Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Woolly Wednesday

Here it is! Another Woolly Wednesday :)

I intend to make these themed posts fortnightly for the time being, which hopefully gives me plenty of time to track down some new woolly things to shout about.

Image via Selvedge

The first of these this week is the recent KNIT issue of Selvedge magazine (issue 60). If you're not familiar with it, the magazine is a rather wonderful publication and provides articles covering the world of textiles, via its many applications in art, craft, fashion, design and interiors. The title is published bi-monthly and is one of my favourites (and has been for a number of years), as it features beautiful photography, insightful pieces on the history of textiles and it showcases some really beautiful art and craft. A highly recommended read. I also *love* the giant chunky cable knit scarf on the cover

Image via Selvedge

Issue 60 features knitting in its many forms and some absolutely stunning photography from Ian Lawson's book, "From the Land Comes the Cloth" - a breathtaking visual journey telling the story of Harris Tweed, showcasing the natural beauty of the Hebrides, the woollen raw materials, the painstaking traditional production process and the world-famous finished product. Needless to say, the book is on this girl's wishlist! If you want to have a look at a little preview of the book, click here.

Image via The Catskill Kiwi on Instagram

Continuing with the woven cloth theme... in my Instagram wanderings, I discovered The Catskill Kiwi's feed which piqued my interest because as someone who dabbled with weaving but realised it wasn't for me, I can live vicariously through the lovely textured tapestries of Toni Brogan.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

IT'S Woolly Wednesday!

One thing you should know about me... I love a bit of alliteration, so when I was dreaming up ideas for blog posts recently, I thought, how about having a Woolly Wednesday! (Why not?!)

...I very much doubt I'm the first person ever to have come up with that but I do hope you like it anyway :)

Here are some woolly things that have tickled my fancy this week:

Image via Etsy

I love this Lambswool Birdie by Sally Nencini, discovered while having a look at a few things that popped up on my feed whilst using the Etsy app. Not just because I adore birds, and think lambswool is pretty awesome, either! I particularly like the way she has used different patterns and muted colours to create an overall kind of folkloric effect. Plus, who wouldn't want one of these cheery birdies sitting on their mantlepiece?

I quite enjoy using the "your feed" tab as a way of browsing actually, and it's a great way to find new things or stumble across pretty treasuries. Do check out Sally Nencini's Etsy shop, it's packed with lots of fun (woolly) designs including an elephant cushion or one featuring a fleet of red London double-decker buses, not to mention her quirky knitted toys!

Image via Ohhdeer

How about some woolly jumpers? This "Cool Sweaters" greeting card with sheep sporting knitted designs made me smile. It's the work of illustrator Jacques Maes, and I very much like the nostalgic feel of this print of his.

...and finally, here's a little bit of sporting yarnbombery: Commonwealth Games nations knitted flags for Glasgow 2014
Fear not, dear reader, more wool-related action coming soon!

In the meantime, you can check out all of my blog posts related to this rather fabulous fibre here.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Free Shipping at WildCat Designs!

A little something, just for the bank holiday weekend...

Get free worldwide shipping on everything at until the end of Monday 26th May. Just quote "FREESHIPYAY" during checkout to claim this offer.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

...yes, there's been virtual tumbleweed blowing around here lately, I confess! Things have been a little crazy but I have lots of inspiring things to share with you in the coming weeks.

I recently started a new job which has got me walking down familiar paths but seeing things in a new light. I'm revisiting many things I used to be so involved with as a textile student - it's hard to believe it was almost a decade ago that I completed my degree in that field!

The wonderful thing is that I still find this area so inspiring even after all these years. I thought I'd give you a visual tour of what's got my creative juices flowing of late:

This is a gorgeous fabric I recently received in the post, as part of the Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition. The fabric is called Bird Parade and it's from their Country Retreat range. I have yet to make something with it, at this point I'm thinking my limited sewing skills might stretch to a bag but I love the idea of a skirt, should I have enough material! If you want to find out more about the comp, check out this post on the UK Craft Blog.

Image via Pinterest

The colours of spring emerging from the garden always have an impact on me at this time of year. I love that first sign of delicate snowdrops, heralding new life and fresh growth, which is soon followed by crocus, daffodils and tulips (one of my favourite flowers).

Image via Designers Guild

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Treat

It's February (already?! Where did January go...) so I figured it's time to unveil the next part of my 2014 Desktop Calendar Project.

You can download the freebie desktop wallpaper calendar I've designed for February 2014 - click here to view (then right-click on the image and select "save image as..."). This is optimised for 1024 x 768 screen resolutions. (I'm happy to make other sizes on demand - just email info {at} catcodes {dot} co {dot} uk to request it!)

...Romance is in the air...

If you're looking for a little romantic inspiration, I happen to have a section in my WildCat Designs Etsy Boutique entitled "Be my Valentine" featuring some scarves with a heart pattern I designed. I can vouch for the fact that they are not only cute, but super cosy as I made (kept!) one for myself and love wearing it.

P.S. As love is in the air this month, and I'm feeling generous, I've extended the Super Scarf Sale! It will now run until Friday 14th February, giving you a chance to snap up a brand new scarf - or treat your Valentine.

Monday, 27 January 2014

New Year, New Project

I got a bit of a shock when I realised about a fortnight ago that I hadn't actually done *any* knitting yet this year! (gasp!)

Not like me at all...but I have been enjoying reading "Knit the Season" - the third book in the Friday Night Knitting Club series by Kate Jacobs. Always nice to revisit favourite characters and it's a lovely seasonal tale of their continually intertwining lives. So this has acted as a kind of substitute in a way. I'm so glad someone finally got me it for Christmas (my other half, he rocks), as it's been on my wishlist for a while.

Anyway, it got to the point where enough was enough, I had gotten pretty far into the book and my fingers were itching to do some real-life knitting, instead of just reading about it! I decided to start a brand new project, one I've been thinking about for some time. It's a beautiful lace shawl (or wrap) design which I previously designed and created for a commission using a silvery-white yarn, Rowan's Kidsilk Night in Starlight [Ravelry link].

I am making this year's version based on my notes and pattern from this - it's been adapted from two different lace motifs I liked, a chevron one from a pattern library which forms the border of my design and one which borrows a section of the lacework from the beautiful Anice Shawl in Rowan Magazine 41, which was out around the time I was working as a Design Consultant for Rowan yarns. (Yes, I'm still a Rowan addict!)

I've made some progress on it so far and have named this incarnation the
Goddess of the Night Shawl. A fitting name for its inky plum purple darkness with a shimmering glint of silvery thread.

I don't have a particular recipient in mind, I simply decided to work on this piece for the sheer joy of having a nice cerebral lace project on the go, not to mention something visually stunning developing before my eyes as I continue to work on it.

No instant gratification here, I'm in this for the long haul. I've realised over the years that there is indeed merit in quick, simple projects, which can be easily completed in a short space of time but somethimes you need something a little deeper to get your teeth into. Did I mention it's a bit like therapy? (albeit generally* a lot cheaper!)

* depending on your yarn habit...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Does your winter need warming up?

Well, I might be able to help with that...

Chase away the January blues
with a brand new WildCat Designs scarf
- snap one up in my Super Scarf Sale!

You'll find lots of my best selling designs marked down
in my Etsy online shop, available while stocks last...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hello 2014!

Welcome in, 2014! I wonder what adventures we'll have together...

I do hope you all had a lovely festive period and are feeling refreshed 
and rejuvenated, ready to start the new year with a smile :)

A new year brings new beginnings and mine is no exception. This year I have decided to design a year's worth of monthly calendars - which I will make available to download for free from my website!

It's taken me a little bit longer than I'd intended to get the project kick-started but here is my contribution for January 2014 - click here to view (then right-click on the image and select "save image as...").

Note, this desktop wallpaper is optimised for 1024 x 768 resolutions.
I hope to produce more options in the coming months!

The image is intended to be used as a desktop calendar, but you could always print it out onto cardstock, if you prefer.

Incidentally, the website is my new portfolio site featuring my web & graphic design work - feel free to have a browse! The address is