The teaching schedule has now gone live for Woollinn, a full week ahead of when booking opens!

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Edinbugh Yarn Festival and Woollinn are my only teaching bookings for next year, so if you're keen to take a class you may want to have a persual at the workshop list and see what takes your fancy. The event is well situated in Dublin, close to the airport which itself is not too far from the city centre, making it very accessible for travel. And of course, it's Dublin - you can't go wrong.

I'll be spending the weekend in great company - Carol Feller, Karie Westermann, Justyna Lorkowska, Nancy Marchant to name but a few (and I'm looking forward to catching up with each of them ;). With so many great tutors, a great city and fantastic organisers (the crew at This is Knit are amazing) it's guaranteed to be worth every penny and then some.

See you there?

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

I've put together two very special prizes for #wwmkal2017 participants. Each prize has a skein of Sparkleduck Genie & a skein hand-dyed by me.

You'll all know that we lost Heather of SparkleDuck this year & knowing that she'd want to see these skeins knitted & used, I thought the most apt thing for me to do would be to buy them from Michael at Fibre East for our 10th MHAL.

The skeins hand-dyed by me were created during my time with the brilliant Daisy at her Devon Sun Yarns retreat in Lyme Regis. These are special weekends & I can't recommend them highly enough. As well as guest tutor weekends there's also dyeing weekends & if I were you, I'd think about booking.

10 years is a long time to be running the Mystery Hat-a-longs & this is my way of saying thank you for all your support!

Simply tag your Ravelry projects with 'wwmkal2017' & I'll select 2 random winners next week, one for each Hat.

 

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesKnitting

I'll refer readers back to this blog post I wrote a few years ago - Oiling the Machine

 
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This week has been difficult on the head front. Anxiety attacks are still wiping me out, making me sick to the stomach, and the black dog is quick to follow. 

It's now been 13 or so years since I had my last major breakdown. There's been a couple of small ones along the way too, just for fun. Recovering from something so huge in life is never a smooth path, and it invariably feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back, even if those steps occur in batches of 300. Some people never recover; as I mentioned in the linked blog post above, I met many people during my time in and out of the then local MH unit who never made it back to reality, let alone a fraction of their former selves. 

I'm sure I've said before that my first awareness of depression, my first memory of being so unhappy that I wanted to escape, was when I was 9 years old. I've been living with depression for at least 37 years now, and I'd never sought treatment until a couple of years before that big breakdown. There are many reasons for this, I'm sure. Breakdowns are complex; many factors coincide. Something makes the brain snap.

I was told at the time that I was more ill than I realised, and I've never really understood that until late. I understand that better now because I'm finally starting to see more good days than bad. And I'm not just seeing good days; the fog isn't just lifting. I now have an image of myself that finally feels like it belongs to me. I can't begin to tell you how that feels, but I can say that I don't think I've ever had that, in all of my 46 years. I feel real, valid.

But it's also fragile, and I'm very protective of it. For the first time in my life not only do I have a studio space to myself and a small garden to get me outside and be creative with in the open air, but I can also visualise myself in a realistic manner without the dangerous internal cycle that usually comes with it. I've found myself a sense of style that suits me, I have clothes I like that suit this weird body shape that motherhood and years of anti-depressants have give me. I'm far from confident, but I can face it; I can face me. The people immediately around me are supportive and understanding; not critical and judgemental. They see me, not an image of me that they project. My confidence in myself is still easily shattered, but it's repairable. 

There are days when I want to mourn the time lost; yesterday was one of those days. I'd started to regain some focus after a few days of fighting the anxiety, and that often comes laden with frustration at what my mental health steals from me. When this is an illness that's blighted your entire life, where you've had to fight tooth and nail to stay on this mortal plane, it's natural to feel resentment towards it at times. It's not healthy to always feel that, but it's just as unhealthy to bury those feelings and not acknowledge them. 

The downs are necessary to see the ups as they come. It's all part of the process. And the ups, they do come; I trust that now.

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesHead Zone
8 CommentsPost a comment

The third and final pattern that will be published later today!

 
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Scourie was the special collaboration I did with Ripples Crafts for Loch Ness Knit Fest and it had such a positive response! Loads of people purchased the kits directly from Helen, and she's also put the recommended yarn in these colours up for pre-order, ready for anyone purchasing the ePattern from me.

 
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Scourie is knit sideways, using short row colourwork techniques and short rows for shaping - it's pretty much all short rows, except for the provisional cast-on and grafting. Fear not though, as illustrated tutorials for these techniques are included, just as you'd expect from a Woolly Wormhead pattern.

 
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The pattern comes in 3 sizes, and includes for adjusting the size through gauge. One thing I've tried with this pattern that I haven't with the Elemental Hats (because their pattern didn't provide the room to) is add in and adjustment area within the panel, that allows you to add or remove stitches, a bit like you'd see in a sewing pattern. It's the first time I've done this, and as I say, it's not always an option with sideways knit Hats, but this one gives us space to do it and I'm keen to hear what you think.

 
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I've mentioned this before but I will say it again - the pattern is provided in charted format only. Providing written out, line by line instructions for a pattern like this would not only make the pattern lengthier and much more costly to produce, it would also introduce errors. The chart is not so much like regular charts, in that it's a map, that provides stitch counts at all relevant and clearly indicates which direction you should be knitting in, to help you navigate your way through the short rows. 

I've had really positive feedback on the maps, and I believe it's appealing to more people than a standard chart would.

Right, I'd better pop over to Ravelry and get these patterns published then, eh?

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesPatterns, Hats

Tomorrow is new release day so I'd better get caught up and tell you what's coming!

 
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Cirro is your perfect cosy winter Hat, complete with giant bobble. Knit up in bulky yarn, it's a super quick knit, making it perfect for gifts. And with 4 sizes included, it'll cover just about every head.

 
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Designed for Cloudborn Fibers Merino Bulky Splash, it's been available as a kit from Craftsy for a few weeks, and tomorrow sees it available as a single pattern for the first time. The recommended yarn is a super lush soft and squidgy bulky merino which is absolutely perfect for winter Hats!

 
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The pattern is ideal for adventurous beginners or experience knitters alike - you'll want to be able to knit in the round and be comfortable with a moving-the-marker direction, but otherwise it's all increases and decreases and that's it! The pompom is of course optional but how could you not?

 
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There's just time to squeeze in one last blog post before release date, about the 3rd pattern. Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter if you haven't already?

It's been a strange week here as I've slowly been moving over everything from my hard-drives and ageing laptop onto a brand new shiny PC. It's a job that's needed doing for quite some time and right now might not seem the best time to do it, but it's best to do it before the laptop gives up completely, and right now I've very little work in progress that needs the machine... so circumstances dictate. It's a bittersweet thing to be moving onto a machine that's less portable but it does feel very good to be giving my filing system a very thorough tidy up!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesHats, Patterns