Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Designer Interview - Annaboo's House

We love to interview our favourite designers – it is always inspiring and revealing.  We recently caught up with Sarah Shrimpton from the blog Annaboo’s House which is packed full of great designs and techniques.

Who taught you to crochet?
I taught myself a few years ago. I'd given up teaching to be a full-time mum and I desperately needed to put my brain to good use. I decided to teach myself to crochet, armed with a few books and the Internet.

Tell us about your blog
I started my blog back in 2011 and have been writing regular posts since. It's a place where I can write about all things crochet-y and provide lots of free patterns and tutorials.
I love to engage with my readers through social media and they seem to like what I do- I show them sneak peaks of the projects I'm working on as well as the products I like to use.

Which is your favourite crochet technique?
I love to make toys, so it has to be amigurumi! Amigurumi is a Japanese term meaning 'crocheted or knitted stuffed toy'. When crocheting in amigurumi style, you usually use double crochet stitches in a spiral of continuous rounds, so a stitch marker is essential!

Who is your favourite designer?
How do I choose? There's so many I admire!! I love Emma Varnam's cute crocheted creatures, Janie Crow's beautiful blankets and Kat Goldin's gorgeous shawls and wraps. I could go on and on...

Where do you get your inspiration?
I find that I'm bombarded by ideas and images online, so I like to switch off and take our dog, Lola for a walk across the Sussex Downs. It's a great way to find some space and have a good think about the projects I'd like to work on.

Tell us about your
YouTube channel
'Beginner's guide to Crochet' had just been published and I thought that some videos which showed viewers how to crochet the basic stitches might be a good idea. Since then, I've added a few pattern tutorials for simple projects, which have been very popular, too. I've got lots of ideas for more videos - I just need to find the time to make them!

We hear that you are working on a new book that comes out in May
'Supersize Crochet' is a book I've wanted to write for ages- I'm such a lazy crocheter at heart and I love a quick and easy project. Using big yarns, like T-shirt yarn is something I've been doing for ages now and I wanted to incorporate awesome patterns which make use of alternative yarns, like twine and giant Merino.

We can’t wait for Sarah’s book to come out.  In the meantime, you can keep up with all her latest projects over on her blog.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Knitting Trends

Following our trend-spotting theme we have turned our attention to what’s popular with knitters.

For this season the big trend in garments seems to be for delicate textures and lace.  These can look beautifully feminine and nostalgic.

This lovelyjumper from Bergere De France is knitted in a yarn that is as light as a feather. 

From RowanYarns Magazine 61 we spotted this cardigan for mother and daughter in their Soft Yak yarn. 

Fair Isle
We have also noticed a huge surge in interest in Fair Isle or stranded knitting.  

One of our biggest stars, Kate Davies, has been showcasing some really lovely designs including garments and accessories in her Inspired by Islay club.  The Oa is one of our favourites. 

We also love to keep an eye on what Martin Storey is up to. He has a new book out called Easy Fair Isle Knitting packed full of accessible designs.

Marie Wallin has a global following among Fair Isle aficionados and her website is packed full of beautiful designs.  We particularly love Finch which we thinks encapsulates her talent. 

Home Grown
With so many more yarn shops stocking yarns ‘grown’ and made in the UK, their popularity has been mushrooming. 

Little GreySheep yarns come from a flock of more than 250 Gotland and Gotland Merion crosses on a pretty farm near Farnham in Hampshire.  The yarn is spun in the southwest and then dyed by the brains behind the operation, Emma. 

Baa Ram Ewe launched their Titus yarn a few years ago which is a combination of Wensleydale, Blue Faced Leicester and UK Alpaca, and is spun in Yorkshire.  They have now added a new yarn called Dovestone which is a blend of Masham, Blue Faced Leicester and Wensleydale.  Definitely a couple of yarns for your wishlist. 

The KnitBritish podcast is a great way to keep up with new yarns and producers – make sure you sign up for the latest broadcast. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Sixty Million Trebles

Last year we were involved with the Mother India’s Crochet Queens Guinness World record to create the world’s largest crochet blanket which was measured at 11,148.5 m².  Following this amazing achievement, the blanket was made into smaller ones which were given to a number of charities.

Now we have heard about a new record attempt that you might have come across on social media.  It’s called Sixty Million Trebles so we thought we would share some of the background with you.

At the end of 2015 the UN estimated that there are approximately 60 million displaced people worldwide which is the equivalent of the whole of the UK population not having anywhere to live.
An amazing lady called Ellen got together with a group of 6 friends, who have never met, to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees and bring a little bit of warmth to their lives. So the Sixty Million Trebles campaign was born – to create a blanket containing 60 million treble stitches to represent each of the refugees.

The organisers need around 8,000 36 inch squares to make a blanket with that many trebles.  But they have now decided to go one stage further and take on the world record.  They estimate they will need 13,000 of these squares.

In the summer of this year, the group, with a host of volunteers, will descend on London for the record attempt. So far the Facebook group has more than 2,600 members with more than 20 countries involved. The Mayor of London has been approached for a venue and after the event the squares will be remade into blankets for a variety of charities including Hand In Hand for Syria.

If you want to help them achieve their dreams, then why not join their Facebook group and get hooking or knitting. Your square can be in any yarn or any design but it must measure 36 inches square.