Sunday, 29 April 2012

K&C Week Wildcard: Craft Your Perfect Day

I visited the Eden Project last year and fell in love with the place. My dream is to become a flower photographer so it was brilliant fun being able to photograph all the wonderful varieties of flowers and plants they have on show there.

That is why, if I were to craft my perfect day, I would host it at the Eden Project. Included in the fun would be a walk around the largest rainforest in captivity, inside this Biome is a Bamboo House, which is the perfect place to hold a picnic!

After a good old fashioned picnic of exotic fruits and other delacies, my friends and I would have a knit and natter. The walk around the rainforest would have inspired me to knit Jungle Creepers by Sara Hayten! A beautiful sock pattern created to mimic the vines and vegetation growing in the rainforest.

Why this fascination with the rainforest?

Not only do I find it stunning, the heat and humidity of the rainforest actually kills the pain I'm constantly in. So much so I was able to get out of my wheelchair and walk around the exhibit without feeling a thing!

My friend says I should take up camp in the Bamboo House, walk around in my bikini and eat pineapples. Which I think sounds like a jolly good plan to me, although I scare myself in a bikini never mind passers-by, so perhaps for the sake of the mental health of others it would be wise for me to wear a tank top and shorts.

So once we're full of pineapple and have had a quick knit, it's time to move over to the Mediterranean biome! Taking in the wonderful scents of the perfumed herbs, strolling past olive trees and admiring the cork sculptures takes you on a real sensory journey through California, South Africa and the Mediterranean!

©Donna Griffin
What better thing to knit among the sunflowers, than Summer Flies by Donna Griffin. The butterfly and lace motif in the shawl are reminiscent of the beautiful butterflies rippling through the warm Mediterranean air.

After all this walking, it is time for a sit down. What better way to see the Eden Project than by riding the Tractor Train! (Also a great time to get a bit of knitting done!)

Final stop on our tour is a stroll through the gardens. See how plants are used for our medicines, fuel and food all over the world.

Take in the vibrant colours and scents of these beautiful flowers. From the common daffodil to exotic beauties, you can't help but be inspired!

It's time for another knitting break, and we let the beautiful gardens inspire our choice of pattern. I've chosen the Snapdragon Tam by Ysolda Teague. A gorgeous tam with petals growing organically in the open sections of the lattice cable pattern. Knitted in a vibrant colour to give it that summer feel. 

©Ysolda Teague
So, I do hope you've enjoyed my fantasy crafting day and I also hope you've enjoyed this weeks posts! It has been both inspiring and brilliant fun, writing these posts and reading those of others. Round of applause to Mimi for organising another year of crafting fun! I've learnt new ways of blogging and writing, discovered new blogs and seen how far I've come on my knitting journey. And in all honesty, if it wasn't for this meme last year I probably would have given up both blogging and knitting, so thank you Mimi!! 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

K&C Week Day 6: Improving Your Skillset

Considering that this time last year I was just learning to purl, I think my knitting has come on in leaps and bounds. Last year, in the post 'Something to Aspire to' I told you about the different skills I would like to learn over the coming year, and I'm pleased to say that I've learnt all but one!

"Well, as I am new to knitting there is so much I would love to learn. The stitch that I am most looking forward to doing, is cable. I just think it looks so beautiful..."

I'm pleased to say that I learnt to cable not long after that post was written. I've used it in bags, mittens and more recently a beret!

Two projects which I had planned on knitting over the year were Fetching by Cheryl Niameth and 16 Cable Hat by Circé Belles. The reason I haven't knitted them, is simply because I've only just started knitting in the round. I'm going to add them to my list again though, so hopefully by this time next year they will be sat on my Ravelry Project Page under finished.

"One item I aspire to make is a shawl. My Nan has crocheted many, and after hearing her ramblings I'm pretty scared of taking on such a big challenge. But I admire those who have tried and succeeded."

Again, this is something I still aspire to do. I plan to make Dragonfly Wings by Boo Knits using Colinette Jitterbug that my Mum bought me last year.  I'm not sure if the 'Florentina' colourway will be too busy for the pattern, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Other things on my 'To Knit' list are to finish my first pair of socks. I want to thank everyone who commented a couple of weeks ago when I asked for beginner sock patterns. I finally chose to knit the 8 Stitches per Inch Socks by Ann Budd. I'm finding the pattern really easy to understand, and really recommend her book 'Getting Started Knitting Socks' to anyone starting on the sock path.

My Branching Out Scarf
Other things I hope to achieve my next year, is to have knitted my first toy using the book The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecaa Danger. My eldest niece Tilly saw the book in my bedroom a while go and ever since has asked me for 'a monster please Aunty Charly, made with your noodle mitters'. So Tilly, by this time next year I hope you'll be the proud owner of many monsters! And if you don't, then I think you have no choice but to banish me from the kingdom.

The final skill I would like to learn, is simple lace. I had a taster of it when I was knitting my Branching Out scarf (which unfortunately fell of the needles and frogged itself "/ ), so I hope to step it up by knitting the Winter Haven Scarf by Aimee Alexander. I hope to use the King Cole Galaxy DK in Red that my Mum bought me a few months ago. This would be the perfect scarf for my friend Carol, who is always looking for bright but elegant scarves. So hopefully this will be finished by November!

So that is my skill set list all completed, and I'm looking forward to reviewing it next year to see how I did. Most of the projects I've listed will be added to my 2012-2013 Year of Projects list, which means I have to knit them over the coming year. Bring it on!

Friday, 27 April 2012

K&C Week Day 5: Something A Bit Different

I've been sat in this yarn box for weeks now. The other yarns treat me differently, so much for a tight-knit community!

They think I haven't been watching them... but I have. I've been working out the social classes. From what I've seen so far, it's the hand-dyes that are running the place. They rule with an iron fist, but will happily show off their amazing colourways and soft textures. Then you have the acrylics they're pretty high up, which you wouldn't have expected, they're constantly coming and going, being used for all sorts of projects: Gloves, Cardigans, Blankets, you name it, they've been made into it. They show off their bright colours, like a peacock fans its feathers. Eyelash yarns are the hermits of the yarn box. We only have two here, and they've been here a year. They know they're not getting out. The Knitter hates eyelash yarn, she's just keeping them out of pity.

Sadly there is someone even lower than the hermits...The rejects, they're at the bottom of the crochet chain. People round here don't take kindly to people who have been knitted. Jealousy in its woolliest form. They've become rejects either because they're a used yarn from a friend or because The Knitter decided she can make you into something better.

Now, if you're a foreigner and a reject, you better prepare to be un-wound. Now who would dare do that gruesome job? I'll tell you who. The chunkies. Even the hand-dyes are scared of them. They'll unwind you until your're so knotted up The Knitter has no choice but to put you into a zip-lock bag named "Yarn Vomit". Ironically though, the chunkies in our box are now rejects. The Knitter handled the situation herself, by sticking them in a zip lock bag with the label 'Crap'. The whole box rejoiced when this deed was done and for now, the box is a much quieter and more enjoyable place.

I remember when I was first picked up by The Knitter. I'd been sat in a bargain bucket at the local crafts shop, just passing the time by counting sheep, when a shadow suddenly hung over us. When she started rumaging through, I thought it was one of the staff deciding who was to be trashed, but suddenly she picked me up and looked at me with incredible intensity.

"Aha. Perfect."

I'd never been called perfect before, so you can imagine my excitement as I winked a goodbye to my old pals while The Knitter waddled over to the counter. I remember the refreshing cool of the carrier bag and breathing in the fresh air as I was carried through the high-street.

I was always taught that you'd be knitted as soon as you were home, at least that was what it was like in the old days. The modern knitter is all about hoarding, and I learn that lesson the hard way as I was carefully placed in the dark box.

I've heard stories of new yarns being placed in their new home, only to be smothered by a fluffy mob. So the moment I was placed inside, I huddled into a corner and placed myself behind a zip lock bag prisoner. Niether of us can hear what the other is saying, so we just sit there in silence. Which is just how I like it.

Hiding does create a rather large problem, though. If other yarns can't find me, how is The Knitter meant to? Fortunately for me, the Knitter logged me into this online catalogue of yarn porn she has on this website called Ravelry. One day she'll scroll through and notice me, I'm sure of it. 

So if you're a knitter or crocheter like my owner, pleased do not keep us just for to show off to your fellow crafters, or to cuddle when feeling stressed. Think about the yarn in your closet, under your bed and in your fridge. Remember that you bought us for a reason. That at one point we were your heaven. Please make us into somebodies heaven. Whether it's a blanket, a toy or even a washcloth, we don't mind. Just use us, that's what we're for.

Thank you, and happy crafting.

Yours sincerely, 

R. B. Cotton.


It seems The Knitter has put this on the internet and has asked me to tell you to consider nominating her if you enjoyed it. Can you believe it, she is taking credit for MY letter! What a cheek. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

K&C Week Day Four: A Knitter or Crocheter for all Seasons?

I would like to sit here and tell you how organised I am. How I find out all the events of the year, and see if presents need to be made, then organise what I'm going to knit and when so that it is given in time. How I sort out when I need to knit winter items so I don't have cold hands and feet, and when I knit summer things so I will always have the shawl to go with my new dress, or beret to compliment my outfit.

If I did tell you all that, then it would all be big fat lies. I used to be a very organised person, like scarily organised. But when my M.E got severe in '10 it all went out the window. Now, I am one of the most un-organised people you'll ever meet. DVDs are no longer alphabetised, bookcases are a mess, I forget to order my tablets and most importantly, I never know what I'm supposed to be knitting!

I have started getting organised for winter, but that is only because I went through a mad phase of knitting gloves. Most of the family now own a pair, but now they have one pair they all are asking for another!

As it is Spring now I am trying to prepare for summer by knitting berets, shawls and kerchiefs. I'm currently knitting Larch by Tinks & Frogs Rue, which is a simple scarflet knitted in fingering weight yarn. I orginally wanted to use Mistofellees by Black Cat Fibres but the colour change was too often for the GS to cope with. Instead I've opted for Rico Design Superba Chinee in a deep purple colour. It'll go with the white blouses I tend to wear during the summer months, and it will complement my dark denim jeans.

I hope to have the plain garter stitch blanket finished by October so we're all warm and cozy during the winter, I have another blanket on the go as well but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for M.E Awareness Week (6-12th May) to hear more about that!

I plan on getting obsessed with knitting socks during the summer, so that by November the whole family won't be complaining about their cold toes. I hope I won't be complaining, either.

I've realised while writing these posts that I hardly ever knit for myself, and my friend Fleur kindly pointed that out when she commented on my 'Perfect Storm' Beret.

So I hope that this year will not only just bring Organisation, Socks & World Domination, but also hand-knits for myself.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

K&C Week Day 3: Your Knitting or Crochet Hero

My Knitting and Crochet Hero is my Great Nana Vera, she taught most of my immediate family to knit. She was taught by her Mother, and then went on to teach both her daughters (My Nan & my Great Aunt), two of her grandchildren (my Mum and my Aunt) and finally, she taught me.

When Nana taught me I would have been about 9 or 10. She was partially blind by then and how she managed to teach me, I don't know. We sat cuddled up on the edge of the sofa, as she slowly guided me with the needles. She knew that I learnt best when someone showed me, so she didn't bother trying to tell me how or what to do. About an hour later, I charged up the stairs (as she lived with my Nana & Granddad in a big house, she lived on the ground floor) telling the whole family what 'the best Nana in the world' has taught me to do. 'Look, I can knit like Nana now' I announced to the dumbfounded crowd before me. Before anyone could utter a word I charged back downstairs to attempt another lesson.

A few years before, she had knitted my youngest sister a cardigan. Katy adored it. I don't actually remember a time when she wasn't wearing it. Nan had knitted it a couple of sizes too big as Katy has an awful habit of getting too tall for her clothes, very quickly.

We still have it to this day, and it is still in perfect condition. I can't find the original pattern, so one day I would love to re-create it for my sister, with every detail right down the buttons. It will take a lot of designing know-how though, so it won't be happening for a while.

Nana didn't just knit though, she crocheted too. I think out of the two, she was best at crochet. Why? Well, take a look at this.

Beautiful, isn't it? I'm led to believe she crocheted this and a large tablecloth (which always came out for special occasions) for my Mum back in the 19080s. Unfortunately I couldn't find the tablecloth in time for the post, but I will try and photograph it soon as I'd love you all to see it. 

She knitted, crocheted, fed my chocolate obsession and always had a story to tell. That is why my Great Nana Vera is my Knitting & Crochet Hero, and I wish you'd all been able to meet her. She passed away several years ago, but I would like to think that if she was still here she would be proud of my knitting. And hopefully, congratulate me with a giant bar of Dairy Milk. 

Me & my Great Nana back in 1995, probably wearing
one of her hand-knits while attempting to feed me chocolate.
Which was always a messy job!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

K&C Week Day 2: Photography Challenge Day!

Getting pretty good at this gardening malarkey! 

If you like todays photograph, please consider nominating it! Thank you.

Monday, 23 April 2012

K&C Week Day 1: Colour Lovers

You don't have to look in my stash for long to see that I love colour. That much is to be expected, since I come from a long line of artists. One thing I did learn while writing this post was that my Great, Great, Great Granddad had paintings in the Royal Academy of the Arts.

Now, you would think with all that artistic blood running through me I would know a thing or two about colour, but I don't. I really don't. If I do want to knit something for myself, I always manage to pick the wrong colours. I don't think I do too badly when it comes to knitting for other people, though. Whether that is because I'm any good at it or. it's the fact that I tend to ask people what colours they like before I knit for them (a.k.a plain cheating) I'm not sure. We'll probably never know.

After a look through my stash, you can really tell I like bright colours. From Double Knit in bright turquoise to rainbow 4ply, I love it all.

When I find a pattern I want to knit, I totally ignore the colours they've knitted it in. Instead, I look at the projects of others and try to get ideas from them or, sometimes I love the colours they've chosen so much I copy them. For example, I loved Shewalk's yarn and colour choices for her Branching Out scarf so much that I literally ran to the yarn shop to use the same for my Branching Out scarf.

Occasionally I love a colour so much that I buy it regardless of whether I can knit with the yarn or not. This is what happened when my lovely friend Myriah and I were partnered in a swap together. As she was really after some acrylic yarn that is widely available in the UK she let me choose any yarn I wanted from her local yarn shop. She took photos of all the yarn in the shop (so jealous of her LYS!), and the moment I saw this photograph I knew I needed to get Rauma Finullgarn in bright orange.

The end of this tale is a sad one. Myriah lovingly bought me the yarn and sent it along with other Norwegian goodies (including a sheep!). Since that wonderful day in October I haven't even blinked at the yarn. I just can't seem to find a pattern that will do it justice. Which is a real shame as I love the yarn to pieces.

I might save it for when I can knit socks, or when I feel I can attempt a pair of Norwegian mittens.

Other yarns that have got me in a tizzy are:

1. Morocco by Patons UK in Jade/Smaragd
2. Toison by Bergere de France in Blason and Hermine
3. Panache by Spectrum in Mandarin

So if you wonderful knitters have any ideas for what I could knit with them, then I would be so very grateful.

I do however know how to match my nails with my knitting!

Monday, 16 April 2012

In Review: Knitted Dinosaurs

This week I'm reviewing 'Knitted Dinosaurs by Tina Barrett' (this review copy came from my local library).

All I can say is I love the concept of this book. These colourful and quirky projects are a sure hit for kids and adults alike. The book consists of 15 'Prehistoric Pals', so once you've knitted one of each I bet you my bottom dollar that you'll have to do it all over again!

The book includes technique tutorials for those new to knitting, and a 'Finishing touches' section so you can stuff your dinosaur to perfection.

Each of the 15 dinosaurs come with 'fun facts' on their pattern pages, who says knitting isn't educational?

I love all the dinosaurs, but my favourites have to be...




The colours Tina has chosen for the dinos are perfect in my opinion, but who says you can't mix it up? What about a blue and yellow Triceratops or a pink and purple Diplodocus?

I really wanted to knit one a dinosaur for the review, but unfortunately life got in the way! I will be buying this book in the future though, as I think these would fit perfectly in my nieces toy collection. If you want to try before you buy, Just Crafty Enough are giving away the Stegosaurus pattern for free on their website.

So while their prehistoric ancestors reeked havoc on the earth, surely a knitted one couldn't hurt?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

And the Winner Is...

The winner of this weeks pattern give-away is...

Stormbat, congratulations!! I have messaged you on Raverly, and you will soon be the proud owner of the Cocker Spaniel pattern by Justyna.

Don't forget to add the project on Ravelry when you come round to making it, I'm sure we'd all enjoy seeing how it turns out!

So thank you to everyone that entered, and more importantly thank you to Justyna for donating the pattern.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone, and don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the review of 'Knitted Dinosaurs by Tina Barrett'.


What do you guys think of the new blog design? 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

This Week in Knitting: Anyone for a Vodka Lemonade?

I love checking out new patterns, what I love even more is being of the first to knit new patterns (mainly so that in the future I can say oh I was knitting that before it was considered 'in'). So I thought I would start a new section dedicated to the latest patterns that I think you'll love. Some were released in the past couple of days and others were released in the past couple of weeks. I thought this could also serve as a notebook, where I write little 'notes' about the pattern. Maybe what yarn(s) I'm going to use and where I can get them from for the cheapest (UK & US, for all the american readers!).

©Caro Sheridan
So, lets kick this off with my favourite pattern of the week, Vodka Lemonade by Thea Colman. I saw this gorgeous cardi pattern out of the corner of my eye on the Hot Right Now section on Ravelry. The pattern is available for £4.21 ($6.50), which I think is a very reasonably price considering I'd wear it again, and again... and again (and have to knit it again, and again... and again as all my friends will want one) Thea describes her pattern like so:

"Vodka Lemonade is a springy sweater with a vintage vibe. Seed stitch and lace details add texture and a feminine touch, and the classic styling ensures that it will go with jeans and a tank just as easily as a sundress and sandals"

She uses Zen Garden Serenity DK in Lemon Twist for the show knit. I've never seen this yarn before, and so glad I found it as it's gorgeous. It is a 90% Merino, 10% Cashmere mix, and the texture is described as 'Soft, Silky, Shiny, Squishy'. If you bought the yarn and pattern as a kit on the Zen Garden website, it would run you a little over $135 (£85), now I'm sure most of us don't have that kind of cash to splash on a cardigan so here are a couple of cheaper suggestions:

1. Knit Picks Shine Sport DK3.49 /$2.99 a skein) 2. Debbie Bliss Rialto4.20/$6.65)

Next up is a brand new design by Annie Riley. Annie has only been knitting 3 years, but has already designed over 20 beautiful patterns. Her latest design, Antique Cables Cardigan, will be published on the Knit Picks website. It is not yet available for purchase, but as soon as it is I will let you know!

©Annie & Company
"This isn't any old cardigan pattern. There's a story behind it, and it's one I would like to share with you. One day at one my local yarn shops I met an older lady who, when she found out that I designed knitwear, asked if I could help her with a problem. I wasn't sure what she meant so I asked. She proceeded to tell me about a 30-year-old cardigan that was damaged in a house fire -- and was the only one her husband would wear. She asked if I could recreate the design so she could knit a new one for her husband.

I was really unsure, but told her I would give it a go. I knew it would be a lot of work, and it was. But with the knitting back-up of my sister and good friend, it's done. After lots of stitches, tinking, math, crying, laughing, and watching myself-set deadlines fly past, it's done. And it turned outto be a great cardigan for men or women!"

Well Annie, the tears were certainly worth it, the pattern is gorgeous, and I can't wait to get knitting this! For the show knit, Annie uses Knit Picks Comfy Fingering weight ($2.99), which does look like the perfect yarn to use. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it available in the UK so here are a couple of other options:

1. Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer Sock Yarn5.75 / $5.79) 2. Rowan Pure Wool 4 Ply4.75 /$8.50)

Last but not least is the stunning shawl pattern, Estrella by Jolanda Schneider. This gorgeous pattern was designed on a Easter Sunday and was made to resemble 'a lovely spring day'. You can purchase Estrella for £3.39 ($5.37)

Now, I'm not sure how many of us could attack such lace splendor but I think the results of those who knew a thing or two about it would be beautiful.

Jolanda suggests knitting with Admiral 4 ply by Schoppel-Wolle. Unfortunately I could only find this yarn in a Denmark website, so here are a couple of yarnie alternatives I have come up for you:

1. Delicious Fingering by Candy Skein ($28 / £17.66) 2. Heritage Solids & Quatro Colours by Cascade Yarns ($12) 3. Bamboo Merino Sock by DreamPassion17.49/$27)

That's it for this week, tune in next Saturday for more news in the world of knitting! Have a fab weekend everybody!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Thursday Book Challenge: Week 10

Well, I finished Pandemonium and even though I'm not happy about the second love interest I liked the book. What saved it for me was the final third, the story fianlly picked up and started to get really interesting. You finally get to find out about Lena's Mum and Alex. The third and final instalment is going to be interesting to say the least, what with Lena having to find her Mum again, and choosing between Alex, or Julian. I'm team Alex all the way, Julian isn't a very appealing character to me. 

Delirium, the first book in the trilogy, is being made into a film, and I'm so excited. Can't wait to find out who gets cast as Lena, Hana and Alex.

My friend Amy gave me a couple of books last week and said that I just *had* to read them, so that is exactly what I'm doing. First up is the first book in the Sherlock Holmes series, The Death Cloud, written by Andrew Lane. As I've only just started it I can't cast any opinions, so will tell you what I think next week.

So now it is over to you, what are you reading at the moment? Managing to get your book to knitting/crochet balanced? I've been doing a lot of knitting lately as I'm still desigining patterns for M.E Awareness Week next month, and trying to finish a couple of gifts off. None of which I can show you yet, which is why I haven't done a WIP or FO post in forever. Really hoping I get to share something with you all soon though, bet you are all getting a bit bored of no knitting posts!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Instagram: The Social Network for the Creative

My friends kept telling me to download Instagram, personally I couldn't see what the appeal was. I have Facebook, Google+, Flickr, YouTube...Pinterest. Why do I need another social media account? But, after the 18th prod from my sister I downloaded it on my iPod Touch (version: crappy 2.0).

So for people who are sitting there wiggling their head like a crazy person wondering what on earth I'm on about, I'll explain.

Instagram is a new social network, originally designed for owners of iPhones and iPod Touches (but it has recently spread out to the android market sparking a few hilarious comic strips and tweets).  It is a fast, fun and beautiful way to share photographs with friends. Your picture not quite perfect? Don't worry, add one of the many filters to get that professional look.

You can have a private account where only your friends can see your photos, or, you can go for a Public account. I have one of each, I use the Public account (@anaccidentalknitter) for the blog, and my private for sharing things will friends and family.

Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram uses a hash tag system. So for example, if you want to find a picture with the tag #iknittedthis, simply type it in the search box and tada! You've found the pictures you were looking for.

#iknittedthis is actually a competition I started last week, people tagged some beautiful knit and crochet related photographs. The prize was, for two people to have their photo shown on this blog post so lets get on with it!

First up is this gorgeous crocheted cake ring by @pajamie. The item is actually available on her etsy shop, Sugar Junkie. Pretty things, for pretty girls. And those products... are the cutest things I have ever seen. I want one of everything.
One type of item she doesn't sell, are stitch markers. Personally, I think if she made a range of crocheted stitch markers she'd be rolling in yarn money.

Our second winner is @jasminej82. Veronica's about section reads as follows: My world and my knitting projects :) Which I thought was a lovely way of putting it. Currently she is knitting a beautiful turquoise cowl/shawl (I'm not very sure which one it is..) and I can't wait to see how it turns out. So keep us posted!

Monday, 9 April 2012

In Review: Handmade by Just-in

(Just want to apologise for not posting last week - my M.E and Fibromyalgia is really messing me about. So I'll post last weeks review, next Monday. Sorry again!)

Ballerina Teddy Bear - £2.59 / $4.00
So a couple of weeks ago, I was approached by Justyna to review her shop. As soon as I saw it I knew you'd all love it. She even offered to donate an item from her shop for a give-away, but more on that later. For now, though, let me tell you about the shop.

Justyna opened her shop, Handmade by Just-in, on the 26th of April 2011, after deciding that she wanted to share her designs with the world. And rightly so, as they are absolutely gorgeous.

I asked Justyna what got her into designing, and this is what she had to say: "Since I discovered  amigurumi I've got really hooked on them and one day I thought I'd try making one myself, without the pattern. It looked well enough, so I have it another try, and another and before I noticed I got hooked on designing!"

She currently has 9 of her beautiful crochet designs on her Etsy shop, I just had to find out where she finds her inspiration.

"I guess I find inspiration in all things around me. After I started making dog patterns (there will be more than just these two), I guess I see an amigurumi in every animal that's passing me in the street. Also, since necessity is the mother of invention, I create things I need or think my son will like."
I think she has hit the nail on the head there, I can see these toys in every little ones bedroom. My niece would be over-joyed with a Ballerina Teddy Bear, and my younger niece would look adorable in the Monster Booties.

Justyna hasn't got all her patterns on Etsy, I had a cheeky look at her design page on Ravelry and she has 35 patterns on there. All gorgeous, like the ones in her shop. Just go and look, you won't be disappointed I assure you. Unless you can't crochet, like myself, then you might just shed a tear.

Cocker Spaniel - £2.91 / $4.50
My favourite pattern of them all though, is the Cocker Spaniel puppy.  I know I have said this a million times already, but isn't this pattern just gorgeous??

Now I hope I'm right in saying, that I think you all will love this crochet pattern as much as I do. That is why Justyna and I decided that this will be the pattern for the give-away.

So here are the rules!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Thursday Book Challenge: Week 9

Since I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver last year, I've been counting down the days until the release of the sequel, Pandemonium. The day finally arrived that I was able to waddle back from the library with Pandemonium in hand.

The book is set out differently to the first, rather than having a narration that tells the story in chronological order, Pandemonium's chapters alternate between 'then' and 'now'. Which is quite confusing, and irritating at first, but now I'm into the heart of the story it actually is building tension and excitement.

So what's my problem? Well, Lauren Oliver has gone down the 'love triangle' route which seems to be very common in Young Adult books, especially dystopian novels like Pandemonium, Matched and Crossed. It is all very well but it is getting a bit boring. Gemma Malley, author of the Declaration series managed to write all three books without a second love interest for either of the main characters, and to be honest I feel that the story is stronger for it.

Rant over, I do apologise. So now it is over to you! What are you reading this week? Perhaps a classic novella or have you got your nose in a 'who-dunnit'?

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