Monday 23 June 2014

Where I Live Craft-A-Long - STWILCAL

I was recently asked to talk about where I live on the podcast, which has inspired the next craft-a-long (CAL), that I will be running over on the Ravelry group. I thought it would be interesting to find out more about where our community lives. Essentially you need to craft something that relates to where you live and describe how it relates to your home. eg Using locally dyed yarn or knitting a pattern with a name that reminds you of a local landmark. The craft is flexible, it can be knitted, crocheted, spun or woven (basically any craft on Ravelry). All you need to do, when deciding on your project, is to be able to relate it in some way to your locale.

The Where I Live CAL will start on Saturday 28th June and will end on Sunday 31st August 2014. The project must be started AFTER the start date and be posted into the FO Thread before midnight on the end date. WIPs and UFOs cannot be used for this. You must be a member of the group and you should post a photo of your finished object and link to your project page on Ravelry. You must explain WHY and HOW your project relates to where you live.

The FO Thread will open on Ravelry on the start date, but there is already a lively chat thread where you can discuss your ideas and ask for feedback about your choices. It's already got people talking about their home town and it's fascinating. I really recommend you come and have a look. You should tag your project STWILCAL and you can use the same tag as a hashtag on Twitter and Instagram or any blog posts. You are free to double dip.

The winners will be chosen at random from the FO thread, after the closing date and we have some lovely prizes up for grabs.

To start with I have come up with a couple of prizes from my stash. I’ve chosen indie-dyers who live in the same county as I do, Leicestershire. One of the first indie dyers I discovered when I started knitting was Babylonglegs. I went to a knitting group and met one of her friends, who was knitting in this glorious coloured yarn. It seems appropriate, to me, that one her yarns be used as a prize for the Where I Live CAL. So I have a skein of Babylonglegs Merino Sock in Purples Playtime to give away. It's an 100% superwash merino 4-ply/fingering weight yarn, which is 398m/435yds in length.

The second yarn I found in my stash was created by another indie dyer in Leicestershire. I've long admired her colour sense. I will be giving away a skein of Yummy Yarns UK Titian High Twist in the Sierra colourway. It's an 80% superwash merino 20% nylon 4-ply/fingering weight yarn, which is 365m/400yds in length.  This dyer also does gorgeous looking fibre, which I've yet to try, but is incredibly tempting.

Since announcing this CAL on Episode 14 of the podcast, I've had three more offers of prizes come in. The first is from the very lovely Louise Tilbrook, who designs amazing socks. She has kindly offered a winner a choice of any of her patterns. As well as her gorgeous socks, she has several free patterns on her Ravelry Store and has recently launched her Fuss Free Baby Cardigan, which I will definitely keep in mind for the next baby I knit for.

WILCAL Prize 04

The second prize is actually two prizes in one. The brilliant and lovely Deb of Fondant Fibre, who I think definitely deserves "friend of the blog/podcast" status by now has donated a gorgeous project bag AND a set of her fabulous rolags. Deb lives in Derbyshire and she has created a wonderful combination of 100g of rolags named Dales in a rich toffee colour made of merino and silk and a project bag that will hold a massive quantity of yarn or fibre. The fabric of the bag is adorable with the rolling fields and dales with little houses.

WILCAL Prize 03

I adore the cute little lobster claw stitch marker attached the zip pull of the bag saying "Home, Sweet Home". This package of prizes is wonderfully put together for this CAL. I can heartily recommend both the rolags and the bags (of which I have many). The bag is interfaced and will stand up and open to make it easy to place yarn or fibre in the bag and feed out into your working hand. If you are a spindler, the spindle will easily fit in.

WILCAL Prize 01

Now I understand that there are fewer spinners than knitters who read the blog or listen to the podcast so if the winner of this prize doesn't spin, I can offer to spin this fibre up for you. I can't promise the quality of the yarn or what weight or yardage you will get because I'm not that great of a spinner, however, I think it will probably be usable. If it isn't I'll replace it with one of my previously handspun yarns that I'm happy with. Obviously this option will delay the issue of the prize, but I want non-spinners to know the joy of knitting with handspun yarn, because there are people who sell handspun yarn on ETSY, and Deb has been known to sell some of hers in her shop too.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I have been sent an enormous bag of gorgeous yarn from an anonymous listener of the podcast. She has an amazing stash, which she has raided to send to you. This bag of yarny loveliness will be enough to provide prizes for at least another three CALs! For this CAL, which is what you are interested in at the moment, I have pulled out yarn from one of my favourite dyers, Posh Yarn. This prize will be TWO skeins of Sadie Lace in the Yes, I would Do It All Again colourway. This is a laceweight yarn made of 50% merino and 50% tencel, measuring 800m/875yds each. So, if you win this prize you will have a gigantic 1600m/1750yds of yarn, more than enough for most projects.

This is a fabulous warm neutral colour and would work well with almost any pattern. Thank you anonymous listener, you are not only incredibly generous, but you have exceedingly good taste (by which I mean my taste of course!).

So we have some incredible prizes on offer for this CAL and I would love you to take part in the discussion, over on Ravelry, about where you live and how you see it. I think it's really interesting to look at your home town and try and think about what you want other people to know about it. It makes you look at where you live with different eyes.

I still haven't decided on what I shall create for the CAL, because there is so much inspiration in Leicester. We are an amazingly multi-cultural city, with great food, art and music. The architecture is interesting and the history long. The county of Leicestershire is really beautiful and often overlooked in favour of more well-trod locations. I want to tell you about the city, I chose to become my home, in another post, maybe after the start date.

You have a little while to think about your project and two months to complete it. Please come and join us, I think you will enjoy it!


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