Friday, 6 September 2019

Toft Turns To Earthy Shades For Autumn 2019 Knit Collection


Image courtesy of Toft
Toft, based in Warwickshire, has announced its Autumn knit and crochet collection to correspond with the latest publication of its Quarterly magazine.

These days the company is probably best known for its crocheted animals range but its own brand 100% wool is brilliant for garments and accessories too. The wool comes in a multitude of natural colours, such as greys, beiges and browns, plus there are a few bright colours in 25g balls, which although they are intended to be used for the crocheted animals are also great for stranded colourwork and Fair Isle.

For its Autumn/Winter knitwear patterns Toft has chosen to go for a very autumnal beige and brown colour palette - though of course if brown isn't your thing you can knit them in silver, cream or black instead.

Here are the new designs. Buy Toft Quarterly Autumn 19 at £8 plus P&P for the patterns only or alternatively each is available as a yarn and pattern kit:

Dovecote Jumper
Image courtesy of Toft
This is my favourite from the collection because I'm very partial to a decorative yoke. Toft has used the shades stone, cream and cocoa in this design.

Mill Headband
Image courtesy of Toft

More stranded colourwork with the shades mushroom, cocoa and stone to keep your head warm this Autumn.

Linhay Hat
Image courtesy of Toft

Geometric colourwork using the colours cream and cocoa. Make your own pom pom or buy a ready made one from Toft for an extra £10.

Granary Shawl
Image courtesy of Toft
Knitted in the shade stone, this shawl can be worn in the traditional fashion with the point at the back or instead with the point at the front to keep your neck warm!

Oast Scarf
Image courtesy of Toft
This is a great project for beginner knitters. The scarf uses the shades mushroom, cocoa and cream.

There are lots of pattens and wool being launched for Autumn from many knitting companies - keep an eye out on A Woolly Yarn for the latest news.



Monday, 2 September 2019

Why Is September A Top Month For Knitting Shows?

As knitting as a hobby continues to soar in popularity you can nowadays find a knitting show to go to every month, or even every weekend in the summer months (I've never heard of someone visiting two shows in one day but it's hypothetically possible!)

A Woolly Yarn's blog post back in January listed the bigger shows to look out for in 2019.  We've already enjoyed some of the big names, including Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March (sadly taking a break in 2020) and Wonderwool Wales in April. September though is host to two huge knitting show favourites that have become much-loved over the last few years: Yarndale and Shetland Wool Week (which runs from 28th September to 6th October).

Image courtesy of Yarndale
Smaller, local knitting shows tend to showcase local talent, mainly consisting of small businesses and people who combine working with yarn along with a regular job. The bigger shows like Yarndale, although they also support small businesses, have the pull to entice bigger indie businesses that knitters can usually only buy from online, such as Toft, Di Gilpin, Moel View Yarn, John Arbon Textiles and Baa Baa Brighouse. There will be over a whopping 200 exhibitors at Yarndale this year!


Shetland Wool Week's USP on the other hand is its classes and events based both in the capital Lerwick and also around the island. Rather than just buying products from stallholders - although with the wonderful quality of wool Shetland produces there's plenty to buy and pack in your suitcase - it's a destination event. As well as learning new knitting skills Wool Week gives an opportunity to explore the culture and hospitality of the area.

Why September?

The summer holidays are over, the climate in Shetland is still promising and, more importantly, with colder weather moving in knitters' thoughts turn to knitting jumpers and accessories. Plus it's the time to start planning knitting Christmas gifts.

A few yarn companies launch their Autumn/Winter season in August (see our post on Rowan), but the majority do so in September. New products tempt knitters to increase their pattern and yarn stash and exhibiting at knitting shows is a great way to reach out to new and existing customers. Expect to see businesses saving their launches for Yarndale, and at Shetland Wool Week there being a plethora of yarns, kits and other souvenirs available especially for the event.

If you can't make Skipton for Yarndale or Scotland for Shetland Wool Week there's also the Perth Festival of Yarn on 7th/8th September and The Handmaid Fair at Hampton Court from 13th - 15th September.
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