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 :)
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!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know that I am a regular contributor for Mollie Makes (one of my proudest life achievements!). I’ve designed various projects for their app Gathered in the past, but this time I am lucky enough to have made it to print!!! Seeing my work published in a magazine for the first time is just an incredible feeling and I have to thank the lovely Mollie Makes team for making this happen. Lara, Charlie, Nina & co. are an amazing bunch of ladies to work with, and I can only hope there will be many more moments like this one <3
You will find my project – a pretty tea cosy – in the subscriber issue of Mollie Makes (45), out now with a brand new-look cover! It’s a super easy pattern so if you’re a beginner, this is an ideal one to start with!
I’m planning on getting my brother and his girlfriend a tea set for Christmas (can you believe that French people don’t really own tea sets these days?) so I will definitely be knitting one of these again to dress up the teapot – i will have to go for sober colours though as, unlike myself, not everyone wants their house to look like a rainbow. WHY NOT?!
If you are a Mollie Makes subscriber, I hope you like my tea cosy pattern (if you’re not a subscriber, you’re obviously missing out so subscribe here)! And if you give it a go, I would love to see pictures!
UPDATE: This pattern is now available for FREE on the Mollie Makes website!
I hope you’re all having a lovely Christmas! This is just a quick post to let you know that my latest tutorial is now out in Gathered! It even made it on the cover again – what a great way to end this already amazing year, thanks Mollie Makes :)
This week, you can learn to knit cute mittens in a few easy steps. Issue 63 of craft magazine Gathered is available for Ipad and Iphone. If you have the next few days off, this is the perfect project for you! As usual, let me know if you give it a go – tag me on Instagram (julieandtheknits), Twitter (@julie_theknits) or post a pic on my Facebook page. I’m looking forward to seeing your pics!