Author Archives: pennygj

My Knitted Doll Blog Hop – Book Review

My Knitted Doll BookA little while ago I was asked by Sew and So if I would like to join in with a Blog Hop and review the new book, My Knitted Doll.

Now I have to admit I wasn’t immediately sure because from past experience I found knitted dolls to be, well, a bit twee.  However, I was sent some pictures and I have to admit, I fell in love!  Louise Crowther‘s take on the knitted doll is just so darn cute!Martha - My Knitted Doll

There are patterns for twelve different dolls, including a boy, and every one has their own individual wardrobe.  I really like the way the book is presented too; each doll has their own story and name.  I think my only criticism is that I would like more boys and boys clothes, but there is lots of scope to adapt the patterns and to make a special person their own Mini Me.

The patterns in My Knitted Doll are very clear and all the techniques are covered in the back of the book with lots of photos and explanations.

The book is published in November but I was sent a PDF copy to review and couldn’t wait to get the needles out and start knitting.  I chose Jane.  This is Louise Crowther’s version…Jane - My Knitted Doll…and this is mine…My Knited Doll - Planet Penny yarnAnd the added bonus?  Planet Penny yarn is perfect for all the patterns!  So I have a hard copy of the book on pre-order and I shall be knitting my way through it for birthdays and Christmas pressies, if I can bear to part with them!

Find Out More…

There’s a sneak peek below, and HERE you can pre-order My Knitted Doll and get the e-book free!

Find out more on the links below …
Tuesday 11th October – Interview with Louise Crowther on SewandSo
Wednesday 12th October – Eskimimi Makes
Thursday 13th October – The Creations of Crazy Dazy
Friday 14th October – Planet Penny

You can follow the blog hop on the Sew and Sew Facebook page and on Instagram using #MyKnittedDoll.  I’m really looking forward to see everybody’s different versions.  Do tag me if you join in!

Have a lovely weekend, I’ll be back soon…x

Cosy Wool from Cosywool!

Cosywool Comforts…

Cosywool - knittingCosy wool is just the ticket for the cooler autumnal days and in my last post I gave you a tantalising glimpse of my latest project.  As I’ve said before, I’m a bit of a butterfly with my makes so I love something which can be whistled up in a few days with great satisfaction.  It’s even better when I don’t have to stir from the comfort of my armchair, but just order on line!

So my lovely yarn came direct from Cosywool who, with the relaunch of their website,  had the brilliant idea of vacuum packing the yarn before shipping.Cosywool vacuumed packed yarnThis makes it small enough to go through the letter box which means no hanging around for the postman, and it’s weatherproof and animalproof (ideal if you have a dog like Higgins who thinks all parcels are addressed to him!)

I wasn’t sure at first, imagining it might look sad and squashed when it arrived but in fact it bounced straight out of the wrapping looking as fluffy as ever. (And vacuum packing has the added bonus of making your yarn stash look far smaller than it actually is!) Sirdar Click Chunky - CosywoolThe yarn is Sirdar Click Chunky, an acrylic/wool mix in warm Apple Red and I used Sirdar Pattern 76144, also available from Cosywool.  It’s described as a snood but it’s more of a snuggly collar to fill in the neck of a jacket; in a simple two row pattern which makes a gorgeous texture.Snood - CosywoolThis time of year I’m always on the look out for quick, easy and stylish makes for unique Christmas gifts, and I am determined be on top of the present list for once.  I’ve a feeling I shall be working my way through the colour range on Cosywool for my present list!

Ooh, I’ve just mentioned the C*******s word…  I’m really sorry if you are not ready to hear it, or are you planning ahead with lots of knitting, crocheting and sewing in mind?  If you would like to share your ideas, please do, you might just inspire us all with the very thing for a tricky relative!

I shall be back this Friday with a Blog Hop, which I’m very excited about.  Do join me then…x

Autumn Planning – looking ahead

Hello…and Happy Sunday!  I hope the weather is being kind wherever you are.  Here in Norfolk we are presently bathed in beautiful Autumn sunshine, which is trying very hard to dry up the huge downpour an hour ago.  But it’s warm, the doors are open, Higgins is sunning himself and all’s right with the world…well on Planet Penny anyway.

Looking back over the blog I find I’m usually a bit moany around this time of year and I realise it’s not the autumn I don’t like because it can be beautiful.  The colours and the angle of the light.  The misty mornings and sparkling dew on the leaves.  It’s looking ahead to the lack of light that lowers my mood.  I find it really hard when the sun sets ever earlier rises later and later, and the clouds don’t lift all day.

So I’m autumn planning,  determined to find lots to do, and lots to share and to try to keep motivated this time round.  I hope you’ll join me!

So here’s a little glimpse of what Higgins and I have been enjoying on our dog walks this week…Mini dachshund in autumn planningAs you can see…he’s just a blur!

So many gorgeous colours and textures…Autumn Colours - autumn planningWe’re going to keep enjoying it for as long as we can! Autumn sunsetSo, coming up, I’m going to show you some cosy knitting in a fabulous autumn colour…autumn planning - knittingand an irresistible fabric purchase from my favourite shop, Arts Desire.

And on Friday I shall be taking part in a Blog Hop with Sew and So …here’s a little clue!Autumn planning blog hopI’ll leave you with some winners.  The TWO lucky winners of the fabulous crochet book from this post are Susan and Julie.  I wish I could send everyone a copy though, thank you all so much for entering the competition.

And if you didn’t win the book, there is still a chance to win the lovely Happy Crocheting bag on the newsletter.  Just subscribe via the yellow button below to take part.

See you soon…x


A Little Extra – Happy Crocheting Bag

As promised, another prize!  Would you like a Crocheting Bag?  Part of my Planet Penny campaign is for regular newsletters, so I’m launching this latest one with a chance to win a fabulous bag to carry your stash.

Would you like to see?Happy Crocheting Bag

There’s loads of room for your yarn stash, hooks and patterns and a handy shoulder strap for travelling.  You can find the bag to buy at Happy Crocheting but I have one to give away exclusively to Newsletter subscribers.  All you have to do is to click the yellow button to  subscribe and reply to the newsletter with ‘Yes, please!’ to enter the draw, it’s that simple.


And, in the meantime don’t forget there is still time to enter the draw for the Crochet Therapy book as seen in the bag above.  Just comment on the post here

So just a little post, but full of goodies.  Make sure you are in with a chance to win either the crocheting bag or the book, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

See you soon…x

Crochet Therapy – hook your way to mindfulness

If you are a hooker like me, you won’t find the idea of crochet therapy the least bit unusual.  I’ve been using it for a looong time without even realising it.

However, the gorgeous new book by Betsan Corkhill, Crochet Therapy, made me look at what I was doing in a whole new light.  Crochet TherapyMindfulness has been about for a little while now, I have an app on my phone and I really do find it helpful.  However sometimes its quite hard to empty your mind, especially if you are the creative type.Filling it with yarn means there really isn’t room for anything else!

Betsan Corkhill gives us the chance to find an oasis of calm in our hectic lives with step-by-step wellness exercises and beautiful crochet patterns.  There are cushions and throws, mandalas and coasters, wall hangings and bunting.  I also love the idea of a Friendship quilt, getting together to make lots of individual small flowers which are knotted together as a symbol of friendship.friendship flowers - Crochet Therapy

And if you haven’t yet mastered the art of crochet, the instructions at the back of the book for getting started are clear and concise, perfect for a beginner.

These are a few of my favourite patterns from the book…Mandalas - crochet therapybracelets - Crochet Therapybunting - crochet therapyAnd I made … No-Stress Balls, just what I need…!No Stress Balls - Crochet Therapy…and a soothing mandala.

I’d love you to have the chance to share a spot of yarny mindfulness, so there’s not one but  two copies of Crochet Therapy waiting to be won by one of you lovelies out there.

Just leave a comment below sharing your favourite ways of de-stressing with us all.  I’ll put all of your names into the proverbial hat and draw out the winners and the nice people at Quarto will send a copy on it’s way to the lucky recipient.   The closing date is Friday 7th October.

And if this isn’t exciting enough, I’ll be back again at the end of the week with another freebie!  See you soon …x

Finding the pattern…

Planet Penny has been about pattern making for a while, what with mice, and bunting and other colourful things.  However I have long hankered after learning a different sort of pattern making, surface pattern design.

I’ve always been fascinated by fabrics and wallpapers.  I used to lie in bed as a very small child finding faces in the flowers in the curtains, and trying to spot identical areas and wondering how on earth it could go on and on repeating.

So that’s why, some time ago I signed up to Pattern Camp, run by Jessica Swift, the painter, surface pattern designer and author.  This has meant a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, waaay out of my comfort zone, learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.  And although I’ve been using Photoshop for years, I’ve had to discover an awful lot of stuff I didn’t know!

Because I haven’t had my brain in gear for a lot of this year I ground to a halt a couple of months ago and with the course over I hit a brick wall of frustration.  But a couple of weeks ago the lovely Jessica announced two free weeks of access for previous campers, exactly what I needed to get me going again.

This time, it all started to click into place, and I’ve had so much fun, especially now I can not only tile a pattern, but make half drop repeats too!  (I’m even learning the lingo!)

So, here are my very first attempts…Pink and Gold pattern by Penny GJPainted flowers pattern by Penny GJAutumn Colours Bold Flower Pattern - Penny GJPurple flowers pattern - PennyGJI only ever wanted to try this out of curiosity, but I love it!

These designs are all about the process, a learning curve, but I really want to push it further.  I keep thinking about what I could sew…and wrapping paper!  It’s very exciting.

And, in case you are wondering, I haven’t given up on knitting or crochet.  There are a couple of posts in the pipeline guaranteed to hit the spot, a different sort of pattern altogether!

See you soon…x

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