Tuesday 27 May 2014

Highland Wool Festival - Part 1

The first Highland Wool Festival was held on Saturday 24th May 2014 at the Dingwall Auction Mart in the north of Scotland. It was a lovely sunny day for my drive over from the west coast to the east. On arrival I was meet by a view of 'The Drovers' statue dressed for the festival occasion. The statue is in commemoration of 'The Highland Drover' and the historic achievements of the livestock breeders, farmers, crofters and drovers of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

There were over 50 exhibitors at the Festival along with workshops, demonstrations and judging of a knitting competition. I met and chatted with lots of people, took lots of photos, saw lovely fibre crafts and made a few purchases of  yarn. Here in part one of my visit are images of three of the exhibitors. I'll be posting more later in the week.

Ripples Crafts
First I met Helen Lochheart of Ripples Crafts. She creates beautiful hand dyed yarns inspired by the stunning area of Assynt in the North Highlands of Scotland.

Helen's inspiration for her yarn club called The Post Office Run is influenced by the changing seasons and scenery on her journey to the post office. I had heard about this club and was interested to see the other yarns in her range too. The hand dyed yarn comes in various weights from lace through to aran and all in lovely colours and combinations. 

Croft 7
Next along the aisle I met up with Sheila Bates of Croft 7 who is also based on the west coast of Scotland not far from where I live. She is the creator of colourful textiles, accessories and wall hangings using traditional wet felting methods.

The dye colours are created from plants, flowers and berries sustainably gathered from the hills or especially grown in her garden.

Knockando Woolmill
Knockando Woolmill is based in the heart of the Speay valley. It's restored buildings and machinary were reopened to the public in 2014 and continue the tradition of spinning and weaving in the UK's oldest surviving district wool mill.

I'll have more photos of the stalls later in the week. Hope you enjoyed this quick look at a few of the  woollen crafts at the festival.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

14 Wee Houses and 30 Hearts

The knitting pattern for the 'Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy' has been revised and updated with an additional new multi-colour version. This colourful Fair Isle inspired cosy features 14 little croft houses and two panels of 30 hearts. It's worked in Jamieson's of Shetland yarn in 11 of their DK colours. 

Looking out across a loch surrounded by mountains is a red roof croft house located on the Applecross peninsular on the West Coast of Scotland. Inspired by the croft house the tea cosy pattern includes the red, white and grey chart with this multi-coloured version.

Note: Customers who have already purchased the pattern via Ravelry or via my pattern page should have received an update email with the new PDF version. 

If you purchased this Tea Cosy pattern via my shop on Etsy, Craftsy or Folksy and would like me to send the updated version, please email me with the approximate month/year of purchase and the website you ordered it from. You can contact me here, mail@handknittedthings.co.uk

11 Jamieson's of Shetland DK colours used in the Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy

Red, White Grey Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy

Tuesday 13 May 2014

A Postcard from Shetland

Over the weekend I've been knitting up one of my designs in a different colour way. It's the Home Sweet Home Tea Cosy seen in the image below on the table to the left (with yours truly in the studio). As you can see, the original tea cosy is red, white and grey. The new one is multicoloured, the more the merrier! I'll be posting some pictures at a later date when it's completed.

Earlier the previous week I knew I'd be short of a few colours for the project, so I placed an order with Jamieson's of Shetland, one of my favourite yarn companies.The parcel of yarn arrived and also contained a postcard from Shetland with a lovely sheep advertising Shetland Wool Week 2014  (4th - 12th October).

You can find the website for the 9 day event here, Shetland Wool Week.


While browsing all about the week I came across the latest edition of the online publication 60 North.  There's an article about last years wool event which I can recommend reading, it starts on page 22 and is titled The Best Kept Secret in Britain. I would love to go to wool week but I know I'm not going to be able this year. I'll have to settle for reading about it. Here's a screen capture of part of the article.