Win tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show 2017


K&S_LOGO General

In just under two week’s time, the Knitting & Stitching Show opens in London and I’ve got FIVE pairs of tickets, kindly donated by the lovely organisers of the show, to giveaway to KCACO.UK readers!!! I’m giving away FOUR tickets here on the blog and for those of you on Instagram I’m giving away ONE ticket over there. 

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

I’m extremely excited about this show as it’s going to be my first time going to the Ally Pally (otherwise known as the iconic Alexandra Palace). And the Autumn show is set to be the biggest textile event in the UK! With hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features, professionally curated galleries, as well as 300 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. As a veritable celebration of textile crafts it’s a paradise for makers! I can’t wait!!! 

Colourful yarn

© The Knitting and Stitching Show

This, ladies and gents, is a huge huge show! You can spend a day re-stocking your yarn stash, learning to knit, getting help in the crochet clinics, having a go at a sewing demos, mastering the art of tailoring and so much more. There has never been a better excuse to get involved in craft!  Seriously just take a look at the full list of workshops here. I want to do them all!

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

The Knitting & Stitching Show London takes place from 11th-15th October and the tickets are redeemable any day except Saturday.  

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© The Knitting and Stitching Show

Giveaway

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on the bottom of blog post about why you’d like to go to the show.  The competition closes this Wednesday 4 October 5pm (GMT) with the winner being announced Wednesday 4 October that evening here on the blog. And make sure to check out my Instagram feed for the chance to another pair of tickets. Good Luck Everyone!

Special Discount

But if you want your ticket’s RIGHT NOW I’ve also got a special discount for you! Just quote KEEPCALM17 and you can save £2.50 on advance adult ticket price (or £1 for concessions)  which makes the tickets £12 instead of £14.50/£13).  You can buy tickets here or call 0844 581 1319.

I’d like to say a big thank you again to the shows organisers for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

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

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Hook and a Book | Product Review & Coupon Code


Disclaimer: I did receive a free sample of this product however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the product.


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You may have guessed by my blog and posts that I am completely passionate about all things crochet…but I actually have another hobby which I love just as much. If I’ve got the time and it’s not a hook in my hand then you’ll usually find a book. So when I was contacted by the owner of Hook and a Book, to see if I’d like to review her subscription boxes, from the name alone I already knew I was probably going to love it. 

Hook and a Book is the brain-child of Maddy McMurray an avid crocheter and bookworm turned craft-entrepreneur.  Originally from Perth, in Western Australia, she moved to the UK in 2011 where she worked in various operations-based roles.  But with growing job dissatisfaction and a newly diagnosed headache and migraine condition she decided that something had to change – and that’s when Hook and a Book was born.  Maddy cleverly moulded her passions into a monthly book and crochet subscriptions box creating a book club and crochet gift in one. Each box is carefully curated around a particular surprise book with yarn, a pattern and other goodies. 

Maddy was kind enough to send me the August box to have a look at and I eagerly waited for it to arrive. First off I need to say that to me the idea of combining crochet and reading is just inspired! I absolutely LOVE the concept! And it was all very exciting to have the parcel delivered without knowing what I was going to find inside…

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Underneath the tissue paper I found a lovely little letter from Hook and a Book, a copy of The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein, one ball each of Stylecraft Special Aran (in shades Empire and Emperor), an ergonomic 4mm (US size G) hook, two little Beanies coffee sachets (mint chocolate and double chocolate) and a pattern by Simply Hooked by Janet to make a cute doggy themed coffee cup cosy. There was also a special password to the Hook and a Book website to find hints and tips for the current box.

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I adored how carefully everything had been selected and styled in similar colours; the yarn matched the book cover, the book was linked with the pattern and the pattern was linked with the coffee gift. 

I also really liked the fact that the book was not one that I perhaps would have picked for myself but that’s the way that you discover treasures you never even knew existed isn’t it! And The Art of Dancing in the Rain is a little gem of a book. I’m not going to give too much away but the plot follows the protagonist dog Enzo (great name for a dog) as he takes stock of his life. You can’t help but fall in love with Enzo even if you aren’t a dog lover. Though the story is told from Enzo’s point of view the book isn’t really about dogs at all, it’s a story about family, love, loyalty, and hope. I got totally caught up with the characters (which is always the sign of a good book in my eyes) and was completely invested in finding out how it was all going to end. But to find that out you’ll have to give it a read – I will say that you might want to have some tissues ready!

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I was very pleased to see Stylecraft Aran in the box. It happens to be some of my favourite yarn as it’s always a delight to work with, and Empire and Emperor are two of my particular favoured colourways. The cup cosy, worked in tapestry crochet, turned out very cute. I chose to hook up the little paw print design, or I could have chosen a bone, and I think the end result would look grand on any dog lovers coffee cup. And as an added bonus there was still loads of yarn left over to add to my stash! 

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I very much enjoyed all the contents and my experience with my box from Hook and a Book! The perfect gift for a book or crochet lover subscriptions start at £21 per month with different options for 3, 6 or yearly subscriptions.  There is also the option for a one off box so you can try before you subscribe AND they also offer international subscriptions so no one has to miss out.

If you’d like to try Hook and a Book be sure to use the following coupon link ‘WELCOME‘ for 10% discount. Big thank you to Maddy for offering this special deal to my lovely KCACO.UK readers! 

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

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I Like Crochet Magazine | August 2017 Edition


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, when you make a purchase through these links I do receive a small commission – thank you so much for supporting my blog! 💗

The new issue August 2017 edition of I Like Crochet Magazine is out now! And the summer issue is jam-packed full with fabulous warm-weather patterns (and even patterns so you can get a jump start on autumn).  

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If you haven’t heard of I Like Crochet magazine before it’s a US bi-monthly digital magazine which is published by the creators of AllFreeCrochet.com

I was given the opportunity to view the August issue of the magazine and there are soooo many fresh and colourful designs that are bold, lightweight and perfect for the season. 

Some of my favourites include the Boogie Woogie Pillow & Daisy Bloom Pillow by 

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Daisy Bloom Pillow

the Sydney Harbors Scarf & Tahiti Blanket by 

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Tahiti Blanket

and the Venice Vest by 

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Venice Vest

I keep coming back to the Venice Vest, it’s just gorgeous isn’t it! I think I need to add it to my (long) list of things to make for sure!

There are over 29 beautiful patterns in the August edition but if you enjoy crochet magazines you might want to consider a subscription.  1 year membership starts at as little as $19.97 / £15.87 – so if you subscribe you do save! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Moroccan Window | Nuts About Squares CAL


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So we are now up to week 10 on the Nuts About Squares CAL and I’m delighted that my Moroccan Window block (originally designed for my 2015 CAL) has been featured alongside ‘Sweet and Fair‘ by the wonderfully talented designer Julie Yeager (I love her block designs!).

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Don’t worry if this is the first time you are hearing about the CAL you can find all the information about it HERE on the It’s All in A Nutshell website. 

Once again the very talented Esther has created an accompanying step-by-step video showing how to crochet my square. 

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And once again I’m in LOVE with how the block looks in different Earth, Sea and Sky colourways! Esther and her helpers have done such beautiful work…

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And the Moroccan Window block has now also been translated into Dutch too! The update for this translation is now available in my Ravelry store.

I hope those of you that are making the block for the first time enjoy this square as much as I enjoyed designing it.  If you are joining in with the CAL please share your squares on social media using #NutsAboutSquares and #kcacouk  #moroccanwindow too – can’t wait to see your projects.

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Margaret’s Hug Healing Prayer Shawl | Free Crochet Chart


I think I have said before that one of the patterns I am most proud of is my Margaret’s Hug Healing / Prayer Shawl. Since I shared this free pattern, and the story of it’s creation, in February 2014 on Ravelry alone it has now been downloaded over 40 thousand times!

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Some of you have asked after my mother-in-law, after who the shawl was named, and I’m sorry to say that she lost her battle with cancer nearly two years ago.  Margaret was a midwife / nurse all her working life and a kinder, more caring person you couldn’t wish to meet – she is very much missed by us all everyday! But I believe her legacy lives on in the idea of this shawl; I’m sure she would love the idea of her namesake being used to support people in need.

Many of you have shared your your own projects and your own stories about making the shawl for yourselves and for others. I want to thank you all for sharing details of what has often been a challenging time for you, friends and family – and for anyone still struggling I send you much love and well wishes. 

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I have had a few people contact me to say they have had trouble making up the shawl, I did make a rather shaky video (available here) to try and help. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the best demonstration and I will hopefully be working on making a better video as soon as I’m able! But in the interim I thought charting up the pattern for you might help. 

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The downloadable pattern has now been updated with the chart and is available for download from Ravelry and LoveCrochet.com.

This shawl will always be a free pattern so others can make a hug for someone in need; however if you would like to pass on the couple of pounds/dollars you would have paid for this pattern to Cancer Research then that would make you extremely awesome!

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

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Yarn Review | The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this yarn however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the yarn.

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Luxury yarn – sometimes you just have to splurge and get that hand-dyed loveliness that you’ve got your eye right!? Or does it seem a bit scary?

I like to think of luxury yarn as my ‘special’ occasion yarn…it’s something I’ll use when I want to make something for a ‘special’ someone – especially if it’s anything that is going to worn a lot. Anything that you want to last and perhaps become an heirloom well that’s where luxury yarn comes in. Whether you are making something as a treat for someone else or because you are going to put a lot of work into a beautiful pattern, I’ve learnt that it often pays to choose a luxury yarn.  

I recently had the pleasure of designing with some of The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted yarn which just oozes luxuriousness from every fibre!  

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Oh so lovely and squishy!

From that first squish when I got it out the packaging I just knew it was going to be a pleasure to crochet with…and it really was! But more about that in a moment, the first thing we need to establish, to be all proper and yarn reviewy, are the vital statistics of the yarn which are: 

  • Weight:  Worsted | 10ply
  • Blend: 100% Merino Wool
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 3.5 oz/100 g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 200m / 219yds
  • Wash instructions: Hand-wash
  • Price: £16.90 (at the time of this post)

Pembroke Worsted yarn comes in 10 different shades designed by Bristol Ivy, an influential American knitwear designer, all inspired by the rich, pure tones of gems and minerals.  It’s hand painted in small batches using a combination of solid shades and close tonal colours to create perfectly blended varicoloured skeins.

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The Yarn Collective

Honestly this yarn was a dream to work with! It’s a lighter worsted yarn with a recommended hook size of 4.50mm (US size 7) – though I found it’s very adaptable dependent on the design.

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I have designed a brand new pattern with the stunning icy grey-greens of ‘Tellurium’ (shade 308). I love working with variegated yarns – it really keeps things interesting as you work and the colour changes in the Pembroke Worsted are pleasingly regular and add a lovely dimension to a pattern. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for my big reveal but I can give you a little sneaky peep…

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So if you are looking for a versatile worsted weight luxury yarn that will create beautifully soft, yet durable projects then I would definitely recommend The Yarn Collective Pembroke Worsted yarn.

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If you are interested in having some of this beautiful yarn for your very own it is currently available for purchase via loveknitting.com 

Well until next time, happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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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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