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knit nation 2011

26 Jul

It’s been a week since Knit Nation and me and Emmms are finally getting back to normal, but what a weekend it was!!

We need to first say a massive thank you to Pippa at Sweet Clement because if it wasn’t for her Made by Loumms would not have been there having one of the best times ever, so thanks Pippa!!!

Pippa setting up.

Pip has such a great eye for design which she used so well in the set up of the stall, a classy Black and White boudoir theme, and you can just see our excitement about the whole thing!!

Emmms doing some last-minute finishing.

Ta-da!!

We displayed our bags and sample socks around Pippa’s yarn, in wicker baskets,

Large Wristers, sweater-sized!

on a coat stand,

Socky Wristers!

on our paper mâché foot, made from the final copy of the News of the World,

SCANDALOUS! Soon-to-be-released 'June' sock in Beloved (in Blueberry Sundae).

Emmms’s wedding present lamp which proved very popular (Emmms: Because it is GORGEOUS! Best wedding present ever! We had so many lovely people comment on it and several disappointed faces when they learned the pattern will for ever stay in Lou’s head. I can understand their disappointment, but I’m pretty chuffed to have a Lou Original!)

[You can see it in the finished stall pic up at the top, but a proper picture and dedicated post all of its own are definitely to come!]

and also very handy when all the lights cut out!!

Twinkly! Handy in a black-out!

The best bit, of course, were Pippa’s delicious yarns,

Lovely yarn, with a sneaky Pink Flamingos Wrister.

which go rather nicely with our bags, don’t you think?

Sock-Perfect project bags, a tableau with delicious yarn!

Adorning the walls were both the sock patterns by us and shawl and mitts patterns by Michaela and Anna, and the samples knitted up in Sweet Clement yarns.

Patterns lined the walls, with some Wristers up top showing off Pippa's yarns.

Two 'Agatha C.' samples, in Smitten (in Buttercup and Mallard).

It was great to see Michaela and Anna again, as well as the usual faces, Old Maiden Aunt, Ysolda, Nimu, Susan Crawford, Alice (of course, who bought a Sketched Owls Wrister), The Bothered Owl, and many others, as well as meeting new faces, too!!

We had a great chat with so many people, the owner of Temptation Cafe in Brighton, who showed us a pic of his knitted Brighton Pavilion and seagulls; his friend, shawl designer Knit and Fiddle; Martine from iMake who bought an Owly Wrister; Vicky from the awesome Twisted Angle online magazine, and the rest of our great customers who stopped by!

Thanks to one lovely lady who threaded a needle I was using to sew in the end of one of our wristers! And an extra HUGE thanks to the Knit Nation Team who came to the rescue and helped with some last-minute drawstringing of our Socky Wristers before the marketplace opened!! (Emmms: And a huge thanks to them for being such an amazing calming influence when sleep deprivation and hunger got the best of us. They were truly amazing!)

Some of our main highlights was Stephen West and his friend Sam buying a good handful of Wristers — the gaggle of fan girls (including ourselves) outside our stall said it all!! — they, as well as Lillith of OMA, picked up one of our favourite Wristers, the Red Robots!!

Lillith and her Wrister!

It was a perfect showcase not only for the re-release of some of our edited Loumms Year of Socks patterns, such as ‘Singing in the Rain’, but also for Emmms’s new design, ‘Agatha C.’, knit in Sweet Clement of course!

'Singing in the Rain' in Beloved (in Cornflower).

‘Agatha C.’ was so popular we had to get more patterns printed and I’m not surprised as it is totally amazing! Great intricate cables! make this the sock pattern of the year I say!! (review by Lou of course, Emmms is unfortunately not that big headed about her designs, don’t know why not!!)

Official 'Agatha C.' pattern pic in Smitten (in Mallard).

Due to how busy it was we didn’t get to wander as much as we would have liked but we did manage to pick up the following goodies!!

A needle holder from The Bothered Owl (Emmms: Lou snapped this lovely up but I totally lost track of all time and failed to get one for me. Thank goodness Sarah’s getting the Undercover Owl up and running, so I can pick one up for me!)

Whale needle case from Bothered Owl.

The new A Stitch In Time book from Susan Crawford, which I cannot wait to arrive in September (Emmms: GAH! Me too!! I am totally in love with the Miss Marple coat!)

The much-anticipated A Stitch In Time Vol. 2!

A gorgeous sweater pattern from Nimu, ‘Folded’ (Emmms: This was my one purchase for the entire event! It’s such a lovely design, but I’m having so much trouble deciding on the yarn to use — do I start bugging Pippa to get her Adore up on Etsy or do I stash dive? Decisions, decisions!)

The pattern pic for 'Folded'.

An equally pretty shawl pattern from Michaela, ‘Tumbledown’.

Pretty, pretty 'Tumbledown'!

Two great dresses from Twisted Angle in the softest acrylic I’ve ever felt — pics to come next time Loumms finds time for the pub! (Emmms: If you follow us on Twitter, you may recall Pippa regaling the internet with my table-side changing into said dress once the marketplace closed on Sunday! It had to be done!! I love my vintage dresses, but there are times when a lush cashmere-soft sweater dress is the way forward!)

And last but certainly not least an order of the scrumptious Corriedale yarn from Old Maiden Aunt! (Emmms: I swear that was Fate! I was complaining of the general lack of Corriedale in my life just that Sunday morning!)

All in all it was an incredible weekend but most of all it got me and Emmms sewing again! Woohoo!!

Oooh, and whoever won our Raining London Summer Kit in the Bingo get in touch!!! It was part of the big Grand Prize basket and we want to know what else you got!

'Singing in the Rain' Wrister Kit, with pattern, rainy Wrister and a skein of gorgeous Beloved in Cornflower!

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knitting and stitching show – part 1, graduate knitting exhibition

10 Oct

Yesterday me and emmms took a trip in Purple Percy (my car) up to Alexandra Palace and the Knitting and Stitching Show 2010.

I know the show itself is slowly being taken over by big companies who can afford the increasing stall fees however there are still a few great fabric stalls still surviving, one of them being The Eternal Maker.

Me and emmms came across this stall last year and lost our minds over the great prints and fabrics they had in stock, however, when we came to check them out on line when we got home we could not find their card with their name or website details on!!! So annoying!! We searched and searched to find them without success so this year our main goal was to see them again!

We did and now have some more awesome fabric and their website details so we can visit them whenever we want!!

More on our great purchses in part three as this post is all about the Graduate Knitting Exhibition!!!

One of our joint favourite parts of the K and S show every year is the Graduate Exhibition, and this year we were once again very impressed.

Pleats, twists and smocking played a large part in the designs this year with greys blacks and and silvers being popular colours, mixed with bright, garish colours and 60’s style.

I adore the structrure and chunky texture of the following piece by Motohiro Tanji from Nottingham Trent University, the mutli pleated sleves and hem are broken up by the smocking on the body of the jacket, genius!

The other pleat focused piece is this detailed dress by Emma Philpot also from Nottingham Trent University.

The attention to detail is just breathtaking,

Samantha Brook is another student from Trent University and her aim was to portray the internet and digital age through complex and intricate knits, she has totally succeeded!!

The twist down the back of the vest is a something I have tried to do with socks and have never succeeded in doing, she is obviously very very talented!!!!

I really want to own one of these 60’s science fiction inspired jump suits by Ellen Chatelain from Chelsea College of Art and Design!!!

Staying with the 60’s feel the following photo’s are of the 2010 winner Deryn Relph’s ‘Retro Rainbow Rejuvenation’. These are some incredibly designed pieces all created with the idea of reinventing interiors and creating stronger attachments to objects to sustain their existance.

The lampshades just blew us away and have inspired us to try and create some of our own!!, I am not sure if they could possibly be as good as these ones, however once we manage a trip to the second hand shop for some lampshades to work with we will be sure to post about the results no matter how horriffic  hillarious!!!

So another fantastic day with emmms to look forward too!

Check out the knitting and stitching part 2 for photos of our yarny purchases and other yarn we saw and loved!!

knit nation, pt. 2 — yarn fantastic

4 Aug

So it seems I picked up a nasty stomach bug sometime over the weekend. Not really what I had in mind to open my week!!

After such a great day on Saturday at Knit Nation (see knit nation pt.1 and more to come!)  and a hilarious trip to Greenwich Picture House to watch Toy Story 3D on Sunday evening, I had planned to spend my Monday and Tuesday knitting. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be and I spent most of those two days in the bathroom or fast asleep in a feverish sweat (sorry, but I have to set the scene)!!

I am working on a few knitting projects at the moment. One is a birthday snood for my mam, a new design for a pair of knee-high socks for my great friend Mackie and a warm and cosy hooded shawl for my sisters baby, due January. Having two days to focus solely on knitting was going to be a treat, so I am pretty miffed about the whole thing, as my plan was also to get some great photos up today of what I have been up to.

So instead of lovely WIPs, I am going to finally get the photos up of the great yarn stash I received for my birthday! Yay!!!

First on the list of birthday joys are these two skeins of  bright and squishy BFL  from Nimu Yarns.

I fell in love with this particular yarn, ‘Striding Edge’, last year and have been dreaming about it ever since! It has such a bounce to it and so much depth of colour!

My first ever skeins of Wollmeise were given to me by the wonderful Emmms! Thanks Emmms!! (Hurry up and post about your amazing Wollmeise trip!)

Such great colourways and a perfect start to what should become an amazing stash!

This next little beauty I found on Etsy at Wanderlustcrafts. The crazy cool Emily has just started selling her hand-dyed yarns and this particular one caught my eye because of its bright blue streak!

It is a superwash new wool/nylon blend and will be perfect for a pair of socks for my dad!

I bought this Midnight Blue Mulberry silk off the Internet shop knitshop, with some birthday money given to me, without realising that the store was about a 15-minute drive from where I live! A trip there is in order I think!!

Last but certainly not least are these two skeins of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in what has to be my favourite colour combination!! I just love their silky soft feel and the delicate twist!

Since I am doing a yarn post I might as well add the great finds from Knit Nation!!

To continue my Wollmeise stash I picked up two skeins of the Twin in Limone for the knee-high socks I am designing at the moment and a skein of the Grashupfer for some baby stuff for my sister.

I have been eyeing up Old Maiden Aunt’s Kelpie for a while now and when I saw it on their stall in the merino/bamboo blend I just had to buy it. The colourway looks great online but in person it is even better. It has a HALO!!

After speaking to the girls, it turns out that this is the only colourway they do that turns out with this ‘aura’ around it; something to do with the particular dyes and how they sit together on the fibre. Just pure genius if you ask me!!

Next, a British merino superwash sock yarn in a bright shocking pink with subtle hints of coral — this yarn is literally edible. The twist gives it such bounce and elasticity and makes it perfect for a Cookie A sock pattern!! Thanks Sparkleduck!!!

Unfortunately, this yarn has not photographed very well, which is a shame as it was my favourite buy of the day!

So there we go, a whole heap of  fantastic yarns and all from European dyers!!

what a weekend

7 Dec

There is nothing like getting up at 5 in the morning, watching the sun rise as you trek through four of London’s zones, to make you appreciate small luxuries when they come your way.

Luxuries like bus drivers waiting until you’ve safely set down your three suitcases, corner unit of shelves and wicker baskets of various sizes before hurtling off. Like it being so early no one’s fighting for the luggage hold on the Tube. Like tiny cups of free coffee — wait, no, is that tea? It’s so hard to tell, but it doesn’t matter: it’s caffeinated!

Actually, I think the thing it made me appreciate most was that all of the other vendors at the Bentley Priory Winter Fair did the same and were all so kind and gracious and willing to share scissors and pins and change, or do tea runs for the stalls next to them. For them alone, Saturday was a GREAT day. (Plus, the other vendors had some amazing things on offer! I ended up picking up some awesome vintage buttons for a swap partner and a beautiful hand-made necklace for my sister, as well as an adorable vintage dress for me!)

Part of the reason why we were lugging so much stuff is that we wanted to recreate a kitchen for our stall. We had a little corner unit of shelves for the handwarmers, a cookie jar from the 60s was stuffed with the plush Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon inserts for the hanging Moth Banishment sachets, a casserole dish or two housed the actual sachets and the hanging ones were hung elegantly from a teacup tree. The kanga bags were in a salad bowl and our WIP bucket bags were in my wicker picnic basket, while our (newly named) market aprons hung on a clothesline across the front of the stall. It was so much fun to set up, it really made me wish we had a permanent stall somewhere where we could set one up everyday!

(Lou will have to put up the pictures of the stall itself later, because I am a doofus and forgot to take pictures of it on my camera as well as hers!)

In any case, we did pretty well, particularly with our handwarmers — off to help out people cheering on their partners and children from frosty sidelines — and Grow Your Own Soup kits — set to greenify suburban kitchen windows, and we had a fab time.

We also sold two bucket bags! This lovely textured print is destined to hold someone’s crochet projects:

while these duckies will be shortly winging their way to some sunny beach, where they will hold sandals and a book while their new owner goes for a swim in the sea:

(Am I allowed to say I was a little gutted she chose the duckies to use as her beach purse? They’re part of a little experiment of ours — a foray into Cardigan-Perfect WIP bags,

large enough to hold a nearly complete cardigan or jumper plus working yarn and an extra ball or two, with nice deep pockets for spare needles and buttons

— and it’s one of my favourites because, well, duckies!! They’re so bright and funny, we’re going to have to get more of them.)

We also sold three aprons to other vendors right at the end — we’d both been wearing ours all day and using them to hold the float, plus our phones and things. It’s so exciting to think that the lovely ladies from Shamu and Sorcery & Sparkle will be sporting our aprons at other events!

Bentley Priory Winter Fair

1 Dec

This saturday, 5th Dec, Lou and Emmms are taking part in the Bentley Priory Winter Fair!

Made By Loumms is one of 80 stalls appearing at the event in Stanmore. Check us, and the other stall holders out at Delapole Events or better still visit us there (details available on their website).

moth banishment hanging sachet

orange polkadotty pockets mini-gardening apron
bright orange brushed bakelite buttons

We will be selling all of our usual products, plus officially showcasing our new kanga bags, large bucket bags and reversible WIP bags, so it will surely be a day to remember!

The cost of entry is £1 pound and 50p for concessions, however we have 6 free entry tickets available for collection on the day for anyone that wants one, just send us a quick message and we will sort out a place to meet you!

Due to the fact that both of us have been sewing like mad in preparation for the fair, Lou’s Bavarian Seed gloves and scarf set will be up on-line next Monday and not today! Sorry, it is all ready to go, we are just waiting for an opportunity for a photo shoot!!

We hope to see you all there!!