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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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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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Speedy the Sloth


Love sloths? Well I hope you’ll love my new Speedy Sloth design out now in Issue 90 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine! Make sure you don’t ‘hang around’ and pick up your copy today!

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I always love the styling that the magazine do with my designs – just look how cute Speedy looks hanging around in the bamboo!

Speedy’s arms and legs pop open with snap fasteners so he can flit between trees or simply take a seat somewhere comfy.  

If you are not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it comes as an exclusive pack containing six balls of yarn, a pair of needles and a hook so that you can get started straight away. Deputy Editor Jessica talks you through the latest issue in a great little video below.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine can be found in major supermarkets and stores across the UK. So pop down the shop and get your copy now or you can find out about more about the magazine over on their website here.

And the very exciting news I have to share with you is that you can get Speedy the Sloth for FREE over on topcrochetpatterns.com or why not save him to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here to hook up later.

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

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Lucky the Loveable Lamb


Issue 89 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out now and I am thrilled to share that my Lucky the Loveable Lamb amigurumi is not only inside the latest issue – it’s on the cover! Designed with the Daisy colour pack Lucky just loves to gamble and play in the March sunshine.

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I’ve also designed, in the lovely springtime shades, the final four square patterns for LGC’s granny square series.

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Oh my goodness I was so excited that Lucky was going to be the cover star for this months edition and I just adore the styling the magazine did for my little lamb – have you seen those broccoli trees!! 

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Sometimes a design just flows off your hook and that was the case with Lucky – I had such fun designing her!

If you are not familiar with LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine it comes as an exclusive pack containing six balls of yarn, a pair of needles and a hook so that you can get started straight away. Aimed at both beginners and experienced crafters, each issue is packed with projects, tips, inspiration and shopping guides, plus all the latest news.

This month’s features:

  • Six Daisy Yarns
  • 3mm hook and bamboo needles
  • 31 exclusive patterns 
  • Plus…your 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine can be found in major supermarkets and stores across the UK. So pop down the shop and get your copy now or you can find out about more about the magazine over on their website here.

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

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Medieval Colours Yarn Review


A few weeks ago I received a fabulous email from the owner of Medieval Colours to see if I’d like to have a play with some of their yarn (I know! I LOVE my crochet job!).

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Medieval Colours are a unique sort of yarn shop inspired by heritage and history – especially Medieval history. Just imagine gloves in the same colour as a Viking tunic or maybe a scarf made from yarn dyed from a plant which was used by monks to make ink. As a bit of a history fan I was very excited and intrigued by the concept!

They dye 100% cheviot sheep wool from plants that have been traditionally used for dying for centuries.  It’s an ecology friendly way of dying as yarn, with no added chemicals, as the only dyes that are used are from plants and minerals  bought from gardeners or hand picked in the meadows and forests of the United Kingdom.  

Do not adjust your filters!! The dyed colours of this yarn really pops! I got some of the gorgeous orangy red madder dyed yarn in Aran (Worsted Weight) to play with – but more about that in a moment…

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This yarn is a strong durable yarn ideal for outerwear or for home accessories.  If crocheted with small stitches it produces a nice firm fabric, almost like a woven cloth, which holds its shape really well. As the yarn is 100% wool it could also be used for felting (have you tried my free mini felted heart pattern yet?).  

I got a lovely catalogue with my yarn which contained shade details. I couldn’t believe how vibrant all the colours were!

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The beautiful range of natural colours available are:

  • Blue (Woad)
  • Bright Red (Madder)
  • Bright Yellow (Weld)
  • Dark Red (Madder)
  • Green (Woad and Weld)
  • Intense Red (Madder)
  • Light Brown (Oak Bark)
  • Olive (Weld)
  • Orange (Madder)
  • Pale Yellow (Weld)
  • Pinky Brown (Madder)
  • Yellow (Tansy)

You can see all the colours on the Medieval Colours website.

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Medieval Colours yarn is available directly via order on the website and comes in 50g or 100g balls. As well as yarn for knitting and crocheting Medieval Colours also supply embroidery threads and offer a dyeing for order service.

So what did I make…do you want a sneak peep… 

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Make sure you check back next week for your copy of the FREE Renaissance Pouch Bag pattern!

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

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Disclaimer:  I received a sample of yarn to write this review. 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.

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Colourful Koalas


Oooh guess what folks! I’m thrilled to tell you that for 2017 I have been working on some designs for the lovely people at LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine.  Issue 88 is out today and those little koala’s on the front cover…well that’s a little pattern by yours truly! So exciting!

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Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet magazine can be found in major supermarkets and stores across the UK…and of course I had to take the family on an outing just to have a little peep at them – it’s not everyday you feature on the cover of a magazine!

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I may have squealed just a little bit seeing the magazines all in a row!

I had such fun designing these little guys! I thoroughly enjoyed creating something fun and bright and not in standard ‘koala’ colours. 

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The magazine comes with an exclusive pack containing six balls of yarn, a pair of needles and a hook so that you can get started straight away. Aimed at both beginners and experienced crafters, each issue is packed with projects, tips, inspiration and shopping guides, plus all the latest news.

This month’s features:

  • Six Orchid yarns
  • 4mm hook & bamboo needles
  • 32 exclusive patterns including Mummy and baby koala, some knit colour-block mittens, a retro camper-van and more!
  • All in a fab 68 page magazine

So pop down the shop and get your copy now or you can find out about more about the magazine over on their website here.

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

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Designer Interview | Kerry Lord from TOFT / Edward’s Menagerie


I’m thrilled about my next designer interview because I actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person!!  Kerry Lord is the author of the extremely popular Edward’s Menagerie series which feature her designs of extremely cute animals, Birds and, in her new book: Imaginarium, all sorts of fabulous creatures.  She is also a busy working mum and the founder of British luxury yarn brand TOFT which specialises in alpaca yarn.

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Recently I attended TOFTfest, which celebrated the 10th birthday of TOFT yarn (which I blogged about here), where I met Kerry and I thought I would see if she would kindly let me find out more about her designing process – to my delight she said YES!  Here’s what we chatted about…

How did you first discover crocheting and amigurumi?

When very pregnant with my first child Edward I decided to teach myself to crochet in order to distract me from going back to work. As soon as I had mastered the double crochet stitch an elephant flew off my hook and into existence. I think the Edward’s Menagerie shape had been living in my head for a while but my knitting skills didn’t allow me to achieve them.

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How did you become a crocheting designer? Is it your real job?

My real job is running the company TOFT and everything that this involves. Designing crochet animals and clothing patterns is part of this role, but by no means all – I have to source and design the yarns first!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get lots of my inspiration from feedback, both from my family, colleagues and customers.

Tell us a bit about your design process…

I usually just pick up my yarn and start making when designing amigurumi. If designing something to wear it’s a far longer process as I sketch and swatch first before doing calculations to work out the pattern.

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Many of your animals, birds and creatures have names (like Georgina the Hippo), how do you come up with them? Do you get people requesting names?

Some of them are people I know, whereas others are truly fictional characters. This is the most fun part of my job!

Do you have a favourite creation that you’ve designed?

I am very fond of Blake from Edward’s Menagerie, but Kerry the Chameleon from our recent hand-dyed project makes me feel very proud.

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Do you have go to hooks and yarn? I’m guessing TOFT yarn is your favourite; but can you pick a favourite TOFT yarn?

I am lucky enough to design my own yarns and hooks, so of course I choose our own ones. My favourite TOFT yarn to make things for myself to wear is our DK Silver.

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Who gets your creations; you, your family, your friends?

The studio!! Most of my crochet goes on display, but every now and again I find the time to make something for my children.

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Now we’ve had animals, birds and imaginary characters can you tell us what might be next for Edward’s Menagerie?

I can’t let that secret slip just yet, but book four is well underway!

Where do you work? Do you have a studio space or do you work from your living room chair?

I do have my own room of yarny chaos (and lots of cacti), but more often than that I’ll work from the sofa.

Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you do when you’re not crocheting?

When not at work or crocheting I am having fun with my family. We enjoy muddy walks around the farm and plenty of messy crafts.

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Finally finish the sentence … I love crochet because…

It makes other people very happy.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Kerry again for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed getting a better understanding of what’s involved with in her designing process and hope you have too.

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

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