Unravel 2020

Yes I know what you’re thinking. That you normally have to wait for what seems like YEARS to see any of my pictures after I’ve been to a festival. But oh no, not this time.

I’ve attended the Unravel festival several times both as speaker and vendor but this year was slightly different as it was my first year teaching and also exhibiting as part of BIPOC in Fiber. It was lovely to be able to catch up with lots of old friends, make new ones, share my love of Beaded Colourwork and of course my passion for the BIPOC in Fiber project alongside the rest of the team. I won’t go into too much detail about BiF here as there’ll be a blog on the website when it launches (which is so very, very soon) but as you can see we had a great time.

Thanks to everyone who came along to my class on Sunday and to everyone who stopped by the BiF stand.

Keeping this post short as I’m off to see the Old Folk


J x

Packing up BIPOC in Fiber merch
Our amazing tech wizard Alyson Chu on the BiF stand
Myself and Alyson look fresh faced on Friday (well she is)
Me with our graphic designer Jimenez Joseph

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VKL New York 2020 – pt 1


Since arriving home from New York week over a week ago  I’ve been battling a combination of jet lag and the dreaded lurgey. It’s meant the excited re-telling of all the amazing things I did at Vogue Knitting Live, all the wonderful people I met, the inspiring work I saw and the delicious yarns I drooled over won’t now happen. Why? Because sadly my head is full of snot and my body so achey it makes long periods of concentration nigh on impossible. Somehow – and I know how ridiculous this sounds – despite all the life threatening illnesses I’ve been through, the common cold is the thing that floors me most.

So before January gives way to February (yes as you can see since it is now February I even failed there) and these pictures languish unloved in a forgotten corner of my MacBook here are some of my Vogue Knitting Live 2020 highlights. More to come.

I’m off to blow my nose. Again

J x


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I travelled over to the States with (most of) my dream team of Felicity Ford @knitsonik, Lorna Hamilton Brown @lhamiltonbrown and Alyson Chu @alysonhere. Sadly the last member of BIPOC in Fiber Juliet Bernard @julietbernard couldn’t join us as she was in India with Knit For Peace.

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Vogue Knitting’s DAC

I’m really proud to a member of Vogue Knitting’s Diversity Advisory Council and over the last 9 months we’ve worked really hard to make the Knitting Live! events and publications much more inclusive and welcoming. As we’re spread across the globe much of this involves long conference calls so it was great to finally meet as a full council to help celebrate 10 years of VKL. Just in case you’re wondering the full council shown above are;

Angela Tong @atongdesigns

Louis Boria @brooklynboyknits

Cecilia Nelson Hurt @creativececi

Ana Campos @circlestitches

Lorna Hamilton Brown

Felicity Ford

Me of course

Diane Ivey @ladydyeyarns

You can find out more about the work that we’ve been doing over on the Vogue Knitting website here 

Yarningham 2019

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This weekend Birmingham’s very own fibre festival is back for it’s 4th year.

It takes place in the Uffculme Centre, a former home to the famous Cadbury chocolate family located in between the areas of Moseley and Kings Heath.

As well as the the usual opportunities to learn new skills from renowned tutors like Karie Westermann who’s teaching ‘Knitting the Landscape’ there’s also a chance to ‘Stitch Your Own Notebook’ with local designer maker Helen Wilson. If you’ve missed out on tickets for either of these classes don’t worry there’s plenty of other ways to feed your fibre addiction.

The marketplace is where you’ll find lots of stalls to spend your hard earned cash, it’s ticketed but you’ll find more details on the website (details below). While you’re there check out the Yarningham merchandise – love the Donald and Boris badges – and the official brochure which includes exclusive designs by Jiminez Joseph (a BIPOC designer)  and Rebecca Milton.

There’ll be demonstrations of various fibre crafts by the Birmingham & District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, a knitting surgery run by the Knitting & Crochet Guild for anyone with a knitting dilemma and a raffle in aid of local charity RSVP (Rape and Sexual Violence Project). They work with survivors of sexual violence and abuse, aiming to help victims cope with trauma and rebuild wellbeing, confidence and hopefulness so it’s an amazing cause and the prizes are fantastic. And, should all that learning and yarn stash enhancement get too much there are refreshments too; including lots of cake, just in case you need a sugar hit.

I don’t routinely write about yarn festivals but in the light of the work I’m doing to highlight BIPOC working in the fibre community this one is particularly relevant. 

Co-founded four years ago by Sara Fowles – a woman of colour – and Helen Winnicott it’s the only fibre festival, of which I’m aware, that’s had a BIPOC influence from the outset. This makes it particularly important, unusual and ahead of many others in it’s awareness and efforts to be welcoming and inclusive to BIPOC visitors as well as, of course, to non BIPOC attending their show. Curated and run by Sara, Helen and the Stitches & Hos crew they are very keen not to subscribe to the snobbery of knitting being the superior craft with all types of crafts being celebrated and are inclusive in their selection of vendors and accessibility both in terms of venue and transport links. 

I really wish I could have made it along to the show this weekend but unfortunately I’ll miss out but you never know, perhaps next year….

Sara, Helen, Venetia, Lilith and the rest of the team – I’m sending my love, have an amazing show. 

And if you you’re visiting show have the best time and spread some love while you’re there.

J x 

For more information visit the website www.yarningham.co.uk