Lilly Pond CAL Clue 4

crochet 4

I can’t believe it’s been 2 and a bit  weeks already since the last Lilly Pond Blanket Clue was released.  I know I’ve been busy, but I’d struggle to tell you doing what 😕

Moving on…..

This Tuesday did indeed see the release of the Stylecraft/Jane Crowfoot CAL clue 4 and judging by the Facebook Group Page, there were lots of people eager to get started.  Looking again this morning loads, loads of them have already completed all 4 blocks too 💩

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Block 4 as you can see, is called Bobbles and Pin Wheels and the design is meant to represent the ripples of the water with little pink lilies at the waters edge.

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The chart above shows the colours needed if you’re making the block using Stylecraft Life on the left and the alternative shades for the Special DK on the right.

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Not being particularly fluent in crochet, I’ve struggled with this clue the most so far.  I think for me crochet is easiest when I have to make a square (going round and round), rather than working a piece that goes back and forth.  I’ve managed this much so far and now have had to allow my brain time to heal  I’ll be sure to get the rest finished when I’m back from my travels (I’m off to London later today).

Before I go and pack my suitcase, because I’m one of those last minute people (bet you couldn’t have worked that out?) I guess I should really show you my attempts at blocks 2 and 3……

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The Tiny Lilly Block from clue 2 wasn’t really that bad after I’d got the hang of it.  it’s not the best piece of crochet in the world, but it’ll pass.  It is however over 4 centimetres bigger than the reccomended 12cm square size.

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As alluded to by Jane, the blocks are likely to get harder as they go on and I definitely found the third block – Lilly Bud, a little more intense.  Truth be told, at one stage I’d have rather eaten it than continue.

The eagle eyed amongst you, will notice that my 3rd block is again larger than the specified 12cm.  Happily though it’s the same size give or take the odd millimetre to my clue 2 block 🙂 So I’m hoping everything will work out OK.

File 23-05-2015 07 03 46Yes, I have managed to get through it, but look at all those scary ends that still need to be sewn in.

😱 😱 😱

The next clue, for block 5, is due to be released Tuesday the 2nd of June.

Happy Crochet!

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Busy, Busy, Busy

2015-05-06 11.55.48-2I’ve neglected the blog a little over the past couple of weeks, come to think of it, I’ve actually neglected Instagram and Facebook too (bad girl).

I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve spent my time creating things of beauty or exploring the countryside, but it’s simply as a result of trying to catch up.

In short I’ve been busy, busy with the every day stuff we all have to get done.

I have managed to squeeze a little knitting and crochet in by way of keeping sane, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve actually achieved that much.  The photograph at the top of the post is a close up of the latest shawl I’ve made for the shop using Kimera from Adriafil.

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Temptation is a terrible thing sometimes and the happy, summery colours of the Kimera yarn are exactly what persuaded me to take a closer look at this mercerised Egyptian cotton.  I really wanted all 8 shades for the shop, but only had room enough for 6 😦

Each 50g ball costs €4.45 and contains 135 metres/149 yards, the recommended needle size is a 3.5/4mm.  I find it a little thinner than a true double knit, but it’s not as fine as a 4ply either.  Looking through some of  the projects made using Adriafil Kimera on Ravelry, most people have opted for sport weight patterns.

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The shawl is just my usual half granny square, but I do lve them and I find they’re great to just throw over whatever I’m wearing.  I made this one using a 5.5mm hook and three and a half balls of yarn.  Tempted as I was, to crochet another row of trebles because I had enough yarn left to do so, I decided that for me and my ever shrinking 5.3″ frame the shawl is plenty big enough.

Looking at the uneven point it’s easy to spot that I didn’t get round to blocking the shawl before popping it on the mannequin, but being cotton I’m sure it’ll settle nicely before too long.

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I’m completely smitten with the colourway and can’t wait to get the chance to wear it over something more summery (unlike today, which as you can tell from the photo, is a little overcast, with rain threatening to fall).

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Still on a crochet theme, the 3rd clue for The Lilly Pond Crochet Along was released on the Tuesday the 5th.

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This time it’s the Lilly Bud Block and on first look it doesn’t look too complicated, but truthfully, I could end up eating my own words.

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The chart above shows the colours needed if you’re making the block using Stylecraft Life on the left and the alternative shades for the Special DK.

The next clue, for block 4, is due to be released Tuesday the 19th of May.

Happy Crochet!

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Lilly Pond CAL – Clue 2

Cal clue 2This morning saw the release of the second clue for Stylecraft Yarns Lilly Pond Blanket Crochet Along.  I’m not sure how those of you taking part are fairing?  My tension as I’ve mentioned previously is off and by quite a bit 😳

tiny lillyThe block this time is called Tiny Lilly and doesn’t look too difficult (phew).  Having glanced over the pattern quickly though, I have spotted the words sew/sewn  😒 Since when did I sign up for a sew along?

I jest 😉 😉 😉

Having said that this is serious business apparently, if you’ve joined the Lilly Pond Facebook Page you’ll have no doubt seen just how ‘seriously’ some people are taking it 😱 It’s not a race to see who can complete the blocks first and it most certainly shouldn’t be a competition about whose block is better (only my opinion).  Sadly, I’ve noticed several posts from members saying the forum just wasn’t for them and they’ve left because of it.  I’d like to think this will make people think twice before posting anything unbecoming, but I doubt it.  What I do think they should note is that other companies and individuals could be put off of hosting their own CAL/KAL because of it.

Enough chatter, back to the CAL

table 2For the Tiny Lilly blocks you’ll need the shades in the chart above.  Stylecraft Life DK on the left and Stylecraft Special DK substitutions on the right.  Note the Plum and the Fondant shades are only used for the sewing this time.

The next block Lilly Bud will be released on May 5th.

Happy crochet!

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Merry Go Round

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You might recall I’d bought a couple of shades of Merry Go Round Double Knit from Stylecraft Yarns, in order to see what it was like and gauge customer interest.  The one on the left is appropriately named Rainbow and the one on the left is called Peacock.

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The reaction has been great, with the inital stock selling out in the Rainbow almost immediately.  I myself, think it’s rather lovely for baby and children knits and the 100g ball seems to be never ending with a whopping 321yds/294m.  So I’ve decided to add a few more shades to the range, top left it’s Starburst, top right is Candy Crush, bottom left is Blue Denim and lastly on the bottom right it’s Strawberry.

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There are some lovely little patterns for the Merry Go Round yarn, but as it’s a standard double knit weight it will work as a great substitute with most dk patterns.  I’m rather smitten with these crochet soft toys from pattern 9161, but I’m not convince my crochet skills are sufficient.

Talking of crochet….

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I finally managed to get one of the blocks made for the Stylecraft Lilly Pond CAL, but I still have to sew in the ends (so many ends) and make a further three of these too.  The next clue, for the second block is due to be released on Tuesday 21st April, so I’ll be way behind, but it’s meant to be fun isn’t it?

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The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that my piece measures approximately 53cm, a whole 8.5cm’s longer than the recommended length of 44.5cm

It’s also a centimetre taller, but after talking to friends that are taking part and reading through the posts on the Facebook Group Page, it seems like most people are coming in around this size too.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping everything comes together without too much extra work 🙂

Happy Crochet!

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The Lilly Pond Blanket CAL – Are You Ready?

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It’s officially April now and hopefully, all the fun and games of April’s Fool should be well and truly over by now.  As it was the 1st yesterday, the countdown can officially begin for the launch of Stylecraft and Jane Crowfoot’s’ Lilly Pond Blanket CAL, which begins with the launch of the first pattern on the Tuesday 7th.

The Special DK delivery of CAL colours has arrived, but despite all of the assurances there were still 3 shades necessary to complete the blanket missing 😩 Happily, I had 2 of these shades in stock however my supply of the shade Petrol was minimal – 3 balls to be exact.

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Teal on the left and Petrol on the right

Drama and more drama.  After I’d finished banging my head against the wall of the stock cupboard, I realised I had 2 packs of a very similar colour sitting on the shelves. I think the Teal makes a pretty good alternative?  In real life it’s slightly greener than the Petrol, but the difference is minimal.

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Due to the ongoing issues surrounding stock of the suggested colours that I mentioned in my previous post here Stylecraft have released a list of necessary shades to complete the first clue, to try and help everyone participating.  You can see from the chart above that Petrol is amongst the first 6 shades so there’s no avoiding it 🙈

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Now lets talk tension and I’m not referring to the type caused by → missing colours ←.  If you’ve downloaded the original leaflet from the Stylecraft website you’ll know that you’ll be using 3 different sized hooks to complete the blanket, 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5mm.

As you can see the required tension for your double crochet is 4 stitches x 5.5 rows on a 4mm hook and for the trebles it should be 5 stitches x 2.5 rows with a 3.5mm hook.

Cut to my swatches now 🎬

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Oops, they’re the wrong way round, sorry 😳 Even more embarrassing are the rather wonky edges.  I did promise to post up my attempts, warts and all and my crochet is not the greatest.  It got better as it went on though 🙂

My tension though, is pretty much bang on 🎯

It would be great to hear how you’re getting on with your tension test squares too.

Happy Crochet!

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The Lilly Pond Blanket CAL

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By now I’m assuming a good few of you will have seen something about the crochet along that Jane Crowfoot has designed in association with Stylecraft Yarns?  If you’re not sure what I’m referring too, pop along to either Jane’s blog here, Facebook Page here or the Stylecraft Facebook Page here.

Life dk

If you have spotted it, chances are you might have also noticed all the chatter about the yarn for it being difficult to get?  The blanket has been designed using Stylecraft’s Life DK range which is a blend of 25% wool/75% acrylic and has a beautiful handle to it.

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The interest in the CAL has been tremendous, much more than Stylecraft had anticipated and as a result a couple of shades needed for the CAL have sold out completely in the Life DK.  Unfortunately, to make matters worse, the missing shades are unlikely to be back until mid to late May and the CAL is due to begin on April 7th.

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Undeterred, Stylecraft and Jane have put together a replacement palette using the Special DK range instead and despite having already sold out of some of these colours too, the team at Stylecraft have worked round the clock with their manufacturers to secure stock in all shades for this week.

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To Crochet the Lily Pond Blanket in Special DK you will need: 1 x 1061 Plum, 1023 Raspberry, 1241 Fondant, 1080 Pale Rose, 1005 Cream, 1081 Saffron, 1034 Sherbet, 1068 Turquoise balls and 2 x 1065 Meadow, 1708 Petrol and 1027 Khaki balls.  I have pre-booked the 11 shades required to complete the blanket and am expecting delivery by the end of this week.

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Stylecraft have released an introduction to the CAL here which contains lots of helpful information including a valuable section on tension to ensure your blanket is a success.

The patterns will be published fortnightly and there’s a total of 8, which will be free to download on the Stylecraft web site from the 7th of April. The stitches used to complete the blanket are chain, slip stitch, double crochet, half treble crochet, treble crochet, and double treble crochet.

If you’re wondering about the level of crochet ability the CAL is aimed at?  In her blog Jane says “I have tried to design the pieces so that they get progressively harder and hopefully this means that crocheters can use the CAL as a learning tool. The patterns will focus on one motif or block every fortnight and you will need to complete an average of 4 motifs/blocks per set. Most of the blocks are 15cm square, although others are slightly bigger”

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There is an official Facebook CAL Group here where you’ll be able to keep in touch with other taking part and watch everyone’s progress.  I’m hoping to have a go myself, although my crochet skills don’t really stretch past my granny shawls 😁 I’ll be sure to document my attempts (and I do mean attempts) here for all to see.  I’m guessing I’ll be utilising the Facebook Group lots and I’m even more pleased to know that the patterns will include step-by-step images to help guide us (I mean me), through the making process ✌️

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Anyone interested in joining in too?

As soon as the delivery arrives I’ll be sorting the yarn out into CAL packs ready to go out straight away, so you can be ready for the 7th.  The 14 ball pack will set you back €40 and I’d recommend reserving one if you’re going to give it a go as it’s likely stocks will run short again.

Happy Knitting!

That should probably be crochet I guess?

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New For Us In February

Patrick

I have at least a couple of posts for you this week, this being the first it’s supposed to be about this months woolly and not so woolly, additions to the shop.  However, I’ve been so moved by the movie I saw last night that it would seem slightly criminal not to mention it.  Especially as I was dreaming about it last night and haven’t stopped thinking about it all day either.

My first visit to the Triskel in Cork City was yesterday to see Patrick’s Day – wow!

Patrick’s Day if you haven’t heard, is a film about a young man (Patrick) with Schizophrenia and the lengths his mother will go to to ‘protect’ him.  It throws up loads of things to ponder, not least the right for every man or woman to experience an ‘adult’ relationship and by adult I’m not necessarily talking about a sexual relationship it could be friendship or love. Regardless of how the relationship between two adults manifests itself there is always an emotional side and it’s this aspect that the film centres on.

The cast were fantastic particularly Moe Dunford who plays Patrick, his performance was outstanding.  There were several parts of the film that made for uncomfortable viewing, but compelling none the less.   I urge you to pop over to the Patrick’s Day Facebook Page and watch the trailer to see what all the fuss is about for yourself. The relationship between Patrick and his mother is central to the film and trying to put yourself in her shoes, is painful to say the least.  We’d all go to great lengths to protect our children from the moment they’re born, but are our decisions always the best for our children?  I can’t wait for knitting on Wednesday night so we can debate the whole thing over tea, cake and stitching.

Moving on to matters less serious and more woolly.

The shop sale has drawn to a close and I now have my kitchen/classroom back which means the return of Saturday knitting group -hooray 🙂  As you might expect there are still sale balls of wool remaining, so I’ve filled up the €3 baskets at the top of the shop and we will continue to use the Green Bin concept to bring you a super bargain or two.

At the moment the Green Bin contains Rico Glow Worm for €4 per 100g ball.

country tweed

Last week we took delivery of Country Tweed DK from King Cole in six beautiful shades.  Country Tweed has been around for a little while now but I thought it filled a variegated double knit shaped hole on our shelves nicely.  Each 100g ball contains approximately 280 metres/306 yards of yarn made from a blend of acrylic, wool and viscose and costs €6.99.  It’s a standard double knit yarn so will work with most dk patterns, but I’ve chosen a good few designs that specifically use the Country Tweed for you to peruse.  Personally, I’d like to find some time to have a go at using Broomstick Crochet to make a scarf with the yarn.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about pop over to the photo tutorial by Ashley Little here on Craftsy.

Does anyone else fancy having a go too?

merry go round

We’ve also taken delivery of a couple of shades in Stylecraft’s Merry Go Round yarn to see what the response is like.  It’s a basic 100g ball of fun, colourful acrylic, specifically aimed at smallies.  I could only find a photo of one of our shades but it’s a pretty one 💗

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There’s also been a delivery of something really rather un-woolly, but they smell heavenly.  Whilst at the City Hall Christmas Craft Fair I couldn’t resist making a few gift purchases from the Celtic Candles stand.  I ended up burning one of the gifts 😄 in the shop over Christmas and a good few of you commented positively on the aroma, so I thought ‘why not?’.

Celtic Candles are an Irish owned, family run company that produce candles, reed diffusers, lip balms and other products, but it was their Organic Range of candles that caught my eye (should that be nose?).  Anyway, think essential oils, think 100% plant based wax and then select your aroma.  Maybe you want to Relax with Lavender, Geranium and Tea Tree or what about Recharging with Neroli, Clementine and Geranium?   The 20CL Aromapots have a burn time of up to 50 hours for €16.99 and the 9CL Votives should burn for approximately 25 hours for €6.99.  Interestingly, you can use the candle oil on your skin as a massage oil 🎂

I’m off to get a few rows of knitting done, hope you are too?

Happy Knitting!

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Stylecraft Yarns Winter Catch Up

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I’d started to write this post in mid December when I ordered the new shades in Stylecraft’s Swift Knit and Senses yarns.  Unfortunately, there were some issues with obtaining the digital images at the time and I’ve only just received them and I thought you might still like to have a quick look at them.

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There are 3 new shades in the Swift Knit and a few new patterns to tempt you too

 

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Dina has already put in a request for the hat 😯

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In the Senses I chose two of the new shades for the shop to compliment the colours we already have.  Again there have been some lovely patterns released too.

Senses

 

I wouldn’t mind at least one of the hats and the cowl/neck warmer myself if I could find the time to knit them.

Thinking about it the Swift and the Senses are two extremes when it comes to yarns.  The Swift is very much a super chunky yarn whilst the Senses has been designed to be used as a laceweight.  (I find it knits perfectly to a 4 ply too)

The Swift is €4.99 per 100g whilst the Senses is €4.20 per 50g.

Happy Knitting!

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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I’mloving this pair and they’re doing an excellent job of adding a festive feel to the shop counter.  I do have a confession though…..my friends Noreen and Liz made them for me along with the Tinsel Owl below.  Big thanks to both of them, they are without a doubt, skilled when it comes to making knitted toys.

The snowmen are made using Sirdar Snowflake (dk for the smaller of the two, chunky for the larger) and Stylecraft Special DK for the accessories  The biggest chap stands approximately 11 inches tall whilst the shorter one is about 8 inches high.

snowman sirdar

The design has been created by Sue Jobson for Sirdar, pattern 4513 and the girls assure me they’re a fairly straightforward knit.  As with all toys, it can be easier to sew as you go, otherwise the task can seem a little daunting if you leave it all to the end.

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Loving the addition of the red on the robin’s breast, much more appropriate me thinks 💡

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Here’s the afore mentioned owl, he’s a rather big boy and is the largest size on the pattern.  He still only took the one ball of King Cole Tinsel and he’s proving even more popular than the hedgehog at the moment.

Owls

As you can see it’s pattern 9022 I think they’d make a lovely little present for someone, especially as owls are so popular at the moment.  I think I’d rather like a little white Snowy Owl perched on our Christmas Tree.

Happy knitting!

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Swift Knit Stripes

Stripes

 

Swift Knit Stripes is the latest super chunky yarn to be released from Stylecraft Yarns.

As with all super chunky yarns think quick knits, great for last minute gifts there are 5 shades to tempt you with several lovely designs created especially by the Stylecraft design team to show off the stripey effect.

Swift Knit Stripes is a blend of 80% Premium Acrylic and 20% Wool, easy-care, machine washable and only €5.60 for a 100g ball so it represents value for money.  Recommended needle size is 10mm’s with a tension of 9 stitches to 12 rows.

To further tempt you Stylecraft have produced a free pattern leaflet which you will receive with each Swift Knit Stripes purchase (while stocks last).  The leaflet contains 4 patterns, each of which takes 1, 2 or 3 balls of the yarn and can be knitted in next to no time.

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If you’d like to have a look at the rest of the designs pop over to the Stylecraft Pinterest Board here 

I ran the hat up really quickly for the shop, but have realised it’s rather difficult to model hats now since I’ve had all my hair cut off :-0

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It only too the 1 ball and it’s lovely and cosy.

Happy Knitting!