Friday, 30 November 2012

Tiny sneaky peak

Just a quick post as its a dyeing day today and Dais won't be a happy bunny if I don't join her in the dye room soon.

Over the past few weeks I've been very quite about my crochet.
Mainly because I am working on lots of secret things.
This is what I've been doing.....

November and December's motif clubs.

One thing which will go to its new home in the new year.
I can show you a very tiny sneaky peak, but I'm not going to tell you anything about it except I have removed most of the green and replaced it with a new colour and am much much happier about it.

Three designs for next year's project club
Crochet Triangles Club

One for a magazine, in fact it this magazine
Simply Crochet Magazine
The first issue will be out in the new year and I am very very excited about it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

So ahead & frost

I'm so ahead of myself this week, I already have the update photo's on Flickr for Thursday's NDS wool update.
Which you can find HERE

Dais and I are now dyeing December's clubs, we are hoping to get them all out early so you get the yarn before Christmas, we are also trying to get all the wholesale and all the yarn for December's updates dyed so that we can relax over christmas in our new home for our very first Exmoor christmas.
I'm really looking forward to the first frost and maybe snow.
The moor changes constantly, I just know its going to be stunning and I will fall in love with it all over again.

In anticipation of the frost I have decided to do a range of naked un-dyed yarn, its not quite frost colour, but is the closest we can get.

Dazzling Lace

Dazzle Aran

Dazzle 4 ply/Sock

They will be in the update HERE on thursday evening at 7 pm UK time.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Queenies Motif Club

I am working on the last ever design for QUEENIES MOTIF CLUB.

The club has been running for 3 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Its been a really good disipline for me to design a new motif every month.
But all good things must come to an end, these days I am struggling to find the time to fit it in with all the other designing work I have.
At the beginning of the year I published a book (DESIRABLE MOTIF'S) of some of the first year's designs and I am planning a another book in the new year.

The motif club is being replaced with a project club - TRIANGLES CROCHET PROJECT CLUB.
Which I'm really excited about.
I'm working on the first design and its a real challenge for me.
Turning a triangle into a scarf shape, is not easy, especially when you are using aran.
So I have decided to change yarns and use DK instead, I'm still working on the aran design, as its inspiring me to come up with new idea's while I am crocheting.

There are still some places left for December's motif club, so you still have the chance to join in with the end of an era.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Triangles crochet project club

Ok - so I took a bit longer than I thought :-)
We celebrated Beaujolias night at a special event at our local and I spent friday crocheting on the sofa instead of planning clubs :-)

But here it is, I hope it was worth the wait.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crochet club musings

A few weeks ago I announced that NDS was going to run a mystery crochet blanket club in 2013.
I've been so busy with other things that I just haven't had the time to work out a design or how the club would run.
I have been thinking about it, but all my idea's are going to take too long to put into action.
BUT have no fear we have come up with a new idea or rather I came up with a half  baked idea and my lovely tec editor made sense of it and made some very helpful suggestions.

So without further ado I would like to announce we are going to do a crochet triangle project club.
The first 3 months will be a big snuggly scarf
The second 3 months will be a shawl, maybe a lace yarn with a 4 ply alternative for those with a lace phobia.
And the last 6 months will be the blanket.
The blanket will only use a very simple triangle motif, but will have really complex pattern and colour arrangement.

The reason for triangles is my very old triangle blanket design.

I designed it in the very early days of my designing career, its always been popular, but I hate the colour placing, so I decided that I needed to update it.

So far I have made one replacement triangles blanket for a magazine which will be published early next year.
And I am now working on a second one, which is a gift for someone who hasn't got a name yet who will also appear early next year - I don't want to say too much as you never know who might be reading ;-)
Both these 2 blankets are 4 ply, so I have decided that the new club blanket will be Dazzle DK, which is what the original was made from.

I'm hoping to put the club on-line in this weeks update, so watch this space.

I'm really looking forward to the new triangles blanket, I've always loved triangles.
And to prove it I've just found this in my old files on my laptop I found this photo, its of a quilted embroidery thing that I made in 2002 when I was a full time grown up textile artist.
I was looking for a much older piece, which was made pre computer day's, maybe I'll find it someday and post the photo when I do.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

And the winner of The sneakiest place to hide my stash" is...

This blog post is written by Phil - my husband and the judge of "The sneakiest place to hide my stash" competition...

Well ladies you have surpassed yourselves here!!
52 comments and some that really made me laugh....

The single criteria for me, as a husband and putting myself in the shoes of the men in your lives, was where would I never look?
I have to say that I come from a generation where a lot of men are more domesticated than their fathers, who thought nothing of sitting reading the paper in their comfy arm chair whilst their hard working wife ran around doing everything....goes back to the days when men were the sole bread-winners and women tended to keep house.  Today of course this has changed dramatically with great leaps in equality in the workplace and I know several men who's wives went back to work after childbirth and left the husband to run the house.
So for this reason my choice is based on sheer cheek and family collaboration - being a dad I know how difficult it is to get your kids to keep a secret, so hats off to our winner who colluded with her eldest son to find ideal spots in his room to hide yarn...and whilst the modern dad is many things he's not up for cleaning his kids bedrooms!! (that remains the responsibility of the child, and involves much bribery!)

So the winner is:

vicarno's mama
Please drop me an email at and let me know what you'd like as your prize from the website.

Just remains to thank everyone for taking part - and I leave you with this little gem - I was told by a customer  once at a show that she had actually purchased a separate flat to store her yarn in, so I guess that's about as extreme as it gets!

Lorna update

I finished her last night :-)
My arm isn't too bad this morning, so all is good.

She hasn't worked quite as well as I'd hoped, but I'm still pretty pleased with her.
Here she is blocking and drying in the dye room.
She is huge!!!
The blocking board measures 47 x 30 inches, which will make Lorna about 70 x 30ish inches when she's dry.
Not really shawl shaped, more like a wrap, but lovely and snuggly, I think the real Lorna would of been happy.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Hurt arm

It was freezing over the week, so I snuggled into the sofa and crocheted all weekend.
I hate to think how many hours I spent, but it must of been at least 10 - 12 hours a day.
This has resulted in 2 things happening.
A - I have nearly finished Lorna
B - I have bad RSI.
So when I get home from work today I will be dosing myself with extra stong ibuprofen and crocheting all night until I finish her.
Then its sewing in the ends and blocking.
I can't wait to block as the pattern will (hopefully) open up and I will see if my idea's have worked.

I don't have any new photo's, but here are some gratuitous Great British Wool photo's.
My Lorna is made with the Wensleydale/Zwartbles - which is out of stock, as I needed it all to make Lorna.
There will probably be 1 skein left to go back on line.
I'm using my 4th skein, I have my fingers crossed there will be enough to finish her.

But you will be able to make Lorna in any of our Great British Wool's as they are all spun to the same specification..
I was very tempted to use Wensleydale/Bluefaced marl for Lorna, the only reason the Zwartbles won is because I already had a skein at home when I started crocheting.

And I think October's GBWC will make a stunning Lorna.
October will be in this week's update, we have dyed some and left some as its natural colour as it was so lovely.
There will be photo's of October in the very near future, maybe today, maybe tomorrow.......

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Lorna & NDS update

I love reading, I read every night when I go to bed as it helps me wind down and go to sleep, its my only real hobby outside what I do for a living.
I'm a big fan of historical literature, especially Victorian novels.
So when we came to live on Exmoor I knew we were moving into Lorna Doone country.

Lorna Doone is a victorian novel, set about 6 or 7 miles away from where we live.
The story is a breathtaking romance, and well worth the effort of reading.
But if you don't fancy the read, there have also been several films and tv series made.

So I decided I really needed to make a shawl for Lorna, its wild and windswept on the moor and she would need something to keep her warm.

Her shawl would have to be made in Exmoor Horn, or one of the Exmoor mules (cross breed sheep).
I'm going to make a test shawl in one of our Great British yarns and then get some Exmoor/?? to use for the real thing. I'm using Zwartbles/Wensleydale.
Last night I started crocheting Lorna's shawl and this morning I don't want to do anything else except crochet..
Not very good photo's, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

But today is update day, so I can't!
Most of the yarn is Dazzle (Sock, HT and DK)
And it will be HERE at 7 pm tonight
Don't forget our YARN of the WEEK will also be revealed.

Originally there was a lot of Precious lace, but unfortunately for you we had a big wholesale order in over night and its now destined for a shop.

I'm also going to publish Ermintrude, she will be available as a kit or pattern.