Friday, 28 March 2014

Blossom Bunny

I have been wanting to knit a little bunny in this gorgeous Lana Stop Angora for a while now and a few days before The Spring Knitting and Stitching show I finally got my act together to make her. I should have been packing kits, printing labels and generally getting ready to load up the shop for the show but . . . I felt the need to knit a pink rabbit.

It took me most of the day to work out this tiny pattern - along with two heads, two bodies, three legs and two ears to get the pattern right. I knew it had worked when I showed my girls the bunny when they got home from school and they both wanted one! Although Poppy did specify - NOT in pink.

The bunny is easy to knit but I thought I would just show you how I made the tiny foot shape.  It is a very effective for tiny items and I have used it quite a few times in my patterns.
 Here's how you do it . . .
1) You have a total of 7 stitches on the needles so knit 5 (leaving 2 stitches unknit).

2) Turn the work around and purl back over 3 stitches.

3) Turn the work again and knit across these three stitches.

4) Repeat the purl row.

5) Then, knit across these three stitches and the two which have not been worked.

After you have worked the next decrease row you will see that there is a ‘bump’ in your knitting which will form the foot.

blossom bunny

Blossom Bunny is now available on my website as a kit. Everything you need to make her is included and costs just £5.99. I think she would make a lovely Easter gift, although I'm sure my girls would want the bunny AND some chocolate!!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spring Knitting & Stitching Show - Olympia

Well, we are back from the Spring Knitting and Stitching show and in recovery!

It was lovely to attend our first show of the year, meet lots of new friends and catch up with old ones. I was incredibly restrained and only came home with some fabulous buttons from our friends at The Textile Garden and some beautiful fat quarters from the lovely Running Chicken who we were lucky enough to be opposite to (I will of course, show you the fabrics when I have made something with them).

There were lots of intriguing things to see at the show, not least of all the fantastic needlework on the stand managed by Mr X Stitch himself Jamie Chalmers. I love this little painting/embroidery (above right), it's right up my street! I caught up with the lovely Dan Chilcott (yarnbomber extraordinaire pictured above left) who was bringing knitters of all ages together on his stand and knitting a chain which went right round it by the end of the show. He had this amazing wheel which is in motion in this fantastic picture of Dan. I was also lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with the lovely ladies from Abakhan who had put together a bag full of meerkat goodies . . so I did a bit of a demo and signing and met some more meerkat fans!

As you can see from the pictures our stand was as packed as usual (although looking decidedly less packed with stock by the end of the Show!) It's always great to meet with our returning customers - dare I say 'fans', and to introduce new knitters and crafters to my books and quirky knitted animals. The downside of these shows is packing everything up to go home -   I thought you may like to see the 'other side' of the Show, more commonly known as . . . breakdown.

This is the time that everyone looks forward to (not). Not only are you shattered from being on your feet for five days (including build up), but all that is going through your mind for the entirety of Sunday is how long it will take to break down, load up the van and get on the road.

Breaking down is made much easier by the lovely porters who can load half a stand onto one trolley. I am convinced that one porter trip is equivalent to at least three puny Sue Stratford trips . . . This year though, I managed to get the van into the loading bay super early and we were packed up by 6pm, which is why I look so pleased!

As you can see from the pics, these two porters were fantastic and you can just see the equally fantastic Bekky in the background with a sack barrow full of wool. If you visit us at Alexandra Palace you will have met Bekky because she very kindly takes time off work to come and help us at the show and we couldn't do without her. You rock Bekky!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A New Shelf

Last Sunday I popped over to the Milton Keynes Handmade and Vitage Show at the Central MK Shopping Centre with my mother in law, sister in law, Lola and her cousin. Although I had been to the show when it first started and wasn't too impressed, I thought we should give it another go and wow! this show has really moved on! 

It was free entry to a fabulous mix of stalls selling handmade and vintage items from retro vinyl to upcycled items, fashion, china, furnishing and jewellery. We spent ages pottering about looking at all the lovely things. Lola soon spotted a toy scottie dog on a stand and it was quickly tucked under her arm. He was just £5 and since bringing him home she has taken him to bed, dressed him and played with him constantly - a real bargain.

I meanwhile, had spotted some shelves that a lady (Sarah Bell of Salvaged Style) was displaying some small haberdashery items on. Now I have to admit I do have a penchant for shelves (even when I have no idea where to put them or what to put on them) and as you can see from the picture I had an immediate use for these! 

We think it is a postcard display unit with an honesty box made from beautiful oak which may have been in a church. I immediately knew that it had to come home with me whatever it had been in its former life, so after a bit of haggling the shelf was emptied and tucked under my arm! I think it looks fabulous in the shop - just like it has always been there and is the perfect place to display all the little knitting accessories.

et voila! my lovely new shelf filled to the brim with habby goodies