Friday, 29 March 2013

Free Pattern - Mr. & Mrs. Chirp Egg Cosies

Here's a cute little freebie for the Easter Weekend, for a couple of cute egg cosies - perfect for keeping your boiled eggs warm on Easter Sunday morning. You could even hide a chocolate egg underneath Mr. or Mrs. Chirp.


The pattern is available to download on my webside as I can't upload files to blogspot.

Just click on the link below, then click the download file.

Link to free Easter knitting pattern

Happy Easter Knitting xx

Monday, 25 March 2013

Competition Time - Win Tickets for the Cake and Bake Show 2013

Thanks to the lovely people at the Cake and Bake Show, I have 2 pairs of tickets for the Cake and Bake Show 2013, Manchester, to give away.

2 people will win 2 tickets each.

See your favourite baking stars up close, watch live demonstrations with TV celebrities and learn new skills with experts in the classroom - what better way to spend a weekend. Stars include Paul Hollywood, Simon Rimmer, Eric Lanlard and John Whaite. How exciting. For more details, visit the Cake and Bake Show website here: http://thecakeandbakeshow.co.uk/manchester/

It's simple to Enter - just leave a comment on this post, telling me who your favourite TV baker is.

All entrants names will be entered into a database and I'll use a random number generator to pick two winning numbers. The draw will close at Midnight on Sunday 31st. March and the winners will be notified via my blog, facebook and twitter on 1st. April. The tickets will be sent direct from the show's press team.

You've got to be in it to win it so good luck xx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Homemaker Magazine Review

Well, you wouldn't think that spring was upon us and Easter is just a few days away. Not when the garden looks like this.


In the midst of the cold snap, I'm nursing a sore face, after some major dental surgery, that involved an operation and stitches. Ouch!! The stitches are out and swelling has almost gone so I'm just left with a yellowish cheek and tender gum. At least it's all over and done with. Let's hope it's done the trick and the abscess has gone for good.

So image my delight when I returned home from my traumatic treatment to find that the postie had left this:


Homemaker is a new magazine, brought to you by Aceville - the same company that publish Let's Get Crafting, Let's Knit, and lots of other crafty and lifestyle titles.

Here's my independant review of issue 4, which I hope will help you to decide whether to give it a try. Homemaker has it's own website too, with lots of free downloads, some great blog posts and fab competitions: http://homemakermagazine.co.uk/

Things I like:
  • The interviews - there are so many interesting interviews and tutorial with famous celebrities, including Twiggy, Paul Hollywood, Wayne Hemmingway and Anthea Turner - all informative and entertaining.
  • The makes - wow - so many gorgeous makes, from sewing, painting and baking to crochet and  needlecraft.
  • The chats - meet the makers for inspiring chats about their designing and creativity, including a chat with successful illustrator Alice Pattullo. I love her unique style and you can see more of it here: www.alicepattullo.com

  • In addition, there are stylish and trendy home accessories to ogle and desire.
  • I love the fact that I've already picked up this magazine 3 or 4 times, and haven't read half of it, which makes it great value for money.
  • Finally, I mustn't forget my "BEACH" themed lettering on page 50. You can download the pattern free here: http://homemakermagazine.co.uk/download-our-bonus-beach-letters-crochet-project/


I normally list the things I don't like, but there's nothing not to like about this mag. It's just packed from the first page to the last with great stuff.

So, if you're looking for a interesting and informative read or looking for inspiration and new ideas, then look no further than Homemaker.

Happy Crafting xx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Simply Crochet Issue 3 Review

We don’t really go over the top” on Mother’s Day  – just a token of appreciated is all that’s required here, so image my absolute delight when I received issue 3 of Simply Crochet along with a subscription. Now I have something lovely to look forward to each month and won’t miss a single issue.
 
Despite my New Year’s Resolution of not buying magazines, I have to admit I’ve reverted to buying two mags – Simply Crochet, and Inside Crochet. I love them both equally. They’re both stylish, feminine and contemporary; perfect for the modern crocheter. So my magazine pile is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, as I still subscribe to Mollie Makes and also receive contributor’s copies of magazines that I design for.
 
Just in case you’ve missed out on Simply Crochet, or have been thinking about a subscription, then here’s my independent and honest review of issue 3, which may help you decide. I’ll review Inside Crochet separately as soon as I’ve bought the latest issue.
 
Simply Crochet, issue 3:
Things I like:
  • The first thing that made me smile was the free cat tape measure – it's so cute and practical too. It’s come in handy already, measuring my latest crochet design. My son loves it too and keeps fiddling with it – so I just hope it’s boy proof.
  • The front cover is simple and stylish, not too fussy and shows off a couple of projects – bunting, a cute little chick, a granny square scarf and a summery bolero; just enough to draw you in.
  • The photography, styling and layout are similar to Mollie Makes, another one of my favourite mags, so if you love Mollie Makes and you can crochet, then you’re bound to love Simply Crochet too.
  • But my absolute favourite find is this David Bowie Paper Dress Up Doll – I did a little squee when I saw this. He’s my all-time music hero and I really must buy one!!!
Patterns:

  • Amongst the 40 patterns, there are pretty and practical designs for your bathroom, a beautiful bolero, a gorgeous floral granny blanket and the cutest little chick and eggs – perfect for Easter.
  • Jane Crowfoot shares some great advice for new crocheters along with some colourful Easter egg designs and Carol Meldrum has designed a fabulous zigzag cowl and skirt that can be worn as either.
  • There’s an introduction to beading, supported by a beaded wrist band that would suit any occasion and a pair of cute bootees that would make a perfect gift for a new baby.
  • Carol Meldrum’s egg basket is rustic and unique and her pretty pebble covers would make a great doorstop for your home or beach hut.
  • There are 6 inventive patterns for a triangle, including bunting, cushions, bows and a necklace and a bold throw/blanket by Nicki Trench.
  • Not to forget a granny square scarf, a chevron belt and a children’s mobile.
  • In addition, there are pages of ideas, inspiration, websites, blogs to follow, event and lots of other lovely stuff. It’s a magazine that you can pick up for the tenth time and still find something ‘new’ that you haven’t noticed before.

What I didn’t like:
Unfortunately I didn’t find anything that I objected to or didn’t like, so it’s difficult for me to add something here. There are quite a few adverts for other Future Mags but that’s understandable really and it’s balanced well with discount offers for mags and yarns.
 
What will I make?
On my list are the bathroom makes, the Easter eggs, the ZigZag cowl and skirt and the pretty pebble covers.
 
Value for Money:
In my opinion it’s great value for money, especially if you take out a subscription which makes it cheaper than the cover price of £4.99. It’s a mag you can peruse over and over again without getting bored.
 
Next month’s issue looks equally as promising and I can’t wait until it pops through the letterbox.
 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Catching Up

Crikey - how long has it been since I last blogged? Too long that's for sure, and I definitely failed my New Year's Resolution of blogging more often. Still, it's not the end of the world, and here I am with my latest news.

The book: I've finally finished the 30 hat designs and samples for the book. What a lot of work it was. I knitted all hours for weeks and still ran out of time. Luckily the publishers had a freelance knitter on hand who knitted up some of the last few designs. Phew. Although I haven't actually seen what they look like, so hopefully what was in my head has transposed well to the finished design. I still have some intro chapters to finish and the whole book to proof read at some point. Then it will be printed and on the shelves - how exciting. Don't worry - be assured that I'll be telling everyone when it's finally on sale. Here's a sneaky peak at one of the hats knitted with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK - isn't it cute?
 


Commissions: I also finished my 10 Vintage Seaside Knits for Knit Today Mag. They'll be published in a free book with issue 86. The projects enjoyed a little day trip to Bournemouth for a photoshoot in a beach hut - I wish I could have gone too!! I'm sure they'll look fab and I really enjoyed designing them and can't wait to see them in print. I'm commission free at the moment but I'm just waiting for yarns to arrive for a couple of crochet and knitting commissions. Here are some of my latest published designs - I really enjoyed designing the long socks and would like to design more but the knitted custard creams and pink wafers are my favourite:

 
 

Editing: I've been busy working with a new magazine, which is really exciting. I don't know how I got into this work but I really enjoy it. I work closely with two other ladies to produce each issue from start to finish, including copy editing/tech editing the crochet patterns in each issue and proof reading the whole mag. It's hard work and a lot of responsibility as you need to be extremely diligent to make sure there are no errors, either within the patterns or within the general text. The magazine is a new partworks mag that's going out to test soon, so fingers crossed it will be popular and go to full run. There are 80 issues so that will keep me busy for a couple years.

So that's what's keeping me busy at the moment. I hope things are going well for you too, whatever you're doing. Happy crafting xx