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.

An unfinished #blackerpodkal & spring blooms for a dreary grey equinox day!

A post shared by Renée EastLondonKnit (@eastlondonknit) on

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…



Wool Tribe 2017


How is your knitting season going? I hear that mid-January is considered the most depressing time of the year. Do you find that to be the case? For me, once I have had a tiny tantrum about Christmas being over, really over, I get excited about the New Year and new resolutions and plans and fresh starts, etc. I had the launch of my Craftsy machine knitting class to keep me on my toes, and the pleasure of seeing the latest publication from the Edinburgh Yarn Fest ladies, so I didn’t feel the blues.


You may have seen the previews for Wool Tribe 2017 are up and the magazine is available for pre-order now!

There are 6 lovely accessory designs from indie designers, including Amanda B. Collins, Jane Crowfoot, Francesca HughesClare DevineDonna Smith and my contribution; Belsyde, an asymmetrical triangular shawl worked with Kettle Yarn Co. Baskerville in Dawn and gorgeous Islington in Siren Call teal.


The shawl uses 3 different types of geometric lace to create a unisex shawl with lots of interest.

To get all 6 patterns, you can pre-order your copy of Wool Tribe here!

The shawl will be available as an individual digital download in June.

I hope you are knitting the blues away!

Happy knitting,


EYF Educational


My recent outing to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival was particularly exciting, not only because it was a wonderful event put on by fabulous people, but also because I had the good fortune to take a couple of classes.  I am a big fan of education in general and was quite the professional student until I took up knitting. I don’t get the opportunity to take so many classes these days, so the Edinburgh Yarn Festival was a real treat.

Saturday morning I took DIY hat design with Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits.  I love Emily’s knitwear.  There is something really down to earth and wearable about her designs, so I was really looking forward to hearing what she had to say about her design process. (Spoiler: whatever it is, don’t over-design it.) After an inspirational presentation, we got down to the knitty gritty and everyone worked on their own hat designs.

DIY hat design with Emily Wessel

There was a nice mix of those who just wanted to have a go and those who were gearing up to take on designing as a job. Admittedly, I wasn’t terribly focused on the task at hand, and as a result I don’t have much to show for my first class, but it was enjoyable and I have a few ideas to knit up someday.

I also took a class about the Lopi sweater shaping with Helene Magnusson, aka the Icelandic Knitter. I got 2 things in particular from this class. First yarn-over short rows are awesome. Second, I really must to go Iceland someday. It sounds amazing.

Lopi Sweater Shaping The icelandic knitter

Helene modeled her nearly finished Lopi cardigan and used miniature Lopi sweaters to demonstrate different shaping methods–they were the cutest damn educational aids I have ever seen.

the icelandic knitter on lopi shaping

It’s like a bug–I am already trying to figure out how I can take some more classes soon! Suggestions for UK-based learning opportunities are welcome!!! What is the best class you have ever taken?

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,