Red Shoes

Question: if I already have five pairs of red shoes, and then last week I added these to the collection…..

…..does that mean I have now reached my red shoe quota? Because these babies really want to come home with Momma……



Are you still planning to hold workshops at Posh?

No, it’s a lovely idea, but we haven’t the time or the space.

How do you come up with all the colourway names? Do you have a system? Do you do the same colourways again, and if so how do you record how you did it the first time?

I love words, so I’m always on the look out for possible names. I don’t have a system, and since the number of potential names is not infinite, I do find that I repeat certain names quite regularly, which is a bit naughty. But if you have a skein that looks like a Peacock, you really have to name it Peacock!!  

We never repeat any of our colourways, not exactly anyway. We don’t keep any records of the dyes used, in fact the way Tony dyes it wouldn’t be possible to replicate a colourway, because his ‘system’ is deliberately random.

With Cariad up and running, will you consider doing custom dye jobs?

Not at the moment. There’s enough plates in the air right now as it is!

What’s your favourite colour? Also, have you found any US/Australasian wholesalers for Cariad?

Oooh, I don’t know! I love red. But probably I would say green. A good mossy green. And we are working on a few overseas wholesale deals right now, so watch this space.

Marmite… love it or hate it?

Hate it!

Who is your favourite composer, and why? Do you have a particular favourite work or set of works by him/her?

Handel. I love the stateliness of his music, and the way it conjures up pictures of 18th century London in my head. I also love Einaudi.

Any thoughts on starting the sock club up again!?

It something we regularly talk over – if it was up to Tony we would, but at the moment I haven’t the time. Never say never though!

What’s your favorite thing about Pilates? Would you keep doing it if you moved or got a different teacher?

I love how relaxed and happy it leaves me feeling. I do have a fantastic teacher, I would hate to lose her, but I would definitely keep doing it. But I have to go to a class, I’m just not motivated enough to do it at home.

Do you read a daily newspaper? If so, which one?

No, I avoid the news wherever possible. I do read People magazine (online) every day though!!

Have you ever visited the United States? Any favorite places here, or places that you’d like to visit here?

Yes, we visited Portland, Oregon a few years ago. I love, love, LOVE America. I want to come back and spend some time in New York, I’d love to visit New England, in fact my dream holiday would be a road trip across the States.

Did you prefer school dinners or packed lunch?

Packed lunches – I had cheese and ketchup sandwiches every day for years. I like my routine!

When you were a child, what did you want to be? Did it have anything to do with yarn?

I wanted to be a writer. So not really to do with yarn, but a lot to do with this blog!

What is your favorite sock pattern?

I’m not much of a sock knitter, I’ll confess. But I do love the look of Nancy Bush’s Norwegian Stockings.

Ever though of opening a Posh Yarn shop (i.e. an actual building)?

Yes, I dream about it often. I know just how it would look! But in reality, we live right in the back of beyond, so a Posh Yarn shop wouldn’t be feasible.

Where do you get the inspiration for your beautiful colours?

Everywhere! Tony ‘sees’ colourways everywhere he turns. I find myself, that the dyes sort of ‘tell’ me what they want me to do. That sounds weird, but it’s hard to explain.

Do you like crocheting?

Don’t know how!

What kind of dyes do you use on the yarn?

Acid dyes.

Did you get your sister back into knitting in the end? Oh, and re Pilates – do you manage the Seal now?

Not really, she’s very busy though. Maybe over the winter! And yes, I love doing the Seal. When you clap your feet together, so fun!

What did you do job-wise before Posh? How did you transition into being a full-time yarn guru?

Goodness, what haven’t I done! Shop assistant, cleaner, writer, vintage clothing trader, window cleaner, receptionist, admin assistant, website designer…… I’ve been working on the web for about 8 years now though, running a variety of websites. Got into yarn about six years ago, first of all importing yarns, then started dyeing. Just slid right into it without really noticing!!

Any chance of some more of that lovely 12-ply being featured soon? It makes lovely cowls..


There hasn’t been much Lucia around lately, any chance of a reappearance, its so lovely to knit with?

We’re waiting for a big order of this to come through very soon. It’s custom spun for us, so we always have to wait a while for it.

Do you have any plans up your sleeve for any book-related things? The Posh yarn-ography? Pattern books? Dee’s Style Bible, etc?

I do indeed! When I can tell you more, I will do.

What do you like to do while knitting? And/or: What’s something you could never ever do while knitting, even though it may be physically possible?

I like to listen to audio books when I’m knitting. And conversely, I could never read a book while knitting, as Elizabeth Zimmerman did. I have to look at my work all the time, unfortunately. So thank goodness for Audible!

Would you consider hosting a knitting retreat in Pembrokeshire?

It’s something I would love to do. But I’m not sure if it’s feasible, given my current busy schedule.

What is your most treasured possession and why? And, having just noticed it…why is there a teeny tiny smiley face at the bottom of this page?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’m not very sentimental, so not something like my wedding ring!! Probably my laptop, because it’s my window to the world. (and I see no smiley face at the bottom of the page!!)

What book do you read again and again – a comfort book, if you will – and why?

There are so many. I love reading familiar books. All the Georgette Heyer novels, the Anne of Green Gable series, and The Flowering Thorn by Margery Sharp, are re-read every year. I’m reading The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer at the moment, for about the 15th time!!

What is your most guilty (secret or not so secret) pleasure?

Celebrity gossip. I despise myself for it, but I cannot stay away from!

Do you ever knit with non-Posh? If so, what’s your favourite non-Posh yarn? Anything you’re dying to try out?

Oh yes! Sometimes it feels like more of a treat to buy someone else’s yarn than to use my own. I don’t think I have a favourite, but I tend to buy a lot of Rowan yarn. I’m looking forward to my next project (Flyte), which is knitted in Rowan’s Felted Tweed. And I’m dying to try out our new chunky alpaca, but I don’t know if Tony will let me have enough for a sweater, which is what I really want to make in it!

When are at your most creative?

When I am relaxed and not trying too hard. I do a lot of designing in my head just before dropping off to sleep at night! 

Where is your happiest place?

Borders. The smell of the books and the coffee, ahhhhhhhhhh.

What is your favourite film?

Random Harvest. Or Something’s Gotta Give.

What is your favorite “comfort food”?

Buttery mashed potatoes.

Who has been the most influential person in your creative life?

I suppose Tony, because he has always believed in me, and encouraged me to go for it!

Being the style conscious one you are, if you had to choose just one outfit to wear for ever more, what would it be?

I’m tempted to say pyjamas! But let me at least pretend to be style conscious, lest I disillusion you. I think it would be a really good quality white vest, perfectly faded jeans, and red lippy.

Has my LYS contacted Cariad?

I think so, yes!

What is your very first memory?

Falling down a very long flight of stairs, and being surprised when nothing hurt at the bottom.

What is the best way to edge knitting, I’m a newbie who’s struggling!

Oh dear, I don’t know! Anyone else?

What are your favourite television programmes?

Gilmore Girls, Friends, House.

Crunchy or smooth (peanut butter that is)?

Crunchy. I tried the smooth recently, and really disliked it.

When you’re on a shopping spree for books (and let’s confine it to fiction), which section of the shop or genre or author will you look at first, and what draws you to pick up a book?

I very, very rarely read modern fiction. But I am drawn to vintage styled covers, such as the Persephone books. In bookshops (unless they are secondhand bookshops, like the wonderful Barter Books) I veer towards nonfiction – first the biographies and history section, then the crafts, then the foody books.

I have been chatting about my favourite teacher today…Who was yours?

Mr Stevens, my maths teacher. I had a crush on him!!

What are your weapons of choice? dpns or circs?


How did you get into yarn and dyeing and knitting in the first place?

I was really depressed one day, my beloved cat Snickers had gone missing, and I was living in a dingy little house, and the weather was appalling. So we took a trip to the city and in Borders I came across a book about knitting (It’s My Party and I’ll Knit If I Want To). I already knew how to knit, from when I was a little girl, so I got myself some yarn and needles, and just started knitting! My first attempts at dyeing was dyeing roving in a crockpot. It was beyond a disaster. I felted it, and it came out the most awful greenish purple. Being the kind of person who doesn’t like not to be able to do things perfectly right away, I resolved never to try it again. But Tony nagged me, cos I’d spent all this money on dyes, so I tried again. And again. And again. I must have been the most clueless dyer there ever was though, everything was completely guesswork.

Obviously you had no idea of Tony’s skills in the dyeing department when you met him, but what was that particular little spark that held your attention on that first meeting?

That’s a loooong time ago! He seemed like a really kind person, I liked that about him. And he made me laugh.

Are you regretting setting this competition now that you have so many questions to answer?

No, it’s fun!

Milk or dark – chocolate, of course – with or with out nuts?

Dark chocolate, without nuts, but with things like ginger or spiced orange or cherries in it.

What’s your favorite yarn base of all the ones that Posh uses in dyeing?  Why?

To dye it would have been to be Isabella, our silk dk. It does magical things to the dye, every colourway is just incredible. But as a yarn, I think Emily is my favourite. It’s so smooshy.

Is there any particular pattern that you would want to start a KAL for?

Excuse the blatant plug, but my stranded mittens, which are coming out in kit form later this year. And also, Flyte, which I’ll be starting soon, I’m trying to get a KAL going for that on the Posh Knitters Ravelry group.

Is there anything you’d like from Rhinebeck?

Some really great photos, so I can pretend I was actually there!!!

And our winner is……….. Anushka!! Email me your address, honey, and I’ll get your yarn in the mail!

Competition Time

Ok, it’s been a while since we had question and answer time, here on the blog, so let’s do it now. Ask me any question, and I’ll answer you in tomorrow’s blog!

ETA: Let’s make this a bit more fun. Everyone who asks a question will be entered into a draw to win a skein of our delicious new chunky alpaca yarn. And the question can be about anything, it doesn’t have to be about yarn!

Gym Bunny

How did I go from this….. to this….. to three Advanced Pilates classes a week (and wondering if I can fit in a fourth)???

I’m wearing sweat pants to work out in, instead of to lounge in!

WHO AM I??!??


Scrummy Sock Yarn

And my picks from the sock weight yarn:

Sophia 4ply Maelstrom (this week’s cover shot)

Sophia 4ply Pixie

Eva 4ply Flounce

Eva 4ply Dream

Lucia Cocoa Bean

The shop preview is now up. See you on Sunday!