Episode 6: Karen Templer and #summerofbasics


I was so excited to chat to karentempler about #summerofbasics and slow fashion at Squam Lake. I have long admired Karen’s work. Are you taking part in #summerofbasics? I would love to hear about it if you are!

Show notes can be found in the thread for Episode 6 in the EastLondonKnit Ravelry group.

Happy knitting,



The One with Brain Fuzz


Do you get the feeling there is just a little too much going on to mentally process it? I have that at the moment. It feels like fuzz on the brain, preventing clear thinking and getting sh*t done.

When the brain fuzz strikes, I try to spend some quality time with my diary. I write out all the things I have to do (‘brain dump’ I’ve heard it called) and then find a space in the schedule for them. This may seem too obvious to mention, but it is actually helpful to remind myself there are only so many hours in the day and a limited number of things I can actually do (even fewer if I am trying to do them well). It’s like a licence to focus on just one thing at one time.  Because, as it turns out, I cannot multitask. This may be further evidence that I am an unnatural, bad woman, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most people can’t. It’s a delusion in which I occasionally indulge, but am always shown the error of my ways… eventually….

So what are all these things I seem to think I can/should be doing right now?  Well, I am working on a collection of hand knit patterns for the Autumn. This is a big deal to me, and I want to it be so good.  I am really excited about it–the inspiration close to my arty-farty heart, I have amazing yarn support and I have the time to do it justice if all goes to plan (HA!).

The first sample for the collection is practically finished…

Twilight flowers sweater sample

There are half a dozen other hand-knit design projects in various stages of completion (evidence of the multitasking failure), such as a design for the new Kettle Yarn Co. Islington DK yarn,

ELK knit stole in progress

and the Westknits pattern the Enchanted Mesa sweater is underway, though not seeming to go very quickly…

enchanted mesa handknit in progress

…my first participation in a proper KAL with the Fringe Association to knit the L’Arbre hat by Cirilia Rose

L'Arbre hand knit hat in progress

Then there is the studio. The studio is a sad tale of developers moving into the artistic heart of Hackney Wick and my own issues with the fashion industry, but that is a story for another not-so-distant-time.

my real workspace

My actual workspace right now….

It’s all about priorities, right? Just decide on the most important thing to do and do it. Then do the next thing.

What are your techniques for conquering the brain fuzz?

Happy knitting,


5 KALs for Your Spring fever.


One of my new year’s resolutions was about being more active in the world-wide knitting community in general, and participation in a knit-along or two in particular. I have gotten off to a slow start with this one. In fact, I haven’t managed to join in a single KAL. Until now. I have finally found one. Well, in fact five; the one I am joining in, and the others I would love to do if I had the time….

So without further ado, here are 5 great KALs happening (mostly) right now:

1 The Knit British Hapalong

knit british hap-along

Knit British is a podcast by the lovely Louise, a Shetland-based knitter and British yarn enthusiast.

From the Knit British blog:

A hap is a square or triangular (half) shawl from Shetland, which has what is described as traditional Shetland construction, in that the centre is commonly knit first and the stitches are picked up to knit a lace border. Once an item of everyday wear in Shetland the shawl has had a bit of a resurgence thanks to designs by Kate Davies, Gudrun Johnson and Brooklyn Tweed. IF you search on Ravelry, there are a number of patterns to choose from – some with the old shale border and some with different lace incorporated into the border.

The Hapalong is now in full swing and looking great. You can hear about it on the Knit British podcast, read about it in the blog and join in the Ravelry group.

2 Yarn in the City Not a KAL KAL

yarn in the city

Yarn in the City is the dynamic duo of Allison and Rachel, aka Stitchyalli and Porpoise; podcasters, yarny events organisers and general fibre fixers.

From the YitC Ravelry forum:

Hey folks –

If you’ve been listening to the podcast you’ll know that both Porpoise and I have been “cold sheeping” and are trying to knit from stash as much as possible this year.

We’d also both like to knit with some of the pretties we acquired at the first ever GLYC (and the second one, and the Bath Road Trip…) before the next one happens in September and wondered if any of you would like to do the same?

We’ll keep it loose and extremely informal but would love the company if any of you want to join us! I’m sure we can rustle up some fun prizes too. 😉

Take some time to dig your yarns out, flash your stash and figure out what you want to knit and we will (informally!) cast on February 1st and figure out the rest of the timing from there. 🙂

The Not a KAL KAL is still going strong if you would like to join the fun.

3 Woolful monthly KAL


woolful knit along

Woolful is a podcast and blog by homesteader-in-the-making Ashley.  I am totally digging her podcast right now.  Her enthusiasm for the fibre community shines from under her laid-back delivery. It is all shiny and new–the podcast, the blog and the KALs, but it feels to me like something with the promise of a bright future. The KALs reflect a designer, yarn or subject that has been part of the podcast, and I like that it changes every month. This month it is Beau the Bunny, a pattern by Ashley herself. March’s pattern was the Moto Vest  by Shelli Westcott. I am already looking forward to May’s offering.

4 The Fringe Association’s Hatalong

Fringe Association knit and let knit

The Fringe Association is the blog belonging to Karen of the Fringe Supply Co., an online shop for gorgeous notions. I don’t know how I managed to miss this for so long. I recently came across it and immediately decided to give up blogging so that I could just read and reblog the Fringe Association. It’s a work of art. I have since revised my ideas and realised that when my blog grows up, it aspires to be as cool and crafty as Fringe Association. Fan-girl geeking aside, Karen is hosting a series of hat knit alongs and I am playing too.

fringe association Audrey Hat

The first in the Hatalong series was Audrey by Jessie Roselyn, and the next well be announced shortly. I have done a little stash diving and come up with some hot pink aran yarn that is just the business.

5 And one for the road: the Knit Along Fanatics group on Ravelry.

KAL fanatics Raverly group

It has been said many times before, and should be said many times again, Ravelry is awesome.  And if you are looking for a KAL for May, have a look at this group; the KAL Fanatics have great forum threads full of knit- and crochet-alongs lead by specific designs and Ravelry groups.

Go forth and craft along with your people.

Happy knitting & participating,