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New Blog Update 

Hello friends

I've been silent for a while I know, mainly recovering from hip surgery last year. Along the way I came across the most amazing essential oils that have helped my long rehab journey. I've become so passionate about how they've helped me that I'm sharing information about how they can support everyone's physical and emotional health & wellbeing on a new blog. I'll still be adding to Knit and Purl Garden now and then too.

My new blog is called Mint Essential Wellbeing

Hope to see you there

xx


 

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Martin Storey KAL2 :: Stage 2&3

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Stage 2 of the KAL features a fabulous slipped stitch Nordic square. I found this square a lot of fun to knit and very straight forward. The squares seemed to fly along.  I took one square on a day trip to Burton Bradstock in Dorset. Check out the fabulous Hive Beach Cafe if you’re in the area! We celebrated my husbands birthday with lunch there. It’s situated right on the beach itself and is even dog friendly selling healthy treats for your dog as well as some scrummy cakes.

Here’s my progress with stages 1 and 2 together:

  

Next up is the Stage 3 Textured Tree Square in light denim:

  
This square required a little more concentration but the chart provided by Rowan really helped and the tree pattern is really effective.

   
This square went with me for a spot of cafe knitting at the Garden Cafe in the Somerset town of Frome. Check out the lovely independent shops on the cobbled Catherines Hill if you get chance including the gorgeous florists Bramble and Wild where I bought some lovely Mothers Day blooms and the fabulous Marmalade Yarns

    
   
Pattern downloads for Stage 2 square

and Stage 3 square 

The next square for stage 4 will be released on Thursday 10th March marking the half way point in the KAL!

How are you getting on? Have you joined in with the KAL? If so, hope you are enjoying it ūüôā

Claire xx 

Martin Storey KAL 2 :: Week 1 Squares

square 1

Knitting the week 1 square has been really fun.¬† I loved the moss stitch heart pattern and once I’d knitted the first square it was relatively easy to memorise the pattern with the help of the chart supplied by Rowan.¬† I did occasionally forget to knit the garter stitch border in a couple of places¬†and if this happens to you, remember that you can easily rectify this by simply undoing the¬†stitches directly above the errant stitch¬†and correcting them with a crochet hook, rather than having to undo several rows of knitting to get back to the place where you went wrong.

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I’m hoping to stay on top of the blocking this time (rather than leave it all to the last minute like I did with the last KAL!!).¬† I’ve tried out some new blocking wires which make things easy and give a nice straight edge to the squares.

square 1 blocking mat

square 1 blocking

Have you seen Martin Storey’s KAL You Tube Interview?¬† Its really helpful and nice to see the blanket in its entirety so you can get a picture of¬†how yours will turn out.¬† I also liked the idea¬†mentioned that you could just use a small number of¬†squares to¬†make a cushion or pillow cover, if you didn’t fancy knitting the whole blanket.¬† The moss stich heart pattern would make¬†a perfect valentines cushion don’t you think?

square 1 unblocked

Its been really great to see everyone’s progress over on Instagram where people have been using the hashtag #MartinStoreyKAL2 to share photos.¬† Pop over and take a look and don’t forget to visit the Rowan Facebook page¬†for progress updates and shares too.

Planning ahead, Rowan are going to run a KAL competition which will be announced towards the end of the KAL and run from 26th May Р29th June and also for Stage 7 of the KAL you might wish to note that there is a beaded square option which you will need to purchase 180 size 6 Debbie Abrahams beads of your colour choice, if you would like to try your hand at beading.

Excited to get the second square pattern which will be released by Rowan tomorrow!

More details and tutorials for the KAL and the first square here: Stage 1

Happy KAL knitting! xx

Merry Christmas

Hello friends, just popping by to wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy 2016.  2015 hasn’t been the easiest of years with family health issues to deal with so I’ve had less knitting time than usual.  I’ve just been finishing off a few projects including Trent which I’ve knitted for my husband in Rowan Yarns Brushed Fleece, just in time for Christmas despite having to knit three sleeves! The first sleeve disappeared and I have no idea where it went so I had to buy more yarn and start again… luckily it was a quick and easy knit ūüėČ  Here it is unblocked, but you get the general idea and it was the perfect cosy garment to wear whilst walking the dogs in the woods today.

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If you haven’t knitted with Brushed Fleece before, I’d definitely recommend it.  Its a very light and super soft blend of extra fine merino wool and baby alpaca with a soft marl colour effect.  The colour my husband chose for Trent is called Peat 262.  You can view the Brushed Fleece collection on Rowan’s website which includes 16 knits for men and women including wraps, shrugs, capes, sweater dresses and cardigans designed by Martin Storey.

Hope to be back soon with some more ‘finished knits’ and I’m also going to sign up for the second Martin Storey Knit-a-Long starting on 28th January; details here:   http://www.knitrowan.com/news/martin-storey-knit-along-2-%E2%80%93-official-announcement-image  What are everyone’s knitting plans for next year?

Merry Christmas and see you in 2016! xx

 

Rowan KAL week 1 : Garter Stitch Waves

Hurrah I’m pleased to say that I made it through week 1! It’s been fun.¬†¬†Garter Stitch Waves is an easy pattern to memorise combining simple knit and purl stitches, so after you’ve knitted the first square, the rest can easily be combined with a spot of TV watching or a similar activity.¬† I started off with the recommended needle size 4.5mm but soon realised that I needed to drop down to 4mm.¬† I’ve also found that my squares are more rectangle in shape than square so I’ve added a couple of extra rows at the top and bottom of each square in stocking stitch (after the garter stitch rows but before the wave pattern).¬† I just need to block them.

Have you checked out the Ravelry Group for the KAL yet?¬† Its very busy over there – a great place to get tips and talk colours, needles and blocking and chat in general…¬† Last time I looked there were¬†495 participants in the KAL!¬†¬† Check out the following link for further useful links to Clue No. 1, the You Tube Video by Martin Storey, the KAL shopping list, and Dayana’s very useful tips on how to download the free pattern from the Rowan Yarns website without any hiccups (note that you’ll have to sign up for a free Rowan account to download the clue – if the download button is missing after you have logged in, try refreshing the page in your browser).

Don’t forget – the next clue will be available next Monday 28th April! ¬†I’m off to share a photo of my finished squares over on Ravelry – I hope to see your photos too.¬† Happy KAL-ing!

Here are the Pure Wool Worsted colours that I chose for the KAL:  oxygen 137, azure 138, peacock 139, mallard 144 , moonstone 112, granite 111, candy 118 and pretty pink 113.  My girls even made cupcakes this week to match my azure yarn!

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Cuildorag House Cushion and the new Pure Wool Worsted

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Rowan Yarns launched¬†its¬†new Pure Wool Worsted yarn this Spring and asked us¬† ambassadors to come up with some ideas for home accessories that could be knitted using the new yarn.¬†¬†A little¬†competition was launched over the holidays and my friend and fellow ambassador¬†Jen won with her gorgeous moonstone cushion knitted in seed stitch using moonstone yarn with a fab mustard trim.¬† Check out it out on her¬†fab blog Hey Jen Renee¬†.¬†¬†You can see all of¬†our Pure Wool Worsted designs,¬†on Rowan’s website in a free to download¬†Pure Wool Worsted Home D√©cor Online Collection.¬† Download my Cuildorag House Cushion free pattern¬†here¬†too.

The hardest part of the competition was choosing the shades of yarn to use Рdid you know that there are 50 beautiful shades of this yummy machine washable wool!? In the end I decided on Mallard for the background colour, with highlights of olive and soft cream using a swiss darning method, with an olive crochet trim.

P.S if you’re wondering where I got the inspiration for the name of my cushion, its¬†a reminder of a beautiful little¬†place that we visited in¬†the West Highlands of Scotland years ago, and I’ve always wanted to go back with the girls one day!

If you’re tempted by the new Pure Wool Worsted range and are a colour addict like me, look out for the new Martin Storey ROWAN YARNS MYSTERY AFGHAN KNIT ALONG – the dates have been released: 21st April – 23rd June.¬† More details on my blog and Facebook coming very soon!

There are also two new collections from Rowan featuring the new yarn: The Pure Wool Worsted Collection featuring textured stitch work and gorgeous cables & Simple Shapes Pure Wool Worsted, a mixture of 9 simple designs for men and women with a vintage yet modern edge, all designed by Martin Storey.

Which Pure Wool Worsted colours are your favourites?

Happy Knitting & Crocheting! xx

Make-a-Monster Competition Results

We were THRILLED to discover that my daughter won runner up in the fabulous Monster Yarns Make a Monster Competition for her Ianto the Yetti! Thanks Monster Yarns – it was GREAT fun ūüôā Check it out:

Monster Yarns

It seems such a short time ago that the Make-a-Monster Competition was launched and yet the time has come to announce the results. A very big and genuine Thank You for all your efforts, sharing with me your wonderful creations and even getting your children to get Monstering! The competition has put many a smile on faces so I consider it a roaring success.

The judges were a hand-picked group of ladies of varying ages and crafting skills and two children in the young teens. Monster Yarns had no input except for arranging the photos in the appropriate categories and providing some rather delicious (if I may say so) cakes and lashings of tea. The judges’ decision was not always unanimous and sometimes led to heated technical debate which was only resolved after further liberal application of cake and tea. However the moment you’ve been waiting for…I shall announce the…

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