Category Archives: Inspiration

Easter Preparations…

This weekend I have been eating mini-eggs preparing for Easter….

I’ve been working on a little crochet basket/bowl inspired by designs in this lovely book, using some pretty Rowan pink handknit cotton from my yarn stash.  The pattern starts off with a few rounds of simple trebles (UK) to form the base of the basket, followed by some rounds of bobble or popcorn stitch to form the sides and double crochet (UK) to finish off.

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Today I made a floral lining out of a scrap of Liberty Tana Lawn “Betsy” that I purchased from EBay.

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To be filled with eggs from our chooks:

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Thank you ladies:

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Or Easter delights:

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I think after Easter, my little crochet bowl might find a nice home in the bathroom or bedroom as a tidy for bits and bobs:

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This weekend, we’ve also been enjoying the pre-school puppet show and getting Easter tattoos:

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And I’ve been trying on my new sandals:

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With fingers crossed for some sunshine instead of the wintery showers and hail that the UK has been experiencing this afternoon!

Have you got any Easter projects on the go at the mo?

I’m possibly off to knit some bunnies from Made by Ewe here and Rowan’s Easter Collection here &/or these cute little chickens ‘Esther, Ernie & Enid’ from Rowan (pattern here).

And knit some more of my big project

Happy Easter crafting!

xx

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination!

It was with great excitement and great surprise that I opened my emails yesterday to discover that I had been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Luisa from http://tetsukuri.wordpress.com : thank you Lovely Lady!  Do check out Luisa’s fab blog from Tokyo, which is all about spare time and fun projects 🙂  You can also check out Luisa’s website: www.luisauribedesign.com if you are curious about what she does for a living 🙂

Being relatively new to blogging, I did a bit of google research on Blog Awards and I quickly discovered that they are a great way to share and spread a bit of friendship and support in blogland and they can provide a great opportunity to meet fellow bloggers from all over the world and see what inspiration other people are sharing!

The rules for accepting this Award are as follows:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog page.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
  5. Notify those bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Here are my 7 random facts about myself:

  1. I love animals, particularly my two Border Collies and I have always had a secret desire since I was little to learn how to do sheep dog trialing.  In fact, just having a very well trained dog would suffice (still aiming for that one! 😉 We also have some rare breed hens and a cockerel who has just learnt how to crow!
  2. I have two children, both girls, who are 3 and 10 and totally fab!
  3. I passed my Grade 8 piano exam when I was a teenager but I’m a bit out of practice these days although I still like to play when I get the chance (particularly carols at christmas!)
  4. I love being up high anywhere with a view, in the hills or mountains (but am actually a teeny tiny bit scared of heights!)
  5. I own a VW Camper Van, which is meant to be one of the last 3 air cooled vans ever made in Brazil (probably untrue but that was what we were told when we bought it from Ebay and we believed it at the time!)
  6. I would love to build my own house one day on my own plot of land in the countryside with a view *dreaming here I think* (and probably rescue lots of unwanted Border Collies).
  7. I have a degree in Geography from here but *really* would quite liked to have studied art or textiles and had a more creative career in another life!!  😉 I still have a great love for places and landscapes which influences my love of photography today.

The final step is to nominate other bloggers for the VIB award.  As you know, I’m very new to blogging here at WordPress and I don’t know a lot of Bloggers yet, although I’ve been following quite a few blogs for quite a while and everyone has been so friendly and welcoming to me 🙂  There are several blogs here that have probably already received this award : apologies if you have and I’ve included you on my list!  I’ve just decided to list a few that have inspired me on my path to Blogland and some other lovely blogs and bloggers that I’ve discovered more recently along the way.  In alphabetical order:

Congratulations to you all and thanks again to Luisa at http://tetsukuri.wordpress.com for nominating me and introducing me to the fun of Blog Awards xx  🙂

Have a lovely week xx

Its a Spring Thing (and a doily addiction…)

Spring seems to have sprung all over blogland today and I’ve certainly been inspired by all of the lovely photos and bright Spring colours popping up on the internet.  I’ve had a small stash of candy coloured cotton 4-ply yarn that has been calling out to me for a while now and having seen lots of doilies and similar pretty lacy crochet patterns on the internet I had to give it a go…

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I started off with some Rowan Siena 4ply in light pink and the Victoria Doily pattern in Jane Crowfoot’s book Homespun Vintage.  Jane describes in her book how, following the popularity of crochet during the Victorian era, the 1950s to 1970s saw its revival again (it went into something of a decline during the two world wars possibly as a result of rationing and the difficulty in sourcing yarns), with lacy patterns and doily work suddenly becoming very popular.

Here’s my finished doily (ravelled here); it seemed to look right at home alongside my vintage sheet patchwork blanket…

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Jane talks about the delicacy of crochet work in a doily replicating the look of lace making the perfect table decoration.  Any excuse to get baking and get the vintage china out…

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A close up of the excellent Lemon Drizzle Cake (made by Miss E, not me I confess): yummy!:

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I’d also wanted to make these pretty little coasters for quite some time (see the free pattern over on the Yvestown Blog):

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Ooops: they seemed to multiply quickly and before I knew it I had a whole stack (Ravelled here):

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I think these coasters would also make rather a nice Mothers Day card, with the addition of a sweet little bit of fabric backing:

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On the lacy crochet theme, I thought you might like to see these lovely little containers from Ikea.  They’re meant for plants but I bought them for a couple of pounds each and they’re just the job for keeping knitting needles and crochet hooks in:

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Loving the Ikea lilac too; I wish we had a lilac tree in our garden:

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I spotted some real Spring flowers in the garden today too:

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Happy Springtime! x

Labour of Love: Snow White Waistcoat

As soon as I saw the book Labour of Love : Over 20 Knitting Patterns for Treasured Girls by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard, I instantly fell in love with it.  Vibe, who was brought up in Denmark by her mother who was a fashion designer, was taught to knit from a young age by her grandmother.  In her book, she talks about how her desire to combine knitting, children’s wear and photography (some of my favourite things…!) sparked the idea for the book.  She describes her collection as an accumulation of ideas of shape, texture and colour rather than a collection with a set direction and it was this combination with some beautiful photography that sold the book to me!

Vibe’s book contains patterns for girls ranging in ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and includes sweaters, cardigans, dresses and tops, skirts and snoods and accessories.  Beautiful techniques feature on every page, such as the fan stitch cardigan, bobble stitch skirt, cable and little branch dress, frost flower lace cardigan, and layered leaf skirt teamed with gorgeous colours such as geranium, pale sky, lemon, moonflower, cottage rose, snow drop, pearl and poppy.  Even my little 3 year old has been lingering over the pages exclaiming at the ‘pretty patterns’!  Are you tempted yet?

I had just enough Mirasol Sulka yarn in Snow White to to try out the simple but stylish Penelope Garter Stitch Waistcoat.  I wanted something quick and warm to knit up (something simple : good TV knitting!)

Here it is nearly finished, with ribbon chosen from the local craft store by Miss F:

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Trying for size and showing off the pretty gathered detail at the back:

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And finally finished (and Ravelled here):

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I love the texture of the garter stitch which is really brought out by the Mirasol yarn, and the combination of knitting with crochet: the sides of the waistcoat are finished in double crochet.  I’m very tempted to try some of the other patterns in the book, they are stunning.

Vibe’s designs have been much admired and luckily for me and those other knitters out there who have been inspired by the beautiful shapes, textures and colours that feature in Vibe’s childrens designs, Vibe has just published patterns for grown ups together with Rowan Yarns: a short sleeved jumper in Frost Flower Lace and a summer shawl.  What a fabulous collaboration!

Happy weekend, whatever you are creating! X

Crochet Scarf by Erika Knight for Rowan

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Woo hoo: I’ve just finished putting my crochet scarf together.  I have to admit the crochet motifs have been finished for a while, waiting to be assembled! The pattern was designed by Erika Knight using Rowan Amy Butler’s Sweet Harmony, 100% merino wool with a fabulous chainette structure, featured in the Rowan Farmhouse Knits brochure (published by Rowan in 2011 for the Autumn/Winter season).

Amy Butler describes the “synergy and fit” between her yarn Sweet Harmony and Erika’s “gorgeous contemporary style” creating “the perfect combination to illustrate the spirit and inspiration behind her Farmhouse ethos”.  “The ‘Farmhouse’ idea is a state of mind, a cozy feeling you get over a long weekend in an isolated location…. surrounded by all the things you love… the air is crisp, a warm fire is in the fire place, homemade food is slow cooking in the kitchen and you’re planning what ‘not to do next’ with your closest friends and family…. Maybe a long walk in the sunshine is in order or possibly some lounging with a favourite book.”  

Ooooh, I’m there already Amy….

Amy Butler introduces the reader to some fabulous knitted and crochet designs from throws, cushions, and chair covers to accessories such as a slouch beret, multi coloured scarft, gloves and cabled socks.  The garments are described as being a mix of key pieces including simple cables, stripes and a crochet skirt.  The Sweet Harmony colour palette is selected from Amy’s fresh and vibrant fabric collection Soul Blossoms, which work together offering a beautiful mix of fabric and yarn.  The colours are simply beautiful as you would expect from Amy Butler in collaboration with Rowan, with names including Snow, Lake, Frost, Mist, Glamor, Saffron, Henna, Fern, Jade and Cinder.  Sadly (for me) the yarn has now been discontinued, but you can quite easily pick up the yarn from Rowan suppliers on the internet; alternatively you may find a suitable substituted yarn from the current range (a yarn substitution list can be downloaded from the Rowan website’s FAQ area).

My pretty crochet scarf is made up from 3 x 100gm Amy Butler Sweet Harmony in Frost 132 and features a mix of flower and circle motifs.  A size 9mm (no 00) (US M13) Crochet Hook is recommended.  The scarf is very generous, being approximately 86 cm (34 inches) long and around 18 cm (7 inches) wide.  The scarf was great to work on: crochet is a very portable craft and it was easy to pop some yarn and a crochet hook in my bag and work on a motif here and there when I had the opportunity.  Project Ravelled here.

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What have you been knitting or crocheting recently?  Have you made or admired any of the items in the Farmhouse Knits collection?  I would love to make this crochet cushion or this patchwork throw, which combines knitting and crochet: an effect that I really love. The throw combines bobble, rib, cable and moss stitch.  Do you like to combine knitting and crochet too?

I have a little project in mind for the Spring combining some yarn with a piece of gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn fabric that I purchased a while back from Ebay.  Here is a sneak peak:

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Watch this space… xx

Knit Your Own Sheep and Wonderwool

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This weekend I have been knitting up an adorable little sheep called Pearl.  Project Ravelled here. I bought my Knit Your Own Sheep kit from Made by Ewe at Wonderwool Wales last April and she has been waiting very  patiently since then to be brought to life.  Pearl is a sheep helping to support British farmers, being knitted from 100% pure British Wool.  Her removable fleece is knitted in beautiful blue Shetland yarn and she is stuffed with soft natural fleece.  I have a feeling Pearl will be keeping her hooves crossed for some more little friends to join her flock soon…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own flock of sheep and produce your own wool to spin and knit with?

Talking of Wonderwool, I was very excited to see the event being advertised again for 2013.  Hooray for wonderful yarn events to look forward to throughout the year.  Last April my family and I spent a very enjoyable day at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells at this fabulous festival of Welsh and British wool and natural fibres.  When we visited, we were fairly new to such events and both my crochet addict daughter and I were overwhelmed by the wonderful displays : a feast for the eyes…

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So many stalls of wonderful yarn and accessories in every texture and colour of the rainbow…

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Look at this amazing crochet:

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Gorgeous natural fibres….

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Some amazing local produce (make mental note to return to Wales and sample the award winning icecream from Llanfaes Dairy and Ralph’s Cider & Perry again: yum) and of course lots of fun for the little ones…

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We came home full of inspiration and totally buzzing with ideas; each with a bag of highly prized and carefully chosen yarns (and in Miss E’s case, materials for needlefelting) for projects to try out in the coming year.

Which wool shows / yarn festivals are you going to this year?  I’m hoping to go to Yarndale: it sounds fantastic.  A trip to the Rowan Mill in Holmfirth would be pretty amazing too don’t you think!? I’ve just been reading about the designer Kate Davies collaboration with Rowan and a visit to the Mill would be the icing on the cake for a yarnfilled 2013, I think.

I hope you are enjoying making crafty and yarny plans for 2013.  Happy weekend!

Spa Birthday Party

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Continuing with the birthday celebration theme here at knitpurlgarden, a belated party for my daughter who turned 10 in January but was too unwell to celebrate at the time (January birthdays in peak bug season = never a good idea!). Here are a few snaps from the Spa themed party including the pastel swirl spa themed cake that I made, inspired by the sweetapolita.com blog.  A fun afternoon of much laughter, hot tubs, hair styling, toe nail painting, yummy nibbles and birthday cake.

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And before I go I’ll just sneek in a couple of photos of the other birthday cake that I made in January, for my younger daughter…

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Phew – birthday season over for another year!  All parties successfully planned and enjoyed by all! Maybe I’ll have some free time to knit and crochet again now…  Does anyone else have a run of family birthdays like me? Who has an inpiring Spring project on the go?  Do tell. xx