It's not just yarn that I'm addicted to........

.......I have a weakness for beautiful fabrics too! I have a wonderful friend who has recently returned to knitting and crochet. She needed yarn supplies and I needed heavy duty interfacing for a commission. After a delicious cappuccino in Lewis's (Moseley), we walked up to Guthrie and Ghani. You may remember Lauren from the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Guthrie and Ghani is her fabulous fabric shop and haberdashery and is well worth a visit. One glance at the fabric bolts and I was lost.The colours and patterns started to spark a few ideas, but who could resist this fella ? I left with fabric, nearly forgot the interfacing, of course and my friend bought some lovely alpaca and sparkly laceweight, oh and a coupIe of remnants too. I may use the fabric to make bags for projects, but for now I am just admiring him because I still have to finish the commission that required the interfacing!

Over the Juniper Moon

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I started work on a new commission for Knitting magazine yesterday. The design concept is simple, but the internal shaping requires a yarn with good stitch definition. Juniper Moon Farm's Moonshine does not disappoint! A 100g hank gives you 180m of a 40% wool 40% alpaca 20% silk mix that is glorious to work with. It comes in a small, but beautiful palette too!

Knitting magazine 144 August 2015

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The designs for this issue focus on indoor and outdoor accessories. There are lots of hot, spicy colours in this issue and so I chose a sizzling pink and a vibrant coral, offset with a fizzing lime for my suncatchers. I used Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk DK - 100% silk (approx 100m per 50g) in Lime 09, Hot Pink 20 and Coral 21. This is a beautiful, cool yarn to work to knit and crochet with. If you are having a party in the garden, why not hang them from the trees for a festival feel. The lampshade uses a simple, highly effective lace stitch to cover a plain white shade. I used Sublime Egyptian Cotton DK 100% cotton (approx 105m per 50g) in Peony 326, but you could choose from the range of beautiful shades in this range to match your decor. Finally we are off to the beach! This nautical beauty is simple to knit and carries instructions on how to line it, so that the bag keeps its shape. Really impressed with King Cole Cotton Soft DK 100% cotton (210m per 100g). Very soft to work with and excellent stitch definition!

Off the grid

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So here goes - I'm finally launching my website and feeling very excited about sharing ideas, yarns and designs with you - and like many a F1 racing driver, not entirely sure what lies around the next bend. Knitting and crochet are often worked from a grid(charts) and the resulting fabrics are grid like in structure. However, far from being rigid, this grid enables and allows us to be endlessly creative. One might associate the word 'grid' with squares, but the grid itself can be any shape. Similarly the uniformity of the squares can be manipulated, whi ch is what happens when we twist stitches or work a cable. The squares, (or stitches, can be made to rise and fall in the case of chevrons, or disappear when working a yarn forward in a lace pattern. Clever use of colour and patterning can create optical illusions as well as representative images. As a designer I get to decide how to fill all those little squares with colour, texture and pattern! Returning to the grid will be a recurrent theme of the website - an opportunity to provide good, clean designs with relevant stitch, yarn and colour choices.

The website will provide you with access to exclusive designs and kits. It will also showcase yarns from a range of sources, including small independent spinners and dyers as well as some high street favourites. As a freelance author and designer I am not tied into any particular brand and look forward to discussing my yarn choices with you as well as offering alternatives where appropriate.My collections will be small and will often feature a web exclusive, small projects for pop-up trends as well as patterns from my archive that you may have missed! I will blog about the design process and share any tips and techniques that I think you will find useful. I will also be using the blog to let you know about knitting related events and daily inspiration. From time to time, I will be able to offer kits to support my designs -the first of these will appear in August, but more on that a little nearer the time. You might like to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for quick updates.

Knitting, crochet and all things yarn are my passion. I am fascinated by its colours textures and possibilities. I am intrigued by its social history and health benefits. Nothing compares to a beautiful yarn passing rhythmically through your fingers accompanied by the gentle click of your needles.