New Magazine – Prima Makes

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I spied this little number smiling at me from the shelves of Eason in Dungarvan yesterday and was won over instantly.  Containing a hefty 162 pages of things to make, knit, sew, crochet and bake what’s not to like?

Like many of the other ‘lifestyle’ magazines that are available at the moment it is a very photography heavy publication, leading you to aspire to all things quirky, vintage and floral.  In addition to the numerous projects there are ‘Ideas & Inspirations’ and  ‘Spring into Shopping’ sections.  There’s also a great feature on craft courses and workshops and if that wasn’t enough the good people at Prima Makes have also thrown in a couple of sheets of fancy printed paper.

So I imagine you’d like to have a little look at some of my favourite little projects?

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These 3 beauties are called High Flyers, Heaven Scent and Time for Tea.  Soooooo pretty.

2014-02-17 12.20.04The very appropriately hat a Picture is so fantastic I’d actually like one please.  The funky, patchwork laptop case ould make a great gift and Kitchen Stichin’ is for those of us that like a bit of crochet.

2014-02-17 12.16.05The pretty Tunic Top knitted in cotton has sizes from 6-12 months to 5 years and it would be hard to resist the little pairs of Baby’s First Shoes.  Bobtail Bunny is a pocket sized pal worked in 4ply crochet.

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Still more …..

For the bakers amongst us my 3 favourites are the Coconut Doughnuts, Shortbread Flowers and the Peppermint Marshmallows, yummy.

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It shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you that know me but Daisy Chain is my absolute favourite, isn’t it beautiful?  I hope my crochet is up to it.

If you’re still in need of a little convincing, then the icing on the cake has to be that the magazine comes complete a free kit to make this little mousey pincushion.

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Happy Knitting! (maybe that should be crafting?)

Have A Crafty Christmas

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The latest edition of Reloved magazine was just winking at me from the shelf in Eason yesterday so I just couldn’t resist – and the robin on the cover promised lots of upcycling fun – 34 projects to be precise.

One of the things to note this time round is that the magazine will be out monthly from now on. Let’s hope this doesn’t mean Reloved’s standards will slip.

Back to our crafty Christmas – there are sooooo many lovely things to tempt your creativity.  There’s also Kirstie Allsopp’s Diary and the Creative Hub with its news and ideas for upcyclers.

Of the 34 projects I have to say I love the little robin on the cover and there’s also instructions to create a little nest for him too.  The Peacock Bag made from a pair of curtains is super cute too.  Sadly, there isn’t a pattern for the crochet flower but there are loads on Ravelry you could use instead.

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I also love the Pallet Coffee Table – I had one in England complete with fairy lights and a glass top (who knew I was already an upcycler? Thought I was just frugal).

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Not just for Christmas in my opinion, the Paper Christmas Baubles are lovely and easy to make and could be used for loads of occasions.  Change the paper and make them in different sizes to decorate rooms for weddings, communions or hang them in the garden for those summer barbecues (here’s hoping).

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The same can be said for the Fabric Fairy Lights. I think they’d also make a great gift for Christmas.  I know of at least one boy who’d probably overlook the ‘fairy light’ aspect if they were wrapped in comic pages or material with Minecraft Creepers on them.

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My number 5 favourite project, because it wouldn’t be fair to count the coffee table, is the Bauble Wreath.  Very cool, very shiny and very, very, very CHRISTMAS!

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I have a dear friend who’d love one of these, if I have the time to make one.  That will only happen if I get through my long list of gift knitting starting with said friend’s husband’s second size 11 sock.  I’ve turned the heel so I’m nearing the finishing line……..

Happy Knitting!

(or Christmas crafting)

Drool

It’s no secret that I love Danish Designer Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard’s knitting designs.  I would go so far as to say that she’s in my top 10 of knitting designers. Elizabeth Zimmerman is without a doubt, number one – her Baby Surprise Jacket is iconic and worthy of the highest praise, and don’t get me started on the rest, there’s the Totem Jacket, the February Sweater……

Anyway, back to Vibe.  ‘Lullaby Knits’ is the latest book of designs to be released by Vibe, published by Collins & Brown. The book has the same vintage feel as Vibe’s previous book ‘Labour of Love’ that I cooed over for some time. This time, however, the designs are all for babies, with the largest size for 18 – 24 months.  The exception is a beautiful lace wrap for mum.

If I’ve counted correctly there are 22 patterns in the book: seven sweaters, six cardigans/jackets, three vests and six patterns that fall under the accessories heading.  It’s difficult to pick my preferred designs as all of the patterns are photographed beautifully, with the most gorgeous of little models dressed in the knitted items. However, if my arm were twisted I’d have to go with the following

The Stay on Ribbed Boots are so sweet. Sadly, the pattern is for one size only (0-3 months).

2013-11-08 10.23.58The Cable and Daisy Stitch Sweater is beautiful and very like my favourite pattern ‘Matilda’ from the previous book ‘Labour of Love’.

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The Garter Stitch Jacket is knitted in aran weight yarn, making it a super quick baby knit and one on my list to make in a hurry.

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I’m usually able to decide on an absolute favourite pattern with most of the knitting and crochet books I see, however, this time I’m torn between two. Both are jumpers, both are unisex, you decide.

This is the Small Cable Sweater

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Whilst this is the Little Tree Sweater

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I might have to find some time to knit both and see if one of the designs wins through.  The only trouble with that is that I no longer have little people small enough to wear the finished garment, so they’ll be ones for the Grandparent Box  (no pressure there!).

In the meantime back to the Christmas gift knitting I go.

Happy Knitting!

Sadness

homepage

I sat down today all prepared to begin typing up some of the many posts that I have notes written for in my little book. First though, I thought I’d have a quick scan over Ravelry for a little link to post up on the Facebook page.  Noticing the new issue of Petite Purls is out I went straight over to their site to have a look at all the yummy goodness in issue 16.

As per usual the cover alludes to much knitty joy, particularly as it’s the Upsize Issue.  On opening the magazine I clicked  straight on the ‘note from the editors’ link, which is where my sadness comes from. Allegra Wermuth & Brandy Fortune have announced that issue 16 is their final issue of Petite Purls 😦

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My absolute favourite from this issue is the Child – Teen Radiant Vest and the separate Adult Radiant Vest.  It is split into two individual patterns to accommodate the vast range of sizes between the two patterns – six years to adult 54″ (wow!).  The sleeveless cardigan is knitted sideways in chunky yarn, with short row shaping to create the yoke.

It’s sad to see the end of Petite Purls but here’s hoping Allegra and Brandy move on to bigger and better things.  No doubt the resources from their time at Petite Purls will continue to delight knitters for years to come.

Happy Knitting!

Look what My Children Bought Me

It was my birthday last week and to be honest I don’t handle them particularly well.  I’m not really sure why, I’d just sooner do the whole present thing without the pressure????

My children were on time as far as ordering me a gift (a couple of days before the unmentionable event), however the said gift only arrived today.  For me this is better, it means I have something to look forward to although my husband believes this is unacceptable (?????).

023So today I happily ripped the packaging off my gift to discover a beautiful hank of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Ravelry Red and a beautiful book called Handmade in the UK with designs from Emily Wessel.

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Usually, I’m pretty up to date on newly published books but I had yet to see this one so it was a complete suprise.  There are 10 designs in the book all with an element of lace in the knitting and if I were to be completely honest I think I’d like to make all but one of them.

I thought you might like a little look at my favourites.

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Rosewater

Rosewater is this beautiful little, double knit hat.  Made in the round, the pattern includes 5 sizes from baby to large adult.

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Windswept Adult
Windswept child
Windswept child

Windswept is a double knit, v neck jumper with a lace panel running down the centre.  Again the pattern includes an incredible range of sizes, this time from baby to 4XL (16 sizes).  I love the use of garter stitch to make the knit look contemporary.  It’s used on the deep cuffs, the bottom bands and runs up in between the middle of the lace panel and splits to form the neck shaping.

 

Estuary
Estuary

Estuary is a gently shaped 4ply shawl/scarf with 2 lace patterns and is very like something I’ve been designing recently.

Vivid
Vivid

The last pattern in the book is Vivid and there’s no denying it’s beauty.  The instructions include yarn amounts for 1 square knitted in either 4ply, dk or aran weight meaning you can use your favourite yarn.  All day I’ve been jumping from this to my final pattern and back.  Obviously, though I shall have to begin with Winding Way as I have the perfect yarn already, don’t I?

Winding Way
Winding Way

Happy knitting!

 

New Magazine – Reloved

New Magazine
New Magazine

It seems we’ve finally got a hold of ourselves and tightened our belts (not sure mine was ever loose), we’ve seen the error of our ways and realised that everything isn’t disposable.  There’s a whole upsurge in people learning how to remake, reupholster, upcycle and transform.

Change the sleeves on your dress
Change the sleeves on your dress

Hopefully there were very few of us that simply threw away a blouse if the buttons had fallen off but how many of us have given a dress away because we no longer like the style? Perhaps you cast away a piece of furniture because it didn’t fit in with your new contemporary styled living room?  Can you see the charm in everyday objects from charity shops and house clearance stores if given a little love?

Reloved is a new quarterly magazine dedicated to restyling, transforming and revamping your world.  In the first issue ‘Spring 2013’ there are 26 projects covering everything from transforming your clothes to upcycling your furniture.  There is a masterclass on reupholstering a drop in seat pad chair and quick makes to create in an evening.  There are several features including one on the original ‘Make Do & Mend’ series from the wartime upcyclers.  Last but not least, there’s a guide to upcycling and knitting (ahem… of course).

The magazine welcomes you to a shabby chic lifestyle, full of colour and a renewed love for all things eclectic, mismatched and homely.  Of all the projects some of my favourites are Changing Sleeves (above) and the Lacy Doily Lampshade which are really cool.  In my house they’d have to be stained or painted though as the dust would turn them grey in a matter of minutes.

Lacy Doily Lampshade
Lacy Doily Lampshade

On page 16 and 17 there’s how to create the Vintage Cake Stand, all the rage at the moment and much cheaper than some of those to buy in the shops.  I think they’d look really good made out of old mismatched plates and full of naughty teatime treats.

Vintage Cake Stand
Vintage Cake Stand

Loving all things knitted it goes without saying that the knitted Vase Covers on page 32 – 35 get my creative juices flowing and there’s also a lovely knitted footstool in the magazine.  It’s cream and would again be a dirt magnet here, better to be done with it and make it in a tweedy grey for my home.

Vase Covers
Vase Covers

Last but not least and my absolute favourite item in this issue is the ‘All Wrapped Up Chair’ which has actually been taken from the book Granny Chic.  If I ever get the time expect to see very similar looking chairs in the shop one day.

All Wrapped Up Chair
All Wrapped Up Chair

The magazine has been extremely popular and you may find it difficult to get hold of a copy however the digital edition will be available soon on Apple Newsstand, Google Play and Pocketmags.com.  You can get further information on the Reloved website http://www.relovedmag.co.uk/

Happy Knitting!

(or should that be creating?)

Knitty Spring+Summer is Out

knittyban

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss13/index.php

The latest issue of Knitty has been released and as ever there are some truly beautiful patterns so be sure to go and have a look for yourself.

My three favourites in this issue are:

lunaticBEAUTY
Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic fringe by Jennifer Dassau is a beautifully, quirky shawl knitted in Terra by The Fibre Company which is an aran weight yarn.  Knitted from the bottom up, creating the fringe as you go to form an unusual, asymmetrical shape.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss13/PATTlunaticfringe.php

easyBEAUTY

Easy As Pie is a technicolour blanket by OneHandKnits and is knitted in Sirdar’s Baby Bamboo which is a standard double knit yarn.  Clever use of short rows and colour work creates this vibrant, funky blanket.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss13/PATTeasyaspie.php

buttonboxBEAUTY
Buttonbox

Last but not least and one that I have had to add to my ever extending ‘to knit’ list is Buttonbox by Elizabeth McCarten.  This beautiful waistcoat is knitted in one piece using Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn which is an aran weight.  The shaped waist and shawl collar make it a very flattering style, whilst the little box stitch pattern adds enough interest to the overall look of the knitted fabric.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss13/KSPATTbuttonbox.php

If these patterns haven’t been enough to tempt you (why?), it might just interest you to know that there is a new coloum in the magazine – ‘Techniques with the Neurotic Knitter’.  Kristin Fraser aka The Neurotic Knitter has a look at cast ons this issue via videos.  The techniques she covers for Spring/Summer are the Backwards Loop, Cable, Knitted and the Long Tail methods.  Great if you only know the one cast on method.

i also urge you to check out the Templeton Square Competition Winners to see just how ingenious some knitters are.

Happy knitting!

Review: Petite Purls Knitting Magazine

petit

http://petitepurls.com/index.html

Petite Purls is a fantastic online magazine that specialises in knitting patterns for babies, toddlers and older children.  Having said that, there are crochet patterns and sewing patterns too, all for little ones.

The magazine is published four times a year in January, April, July and October and is packed full of ideas.  All of the patterns are free, for personal use only. Although not available to download as PDFs, it takes no time to copy and paste into a Word document to print off.

The magazine was first published in Summer 2009 and was the result of an online friendship between Allegra Wermuth and Brandy Fortune.  Joan Bebe joined the creative duo as Technical Editor and Petite Purls was born.

Petite Purls concentrates on independent pattern designers; they will never publish a pattern from a company or a pattern publisher, although sometimes they may publish from a book.  There are such lovely patterns available for free, you’ll be spoiled for choice.  One of my favourite sections is the ‘Basics’. Here you’ll discover beautiful, basic patterns, which are great for beginners but also ideal for encouraging your creativity by changing stitches or using colourwork.

Garter Bottom Cardi
Garter Bottom Cardi

The latest addition to this ever-growing section is the Garter Bottom cardigan – it’s a lovely design by Amy Grace and is available in sizes 12 months, 2, 3 and 4 years. It is made in Spud & Chloe’s Sweater yarn, which is an aran weight.

All of the patterns are graded by ability, and under the name of the pattern and the designer there is a scale from young girl to older woman.  The younger the lass, the easier the pattern.

Issue 14 is the current edition and as per usual there are several patterns I’ve already queued.  Who could resist Belle & Beau by Megan Grewal?

Belle & Beau
Belle & Beau

It’s knitted in aran weight yarn and has sizes from 3 months to 8 years.  Whilst I do adore the tree or the flowers on the bottom cardi, it’s the multicoloured yoke that I love.

Entropy Vest
Entropy Vest

My other favourite is the Entropy Vest by Anjali M available in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 years.  The little argyle detail is cute and quirky but the tank top would look just as good plain.

When the latest issue is released the patterns do go up on Ravelry so some of them could look familiar.  The site also has an archive of its back issues – all worth a look.

Be sure to check out White Caps by Daniela Nii from the Spring 2100 issue http://petitepurls.com/Spring11/spring2011_p_white.html

and Little Letterman by Danielle Reiner in the Fall 2010 issue

http://petitepurls.com/Fall2010/fall2010_p_littleletterman.html

If you’re still not convinced, I defy you all not to love Capuchon by Tagil Parlmutter in the Fall 2011 edition.

Capuchon
Capuchon

Don’t you just love it?

Happy Knitting!

You Forget How Small Babies Are.

I’m really lucky I have 3 beautiful children, that make every day special and I don’t mean that in the hearts and flowers sense, more in the ‘count my lucky stars’ way.  It’s been a good number of years since I had super small babies of my own and to be honest my womb very rarely nudges pangs of broodiness my way anymore.  However, there are exceptions and the new book ‘What to Knit When You’re Expecting’ by Nikki Van De Car is one of those times.

The cover photo hints at what’s to come and expect a rush of ‘ahhhs and oooooooo’s’ to overcome you, whilst your brain tricks you into forgetting all about the sleepless nights, stinky nappies and desperation to talk to any adult as long as they speak ‘grown up’.

There are 28 patterns for simple mittens, baby blankets, hats and sweaters inside according to the cover which in no way explains the delights inside.  The designs do include the afore mentioned articles in addition there is a skirt, dress, legwarmers, sleepsack (above) and bloomers.  The book is set out under the three trimesters with the patterns (where appropriate), in 3 sizes 0-3months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months.

My favourite patterns in the first trimester section of the book are:-

Summer Sky Blanket

The Summer Sky Blanket is knitted in Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton which is absolutely gorgeous but an American yarn and therefore difficult to find.  The blanket is made using 5mm’s so any standard weight aran yarn should work as a replacement.  I quite like the cotton look and would probably use Rico’s Creative Cotton Aran as my substitute.

It goes without saying that the Baby Cosy pictured on the front of the book is particularly divine and is knitted in a chunky weight yarn

In the second trimester section of the book it would be more a case of what I want to knit first.

Autumn Leaves Cardigan

The Autumn Leaves Cardigan is so beautiful and something I’d love in my size.  It’s made in a double knit yarn and is super sweet.

Striped Boatneck Sweater

The Striped Boatneck sweater demonstrates how a simple little pattern can have stunning results.  The use of double moss stitch on the bands adds great detail and the design lends itself to both girls and boys.  Again it’s knitted in a double knit yarn.

Cuffed Trousers

The Cuffed Trousers in double knit are a fabulous addition to every babies wardrobe and the addition of the little tabs makes them super practical for chubby little legs.

(oh god I so need grandchildren – be just my luck they’re allergic to wool?)

Time Flies Booties

The delicate little Time Flies Booties in the third trimester of the book, are so pretty that I’d quite like to display several pairs of them in vintage, candy colours on a shelf.  The shelf would be in my imaginary house that is always clean, tidy and organised too.

Maddox Hat

I’m also fond of the little Maddox Hat which is a great design for keeping the chill off babas ears.

Hannah Jacket

My absolute favourite garment in the whole book though has to be the Hannah Jacket.  Maybe it’s because I love duffle coats, or it could be the use of an applied I-cord edge or the clean, simple lines of the design.  Whatever the reason I think it’s a fabulous little design and would work well for either sex.  It would be a great pattern to have in larger sizes as all kids look great in a duffle coat (some adults too).

What To Knit When You’re Expecting is a great buy for those of you that like to knit for babies, or in my case long to.

Happy Knitting!

If You Love Knitting………

In an effort to try and publish posts a little more regularly I have written myself a list of the knitting things that interest me.  I subscribe to quite a number of different knitting newsletters but find a few in particular are my favourites.

In this post I’d like to talk about knitty.com

Knitty.com

Knitty is an online knitting magazine that publishes four times a year  in March, June, September and December.  If you sign up to their email list they’ll notify you when the latest edition is out. Occasionally an odd pattern or two are released as a ‘bonus’ and you’ll be emailed again.

Knitty is very much a magazine: there are features pages, product tests, letters from the editors, competitions and of course there’s patterns.  FREE PATTERNS

Yep, you read it correctly, the patterns are all free for individual use only.  That doesn’t mean the patterns aren’t great, on the contrary.  Some of the most well-known patterns have originally been published in knitty.

Clapotis by Kate Gilbert

http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/PATTclapotis.html

One of my favourite patterns, as I think I’ve mentioned before,  is In Leaf by Avril Lang.

In Leaf Cardigan from Knitty.com

Currently, the 41st issue is out and the magazine is celebrating their 10th year.  This issue contains 4 lovely sock patterns, 2 for gloves, 3 hats, 4 shawls, 9 jumpers/cardigans, 3 of which are for men.

I think one of the sock patterns is absolutely fab.  I have to admit that I just don’t have the time to knit socks, particularly ones like these, however I can appreciate their uniqueness.

Pair-a-normal by Barry Scates

Pair-a-normal

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEdf12/PATTpairanormal.php

One jumper that has already been added to my ever increasing ‘to do’ list is the Party Mix Pullover by Julia Farewell-Clay.  It’s an aran weight, raglan, A-line jumper that will be great for using up some of my stash.  Even better, being an A-line design it will help to hide a multitude of sins (mostly of the cake kind).

Party Mix pullover

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEdf12/KSPATTpartymix.php

I find the Cool Stuff section where books, classes, etc are reviewed particularly interesting being a keen collector of all things knitting.  For me this issue the most interesting items have been the reviews of several books I am keen to own including November Knits and the Knitters Handy Book of Top Down Sweater Designs.

I also like the Knitty Yarn Roundtable feature as it helps me to keep an eye on possible new yarns for the shop or what new trends are coming.

In addition to all of the above, not to mention the competition, crossword, adverts and shopping, there is also Knitty Spin, which is a section of the magazine aimed at spinners.  I do intend on learning to spin, I even have a lovely Ashford Spinning Wheel, which at present adorns the window sill at the top of my stairs (sadly).  This doesn’t stop me coveting fibre and lusting over the endless possibilities……

Knitty Spin has reviews of fibre that the testers spin and then knit, reviews of cool spinning stuff, a spinners glossary and yet more patterns.  My favourite this issue without a doubt are the beautiful mitts Calertne by Sandy Sitzman & Lynne Vogel – they are truly beautiful.

Calertne

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEdf12/KSPATTcalertne.php

Knitty is in my opinion, without a doubt one of the best knitting related features available online

If you’re still having doubts about signing up to the knitty.com newsletter reminder – why?  Maybe this will encourage you –

Norma

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEff12/PATTnorma.php

Norma is definitely an heirloom piece, but just look at the detail.  Meghan Jones is a truly gifted designer.

Norma Up Close

Happy knitting!