Filigree is launched today!

I’m very excited to announce that my third self published book ‘Filigree’ is now available to buy online from my website.


There is a slideshow of the designs to view on my website, so that you can look at the collection before you decide to buy it. Payment is via PayPal, for UK orders please click on the ‘UK P&P’ button, for EU orders please click on the ‘EU P&P’ and for the US and other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan etc, please click on the ‘US & REST OF THE WORLD P &P’. Don’t forget to put a message on your order if you wish me to sign your copy.

I’m actually going on holiday next week to Iceland! So all book orders received before 11am on Monday will be despatched by end of the day on Monday. Orders received after 11am on Monday will be despatched on Monday 26th January. 



If you decide to buy ‘Filigree’ then I really hope that you are happy with it when you receive it. I’m thrilled with this collection and I hope you will be too…enjoy!











Next Thursday sees the launch of my third independent book ‘Filigree‘. 


My third independent book

I’m so pleased with this collection – the designs, photography and the layout and I hope you will like it too. ‘Filigree’ is a collection of feminine crochet designs using a new Rowan yarn called ‘Summerlite’. This beautifully soft, 4 ply Egyptian cotton yarn is great to crochet and to knit with and unlike other cotton yarns gives a neat and even appearance. Some of the 10 designs are a combination of crochet and knit. In my last two books ‘Windswept‘ and ‘Lakeland‘, I added crochet trims to the knitted designs, so I couldn’t design a crochet collection without knit in it! I’ve tried to create a collection that shows the true beauty of this wonderful craft as well as creating wearable and fashionable pieces. Hence the reason for just using two colours – Pure White and Washed Linen (which is actually a flattering pale grey). These two light colours show the beauty of the stitches as well as being popular colours for summer. I suggest that you wear the designs with a white, pale grey or skin coloured camisole underneath. Georgia is wearing a skin coloured bra in each photograph as I needed the stitches to show really well, but of course if you feel brave….! Regarding the layout in the book, each of the designs is laid out against a background of flowers, which I think works really well, but of course you will be the judge of that!

My ‘Filigree’ book will be available to buy from my website from Thursday 15th January and it will also be available from Rowan stockists soon. Below are all the designs within the book with a few comments about each design. …..hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think.

Hollyhock layout


Hollyhock is the first design in the book and as you can see is a combination of knit and crochet. The crochet panel (which is on the front and back) is worked using two ends of yarn together. Once the panel is completed, the knit sections are worked (in one end) by picking up along the side edges of the panels. The pretty picot edging is then added to the bottom, armholes and neck.



Lupin is one of my favourites and is so flattering to wear. Georgia is having this design in return for her modelling… it’s being made at the moment! It is worked around horizontal panels of square motifs and then the crochet stripes are worked either side of these. I must add at this point that the majority of the designs in the collection are achievable by a crocheter with average ability. Most of the stitches used are the basic ones – chains, double crochet and variations on trebles.





Aster is the next design and is on the front cover. This is a fashionable cropped and boxy top in a ‘bows and boxes’ stitch. The edging is worked separately and can be stitched on or crocheted on during finishing.



Daisy is a design which is worked in one piece as it is crocheted in the round. I actually crocheted the sample shown in the book and I really enjoyed making it. You probably appreciate that I don’t have time to make all the garments in my collections. When I design, I knit or crochet a large swatch and then the pattern is written from this. I then have a wonderful team of talented knitters and crocheters who make the majority of the designs, however I always like to finish each one – adding trims and edgings etc, so if I need to change anything I can do it then. I am thinking of re-making Daisy in Rowan Felted Tweed as a multi colour stripe and with long sleeves….I’ll let you know how it turns out!



DAISY_076 cover

Daisy close up

Buttercup is another of my favourites…it’s a very pretty classic cardigan. The majority of the design is knit and then the crochet panels are made up of crochet squares (each joined together on the last round). The pretty picot edging is then added afterwards and the design is finished off with small mother of pearl buttons.



Anemone is another favourite…it’s a very wearable and fashionable top with a knit body and crochet sleeves. The stitch used in the sleeves is a simple square trellis and the pretty picot edging is added during the finishing.



Peony is a beautiful long shrug, perfect for the summer wedding or party. It’s probably the most challenging design to do in the collection. It’s made up of two type of triangular shaped motifs which are joined together as each last round is completed. The back section and the sleeves are worked separately. Although it is the most difficult one to crochet, it is fun to do and if you are like me, I really enjoy joining motifs together as you make each one!




Peony back view

Rose is another favourite! Although it looks complicated, it’s actually fairly easy to do as it’s just one simple square motif with each motif being joined to the next on the last round. It has a lovely turn back boat neck, which as you can see is very flattering.





 Carnation is a jacket made up of crochet squares for the body and knitted rib for the sleeves, welts and collar. The squares are worked separately and then joined all together with treble stitches once all the squares have been worked. One single mother of pearl button is added at the neck edge to finish the design.



Tulip is the last design in the collection and is a combination of a cable lace stitch knitted to form the main body section with an unusual welt section made up of double crochet strips. The resulting effect (hopefully you will agree) is very flattering, making it a very wearable summer top.



 So that’s it….hope you like the collection and I would love to hear what you think. I will post again next week when the book is available to order on my website.

I want to add at this point that the patterns for each design are written out. I know that some of you prefer to work crochet from charts (I actually do) but I haven’t been able to sort out how I can produce the crochet charts yet….but I’m on to it!

The year that was…

As 2014 has drawn to a close and we’re at the start of 2015, I wanted to reflect on my year and what a year it’s been!


2014 started off quite quiet and as I was still Rowan’s head designer I spent most of the month researching trends for Magazine 57 which is just about to be launched in a few weeks time. We also finalised the designs for the home-ware feature in Magazine 56 and I excitedly saw my first independent book ‘Windswept’ go to print! As I was planning to run the Great North Run for the Alzheimer’s Society later in the year, I started my training!

Layout 1

My first independent book.


Mag 57 Cover-2

The new Rowan Magazine out on the 15th January


February again was mostly taken up with Rowan work…art directing the ‘Colourful Home’ shoot for Magazine 56, sending the design brief out to freelance designers for Magazine 57 and towards the end of the month I briefed the 2nd year students of the BA Fashion Knitwear and Knitted Textiles course on the Wool Week project I was going to teach at Nottingham Trent University. February also saw me design for my second independent book ‘Lakeland’ which I was planning to photograph at the end of April.

Kendall & Justine 3

Two of the Wool Week designs from the students of Nottingham Trent University. They were on display at the Wool Interiors exhibition at Southwark Cathedral during Wool Week in October.


‘Windswept’ was launched this month and I was so happy with the response I got, lots of amazing comments and my stock of copies sold out really quickly! The rest of the month was spent designing for Rowan Magazine 57 and teaching at Nottingham Trent University. I also planned my ‘Lakeland’ photography shoot, arranging to photograph at Shacklabank Farm in the Lake District… the home of the lovely Shepherdess, Alison O’Neill.

Some of the designs from Windswept…


Sage Tunic


Thyme Wrap-pic1-056

Thyme Wrap





April was a really busy month for me, finishing designs for Rowan and for a Rowan online collection in the Pure Wool Worsted yarn. The rest of the month was taken up with planning the ‘Lakeland’ shoot and preparing for my first workshop at the Watermill in Tuscany! I held my colour workshop at the village hall in Hoby, which went down really well but on Wednesday 30th in the early hours, I suffered a heart attack!


Shacklabank Farm, the location for Lakeland


It wasn’t until the first weekend in May that I started to become ill and suffered, what turned out to be several angina attacks and one more suspected heart attack. I went into the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester on Sunday 4th May and had a stent fitted on Thursday 8th May after discovering that I had a narrowing in my right coronary artery apparently caused by my genetic makeup. A massive thank you to the staff at Glenfield, I had fantastic care.

My life changed this month! A lot of my planned work had to be cancelled, including my first workshop in Tuscany (thankfully Nancy Merchant stepped in for me) and all my work with Rowan. I came out of hospital feeling rather delicate and weak but slowly started to recover (once I had gotten used to the drugs!) I received so many well wishes which helped me to come to terms with what had happened to me and to accept how lucky I had been! Thankfully my ‘Lakeland’ book was more or less put to bed and I only a few things to do before it could go to print, it was launched at the end of May.

Lakeland cover

My second independent book

Some designs from Lakeland…













…saw me starting to do a little work for Rowan again. I researched the trends for next autumn winter and wrote the design brief for Magazine 58. Lisa Richardson and Sarah Hatton kindly stepped in for me and art directed and styled the two location stories for Magazine 57. However I did manage to art direct and style the Essentials collection at the end of June, maybe a little too soon in hindsight, as I was very tired a lot of the time. On a personal note, we managed to get away for a weekend to the Goodwood Festival of Speed towards the end of the month, which was lovely as I previously had to cancel a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show in London, which I was really looking forward to.


Philomena, one of my designs from the Rowan Mag 57 Essentials collection


This was another designing month…for Rowan Magazine 58. I also held my first workshop week at the Watermill in Tuscany. Mark came with me for moral support and it was great. The Watermill at Posara in Tuscany, Bill and Lois, and all the ladies,  were simply fabulous. I’m already looking forward to holding two more workshops there this year in May and September. Bill has already told me that the May workshop is already full and there is only one place left on the September one! This is great news, despite the fact that I’ve not even designed the projects yet!


The Watermill


…was my 50th birthday month and we had a week’s holiday in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. It was great just to be able to walk in such breathtaking landscape and enjoy the company of good friends and my dogs! Prior to this, all my family came to visit, including my brother, his wife and daughter from the US and a great time was had by all. The Campaign for Wool commissioned me to design two cushions for Wool Week and a throw for their forthcoming exhibition in London. This commission resulted in the popular Herdwick and Bluefaced Leicester sheep cushions and the ‘Sage Fairisle Throw’.

Herdwick sheep cushion 2

The Herdwick Sheep cushion


I started my workshops back up this month with the popular Mosaic Lap Rug. It was great to return to more or less normal life again! I also decided to alter how I work with Rowan. With mutual agreement we decided that I would no longer be head designer and that I would only be contracted to do some designing and art direct and style a couple of shoots for them each season. It was a big decision as it meant a sizeable cut in my income but it’s a decision that I’ve not regretted. I thought I would miss doing the job but I’m now so much happier!! I’m a lot less stressed and I am really enjoying growing my own business. I also started work on my third independent book, ‘Filigree’ which is out later this month.


The Mosaic Lap Rug


October saw me holding mostly workshops…free ones at the Wool Interiors Exhibition at Southwark Cathedral for Wool Week and my own weekend workshop where I welcomed a delightful group of ladies from Chicago in the US. It was great to see my ‘Sage Throw’ exhibited at the Cathedral and I received so many positive comments about it and what I was doing…a big boost to my confidence!

Sage throw 8 LR

Sage Throw


November saw my ‘Filigree’ photography shoot (I will be writing a post about the book very soon)…I must confess that I’m so pleased with this book! I also held my very popular crochet cowl workshop. I’ve had a lot of enquiries about this design, so I’ve decided to offer it as a kit later this year. I also art directed and styled three photography shoots for Rowan…two for Magazine 58 (one on location at Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire and the other was a studio ‘Essentials’ shoot) and the third shoot was for an accessory book featuring a Rowan new yarn.


Filigree – my third independent book, available from the 15th January


Crochet Cowl 1

My crochet cowl



Beacon Hill Country Park, the location for ‘Tranquil’, one of the collections for Rowan Mag 58


After my last workshop (Christmas Ideas) at the beginning of the month I decided to take a bit of time off from my work…and what did I do, decorated our dining room of course! Well it’s finished and the curtains are made and we both love it. It’s more of a library than a dining room really as all our books are in here. It’s also a music room as my much awaited piano has finally been delivered. This beautiful antique walnut piano was my 50th birthday present from Mark, and I love it…I now only need to learn how to play it!

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The hot water bottle cover from the Christmas Ideas workshop

Well as the new year starts I plan to be back working from Monday, I’ve got lots of designing to do….for a new exciting idea I’m planning for this year (soon to be announced) and for my fourth book, which will be a vintage children’s book called ‘Once Upon a Time. I’ve also got to design the projects for my various workshops so that I can release the online bookings for these and organise and plan my new online shop which will be live in the spring.

I want to thank you all for your support this year and I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope that you will enjoy reading about my forthcoming knitting adventures!

Norah and Nelly

Happy 2015 from me, Norah and Nelly!


A woodland photography shoot

Sorry that you’ve not heard from me for a few weeks….I’ve been busy photographing and laying out my third book…I’ll give you a sneaky preview shortly! I’m so excited about my new collection, it’s all crochet (with a bit of knit!), very feminine, beautiful and summery!

I’ve also been busy art directing a couple of photography shoots for Rowan, so I thought I would give you a taster of the shoot…


The ethereal Beacon Hill Country Park

I decided to shoot one of the collections for Rowan Mag 58 at the stunning Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. Some of you may know that I’m lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country, in rural Leicestershire. This county is a fabulous secret, not many people know about the wonderful rolling farmland and pretty villages, typical of the English countryside. We also have the most spectacular woodland and Beacon Hill Country Park is a fine example.

Beacon Hill Country Park is a part of the Charnwood Forest in the North West of Leicestershire. The park has over 335 acres of mixed woodland, grassland, wild flower meadows as well as adjoining farmland. Beacon Hill is the second highest point in the county, once the site of a Bronze Age fort and affords great views of the surrounding countryside. It is also the site of one of the many beacons across the country that are lit at special occasions such as the Queen’s jubilee.

Here are a few photographs I took on the shoot…I just love the fairytale fungi that was prevalent everywhere!


Amazing skies


Not sure what this fungus is?


A fairytale woodland…


Fly Agaric


Peter and Liam hard at work!

On the second day of the shoot, Mark (my husband) brought our dogs, Norah and Nelly, to the woods. They were models for the day and you’ll be able to see them in the magazine when it’s published! Here’s a photo of them that Liam took…looking very proud with their day’s work!

Norah and Nelly

Nelly and Norah…my lovely girls!


My grandad

To commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI and to remember the 96th anniversary of the end of the war, I thought I would tell you about my grandfather, Ellis Greenhalgh. 

Grandad was like many others, an ordinary man who did his duty and fought in WWI, but to myself and my family he was a hero. Unfortunately I never really knew him as he died when I was a little girl and I only have a few fond memories of him. 

Ellis joined the 9th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment when war broke out in 1914. A year later he managed to get 72 hours leave to marry my grandmother, Hannah on the 15th May 1915.

Grandma & grandad

Grandad and grandma on their engagement

Ellis served as an acting Quartermaster Sergeant in the 25th Division. He wrote many postcards and letters to my grandmother during the war but never described the horrors of what he must have experienced. In March 1918, his division was wiped out but he was lucky and escaped with only a light wound. In April it was wiped out again at Armentiers but was re-formed again. In May it was wiped out again at the Battle of the Marne but this time Ellis was shot through the jaw. After that the division was disbanded and Ellis and a few other survivors were transferred to the 1st Fifth Loyals. My grandad was demobbed in 1919 and went back to his job as a spinner at one of the many cotton mills in Bolton, he retired when he was 70!

Grandad 1

I can’t begin to imagine what he witnessed during the war and he never spoke of what he saw. He was a very brave man, one amongst the many who I thank for the freedom and relative safety we all now enjoy in our everyday lives.

Thank you Grandad, God bless and we’ll never forget.









My new beaded design in Vogue Knitting

Today I was sent the images for my lovely beaded sweater design featured in the new issue of Vogue Knitting – Holiday 2014. I’m rather pleased with this design and how it has turned out as I actually never saw it when it was finished! I was in Tuscany at the time holding a workshop week at the beautiful Watermill in Posara (you can read about this in my earlier blog post about the trip), so my knitter (the wonderful Karen Evans) had to send it direct to Vogue Knitting for me. As you can see she did a super job.


Beaded scoop neck tee – not my description!

The design is knitted using Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Anchor Artiste Metallic. The beads (from Debbie Abrahams Beads) are used in the chest panel on the front and back. 


The main stitch used in the design is a simple chevron stripe using 3 colours – Wicked 599 and Steel 664 in Kidsilk Haze and Silver 301 in the Anchor Artiste Metallic.


I’m afraid I’m not sure where you can buy Vogue Knitting in the UK but hopefully we will see it on the shelves in the main magazine shops soon.

Christmas ideas workshop

I’ve just made my ‘Christmas Ideas’ workshop on Saturday 29th November available to book online via my website, so I thought I would show you more images of the projects…hope you like them!

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Christmas Hot Water Bottle Cover

The main project is this Scandinavian inspired fairisle hot water bottle cover. The aim of the workshop is to learn or improve your skills in fairisle knitting. I will be teaching the normal fairisle method, holding both colours in the right hand (or left, for those of you that are left handed) and the two handed method, where you hold the main colour in one hand and the pattern colour in the other. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in Clay and Peony.

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The drawstring is actually a length of double crochet, decorated with a simple crochet flower motif. If you prefer you could knit i-cord for the drawstring and add pom poms instead of the crochet motif as decoration.

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With the yarn left over from the hot water bottle cover, you can make these great fingerless mittens…..

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Christmas Mittens

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I love the little ladies!

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And with the yarn left over from these, you can make this fab Christmas bauble….

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Christmas Bauble

The bauble has a crochet snowflake motif as decoration and a crochet loop for hanging.

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Hope to see some of you at the workshop,  if you wish to book a place then please go to my website.



Wool Interiors exhibition review

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I was lucky to be invited to spend some time at the Wool Interiors exhibition at Southwark Cathedral. This fabulous exhibition was a celebration of wool to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the start of the Campaign for Wool.

Pink sheep

A ‘sheepy’ welcome to the exhibition


The walk down to the exhibition

Southwark cathedral

A view of Southwark Cathedral

The exhibition was the showcase for some 50 beautiful wool items for interiors and lifestyle, bringing together products from the textile industry and retail brands. The collection ranged from fabrics, furnishings, flooring and art from the High Street, Designer, Bespoke and Commercial sectors including my Sage Throw! The Wool Collection also hosted a small and exciting Wool Fringe featuring art, innovation and student led work that showed the endless versatility and potential of wool. This part of the exhibition featured two designs from two of my students from Nottingham Trent University who completed my 3D knitting project I did with them in February and March this year….another post will follow shortly showing you the results of this exciting project.

sage throw

My ‘Sage Throw’ – pattern is available on my website. In the background are some fun ‘Seating Balls’ by Mary Goodman

Here are some of my favourite pieces on show…

ptolemy mann with rug maker gelim sofa

Ptolemy Mann’s ‘Gelim’ rug and sofa in collaboration with Rug Maker

Naomi Paul lampshades

Naomi Paul crochet lampshades

Folklore fabric kit kemp for Christopher Farr cloth

Kit Kemp’s ‘Folkloric’ fabric for Christopher Farr

Heals Orwell Wing chair

‘Orwell Wing Chair’ by Heals

Anthropolie rose de borman zoology oval rug

Rose de Borman ‘Zoology Oval Rug’ for Anthropologie – I love this!

christopher farr el ultimo grito rug

The wonderful ‘El Ultimo Grito’ Rug by Christopher Farr

asira vase by aurelie tu at ligne roset

The felted ‘Asira Vase’ by Aurelie tu et Ligne Roset

Margo Selby Fairisle Runner

Margo Selby’s amazing ‘Fairisle Runner’ – I want this as well!

pentreath & hall fine cell work cushions

‘Tumbling Blocks’ woven cushion by Pentreath & Hall

Solva Mill Waffle cushion

‘Waffle Cushion’ by Solva Mill

the rug company alexander mcqueen poppy night aubosson wallpaper

The amazing ‘Poppy Night Wallhanging’ by Alexander McQueen in collaboration with The Rug Company

SCP this way that way beanbag

‘This Way That Way Beanbag’ by SCP

Wallace Sewell LU150 fabric

‘LC150′ fabric by Wallace Sewell, designed to celebrate 150 years of the London Underground

Maud designs tuft limited edition floor cushions

Floor cushion by Maud Designs

The Wool Fringe part of the exhibition showcased the following fabulous work…

Wall hanging by Caty Palmer 2

Caty Palmer’s wall hanging

Wall hanging by Caty Palmer

A close up of Caty’s wonderful design

Kendall & Justine 3

Kendall Baker’s stool and Justine Thornton’s cushion from Nottingham Trent University

 Some fun items…

Millamia milly the sheep knit kit

‘Milly the Sheep’ knit kit by MillaMia

the wool room small sheep stool

‘Sheep’ stool by The Wool Room – I love his eyes!

If you had chance to visit this fantastic exhibition then I really do hope you enjoyed it and that it has inspired you to include items of wool in your own home!









Free workshop – Christmas Mittens

I’ve just finished the project for the free workshop I’m holding at the Wool Interiors exhibition at Southwark Cathedral tomorrow at 10am. If you’re in London, come along and learn how to knit fairisle or if you’re a more experienced knitter, learn how to knit two stranded fairisle. To book a place email: The mittens are knitted in my favourite Rowan yarn – Felted Tweed and all the yarn and needles will be provided…..hope to see you there.

Christmas Mittens LR 1

Christmas Mittens finished!


Christmas Mittens LR 2


Christmas Mittens LR 3

If this workshop is full then I’m also holding a free fun workshop on 3D knitting on Wednesday at 10am also at the exhibition. Using Rowan Cocoon, have a go at folded fabric and knots and twists! Again, all Rowan yarn and needles are provided. Both workshops finish around 12.30 – 1pm.















Sage Throw on exhibition.

As mentioned in my last post, I was very flattered to be invited by the Campaign for Wool to design and make a hand knitted throw inspired by ‘Sage’ from my Windswept book. The finished design will be exhibited at the Wool Interiors exhibition at Southwark Cathedral from 5th Oct to 12th Oct.  The pattern is now available to download from the pattern section of my website and shortly I will be offering this throw as made to order via my website…so if you don’t feel like knitting it yourself, we can make it for you!


Sage from Windswept

The throw has turned out even better than I thought and I’m so grateful to one of my wonderful knitters, Gwynneth Allen, for knitting it so quickly and so well.

Sage throw 8 LR

The finished throw

The fairisle design is the same as the Sage tunic except for the snowflake section. I had to change this slightly so that the whole design can be knitted by repeating one pattern.

Sage throw 1 LR

Pattern detail

The borders are the same striped design as on the original tunic. The bottom welt is worked at the start and the top welt at the end. The two sides borders can be worked either by picking up stitches along the side edges or knitted separately and stitched neatly in place with mattress stitch.

Sage Throw 3 LR

Close up of the border

Here are some more images of this lovely throw. I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Sage throw 5 LR

Sage throw 6 LR

Sage throw 11 LR

The throw is large enough to cover a double bed!

Sage throw 10 LR

Sage throw 9 LR

Sage throw 12 LR

Sage throw 13 LR

I’ll be posting about the exhibition next week. If you are in London please come along and see the show as I’m sure it will be well worth while going. I’m actually doing two workshops in the mornings of Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th Oct, one on fairisle knitting and the other on 3D Knitting…maybe I’ll see you there.

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