introducing – a little book of shawls

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Hello lovely friends!

Some of you might have seen on my social media that last week was a rather exciting time for my friend Claudia and myself. A week ago I was on a plane to Frankfurt, accompanied by two of my friends from knitting group, for the launch of my second book…

#alittlebookofshawls #madewithloops

…A little Book of Shawls – Eight cosy shawls for strong women – another fabulous collaboration with Claudia.

Surely there is nothing more fabulous than draping a soft warm hug around your neck and shoulders. Who doesn’t like the feel of luxurious fibres enveloping your body, giving that extra bit of warmth or simply finishing of an outfit giving it that special little ‘je ne sais quoi’.

#alittlebookofshawls #madewithloops

A shawl on your needles or hook is the comfort food of knitting/crochet. A shawl lets you forget about the rigors of gauge and always fits its wearer, whether it ends up an inch shorter or wider than intended. Works of art can be created with a little effort and a few basic materials and of course nothing makes a better gift than a hand knitted or crochet shawl – a virtual hug to the recipient with our carefully constructed stitches.

#alittlebookofshawls #madewithloops

In our first book, “A little book of Sox”, we dedicated each pattern to some of the world’s most dangerous mountains. In this second instalment in the “little book” series we decided to pay homage to some of history’s most notable and strong women. Each one of these women was a Pioneer in her field and own right, and each one, we are sure, would have loved wearing one of our shawls. Shawls in all shapes and sizes – Some are knitted and some are crochet, there is a shawl for everyone.

Currently the book is available in German only from Claudia’s shop with the English version being printed in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled on my social media and here for announcements about the release date.

The launch in Germany was a very happy day with many lovely people attending, lots of cake and champagne and much much laughter and fun.

#alittlebookofshawls #madewithloops

A day to remember!

X.

esprit de fleur

 

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Hello friends! How have you been, well I hope.

The past few days I have noticed that there is a distinct feeling of autumn in the air! The heather is in full bloom on top of my mountains, straw bales are appearing, and in some cases towering like ‘Great walls of China’, the first leaves are falling and evenings are drawing in earlier. There are still some signs of summer to see in the garden and these past few days the weather has been unusually warm. I was able to enjoy a glass of sparkly sitting outside admiring my view a couple of evenings ago – how wonderful.

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As I am looking forward to a week away with my girl friends, I wanted to leave you with a little something to do whilst I am gone. How about my new square design reminding us of faded summer glory. I am calling it “Esprit de Fleur”.

It starts with yarn in faded vintage colours, I used Scheepjes Stone Washed DK

yarn

Ch5, ss to close to form a ring.

Round 1: Work 8dc into the ring, ss to join.

Round 2: Ch3, work (htr, 1ch) in each of next 7 sts, ss to join.

Round 3: * ss in first 1ch-sp, (ch2, 2tr, 1ch, ss) in same sp; rep. from * in each 1ch-sp, ss to join. – 8 Flower Petals

Change colour and working from behind the petals just made continue:

esprit-de-fleur-collage

Round 4: Attach new colour behind first petal, *4ch, ss 2 sts along behind same petal (use photo as guide); rep from * around – 8 4ch-sp’s.

Round 5: ss into first 4ch-sp, 3ch, 2tr in same space, *(3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 4ch-sp (corner), 3tr in next 4ch-sp; rep from * around.

5

Round 6: Work 1tr in each tr around and (3tr, 1ch, 3tr) in each corner.

Fasten off and weave in ends. (or continue working extra rounds to make the square larger)

#espritdefleur www.madewithloops.co.uk

I think it is perfect for a blanket to snuggle under when evenings are getting colder.

Hope you like it!

X.

PS: Show me your colour combos by using #espritdefleursquare on Instagram or Twitter – I would love to see them!

freebie friday

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I know I know, it’s not Friday today but Tuesday! We can wish though can’t we, and anyhow, I was going to post this last Friday but somehow time ran away with me and that’s why you are reading this post today instead.

Now, you may know that I have a real thing for a bit of vintage, and something that reminds me of my childhood are tartan kitchen towels and dishcloths. These were everywhere when I was a child and in constant use in my mum’s and grandmother’s kitchens.

I found these photos on Google Images

I found these photos on Google Images

There is something about a tartan pattern that just screams rustic, country and homely to me, and I do still have some of these tea towels in my linen cupboard. It is pretty difficult to find good quality tartan dishcloths these days though, and anyhow, I have become a bit of a snob and only like using the ones that are knitted or crochet.

Enter super soft Vinnis Colours Nikkim! A 100% cotton yarn from South Africa and now available in approx. 80 shades from Black Sheep Wool , super soft and an absolute treat to work with.

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That was the yarn sorted! All I had to do now was coming up with a way to emulate and copy those traditional old towels from my past as best as my crochet skills allowed.

www.madewithloops.co.uk

www.madewithloops.co.uk

What do you think? I tried to copy the way the old traditional colours worked: Mostly the background was white, and then there would be one strong shade and a softer sub-shade to make the checkered pattern. I first worked the horizontal stripes using UK treble crochet and when the dishcloth square was completed I worked surface slip stitches in vertical lines.

www.madewithloops.co.uk

I have to admit that I am really chuffed with the way they have turned out and really hope you like them as much as I do. Maybe you like to have a go and make some for yourself. The pattern with detailed instructions on how to work the surface crochet stitches can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Have fun and enjoy!

X.

easy peasy summer purse – a free pattern

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I think you agree that this is a good motto to have and I for one have decided to remember these words a little more often and live by them going forward. So…

Gone are the doubts about the blog!!

This is a happy place for sharing colour and joyfulness

and…

for making memories!

Starting with a new happy summer header for the blog and a little gift from me to you…

@madewithloops #summerpurse

The Easy Peasy Summer Purse.

The ideal project to use up some leftover stash yarn.

Materials

4 ply mercerised cotton – I used byClaire No 1

1 Zip of any length (the length of zip = size of purse) – I used a 12cm & 14cm

2mm & 2.5mm Crochet Hooks

Blunt Needle

How to (UK terms used)

Using 2mm hook perforate around the zip and work 2tr in each perforated hole.

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IMG_2009 copy

Change to 2.5mm hook and work htr’s in rounds until the purse is your desired size.

Change colour if you wish.

IMG_2012 copy

Finishing

When desired size is reached turn work inside out. Holding both sides together close

bottom opening by working dc crochet into each stitch.

Fill with fripperies and bibelots and enjoy!

@madewithloops #summerpurse

Make them in any size you fancy, mix and match colours at will, they make great gifts too. You can find this pattern as a pdf download under the free pattern section in the pull down menu at the top of the blog, just below the header. It is available in English and German.

Why not share photos of your finished item on Instagram by adding #summerpurse to your post.

Enjoy summer!

X.

 

woolfest impressions

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The sun was beaming down as Julie and I set off very early on Friday morning to catch our flight to Frankfurt and onward travel to Nierstein am Rhein. We settled into our home for the weekend, a lovely hotel very close to the river, pretty quickly.

Waking up to birdsong early the next morning I decided to sit on my balcony and crochet whilst enjoying a cup of tea. Shortly before leaving the UK I had purchased a jelly bag from a company called sun jellies with the intention to decorate it with crochet flowers. I decided to make a start!

Collage_Fotorwoolfest 1

Collage_Fotorwoolfest 2

Soon however we were on our way to Schwabsburg for the 7th Woolfest. Organised by Claudia of Wollsinn in this very old picturesque little town it is always a total treat to visit and participate. I am lucky to be invited year after year teaching workshops and I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.

Like always, this year did not disappoint! A sea of colour, fabulous handmade items, the latest designs in knit & crochet and many smiling happy faces. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always a highlight of the weekend, but this year it was extra special.

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During the knitting retreat in Wales in May we had talked about a meet-up of whoever could make it. To my surprise almost everyone managed to come and thanks to Marion we had plenty of bubbly to clink our glasses with. Spending a couple of hours with these fabulous ladies was the cream on the cake and made the weekend extra special for me.

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I leave you with this happy photo. It sums up a totally wonderful weekend!

Enjoy! X.

 

 

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