Category Archives: Blogging

Unaccustomed As I Am…

It was very difficult getting to sleep the other night. I was preparing for bed and had just cleaned my teeth (every single one of the flippin’ blighters – they were so clean that I could’ve eaten my dinner off ’em), and I was contemplating moving the various small children who’d somehow ended up in the bed. The Stoic Spouse was asleep.

Being a 21st century sort of a lass, I checked my phone one last time. There was a congratulatory text from a close friend… something about an award…

Huh? 

I nudged my brain cells (both of them) to wake up and apply themselves to the matter. Award? Award?!

Had my brilliant contribution to the world of singing-in-the-shower received the recognition that it so richly deserves? About time, I’d say. Maybe the neighbours had nominated me for some shower-singing prize. The offer of a recording contract must surely now be mere days away.

Or had my ability to gargle the William Tell Overture (as taught to me in childhood by my father*) captured the attention of some awards committee somewhere?

I replied to my friend’s text with a flurry of question marks. But she had by then switched off her phone and gone to bed, being as she is rather better at adulting than I am.

Time for some online sleuthing. Sadly, I failed to uncover any evidence that my shower-singing or my gargling had won a prize. Perhaps I should sing louder? Maybe the neighbours just couldn’t quite hear it properly?

However, I’d known for some time that I was shortlisted for the knit/crochet blogging category of this year’s British Craft Awards. Just making the shortlist was exciting in itself: it never occurred to me that I’d actually get anywhere beyond ‘that weirdo outlier’ status in the final shebang.

But I found THIS online!

British Craft Awards

Each award category had one winner and two runners-up. Lucy from Attic24 won the blogging category, and the runners-up were Winwick Mum, and me! “Gosh” I thought. Also, “Squeee!” Mostly “Squeee!” But it was nudging midnight, so there was absolutely nobody awake whom I could tell. (Unlike me, Winwick Mum went along to the awards ceremony. She’s penned a lovely post about it HERE.) And that, my fine and fibrous friends, is why it was so difficult to get to sleep on Sunday night. I was too darn gobsmacked.

British Craft Awards

So to anyone reading this who voted for this site, thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my wonky heart. It’s an odd thing, pouring out all this yarny lunacy onto paper, typing it up, and pinging it off into cyberspace. And I’m humbled and grateful that so many of you considered this blog worthy of your vote.

Cheers!

And now, I am going to go and sing Bohemian Rhapsody in the shower. All six minutes of it. Very, very, loudly.

Have a seat! And a glass of celebratory champagne.

∗ I’m not even joking about that. The Twisted Seniors took very seriously their parental duty to ensure that their offspring left the house equipped to deal with world. And thus, Mother Twisted taught me to remove my bra without taking off my top, and Father Twisted taught me to gargle the William Tell Overture. As for the rest, they pretty much left me to figure it out for myself.

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Stylecraft Blogstars Meetup, aka Not Too Shabby A Weekend

It’s much easier to write blog posts when things are going wrong, or when nothing much has happened. Comic anecdotes come more readily when you’ve mistakenly put your husband out for collection with the recycling, or when you’ve spent an insomniac half-night pondering a mysterious chicken-shaped splodge on the bedroom ceiling.

stylecraft mill Slaithwaite Spectrum Yarns Yorkshire

Here’s a clue about where this blog post is going.

Unfortunately,* things have gone catastrophically well this weekend… which was immensely fun to experience, but isn’t very funny to describe. I have lovely yarn/knitting/crochet-related things to show and tell you about, but it’s not going to be very funny. Aware of this problem and feeling desperate, I resorted to going for an extra-long run today, because my biggest idiocy generally happens knee-deep in mud and four miles from home, but even that went uncharacteristically well. I give up!

Warning: this blog post may contain scenery.

Anyway, to the point.

On Friday, I zoomed up to West Yorkshire at the wheel of the Blunderbus (replacement for the Stinkwagon) to join in with the second meet-up of the Stylecraft Blogstars at and around the Stylecraft mill in Slaithwaite.

Stylecraft mill spectrum slaithwaite yarn

The Stylecraft mill is the one behind the chimney in the distance on the right.

Shall we do the introductions first? It’s a cliché to say so (and I write that as someone who likes to take clichés out the back and beat them mercilessly) but these folk really don’t need a whole load of introduction. Let’s introduce them anyway.

stylecraft blogstars

From the left: Jane Crowfoot, me, Sarah at Annaboo’s House, Heather at The Patchwork Heart, Julia at Hand Knitted Things, Lucy at Attic24, Helen at The Woolly Adventures Of A Knitting Kitty, Emma Varnam, Sandra at Cherry Heart, Lucia at Lucia’s Fig Tree, and Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats. (Sadly, Sue Pinner wasn’t there this time.)

Living on the opposite side of the planet was NOT considered an adequate excuse for non-attendance. It’s tough being a Blogstar: you have to do stuff way past midnight.

And joining us via Skype at heaven-knows-what time of the night or day, was Angela at Get Knotted Yarn Craft (pictured on the laptop above), and Zelna at Zooty Owl. Phew, what a line-up!

yarn stories

So we met, and we shared ideas, news, over-enthusiasm, wine, a hotel, gossip, yarn, workshops, food, and a trip out to the Knitting And Crochet Guild historical archive. (More on the Knitting And Crochet Guild in a separate post, because it was fascinating.)

Naturally, we insisted on a hotel with its own helipad. One has standards, y’know.

This was a gathering where nobody batted an eyelid if you pulled out your knitting during dinner or crocheted throughout a meeting, or if you talked about yarn for an hour without even pausing for breath, or if you were observed arriving at the hotel with luggage comprising only one toothbrush and 85 knits/hooks-in-progress. Obviously, we knitted/hooked throughout pre-dinner drinks:-

Someone kindly took a photo before the yarn came out at dinner:-

These are my kinda people, and they’re probably yours, too.

It would be fair to say that we were treated rather well.

stylecraft

What? For ME? Oh I couldn’t possibly! … Actually, maybe I could, if you really insisted…

We began with an update on what’s coming soon from Stylecraft. I’m sorry, but this really is a if-I-tell-you,-I’ll-have-to-kill-you situation, until the new batches of yarns are officially released. More news to come very, very, soon.

stylecraft blogstars

Saturday was a day filled with marvellous things at the mill, including a workshop on Tunisian crochet:-

Busy. Concentrating.

It’s quite fun, once you get the hang of the strange knit-cum-crochet rhythm:-

At least they gave me exactly the right mug for my green tea:-

We admired each other’s work. Look at ThePatchworkHeart’s blankets!

And Lucia’s Fig Tree’s blanket!

(Maybe I should have brought my chair.)

It was all wonderful, inspiring, invigorating, and exciting, and I’m probably not alone in having come away with a whole hairy heap of ideas.

View from the window.

My only gripe was that it was all over far, far too soon.

Still, there was still a little time before sunset to run around the town getting shots of the magnificent viaduct that cuts across the town:-

And see?

And see?

And as the sun threatened with some sincerity (I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME!) to sink below the horizon, I grabbed a last few images of the countryside around Slaithwaite:-

All in all, a pretty good weekend.

 

*OK, I’m not really ungrateful.

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Better-Than-Average Week

You know how it can be.

Some weeks are good, whilst other weeks could be held up as case studies in a presentation on How Not To Succeed At Adulting. Or Life. Or Anything, Really. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of the latter.

Yes, I sat in The Chair. No, I didn’t spill champagne on it.

Thus far, this week is shaping up rather well, although I realize that the mere act of typing those words will set cosmic cogs in motion to mess that up most mightily. Consequently my entire family probably is, as you read this, being devoured by giant mutant snails that are on the slither from the local nuclear research facility. And yes, I do know that UK snails are generally herbivorous, but as I said, these are mutant snails.

I’ve had a couple of bits of good news this week. The one that I’ll mention only briefly is that I’ve been offered a new job at a different hospital, closer to home and working only with outpatients. The other one is that this blog has won another award!

knit now knitter of the year 2017 award

If you happen to have a copy of the latest edition of Knit Now magazine in your hands, then please turn to pages 48-49. I’m one of the winners of the Knitter Of The Year 2017 awards! Squeee!

knit now magazine knitter of the year 2017 award

Look! It’s true!

knit now magazine knitter of the year 2017 award

See my shiny new badge, here →. (If it’s here ←, then I commend you for your ability to read this blog upside-down.)

It would be fair to say that I’m rather excited about this news, as well as being surprised.

knit now magazine knitter of the year 2017 award

But the thing is, it’s actually you who have co-won the award. My prize is in the ‘Online Innovator’ category, for folk who chatter about knitting online. Their criteria for judging the winners included sites with a very engaged readership. And given that so many of you have, over the past few years, kindly shared your thoughts, comments, wisdom, and anecdotes on here, I can only say a heartfelt thank you. You make this site what it is. Have some champagne.

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That Was The Year That Was

Yesterday when I got home from work, one of the twins said “Mummy, I saw a grown-up cry today!” This had obviously made a big impression. I don’t think he’s witnessed adult tears before. Questioning revealed that the Stoic Spouse – who’d been looking after the boys all day – had taken them a few miles away to the village of Goring, where in the course of running some errands they’d walked past George Michael’s house, in which he died (far too young) last week. Outside his home was a sea of flowers and messages, and some very tearful locals.

It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? All those actors’ and musicians’ deaths. (I confess that I scarcely knew who most of them were, but people I know were quite upset by some of the news.) And let’s not even get on to the subject of elections and referendums…

I hope your year has had some thoroughly lovely stuff in it, and plenty of yarn of course.

Just to follow bloggy conventionality, here are some collages from my year in yarn (and in running shoes, and in the kitchen…)

I designed a few knitting and crochet patterns this year. Most of the patterns are here on this site (free), but a few haven’t been published yet…

…And we’re slowly seeing progress in our attempts to make this old brewery more homely, now that we no longer have the excuse of the twinnage being tiny…

I’ve been knitting and crocheting from other people’s designs, too. Here are some of the things that I’ve made:-

Of course, the biggest/craziest thing I’m designing is THAT ridiculous project that has been going on for years. Early in 2017, it will be DONE! Here’s some progress from the last few months:-

But I haven’t just sat around indoors knitting and crocheting. There have been plenty of walks (and runs) in the local countryside. I do love Oxfordshire:-

And whilst we’re outdoors, look at all this delicious food from the garden and the allotment!

Despite being the least-likely-to-do-so person, I’ve got more serious about running, too. I’ll never be an athlete, but I did manage to run all the way for the Oxford Half Marathon:-

When I’m not running (i.e. most of the time), I like to get out and about with my knitting. People in this village seem remarkably tolerant, and I haven’t walked into any lamp-posts yet.

There’s been a fair amount of cooking and baking, too:-

But most of all, I wanted to say thank YOU, because without you this blog is nothing… or at least it’s just a random knitter waffling into the ether. I love your comments and the generosity of your responses. I hope that 2017 is going to be a mighty fine year for you and yours. And if you’re celebrating tonight, ENJOY!

Right, I’m off to get my party frock on. Happy new year!

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The Best Knitting Blogs (IMHO)

The best knitting blogs out there are marvels of inspiration and wit.* Ditto the best crochet blogs of course, but today’s post is unashamedly needle-biased.

So whilst we sit here stitching beside the fire, I hope you don’t mind if I show you a few sites that you may or may not have seen before. If you’re a hooker and not a needler, do stick around because regardless of which side of the yarn fence you pitch your tent, there are some mightily inspiring knitting-related words and pictures out there. I’ll just sling another log on the fire to stave off the worst of the hypothermia whilst we talk.

log fire

Oh, and help yourself to a drink, my fine fibrous friend. You’ll have to try and ignore the banging noise: I think the twinnage have locked the Stoic Spouse in the cellar again.

And so, to the matter of knitting blogs. First, let us fly our imaginary aeroplane (whose yarn-bombed exterior somehow doesn’t impair its aerodynamic performance even one jot) to Toronto, home of long-term Canadian blogger, the Yarn Harlot. She knits fast and beautifully, she spins, and she’s a woman who, frankly, could write about doing the laundry on a wet Wednesday and still raise a smile with her understated, wry humour. There’s nary a hint of anything twee or cutesy on her blog, and I love her all the more for that, although I realize that others would disagree. Also, having stayed and worked** in Toronto for three months a couple of decades ago, I’m always happy to read about the place.

knitting blog the yarn harlot

Where shall we go next?

How about Scotland? Scotland is good. And its Highlands are home to Kate Davies, academic who – following a stroke – turned knitting designer and yarn producer. Hers is a rare and precious talent for colour-work design, and her blog is also full of luscious photographs taken by her husband.

kate davies designs knitting blog

Screenshot from: https://katedaviesdesigns.com/2016/10/28/excellent-women/

Whilst we’re in Scotland, take a look at jenacknitwear.co.uk: she loves to talk about knitting, and photograph knitting, and think about knitting, and read about knitting, (do you think there might be a bit of a theme in her life?) and, well, knit. If you feel the same, you’ll like her blog.

Zooming over the Atlantic once again, we land in Arkansas, USA, the home of knitthehellout, home of lots and lots of beautiful knitting that’ll make you sigh with happiness. Whilst we’re Stateside, let’s take a look at knittingnuances too, interesting for the technicalities of knitting and how to use those to your best yarny advantage.

knitting nuances blog

Screenshot from knittingnuances blog

Of course, there’s the marvellous techknitting.com, for when you need really clear instructions on how to do the clever stuff with your needles.

Handknittedthings offers beautifully photographed knits. And whilst we’re back in Britain, have you read thegeekyknitter?

geeky knitter blog

Screenshot swiped from http://www.thegeekyknitter.co.uk/

And slightly cheaty, here, because they’ve been blogging about crochet a lot too, recently, but I can’t resist the wonderful Scandi creativity of Arne and Carlos. If you love stranded colour-work, you’ll adore their designs. I had a moment of feeling star-struck when I saw them at the Knitting And Stitching Show in London last year:-

arne and carlos knitting and stitching show

Rubbish photo because I didn’t want to seem like the sort of person who would take photos of her knitting idols, despite the fact that this was exactly what I was doing.

Want some more? OK. There are so many lovely knitting blogs. Here are just some of them:-

Dramatic Lyric

The Woolly Adventures Of A Knitting Kitty (although she’s taking a break at the moment)

Nittin’ Ninja

A Kingfisher Morning. Written by a knit/yarn/design industry insider: she’s fascinating and her photos are stunning.

The Snail Of Happiness. Knitting and environmental activism. I like.

Katie Writes Stuff, so you can read stuff.

Nana Cathy

I could go on, but the hour is late, the wine bottle is empty, and I’d better go and let the Stoic Spouse out of the cellar. Happy blog-reading, peoples!

 

∗ Gonna go out on a limb, here, and say that if you’re witty and articulate with a really dry sense of humour, and an aversion to clichés, and you knit, please start a blog.

** Demonstrating and selling optical illusions to the crowds in a shopping mall: it’s fair to say that I didn’t find my vocation that year. Toronto is awesome, though.

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Over To You

On Sunday, this blog quietly turned three, which gives me an OK-ish excuse to wheel out pictures of the cake that the Stoic Spouse secretly had commissioned ahead of this site’s first blogiversary, in 2014. (Way back in the mists of time, he also proposed via a cake. Are you spotting a theme in this man’s primary means of communication? If he ever decides to ditch me, it’ll probably be via an ‘I want a divorce’ cake.)

blogiversary blog cake knitting

The blogiversary cake was large, and rather delicious. I wish I could have given you each a slice because your kindness, generosity of spirit, and humour, have made this blog. Also, it was damn fine cake.

Seriously though, thank you. Whether you’re a loyal long-termer, or whether you only came across The Twisted Yarn at 3am this morning because you’d already read the rest of the internet and this was the only thing that remained, I really do appreciate your visits, and your comments.

image

Anyway, I was thinking about how quite a few of you are bloggers yourselves, whilst others are on the look-out for interesting yarn-related stuff to read. So I thought, why don’t we all have a little party right here on this page? If you’re a blogger, feel free to shout out loud about what you do via a comment at the end of this post. If you’re a reader and you know of a blog or two that the rest of us should definitely be reading, please tell us why!

Meanwhile, this year’s Stylecraft Blog Tour has just kicked off, promoting lovely new shades in chunky and aran ‘Special’ yarn. Emma Varnam has shared her blanket, and Jane Crowfoot has taught us about colour. Still to come, are Keep Calm And Crochet On, Sue Pinner, Annaboo’s House, Hand Knitted Things, Cherry Heart, The Patchwork Heart, Crafternoon TreatsStylecraft’s own blog, and Le Monde de Sucrette. Oh, and I’m in there too, on 31st October to be precise. Hurrah!

So let’s hear about your blogs!    ↓Comments!↓

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It’s Not A Popularity Contest! Oh, Wait, Actually It Is…

Hello blog. Just a short one today.

Thank you for all the kind comments that you’ve left lately, you lovely yarny lot. On Sunday, this blog will be three years old. Three! I can scarcely believe it. In my experience, three-year-olds are obstreperous and independent little spirits, prone to embarking on unhinged adventures and removing all of their clothes on a whim. So read here at your peril.

Talking of the blog, I discovered by chance the other day that I’ve been shortlisted for the British Craft Awards!

British Craft Awards

Good grief! I’d have fallen off my chair in surprise at the news if I’d been sitting on one at the time. Anyway, now that the shortlist is out there, the winner is to be selected by public vote. (Can you tell where I’m going with this? What, you can?!) So I would be hugely honoured and grateful if you popped over to their site in order to wang me a vote. And if you’re in the UK, you stand a chance to win big chunky Amazon vouchers, too, just for the trouble of entering. The link is here. Select the Knitting And Crochet option, and then within the question about your favourite blogger, you’ll see this very site listed as an option. If you’re kind enough to vote for me, I’ll pop round and weave in all your yarn ends as an act of gratitude, because I’m not above a little bribery and corruption when it’s needed. Um, thank you.

So has there been knitting and crochet? Well yes, there most certainly has. There’s also been a fair amount of frogging, but I’ve tried to be all adult about it and tell myself that frogging a dozen hours of work is just bringing me closer to the eventual much better outcome. Unfortunately I’m not falling for that rubbish. I’m busy designing something for the Hobbycraft chain of shops and it just wasn’t working. It looked very nice in my head, but the reality was a little less splendid. So I sat in my usual spot at the twinnage’s music group and began to thread my needle many rows down, ready to rip out a lot of stitches. (For privacy reasons, photo taken whilst all the children were out of shot gathered round the teacher’s piano.)

20161017_161513_1476996752400_resized

Onwards, my friends, onwards. I shall not be defeated by a pesky cowl.

May your crochet and knitting be more successful than mine.

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Blogstars

Last weekend I was in West Yorkshire at the invitation of Stylecraft. The occasion was the inaugural meeting of their ‘Blogstars‘ programme, in which a dozen of us yarny bloggers/designers get the chance to work closely with Stylecraft and hear whispers about new yarns that are on their way. (Clue: there are some very interesting and unexpected developments afoot.)

blogstar-master-logo-large

They kindly asked me to take part. ‘Would you like to come up to the picturesque valleys of West Yorkshire, tour our old woollen mill, stay in a luxurious hotel with fabulous food/wine, talk yarn with fellow designer-bloggers, and attend a meeting that’s all about yarn and at which you’re allowed, nay encouraged to knit throughout, at the end of which we’ll give you a giant sack of Stylecraft and KnitPro freebies?’

“Hmm,” I said, frowning. “I’ll need to take some time to think about that.”

Approximately one fortieth of a nanosecond later, I squealed “YES PLEASE!”

So I set off in the grimy ol’ Stinkwagon, its ancient axels grumbling under the weight of enough knits-in-progress to keep me going if I accidentally got stranded in Yorkshire for three months… even though I was heading for a woollen mill which could reasonably be expected to supply some knitting materials if Armageddon happened and we had a lock-in. The journey was slow. I suspect that knitters and crocheters are the only people who like traffic jams (proper ones where you have to completely stop and you may as well turn off your engine for the next half hour), but sadly there were no traffic jams, so I didn’t get to knit en route.

IMG_8562

Four hours later, I was in Slaithwaite. The first treat was the mill tour that I described in my last post, and then there was a muchly fun evening with some of my fellow Blogstars and a couple of Stylecraft folk at the hotel. When I came down to the bar and saw one of the group knitting, I knew that I’d found my people. See these folk? They’re all thoroughly lovely (except me):-

Left to right: Heather from The Patchwork Heart blog, Helen from The Knitting Exploits Of Josie Kitten, Sarah from Annaboo's House, me, Annabelle (Stylecraft), and - knitting! - Juliet (Blue Bear / Stylecraft).

Left to right: Heather from The Patchwork Heart, Helen from The Knitting Exploits Of Josie Kitten, Sarah from Annaboo’s House, me, Annabelle (Stylecraft), and – knitting! – Juliet (Blue Bear / Stylecraft)

The views from the hotel weren’t too shabby. I took this shot from the hotel’s helipad: fortunately I managed not to get squished by any incoming helicopters.

IMG_8584

The views were charming, especially as the day faded…

IMG_8579

…to near-darkness:-

IMG_8577

Anyway, back to the yarn. The main event was scheduled for the following day, back at the Stylecraft mill in Slaithwaite. This was where we got to meet up not just with folk from the previous night, but also with the rest of the Blogstars (excluding a couple of people who couldn’t make it this time). Here we are:-

Here we are. Image courtesy of Sophie at Stylecraft (a fellow RUNNER-AND-KNITTER! I LIKE this woman. :-) ) Left to right, back row: Sandra (Cherry Heart), Julia Marsh (Hand Knitted Things), Helen (The Knitting Exploits of Josie Kitten), Sarah (Annaboo's House). Front row, left to right: Kathryn (Crafternoon Treats), Heather (The Patchwork Heart), me, Lucy (Attic 24), Sue (Shropshire Scrappers).

Image courtesy of Sophie at Stylecraft (a fellow RUNNER-AND-KNITTER! I LIKE this woman. 🙂 ) Back row, left to right: Sandra (Cherry Heart), Julia (Hand Knitted Things), Helen (The Knitting Exploits of Josie Kitten), Sarah (Annaboo’s House). Front row, left to right: Kathryn (Crafternoon Treats), Heather (The Patchwork Heart), me, Lucy (Attic 24), Sue (Shropshire Scrappers).

I’d met Lucy (Attic 24) before when we co-judged the Stylecraft yarn competition at the mill last year, but I’d never met the other bloggers, so it was fabulous to chat to fellow people who like to do stuff with yarn and then talk about it online. There was frustratingly little time, though, so I hardly got to speak to some of them at all.

IMG_8563

Another shot of the view from the hotel.

So we got down to the heady business of yarn. There really are some very exciting developments coming soon from this ‘ere mill, so I’ll devote a whole post to telling you about them next time. Trust me, you’ll like them. 🙂

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Wobbly Blog Is No Longer Wobbly

Never work with children or animals, they say. I’d add technology: never work with technology… except for the fact that you can’t avoid the stuff. It’s great when it’s doing what it should: I have a gadget strapped to my wrist that buzzes and shouts MOVE! if I’ve been sitting still for longer than is healthy – this thing is a little like my husband, reproduced in electronic form.

photo 1

Meanwhile, I’ve nearly finished knitting the twinnage their mis-matched mitts.

But I’m sorry to report that we’ve had a wobble here at TTY that made it impossible for people to comment/like for about a week, although it’s all fixed now with the help of an abundance of Sellotape and some magic spells. Of course this happened in the week when Bloomsbury and I were running a giveaway that involved commenting, because the universe has a great sense of humour and it likes to mess with my head.

But at least the mittens are going well.

But at least the mittens are going well.

Anyway, in recognition of this disruption to the giveaway, the executive committee here at TTY (aka me and my glass of wine) have had a bit of a conflab, and in the interests of fairness, we’ve decided to extend the competition for an extra three days, so it will now close at midday GMT on Monday 8th February.

That's 1.5 of the twinnage's hands clothed so far...

That’s 3 of the twinnage’s hands clothed so far…

If you tried to enter during the barren period when my computer refused to talk to your computer, I apologize for the inconvenience, and encourage you to please submit your entry again by leaving your comment at the end of the giveaway post. My computer is now out of its sulk and is happy to chat.

Last one started! Might even get these done whilst the weather's still cold.

Last one started! Might even get these done whilst the weather’s still cold.

So if you haven’t entered already, give it a go. There are five copies of this marvellous book to be won.

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Good luck!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish knitting some mittens.

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So That Was 2015

Oh all right then, I submit. Every other blogger in the world has produced lovely collages of their stuff for an end-of-2015 post, so I suppose I should follow suit. Here are six images of 2015-y goodness from TheTwistedYarn. I hope you enjoy them. (And for those of you kind enough to have followed this blog a’while, I hope you don’t expire through boredom from the repetition of these pictures.)

So let’s begin with some of the things that I designed from scratch in 2015. As you’ll see, there’s a mix of knitting and crochet, sometimes within the same project…

stuff i designed www.thetwistedyarn.com

And would you like to see a little of my home? Long-term readers will know that I live in a more-than-averagely-eccentric leaky cold converted old brewery, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside:-

home www.thetwistedyarn.com

Oxfordshire itself is full of history and beauty, and in case you’re not familiar with its landscape, I’ve thrown a fair few local shots onto the blog this year. Here are a few of them:-

oxfordshire www.thetwistedyarn.com

There were adventures in 2015, too, including my column in Simply Knitting and also co-judging the Stylecraft competition:-

adventures www.thetwistedyarn.com

Of course, not all of my knitting was my own designs. I worked from other people’s patterns, too. You see those socks top left in the picture below? I left them in the laundry room a little too close to the take-to-charity-shop pile, and I think that the Stoic Spouse unwittingly scooped them up and donated them to Oxfam. Oh well, I hope that they’re keeping someone else’s feet toasty. I do miss them, though. And that qiviut cowl middle left? It’s still super-warm and super-soft. 🙂

knitting crochet www.thetwistedyarn.com

Finally, I can’t help but mention the food that I’ve grown (or foraged) with the help of the twinnage and my allotment-mate. J, you are a wonderful person as well as a brilliant allotment-mate:-

growing your own food www.thetwistedyarn.com

Anyway, that was 2015. Not bad. I’ve had worse years and I have had better. It was the year in which it became clear that there will be no more children in this household. 🙁 It was the year of the fatal fire at work. 🙁 But it was also a year of friendship and hope and my parents moving to Oxfordshire and the twinnage starting school. 🙂

So… 2016? Well I suspect that there’ll be some knitting and crochet. That insanely over-ambitious crochet project will be completed. I’ll begin vlogging. (Got the lights. Got the microphone. Got the advice from a kindly Hollywood director (Mike Figgis). Just need a more functional internet connection.)

And you? May 2016 bring you love, companionship, and a whole hairy heap of yarn. Happy new year, my friends.

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