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Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Textile Workshops

I have two really exciting workshops arranged for Autumn 2012. My old mate from college Kim Thittichai is going to tutor a series of Textile workshops here in France. Kim is a textile artist based in Brighton (see her blog here), she is a wonderful teacher and full of inspiration.
Bondaweb for Beginners
Hot Textiles Bondaweb for Beginners runs from the 26th September - 1st October 2012. See further details here or email for the full programme.

Luscious Layers
Hot Textiles Luscious Layers runs from 3rd - 8th October 2012. See further details here or email  for the full programme.

Friday, 27 May 2011

A week of birthdays

Kangaroo was 30 years old on the 18th May, Aunty Joyce was 90 on the 19th May and youngest grand-daughter Martha was 1 on the 22nd May.

Me on the left and Karen on the right
To celebrate Kangaroo's 30th anniversary I am re-writing some of the patterns for the original children's knits I designed when the shop first opened. These were mostly machine knits and some of them look positively dated rather than cool vintage, however with a bit of tweaking and some new shades they will make a lovely collection of hand-knit designs and will be available soon as patterns or kits.
The photo above was taken in our first year of trading and is of me, my friend Karen who started the business with me, her baby boy Ben and my first Golden Retriever Bodie.

Some original Kangaroo knits
Aunty Joyce treated us to lunch at the Waterside Inn in Bray to celebrate her 90th, which was superb. It was a lovely sunny day and started with champagne and canapes on the terrace, followed by a yummy lunch, petits fours and coffee. The service was fantastic and the desserts a work of art, a great day and so nice to see Joyce enjoying herself so much.

Aunty Joyce (and my pud at the front)
Martha's tea party was a little noisier, an afternoon in the garden with the new trampoline being tested out by elder sister Eliza, while the grown ups lazed in the sun with a glass of bubbly. The teddy bears cake was the highlight of the day, but the marzipan has done nothing good for my diet.....!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

New Knitting Kits

Yesterday was back to work after a week of having my old college mates Kim and Lesley staying, it was a lovely week of talking, eating, drinking lots of rose wine and doing a few touristy things. I feel inspired to get back to designing some new knitting kits for the KnitKits range and have had the camera out looking for texture and colour.

There are two new kits on the website, The Simple Pendant, a very basic knitted necklace for beginners and a The Lace Lavender Bag, complete with La Verderie lavender.
Lace lavender bag knitting kit

Simple Pendant knitting kit

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hooks

I have new stock of the Denise crochet hook sets and the single crochet hooks. These are also interchangeable with the knitting needle cords, perfect for taking on holiday.

A day off website up-dating today. I have just been to the Brocante (our version of a car boot sale) in Brizambourg and stocked up with a load of geraniums, so a day in the garden.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Programme for Knitting workshop at Chateau St Julien June 2011

We still have a couple of spaces available for this wonderful knitting holiday in France with Rowan tutors Carol Meldrum and Nicole Wilson. BOOK HERE or see the programme below for a taste of the workshops on offer. For further details for September 2012 email
Bedroom at Chateau St Julien

Sunday 12th June - Arrive Poitiers. Transfer to Ch√Ęteau de St Julien l’Ars (20-30 minutes).
Meet your tutors and fellow guests for aperitifs followed by dinner.

Monday 13th June
Morning Workshop - An introduction to the workshop.
• Techniques
• Mood boards
• Colour palettes

Afternoon Workshop – Gathering inspiration around and about the grounds of Chateau. Using sketches or photographs learn how to -
• Create texture
• Repeat patterns
• Shapes and details

Evening workshop – Technical class
• Different cast on’s and off’s – where and when to use them
• Button holes
• Add in or take out rows in a pattern

Tuesday 14th June
Full day workshop – working from source material gathered the previous day. Looking at how to interpret them into a knitted fabric through colour work (intarsia/ Fairisle)
Choosing yarns and colour palettes
What pattern works best with the yarn you have chosen
• Lace / open work / texture
• Fairisle / intarsia

Evening workshop – Technical class
• How to improve your tension
• How to improve your fabric edges
• Increasing and decreasing

Wednesday 15th June
Full day Workshop – Building on previous day’s workshop, looking at how to plot design onto graph paper, how to add texture and relief into your design.
• Creating swatches
• Choosing techniques

Thursday 16th June
Half Day Workshop – Beaded Knitting
• Plotting beaded pattern on to graph paper from source material
• How to knit with beads

Free afternoon - optional outing to Chauvigny or Poitiers

Evening Workshop – How to introduce crochet into your knitting, trims edgings and embellishments.

Friday 17th June
Free morning - optional outing to Chauvigny or Poitiers

Half Day Workshop – This workshop will be used to work through remaining design ideas.

Evening review of the week, certificates for all the guests, prize giving and aperitifs followed by dinner.

Saturday 18th June Depart for Poitiers

In addition to the Workshop programme there will be plenty of time for relaxing, eating, drinking and of course knitting! Plus a little retail therapy in Poitiers, or sightseeing in Chauvigny. We have the Chateau entirely to ourselves and access to the 56 acres of beautiful parkland.

Hand Maiden Sea Silk

Hand Maiden Sea Silk - Masala
I had a delivery of some more shades in the Sea Silk last week which I completely forgot about with the dramas with the website, they are now all on the website and available to order here
Back to button counting.....

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Addi Circular needles

I have just received a delivery of Addi circulars in 120cm and 150cm lengths and some more teddy needle huggers.
Rebuilding the website is going reasonably well, but have hit a bit of a wall today. It is time to stock check the buttons and get them back up on the site, but having just finished a stock check the day before the server crashed this is a depressing thought as it means counting every single button again and there are well over 5000.................

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Knitting Patterns

I am still plodding on with the getting the website up-dated. Got a bit side-tracked today with some old knitting patterns that I have been adding to the website, they range from really useful waistcoats and cute fairisles to some fairly wacky picture jumpers, there must be someone out there who wants a sweater with a peacock on it......

Monday, 2 May 2011

Servers and Street parties

What a weekend!
Our server crashed the middle of last week, which means that we have had no emails for nearly a week and the Kangaroo website has been down.
The bad news is that most of the data has been lost which has meant I am having to do a complete stock check and re-enter all the data and images, the good news is that I have got around to making the final changes to the website, so hopefully there will be some improvements when everything is up and running.

We managed to celebrate 'the wedding' in style, inbetween website updates! With a get together in front of the telly on Friday and a street party on Saturday, ex pats at their best!

Bedrock provided the music and everyone chipped in on the food, the weather was fab!

Kangaroo should be pretty much back to normal tomorrow, although I think we are going to have to re-issue new passwords to all existing customers.
There is a massive thunderstorm coming in now, which I think will put an end to my website up-dating for the day. Time to turn off the computer before the power goes off and I lose all my stock check......