Episode 97 – TOFT

We hope very much that Episode 97 will make you smile and bring you some joy. We have a little bit of everything in the program; very cute cuddly animals, inspiring stories of outstanding people, fun crochet projects, beautiful knitting projects and breathtaking scenery.

Kerry Lord – TOFT

Kerry Lord, founder of TOFT

We have a major two part interview with Kerry Lord who is the founder of the UK knit and crochet company TOFT. We did this interview in person at the TOFT headquarters in Warwickshire on the family alpaca farm. Kerry is seriously one of the most dynamic people that I have met since we started producing Fruity Knitting. She is in her mid-30s and the story of how she’s built up her company is exceptional. So whether you are a knitter, a designer or a small business owner, we think you will find Kerry hugely inspiring.

TOFT crochet dogs

TOFT produces high quality alpaca and wool yarns with accompanying knitwear and crochet designs. At the center of the company is the fabulous amigurumi book series Edward’s Menagerie, that Kerry Lord designs herself. There are now 6 books in the series and together with the yarn kits they’re sold in stores all around the world.

Kerry’s collection of patterns for crochet birds

Kerry’ parents were amongst the first alpaca farmers in the UK and through their breeding program they have really influenced alpaca farming the in the UK.

Young alpacas, known as “cria”

Kerry does all the sorting of the fleeces herself and is quite an expert in that area as well. In part two of the interview, we get a lesson on sorting alpaca fleeces and we also see the alpacas up close, which you’ll love.

Admiring the crimp. This a “huacaya” alpaca, the more common breed with better fleece.
Toft alpacas are outstanding in their field…

Patron Discount – TOFT

Kerry is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 10% discount on everything in her online store. That includes yarn, patterns, knit kits and crochet kits, books and magazines. Enjoy browsing through and thank you very much to Kerry. This offer is valid until 14 April 2020, full details here.

This is Georgina, the ballerina hippo.

Finding Toft

Under Construction – Skye by Marie Wallin

Skye, by Marie Wallin

Andrea is working on the design Skye which is from the North Sea collection by Marie Wallin using the Hampshire 4 ply from the Grey Sheep Co.

Bring and Brag

Cindy and Geraldine. I think they’ve decided to stay.

Andrea has recently finished two Toft crochet toy designs. Cindy the Flamingo and Geraldine the Duck.

Powderpuff by Nancy Marchant, from her book, Tuck Stitches.

Although Andrew has yet to cast off and sew the two ends together (making a long loopy cowl) this project is official finished! Powderpuff – Nancy Marchant


Bleak beauty of Tanygrisiau, in North West Wales.

Tanygrisau is a small village within Blaenau Ffestiniog in North West Wales. This whole area is well-known for its slate mining, the black slate being used mainly for roofing. Huge heaps of slate can still be seen throughout the area.

Amazing stone slab walls.

We visited Tanygrisiau twice, the second time in the hope of putting up the drone to get a bird’s eye view of the area. However, as you can see in our Extreme Knitting segment, it was a drizzly day. The drone stayed safely packed away, but the footage that we got does give a good impression of the beauty of the area.

Slate heaps through the mist.

Tanygrisiau and Blaenau Ffestiniog lie within the area of the Snowdonia National Park. However, when the National Park was created in 1951 the slate mines were still active, and so this region was excluded from the declared Park, leaving a hole in the Park that remains today.

Tuck Stitches and Brioche Lace KAL

Our Tuck Stitches and Brioche Lace KAL is open to any project that uses either of the Tuck Stitch or Brioche Lace techniques, as described in Nancy Marchant‘s latest books. Designs can come from any designer – check the threads for lots of inspiration!

The KAL finishes at the end of May, so you still have time to start a new project.

We were wearing

Andrew and Cindy on the same wavelength…

Music Credits

2 thoughts on “Episode 97 – TOFT”

  1. Just wanted to say not to be afraid of dyeing yarn – it really isn’t difficult. Wool needs an acid environment (vinegar or citric acid) salt and the dye itself. I prefer to use Procion dyes which are easily available online.
    I’ve just dyed some handspun yarn which I did in a big pot on top of the cooker but if it’s just a skein or two, I do it in the microwave.
    Perhaps a topic for a future edition of Fruity Knitting?

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