Simple Stylish Knitting – review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a PR Company to ask if I would be interested in trying the first issue of a new knitting weekly magazine series, or park-work, published by De Agostini. I’ll always be honest in my write-up if I am sent a product to try, or asked to work with a company. After a few of my very ‘real’ past write-ups I’m quite surprised whenever I’m approached again; I aim to give a balanced view but as I try to be very truthful I will say if I find something lacking.

After having a look at Simple Stylish Knitting online I decided to give it whirl. In fact I hoped it might help to improve my own knitting skills. There are so many really talented knitters on Instagram, and seeing their beautiful work makes me want to move forward with my own.

Included in the email was this information, I found it interesting and have since read the full report: As knitting fast becomes the new ‘it’ hobby for young people, DeAgostini Publishing and University of Exeter Medical School have issued a report looking at the hobby’s health benefits to understand why so many youngsters are taking up the new skill.

In brief: A study of over 3,000 members of an online knitting community found:

* 82% felt ‘a little’ to ‘very happy’ after knitting

* Almost half (47%) indicated that it helped them think problems through, while over a third (37%) said it helped forget problems

* Nearly two-thirds (65%) reported an increase in confidence, while 86% felt an increase in belonging

A study conducted in an inpatient eating disorder unit found:

* 74% of participants reported distraction from eating disorder thoughts and feelings

* Nearly one-fifth (18%) said knitting prevented eating disorder behaviours altogether

* 74 % found it relaxing

I think this some of this will ring true for both knitters and crocheters, we know it makes us feel happy, calm and productive.

Looking at this photo I’m wondering if I threw the needle away with the packaging, ummm….

Each week there are two balls of yarn with the magazine. I was surprised they are 50% wool, 50% acrylic; they’re not the usual squeaky yacky magazine yarn. I partly learnt to crochet through buying crochet mags and the yarn was absolutely shocking quality. It also came in lurid colours! (See my early crochet pics here from 2011/2012 for evidence…)

The plan is that you knit two squares a week, which gives you the chance to learn many different stitches. I had a look on IG for pics tagged #simplestylishknitting and lots of people are knitting stitches I haven’t ever tried. At the end of the (90 issue!) series (I checked the online FAQS) you will have knitted a substantial throw, or alternatively you could buy fewer and build a collection of stitch swatches.

I spent a fair amount of time using the online stitch library, watching the knitting techniques videos. The mattress stitch video is the clearest I’ve ever seen. I thought it would be good to test how clear I found the instructions for a familiar technique. Another demo has given me Fair isle confidence. People mention 3 needle bind-off / cast off a lot and I had NO idea what that was, now I do. It’s the same with tinking though I realise I’ve always done it, I just didn’t know it was called that (did you know it’s the word ‘knit’ backwards?) If you do check out the videos look at the funky lime yarn and purple nail combo! Even the crochet hook matches.

Square number one was plain garter/knit stitch and that I definitely didn’t need to practise! So I knit number two which is stocking stitch, decorated with duplicate stitch/swiss darning. This is the first time I’ve tried it. I like it! The only thing I would say is that the stitch library video assumes you’re a right hander. I really can’t hold the sewing needle in my right hand or sew from the right, but I just did what I do with some crochet charts – I started in a stitch on the left, going into the legs of the stitch above from left to right.

I liked swiss darning so much that last night I designed a little woolly decoration to make a Valentine’s card! For this I used my KnitPro wooden needles. The magazine ones are a bit like knitting with those splintery chopsticks you get in cheapie Chinese restaurants, they do the job but are not luxurious.

Apart from the two squares a week there are patterns for other makes, the first issue includes: a mug cosy, pom-pom scarf, Mr Fox ipad case (which I love but would need to size up for my regular sized ipad.) Yarn requirements vary for the other patterns; so you’d need to buy more, or use your stash.

For complete beginners there is a full knitting know-how section at the back with very clear instructions and photos. One omission is that there’s no how-to hold your yarn photo. It’s only shown looped over the index finger, so it’s unclear how you would tension your knitting. Most people would automatically use Google, YouTube, websites etc or look it up in a book, but its inclusion would be useful in the magazine and also in the video stitch library.

For improvers like myself each pattern is written in the usual pattern short-hand, as well as with more detailed instructions given for a novice knitter.

The magazines are available in Supermarkets and newsagents, or back issues can be ordered through the website. In true part-work style the first issue is 99p, the second £1.99 and thereafter it’s £3.99, the p&p is free. E-copies are also available in digitally too.

And tomorrow I plan to join in with the Yarn Alongers. Is this turning into a post a day in February?!

Nine Random Things

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I stopped my subscription to Simply Crochet a few months ago because I was a bit bored, I reckon it’s stuck in a bit of a rut. When they asked readers to complete a questionnaire some months ago I requested more garment patterns. I know I’m not alone in feeling fed up of patterns for small items you don’t want or need. However ( a little positivity coming up now!) I really fancied crocheting the scarf pattern I’d seen Heather of The Patchwork Heart posting pics of on IG. So I picked up a copy last week, there was the added temptation of pretty pins too…but oh! They are mostly rusty – albeit silver coloured rust, not rust coloured, but it’s rust all the same. I can’t use them at all. Boo!
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Ooh now this is a good magazine related bit of news – I’ve been given a year’s subscription to this beauty. I’ll turn into a green eyed monster at times (beautiful homes and expensive lovelies to buy) I know, but I am very pleased.
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This is my catch up reading pile. I asked for my birthday subscription not to be continued for a third year to Mollie Makes, again it’s feeling in a bit of a rut. I really can’t face yet more patterns for felt animals and the target audience feels like it’s for young twenty somethings. That’s fair play especially if it’s encouraging them to develop or learn some crafty skills; I just realised that I hadn’t used any of the mini packs, let alone made any items from the magazine for ages and ages.
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Just because I saw this in a gift shop in Broadway, in the Cotswolds, and it made me smile. It’s one of those things you’d love to say when someone’s being all one-sided me-me-me.
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While I was wondering around Broadway I kept hearing yelping and barking. I ducked down an alley to pop into the Sue Ryder charity shop and saw two pens of hounds. They must belong to the local hunt. I’m a baby where dogs en masse are concerned so this is as close I got.
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I’ve seen these chargers in airports etc before, but how handy to find one in John Lewis (High Wycombe) for free charging.
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My friend gave me a bumper lot of thoughtful presents including this lovely tin. It’s my new things crochet tin as the other was bulging at the seams, especially with a new bigger notebook. Isn’t it similar in design to the Cath Kidson tape measure and needle book? It’s such a good match and right up my street.
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Warning. Warning. Tomato talk incoming! I’m still cooking with my home-gown tomatoes, this time it’s a bacon and olive sauce. Yum. I usually halve the olives but this time left them whole. The house is full of bowlfuls in various stages of ripeness. I never imagined eight plants could produce so much fruit (or did QI state they are wrongly regarded as fruit, when in fact they are the vegetable we all grew up believing them to be? Or have I dreamt that?!)
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I’ve been wincing at sightings of the C word; usually in relation to crafting for ………… but look at what fell out of the new issue of Country Living. With the change of weather and the end of the summer holidays looming it doesn’t feel too early to contemplate booking tickets. Are you going?

What have you been up to lately?

Did you see the ice cream debacle on The Great British Bake Off last night?

In my next post I’ll show you the shawl I’ve been crocheting from the current Simply Crochet. It’s sweet, though I do have a shawl related question: there are so many patterns for them at the moment, they seem to be on trend but……have you actually seen anyone wearing one out? Anyone?

My flower brooches in Simply Crochet!

I came home late last night from London frozen to the bone after a three hour Jack the Ripper tour in the East End, a long wait for the bus then a frozen car windscreen which I needed to de-ice. My feet felt like two big ice cubes! But there in a prominent place propped up on the stairs was my new issue (16) of Simply Crochet. All thoughts of feeling cold vanished!
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In January I was contacted by Tanya, the Commissioning Editor and asked if I would design a brooch for a Springtime feature in Simply Crochet. You can imagine my surprise and pleasure at being asked, especially as I’ve bought the magazine since it began. I was sent these lovely balls of cotton and given completely free rein to design whatever kind of brooch I fancied.
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I really enjoyed sitting here in The Little Room playing with different stitches and colour combinations, it was a great way to banish any post-Christmas January blues.
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I came up with a curly twirly flower brooch to pin on a bag, to add a bit of pretty.
20140302-145729.jpgThey work well if you pin the petals out (dry) for a little while, as you release them they ping up and curl delightfully around. Alternatively you can block them and leave them flatter as the magazine have done.

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As this would be my first ever published pattern (I’m beaming as I still can’t believe it, I’m sooo happy about this unexpected event) I was a bit nervous that it would be gobbledegook and asked Kate of Greedy for Colour to check it. The rush of having someone else, particularly such a crochet clever clogs, test your pattern and come back with a gorgeous version of their own (2 lots of delicate light pink petals on the top,  a white set at the bottom and a pale primrose middle) and 100% positive feedback was immense.

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I had thought I probably shouldn’t show what I designed until the magazine is in the shops or online but today see that others have shown photos and are talking on social media about the feature, so gave myself the go-ahead! It’s way too exciting not to!

20140302-145820.jpgOoh on the front cover of the supplement!!!!!!!!!

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Lovely styling. That’s MY crochet, crocheted here in this Little Room in my house! Wooooooo! Boom! (As Claudia says on GBSB.) The opposite page has the brooch pattern, a few other photos and bit about my crochet, thoughts on blogging and inspiration.

I was in stunningly good company as most of the other blogger designers are those I’ve followed for a few years. But you’ll have to buy the mag to see who they are, as I’m not spoiling any more surprises. Well, except one! I have to, I just do…

I met this blogger last Christmas, just over a year ago, as she was visiting England from the USA. We talked and talked, a coffee turned into a day of wandering, lunch and sight seeing. We discussed yarn, crochet, craft shops, blogging and our fave bloggers. I never expected us both to be featured in this top, top crochet maazine together! (I’m allowed to sprinkle !!!! liberally in this post. It’s my 15 seconds of crochet fame after all.)

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It’s the lovely Hannah from Not Your Average Crochet. I’m so making this Springtime hat pincushion.
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Happy weekend all.

Simply Crochet (16)

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Next week, if you get a copy of Simply Crochet, you’ll see what I was doing with these beautiful cottons in January. It’s been hard not to mention anything – it goes against my nature not to talk about exciting things!

Inside Crochet magazine

At the end of last month I was contacted by the Deputy Editor of Inside Crochet magazine, the message said “Hope you don’t mind me getting in touch, but we’ve been enjoying your blog here at Inside Crochet and we were wondering if you’d like to be interviewed for the ‘Our Favourite Blogger’ feature we run every month in our news section?”

I don’t think I need to describe the feeling at being contacted by such a quality magazine like Inside Crochet do I? But I can tell you that I did some of my Zebedee bounces which I reserve for very special occasions.

I tend to chatter freely, but I must admit I have uncharacteristically stayed schtum for weeks and weeks, waiting for the magazine to come out. Well I’ve had some tweets and messages over the last few days saying my blog has been spotted in the magazine, so in case you haven’t seen a copy of issue 47 yet…

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Simply Crochet

For ages now I’ve wanted to learn the join-as-you-go technique to see how effective it is, and if it can decrease the potential number of ends which will no doubt end up poking out of the back of my blankets in the future.
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I used this tutorial. It surprised me that it took several tries to get it right. There are reasons for this:

1. Wine.

2. I had to reverse it in my mind as I’m a leftie so had to imagine everything the other way around. I’m used to this but reason #1 influenced the process I admit.

3. I finally realised that my joins were messy V shapes rather than neat single lines because I was going into the chain space (I did 3 tr, 2 ch, 3tr for corners and 1ch in between the tr clusters) from underneath rather down through the top. It’s a tad awkward to do but results in a neat join.

4. Also I was trying to watch a vintage episode of Open All Hours.

It’s a good thing this, I shall practice with all my brightly hued scraps of Stylecraft SDK.

On Saturday you remember, while I was writing the week’s CAL post, my new crochet magazine arrived? I’ve taken advantage of a subscriber offer and ordered the three copies for £5. I missed issue 1 so have issues 2-4 coming.

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As you see there’s a fair range of items to make, articles and general crafty crochet chit chat also oodles of inspiration. It’s great to have a purely crochet magazine from the publishers of Mollie Makes. I adore MM but don’t usually make anything, especially as crochet is thin on the ground. I love it for giving general inspiration and for the crafty events listings.

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I like the crochet items for the kitchen, particularly the candy colours. The patterns would be suitable for newbies who’ve mastered basic stitches and would be a good way to practice skills.
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The notebook pages are interesting. I’ve asked my sis in law to look out for the Ikea metalwork range, isn’t it pretty?

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I’ve included this page in case you fancy taking advantage of the subscriber offer too (especially US readers.)
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There’s a spread of instructions for beginners. I didn’t think the bamboo hook and white yarn showed up very clearly and the instructions maybe don’t read as plainly as I would have needed. But I need a beginner crocheter to respond and say how they actually found these instructions to be fair.
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Oh this is pretty and reminded me of a similar flower garland I made last Spring.
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Natasja just used this idea! It looks better on her top than in the magazine, but I’m biased as I really like her blog.
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When I said I might crochet these bobble slippers (bobbles!!!!) S’s eye-brows went up two inches. Ha! Definitely got to make them now the gauntlet has been thrown down.

I’d recommend this magazine, it kept me silent for over an hour on Saturday which as S said is total value for money when the rugby’s on. ;-)

Knitted

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I’ve been knitting again. Just a basic pattern, but fun and very fast to make. However it’s not fun trying to sew them up when you’ve run out of (magazine) yarn and have ends everywhere. I might make some more instead but with chunky I have in my stash; then I can dc them together at the end. Any excuse to crochet!

The weather’s cooled and feels proper autumnal so I’m going to make a beef in beer casserole later.

What are you planning to make and cook this weekend?

Another vintage haul

I’m back! Isn’t it grey here? We’ve been wearing t-shirts and sandals, drinking wine/beer and eating freshly caught grilled sardines/sea bream/bass with salad and new potatoes outside in sun-filled squares in Lisbon. It feels like I’ve been dropped straight back into a wad of cold grey cotton wool.

But I’ve had another great haul of crochet magazines (with a few cross stitch and embroidery mags thrown in for good measure) sent to me by a friend whose Mum is still having a major sort out. There are some classic pictures that I just have to show you.

I think this might be past it’s best as there’s a very solid little lump in the packet where there should be granules, but it’s good to know you can get shampoo for needlework

This could be a nice throw or shawl in modern colour(s) and yarn, what do you think?

Well, look at that…

“Hey babe…come back to my place and see my crochet”
Notice anything particularly wrong with the photo? (Apart from all of it.)

This is not my lighting making shiny reflections on the photo, this is what it looks like! Do we think the peppers are real or plastic?

And another! You never see these as a setting for crochet now, to give scale or as decoration.


It’s just occurred to me that I should do some Googling to see if Crochet Monthly still exists.

How are you? What are your days like at the moment?

Truly Vintage Crochet Patterns

I’ve just had a surprise parcel delivered, it’s incredible and I wanted to share my haul with you.
A friend who sent me sewing magazines, patterns and books recently has now sent me a whole bundle of crochet patterns. She’s having a major clear-out before decorating and has been giving piles of these away, I think they belonged to her Mother.

The term vintage is currently used so often that it’s becoming an almost meaningless term. Dictionary.com offers these definitions:

vin·tage

[vin-tij] Show noun, adjective, verb, vin·taged, vin·tag·ing.

noun

1.the wine from a particular harvest or crop

2.the annual produce of the grape harvest, especially with reference to the wine obtained

3.an exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year

4.the time of gathering grapes, or of winemaking

5.the act or process of producing wine; winemaking

adjective

6.the class of a dated object with reference to era of production or use: a hat of last year’s vintage

7.of or pertaining to wines or winemaking

8.being of a specified vintage: Vintage wines are usually more expensive than nonvintage wines

9.representing the high quality of a past time: vintage cars; vintage movies

10.old-fashioned or obsolete: vintage jokes

11.being the best of its kind: They praised the play as vintage O’Neill.

Origin:

1400–50; late Middle English  (noun) < Anglo-French,  equivalent to vint ( er ) vintner  + -age -age;  replacing Middle English vindage, vendage  < Anglo-French; Old French vendange  < Latin vīndēmia  grape-gathering, equivalent to vīn ( um ) grape, wine  + -dēmia  a taking away ( dēm ( ere ) to take from ( see redeem) + -ia -y3 )

Related forms

non·vin·tage, adjective, noun

un·vin·taged, adjective

In my surprise haul I believe I truly have a collection of vintage crochet patterns, but you can see a few of them and judge for yourself. This only a selection, including a few adverts I thought might make you smile:

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Safron’s flowers

My friend Safron’s favourite colour is green, and when I offered to crochet her something she asked for flowers in different shades of green that she could play with; to make into brooches etc.

I turned to my crochet magazine archive for pattern inspiration, and also made up another few simple flowers…

I’m looking forward to seeing what Safron makes with her flowers.

(Did you spot the one that looks like a cauliflower?!)

In other news: Guess what?

Prachi’s bag has arrived and she was delighted with it!

“Let me start with a big big HUG and THANK YOU for the lovely, lovely bag you made for me…it’s so beautiful, and already the envy of my colleagues! My apologies that you had to wait for so long and get worried about it not turning up…I guess it did take a while to reach, but due to some last-moment work plans I too have been out of the area for about 10 days now……Been very swamped with work lately, so this present has not only made my day but my week and month! It’ll hold my everyday items nicely and will be ideal for walks around town…love that I can knot up the strap and adjust it according to my need, very funky touch that is…and the colours are gorgeous…Rachel, you’re one talented lady, and prompt and super-thoughtful on top of that :) :) :).”

*Blush*

SOoOo glad it finally got to Prachi and most importantly that she liked it. :-D

Winner!

I had a delivery at lunchtime and assumed it was a belated birthday present but no – I had won a raffle type competition with Let’s Get Crafting magazine!

When we were away I had an email telling me I had won a blog giveaway. I rarely win anything so the fact that now I have won twice in a fortnight is amazing!

I’m still waiting for my other prize to arrive so I’ll show you my goodies from that another time.

Here’s today’s lovely surprise…

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Crafty treats & birthday presents

>A wander around a new craft superstore20120816-160103.jpg

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20120816-160121.jpg> This is a little different but each to their own! It’s probably more comfortable than being carried in a little handbag…20120816-160134.jpg> A few treats 20120816-160141.jpg> A surprise in the post. But this was a disappointment for the one who collected it from the post office and thought he’d won a fishing reel in a competition! The look was priceless when it turned out to be a subscriber gift from Mollie Makes magazine.  So, I get the magazine for a year of birthday present that keeps on giving, and the Amy Butler fabric! Win, win.

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>Stopping to admire my doorstep20120816-160318.jpg> Greek salad for lunch, not craft or a birthday present but a very tasty meal sitting in the sun listening the Best of David Bowie…..Let’s Dance! We could be Heroes….Little China Girl…..Fashion!….Ashes to Ashes…..20120816-160326.jpg> Trying out one of last week’s birthday pressies – my new slow cooker. I had to use pliers to turn the knob round on my last one and like this red model very much. I’m cooking Malaysian beef and aubergine curry for dinner (smelling good!)

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Practice

I wanted to crochet something quick and bright using the recent Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet yarn the other evening, so I dug out an older edition and made this bag. This was the -almost- finished version with two identical sides double crocheted together. (I obviously also did another row compared to the pattern.)

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It was good to practise because all the the stitches are double trebles, which I haven’t really used since making the chunky seashell scarf, and a few for the garland (which I’m told is now hanging in baby Alice May’s bedroom along with one of the crocheted birds, see 14th January post – sorry but the linking thingy here is not working today.)

It was fun to use the bright colours and practise ‘that’ stitch again, which incidentally is dead easy, but I baulked at actually crocheting a handle and making it up. Recently I’ve been thinking about what to do with what I make much more. I started the 100 ch then frogged it. The ‘bag’ is now a bunch of small balls of brightly coloured yarn on the bed in here; The Little Room.

I told you it was practise. ;-p

EDT: I realise that my widgets have slipped – oh the horror! – but I’m waiting for WordPress Support to get back to me on the issue. I think I have gremlins!

A little crochet and Royal Cake

I finshed this book earlier. It’s an extremely easy read and described as a ‘cosy mystery’ in the States apparently. I’ve never sampled a knitting murder before, as gruesome as that sounds….!

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-Op, Martin’s Newsagents, a little Post office/general store – no magazine joy. Superstore Sainsbury’s further afield – BINGO! I was so happy I took this photo to mark the occasion. I need to subscribe; since I really would miss making fun of some of the patterns and miss out on the good ones. I’m not about to highlight the funnier ones now. Well, apart from to ask: would you like woolly gnomes in your garden or to create woolly ice-creams? If the answer contains a yes this is definitely the buy for you this week. Grin.

Thank you for all your lovely, lovely comments about the wonky-middled Blooming Flower cushion back. It’s not that I didn’t take any notice but I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Knowing I am capable of making something much better, and giving a wonky one as a present to a little sweetheart for her 4th birthday would have made me feel rather uncomfortable. It’s all good crochet practice too. The colours are better in my second version of the cushion back too. I just need to dc it together with the front.

We’ve just had a delivery of ROYAL CAKES. Yes! Properly ROYAL CAKES.

For the Diamond Jubilee the Queen and Prince Philip are holding celebratory tea-parties around the country. People were invited to take part in a free lottery to attend. S’s parents were successful and have been to Henley upon Thames this afternoon to have tea ‘in the presence of the Queen.’ They were very close to both, about 4 feet away apparently at one point, and dropped in on the way home to give us two Royal Brownies (seems fitting to use capitals somehow) that my MiL sneaked out in a paper cup. So sweet!

Apparently the steam powered barge the Royals travelled upon down the Thames, during the main Jubilee celebratory weekend, was moored on the river and there were a number of other boats. It sounds like the tea was quite a spread too. Jealous! But sneezing and wheezing all over the Royals is pretty uncool I imagine.

Sorry folks, I can’t hang about. I have a ROYAL Brownie to consume. :-D

PS: I bet it’s calorie-free being Royal and everything too.

An urge to knit

I haven’t knit anything since the purple and green scarves I made last winter, but I’ve had such an urge to pick up the knitting sticks that I’ve started a little project.

The pattern is in issue 41 of Let’s Get Crafting magazine. It looks like a simple rib but it’s a bit more interesting to knit than that; it’s fisherman’s rib and you go into the space below the stitch for the knit part of the rib. It’s a knit one below (k1b) stitch and makes a very ‘springy’ fabric.

I’ve never used bamboo needles before and it makes me think that if I was stranded with wool and only a pair of japanese chopsticks (pointier ends than their Chinese counterparts) then I could knit up a scarf…

I don’t actually own an ereader, I’m an old fashioned paper and ink sort of girl. I’ll have to offer the finished item to someone who does.

I prefer the green in the magazine but I used it all on the summer flower garland, so I’ve used the other green in the pack. Not so nice but the Stylecraft DK I have isn’t as thick, even though both are technically DK.

I have to admit that this superb little fruity item might have inspired my urge to knit. Have a look if you haven’t ever seen Meredith’s One Sheepish Girl blog.

Happy Weekend Things

::Halfway through the Rhubarb Ripple blanket now::The first in the series of books. It’s predictable and easy, very comfy weekend reading in fact. The UK edition was originally called ‘Diva’s don’t Knit’…there are lots of not-so-happy comments on Amazon about this; disappointed buyers expecting this one to have been another in the series and finding they’d already read it…just to let you know.)

::A charity shop find for £1:50. It’s JAM-PACKED with patterns (charts as well as written patterns, so I ‘might’ crack charts soon – but I’m not concentrating on this until the blanket is finished.)

::And this page which makes my strange joining obsession happy!

::Some more Spring Flower circles completed (yes, yes I’m darning in the ends as I complete a batch. I’ve learnt my lesson now…:-D)

I’m watching episodes of the BBC’s Little Dorrit at the moment, my lovely friend N has lent me the box-set, today’s episode was when Mr X gets the news about X (no spoilers from The Little Room, oh no – not from me!) and I confess to having to put down my crochet and wipe my eyes…

::Loving my bucket still.

::OOoh a new edition. This magazine is improving all the time. Now with great shopping, craft courses, craft holidays(!) and blog and knitting/crochet fiction recommendations. I tend to ignore the knitting patterns and power on through to the crochet, but I might head back to knitting one day, so I have saved a stash of the magazines for then.::NO NEVER (remember my 1970s poodle wine bottle cover and Barbie toilet roll cover comment?) Susie Johns what were you thinking??!?…….This must have been a blip?

::Maybe! These are pretty.

HAPPY WEEKEND TO YOU ALL

HAVE A GOOD CRAFTY ONE

….maybe with a drop of something nice to drink…but please PleAsE don’t let it have come out of a knitted or crocheted bottle covered….ummm bottle. I implore you!!!!!

Goldilocks and the Seashell Scarf

I’ve crocheted another few rows in the brightish light of the morning. The trebles of the Rainbow Granny Stripe blanket are far easier to do when it’s night-time. I’m even able to glance up at the tv now for a second or two. I’m not nearly as good as my friend whom I first met at a convention last autumn. She was looking at the speaker all the time, but her hands were busy beneath the table crocheting! I was in awe and definitely experienced a good measure of wonder too!

She’s clever with beads too, her pendant was featured on the cover of a UK jewellery magazine recently.

Anyway, I’m losing focus as usual, the main point of showing more Seashell Scarf pictures is I’ve hit a snag. A big one. I looked at the ten rows of seashells and realised it’s too wide. (14″) I’m not actually going to wear the scarf that thick!

I know; it’s like a soap opera now. First I can’t do the dtr and wail, then it’s too narrow with chunky yarn, and now it’s too wide. This is like a version of Goldilocks for beginner crocheters!

Before I undo it all (all those dtrs!!!!) I’m going to consider if it can be used for anything else. I wondered if I could make ten row ‘squares’ and fix them together to make a throw, but will the edges be too wibbly and fragile to do this? Meanwhile I will start another using the second skein of yarn. I’ll try either 26 or 32 ch to begin, since my advisor Caryn has worked out that you need 6 extra ch per shell. Four shells is probably the best width, three was too few, ten is too many. Fingers crossed.

A surprise in the post from V cheered me up in the midst of scarf trauma. There are some good stories about the mice in the cottage. I’ll tell you about the Christmas mice sometime.

These Woman’s Weekly pages look vintage don’t they? (We don’t seem able to say old these days, it’s all ‘vintage’. As I’m apparently a kool-crochet-kid according to Patch I’m going with the flow.)

In fact that the pages aren’t really that old at all. :-)

Thank you V for thinking of me. I love little surprises in the post.

A PINK parcel!

So exciting to come home to a large PINK PARCEL!

I opened it in a rush and quickly photographed it in the placky bag as I had to be somewhere fast, but here is my new cotton stash! I’ve never bought any yarn in bulk and now look at me, with my yarnalicious rows of DK below and now 13 balls of cotton!

Penny’s blog – Planet Penny – is listed in links somewhere to the right of this page, click if you too would be interested in buying a pack. I obviously can’t vouch for the cotton, yet, but the delivery was super fast! ( I think I only paid for this on Saturday.)

I’ll show some pics of what I create with the super bundle of bright cotton as I go along….

Having a ‘stash’ (this does sound very American to me, but I can’t think what else works so well in one neat word!) does mean that you can try any pattern out there and then, rather than wait to buy a ball of something.

I also am a bit excited about this….

I didn’t even know this magazine existed. The shops I tend to go to for a rummage around amongst their craft magazines don’t stock Mollie Makes. I’m looking forward to a good look at it tonight.

Can you recommend any other crochet / crafty mags?