Breidagen Zwolle

We’ve just had a fantastic weekend in The Netherlands with some of the Stylecraft Blogstars.  Not just a girly weekend, you understand, we were actually all working really hard!

On a beautiful sunny Thursday Jane Crowfoot, Sarah Shrimpton, Helen Shrimpton, Emma Varnam, Juliet Bernard and Annabelle Hill flew in to Schiphol airport from various parts of the UK.  We were heading one hour out of Amsterdam to the lovely town of Zwolle for the Dutch Knitting Festival, Breidagen.

There were more than eighty exhibitors selling yarn, books, kits and accessories, just as you would expect.  But the quality of what we saw was amazing and the designs completely mouth-watering.

Even though it was billed as a knitting show, there was a lot of crochet on show.  The Dutch seem to love their Amigurumi and they do it in a very elegant way, so full of character.

Zabbez – Bas den Braver

Emma Vernams Billy Bear 

We took lots of projects by the Blogstars for people to see and it was lovely to hear their comments about the designs.

Luckily most people spoke exceptionally good English, but if we did get stuck Annabelle was on hand to help – who knew her Dutch was so good?

 

All the Blogstars had workshops to teach which ranged from 1 ½ to 3 hours so they were pretty full on and the visitors were so cheerful and eager to learn something new.

We also got the chance to chat with some of the other tutors, including Annelies Baes and Meret Buetzberger, and hear about what they are working on.  Meret’s double knitting had us all completely fascinated.  Check out her designs here – https://www.ravelry.com/designers/meret-buetzberger

Even though the days were tiring the evenings were special.  There is something about sitting with a group of crafters who understand about your passion that makes the conversation and laughter flow.

If you want to know more about the Breidagen show you can sign up for more information here https://breidag.nl/?lang=en

Hygge… Logam… Ikigai… Gemütlichkeit… by Anne and Michelle of Crochet Between Worlds

Over the last couple of years, there has been much talk, literature, tv shows, and so on, about “wellbeing” concepts from different countries. It seems to have started with “Hygge” which is a Danish concept. There seems to be no real translation of the word (in fact, it is now part of the German language as there is no translation). Disclaimer: We are not experts in the subject! The general idea behind all these concepts seems to be to find a state of mind in which you are happy, relaxed and bound to earth. There seems to be a longing “for something else” in our busy, hectic world; like a counterpoint to the world which just gets faster and more complicated each day. There is an increasing number of “manuals” out there on how to become a happier and more settled person. Add more candles, more homemade cake or bread, more family time, less online time and so on to your life.

Books or magazines about Hygge, Logam and so on usually come with such pretty pictures of comfy homes and happy people. This can be quite daunting sometimes. We don’t know about you, but our homes never looked as good and, quite honestly, we hardly ever manage to feel “hygge-ig” or at peace with my/the world. We would like to, but it is a hard road. Thus, probably the most important thing to remember that is perfectly okay not to be perfect in any of these concepts. There should be no feeling of pressure or guilt from these wonderful ideas.

One can use whatever feels good from these concepts in one’s own life. For example, a lot of candles are wonderful for the European winter but not for the Australian summer… Delicious Danish pastry is just yummy all the time of the year… And why not bake a cake instead of buying one? Spend more time with your family (but only the family members you actually like)…

In the end, each of us knows deep down what is best for oneself and what relaxes you. Baking a cake is relaxing and fun for us (well, not as much as eating the cake but that’s another story) but it might be hell for others. And that’s okay. We like to understand Hygge and all the other concepts as a reminder to step out of your comfort zone every now and then and take time to truly enjoy life. Try something new and see if it works for you.

by Anne and Michelle of Crochet Between Worlds www.crochetbetweenworlds.net

Stylecraft Blog Tour by Charlotte Johnson

Hey, I’m charlotte and I am the in-house designer here at Stylecraft.

I hope your all having a fantastic time following our blog tour, we have seen some irresistible projects along the way from our team of Blogstars. Yesterday, we had the pleasure of seeing Zooty Owl and her fabulous project and now I get to share all the fun I had with my Blog Tour experience, before we come to a close with Janie Crow.

Now then, let me tell you a little bit about what I got up to with the delicious Blog Tour pack.

It was so lovely to be asked to do a design for the Blog Tour. The concept of being able to design anything without having to think of the trends of the season or how the designs fit into a small collection was like a breath of fresh air. I think I got a little carried away…

 

 

I found a lot of freedom in designing with the Blog Tour pack. Not only is Bellissima one of my favourite yarns in our Stylecraft collection, I also got to play with colour!!! I love the smooth round finish of the Bellissima and Bambino yarn; it has great stitch definition and is heaven on your needles.

So, I set about thinking of all the exciting things that I could make with my stunning pack of yarn…

I happened to fall upon some beautiful vintage photographs of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni and this set all of my creative juices flowing.

I Found an array of amazing photographs of the Iconic Missoni knitwear and I just had to get knitting. I decided I wanted to play with the beautiful pastels in the summer pudding pack and create a soft zig zag pattern.

 This turned into becoming a 70’s inspired knitted rucksack. I’m a sucker for eye catching accessories!!

But knitting the rucksack just wasn’t enough I decided this heavenly stripe pattern would look amazing as a big pom pom hat…. And of course, I needed a scarf to match!

I became excited and giddy at the thought of bringing all the colours and blending them all together creating a twist on the iconic Missoni Stripe!!!Now it’s time for the super part of our Blog Tour where you can get your mitts on a FREE pattern AND enter our giveaway to win the Summer Pudding yarn pack!

You can DOWNLOAD FREE PATTERNS here-

Missoni Rucksack Pattern

Missoni Hat & Scarf Pattern

You can enter our BLOG TOUR YARN PACK GIVEAWAY here!

The pattern will remain free and you have from 10 AM today (Sunday, 14th October) to 10 AM tomorrow (Monday, 15th October) to enter our yarn giveaway! A winner will be contacted directly.

Good luck and enjoy!