Thank you for visiting my blog. If you have a question about a pattern or any other query, please e-mail me on I'm not able to answer patterns questions via blog comments.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why I'm passionate about essential oils!

If you've been reading my blog recently or you follow me on social media, you may have noticed I've become obsessed with essential oils. When I started using essential oils last summer, I hoped the oils would help me sleep better and give me more energy and motivation. 

I started off with just a couple of oils and quickly noticed how potent the were so I ordered more and gradually started using them for more and more health issues.

I suffer from chronic pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back as well as an auto-immune underactive thyroid condition and chronic vitamin D deficiency and since August I've struggled with a painful, sore and stiff knee. 

I was taking a lot of painkillers including Co-codamol and Tramadol which are two drugs that doctors here in the UK are trying to get patients off. I've had several doctors ask me to cut back on pain killers in the last two years. I was taking the maximum eight per day of each. If I woke up in pain in the night and couldn't get back to sleep I'd take 1-2 more of each. So I was frequently over-dosing. Every time I tried to cut down I'd go back to full dose after a few days.

I started using some essential oils for the neck/shoulder pain. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about which oils I was using in my pain blend. Recently I've played around with some other oils. My most recent roller blend is 20 drops Deep Blue, 20 drops Aromatouch, 20 drops Peppermint and 20 drops Wintergreen. I mixed these oils with fractionated coconut oil in a 10ml roller bottle. It works just as well as my original pain blend. 

Last September I started taking the Life Long Vitality (LLV) supplements. Since then I've added Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex and in the last week I've added DDR Prime Cellular Complex. 

Long Life Vitality - LLV - supports the following:
  • General wellness and vitality
  • Antioxidant and DNA protection
  • Energy metabolism
  • Bone health
  • Immune function
  • Stress management
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Healthy hair, skin, and nails
  • Eye, brain, nervous system
  • Liver function and digestive health
  • Lung and respiratory health
  • Gentle on stomach
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free
  • There is a Vegan version

Many chronic pain sufferers say that LLV really helps to manage their pain, helps them sleep better and give them more energy. And yes I'm sleeping better, I've got a lot more energy, I recover from busy days like when I've taught knitting workshops and been travelling a lot quicker.

In November I ran out of LLV and took half dose for a week then didn't take it at all for two weeks. I noticed a big difference. I was in more pain after teaching a knitting workshop and it took me longer to recover. I didn't sleep as well and I had less energy. After starting to take the LLV supplements again, I felt much better. 

I've had a busy few days with a knitting workshop last Saturday, driving Emily back to Cardiff on Sunday (Simon did most of the driving) which was an all day trip, working all day on Monday and yesterday I was teaching a knitting workshop again. At lunchtime  yesterday my knee suddenly got very painful especially when I was walking. I drove halfway home, picked Simon up from work and then we had to do an hour de-tour due to a serious accident. It took us two hours to get home. 

I was really tired, my neck and shoulders were hurting, I had a headache and my knee was really painful. I did a bit of knitting before having an early night. I applied my pain blend and Deep Blue Rub to my neck, shoulders and knee before I went to bed. I put a couple of drops of Serenity (restful blend which is good for sleep) and Cedarwood on my pillow and applied my sleep blend to the bottoms of my feet which I do every night.

I slept like a log till 4am and then woke up with a really sore shoulder (think I'd slept too long on that side), painful knee and sore neck. I applied my pain blend to my neck and knee and tried to get back to sleep. I drifted off for a bit till my alarm went off at 6am. 

As soon as I got downstairs I put Peppermint, Wild Orange and Citrus Bliss in the diffuser to wake me up. After knitting for a while I had my breakfast shake and did my 20 minute cycle workout, showered and got ready for work. I've had a busy day working in the office and taking breaks to knit and at 3pm I just realised how much less pain I'm in and how much energy I have had today. I'm not as tired as I thought I'd be. I usually start to feel tired mid-afternoon. 

It's all down to the essential oils and the supplements I use. They really do make a difference, give me more energy and help me to recover more quickly when I have a bad day. I still get days when I'm in pain and have no energy and nights when I sleep badly but I recover quicker from those days.

I decided to become a DoTerra Wellness Advocate because these oils have changed my life and I want you to know how amazing these oils and other DoTerra products are and that they can help you with your health issues.

You may not have chronic pain or other chronic health conditions but I bet your kids pick up one bug after the other, or you catch colds and other illnesses. Perhaps you suffer from digestive or respiratory issues. Essential oils can help you but you need to use quality oils.

Many over the counter oils, even those labelled as pure, may not be pure. They can have as little as 30% essential oil and added pesticides, contaminants and fillers. Even if they are 100% pure, what's the quality like? Are the plants grown in conditions where they produce the highest quality oils? Do they undergo thorough testing including third party testing? How do you even know what kind of testing they go through?

Do the farmers get paid properly? Or are the oils sold to a middle man who then sell them on to the essential oil companies for a massive profit while the farmers struggle to survive? 

DoTerra guarantees the purity and quality of their oils. The oils undergo thorough testing including third party and you can check the testing results (look at the batch number underneath the bottle, go to Source To You and type in the number to see the test results for that batch).

DoTerra invented Co-Impact Sourcing to ensure that the farmers got paid well. They work with farmers and growers to create co-ops and in poorer countries they work with communities to provide health care and schools.

They teach the farmers and growers how to grow the plants to achieve the highest quality oils. Plants are grown in their native countries. If there's a danger of a plant becoming extinct or if they cannot guarantee the supply of high quality oils then they stop producing that oil. Recently DoTerra stopped selling White Fir for this reason. Fortunately they got an even better oil, Siberian Fir.

This is why I'm so passionate about DoTerra. To get the best prices you need to sign up for a wholesale membership. You pay a small membership fee (which is included in the enrollment kits) and get 25% off retail price for a year. If you opt to order via the Loyalty Reward Programme (LRP) you earn points back which you can spend on products of your choice. You start earning 10% back and that increases by 5% every three months till you get to 30% after a year. 

You don't have to order every month, you're not tried in to a regular order. You don't have to sell oils. You just order what you want to, when you want to. If you decide, like I did, that you'd like to tell your friends about the oils and earn some more free oils or a bit of extra cash, you don't have to buy an expensive 'consultant kit' or keep stock at your house. Your customers sign up for their own account, order their own products and you get paid a generous commission. If you're interested in this opportunity, e-mail me on

DoTerra has a 68% retention rate (that means 68% of customers re-order - the direct selling industry average is 10%) and has over 5 million customers worldwide.

Do you want to become part of the DoTerra movement? You can join my team here - it doesn't matter where in the world you live, your order will ship from your local warehouse. In addition to the awesome products you will get a welcome pack from me, my support and education as well as membership of our team Facebook group for more support and education. I want to make sure you know how to use your oils and get the most out of them.

You can join here or e-mail me if you'd like to talk first. I'm happy to send you some samples or talk through your options and which enrollment kit best suits your needs. E-mail me on and put 'essential oils' in the subject line.

You can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.

Join my e-mail newsletter for inspiration and education about 
essential oils and other natural products.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Unravel 2018

I'm really excited to be exhibiting at Unravel again this year. Unravel is held in Farnham, Surrey from 16th to 18th February and it's a fabulous knitting festival. If you haven't been you're missing a real treat!

I'll be bringing my patterns including my new releases, beautiful yarns, beads, knitting notions and beautiful Tattysquawk shawl pins. Above and below are pictures of my stall last year.

This year I'll be teaching a 1/2 day Finishing workshop on the Sunday. It's so frustrating when you put lots of time into knitting a garment then your finishing lets you down. In my Finishing class I'll be teaching you how to sew up your garments using mattress stitch, how to shape shoulders using short rows and how to join the shoulder seam using three needle cast off. We'll also cover how to pick up stitches for button bands and collars as well as one row button holes which are genius.

Every time I teach a Finishing class, everyone is always so impressed with how much they've learnt and what a difference knowing how to do all those little finishing details makes to the final garment. If you only ever take one class then this is the one you need to take!

Book your space here! 

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Friday, January 12, 2018

New Pattern & Kit - Gweek

I'm so excited about my first pattern relase of 2018. The old port of Gweek is located on the Helford river in Cornwall. It’s an area of ourstanding natural beauty. This shawl combines a delicate beautiful lace pattern which reminds me of the lush green banks of the river. An unusual asymmetrical shape, garter stripes and a delicate lace patterns with contrasting beads makes this shawl eye-catching but very wearable.

I have Gweek shawl kits available in a choice of four colour combinations. Kits include yarn, beads, printed pattern and pdf pattern. Kits are already discounted by approx 10% and will ship by the end of January 2018. Pre-order your Gweek kit here.

Get 30% off the pattern only until midnight UK on Friday 19th January 2018. Use coupon code: gweek30. Purchase the pattern here. 

I love the interesting asymmetrical shape of Gweek and the winning combinations of garter stripes and lace. Contrasting beads are added to the lace sections and I have a tutorial on how to add beads here.

Which colour combinations will you choose? Join my Love of Lace Knitting Facebook group and share your knitting progress.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Will you learn something new this year?

Have you got any knitting goals for 2018? Are you planning to learn any new techniques?

The best way to learn something new is to attend a workshop. People who attend my workshops say they love spending a day with other knitters learning new skills and it's as much about taking a day to yourself to do something you love as learning a new skill.

Barbara from Wool Palette and I at Ocean Studios

I've got a very busy teaching programme for the next few months. I'm kicking off this weekend with Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl at Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Devon. This is a new venue for me and I'll be teaching there monthly. I'm so excited to be teaching at this fabulous venue. See the details and book here.

On 3 February I'll be teaching Circular Fair Isle Yoke Sweater at Ocean Studios. In this class you'll learn how to knit with a colour in each hand, how to work a sweater from the top down with a circular yoke, how to work out the numbers for your own size. I'll give you a spreadsheet to help you with this and show you how it all works. You don't need to be good at maths or have previous experience in fair isle knitting to take this class. See the details and book here.

On 10 March I'm teaching two half day workshops at Ocean Studios. In the morning we'll be doing a Professional Finishing Techniques. Perfect if you hate sewing up your knitted garments. In addition to mattress stitch we'll cover how to shape the shoulders using short rows, how to pick up stitches and how to work one row button holes.

In the afternoon we'll do an introduction to lace knitting where you'll learn how to learn various lace stitches, how to read lace charts, how to add beads to your knitting using the crochet hook technique and how to block your lace. 

To book on this day please see the details here.

If you're interested in any of the workshops at Ocean Studios, contact Barbara on 07791175695 or see the details here. 

Next week I'll be back at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey, Devon, teaching Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking. In this class you'll learn how to knit in the round with a colour in each hand, how to strand the colours evenly. In the morning you'll practice fair isle knitting techniques by knitting a small tube and in the afternoon we'll work on steeking techniques. Steeking basically means you can knit garments in the round and then cut a hole for the sleeves or turn a sweater into a cardigan. You can also use it to do repairs to garments that are too big or too small.

Cutting your knitting sounds scary but it's really not when you know the correct techniques. And there is no better place to learn how to do this than in a class. See the details here and contact Spin A Yarn to book.

I'll be teaching Fair Isle Knitting and Steeking at The Slipped Stitch in Sherborne, Dorset on 10 February. Get the details and book here (scroll down till you see a picture of the sweater below). 

On 24 February I'll be teaching Shetland Lace Knitting at Spin A Yarn. In this class you'll learn how to knit Shetland lace patterns and we'll talk about different Shetland shawl constructions. You'll also learn to knit various lace stitches and how to read lace charts. See the details here and contact Spin A Yarn to book.

Knitting sweaters from the top down is becoming increasingly popular. Raglan sweaters are a really easy way to knit a sweater in the round from the top down. You'll learn everything you need to know to knit a basic raglan sweater including how to work out the numbers for your own custom sweater. I'm teaching this class at Truro Wool in Truro, Cornwall on Sunday 21 January. Details of the class can be found here and contact the shop to book.

I'm also teaching this class at Spin A Yarn on 28 February. Get the details here and contact the shop to book. 

On Tuesday 13 February I'm teaching Norwegian Selbu Mittens at Spin A Yarn. Selbu mittens are traditional Norwegian 'fair isle' mittens. You'll learn how to knit in the round on magic loop, how to work fair isle/stranded colour work and how to shape the mittens. Get the details here and contact Spin A Yarn to book.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

New Year's Knitting

Did you get a lot of knitting done over the Christmas period? I finished two new shawls just before Christmas, one was just a couple of days before so I quickly cast on for a new shawl.

I decided I fancied knitting a shawl in Schoppel 6 Karat which is a yarn I really love. It's a silk/merino blend and it's very silky feeling. It's a bit thicker than regular lace weight with 600m/100g so I'm using two skeins. I thought long about which shape to go for. The next two shawls I'll be releasing are both asymmetrical shapes (but they're not the same asymmetrical shape) so I decided something different.

In the end I went for my favourite way of knitting a crescent. I'm over halfway, possibly 60% of the way through.

I've done a little bit of work on my fair isle garment too. I've finished the colourwork and I'm nearly at the point where I'm dividing for the sleeve and body. I've not worked on this a lot but mainly kept it for times when I've wanted to work on something easy. Stocking stitch in the round when you knit the continental way is really easy.

And talking about continental knitting. I've just heard that there are a couple of spaces left on my first workshop of 2018 - Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard in Plymouth on Saturday 13 January. This workshop is organised by Wool Palette. Details of the workshop and how to book are here. If you're not on Facebook, then call Barbara on 0779 1175695.

I'm teaching Circular Fair Isle Yoke at the same venue on 3 February. In this class you will learn to knit a garment like the one I'm knitting above and you will learn how to do your own numbers to knit a custom sweater. This is much easier than it sounds so don't let the thought of scary maths put you off. I keep maths as easy as possible. In fact I actually give you a spreadsheet to use to work out your own numbers and I explain how to do it all in the class.

If you're new to fair isle knitting, you will get plenty of practice in this class. You don't need to be an experienced fair isle knitter to take this class. You can find the details here or if you're not on Facebook, call Barbara on 0779 1175695.

I've also been working on a pair of socks for Emily. She chose the yarn - Regia Pairfect. I got the yarn last year and had planned to use it for myself but when your daughter wants socks you oblige. She's going back to uni on Sunday so I could really do with finishing these socks before then. I'm only just pas the heel on the first sock. I could easily finish it by Saturday but I also need to work on the shawl and I have yarn coming for an urgent deadline project.

Yesterday I blocked a new shawl in my Facebook group - Love of Lace Knitting. I finished this shawl a couple of days before Christmas but because of Christmas and my parents visiting I put off blocking it. Yesterday I decided to do it live in my Facebook group. If you're a member, you can watch it here. If you're not a member, request to join. Please answer the questions and we'll approve you as quickly as we can.

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Healthy New Year!

I've been thinking a lot about my health goals for 2018. For the last two years I've been thinking more about what I can do to improve my health. I suffer from auto-immune hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and the more I read about it, the more I learn about how just about everything in your body is affected if your thyroid isn't working properly. It especially makes controlling your weight much more challenging. 18 months ago I was diagnosed with severe Vitamin D deficiency which is also linked to thyroid disorders. But the fact that I live somewhere were we get little sun in the winter and I'm careful in the sun in the summer because I've had a malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in the past, probably doesn't help.
I also suffer from chronic pain which affects how much exercise I can do. It also affects my mood and makes me more prone to depression. I've tried lots of medication and treatments in the past. There are very few treatments I haven't tried. I have managed to cut down on painkillers over the last 6 months, thanks to using essential oils for pain management. You can read about that here. I tried cutting down during the first half of last year but I always ended up going back to full dose within a couple of weeks. At the moment I'm taking 5 tablets of one drug a day and 6 of the other. I used to take 8-10 of both each day (8 of each is max so there were days when I was over-dosing if I couldn't sleep and had to take painkillers at night).

I'm very overweight and I struggle with energy levels. Suffering from different conditions which all affect your energy levels makes it hard to pin-point whats wrong. But since I started using essential oils and especially DoTerra's Life Long Vitality supplements 6 months ago, I've got more energy and I sleep better.

I have a new Instagram account where I'll be posting about my 2018 health and fitness journey as well as DoTerra education and how I'm using the products. Please follow me at by Grace Essentials. I will of course also continue to post on my Facebook page.

Two years ago I lost 3 stone/19kg with Weight Watchers over 6 months. Then I stopped losing and started to slowly gain. At the moment I've re-gained 2/3 of what I lost despite continuing to go to Weight Watchers until last August. I wasn't following the programme properly though and I couldn't motivate myself to get back to doing it properly. This seems to be a pattern with me when I join a weight loss programme as I've done exactly the same thing before.

This year I've decided to do things a little bit different. I know from experience that if you want to lose weight you have to eat fewer calories. Just exercising more on its own won't help (unless you do a lot of exercise every day). So my plan is to cut down on things I know is not healthy, increase the healthy stuff, start exercising and use DoTerra's supplements to give me the nutrients I need and to feel better.

We bought a new exercise bike over the weekend and I did my first proper workout this morning. I'm doing an interval programme - 20 seconds of fast cycling followed by 10 seconds of slow cycling. I do this 10 times then have a minute of slow cycling then do it 10 times again. I felt good doing it this morning. 

In an attempt to kick start my weight loss I'm substituting one meal a day with DoTerra's Trim Shake. I don't really believe in food replacement diets but I need something to kick start my motivation. And there is nothing better to motivate you to lose weight than to lose some weight. The Trim Shake is a protein shake but I'm adding some extras as the shake on its' own isn't filling enough for me. I did it for breakfast yesterday and today but will normally do it for lunch. Then I'll eat a healthy breakfast and dinner (we're eating a lot of vegan food right now as Emily is home and is cooking - she's a vegan). My main problem is snacking so I'm trying to find some healthy snacks and to eat more fruit.

If you follow me on Instagram (I posted this on my YarnAddictAnni account), go to my profile and click on 'Trim Shake' in the Stories Highlights section (the circles above my photos) to see what I put in my shake on Saturday and this morning. Yesterday and today I added a banana, peach, frozen mango, rolled oats, peanut butter, skimmed lactose-free milk, water and three scoops of Trim Shake. I drank it before my workout and three hours later I'm still feeling full.
DoTerra has a Cleanse and Restore programme. I'm very sceptical to cleanse programmes but this one is different. You don't have to starve yourself, drink only juice, eat weird food. It's not about looking a certain way but it’s about supporting your body’s systems to do their job optimally!

It’s a 30 day protocol that:
  • Provides your cells with the nutrients they need
  • Feeds your brain essential fatty acids
  • Supports your endocrine system (hormones!) in balancing by stimulating your liver and kidneys to sweep out the old
  • Eases digestion through digestive enzymes that help you process healthy food (If broccoli, kale, etc are hard on your tummy, you need this!)
While you're doing this you eat normal healthy food.

You will need: 
  • LLV (Life Long Vitality pack)
  • TerraZyme 
  • Zendocrine Complex
  • Lemon oil
  • Zendocrine Softgels
  • Gx Assist
  • PB Assist
  • DDR Prime Softgels
You can get this as a kit which you can order as an enrollment kit if you're new to DoTerra or if you're already a member, you can order the kit too (go to your back office, click on Kits then Enrollment Kits). 

There will be a Facebook group to support the event. Dave (who's a certified trainer), his wife Liz and Tara will  be hosting this event and provide daily support and education. You need to be a DoTerra member (with me or someone else in Tara's team) to take part in this event. 

The Facebook group will include:
  • Access to Dave’s 30 day Fit Plan
  • Daily posts telling you what to do that day
  • Videos on each part of the protocol, explaining what they are
  • Weekly videos on improving your health with oils!
So if you fancy joining us and are new to DoTerra, e-mail me on - put DoTerra Cleanse in the subject line. DoTerra is doing a very special promotion this month - sign up with an enrollment kit in January (this kit qualifies) and place a qualifying order in February and you will get 100 points to spend on products of your choice. 100 points is quite a lot of oils. In the US it's roughly equivalent of $100. Each product has the same points value around the world regardless of which currency you pay in.

To take advantage of this offer you need a special code and there's a different one each day, so if you want to join, e-mail me on (or if you follow me on social media, message me there) and let me know which day you want to join on and I'll give you the code you need to use.

We start on 21 January (so plenty of time to finish up the left over Christmas food and chocolates first or the healthier option may be to bin them or donate them to a local charity/food bank if they're unopened). I recommend ordering by 15th so your products will arrive in time (although it may be worth ordering earlier just to make sure).

I'll be posting daily on my new Instagram page and Facebook page to let you know how I'm getting on. I'll also be posting on both of those how I'm doing with my new health and fitness goals. 

So who's joining me? What are you health and fitness goals for 2018? I'd love to know.

If you have any questions about any of the oils I've mentioned in this post, or any other DoTerra products, do not hesitate to contact me on I'm happy to help you.

If you're ready to get started with DoTerra, you can sign up for a wholesale membership here. If you'd like to find out more about what's involved in a wholesale membership, just e-mail me on Please put 'essential oils' in the subject line.

You can read more about why I chose DoTerra and find other blog posts here and like my new Facebook page for daily tips and education.

Join my e-mail newsletter for inspiration and education about 
essential oils and other natural products.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Simply Knitting 168 - Out To Lunch

Simply Knitting issue 168 is in the shops in the UK now and I've got a shawl in this issue. Out To Lunch is knitted in two colours of Drops Flora and uses 100g of each colour.
Next time you're invited out for dinner, make an entrance with this stunning wrap. Worked in striking garter stitch and lace, and knitted from corner to corner, it makes a wonderful talking point for both knitters and non-knitters alike. Garter stitch and lace is alternated throughout and the shaping is easy.

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