So 2021 begins……

And I really wish you and yours a happy and above all healthy one.

This picture was taken in Dartmouth at the beginning of December, before we were once again plunged ( too late in my opinion) into a full lockdown.

The sweater in the pic is my newly finished Nili sweater by Christina Danaee. The yarn is German Town by Kelbourne Woolens, a totally new yarn to me. Also and unusually for me I bought this as a kit from Fig Tree Yarns based in Jersey. I’d fallen for the sweater as designed and Fig Tree are fabulous for US yarns if you are in the UK especially. It was an enjoyable quick knit ( and if you are new to colourwork ideal as you only knit a round in one colour at a time). Also shown is the Beret no 1 from My Favourite Things Knitwear. I have knitted so many of her patterns and they are always a joy to both knit and wear. Two new yarns were combined and worked beautifully. Yarntelier which is a Cashmere Lace from Yorkshire and Biches & Buches lΓ¨ petit silk mohair. I’ve barely taken this off my head since completing it.

We were hugely fortunate in booking the most beautiful pink thatched cottage in a tiny village near Dartmouth, South Devon. As this is the general area we are hoping to move to this year (all planets aligning), it was wonderful to be here and back by the sea. Lily dog absolutely loved it and the week consisted of long walks, cooking lovely slow meals and yarn related goodness (me) catching up on reading ( himself) plus singeing fur in front of the fire ( hound).

Our hideaway cottage.
This is another My Favourite Things Sweater too – Sweater no 3. Worked in Erika Knights Wool Local knitted double plus a strand of Bear in Sheeps Clothing Bear Fluff.

Socks were the order of the day for my holiday project. Those of you that know me appreciate I have a very debilitating condition, that of second sock (& glove) itis. This means I generally have one sock, glove , mitt lying around forlornly awaiting a mate. Therefore what did I decide to do with these socks? – make them as over the knee boot socks knitted on 1.5mm & 2mm pins. What an utterly wonderful idea! Now (& you may have guessed this), I’ve finished one 😁. Now in my defence I love it and the second is due to be cast on. I have however had to rest my fingers with a slip n slide knit as they are not behaving ( darn you EDS). I also treated myself to the tiny circular set from Chiagoo for socks and gloves which are wonderful.

One sock down…….. Yarn is Zebra from Life in The Long Grass with some Grey Sheep Hampshire 4ply for the contrast.

Before Christmas I decided to knit my mum a cardigan to wear as a hug as we are not able to see her. This was the result and she loves it.

A hug in a cardigan.
The pattern and yarn are from the lovely Trine, CaMaRose. The pattern is Dreamy and the yarn Snefnug which translates to snowflake. I bought both from Loop in London.

Now the beginning of this year is to be spent on completing some of my ever present WIP’s. One of these will be the very long socks! Plus I’m currently really enjoying one of the supremely talented Di Gilpins patterns. Oak. This is a very sculpted sweater which was inspired by a Stag appearing from the forest. There is a lot of cable and then the back has further cable latticed into it after completion to form a 3D peplum. I’m knitting this in her beautiful and incredibly soft Scottish lambswool.

A taster to show you the stunning yarn for Oak.
The sweater behind is one I’ve finally finished for himself which just awaits suede elbow patches. I’ll show you both when fully complete.

My other WIP which was my New Year Cast on is a cardigan. I’ve cast this on to rest my hands as it is knitted on 4mm needles. It is the Winter Whispers cardigan from Loop. A crew neck, semi fitted cardigan with a twisted cable yoke. I’m knitting this is some gorgeous Bear Rustic DK from my stash. The colourway is Roxanne. However the amount of yarn I have means I’m knitting a size down (πŸ™ˆ), time to work off the cheese & mince pies. 😁

Nails to match project. 😁

Now I’ve also increased my store of knitiq’s blocking mats. These now come in a choice of cases. Either the cream linen or the retro pattern. I love both (I do write for knit iq but have no affiliated sales with them so opinions are always true).

The new patterned case from knit iq. This can be bought separately from the mats too.

I’ll finish off with a little Christmas & knitty montage of some of my favourite treats.

Stay well everyone and will chat soon.

Lots of love Magpie 😘

A most beautiful leather 03 bag bought from Hide & Hammer. Beyul yak yarn from Kettle Yarn co ready for a first knit from Winters Amirisu magazine. Must haves from Tribes Yarn plus a gifted bag from Milli. πŸ€—
The Starry Night candle is from Chase and Wonder and the lovely mini tree display Bloom and Wild.
Finally the knitty tree decoration is from Liberty.
I’m now on a no spend January! 🀣

Hello Autumn. πŸπŸ‚

So here in Blighty the nights are drawing in, in fact 20:00 hrs last night found himself watering the plants by torchlight. Helpfully assisted by the Lily hound.

Now I don’t imagine I’m in the minority here in liking sweater weather, woodland / coastal walks and a roaring fire. Quite aside from the knitty element my autoimmune conditions do not like the heat and really make their displeasure known. I am therefore delighted to have finished my autumn version of Ghosthorses which I used Spincycle’s dyed in the wool in Stay Out of the Forest. I love everything about this.

Ghosthorses pattern from Boyland Knitworks.

I’ve also almost finished my first memory piece which is Andrea Mowry’s Rose Cardigan. I’ve knitted this in memory of my close friend Jacqui who died in December. She loved roses so it seemed a fitting piece. Throughout the project I remembered the fun and not so fun times we had shared in over thirty years of friendship. She and her husband John were like honorary siblings and I do miss them ( John died suddenly a few months before Jacqui). Regular readers will know this is how Lily came to live with us and now happily rules the Magpie roost. I used yarn from the lovely Bernie Bear ( A Bear in Sheeps Clothing ). The colours used made up the Cognac colourway. I’ve just finished the edging so need to attach and then give it a final block.

Rose Cardigan in Cognac colourway ( awaiting edging ).

Now as usual I’ve far far to many things on the go, let alone those projects I’m waiting to start on. The three that I’m hoping to finish over the next few weeks are The Nili Sweater by Xtinawithwolves. This is knitted in Germantown from Kelbourne Woolens. A totally new yarn for me and a departure from my usual UK fine yarns as it is a US worsted. I’m very impressed so far. I’m only a few rows in but you can see the design developing.

Nili Sweater.

My second project is for Mr Magpie. He said he would like a fine knit merino, not a fussy design to replace a rather lovely one than has a few pesky moth nips now. The So Basic Sweater from Max the Knitter fits the brief perfectly. I’m using a really nice 4 ply from Fyberspates in Bronze and Silver. It must be love as the blooming thing is on 3.5mm pins.

So Basic Sweater – Max the Knitter.

Lastly in this current phase are the Lucky Sunflower Mitts from Charlotte Stone ( Stoneknits). These are great trans – seasonal mitts for autumn and I’m using stash yarn from John Arbon for the mc and contrast in the form of Mad Tosh’s Unicorn Tails.

Lucky Sunflower 🌻

Finally you may remember I said I was writing a few bits for KnitIQ- those of my favourite blocks. This is a post I wrote last month on my thoughts on knitting & fast fashion. If you have chance to read it I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Now I’m off to continue to try and bring some order to my post lockdown life, I have no idea where all this yarn has come from……

Until next time stay safe & crafty.


Magpie. 😘

Yarn, Yarn and more Yarn!

Hello Everyone.

I do hope you and yours continue to be well in these ever stranger times.

Now as some of you know around the time of my last bout of surgery the collective opinion from my various medical teams ( the majority of whom were also work colleagues & friends so pulled no punches) was that I needed to give up work for good to maximise my health situation. It wasn’t easy but I did so and have now formally retired from the NHS after thirty five years, some fourteen years early.

I am the eternal optimist but was very concerned about filling my time and using my brain. Surgery, finishing work and going straight into Shielded status for Covid has been surreal to say the least. I don’t quite know what I’ve been doing with the time (although I’ve embraced the advice for an afternoon rest and 14:00 finds me and the Lily hound on the sofa, with a blanket and audiobook. These ninety year olds who go off climbing mountains would do well to take a leaf out of my book)!

Now when I say I don’t know what I’ve been doing a glance into the spare room suggests I’ve spent most of this time buying yarn. I shall show you as I start projects or you may think I have a problem πŸ™ˆ

A special skein of Quivet that comes in it’s own leather case. More on the reason for this indulgence later. The bag is one of my beloved #03 from Nu at Hide and Hammer. Gin and Bear it was a gift from Bernie ( we did manage a virtual G&T last week).

Now projects. The giant charity blanket was finished and the lovely lady who won the bidding for it was delighted (see title pic for the finished beast). I have to confess I was quite nervous until I heard from her. She also wanted a special date on it but being herringbone it was impossible to incorporate so we decided on a separate knitted panel appliquΓ©d on.

All complete.

Last time we spoke I was about to cast on the Ingalls Sweater by Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks) in some fine dk from John Arbon Textiles. Not only did I cast it on I also finished it and adore the slouchy design with it’s dipped back hem.

Comfort summer knit.

I still have too many WIP’s and still can’t manage more than around three hours yarny stuff a day but never mind. It is making me think more about each cast on. One such project is one of my memory pieces. Having lost so many friends and family in a short space of time I decided to knit things that would remind me of them individually (as well as the planned Harlequin Blanket that I don’t yet have the dexterity for).

The first of these is the Rose cardigan from Andrea Mowry which will remind me of my friend Jacqui who died in December (Lily’s original owner). This is a lovely cardigan in a fade reminiscent of a rose blooms. Jackie adored her roses so this seemed fitting. It is in a pallet called Cognac dyed in Ireland by the lovely Bernie (Bear In Sheeps Clothing) and I bought it from Tribe Yarns in Richmond (Milli always has a fab selection of goodies so well worth a virtual or when able a physical visit).

Now the gorgeous skein of Quivet I showed you earlier. This was a total indulgence I admit as a form of celebration treat. Regular readers may remember in the past I’ve chatted about a young company called KnitIQ who I first encountered after purchasing some of their brilliant blocking mats. Anyway they dropped me a line asking if I would like to write for their blog occassionally. After establishing it actually was me they had meant to email I jumped at the chance so if you pop across to their site at any time you may come across a post by yours truly. My first one is on their now, all about washing your wool. 🐏 (In the interest of transparency they do pay me for articles but there are no affiliated links). I just added this in cos I’m a little bit proud 🦚 that they liked my writing and that is why I treated myself to the Quivet so that I remember that lovely things can happen when you least expect them too.

Stay safe everyone and here is to more settled times.


Magpie. 😘

In these times of strife………

The one thing us crafty folk have no problem doing is filling time at home.

Now I can’t pretend the evil that is Covid 19 isn’t with us so this is giving this particular 🐘 in the yarn store the only air space it’s getting. Suffice to say I hope you and your loved ones are currently safe and well whilst sadly accepting none of us are likely to escape completely untouched.

Now current projects. As usual ( and especially bearing in mind I’m still on ‘light duties’ which in knitty terms means a max of three hours per day) I’ve far too many on the go. I really don’t know how I manage it, I never mean to, it sort of just….happens!

I’m working on the Herringbone Blanket which was an auction prize I pledged to the one held for Australia Wildfire relief by I Love Whippets. The winning bidder, a lovely lady called Karen knew it would be a while before I could make it but was happy with this. She chose her yarn, a lovely Humbug mix merino so this blanket is called BaaBaa Humbug πŸ™‚ It is coming along slowly but beautifully and was the perfect excuse for a new project bag from Knit with Attitude. This from Kelly Connor Designs is perfect for blankets and throws as holds yarn & project. Plus it zips up to keep Lily’s ever exploring nose out!

Lily trying to figure out how to steal yarn.

I’m currently trying to do two hours a day on it, it’s 5′ wide and I’ve just hit 3′ in length so a way to go yet.

I’m also knitting up some beautiful yarn from John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers range. A gorgeous lightweight organic merino dk with loads of dye to order colour choices. These are a departure from my usual grey, pink, plum spectrum but made me think of spring. The pattern is the glorious sloppy Joe sweater from Caitlin Hunter called Ingalls. The colours just make me think of spring.

Sweater pic courtesy of Caitlin Hunter. Inadvertent nail colour match courtesy of me. πŸ’…

As well as these I’ve managed to cast on a cute little cable cardigan and a second Barn sweater from knits about winter, they are both asleep this week whilst I concentrate on the above two so I’ll show you those shortly.

In other news himself and I decided in February ( before the madness hit) to take Lily the Wilful Westie to Cornwall for a week. A couple of reasons for this, we were sorely in need of a break and friends who used to own the cattery where Mia & Zorro spent many a happy holiday recently moved near to Falmouth so we could visit them ( nose around their new home) too. We booked a waterfront cottage and off we pottered in one of the wildest storms this year. I do love the British coast in winter. I also did a little sleuthing after booking and found that Falmouth is home to a wonderful store called Stitches and Cream. A treasure trove of yarn, fabric and accessories owned and managed by sisters Jane & Sandra. They also run classes and have a great online service so definitely reccomend a visit be it virtual or in person. I’d had some virtual chat with them prior to visiting and ordered some ditsy print needlecord and a pinnafore pattern as this year I want to improve my sewing skills to at least competent beginner. As my workroom is also totally overloaded I figured ordering in advance would stop me buying anything else – you can see from the pic how well this worked!

Spoils from Stitches & Cream plus the view from our holiday cottage.
Mrs Moon Alpine Hat knitted quickly up in plump dk ready for the holiday.

I hope you are all occupying yourselves with lovely crafty projects, let me know what your current favourite is and I’ll see you soon.

Love Magpie. 😘

It all went a tad pear shaped…………

Hello Everyone and a much belated Happy New Year!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA and thank you for those who have been in touch and been a great support.

Deep breath now – It’s been a combination of my surgery, my parents being burgled the day after my surgery, one of my closest friends passing away in her sleep ( totally unexpectedly) the day after that, trying to maintain a semblance of normality for the family staying with us over Christmas and then my lovely aunt passing away just after new year.

I couldn’t write to save my life so I am starting 2020 again as of now.

So, to the projects I had on my needles, all completed plus two extra before my surgery. Hubby’s uncles sweater was perfect. I totally adore my Eastwind Jacket and Stonecrop cardie and I finished Ghost Horses. This I love but due to ginormous amounts of steroids I feel at the mo it looks more like a ghost sausage trying to get out of its skin so it’s staying in the drawer!

Eastwind from Emily Foden’s Knits about Winter.
Stonecrop Cardie from Andrea Mowry.
Ghost Horses from Boyland knitworks. This was knitted in Kettleyarns Northiam Fingering in Shale and Spincycle dyed in the wool in Ghost Ranch.

Now the couple of extra projects came about because my surgery was a little later than initially planned – every cloud. I’ve developed quite a passion for patterns by My Favourite Things Knitwear and both of these designs are hers. The sweater I had been hankering over for ages ( pattern sweater no 3 ) and decided it would be the perfect winter hug. It is knitted in yarn by some of my favourite folk, not only talented but incredibly nice people. Erika Knight who a lot of you know I adore ( yarns, patterns and herself) and Ms Bernie Bear – she of A Bear in Sheeps Clothing. If you’ve not come across her fab indie dyed yarns get hunting, they are wonderful. So this is knitted with two strands of Erika’s new Wool Local yarn along with one strand of Bernie’s Bear Fluff. I adore it.


The second one is using another indie dyer’s that I’m loving working with. Kettle Yarn Co. She has some very luxurious yarns and one of which I used in a tank top for my mum ( ten days before my op she said I’d really like a tank top for Christmas, I know you won’t have time to make me one so a bought one will be ok!!!). Rapid ordering of Baskerville DK and even more rapid knitting ensued. She is delighted with the result.

Mums tank top.

Now I mentioned I’d let you know why I was meeting lots of lovely new folk as well as spending time I should have been ‘working’ playing with Erika’s dog. I was lucky enough to be invited to the inaugural workshop of Creative Collaborations dreamt up by Erika and her fab team. I happily booked a day off work, hopped on trains from Birmingham to Hassocks ( near Brighton, I’d never heard of it) and spent the day meeting lots of fab new folk ( Jeanette Sloan was also there, fan sigh). This collaboration was knitting from Erika joined with embroidery by the wonderful Anette Eriksson. The project was a yarn embroidered cushion front with a knitted back. Mine is still ongoing. Now I have to confess being dog mad I was delighted to see Winnie, Erika’s chihuahua in attendance. I spent a large part of the morning with her settled on my lap – it would have been rude to move her. Once I got home I decided that I could try left handed embroidery post op so undid the meagre amount I’d completed. The left handed thing is slow but going well. I’ve also bought a couple more of Anette’s kits to complete.

Left handed tree beginnings.
Erika, Anette and Winnie.

Finally I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the family. Her name is Lily and she belonged to my late friend ( sadly it was her husband that passed away in the summer). Now I’d not intended to have any more animals after the death of Zorro in September for a while but fate is a strange thing. Jacqui & John’s grown up son is allergic to dogs so Lily couldn’t go to he and his wife. She already knew us well and so here she is ( the cover pic shows her mud surfing, a favourite pastime)! She is totally adorable and keeps J & J with us daily. Sadly she has zero yarn etiquette so I’m having to hide everything from her.

Our new addition.

Next time I shall be able to show you the couple of things that are my return projects. Like last year rehab will be extensive but I’m able to start slip n slide work for an hour or so a day.

Happy Crafting every one.


Magpie. 😘

Winter woolly knitting season is here and some sad news.

Hello knitty & all crafty folks.

I don’t know about you but I am definitely an autumn winter soul. I always feel dressed when in woolly finery, perhaps it’s just because our British summers are so hit and miss it’s so hard to get the look right.

I did however finish the Camisole no 2 from My Favourite Things which I knitted in Knitting for Olives pure silk in Rhubarb. I absolutely love it and will likely do another at some point.

Last time I told you about the Shifty Sweater from Andrea Mowry I was working on using some stunning yarn from The Little Grey Sheep Co – they are the definition of flock to needles. The sweater is a joy, however I’m not totally loving the fit, it feels too big. I am therefore thinking I’m going to spend a rainy day ripping out all the colourwork and re-knitting it πŸ˜•

I’ve currently three and a bit projects on my needles that must be finished before my upcoming hand surgery ( we’ll pretend the other hundred or so skulking in the craft room are merely a wicked rumour)! The first is a sweater my husband’s aunt had not long cast on for her husband when she suddenly passed away a few months back. I’ve bought it home to complete, it’s slightly slow going as Sandra knitted on straight pins which my hands really don’t like and as I’m trying to match her tension it’s little and often.

The second is the Eastwind Jacket from Emily Foden’s stunning Knits about Winter book that I’ve been chuntering on about. I am in love with this project and about 60% complete. I’m using a combination of The Fibre Co’s Lore in Gentle overlaid with artyarns silk mohair in rose ombre. The edging is working beautifully in one of my all time favourite yarns from Erika Knight – British Blue 100, this is Cymbeline. You will also notice Monty Mouse poking out of the pocket, a little bit of whimsy from Loop London I fell for.

The ‘a bit’ project is one that wasn’t on my radar until I noticed Magpie Fibres & Andrea Mowry’s KAL, The Stonecrop cardigan. I loved the Bloomsbury set feel of it in rich winter shades and have used John Arbon’s Devonia yarn in Ocean Rain plus Urth Uneek for the contrast from Tribe in Richmond. Urth plant a tree for every skein sold which is a fab idea. This is almost done and was my first attempt at steeking. Let’s just say it wasn’t the tidiest attempt ever so I will be inserting a placket lining.

The fabric under the cardigan was for a bag, when I rediscovered it though it is now earmarked for a skirt.

The final project I have only just cast on so I’ll save pics for another time, it’s Ghost Horses from Boyland Knitworks and I’m using Dyed in the Wool in Ghost Ranch from Spincycle Yarns and Northiam from Kettle Yarns in Shale. Kettle Yarn is a relatively new find for me and I’m already considering it a new favourite.

Now for a few of my favourite things. I love to share new discoveries as that is often how I find new goodies to investigate. I don’t advertise or have any sponsors so anything I chat about will be something I have bought and genuinely love ( If on the odd occasion anything has been a gift I will say so).

A few months back I noticed a little olive wood dish from Under the Olive Tree knits. This had been made by her talented hubby David ( @dave_and_his_lathe ) on Instagram. I got in touch and the result from this lovely pair was a customised dish with my logo and some treats inside from Jem. This dish sits on my lamp table and is a work of art in it’s own right.

Another company I’m growing ever fonder of are Knit IQ. I first came across them after purchasing some of their fab, very thick blocking mats. I joined their VIP club ( would recommend doing so) and tried out their lovely wool wash, both of which I’ve talked about previously. They have recently bought out a deluxe set of their mats in a fab canvas case with a cute tin on T Pins, and for some lovely reason sent me a set as a gift so here they are. Along with the ones I’d bought earlier I’m using them for blocking, sample mood boarding and steeking safety to prevent slippage where you don’t want it πŸ™„ They would be a great addition to any knitters Christmas wish list imo. X

My final favourite for this time is my Lykke needles. I first came across them after buying a couple of fixed circulars. Their set of adjustable ones went on my Christmas list last year and hubby got the many hints. The reason I’m mentioning them (aside from the fact they are gorgeous) is for some reason I find working with them seems to put much less strain on my temperamental joints than other circulars of the same ilk I have tried. I’ve no idea why but if you have any hand / finger joint issues you may want to give them a try, I’d love to see what you think. They also do tiny fixed circulars which mean you can knit socks, gloves and sleeves in the round without magic loop or dpn’s- joy.

Now for my sad news. You’ll notice my beloved old mad cat on the title page this month. Sadly the time came for him to join his sister in catty afterlife. He was just over 19 so had a long and spoilt life but anyone who has lived with very chatty Burmese will know just how quiet the house is now.

Next time I’ll update you on my progress on the projects above, I think I’ve about seven weeks before my right hand and wrist are reconfigured so no pressure!

I’ll also tell you why I spent the day with Erika Knight and Anette Eriksson last week ( so exciting) even if I got totally sidetracked by Winnie the three legged chihuahua!

I hope you all remain well and suitably immersed in your chosen crafts.

Til next time


Magpie 😘

Summertime Knitting

Well in typical British summer weather we’re either melting or considering lighting the log burner! Today is wet and humid so an ideal time to get my act together regarding a new post ( sorry it’s been a while, two completely unexpected family bereavements sent my writing mojo awol).

As usual I have far too many WIP’s in progress, I have no idea how it happens. Now, I tell myself ( in much the same way I tell myself I don’t need more yarn ), no starting anything else until this is complete . ‘This’ refers to 2 projects. A requires no thought TV/ travel project and something that makes me concentrate removing the white noise from my brain. Currently I have 7 ongoing projects, I can only conclude the bad knitting sprite πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ casts them on when I’m sleeping.

A little more about some of these:

Quite a departure for me is Camisole no 2 from My Favourite Things ( @myfavouritethings.knitwear ). I’m knitting this up in Rhubarb Juice from Knitting for Olive. It’s an ethically produced pure silk which is beautiful to work with. It’s a departure in that it is a fitted, ribbed cami and with my current ‘let’s keep you alive ‘drugs I’m heavier than I’m comfortable with, however I’ve decided that the fact I’m currently well is more important than losing that 8kg! This shows it just cast on ( the feature pic is at Hampton Court Flower Show where a few rounds were completed sitting with a glass of fizz listening to Jazz). This also shows my lovely new bag which I bought from Antler & Acorn ( @antlerandacornuk )which perfectly matched my project. Also making a guest appearance is The Old Mad Cat whose vet continues to coo over him saying ‘isn’t he a marvel ‘. She however doesn’t live with the fact that his nocturnal chattyiness now requires a verbal response from you, if he doesn’t get one he puts his mouth next to your ear and shouts, on average every 90 minutes throughout the night!

The second I’m currently working frantically to finish is the Shifty Sweater from Andrea Mowry. I’m using totally delicious yarns from one of my favourite suppliers: The Little Grey Sheep ( @thelittlegreysheep ). Their yarns epitomise flock to project as they live a very pampered life, are cared for and sheared by their resident shepherdess. The yarn is then spun ( not at the farm ) before being returned for dyeing by the owner. I have never been disappointed by any of the yarn I’ve purchased from them. The base colourway for this is Sahara which is stunning with contrasts of Acid Rain, A Summer Abroad and Reputation, what Reputation! These are working perfectly together and there is just a sleeve to go.

This pic also shows a marker from Rebecca’s Room (@rebeccasroom ) where I happily add knitty trinkets to my shopping basket. Plus another ( I know, I know ) project bag. This one from Hide & Hammer ( @hideandhammer ), in my defence I just happened to be online as these were released and as they are as hard to come by as hens teeth I snapped it up.

As you know from last time I also have Fettle from Erika Knight ( @knightkraft ) in progress using her new Wool Local which is gorgeous.

I do have a bit of her thing for her yarns ( as in a collection requiring curating) and I may or may not have just ordered some Wildwool ( a nettle & wool mix ) to knit up her Downhill dress! I was really torn on the shade to pick for the dress but have decided on Dawdle as it will be perfect under Eastwind ( which features a guest appearance from British Blue 100 ). I also absolutly love one of the new colours in Wild Wool called Swagger, a burnt orange so may well do a second Downhill next year using that as I adore sweater dresses.

What I do need to do is decide what I definitely want to complete before my winter hand rebuilding extravaganza begins which is planned for around November- Noooooo Knitting for ages ( but worth it in the long run ). My plan is to finish the above plus definitely start and finish Eastwind by Emily Foden ( @violaemily )from her lovely Knits about Winter book. Some of you will recall the yarn for this was a total treat from me to me after my left hand was redesigned last winter so time to start.

A project just commenced that will go on hold is a blanket. As I mentioned we’ve had some sudden deaths in the family, unexpected and too young. I decided to commence a memory blanket and the gorgeous Harlequin one from (@camarosedk ) was perfect. In part as it was designed from her memories of Tivoli in Copenhagen it felt it was meant to be as this was where we visited following the death of my father as a memory trip a couple of years ago. The pattern plus the yarn shades I’ve chosen are shown here, I purchased them from one of my favourite knitting stores – Loop ( @looplondonloves ) and they also have kits in the pattern colourway. Eventually it will form a special throw for my vintage day bed.

As an aside none of the insta links / names to any of the above are affiliated. They are purely small businesses I enjoy buying from (and to make it easier for you to peruse should you wish to as it saves you messaging me to ask where things are from).

This year was my first visit to Hampton Court and I loved it. It felt so much more relaxed than Chelsea and so on a final note here are a couple of pics of my favourite show garden there called Naturecraft, plant dyed skeins and fabric drying in the sun were my idea of garden perfection.

Next time we chat I hopefully will have made more progress on my WIP’s and finalised my to do before surgery list. I’m also planning to carry on sharing some of my favourite things / folk / businesses as am trying really hard to move away from the big corporation guys when it comes to buying and a lot of the people I do buy from I’ve discovered by others sharing.

Until next time


Magpie 😘

May Blossom, shiny treats and Magpies.

Happy May everyone. To those of you living in same hemisphere as this Magpie you will know that in true UK fashion summer has arrived bringing with it hail, frost and a little sleet. However we’ve had a couple of bright cold days and on one of them toddled off to Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds. There were two main reasons for this ( bear with me, there is a knitting connection ). One being there is a stunning Japanese garden and the blossom is in bloom. The second ( and to my mind much more important reason) being the chance to show off my finished Mabel’s Sister cardigan- I adore it. It was a delight to knit, the pattern was by Fiona Alice for Loop and as regular readers know I got my wings on some of Emily Foden’s ( Viola Emily ) organic merino, this yarn is sumptuous. The cover pic shows a ladybird helping with blocking. This shows me & the blossom 😊

Other knitty news see’s me still in splinting post hand surgery in January, my surgeon reminds me that ‘I know ‘ it’s a twelve month rehab to hopefully get to a good 70% function, I however am not renowned for my patience ( especially as we’ve yet to do it all over again on the other hand and wrist – what joy ). However my hand therapist is very agreeable to physio the knitting magpie way and I’m skipping along with a couple of projects. What I found with Mabel is that I cope well with slip n slide knitting but less so with rib for some reason. Therefore a couple of projects are in hibernation and I’m currently working on the Ninilchik Swoncho by Catlain Turner ( boylandknitworks ) which is fab. I’ve decided instead of beating myself up over acquiring a dress size due to surgery & steroids ( plus a little cheese & olives ) I’m going to chill out my look to a less structured one to prevent constantly breathing in! Caitlin’s Swoncho is in a heavier dk yarn than I’ve used but as it was a US yarn not available in the UK off I went hunting for substitutes. I loved her colour palate and found an excellent alternative from Rowan in their felted tweed dk. It’s about 25% finer so I played about with needles and it’s working up a treat:

The second pic shows Caitlin’s version plus the cake I made for Easter ( hence the need for a Swoncho 😁).

The other project I’ve started is from the new edition of Making Magazine and is a sweater called Shifting Sands. Due to the cable I can only work on it in short bursts but am so far pleased with it. I’d been looking for an excuse to try out the new Devonia yarn from John Arbon textiles based in Devon and this was it. I ordered it in the Broken Flower colourway and it is stunning. It’s a lighter dk so perfect for cooler summer evenings. The delightful stitch markers I’m currently obsessed with on the pic are from Fripperies and Bibelots and called ringO’s, the join is covered by the beads so no snagging ( any companies/ items mentioned are none affiliated, just things I’ve bought, like and want to share with you ).

RingO’s in the battenburg colourway cos it’s important to match your project colours plus the star ball bauble row markers also from frip n bib.

Shifting sands, the lovely yarn and my new splint….

Broken Flower in Devonia dk from John Arbon textiles.

Well that’s probably enough waffle from me so I’m off to do a little more on my Shifting Sands. Wishing you all a happy crafty May.

Love Magpie 😘

The Knitting Magpie looks forward to spring, getting her needles back in her wings and gets a sneak preview of Knit IQ’s No Rinse Delicate Wash.

Hello again Magpies. Well in the true spirit of British weather we had summer for a few days in February (20Β° !!!) and as a couple of days ago British summertime began we are besieged by rain, sleet & hail. I suggest you come and sit by the fire with a hot chocolate and we can talk lovely knitty things.

So, I’m still splinted post surgery with a list of instructions but I am allowed to pick up needles for a couple of hours divided throughout the day – hurrah. My dexterity is quite rubbish as even without said splint my hand works in a different way now ( full recovery is expected to take a year so it’s very early days ). I tried a couple of items from my awaiting stash, the Brioche Buddies scarf and also Quince & Co’s pretty Azealia cami but both require a little more dexterity than I currently have. What was a Magpie to do? πŸ€”Β  Now March happened to contain two marvellous events: Edinburgh Yarn Festival and the Magpie’s birthday. As I couldn’t go to eyf I was following it with much interest ( envy ) and my eye spotted the wonderful new pattern for Loop London from Fiona Alice called Mabels Sister. It is a gloriously vintage style swing cardigan and for eyf Loop put together a kit using some of Emily Foden’s ( Viola Emily ) rare as hens teeth organic merino yarn ( they are also going to make some kitsΒ  available with Eden yarn this month ). I managed to snag one of the Viola kits after the festival as they had a handful left. The yarn arrived and is beyond lovely. I am doing it in Silver Birch as the primary with the smock style yoke in Bronte. The silver birch is a cool cream base with overtones of pink, grey blue and cool yellow with bronte a cool heather plum. The pics show the Loop pattern ( in a different colourway plus the yarn in my chosen colours ). I cannot wait to start this, as it is on a 4mm circular and a simple knit I’m hoping it will make a good return project.


As it was my birthday my husband spoilt me with knitty goodies amongst my treats. I love hand winding yarn with my nostepinne but it is becoming problematic especially with finer yarns. My right hand also has it’s own issues and with the left out of action is working very hard and tiring. Enter this lovely yarn winder from Knitpro.


Along with that came this beautiful yarn bowl from Scheepjes in the Aboriginal design:


I was most spoilt even receiving knitty treats like a brioche leather bracelet and a yarn dye kit from hey_mama_wolf from parents and in laws.

I was full of marvellous plans for all I would achieve while recovering from surgery ( sorting out forgotten drawers, decluttering the study of no longer required paperwork and the like. I am used to running around at a zillion miles an hour, leaving for work by 06:00 each day and returning some twelve hours later than starting on cooking, knitting, socialising so I thought I’ve got so much time to fill. What have I achieved? Nada, zilch. My immune system really doesn’t like any interference and made it’s displeasure known resulting in my needing a lie down after a shower! In fact this week was the first time I even ventured out socially. Hubby dropped me off in Leamington Spa where I met a friend for a long lazy lunch which was a total treat – thank you Carol.Β  Other than that I have pretty much bought yarn. Oh and my birthday treat to me was a very cheerful raincoat from Stutterheim. I’ve had my beady eye on this for a couple of years and it hit the sale in my size. It makes me smile and I regress to a six year old when wearing it. ( The cover pic this month shows me on my first birthday having taken control of the cake knife – I was a horrid child).


The other useful thing I did this month was try out the new wool wash from the young company Knit IQ.Β  A few months ago I purchased their knitting blocks ( which incidentally I really like ) and joined their VIP programme. They contacted me asking if I would like to try out their about to be launched wash ( it’s currently available on but will hit the UK / Europe via Amazon in a few weeks so it’s worth hanging on to avoid duty / shipping ). I did receive the product for a nominal cost but the review is completely unbiased.

I usually use Soak in fig so in order to gain an accurate feel for this new product I washed my mitts ( knitted in Birlynn yarn so quite a rustic texture ) one in each solution in exactly the same way. The price point is similar but you get 500mls of knit IQ compared to 375mls Soak for a similar outlay.

The wash: This is lightly fragranced with lavender and citrus bases and apparently has some moth repellent properties as a result of this. It is a natural product and the scent is light and pleasant. A similar residual fragrance level remains once dry to the level from Soak. The wash plumped up the yarn well and I feel the mitt ( on the left ) washed in this was a tad softer because of this ( it may be due to the lanolin content which I appreciate may mean the product may not be suitable for some folk). When asked to try this I emailed Oliver ( founder ) re the cruelty free status of the product and he confirmed it is cruelty free, this needs to be better advertised as if I hadn’t been asked to try the product, and being happy with my usual wash I may have passed it by. If I’m completely honest I prefer the fig fragrance of Soak to lavender but that is just a perfume preference and the residual fragrance is too light in both cases for it to influence future purchases. I’m certainly happy with this wash and as it gives 25% more product for the same price I would happily recommend and repurchase.

The company: As I said this is a young company with currently just a couple of products. Oliver tells me that he has a lot of knitters in his life who chatted about products they would like to see or products they would like to see improved versions of. As his background is in research he went off to investigate and thus his new product line has begun. Each new product is developed with input from the folk who will be using the end result so if you have a wish list or a product idea drop him a line via fb or Instagram – Knit IQ. I’m certainly excited to see what appears next.


I hope you are all having a lovely creative time and will chat again next month. I’m off to have a play with my lovely Viola yarn and may do a little winding by the fireside.

Love Magpie 😘