Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Crafting with Kids


Keeping your kids entertained during the holidays and the many Bank holidays can seem a bit of a tall order. We know how hard it is to find an activity that doesn’t cost the earth or drags them away from their technology.

Children can find themselves completely absorbed in crafting with the right inspiration, and knitting and crochet have positive effects way beyond the project they are working on.  We hear that knitting and crochet can help with maths and technology as you can read over on this
blog post.

To help you get your children or grandchildren started we have uncovered a few books that you might find useful.


Why not get them used to working with yarn with Creative Kids Complete Photo Guide to Braiding and Knotting by Catherine Woram.  Macrame has been making a bit of a comeback over the last couple of years.  No need to worry that it’s all plant pots and wall hangings as it was in the 1970s, this book teaches the technique of braiding, plaiting, knotting, and macrame to create lots of exciting projects which are all rated for difficulty.

The former editor of Inside Crochet, Claire Montgomerie has written a lovely book called Knitting for Children.  Suitable for ages 7–12 the book is packed with great projects as well as teaching them how to finger knit, make tassels, put together pompoms and more.  The Snake scarf is our particular favourite because it is such fun but also teaches all the basic skills they will need. Claire has run a very successful workshop for kids over recent years and has poured all her experience into the pages of this book.


Designer Lucinda Guy and illustrator Francois Hall have created a really useful book called Kids Learn to Crochet which looks fantastic and is a fun read. The book is recommended for children from the age of 6 and guides them through the basic crochet techniques such as a foundation chain and the basic crochet stitches, such as double, half treble and treble crochet before it takes them on to shaping and joining pieces together to create lots of brightly coloured projects. We loved this book so much that we are sure adults will enjoy learning from it as well.

Whatever the time of year we hope you will have some holiday fun with our book selections.



 



Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Designer Interview - Annaboo's House

We love to interview our favourite designers – it is always inspiring and revealing.  We recently caught up with Sarah Shrimpton from the blog Annaboo’s House which is packed full of great designs and techniques.


Who taught you to crochet?
I taught myself a few years ago. I'd given up teaching to be a full-time mum and I desperately needed to put my brain to good use. I decided to teach myself to crochet, armed with a few books and the Internet.

Tell us about your blog
I started my blog back in 2011 and have been writing regular posts since. It's a place where I can write about all things crochet-y and provide lots of free patterns and tutorials.
I love to engage with my readers through social media and they seem to like what I do- I show them sneak peaks of the projects I'm working on as well as the products I like to use.

Which is your favourite crochet technique?
I love to make toys, so it has to be amigurumi! Amigurumi is a Japanese term meaning 'crocheted or knitted stuffed toy'. When crocheting in amigurumi style, you usually use double crochet stitches in a spiral of continuous rounds, so a stitch marker is essential!

Who is your favourite designer?
How do I choose? There's so many I admire!! I love Emma Varnam's cute crocheted creatures, Janie Crow's beautiful blankets and Kat Goldin's gorgeous shawls and wraps. I could go on and on...

Where do you get your inspiration?
I find that I'm bombarded by ideas and images online, so I like to switch off and take our dog, Lola for a walk across the Sussex Downs. It's a great way to find some space and have a good think about the projects I'd like to work on.

Tell us about your
YouTube channel
'Beginner's guide to Crochet' had just been published and I thought that some videos which showed viewers how to crochet the basic stitches might be a good idea. Since then, I've added a few pattern tutorials for simple projects, which have been very popular, too. I've got lots of ideas for more videos - I just need to find the time to make them!

We hear that you are working on a new book that comes out in May
'Supersize Crochet' is a book I've wanted to write for ages- I'm such a lazy crocheter at heart and I love a quick and easy project. Using big yarns, like T-shirt yarn is something I've been doing for ages now and I wanted to incorporate awesome patterns which make use of alternative yarns, like twine and giant Merino.

We can’t wait for Sarah’s book to come out.  In the meantime, you can keep up with all her latest projects over on her blog.



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Knitting Trends

       
Following our trend-spotting theme we have turned our attention to what’s popular with knitters.

Delicate
For this season the big trend in garments seems to be for delicate textures and lace.  These can look beautifully feminine and nostalgic.

This lovelyjumper from Bergere De France is knitted in a yarn that is as light as a feather. 

From RowanYarns Magazine 61 we spotted this cardigan for mother and daughter in their Soft Yak yarn. 

Fair Isle
We have also noticed a huge surge in interest in Fair Isle or stranded knitting.  

One of our biggest stars, Kate Davies, has been showcasing some really lovely designs including garments and accessories in her Inspired by Islay club.  The Oa is one of our favourites. 

We also love to keep an eye on what Martin Storey is up to. He has a new book out called Easy Fair Isle Knitting packed full of accessible designs.


Marie Wallin has a global following among Fair Isle aficionados and her website is packed full of beautiful designs.  We particularly love Finch which we thinks encapsulates her talent. 

Home Grown
With so many more yarn shops stocking yarns ‘grown’ and made in the UK, their popularity has been mushrooming. 

Little GreySheep yarns come from a flock of more than 250 Gotland and Gotland Merion crosses on a pretty farm near Farnham in Hampshire.  The yarn is spun in the southwest and then dyed by the brains behind the operation, Emma. 

Baa Ram Ewe launched their Titus yarn a few years ago which is a combination of Wensleydale, Blue Faced Leicester and UK Alpaca, and is spun in Yorkshire.  They have now added a new yarn called Dovestone which is a blend of Masham, Blue Faced Leicester and Wensleydale.  Definitely a couple of yarns for your wishlist. 


The KnitBritish podcast is a great way to keep up with new yarns and producers – make sure you sign up for the latest broadcast.