To launch this new kits a friend of mine, a knitter too, suggested I released also some insight, esclusive video for the knitters making the accessories in the kit. So the great adventure began. As I wouldn’t be able to… More
Whilst in Uk Mother’s day was in March, throughout most of the World, Mother’s day will be celebrate in May.
In Italy celebrations will be Sunday 8th May 2016, and in France at the end of the month, Sunday 29th May 2016.
To celebrate all the moms around us (and a little bit myself too), throughout the month of May I will offer a very special set made by a brooch and an hair-clip.
An esclusive pair of unique accessories: brooch and an hair-clip to celebrates the special bond between a mother and her child.
The brooch can become a funky bow tie, making this set the perfect companion for any mother, daughter or son.
You can choose among a wide array of colours, mixing and matching!
I know I’m joining the club very late, but Outlander was released last week on Netflix in France and I made the huge mistake to watch the first episode.
I was already quite partial to the Highlands, to men in kilt, and Scots in general. All my friends know my decennial love for Ewan McGregor. But when Jamie Fraser appeared in front of the fire, well, my doom was set.
I dived deep into Outlander, watching 3-4 episodes a day, while knitting.
And sometimes even leaving knitting on the side (how could you knit during the wedding episode??? Or the following episodes for that matter!), which happen rarely, a sight seen only for the last episode of Downton Abbey and Sherlock!
“Obviously” I watch it “primarily” for the wonderful rustic knitting displayed in every episode. The capelet, mitts and shawls that Claire wears in almost every episode of season 1 are beautifully simple, made with chunky yarns, probably hand spun and, by the look of it, undyed or dyed with natural materials.
There is a wonderful scene in episode 5 of season 1 when Claire, while around the highlands collecting rent with the McKenzey’s men, helps a group of women to work on a piece of wonderful woven fabric. One of the women invites her to join them and wet the fabric with hot piss to “set the dye fast”.
I have some favorites, such as:
- The Travel Shawl, perfect for Highland weather, and nicely sport by Claire in any situation.
- The Lallybroch Shrug is magnificent and perfect for collection herbs to make potion! Because we all make potions daily!
- The Apothecary Cuffs withe their little braids are warm and perfect for any season, especially in norther Scotland!
In 2009 we made an extensive road trip around the Highlands: we covered many many kilometers and all the costal route of Scotland! It was an incredible journey, filled with magic sights that I find in many part of the Outlander series: check out the pictures I took.
At that time I didn’t yet took back knitting and I remember looking into yarn shops thinking about my knitting friends.
Oh, could I go back to all that yarn! I wouldn’t only look at it!
When I am struck with an idea, as unfortunately it doesn’t happen often, I dive deep into it.
I work on the upcoming kits several hours a day. A lot of these hours are dedicated to take pictures of the different elements.
As La cave à Laine has only one “employee”, pictures, making, blog, social media and everything else is made by this only persone: me.
I, of course, have a boss who controls everything I do. You can see him in this picture, wearying looking out of the window, obviously annoyed by my presence, noise and work in front of his favourite spot.
My boss controls me everyday, even when he sleeps (almost all day long). And it’s not easily amused.
I will probably release a knitting pattern dedicated to him, so I won’t reveal you anything about him, more then he’s 12 years old, and everybody calls him Grima.
Back to the kits!
They will launch, hopefully, on the 2nd of May 2016!
Hopefully, because, as above stated, as the sole worker of this mini business I have a lot on my hands.
The other day I was winding 3 skeins of Juno Fibre Arts Milly Sleek Singles I have bought in Brighton in 2014. They are 70% super wash Merino and 30% silk. I am going to knit a Color Affection during our upcoming holidays.
Unfortunately Juno Fibre Arts is not in business anymore: the colours were fantastic and very elegant.
I would probably have bought them even now, as the colours are so rich and deep.
But as I was winding it I was pondering if, as today, end of March 2016, I wouldn’t have chosen something different. Actually I was asking myself: why on earth have a bought singles? Why on earth have I bought super wash merino and silk???
Nightmares of tangled yarn persecute me…
I have bad memories of a wonderful merino and silk getting super mega messy while knitting it… Actually just looking at it!
I began to ponder about my changing tastes, especially back from Edinburgh Yarn Festival.
I have problems looking at more speckles yarns. Cool, interesting, fun, but after a while they are overmuch: there is too much going on in the colour department to take notice of the fibre.
I also join my friend Enrico in the battle against super wash fibres. I understand they are simpler to dye, you can wash the final knit in the washing machine, but I would rather knit a very rustic wool than a covered plastic fibre. They are too sleek… And have you noticed the smell? It is not sheep smell…
As my friend Alice says on our Italian blog, what I would love to see is more real wool, from different sheep breeds.
And in Edinburgh I have seen new producers popping up, beside the speckles and the super wash.
Breeders and shepherds ready to invest their lives saving rare sheep breeds that produce wonderful wool.
As Clara Parkes says since ages, the future is primarily (and hopefully) in breeds. And all the different possibilities that different wool can bring.
I want to live this future!
Spring is finally coming in Alsace too!
As the sun shine over this windy piece of land of ours, my head is spinning with ideas and I hope to make them come to life during April.
Spring will bring a lot of new stuff in the shop, mostly dedicated to my favourite segment of the world population, knitters.
One of those ideas contemplate the notion of a knitting kit that is both fun and quick to make. A little accessory for immediate result and happiness for yourself, a friend, a daughter, a niece…
The kits I have in mind are simple to execute, but they are not for absolute beginners. In my kit you won’t find instruction on how to cast-on or the explanation why gauge is essential, but tension is a must too.
That’s also why the kit will include loads of goodies, but not needles.
Why? Well, tension and gauge are the primary reasons. The right tension to make this particular accessory can be obtained with an array of needles, depending of who is making it, when, and how. So needles will not be part of this kit.
You will find fun, instant gratification and exclusive content.
Nonetheless, the instruction will be very throughout, expertly tech edited and clear to follow. The written instruction in your kit will be accompanied with exclusive videos on how to execute some of the passages.
There will be a very limited amount of kits. Pre-orders will start somewhere in the second half of April, and the kit will go live in the beginning of May.
What do you think the kit will include? What do you think you will be able to make?
I’m very interested in your opinion!
That weekend was a kind of revelation for various reasons:
- it was the first solo trip in a long time after becoming a mom. And it was the first of many.
- It was my first yarn festival, the first time I was inebriated by yarn fumes. If you are a yarn junky like me, it means being in paradise.
- It was my first knitting class with my favourite designer, Veera Välimäki, and it was magic! She’s a wonderful person, but being there speaking about knitting and yarn, in the same room with her and other passionate knitters was incredible: finally I was among my peers!
I already told you about the story behind La Cave à Laine, but this time I want to go further.
That weekend in Brighton was a real revelation for me.
Since I’ve become a mother I have realised that I wasn’t going to be the kind of person that cherish unconditional commitment to parenting… I love my kids, but they are a lot to deal with on daily basis: they are very very very very very active and lively. Very.
My “career” in food blogging and professional Social Media management was behind me and I was ready for a new adventure. And by adventure I mean something meaningful for my own fulfillments and joy, not someone else’s. My children are happy if I am happy and fulfilled, no the other way round.
Anyway: this isn’t a post on motherhood!
It is a post about yarn and knitting
Unwind Brighton was my first festival. It was followed by:
- Aiguille en fête, in Paris
- Edinburgh Yarn Festival, where I gave a try to spinning.
- Berlin Knits, where I had another chance to take a class with the lovely Verra Välimäki.
- Swiss Wulle Festival, in Zug.
And now it’s that time of the year again: Edinburgh Yarn Festival is this upcoming weekend!
I’ll meet there some old friends:
- Alice, la mia compagna di merende (an Italian expression to indicate someone with whom you share your snack time. And snack time in Italy is always happy time!)
- Cinzia, creator of Di Filato, the best yarn selection in Italy.
- Enrico, owner of Les Tricoteurs Volants, the best yarn shop in Paris.
- Alice Hammer, prominent French designer with a new book on the shelfs.
And I hope to meet many other nice people, to knit with! Last year I have met a knitter on the plane going to Edinburgh, just sitting beside me!
This year I have some research in mind to do during my time in Edinburgh, concerning a new idea I want to pursue.
I’ll arrive in Edinburgh Thursday the 17th March in the afternoon and go the knit night at Akva and I’ll be my usual Alice in Wonderland as knit night are so rare for me and always involve to much organisational effort and there isn’t nice places to go to here in rural Alsace…
On Friday morning I will hit the marketplace and in the afternoon I’ll take a class on Brioche knitting.
I will be happily helping out Caerthan of Triskelion Yarn at his boot sometime Saturday.
I will enjoy the yarn fumes and the happy relaxed atmosphere that only people dress in their own knits can create.
I will drink tea, beer, cider.
I will eat scones, maybe haggis, probably porridge.
I will enjoy the wonderful Scottish accent thinking of Ewan McGregor.
I will dream of vampires coming out windows of the Old City as usually when I am in Edinburgh.
I will knit undisturbed for hours, without the burdens of a dinner to cook or the children to pick up at school.
Edinburgh here I come!
“I can knit. I knit all year, day in, day out. It is my passion, and I rarely knit the same thing twice the same way.”
― Elizabeth Zimmermann, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac
Many of you wouldn’t know who Elizabeth Zimmermann was.
But for us knitters, Lizzy is an heroine, she is our muse, our inspirations, our inner voice.
Imaging her by the fire “knit[ting] on in confidence and hope through all crises” is our favourite and most inspirational vision.
Bearing Lizzy in mind I’m building my 2016 knitting year, one stitch after the other, never knitting the same thing twice!
And, as usual, I’m also planning to “Knit on in confidence and hope through all crises” because that’s what you do when you are knitter: you find time and space for your portable passion everyday
That’s why, like in the best department stores, everything must go!