Heatwave burnin’ in my heart!

No, I’ve not gone mad.

I’m not in love.

I’m just inspired, motivated and feel like last night’s storm really blew away the cobwebs as well as my fence!

The fence has been repaired, so I thought I’d celebrate by getting another pattern online!

Presenting….

THE HEATWAVE COWL

Heatwave Cowl

 

It’s available for free on Ravelry (pop it in your basket then add the code ‘Heatwave‘) or Craftsy (pattern will be set to paid on Friday April 8th) from
today until
midnight on April 8 2016  so grab it while you can.

GIVEAWAY!

Wow guys, over 150 downloads in ONE HOUR! You lot are pretty amazing.

SO, how about a little Thank You from Me to You?

It seems you adore the colour – one face booker reviewed it by saying

‘Oh my goodness, you can feel the warmth
coming from the cowl,
what a stunning colour, thank you’

So, I have one gorgeous ball of Schoppel Zauberball in Burnt Almond for one lucky, lucky crocheter.

FullSizeRender

Simply comment below (how about what designs or tutorials you’d like to see here, or what your favourite design already is) and a random number generator will pick a winner at 8pm on Friday April 8th 2016!

Good luck x

With love,

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Charity begins at home…will you play your part?

LEVAMENTUM-3

 

I’ve really had my eyes opened by all the recent press on the refugee crisis – I felt ashamed by my ignorance, not just of the situation but of the political background to it. I’ve been on an extensive learning curve, to say the least!

I wondered what I could do, aside from simply donating money.

I thought long and hard, then I found this wonderful charity:

knitforpeace

These amazing guys are an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust, which has been in action since 1979.
They distribute knit and crochet goods directly to where they are needed (rather than selling them for usually far less than they are ‘worth’) to over 80 centres, helping
hospitals,
women refuges,
prisons, refugees
&
developing countries.

Take a peek at the great work they do. 

I wanted to help.

I wanted to give a little of myself.

I had a blanket design that I had been pondering over for a while, and it seemed fitting to ‘gift’ it to them. I know, they are called Knit for Peace, but they do accept crocheted items too – they just didn’t have any free patterns on their website, so I created one just for them!

INTRODUCING…

LEVAMENTUM!

Levamentum is Latin for relief, comfort and solace – and also means unbending. It was the perfect name.
The blanket will provide comfort and solace to those who need help, and sometimes those who provide help need to be unbending in the face of opposition or political pressure.
It’s quick to work up – consisting of trebles worked in the back loop only on each row, which creates a ridged and reversible texture.
You can use your stash and any weight – full instructions are given – so it’s a perfect charity crochet.

Of course, you can also make one to keep – they are rather addictive to work up!

Click here to download

Please let me know if you are making a Levamentum Blanket – I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments or via the contact me page!

For those of you on Ravelry, if you could post a project too it would be awesome – if more people can see it, more people can make it and more people will benefit.

Click here for the Ravelry library page.

Share the love!

With love,

 

 

 

Unravelled by a game – meet Yarnie!

Yarnie unravel quote

“Yarn represents love and the bonds that we make.
It unravels because that’s what happens when we are separated from what we love.”

I’ve been obsessed this weekend.

By a computer game character, in a game that hasn’t hit the shelves yet.
I’m not a gamer, but I might just become one for this little guy….

Do watch all the video – even if you are not into games, because the Creative Director (Martin Sahlin) is the sweetest guy – very nervous, very humble, very passionate and describes the game beautifully.
The artwork is amazing and I get the impression it will be a huge hit with gamers and yarn-lovers alike!

So, how did I, as a non-gamer, stumble upon this character?

I have no idea. 

I was lost on the inter webs, turned a corner and there he was.

I immediately tweeted the game designer to ask if I could crochet him a Yarnie character

and he said…..

Yes Please! 

So, I grabbed:

my hook,

my yarn,

a weekend*

and set to work.

Crocheting has been crocheted, stuffing has been stuffed, weaving has been woven and he’s all ready for his close-up.

Drumroll please

presenting

YARNIE

Yarnie in Unravel220615_26

Here’s my little guy – all ready for a journey to Sweden to meet Mr Sahlin and his amazing team!

Yarnie in Unravel220615_01

“You are the thread that runs through someone’s life, trying to tie all the missing pieces back together”

The sentiment of the game is so beautiful, just like the character Yarnie.
I hope I can get permission to release the pattern to you all. He is such fun to make!

I wish Mr Sahlin, Yarnie and the team at Coldwood all the success they deserve.

With love,

*with thanks to my family for not thinking I was loopy for making a doll for a game designer I’ve never even met before when there was very rare, glorious sunshine in the UK!
QUOTES BY MARTIN SAHLIN

Which crochet design? You choose!

Help wanted_1

 Photo credit: Thewmatt / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

I have had a rush of creativity and can’t decide what design to work on next.

I need your help!

Vote below for the design you would like to see.

I hope the titles give you enough information – I can’t go into too much detail or it will spoil the surprise!

The winning answer will be worked up and the pattern will be posted here

FOR FREE!

With love,

– voting closes at midnight on Friday 26th June 2015 –

 

When life hands you lemons….crochet lemon coasters!

When Life hands you lemons.....

“Life handed him a lemon,
As Life sometimes will do.
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through.
They came upon him later,
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment, drinking
A glass of lemonade.”

Life has handed me a lot today so I thought to myself…

What am I going to do with all these lemons?

Why, use them for inspiration, make a lovely coaster for a cool drink and share the pattern with you!

 No tutorial this time, as the light is fading (so is the cool drink!) but if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to help.

Here goes….grab yourself

20 minutes, some scraps of yellow & green 4ply yarn,

Make Lemons180615_01

a 2.75mm hook and
a tapestry needle. 

Set up

Make a magic loop, sl st to secure, ch3 (counts as 1tr now and throughout), work 9tr in ring, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. Pull tail to tighten. (10 sts)

If you are unfamiliar with the magic loop technique, Craftsy have a great tutorial here.

Rnd 1

Ch3, work 1tr in base of ch, 2tr in each st around, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. (20 sts)

Rnd 2

Ch3, work 2tr in next st, *1tr, 2tr in next st; rep from * around, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. (30 sts)

Rnd 3

Ch3, 1tr, work 2tr in next st, *2tr, 2tr in next st; rep from * around, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. (40 sts)

Rnd 4

Ch3, 2tr, work 2tr in next st, *3tr, 2tr in next st; rep from * around, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. (50 sts)

Rnd 5

Ch3, 3tr, work 2tr in next st, *4tr, 2tr in next st; rep from * around, sl st to 3rd ch of t-ch to join. (60 sts)

Rnd 6

1ch, 19dc, *2htr, 2tr, 1dtr, 3dtr in next st, 1dtr, 2tr, 2htr, 19dc*, rep from * to *, sl st to first dc to join.

Fasten off.

Make Lemons180615_09

Leaf

Using the green yarn and 2.75mm hook, chain 11 sts.

Row 1

Work 1dc in second ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 2

Turn, work 2dc, 1htr, 1tr, 2dtr in each of next 2 sts, 1tr, 1htr, 2dc.

Row 3

With the front of the leaf still facing you, turn it 180 degrees and rep Row 2, working into the bottom of the chain (the underside of the dc previously worked).

Stalk

Sl st into the top of the leaf, ch6, turn and (starting in the second ch from the hook) work 1dc into each ch back down towards the leaf.

The reason for adding the stalk at the end is so that it doesn’t twist whilst working the leaf.

Fasten off.

Weave in all ends, sew the leaf into desired position.

Make Lemons180615_12

Block and enjoy.

What do you like to make when life hands you lemons?

With love,

Don’t forget to follow if you want more fab free patterns delivered direct to your inbox.

Poem: ‘The Optimist’ by Flynn, Clarence Edwin (November 1940)

 

Rotherwick Scarf – a free knitting pattern x

ROTHERWICKSCARFA free pattern from

I leapt out of bed this morning, thinking it was 9.45am. This was very, very bad. I had an urgent appointment somewhere ridiculously important at 10am and it was a two hour drive away. There was no way I was going to make it and boy, was I going to be in trouble!

I ran downstairs and into the garden, carrying Mr Tinklepants, then thought – hold on, that’s not 9.45am daylight. Thats 6.15am daylight!

Whoop-whoop!

So, here I am, dressed, breakfasted (a French Hom-ellete, with thanks to Julia Child) and with time to spare. Mmm, what’s a girl to do? I know.

Show everyone the knitted Scarf she designed for Artesano,
it’s available for free on their website!

Yes, that’s right – absolutely free. Although I must warn you, when this post was written they had 20% off Aran yarns and I can’t be held responsible for any purchases!

You can find the pattern here. 

So, pick up your sticks and get knitting – it’s never to early to start on (ahem) holiday gifts!

Sorry about that.

With love,

 

Absences, apologies & absent friends

Hello my lovelies.

This is difficult to write…so….deep breath…here goes….

I’m here to explain my absence – it’s been a long, long time since my last post. Lots has happened and I have to admit, I’ve been hiding. Hiding from the internets, hiding at work, hiding from work, hiding from friends (you know who you are and I am really very sorry), hiding from family, hiding behind smiley masks, but mainly hiding under duvets. 

As some of you may know (my tweets might have given it away!) I was devoted to my gorgeous wee fella, Mr Stinky – aka Bilko. He found his home in my heart and made my life whole.

2013-01-19 11.43.20-2

He was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder last year and the end was so sudden that the shock left me reeling. The vets were just awful and while Mr Stinky lost his battle, the war with them is still ongoing.

 It was so painful I never thought I would recover. There are days when I still don’t think I have, but at least I can function again. Every time I think of him my heart breaks and my eyes fill up with uncontrollable tears. I have to remind myself that the amount I hurt from missing him is equivalent to how much I loved him and how much he loved me.

I loved him a lot.

I didn’t notice that I was lonely until he came into my life and showed me the power of truly unconditional love.

Since he has been gone it has been almost unbearable.

I say almost, because I am still here. I am bearing it. I don’t know how, but I am.

I say goodnight to him every day before I go to sleep.

I say good morning to him every day when I wake up.

Walks seem pointless without my best friend.

I never noticed that before – until he showed me how amazing a walk should be.

2013-02-17 14.51.50

Oh dear. I thought I had the strength to write this to explain my disappearing act (and my sudden re-appearance!) but as I type my eyes are leaking again. They leak a lot these days.

I will love him, miss him and remember him every day of my life.

My beautiful Bilko

But, Life goes on. So, I decided to give myself a good talking to. From somewhere I found the strength to pick myself up. I have given myself all the comfort I can cope with – it’s time for some Tough Love and it’s time I got back into the real world, so this is me.

I’m back, I’m still a little broken, but I’m here.

Here and getting back to teaching, writing, designing, reviewing and getting back to my old crafty self.

Thank you for waiting.

I missed you x

Snowdrops

Fragile flowers

I love it when the first snowdrops of the year bravely push on through frozen (or in this case, flooded!) soil – it means that the mornings are getting lighter, and Spring is on the way. I find it amazing that these delicate little flowers are the first to arrive. I thought that they must be immortalised in knitting somewhere, but was struck by the lack of Snowdrop related patterns and projects. There are some lace pieces, and a couple of charts, but for a flower that (to me) heralds a new year, a fresh start (and always makes me smile) it didn’t seem to be a lot. I am working on some lace designs at the moment, and will be studying the humble Snowdrop to see what I can add to the mix. If I like it, I might even offer it on here!

SnowdropsCreative Commons Licence: Bankhallbretherton

Granny Stripes

The Granny Stripe Delight sample worked up a treat. I really like the colour combination. It’s a nice, simple pattern and makes for a snug fitting cowl – quick to work up, warm to wear. If anyone would like the ‘pattern’ do leave me a comment/get in touch and I’ll add it on here later!

Granny Stripe Delight

(Please excuse the make-shift light box – but it works, for now!) 

The first course has now been booked – we had someone sign up within five minutes, which was lovely. It’s on March 8th (Saturday) from 10-2pm at The Wool Shop in Pewsey, if anyone in the South West/Wiltshire is interested in coming along. I’ll be covering crochet basics:

  • How to hold the yarn and hook
  • Chaining
  • Trebles
  • Turning chains
  • Changing colours
  • Weaving in as you go
  • How to swatch & translate that so you can make anything you like – a cushion cover, blanket, long scarf, skinny scarf, anything your imagination can create!
  • US/UK terminology
  • Charts

There’s a lot to cover! We are working on more classes, including Irish Crochet Lace, Crochet Motifs, Knitted socks, How to Moebius and much, much more. Drop me a line if you’d like to be added to the email list and I can keep you updated.

Aside from the Granny Stripe Delight, I’ve been all homey and house-proud this weekend (probably because I can see the dust in the sunshine!) and felt the need to bake.

Baking FeverAs I was going out with My Boy for a long walk,  some stodgy nourishment was called for, so I plumped for Toad-in-the-hole (with cabbage and mash!) to warm me up afterwards. I’d love to show you the results, but it is still in the oven and I’ll probably shcoffle it before taking a pic. Well, it was a looooong walk! We (Bozo and I) had great fun in the sun – although he did get a little confused with the ‘hitchhiker’ on his nose…

Dinner’s ready, so I’m off for some yumminess now…until next time,

pw x

New Year, New Start?

I was catching up with a lovely friend earlier today, Sharon of fivemoons, when she pondered whether anything ‘new’ decided  today is doomed to failure, simply because it could be construed as a ‘new year’s resolution’. We haven’t spoken in a while though, so my ‘new’ news and plans, although they are starting now aren’t really ‘new’ to me as I have been planning them for a while so I figure they don’t count as resolutions! I am, however, really rather looking forward to what the New year has in store for me – lots of hard work, but hopefully a smoother ride.

My last post, counting my blessings, was somewhat appropriate. The following week, My Boy was startled on a pavement and leapt into the path of an oncoming car. He bounced off and ran away so fast I couldn’t catch up with him. I had only just started  working in the village where he went missing, but word quickly spread and everyone was out on foot and horseback looking for him. He was found, six or so hours later, waiting at my office. The vet gave him the all clear and I definitely counted my blessings that day.

Anyway, this is seriously at risk of this becoming the Diary of My Dog (perhaps he should get a blog!) so I guess I’d better crack on with the crafts! I have been rather good at finishing projects these past few weeks, but not so good at photographing them. With all this rain, the light has been appalling! I will get them shot as soon as I can. What I have photographed (rather badly today) was some fingerless mitts I had great fun putting together. I purchased the yarn from ebay, from kingcraigfabrics – £3 for a 100g ball, 95% merino, 5% cashmere. It was project specific – my father had asked for an autumn coloured scarf, and the brown flecked yarn was ideal. I must admit to being a little hesitant when placing the order as I’d never ordered from an unknown (to me) supplier before, not without seeing the yarn first anyway, but was pleasantly surprised when it arrived! It was lovely to work with, so when I’d finished the scarf (photos to follow!) I cast on straight away for my ‘Rustic Chorus’ fingerless mitts. I have wanted a pair of ‘oversized’ fingerless mitts for a while, with rolled edges and simple cuffs, so here they are:

And here is the (very basic, un tech edited and originally written in my almost illegible scribble!) pattern for the ……

RUSTIC CHORUS FINGERLESS MITTS

To fit: Adult

Using a light aran yarn (I used less than 100g, you could probably work it with 50g!) and 4.5mm circulars (long enough for magic loop) cast on 32 sts; join to work in the round, taking care not to twist sts.
PM (place marker) if desired – personally, I just use the tail to let me know when I’m at the beginning of a new round.
Place half the sts on each side of the magic loop. Knit 40 rounds.
Next rnd: K15 sts, yo, k1; k1, yo, k15.
Next rnd: Knit.
Rep last two rounds (increasing the number of sts after/before each yo as set) until there are 21 sts on each ‘side’ of the magic loop.
Next rnd: Knit to last 6 sts before the tail/marker; place 6 sts on waste yarn. Place the next 6 sts (from the next ‘side’) on waste yarn.
Pull yarn tight to close gaps/minimise laddering and continue knitting to the end of the next round.
Working on the live sts only, knit another 12 rnds.
Cast off loosely.
Thumb:
Replace the 12 thumb sts on the needle; pick up 1 st at ‘hand’ end, k6; k6, pick up another st.
Next rnd: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, ask.
Knit 5 more rnds.
Cast off – I found a suspended cast off helped to prevent the thumb from being too tight.
Weave in ends.

This style gives yo ‘ladders’ at the thumb join. If you want to have solid gloves, work a m1l/m1r increase instead. However you work it, make the second mitt the same.

Enjoy!