Knit Nation 2011

Ahh long lost blog – I’ve missed you!  Jet lag, that is, waking at 5am in Ohio (I’m here for my brother-in-law’s wedding) is a blessing in disguise. What better time that to catch you all up on my slightly crazy last few months?

Our biggest news is this (found out on the 11th June 2011):

Oh yes, the two lines do mean what you think they mean. We are expecting, due 8 February.  So far so great, except, well, pregnancy hormones wreak havoc with day to day life… and bigger events! Which brings us to Knit Nation.

This July we had our second Knit Nation at Imperial College.  I need to thank several people and businesses – the first of which, and the most important, are our volunteer Crew.  Due to the above, I was crazy tired and incredibly cranky.  Michaela, who deserves special mention as the ultimate organiser ever, was the person who marshalled the forces and made sure everyone knew the where whens and whats of their volunteer roles.  The crew – who were amazing, kept me sane, kept me awake, and kept me from bursting into tears when I couldn’t have my morning breakfast baguette (yes I was also rather unreasonable and a bit of a drama queen as well as a total crankypants).  And of course, most importantly, they did a fantastic job of making sure the attendees, teachers and vendors were well looked after. A big huge thank you and sloppy kisses to all of the crew!

From left to right, back row: Sandy, Tina, Jaq, Lisa, Judith, Lucy, Carole, Saira, Tash, Michaela, Nora, Mel, Cookie. Front row: Mel H, Kerri, Jen, Ali, Koki, Alice.  Missing are: Tricia, Ling, Kate, Hattie, Nick, Dee, Marja, and our break down and build up movers and shakers Luke, Melissa & Paul.

And again from the back. 😉

We also want to thank our incredible sponsors Knitting Magazine and Ysolda for their continued support for Knit Nation. Thank you!

Our bingo night raised over £1600 for Refuge – which we could not have done with out the support of our generous sponors: Qiviut sponsors The Knitter & Knitspot, Cashmere sponsor The Little Knitting Company, and Merino sponsors Old Maiden Aunt, Signature Needle Arts, and A&C Black publishers. You can join us in raising more money for Refuge by picking up one of the bingo souvenir bags here.

And here are some random and fun shots! Lucy (our Wollmeise expert and *ahem* slight addict) with t-shirt she hand embroidered. It’s true too!

We had our very first Sokkusu Original stand – with all our lovely colours!

Queues outside for the Marketplace.

Even the local cops were curious – we didn’t get needles in their hands… next time!

The cutest little owls! I thought I tweeted it but drat I didn’t so here is a big thank you to KnitIam’s talented son Keane (12 years old) who crocheted these lovely little guys as gifts. Talented!! And oh so sweet. Thank you!

Happy Judith with cooooffeeeee!

There were also alot of Spritelings out and about – I didn’t manage to take that many photos but here are a few with details when I remembered to ask!

Elisala knitted hers in Sokkusu Original, HB2


Spriteling Clue 1

Got to the studio bright and early today to get ready for today’s Dye-I-Yourself workshop.  I was an hour early for my own class – this is the second time I’ve done this! I suspect there is a little me inside my head toying with my perception of time so that I end up early for things.  Like setting your clock 15 minutes fast so you’ve got a bit more time than you think. Apparently my inner time clerk thinks I need more extreme time trickery.  Probably a good thing.  I’ll post photos when I have a few (have to wait for P to send them… forgot my camera.. again!).  The colours were lovely – some beautiful greys and caramels and blues.  Very inspiring!

And of course, besides being April Fool’s Day, today is the first clue for Spriteling, the Socktopus Mystery Shawl Knitalong.  This was the Spriteling swatch

And here is Clue 1

Am so in love with Spriteling – it reminds me of Chinese brocade… pheonix tails and dragons dancing in the clouds. Now time for some dinner with my honey and some snuggling on the sofa. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

Spriteling SMSKAL Swatch Up

It’s time to swatch up for the Spriteling Socktopus Mystery Shawl Knit-along. Needles, check! Yarn, check! Ready, set, KNIT!

In case you are wondering, the swatch is knit in Sokkusu-Original (in a yet unnamed colourway – I am having trouble giving this one a name. I think I am blinded by my love for this colourway!). I’ll have some available in the shop next week.

I hemmed and hawed over lace weight vs fingering weight, and finally opted for fingering weight since it has a more restrictive yardage (it’s easy to substitute lace weight for fingering, but not always so easy to do the opposite). If you substitute lace weight just be sure to adjust the size of your needles so you get a pleasant fabric.


400 metres fingering weight yarn.


24 sts and 36 rows = 4 inches in stockinette (unstretched, unblocked)


Size 7 US (4.5 mm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge


A crochet hook and waste yarn for provisional cast on, stitch markers and a tapestery needle

You can download the swatch info for free from Ravelry by clicking here.

The first clue will be released on the 1 April. You can purchase the pattern either in the side bar or by clicking here:

Happy swatching!

Spriteling Mystery KAL

A couple years ago (my goodness, has it been that long??) I held a Socktopus Mystery Shawl KAL over Twitter.  The resulting shawl was the Aurantium Blossom shawl.  It was really so much fun I’m going to do it again!

Aurantium Blossom in Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Silk & Cashmere Sportweight

Aurantium Blossom in Knitwitches Swiss Mountain Silk & Cashmere Laceweight

It was absolutely the bees knees to see the shawl being knit up by so many, and being worn all over the 2009 Iknit Weekender. I love Kate’s version – such ray of sunshine!

Kate's Sunshine Aurantium

So, prompted by Josie, I’m pleased to announce the second Socktopus Mystery Shawl KAL (SMSKAL) for  “Spriteling”.  Something to keep you busy while you wait for Knit Nation, and something to show off at Knit Nation come July.

Spriteling SMSKAL

Designer Notes

Spriteling is a triangular shawl taking inspiration from the woods and various lace traditions, including Shetland and Scandinavia, which can be knit in either fingering or laceweight yarn.  Spriteling has feminine curves and meanderings, with a few thorns here and there.

Knitters’ Notes

  • On the 15th of March swatch directions and a material list will be released here on the blog so you can prepare.
  • You’ll need to be an advanced intermediate knitter.
  • The first clue will be released on the 1 April, then every two weeks after that through April & May.
  • The clues are both charted and written.
  • Each clue comes as a PDF download.
  • You’ll receive a code by email to download each clue. You can then download the PDF from this site, or directly into your Ravelry library (we love Ravelry!)

How to Join

Sign ups open today, through to Friday 1 April. The cost to join the Spriteling SMSKAL is £6.50. You can pay with Paypal via Ravelry or with a credit/debit card by clicking on the image below:

Spriteling SMSKAL £6.50

Let the anticipation begin! 😀