Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Guerrilla Crafternoon

Last Friday me and my friend/ almost sister in law, Dawn, went along to Craft Guerrilla’s Crafternoon at the Creative Biscuit and had an amazing night of tea, cake, craft and chat. It’s a brilliant alternative to your usual Friday night activities and I highly recommend it!

We arrived and paid our £5 door charge which includes a drink and cake. There was a choice between bottomless tea in vintage china, a cup of coffee or a Bellini cocktail. It just had to be bottomless tea. Every time my cup got low, it was topped up again with a fresh steaming hot brew. We were also faced with the choice of strawberry cupcakes, gorgeous brownies, flapjacks and pastries. Oh the agony!  I had to go for the cupcake and Dawn had the brownie. We were both in a blissful cake-coma after consumption.

Once we’d stuffed our face with cake it was time for some crafting. The ladies from Craft Guerrilla had laid out all the projects you could buy and there were just too many cute little projects to choose from. Almost all of the projects could be completed within the evening and had clear instructions as well as help on hand from the Guerrilla’s themselves. I eventually chose the rolled paper necklace (£5) and Dawn went for the fabric hair bow (£4).

The kits were packaged up like little presents which all added to the excitement as we took out our equipment and got ready to craft. Both projects were super easy and it was great to have all of the bits and pieces you needed in your craft pack. The pliers for bending the jewellery wires were just on loan though! There was also an iron and ironing board on hand for the fabric projects.

We both finished our projects before the end of the night and Dawn even went back for more in the shape of a embroidered tote bag kit, which she took home to make. We had a really great evening bopping along to the retro tunes, sipping tea from our vintage cups and getting crafty with a lovely bunch of people. The Crafternoon runs on the last Friday of every month, so come down next time and craft the evening away!

Rolled paper necklace

Dawn's beautiful bow

Sunday, 19 June 2011


I managed to acquire this today. Some acrylic yarn, needles and kick arse fabric.
Some of the needles and yarn (the stuff in the bag) will be off to a charity shop tomorrow, but I spent a nice evening untangling yarn, sorting balls into different piles and pairing up needles. I need to get out more don't I?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

What a difference a Year makes!

Yesterday was the anniversary of Florence being out of hospital. It's hard to think that whole year has passed; she really is a little triumph! I started this blog while she was still in hospital and we've come a long way since then. Here she is at the pub with Auntie Brooke this weekend, discovering kisses!

I've almost finished Flo's crochet dress. I managed to photograph it in the park on my lunch break rather than under my desk this time.
Crochet really is tons quicker than knitting, but overall I still prefer the finish of knitting than of crochet which is much more structured and boxy.
I just have the sewing up and picot hem to do and then this will be done. I love the smell of a finished project.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Knitting Guilt

Normally I like to try and finish one project before I start the next, however it keeps happening to me that I get half way through a project and then my attention span dries up and I get the itch to start something new. In my previous post you saw the temptation of the 10% off at Knit with Attitude and how it lured me in to a new project. I am constantly dragged in by marketing. I can barely walk by a buy one get one free at the supermarket and I don’t need any more cotton wool balls.
I keep telling myself that I haven’t given up on my lacy blue top, I’m just having a rest from it. And there’s nothing wrong with that, so why am I experiencing knitting guilt? It feels like I’m betraying a friend; having coffee with its arch enemy behind its back. But the cute crochet kids dress was calling out to me, with its promise of being much quicker than knitting lace. And it has kept to its promise. Look at how much I’ve done in a week. And when I made a mistake, I rip it back without fear, those 5 rows only took me 2 minutes to do, so go ahead, rip away!
The stupid thing is that the dress is going to be way too big for Flo. The sizing is 18-24 months and she’s still in 9-12 months clothes, so this dress is most likely destined for next summer anyway. The lacy blue top for me would be perfect for the weather now, so I should really swap back and just get on with the top, shouldn’t I. Oh, but sweet yellow BFL wool. How I enjoy working with thee! The struggle continues.
PS: Please excuse the rubbish picture which I took underneath my desk at work.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Bush Jumper

I received a lovely surprise this week from Knitting magazine. A reader all the way from Australia had sent me a parcel! Bronwyn Benn from Burwood, Victoria had read my article about my growing collection of knitting related children’s books and decided to add to it.

The Bush Jumper by Jean Chapman and Ali Beck is a story that Bronwyn’s own children loved to read as they were growing up. As it’s full of Australian animals, plants and imagery I don’t think I’ll ever forget who we received this lovely gift from.

The book tells the story of a little Koala call Mitti who wants her Mum to knit her a jumper. But whilst knitting the second sleeve her Mum runs out of yarn; it’s happened to the best of us! So instead she knits a multi coloured sleeve in all the colours of the Bush. Mitti doesn’t like the jumper but her friends love it and want to try it on, which is when all the trouble and fun begins!

The book is beautifully drawn and coloured in pencil and I particularly liked the accuracy of the knitting process.

“Clicketty-click-click-click! Koala knitted and knitted. She knitted the back of the jumper, then the front, then one sleeve”

I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d have described how she washed, blocked and sewn each piece too!

This is a lovely book and is a very special one to add to the collection that so far consists of: Knitting Nell, Little Bear’s Big Jumper and Mr Nick’s Knitting. Thank you so much to Bronwyn for thinking of us and sending us such a thoughtful present. Mwah!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Knit with Attitude

A few months ago I saw a cute little crochet dress in Knitting magazine. I checked out the pattern and saw that there was 10% off the yarn if you bought it from Knit With Attitude. This was just the prompt I needed to visit this yarn shop which opened about a year ago but that I’d never managed to get down to.

The shop was a little difficult to find as the address in the magazine said 228b Stoke Newington High Street but there seemed to be no such address. In the end we found the shop tucked round the corner on Northwold Road. The address was correct but you just can’t get to it or see it from Stoke Newington High Street, which is a little confusing!

A couple of my friends had been down to the opening day and had commented that it was a very small shop but I wasn’t prepared for quite how small it was. There was just about room for Flo’s buggy in the doorway, but we got inside and the shop owner Maya was there to greet us warmly.

Although a tiny shop, the space is used perfectly. There are two arm chairs as you walk in with a bookshelf above them housing a lovely selection of books and some handmade goodies. White box shelves occupy the entire back wall and are stuffed with beautiful eco yarns. Maya prides herself on selling only environmental friendly products, produced with ethical consciousness. There is a small table by the window with some lovely needles, hooks, really gorgeous buttons and other accessories. A notice board behind the door gives details of local events and the shops knitting classes which range from Absolute Novice to Intrigued Intermediate. The large window brings lots of lovely natural light into the shop and opens up the tiny space just a little more.

I got my yarn, the scrumptious Natural Dye Studio, Dazzle DK in Sunflower yellow and picked out some pretty Knit Pro Symfonie wood crochet hooks. These are ingenious as they have a hook on each end, so you get two sizes of hook in one tool! I loved them so much I bought two different sizes.

Maya recommended a little park round the corner and Flo had lots of fun on the swings, slide and other play things before having to get back into the car.

It was a long way to go for a little yarn shop but I just love being able to physically touch the yarn and flick through the books, so it was worth it for me. I urge you to pop in if you’re in the Stoke Newington area or if not check them out online.