Thursday, 23 January 2014


To elaborate a little on the last post, last year I was very honoured and extremely excited to be asked to judge two separate awards. The first was the UKHKA Knitted Textiles Awards 2013. The Knitted Textiles Awards are always my favourite place to head at the Stitch and Knit show, so as you can imagine I was totally chuffed (and more than a little nervous) to be asked to be a judge. The standards were really high and I wished that everyone could have won something, so it was actually much harder than I imagined. I thought that the graduate winner, Judith Watson, was fabulous. Her mixed media pieces were incredibly original and interesting, concentrating on Aran fabric and traditional rug techniques, as well as some Swiss darning, which was one of my favourite techniques on my own degree.

Another of the winners was Katie Jones, a designer whose work I greatly admire. I love her aesthetic and her commitment to the handwork in the craft she employs. Her K2TOG line is a way in which she gets round the perennial problem we knitted textiles designers share - how to make our highly skilled and time consuming work affordable - while also adhering to a low waste policy. She upcycles old knitwear and produces beautifully unique pieces in her own inimitable style. Luckily for Inside Crochet, we have an exclusive jacket design of Katie's appearing in the 50th issue, pictured above, out at the end of the month. 
It was also a great show generally - especially as I managed to escape relatively unscathed purchase-wise (apart from my usual fabric splurge at The Eternal Maker). I loved the TOFT stand, Kerry has produced a fab menagerie of crocheted toys which are simply adorable (top). The whole range is available here, or you can buy kits to make individual animals from their gorgeous yarns.

Picture of Katie Jones' Couture Jacket from Inside Crochet by Britt Spring

Monday, 20 January 2014

2013 in review

So far this year, I have had quite a few conversations about when it is best to stop saying "Happy New Year!" In a way, it feels quite clumsy to carry on saying it to everyone you see for the first time this year. However, on the final class of my beginners crochet course last week at City Lit one of my lovely students told me a lovely story, with the moral being that you should always say it to anyone you haven't seen, even if it is in August! 
So now I feel confident instead of awkward saying it and, with that in mind, I am going to start the year off right, if late, with a "Happy New Year" to you all and a little review of last year, especially because the last part was so eventful in both exciting and worrying ways - hence my lack of posting about it. The City Lit class on Friday was a catch up session as I had to cancel the actual class at the end of last year due to ill health. I am hopefully finally on top of it and having a medical action plan for at least the next year or so is making me take stock, look after myself and my family and to celebrate some of the wonderful things I have done and have planned. Hopefully without stressing too much over them! So this is a sort of montage of what I got up to last year - some parts will be elaborated upon as I hoped to do originally over the next few posts.

BOTTOM PICS, from left to right, top to bottom: shot from The Knitting Collection, taken by Britt Spring; view from Gawthorpe Hall on a trip to the textiles collection; shot from Inside Crochet taken by Britt Spring; drawing at the anorak summer fair; shot from Inside Crochet taken by Britt Spring; at DK books; the beautiful Midland hotel, morecambe; at shoot location; The Knitting Collection; photoshoot coffee break; Pauline Turner's library; Home London; drawing at babyccino shopup; Eric; at shoot location; student's work at Pauline Turner's anniversary celebrations; my Jess headband from The Knitting Collection, taken by Britt Spring; Toft at the Stitch and Knit show; my throw on the cover of Crochet, which I consulted on, contributed to and commissioned for; shot from The Knitting Collection, taken by Britt Spring; swatch for the Gawthorpe collection project; teaching how to crochet at City Lit; judging the textiles prize at the Stitch and Knit show; photoshoot action shot. TOP PICS: fragment from the amazing Gawthorpe textiles collection; party bags, Alice in wonderland party; beautiful double rainbow while judging student's work at Pauline Turner's house; my beginner students' grannies.