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Oslo Strikkefestival 2016 - two days, three workshops + lots of knots!

EventsRiannon Selcuk

Back in November, I ran three workshops at the Oslo Strikkefestival; knotty necklaces, extreme knitted clutch bags and tunisian crochet lampshade covers. I was pretty excited to be there, well actually really excited! I've always wanted to visit Oslo, not just for the magical mystical fjords, but also because I am so jealous of the intricate, beautiful Nordic knits I see all over Instagram- one day I'll put down my gigantic tools and actually give it a go when I get the time.

What's the fair like? Should you visit?

Yes, you definitely should visit! Set in the city's main library, the fair consists of workshops; from how to dye your yarn to those techniques you want to master, a marketplace filled with independent yarn brands, authors and illustrators, talks, social areas to engage with other knitters, evening burlesque shows, movies- the list is endless. 

It definitely is as described on the website by founders Katie Zissou + Tone Sjastad; "Norway's only community-driven, international fiber festival. The goal of Oslo Knitting Festival is simple. We aim to promote fibre crafts the way we know them to be: modern, relevant, accessible and always surprising." 

Now for the workshops...

All workshops at the fair happen on the same days. The choice is vast- from memory, don't quote me!, at least 5-8 run at the same time (this just goes to show you the scale and variety the fair has to offer). 

First up, was knotty necklaces which took place late Friday afternoon in the basement of the library. Using a variety of fabric yarns, we knitted, crocheted and finger knitted statement necklaces. There were 9 patterns to choose from, all varying in level of knots, colour combinations and size of statement, if you're like me, the bigger the statement the better!

I ran two workshops on the second day of the festival; knitted clutch bags in the morning and Tunisian crochet lampshades covers in the afternoon. I couldn't come to Oslo and not bring the big stuff! 

I will definitely be running the Tunisian crochet lampshade cover workshop here in London. It was good to test the kit in Oslo and see what the makers thought of it. All positive so watch this space!

Apart from all the knots, we had time to do a tiny bit of sightseeing! I would definitely love to go back next year- the vibe was great, I met lots of inspiring people and had lots of fun during the workshops meeting everyone and generally just chatting knitting.

FREE pattern: Neon Waterfall Scarf + Crochet Handwarmers

PatternsRiannon Selcuk

I'm just going to type it (and say it out loud in the comfort of my own home) I hoard YARN!

Yep, I can't resist it. It's like falling in love, over and over and over. I think 'I can make loads with this yarn' or 'it's such a good offer only a fool would resist' and sometimes 'I don't have that much yarn... one, two, ten, twenty more balls is fine'. And then it gets squished to the back of the shelf.

So, I decided 2017 will be the year I work through the hoard. I tend to have a clear out every six months anyway, and always donate the yarn to teachers + other crafters I meet at workshops. It's good to know those impulse fibre splurges will be knotted into something one day, either by me or someone else.

First up is a bundle of Schachenmayr extra merino big neon yellow yarn I bought at a knitting fair earlier in the year. A delicate yarn, different to the thick merino wool I usually work with, but perfect for my waterfall scarf and simple crochet handwarmers.

Waterfall Scarf 

You'll need; 

  • 6mm knitting needles
  • 6mm crochet hook
  • 10 X 50g balls of Extra Merino Big in Sunlight 120. Buy here

The pattern;

Knitted in garter stitch, you'll need to know how to increase, decrease and the double crochet stitch which is used to tidy up the decreased and increased knitted edge. 

  • Cast on 3 stitches using the single cast on method.
  • Slip the first stitch of the next row, knit to the end of the row.
  • Knit front to back the first stitch (increase), knit to the end of the row.
  • Repeat the last two steps a further 46 times (94 rows including the last two steps). The increase should always be on the same side every time so that only one side is angled, the other straight.
  • Slip the first stitch of the next row, knit to the end of the row. Continue this for each row until your piece measures 130cm from cast on edge. The edges should be straight either side because we are creating a square block which sits nicely around the back of the neck..
  • Your next row will be a decrease row, so make sure you have finished on the same side as the increased side. Knit two together, knit to the end of the row.
  • Slip the first stitch of the next row, knit to the end of the row.
  • Repeat the last two steps until you have three stitches left.
  • Cast off and weave in ends. Piece should measure approx. 190cm- don't worry if it doesn't, merino is a great stretchy yarn so your scarf will stretch a little over time, or if its a bit bigger then it will be even more cosier!

Once you've cast off, the next step is optional. I tidied the angled side by crocheting double crochets along the edge, not the straight section (see image below which hopefully makes more sense!). 

Simple Crochet Handwarmers

You'll need; 

  • 6mm crochet hook
  • 2 X 50g balls of Extra Merino Big in Sunlight 120. Buy here

The pattern;

  • Chain 21, slip stitch to join, chain 1.
  • Working in the round, double crochet in each chain, slip stitch to join, chain 1. Repeat this step a further nine times so that you have ten rows in total. 
  • Now we're going to make the thumb hole; After you have chained one as part of the last row, turn work and double crochet in each stitch to the end of the row.
  • Chain 1 and turn work again without joining, double crochet in each stitch till the end of the row. Continue this step for a further 6 rows so that you have 8 rows in total.
  • Chain 1 and turn work, double crochet in each stitch till the end of the row, slip stitch to join.
  • You will now continue to work in the round to create the sleeve/ cuff of the handwarmer. Chain 1, double crochet till the end of the row, slip stitch to join. Continue working in the round for a further 7 rows.

You can increase and decrease the rows and foundation chain to suit your hands- every person is different! 

 

 

Where do I buy my yarn?

Riannon Selcuk

I'm surprised I've not typed a post about this sooner- its the number one question I'm asked at workshops and on social media! 

I love all yarn, a true statement especially if you saw my personal hoard. Its taken me time to source yarns for the workshops which are cost effective and have a variety and quality I can rely on. Every yarn is different, and the industry now has more choice than it did when I first started IMK.

So, here are my go to brands which you'll find at my workshops. Enjoy!

Woolly Mahoosive

WM stock 19.5 micron merino wool in a variety of colours- the yarn is soft and fluffy like clouds and wears well, an acrylic mix yarn in two weights; Mammoth which is thick like the merino + wiggly which is half the weight, a felted to the core merino in 5mm + 10mm thickness (perfect for baskets, rugs, anything which will see a lot of wear) and luscious; a Peruvian Highland Alpaca yarn which is the thinnest yarn and their newest.

Along with the yarns, you can also purchase 20-50mm knitting needles, 20mm-50mm crochet hooks and soon to launch DIY kits.

The brands owner Andrea is also incredibly personable and knowledgeable- if you get stuck or need tips- she's the one to ask!

Tek Tek

There are loads of fabric yarn brands out there, but I have to say Tek Tek have the most varied collection of colours and patterns I've ever seen. The consistency is also good- fabric yarns tend to go from fat to thin but I've never had this with Tek Tek.

There are two sizes to choose from; big or small, and the yarn comes in spools. 

They also sell crochet hooks, knitting needles, diy kits and accessories such as bag handles, clasps and buttons.

 

Bobbiny

If you're in to Macrame or love making homeware- then Bobbiny is the brand for you! They sell a cord yarn which is like a thick shoe lace (think french knitting i-cord). You'll find it at any of the crochet basket workshops I run because its perfect for anything that needs a bit more structure.

Bobbiny also sell fabric yarn- check out their rainbow range if you like graduated yarns, and crochet hooks, knitting needles, findings and fillings.

That time I knitted jumpers for Sausage dog pageant winners!

EventsRiannon Selcuk

The other day I was clearing out my hard drive- I keep way too many photos, most of them taken very badly! Kind of like my yarn stash-l just can't seem to throw anything away! Anyway, I came across the below photos from probably the best event I've ever been too!

Last January I was asked to knit jumpers which were going to be given out as prizes at a sausage dog pageant to launch the new hot dog menu at Patterns in Brighton. A. DREAM. COME. TRUE! My mum has a sausage dog- he's a tubby miniature who practically eats everything but is adorable and gives the best cuddles. How could I say no when these little woofs are so close to my heart.

So I knitted 10 jumpers and 10 neckerchiefs over Christmas. I bought this pattern from loveknitting.com and adapted the jumper to suit my chunky yarn from Patons and 9mm circular knitting needles. 

I met all types of sausage dogs from all walks of life, especially little Bertie who came dressed as a waiter (pictured in his winning yellow jumper) who is a rescued woof and has the sweetest owner. 

Categories included; 'Best Bitch' 'Most Dapper Dachshund' + 'Best Fancy Dress'

I'm keeping my fingers crossed they run another one!

When Laurie from Style At Home Magazine got her knot on with IMK!

PressRiannon Selcuk

Read Lauries, Home Editor at Style At Home magazine, review of our giant knit + crochet workshops in the magazines latest issue (November 16')

I ran three 1-2-1 workshops with Laurie, ranging from a merino knitted throw on 45mm needles, to a Tunisian crocheted cushion using a 25mm hook and learning two stitches. I varied the lessons so that we covered the basics of crochet and knit so she had the skills and confidence to continue- go Laurie!

Read all about her review here.

DO IT COURSES REVIEW.jpg

Port Elliot Festival with Seasalt Cornwall

EventsRiannon Selcuk

Seasalt Cornwall invited IMK to run knotty, nautical themed necklace workshops in their Fishermans Yard at Port Elliot Festival, July 2016.

Set in a charming estate in Cornwall, the festival offers a relaxed vibe in the day- lots of workshops, talks, yoga, fashion and free make up, and then ramps up in the evening with glamorous drag shows, comedy and music. 

My twin sister joined the adventure, along with the brightest and stripiest fabric yarn I could get my hands on. We knitted necklaces using needles and fingers, chatting and nattering in Seasalts lovely space.

The team were fantastic- and we hope to meet the gorgeous folk at Seasalt again. I'd definitely recommend a visit to the Fishermans yard if you're at the festival- all the workshops are free and you get to make things which are instantly wearable and a lovely reminder of your time at the festival.

My first ever Yarndale with Woolly Mahoosive

EventsRiannon Selcuk

So when Andrea at Woolly Mahoosive invited me to join her at Yarndale- I jumped at the chance! I've heard of the fair but never been, always wanted to go but too busy to make it.

I arrived late on the Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning to be surrounded by Skiptons glorious countryside- we do not have this in London, especially fields that go on and on, and filled with lots of farm animals, a rare but very welcomed treat. 

Based in an auction mart- a place where farmers auction and sell livestock, and home to many other fairs, all the stalls are set up in pens and wide walkways allow lots of visitors to pass and stop. Woolly Mahoosives stall was right near the cafe, the perfect place to refuel and to spot those admiring their purchases. 

We ran arm knitting demos, a crocheted necklace workshop and showed how easy and quick it can be to knot with the big stuff. A whole weekend playing with my favourite yarns and chatting to everyone who shares my love affair with this craft. I met loads of people, a mix of bloggers, instagrammers, beginners, spinners, novices, pattern designers- all sharing their makes, tips and tricks. I'll definitely be back next year!

 

I use Woolly Mahoosives yarn in all my gigantic and extreme knit and crochet workshops. Andrea sells a wide range of handcrafted tools- from 20mm crochet hooks to 50mm knitting needles, chunky yarns which are acrylic like Mammoth and Wiggly, to super thick 19.5 micron merino wool and a thinner Highland Peruvian wool called 'Luscious'. 

 

 

 

 

Handmade Fair 2016 - Knitted necklace workshop

EventsRiannon Selcuk

IMK were super happy to be invited to be part of this years Kirstie Allsopp The Handmade Fair.

Last year, I ran our knitted necklace workshop in the skills tent, but this year the workshop was held in the VIP ticket holders tent. It was lovely to get to see another part of the fair which I hadn't seen, and also the chance to see Kirstie herself.

The tent was gorgeous- filled with hot cups of tea, floral decals and cream vintage furniture- a welcoming, cosy hideaway from the unfortunate rainy weather. If I'm not a running a workshop next year at the fair I'm definitely treating myself to a VIP ticket!

Im super lucky to have amazing knotty friends and volunteers who join myself at these events- and I think they thought the same when we all arrived for our first workshop. We were in the tent everyday 2-4pm, chatting, laughing, sharing our knot know how to beginners but also meeting experience crafters who just wanted to try something new.

Heres a couple of snaps of absolutely gorgeous people wearing their tassled up and colourful knitted necklaces- I love it!

In the workshop we knit with Tek-Tek fabric yarn because the colours and patterns are the most varied I've ever seen. The knitting needles are 8-10mm dependant on the chunkiness of the chosen fabric yarn- but, you'll soon be able to make your very own IMK necklace at home when I launch the diy kits soon- can't wait!