Tag Archives: giveaway

Settler Shawl – finished!

Before I went on holiday I wrote the post “It is meant to be.” The shawl that I was knitting is all finished. Knitted, blocked and end weaved in. I LOVE it.

This is my swatch.

This is my swatch.

We had a very long car journey (6 hours or so) and I did not want to waste a minute so got started with the swatch. It is a very important part of the process although Libby (the designer) had said that she thought that most people would not bother with a shawl but I was going to do this ‘properly’.

I say do it properly but I didn't want to waste time blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measure this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I say do it properly but I didn’t want to spend the time wet blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measured this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I also took the opportunity to practice the cross over pattern that I had not done before, which was just as well because I got it completely wrong!

I didn't read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

I didn’t read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

The first bit of the shawl was all garter stitch (one of the reasons as to why I was keen to get going whilst in the car.) It shows the variations in the colour of the yarn really well. It also makes the project a great one to take out and about. I went on to take this project onto the beach and was able to take part in conversations whenever I was doing it.

The criss- cross pattern done correctly :)

The criss- cross pattern done correctly 🙂

Once you get onto the cross over pattern it is still not difficult (as long as you get it correct;)) but it does require a bit more concentration – I had to look at what I was doing whereas I didn’t for the garter stitch.

Once finished the magic can take place!

Before blocking - please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

Before blocking – please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

After a soak in water, a gentle dry within a towel and pinning out this is what you get:

IMG_1075I think that the transformation is amazing. I just know that I am going to get LOTS and LOTS of wear out of this.

I loved knitting this and I love the end result even more. A real win – win 🙂 The good news is that you can get your hands on this pattern TODAY here, or if you fancy your chances and waiting for a bit then I have 1 copy of the pattern to give away thanks so much to Libby also known as Truly Myrtle.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday 6th September.

A huge thank you to Libby for giving me this opportunity.

Good luck and enjoy.

PS: Joanne I have not deserted you, I am currently working very hard on your project 😉

Finally we have a winner.

Drum roll please……

The winner of this amazing book:

This is the book!

is……..the………amazing…….. and…..wonderful


Congratulations. Drop me an e-mail or dm your address and I shall post it your way. For those of you who were not lucky enough to get your hands on this copy why not go to this link and buy your own? You will get a great book as well as giving some money to a very worthy cause.

I have not had a good week on the blogging front, in fact I have not posted for a whole week on either of my blogs :(. It may not get any better this coming week either as I am jury duty. It may mean that I have loads of time on my hands for blogging, or that I have even less time. We shall see. I hope it is the latter!

Hope you all have a great crafty week. xx

Sew, Stick, Splatter and Salvage

I am very excited today to be able to show you an amazing book. To be honest, I have been a little bit naughty as I have had it for a while but sometimes life gets in the way.

This is the book!

This is the book!

It has been put together by the lovely Ellie from Eleanor Lucy Millinery. All for a very good cause – to raise money for The Air Ambulance Service.

It is a lovely book that I really enjoyed just looking through. It is full of lovely photographs which include lovely fabrics and pretty things. (Living in a house full of boys I can but dream of pretty things. ;)) The idea behind it is to use second-hand things and up-cycle them into new, useful things.

The projects include buttons, material, pottery and cups and saucers. Most of them are easily accessible, requiring little previous skill, a bit of glue and the odd bit of sewing. The one obvious example is a knitted snood project.

A cake stand made from plates and glasses.

A cake stand made from plates and glasses.

Beautiful picture frames.

Beautiful picture frames.

You can’t really loose on this book. By buying it you are supporting a very good cause and getting a lovely book full of great ideas which is also lovely to look at.

I am giving my book away to one lucky person. In order to be in with a chance I would like you to share an up-cycling idea that you either would like to have a go at or have done. If you have blogged about it then do please leave a link so we can pop over and have a look. You never know – it may form part of New Wings for Old Things Book 2! 🙂 I shall draw a random winner one week from today on Wednesday 30th 2013.

I am really looking forward to reading about your up-cycling adventures.


Crochet Book Giveaway

I am thrilled to be have been given a new crochet book to look at called Hip Crochet by Natalie Clegg. Even more exciting is that Natalie is local to where I live. (I love a local celeb.) If you live anywhere near the Cambridge area you too can meet her on Saturday April 27th at the Sheep Shop in Cambridge at 3.30pm. She will be signing copies of her book and answering any questions you may have. I also have heard a whisper that she is designing a special pattern for the event too!

So now about the book starting off with the author:

Who is Natalie Clegg:

She is an interior designer and sounds to be full of life:

I absolutely love my life and love to try new things – so I am always exploring and learning.

Taken from her blog: here

She obviously loves her job designing interiors:

I love interiors – I would love to see every building and space made beautiful – even the unused ones.

Taken from her blog: here

Probably the thing that stands out most to me is that she is not afraid of colour. YAY 🙂


Taken from Ravelry

Hip Crochet is her first Crochet book and is full of fun patterns for the home. There are a real mix of patterns in this book:

Taken from the Ravelry Page here click to see the rest.

All in all there are 25 patterns ranging from the useful (Graffiti Doorstop) to the purely decorative (Ice Cream Sundae).

Hip crochet includes fun crochet projects to give your home a touch of colour, with patterns to suit all tastes and levels of ability.

Taken from the ‘blurb’

There is a refreshingly different selection of patterns in this book. The range is such that I am pretty sure that there is a project in this book that will appeal to most people. Quite an achievement. The range of techniques is broad so it is a great book for people relatively new to crochet or for those looking to expand their skills.

Organisation and essentials

The book starts off giving some really good tips (my favourite is using a notebook to make notes about each project.) There are also conversion charts for the sizes of hooks and the differences between us and uk crochet terms. Other features to note are:

  • it is written in  UK terminology
  • it includes charts where appropriate as well as written
  • it has great photos – at least 1 full-page photo per project
  • it includes a variety of techniques – in the round, rows, amigurumi, felted, join-as-you-go and Jacquard Crochet Diagrams
  • many projects give ideas of how to vary the pattern
  • Natalie gives her own little tip on each project
  • There is a section on basic crochet techniques – how to
  • There is a section on other techniques (including a recipe to make your own starch)
  • There is a glossary of terms.

My main criticism would be that there is no indication on the difficulty of the pattern.

A Trial Run

I am however not done. I feel it is only fair that I try a project out. After all the patterns may be so badly written that they are impossible to follow (unlikely I know but ……)

I had a go at a Cache Pot:

Cache Pot

I found the instructions to this easy to follow and I ended up with a really cute little bowl which is surprisingly sturdy. It is a quick project to complete – great for gifts.


Now for the exciting bit. I have a copy of the book to giveaway – not only that but it will be a signed copy! (either you can come along to the Sheep shop and I will give you the book then and there so you can get it signed yourself or I will get it signed and send it to you later!) Excited? All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me why you would like to win a copy of the book.  I shall be doing the draw on Friday night at 8pm.

Oh and one more thing. Claire over at Clairebellemakes also has a copy to give away so why not pop over to her blog and see what she has to say about the book as well as doubling your chance to win yourself a copy? Good luck to everyone who enters 🙂

If you like crafty blogs why not follow me over to Handmade Harbour to have a look at a lot more lovely crafty blogs?

ps: This week it is the 4th Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog week where bloggers are challenged to write a blog post every day following a plan. I shall be joining in. If you would like to then pop over here to find out more.

Learning How To Take Decent Photographs (Part 2)

English: A photo of a Voigtlander Vito II came...

Since my first post on this subject I have been busy experimenting with the different settings on the camera. I am more confident using it although I still have a very long way to go. The one tip that I have picked up on from the comments on my last post is where to take  photographs at this time of year when the light is so poor. (I am really sorry but I cannot find the comment and so am unable to give the person who suggested this full credit  – if it was you then do please let me know so I can amend this please.)

Bath tub in bathroom next to fire place

No, this is not my bathroom.

Do you get the idea? When I read this I had one of those light bulb moments. My bathroom is tiled in light tiles, my bath is white and I have a velux window letting in a lot of un-obscured light. Perfect, except it has prompted some rather interesting questions from my family (me, fully dressed, crouched in the bath taking photos? yup hee, hee ). it does seem to give better all round light.

This is one example.

This is one example.

Tunisian Wire BraceletSo what next? (apart from a lot more practice) The next thing in the book is editing. Now I have had a little experience with Photoshop. It involved a lot of very long hours, lots of hunting for help on You-tube and a more frustration (just to add to all this my version is VERY old and doesn’t seem to do quite what it should!). I was going to look into this a bit more so I could share some of the wisdom I had learnt with you. BUT I visited Handmade Harbour.

In celebration of the 100th Handmade Monday Wendy is having 5 days of giveaways. Today’s giveaway is photo editing software from Magix.  Wendy gives it positive reviews which sounds encouraging. Now I am not saying that I will win it but it I have entered and may just put off struggling with Photoshop until I find out that I haven’t won. I will then make the decision as to buy that one or …? Whilst on the subject entry to the giveaway is really easy. Details can be found here. I do encourage you to have a look – and whilst there have a look at the other giveaways she has had – up until now there has been a book for creatives wanting to sell their craft and money to spend on resources for craft. Two more on their way.

So until I know I shall hold off the editing part and continue on the practice. 🙂 Do you edit your photos? What program do you use?

A Quick Update

A while ago you may remember that I had a dilemma with some knitting that I was doing. I had made a mistake which in order to correct meant ripping back about half of the work I had already done. Many of you gave me your opinion on this and, after much procrastinating I decided to rip it back. In the event it only took me just over one evening to re-knit the rip back. It was so worth it as I now know that there is no mistake on the piece.

This is it - a shrug called Angel wings.

This is it – a shrug called Angel wings.

I really love it. It is warm, fits over most things and looks amazing (even if I do say so myself!). The pattern is in the current issue of Yarnwise magazine and more info can be found here.

A close up of the cabling that forms the wings.

A close up of the cabling that forms the wings.

It is a quick knit with enough pattern to make it interesting without being too difficult. I recommend it.


I won a giveaway this week (YAY). A huge thanks to Joanne Scrace (Notsogranny) and Artesano. It was to celebrate the release of Artesano silk blend book 2. Joanne has two projects published in this book and was giving away the book and the yarn to knit one of the patterns. To enter I had to decide which project I would knit and which colour way I would use. That was really easy for me – the Triogona pattern (by Joanne naturally) in the colour that she knit it in for the pictures. For those of you not able to follow the link here is the yarn:

You know a yarn is posh when it comes in hanks, not balls!

You know a yarn is posh when it comes in hanks, not balls!

It is a colour made for me being a very fair coloured person. I think that I am going to have great fun knitting this over the holidays. The yarn feels absolutely divine. I am such a lucky, lucky girl 🙂 (sighing with pleasure!) It just shows that it is worth entering the giveaways on blogs as you never know if you may win. 🙂

And the winner is….

A big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway on my blog as part of the Make and Craft blog tour.  The lucky person to win this book….

…is Jennifer Nina. Congratulations.

If you were unlucky but still want a copy of this book phone 01892 510850 and quote Make and Craft Blog tour and you will not have to pay P%P.

The Make and Craft Blog Tour

Make and Craft Logo

Welcome to All!

Welcome everyone to my turn on the tour and thank you to crafty painter whom it seems thinks along the same sort of lines as me! I am so excited to be taking part in this and am eagerly awaiting the first edition of this brand new magazine which comes out exactly 1 WEEK TODAY! If you want to find out more about the magazine then do head over to their website here. There is lots on there so make sure you have a cup of tea handy before you start as there are forums, tips, swaps, ideas …….. (you get the idea). Also don’t forget that you can sign up and get 3 copies for just £1 (digital) or £3 paper. It has to be worth a go surely?

My Book

For those of you that have been following the tour you will be aware that everyone has been sent a book to review. I have been very lucky with my book as it is just perfect for me. I got stuck in straight away leaving everything else as WIP! This is it:

75 Crocheted Floral Blocks by Betty Barnden. ISBN:978-1-84448-808-7

(Yes I know my blog title has knitting in it but I do crochet a lot as well!)

This book is really well set out with 1 block per page. There are written instructions as well as charts making it accessible to all. I am used to following written patterns and set off to follow these but I have to say I had some difficulties. This may be something to do with the fact that I started with an advanced pattern which could have been slightly ambitious (there are three categories easy, intermediate and advanced). The consequence of this however is that I have managed to teach myself how to read charts from this book so I am really chuffed. 🙂

Book Summary

The book gives quite comprehensive instructions. It gives a summary of which hooks to use with which yarns, how to read ball bands, how to start and finish neatly, suggestions for edgings and advice on how to arrange the blocks together. At the back there are 4 examples of projects which you can make. My favourite page shows one block worked with different hook sizes and yarns. It really shows what a difference this makes clearly.

My Project

As this is all part of a launch party I decided to have a go making the triangular blocks so that I could make something very appropriate. Using some yarn from my stash (very surprising colours as I have three boys!) I made this:

Some bunting!! Not as quick to make as that from yesterday but weird that we both had a similar idea.

These blocks are incredibly satisfying to do as they are quite quick (it was easy to do one a night). They are also portable, indeed I did take them out with me to a couple of meetings. (I never like to waste good crafting time!)

Here are some of them in more detail:

This one is called ‘Violet Triangle’

Celtic Flower Triangle

Michaelmas Daisy Triangle

Stonecrop Triangle

After blocking them (pinning them out to dry after spraying them with water) I went to my local shop, bought some appropriate ribbon and threaded the triangles on to it in the order I thought most appropriate. Why not have a go yourself? I would love to see how they turn out so do link back to here so I can see.


For those of you who follow my blog, you will know that I often crochet and knit things in wire, adding beads and making them into jewellery. I have had a bit of a break from this recently but this book inspired me to have another go.

I basically take a crochet pattern and do it in wire. Here is my first one:

This is from a block called Four Daisy Diamond.

My thought on this is a pendant:

My second one is:

This is the central part from the Large Flowered Hexagon.

This is nowhere near finished and I will therefore be returning to it soon. If you have some ideas about what I should do with them then I am always delighted to hear them. If you would like to see how I finish this off  then I am on Facebook and Twitter and I will be sharing the post I write on there.

Final thoughts

I am hoping that you can tell that I really like this book. I have loads more to do with it and I really want to thank those at Make and Craft for giving me such a fab book. Not only did I get a book but I also got an extra copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. All you have to do is register on the Make and Craft website and leave a comment below. I will randomly pick a winner on the 15th October. Good luck 🙂

If you are not lucky and really want a copy then it is available from Search Press which have an amazing amount of creative books on their site. You can also find out more information about the book. If you quote Make and Craft Blog Tour when purchasing the book from Search Press you will not have to pay any P&P! (Phone 01892 510850 to order).

Thank you so much for reading. Do join me tomorrow when I pass the baton onto the wonderful Wendy from Handmade Harbour (of the handmade Monday linky party fame).