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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fabulous Weekend

I'm back from Unravel and it was another fabulous event! I enjoyed meeting regular and new customers, members of my Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting - and the ladies who came to my Professional Finishing Class on Sunday.

I'm so grateful to everyone who supported us by buying yarn, patterns, shawl pins, beads or notions. And I'm so grateful to everyone who stopped to say hello and show me what they'd knitted from one of my patterns. 

I didn't get much of a chance to look around and there are a few stalls I'd hoped to check out but I'll have plenty of time for yarn shopping at Edinburgh Yarn Fest next month. I'll be there teaching and shopping but not having a stall.

I did manage to buy a couple of little things. I've wanted a little sweater ornament for months so I picked one up from Ida's House, who have a fabulous selection of knitting goodies. Fellow Norwegian, Maya, stocks a Norwegian yarn, Garnsurr, in her yarn shop, Knit With Attitude, in London. When I heard that Knit With Attitude was going to be at Unravel I knew I wanted to pick up a skein of Garnsurr. 

I copied this from Knit With Attitude's website: 'Garnsurr is a social integration project for refugee women in Norway. The project is aimed at women, because women often find themselves struggling to find jobs feeling isolated because the opportunities to learn the Norwegain language are quite limited. Through working at Garnsurr these women learn Norwegian at the same time as feeling productive and creative managing a working life - which again contributes to their integration into the Norwegian culture and society.'

I enjoyed meeting fellow Norwegian, Nina - Knitting Windows on Instagram. We've been chatting on Instagram for a while so it was nice to meet in person. Nina came to my Finishing Techniques workshop on Sunday and brought me a little present - a gorgeous tin with some useful and pretty knitting notions. I love knitting notions and pretty tins so this was perfect for me!

I got some knitting done too. In fact, I'm surprised at how much knitting I got done. I'm exhausted after a day at a show so in the evenings we get something quick to eat then retreat to our hotel room to relax. And apparently I did a lot of knitting because my lavender shawl is getting long! I'm on the final quarter. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it this week.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Knitting & Unravel

It's been a really frantic couple of weeks and blogging went to the bottom of my to do list. I've managed to fit in quite a bit of knitting between magazine deadlines and workshops. After finishing a a couple of projects I decided I needed to cast on two new projects.

For a while now I've wanted to design an Orenburg inspired shawl using the construction method I teach in my Orenburg lace workshop. I'll be teaching my Orenburg lace knitting workshop at Handmade Studios, near Portsmouth on 26 May. I'll be back at Handmade Studios on 7 April for a Lace Improvers workshop (contact the shop for more details on both workshops).

I'm using Navia Alpakka which is a pure alpaca lace weight yarn. It's a delicate, light as air yarn and I'm really enjoying knitting with it. I'm adding beads. The construction method is really interesting in the way the edging is knitted on along with the shawl.
I decided I needed an easier shawl on the needles too. I've wanted to knit a shawl in the Lavender and Dark Grey Navia Bummull for a few weeks now. I love knitting with this cotton blend yarn. It's lovely and light. 
This weekend I'll be at Unravel in Farnham, Surrey. I'll have selection of patterns, beautiful, colourful yarns, beads and Tattysquawk shawl pins. I picked up 20 new pins today but I didn't have time to take any photos before it got dark. I wish I had as the pins are just beautiful.

If you're coming to Unravel, do stop by and say hello. We'll be in the Barley Room. 

Next week, I'll have a new pattern release and a tutorial for you.

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Friday, February 02, 2018

February Workshops

I've listed most of my workshops up to the summer on my website. I'm waiting for confirmation of a couple of classes which I'll add as soon as I can. You can see all my classes here.

Tomorrow, Saturday 3 February, I'll be back at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth to teach a Circular Fair Isle Yoke workshop for Wool Palette. At the time of writing there is one space left on this workshop. You will learn how to knit with two colours at the same time and knit a top down circular yoke sweater that fits you. See the full details and book here. You do not need any previous fair isle knitting experience.

Copyright: Let's Knit Magazine

Next week I'm really looking forward to a trip to Dorset to teach Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne, Dorset. In this class you will learn how to work with two colours at the same time as well as how to cut your knitting. Why would you want to cut your knitting? It will enable you to knit a sweater in the round to the shoulders and cut holes for the sleeves which is what my Mum did in the sweater below.

You can also turn a sweater into a cardigan. Cutting your knitting may sound scary but I show you how to re-enforce the steek (where you're going to cut) first and then cut it, pick up stitches for a button band, work an i-cord cast off. After this class you'll have the confidence to cut your own knitting.

This class is divided into two halves and you can do both sessions or just the fair isle knitting or just the steeking. I recommend doing the full day as there's always something to learn even if you're already a fair isle knitter. Contact Slipped Stitch for full details and to book.

Selbu-inspired Vaffel Votter

On 13 February I'll be teaching Norwegian Selbu Mittens at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon. In this class you'll learn how to knit traditional Norwegian mittens in two colours. We'll cover how to knit with one colour in each hand, how to strand the yarn and how to shape the mittens. You'll get a choice of one of my Selbu-inspired patterns to take home.

At Unravel, on Sunday 18 February, I'll be teaching Professional Finishing Techniques. This is a half day class so you'll still get time to enjoy the show. We'll cover techniques like short row shoulder shaping, joining shoulders by working a three needle cast off, how to sew up using mattress stitch, how to pick up stitches for a button band or collar and how to work one row button holes. As part of this class you'll get my Online Professional Finishing Class for free. Find full details and booking info here.

Knitting garments in the round is becoming increasingly popular and one of the easiest way to knit a garment in the round is to knit a raglan sweater from the top down. In this class you'll  learn to knit a raglan sweater that first from the top down. I'm teaching this class at Spin A Yarn, Bovey Tracey, Devon, on 28 March. Find the details here.

See all my workshops up to the summer here - there are a couple of workshops to be added.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Essential Oils for Chronic Pain

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know that I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back/neck/shoulders. The pain is as a result of two car accidents 35 and 17 years ago. I've also broken my coccyx and injured my back in numerous horse-riding accidents which probably didn't help. 

After the first car accident when I was 14 years old, I suffered from mild to moderate pain. compared to the pain I suffer from now, I'd describe it as very mild. After the second car accident I was signed off on sick leave and put on strong painkillers as I was in a lot of pain. I spent a year on sick leave and ended up on disability benefits. Over the years I've tried a huge number of different alternative treatments and various medications and alternative 'medications'.

For the last two years, I've been told by the doctor on several occasions to cut back on my painkillers. I was taking 8-10 tablets per day of Cocodamol and Tramadol as well as other pain medication and anti-inflammatories. Every time I've tried to cut down, I've failed! I'd managed to cut down by one tablet for a few days, maybe even a week. Then I'd have a bad day or a bad few days and be right up to max dose. 

At the moment I'm taking 6 Cocodamol and 5 Tramadol per day. In a couple of weeks, I'll try to cut down one more Cocodamol. My goal is to get down to four of each. How have I done this? It's all down to DoTerra essential oils and Life Long Vitality Supplements. 

When I started using DoTerra essential oils last summer I didn't actually think they'd do anything for my pain. I was looking for help with sleep, energy and motivation. But when you solve the pain issue, you sleep better, have more energy and motivation. When you're in pain, you get tired quicker and struggle to sleep. Being tired means more pain. It's a vicious circle!

I did share my pain management strategies in a blog post a few months ago. Since then I've experimented with more oils and other supplements. I've also read a lot more on the subject of pain management.

On Tuesday 6 February at 14.30 (UK time), I'm hosing a Live Webinar on How to manage pain with essential oils. I hope you can join me live. But if you can't, you can watch it later. If you have any specific questions regarding essential oils and pain, you can ask them live or if you can't watch live, please e-mail me on (put 'EO pain' in the subject line) by Friday and I'll try to answer your question. 

Do you suffer from chronic pain? Do you take a bucket load of strong painkillers every day? Or do you take milder pain killers but you worry about having to move on to stronger stuff? 
I hope you'll join me live to learn why I chose DoTerra essential oils, why they work as well as they do, which specific oils are good for pain and how to use them and why the Life Long Vitality Supplements work. You can join me for the webinar or watch the replay here.

If would like to read about my Essential Oils - My Story, you can read it here and you can read Essential Oils 101 here. 

If you're ready to get started with DoTerra, you can sign up for a wholesale membership here. If you'd like to find out more about what's involved in a wholesale membership, just e-mail me on

You can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.

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essential oils and other natural products.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What's on my needles?

All my knitting time over the last week has been taken up by working on a deadline project which I'm hoping to finish tomorrow. I can't share much as it's for a magazine. I'm enjoying it but it's fairly easy so I would have preferred to have mixed in the odd lace knitting session but I've spent all my knitting time on this project recently.

Once I finish my deadline project, I'll be getting back to work on my lace shawl. I'd like to finish this by early next week so I can get the pattern finished and sent off to my tech editor next week. I'd like to release this pattern in February so I'll need to crack on with it.

My self-imposed deadline for my fair isle project is in time to wear it at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March. I'm at a point where I need to work out the next section of the pattern which I won't have time to do till next week at the earliest. I'm not envisaging finishing this till end of February as there's still a lot of knitting to do. Most of it is stocking stitch in the round.

I picked up my bright pink shawl a couple of times before I started on my stripey deadline project and I'd like to get this finished. I haven't got much to do so I may decide to finish it next week after I finish the blue/grey shawl.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

New Pattern & kits - Crantock

Crantock has an asymmetrical shape and combines a simple lace pattern with garter stripes to create a wearable accessory. Wrap it around your shoulders on a chilly day or wear it bundled around your neck in the winter. 

I knitted Crantock in Navia Bummull and used three colours - Light Grey, Rose Pink and Cerise. I loved knitting this shawl and I'm thrilled with the result.

The Crantock pattern is 30% off until midnight UK on Sunday 4 February 2018. Use coupon code: crantock30You can purchase the pattern here.

Crantock is worked sideways and starts in the top right hand corner with just a few stitches. A combination of increases and decreases creates this asymmetrical curved triangle shape which is so easy to wear. 

Crantock is the perfect size to wear as a big scarf or wrapped around your shoulders. 

Get your pattern here.

I've listed a limited selection of Crantock kits available in a few colours. These kits are available to ship immediately. If these kits sell out, I won't be listing pre-orders because the Navia Bummull yarn takes a while to get here from the Faroe Islands but if you'd like a kit and they're all sold out, please e-mail me on and I will reserve a kit for you. I will be ordering more yarn for kits but I can't say when they'll be here. Order your Crantock kit here. Kits include all yarn and pdf copy of the pattern but needles are not included - you will need 4mm knitting needles.



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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Essential Oil Basics - Live Webinar

There's a lot more to essential oils than just a nice smell. I think the lovely smell often draws us in and gets us interested in essential oils but they have real therapeutic benefits. You don't have to 'believe in essential oils' for them to work. There are scientific studies that prove that they work. 

I've been using essential oils for about 8 months now and my health has changed. I suffer from chronic pain, autoimmune hypothyroidism and chronic vitamin D deficiency. I have used essential oils and natural supplements to reduce the amount of pain killers I am taking by a over a quarter. I used to take 8-10 Tramadol and Cocodamol every day (I took 8 tablets of each during the day and then two extra if I woke up at night which I did regularly so I frequently overdosed). I now take 5 tablets of each a day.  My goal is to cut down to 4 of each a day.

For 18 months before I started using essential oils I tried cutting down on painkillers regularly and I was lucky if I managed to cut down by one tablet for a week. Then I'd have a flare up, a bad day or a sleepless night and I'd be back on full dose.

I know these oils work and I can't wait to share more of my journey with you.

So tomorrow, Friday 26 January 2018, I'll be hosting a live webinar on You Tube to talk about Essential Oil Basics. (This link will take you to the scheduled page - I will post the re-play link here after the webinar)

I want to share with you:
  •  how and why essential oils work
  • three ways to use essential oils safely 
  • what to use essential oils for.
In the coming weeks and months I'll be covering different topics related to essential oils such as chronic pain, staying well, womens' health, autoimmune conditions and more. If there are any topics you'd like me to cover, please e-mail me on

I'm also planning to do a webinar on essential oils for knitters where we'll focus on how you can stay pain free and how to deal with knitting related pain and injuries using essential oil and natural products. I'm currently working on my plan and content for this webinar which I'm also hoping to offer as an in-person class in the future. I'd like your help to make sure I cover what you want to know. So if you have any knitting related injuries or get any pain while knitting, please tell me about it by e-mailing me on and I will include it in my research.

If you'd like to make sure you're notified of these webinars, make sure you sign up to my newsletter here.