Monday, 27 July 2015

Where You'll Find Me This Year - Shows, Fairs and Workshops

I've already had such a busy start to the year, trading at Unravel and the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show. Giving a speech and running a photography workshop at the Knitting and Crochet Guild convention. Not to mention designing for Mollie Makes, Stylecraft and Knit Today alongside unleashing my latest dinosaur collection. I had a little health blip in between but have recovered well and am excitedly looking ahead to the rest of the year!

And it's non stop, I finally took a big leap and found a studio space in central Brixton. From the 1st of August I'll be moving my huge yarn stash from the living room, and my private stash in the bedroom to it's new home. I'll also be able to proudly display my critters and have my knitting machine permanently set up. It also means I'll be able to run knitting nights and workshops, eek!

Before I open my doors I've got some work to do. But I've got lots of exciting news for the year ahead. Here are some key dates for your diary.

July 28th - The Make Escape 3rd Birthday - Hackney
It's my favourite London craft night! Come along for a night of free workshops at the Hackney Attic. Hosted by the wonderful Momtaz Begum-Hossain (@TheCraftCafe). It's the Make Escapes 3rd birthday and it's Hawaiian themed! I can't wait!

August 28th - 30th - Frank and Olive Retreat - York
More information to be released soon.

September 3rd - 5th - The WI Centennial Fair - Harrogate
I'm really excited to be apart of the WI Fair, you'll find me trading at Stand A139 alongside running a workshop on Thursday the 3rd. We'll be making mini fox head key rings hurrah! I'll also be releasing my latest collection of kits and scarfs at the show. 

September the 5th - The Great London Yarn Crawl - London
I won't actually be around for this one, but I'll be there in spirit. The yarn crawl looks really fun, each group has a different route and I'm excited to say that my pieces can be found at both Fringe and Wild & Woolly. Look out for the new ranges there too!

October 7th - 11th - The Knitting and Stitching Show - Alexandra Palace London
It's the big one! I launched my kits at the show last year so am excited to be back. You can find me in the same hall and in almost the same place. There'll be some familiar faces and some new ones too. I'll also be running a bear pillow workshop too.

November 14th - Festiwool - Hitchin 
Last year I was invited to Festiwool and I'm glad to be back! It's only a short train journey from London so perfect for exhibiting. Again there'll be a fresh face of critters and some old friends too. I'd really recommend visiting this one as it has a fabulous atmosphere and friendly traders.

December 4th - 8th - The Clothes Show - NEC Birmingham
This is a show I'm really excited to be involved in. It won't be my usual set up as I've been given a really big space. Here I'll be teaching how to knit in the educational area as well as trading too. I've got some time to get planning how I want the stand looking as usually I'm only in a 2x2m space! There'll be lots of animals here as well as even more new designs. If you're new to knitting or want to learn just pop along for a free workshop! 

I'd love to see you at any (or all) of these shows! And keep your eyes out for Brixton workshops too!




Friday, 19 June 2015

Diplodocus Scarf Pattern - Free Until June 30th!

To celebrate the release of Jurassic World I have been having a Jurassic June! Each week I've been releasing a new dinosaur pattern. First it was my Stegosaurs hat, then my Pterodactyl bag and this week I'm unleashing my Diplodocus scarf! If you haven't seen the film yet I highly recommend it. I personally think there's not enough dinosaur knits for girls, so I've used a pastel palette to make them extra cute! They could easily be adapted for boys, but I thought I'd be a little selfish and design them all for me.

I kicked off the month with my Stegosaurus hat, it's knitted in alpaca chunky yarn and has two sets of spikes running along it. You can find the pattern here!

Next I released my Pterodactyl bag, knitted in a lavender DK with amazing dinosaur patterned lining. I added a chain so I can take it anywhere. Find the pattern here

I finally got to see the Jurassic World film this week, as I said before I loved it! So how could I resist giving my followers a little treat. Until June the 30th my Diplodocus Scarf pattern is free and all you need to make it is two balls of DK yarn! It's perfect for knitting days in the sun or a holiday project as theres lots of St st. Next week I'm off to the British country side and have already cast on my next scarf design. 

Finally I've released my Triceratops kit in red and gold. You can buy the kit here. Keep tuned for my final dinosaur announcement of the month. 


Louise x

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A Faux Taxidermy Knits Competition

It's competition time! I have been busy the last few days, designing a set of patterns that are going to be exclusively available as part of a competition that will be ongoing on the Sincerely Louise blog until the end of this year. If you have been watching any of my posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed these cheeky chaps getting featured as I've been designing you can get your hands on them.
A lion, a meerkat and a hippo!

Faux Taxidermy Knits Competition

Until the end of 2015, the only way to get your hands on these patterns will be via this competition. They've been designed as part of an 'Africa' collection that will be published next year; but until that is available, you will not be able to download, buy or otherwise get them in any way apart from entering. 
Mr Lion - with a possibility of a Mrs Lion too!

How do you enter?

This is primarily an Instagram competition, and entering is super easy. When you upload a photo onto Instagram of a finished creature from one of my patterns, tag it with #fauxtaxidermyknits and make sure to mention me on @sincerelylouise, you will automatically be put into that weeks draw. It doesn't matter when you knitted the project, or whether it comes from my book, one of my free patterns here on the blog, or a digital download or kit from Etsy.
A beautiful pink hippo waiting to be made!

The Winners:

A new winner will be picked each week. The competition runs from Wednesday one week to the following Tuesday, when the winner will be announced on my social media channels with a share of that project, as well as credit to the maker. The winner will then be able to choose which critter they would like to be sent.

With three different patterns to win, you can enter as many times as you like to be in with a chance of entering them all! However, only one winner will be chosen every week, so you will have to make sure you enter each week.
Little Meerkat at your service!

Depending on my design schedule, I will be adding to the collection over the coming months, so even if you are lucky enough to win all three, keep checking back, as I may be introducing more African friends over time.

Good luck and happy knitting!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Tiger! Tiger!

One of the most luxurious patterns that you can knit in my book, Faux Taxidermy Knits, is the Tiger Rug. Knitted in extremely chunky yarn, and an alternative to the slightly more controversial tiger skin rugs that are a historical decoration in some areas, this project would add a touch of glamour to any space; as well as a brilliant place to lie down and read your book for a while.

I am pleased to say that I have put together Tiger Rug kits, which are now available in my Etsy shop. Read on for more information!

The Tiger Rug

Found on Page 90 of my book, the pattern for the Tiger Rug is written up in a chart; the written pattern would be so long that the book would have been twice as thick as it is already! The yarn I initially used to knit him up in was Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool, a pure Peruvian wool in gorgeous Fireball Orange, Space Black and Ivory. This tiger rug is a popular feature at shows when I exhibit, and I know of at least two projects which have been completed since last September!

The yarn is super chunky; not only this, but it is held double. As a result, although the finished object is quite large, the actual knitting does not take much time at all relative to the size. Felt, safety eyes and a bit of felting yarn for decoration, and you have a project that will wow any visitor.

Tiger Rug Kits

Tiger Rug kits are now available on my Etsy shop, priced at £129.99.

High demand at shows and in conversation with the faux taxidermists who have loved my book has lead me to put together kits for the Tiger Rug. I decided not to include the book in the kit, as I know that a lot of people who already have the book want to knit the rug - so if you don't have the book and want to buy a kit, ensure you remember to buy a copy of the book (with 14 other critter patterns) or the standalone pattern from my publisher.

My recommended yarn in the book, and the yarn my own tiger rug was initially knitted up in, is a luxury brand which comes to over £300 per project. I know that this is not a realistic price for many people, so the kit is put together with an alternative yarn which is also super chunky, but is made of acrylic instead of wool to bring the price down. An added advantage of the reduced cost of this yarn is that it is also more hard-wearing, an important consideration for a project who is most likely to get a lot of heavy-duty use!

The kit includes:

  • 17 balls of Cygnet Super Chunky in Burnt Orange
  • 7 balls of Cygnet Super Chunky in Black
  • 5 balls of Cygnet Super Chunky in Cream
  • A pair of black safety eyes and washers
  • 1 square of orange felt
  • 1 square of black felt
  • 15 mm circular knitting needles
  • Tapestry needle for sewing up

As well as saving money when you buy all of these materials in the kit, rather than getting them all separately, all the components for your tiger will arrive nestled in a handmade hessian bag, which is available nowhere else.

I would love to see your tiger works in progress, and definitely the finished objects! Let me know when you complete them - tag them with #fauxtaxidermyknits on social media and Ravelry, or email me here.

Lastly, if you love tigers as much as I do, why not see what other tiger products are available on Etsy in the list I have put together! See it here.
A WIP from @zoearoberts on Twitter.
A finished tiger by Wheek on Ravelry!

Wheek's tiger has loads of character.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Name that Dinosaur

I'm going dinosaur crazy here at Sincerely Louise HQ! With the release of the new Jurassic Park film on June 12th and my favourite clothing brand, The Whitepepper, releasing a whole lookbook in dino prints, I've been feeling super inspired and had a chance design some of my own prehistoric pals.

So far I've published two designs which are celebrating dinosaurs, both of which are available as kits from my Etsy shop.

Three-Horn Blueberry

First up, meet Blueberry. This sassy dino is a 'three-horn', more scientifically known as a triceratops; the kit for Blueberry was launched at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show this year. She was super popular, and drew many interested crowds to my stand. I know there are a few in progress and will share any finished projects with you on my social media - find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The yarn in the kit is Cygnet Seriously Chunky Mixes - it has a great range of colours which I think complement Blueberry perfectly - it's not many purple yarns you get that have shades of pink, yellow, and blues in them! The rest of the colours are just as inspiring.

Blueberry has a rather charming companion who will be joining her soon in brilliant red. Keep an eye out for him!


The other kit that launched alongside Blueberry at the Knitting and Stitching Show was this handsome T-Rex. With his toothy grin and ridges lifting his eyes, the cheeky chap has buckets of character - the only thing missing is a name! This is where you come in - I need some help to give my T-Rex his identity.

This giveaway is now closed. I would love it if you could give me some suggestions - please leave a comment on this post and I'll pick my favourite and announce it next Thursday (the 16th of April). The person who suggests my favourite name will get a free copy of the pattern for the T-Rex so that you can knit him up yourself.

If you share this post on social media and tag it with #namethatdino you can get a bonus entry - just to be clear, that's one entry for a comment, and another for a share with the hashtag.

I can't wait to see what you come up with! 

Please note the winner will only receive a copy of the pattern, and not the full T-Rex kit. There are no restrictions on entering, and all suggestions must be made by Wednesday the 15th of April at 5 pm GMT. Social media entries will not be counted without the hashtag. You must leave an email address or other way to contact you so that winners can be easily notified.

Friday, 3 April 2015

The "Spring Break" Make Escape

Last night found Sincerely Louise running a workshop on making felt Easter eggs at The Make Escape in Hackney. I was delighted to have a large number of people visiting my station to contribute to the making efforts; some of the eggs were truly inspired, with crowns, sequins and steam-punk chicks all making an appearance.

The Spring Break Make Escape

I set myself up in the far corner, with a comfy sofa and a range of soft chairs for the crafters to perch on. The Make Escape is totally free, and most of the materials are given to us as donations - I had a wonderful selection to sort through, from plain felt to beautiful sequinned fabrics that took the crafters a long way towards creating their own Faberge eggs!

The doors opened at 7:30 pm, and before long I was surrounded by a group of people ready to craft themselves into the Easter spirit.

As well as the makers of London, Anna of Wild and Woolly joined me for a quick glass of wine and a chat. She headed off with her own egg to celebrate the upcoming holiday shortly afterwards, and I was delighted to finally meet her in person.

This is a wonderful way to get into the Easter spirit, without breaking open calorific treats, although I find that chocolate and a glass of wine is always a welcome accompaniment to time spent creating!

Anna of Wild and Wooly joined me at the Make Escape.
Another glorious egg by @JimJamDavis - you can't see it
but it's also covered in sequins! 

Craft Your Own Easter Egg

Crafting felt eggs is a great way to spend some time with friends and family over Easter, seeing who can come up with the best design, put on the most bling, and get the most glue on each others hands! As a treat I have provided the templates and instructions for this workshop for you to download and print out at home - entirely free. Click below for the templates.

Recommended materials for making the eggs are:
  • Pieces of felt for the body of the eggs
  • Any bling for decorating - sequins, ribbon, buttons etc
  • Scraps of decorative material for embellishments
  • Ribbon if you would like to turn the egg into a hanging ornament
  • Brooch pins if you would like to wear your egg with pride
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric glue
    A range of felt eggs and chick.
    Egg ornaments on the left, chicks on the right
If you do any making over the Easter weekend, post your photos on social media and be sure to tag me so I can see what you get up to! Find me @sincerelylouise on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Spring Break Make Escape - more photos

Here are a few more snapshots of the event.

Momtaz @TheCraftCafe, the organisational superstar behind the Make Escape,
joined in cooing over the little chicks.
Easter Eggs with crowns were very popular!
This is Sian, rocking her egg.
Corrie of Plutonium Muffins with her egg.

Egg inspiration from our 'Make Escapers' 

To find out more about The Make Escape head over to their blog. The next one's in July and will be their third birthday craft celebration, so come along for an evening of free workshops!