Category Archives: Reviews

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

Guest Post: Higgins and the Pawsome Box

Higgins miniature dachshund reviews his Pawsome BoxHello!  Higgins here.  It’s been sooo long since mum let me loose on the keyboard but I really wanted to tell you about my Pawsome Box, cos I love it when I get my very own post.

(Mum gets soo grumpy when I open hers.)

Pawsome BoxI had to give it a bit of a chew and a thump about to get in, but when I did it was PAWSOME! Pawsome box contentsThere were TREATS!  treats for Higgins the miniature dachshund from the Pawsome BoxThere were TWO bones! And some more treats, a lead, and some wiping things to make me smell cleaner (Hmmph!  I smell lovely already!)Higgins and Pawsome BoxI LOVE the stripy bone…it squeaks!Stripy bone(Well it did, until I had a little accident) but I STILL love it…Toy from the Pawsome boxAnd the other bone I can just chew…and chew… and chew…Higgins jumpingI thought this was just for me because I’m special, but mum says ALL the dogs in the WORLD can have this treat too because there is a special code from the lovely Pawsome people to get a discount.  So I thought I’d better tell you all so that my doggy chums can have some post too.

You just have click here to find out all about the Pawsome Box and use this discount code ukbtswem when you buy.  

It’s my birthday next month… I’m not hinting or anything, mum…..MUM?

Landlust – A New Magazine

Landlust CoverIf you love the countryside, then the magazine, Landlust, which dropped through my letterbox a week or so ago will be right up your street.

It’s full of  all the things which just click with me, living a creative life close to nature; and with the sun shine and the birds song of the past few days has been the perfect antidote after the grey winter months.

There is stitching, and gardening, cooking, baking, wildlife and interiors and I’m feeling very inspired…Montage of photos from Landlust Magazine

The photography is beautiful, and has encouraged me to get back outside with my camera…Forget me not and bee - LandlustWith a spot of sniffing on the way…Hyacinth - Landlust

By the way…Higgins has taken up ornithology!  We have magpies nesting in the garden and they they have been throwing down the sticks which don’t fit their building plan for Higgins to play with…Higgins

He’s even had a friend round to help!Higgins So the gardening features in Landlust have got me back outside making plans… and I also have a hankering to make a few of those little drawstring bags. (Well I can’t simplify my life without finding somewhere to store everything can I?)drawstring bags from Landlust magazineand there is a recipe for Black Forest Gateau…oh dear, that’s the healthy eating out of the window then.

Thank you for joining me back here on Planet Penny, I do love to hear from you.

I’m gradually getting back into the swing of things, and with Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios coming up there is a lot going on.  I’ll be back soon….x

All lit up – with a Daylight Lamp and a giveaway!

Smart Light D20 - Daylight companyIf you’ve been visiting Planet Penny for a while, you’ll know my main gripe about the autumn/winter period is the lack of daylight.  I don’t think I actually suffer from full blown Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I do get rather grumpy, and those gloomy days when you think the sun hasn’t actually risen at all make creating and photography jolly tricky.

So I was very happy to be sent a couple of lamps from the Daylight Company to try out and review, and I know for all you knitters, crocheters and stitchers out there a good daylight lamp is a really necessary bit of crafting kit.

The first one is the Smart Lamp D20 and I love it!  It’s light and portable, but the base is heavy enough for it to be really stable so you can adjust it over your work area without worrying about it toppling over.

I’ve found it particularly useful in the evenings by my chair when I’m multi tasking with some crochet, the television and a cup of tea because the light can be angled.  In fact it does all this!

  •  It changes colors for improved contrast when reading and colour matching
  •  It is dimmable, allowing you to set the light at the brightness level you require
  •  It is portable, light weight and foldable so you can take it anywhere
  • It is USB compatible allowing you to plug into the AC Adapter (included) your computer or phone charger.

And then there is the baby brother, the Yoyo light.  It arrives looking just like the yoyo it is named after…Yoyo magnifying light - Daylight company…but opens up into a handy little magnifying light, perfect for keeping in your workbox when you need to get up close and personal with your work.

And this is what it does:

  • Compact foldable pocket LED magnifier
  • 3 bright LEDs
  • 5,5cm (2.17″) lens – Magnification 8D (3,0X)
  • Ideal to use when out and about
  • Comes with a wrist strap
  • Requires 3 x AAA batteries (not included)

Yoyo light - Daylight companyDaylught Company Yoyo light(This one gave my camera a funny turn trying to focus!)

I really enjoy finding things which I know will make things just that little bit easier for us creative peeps, and it’s even better when I can offer you the chance to win one of your very own – for FREE!

I have a Smart Lamp D20 worth £65.00 and a Yoyo Magnifyer Lamp worth £15.00 as a giveaway on my latest newsletter.  All you have to do is sign up via the PINK BUTTON below and let me know what you love best about Winter VIA THE NEWSLETTER.  The Smart Lamp is only available in the UK I’m afraid, but I’m happy to send the Yoyo lamp to any part of the world where you can buy AAA batteries!

So click on the Pink Button for a chance to win one of these fabulous lamps to keep you bright this Autumn! subscribebuttons - Daylight lamp

Looking forward to hearing from you…x

The Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive

Well I’m home, bright eyed and bushy tailed from a simply stunning weekend at the very first Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I hopped on a train to York on Friday afternoon and after the taxi driver had negotiated the rush hour traffic I arrived in the peaceful Yorkshire countryside at Deighton Lodge, a converted farmhouse.  Here I was welcomed by Ruby and Kim, of Frank & Olive Crochet.Ruby & Kim - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveRuby is a fabulous crochet designer as seen in Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

As the other ‘Happy Hookers’ arrived we were given a very welcome glass of Prosecco to sip while we gazed with wide eyed wonder at the heaps, piles….mountains of gorgeous yarn which surrounded us.  Just yarn heaven!

Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveI really wanted to bring this sheep home! DMC sheep - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThere were pattern books galore to inspire us and it wasn’t long before we had all dived in and started new projects and we were a little reluctant to stop to eat.  That is until we saw the gorgeous Greek themed feast which had been prepared, just scrumptious!

And that is how the weekend continued, with fabulous food and drink, more yarn than we could ever use, inspiration, lots of laughter and new friends.  It was exactly what I needed and I’ve come home thoroughly inspired.Marna Lunt - Crochet retreat with Frank & OliveRuby had arranged a workshop with  Marna Lunt the textile artist who is lovely and had us all crocheting, cutting and stitching to make our own creations, I’ve nearly finished mine…Marna Lunt workshop - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThe final luxurious touch was a massage with Nassira, who was fantastic – it just added that extra relaxing element…

So I’ve come home full of enthusiasm and have only been slightly daunted by discovering that our internet is on the blink! So. I might get this published, who knows but hey…I am sooo chilled…

If the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive sounds like it might be right up your street you can find out more about it here… and I’ll be back soon to share a few more of my makes…x

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