Feeling mellow

It’s all calming down a little now.  The show went well, the new job is working out ok and today the sun is shining.  This week I have been down the posh end of London for a work meeting, and the train was half empty and on time.  I even got a little bit of hooky done on the train.  My blood pressure has returned to normal levels and I have been headache free for four weeks.  A cynical person might point out the link between this and changing jobs, but I couldn’t possible comment.

When I feel this relaxed I find it easier to come up with ideas for things to make.  I fiddle with yarn and stitches just to see what they could look like.  I sketch out ideas in my notebooks in grubby biro and draw little stitch diagrams so I can remember my thought processes.  Not all of them look the way I think they should when I start to make them, but then I frog and  let them evolve into something more interesting. I like to see where the yarn and my mood takes me.

So I’m feeling pretty productive at the moment.  I’m enjoying the challenge of shawl club and I keep thinking of other things I want to make too.  I need to make time to develop it all but I know I will.  There isn’t a rush, there isn’t a deadline.  Pass me my tea… 

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Wool@J13 

What can I say.  As you all know this was my first (and potentially my last) yarn show on my own. I did all my prep, was as organised as I could be, and had wonderful support.  But it doesn’t stop you being a tiny bit terrified.  You can never tell how you will be received, either by the public who come or fellow (and more established) stall holders.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried.  For a first outing Wool@J13 was a huge success – lots of people came (and the ones who promised on Facebook that they would really did materialise into actual human beings – yes, I’m taking about you, Manda), the sun shone for most of the time, and everyone was lovely. I was fortunate to be stood next to Sonic Knits, and two nicer people than Fiona and Gina could not be found.  The ever supportive Sue Stratford was there too, along with the ladies from Kindred Creations who kept and eye on us newbies and kept us going with hugs and much appreciated advice.  Sue won the prize for best stall in show, and I was so proud! I just wish I had got a picture to show you how amazing it was! 


I had my wing woman with me, my bestie, who stopped me from flapping and generally was a calming influence and provider of teas.  She also ensured that we sat up for Eurovision and a cheeky glass of Buck Fizz on Saturday night…


I got to finally meet Jo and and Jodie, who were wonderfully daft and really brightened my already sunny day.  And my yarn friends came out in force too.  Ingrid was full of energy all weekend, and made us all feel like we were old friends.  

The thing that really set this show apart for me was the festival feel of it – beer stall and street food, park and animals for the children and non yarn lovers, plus live music, including that provided by a man in a kilt.  I mean, what’s not to like…

So I already have ideas about how to make it better for next year, and I hope to squeeze in a few more shows before the end of the year.  But Wool@J13 will forever hold a special place in my heart.  It has made me brave. 

Dopamine Wrap

The second shawl in the current season of Shawl Club is the Dopamine Wrap.  I fancied doing something very different in shape, and I liked the idea of working with hexagons and piecing them together into something pretty.  The idea of working a dopamine molecule in as a motif was something that I really liked.  If I am honest, I like the plain version of the shawl so much, that I want to make it again without the motif, as the pattern of the shawl once blocked is so pretty it really doesn’t need much embellishment and the hexagons are very quick to make.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Friends and new beginnings…

Right now I have come in here to take the chance to write a quick blog so that I can take my mind off of Wool@J13 prep.  The car is loaded, my palms are sweaty and my best friend will soon be with me to give me a hand all weekend (I have the best friends).

In fact, I have amazing friends.  I have friends like the glorious Hester, who made the WIP bags and hook cases for me.  I have friends like Michelle, who made the dopamine and teapot stitch markers for me. Friends like Sue who encouraged me to try this on my own.  And Sam, who has given me common sense and support in equal measure. You can’t do something like this on your own.  You need your support crew.

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The blog has been even quieter than normal whilst I have been in the throes of all this.  Shawl club has started again and so I have been developing patterns on top of the show prep.  Outside of Yarnworld, I have started my new job (going OK so far) and I am on the school PTA which is also, it turns out, something of a major time commitment with fundraising.

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And I didn’t get a chance to tell you about the amazing send off I got from my old work colleagues.  They decided that they would all buy me yarn or yarn-related goodies for my leaving present, and so I have 4KG of yarn, everything from hand-dyed luxury through to pretty and functional acrylic.  A friend briefed everyone well.  I struggled to find places to put it all, but I got there in the end!

The best bit was the memory box a colleague made.  I had no idea she was crafty, but I was pulled to one side and told to open an envelope.  Inside was a piece of card which was printed with memories that people had from their time working with me.  Some words were in bold, and those words, I was told, were captured in the box.  The box was a perspex cube, which contained a miniaturised representation of my office.  Everywhere in the ‘room’ were tiny objects, and each one was linked to one of my colleagues’ memories of working with me.  It was beautiful and unexpected, and it serves to remind me that sometimes you can affect people without realising it.

A bit of catching up to do…

I’ve been meaning to write a new post for ages now. April marks the anniversary of starting KnackeredPsycho as a proper part of my life, and it’s exceeded my expectations.  I checked Ravelry the other week, and over 650 patterns have been downloaded from my site.  That might not sound much, but it’s exceeded my expectations for something that has sat at the edge of what I do.  It does make me wonder what it might be if I really concentrated on it properly.  To that end, this year is all about testing new waters.  So I am busy getting my show stuff together for next month, and I can start to show you my goodies.

First up, the yarn! All the yarns I have commissioned have a psychology theme.  These beauties are ‘split personality’ by Lollipop Guild Yarns, and they are just stunning…


The next yarns are by Dye Candy – ‘psychosis’ and ‘learned helplessness’.  Hutch has absolutely done me proud with these…

And today I had the pleasure of finally meeting Hutch in the flesh.  I can confirm that: 

  1. She is real, and three-dimensional 
  2. Her dog is a great kisser
  3. She is one of the nicest people ever


And I have the best stitch markers on their way from Yarnistry, example shown at top of post.  I love a glittery brain!  And talking of brains, I also have a rather fabulous friend helping me out by running up some project bags and hook cases in the brain themed fabric I showed you in an earlier post.  

So there is more to come and more to share with you very soon, but thank you all for your support! 

Sundae Shawl

So I can finally show you the first shawl of Shawl Club Season 2 -the Sundae Shawl.

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As you know, I am pretty rubbish at coming up with names for my shawls.  This one is called the Sundae Shawl because it looks like one of those wafers that you stick in your ice cream when you are having a treat.  And it also looks great in ice-cream colours. The yarn I used here is by Fleabubs.

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It works really well with bamboo / merino mixes, although any yarn would work well with it.  Plus it is one of those patterns where it will keep on growing if you have the yarn and follow the pattern of the rows, but the examples shown are post blocking and used just 400m of yarn.

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It looks pretty great in grads too.  This one is by Hooking Marvelous and it reminds me of a sunrise or sunset.

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My next shawl will be revealed fairly soon as I did a special one-off pattern for one of the collaboration yarn boxes produced by Unbelievawool, Truly Hooked and Dye Candy.  It uses three different skeins of yarn and is a bit of a departure for me but I am quite pleased with how it has come out!

No turning back…

So, it is really, really happening.  I will have my very first stall at Wool@J13 in May!  It is booked, and I am in the throes of organising my stock.  I will, of course, be bringing my patterns, but I am putting together a sort of pick and mix feel to me stall: pick a pattern, pick a yarn, pick some extras and have them all beautifully wrapped for you, so you have a treat for when you get to open it all again later at home.  Having helped out Sam and Sue on their stands, it seems that a lot of people like to see what is in their kit boxes before they buy them.  So I decided the easiest thing would be to let people build their own kits, and make them as special as possible.

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I have commissioned some yarns from Unbelievawool and Dye Candy, all on a psychological theme, and the testers look pretty special (the ones shown above are from Dye Candy).  I am hoping to ask some of other dyers to contribute as well, but I don’t want to get too carried away for my first show.  But I hope to be able to support some of my other favourite dyers too.

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I have some hand made stitch markers already from Tinkaboo Crafts, and I have found some amazing fabric for project bags which also keeps with the psychological theme.  All brains and neurons! I know they won’t appeal to everyone but I think the fabric looks pretty amazing.  A friend is helping me by making them this time, but I plan to make some myself in future if I can find time (time is my enemy at the moment).

So my extras will be hooks, stitch markers (I hope to get some very special ones made to go with the ones I already have), and WIP bags.  I am trying to source some shawl pins too, and keep toying with the idea of a small amount of things which feature my logo.  What do you think?  Do people like the idea of my little frazzled brain as a badge or a pin?  Let me know!