Some time ago I sent Winston on an extended holiday in sunnier climes and moved on to another blog and venture at From the Purl Side where I have been blogging on my knitting adventures.

I thought I would just let any of you still following along over here that I have just launched my new shop Kettle Yarn Co. on etsy, selling hand dyed and painted luxury yarns!
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For the grand opening I am offering 10% off your first purchase for signing up to the mailing list. Details on how to sign up for the discount at the shop and on the blog.

Kettle Yarn Co. is all about quality yarns in stunning colours that stand up to everyday wear and tear. We’ve worked hard to find hardwearing yarn in luxuriously soft blends that will be gentle enough for the most sensitive skins, while still standing the test of time.

Our yarn bases are carefully sourced from ethical British mills to ensure animal welfare and support the British Wool Industry. We use mild, vinegar-set dyes that are colourfast and aim to exhaust all dyes in every dye bath to reduce any negative impact on the environment. All products are also chemical fragrance-free, so the only smell you’ll find is sheepy goodness!

These glorious yarns are then lovingly kettle dyed in small batches by hand to get a subtle depth of colour for people as crazy about luscious colour as we are. Our semi-solid colourways have been developed to highlight and enhance your hard work… and you!

As eco-warrior ‘wannabes’ we make every effort to exhaust all dyes in the dyebath to keep water pure. But if you are intending on using your yarn for colourwork or with paler colours please give it a wash first to be safe, as some colours don’t take as strongly as others (you’ll be able to tell when you soak your swatch).

You can find the official shop on Etsy:
Kettle_Yarn_Co_shop

Hope to hear from you over on the ‘other side’….

ps. comments on this blog have been disconnected as I was getting heaps of spam!

Well my dears, Winnie needs to take a break from interiors for a bit and has gone a bit crazy on the knitting front!

I don’t think I will be posting here for a while, but for anyone interested in my obsessiveness being transferred over to yarn form, join me at From the Purl Side.

Hope to see you soon.

x W

ps. I have disabled comments as spam is getting out of hand!


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Mint is a big colour for this season. I normally have a hard time committing to colour on walls and cupboards, but this greyed out mint green feels quite neutral.


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I could happily live with this. Especially with the marble backsplash…a nice touch.


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Simple white bathrooms with some  interesting touches.

Really like the industrial texture from the cement bricks in the loo below:

Now that is a headboard!
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Made of reclaimed wood by sculptor Ariele Alasko.ImageImage

She also makes lovely painterly/sculptural pieces:
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See more here on her blog.

For the last   I have been on the hunt for the perfect leather bag. Not too large, but able to fit a laptop, my knitting projects for the tube, my lunch and occasionally teaching materials for when I need to cart in large art books for classes.

Having coveted a Campomaggi bag from Italy for over 3 years – namely the one below…

…which periodically pops up at Toast or Plümo, and promptly sells out – I started looking at this bag as my starting point.

It was interesting how hard it was to find the actual bag in stock anywhere…and I mean ANYWHERE – not just in the UK but worldwide.

Campomaggi is a relatively small company that hand makes their bags and therefore keep production to a rather limited scale. Not only  are they hard to find, but when the bags become available they seem to sell out in minutes! It is amazing.

They really seem to have nailed the aged vintage mailbag look with their washed leather and have some gorgeous styles, which, I guess is why!

I waffled for a few months trying to decide between the bag above and the one below, not having seen either in the flesh, and not quite willing to spend large sums of cash on a bag unseen (felt/smelt/and pawed!):

Then the new collection came out and all hell broke loose! So many more choices…but so few suppliers. Hmmph.

These ones were added to the possible want list:

Then I saw it. THE ONE:

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…and the angels sang…

…then screeched as they saw the £524 price tag!

There was NO WAY I would spend that much money on a bag. I just couldn’t justify it.

So I kept looking, and looking, trolling bags online like some leather obsessed pedo.

Then.

I saw my precious on another website, in Germany, this time. And lo and behold it was a fraction of the Swedish one. But sold out. Then weeks later it came back in stock…for a bit more money but still within my range! But before I could purchase – due to a glitch in the checkout system – sold out again. I was really starting to get irritated. And the company was not willing to help in any way, shape or form (Hence my not crediting them anywhere. Trolls.).

So I waited. And fumed. And plotted revenge. And waited. And  one day. ONE FINE DAY (months later)…it came back in stock and I managed to get the transaction through before someone else scooped the bag! VICTORY. Satisfaction. Smugness. And a huge touch of apprehension.

What if I didn’t like the bag in real life after spending all that covet energy and dosh? Eep.

So after much drama she finally arrived – well wrapped in a box…in a bag…in a cloth bag…! (not the most environmental of packaging, but adding to the anticipation of unveiling)

In sunshiney glory!

The shots were taken with my iphone, so the colour is a bit washed out on the back right corner. It isn’t actually two-tone in real life, but a rich, warm cognac colour.

The leather is actually thicker than I expected and will get better with age and last me a lifetime (or until some sketcher steals the bag from me. I DO live in London, after all!).

The front pockets are fully functional and close with a solid magnetic clasp – the top one with the clasp and the leather thong threaded through the one below, so secure to prying hands in the Tube. There is a phone pocket and a large zippered pocket inside for a wallet and other smaller stuff you want to keep from losing in the bottom of the bag.

The only thing I am not thrilled about is the chunky zip they used.

It is sturdy, but due to the wibbles in the thick leather and the fact that the large teeth have to change direction so much (if that makes sense), it isn’t the smoothest running zipper. Which is a bit annoying for a bag in this price range. However, it will surely last for ages, and also has a heavy chain toggle that you can ‘lock’ the bag with or use to hang your keys on which is handy. You can see it on the left, if you click on the image below.


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All and all I am pretty giddy! It is perfect. Sigh. Phew!

Love the simplicity of this room. So simple except for the luxurious Pia Wallén blanket.


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Quietly luxurious.

Update- I initially thought this was the £580+ Crux blanket but then realised the crosses are much smaller. Lo and behold, Wallén has released a cotton flannel version at a much more reasonable £146!

Some of you may remember how around December last year I started blathering about being determined to FINALLY learn to knit properly after nearly 30 years of half-heartedly trying. I told myself this year was the one and if I didn’t learn now, it would never happen.

Well I did it! I have knit my first cardigan!

I started slowly… simple hats, phone socks, legwarmers then more complex stitches in cowls, slowly building up techniques that I would need to do a full garment.

Then I jumped in. I wanted to try the Miriam cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge (who creates beautiful knit designs. Nothing gnomey about her knits!). All that beautiful garter stitch. I just couldn’t resist!

I started in early March and just finished. It went remarkably smooth.

I knit on the tube, while watching tv, at galleries, in cafes, at conferences (!), you get the picture. I am one of THOSE knitters! I knit and I knit and then I knit some more.

I learned how to decrease, join sleeves and pick up stitches to add the neckband.

What an amazing process! I have so much more appreciation for knit design now that I can see how a lot of it works. Invisible seam stitches and the like are so damn CLEVER! Who came up with this shit?

Shockingly, there were no major mishaps, though a few things went buggy when reading the pattern and the body is a few inches longer than I would have liked – less of a ‘chanel jacket’ length and more of a straight cardi. Next time I do this pattern (in splurge quality wool – maybe a cashmere blend. Something flat and smooth that will show off all those garter stitches more sharply, unlike the fuzzier yarn I used this time) I will make sure it is the right length, as it looks cuter at its intended length.

This is what it should have looked like:

Here is how it ended up:

Not bad, but just that titch too long.

If anyone is interested in the full details or wants links to the pattern and other versions of the sweater check it out in my Ravelry projects.

Anyway…I am pretty damned pleased with myself, and have some great outfits planned with it!

Yay! Next!

Winston


art, design and interiors obsessed

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