The Muse Connection Volume 2: Beginnings

When Helen and I dreamed of an event where we brought like minded people together for some quality knitting time, treats and inspiration, I don't think either of us could really have known the amazing reaction and love that was shown towards it. The Muse Connection has flourished thanks to so many people wishing to attend, sharing their joy at meetings and joining in the knitalongs. 

Volume 2 goodie bags in all their glory

Volume 2 goodie bags in all their glory

Today I'm sat looking through the photos that our talented friend Tom Legge shot on the day of Volume 2. I couldn't be happier to be reliving the smiles, the excitement and general togetherness that I felt that afternoon. 

Making friends
Making friends

On the day we explored the theme of beginnings- new friendships and yarns, taste testing Signature Needles, new opportunities and projects. I would like to share some of the inspiration that I took away with me from our speakers Rachel Coopey and Lydia Gluck too. It's been resonating ever since and this is just the impact that I hoped these two talented women would bring to the event. They didn't disappoint. 

Lydia Gluck, co editor of Pom Pom Quarterly giving her talk at The Muse Connection

Lydia Gluck, co editor of Pom Pom Quarterly giving her talk at The Muse Connection

Lydia is the co editor of Pom Pom Quarterly and someone I've had the pleasure of watching her change the dream an idea of a magazine and grow it into a highly successful business with her friend Meghan. Their friendship has only become stronger and now they have a growing team around them of equally inspiring women. Lydia shared an insight into that journey and one clear message was that there are lots of different kinds of beginnings. Many beginnings are like a plaster we rip off and start whereas some, the kind Lydia described, are more slow burning. The change evolves, momentum builds and pieces fall into place. We learn so much during these kinds of beginnings and often new mini journeys cascade from them as we find new obstacles and skills we need to learn. Lydia admitted that while she still feels that she is at the beginning, she is now comfortable in that position. It really shows. 

Rachel Coopey giving her talk at The Muse Connection

Rachel Coopey giving her talk at The Muse Connection

The talk Rachel Coopey shared truly resonated for me. She talked about her love of a blank notebook but the fear of putting your mark on that very first, clean page. I too suffer from blank page paralysis where the fear of committing to the whole thing can be daunting. Rachel encouraged us to think of beginnings in multiples: cast on more projects, mark more pages and try things out. In making many beginnings a reality, it might be that we find the journey that we were meant to be on. I think I might have been the loudest applause in the room at this point. It really did speak to me!

Yarn squishing!
Needle tasting

It was bitter sweet. Both Helen and I are moving on to new projects and collaborations. Helen has collections to design and release and I have an Autumn that quite frankly excites and terrifies me in equal measure. Picking a date for Volume 3 has been hard so we've held off for now while things come together. 

If you want to see more photos from Volume 2 you can find them here

This Month I Wish I was Knitting.... the Muse Connection edition.

I can't believe that we are less than 2 weeks away from Volume 2 of the Muse Connection! In order to make sure everyone can join in the fun, Helen (Curious Handmade) and I have been hosting a KAL for a chance to win a goodie bag. (For ways to join in, see below)

The idea is to encourage new beginnings which is the theme for Volume 2. I've agonised for weeks over what to cast on because typically, I'm suffering from decision paralysis. Then this arrived and added a whole new set of dilemmas to the mix...

Anzula Squishy colours (from bottom left) Lipstick, Red Shoe, Charcoal, Herb, Country Green, Tan, Gravity and Mauve

Anzula Squishy colours (from bottom left) Lipstick, Red Shoe, Charcoal, Herb, Country Green, Tan, Gravity and Mauve

Time is ticking and I have to get something on the needles or will be the only one standing up, slightly shame faced, asking for some sort of decision intervention. 

"Hi, my name's Kate and I have so many creative ideas I can't get anything done" (hi Kate)

Now that I've split the sleeves of my sweater, a summer tee feels manageable and the latest edition of Pom Pom has some great summer options, including Talavera by Amanda B Collins. It's pretty and I love the way it's styled. I can actually see me wearing something lacy which is a new idea for me. 

Talavera by Amanda B Collins

Talavera by Amanda B Collins

I'm also really tempted to just be that knitter that plans ahead for Fall and cast on some stashbusting DK weight 'my-feet-get-super-cold' socks. I've been wanting Soonly socks by Rachel Coopey for sometime. Also, this would be a good palate cleanser as all my current projects have hit a midway point that feels endless so something quick and scrappy might be truly satisfying. 

Soonly by Rachel Coopey

Soonly by Rachel Coopey

Then there's this colour combination that's kind of speaking to me today. The base is Anzula Squishy, a super soft blend of Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon with a springy twist. Colours shown here are Gravity, Charcoal and Herb . I see more shawls (of course) but what to choose? What would you make?

3 colours of Anzula Squishy

The KAL guidelines

To celebrate the Muse Volume 2 theme of ‘beginnings’, cast on a new project today! The KAL will run until 30 June (so you still have plenty of time to join in the chatter and fun). Join in by posting a finished object that satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

  • Any pattern from Pom Pom Quarterly magazine or website (hint there are several free patterns )
  • Any of coopknits- Rachel Coopey’s designs
  • Any finished object knit in Anzula yarn

Each FO should have its own project and picture post in the FO thread; this means that multiple entries are allowed per person. Please tag your project Muse2KAL, and use social media #muse2KAL. The more the merrier!

Sending Out Some Cardboard Hugs!

Wow when you guys reach out, you reach out!

I'm in awe, thank you to every single person who took the time to let me know they were there after reading Monday's post. I haven't felt so empowered in a while. I'm so grateful for this amazing community. THANK YOU. 

It's been such an unexpected year in so many ways. When I started An Inspired 2015, I was so excited about what I would learn on the way and I hoped people would want to get involved too. Seeing handwritten letters pop up from our Love Letter Swap and so many bloggers rising to the challenge of Falling (back) in Love with their blog has been incredible. 

For the love of snail mail #aninspired2015

So today I'm celebrating by sending out my 'cardboard hugs'. I have new pen pals that need replies, some friends I just want to drop in and say hi to and some goodies to send because yarn in the mail is awesome right? Knowing that someone will find a little piece of happiness on their doorstep this week is great motivation. It feels a little like 'giving back' after the positive messages of support I received this week.  

Our exclusive Volume 1 card designed by  Tilly Flop  in response to the 'Just a Card' campaign

Our exclusive Volume 1 card designed by Tilly Flop in response to the 'Just a Card' campaign

If you're sending out mail this week will you do me a favour? Will you tag me on social media with a picture? I'd love to see some real mail and happy intentions. If you've tucked your Volume 1 cards somewhere for safe keeping, let's make this week the week we send a smile in the post! Oh and you can let me know if you've received anything too- I want to see those smiles because it makes me so genuinely happy that we're knitting this community together. 

Just a Card campaign

Also, don't forget that if you bought your card locally and supported a maker, tag it with #justacard too because that is a message I want to see loud and proud everywhere. If you missed the details of this global campaign with very local implications, please click here

Stay playful!

 

Introducing Special Guest Rachel Coopey

When we created The Muse Connection, Helen and I talked a lot about what those gatherings might look like. Inspiration ranked highly and we immediately started listing those people and members of the making community we found inspirational. Who would we love to spend an afternoon with? We thought hard about what we wanted people to enjoy at each Volume and you know what we decided?

What if every knit night you went to felt like Ravelry came to life?

No really. That's how the conversation went. What is it that keeps us logging in to Ravelry? For us it's the constant buzz of chatter, the sharing of ideas and inspiration and getting to hear from the people we admire. So the conversation evolved and we started thinking about what we would love to do while eating cake and knitting. The answer was obvious; chat to those creators we've followed for years online and hear a little insight into what they do best: create. 

Rachel Coopey

So for the Muse Volume 2 we are so proud and excited to announce that Rachel Coopey will be joining us and sharing her musings on 'Beginnings'. Rachel will be part of the afternoon, chatting with guests and sharing special insights into some of her inspiration and amazing knit knowledge with a talk. 

Otis Socks by Rachel Coopey (click image for more details)

Otis Socks by Rachel Coopey (click image for more details)

We love Rachel's texture rich aesthetic and her flair for colour. She attended Volume 1 and instantly fell in love with the mismatched tea sets and we knew it was meant to be! 

Eppelby by Rachel Coopey (click on image for more information)

Eppelby by Rachel Coopey (click on image for more information)

Rachel won't be solo however. Tune into Helen's podcast this Friday to hear who else we're bringing to The Muse Connection Volume 2.!

Aroha by Rachel Coopey (click on image for information)

Aroha by Rachel Coopey (click on image for information)

 

And if you're not able to attend this time, please don't worry! We've got plenty to share with you all over the coming months to help you feel a part of The Muse Connection and are busy putting together Volume 3. In the meantime, have you discovered the Pinterest Boards for Muse Volume 1 and Volume 2? We're keeping the inspiration going for all Muse fans!

In the meantime, the winner of the Volume 1 goodie bag is... Emma with the comment:

How about Knitsonik! That would be fun xx

Please get in contact Emma and I'll send you the goodies. Thanks to everyone who entered and gave Helen and I so much inspiration for future guests. 

The Muse Connection Volume 1: GIVEAWAY!

Sad you missed out on the first ever Muse Connection? Don't be! Helen and I have two goodie bags left over that we want you to have! 

The Muse Connection Volume 1 goodie bag

Featured in this bag:

One skein of Terra via our sponsor The Fibre Company

An exclusive Tilly Flop Design to support the Just  a Card campaign

The Muse Connection postcard

A Curious Handmade pattern

A Playful Day buttons

 

All you have to do to win is leave a comment below telling me who you would love to see as a speaker at a future Muse Connection sessions. Go wild, we'd love to hear your ideas!

Leave your comments by Tuesday 24th March 2015 and keep an eye on the blog for a winner announcement. You can enter both mine and Helen's giveaway to double your chances. 

 

SAVE THE DATE

Volume 2 tickets go on sale THIS SATURDAY for The Muse Connection Volume 2 and we'd love to see you there. For more details, please check the event page here

 

Good luck!