Saturday, 30 November 2019

Introducing Fibre 4 Fibres

Hello!! I'm so excited to be able to share with you my latest fundraising idea. Last year I had my Great Yarn Giveaway and managed to raise more than £8000 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my lovely Mr JK. I'm going to be raising much needed funds for Myositis UK. This small charity is very important to me as I've been diagnosed with this rare autoimmune disease and it has really turned my life upside down. From being a fit and active person who had completed a half marathon and had plans for much more, I am now only able to walk with crutches, can't climb inclines or stairs, have difficulty swallowing and constantly suffer with muscle pain and exhaustion. Money raised helps to fund vital research into diagnosis and treatment. Can I beat £8000? It would be amazing if I was able to. As well as donating £1 from each of my pattern sales on Ravelry and through Stylecraft, I'm planning to hold a whole year of yarny giveaways! What's different this time is that each giveaway will only run for one day! Each Sunday, I'll be posting about the giveaway on Instagram and Facebook and then there will be a link to my Just Giving page where you can enter. A donation of £1 gets you one entry into the raffle, £5 gets you 5 tickets, £10 gets you 10 - it's nice and simple. But you will have to be in it to win it! If you don't already follow me on Instagram, there's a link in the side bar. So please tell all your friends! I will post the prizes anywhere! (Well perhaps not to the moon!) I've already had offers of donations and will also be giving away some of the extremely lovely skeins of yarn in my stash, as well as making some prizes too. The fun starts tomorrow so I hope you'll join me on my Fibre 4 Fibres journey! xxx

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Another Good Striations cushion

Mr JK always teased me when a new cushion appeared on the sofa, but in my view, there's always room for another one! For me, there is something cosy and inviting about a well-cushioned sofa - I want to go and snuggle on it and make myself nice and comfortable. So I was more than happy to try out another version of my Good Striations pattern using two colours of Stylecraft Dream Catcher yarn. Dream Catcher is a DK yarn made of 90% premium acrylic and 10% wool. It comes in yarn cakes which are gradient dyed in a whole range of beautiful colours. The yarn is incredibly soft and has a slight haze which makes it very cosy. There are 10 colours in the range and I chose two - Chinook and Apache - for the cushion. The beauty of using a gradient yarn in this pattern is that there are very few ends to weave in as the colours change gradually. You can see how the cushion front progressed ...

I love how Flo is feigning complete disinterest in the last photo! But don't be fooled, the yarn passed the 'Flo squishability test' with flying colours! 

For the cushion backs, I decided to do narrow 2-row stripes of each colour, again minimising the ends, (Can you tell that I don't like weaving in ends very much?!) and finishing with a ribbed section to provide a bit of stretch on the edge.

I then mattress- stitched the cushion together under Flo's supervision before putting a lovely plump cushion inner inside it. 

There are lots of beautiful colours in the range to choose from. As long as you pick yarns that have different colours, I think it will turn out just fine. It's fun watching the pattern pop as the different colours interplay. Which colours do you like? From the top right, going clockwise we have Arapaho, Blackfoot, Comanche, Cinnamon Roses, Tree of Life, Rainbow Dreams, Cheyenne and Ocean Deep in the centre. 

If you're interested in knitting your own cushion using Dream Catcher, you can buy the pattern from my Ravelry store here. £1 from each pattern sale will be donated to Myositis UK. For this cushion, I followed the blanket stripe pattern rather than the cushion stripe pattern and cast on 95 stitches for a finished cushion size of approximately 50cm square. You can also buy the pattern as a gorgeous colour booklet from Stylecraft stockists, including Woolwarehouse. I have to admit to being a tiny bit excited when I spotted it on their website! 

Do you remember my Great Yarn Giveaway that I held last year to raise money for the British Heart Foundation? Pop back tomorrow for some exciting news! xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Good Striations News!

Good morning! I've popped in just to share some very exciting news with you! Stylecraft are now exclusively distributing printed copies of my Good Striations blanket and cushion pattern. I've been sent a few copies and they have done a fantastic job. It's an 8 page colour booklet and looks so professional that I have to pinch myself that it's my design. £1 from each pattern sale will still be donated to Myositis UK to help raise funds to research this incurable muscle disease. You should be able to buy a copy from your local Stylecraft stockist so please ask them to order some in! Of course, it's still available to download from Ravelry here. So far I've raised almost £200 and I have big plans for other fundraising. Watch this space! xxx

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Mabel Bunny & Co. - a review

I have such a lovely book to share with you today. Mabel Bunny & Co. is a truly delightful collection of crochet animals that are just waiting to become your friend. If you have any little people in your life (or just fancy having an extremely huggable crochet pal yourself) then this book is perfect for you. They are designed by Claire Gelder, who has created her own business, Wool Couture, and also got investment from two of BBC TV's Dragons' Den investors in order to pass on her passion for all things crafty to future generations. Claire has her own range of chunky yarn which you can use to create the animals, but of course you don't have to use that. I like the idea of using yarn of different thicknesses and adjusting the hook size to make a whole family of creatures. Claire actually does this with three of the patterns but there's no reason why you can't do it with all of them! 

The book includes lots of information on tools and materials as well as a comprehensive guide to techniques with some excellent photo tutorials. So even if you are a beginner crocheter, there's no reason why you can't have a go. There's also some really helpful advice on how to bring the animals to life. If you've made a soft toy before, you'll know how important it is to get the features looking 'just right'. Claire holds your hand through the making up process so you're guaranteed to be happy with the results. 

There are 15 different animals in the book, all designed to be soft and floppy, perfect for hugs and cuddles. There are three levels of difficulty in the book, indicated in a fun way with bunny symbols. 

It's very hard to pick a favourite, they are all so adorable and tactile. I just want to reach into the pages of the book and give them a hug. But here are a few that have caught my eye in particular...

Mabel Bunny (and her baby)

Squee! Just look at those pompom tails!

Teetee Dragon (designed to celebrate the two Dragons' Den investors, but also pretty perfect if you happen to have seen this year's John Lewis Christmas advert!)

Lilly Polar Bear - I think this one is my favourite!

Once I get all my Christmas gift making out of the way, I'm going to be stash diving to make my own polar bear, she is just too irresistible! You are never too old for a hug in my view! 

Mabel Bunny & Co. is a really lovely book that would make the perfect gift for a crocheting friend, or for you to make your own collection of cuddly creatures. The book is written in US crochet terms (with UK terms in brackets) and is available at bookshops as well as all the usual online sellers. You can even buy kits to make some of the animals from the Wool Couture website.

Mabel Bunny & Co. by Claire Gelder is published by Search Press and is available now.

ISBN: 978-1-78221-733-6

RRP: £12.99