Friday Favourites: Skein Queen

This week Debbie Orr, the Skein Queen, shines a light on her inspirations and loves. 

What is your favourite colour?

That's a devastatingly hard question for a dyer. I truly like all colours, and each colour matches up to its own project in my head, but I think if you held a shotgun to me and MADE me choose, my current favourite would be an Eau de Nil. (But I'm already thinking what colours I'd put with it...)

 What is your current favourite yarn/fibre?

Wah! You're asking me to choose between my babies. Again, each has its role in life - if I'm in the mood for knitting a colourwork cardigan, then it would be Voluptuous (Exmoor Blue/organic merino). For a shawl, then something luxurious like Luminosity (100% silk). For a hat, something woollen and cosy like the new Swedish yarn, Ullvärme. And for detailed socks, then a nice semi-solid Crush or for plain socks, a lovely spatter-dyed yarn like Entwine.

What is your favourite season?

Truly I love them all and feel so grateful that we live in a country that has changing seasons. Right now, I'm loving autumn. Getting all cosied up on the sofa with a blanket, some knitting and a hot chocolate makes the parties and sun of summer feel somewhat faded.

 What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project?  

I thoroughly enjoyed knitting the Wedding Mittens by Jorid Linvik for my friend, Rachel who got married in St Catherine's Chapel, Abbotsbury - an ancient chapel on a hill overlooking Chesil Beach, which I think is one of my favourite places on Earth. They didn't want any gifts so I thought the mittens for dog-walking would be a compromise and there was a chance in the pattern to knit in their initials and the year (although I was in such a rush to finish, I forgot to work the purl braid on the second glove!)

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

It would have to be someone who could keep up with the banter at our dinner parties, so I'm thinking Billy Connolly, Peter Kay or Dara O'Briain would be hilarious and keep us entertained. But as the night drew on and conversation turned to more serious issues, I'd be listening carefully to what Barack Obama would be saying. Then, for a bit of shallowness and because he seems a thoroughly nice bloke, let's throw in Jessie Pavelka. What? You only asked for one? Oops. Greedy.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

Always in bed, last thing at night, just before sleep. It's like all the ideas buzzing through my head, or patterns or colours I've seen through the day, amalgamate into something tangible at that time of night. But it helps if you've gone for a walk or visited a gallery or seen something interesting during the day. Apart from in bed, the place I always feel inspired is by the sea. My inland house is packed with paintings of boats, seaside houses and coastal scenes. One day I will be a painter, when I live by the sea.

 Quick fire questions! What is your favourite: 

Book? Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Film? Pulp Fiction

Quote? "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou

Cocktail/drink? Anything with midori and/or grenadine. Recently I had a champagne cocktail in a restaurant in Soho that had distinct layers of midori, triple sec, grenadine and champagne. It was so pretty and called a Touareg Bellini.

Cake? Coconut cake - I love everything with coconut mostly because my nut allergy kindly excludes coconut

Cheese? Epoisses - if you eat some, then take a sip of white wine, it tastes like honey. Heaven!



For Skein Queen yarns and knitting accessories, visit her website

All photo ©Skein Queen, unless shown.

Summer of Socks 2015 Roundup

I'm coming to terms with the fact that summer truly is over and that this isn't just a blip and next week won't be gloriously hot. Also long over is the Summer of Socks 2015. The challenge to knit socks in Coop Knits pattern for the chance of winning a prize sent many into a frenzy of sock knitting. Amazingly, some enthusiastic knitters completed five and even six pairs over the three months. The gallery below shows a small selection from some of the more prolific knitters. To see the rest of the dazzling array of socks, flick through the Ravelry thread. If you fancy knitting any of these for yourself, clicking on the photo will take you to the Ravelry pattern page. 

The yarn prize winners, picked at random, were anjalovesknits, aiko1122 and dancingsaint. The digital pattern winners, again picked at random, were saralu, gaievans, mrkernan, debbie135, gillianrtp, writergirl3, papisbaby, mazknitter and zebraeule. 

If you're having sock withdrawal, there's a KAL for the Delbert and Decca patterns running through what remains of September and October in the Coop Knits group on Ravelry.

Where's Rachel?

If you're off to a show over the next few weeks, you'll probably bump into Rachel.

This weekend (26th and 27th September) the Coop Knits stall will be in the Auction Mart at Yarndale

Next weekend (3rd and 4th October), Rachel will be at Swiss Wulle Festival in Zug. She'll be teaching a couple of classes on the Saturday on basics of sock knitting and more advanced techniques. 

After a couple of weeks to catch her breath, she's then off over the pond for the New York State Sheep and Wool Fair at Rhinebeck (17th and 18th October). Merritt Bookstore is hosting Pom Pom at Rhinebeck and Rachel will be there alongside Bristol Ivy, Joji Locatelli, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Allison Jane, Kiyomi Burgin and Caarin Fleischmann. 

Rachel's latest book Toasty 2 is now available for pre-order, or as a download from Ravelry.

With all this travelling, shop orders may take a day or two longer to process.

Friday Favourites: Kettle Yarn Company

This week, we caught up with Linda Lencovic from The Kettle Yarn Company about her loves and influences.

Jetty by Linda from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK in 'Purple Reign‘ © Juju Vail for Kettle Yarn Co.

Jetty by Linda from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK in 'Purple Reign © Juju Vail for Kettle Yarn Co.

What is your favourite colour?

This has always been a really tough question for me as I don’t think I have one! I do love my blues and greys, though…and have a serious weakness for yellow.

ISLINGTON DK –British Bluefaced Leicester / silk – colour ‘Purple Reign‘ © Kettle Yarn Co.

ISLINGTON DK –British Bluefaced Leicester / silk – colour Purple Reign‘ © Kettle Yarn Co.

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre? 

That is tough... a bit like asking which child is your favourite! They all have their own wonderful qualities and strengths.

 - The Bluefaced Leicester in ISLINGTON, TWIST and WALTHAM absorbs colour deeply and reflects it off long, lustrous strands subtly creating gorgeous tonal colour;

- WESTMINSTER’s gentle baby Camel/ Silk has a shimmering, silky depth like no other, the light shifting on the strands creating a jewel-like sparkle;

- Beyul’s unique heathered blend is completely different again, as its exotic mix of baby Yak, Silk and Merino creates multi-tonal colour with richness and deep saturation.

 I couldn’t possibly choose! Though I do prefer the many amazing qualities of natural fibres and stay away from synthetics altogether.

Pavilion by Renée Callahan from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK ‘Marigold ‘ © Kettle Yarn Co.

Pavilion by Renée Callahan from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK ‘Marigold ‘ © Kettle Yarn Co.

What is your favourite season?

I was born in summer and have always been a bit of a sun-baby…as long as it doesn’t get too hot. Sunshine just makes me bubbly and happy! Late August and early September are always my favs, especially as the autumn knits get released and cozy jumpers move back up the knitting queue!

Arcade in by Isabell Kraemer from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK ‘Verdigris’ © Juju Vail for Kettle Yarn Co.

Arcade in by Isabell Kraemer from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK Verdigris © Juju Vail for Kettle Yarn Co.

What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project? 

I am currently knitting a Sibella Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge in Beyul, my Yak/silk/Merino blend. I’ve chosen the Steppe colourway as can’t resist yellow and the lace is looking divine! I can’t wait to wear it.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

I’d love to meet Clara Parkes! She is my yarn hero and I imagine having a woolly chat with her would be amazing.

Sibella Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge in Beyul, Steppe © Kettle Yarn Co.

Sibella Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge in Beyul, Steppe © Kettle Yarn Co.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

I love living by the sea again! We moved to Hastings last year and the natural beauty of the area never fails to inspire me. The faded British seaside and historic cobblestone lanes never fail to thrill me.

Shades of Westminster baby camel/silk and my Talavera by Amanda B Collins with Bagatelle cowl by Rachel C. Brown from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK 'Peony' © Kettle Yarn Co.

Shades of Westminster baby camel/silk and my Talavera by Amanda B Collins with Bagatelle cowl by Rachel C. Brown from The Boardwalk Collection in Islington DK 'Peony' © Kettle Yarn Co.

Quick fire questions! Your favourite: 

Film? Amélie

Book? The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Quote? No pressure, no diamonds – Thomas Carlyle

Cocktail/drink? Gin and tonic

Cake? Salted caramel/Chocolate from Michala’s Cute Cakes in St. Leonards

Cheese? Brebirousse d'Argental from Lyon




Seaward Hat

I'm the final stop on the Boardwalk Collection blog tour! I designed the Seaward hat for the collection with clean lines and some lace and texture in the most spectacular pink yarn that ever existed from Kettle Yarn Co.

You can see the whole collection here:

I do love twisted rib and the Islington DK gives PERFECT stitch definition which makes the rib really stand out. The hat has a beanie version (picture here) and more slouchy version.  

The yarn really is a delight and Kettle Yarn Co put together such lovely palettes, I was torn between marigold and old smoke when I was trying to decide which colour I wanted my own Seaward hat to be but I finally decided on marigold, I can't wait to wear it!

If you leave a comment with the colour of Islington DK you would choose to knit the Seaward hat I will choose winners at random to receive a copy of the pattern.

You can find the patterns for all the lovely pieces in the collection on Ravelry here.

Friday Favourites: Whimzy

This afternoon we are catching up with Ling from Whimzy! She dyes beautiful yarns from her studio in West London. Rachel has used Whimzy's Sokkusu O for a number of her designs.

What is your favourite colour?

Grey!  I have a business selling beautiful, colourful yarns and I love plain, ole, grey.

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre?

Anything soft and squooshy.  I do love Sokkusu O, maybe I'm biased!

What is your favourite season?

Summer, although that's not very good for the knitting!

What is your current favourite knitting project?

I have the attention span of a gnat, so I have 500 WIPs.  If I had to pick a favourite, it would have to be something mindless!

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

What, just one person?! This would show how shallow I am - it would be anyone good looking and hot!!

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

The world around us!

Thanks for sharing your favourites with us Ling! We're looking forward to seeing your new adventures with Whimzy.

All images are © Whimzy and used with kind permission.

Friday Favourites: Eden Cottage Yarns

Many thanks to Victoria Magnus, the brains behind Eden Cottage Yarns, for sharing her favourites with us this week!

What is your favourite colour?

I honestly don't have one - I love - really love - a vast range of colours. Everything from pale, wispy shades to rich jewel tones. I adore neutrals, but then love the rest too, so... I just can't pick a favourite! 

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre? 

This is also hard to answer but at least there's a bit less to choose from! I think it's probably the superwash Polwarth wool - Oakworth 4ply and DK. It ticks all the boxes - it's crisp, smooth, soft, bouncy, takes colour well, machine washable, hard wearing.. I'm knitting my Threads sweater in Oakworth DK at the moment, but also have socks and a beautiful shawl in Oakworth 4ply.

What is your favourite season?

I'm very eclectic - I love all the seasons for different reasons. I love winter's crispness and bleakness. I love it up on the Yorkshire moors in the rain (so atmospheric!), or in the fields in sparkly crispy snow. But then in spring you get the fresh little buds sprouting and the sun shimmering through the rain. I love summer - hot weather, long light nights, the scents of flowers, the late summer sun, being able to be outside without a jumper on, not wearing socks.. and then you have autumn which is not only spectacularly colourful, but you start to get that lovely crispness in the air and the promise of a good winter! 

What is your current favourite knitting project? 

That's got to be my Threads sweater. I do have several WIPs!

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

Alive or dead? Alive - Sean Bean. I can't get enough of hearing him speak, and I like to think he'd be interesting to talk to! Dead - my Grandad. He was a master leather tanner, but he died when I was about 11. I'd love to talk to him now. 

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

Outside. Anywhere.. just outside. My kitchen where I work looks over my garden so I keep it very inspiring - I have a lot of wildflowers and plants out there. It's colourful and there are new colour combinations popping up all over the place all the time. We back onto orchards and fields too which is helpful!

Quick fire questions! What's your favourite: 
Book? Harry Potter
Film? Hot Fuzz
Quote? "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" (Dumbledore) OR "decaffeinated???" (Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz). 
Cocktail/drink? Elderflower gin with elderflower tonic, or a herbal tonic.
Cake? Victoria sponge (nothing to do with the name)
Cheese? Wensleydale with cranberries

Thanks Victoria for sharing your selections with us! You can purchase the stunning yarns that Victoria dyes at Eden Cottage Yarns.

All photographs are © Victoria Magnus and used with permission.

Looking forward to Fibre East!

This weekend I will be at Fibre East with my books and project bags, it's a lovely show with lots and lots to see and if you can make it there, you totally should!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the other stallholders and I've been planning/day-dreaming about what I want to see and buy, these are top of my list:

The Knitting Goddess is one of my best fibre friends and alongside her amazing hand dyed yarn  she's got some gorgeous brand new project bags she'll be taking, I'm going to do my best to grab one.

I really want to pick up a skein (or two) of Kettle Yarn Co Islington DK to make my own, not-a-sample, wear-all-the-time version of my Seaward hat pattern for their brand new collection (more on that at a later date). I think I've narrowed it down to Marigold or Old Smoke.

I've been REALLY enjoying crochet recently and so I'm looking forward to seeing the amazing Jane Crowfoot. She has been patient and supportive of me asking total beginner questions while working on her Lily Pond blanket CAL and if there is one thing I have learned it's you can never have enough blankets-in-progress (I think I'm in double digits at this point). She is launching a new crochet Blanket called Persian Tiles and a new knitted fairisle cushion kit called Norwegian Wood, I'm excited to see them in real life!

Are you coming? What's on your wish list?

Friday Favourites: The Knitting Goddess

This is the first in a new series of interviews with some of Rachel's favourite yarn dyers. Rachel often gets asked about her favourite sock yarns, so we thought it would be fun to ask some of her favourites, about their favourites!

We caught up with a firm Coop Knits favourite, The Knitting Goddess, for a virtual cuppa and chat about some of Joy's favourite things.

What's your favourite colour?

Blue - any shade of blue and any combination of blues together. When I look at what I pin to my colour board on Pinterest there’s blue in most of the images.

What is your current favourite yarn/fibre? 

Our Britsock blend which is custom spun for us by John Arbon is a real favourite - it’s the perfect combination of hard wearing and soft to the touch. I also love that it’s 100% British.

Image © Joy McMillan

Image © Joy McMillan

What is your favourite season?

Autumn. I love being able to stomp through piles of leaves. Harrogate where I live has lots of green areas and it’s gorgeous watching the colours change.

What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project? 

The linen stitch cowl I designed is a real favourite - it was the first thing that I'd crocheted and that came about because so many crocheters thought it was a pattern for them and were disappointed it was knitted. It reminds me of being on holiday in Egypt and watching the design appear and being so pleased that it was actually doing what I expected.

My favourite of Rachel’s designs is the Forks socks which is the first club pattern she designed for us. I was so excited when the first pattern arrived because I knew how much everyone was going to love her designs.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

Nigel Slater - his cook books have played a big part in my life, and it would be lovely to be able to make something for him and tell him how much he’s inspired me while keeping me well fed.

Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?

I feel most inspired when I’m in the workshop - it’s such a luxury to have a space where I can make a mess, try things out and experiment. Most ideas come to me when I’m doing something where my hands are busy and my brain has time to put odd connections together - so when I’m knitting or working with glass or baking I tend to find ideas come to me then.

Image © Joy McMillan

Image © Joy McMillan

Quick fire questions! What's your favourite: 
Book? What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything? by Barbara Sher

Film? Field of Dreams

Quote? It always seems impossible until it’s done - Nelson Mandela

Cocktail/drink? Negroni’s and tea. Lots of tea.

Cake? Lemon drizzle

Cheese? Seriously mature cheddar

Thanks for sharing your favourites with us Joy! Head over to The Knitting Goddess to indulge in some of your favourites...

SUMMER of Socks 2015!

Where does the time fly to? I can't believe that it's the SUMMER of Socks again already! I'm nearly ready to cast on a new pair. I just have a mystery shawl pattern to complete first...

If you haven't taken part before, just dive in! It's really easy, all you need to do is to finish knitting a pair of socks designed by Rachel at some point between now and 31st August 2015. Post a photo of the finished socks in the thread on Ravelry: SUMMER of Socks 2015 and you will be entered for prizes! You can complete a WIP that's been on the needles for a while, or start a new pair, the choice is yours!

We are only a few weeks in to this year's knit along, and already there are some lovely finished pairs. How about these for some pattern inspiration?

Hautecontre (aka Diane) knitted this beautiful pair of Sapient Pearwood socks using some wool, cotton, nylon blend sock yarn - perfect for summer!  You can favourite any of the pairs of socks here by heading over to the relevant Ravelry project pages: Hautecontre's Sapient Pearwood socks.

For a more recent design, how about these lovely Woodcutter's Socks? Knitted here by Debbie135 using some Knitting Goddess sock yarn. Check out how quickly Debbie knitted these up! Debbie135's Woodcutter's Socks.

Deb (Tinkhickman on Ravelry) hasn't finished her socks yet, but her photo was so beautiful I couldn't resist sharing it here! She's working on Renesmee from Rachel's Twighlight-inspired eBook, When Vampires Knit Socks and she's using some Hazel Knits yarn in a gorgeous shade! We can't wait to see how they turn out! Tinkhickman's Renesmee Socks.

This is such a fantastic shade of blue from the Sunrise Fiber Co. that Writergirl3 (aka Gail) has chosen for her Ernestine Socks. Ernestine is one of the patterns from Rachel's latest book of fab sock designs, Coop Knits Socks volume 2. Gail knitted them two at a time, and again, she was SO speedy: Writergirl3's Ernestine Socks

These are Octarine, one of the patterns that Rachel designed for the When Granny Weatherwax Knits Socks Club, first published back in January 2012. This pair has been knitted by crossroadsdemon, and you can find out more over on her Ravelry project page here: Crossroadsdemon's Octarine Socks.

If you have some coordinating sock yarn leftovers, then how about copying cmflame (aka Charissa) and using them in a pattern like Bockleton (or Mixalot or Otis). Charissa has made this splendid pair using Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock for the main yarn, with leftovers for the colour work sections. Cmflame's Bockleton Socks.

One of my favourite thing about Rachel's sock knitalongs is seeing all the patterns knitted up in different yarns - I always choose some new favourites and mess around with my pattern queue after browsing that thread! I do hope that you have found some inspiration here. Let us know which design you will be casting on, then join us in the Summer of Socks thread to knit along.

Happy knitting!

Have you seen these?

You know what a lover of all things birds I am? Well my spotty parcel has just arrived with a pair of these beauties:

I want it to be bedtime right now, so that I can snuggle up in my new Boden birdy PJs

Boden Woven Pull-ons
Sizes 6-22
6 different fabric prints available

'Where did you get your socks?'

It is wise to pick the recipients of your hand-knitted socks carefully, in my experience once they have one pair, they will never stop asking for another and another and another.

One of my sisters, Megan, was a very early enthusiastic recipient of socks I knitted. The rest of my family joined her over time, one by one they were converted to lovers of the hand knitted, but she really was the first and as a result she owns by far the most pairs. She probably has more pairs of (wearable, not samples) hand knitted socks in her possession than I do.   

My name is Megan and I’m the one who doesn’t knit (or sew or crochet or use colouring books). 


There are two questions which I get asked repeatedly in my life: 


                1. Is your hair naturally curly? 

                2. Where did you get your socks?


The first question is simple to answer (yes), however the question of my sock's origins undoubtedly leads to a long conversation. I normally open with a simple response of "my sister made them", this is never the end. After a short period of disbelief, I normally follow up with "she's a professional knitter", which sometimes helps, although that normally leads to questions about where she sells the socks. To the knitting-illiterate population (including me), "you can't buy the socks, just the patterns” is an odd concept. The discussion is not normally easily resolved without me resorting to the internet to display a webpage where you can buy knitting patterns.


So I go through my life answering questions about my socks, it is however a small price to pay for the privilege of wearing beautiful hand-knitted socks. I love the way they fit your feet in a way that normal socks never can, I love that each pair is individual, I adore the bright colours and matching my socks to my clothes, I love seeing my washing line in summer with a row of knitted socks. In fact the only disadvantage (apart from the long sock conversations), is reserving enough space in my suitcase for all the socks I want to pack. 

New patterns in Vivacious KIDS

Rachel has 4 new designs in the latest collection from British yarn company, Fyberspates: Vivacious KIDS. See below for a 25% discount on purchases of the eBook and single pattern downloads from Ravelry.

In fact, not only does she have patterns in the new collection, but also her two gorgeous boys can be found modelling the knits. You can see the mischievous fun they had on the photoshoot...

Rachel's patterns include socks (naturally!), hats and mittens, and are sized from ages 2 through 10. The collection supports the Fyberspates Vivacious yarn range, which comes in both 4ply and DK weights and is a 100% super wash merino yarn. It's a joy to knit with, and has a pleasing bouncy hand.

Jack-Be-Nimble is a striped hat in Vivacious 4ply - perfect if you have some leftovers from other CoopKnits projects...

Next up are the Margery Daw socks, with a pretty mirrored cable down the leg and foot. These socks have a short row heel and are sized for foot circumferences of 4-7in [10-18cm].

Knitted in Vivacious DK, Rachel's Lickety-Split Cabled Hat would make a perfect quick gift, and the sizes would work for both kids and adults. I can see myself making a few for various family members...

And to round up the accessories, there are these cute Tickety-Boo Mittens, which are also knitted in the DK weight yarn. They just need a ribbon to keep them in your winter coat!

If you like the look of these, and the gorgeous garments designed by Ella Austin, then help your self to a discount on purchases of any of the single patterns from the collection or the complete eBook, available through Ravelry. Simply add the patterns you desire to your cart on Ravelry, and then use the code CoopKnitsVivacious to receive a 25% discount on the price. Be sure to click on the "Use Coupon Code" button before heading to PayPal to complete your purchase. This promotion is only available until the end of the day on 26th June 2015 (British Summer Time).

All the details:
Vivacious KIDS is published in print and eBook formats. To purchase a print copy, head to your local Fyberspates retailer or ask in your local yarn shop. Print copies are RRP £10.50 or US $22.00.
The eBook is available through Ravelry for $16.00 or approx. £10.53
All of Rachel's accessory patterns are also available individually to download through Ravelry for $6.00 or approx. £3.95 (just click through the links above).
Ella Austin's garment patterns are also available individually to download through Ravelry for $7.50 or approx. £4.94.

A fortnight in pictures

It's been a busy few weeks for Rachel, with a visit to the USA's largest needlework trade show, TNNA, followed by an amazing time at the Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire (I'm SO jealous!!). Here's her trip, and what she's been up to since her return, in pictures...

Don't forget to enter the CoopKnits in Public competition over in Rachel's Ravelry group, where you can find the full details. The competition closes next Monday.

Squam - where the magic happens

Last week I went to Squam Art Workshops, I was on my back from TNNA (The National Needlearts Association trade show in Columbus - more about what I saw there later) and the timing of the Spring Squam retreat was too perfect not to take advantage of. Jeni and I hired a car and drove up to the lake from Boston.

Arriving at a place so beautiful and peaceful was like taking a long breath, stress and tension just left my body as soon as we arrived. The lake and the woods are full of life, we saw huge luna moths, tiny chipmunks, squirrels and even a skunk (it didn't see me though, luckily!). We saw fish and loons in the lake.

My cabin and classes were full of amazing women who were warm and friendly and welcoming. The food was delicious and the evenings were spent knitting by the fire.  

The classes were incredible, I would have been more than happy to be in any one of the many that were on offer. Jeni and I decided not to take any knitting classes (although the knitting classes on offer were perfect and teachers among the most inspiring people I know.) I took Drawn Together with Kerry Lemon (who is unbelievably talented) and Writing Your Own Myth with Elizabeth Duvivier.

Elizabeth created Squam Art Workshops and I have never met a person so insightful and warm, she has put together an experience which seems to adapt itself to each individual, offering just what that person wants or needs and allowing them to create their own unique experience while still being part of a community.

There is magic in those woods, my science loving brain is working hard to process that but it's still true, Squam IS where the magic happens.

If you ever get the opportunity to go there, grab it with both hands, I'll definitely be going back.

Knitting in Public Competition!

Hi Rachel!

Are you knitting in public tomorrow for World-Wide Knit in Public day (WWKIP)? I'm not going to a special event - everyday is a knit in public day for me! - but I will certainly be out and about with my knitting.

Wouldn't it be fun to see all of the cool places that people are knitting in public this week? I've started a thread in your group: CoopKnits in Public Anyone who posts a photo of a public knitting of a Rachel Coopey pattern in that thread will get an entry to win two pdf patterns of their choice from your Ravelry Store. I can't wait to see where people are out and about to! Head over to the thread on Ravelry if you'd like more information! And in the meantime, get knitting!

Now, please tell me all about Squam!

Jen xx


Have you seen these?

Hey Rachel!

I'm sure you must have seen these, but just in case...

Orla Bobbie shoes, designed by Oral Kiely for Clarks. £120. Click on image to go to Clarks website.

Orla Bobbie shoes, designed by Oral Kiely for Clarks. £120. Click on image to go to Clarks website.

Gorgeous shoes! Designed by Orla Kiely for Clarks - and not all high heels! This is my favourite pair, and it comes in patent coral pink, and pale blue as well as the navy above.

I wish I could wear either of these as well, but me and heels don't really go well together - it always ends in a sprain...

Enabling alert... You can click on the images to go straight to the Clarks website...

How fantastic would any of these look with hand-knitted socks? Hurrah for pretty shoes to showcase amazing socks!

Speak soon, Jen x

Why I love green, and particularly green socks!

Rachel, I think I might have a bit of a problem...

I noticed a while ago that I seem to always knit in the same colour yarns... Green, green-blue, forest green, grass green, teal-y green, but always some sort of variation on that theme!

Above is a rogues gallery of just some the green socks I've knitted in the past 5 years! If you click on an image it will take you to my Ravelry project page, where you will find all the yarn information as well as pattern links that you may need! Not that I'm enabling you in pattern or stash acquisition here... Ahem!

I'm not sure that I can adequately explain my attraction to this end of the spectrum, but I can promise that it's not going to stop any time soon... You only have to look at my stashed yarn to see that!

Happy knitting! x