Thank you for visiting my blog. If you have a question about a pattern or any other query, please e-mail me on I'm not able to answer patterns questions via blog comments.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Knitter 123 - Tor Grass Cover Shawl

Look who's design is on the cover of The Knitter issue 123 which is in the shops now? Yes that's my shawl.

This bright and beautiful shawl pairs an elegant crescent shape with a denim lace yarn in a vivid colour. Tor Cross uses Rowan's new Denim Lace yarn, which is available as a limited edition. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn. It wasn't as soft when I was knitting as a wool/wool blend yarn would be but it blocks out into a beautiful, light weight fabric perfect for summer shawls.

Tor Cross is worked from the top down to create a light weight, elegant accessory. It features a beautiful lace stitch which forms a repeating diamond pattern across the fabric. 

I thought you may like to see a blocking photo too.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Invisible Provisional Cast On

If you read my blog last week about my new pattern - La Scala - you may have already seen this tutorial but I wanted it to have it's own blog post.

The invisible cast on is a form of provisional cast on. A provisional cast on is a way of casting on that leaves a row of live stitches. These stitches are used later to either knit an edging into or knit in the opposite direction or something similar.

There are several provisional cast ons but this is my favourite. As I mention in the video, it's not necessarily suitable if you cast on a lot of stitches although I've used it for 100+ stitches. The yarn is basically wound around the needle and can easily untwist either while you're casting on or while you're knitting the first row. So if you are using this for a lot of stitches, I recommend casting on more stitches than you need.

It's difficult to go back and count how many stitches you've cast on before you start knitting, so I recommend casting on a few extras. When you work row 1, just work the number of stitches you need and drop the remaining stitches and let them unravel. You'll just end up with a longer tail.

The same applies if you need an odd number of stitches. With this method you're casting on in pairs of two, so if you need an odd number, cast on an even number. For ex. if I need 39, I cast on at least 40 stitches and on the first row I work 39 stitches and let the remaining cast on stitches drop and unravel.

I don't recommend using a circular needle if you're casting on more than about 30-50 stitches. Once the stitches slide onto the cable, they start to unravel easily. Use a straight needle if possible.

As I mention in the video, before you start row one of the pattern you need to work a set up row. If you're working in stocking (stockinette) stitch then purl one row. If you're working in garter stitch or reverse stocking (stockinette) stitch knit one row.

If you have any questions please leave a comment on You Tube or e-mail me on

You can also watch the tutorial here.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Introducing La Scala

La Scala is inspired by traditional Orenburg shawls using their unique construction method.  Beads are added to this light as air, elegant shawl which is interesting to knit. 

Traditional Orenburg shawls are knitted using a very interesting technique which allows the edging to be knitted alongside the centre of the shawl.

La Scala is 30% off until midnight UK on 17 April 2018. Use coupon code: lascala30. Valid on pattern only.

La Scala is knitted in Navia Alpakka Lace which is a beautiful pure alpaca lace weight yarn from the Faroe Islands. I'm offering a small selection of La Scala kits ready to ship immediately and pre-orders on kits which includes the yarn, beads and pattern in a choice of colours. Due to the time it takes to ship the yarn from the Faroe Islands including clearing UK customs, I don't expect the kits to ship until sometime in May. 

 You can find the kits here in a choice of six colour combinations.

To support this pattern I'm releasing two new video tutorials: Invisible Provisional Cast On and Russian Grafting. You may also be interested in my Adding Beads tutorial.

I'll be teaching my Orenburg Lace Workshop at Handmade Studios in Hampshire on 26 May. This workshop will cover the construction method, invisible cast on and Russian grafting techniques used in this shawl pattern. Find details here. 

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Monday, April 09, 2018

Do you want to try essential oils?

Do you experience issues with pain, sleep, mood/stress/anxiety or seasonal allergies?  Are you curious about essential oils?

I'm holding an informal week long study to see results of essential oils on these issues. If you are interested in participating, apply here.

If accepted for the study you will receive free essential oil samples as well as instructions for how to use them. 

You will be required to fill in a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study, attend a short class (in Liskeard, Cornwall or online) on Monday 16 April 11am OR 1.30pm (when you will be given your samples) AND Monday 23 April 11am OR 1.30pm. If you can't attend either of these dates, let me know and we can arrange an alternative appointment. If you don't live near Liskeard, Cornwall, there will be an online class on the same days (times flexible).

You will be invited to join a Facebook group for the duration of the study where there will be education on how to use essential oils as well as daily prizes. Please commit to checking the group to watch the daily videos (they will be short) and share how you're getting on.

The aim of this study is to see how well essential oils work for pain, sleep, mood/stress/
anxiety and seasonal allergies and for you to get a chance to try essential oils to see if they work for you. If you have any questions please e-mail me on

Please fill in this application form and I'll be in touch soon. 

You can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.

Join my e-mail newsletter for inspiration and education about 
essential oils and other natural products.

It's finally spring

This weekend was the weekend spring finally arrived in Cornwall. As I type this on Monday morning it's beautiful and sunny and I can hear birds singing outside my window. I love bright sunny days! Spring is late here this year and March was unusually cold!

 Yesterday afternoon we drove to a country park, Mount Edgecumbe, which is at the eastern edge of Cornwall. You can look across the water to Plymouth.

Simon and Vanessa went for a walk but my knee suddenly got really bad again before the weekend and I was limping very heavily. Limping gives me really severe pain in my lower back/hip so I found a bench looking out across the water and sat there knitting and listening to an audio book. A quick note about my knee - I've had problems since last summer but next week I'll finally be having an MRI scan. 

The building on the left in the photo below is Royal William Yard in Plymouth where I'm teaching a class next Saturday. The class is on how to knit the Mar Menor and Daisy shawls and I think there may be one space left.  In this class you'll learn how to knit the elongated, twisted stitches used in both shawls, how to add beads, how to do the beaded picot cast off and how to shape the shawls. In the afternoon you'll get to choose which of the two patterns you want to knit and cast on for your shawl. Find more info and book here.

Beautiful views across the River Tamar and out in to Plymouth Sound towards the English Channel (photo below).

Perfect place to knit for an hour. I'm close to finishing my new shawl design. I really need to try to finish it today as the deadline is this week.

What did you do this weekend?

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

On My Needles

Before I share what I'm working on this week, I've got to tell you that I came third in the Knitting Designer of the Year at the British Craft Awards. Woolly Wormhead came first and Debbie Bliss came second. I'm honoured to be in such excellent company. Woolly and Debbie are both designers I admire and they're both lovely people too.

Since I came home from Edinburgh I've worked exclusively on my Laceball 100 (colour 1699) shawl. I weighed my remaining yarn last night and I've got 1/3 to go. I had hoped I was closer to the end as I need to cast on a magazine commission this weekend. I'm hoping to sneak in some work on this shawl though as I'd like to finish it soon. I've had so many lovely comments about this on Instagram and Facebook that it'd be great to finish it and get the pattern released but deadline knitting is calling!

I had a lovely parcel arrive from Australia last week. I've seen a lot of talk about the Lykke needles on social media over the last year. They're made from drift wood and look beautiful. I've not had a chance to try them yet. So when I noticed that The Leatherman's Wife were stocking them I had to order a pair. I got the size I use for socks. I also got a beautiful needle gauge. You can never have too many of those and a beautiful one doubles as a photo prop. Sarah makes these fab leather clips. The small one came with the circular needles and Sarah sent me two larger ones. I'm actually using them to keep my circular needles for my workshops together. I have a pouch with two sizes of circular needles that I use for my classes and I'm struggling to keep the sizes separated and these leather clips are perfect. I'm going to have to get more. As you can see in the photo you can also use them to keep your headphones organised. Sarah also sent me some great stitch markers. Plain stitch markers are my favourites and these are already in use. Sarah has some fab leather goods and knitting notions in her shop as well as the Lykke needles. Go check her out!

I think I forgot to share a photo of my new hand-warmers. I started them two days before I left for Edinburgh and within four days they were finished. I've worn them every day since. The photo isn't great. I need to take a better photo and get the pattern ready.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Learn something new this spring and summer!

My Spring and Summer Workshop programme is about to kick off. 

I'm delighted to say that Spin A Yarn has booked several more workshops over the coming months. You can see them all here.

April and May will be especially busy with several workshops in Devon, Cornwall, South Wales and London.

I asked a few of my Love of Lace Knitting group members what they enjoy about taking my knitting workshops. 

Maughreen said:  'I have enjoyed your patience and a structured approach in teaching You modify your lesson as you go so you’re a great teacher.'

My first April workshop will be at Wool Palette at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon. We'll be doing a project workshop for the Mar Menor and Daisy shawls. Both shawls have similar stitch patterns but different shapes. In the morning you'll learn how to knit the different stitch patterns and in the afternoon you'll get to start your own shawl. You will get one of the patterns for free. Find more details here. 

Jackie said: 'I've done a few of your workshops now; they are all well planned, unrushed, and everyone learns something at their own pace with your gentle help as and when required. The only problem is what to do when you’ve attended all your workshops!!' 

Fair isle knitting is really popular at the moment and my Fair Isle Knitting & Steeking has been one of my most popular workshops over the last six months. In this workshop at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon, you'll learn how to knit with one colour in each hand, I'll share all my stranded colour work tips and tricks and you'll learn how to cut your knitting. Steeking enables you to knit a garment in the round, then crochet a seam to re-enforce before you cut your knitting to create an armhole or turn a sweater into a cardigan. Techniques learnt in this class can also be used to make alterations to garments. Find the details here.

Selbu mittens are traditional Norwegian mittens which feature stranded colour work patterns. You'll learn how to knit in the round using the magic loop technique, how to knit with one colour in each hand and how to shape the mitten. You'll get a pattern to take home. I taught this class to a group of ladies yesterday and they all really enjoyed it. I'm teaching this workshop at Spin A Yarn in Devon and Truro Wool in Cornwall.

Dawn said: 'I have learnt a great deal from attending your workshops. You are always well prepared and make it clear what you are going to cover while adjusting to different levels within the group. I love being in a group with other passionate knitters.'

Shetland is known for delicate, very fine shawls but Shetland lace knitting doesn't have to be difficult. In this class at La Mercerie in Cowbridge, South Wales, you'll get to practice several Shetland lace patterns and learn various lace knitting techniques. Suitable whether you've already done some lace knitting or you're completely new to lace knitting. Find the details here.

Want to learn how to knit socks? I love knitting socks from the toe up on circular needles using the magic loop technique and I'll teach you how in this workshop at the Wool Palette in Plymouth. You'll knit a mini sock during the class and get a pattern to take home. Find the details here. 

Do you already know how to knit socks - either from the top down or toe up? Do you fancy learning how to knit some different heels and toes? I'm teaching a new workshop at Spin A Yarn in May, teaching you different heels and toes which are suitable for toe up or top down socks, including afterthought heels and perfect short row heels. Find the details here.

Another new workshop at Spin A Yarn in June is the Carlyon Bay shawl. In this class you'll learn how to shape the shawl and how to knit the various stitches required. In the afternoon you'll get to cast on for your own shawl. Find the details here.

These are just some of my classes this spring and summer. See all my workshops here. 

Do you run a yarn shop and would like to host workshops? Do you want to get a group of knitting friends together for a day of learning and fun? I'm taking bookings now for the autumn term, which usually books up very quickly. If you'd like to chat about booking workshops, e-mail me on

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Edinburgh Yarn Fest

Edinburgh Yarn Fest and Edinburgh itself was amazing. I loved my time exploring the city, teaching my classes and walking around the yarn market. I arrived in Edinburgh Tuesday lunchtime after a very relaxing flight. I like half-full flights so you can stretch out over two seats. The view from the plane was great too as we flew fairly low most of the way and the visibility was good with only light clouds. I saw the South Wales coastline and snow topped hills (either in the north of England or south of Scotland).


After dumping my luggage in the hotel, I headed out to explore the city. I stayed in the New Town area and focused on exploring the streets and shops in that area. I headed to Edinburgh's famous Jenners department store which reminded me of Liberty's in London.

 Jenners department store       Georgian houses in New Town

I admired the Old Town from a distance. I didn't feel up to heading up there as I'd had an early start that day.

I admired Edinburgh Castle which was the first thing I saw as I stepped off the airport bus.

My classes went really well. I taught Circular Fair Isle Yokes, Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl and Beaded Lace Knitting. I even remembered to take a few photos from two of my classes.

I think this was the Circular Yoke class. The ladies in this class worked so hard as we had a lot to cover.

Below is my Beaded Lace Knitting class. 


On Thursday morning and all day Friday I went to the yarn market. My mum came with me on the Friday. Thursday was busy but Friday was heaving with people. I heard there was a very long queue to get in for those who hadn't pre-ordered their tickets. I highly recommend you pre-order your ticket. It will save you from queuing. I also heard that Saturday was much quieter but I wasn't there that day so I'm not sure.

The podcast lounge was a great place to relax and was always full of knitters from all over the world. I met a few lovely ladies here who I've met at shows before or who have bought my patterns and book. 

A few photos of some of the stalls. I haven't added links but just google the company name if you want to know more about them.

Injabulo                           Ginger Twist Studio
            (I'm desperate for one of their big baskets)   

Inspired Fibres                                  Rainbow Herloom

Skein Queen                  I think this was possibly 
                            Town End Alpacas

La Bien Aimee                            An Caitin Beag

View from the gallery of part of the yarn market.

I didn't actually buy that much because I had very little spare space in my suitcase. But I did get a EYF tote (not shown) and project bag (with the colourful hat on) as well as an EYF pin (now shown), two skeins from La Bien Aimee for a shawl, a skein of Yak Singles from Cosmic Strings (which is a new to me indie dyer) for another shawl design, a fabulous project bag from the lovely Pink Hazel (I also got a needle gauge and one of her new pins which I forgot to photograph), a Knitters Keep (the bracelet thing) from A Yarn Story (I meant to go back on Friday and get the row counter that attaches to it but forgot), two Shetland Wool Week notebooks (only one shown), two beautiful cards (printed from a felted picture) and a wooden mitten ornament set from Ysolda

On Saturday we explored Edinburgh. My Mum and Vanessa joined me in Edinburgh. It was a freezing cold day with a bitterly cold wind so we spent most of the day on one of the tourist buses (which was great), exploring Holyrood Palace and National Museum of Scotland. The museum was great and we only explored a fraction of what was on offer.


On Sunday we were due to fly home. But due to snow in Devon our flight got cancelled. Exeter Airport closed just as we were literally boarding the plane. So Flybe put us up in a nice hotel for the night and re-booked us on a flight on Monday evening. Vanessa had an earlier flight back to London on Monday but my Mum and I got to spend another day exploring Edinburgh. The weather was much better so we walked around the top of the Royal Mile, near the castle.

I loved my trip to Edinburgh. It's a beautiful city and this was my first visit but hopefully it won't be the last. Edinburgh Yarn Fest was great fun. The stalls were amazing. My students were lovely. I had students from several European countries and the US. I hope I'll be able to be part of it again next year.

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