Tag Archives: knitting with rainbows

EYF Through the Eyes of an Exhibitor


As some of you may know, last weekend I was at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in the Corn Exchange. I thought that it might be a interesting if you got to see the festival through the eyes of an exhibitor.
When I’m working at events I always forget to take many photos so several of the photos in this post of courtesy of my friend who always remembers the photos; Evin – thank you!

Pre EYF

Before I started I hadn’t fully anticipated the amount of preparation that would be needed to do a show in a different country. To start with there is just the logistical problem of getting all of the stock to Edinburgh. It ended up getting there through a variety of methods; some was shipped directly to the venue, Rachel Coopey (Coop Knits) really saved me and let me ship more yarn and several boxes of books to her! Finally all of the items I needed for the display came in my luggage and was hauled around planes and buses by me and my friend Sue. There were all sorts of items I only thought of at the last minute that made a huge difference; money aprons were probably the top of that list! Small things that are also tricky abroad – how do you get enough change to run a cash shop? When I get sterling cash from and Irish bank I only get notes, which isn’t very useful when you need coins!

I spent a bit of time thinking about how to display nicely but still pack it into a suitcase. A stack of Ikea foldable boxes did the job well stacked into a little pile on the table. I almost forgot a few white sheets to cover the table but they were thrown in at the last minute. My youngest trimmed an old broom handle down to use to hang the yarn. It turned out really well (and he even carved ‘NUA YARN’ into one end of it!).

I got a new credit card reader so I could take card payments in person as well as extra roaming credit from my Irish phone network.
Several weeks before the show all the orders for special show items were ordered; print copies of the Nua Collection Volume 1, print copies of patterns for kits, printing up of cloth project bags and a special order of project bags from Sara.
It was a whole lot of work but it meant I had everything I wanted to display on the day.
In fact the only item we had to go and buy on the day was some dressmaker pins as the double sided tape wasn’t working well!

Arrival

My friend Sue was with me at the show helping me out. To be honest it would have been completely impossible (as well as miserable) to do it alone. The fact that she’s a show pro was a huge bonus (her husband’s company Mountain Man do many beer festivals!), she’s probably more comfortable working in crowds than I am!
I wanted 2 things for the display; visible from a distance and light enough to pack. EYF is a very crowded festival and I wanted enough signs to hang at the top of the stand so we could be found as far away as possible. The lightweight pvc banner with the open yarn hanging from the bottom did a great job of this!

Finished set up at @edinyarnfest. Come visit us tomorrow!

A post shared by Carol Feller (@feller.carol) on


On the other side of the stand I featured my books and the samples from my newest book, Knitting With Rainbows. Having a huge gradient shawl on display did however mean that I got many, many questions about a kit….I think Half Moon Street might be completely awesome in a Nua kit….what do you think??

The Show


The show was so overwhelmingly wonderful. So many customers, friends, fellow designers and vendors that I wanted to talk to. Friday felt just too short; I had knitters come show me their beautiful versions of my patterns, thank me for my Craftsy Short Row class and fondle the new yarn. Friday was packed solid with people from 9 until 5.30. For several hours Sue and me couldn’t actually even get under the table to get extra yarn out! Mica is a complete and utter superstar, helping me to sort wifi issues and get my credit card payments working. Saturday was a little quieter but I was still reeling from Friday! As Nua is so new it was invaluable to hear everyone’s feedback and watch peoples reaction as they grabbed the yarn. The general response was ‘oh it’s SO soft’ :-) This made me so very happy to hear!
Knowing how to display the combination of yarn and books was tricky for a first show. As the yarn is just starting out there was a smaller number of samples on the stand so this meant that it caused a bit of confusion with one side of the stand having gradient samples from the book. I think on my next show once there are more Nua samples it will be easier to show the Nua with patterns and have my other books in a display on it’s own.

Friday night as we were sorting out the stand for the morning we got tossed out but fortunately we had ceilidh so we could walk around the corner and get some food and drink. Being able to unwind after a day on your feet is really lovely. It did mean that I didn’t really have any dancing energy left, but Nadia did manage to drag me out for one dance!

I got to spend a bit of time with Woolly Wormhead, Jen (it was the first time we met IRL!), Lisa and Jen from This Is Knit and across the table was Justyna Lorkowska and her husband Martin.

So many wonderful people there that night, I wanted so much more time (and energy). I didn’t even make it to 11, we needed to get ourselves to be so that we were able to stand for the next day.
What did you get up to on Friday night? Any Edinburgh adventures?


Packing up

After the show is over, it feels like a mad race to get packed up as fast as possible. Fortunately there were lots of us there so it went extremely quickly. All of the display and some loose yarn got packed in my suitcase and the remaining yarn was boxed up to go back with Rachel (and I should have it back here to go up in the shop early next week!). I would have loved to somehow jam it all into suitcases but there wasn’t any way I could have hauled them back to the airport with me!
The beer and burger that night were just perfect. A final night of relaxation after weeks of preparation and 3 frantic days of work.

Reflection

It was so worth doing this show; I’d do it again in a heartbeat :-) Thank you so much Jo and Mica for your kindness, organisation and utter professionalism.
Watching knitters pick up, feel and love on Nua was just fantastic. One of the most special things that happened was knitters returning to the stand. Most did a quick swing around the whole show, marking stands they wanted to come back to. On Saturday morning we had several knitters return before the rush to get sweater quantities of Nua. Know that your yarn was the standout for them is just fantastic!

I’ve got small amount of Nua in the shop right now (the rest will go up early next week when the box arrives) and I’ve added the Japanese Knot project bags that came home with me. Next week I’ll also add kits for Boherboy and Finglas.

Knitting with Rainbows – The Knit-A-Long

The Knitting with Rainbows KAL has been happening over on the Stolen Stitches Group on Ravelry. The craic has been mighty and many an accessory has been knit over the last month and I’m happy to report that as well as having some very beautiful FO’s to flash around, some very lucky people have won some yarn too! (Thanks Carol!)

Knit A Long by Carol Feller Knitting with Rainbows

In case you are new to knit-a-long’s or Ravelry (if you are go sign up here, it’s free and it’s where global knitting magic happens) then let me explain to you what happens. Carol pick’s a theme / pattern selection and we, the knitters choose what we want to knit from this and then support each other to achieve our finished objects or FO’s for short. Sometimes (more often than not) Carol has a prize for people who post a status update on her WIP thread and a prize for an FO at the end of the KAL. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Free yarn anybody?

This KAL has been impressive to me because I’ve always loved gradient yarns and this pattern collection in particular shows them off to their best. So without further a do, let’s have a look at the FO Show!

 

Hand Knit Socks in Gradient Yarn with a beautiful wave like rib pattern

Gilabbey Socks in Fivemoons Moon Phases

Socks that Rock

The Gillabbey socks pattern was a favourite and one of the first FO’s off the needles in this KAL. These are knit from the cuff down and have a rib that biases in and out to form a smooth wave that travels down the foot of the sock. Carol has some useful tutorials on increases that could come in handy when working this pattern and you can find them over here so you can pop these in your knitter tool box. I hear that the pattern was a lot of fun to knit, was easily memorised and is like a hug for your feet! I especially love these by Knitsnpurls in Oceanwind Knits Sushi Socks Gradients and I think they turned out beautifully. May you have happy toasty feet this winter Carol aka Knitsnpurls! 

Handknit socks in a grandient yarn. Pattern by Carol Feller

Gilabbey Socks by Knitsnpurls

 

Gradient Stave Hat

Handknit hat in cool tone gradient yarns, pattern by Carol Feller.

Stave Hat in Navia Duo

A change of pace in the Stave Hat with gentle colourwork it can be subtle or dramatic depending on your contrasting colour choice. The stranded colourwork technique allows you to move seemlessly between colours. Carolynba worked her Stave hat in Anzula Cricket, Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo, and madelinetosh Pashmina, proving that this is a nice little stash buster too! Carolyba also managed to knit this hat here in Ireland while on her trip (she also got to see Scotland and Germany too the lucky knitter) so this is also one for travel knitting!

Stave Hat by Carolynba

Stave Hat by Carolynba

 

Cool Cowls

Handknit gradient cowl in Dragonfly Fibers sock, pattern by Carol Feller

Arch Lane in Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock

Next up  is an accessory favourite of mine, the cowl. Arch Lane is the product of slipped stitches and a beautiful gradient yarn. This is a deep and slouchy cowl and perfect for burying your face in during those winter commutes. One of the best things about this cowl is that you can easily keep knitting until your gradient colours are all used up so your not wasting any of your precious yarn! 

Maggie0823 knit her Arch Lane in Color Story Colorwork Kit and I think she is very happy with how it turned out. What do you think? She mixed up her colour gradients for a more dramatic effect and I love how the green transitions from the dark emerald to the pale ice blue at her face.

Arch Lane by Maggie0823

Arch Lane by Maggie0823

Fenn’s Quay is a long cowl designed to wrap around your neck twice. It is worked in the round with a bias pattern to show off the beautiful gradient

Fenn's Quay

Fenn’s Quay

Gansai knitted this beautiful version in Townhouse Yarns Burlington Blanks. Have you ever used a sock blank? These really fascinate me as they are already knitted up and you unravel the blank to knit into your project. I have to say this turned out beautifully and I will definitely be giving them  a go.

Fenn's Quay by Gansai in Townhouse Burlington Blanks

Fenn’s Quay by Gansai in Townhouse Burlington Blanks

Vibrant Shawls
By far the shawl is always a firm favourite in KALs and this was no exception! Mardyke, Half Moon Street and Shanakiel all had knitters working away on them and I’ve tried to gather a few *drumroll please*

First up is the lovely Snowshell’s Mardyke in Fiber Optic Yarns Kashmir Paintbox Gradient and I for one drooled over the FO and the mannequin on which it is displayed. Your eye gets drawn from the light blue to the dark indigo along the length of the shawl. This is an interesting knit as it uses two biases and the wave pattern of the lace to create a parallelogram that has a wavy biased edge. Isn’t this fabulous!

SnowShell's Mardyke in Fiber Optic Yarns Kashmir Paintbox Gradient

SnowShell’s Mardyke in Fiber Optic Yarns Kashmir Paintbox Gradient

Next up we have another FO (gasp two FO’s!!) by the lovely Knitsnpurls who knit her Half Moon Street in Sweet Georgia Yarns. The contrasting colour here breaks up the colour gradients creating a string of pearls effect (thanks Knitsnpurls) that gives this shawl a beautiful texture. Not only is this perfect for showing off gradient yarns but it’s generous size allows you to wrap this around your winter coat for that added glam factor.

Knitsnpurls Halfmoon Street

Knitsnpurls Halfmoon Street

And finally we have Shanakiel which I think is one of the jewels in this collection. MissBunt knitted hers with some handspun Nebula and that’s something I didn’t even think of! I was too busy dreaming of sock gradients to consider handspun! This is a stunning shawl that is knit on the bias to allow the colour gradient and triangular shape to work at different angles to form a dramatic effect. This is truly a work of art.

MissBunt's Shanakiel

MissBunt’s Shanakiel

For all of the shawls here I think a useful toolkit tutorials would be the Russian Join for joining in new yarn seamlessly and weaving in ends as you go to speed up your finishing. Talking about toolkits, one of the things I love about Carol’s books are the interesting tips and techniques that she has photographed and thoroughly explained. In Knitting with Rainbows, Carol has a very useful discussion on the use of subtle and dramatic yarn gradients and the type of patterns that they work best with. It’s all neatly wrapped up in a convenient table too, so you can quickly reference the type of gradient yarns you have in your stash and the best pattern to start with.

Remember way back at the start of this post I said that each KAL has a winner well MissBunt and her Shanakiel was the Knitting with Rainbows KAL prize winner and take a look at what she won:

The Fabulous squishy yarn prize!

The Fabulous squishy yarn prize!

Have I inspired you to join one of Carol’s Knit-a-longs? If your up for a garment the Luwan KAL is just at the swatching stages and this is being carried out over on the dedicated KAL board. It’s always friendly and fast paced in there and Carol (and plenty of other friendly knitters) is around to help you, should the need arise.

Not up for a garment? It’s ok I understand that the dreaded but fun season of Knitmas is already on the lips of many a crafter. Hushed tones only please Halloween is first! There will be a KAL starting in the StolenStitches group on Ravelry and it will be announced soon so keep you eyes peeled. We added a News Reel thread to the group so that you can keep up with discount codes, classes and all things happening in the world of Stolen Stitches.

I’m off to plan more knits in gradient yarns that I have my eye on but which was your favourite? Leave a comment below or you can find Carol on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Till next week, thanks for reading

Nadia

(Bunnyt)

Working on those gradients

So last weekend we had a wonderful photo shoot for the gradient book – I think it’s going to be called ‘Knitting with Rainbows’. Very fittingly we found some fantastic graffiti downtown in Cork that makes the perfect backdrop for the book. We also found this spot behind the disused Beamish & Crawford brewery. It was across the river so we couldn’t reach it, but so beautiful!
IMG_5921I’ve been working like a crazy person for the last few weeks putting tutorials together and reviewing pattern edits. In my head up to this point I keep saying ‘it’s just going to be a small book‘, just a few patterns and tutorials. Well apparently I can’t do anything small! I’ve got 11 patterns, additional stitch patterns and tutorials and at the very minimum I think this book will be around 80 pages long. It would explain why feeling somewhat overwhelmed, a little bit panicked and exhaused. I haven’t acknowledged what a substantial project I was taking on. It is however going to be an information packed and very pretty book. My son’s girlfriend is a very talented illustrator and next week she is getting started on book illustrations and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll share some with you as she works along.

Just to give you a flavour of the book, 2 patterns have already been produced and are out in the world. The first is Probys Armwarmers which was the last pattern from the Irish Yarn Club 2016. (All patterns are also on ravlery now from that club). This pattern is a great example of how a slip stitch pattern can be used to blend a gradient kit that has big jumps between the colours.

The first version was in Townhouse Yarns:

I’ve also had a sample made using a second yarn to give an idea of what another set of colours would look like.
The second version uses Fyberspates yarn:
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The second pattern that you’ve seen before is Stave Hat. I’ve previously published the child’s sweater version of this chart and the hat has been used in my Textured Colourwork classes. This hat uses textured colourwork (purls worked into a stranded pattern) to blend the colours together. It works really well for either a gradient set that has big colour jumps or for a collection of colours you have put together yourself that you want to blend smoothly.
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(Yes, that really is a giant cockerel mural behind her….)
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So if we keep working at this pace I think the book will be ready to go by the autumn. I hope you’re all getting as excited about this as I am – it’s getting real now :-)