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Preview: Confessions of a YarnAddict

Confessions of a YarnAddict

Welcome To The Blog of Anniken Allis

Updated: 2018-03-18T10:52:27.749+00:00


Getting ready for Edinburgh Yarn Festival


I'm leaving for Edinburgh early tomorrow morning. I'm teaching three workshops at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this week and spending a day at the yarn market. I'm looking forward to attending a show where I'm not having a stall and can spend the day enjoying everything on offer.Of course a trip would not be complete without some knitting projects to keep me company. For a few weeks I've been thinking I need to get some new handwarmers knitted up. I love wearing them as my hands are always cold. Finally yesterday I decided I'd cast on for a new pair. I had a pattern charted out for some hand warmers I'd planned to knit last winter but I never got around to casting on. See at the end of the post how far I've gotten in less than 24 hours. I did a lot of knitting yesterday evening but I've done very little today.I also decided I needed to take a new shawl project with me. My current shawl wips are too bit for travel projects. I prefer 4ply/sock yarn for travel projects but lace weight yarn takes up less space so I chose Laceball. I've not quite nailed down the lace pattern yet although I did decide on a shape.I cast on for a new pair of sock. Every trip needs a pair of socks. I will mainly knit on these when I'm out and about. I'm knitting toe up and the yarn is Crazy Zauberball in the same colourway as the shawl above.See how much progress I've made on my hand warmers! I'm nearly at the thumb. I'm doing an afterthought thumb as it's quicker and easier. I'm hoping to finish this one tonight so I can cast on for the second one to knit one while I'm travelling tomorrow.See that beautiful book? It's a new Yarn Show Planner from the organisers of Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It'll be for sale at the festival and it's fabulous. It has space to plan several shows. Each section includes details of the show, transport, accommodation, who you're planning to meet up with. Lots of space to plan your travel projects and to make a list of vendors you want to see. There's also space to list which patterns you want to buy yarn for including all the details you need about the pattern.The cover is thick card stock and the paper is great quality. Love this show planner! Look out for it at Edinburgh Yarn Festival.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Snow Day Discount!


Most of the UK has snow at the moment & it's causing chaos. We rarely get snow here in Cornwall but we're snowed in too. So to cheer us all up, I'm offering you all 25% off any of my patterns in my Ravelry Pattern Shop until midnight UK on Monday 5 March 2018. Use coupon code: snowday18 to get 25% off. You can use the discount as many times as you like and please feel free to share it with your friends.Here are a few suggestions of patterns you may like to add to your collection. Above, clockwise from top right: Dartmeet, Dakota and Carlyon Bay.Above, clockwise from top right: Caldera, Nordlys and Venezia.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

New Pattern & Tutorial - Spanish Fan


I'm excited to introduce my new pattern - Spanish Fan. The name was suggested by Dawn who gets a free copy of the pattern. Get 30% off Spanish Fan till end of 28 Feb 2018 (UK time). Use coupon code: spanish30.A beautiful, delicate lace shawl resembling a Spanish fan. Light & airy, this is the perfect accessory for a evening dress or a glamorous accessory for casual daytime. Spanish Fan is worked form the top down with a knitted on edging.I love this knitted on edging. It's very easy to do but if you're new to this type of edging, I've filmed a tutorial which you can find here. width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Spanish Fan is knitted in Schoppel 6 Karat. I used one skein of each colour - 7641 (C1) Stone Grey and 2285 Raw Denim (C2). I didn't actually use the full skeins. I used 80g/480m of C1 and 70g/420m of C2. You may use more or less depending on your tension. I have a selection of kits in a choice of four colour combinations to pre-order. Kits will be shipped around mid-March.The shawl's inner crescent measures 148cm/58¼in and the depth at the centre is 62cm/24½in. As I was photographing this, I was going through my Tattysquawk shawl pins and I chose Porthtowan Surf which goes perfectly with these colours. See my selection of shawl pins here. Get 30% off Spanish Fan till end of 28 Feb 2018 (UK time). Use coupon code: spanish30.Here's a blocking photo of this shawl so you can see how it blocks out. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Fabulous Weekend


I'm back from Unravel and it was another fabulous event! I enjoyed meeting regular and new customers, members of my Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting - and the ladies who came to my Professional Finishing Class on Sunday.I'm so grateful to everyone who supported us by buying yarn, patterns, shawl pins, beads or notions. And I'm so grateful to everyone who stopped to say hello and show me what they'd knitted from one of my patterns. I didn't get much of a chance to look around and there are a few stalls I'd hoped to check out but I'll have plenty of time for yarn shopping at Edinburgh Yarn Fest next month. I'll be there teaching and shopping but not having a stall.I did manage to buy a couple of little things. I've wanted a little sweater ornament for months so I picked one up from Ida's House, who have a fabulous selection of knitting goodies. Fellow Norwegian, Maya, stocks a Norwegian yarn, Garnsurr, in her yarn shop, Knit With Attitude, in London. When I heard that Knit With Attitude was going to be at Unravel I knew I wanted to pick up a skein of Garnsurr. I copied this from Knit With Attitude's website: 'Garnsurr is a social integration project for refugee women in Norway. The project is aimed at women, because women often find themselves struggling to find jobs feeling isolated because the opportunities to learn the Norwegain language are quite limited. Through working at Garnsurr these women learn Norwegian at the same time as feeling productive and creative managing a working life - which again contributes to their integration into the Norwegian culture and society.'I enjoyed meeting fellow Norwegian, Nina - Knitting Windows on Instagram. We've been chatting on Instagram for a while so it was nice to meet in person. Nina came to my Finishing Techniques workshop on Sunday and brought me a little present - a gorgeous tin with some useful and pretty knitting notions. I love knitting notions and pretty tins so this was perfect for me!I got some knitting done too. In fact, I'm surprised at how much knitting I got done. I'm exhausted after a day at a show so in the evenings we get something quick to eat then retreat to our hotel room to relax. And apparently I did a lot of knitting because my lavender shawl is getting long! I'm on the final quarter. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it this week.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Knitting & Unravel


It's been a really frantic couple of weeks and blogging went to the bottom of my to do list. I've managed to fit in quite a bit of knitting between magazine deadlines and workshops. After finishing a a couple of projects I decided I needed to cast on two new projects.For a while now I've wanted to design an Orenburg inspired shawl using the construction method I teach in my Orenburg lace workshop. I'll be teaching my Orenburg lace knitting workshop at Handmade Studios, near Portsmouth on 26 May. I'll be back at Handmade Studios on 7 April for a Lace Improvers workshop (contact the shop for more details on both workshops).I'm using Navia Alpakka which is a pure alpaca lace weight yarn. It's a delicate, light as air yarn and I'm really enjoying knitting with it. I'm adding beads. The construction method is really interesting in the way the edging is knitted on along with the shawl.I decided I needed an easier shawl on the needles too. I've wanted to knit a shawl in the Lavender and Dark Grey Navia Bummull for a few weeks now. I love knitting with this cotton blend yarn. It's lovely and light. This weekend I'll be at Unravel in Farnham, Surrey. I'll have selection of patterns, beautiful, colourful yarns, beads and Tattysquawk shawl pins. I picked up 20 new pins today but I didn't have time to take any photos before it got dark. I wish I had as the pins are just beautiful.If you're coming to Unravel, do stop by and say hello. We'll be in the Barley Room. Next week, I'll have a new pattern release and a tutorial for you.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

February Workshops


I've listed most of my workshops up to the summer on my website. I'm waiting for confirmation of a couple of classes which I'll add as soon as I can. You can see all my classes here.Tomorrow, Saturday 3 February, I'll be back at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth to teach a Circular Fair Isle Yoke workshop for Wool Palette. At the time of writing there is one space left on this workshop. You will learn how to knit with two colours at the same time and knit a top down circular yoke sweater that fits you. See the full details and book here. You do not need any previous fair isle knitting experience.Copyright: Let's Knit MagazineNext week I'm really looking forward to a trip to Dorset to teach Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne, Dorset. In this class you will learn how to work with two colours at the same time as well as how to cut your knitting. Why would you want to cut your knitting? It will enable you to knit a sweater in the round to the shoulders and cut holes for the sleeves which is what my Mum did in the sweater below.You can also turn a sweater into a cardigan. Cutting your knitting may sound scary but I show you how to re-enforce the steek (where you're going to cut) first and then cut it, pick up stitches for a button band, work an i-cord cast off. After this class you'll have the confidence to cut your own knitting.This class is divided into two halves and you can do both sessions or just the fair isle knitting or just the steeking. I recommend doing the full day as there's always something to learn even if you're already a fair isle knitter. Contact Slipped Stitch for full details and to book.Selbu-inspired Vaffel VotterOn 13 February I'll be teaching Norwegian Selbu Mittens at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon. In this class you'll learn how to knit traditional Norwegian mittens in two colours. We'll cover how to knit with one colour in each hand, how to strand the yarn and how to shape the mittens. You'll get a choice of one of my Selbu-inspired patterns to take home.At Unravel, on Sunday 18 February, I'll be teaching Professional Finishing Techniques. This is a half day class so you'll still get time to enjoy the show. We'll cover techniques like short row shoulder shaping, joining shoulders by working a three needle cast off, how to sew up using mattress stitch, how to pick up stitches for a button band or collar and how to work one row button holes. As part of this class you'll get my Online Professional Finishing Class for free. Find full details and booking info here.Knitting garments in the round is becoming increasingly popular and one of the easiest way to knit a garment in the round is to knit a raglan sweater from the top down. In this class you'll  learn to knit a raglan sweater that first from the top down. I'm teaching this class at Spin A Yarn, Bovey Tracey, Devon, on 28 March. Find the details here.See all my workshops up to the summer here - there are a couple of workshops to be added.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oils for Chronic Pain


If you've been following me for a while, you probably know that I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back/neck/shoulders. The pain is as a result of two car accidents 35 and 17 years ago. I've also broken my coccyx and injured my back in numerous horse-riding accidents which probably didn't help. After the first car accident when I was 14 years old, I suffered from mild to moderate pain. compared to the pain I suffer from now, I'd describe it as very mild. After the second car accident I was signed off on sick leave and put on strong painkillers as I was in a lot of pain. I spent a year on sick leave and ended up on disability benefits. Over the years I've tried a huge number of different alternative treatments and various medications and alternative 'medications'.For the last two years, I've been told by the doctor on several occasions to cut back on my painkillers. I was taking 8-10 tablets per day of Cocodamol and Tramadol as well as other pain medication and anti-inflammatories. Every time I've tried to cut down, I've failed! I'd managed to cut down by one tablet for a few days, maybe even a week. Then I'd have a bad day or a bad few days and be right up to max dose. At the moment I'm taking 6 Cocodamol and 5 Tramadol per day. In a couple of weeks, I'll try to cut down one more Cocodamol. My goal is to get down to four of each. How have I done this? It's all down to DoTerra essential oils and Life Long Vitality Supplements. When I started using DoTerra essential oils last summer I didn't actually think they'd do anything for my pain. I was looking for help with sleep, energy and motivation. But when you solve the pain issue, you sleep better, have more energy and motivation. When you're in pain, you get tired quicker and struggle to sleep. Being tired means more pain. It's a vicious circle!I did share my pain management strategies in a blog post a few months ago. Since then I've experimented with more oils and other supplements. I've also read a lot more on the subject of pain management.On Tuesday 6 February at 14.30 (UK time), I'm hosing a Live Webinar on How to manage pain with essential oils. I hope you can join me live. But if you can't, you can watch it later. If you have any specific questions regarding essential oils and pain, you can ask them live or if you can't watch live, please e-mail me on (put 'EO pain' in the subject line) by Friday and I'll try to answer your question. Do you suffer from chronic pain? Do you take a bucket load of strong painkillers every day? Or do you take milder pain killers but you worry about having to move on to stronger stuff? I hope you'll join me live to learn why I chose DoTerra essential oils, why they work as well as they do, which specific oils are good for pain and how to use them and why the Life Long Vitality Supplements work. You can join me for the webinar or watch the replay here.If would like to read about my Essential Oils - My Story, you can read it here and you can read Essential Oils 101 here. If you're ready to get started with DoTerra, you can sign up for a wholesale membership here. If you'd like to find out more about what's involved in a wholesale membership, just e-mail me on can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.Join my e-mail newsletter for inspiration and education about essential oils and other natural products.[...]

What's on my needles?


All my knitting time over the last week has been taken up by working on a deadline project which I'm hoping to finish tomorrow. I can't share much as it's for a magazine. I'm enjoying it but it's fairly easy so I would have preferred to have mixed in the odd lace knitting session but I've spent all my knitting time on this project recently.Once I finish my deadline project, I'll be getting back to work on my lace shawl. I'd like to finish this by early next week so I can get the pattern finished and sent off to my tech editor next week. I'd like to release this pattern in February so I'll need to crack on with it.My self-imposed deadline for my fair isle project is in time to wear it at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March. I'm at a point where I need to work out the next section of the pattern which I won't have time to do till next week at the earliest. I'm not envisaging finishing this till end of February as there's still a lot of knitting to do. Most of it is stocking stitch in the round.I picked up my bright pink shawl a couple of times before I started on my stripey deadline project and I'd like to get this finished. I haven't got much to do so I may decide to finish it next week after I finish the blue/grey shawl.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

New Pattern & kits - Crantock


Crantock has an asymmetrical shape and combines a simple lace pattern with garter stripes to create a wearable accessory. Wrap it around your shoulders on a chilly day or wear it bundled around your neck in the winter. I knitted Crantock in Navia Bummull and used three colours - Light Grey, Rose Pink and Cerise. I loved knitting this shawl and I'm thrilled with the result.The Crantock pattern is 30% off until midnight UK on Sunday 4 February 2018. Use coupon code: crantock30. You can purchase the pattern here.Crantock is worked sideways and starts in the top right hand corner with just a few stitches. A combination of increases and decreases creates this asymmetrical curved triangle shape which is so easy to wear. Crantock is the perfect size to wear as a big scarf or wrapped around your shoulders. Get your pattern here.I've listed a limited selection of Crantock kits available in a few colours. These kits are available to ship immediately. If these kits sell out, I won't be listing pre-orders because the Navia Bummull yarn takes a while to get here from the Faroe Islands but if you'd like a kit and they're all sold out, please e-mail me on and I will reserve a kit for you. I will be ordering more yarn for kits but I can't say when they'll be here. Order your Crantock kit here. Kits include all yarn and pdf copy of the pattern but needles are not included - you will need 4mm knitting needles.    Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oil Basics - Live Webinar


There's a lot more to essential oils than just a nice smell. I think the lovely smell often draws us in and gets us interested in essential oils but they have real therapeutic benefits. You don't have to 'believe in essential oils' for them to work. There are scientific studies that prove that they work. I've been using essential oils for about 8 months now and my health has changed. I suffer from chronic pain, autoimmune hypothyroidism and chronic vitamin D deficiency. I have used essential oils and natural supplements to reduce the amount of pain killers I am taking by a over a quarter. I used to take 8-10 Tramadol and Cocodamol every day (I took 8 tablets of each during the day and then two extra if I woke up at night which I did regularly so I frequently overdosed). I now take 5 tablets of each a day.  My goal is to cut down to 4 of each a day.For 18 months before I started using essential oils I tried cutting down on painkillers regularly and I was lucky if I managed to cut down by one tablet for a week. Then I'd have a flare up, a bad day or a sleepless night and I'd be back on full dose.I know these oils work and I can't wait to share more of my journey with you.So tomorrow, Friday 26 January 2018, I'll be hosting a live webinar on You Tube to talk about Essential Oil Basics. (This link will take you to the scheduled page - I will post the re-play link here after the webinar)I want to share with you: how and why essential oils workthree ways to use essential oils safely what to use essential oils for.In the coming weeks and months I'll be covering different topics related to essential oils such as chronic pain, staying well, womens' health, autoimmune conditions and more. If there are any topics you'd like me to cover, please e-mail me on'm also planning to do a webinar on essential oils for knitters where we'll focus on how you can stay pain free and how to deal with knitting related pain and injuries using essential oil and natural products. I'm currently working on my plan and content for this webinar which I'm also hoping to offer as an in-person class in the future. I'd like your help to make sure I cover what you want to know. So if you have any knitting related injuries or get any pain while knitting, please tell me about it by e-mailing me on and I will include it in my research.If you'd like to make sure you're notified of these webinars, make sure you sign up to my newsletter here. [...]

The Knitter 120 - Endelyn


Issue 120 of The Knitter is in the shops now and has a fabulous selection of patterns including some knits for men. I love the sweater on the cover.My contribution is a pretty lace shawl called Endelyn which is knitted in Fyberspates Gleem Lace, a lovely silky yarn which shows off this lace shawl to perfection.This delicate triangular shawl is knitted from the top down and it has a central panel on the back which helps it to sit well around the shoulders and creates a slightly rounded triangular shape.The shawls features a selection of pretty lace patterns. It is knitted in a variegated, hand-dyed yarn from Fyberspates which is a blend of Bluefaced Leicester wool and silk. There are charts as well as written instructions.Issue 120 is in the shops in the UK now. Find more info here.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Why I'm passionate about essential oils!


If you've been reading my blog recently or you follow me on social media, you may have noticed I've become obsessed with essential oils. When I started using essential oils last summer, I hoped the oils would help me sleep better and give me more energy and motivation. I started off with just a couple of oils and quickly noticed how potent the were so I ordered more and gradually started using them for more and more health issues.I suffer from chronic pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back as well as an auto-immune underactive thyroid condition and chronic vitamin D deficiency and since August I've struggled with a painful, sore and stiff knee. I was taking a lot of painkillers including Co-codamol and Tramadol which are two drugs that doctors here in the UK are trying to get patients off. I've had several doctors ask me to cut back on pain killers in the last two years. I was taking the maximum eight per day of each. If I woke up in pain in the night and couldn't get back to sleep I'd take 1-2 more of each. So I was frequently over-dosing. Every time I tried to cut down I'd go back to full dose after a few days.I started using some essential oils for the neck/shoulder pain. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about which oils I was using in my pain blend. Recently I've played around with some other oils. My most recent roller blend is 20 drops Deep Blue, 20 drops Aromatouch, 20 drops Peppermint and 20 drops Wintergreen. I mixed these oils with fractionated coconut oil in a 10ml roller bottle. It works just as well as my original pain blend. Last September I started taking the Life Long Vitality (LLV) supplements. Since then I've added Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex and in the last week I've added DDR Prime Cellular Complex. Long Life Vitality - LLV - supports the following:General wellness and vitalityAntioxidant and DNA protectionEnergy metabolismBone healthImmune functionStress managementCardiovascular healthHealthy hair, skin, and nailsEye, brain, nervous systemLiver function and digestive healthLung and respiratory healthGentle on stomachNon-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-freeThere is a Vegan versionMany chronic pain sufferers say that LLV really helps to manage their pain, helps them sleep better and give them more energy. And yes I'm sleeping better, I've got a lot more energy, I recover from busy days like when I've taught knitting workshops and been travelling a lot quicker.In November I ran out of LLV and took half dose for a week then didn't take it at all for two weeks. I noticed a big difference. I was in more pain after teaching a knitting workshop and it took me longer to recover. I didn't sleep as well and I had less energy. After starting to take the LLV supplements again, I felt much better. I've had a busy few days with a knitting workshop last Saturday, driving Emily back to Cardiff on Sunday (Simon did most of the driving) which was an all day trip, working all day on Monday and yesterday I was teaching a knitting workshop again. At lunchtime  yesterday my knee suddenly got very painful especially when I was walking. I drove halfway home, picked Simon up from work and then we had to do an hour de-tour due to a serious accident. It took us two hours to get home. I was really tired, my neck and shoulders were hurting, I had a headache and my knee was really painful. I did a bit of knitting before having an early night. I applied my pain blend and Deep Blue Rub to my neck, shoulders and knee before I went to bed. I put a couple of drops of Serenity (restful blend which is good for sleep) and Cedarwood on my pillow and applied my sleep blend to the bottoms of my feet which I do every night.I slept like a log till 4am and then woke up with a[...]

Unravel 2018


I'm really excited to be exhibiting at Unravel again this year. Unravel is held in Farnham, Surrey from 16th to 18th February and it's a fabulous knitting festival. If you haven't been you're missing a real treat!I'll be bringing my patterns including my new releases, beautiful yarns, beads, knitting notions and beautiful Tattysquawk shawl pins. Above and below are pictures of my stall last year.This year I'll be teaching a 1/2 day Finishing workshop on the Sunday. It's so frustrating when you put lots of time into knitting a garment then your finishing lets you down. In my Finishing class I'll be teaching you how to sew up your garments using mattress stitch, how to shape shoulders using short rows and how to join the shoulder seam using three needle cast off. We'll also cover how to pick up stitches for button bands and collars as well as one row button holes which are genius.Every time I teach a Finishing class, everyone is always so impressed with how much they've learnt and what a difference knowing how to do all those little finishing details makes to the final garment. If you only ever take one class then this is the one you need to take!Book your space here! Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

New Pattern & Kit - Gweek


I'm so excited about my first pattern relase of 2018. The old port of Gweek is located on the Helford river in Cornwall. It’s an area of ourstanding natural beauty. This shawl combines a delicate beautiful lace pattern which reminds me of the lush green banks of the river. An unusual asymmetrical shape, garter stripes and a delicate lace patterns with contrasting beads makes this shawl eye-catching but very wearable.I have Gweek shawl kits available in a choice of four colour combinations. Kits include yarn, beads, printed pattern and pdf pattern. Kits are already discounted by approx 10% and will ship by the end of January 2018. Pre-order your Gweek kit here.Get 30% off the pattern only until midnight UK on Friday 19th January 2018. Use coupon code: gweek30. Purchase the pattern here. I love the interesting asymmetrical shape of Gweek and the winning combinations of garter stripes and lace. Contrasting beads are added to the lace sections and I have a tutorial on how to add beads here.Which colour combinations will you choose? Join my Love of Lace Knitting Facebook group and share your knitting progress.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Will you learn something new this year?


Have you got any knitting goals for 2018? Are you planning to learn any new techniques?The best way to learn something new is to attend a workshop. People who attend my workshops say they love spending a day with other knitters learning new skills and it's as much about taking a day to yourself to do something you love as learning a new skill.Barbara from Wool Palette and I at Ocean StudiosI've got a very busy teaching programme for the next few months. I'm kicking off this weekend with Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl at Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon. This is a new venue for me and I'll be teaching there monthly. I'm so excited to be teaching at this fabulous venue. See the details and book here.On 3 February I'll be teaching Circular Fair Isle Yoke Sweater at Ocean Studios. In this class you'll learn how to knit with a colour in each hand, how to work a sweater from the top down with a circular yoke, how to work out the numbers for your own size. I'll give you a spreadsheet to help you with this and show you how it all works. You don't need to be good at maths or have previous experience in fair isle knitting to take this class. See the details and book here.On 10 March I'm teaching two half day workshops at Ocean Studios. In the morning we'll be doing a Professional Finishing Techniques. Perfect if you hate sewing up your knitted garments. In addition to mattress stitch we'll cover how to shape the shoulders using short rows, how to pick up stitches and how to work one row button holes.In the afternoon we'll do an introduction to lace knitting where you'll learn how to learn various lace stitches, how to read lace charts, how to add beads to your knitting using the crochet hook technique and how to block your lace. To book on this day please see the details here.If you're interested in any of the workshops at Ocean Studios, contact Barbara on 07791175695 or see the details here. Next week I'll be back at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon, teaching Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking. In this class you'll learn how to knit in the round with a colour in each hand, how to strand the colours evenly. In the morning you'll practice fair isle knitting techniques by knitting a small tube and in the afternoon we'll work on steeking techniques. Steeking basically means you can knit garments in the round and then cut a hole for the sleeves or turn a sweater into a cardigan. You can also use it to do repairs to garments that are too big or too small.Cutting your knitting sounds scary but it's really not when you know the correct techniques. And there is no better place to learn how to do this than in a class. See the details here and contact Spin A Yarn to book.I'll be teaching Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne, Dorset on 10 February. Get the details and book here (scroll down till you see a picture of the sweater below). On 24 February I'll be teaching Shetland Lace Knitting at Spin A Yarn. In this class you'll learn how to knit Shetland lace patterns and we'll talk about different Shetland shawl constructions. You'll also learn to knit various lace stitches and how to read lace charts. See the details here and contact Spin A Yarn to book.Knitting sweaters from the top down is becoming increasingly popular. Raglan sweaters are a really easy way to knit a sweater in the round from the top down. You'll learn everything you need to know to knit a basic raglan sweater including how to work out the numbers for your own custom sweater. I'm teaching this class at Truro Wool in Truro, Cornwall on Sunday 21 January. Details of the class can be found here and contact [...]

New Year's Knitting


Did you get a lot of knitting done over the Christmas period? I finished two new shawls just before Christmas, one was just a couple of days before so I quickly cast on for a new shawl. I decided I fancied knitting a shawl in Schoppel 6 Karat which is a yarn I really love.It's a silk/merino blend and it's very silky feeling. It's a bit thicker than regular lace weight with 600m/100g so I'm using two skeins. I thought long about which shape to go for. The next two shawls I'll be releasing are both asymmetrical shapes (but they're not the same asymmetrical shape) so I decided something different. In the end I went for my favourite way of knitting a crescent. I'm over halfway, possibly 60% of the way through.I've done a little bit of work on my fair isle garment too. I've finished the colourwork and I'm nearly at the point where I'm dividing for the sleeve and body. I've not worked on this a lot but mainly kept it for times when I've wanted to work on something easy. Stocking stitch in the round when you knit the continental way is really easy.And talking about continental knitting. I've just heard that there are a couple of spaces left on my first workshop of 2018 - Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard in Plymouth on Saturday 13 January. This workshop is organised by Wool Palette. Details of the workshop and how to book are here. If you're not on Facebook, then call Barbara on 0779 1175695.I'm teaching Circular Fair Isle Yoke at the same venue on 3 February. In this class you will learn to knit a garment like the one I'm knitting above and you will learn how to do your own numbers to knit a custom sweater. This is much easier than it sounds so don't let the thought of scary maths put you off. I keep maths as easy as possible. In fact I actually give you a spreadsheet to use to work out your own numbers and I explain how to do it all in the class.If you're new to fair isle knitting, you will get plenty of practice in this class. You don't need to be an experienced fair isle knitter to take this class. You can find the details here or if you're not on Facebook, call Barbara on 0779 1175695.I've also been working on a pair of socks for Emily. She chose the yarn - Regia Pairfect. I got the yarn last year and had planned to use it for myself but when your daughter wants socks you oblige. She's going back to uni on Sunday so I could really do with finishing these socks before then. I'm only just pas the heel on the first sock. I could easily finish it by Saturday but I also need to work on the shawl and I have yarn coming for an urgent deadline project.Yesterday I blocked a new shawl in my Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting. I finished this shawl a couple of days before Christmas but because of Christmas and my parents visiting I put off blocking it. Yesterday I decided to do it live in my Facebook group. If you're a member, you can watch it here. If you're not a member, request to join. Please answer the questions and we'll approve you as quickly as we can.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Healthy New Year!


I've been thinking a lot about my health goals for 2018. For the last two years I've been thinking more about what I can do to improve my health. I suffer from auto-immune hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and the more I read about it, the more I learn about how just about everything in your body is affected if your thyroid isn't working properly. It especially makes controlling your weight much more challenging. 18 months ago I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D deficiency which is also linked to thyroid disorders. But the fact that I live somewhere were we get little sun in the winter and I'm careful in the sun in the summer because I've had a malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in the past, probably doesn't help.I also suffer from chronic pain which affects how much exercise I can do. It also affects my mood and makes me more prone to depression. I've tried lots of medication and treatments in the past. There are very few treatments I haven't tried. I have managed to cut down on painkillers over the last 6 months, thanks to using essential oils for pain management. You can read about that here. I tried cutting down during the first half of last year but I always ended up going back to full dose within a couple of weeks. At the moment I'm taking 5 tablets of one drug a day and 6 of the other. I used to take 8-10 of both each day (8 of each is max so there were days when I was over-dosing if I couldn't sleep and had to take painkillers at night).I'm very overweight and I struggle with energy levels. Suffering from different conditions which all affect your energy levels makes it hard to pin-point whats wrong. But since I started using essential oils and especially DoTerra's Life Long Vitality supplements 6 months ago, I've got more energy and I sleep better.I have a new Instagram account where I'll be posting about my 2018 health and fitness journey as well as DoTerra education and how I'm using the products. Please follow me at by Grace Essentials. I will of course also continue to post on my Facebook page.Two years ago I lost 3 stone/19kg with Weight Watchers over 6 months. Then I stopped losing and started to slowly gain. At the moment I've re-gained 2/3 of what I lost despite continuing to go to Weight Watchers until last August. I wasn't following the programme properly though and I couldn't motivate myself to get back to doing it properly. This seems to be a pattern with me when I join a weight loss programme as I've done exactly the same thing before.This year I've decided to do things a little bit different. I know from experience that if you want to lose weight you have to eat fewer calories. Just exercising more on its own won't help (unless you do a lot of exercise every day). So my plan is to cut down on things I know is not healthy, increase the healthy stuff, start exercising and use DoTerra's supplements to give me the nutrients I need and to feel better.We bought a new exercise bike over the weekend and I did my first proper workout this morning. I'm doing an interval programme - 20 seconds of fast cycling followed by 10 seconds of slow cycling. I do this 10 times then have a minute of slow cycling then do it 10 times again. I felt good doing it this morning. In an attempt to kick start my weight loss I'm substituting one meal a day with DoTerra's Trim Shake. I don't really believe in food replacement diets but I need something to kick start my motivation. And there is nothing better to motivate you to lose weight than to lose some weight. The Trim Shake is a protein shake but I'm adding some extras as the shake on its' own isn't filling enough for me. I did it for[...]

Simply Knitting 168 - Out To Lunch


Simply Knitting issue 168 is in the shops in the UK now and I've got a shawl in this issue. Out To Lunch is knitted in two colours of Drops Flora and uses 100g of each colour.Next time you're invited out for dinner, make an entrance with this stunning wrap. Worked in striking garter stitch and lace, and knitted from corner to corner, it makes a wonderful talking point for both knitters and non-knitters alike. Garter stitch and lace is alternated throughout and the shaping is easy.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

2017 Design Review


I can't quite believe 2017 is coming to an end. It's been a great year but there have been some challenges too. I released 17 patterns this year. My goal was two a month so I didn't quite make that but that was due to working on a new book - more on that next week - and teaching a lot of workshops. Below are a round up of my new pattern releases in 2017.  Clockwise from top left: Nordlys, Biarritz, Amelie and Carnival. Clockwise from top left: Oasis, Grand Bazaar, Lido and Murano. Clockwise from top left: Ma Belle, Pimlico, Mullion and Bellever. Clockwise from top left: Passion Flowers, Fiesta, Cardiff Bay and Mist On The Moor.Dartmeet (above) was my most popular of my new patterns released in the last year in terms of online sales. With Pimlico coming second.  To celebrate 2017, I'm offering you 30% off any of my 2017 pattern releases. Click on the links above to access each pattern or find them in my Ravelry Pattern Shop. Use coupon code: 2017 to get 30% off until 7 January 2018.I did a lot fewer designs for yarn companies and magazines this year. This was mainly due to spending the first half of the year finishing my book and having an intensely busy workshop programme this autumn. Above are the patterns I designed for Let's Knit and below are the patterns I designed for The Knitter, Simply Knitting and West Yorkshire Spinners.I had four magazine covers in 2017 - two each for Let's Knit and The Knitter.2017 was another very busy year with workshops. I taught 48 workshops in the last year which was seven more than 2016. The highlight of my teaching year was travelling to Jersey to teach a few classes in May. I've got lots of workshops lined up for 2018. The first three months are on the website now - see them here and I'll add the rest of the ones I have booked so far very soon. I'm almost fully booked up until the summer 2018.I spent most of 2016 and the first half of 2017 writing my next book. This book was much harder work than my first one which is strange as the patterns are much easier. However, I have suffered from some health issues over the last two years which made writing the book more difficult.. Have you knitted any of my patterns this year? Let me know which ones in the comments or share them on Instagram and tag me. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

New Pattern - Mist On The Moor


It's time for the final pattern of the year! Mist On The Moors is a lace poncho which I've been wanting to knit for ages. I love everything about this poncho including the yarn, the colour, the lace pattern and the beads.I live near Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and when I first moved here in 1990 I lived on the edge of the moors. I worked at a riding stables and would frequently ride across the moors in the mist. Something that scared me to start with but which I enjoyed after I got to know the moors better. Mist on the moors have a magical quality with amazing colours which are reflected in this poncho. An interesting lace pattern is worked on the bias to create this beautiful poncho. Beads are added using the crochet hook method for added glamour. Mist On The Moor is worked sideways on the diagonal. Halfway the shaping is changed which creates the perfect shape for a poncho. I'm modelling the largest size. The pattern comes in two sizes but you can customise the length (sideways) easily by working fewer repeats. Sizes:Petite (Tall)Length (folded in half): 103cm/40½in, (121cm/47¾in)Width: 52cm/20½in, (61cm/24in)Width on the bias: 66.5cm/26½in, (78cm/31¼in)See schematic on page 3 of the pattern.Get 20% off until end of 2017 (UK time) with coupon code: mist20. If you subscribe to my newsletter or are in my Love of Lace Knitting Facebook Group then see there for a 30% off coupon code. Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

Essential Oils - Coping with Christmas


Many people find this time of year very stressful. Christmas celebrations, family visits, financial pressure can all add stress to our lives.Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this time of year is usually filled with some sort of family celebrations and can be a difficult time of year for many people. In this blog post I'm going to talk about how essential oils can help with the emotional issues that this season can bring up but also some advice that we as a family try to stick to.We are a Christian family so Christmas is important to us. We try to focus on why we celebrate Christmas and spending time with family is important to us. We have a small family and noone in our immediate family are divorced so that makes things much easier during family gatherings. But we aren't a perfect family and there are people in our family who don't get on that well. An added issue for me personally is that Christmas is the only time of the year when I feel home sick. Even after 28 years in the UK, it still doesn't feel like Christmas to me and I miss Norwegian Christmas traditions.We made the decision when we first got married to spend every other Christmas in Norway with my parents and every other Christmas in Cornwall with Simon's family and we've stuck with that through 26 years of marriage. There have been years when affording the airfare was difficult but I'm very thankful for low cost airlines. We've also tried to keep Christmas shopping within reasonable limits. We decided early on to limit how much we spent on Christmas presents and we've pretty much stuck with that. We don't buy expensive presents for each other or the girls but stick to a pretty strict limit. We probably spend a lot less on presents than most of my friends. We also decided to limit presents to family and not buy for friends. Once you start buying presents for extended family and friends' children etc, the costs can easily spiral out of control.We also limit how much food and alcohol we buy. We have a good Christmas lunch with extra treats but we don't plan elaborate meals for every day of the Christmas week. Because both Simon and I struggle with weight issues, we've always tried not to buy too many treats. We buy one or two small boxes of chocolates to enjoy on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but I stopped buying big tins of chocolates years ago. I remember buying a big tin of Quality Street chocolates in October one year with the idea that I'd save it for Christmas. Well of course I couldn't resist dipping into it and by the end of the month the tin was empty and I had to buy another one. One of my main issues with Christmas Day is that I didn't want to spend all day preparing food. I don't like cooking but I understand the importance to the rest of my family to provide a nice Christmas lunch.  For me it's important to go to church as a family on Christmas morning and not spend all morning in the kitchen or get up at 4am to start prepping lunch. Simon helps me chop all the vegetables and peel potatoes and we usually do that the day before. Then before we leave for church, I get all the food ready to go in the oven as soon as we get back. Our rule is that the person who cooked doesn't have to clean up. So after lunch I sit down with my knitting while the other adults clean up.In the afternoon we usually go out for a walk and then relax and watch TV for the rest of the day.This year Emily is in charge of Christmas lunch. She's a vegan so is cooking a vegan option and doing all the potatoes, veget[...]

Simply Knitting 167 - Party Piece Lace Cardigan


Issue 167 of Simply Knitting features a lace cardigan designed by me. The cardigan is knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace and is perfect worn with a pretty dress or jeans. A simple lace pattern is teamed with a deep rib and stocking stitch sleeve for a contemporary cardigan.The Knitter says: 'Throw this elegant cardigan on over your favourite party dress to bring the whole outfit together. Use a striking extra-long hem to frame the easy-to-knit lace pattern. Add contrasting stocking stitch sleeves to keep the attention on those lacy stitches, and finish the entire look off with a set of delicate shell buttons'.This pattern comes in sizes 8-10, 12014, 16-18, 20-22 and 24-26. See the magazine for measurements and more details about sizing. Simply Knitting issue 167 is in the shops in the UK now.Would you like weekly news from the YarnAddict Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]

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 chi[...]

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 Studioas well as exclusive subscriber offers?Subscribe to the YarnAddict News[...]