Category Archives: Yarn Festivals and Events

Granny Bunting Fun and Crochet for Children

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If you’ve been following the wonderful Attic24 blog, you’ll have heard all about the Yarndale Festival, a festival of creativity and craft, being organised in Skipton, Yorkshire this September. Inspired by Lucy of Attic24’s request for granny bunting for the event, and looking for something fun to do during school half term, we dived into our basket of Stylecraft DK stash to crochet some granny bunting triangles – how could we not oblige!?

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My 10 year old daughter who is quite a crochet whizz these days (I had better watch out!) quickly whipped up a triangle or two whilst I was searching for Lucy’s bunting pattern on her blog. Proud mummy moment:

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Making the granny bunting is really quite addictive and we’ll be sending some off for Yarndale (the deadline for sending in bunting is the end of July if you would like to make some too) and also using the pattern to make some granny bunting for our camper van and maybe the chicken house – my girls think it might brighten up their day! (watch this space…)  Thank you Lucy for a super pattern and tutorial!

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Here’s a snap of some of my granny bunting using my little stash of Rowan Handknit Cotton:

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It’s great to have a child who shares my passion for yarny things. We taught ourselves to crochet using You Tube and books like Nicki Trench’s Cute and Easy Crochet.  A great little book for teaching children to crochet is ‘Kids Learn to Crochet’ by Lucinda Guy.   It features simple language and sweet animal illustrated characters with step-by-step instructions to help children to master crocheting chains and basic crochet stitches with projects such as a striped toy cat, a small bear, a sweet bag and some flowers.

In the early days, we went along to and were very inspired by a Scumbled Crochet workshop run by the talented Tamsyn G where my daughter made this gorgeous freeform crochet heart with ribbon and beads which we have in a little wooden frame:

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If you haven’t tried scumbled crochet yet, do check it out, its really fun and the results are quite beautiful.  You can see some of Tamsyn’s projects in the gallery on her blog here.

Here’s a snap of my daughter’s latest scumbled crochet project.  Its fun, portable and you can add to it whenever you fancy a spot of crochet:

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Another great crochet book for kids that I’ve discovered is ‘Crochet for Children’ by Claire Montgomerie:

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It contains lots of delightful projects (adults might be tempted here too!):

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There are sections on techniques, including tools, how to hold the hook and the yarn, and instructions on basic stitches. The projects are set out in themes that include ‘warm and cosy’, accessories, bedroom essentials, playtime and amigurimi toys.

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The author has also written a knitting version ‘Knitting for Children’ which is equally gorgeous and contains ’35 simple knits that kids will love to make’. We have a copy of this too!

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Of course, the younger members of the family shouldn’t miss out – I bought this second hand book recently for my three year old:

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I love the start of the book:

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The illustrations are so lovely, don’t you think?

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The littlest member of our family likes to call our crocheted Granny Squares ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’ Squares: so cute!

P.S: I haven’t been asked by the authors to review these books – I just happen to like them 🙂

Claire x

Wooly Weekend Wanderings

We’ve been on a couple of fun wooly weekend family outings recently that I thought I would share.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have seen some of these photos already 🙂

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In April we went to the free Secret Garden exhibition organised by the Milestone Trust at the Paintworks in Bristol which was designed to “bring the outdoors imaginatively indoors, and explore the way in which people interpret and play with green spaces”.

Entering through the enchanted forest of hanging trees, we followed the needle-felt sculpture trail,  through the graffiti tunnel to the beautiful secret garden with its knitted and crocheted plants.

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Look at these sweet sunflowers and pom-pom tree:

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A treehouse city:

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Knitted vegetables and a knitted fruit tree:

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As we left the Paintworks, I admired these Airstream Caravans and the cool urban landscape:

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Stopping for a picnic lunch, we popped across the road to Arnos Vale Cemetry to discover it’s famous yarn bomb trail.  Arnos Vale Cemetry is steeped in Bristolian history – it was established by the Victorians in 1837 providing 45 acres of heritage and a rare wildife haven in the city.  My great great grandparents are buried there.  The cemetery is open every day all year round with “visitors being free to wander the site’s extensive network of paths, watch seasonal change and nature, discover the fascinating stories told on gravestones, pay respect to lost loved ones or heroes, follow a themed trail or sit and contemplate in a tranquil setting. Visitors can also take advantage of an ever-expanding range of exhibitions, self-guided trails, guided walks and events”.

As we set off, the start of the trail looked really quite promising….

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Squeals of delight could be heard as my girls discovered the various wooly delights on display on a pretty primrose lined path that led down to the Atrium Cafe…..

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Before our journey home, someone I know who really likes to crochet might just have left a little something behind…. I wonder if its still there!?

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Our other wooly adventures in April took us to beautiful Wales and an annual visit to Wonderwool Wales.  Another great family day out.  I didn’t take quite as many photos as I did last year.  Here are a few favourite snaps from our day:

Shetland Sheep:

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Inspiring crochet:

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Obligatory welsh icecream from Llanfaes Dairy in Brecon (Blackcurrant flavour incase you are wondering!?):

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Giant knitting needles and kits available from Abergwenllan :

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A fantastic crocheted ripple blanket incorporating wool from 44 British Sheep Breeds from Eden Cottage Yarns (there are more details and photos on the ECY blog if you are interested):

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An adorable ‘knit your own fox’ from BomBella Knit Kits:

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And lovely vintage knitting accessories:

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There was also an amazing knitted garden on display:

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We drove home through some spectacular scenery in Mid Wales:

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And headed home over the Severn Bridge:

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April was certainly a yarn-filled month.

Have a great weekend; I’ll leave you with a photo of some cheery Spring daffodils!

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Wool House

Would you like to join me on a visit to the Wool House exhibition at Somerset House in London?

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Lots of pictures (!) : I wanted to try and capture the true flavour of the exhibition for you : enjoy 🙂

As you may already know, the Campaign for Wool launched the Wool House exhibition as the world’s biggest ever celebration of Wool, exploring interiors, crafts, fashion and all aspects of this wonderful natural fibre.  Wool House offered a window on the way in which wool can inhabit a space, with leading interior designers demonstrating use of wool fibre within their work across individual rooms.  You can find out more about the exhibition and the Campaign on the Campaign for Wool website.

Come and take a peak inside…

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A dramatic black and white themed entrance hall greeted us including a life sized crochet bear created by Shauna Richardson.  Aren’t Shauna’s crochetdermy skills amazing!?

Look at this beautiful Hummingbird Wallhanging designed by Alexander McQueen:

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The corridor linking each themed room contained this stunning 100 foot wool runner designed by Cristian Zuzunaga:

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This Modern Room was created by Anne Kyyro-Quinn:

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In contrast, the Natural Room was created by Josephine Ryan:

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Every home needs a wool corner like this one, a cosy nook with a feature chair, maybe a table for books and some favourite things to make it a bit special…

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Look at those gorgeous vintage welsh wool blankets…..

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I completely fell in love with the Nursery designed by Donna Wilson:

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Look at these amazing Wall Hangings by Claudy Jongstra:

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Welcome to the Craft Room : a place to meet and enjoy workshops being run by Rowan Yarns, the Sublime design studio and Debbie Bliss, and watch spinning demonstrations.

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When we arrived, great fun was to be had with both young and old enjoying the chance to learn to knit and crochet.  We were thrilled to be able to have a go at hand spinning yarn on a drop spindle:

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We admired the many beautiful yarns on display and mood boards created by the designers:

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This stunning granny squares throw made from Rowan Purelife Renew, designed by Marie Wallin and featured in Rowan’s Purelife Home brochure inspired my daughter to start a little crochet project on the train home (more about this later..)

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You can read more about the Rowan Purelife British sheep breeds yarn range and accompanying brochures here.

I instantly recognised examples of Anna Wilkinson’s work; have you read her book Learn to Knit, Love to Knit?

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The weaving room:

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We just managed to fit in a brief visit to Liberty of London before our train journey home….

Haberdashery delights – Liberty Tana Lawn:

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And swooning over Rowan Yarns of course! :

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Finally, a walk through snowy London and some knitting (for me) and crochet time (for Miss E) on the train journey home:

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Check out the fabulous Edmund the Easter Bunny pattern available for free on the Rowan website: a very portable little one ball knitting project just right for train journeys as were the Granny Squares crocheted by Miss E in Rowan Pure Wool DK.

Are you feeling inspired to bring wool into your life and home?

 As an ambassador for Rowan Yarns I’m looking forward to sharing my passion for yarn, knitting and crochet with you. I’d love to hear from you via my blog or my Knitandpurlgarden Facebook page  – I hope to hear from you soon!

Claire

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!