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Hi Chaps, today I thought I'd share a very simple but super effective upcycle.  The British Heart Foundation have launched #thebigstitch for July, which is a social media thang for everyone to share ways that they customise and create new things from preloved stuff.  It's a great way to donate money to charity and pick-up something that you can get confident with the scissors on.

It's also one of my favourite ways to spend a hot summer evening.  Needle and thread, cool breeze under the tea lights, perfect.

This is called a 'rule of thumb' make as I'm not a great one for measuring and being very precise.  I tend to use my thumb as a guide for the length of the stitches I'm making, where I put my needle, that sort of thing.  It's something my Dad taught me when I was young and I've just always done.




You will need:

1 x jumper/sweatshirt
Sharp scissors
Matching needle and thread
Some embroidery threads
Embroidery Needle

Step 1
Cut the sleeves off just above the elbows

Roll the cut edge over a couple of times and stitch in place at the top and bottom.

Step 2
Pick a colour and make some very simple, vertical stitches around the neckline.

Pick another colour, and now here are some 'v' stitches.


How about some cross stitches in the next colour?


And then keep playing with whatever feels right.

Don't be afraid to pull out anything that you don't like, I re-did my blue row 3 times before I was happy with it.  There are no right and wrongs with this kind of make, it's really about the pleasure of experimenting and building up your confidence.


Recently I was invited to have a sneak preview of some patterns for a new knit & crochet magazine, 'Your Knitting & Crochet', I mean, who says no to that?!  And what I found was a very charming, really lovely collection of patterns for everyone from beginners to hardcore hooksters. Being given a choice of one to make, I went straight to where I began, which is with some super simple, little play things: fairytale finger puppets.



 I’m a bit utilitarian in my approach to making, so having something useful - toys for my boys  (specially the littlest, he loves a bit of make believe with figures) was ideal. This sweet pattern shows you how to make characters from Snow White & the Huntsman, including the witch queen, seven little men and Chris Hemsworth.  Ahem, I mean the Huntsman, although I did my damndest to make a mini-woolen version of Mr Hemsworth with the free woolly kit that comes with the magazine!



For a seasoned pro like me, these figures worked up really quickly, and I loved having the opportunity to take liberties with all the colours, adn mix and match them to give my characters different identities.  But these guys would be perfect for a beginner, they’re just one stitch, worked in the round, and give you a chance to have a go at changing colour and tackling a magic ring (if you’re feeling brave!).



Any new magazine that is getting out there to encourage people to get crocheting, help people to grow confidence with a hook or needles, and generally just sharing a love of hand making, has my full support.  Arts like crochet can be mastered by practically anyone (apart from my Mum), and gives us all a common ground to share a love of craft and all things woolly. I just want to add, that I also had much more fun than I should have, giving them all different hair styles, which just goes to show that you’re never too old to play with dolls.


For more info hit the link , or if Facebook is more you thing, that's here too.

Well Happy Easter dear hearts!  If any of you are desperately trying to think of ways to entertain your beasts then look no further! As we crash into the hols, I thought I'd share with you something that I've made as part of my MA: here are 6 Craft Recipes made from stuff you can find around the house, that use old milk bottles, plastic drinks bottles or empty juice cartons.

They use a variety of tools and materials that are a great way of introducing the novice crafter to different processes, helps them build confidence with their hands and gets you them thinking about alternative ways of re-using that troublesome plastic rubbish.  (And it doesn't just have to be for the kinder, grown-ups are super welcome to make these too, they're pretty universal.)

So here you go my doves, your perfect holiday recipes.






Oh me oh my!  Time is flying, the MA is whizzing by in the blink of an eye and we're coming up to our next reading week.  The more I learn, the more I come to think that Making Stuff definitely has a huge part to play in how we go forward as a species.

I love stuff, I like shopping and I love having things in my house.  I also know that the biggest reason the planet is suffering is because of our unending obsession with getting new stuff.

I think a big part of the answer is getting as many people to engage with creating things with their hands, understand the processes that go into making stuff and make an emotional connection with the things they make.

Anyway, more of that when I have proper time to work out what to do with it!  For now I thought I'd share some pics of the stuff I've been designing for all of you to make via mags and various companies.  There have been some super exciting clothes for Scheepjes yarns, a front cover for Mollie Makes, my new favourite jumper for DiAgostini publishing AND some badass bits for Simply Crochet.

I mean, it's been BUSY.

But I love it.  And I love that you all love it too, so please keep sending me emails of pics and makes.  I love that most.

Spot of DNA themed homework for my MA

Hexie Star Cushion for Simply Crochet

Folk Flower Drainage bag for Haven Breast Cancer Charity

One Stitch jumper for DiAgostini

Sampler Scarf for Mollie Makes

Yay!  So excited by the lovely responses from the Charity Yarn Sale, that it has spurred me on to get some more woolly packs made, and listed, today.  If I'm honest I'd lost faith in the online community (I was much more wounded from being dropped from the CrochetGirlGang than I could have ever imagined), and embarking on a Masters was another way to find my tribe, and really try and make a difference.

Sharing this yarn with people, the incredible, positive response and the passion that others clearly share when it comes to thinking about how we can all work together to make a difference, has been incredibly affirming.  It is amazing that sharing something as simple as a love of yarn, can connect people in such a powerful way.

If you want to get a little preview of the new listings from today, here you are, or here :)  Remember that all the proceeds from these sales will go excusively to Friends of the Earth and funding my MA only.







Love to you all special creatures, here's to making a difference and the power of making xxx
Right, so most of you know that I have a slightly militant streak when it comes to pushing using your creative powers to save the world.  I always try and do it in a gentle way, and mostly it comes from trying to encourage people to make their own things (I truly think that by understanding just how long it takes to make a jumper, you're more likely to think twice about how Primani can make and sell one for £3.50).

In an effort to find a way to truly make a bit of a difference, last week I started a Masters in Sustainable Design.  I'm hoping to use the knowledge I've gained from crochet world, aswell as from my many past lives to help encourage and influence more people to think about creative ways to save the planet.


My first pit stop in this journey is a very, very simple one:  I'm have a mass charity sale of all of my yarn collection.  I'm incredibly lucky to do what I do, and invariably after writing a book, or completing a commission there's some woolly goodness left over.  I also have a slight addiction to buying yarn, so add it all together and it makes for one hefty stash.  I figured if I sell it off I can raise money for Friends of the Earth (this is a UK registered charity that helps support all sorts of organisations that are trying to create a more sustainable future) as well as help fund my MA.  All the proceeds will go only to these two 'causes'.  Here's a little taster...







So if you feel like helping the planet, as well as getting some lovely yarns and exclusive makes to boot, hit the 'shop' link in the sidebar there, and see if anything takes your fancy.
Happy Holiday!!  A few years ago the the gorgeous US crochet Superstar @suregal27 (Susan) launched a new annual holiday - Granny Square Day.  On the 15th of August, we all hop on instagram, share a pic of our favourite granny squares, and then Susan turns them into gorgeous blankets.  Each year it's had more and more people joining in, and I feel like it's a brilliant way of everyone sharing a little bit of something that we can all master, regardless of where we live, what we do or who we are.

This year Susan asked if I'd like to make a drawing to celebrate the day, and I jumped at the chance!  I've created something that you can all down load and colour in yourselves, so feel free to copy this image to your hearts content (although, as usual, not for nefarious purposes please!) and we'd love to see your finished colour combos on instagram.  Just tag us up and happy holiday!