A visit to Toft Alpaca and a colourful talk by Kaffe Fassett.

What an amazing day!


I left the house at 6 am and got to Toft Alpaca Manor 9 ish, I did end up on the 303 going the wrong way at one point! due to going around the roundabout wrong at Newbury. I managed to find my way back along a tiny lane, luckily the roads were fairly quiet so I got away with it.

We were greeted by the gorgeous colourful Alpacas.


Dyed especially for the event with animal friendly dyes that fade gradually and the Alpacas will be back to their normal colour in a week or so (quicker if it rains).


The food was fantastic, coffee and danish pastry to start the day served by very happy people. I was on my own so quite nervous to start with, but I shouldn’t have worried. Everyone was lovely and very chatty, I met some great ladies. One group of local ladies had recently finished making a knitted garden which sounded fab. (I am so hopeless with names I think I need a dictaphone when I’m out and about)

Lots of people were interested in my scumbled bag and it got lots of compliments and oohs and aaahs and how did you do it’s 😉

In the morning there was a walk around the Alpaca farm.



where I managed to take a few pictures.  Most of the day I spent chatting and forgot to get my camera out.

Lunch followed the walk, with yummy colourful cupcakes for pudding.

Then it was the talk and waiting for Kaffe Fassett to come in the room I could hardly breathe. I felt like a teenager going to see there favorite band. It was very strange. I have admired his work for a very long time, and never thought I would get to meet him.

The talk was very funny and so inspiring. It was weird because I felt tearful and totally overwhelmed. It made me feel normal !

I have days where I am embarrassed about my house being higgledy piggledy, with bits of old wall paper and carpets from the past still visible, rooms that still need painting and a crazy colourful kitchen. These were the things that Kaffe liked and photographed the character of a place. I have turned down 2 interior photographers this year because I don’t think my house is ready to be photographed, but looking at the photographs that Kaffe was showing I could see what they have seen. (though it still does need a lot of work doing to it!)

The talk has also inspired me to keep going, we all have days where we wander if we’re on the right path don’t we? Sometimes its just a chance meeting, being in the right place at the right time that can take you to the next level. I am lucky that I have been able to experiment and make what I like all I need now is that lucky break 😉


When the talk ended we were all able to go and get our books signed..120 of us! poor Kaffe. Everyone was very excited to meet the man himself. I could hardly talk when I got mine signed but did ask him about crochet and showed him my bag. I probably mumbled and ran away quickly. He has just written a crochet book for Rowan so I will be looking out for that when it is published.

I bought ‘Knitting With The Colour Guys’ by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mobly.


There is so much beautiful colour inspiration in this book.



I love the photography in it.

How exciting to have it signed to. Ya 🙂


It was the most fantastic day and the Toft Alpaca team were superb led by the very lovely Kerry. Congratulations to Claire also on organising the Kaffe Fassett talk.

I am sorry I did not take many pictures the wool all looked very yummy as did the mulitcoloured macaroons at the end! I was either to nervous or talking to much lol

Have a good week everyone. T x




Freeform Crochet Bag and a visit to a Kaffe Fassett Seminar.

I am getting very excited about going to see Kaffe Fassett at Toft Alpaca in Dunchurch, Rugby tommorow. Its nearly a 3hr drive for me to get there so I will be leaving pretty early in the morning.

I have a new bag to wear to show my love of colour, its one I have been working on in between other jobs for the last 2 months.


I have mixed together knitting, scumbled crochet and weaving. There are little scraps of vintage fabrics woven into gaps, unusual yarns crocheted onto the surface and some ceramic buttons by Tony’s mum along with a mixture of others.


I have admired Kaffe Fassetts work since the 80’s when I used to do a lot of intarsia knitting.


I love love love all the colours he uses and the way he paints with fabric,yarn and texture.



I’m also looking forward to meeting lots of other colour loving people. Its going to be a fun day…and I have heard even the alpacas are sporting a bit of colour 😉

Fluffy Flower Brooch Tutorial Using Rowan Kid silk haze

This is a little crochet pattern for these fluffy flower brooches. They are great as brooches or to add as embellishments. I have written this in longhand with abbreviations highlighted to make it easier for beginners to follow. Image

Materials Double knitting yarn for the center (selfstriping works best)

Rowan Kid silk Haze for the outer petals.

Crochet hook 4

Crochet hook 5 (If you are a loose crocheter I would go down a size in hooks)

wool needle

sewing needle

coloured cotton

assortment of buttons.



Using the Dk CHain 4, join with a Slip Stitch to the first CHain forming a circle. Image

3 CHain then Treble Crochet into the circle (yrh put hook through circle yrh pull back through. (3 stitches on hook) yrh pull through 2 stitches yrh pull through remaining 2 stitches) repeat 13 more times, you can move the stitches along slightly if it gets tight.

Join with a Slip Stitch to top of 2chain (1st stitch) Image

CHain 6 (3chain counts as Treble Crochet), miss a SPace TReble Crochet into next SPace

*CHain 3 miss a SPace Treble Crochet into next Space* repeat all the way around,

join yarn into the base of first stitch with a Slip Stitch. Image

Next is making the petals. DC,TRC,DTRC,TRC,DC into each space /(3chain) joining  with a SS at the base of each.

Longer version for beginners.

Into first 3 CHain, *Double Crochet, Treble Crochet, Double Treble Crochet, Treble Crochet, Double Crochet, Join to the base of the next 3 CHain with a Slip Stitch* repeat until you have completed all the petals. Join with a Slip Stitch.

Cut off yarn and pull it through the last stitch. Turn your flower over. Image

Put your hook through the back of the stitch wrap orange yarn over hook, and pull back through making sure there is a long end.

*CHain 8, Miss a space/stitch Slip Stitch into back of next Space* repeat all around. Join into first Stitch with a Slip Stitch.

Cut Yarn and pull through stitch.


Next insert the hook in the back of the stitch between the orange petals. YRH pull through Stitch.

pickupgreengreen Kid silk Haze Rowan

CHain 12 miss a stitch, Slip Stitch into back of the next Stitch (between the orange) CHain 12 repeat all the way around, Slip Stitch into last Stitch/Space cut yarn and pull it up through last stitch.

Sew in the ends using a wool needle. I would  turn the flower over so the front is facing and pull up the wool ends so that they are on the front of the flower, then sew them in (not visible from the back leaving it neat). Then choose a large button use a sewing needle and cotton and stitch it into the center. I would secure the cotton first again on the front side of the flower (under the button) then sew the button on, sewing the cotton through to the back with the last stitch, turn the flower over and stitch on a brooch back. Secure cotton and cut off as close to the brooch back as possible. You should end up with a very neat finish.

I hope this is helpful for crochet beginners. If I have written anything wrong or you have problems with the pattern do let me know 🙂 I would also love to see any flower brooches made using this pattern. Have fun.


Wool shopping and a bit of swatching.

Wool shopping and a bit of swatching.

I have just bought some gorgeous Rowan wools to make crochet swatches. I have lots of ideas in mind using different crochet stitches and am on a mission to match the designs to beautiful yarn that can be made up into the designs. I love the colours available in the Baby Merino Silk, and the Purelife Revive. Unfortunatly the shop I went to did not have the Soft Knit Cotton which has all of my favorite colours in the range.
This little lot should keep me busy for a few days, I can’t wait to get swatching.

Vintage Knitting Patterns

I am having a bit of a clear out of my old knitting patterns on E bay. I really love them especially the styling in the pictures and the hairdo’s, but I need the space.  Mostly they are hidden away and it would be lovely if they went to new homes 🙂 (there will be lots I can’t part with and may have to frame up).






Don’t you just love the pics?


Knitted Ring Photo Tutorial

Knitted Ring Photo Tutorial

Here is a photo tutorial on how to make my little knitted rings. I will add more instructions tommorow.
I cast on 6 stitches using 4 ply using 2.75mm needles (I am a loose knitter). I actually prefer 4 stitches to make a thinner ring but felt this shows the details better. Knit approx 6-7cm it does stretch slightly. Would love to hear your comments and you could post a picture of any you make on my face book page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamsyn-G/151441028213232 if you like 🙂