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Well my Squishers,I have decided to try and blog to keep a tab on my personal progress with the goals I have set for myself this year, if you were with me last year you will know that I had pretty much landed with a thump Into the world of yarn dying and also into the world of knitting. I would say I still class myself as a beginner knitter and someone who ultimately just seeks all the ways to make my work vibrant and something I didn't ever expect to make...........like this awesome Mustard skein of 100,s n 1000's .........I have never really used yellow on its own before........turns out I love it!

When I first began dying yarn, I wondered what it would feel like a year down the line, or two or even more, if I would feel the same or less passionate about what I do. It turns out, I have found that dying yarn is the most all consuming thing I have ever done and I am more passionate and excited about what the potential of yarn could be than I ever imagined. I read and talk a lot to other creative people about how to keep the fire burning and how they stay inspired, as it has been my top priority to workout and understand what makes me tick and the kinds of things that make me stay awake until 2am knitting to finish a pattern. you may know that I knit a lot of socks, lots and lots actually and they never match, which is kinda of my thing. I hate being told what to do and the though of having to make a matching one 'just because' (insert my mothers voice here, she hates mismatches socks....... I think I do it to wind her up!!haha!!) just doesn't work for me, it also means I never ever ever get second sock syndrome. its the first sock every time! when I first began lusting over socks they looked so complicated and there was a lot of math and pointy needles and I had babies and no time and I was like a walking zombie (which I'm pretty sure anyone who has had small people will know the feeling!) so I would just look at all the beautiful socks on Instagram and wonder...........would I ever just get a grip and make one.

well,.......... I did! but, I never read a pattern. I am a kinaesthetic learner so watching and doing is the way my brain absorbs information so I watched videos on afterthought heels until I could get my head a round it but I wasn't happy with how holy my heels looked, I just couldn't ever find the time to insert a heel before knitting the rest and the toes........well.......... lets just say by the end of last year I probably had about 20 individual socks that were either missing a toe, a heel or both. I do have a very happy ending story for these socks though, which I will tell you about in the furture. I have made a little talk with myself about accepting help, that help can mean that instead of me doing everything all the time and maybe not getting it finished that accepting  help will let me focus more on what my big dream goals are and stay sane at the same time. well that the idea anyway! so my unfinished socks have been whisked away for some 'help' and will be returning soon.

So where is all this going you ask, well, when I think about what I have done over the last year its pretty crazy and a bit like childbirth...........I have very little memory of it!  last year I learned how to knit socks and this year I have been seriously designing my own. So, I wanted to keep my blog as more of a joiurnal for me to reflect back on and see what I have actually been doing rather than what I think I did. which you will know is often vastly different from the reality,and as this year has kind of set off like a rocket I just wanted somewhere to reflect, which means I hope to be blogging more often as you tube videos are great but finding quality time without the little ones around is always tricky, this way I can track my squish life during the dark hours of the evenings!

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For starters, at the beginning of the year I never expected to designing wrist warmers, or socks. I just thought I would be dying yarn but it turns out my creativity is seeking additional outlets and my mind, no longer clouded by the utter exhaustion of small people seems to have allowed extra space for extra things. like these wrist warmers up here. where did they come from! I didn't design them on paper before hand, I have an idea of what would make for an addictive pattern but I take it from there as even when I have written an idea down, by the time I have started knitting it has already changed......... I don't even like being told by myself what to do.......I take this with a bit of humour as it helps me find better ways of getting the most out of myself. like just going with the feeling, it works better for me. however, these wrist warmers will also become socks, and then I realised that if I created 4 designs in one week........ I need to have plan for what happens if I do that next week and the week after. suddenly I am now venturing into the world of knit designing, which I think is a little crazy, but I feel that maybe I am too......... did you meet Gloria in my last post?!

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The knitting bug set in when I made the sock that matches this wrist warmer, which is when I realised I could just knit tubes all day long and they would act like a mini canvas and a sample of what I could make a sock out of. it was so exciting. Finally finding my knitting identity. Im pretty sure that its not a surprise to any of you that it was spots.....with red! so I feel head over heels (hahaha) for the potential possibilities that pattern designing could offer me in terms of advancing my dying technique and style. I have already dyed up a solid Mustard and Teal so that they can act as backdrops to the patterns. its so cool to be able to create your own colours for your own ideas for your own knits, even if Im the only one to knit them. however, I decided to get this pattern written up, which took ages because I have small people, but I did and its currently being tested as we speak ahead of my launch for the release which will be on my birthday this month, the 30th of April. Yaaaaaay!!!!

All of my patterns are really designed for you to mix and match them, make one in one colour and not suffer second sock or wrist warmer syndrome and cast on a new one so that you too can push your expectations of colour blending and maybe you too will choose a colour that wasnt your 'thing' and really make it your own. it goes without saying its much safer to be brave with lots of small things rather that a garment which requires more consideration, but my ambition is that by Christmas that I will have 40 patterns. yep. I'm going from 0-40. totally possible right!? 

I would love for at least one of them to be a garment, I would like to knit more for my girls as its good to capitalise on the home made clothes thing when your small people are young enough not to care if their mum is a crazy knitting lady and you have crazy knitted clothes n stuff, although I could be surprised and they may grow up with a liking for my knitting, by then I will be. knitting whizz ( laugh out loud moment! ).

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for now I will stay with things that are knitted on the round, that are maybe sock size. I realised today that I haven't made any socks for Minnie! so I'm going to cast on a little sock tonight and see where that takes me.

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there is also this bag shaped elephant that has appeared in my life. yep, I made another one. there is a bigger theme going on around this bag and that is that I am slowly becoming obsessed with organising. Everything. I have been consumed with space utilisation since Christmas, mostly it began as a way of creating a clear divide between work and home, which, as you can imagine, for a knitter thats kind of hard to separate your yarn life from your yarn life, but there were parts of the squish business all through the house and after lots of moving we finally moved everything, bar the actual dyeing, into one room. since then, everything, every cupboard, every bag and even the attic has been receiving the 'use it, gift it, throw it' mantra that is taking over my life. I must say, it has not only brought a lot of calm to the house, I actually feel better knowing that I know where things are. I have a life time of all the things I have hoarded over the years so it has been so good to lighten not just the load of my house, but my mind. it has created some valuable space for my most favourite things, like yarn and knitting!

anyway......back to the bag! as you may imagine, when your in the business of yarn, theres always a lot around, but I rarely use a whole skein but I do gift myself all the scrappy babies........ they are all mine, until of course I get over run and then I offer them to you guys. I have been so into my scrappy socks at the moment that my stash bag just got fuller and fuller as I wanted to have all of the ones I may use with me at all times.......... as you do........but the bag wouldn't accommodate all my stash and my project and I didn't want to separate them because that would be a real pain. So I thought about all the things that would make my life easier and decided a bigger one, tab closures and room for me to reach my knitting and be able to knit straight from the bag. 

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so far it is perfect, and it is so quick to close up I can even do it with one hand! there is a little video of it on my Instagram.

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oddly, even though they are both giant dots that are closed with a drawstring, the difference between them is huge, so is the capacity. I only ever use 9" circulars so I keep them in that little spotty pouch with my little mini ball winding tool. I won't lie, I think I can see bags in my future, but for now I will settle with completely organising everything that lives in a bag because nothing creates the sense of frustration that arrises when you can find that thing you know is in your bag.

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Taking of squish, of course there is always a lot of squish here, Minnie has become very skilled at naming them, its almost like nature watching, I show her some colours and ask what they are and she just knows! she will even tell me that I need to make certain ones, its no lie that my girls are inspiring to be around and I am always asked about making things. I sure I may appear like one of those elves that overnight make the shoe makers shoes, as some evenings before bed Minnie will ask me for something and the next morning I am able to show her progress. she really enjoys this bit and she will often tell me I am doing a good job and I am often left with further requests! Rainbow Dash and all the Ponies are Minnie's requests, so was the Gruffalo set!

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Minnies favourites by far has to be the mini's! they are also mine too, they are mini versions of big skeins and as every mini is hand wound from a full 100gram Skein then you will always have a good idea of what my colour ways look like. These vibrant minis have just been added to my 'Ready to Ship' section, I will have some Scrappy Sock kits heading this way very soon so keep your eyes peeled for those, they have lots pop new colours to try out.

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I have been dyeing so many Trolls these last two weeks that I even listen to the soundtrack whilst in dyeing the squish, makes it far more atmospheric!! This one here is Poppy on Glitter DK which Minnie asked for, not sure what to make with it yet, the glitter just makes me want to stroke it rather than knit with it but I will get this on my needles soon.

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But here is the latest WIP that has come off my needles, mustard 100's n 1000's with Bubble Gum pink, Liquorice and bare naked yarn! I am having so much fun playing around with a few simple patterns, seeing how they work up and having ideas of what to do next. I particularly love the way these spots stand out from the Mustard. 

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and finally, after creating her months ago my Red Rainbow is finally in the shop. I think this year I will be bringing lots more red into my knitting, so starting my year off with a Red Rainbow sounded perfect! I will be releasing my simple sock recipe which I use for all of my socks. now and also my simple wrist warmer pattern for those of you who want to work up to trying a little bit of colour work, but its also a great confidence builder if you ever want to try socks............if you can do the ribbed cuff and a tube you are half way to making a sock!!

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Keeping it simple is all I am about, which is probably why I enjoy making colour ways that create visual interest like stripes or speckles, sometimes with colour overload, like this Strawberry Split, I never thought Id be a Red on Pink and all the other colours you could find kind a gal. 

well I guess this enough waffle for now, have the most fabulous day and if you want to find out about my updates, pattern release or news about whats happening at Kate Selene HQ (thats my house by the way hehehe) then you can sign up to my newsletter, until then,

toodlepip!

x

Scrappy socks and a brand new bag!

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It has been a little while since I made my last truly scrappy sock, you know the ones, where you only use your scraps up and no new squish! so I have decided to join Blueberryfields Scrappy Sock knit along on Instagram. So I grabbed a bundle of my yarns, non of them were striping in any way as I wanted at least to have an overall feeling to them, speckle tactic is where I was going and I wanted to look at blending.

I have been really inspired by designing knitted pieces that make the most of all those little bits, so with these socks I just went with the flow. I have no idea why I have never done vertical striping before but after my first sock, I thought it would be a perfect way to blend some of those colours together, which always inspires. new colour combinations. there is not enough time in the world to try out all of the colour combos that are possible, so this little canvas was perfect!

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Knitting these socks has been pure joy.........it is now, it wasn't quite so fun to begin with as I found it really hard to choose the next colour, simply as I had to hunt around in my bag for the little bits and they were getting crazy tangled. I remembered I made my girls a giant play mat when they were really young which essentially was a circle with drawstrings so you could just pull it all together......

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Not one to wait, Im also here by myself as Jon has taken Minnie to Portsmouth so I tend to get a little fidgety...........I have totally re organised the Wool room (thats its real name!) and at 11.30pm on Friday I was sitting on the floor sewing this up because I just couldn't wait! I have an abundance of spots and red stuff and of course toadstools, so naturally thats how my bag went!

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its perfect! seriously it really is and I even started my second (not matching of course) sock because I wanted to use my bag. its funny how finding problems with the way you work just gets you to find ways to make the task more enjoyable. its also reversible, which is very handy, otherwise in the wrong bag or the wrong place and the spots just camouflage in with all the other red spotty stuff............. I did have a red spotty bag with 6 red spotty other bags in it and it was impossible! spot blindness!

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Talking about spot blindness.........I can never have too many spots, I am just rolling with it as it brings me such joy. I have been going a little dotty over putting spots into things, lots of socks, wrist warmers and hats. I am building confidence for a small jumper or cardigan and feel like the time spend practicing and working on this small scale will help me in the long run. you should be seeing some more versions of this pattern soon as the pattern is heading out to the testers. I had so many replies to my test knitter request that anyone who I didn't get a chance to work with this time I have added you to my test knitter list. I will have lots more, they are so much fun to design.

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I designed my first ever pattern when Tabby was almost 1, I guess from then until now it has been pretty full on, so it feels good to finally be in a place where I can use those other bits of my brain that all night feeds, no sleep ever and learning on the job how to run a business from home.......with two small people.......who clearly inspire me in more than one way.

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I have been busy gradually adding colours to my shop this year, my newest collection is the 100's n 1000's collection which first appeared ion my 2017 Advent calendars, but they were a real favourite of mine so I decided to release them in the shop. I now do 50gram skeins so if 100 grams is just too much then 50grams is perfect, you can definitely get a pair of socks out of them!

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It has been very cathartic starting a new collection, last year I created over 250 different repeatable colour ways,  so this year I will be adding some of them back to the shop. Pop Fizzles are high on the list of most requested so those will be the next one to make an appearance!

I have been having so much fun lately, if you run your own business or are thinking of doing it (you should!) then you will know that there are so many things that go into running it, and its not all about making the things that you love, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done all the time. so I have come up with a solution that may work well for me (and you if your into this type of stuff) and involves getting an assistant. it sounds glorious doesn't it, someone who organises you, tells you all the things you need to do and makes sure things don't fall through the cracks and releases you to focus on the most fun part, yarn dyeing and pattern designing. the more I thought about it the better it sounded, but my assistant isn't really someone else, although I have given her a name, its Gloria. Gloria is actually me from 6.15-7.30 am every day and full days on Monday and Friday! yep! I haven't got a real assistant but after I wrote down all of the things that needed doing I realised that wearing a different hat would probably help me feel more organised. 

So far, she started work officially this morning as I have spent the last three days writing her job description and yesterday she made lots of templates and lists so that she could start her first day on a good footing, and so far its actually really helped! because to imagine one person can do it all is a bit mad, but if I pretend that I have another job, as Gloria, and she can do all those super important things, like stock taking, order tracking, emailing etc than I can be freed up to be Kate when I'm dying squish, and not trying to do everything all the time, which will make anyone feels crazy. you could say developing an alter ego who is your personal assistant a bit crazy but until I find my real Gloria I have me. it does mean I can blame someone if something doesn't get done which makes me laugh!! Il let  you know how her induction goes and if she is a keeper........ I hope so!

how do you manage all the things all the time? 

I am off to get the babe ready for bed and knit a bit on my sock before I transform into Gloria in the morning and Kate for the rest of the day because I have a full dye day planned as Jon will be home. I love painting ............ I will also be belting out the tunes as singing really makes me feel free! I don't even care if the postman hears me!

Kate xxx

Taking some time to reflect

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March was a landmark month for me and my family, it has been a year since I left my full time job in education, to run my own business and commit to spending more time with my family.  There are so many reasons why I chose do to this, babies, car accident, the feeling of not going anywhere, ever, in my job, but I couldn't do any of it without the support of my husband, who just trusted that  feeling I had about painting yarn was going to last long enough for this to be a new way of life for us.

 

 The colour of March

The colour of March

 

It has been the most exciting, liberating, challenging and sometimes utterly, utterly exhausting experiences, like today.............my tank is truly empty! but theres not a day gone by, truly, where I even consider that I made the wrong decision because even at my worst, I'm at home with my family. which is what I realised about my last job, theres just no room for women in my area of work to have a young family. no body cares if you have literally not slept because you have a 5 month old baby and a two year old. no one cares that every 8pm meeting that means I get home at 9pm and its another night where I haven't seen my children and don't see them again until they wake up......and thats if they wake up before I leave. it was just getting more than a grind and the life I had wasn't the life I wanted. I would advise anyone who wanted to leave, to leave, id help them work on exit strategies, make it feel real and possible. but I think I was the one who wanted to leave the most. and one day, I just did. never looked back, couldn't wait to be rid of the old me and just life my life with freedom, creative freedom, as the job I thought I would be in for ever........made my art dull.......I stoped being excited and optimistic and I guess my creative practice reflected that. When I had my daughters, I felt it come back and I just ran with it.

 

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I guess that why I really love being a parent. I don't really get a chance to get stuck in a predictable routine, which means theres never two days the same and they find new things to be excited about all the time, some of you may notice that a lot of my yarn reflects the stuff my girls are into, Trolls and Ponies! ha! seriously, I watched Trolls twice today, even I look forward to seeing it!

 

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This month is my Birthday month and also Easter holidays, which for the first time in my life I can appreciate it, as my big girl is home, and running a business and a family means that I have got to be realistic about what we can all achieve, as its tricky enough when she is in pre- school, so I decided to shut the shop so that I can have some time to focus on getting my outstanding orders out of the door, spend time with my family and try and get a bit of rest, which is proving elusive with the girls both being ill....... typical.....always the holidays! but theres also a lot of egg hunts and birthday parties going on this month, we had both today which was fab! so just being available to do these things is priceless! even if I do feel like a zombie.

 

 April Colour way

April Colour way

so whats been happening this month in my yarn mind? chocolate and Easter eggs! I have been getting very carried away with this months colours which just look edible to me, and I have been knitting socks, a new shawl and trying a few new techniques in my surprise clubs which always keeps thing exciting for me. 

I have been working hard this last month to move into a new way of working which involves having limited spaces for surprise clubs (this month its Trolls!! which I am drying ready to be wound!) and having a big ready to ship update and those minis create havoc in my order system so that has allowed me to create some really exciting new colour combos and I can't wait to share them with you! its just been refreshing to put the breaks on , re-evaluate and say focused on whats really important, colour and family! family and colour! and it feels like progress. 

 

 Candied Egg treat boxes

Candied Egg treat boxes

There have been a lot of changes to how I run my little shop so if you would like to know whats happening, or when my Scrappy sock kits, minis and surprise clubs will go up then you can subscribe to my mailing list, il be using IG to let you know when things are happening but this month you will see a lot of knitting, my girls and also some of the amazing things you guys have been making with my yarn.  

 

I have had. quite a lot of you tell me not to spend my break dying yarn, which is hard but I am definetly slowing down, as when you have small people its kinda hard to not to give into whats happening around you, like last night, 3am my littlest stopped crying and finally went to sleep, albeit with me ending up in the cot with her, needles to say, not the best sleep and cots really don't do anything for my back! yikes! so today I'm feeling a bit like Im not really with it, you know ? (if you have children, I know you know!). so todays job is to dye up yarn, wind for orders Im getting out on Saturday (my post office isn't open all this week) iv already tied up 80 skeins for tomorrows dye so wish me luck for sleep, iv got an early start to make some more headway on those orders. I won't be opening my dyed to order section for a little while until Im definitely making some good progress and I'm up to date, I just need some space to get my head down and get the squish out of the door, things just suddenly got very busy and I need to prioritise those of you who already have orders with me before I open my dyed to order listings again.

But.......this month I will be releasing the pre- order for my Advent minis which will ship around October, so I want to be prepared so Il let you know more about this soon as I know some of you would like an idea about price etc.

Also....... are you going to Wonder Wool Wales this year?

have a fabulous Easter weekend, I hope its filled with chocolate and not colds............. 

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its about time for a change

for quite sometime I have been considering a change in the direction of my little corner of squish here in the country, balancing my life wit yarn and family is a huge job and recently, I have seen my order numbers climb in ways i never expected and suddenly find the yarn is slowly taking over my life, and not all in a good way. I'm answering messages and all sorts every hour of the day and every day i a yarn day which means I'm squeezing out my family for the love of wool.

if you have been with me on instagram, you will be aware that I am changing the way things work for all of us, that me and my family and you as a customer. I really need more structure in my life so that I can keep my priorities in order which is to spend quality time with my family and to continue to love and be obsessed with yarn.

Many of you may not know, but I reached the decision to run my own business and be with my husband and my girls not long after I had a pretty bad car accident, 6 months after having my first baby whilst I was on my way home from work. I broke most of my bones including my back and was very very lucky to even wake up in my car let alone know that I will be able to see my husband and my daughter again.

So......... I always have to remember why I'm here and why I'm doing this, which is why I have needed to change how it all works so that things behind the scenes are more efficient and you have more choice about how you order your yarn and when it will arrive.

I have changed my site to show you what is available, each section gives you an overview of the clubs etc, but essentially, I will be doing all mini skeins, treat boxes, scrappy sock kits etc through a Ready to Ship Update. Clubs will be limited and instead of running through the month they will be released on the 1st and won't go back up once the limited numbers have sold. these will ship within two weeks which is tons better for you and for me!

My Dyed to order has been increased to 8 weeks and has all of my colour ways available to buy.

I will be selling exclusively through my Etsy Shop from now on so that is the only place you can find me.

mostly, I really want to stay here and make yarn, I hope we can all ride the wave of change and within a few months I expect to see a big shift in both my Homelife and business.

 

these guys are why I do it and I need to make sure its sustainable...........

if your still here, thank you so much.......it means the world to me! I truly cannot express to you have valuable every message, comment, purchase and contact I have had with you. xxx

What is it really like?

I often look at those instagram accounts and wonder- what is their life really like? You know, when all the beautiful pictures are take away and the craziness of life is exposed. What's it really like? Well, for me.............it's not as serine as the pictures of the knitting I post, although this actually does happen, when the girls are in bed and I between going up to feed the little one and sitting down, I actually do knit! And it's my therapy.

 

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Every one has got different ideas of what working for yourself looks like, for me, it was all about being close to my little family. My full time job took me out of the house at 7.30 and back when my girls were in bed, and i missed it all. We were lucky to be able to have one of us stay at home full time, so it felt worth it. Being my own boss was something I always joked about, I guess I never thought I'd ever be brave enough to ever do it, but 3 years ago, just as my first baby turned 6 months and I had been back at work 3 weeks, I had a car accident not far from home. I spent days in a coma and broke most things including my back , my shoulder, all my ribs on my left and my pelivs in three places. Yay! Needles to say, I was away from my family for a long time, and when I did return home i was in a wheelchair and as soon as I could walk again I had to go back to work. After my second baby, it didn't feel right. I didn't want to miss what I almost didn't have, which was my husband and my girls. so, I dyed more yarn...and then lots more..... I knitted every second I had and joked that my ideal job would be knitting for a living!! Ha! People in work would look at me like the crazy yarn lady who spent her lunch break knitting or winding minis or crocheting. I didn't care. I left my full time job and here i am. I just jumped off the edge and I have never looked back. Both me and my husband ( who really is essential, he organises me and our life) work on my yarn full time and around the girls. Which sometimes means working late into the evening if it means we create a few hours the next day to do things together, or we time a park visit into the post run so that spend our time together.

 

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But, it's not always Rainbow Sherbets and unicorns here, dying yarn is an amazing job, I never get tiered of dying the same colour way, or getting excited of trying a new technique or colour, but, I do this alongside having my two girls who are with us all the time. It does mean that however many hours sleep if had ( last night....2) I don't have to get up, drive 45 mins to work, and have to be on show and perform. I love hiding being all the squishy yarn posts because my last job put me front row and centre every day, which was exhausting. Probably why I like living in the countryside.......it's calm and quiet......no one is knocking my door when I'm eating my lunch or needing a tutorial...... It's just dying yarn, knitting, small people, and more yarn.

It's a way of life, IV always made stuff and this honestly is the best job that I never even knew I had applied for,. I have never liked working for anyone, like really not liked it, so this has been a huge learning curve. I'm everything, yarn dyer, photographer, admin, packer, poster.......mum, wife and all the other stuff, which often involves cleaning, washing, shopping and the rest of life's needs. When no one is getting any sleep because someone is teething, or has a cold, and another one, sometimes I would like to hide under a pile of yarn. To sleep.......... And knit, but it's worth it. I'm with my family.

Being your own boss has meant having a work schedule, dying days, winding days, packing days, email hours..... remembering that there needs to be some boundaries, for me, in the last few days it's been turning of email notifications, so that I can dedicate time to sit down and read emails rather than have my phone beep at me all the time, or checking IG a certain time when I can sit down and catch up without someone needing me, it's all part of trying to keep the reason we did this in the first place right at the heart of all our decisions. Even if it means that some weeks I feel like I'm playing the catch up game, because the week before was lost to life stuff!

So whenever you see one of those accounts that just make you wonder, I'm pretty sure they are just coping with the craziness life is throwing at them, and trying to focus on the motivating, positive things, with the hope of meeting someone like you! We all start somewhere, the learning is endless and sometimes the grass really is greener!

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Knitting needle bangles

Make your own. 

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So........... If you have found yourself here....... You too must have at least one pair of plastic needles, either given to you, car bootied or hoarded, sitting around waiting to be somethig spectacular! 

this may be the project for you. I promise that it is the easiest piece of jewellery you will ever make and it will change the way you look at knitting needles forever!

 

all you need is the following -  

 

✔️ plastic needles - you probably already have them in your stash, go get them! 

✔️sacucepan and baking tray  

✔️tape - this is so that you can stop the plastic moving. 

✔️tongs - i have aesbestos fingers but togs are a essential for fishing the needles out of the boiling water. 

✔️ water - to boil needles  

✔️ stove top

✔️ oven gloves/tea towel - the plastic is super hot and this just helps when forming the plastic. 

✔️ rolling pin - or something that is similar to the shape of your wrist.

 

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to make these bangles you will be using boiling water to heat the plastic to make it maleable. Not melt. Really bendy! So grab yourself a turkey tray, id recommend it as you can immerse the whole needle all at the same time rather than waiting for your needle to soften like some spaghettie!

Its worth mentioning briefly a bit about plastic forming and plastic memory, as this will stop you feeling like its all gone horribly wrong and realising its normal. Plastic memory is the ability for a material to return to its original state upon re-heating. This is important as what you will be doing is changing the form of the plastic using heat. if you bend the plastic and re-emerse it in boiling water it will return back to its origional state, thus, no bangle!

Put your needle into boiling water and turn up the heat to keep it boiling. you can test it as often as you like to see how bendy it it, dont worry it wont turn into melted plastic.

get your tape, tongs and gloves/teatowel ready, fish out the needle and bead it around your rolling pin/former and try and get it into a round shape. 

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Every needle is made from different plastic and some will be more supple than others, my green one was soooo supple i could even bend the tip of the needle, this blue one was a lot stiffer.  

 

Hold your needle in its new shape either long enough for it to cool, or hold it and dunknit in cold water. You will notice it will stop wanting to move back to its origional shape and will stay put. You can now use the saucepan as your needle will fit nicely in the bottom.

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You may be able to bend the bangle all in one go, or it may take a few baths, more tape to hold the new shape in place for you to get the shape you want. See there in the picture above, i put tape in the areas which i want to keep the same. Even when re-heated, the tape is enough to hold that shape and then you can just concerntrate on shaping the rest. 

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Here is the bangle in the finished shape, the end of this needle did not want to move but I quite like it! Once i got the final shape, i cooled it in cold water, removed the tape, dried it off and put it on! Its that easy! 

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What are you waiting for? Go get the needles! Just remeber the following - 

✔️your bracelet does not need to be perfetly round to be awesome, oval, knotted, works for me!

✔️lots is surely better, plus you probably have a decent stash of these already!  

✔️wear them straight away, instant jewellery. Homemade at that!  

✔️every time you see plastic colourful needles, dont think 'do i need another pair!?' Think ' i dont have that size, colour, style needle bracelet yet, i must have it!'  

 ✔️please tag me in your attempts or finished bangles, Id love to see if made any, or indeed, how many you made!

✔️dont be stingy - i know ypu have knitting friends who will want one, buy all the needles!, make all the bangles!

✔️have fun, oh and try not to burn yourself in the excitement. 

 

kate

x

 

Sock Blanks

 Liquorice Allsorts

Liquorice Allsorts

Like many of you reading this post, like me, you probably have a less than healthy approach to buying, collecting, staring at and eventually using all the yarn you can get your hands on. This is primarily the reason why I started dying yarn in the first place, I just wanted more....... I wanted to look at it and squish it more than I actually knitted with it, this was mostly because I only had tiny balls or 50gram skeins that I didnt want to 'waste'.

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Needles to say, my bottomless pit of enthusiasm for yarn, and all the things you can do with it, have lead me to make yarn my full time job......... Which is amazing! But I also feel like iv entered a competetive knitting competition, with myself. If I stop knitting im not sure when il pick it up again so iv got to knit as often as I can. Im trying to get good at socks, using a super easy, make it up as you go along pattern. You see, for me to do something really well I have got to be immersed in it, do it all the time so that it becomes as familiar to me as driving a car.

You remeber that time when you were changing gear and pushing the peddles and thinking 'how do people make this look easy?!'  well, I guess making things is just like driving a car, you do it so much It becomes like a motor memory. If you can knit and watch tv you know what im talking about.

 

socks are my new 'thing', I generally use tiny scraps which make sock making quite fun, but the more I knit and think less about construction because im getting the hang of it, I have started thinking about how to fill them with colour. Each sock has been like a sample test and each time I knit Iv been thinking about the colour. 

 Lemon and lime

Lemon and lime

How can I make it more fun to knit? So , iv been trying some yarns with stripes of colour and today I have finally got around to trying a sock blank. 

 

 Srappy sock blank

Srappy sock blank

I cant believe its taken me so long to try this, my knitting machine that I bought years ago, well, I have three..........I almost had 15 before my other half asked me if I plan to hire a van and teach machine knitting? I genuinely was going to get them, just for myself. I didnt really get why someone thought that was excessive. Im a bit of a hoarder secretly!   But I have one good one which has been on standby just in case, and today was the day!

 

I love how the sock yarn knits up, really soft and flexible and instead of just trying to dye the blanks, we thought knitting my yarnsinto  blanks could be a great way of showing you how each colour way knits up, and you can knit from both ends. 

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I am very aware that this little excursion may very well take me down the rabbit hole, I just have to remind myself that I dont need more than one knitting machine and not everything needs to be made into a sock blank............ Although I am thinking that making some scrappy sock blanks would be pretty exciting! I would have fun making those!!

 

Stripy sock yarn

I have been going a little bit sock mad lately......... I just cant stop making them, in all different colours and lenghts, but theres one thing Iv been wanted to really try............... 

 Pink Ribbon Candy and Rasberry Ruffle

Pink Ribbon Candy and Rasberry Ruffle

........ Yarns that create some sort of pattern, that combines strong streaks of colour along woth lots of sprinkles so that all of the stitches are different.

 Pink Ribbon Candy

Pink Ribbon Candy

Iv fallen in love with this pink one and I loved seeing how the colours blended into eachother as they are knitted up in the round. 

im going to be casting on this vibrant Lemon and Lime later this evening to see how it knits up, its a variation on one the firat cooie ways I sold on Etsy, and since everything around us here in the English country side is all lushious and green, it felt like a good time to be playing with these fresh, juicy colours.......... Which are currently reminding me of ice cold cocktails...... But that might have something to donwith the insane lack of sleep due to two poorly girls! 

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But at least I am surrounded by bright, squishy yarn! Because the weather outside is as miserable as the mood inside today. I will be adding this new colour to my stripy blue sock later, id like to see how this knits up

 Lemon and lime

Lemon and lime

In other yarny news, I was sooooo chuffed to recieve a copy of Simply Knitting in the post and find that my yarn had been featured!! Squeeeel!! Its so exciting to see it in a magazine! 

 Simply knitting

Simply knitting

the feauture is for my chunky and Dk singles,, which are both gloriously springy, im currently knitting a cowl with it so I will post some progress pictures so that you can see how it knits up.

 

well, im off to add a row to those socks, see you again soon x

Surprise Skein club

Do you want to recieve a surprise in the post every month?!  

 Club orders are open during the first shop update every month. 

Club orders are open during the first shop update every month. 

I have a range of repeatable shop colours which are available in my shop all year long, but I wanted to introduce something special to the shop, so each month my club listings will go live in my shop and will close once they have sold out. 

 

all of the club orders will go out the first week of every month. Each skein will will different and full of speckles. They are available in both Sock yarn and DK weight. 

 

if your not a single skein collector, the mini club will be the right one for you, open every month for a surprise bundle in the post. 

 

 

Scrappy Socks

 My first pair of knitted socks!  

My first pair of knitted socks!  

If you follow me on Instagram you will probably know that knitting socks is one of those things I never thought I would do, but after seeing so many socks on the needles I decided to take the plunge............ I bought myself some 2.5mm circular needles and got knitting.

these really are the ultimate in portable knitting projects and I was able to take them everywhere with me. I cast on 60 stitches and worked from the cuff down, the heal is worked on a short row so it was really easy to turn, which for me, was ideal!

 

if you want to try your own stash busting socks I would highly reccomened it, im already on my second pair! 

#scrappysquarealong

    Im so excited to be hosting a #scrappysquarealong on IG, like many of you I knit alone......... either in the wee hours of the morning or when Im carrying a baby on my chest. I started this group so that I could feel part of a bigger knitting community as I know we are all out there, knitting away, busting those stashes and making memory blankets, so if you would like to join, head over to IG and use the #scrappsquarealong hashtag so that we can all see what you have been making. its going to be a great way to keep me, and hopefully you, motivated to keep adding those squares.                     

 

Im so excited to be hosting a #scrappysquarealong on IG, like many of you I knit alone......... either in the wee hours of the morning or when Im carrying a baby on my chest. I started this group so that I could feel part of a bigger knitting community as I know we are all out there, knitting away, busting those stashes and making memory blankets, so if you would like to join, head over to IG and use the #scrappsquarealong hashtag so that we can all see what you have been making. its going to be a great way to keep me, and hopefully you, motivated to keep adding those squares.