Yarn Shop Day | 6 May 2017



Yarn-Shop-DayHave you heard about Yarn Shop Day? It’s an annual celebration supported by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines which aims to celebrate Britain’s much-loved independent wool shops.  This year Yarn Shop Day took place today, on the 6th of May, in hundreds of yarn and haberdashery stores across the country. 

I don’t know how I’d missed that this day existed previously (!?!) but as soon as I learnt of it’s existence I thought I really should pay a visit to one of my local participating shops on the day.  I personally think it’s incredibly important to support any local businesses and shops – but I don’t need an excuse to visit a yarn shop… So anyway earlier today I headed off to The Little Shop of Crafts which is luckily just down the road from me.

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The Little Shop of Crafts is a lovely little shop which stocks a great range of yarns from Sirdar, James C. Brett and other Designer Yarns, it also has proper crochet cotton from Coats. As well as yarn they cater for cross-stitchers and have a range of haberdashery items and fabrics. 

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Today the shop celebrated Yarn Shop Day with a charity raffle, 10% off all yarn purchases and a crafternoon group session full of lovely ladies.  

Little G, who wanted to come with me to the shop, held court with the ladies telling them all about the birthday party she had been to (hence the streamers on her top)…and pretty much everything else that was happening in her life – which allowed me plenty of time to shop!

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The crafternooners were busy hooking up some of the special freebies which were designed especially for this years event. Debbie Bliss designed an exclusive (Knitalong) blanket pattern that was given away free, along with Rainbow the Unicorn (knit by Sachiyo Ishii) and Coral the Mermaid (crochet by Sarah Shrimpton) amigurumi patterns.

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Little G loved the ones that had already been made and was delighted to be given the opportunity to name them (and in case you were wondering she named the unicorn Sparkle and the mermaid Lorelai!)

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And the fantastic thing is that even if you missed Yarn Shop Day the patterns will be available throughout the year so if your local store doesn’t have them, you can get them from a different store later if you’re visiting another town or city.

And what did I buy…well I just had to get myself one of the new Sidar colourwheel yarn cakes (Shade 201: Colourama) because I drooled on it a bit, kidding, but it is most delicious isn’t it – and so squishy! I may have hugged it a bit on the way home…just need to decide on what to make with it.  I also got some other little bits and bobs I needed and the most amazing unicorn fabric which I’m hoping I can transform into a dress similar to the one I made Little G when she was younger (this one).

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Both Karen and Tracy, the proprietors of the shop were lovely and helpful and I want to say a HUGE thank you to all the crafternoon ladies who chatted to Little G – she had a great time. Unfortunately though she doesn’t quite understand that they are not going to be there every day – she’s already asked when she can go back and see everyone!

lyys_300x300Well we both thoroughly enjoyed our first Yarn Shop Day! I think it’s now going to be an annual event in my calendar. Craftiness always deserves to be celebrated so whether you love crochet or the two stick-ed thing Yarn Shop Day is a must for your diary.  So if you can next year please do go along and support your local yarn shop.

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Getting Crafty | Paper Flower Chrysanthemums


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Our amazing cake made by http://www.cakeholetutbury.co.uk

Last weekend it was a flurry of activity in the KCACO-UK home as we not only had Little G’s birthday happening (how fast another year has gone!) but we also held a naming ceremony for Little Miss.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what a naming ceremony is…well it’s a non-religious alternative for a service such as christening to mark a child’s arrival. We held one for Little G when she was a baby and now it was the turn of friends and family help us welcome Little Miss into the world.  The naming ceremony was facilitated by the British Humanist Association (who were fab) who designed the day to be personal to us – and what a happy, fun and relaxed, wonderful day spent with family and friends it was!

But before that I had decided that I was going to get creative and make my own decorations and things for the party. As I’m a massive fan of Pinterest I created myself a board and got pinning…and lost several hours of my life!  The main thing I decided I wanted to make were paper flowers as I thought that would be something Little G would enjoy making with me.  

Next it was off to the craft shop where I picked up, amongst other things, everything I needed to make paper flowers. There are loads of different ways to make paper flowers but I’m going to show you how I made mine to look like a chrysanthemum. To make them yourself you will need:

  • At least 8 sheets of tissue paper 
  • Scissors
  • Longish Pipe cleaners (if making with younger children) or craft wire 

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Next you need to cut your tissue sheets into squares – the easiest way to do this is to take the corner of your paper and fold it to the opposite edge to make a triangle. Cut off the excess tissue paper at the top, unfold and you have your squares! Make sure non of the squares are joined anywhere so you have eight individual squares.

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Next you need to fold the paper into a concertina…

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Next fold the concertina in half and then wrap your pipe cleaner or craft wire around the middle securely.

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Next you need to trim each edge to create the petals, to make the chrysanthemum your edges should be fairly rounded…

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The next bit can be a little tricky; so you might have to help little ones. Carefully separate each layer of tissue paper to create the fullness of the flower on each side… 

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And that’s it! You should be left with a beautiful paper chrysanthemum. Make smaller squares for mini flowers or make giant flowers with big squares.

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The lovely thing about paper flowers is that you can easily dress up a party or room yourself. I added my flowers to some jam jars wrapped in hessian and twine and cut out some petal shapes from the left over tissue paper and scattered those on the table. I was really pleased with how they turned out in the end.

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Let me know if you give tissue paper flowers ago!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Vintage buttons are just the NICEST thing!


Beautiful buttons are just the nicest thing to add to a project so you can imagine my absolute delight when a most lovely friend of mine, who knows I enjoy all things crafty, gave me a bag full of the most gorgeous vintage buttons.  Just look at these beauties! Aren’t I lucky!
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I’m a bit of a button hoarder and have several jars and boxes of nice buttons, including ones I have inherited from family and brought in places like France, but some of these have a real WOW factor! You can completely imagine them on a 1940’s box coat or adorning a shiny mink coat can’t you.  

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A beautiful button can turn an ordinary crochet project into something special and unique!  But how am I supposed to pick from all these beautiful buttons? Though I must confess some of them are whispering designs to me…

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I love that these buttons have a history about them; and I love that these buttons are going to get a lease of new life when I add them to something new.

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Thanks again Alison! These buttons will all be put to good use I promise!  And just one day I’ll finish off that tea cosy for you; though I’m thinking now that it perhaps needs a button on it somewhere!

And if you are looking for some fun crochet button projects you should check out the blog post by www.crochetconcupiscence.com who has put together 15 fun ideas to do with buttons – I’m personally loving the broach idea!

Getting a bit crafty with string eggs


So as it’s nearly Easter I swear that string eggs are everywhere! As they look so cool I thought Little G and I would have a go at making some as the one thing I do have a lot of is spare yarn lying around.  

If you want to have a go at making them here’s what you will need:

  • PVA kids glue
  • A saucer or a bowl to put the glue into
  • Wool or String
  • Scissors
  • Small Balloons (or water balloons)
  • Some treats (in wrappers)
  • Apron (it does get messy!)
  • A tray to put your string eggs on to dry

1. Make sure you have an area you don’t mind getting messy and I would suggest aprons for anyone involved!

2. Stuff your treats inside the deflated balloon and then blow up to the size you want your string eggs.   The treats I had brought were like chocolate coins so it turned into a fiddle-fest to get them inside so I would definitely suggest roundish treats!  

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It’s only natural that not all the chocolate will make it inside the balloons if you are working with small children…

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3. Next put your glue into the bowl, you will need quite a bit as you need to soak the string or wool thoroughly.  

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4. Then start to wind your gluey string or wool around one of your balloons; this bit gets extremely sticky and there is likely to be glue splash! You don’t have to wrap your eggs too neatly; cross the yarn in lots of different directions to make an interesting ‘cage’.  You will need to wrap the balloons enough so that your treats won’t fall out.

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5. Once you have finished wrapping your balloons you will need to set them aside on a tray to dry; we left ours for a couple of days…

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6. Check to see if the yarn feels hard and if it does pop your balloon.  You may need to snip the balloon a bit to release the treats this can be a bit tricky.  Once the treats are free you can then pull out the balloon bits leaving the chocolate behind and that’s it, place on a shelf and admire!

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I really love them!  I have now added them to my Eastery looking shelves ready for Easter weekend! Hope you all enjoy a lovely holiday with your family x

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