As promised, here is a post about my time at The Handmade Christmas Fair which took place in Manchester on 20-22 November. When I received an email from the organisers inviting me to the event, I did not hesitate for one second and accepted. Living in Newcastle, I always feel pretty jealous about all the amazing events in London throughout the year so finding out that the fair was in Manchester this time was a very pleasant surprise, and on Sunday morning me and my bf hit the road south.
Our Full Experience tickets gave us the chance to attend one session in the Super Theatre, one Skills Workshop as well as one Grand Make session. There was A LOT to choose from and, because we were quite short for time (and because I wanted to have enough time to check out the Shopping Village), we decided to head to the Super Theatre first for a christmas pudding cookery lesson hosted by Kirstie Allsopp herself and Lisa Bennison from the award-winning Bettys Cookery School. Being French, Christmas pudding has always been super weird to me – I mean, where is the crème pâtissière – but the demonstration was very interesting and Kirstie & Lisa shared lots of insider secrets (one was that spices don’t last so you should share them with friends!).
We then joined one of the Skill Workshops, where you get to learn a technique and take your finished product home. Luckily, the last workshop of the day was upholstery, something we’ve both wanted to try for ages! The chair pad workshop was led by the guys from Ministry of Upholstery, the UK’s leading modern upholstery school.
Did I enjoy it? I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for an upholstery course here in Newcastle the following week!
Finally it was time to check out the Shopping Village yay! To be honest, there weren’t as many exhibitors as I’d expected, but there was a great variety of crafts and I did manage to spend quite a bit of money :) Here are a few pics from some of my favourite stalls as well as my purchases… cannot wait to make my own candles!
The Handmade Christmas Fair is not just a fair. As they describe it themselves on their website, it ‘puts buying,learning and making at the heart of your day’. I loved discovering (and trying!) new crafts and meeting so many talented designers, as well as the queen of handmade herself, Kirstie, who was so engaged and passionate. I’d definitely love to attend the Handmade Fair next year and recommend you check it out too!
This Christmas is about to become very exciting for handmade lovers. The fabulous Kirstie Allsopp, who launched the very successful Handmade Fair last year, is back with her team of designers and artisans to get Britain crafting at The Handmade Christmas Fair! The event will take place at Manchester Central from 20th to 22nd November in association with my favourite craft magazine, Mollie Makes (of course!). You guessed it, this one is about celebrating all things festive! Here are a few pics from the past fairs – a crafter’s dream, don’t you think?
Kirstie, along with her expert makers, will be hosting a series of tutorials, workshops and Q&As, so make sure you check the full line up on their website. I cannot wait to head there on Sunday and see what it’s all about – I’m hoping to do lots of xmas shopping at the wonderful Shopping Village – I will be reporting on the blog when I’m back :)
If you haven’t got a ticket yet, here’s a little treat for you! You can get a Full Experience ticket for £20* (instead of £25) by entering the code JTK20 when you order your ticket here.
Speaking of Christmas, Mollie Makes have launched a special issue to celebrate that time of year when so many of us enjoy getting crafty. Mollie Makes Christmas 2, out now, is packed with 105 exciting ideas & DIY projects to fill your home and gift your loved ones with beautiful, creative makes. Sewing, crochet, papercrafts, upcycling… there’s plenty to keep you busy until Santa gets here. This issue is also extra special to me as it features my xmas baubles knitting pattern which first appeared in Mollie Makes last year and, I’ve got to say, it’s my most popular project to date. So make sure you get yourself a copy of this very special Christmas special (you can buy it here) and share your crafts online using #molliemakers!
*T&Cs: Booking and transaction fees apply. Offer applies to Full Experience tickets purchased in advance only and offer ends 21st November. For more information, visit http://www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com/.
The world of knitting can be a little overwhelming if you’re looking to take it up as a hobby. Choosing from a huge amount of patterns, figuring out the weird abbreviations, shopping for the right supplies… where do you start???
Well, if you love cute, quirky and modern knits (if you read this blog, chances are you do), Mollie Makes’ new craft book, How To Knit, is just what you need – read on to find out how you can get your hands on a free copy! The team from Mollie Makes magazine have brought together their favourite knit designers to share their tips, stories and projects – and I feel very privileged to be one of them! All the projects are brand new, including my Christmas tree decorations – you will find instructions to knit all 6 of them.
Mollie Makes: How To Knit also features projects by some of my favourite knitters out there such as Sincerely Louise ( I mean, a burger cat!), Katty Huertas and more!
You got it. Bright colours, cute stuff and animals. Plus all you need to know, from learning the best way to hold your needles to making your first fair isle project! You can find more details about the book here.
WANT TO WIN A FREE COPY? Leave a comment on this post by 31st October and Mollie Makes: How to Knit could be yours soon! The winner will be picked at random early November.
*This giveaway is now closed. The winner of Mollie Makes: How to Knit, picked at random using the good old method, is @Nicola, congrats!*
Just a quick post to let you all know that my Book Cover pattern is now available for free on molliemakes.com!
You may have seen this book cover before – it was first published in Mollie Makes’ e-zine Gathered a couple of years ago. If, like me, you love pretty stationery, then this is the perfect project for you! Happy knitting :)
As many of you know, I live in the beautiful city of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. Since my friend Shivani started blogging about local life over at Cloud In A Teacup and taking me to lots of lovely events, I’ve been on the hunt for crafts-related events – without much luck. Imagine my delight when, back in February, an email from blogger network Joe Blogs popped up in my inbox inviting me to a crafts workshop. Hallelujah!
I, along with about 30 North East bloggers, attended #HillarysCrafternoon last Saturday and it was absolutely brilliant. Using beautiful fabrics from Hillary’s new collection (set to launch this month) and with the help of Clare & Hannah from The Crafty Hen, we started by making a notebook cover. My eyes were set on a geometric pattern fabric from the minute I walked into the room, so I obviously picked it as well as a little bit of ribbon. It’s not a Julie notebook unless it has got a bow on it!
There was a cute selection of embellishments to pick from – everyone got very excited about using the glue gun, because GLUE GUNS ARE SO MUCH FUN! Look at all these pretty notebooks!
We were then asked to make a 3D bird using more pretty fabric, needle & thread and a little bit of stuffing. It was A LOT more challenging than the notebook cover, but very entertaining. Note to self: definitely need more practice with the running stitch.
Hillarys Blinds have been running a series of workshops across the country as a way to promote their new range of fabrics – you can read more about their craft roadshow here. They put together a fantastic creative team to ensure that, regardless of your sewing skills, you get all the help you need and most importantly, have fun!
Hillarys Crafternoons are a wonderful way of learning new skills and spending quality time with creative peeps and bloggers. Let’s hope they inspire other companies to come up with more creative blogger events – we want more!
Hi! I’m currently on holiday in the beautiful LA hence the lack of knitting updates! I did take a couple of projects with me but have been far too busy to knit and I miss it a little bit. I’m back to the UK in a few days and cannot wait to work on my projects. Anyway while I can’t share any work in progress with you I can however show you a few pics from my trip to California, Nevada and Arizona. Until next time!
Well, it’s been really REALLY hard to keep this to myself. Back in August, the lovely Mollie Makes team asked me to create a tutorial for one of their Christmas issues. The brief: 4 gem-themed bauble cosies knitted using a variety of simple techniques and some sparkle! I have to say this was one of the most original and fun projects I have worked on. Now it also instantly became my favourite creation when I saw the cover of Mollie Makes a few days ago!!!!
It’s time for you to give your plain baubles a glitzy Christmas makeover! Forget about double pointed needles, all you need to knit these cosies is a pair of straight needles, colourful yarn and a few sequins. I never used sequins before but they are so easy and fun to work with! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced knitter, enjoy good old Fair Isle or prefer intarsia, I hope you enjoy these patterns.
Mollie Makes issue 46 is out today (20th October) – it’s packed with amazing DIY projects as well as freebies (stickers yay!). I’d love to know which cosy is your favourite!
I cannot believe it’s October already!!! I haven’t moved house yet, so a lot of my knitting stuff is packed in boxes which means I am limited as far as new projects are concerned but, do not worry, September was still a very busy month.
A Cute Baby Blanket
The awesome Lindsay from Em & Sprout has asked me to make an animal squares blanket for her little baby girl who is due at the end of October. I’m so honoured as Lindsay is one of the crafters I admire the most. I actually had originally designed 30 animal squares as part of Lindsay’s #animaldoodleaday challenge – my biggest knitting achievement to date! You can read all about it here. I am currently re-working my designs (forever a perfectionist) but also creating new squares of some of my favourite animals. This is probably going to take me a while, but I’ll keep you posted :)
Now the question is: which animals will be on Lindsay’s baby blanket? Follow me on Instagram to find out!
My First Print Magazine Publication
September 2014 also marked the first time I ever got one of my projects published in print, eeeeeek! I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have one of my projects featured in Mollie Makes, and of course I wrote a whole post about this (because who wouldn’t!)! And there’s more to come!!!
My best friend Victoria and I have wanted to collaborate on a collection for like ever. Victoria is the girl behind Rock’n’Kitsch jewelry brand Die Young Stay Pretty. For months we’ve been talking about themes and ways to combine our 2 worlds and I am pleased to say it is finally happening! I’ve started working on my side of the collaboration, ie incorporating my knits into her beautiful pieces (it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I’m getting there). Our retro horror movie collection DYSPxJATK will (hopefully) launch soon. Here is a sneak peek – I’d love to know what you think!
What have you been up to in September? Share links to your projects in the comments!
As you know, this year I decided to start publishing my own patterns as well as working on commissions. My first pattern was 30 Animal Squares and I still can’t believe the response – thank you to everyone who has purchased it on Craftsy, Ravelry and Etsy! So naturally this made me want to look through my pattern notebook and pick my next project.
I am super excited to introduce you to the new collection of patterns – The Framed Knits!
The idea of ‘knitted pictures’ came to me after I saw all these cool cross stitch framed pictures online. I thought ‘yarn should be up on our walls too’! And the Framed Knits were born. They are really fun and quick projects and make a cute addition to your home decor.
The Framed Knits collection includes 3 patterns: Under The Sea, Dream Big and Phone Home. Each piece was knitted using the Intarsia technique (and a little bit of fairisle).
These Framed Knits patterns are sold as PDFs and are now available on Ravelry and Etsy. You can purchase each pattern separately or as a set at a special price here! I hope you like them :)