The EastLondonKnit Podcast: Pilot episode


I did it! I published at least one podcast!

It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be for me, but you will have to let me know how it is for you;)

You can find the show notes in the thread in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group.

To win the gorgeous skein of Blacker Yarn’s new yarn Samite, have a view of the podcast.

Thank you so much if you took the time to watch my first efforts. I will get better, I promise!

Happy knitting,


EYF and #blackerpodkal


Well, I am back from Edinburgh Yarn Fest, and what an event it was!

I will talk about the festival in the pilot episode of the EastLondonKnit podcast when it is published this Friday (!).

EYF marked the deadline for the #blackerpodkal, in which I tried to participate…  In a word, my progress could be described as ‘stunted’.

Some projects are just like this: two steps forward, one step back. I really enjoy KALs because I find the type of gentle peer pressure they apply really helpful to getting things done. But this sweater did not want to get done.

It started off all very well…

I had 4 lovely skeins of Tamar DK yarn from last year’s Edinburgh Yarn Fest and was happy to join in with Blacker Yarns and the Knit British podcast to knit a new design up.

The progress seemed to be chugging along….

Until I had a look and decided that it was just too big, and I didn’t have enough yarn to make something so oversized….

…taking me back to the beginning….

I started again, and this time, the sizing seemed better.

And although I wouldn’t have finished in time anyway, I have properly run out of yarn and have stalled again! Ugh.

I am loosing the battle of wills between this sweater and myself at the moment, but I live to fight again…

Instagram is a great tool for seeing the progress of your knitting!

How do you deal with reluctant knits?

I hope you are having better knitting mojo than me…


Getting ready to Unravel

Unravel at Farnham Maltings


Happy Valentines Day if that is your kind of thing!

Will you be going to Unravel this year? I always enjoy Unravel–its location in the Maltings, all the fun events and vendors, the atmosphere all come together to make a lovely weekend.

This year will be a bit different for me, as I am both teaching and giving a talk (!). I was surprised when the organisers asked about a talk, and not only that, but specifically something about my journey as a knitter. It seemed a tall order to speak about myself for 40 minutes; even if I thought of something to say, who would come listen to me go on and on? Well, we will find out Sunday….

If you can’t make it to the event, I did a little Q&A with the Unravel team you can find on their blog.

Also, congratulations to @laraloreleiknits, the winner of my Sweetheart giveaway. Thank you so much to everyone who participated!

Wish me luck!


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!


The Muse Connection Vol. 2


muse connection flyer

Not only did I have a fibre-filled Saturday, but this Sunday I had the pleasure of joining A Playful Day‘s Kate and Curious Handmade‘s Helen at their Muse Connection event. This is the second (Volume 2, as they are calling it) of the events which are like a knit night with added goody bags, door prizes and inspirational talks.

It was wonderful to hear about creative beginnings from knitwear designer Rachel Coopey, (spoiler: keep calm and keep yarn in the boot, also, learn to love the startitis)…

Muse Connection speaker Rachel Coopey

and co-founder/editor of Pom Pom Quarterly Lydia Gluck (my cliff notes on that one: Don’t think, jus start. Wise words I live by…).Muse Connection speaker Lydia Gluck

We all enjoyed some beautiful meringues and possibly the tastiest brownies I have had this side of the Atlantic. The goody bags featured a beautiful shawl pattern from Pom Pom Quarterly, sock pattern from Rachel Coopey and a skein of Anzula, a super luxurious 4 ply yarn.

Muse Connection Goody Bag

All in all an excellent weekend indeed….

Happy knitting,


Edinburgh Yarn Festival


>>NB: This Wednesday I am really excited to be teaching a class about 2-colour cabling at the Wild and Woolly shop–there are only a couple of places left so please join us if you are London-ish!<<

This weekend I had the joy of visiting the Edinburgh Yarn Festival as a punter, and it was awesome.

We arrived in Edinburgh on a damp and dreary afternoon, which no doubt emphasized the tall, intimidating stone architecture of the city centre.  It is beautiful, in a dark and dramatic kind of way.

Edin Yarn Fest-2015-1

The main site of the festival was the Corn Exchange, located a short distance from town.

Edin Yarn Fest-2015-2

I intended to take so many pictures of all the great vendors and beautifully arranged stands, but you know how it is, the overwhelming amount of great people and wool fumes make it hard to keep on track.

Nevertheless, I did get a couple of pictures of lovely vendors.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

The Pom Pom Quarterly girls were looking fabulous in samples of the magazine patterns.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

Julie of Tilly Flop was selling her beautifully printed cards and pictures and especially popular tea towels…

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

And there was particularly star-studded stand filled with knitting patterns from Ysolda Teague and Stephen West.  They additionally hosted book signings from  Clara Parkes, which caused a kind of super-fan wave of excitement from the punters I have rarely seen before.

There was an evening do on Saturday night featuring entertainment from Felicity Ford, with Ysolda doing time as quiz master to an unreasonably difficult quiz.

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

It was nearly a full house, but that Stephen West practically glows in the dark–it was hard not to photograph him.

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

My quiz team started to take the quiz seriously, but sadly that didn’t seem to help with our score…

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

An element of the quiz was to ‘build a sheep’. Team member Veera was bizarrely proud of her sheep. Unfortunately the competition was too much for us:

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

Ca-Baa-ret at Edin Yarn Fest 2015

Clara Parkes was on hand to judge the sheep and award an impressive array of prizes.

In conclusion, I met people, I learned things, I fondled yarn. Mica and Jo, the organisers, did a really wonderful job and I am so pleased that it was such a success for them.

Next time I’ll brag about the classes I took and the one I taught.

Til then,

Happy knitting,