Sian was very excited to be invited to attend Hay Festival 2020 for the first time as a vendor, presenting some of the best of Welsh knitwear design to a national and international audience. Alas, just as plans for this landmark event were starting to get into full swing, preparations were brought to an abrupt halt.
However, where there is a will there is often a way and sometimes what seems like a lost opportunity is a new one in disguise. Hay have responded to the challenges posed by 2020 brilliantly and with generosity, creating Hay Festival Digital, a free programme of online events with amazing authors running from 22nd – 31st May. This free informative and inspiring programme will open up the festival to so many people, including those who would not have been able to attend in person.
Sian will be marking the week of 25th – 29th May by hosting a series of “Hay-Day” voucher give-aways. The vouchers offer a 50% discount on one featured product each day – exclusively to newsletter subscribers. Each morning, you will receive an e-mail spotlighting a product that would have been available for sale at Hay this year and offering the chance to be entered for a 50% discount voucher for that item. There will be an exciting range of diverse designs – many of which are not currently on the website – available to purchase for a very special price during the week.
Remember, these vouchers are only for newsletter subscribers so if you know someone who would enjoy taking part in this week-long event, do encourage them to sign up via the website.
Your Fabulous Fabric Bundle Creations
Sian’s unique fabric bundle packs have been hugely popular over the past few months and we have been eager to see what you would make with them. The results of your creativity have started to come through and we have not been disappointed! From soft toys to pencils cases, cushions to Japanese rice bags (pattern here), your creativity and skills have been inspirational and exciting to see.
Fabric bundles are still available in the shop.
Test Knitters Wanted!
The new machine knitting patterns for Sian’s beautiful new glove and wrist warmer designs are currently being written, proofed, and perfected for all of you who would like to create your own beautiful hand-cosies. They will be released in a few short months, just in time for you to start on your Christmas present knitting list or to get your own scrumptious hand warmers ready for the first autumn chill.
Sian is looking for some enthusiastic test knitters to put the patterns through their paces before the official pattern launch. If you would like to be part of this exciting project, and receive a free copy of the pattern and some half-price yarn to make your pair of gloves or wrist warmers, check the details below regarding the technical details and then use the contact form to get in touch to arrange your participation.
Further information for potential test knitters:
The glove pattern is a challenging project for experienced machine knitters. To test knit this pattern you should be confident using the holding cam and be comfortable putting stitches onto waste yarn/ravel cord and rehanging them. The ability to use a ribber to knit 1:1 rib is also essential for the pattern as written; however, you could adapt the pattern and knit a simple folded hem as an alternative.
The wrist warmers can be undertaken by machine knitters with a knowledge of basic techniques looking for a new challenge. An understanding of the holding cam and the ribber is of benefit though not essential – additional information will be provided in the appendix to help get you started with these techniques.
Please note that in order to take part and receive your materials as a test knitter you will need to commit to completing the project within a given time frame and be happy to provide feedback on the pattern regarding ease of use, etc., as well as providing photographs of your project which may be used for promotional purposes. The details of these requirements will be discussed further with Sian before you start. Thank you so much for your interest.
Go Wild With Garlic Pesto!
Spring marks the beginning of the new foraging year for those with a little bit of knowledge and a keen eye. The fresh greens of wild garlic and even nettles (see next month’s newsletter!) have provided welcome colour, flavour, and vital nutrition during the “hungry gap” for generations. Finding, foraging, and feasting on these free gifts from nature is a great way of connecting with the landscape around you as you venture out for exercise, as well as pepping up your store cupboard ingredients before you make your way back to the supermarket.
If you are new to adding foraged ingredients to your diet, Sian’s recipe for wild garlic pesto is a great way to start. But don’t wait too long! The season for wild garlic started early with the warm spring this year and it won’t be at its best for long…
“Since lockdown Ava and I have been venturing out every morning on our walk towards Wisemans Bridge and those who know the area will understand what I mean by the abundance of Wild Garlic that grows on the old tramway. You can smell it in the air before you see the mass of white flowers and, with the season almost at an end, now is the perfect opportunity to forage this amazing plant.
If you would like to have a go at the Wild Garlic Pesto below it is super easy with minimal fuss and ingredients … just the kind of recipe that I like to go for!
All you need to do is collect a good two handfuls of wild garlic leaves, making sure that you pick them away from the roads and polluted areas. Wash them thoroughly and then you are ready to go.
• Two handfuls of the wild garlic leaves,
• 2 tablespoons of nuts
• 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• a good pinch of salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until combined, scraping down the sides in-between mixing to make sure everything is combined well. Add the mixture to a sterilised jar and top with a layer of olive oil. Keep in the fridge to enjoy on toast with tomatoes, with pasta, on pizzas, as a topping to soup…. it’s just so good you will want to eat it with everything!!
If you want to enjoy this over time it can be frozen in ice-cube trays which means you can pull out just the amount you need when you want it.
I have made this using various nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds all work great, even a mixture of whatever I have available. You can also roast the seeds and once cooled add to the blender for a slight variation. Lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon is a great addition to the recipe above which I love and highly recommend. Last but not least, you can substitute the nutritional yeast easily for grated parmesan.
Love this recipe? Please do let us know how you get on and what you think of it…… xx”