Fibre East 2016


It is funny how the things you do affect your view of the world. I used to think of the year in terms of fashion weeks and final collection schedules. Since I began to focus on designing and teaching hand-knitting, my mental markers for the year have become fibre festivals and the immediate knitting season.

For example, Fibre East has come to define the summer season. And now that it is over, I feel like it’s time to prepare for Autumn.

If I was clever, I would have stocked up on sweater quantities of yarn in preparation for all the sweater-season knit-alongs–my own included!** However, I was kept busy in the Kettle Yarn Co. stand and didn’t manage much shopping. For me, fibre festivals are great for a couple of different reasons; I spend most of my time working alone, and the festival weekend is a chance to catch up with colleagues and our online friends and customers face to face. This is both exhausting and really wonderful. It is also a chance to fondle the fibre. I love the internet, but it makes such a difference to see and feel yarn in real life.

There were lots of exciting things going on around the grounds, and as per usual, I hardly remembered to photograph anything, with a couple of notable exceptions….

If you would like to see the event itself, Mina, the Knitting Expat, has done a vlog episode giving you a whirlwind tour of the whole festival. Extra points if you catch my own brief cameo 🙂

Just a note to say that a new cardigan pattern, Wisteria Blossoms will be out next week. I will be offering an introductory discount code, but only to subscribers to the EastLondonKnit newsletter–please do sign up to get the all the fun stuff.

Wisteria Blossoms by Renée Callahan

**The Zen Variations knit along will start the 1 September and run through until the end of the year. I have been amassing wonderful yarn and knitting prizes and I will be posting tutorials and offering support through out the knit-along to keep your needles on track. Please do join in–I am happy for you to knit any EastLondonKnit pattern, but extra stars for a Zen Variations sweater 🙂

Happy knitting!



Classes and catching up


I think I am almost over the Edinburgh Yarn Festival hangover. If you managed to go, you know it was an awesome event and I don’t need to tell you. If you didn’t manage to go, you probably don’t want to hear about what an awesome event you missed. If you didn’t make it this year, definitely come next year!

I will say that I met some wonderful fibre folk and I came home with some gorgeous yarn.

EastLondonKnit yarn purchases

I tried to be strategic and only bring yarn home with a project in mind. I introduced my current project previously, and it is very much in the works now. It may seem odd that I have mentioned a project revolving around the use of scraps and leftovers, and then come home with lots of beautiful new yarn, but my thinking was this: I want to create a collection that allows people to use up little odd bits of yarn and stash, but it’s also important to me that every design also works with available yarns in only one or 2 colours in larger quantities. I am still in the early stages of swatching and designing, but I am feeling optimistic about it!

Come learn with me!


I am pleased to announce some awesome upcoming classes in the next couple of months:

28 April I will teach stranded colour work knitting at Wild and Woolly in East London: Colourwork Magic part 1.

5 May following on from the stranded knitting, we will learn about the mysterious ways of the steek at Wild and Woolly in Colourwork Magic Part 2.

7 May I will be back in Bath teaching Brioche Stitch Basics and Brioche Stitch Next Steps at A Yarn Story, but if you can’t make that date, I will be back in October to teach the same classes.


And finally, I now have patterns available on, including Angelus Novus and several shawl and garment patterns. Please do pop over to have look:)


Happy knitting,


Woolfest 2015


A couple of weeks ago I joined Kettle Yarn Co.‘s Linda on the epic drive to The North for Woolfest 2015. Neither of us had been before, and we were excited to be going to a new show in such a beautiful part of the country.

Linda showcased her beautiful new Islington DK base with a collection of new patterns by designers including me! My contribution was the golden wrap called the Pavilion about which a blog post is immanent….

Knitting Patterns: Boardwalk Collection

As ever, Linda allowed me to take over a little corner of the stand to sell patterns and show off samples. She had some new beautiful shades of Westminster which I may have had to steal for a new design…

Woolfest 2015 Kettle Yarn Co. Stand

Shawls visible from the left: Naloa, Astrisks, and Antiprism, with a basket of gorgeous Westminster in the middle….

Woolfest, for those of you who haven’t been, is held in a cow shed, and staying true to the venue, the animals were the stars of the show.
Woolfest 2015--baby alpacas

The baby alpacas nearly killed me with cute.

Woolfest 2015--cashmere goat

I don’t think I have ever seen a cashmere goat in the flesh before. There were signs not to pet them, and I respected the request and absolutely didn’t stick my hands right into all that silky woolly goodness.

Woolfest 2015--Gotland sheep

Now, I live in the middle of a capital city and have no contact with livestock. I’m not sure whether this makes me more or less susceptible to the attribution of human characteristic to animals, but maybe it doesn’t matter. The Gotland goats seemed to me to be very inquisitive,Woolfest 2015--teeswater sheep

whereas the Teeswater sheep were entirely regal, proud sheep, who seemed to demand a certain about of admiration and got it.
Woolfest 2015--Teeswater Sheep

I thought this was kind of a sweet family portrait of Herdwick sheep, even if I think the lamb looks a little like the traditional depiction of the Devil….Woolfest 2015--Herdwick Sheep

After the show we had a few days to roam around Cumbria and there are some stunning views from the farm we stayed at.  Woolfest 2015-Cumbria Alpacas

Including a flowery field of llamas and a pasture of tiny ponies.  Woolfest 2015-Cumbria


Yes, TINY PONIES I say. That’s why you have to look closely to see them.

It was, all in all, a splendid weekend, even if the travelling took some of the immediate gratification away from the experience. My next adventure with the lovely Linda is Fibre East in Bedford. I hope to see you there!

Til then, happy knitting,


I did the Fandango


I knit fandango set up

This weekend past I was at the I Knit Fandango, a fibre festival held in the Royal Horticultural Hall in London. I was there as First Minion to the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co., a position I have taken on with some frequency in this Year of the Sheep Festival.

I knit fandango

The light in the hall was beautiful and it was great to catch up with all the knitting people.

kettle yarn co at I knit fandango

The hot ticket at the show was certainly Wollmeise and the stand was incredibly busy. I haven’t knit with Wollmeise, perhaps because I came to the whole hand-knitting thing a little bit late and missed out on the first wave of mass hysteria, so I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. But there is only one way to find out!

fandango yarn and book

So this is some of my cache from the Fandango. Very restrained, I am sure you will agree.  I got some yarn to try out, and I got Sue Blacker’s book about breed specific yarn, which I have been wanting to read for ages. I also came home with a terrible headcold, so will carry on with the good knitting and drinking loads of tea.

Happy knitting,