Crochet Book Review | Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium


Disclaimer:  I received a sample copy of the book to write this review however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

When the lovely folks at Pavilion books asked me if I’d like to review Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium I didn’t need asking twice! I’d already got the book on my wish list, as I’m a big fan of Kerry Lord’s, and have all of the other ‘Edwards crochet’ books so was extremely eager to have a peep at the new book.

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

Ed’s dolls is a wonderfully innovative book where you can design your own doll using mix-and-match crochet patterns. Cleverly each pattern is contained within flippable pages which means, like a child’s flip book, that you can make hundreds of different doll combinations each with amazing wardrobes! 

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

The book is split into sections with instructions on how to make the main doll, then there are two flip sections:

  • First you choose a ‘head’ – there are beginner and advanced heads to choose depending on the hair style (or facial hair).
  • Next you choose what they are going to ‘be’ with the bottom ‘outfit’ flip – with costumes for an astronaut and a princess, a ballerina and a footballer, a mermaid and a pirate, a surgeon, a punk and more.

You can make so many different variations of doll! As always I like to make something from a book before I review it and I was inspired by the doll Kerry made of herself – so I thought that it might be really fun to try and create a mini me.

I used TOFT DK yarn to make my doll (as I already had some in my stash from last years TOFTfest and my recent visit to The Knitting & Stitching Show). TOFT DK yarn is pure wool, seriously soft and gentle on the hands – lovely to crochet with. It also has a really great colour range to represent skin tones. I went for ‘Oatmeal’ skin and ‘Chestnut’ for my hair.

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All the patterns are in UK terminology and come with detailed instructions and accompanying photos for stitches. In addition the book includes step by step instructions for stuffing, sewing together and adding the dolls features. The patterns are also arranged in order of difficulty so their’s something for beginners and for people with more ‘advanced’ crochet skills. 

The body for my doll worked up easily and I chose to give my little doll pants and a boob tube (instructions included in the book for the advanced dolls) so I would be suitably attired underneath my clothes…it seems more than a little weird to be sharing a photo of me in my underwear with the world – but here I am…

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I had great fun styling my hair using a spare hair clip and just a normal hair band to tie it back as I usually would my own hair.

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The hands are some of the cutest things I have ever made! Like ever! There are options for beginner or advanced hands (these are the advanced) and whilst any doll would look cute with either I do love the little digits.

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Next came the clothes….I used the C:1 flip dress option which I made in blue upon which I embroidered yellow and grey flowers (to symbolise the pattern on my dress). I then teamed up my dress with a slightly smaller and longer C:2 yellow scarf and some C:10 black boots.

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There weren’t any real accompaniments for a crocheter doll so I improvised and made a little work basket, complete with mini balls of yarn and a WIP. I also cut to size an old 3mm hook I had to fit the dolls hands.

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TOFT have started to make some amazing little accessories for the dolls; aside from a range of different coloured dolls eyes (I used the brown) they have the cutest little glasses! However these have proven so popular that they sold out quickly so I wasn’t able to get some – until then a bit of floral wire had to suffice for my specs.

I finished off my doll with a bit of blusher on the cheeks (this isn’t something suggested in the book but something I added as I pretty much always have rosy cheeks!) and with that voilà I was finished…want to see me?

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I think there is a definite likeness between me and my mini doppelganger!  What do you think?

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I had great fun making this doll! And I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys making dolls or amigurumi, or to anyone that fancies making a mini-me. The only problem I envisage is that everyone will want one! 

Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord (Pavilion Books) is priced at £16.99 and  is available to buy now from the TOFT website and via many brick and online bookstores.

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If you enjoyed this crochet book review you may wish to check out some of my other crochet book reviews.

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

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And the winners are…The Knitting & Stitching Show 2017


Winners

Is everyone ready! We have have ourselves some winners…but first I’d like to say thank you to everyone that submitted an entry, I really enjoyed reading your reasons why you’d like to attend and / or who you’d like to go to the show with.  And we also have to say a big THANK YOU to lovely people from the Knitting and Stitching Show for providing the ticket prizes. 

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So without further ado the winners, picked via this random name picker tool, are…

  1. Elisabeth (Isis) Plutt
  2. Miranda Shelley
  3. Helen Robinson
  4. Martina Kocourkova

and the ticket winner from Instagram is…

  1. Nannabess14

Congratulations my lovelies! I’ll be in touch today to request your contact details so that the tickets can be posted out to you. 

And to everyone else sorry if you didn’t win this time but there’ll be more giveaways and special offers for you coming soon.  And don’t forget the special discount for tickets still applies. 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.

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

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Win tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show 2017


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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!!! 

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© 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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Yarn Review | Patons Tahiti


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.

Tahiti-Review

Whilst Paton’s Tahiti range isn’t exactly a ‘new’ yarn on the market it was a yarn that was new to me. I have to say that fingering yarn is not something I have worked with very much – mainly because I feel slightly intimidated by tiny hooks! That said I’m always excited to try some new yarn play so I was most excited when I was sent a sample of Tahiti ‘Wildfire (Shade 7623’) by the lovely folks at laughinghens.com.

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I wanted to create something just out of this one ball and so I got out my hook and waited for that inspiration. And you know what, I discovered that actually using a small hook made a refreshing change…but more about that shortly. Let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics first shall we: 

  • Weight:  3 Ply / Fingering
  • Blend: 99% Cotton, 1% Polyester
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 50g ball
  • Yarn Ball Length: 280m / 306yds
  • Wash instructions: Machine wash 40°
  • Price: £5.50 (at the time of this post)

So now we know a bit more about what we are dealing with I’ll tell you a bit more about the yarn. Paton’s Tahiti comes in eight different shades all inspired by elements and nature. With names like ‘cyclone’, ‘peach beach’ and ‘jungle’ it’s perhaps not surprising that the tonal range is vibrant and the colour transitions are long and smooth. As you know I love working with any style of variegated yarn; I find it such fun to watch the colours reveal themselves turning any project, as if by magic, into something special! As a designer I also love how anything that you crochet with yarns like this will look totally different dependant on the size of your project and stitches used – sooooo many possibilities!

The touch of polyester gives the yarn a slight stretchiness which would work well for lightweight garments as it creates a light, flexible fabric which returns back to shape when worn. This cotton doesn’t have a firmness about it that some cottons have, so it wouldn’t work for something like a hat – unless you were looking for something a little more floppy.

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The recommended hook size for the yarn is a tichy (eek!) 2mm-3mm (US size 2/0 or C/2) however even though, for my design, I was working with a tiny 2mm I found the yarn really nice and easy to work with. 

You know what I decided would be a great design for the hot weather of summer – a lightweight skinny scarf! The scarf pattern will be ready for you next week! But because I love you I’ll let you have a little sneaky peep at it…

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I have to say I really enjoyed working on this design, it was great for hooking on the go – that lady hooking on the bus to work; yes that was me!

I’m also muchly in love with the rich colours of this yarn and the contrast between the purples and orange on the final scarf well I just adore them…but you’ll have to wait till next week for my reveal!

In summary if you are looking to make some lightweight accessories like shawls, baby wear, fine knits, or something I really want to have a go at some point, socks then you should give Paton’s Tahiti a go! If you are interested in owning some of this yarn for your very own then it is currently available for purchase via laughinghens.com

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

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Pattern Release | Pembroke Seascape Shawl


For 2017 year’s edition of Indie June LoveCrochet.com wanted to do something special so they invited a group of designers to create a collection of knitted and crocheted garments featuring The Yarn Collective yarn (which I blogged about here). The result is the Coastal Adventures Anthology – featuring eight beautiful patterns with inspiration from Scandinavian summers on the coast.

I’m really excited to now reveal what I designed with The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted Yarn.  May I introduce to you my new Pembroke Seascape Shawl!

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The rectangular Pembroke Seascape Shawl, made from the softest hand dyed merino wool, is as light as a sea breeze!

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It’s just perfect for covering up on a chilly summer evening or on an adventurous stroll around a coastal path.

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I always think shawls are fun to crochet when I’m making them (I really should make more!).  I’ve had such fun with this one adding different stitch patterns which beginner and advanced crocheters should enjoy.  The shawl’s sinuous ripples and texture, combined with the cool grey and blue variegated colours, are inspired by marbled ocean waves lapping at a pebbly beach.

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Although the pattern may look complex it is very straightforward and will be readily picked up by beginners.

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Click on the following link to purchase the pattern and add to your 💗 Favourites on lovecrochet.com or Ravelry.

Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

For your chance to win a copy of my new design simply head on over to Ravelry or LoveCrochet and add it to your favourites or show it some love by commenting below this post with your Ravelry username / or email address. 

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the pins above, copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the comments below. 

Winners will be randomly chosen on Friday 23 June 2017 around 7pm GMT

And…

Enter any coastal inspired projects in the LoveCrochet Community and enter the #IndieJune2017 competition for a chance to win £100 to spend at LoveCrochet!!! So exciting!!! Can’t wait to see your finished projects.

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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Wool@Jct13 Yarn Festival


It’s not everyday that a wool show happens pretty much on your doorstep so when I heard about the Wool@Jct13, the new wool show for the Midlands, I knew I’d got to check it out.  The festival is held on a family run farm in the pretty market town of Penkridge, South Staffordshire and the very first show was this weekend (13 & 14 May). I pre-brought tickets for the whole family which were very reasonably priced at £6.50pp on the day or £12pp for the full weekend. Getting advanced tickets I got a further 15% discount and the other great thing was that under 16’s and parking for the day were both free.

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So what is Wool@Jct13 all about? Well the festival is described as a celebration of all things woolly for anyone with an interest in wool – whether it be spinning, knitting, crochet, weaving or felting. Over the two days you could expect to find food, drink and live music (we very much enjoyed The Haywood Sisters) alongside demonstrations, competitions and wool craft workshops – and of course lots yarn themed shopping opportunities!

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Outside the large tent full of stalls was a fab singer (John) who recited a little ditty of his own creation for their stand the Wool Zone. Little G had a whale of a time dancing to the tunes…John’s song however has since turned into a ear-worm for the whole family as we are all still singing ‘come on into the wool zone!’ 

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There was plenty for children to do, Little G was fascinated by the spinning wheel over by The Woolly Roadshow Griffith Mill and was delighted and then thoroughly absorbed with the task of spinning when she was kindly allowed to have a go herself.  

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She also got to feed a lamb some milk and we all enjoyed watching the sheep shearing demonstration. I couldn’t believe how chilled out the sheep were when they were getting their fleeces removed…

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And inside the the tent…oh my! There were a plethora of stalls for all interests…

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And so much lovely yarn as pictured here at the Bellica Yarns stall – and they actually invited me to squish it! What an invitation!

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Everyone I met was so friendly! I had a wonderful time chatting to the owners and helpers of Crafts from the Dungeon, Fig Tree Yarns, Luxuryyarns.co.uk, Ewe and Ply, Thread of Life, The Woolly Roadshow Griffith Mill and Cotswold Alpacas – this isn’t a full list of all the exhibitors just the ones I happened to speak to on the day; the full list of folks around on the day can be found here.

I was quite reserved in my purchases as I really need to finish off some WIPs before I start anything else. That didn’t stop me from buying a couple of goodies though, I bought a sheepy braiding disc kit from Crafts from the Dungeon which is a tool to make cord with. I also brought a lovely wooden drop spindle kit from Cotswold Alpacas which came with some lovely alpaca fluff for spinning into yarn yourself. I’ve always wanted to give it a try and was very grateful for the mini demonstration and discussion I had about how you can hand spin yarn.

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All in all we had a really great day – I can’t wait until next years show! To find out about future events you can sign up to the Wool@Jct13 newsletter, at the bottom of the page, on their website here and they also have a Facebook page here.

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

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