Category Archives: Books

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

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

Spinning a yarn…

Probably the last thing I need right at the moment it a large consignment of yarn…

My home is full, the studio is full and also the shed.  Full of masses of stuff I’m just not ready to part with at the moment.  But hey, why not just add to the fun and throw in a mountain of colour!

And it’s worked…

Planet Penny Cotton Colours Yarn New Colours

Great excitement today when the yarn arrived.  I had samples of one of the colour collections over the weekend so I’ve already been experimenting and I’m itching to have a play with the other colours, a pastel rainbow.Plant Penny Cotton Colours pastel yarnI hope to have these ready for the Etsy shop very soon, I’ll let you know.

As a little aside, do you like cross stitch?  I’ve inherited sooo many knitting, crochet and needlecraft books from my mum and I’ve had to be stern with myself and say that the one thing I’m not going to have time for is cross stitch.  But I do have these lovely books…Cross Stitch books

…from Donna Kooler, Jane Greenhoff, Katrin Cargill, Patrice Boerens and Better Homes and Gardens.  If you are interested do get in touch via the contact form.

So, I’d better to get to work.  I have a basket of cotton yarn beckoning to me!

See you soon…x

 

Happy Friday Number 7

Can it really be Happy Friday time again already?

This week’s post will be really short because it’s half term.  Not only are there grandsons visiting, but they’ve brought along their new puppy, so it’s very hectic, although a lot of fun and definitely happy.

Alpha dog for Happy Friday

Higgins is feeling a little bit aggrieved at sharing ‘his’ boys with another dog…Mini dachshund for Happy Friday

and a bit grumpy about energetic puppy play all the time, but he’s gradually coming round…Dog montage for Happy FridayNext week we are returning the visit and heading off to the South Coast for a few days so really looking forward to that.

So over to you, what’s made your week happy?  If you are linking your post below, please make sure  it is relevant to Happy Friday and link back to this post so that as many people as possible find everyone who takes part.  I’m rather sad when some people take advantage of something which is meant to spread a little happiness and use it for promotion with posts which are not relevant at all!  You can find out how to join in here if you haven’t done it before.

And finally, if you didn’t see my last post, I have a fabulous giveaway of a gorgeous new craft book from Cut Out + Keep.  All you have to do is leave a comment, so do join in for a chance to win.

Cut Out + Keep - Cat Morley & Tom Waddington

I hope you’ve had a great week, I’m look forward to reading all about it on Happy Friday!


Cut Out + Keep – Book Review and Giveaway…

Cut Out + Keep - Cat Morley & Tom Waddington

I’m really excited to share this new book Cut Out + Keep Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects by Cat Morley and Tom Waddington which popped through the letterbox the other day for me to review.

I’m sure you know by now that my crafty interests are pretty broad so it’s always good to come across like minded people who enjoy having a go at everything!  And not only is this a craft book, it’s a travelogue too, so while you are looking through at the crafting inspiration, you could be planning your US road trip at the same time!  Well, we can dream , can’t we?

Washington - Cut Out + Keep

Taking Inspiration from every state, Cat and Tom of the Cut Out + Keep community have translated the food, the landmarks, the culture into simple, fun tutorials for you to make at home. There’s knitting and crochet, painting and printing, sewing and gluing, cooking and..well, eating of course!

This is what caught my eye…

needlefelt cacti from Cut Out _+ KeepNeedlefelt cacti, straight from Arizona.  These would make brilliant pin cushions, add your own spines!

The Jackalope, a mythical creature from Wyoming.  This one is transformed from a plastic rabbit ornament but you could have great fun inventing your own weird and wonderful beasts from whatever you have to hand.

Jackalope - Cut Out + Keep

Being a bit of a cheese monster these recipes made my mouth water…Extreme Grilled Cheeses - Cut Out + Keep …and doesn’t everyone need Ruby Slippers? ruby slippers - Cut Out + KeepThe tutorial I tried was for something I really needed, a Cup Cosy.  My DH bought me a special coffee cup a while ago, especially for taking to the ‘office’, i.e. the Planet Penny studio.  The trouble is, its decorated with a face who’s expression is, well, somewhat troubling…

And even the plastic cover supplied is a bit thin so you can still see it’s evil grin…Cup

So the Seattle project was just perfect.

cup cozy - Cut Out + Keep review

I made the cosy with undyed Blue Faced Leicester Aran weight yarn and it was a perfect fit. Not having a little motif to stitch on I added a lazy daisy flower with a few stitches after sewing it up.

Cut Out + Keep Cup Cosy - reviewA much happier sight in the morning now (and hotter coffee!)  Cheers…

cheersThe book is published today in the UK, and on March 17th in the USA. I would have loved to have had a book like this to hand at half term with older children/young teens.  There’s so much inspiration to try something new, great for those ‘I’m bored’ moments!

You can order a copy here, but I have a copy ready and waiting to give away FREE!

All you have to do is to leave a comment.  Have you been on a road trip?  If not, where would your dream trip take you?  You have until Sunday March 1st to enter and then I will draw the winning entry.

Regretfully the Cut Out + Keep Giveaway giveaway is only open to UK readers… 

I’m really looking forward to reading your comments!

Ed. to add:  And the winner is… Julie, who writes the blog Tales from the Riverbank.  Congratulations Julie, I hope you enjoy the book and daydreaming about your own road trip! 

Art Therapy Books – And the Winners Are…

Art Therapy Giveaway…Art Therapy Books - Mandalas and  Stained Glass

What a lot of wonderful comments arrived for the Art Therapy Book Giveaway review from last week! Jacqui Small Publishing had kindly offered a copy of each of these books to two lucky winners. I asked you to tell us about favourite places to relax and they all sound lovely!

Gardens and water feature strongly, several people like the beach.  Summer houses were mentioned and hammocks (the hammock under the cherry trees is my own particular haven) and craft rooms, crafty corners and sofas.  Makes you just want go off and curl up, doesn’t it?

In the end I couldn’t possible choose only two and turned to the Random Number Generator to decide, and the winners are Sarah Ellis, who chose the Mandalas book, and Janice Perkin who plumped for the Stained Glass Designs.

I really hope neither of the ladies actually need Art Therapy as it were, but find the books as relaxing and fun as I have.

I’ll be back soon…x

 

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