aprilbeads. 

Next week I'll be able to start sharing more details about the projects in my new book, Beaded Lace Knitting, which will be published in the US in May and in the UK in June. Here's the look book and you can pre-order the book on Amazon now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

On The Needles - Am I making progress?

 I've done a lot of knitting over the weekend but I'm not sure if I'm making much progress. On Saturday we attended a Creationfest event (Creationfest is a week long Christian festival in Cornwall held in August but they also organise day events throughout the year). There was worship and several talks. I brought my neon shawl to work on. I'd hoped to finish it this weekend. The rows are getting very long, over 400+ stitches. I've been weighing my yarn regularly to work out when to start the edging. Anyway, I got a lot of knitting done at this event on Saturday. 

My bag all ready for a day out at Creationfest. I had my tablet (with my knitting pattern and Bible on it), Filofax for note taking (both knitting and during the talks), pencil case and all my other handbag essentials, plus on the left is my green knitting bag. 

On Sunday, I settled down in front of the TV in the afternoon to watch the Formula One race highlights. I knitted away and eventually started the edging. I like to leave about 5-10% off the total yarn amount left. So that if knitters who buy the pattern don't knit to my tension they will still have enough yarn. I hate it when knitters e-mail me to complain that they ran out of yarn, so now I try to leave a safety margin of about 5-10% of the total yarn amount. When I'd finished knitting the last pink section, I had 2gr yarn left which I decided wasn't enough of a safety margin. I wanted between 5 and 10gr left. So I ripped out 18 rows of 400+ stitches. Which on the photo below is down to the end of the solid grey section. 

I've now re-knitted the first 1/3 of the edging and have finished with the pink yarn. I've got 10 rows of the grey yarn and then the shawl is finished. I'm tempted to do a beaded picot edging but I'm not sure yet. 

This will be another design in the Between The Lines Collection. I'm hoping to publish the next design in this collection later this week. We're getting to the end of the tech editing stage. I just need to edit and add photos and check the final pattern and it'll be ready to go. You can buy the collection for £8 now. The price will go up when the final pattern is published. If you purchase the Between The Lines Collection now you can download Caprice and St Aubin's Bay immediately and you'll automatically get the other patterns when they're published.

Yesterday morning, in church, I knitted on my Creme Caramel sock. I started the gusset and I think I'm getting close to starting the heel turn. 

I finished my ugly duckling shawl on Friday, after re-knitting half the shawl. I blocked it and this time it worked out beautifully. So today, I need to finish the pattern and get it sent off to my tech editor. It won't be for sale for a while but I may be able to share the final shawl with you next week but here's a sneak peek of the edging which I LOVE!

I'd like to finish the neon shawl today but I've got some swatching to do first. Some of my swatching will be using this gorgeous Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal which is a 4ply yarn and it's lovely to knit with. I can't wait to choose two colours from this pile for some swatching. I'm also swatching for a magazine design submission so chances are I won't get to finish my neon shawl today.

What's on your needles this week?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fancy a monthly kit?

Do you like getting yarn parcels? What would be better than getting a parcel every other month which had a complete kit (except for knitting needles) including yarn and pattern? With my Easy Lace Club that's exactly what you get. Every month you get an exclusive shawl or accessory pattern designed by me and 1 or 2 skeins of yarn. The pattern and the yarn has been picked to go together.

I've just listed the next round of the Easy Lace Club so I thought I'd share what the club members have been receiving this round.

In January the Easy Lace Club members got this crescent shaped shawl, Pershephone, and 2 skeins of Navia Duo. Stripes, double and multiple yarn overs create big impact in Persephone. I had so much fun knitting this.

I will be teaching a Persephone project class at Spin A Yarn this autumn. Dates and more details will be available in the summer. Contact Spin A Yarn to get on their mailing list if you're interested.

In March, Dakota was paired with a ball of Zauberball 100 in a bright cheerful colour for an early taste of spring. Dakota is worked sideways and shaped into an asymmetrical triangle. 

Dakota starts with garter stitch and a few stitches and ends with an easy lace section.

The projects in the Easy Lace Club are specifically designed to be easy. They're doable for new lace knitters and a quick knit for more seasoned lace knitters. All the yarn is 4ply/fingering weight/sock yarn which makes it a quick knit.

In addition, in the first parcel you'll get a copy of the Lace Basics booklet which will help you get to grip with lace knitting if you're new to it. It has all the basics you need to know.

So the Easy Lace Club is perfect for you if you're 

  • new to lace knitting or a complete lace beginner who's willing to give lace knitting a go
  • a more experienced lace knitter who fancies a quick and easy project
You can sign up now for the next round which will be sent out in July, September and November. Each month you'll get a little extra something too. The patterns will be exclusive to the club until December 2015.

If you're not a club member this round, Dakota and Persephone will be available from my Ravelry Patten Shop in June 2015. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now as this is a popular club with many returning members.

Just a quick reminder that the early enrollment discount for my next Online Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl finishes on Sunday 12 April. The course starts on 17 April. Enroll and get more details here.

Have a great weekend x

Monday, April 06, 2015

On The Needles - The Easter Edition

Did you have a good Easter weekend? We had a lovely time. A bit of cycling, lots of knitting, a bit of work and a birthday celebration as Vanessa turned 20 yesterday.

I finished the 'ugly duckling' shawl on Friday but didn't get around to blocking it till Saturday. Once I'd cast off I did have a slight concern about the shaping but I was hoping it would block out. I soaked it and started blocking and there was no way the shawl would ever block out into the shape I intended. I gave up and hung the shawl up to dry.

Because I didn't want to work yesterday I ignored the 'ugly duckling' shawl and carried on with my neon shawl which is coming along beautifully and I'm thoroughly enjoying knitting it. There's a bit of lace and a bit of garter stripes.

This morning I had to accept the fact that I had to do something about the 'ugly duckling' shawl so I got ready to do some ripping out. I had several inches of lace and beads and an approaching deadline. This needs to be re-knitted by the weekend.

The quickest and easiest way to rip out knitting is to use my ball winder. But with beads, they'd end up flying all over the place. So I put the shawl in a zip loc plastic bag. The yarn has angora in it so it does tend to stick to itself at times. 

The idea behind putting the shawl in a plastic bag is that as I unravel the shawl the beads get left in the bag. But with the yarn needing freeing up every few rows, it was just too difficult. So I put it on a tray instead and let the yarn run through my hand on the way to the ball winder. This ensured that the beads stayed on the tray.

Afterwards I poured the beads into a bowl and then into a plastic bag. I'm short on beads so I couldn't afford to lose many.

The shawl is now back on the needles and I'm hoping the new shaping will work. I'm just about to check it after I finish writing this blog post. Wish me luck!

What did you knit over the weekend? Don't forget the next round of The Easy Lace Club opened for sign ups yesterday. Don't miss out!