Saturday, 29 September 2018

Stylecraft Blogtour 2018

Today sees the launch of this year's Blogtour, organised by Stylecraft Yarns. Every day, for the next 17 days, there will be a pattern showcasing one of Stylecraft's new yarns, Bellissima, and the chance to win a yarn pack so you can try it out too.

When the Blogstars were first shown Bambino, the baby version of Bellissima, way back at the start of 2018, we pounced upon it, fell in love with it and wanted more colours! So the lovely people at Stylecraft did just that; they came up with Bellissima, the grown up version of Bambino, in 14 great shades. The yarn is completely interchangeable with Bambino, which comes in 8 softer colours. The DK yarn is 100% acrylic, very soft and knits up with great stitch definition. It reminds me of knitting with a cashmerino type yarn. Take a look at the colours. I've been making myself some yarn pegs as I want to use the yarn in a new project. 



All 22 beautiful colours of Bellissima and Bambino

Stylecraft put together two yarn packs and invited the Blogstars to choose one to use for their Blogtour design. Summer Pudding uses three yarns from Bellissima and two from Bambino.

Autumn Leaves features five yarns from the Bellissima range.

I wonder if you can guess which yarn pack I chose?!

Visit a different Blogstar's blog each day to see what they've designed and enter the giveaway to win a yarn pack. Here's the list of blogs:

September 29th - Crystals and Crochet
September 30th - Crochet Between Worlds
October 1st - Cherry Heart
October 2nd - Lucia's Fig Tree
October 5th - Emma Varnam
October 6th - The Twisted Yarn
October 8th - Hand Knitted Things
October 9th - Annaboo's House
October 10th - Crafternoon Treats
October 11th - The Patchwork Heart
October 12th - Get Knotted Yarn Craft
October 13th - Zooty Owl
October 14th - Stylecraft
October 15th - Jane Crowfoot

You can read more about the Blogtour on Stylecraft's blog here. Hope you are able to join in all the fun! xxx

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Playing hooky and other nice things

I'm making great progress on my Attic24 Harmony blanket. The second strip is now complete and joined to strip one. I tried a different approach with the ends this time and sewed them in as I completed a round. I found this more motivating so I wasn't left with all the ends when I'd finished a square so I'll be adopting this method for the rest of my squares. 

Flo wasn't impressed with strip 1 - not wide enough to be a blankie yet!

But she is testing out the squishability of the blanket at regular intervals!

Still unimpressed by two strips! That cat is hard to please sometimes!

As well as working on this blanket, I've cast on a pair of socks in West Yorkshire Spinners yarn; it's their Marie Curie colourway and I'm hoping to knit a couple of pairs for an Instagram friend who is a doctor at a Marie Curie hospice. Last year she managed to get enough socks so that every single patient in a Marie Curie hospice received a pair of socks for Christmas. What an amazing lady. 

I've had a couple of Happy Post days over the past fortnight too. My fellow Blogstar and friend Heather, aka The Patchwork Heart, very kindly sent me one of her gorgeous hot water bottles to snuggle with. I love it and it's already been put to use as we've had a couple of rather chilly days recently. If you'd like one of your own, Heather often has them for sale in her Etsy shop

I also received a lovely parcel from an Instagram friend, Busy Pottering, who also has an Etsy shop selling her project bags. She sent me the most perfect black cat bag to bring me luck during my hospital visits as well as some stitch markers which she chose especially for me. I love the extra detail of the bell sewn on the bag. I will jingle my way around hospital!  I feel very spoiled to have such kind friends. 

The next two or three weeks are full of hospital appointments and then I should know more about what's going on. I have been so impressed by our wonderful NHS and all the doctors and nurses I've met so far. They have all been so nice and caring, and I can't say enough good things about them. 

Don't forget that there is still time to enter my giveaway to win a ball of Stylecraft Head over Heels All Stars yarn in my colourway, Woldgate, along with my new pattern Tiptoe. You can find the details here. Have a good week. xxx

Monday, 17 September 2018


Do you know what it's like to have something exciting to share but you know that it has to be kept a secret? I have been bursting for weeks to tell you all about my new sock pattern and now I can! Tiptoe has been designed to go with the new Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn range called All Stars. There are 6 colourways in the range, each one designed by one of my fellow Blogstars and chosen by you in a poll earlier this year. Here they all are ...

Want a closer look at the self striping yarns? From left to right we have Pool created by Hand Knitted Things, Splash created by Zooty Owl and Red Pots created by Attic24

And of course you'd like a look at the melange colours  too! From left to right we have Woldgate created by yours truly (so, so proud to be one of the winners), Saltaire created by The Twisted Yarn and Ossie created by Cherry Heart

The colourways were all inspired by the artwork of David Hockney and I blogged more about it here and here. I love the soft, almost chalky look of the colours and want a pair of socks in each colourway! I know, I'm greedy, but they are really lovely. I'm sure you'll see them popping up on my fellow Blogstars' blogs over the coming days. My challenge was to come up with a design that would work with both the self striping and melange colourways and I hope that you'll agree that I have managed to do that. Let me introduce you to Tiptoe.

The pattern features rows of dainty tulips, reminiscent of the bulb fields of The Netherlands. Mr JK and I were lucky enough to visit the gardens at Keukenhof some years ago and were blown away by the beauty and colour of these flowers. I blogged about it here. The pattern is available from Stylecraft yarn stockists and will be downloadable at a later date. I am completely in love with those tiny tulips all standing to attention in their rows...

I couldn't resist showing you these - Flo photobombing the photoshoot!

Stylecraft have very generously given me 5 balls of my colourway, Woldgate, and copies of the Tiptoe pattern leaflet to give away to five lucky people. I'll be running the giveaway on my blog, Facebook and Instagram and you can enter in all three places to give yourself more entries if you want! Leave me a comment and tell me what colours you would like to see put together to create a sock yarn. Please make sure that you make it easy for me to contact you if you're a winner. If I haven't heard from you a week after picking the winners, I will draw again using a random number generator or names in a hat! The giveaway will stay open until midnight on September 30th  and it's open to everyone, as I am happy to post worldwide. so there's lots of time to enter. Good luck and please tell all your sock knitting friends! xxx

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Happy Hooking

I cannot begin to tell you just how much I am loving working on my Attic24 Harmony blanket. The colours are just delightful and make me feel happy and relaxed. I am following Lucy's instructions on the pattern and making a strip of squares at a time and joining them. After making my first square to check that I understood the pattern, I made them as a production line, crocheting all of round 1, then 2 and so on, so it was easy to remember the pattern. I ended up having all the ends to sew in before I joined them. So with the second strip, I am trying a different approach to the ends. After completing round 2 on a square, I'm sewing in the ends of round 1. So by the time I get to the end of each square, I will only have 2 rounds of ends to deal with. I will see which I prefer. My days have been very colourful indeed this week as you can see...

Round 1

 Round 2

 Round 3

Round 4

The ends!

Round 5 square stack

Round 5 square love

Strip 1 joined

Flo complained that it wasn't going to keep her very warm!

As well as this blanket, I also have Jane Crowfoot's Eastern Jewels blanket, recoloured by my lovely Stylecraft Blogstar friend Lucia to work on. My great pal Snoopydog and I have been working on the first octagon together. It wasn't very sociable crochet as we both had to concentrate hard on the pattern. Definitely a blanket that will be much better done as a production line so it's easier to remember the pattern. I do love it so it will be worth all the effort.

It's been a hectic week of hospital appointments too - three in one week. I am much closer to finding out what's going on with just a couple more tests and scans needed before treatment can start. In the meantime, all my yarny pleasures are a wonderful distraction. I'll be back tomorrow with something I've been itching to share with you for ages! xxx