Kaffe Fassett and Rowan Yarns Mystery Afghan KAL – Clue 3 Pattern Chart

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_3

Welcome back to clue 3 of the Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL! How is everyone keeping up? I’m finding the pace manageable and have so far finished all my squares for the clues before the release of the new ones. Week 3 is by far my favourite colour sequence so far (I’m doing the turquoise colourway), you can download the pattern from the Rowan Yarns website as always.
If you’re a new reader you might want to check out the posts for Clue 1 and Clue 2.

My own squares are slightly different from the Kaffe Fassett version as I misread the pattern for my very first square, but I quite like my little modification and can’t wait to see how it turns out. Did you stray from the original design brief?

Please note that the charts are for the original version. If you’d like to make the IamSnowfox version, rows 29-30 need to be knitted with colour C.
Simply click on the images to open the .pdf files with the full instructions, then click save or print.

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_3_turquoise

Turquoise

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_3_pastel

Pastel

 

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_3_red

Red

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_3_brown

Nottingham Knitter’s Brown Chart

For the brown colourway, head over to Nottingham Knitter, Sarah has some wonderful tips and tricks on the blog.
If the charts have helped you knit the squares, I would love it if you shared some pictures on the IamSnowfox Facebook page!
There’s also an official KAL thread on Ravelry in the Rowan group, it’s a great place to show off your finished items, ask for advice and general chatter.

Knitting and Stitching Show 2014 – Alexandra Palace

knitting_and_stitching_show_bannerWelcome back to the highlight of this years’s Wool Week! The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace took place during Wool Week this year, and was my personal finale of the week.  My friend Sarah from Nottingham Knitter came to visit so we could spend the day at Ally Pally together, and boy did we have fun!

Our first stop was the LoveKnitting/Rowan Yarns stall. We said Hi to designers Sarah Hatton and Jem Weston before heading off into the depths of the exhibition. Rowan has designed a variety of beautiful ponchos just for Wool Week – I’ve wanted a Poncho for a while now. Just which colourway to choose.. help?

Off we were to  the famous Black Sheep Wools‘ Yarn Dive (which shall not be pictured here – things do get a bit… passionate there sometimes). I managed to pull away from the pile without buying anything for the first year ever, but I was on a budget and there was so much more to see. After all, our biggest interest was yarn, Yarn and more YARN. I was searching for Fyberspates Sparkle Sock Yarn, only to find out it had been discontinued (sad).

Fyberspates

Fyberspates

I had seen Millamia Yarns at the show before and was seriously tempted to buy their new book Winter Knits, but sadly my budget didn’t stretch far enough. It’s on top of my Christmas wishlist though. *hint hint*

MillaMia Sweden

Millamia

Eden Cottage Yarns had some of the softest, fluffiest Baby Alpaca Yarn I’ve ever felt. And such delicious colours too!

Eden Cottage Yarns

Eden Cottage Yarns

But there were of course also lots of finished projects and patterns to be admired. Purl Alpaca Designs are one of my favourite stalls every year, their designs are just so incredibly flattering and I can’t stress enough how much I love their Alpaca Yarns in natural shades.

Purl Alpaca Designs

Purl Alpaca Designs

Mrs Moon‘s stunning Super Giant Granny Square blanket first caught my eye at the Handmade Fair a few weeks ago, I was delighted to see it again at Ally Pally. Another future project for sure, and their pastel colours are just so pretty!

Mrs Moon Crochet Blanket

Mrs Moon

The crochet work on display at Jane Crowfoot‘s stall was just breathtaking, I need to join one of her CAL’s one of these days.

Jane Crowfoot Stall

Jane Crowfoot

And while we’re talking KAL’s – don’t you just love Debbie Abrahams Beneath The Sea blanket? I mean come on, it has mermaids and seahorses and glitzy things, how much better does it get? I was gutted when I found out that the patterns are only available for one year for members of her Mystery Blanket Club.

Beneath the Sea

Debbie Abrahams – Beneath the Sea

Sue Stratford had some pretty cool Knitting Kits. I loved the chickens, Sarah really liked the Monster Cat.

Sue Straford Kits

Sue Stratford Kits

These Hedgehog Hats win my personal ‘Wacky Knit of the Day’ award.

Hedgehog Hats

Gillian Gladrag had the cutest peacock bag felting kit, sadly I missed out on this one.

Gillian Gladrag Felting Kits

Gillian Gladrag Felting Kits

And then there was this incredible exhibition called ‘Black Sheep – The Darker Side of Felt’. Mind. Blown. Check out the amazing dresses, and the felted skulls! And those alien guys – they are the 7 Deadly Sins.

 

But in my last post I promised you the story of how I lost my heart at Ally Pally, so here it goes.
Sarah and I were on our way home, and just wanted to stop quickly at the Toft Alpaca Shop before leaving. Everybody loves the cute crochet animals from Edward’s Menagerie and we are no exception. But when we arrived at the stall, there was THIS guy.

Teddy.

Teddy.

Isn’t he just the cutest, fluffiest, best Teddy you’ve ever seen? And once I had given him a good hug there was no way I could leave him behind. NO WAY. The Toft guys probably thought I was a bit weird. But I don’t care. All I know is that Mr Fox said Teddy could come home with us. And that made me one happy Snowfox.
iamsnowfox_teddy_toftalpacashop
THE END

Wool Week 2014 – Marie Wallin Knitting Workshops

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It’s Monday, and the Wool Week Blues has properly set in. After a week spent knitting and learning and looking at pretty things and meeting interesting people, being back to my desk and laptop is all a bit dull. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little blog, but I’ve had such an amazing time last week that I just wish it wasn’t over yet.
Wool Week kicked off on Sunday with the Wool Ride, organised by the Campaign for Wool. I had tickets, but sadly couldn’t make it due to being away for work. There are lots of cool pictures on the CFW Facebook page though, go have a look!
My personal Wool Week started on Tuesday, with a visit to the Wool Interiors exhibition at Southwark Cathedral, followed by a Fairisle knitting workshop with Marie Wallin. I’ve never been very good at stranded colourwork, but I have to say, this workshop helped me a LOT. I’m normally a continental knitter, and for the past years I’ve been struggling along trying to hold one colour of yarn in each hand, which usually results in a puckered, untidy mess. But boy, what a revelation.. changing to English style stranded knitting seems to be doing it for me. I managed to produce a neat little swatch of the project of the day, Marie’s Christmas Mittens made with Rowan Yarns Felted Tweed, and am determined to actually make these pretties before the winter is over – and I’m not even scared of messing up anymore. Yay! 

Wednesday kicked off with another workshop with Marie Wallin – 3D knitting. I had no real imagination of what exactly 3D knitting meant – a quick search on Google led to 3D printer produced knitwear (yes, that’s a thing apparently), but that probably wasn’t what this was all about. 
We were given a ball of Rowan Yarns Cocoon which is one of my favourites as it is super soft and fluffy, and instructions for 2 different stitching techniques. The first is a folded fabric, the second one literally has knots in it. I really enjoyed making both of these – Not sure I would actually use them in a garment, but they were super fun to knit.

After the workshop I paid a visit to John Lewis Oxford Street to check out the Woolly Window and their workshop space. Rowan Yarns were teaching cowls and capelets in Rowan Big Wool, the free patterns can be downloaded via the Rowan website.

That’s it for now! Read all about how I lost my heart to a ball of fluff at the Knitting and Stitching Show in my next post. See you then!

Kaffe Fassett & Rowan Yarns Mystery Afghan KAL – Clue 2 Pattern Chart

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_2_charts
Welcome back to clue 2 of the Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett KAL! The new striping sequence is out and I can hear everyone sharpening their needles in anticipation. If you’re just getting started with this project, you may want to check out my post and charts for clue 1 here.

Again, my square is slightly different from the original Kaffe Fassett one as I misread Clue 1, but decided to stick with my variation. To help you avoid such blasphemy, you can download the colour coded charts to make things a little easier to read.

Please note that the charts are for the original version, if you’d like to make the IamSnowfox version rows 29-30 need to be knitted with colour C.
Simply click on the images to open the .pdf files with the full instructions, then click save or print.

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_2_turquoise

Turquoise

Red

Red

Pastel

Pastel

Brown

Brown

My friend Sarah is making the brown colourway and has lots of helpful tips and tricks on her blog. Check out her post with the chart for the brown colourway here.
I recommend you knit the square from the original Rowan instructions at least once so you know where to increase and decrease.

You can share your progress on the official Ravelry thread, and let me know how you’re getting on with the charts. Have fun!

Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL – Clue 1 with pattern chart

*NEW* now with ALL colourways!

Week One Square revealed

Clue One Square revealed

As promised, here’s a little update on the progess of the Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett KAL (for pattern and links check my previous post). I have finished knitting 5 of my clue one squares and am enjoying it so far.The pattern is easy enough to knit and remember, and I like the colours of the first square. Rowan are offering two versions of the square, one using M1 to increase, and one using Inc. It really is up to you which version you make, but I prefer the M1 as it makes for a neater square (Rowan Tip sheet here). The one thing I found a litte tedious though was following the written instructions – I promptly misread the instructions for my very first square, slightly mixing up the colour sequence – oops. I actually really like my little blunder though and have decided to stick with it for the rest of the KAL. Let’s hope it’ll work out when the Afghan is assembled.

To help speed up your knitting, here’s a little chart I made with colour coded lines. The original version is by my friend Sarah who is making the brown colourway and has kindly allowed me to use and edit it as my own version. Simply click on the image to open the .pdf, then click save or print. Please note: This chart is for the original Kaffe version. If you’d like to change to the IamSnowfox stripe version rows 29-30 need to be knitted with colour C. 

Kaffe_Fassett_Kal_clue_1_chart

Turquoise

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_1_pastel

Pastel

Kaffe_fassett_clue_1_red

Red


To get Sarah’s
chart for the brown colourway, check out her post on Nottingham Knitter.

I find with the coloured lines it is SO much faster to knit – all you need to check on the chart is whether you’re on a decrease, increase or simple knit/purl row. I do recommend you knit the square from the original instructions at least once so you know where to place the incs and decs. Let me know if you find this helpful and I will continue to post the charts for each upcoming week of the KAL. Happy knitting!

Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL

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Kaffe Fassett is one of the big names in crafting. If you’re a knitter or a quilter, you will most likely have come across his name on various occasions. He’s famous for wild, vibrant colour combinations and intricate patters. I … Continue reading

A Crafty Day Out – Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair

Kirstie_Allsopp_Handmade_Fair_BannerCraft Fairs are pretty much every creative person’s ultimate heaven. Apart from DIY Stores and plant nurseries maybe. And cooking shops. And art supply shops. And, and, and – but I digress.
Fact is – I love Craft Fairs. I also love Art Fairs. And Food Fairs. And Vintage Fairs. Anything that gives me an excuse for a day out with lots of creative visual and sensual input, really.

Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair is the first of its kind, uniting many different crafts under one (tent) roof. Many crafters have lots of different crafting interests, for me – apart from the obvious knitting and crochet – it’s cooking and home decoration, gardening and a little bit of sewing/needlework. Whether you’re into painting, upcycling, dressmaking or ceramics – you’ll find something worth going for.

I spent the whole Saturday wandering around the many tents browsing, attending workshops and chatting to other crafters, a mix which made me forget I had gotten up at 5am that morning to fly from Germany to London in order to join the fun.
Below are just a few pictures of workshops, people and my favourite findings at the market tents that I’d like to share with you.
If you’ve been there, feel free to link to your pictures and tell me about your favourite things in the comments!

Upon arriving, I made a beeline for the Rowan Yarns / Coats Craft Library Tent. The tent was beautifully decorated, and there was always one or more designer there happy to chat and sign books (which could also be purchased in the tent). Poor Suzie Johnson had lost her voice, but brought a gang of the most adorable knitted creatures with her. I got her book ‘Janet Smith Can’t Knit‘ and simply love it. Rowan designers Sarah Hatton, Kaffe Fassett, Martin Storey and newly independent former Rowan head designer Marie Wallin were all there to sign their latest publications.

From there, my next stop was the Coats Crafts workshop tent, where they offered a selection of workshops led by various designers. I sat in at Stuart Hillard‘s No-Sew-Cushion, Jane Crowfoot‘s Crochet Class, took a crossstitching class with Mr X Stitch and tried beaded knitting for the first time. Needless to say I had a blast. All tutors were wonderful and despite the large number of paricipants (all workshops were sold out) happy to answer questions and help where help was needed.

Between workshops and catchups and book signings there was enough time to stroll through the numerous market tents. My favourite discoveries were Red Hen Originals, (potato prints of chickens and other animals ), Lauren’s Cows (paintings of cows) and the adorable stitched sheep at Pippicraft. But see for yourself.

I’m hoping this great event will become an annual thing, I for my part would definitely go again. Coming up in October is the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, make sure to check back here for pictures after Wool Week 2014!

The Home of Rowan Yarns – A Visit to the Mill

Hey everyone! I have finally returned to my blog after a few turbulent months. It’s good to be back.
I’d like to tell you about the time Snowfox packed her bags and travelled all the way to picturesque Holmfirth, to visit the home of Rowan Yarns and meet 12 fellow Rowan Ambassadors and the makers and shakers of the brand.

I don’t even know where to start – it was all amazing. I travelled from London to Nottingham, where Sarah from Nottingham Knitter picked me up so we could travel the rest of the way together. We arrived at our hotel in Holmfirth, the Old Bridge Inn, just in time to join the other Ambassadors for dinner. Lots of happy faces greeting us, it was so exciting to finally meet everybody after having communicated online for over a year.

Rowan_Ambassadors

From the Rowan Yarns facebook page

From front  left to right:
Ute from Heute strick ich
Anja from IamSnowfox
Maria Niedermayer 
Violeta from A Knitting Bakery
Linda from Knitted Pink
Cindi from PurlOne
Kristen from Knitionary
Dayana from Dayana Knits
Esther from Knitting with Rowan
Anne from Life Lackadaisical 
Konrad from Knittingkonrad
Claire from Knit And Purl Garden
Sarah from Nottingham Knitter

After a delicious and satisfying dinner, we all unpacked our knitting (of course) and wound down from a long day of travelling before heading up to our separate rooms.

Holmfirth_from_Old_Bridge_Inn

Room with a view

The next morning we got whisked off to The Mill to finally meet the Rowan Yarns team.
The Green Lane Mill has been the home of Rowan Yarns since 1979. It’s a beautiful old building, lots of exposed brick walls and wooden beams that ooze character and work as a beautiful backdrop for the offices and show room.

Rowan_Mill_Entrance

At last – The Rowan Mill

We were introduced to brand manager Kate Buller and the Rowan Team, including designers – Imagine getting to meet all the people who’s designs you’ve admired and recreated over the years – I was pretty star-struck. The creativity and expertise in that room was unbelievable.

Rowan_Designers

Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton, Gemma Atkinson, Kate Buller

Every single Rowan Magazine in existance was carefully laid out for us to look at – the early issues are hard to come by and are popular collectors items, I almost didn’t dare picking up some of the rarer magazines as I’m so clumsy and tend to break things. I couldn’t resist picking up the first ever Rowan Magazine though – and my very own first issue, Magazine 48.
IamSnowfox_Rowan_Magazines

But what would a visit to the mothership of beautiful knitted garments be without garments – there were of course several models from the A/W collection on display. Lots of oohing and aahing, and of course thorough discussion of the new season going on!

Marie_Wallin_Scaven

Scaven‘ by Marie Wallin

We even got to try things on!

Lisa_Richardson_Ulrika

Ulrika by Lisa Richardson

We spent time discussing current and future projects, amongst others the first ever Rowan Knit-A-Long, a beautiful  Mystery Afghan designed by Martin Storey and Knitted with Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted. The pattern is free and can be downloaded from the Rowan Yarns Website here, all you need to do is sign up as a site member (which is also free).

Martin_Storey_Mystery_Afghan

Martin Storey presenting his very own Mystery Afghan

We spent a day learning about the design process at Rowan Yarns – from brief to swatching to finished garment, and even had a chance of working on our own designs with help and advice from the pros. After two full days at The Mill filled with so much creative input, some fresh air was exactly what I needed, so some of us went for a beautiful walk in the Peak District, with lots of sheep to keep us company of course.

IamSnowfox_Nottingham_Knitter_Peak_District

With Nottingham Knitter Sarah

And last – but certainly not least! – there was CAKE.

Rowan_Ambassadors_CakeI hope you enjoyed taking this little tour with me. In my next post I’ll tell you all about the new season yarns and my favourite A/W 2014/15 designs. See you then!

DIY Recycled Cardboard Jewellery Display Tutorial

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display

I don’t know about you, but it’s already March and some of my NYE resolutions haven’t really taken off. Like reducing my yarn stash. Or fitting back into my old jeans. Or decluttering.
Decluttering! It’s amazing how much stuff we collect over the years. I’ve been feeling quite heavy (not literally.. ok maybe a little bit) with things in the last few months.
I was originally planning to get rid of at least one possession every day of the year. That makes 365 things in a year. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

But as things go, I commute between two countries, I have two households, I have a lot of stuff, but not necessarily all in one place. So the decluttering doesn’t always happen when and where I’d like it to happen.
I’m  spending 2 consecutive weeks in the same house this month, so last week saw me frantically rooting through my wardrobes, drawers, boxes, tins – you name it, I’ve probably got something stored in it.

I don’t like throwing perfectly good clothes (jewellery, household items) away, I’d rather swap or resell them, or give them to charity. Time for a trip to the flea market! 

Previous trips to markets and car boot sales have taught me that chaos is not good. Jumble is not good. Nobody will be interested in your things if your stall is one big mess. So this year, I’m being super organised. I’m taking tables to display all the little items, clothes racks for all the stuff I don’t wear anymore.. but what to do with the jewellery?
I could buy a jewellery display. But wait, the whole idea was to get rid of things, not buy more things! So I came up with a quick and simple solution: A cardboard display that can be discarded (you can of course keep it and reuse it later).
I had all the materials at home so it cost me literally nothing apart from a little time. So here’s my tutorial for a super easy, cost effective and environment friendly portable jewellery display.

You will need:

Strong cardboard (an old box does the job)
Scissors
A very sharp knife
Large darning needle
Surface you can cut on

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_materials

Start by deciding what items you want to display, and how big you’d like your display to be. Cut your cardboard to the desired size using the scissors (I used the knife, but scissors are a bit neater. The knife will leave your edges slighty rough). Next, decide what you want to hang where. Earrings take up the least space, short necklaces can be displayed beneath each other, long ones lined up next to each other.

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_earrings

To hang your earrings, simply punch a hole for each earring through the cardboard with your darning needle. Make sure to leave some space between the holes so your dangly earrings don’t get tangled.

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_earrings_tutorial

For shorter necklaces, use your knife to diagonally make one cut into each side of your cardboard like shown in the photo below.

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_necklace_short_tutorial

For really long or bulky necklaces, cut out an upside down ‘U’.

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_necklace_long_tutorial_diy

Punch the ‘U’ from the back of the cardboard so it stands out a little bit. Use the ‘U’ like a hook to hang up your necklace. This method also works well for bracelets.

Cardboard_Jewellery_Display_necklace_long_tutorial

Before you hang up all your things, you could also use pens, markers or paint to draw on your cardboard. Once you’re satisfied with how your display looks, decide how you want to hang it. I used metal scarf hangers as their grip is quite firm and they will hold a lot of weight. I can simply hang them onto the ends of the clothes racks and people will be able to see all the pretty things without having to dig through a box of tangled chains. You could of course also just lean them against something, or tie some string through two holes at the top and hang them on a wall. Or use a skirt hanger and hang inside your wardrobe for neat jewellery storage.

Cardboard jewelry display

Moontree Pillow – And the winner is..

IamSnowfox_MoonTree_Pillow

The competition for the giveaway is now closed. I have had so many wonderful entries that I found it hard to choose just one, so instead we will have…… 3 winners!

Their names have been announced on the IamSnowfox facebook page, so why not head over there and check  if you’re one of them? 

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you so much everyone for participating. I have loved all your entries, winner or not. I’m looking forward to seeing a forest of knitted trees, so please don’t be shy and share some pictures.

xxx