Tag Archives: Knitting

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!

 

Happy Friday Number 6

Hooray!  Here at last for Happy Friday…That’s the problem with living in the wilds of Norfolk, the internet connection is rubbish at the best of times, and when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong! Never mind, I’m here now, and if I type very, very fast I might just get back in in time for the Great British Sewing Bee which I love, do you?

So what happened this week which deserves a Happy Friday mention? Well, firstly I fell in love with, and just had to buy these gorgeous pieces of vintage eiderdown fabrics from Sarah Moore.  As soon as I saw them I was transported back to childhood and the eiderdown m granny used to tuck me under when I went to stay.  If only I still had it… I’m hoping to make a little patchwork cushion for my bedroom to keep those memories alive.

2015-02-06 09.40.49

Higgins had a play date with his little friend Coco.  It’s sooo difficult to get a clear photo when he meets his pals, there’s so much charging around, but here they are, I think they were hunting otters! 2015-02-06 14.41.31I started making the cowl designed for the Remembering Vanessa Knitalong which I mentioned in this post and explains the gorgeous yarn I showed you for Happy Friday number 4 

2015-02-11 20.35.53

So that’s what’s been happening on Planet Penny, how about you?  Do please join in with the Linky below to let us know what has made you happy this week.  You can find out how to join in here if you haven’t done it before.  Please, please play fair and mention Happy Friday in the post you link to. This is as much about people finding their way back from your blog to the Linky party as it is finding your link below. You can also join in via Instagram with #PlanetPennyHappyFriday.

I’m leaving you with good wishes for Valentine’s Day this weekend, and I look forward to following your links and finding your happy moments!

See you soon…x



2015-02-09 10.30

Happy Friday Number 5

Helloooo…! What’s made you smile this week?  Here’s one of my own Happy Friday moments…

Pink & Blue Crocs for Happy Friday…it doesn’t do to get dressed in the dark!

As mentioned in my last post, I got my mum knitting again.  This not only made me happy, but all the rest of the family too…

Knitting Nan for Happy Friday

And I finished and posted my lovely ‘Zing’ squares to Lisa of Bobobun for the ‘Do You Mind If I Knit Blanket’ so I had a great sense of achievement.

Stylecraft Life 'Zing'  Squares for Happy Friday

So now it’s down to you.  What’s made you happy this week?

Tell us all about it by joining in via the Linky below.  If you haven’t done it before, don’t be shy.  You can find out just  what to do here.  It’s a great way of making new blogging friends, and for people to discover you and your blog.  Please remember to mention Planet Penny in your post and link back to the Happy Friday post here so that you send your readers to the Linky Party and all the other participants

Enjoy a Happy Friday, have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back soon…x



Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine – A Bit More..

Back in November I reviewed a new part work series, Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine which I was very impressed by.

Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine

Unfortunately it seems it was a victim of it’s own success, selling out quickly and having to go to reprint.  I know there were a lot of disappointed people because I followed the story via the Simple Stylish Knitting Facebook Page. However, it’s now back and available via subscription and very happily I received a bulky parcel in the post containing the next 4 issues and a folder in which to keep them.  I really like that sort of mail, don’t you?

Each issue comes with a new stitch to learn and a ball of yarn with which to knit a sample square so eventually  these can be sewn together to make a blanket.

This couldn’t have come at a better time because I have just persuaded my mother to try knitting again.  As I’ve mentioned, my poor mum has had health problems over quite a few years, but once upon a time she was never without some knitting on the go, complicated fair isle and aran, baby clothes, a cobweb shawl… nothing fazed her.  But once she was ill this all seemed to fall by the wayside, and when she couldn’t sit and knit for hours at a time, she just stopped all together, and then said she couldn’t do it any more…

So sad…

But I’ve just taken round a pair of needles with cast on stitches, handed them to her and said, go on, give it a go, and it worked!   I’m really, really hoping that she’ll get back into it, even if she has to do a few rows at a time and then rest…all my fingers and toes are crossed, knitted squares could be perfect for her.

I’m sort of overwhelmed with projects I want to make having four issues arriving at once (so many things, so little time!) but I’ll share some now and some in another post.  I love the moss stitch cushion, but I’d have the Planet Penny Moth to contend with…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cover 2

I really wish I had pink wellies, but I don’t think they’d go well with Norfolk mud…

Simple Stylish Knitting Boot Toppers

and there are no baby girls on the horizon at the moment but when there are…

Simple Stylish Knitting Baby Slippers

Adorable!

Issue 3 with it’s ball of golden yarn has these jolly little egg hats…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cover 3

…and a fabulously cosy cowl…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cowl

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to take the Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine  folder round to my mum very soon and see if she having a go at something a bit more adventurous than the garter stitch I’ve started her off on.  Wish me luck, I’ll let you know!

See you soon…x

Remembering Vanessa Cabban

So many people have been remembering Vanessa Cabban since her tragic death last month.  I am hoping to bring a positive dimension to our sadness with news of two projects which will keep Vanessa and her huge talents in our hearts and minds.

Firstly, Lisa of the blog, Bobobun is master minding the creation of a crochet blanket with a group of volunteers.  Lisa and I chose Vanessa colours and Lisa is scaling up the Little Squares scarf with granny squares…

Little Square Scarf - Vanessa Cabban

Little Square Scarf – Vanessa Cabban

…and co-ordinating the production of the squares which we then will sew together to make a blanket. This will eventually be auctioned on Ebay to raise funds for Vanessa’s family’s chosen charity, the Mental Health Foundation.  You can find out much more by visiting Lisa on Instagram, or the Bobobun blog and I will have updates as things progress.

Secondly, I was contacted by Christina who runs the Ravelry group, A Knitter’s Life.  Christina is remembering Vanessa by hosting a Knit-along, creating a knitted cowl inspired by her beautiful Fair Isle scarf…

Remembering Vanessa - Fairisle scarf

Fairisle Scarf – Vanessa Cabban

Christina will be releasing the first part of the pattern on February 6th 2015 on Ravelry, and I will be joining in.  If you would like to take part, Christina has listed the yarn and colours she will be using and everything else you will need on her Ravelry page.  If you are in the UK you might find, as I have, that you can’t get all the colours specified.  The yarn looks lovely so I’m hoping that I can swap some of the colours without losing the ‘Vanessa Cabban‘ vibe!

I’d love to know if you decide to join in, we can compare notes!

I’ll be back tomorrow evening with the Happy Friday Linky.  I hope your week has been filled with happy moments so far!

See you soon…x

Knitting as Therapy – The Joy of Socks…

socks knitting

I’ve rediscovered the joy of knitting socks…hooray!

I don’t know why I stopped, but I started again over the Christmas holiday when the seasonal cold germ dropped in, uninvited, and ground everything else to a halt.

I was rummaging pathetically around in the studio looking for something to do which required no flash of inspiration, no tracking down of supplies, no complicated instructions to follow and there in a little bag I found…the yarn…the pattern…the needles…and one completed sock just waiting for it’s mate to be knitted up – perfect!

I’m embarrassed to say that just now whilst looking through the archives to find past sock adventures I discovered when I made the first one of the pair…2011! We were taking Aimee to Uni when I made the first sock and in the time it’s taken for me not to finish the second one she’s graduated and is well on the way to being a qualified teacher! Oh dear…

Anyway, not only has this lone sock been matched with it pair, but I whizzed out for more yarn when I was feeling better and I’ve just completed a second pair.   To add to the mix my friend Kit arrived with a little cheer up bag containing…pink and green socks, so I’m well on the way to replacing all the ones which have succumbed over the years to the four legged sausage shaped ‘moth’ which makes holes in soft furnishing and garments willy nilly.

mini dachshund asleep

The Planet Penny Moth!

...and the socks he has chewed!

…and the socks he has chewed!

So what’s so good about knitting socks?

Well, the little pattern I use is probably the most basic one you can find, it came free with a ball of sock yarn a while ago.  And when you’ve used it a few times it sort of lodges in your head, and you can trundle away, following the plot of Broadchurch or The Killing (with subtitles) without getting flustered.

It’s a bit fiddly to start off with, casting on 60 stitches and dividing them between three DP needles and getting that first rib row set up, but then you are off.  Once the rib is done you’ve got rows and rows of straight knitting, and because you are in the round, every row is a knit row and you still get stocking stitch!

I like to use the self striping sock yarn because seeing what colour is coming next gives you something to aim for, ‘I’ll just finish the blue, or the pink, or the green’…

knitting socks - yarn

Turning the heel is an event, (you should have seen the first one I ever did!) but once you see the logic of where you are going it’s a little challenge in the middle of the project to keep you on your toes. and then you are off again, round and round until the toe arrives, a simple little decrease which makes an elegant seam each side.

And then…the wonder that is Kitchener Stitch!  It’s a fabby way to end your sock, weaving in and out of the stitches with your needle to make new knitting stitches so you can’t see the join.  It took me ages to get to grips with it so don’t shudder and turn away at this point, it can be done, believe me.  I can be heard muttering ‘Front – Purl off, Knit. Back – Knit off, Purl’ a little mantra to keep me on the straight and narrow.

And then, when you’ve finished, and tenderly pressed them (about the only time I like to get the ironing board out!) you’ve got something warm and delightful to enjoy yourself or to give as a very special present.  What a joy!

If you feel like joining in with a little relaxing sock knitting therapy one of my favourite online ports of call is The Sock Yarn Shop, where the most difficult thing is choosing! This what I’m hankering after at the moment…

sock yarn knittingIt’s like a spring sunrise, something to dream about just at the moment!

Are you a sock knitting fan, or have I inspired you to have a go?  I do hope so… If you are looking for some help, the Sock Yarn Shop recommends this set of tutorials.

I’ll be back soon with Happy Friday.  I’m going to try and get it posted on Thursday evening to give more people a chance to join in so look out your happy photos or jolly moments and get ready to link up…see you soon…x

 

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