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Preview: Confessions of a YarnAddict

Confessions of a YarnAddict

Welcome To The Blog of Anniken Allis

Updated: 2017-12-14T20:50:47.117+00:00


Winter Wellness with Essential Oils


I hosted a webinar Winter Wellness on Wednesday - you can watch it here via Facebook.I talked about what essential oils are, how/why they work and then talked about specific oils and how they can support your health.In this post, I want to highlight a few oils and other products that can benefit your health this winter.Your first go to oil to protect against winter illnesses is the On Guard blend. On Guard is DoTerra's protective blend and is a blend of oils that specifically boost your immune system and supports your body's natural antioxidant defenses and respiratory function.DoTerra has a range of On Guard products including the oil blend which you can diffuse, apply topically or take internally. Here are a few ways you can use the On Guard oil:Diffuse after school and at night to boost your family's immune system and clean the air. Take a drop internally to support your immune system - in a veggie capsule or in a glass of water.Add a few drops to water to clean with.Combine a few drops with a carrier oil in a roller bottle to apply topically - bottoms of feet and spine. The On Guard Touch comes in a roller bottle and is already diluted.If someone around you is ill or you are coming down with something, consider taking the On Guard + soft gel to boost your immune system. The On Guard + soft gel combines the On Guard blend with Melissa, Black Pepper and Oregano for an effective immune boosting blend in an easy to take gel capsule.The On Guard beadlets are a convenient way of taking the oil internally. They're tiny beadlets containing 1/4 drop of oil. Easy to swallow, even for kids. I keep a tube in my handbag. If you've got a sore throat, get the On Guard throat drops which will soothe your throat. I made a sore throat spray this week with one drop each of On Guard, Melaleuca, Lemon and Lime plus a few drops of DoTerra's fractionated coconut oil then I topped it up with water in a 15ml spray bottle. I sprayed it at the back of my throat and by the end of the day my sore throat was gone.You may also wish to consider using the On Guard Concentrate Cleaner - read about how I use it here - or the On Guard Foaming Handwash. If you do come down with a cold or you suffer from any respiratory issues like asthma, then you need Breathe. Breathe is a blend of oils that supports your respiratory system and can be diffused or applied topically (mix with a carrier oil first). Perfect for when you suffer from a blocked nose. Asthma sufferers also report easier breathing when diffusing this blend. Consider diffusing Breathe at night with Serenity or another sleep enhancing oil like Lavender for a good night's sleep. Breathe Touch is a pre-dilute roller bottle for easy application which can also be used on children. Apply topically on the chest for easier breathing. Breathe has also been reported to ease snoring.The Breathe range also includes a Breathe stick which is perfect to use on your chest when you have a cold, it's also safe to use on children. The Breathe drops maintain clear airways and breathing and will support overall respiratory health.DoTerra's DigestZen (called ZenGest in Europe) will support your digestive system and can be used to ease bloating and tummy upsets. It comes in an oil which you can blend with a carrier oil for topical use or you can take a drop in a veggie capsule or glass of water for internal use. DigestZen also comes in a Touch roller bottle which is already diluted and ready to be used on children and adults.The DigestZen Soft Gels contain the DigestZen oil in an easy to use capsule. Perfect for travelling and taking on the go. Use when you've eaten a big meal to support your digestive system or when you have an upset tummy. If you are new to essential oils and are interested in trying DoTerra's pure, therapeutic oils, then I have a choice of two sample packs. I'm happy to send you one of these two sample packs for free. Each sample pack will contain three oil samples as well as a Deep Blue Rub sample (for sore muscles and joints) and an On Guard tooth paste sample. The Winter[...]

A weekend of teaching and knitting


I was away for a lovely teaching trip this weekend. On Friday I got an early train up to Portsmouth. I needed a travel project so I cast on for a new design. I made quite good progress over the weekend. In the photo below is an essential oil blend I made for the trip which smells delicious. I'm using it as a perfume at the moment. It's a blend of White Fir, Balance, Cheer, Grapefruit and Spearmint essential oils mixed with fractionated coconut oil in a roller top bottle. It smells divine and is uplifting and calming.I spent Friday afternoon shopping at the Gunwharf designer retail outlet. Lots of lovely shop. Most of them were a bit too pricey but I enjoyed looking around. There were some lovely Christmas decorations there too.The Gunwharf is on Portsmouth historic seafront. It was another very cold, sunny day in Portsmouth, just like when we were there two weeks ago (although even colder this time).On Saturday I taught Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking at Handmade Studios. If you live within driving distance (or you can get there by train - the Rowlands Castle train station is just around the corner from the shop) it's well worth visiting this lovely shop. Linda, who owns Handmade Studios, has a lovely range of yarns including some indie yarns I've not heard of before. She has one or two new indie dyers every month. I nearly got tempted to buy some yarn but I managed to resist this time. I spend too much time in yarn shops to give in to temptation every time.A lovely group of ladies joined me on Saturday. Several had been on my previous classes at Handmade Studios this autumn. I'll be back there for more workshops next year. Watch this space for news soon!I came home very late on Saturday evening so spent yesterday recovering. I mainly spent the day knitting and watching Netflix. I decided to finish this shawl which has been on hold for too long. As I'm writing this I only have the cast off left to do.I've got some great news to share with you. On 16, 17 and 18 February 2018, I'll be at Unravel in Farnham, Surrey. I'm really excited about taking part in Unravel again and I've already started planning a couple of new patterns and other goodies for you.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Tattysquawk shawl pins


Are you looking for a Christmas present for a knitter?  Or a treat for yourself? 

If you knit shawls, you need a shawl pin and the best ones are hand-made by Tattysquawk in Cornwall. 

These aluminium shawl pins are very lightweight with no sharp edges.

Tattysquawk shawl pins are perfect for all knitwear but especially lace shawls.

I have a mall collection available here.

Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studio
as well as exclusive subscriber offers?

Essential Oils - Natural Cleaning


I've never really thought much about the cleaning products I use in my home. I am not someone who disinfects every surface, nor is my home spotless at all times but earlier this year I was thinking about how much my Hypothyroidism affects me and every year I seem to develop more symptoms, despite being on the correct medication. I was wondering if changing some of the products I use and what I eat would make me feel better. Please note that I don't want the info in this blog post to scare you. Do your research and then decide what's best for your family. There is no need to chuck out all your cleaning products immediately but it's better, for your budget, to replace them as you run out.When I joined DoTerra I started seeing posts about how toxic a lot household cleaners are and how they include toxic chemicals and hormone disrupters. Just search online for 'Are cleaning products toxic?' and you'll find lots of websites and I've listed a few below. Do your own reading and research and make up your own mind. I've always tried to have a balanced view on these issues but I am wondering if these products are as safe as we think they are. I've always assumed that products sold for use in the home are safe to use. Everything we spray around us or on us is absorbed into our bodies and are these cleaning products as safe as we think they are? And how much damage do they do to the environment.Here are a few websites I found: How toxic are your household cleaning supplies?Toxic chemicalsSafer Cleaning ProductsThe hidden dangers of cleaning products - this also talks about artificial fragranced productsI decided to try some natural cleaning products but I waited until my current cleaners ran out. So last month I got the DoTerra On Guard Cleaner Concentrate. For general surface cleaning, which I use in my kitchen, floors and for dusting, I use two table spoons in a 500ml spray bottle. It's best to use a glass bottle.I am not houseproud and my house is never as clean as it should be. I severely dislike cleaning my hob and it can get really filthy and grimy before I tackle it. I'm slightly embarrassed to share this photo but it's rare that my hob gets quite that disgusting. I hadn't cleaned it for about a week and Emily was home for the weekend and had cooked the night before and she always make a mess.With my old kitchen cleaner I'd spray it on, leave it for a few minutes, wipe it off, then spray it again and I sometimes had to spray the hob three or four times and use quite a bit of effort to get stuff off. With the On Guard cleaner I sprayed it on, left it for a couple of minutes then wiped it off with a paper towel to get rid off the grease and left over food. I then sprayed it again and wiped it with a damp cloth and it was clean. No scrubbing or spraying extra times on stubborn areas. I've used this cleaner daily in my kitchen since and if there are any food stains from the night before I haven't wiped up, I just spray and wipe and it comes right off. I'm REALLY impressed with the power of this cleaner. It's way better than any regular kitchen cleaner I've ever used and I've tried all the big brands. And I know that this is safe for me to breathe in and get on my skin. The spray bottle in this photo is probably about 200ml.The On Guard cleaner comes in a 355ml bottle and you use two table spoons per 500ml for multi purpose cleaning and three table spoons for bathrooms.So a bottle will last a long, long time. The Cleaner Concentrate costs £13.20 incl VAT if you have a DoTerra membership. (If you don't have an account, I'll talk about how you can get one at the end of the post). You can buy it retail but it makes sense to get an account, but if you wish to buy it retail, it's £17.60 incl VAT (please note prices on the website are excluding VAT).This is what DoTerra says about the On Guard Cleaner Concentrate: 'dōTERRA On Guard Cleaner Concentrate is designed to be the ideal natural cleaner. It is fortified with the proprietary dōTER[...]

Blocking - Carnival


This is another installments in my blocking series. This week we'll look at a bit of an unusual shape which is a modified triangle. All the tutorials will be listed on my Tutorials page - scroll down to 'Blocking'.Today I'm blocking Carnival which is a fun shawlette with an interesting shape and an easy lace pattern which is perfect for that skein of fun, variegated yarn. If you have a 100g/400m skein of sock yarn that you don't know what to do with, then this shawl is perfect! Carnival starts off as a top down triangle.  width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>You can also watch the video here. Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers like discounts on new patterns? Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Workshop Focus - Royal William Yard, Plymouth


I'm so excited to reveal that I'll be teaching workshops at the fabulous, Grade 1 listed naval yard, Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon in 2018. We've got monthly workshops lined up until the summer. I've teamed up with Barbara from Wool Palette to bring you these workshops in the beautiful Ocean Studios venue. Above is Barbara and I at the venue. Look at those leather deck chairs!We kick off in January with Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl. This has always been one of my most popular classes. It doesn't matter how experienced you are or what you prefer to knit, everyone can benefit from learning continental knitting. Whether you switch knitting styles completely or just want to be able to alternate how you knit is up to you. Continental knitting is faster and more efficient than most English knitting styles for most knitters. I'll be teaching Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl on Saturday 13 January. Book your space here.Copyright Let's KnitOn Saturday 3 February I'll be teaching my new class, Top Down Fair Isle Yokes, which will teach you how to knit a fair isle sweater with a circular yoke shaping. This is the easiest way to incorporate a fair isle pattern into your sweater. You'll also learn how to work out all the maths for knitting your own sweater - it's easier than you think. Book your space on Top Down Circular Yokes here. Copyright Rob FrostOn Saturday 10 March we're doing two half day workshops. In the morning we'll focus on Finishing Techniques such as short row shoulder shaping, three needle cast off, mattress stitch and button holes and in the afternoon, we'll do an introduction to lace knitting. You'll learn how to knit lace stitches and how to read lace charts.Book your space here. You can see the rest of the workshops here. In the summer we'll have a very special weekend treat but I'll share more about that later. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oils - Emotional Aromatherapy


Today I want to talk about how essential oils can benefit your mood and emotional well being! I've just had a conversation with my lovely cleaner. For the last few months I've been diffusing a variety of essential oils while she's here and almost every week she tells me how much she enjoys the aroma and how relaxed and happier she feels when she leaves my house. I can tell you its definitely not cleaning my house that's leaving her happy! The oils I diffuse are having a profound effect on her mood! I tend to mainly diffuse uplifting and energising oils as I suffer from tiredness (even after a good night's sleep) and lack of energy due to some of the health issues I suffer from. Many essential oils are beneficial for your mood but DoTerra does a range of oils especially to help with your emotions. If you're wondering how essential oils work, then read my Essential Oils 101 post here.The Emotional Aromatherapy System is a collection of six oils - Motivate, Cheer, Passion, Forgive, Console and Peace - which are designed to make you feel great and stay balanced. I use several of these oils on a daily basis.Let's go through the oils and how they can help you.Motivate - the Encouraging Blend is a blend of Peppermint Plant, Clementine Peel, Coriander Seed, Basil Herb, Yuzu Peel, Melissa Leaf, Rosemary Leaf and Vanilla Bean Absolute. This was the first oil I got and was actually the oil that made me decide to join DoTerra. My enroller, Tara, was talking about it on Instagram and I felt that I'd benefit from this oil. Motivate will strengthen belief in yourself and it's great for when you're feeling frustrated at work or just aren't getting anything done at home or at work. Diffuse it or roll it on your feet, back of your neck, pulse points and chest to increase your courage, confidence and motivation. I use this daily when I work and I diffuse it in my office regularly when I'm feeling tired and just want to knit rather than deal with my backlog of e-mails.Apply to the bottom of feet in the morning to jump-start your day. Diffuse when working on a project at work or school to stay motivated.Apply to pulse points before participating in sporting events or other competitions.Cheer - the Uplifting Blend is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Star Anise Fruit/Seed, Lemon Myrtle Leaf, Nutmeg Kernel, Vanilla Bean Extract, Ginger Rhizome, Cinnamon Bark and Zdravetz Herb. This is another one of my favourite oils and I use it as perfume. I'm always getting compliments on how I smell when I use this oil. I've had compliments from the unlikeliest of people. I used to get a lot of compliments when I wore my old, very expensive perfume (which I've stopped wearing as artificial scents are really bad for you but I'll talk more about that another time) but I get more compliments wearing this. I add a few drops to my body lotion in the morning after my shower when I'm feeling tired and a bit low and also diffuse it regularly. I'm prone to low moods especially when I'm tired or in a lot of pain and Cheer is great for making me feel better. Diffuse this oil, put a couple of drops in your hands, rub together and take a few deep breaths or apply to your feet, back of your neck and pulse points to boost your happiness, positivity and encourage a cheerful attitude.Diffuse at home, work, or school to promote a positive, uplifting environment.Apply to a cotton ball and place in car to experience Cheer’s energizing aroma while driving.When feeling down, apply one drop to hands, rub together, and inhale deeply as needed throughout the day.Passion  - the Renewing Blend is a blend of Cardamom Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Ginger Rhizome, Clove Bud, Sandalwood Wood, Jasmine Flower Absolute, Vanilla Bean Absolute and Damiana Leaf. This was also one of my first oils. I like to diffuse this when I'm working on new design ideas to inspire c[...]

What a lovely weekend!


We had a lovely weekend away in the Portsmouth area. I was teaching at Handmade Studios on Saturday but Simon & the girls decided to come along so we made a weekend of it. Simon and I drove up to Portsmouth on Friday. We stopped off for a couple of hours in Bournemouth on the way. Bournemouth Pier and beachMy first two trips to the UK in the 1980s when I was 13 and 16 years old were to Bournemouth. The first time was with a marching band I was a member of and the second time was on a language holiday. I've never been to Bournemouth since but as we were passing by, I thought it'd be fun to stop. We walked on the pier and along the seafront and through the gardens up to the town centre. I do remember the gardens, the sea front and pier very well. Simon and the girls spent Saturday at the Historic Naval Dock Yard in Portsmouth while I was teaching and they said it was very good! On Sunday I knew I'd be tired so we went to the cinema to see Paddington 2. We wanted to see it as a family and the next time we'll all be together will be the week before Christmas so we thought we'd better take the chance to see it now. Photos from my workshop on Saturday. There's always a tasty cake at Handmade Studios. We also walked around the Gunwharf shopping development and sea front before we left Portsmouth. There are some great shops there and I'm planning to spend the afternoon there on my next trip to the Portsmouth area in two weeks. I'll be teaching at Handmade Studios again - I think the workshop is full but contact the shop if you're interested.On the way home yesterday afternoon, we drove through the New Forest. We didn't have much time so we just pulled off the main road and parked near a group of wild ponies. It turned out they were very tame and several came up to us. There were also some smaller ponies that looked like Shetland ponies and the grey ponies got a bit jealous when the little ponies came up to us. We were able to stroke several of them.  I did treat myself when I was at Handmade Studios. Linda has a great range of hand-dyed yarn and I got tempted by two skeins. I may use these in the same project, probably a shawl or I may not. I haven't decided yet.I also got a bottle of Soak as I've nearly run out.What did you do this weekend?Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

I've been nominated


I'm so excited to have been nominated in the British Craft Awards 2018. I've been nominated in the Knitting Designer Of The Year category and Knitting Blog Of The Year category (my blog is'd really appreciate your vote if you have't voted yet. You can vote here - click on Knitting. Voting closes on 17 December 2017. Thank you very much for your support.I also wanted to let you know that my book, Beaded Lace Knitting is back in stock. The book has 25 stunning patterns ranging from easy to intermediate and a comprehensive how to section. Beaded Lace Knitting is a perfect Christmas present for a knitting friend or why not treat yourself? You can order your signed copy here. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oils - A Business Opportunity (it's better than you think)


This summer I joined DoTerra, a US company specialising in essential oils and natural plant based products such as skincare, hair care, supplements and cleaning products. I only wanted to order a few oils for personal use but after a few months of using the oils over the summer I realised how good they were and as I learnt about the business opportunity DoTerra offer, I got interested in maybe building a business. First, I want to stress that if you join DoTerra as a wholesale customer there is no pressure to sell! You can just join and buy what you want, when you want for your personal use. No minimum order requirements. You can find out more about why I chose DoTerra and how I use oils here. But if you'd like to earn some money, you have the opportunity and today I'd like to talk more about that. There are two ways of making some money with DoTerra - you can become a 'sharer' or a 'builder'. A sharer is someone who loves the oils and other DoTerra products and uses them regularly. She tells her friends and family about how well they're working and they decide to join DoTerra. She can then earn commission on their orders. You can use your commission to buy more products for yourself.If you enrol under me and share oils with your friends and they sign up then I will help you support them and I will provide training in how they can use their oils and get the most of their membership.If you'd like to earn more money and build a proper business then DoTerra has a great support system to help you. There is a set business plan you can follow to build your business. We will provide you with a step by step plan to follow.You will teach people about how to use essential oils and Doterra's other wellness products via one to one meetings or by teaching classes (in person or online). There are sample scripts, class plans and handouts available. All you need to do is get some friends together, follow the sample class script and answer their questions. If you live locally to me, I will help you get started and I can even teach a few classes for you.You don't need to have any prior knowledge about essential oils. DoTerra has a ton of information on their website and there are two excellent books - The Essential Life and Modern Essentials (I've linked to one retailer for each book but they are for sale in a variety of places so just search online for each title and choose a company local to you) - which we recommend. Modern Essentials also have an app.We encourage DoTerra customers to become their own wellness experts. We show them how to research essential oils, where to find information and help them choose oils and products that suit their needs.We have two brilliant Facebook groups run by Tara Swiger (who enrolled me) and Leonie Dawson (who enrolled Tara). They are both experienced business women and these two groups provide a ton of training and are dedicated to helping you succeed and build your DoTerra business.There is also an e-course available which will walk you through how to build a business as a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. I will also mentor you and support you as you build your business.DoTerra is a network marketing/multi level marketing company and I must admit I've always steered clear of these types of companies but  I quickly learnt that DoTerra is different. There is so much help and support available and such a community and team spirit. The commission structure is very generous too. I'm just starting my journey building my DoTerra business. I've seen how these oils and other products have helped me feel more energetic, sleep better and cut down on painkillers for my chronic back/neck pain.Anyone can build a DoTerra business but I'm specifically looking for 2-3 people who would love to build a DoTerra business to join me in building a[...]

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Blocking Crescent Shawls


This is part of my Blocking series. All the tutorials will be listed on my Tutorials page - scroll down to 'Blocking' to see them all.I've done blocking tutorials previously on a small and a large crescent shawl so I'm not going to re-do those but just in case you missed them, I thought it might be useful to list them here.You can find my small crescent - Gondola - blocking tutorial here. Here is my large crescent - Dartmeet - blocking tutorial. And a not so pretty blocking photo of Dartmeet.Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers like 30% off new patterns? Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

How I manage chronic pain


Recently I posted a photo of the pain relief roller bottle I use daily on Instagram and it got so many comments I thought I'd share a few more of my views in a blog post. I've suffered from chronic neck pain since I was 14 years old after a car accident. The pain was mild but worse after school and studying. When I was 30 I was in another car accident and after that my neck was in agony. I was on sick leave for a year and ended up giving up work. The pain was in my neck, upper back and shoulders. As a teenager I was a keen horse-rider and I had numerous falls off horses and two weeks before I moved to the UK in 1990 to work with horses, I fell off a horse and broke my coccyx. All in all, the two car accidents and the horse-riding accidents have left my back in a bad state.I saw a doctor two days after the second car accident and was given strong pain killers and I was signed off work. To cut a long story short, I ended up never going back to work (apart from two months) and over the years I was given more pain killers. At the moment I'm taking three strong painkillers which the doctors are keen to get patients off. Over the last 18 months I've been told on several occasions that I need to cut down on my painkillers and I've tried but it's very difficult, especially as I'd like to continue working. If I'm in too much pain I can't work! If I cut down on pain killers I'm in more pain and I can do less.Over the years I've tried a huge number of different treatments including some very weird ones. Everytime someone says 'have you tried...?' I have! I've also had surgery on my spine.I also have some other health issues like hypothyroidism. All in all the chronic pain and thyroid issues leaves me feeling tired, exhausted, fed up and the pain means I often don't sleep very well which leads to more tiredness and pain. Earlier this year I got really fed up and decided I need to do something to take charge of my health issues. When I decided to try essential oils in May, it was mainly to help me sleep and to give me more energy. You can read more about why I got started with essential oils and why I chose DoTerra here.I started researching oils for pain relief and gradually as my oil collection grew I added oils to this blend. Now I use a blend of Frankincense, Marjoram, Wintergreen, Lemongrass, Peppermint, AromaTouch, Patchouli and Deep Blue. I use 5-10 drops of each mixed with a carrier oil in a 10ml roller bottle. I roll this on my neck and shoulders when I need to. The great thing about essential oils is that you can use them as often as you need to. I don't have to wait four hours between each use. In fact, if you use essential oils small, frequent, daily doses are best.DoTerra essential oils are safe to be taken internally. There is a lot of controversy, especially in the UK, about taking oils internally. That's because most essential oils are not pure enough to be taken internally. They may contain contaminates, synthetics or fillers. Also, aromatherapists are not insured for internal use so will not recommend their clients take oils internally. However, DoTerra essential oils undergo thorough testing, both in-house and external. The oils that are safe to take internally, are labelled as such. The basic rule is, if the plant/fruit/leaf is safe to eat, then you can take the oil internally. So some oils from plants that aren't safe to eat, should never be taken internally!Because essential oils are so potent, it's important to be careful when taking internally. Do your own research and do not take oils internally if they're labelled 'For topical use only'. You can take oils internally by adding to a glass of water, put a drop under your tongue or you can take the oils in a veggie capsule. I prefer the veggie capsule optio[...]

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Blocking - Triangular Shawls


This is the first in a new series of blocking tutorials. I get asked about blocking in nearly every workshop. This series will mainly focus on blocking various shawls but I will talk about blocking sweaters and non-lacy items too. All the tutorials will be listed on my Tutorials page - scroll down to 'Blocking'.Today, we'll cover some blocking basics as well as how to block a triangular shawl.Blocking helps your knitting look it's best. It's essential with lace knitting but most knitted items can benefit from blocking. The only equipment you need is pins and a surface you can stick pins into. But there are other things you may find helpful. I use Knit Pro blocking mats. These are square, foam mats. You can get similar mats from hardware shops, kids jigsaw puzzles etc. I also use blocking wires  and Knit Pro Knit Blockers which are the white plastic piece in the photo below with pins. My favourite pins are t-pins. They're thicker than regular sewing pins. All my blocking equipment comes from Knit Pro (Knitters Pride in the US). The shawl I'm blocking in today's video is the Simplicity shawl which is my easiest shawl. It takes just one 100g skein (400m) of sock yarn. The Simplicity pattern comes with a choice of a triangular shape or half-hexagon shape. width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>You can also watch the video here. Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers like discounts on new patterns? Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

New Pattern - Cardiff Bay


I'm really excited to introduce you to Cardiff Bay - a new waistcoat garment. I'm being brave and modelling this myself. I'm wearing the largest of two sizes. Cardiff Bay combines a basic shape and simple lace pattern in this easy to wear loose-fitting garment. Perfect to wear with jeans and t-shirts for a casual weekend look.Three rectangles are sewn together to create this garment. The lace pattern is fairly easy, which makes this perfect for knitters new to knitting garments. It's worked from the top down.I used Navia Bummull which is a 4ply blend of wool and cotton and if you're following me regularly, you'll know I love this yarn.There are two sizes and the pattern has a schematic which you can see on the pattern page here. Get 20% off Cardiff Bay until 19 November (midnight UK). Use coupon code: cardiffbay20. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

The Knitter - Gwenna Shawl & Design Master Class


Look whose design is on the cover of The Knitter this month! The Knitter 117 will be in the shops this week, I think. My shawl, Gwenna, is on the cover and it's also the basis of a shawl design master class I wrote this month. The Knitter says: 'Crescent shawls are such a lovely shape to wear as they sit well around your shoulders. This wide crescent design is worked from the bottom up and features a deep lace border; the upper section is worked in garter stitch and is shaped using short rows.A beautiful shawl deserves a special yarn and Anniken has chosen a hand-dyed sock weight yarn created by indie dyer Truly Hooked, which blends merino, silk and yak fibres.'The Shawl Design Master Class covers all the things you need to think about when you want to design a shawl such as choosing the shape, stitch pattern and yarn. I also talk specifically about designing Gwenna.I knitted Gwenna is Truly Hooked Yak Singles. I've been wanting to use this yarn for a while. It's a luscious blend of merino/silk/yak which is super soft and of course I LOVE the hot pink colour. I LOVED knitting with this yarn. It's perfect for shawls. I'll definitely be adding more of this to my stash!Look out for The Knitter in your local newsagent or you can find details about subscribing and other purchase details here. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

The Shaping Shawls Challenge


In November we're running a Shaping Shawls challenge in my Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting.Starting today, I will upload weekly lessons on how to create various shawl shapes. Today we started with sideways, asymmetrical triangles. Join the Love of Lace Knitting group here. Over the next few weeks we'll cover various other shapes. At the end of the challenge we'll have a prize draw. Knit one mini shawl swatch from each lesson and post your photo in the relevant thread in the Love of Lace Knitting Group and you may win a prize.Join the Love of Lace Knitting group now. To find the Shaping Shawls posts, search for #loveshapingshawls in the group. You can also use this hashtag to share your progress on Instagram.Will you be joining us?Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

This & That


I've been working hard on my deadline project for the last two weeks and I finished it on Sunday evening and immediately blocked it. It looks beautiful and I can't wait to show you the shawl when the magazine is released next year.I immediately picked up my Zauberball project. On Tuesday evening, after teaching all day, I was thinking I ought to check the size as I thought I was reaching the halfway point but I knitted another 20 row repeat then on Wednesday morning I checked the size and ended up unpicking the last 20 rows. I've got a couple of repeats past that now so I'm motoring down the second half of this project. I'd hoped to finish it by the end of the weekend but as I'm teaching all weekend that won't happen.I always say this at the beginning of the month but I can't believe it's November. October was fantastic but sooo busy! Think it was my busiest month this year as far as the number of workshops I taught. After this week, it'll calm down a bit and I even have two consecutive weekends at home with no workshops! That's the first time that's happened since August.I'll be very busy this weekend though as I'm teaching at Stitch Fest in Totnes in Devon. Totnes is on the main train line between Exeter and Plymouth so easily accessible by public transport from both Cornwall and further up-country and it's only a few minutes off A38.There are still a few spaces left on my Professional Finishing Techniques workshop on Saturday afternoon. See the details here. My Fair Isle Knitting workshop on Sunday morning also has a few spaces left. You can see the details here. The list of vendors looks amazing! I've got Saturday morning off to shop and I'm really looking forward to having some time to browse.I've got lots more classes coming up in November. On Tuesday 7 November I'm teaching Shetland Lace Knitting, on Friday 17 November I'm teaching Scandinavian Fair Isle Yoke Sweater and on Tuesday 21 November, I'm teaching Christmas Baubles at Spin A Yarn.On Saturday 25 November I'll be back at Handmade Studios in Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, for a Circular Fair Isle Yoke Sweater workshop and on Tuesday 28 November I'll be at the Wool Merchant in Devon for a Fair Isle & Steeking workshop.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oils 101


What Are Essential Oils? ·       Essential oils are naturally-occuring aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers & other parts of plants·       Essential oils are 50-70 times more powerful than dried herbs.·       Supports the different systems of the body.·       Helps eliminate toxins in the body.·       Promotes emotional well-being. ·       Powerful antioxidants. ·       Removes toxins from the air. ·       Essential oils are highly concentrated when distilled for purity, potency & efficacy. ·       They have been used historically for health care, skin care & food preparation. ·        Essential oils provide us with safe & natural solutions to support a variety of health  conditions with very few, if any, unpleasant side effects. One drop is all that's needed to achieve a powerful benefit. ·       Essential oils contain hundreds of different compounds, providing complex & versatile abilities to combat threats without building up resistance. ·       Oils work with the body to address issues and root causes on a cellular level.How To Use Essential Oils☆Aromatically·       The sense of smell is a tool that can elicit powerful psychological, mental & emotional responses. ·       Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. ·       The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behaviour & memory. ·       For this reason, essential oils have an especially powerful effect via aromatic application. ☆Internally ·       When ingested, essential oils enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. ·       Essential oils are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. ·       Essential oils, like all things we consume, are metabolised by the liver & other organs & are then excreted. ·       Be careful when taking essential oils internally. Many DōTERRA oils are approved for internal use  (not all oils are suitable to be taken internally - always read the bottle).☆Topically ·       Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. ·       Because essential oils have low molecular weights & are lipid soluble, they easily      penetrate the skin. ·       Once absorbed, essential oils take 22 seconds to reach the brain, 2 minutes to be found in the bloodstream, and 20 minutes to affect every cell in the body.Why DōTERRA?There is very little regulation in the essential oil market. This means that many oils sold in chemists, supermarkets,  health food shops & online contain synthetic additives , traces of pesticides & fillers even though they are labelled as 'pure' or 'therapeutic'.How do you know if the oils you're using are pure? Many oils can be taken internally. Look at oils like lemon, orange, l[...]

Essential Oils - My Story


Over the summer I've been experimenting with essential oils. I used to go for aromatherapy massages nearly 20 years ago so I was familiar with essential oils and I knew that they work but I had no experience of using them in my home to promote my own health and wellness.I have a few health issues such as severe chronic upper back, shoulder and neck pain as well as an hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and vitamin D deficiency. The chronic pain in particular causes problems with sleep and together with the thyroid issues, causes lack of energy and of course I'm in a lot of pain and take a bucket load of painkillers daily. Two of the pain killers I take daily are medications that doctors are trying to get patients off at the moment and I promised my doctor I would try to cut down as I was taking the maximum dose every day. In fact, if I woke up in the night due to pain, I often had to take another dose which meant I was overdosing.I was hoping essential oils would help me with sleep and thyroid issues and if I could find oils that helped with pain too, I'd be thrilled.So I started out with oils that increased energy and helped me sleep. I chose to use DoTerra oils. DoTerra is a US company that sells essential oils and other wellness and personal care products. I will write more about why I chose DoTerra in an Essential Oils 101 blog coming soon!As I got my first oils from DoTerra I also got some essential oils from health food shops and pharmacies. I bought three different brands. One is a well known and respected essential oil company, one was an own brand from a very popular UK chemist chain and one was a brand I'd never heard of before which I got from a well-known chain of health food shops. I'm deliberately not mentioning names here.I tried the non-DoTerra oils and wasn't sure they were really working. As the summer progressed my collection of DoTerra oils increased. I compared the DoTerra oils to the cheaper essential oils I'd bought and the difference was immediately noticeable. The DoTerra oils smelt different, much stronger and more authentic.There is very little regulation in the essential oil industry and often cheaper essential oils can be full of chemical additives, traces of pesticides and fillers even though they may be labelled as 'pure' or 'therapeutic'.So how do you know if your oils are any good? Some essential oils, such as many of the citrus oils, peppermint and herb oils can be taken internally and used in cooking. So, for example, if you pick up a lemon oil and it says it can't be taken internally, you have to ask yourself why? There is no reason why you can't add a drop or two of lemon to your water daily if it's 100% lemon with no traces of pesticides, additives or fillers.Many shops now sell diffusers with little bottles of scent. These are not essential oils, they are just synthetic scents to use with these diffusers. They may make your house smell okay but they're not benefitting your health. In fact, they may damage your health.Interested in learning more about essential oils? Here is my Essential Oils 101. If you're interested in essential oils and want to find out more about DoTerra, do send me an e-mail on I'd love to talk to you about how essential oils can benefit you.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

How was your weekend?


I love visiting new yarn shops and when I get to teach in a new shop it's even more exciting. On Friday I travelled up to Rowlands Castle in Hampshire to teach at Handmade Studios for the first time.I had a lovely group of ladies who I really enjoyed spending the day with. The shop has a beautiful selection of yarns including several indie brands. I couldn't resist a beautiful skein of Truly Hooked. I kept looking at it all day and I got a pretty set of stitch markers. Linda, who owns the shop, provided a delicious cake. I felt guilty eating a big slice but on the train home when I couldn't find anywhere to buy food till about 9pm, I was quite glad I'd had a big slice of cake to keep me going. Travelling home was adventurous due to Storm Brian! In the end I got home fine,but there were lots of delays! Yesterday I did very little. We did a bit of shopping, and I spent the rest of the day knitting in front of the TV. I love my current project. Isn't the yarn pretty? It's Fyberspates Gleem Lace and you'll see the finished design in a magazine in a few months time.I'll be back at Handmade Studios in November and December for a Circular Fair Isle Yoke workshop and Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking workshop. Contact Handmade Studios if you're interested.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Passion Flowers


The weather is getting cooler here in the UK and my hands are frequently cold. So I designed a new pair of hand-warmers - Passion Flowers - which I've already been wearing regularly. The name was chosen after asking members of my Facebook group, and followers of my Facebook page and Instagram for suggestions. I got so many wonderful suggestions but Passion Flowers stood out to me. A delicate lace pattern twists its way up these fingerless mittens and opens up into an exotic flower represented by the beads. The beads are added using the crochet hook method. Here's my tutorial.Passion Flowers can be worked on either double pointed needles or circular needles using the magic loop technique. You may also be okay using the tiny 9inch circular needles if you prefer.I used 1/2 ball of Schoppel Crazy Zauberball in shade: 2204. You will have plenty of yarn to make the hand-warmers longer but you will need more beads. As you can just see in the photo below, I didn't add beads to the palm of the hand as I find it more comfortable without beads here. I wear hand-warmers all the time in the winter: when I work, knit, drive, shop, go for a walk etc.Passion Flowers come in two sizes but as the fabric is very stretchy they will fit a variety of hand widths and can easily be made longer, just remember you'll need more beads. I'm modelling the larger size in the photos which will actually fit a man-sized hand (yes I've got man-sized hands).Get 20% off the Passion Flowers pattern until 5 November 2017. Use discount code: passion20. If you've signed up to my newsletter, do check today's newsletter for a 30% discount. If you haven't signed up yet, sign up now! You can also take advantage of my long-term offer if you fancy a few other patterns, Buy Four Patterns, Get The Cheapest Free! Just add four patterns to your cart. Only valid through my Ravelry Shop and not valid in conjunction with any other offer.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Will I see you at Stitch Fest in November?


It's nearly time for Stitch Fest - a fabulous yarn show held in Totnes, Devon. It's two days of wonderful stalls selling everything knitters and spinners dream of as well as workshops. I'll be teaching three workshops this year. The class photos below are from last year's Stitch Fest.On Saturday 4 November, I'll be teaching Professional Finishing Techniques from 2-5pm. If you hate sewing up your garments, have no idea how to pick up stitches, don't like your button holes or hate the standard stair step shoulder shaping, this is the class for you. You'll learn how to work short row shaping for the shoulders and three needles cast off, how to seam your garments using mattress stitch, how to pick up stitches for the perfect button bands with perfect button holes as well as things you can do to make finishing easier.Does it sound like you need this class? Get full details and book here.  With this class you also get my Online Professional Finishing Course for free. You get indefinite access to this course which means you can refresh your memory on the techniques you learnt any time you want to. This class is suitable for knitters of all abilities. On Sunday 5 November from 10am - 1pm, I'll be teaching Fair Isle Knitting. Fair isle knitting is very popular this season and if you're worried about how to handle two colours, you've come to the right place. Growing up in Norway, I started knitting fair isle sweaters in my teens.In this class you'll learn how to knit with one colour in each hand if you're an English style knitter (or with both colours in your left hand if you're a continental knitter), how to make sure your floats are the right length, how to avoid floats that are too long, how to read fair isle charts and all my other little tricks for perfect fair isle.See the details and book Fair Isle Knitting here. This class is suitable for knitters of all abilities. And finally on Sunday afternoon from 2-5pm, I'll be teaching Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl. Continental knitters hold the yarn in their left hand and for the average knitter continental knitting is a quicker and more efficient way of knitting than English style knitting. You'll also learn to purl with the yarn at the back, which makes combined knit and purl stitch patterns like rib or seed stitch so much quicker. If you've ever seen me knit, this is what I'll be teaching you to do.With this class you get my Online Continental Knitting for free so you can refresh your memory at any time.See the details and book Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl here. This class is suitable for knitters of all abilities. I've just looked at the exhibitors list and there are some fabulous stall holders lined up. It looks like there will be more stalls than last year. I'll definitely be making time to look around on Saturday morning before I start teaching. So will I be seeing you at Stitch Fest? Stitch Fest is easily accessible from Totnes train station and it's only  few minutes from the A38 which is the main road that continues down through Devon from the M5 at Exeter. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Workshops at Handmade Studios


I love adding new shops to my teaching schedule, especially in parts of the country I've not taught before. This autumn I'm teaching three workshops at Handmade Studios in Rowland's Castle near Portsmouth. My first class is on Saturday 21 October and there are still spaces on this workshop.I'll be teaching Slip Stitch and Fair Isle Colourwork which is the perfect class if you're knew to knitting with two colours. In the morning you'll learn how to work slip stitch colourwork which is the easiest way to incorporate colour into your knitting. The scarf above is an example of stitch stitch colour work. In the afternoon we'll focus on fair isle knitting. You'll learn all the fair isle basics like knitting with one colour in each hand (if you're a continental knitter, I'll show you how to knit with both colours in the left hand), how to make sure your floats are the correct length, how to deal with long floats (ie how to weave in your yarn as you go) and how to read fair isle charts. You'll also learn how to knit in the round using the magic loop technique. You'll get plenty of practice knitting a small swatch during the class. This class is perfect if you're new to fair isle knitting or you've done a bit of fair isle knitting but want to improve your technique. See the details of this class here. On Saturday 25 November, I'll be back at Handmade Studios for a Circular Fair Isle Yoke Sweater workshop. In this class you'll learn how to knit a sweater in the round from the bottom up with a circular yoke and how to incorporate a fair isle pattern on the yoke. We'll go through all the maths you'll need to work out the numbers for your own sweater as well as all the techniques needed to knit a circular yoke sweater. You'll also learn basic fair isle techniques such as knitting with a colour in each hand, how to make sure the floats are the correct length and how to avoid long floats. This is a new class for this term and I'm very excited to be teaching it.Rambling RoseCopyright Let's Knit MagazineThe sweaters in the photos above and below were published in Let's Knit Magazine and incorporate simple patterns on the yoke. More details on the class here. Dawn Chorus. Copyright Let's Knit MagazineAnd finally on Saturday 9 December I'll be back to teach Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking. This is a fast-paced workshop where we'll go through fair isle techniques in the morning while you knit a tube. In the afternoon you'll learn how to re-enforce the steek with a crochet seam, how to cut the steek and how to pick up and knit a button band that covers the cut edge. More details on the class here. For all three classes, contact Handmade Studios for more details and to book and I hope to see you at one of these three workshops this autumn.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018


Yes I'm teaching at The Edingburgh Yarn Festival in March 2018. I'm so excited as this is one of the most fabulous yarn festivals in the UK. It attracts huge number of visitors from around the world. I'll be teaching three classes and the class preview is now up. Bookings open on Saturday 14 October 2017 at 4pm UK time.On Wednesday 14 March fro 10am to 1pm I'm teaching Circular Fair Isle Yokes.  You will learn how circular yokes are constructed and how to incorporate a fair isle pattern on your yoke, how to shape the yoke and adjust the shaping to work with your fair isle pattern. Read more about this class here.Copyright - Let's KnitAlso on Wednesday from 2 to 5pm, I'll be teaching Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl. The continental way of knitting is faster and more efficient than most English styles. You will learn how to carry your yarn in your left hand and knit continental style as well as the long tail cast on and Norwegian purl. For the Norwegian Purl the yarn is held at the back which makes combined knit and purl stitches such as ribs much quicker. This class will include my online Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl class as a free bonus so that you can continue to get online support and refresh any new techniques online after the class. Read more about the class here.And on Thursday 15th March from 2pm to 5pm I'll be teaching Beaded Lace Knitting. Beads add elegance and glamour to any lace knitting. In this class you will learn three different ways of adding beads to your lace knitting and how to choose which method is suitable for your project. You will also learn how to read lace charts and work common lace stitches. Read more about this class here.Midnight Stole After my workshops I'll be staying on in Edinburgh for a few days to enjoy the show and explore the city with my Mum who's coming over from Norway. The Market Place will take place from 15 to 17 March. This will be my first trip to Edinburgh so I'm so excited for this event!So, who's coming to Edinburgh? Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

The Knit-Tea Retreat - Bookings Open


I blogged about my classes at the Knit-Tea Retreat recently. You can read it here.

I'm teaching three classes at this retreat along with three other amazing teachers. The venue in Cardiff is beautiful, the classes are inspiring and there will be time for socialising and knitting too. 

Bookings open today. Get all the details here.

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