Wednesday, 22 May 2013

And The Winner is .... Ta Da.....

Thanks to everyone who entered my book give-away to win Debbie Bliss's latest lovely book Knits for you and your home, kindly provided by Quadrille Publishing.
The winner (as picked randomly by hubby) is Rachel, blogger, knitter and crocheter from
Congratulations Rachel, I hope you make some lovely things for yourself from the book,
xx Happy Knitting xx

Saturday, 18 May 2013

A handmade gift using new skills

I'm just coming to the end of my current 'learn to crochet' course at Sandbach High School. I had 10 ladies on the course, which is quite a large group to get around and give everyone the attention they deserve. But everyone seems really happy with the new skills they've learnt and I've enjoyed teaching them and passing on my skills, knowledge and tips and tricks to make their crochet look really neat and professional.

One of my current students, brought along something special to the class last week - a beautiful and thoughtful handmade gift for a friend who'd apparently made a few jokes about her learning to crochet. I'm sure she'll be fully converted through when she sees the beautiful projects Kathryn has made for her. Kathryn kindly sent me some photos for me to blog about and I'm sure you'll agree that her work is really beautiful. First she made a basket to hold her handmade crochet gifts, and added a scarf, a washcloth, and a crochet-covered pebble. Kathryn also added a freebie from a magazine and a daisy washcloth - although she said she may struggle to part with the washcloth and I can understand why!!

I thought this was one of the nicest ideas for a handmade gift that I've seen for a while and I might have to steal Kathryn's idea for a relative who has a big birthday coming up soon. I see crochet bunting, some wristlets, a brooch and a cute little amigurumi in my basket - what would you put in yours?

If you'd like to learn some new skills, I'll be continuing to teach knitting and crochet at Sandbach from September, but if you can't wait until them you could pop along to "Make with Mabel" (click here) in Knutsford where I will be running knitting workshops and courses. Tracey Todhunter will be running crochet classes (click here) and there are lots more skills to learn too, from beading, felting and quilting, to lampshade making and sewing. I will be listed my courses shortly, so watch this space.

Handmade gifts are always the best xx happy crafting xx

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Book Review - Debbie Bliss Knits for you and your home - and Book Giveaway

I was absolutely delighted last week when my review copy of Debbie Bliss’s latest knitting book dropped through the letterbox, kindly sent to me by Quadrille Publishing Ltd. I’d only seen the fabulous front cover and couldn’t wait to see what knitted delights awaited me. I have to admit that Debbie Bliss is one of my favourite designers. I have quite a few of her books and magazines and her yarns are amongst the best to work with (in my humble opinion). I was hoping that her latest addition would live up to my expectations, and to my relief, it did and here’s my review:

Debbie Bliss
Knits for you and your home
Hardback published March 14th. 2013 by Quadrille Publishing Ltd
Enticing new collection of 30 hand knit projects from world-renowned designer Debbie Bl
RRP £18.99 (however, you can find it cheaper on most book selling websites)

Knits for you and your home is a whimsical treasure trove of 30 creative knits, ranging from quick and easy projects that can be made in just a couple of days, to larger pieces that are longer term projects. Whatever you choose to knit, you can be sure it will become a treasured addition to your home or wardrobe.

The aim of the book is to entice you away from the projects you are knitting for others and make something beautiful for yourself. Hence the book is divided into 4 aptly named chapters with titles that will draw you in with excitement – Indulge, Cocoon, Pamper and Detox. Each chapter contains a variety of projects, from cosy homewares and accessories to casual garments and jewellery. Already, I want to make them all and decorate my home with knitted loveliness.

All projects use Debbie Bliss’s sumptuous yarns, including my favourites – baby cashmerino, cotton dk and rialto aran. Colour schemes are beautifully muted tones throughout, with a splash of colour here and there to catch your attention. There’s a handy list of yarns at the beginning of the book, so you can check yarn weights and tension just in case you need to subsititute yarns, depending on your budget.

I will be knitting quite a few projects from the book when time allows, and here are my favourites:
  • The stunning and elegant beaded cushion. I can’t wait to have a go at the bead detail which is added at the end.

  • pretty beaded lavender hearts – these will be perfect for my friend’s wedding. I’m delighted that she’s asked me to knit some hearts for her table centre pieces.
  • The comforting armchair throw in luxurious purple with a red trim – although I may make it in different tones.
  • These chunky cabled socks to keep my feet toasty and warm
  • The elegant chevron cushion cover with it’s zingy zig-zag design. Perhaps I’ll use monochrome shades or muted tones.
  • and last but not least the pouffe – I’m desperate to knit this utterly gorgeous pouffe, although it may be a while before I tackle this as it takes 21 balls of yarns – I’ll have to set up a pouffe fund!!!
I hope you really enjoy Debbie’s latest book – it’s really lovely to browse and choose what knitted luxuries you’re going to create for yourself. And here’s the best thing:

I’m offering this book as a giveaway.

Just leave a comment below as to what you love to knit for yourself if you had the time and could buy any yarn.

The competition will close in two weeks, midnight on Monday 20th. May 2013. Entries will be compiled into a database and a random number drawn on Tuesday 21st. May.

Happy Knitting and good luck xx