you may have noticed that I haven’t been showing you the ‘latest’ in my shop for ohh at least a fortnight (it’s still there!). I’ve been doing some ‘me’ knitting. I’ve made myself a cowl in the same designs as those in my shop from some lovely mohair and alpaca pink and grey yarn I received on a destash swap. Some fingerless mitts that I’m trying to pluck up the courage to felt (they are currently too big for that purpose) and I’m back to knitting some preemie cardigans for Loving Hands – from some yarn I received from a fellow charity knitter in a yarn swap and some beautiful merino and silk yarn I received from Yarn box. I hope to post pictures of them all later this week (you can see the Yarn box yarn in my flickr photos below).

On chatting with my mum I explained that I now find it hard to put the knitting needles down, it’s my way of relaxing, so no matter how busy I am with work I always have to have one project on the needles – today she gave me a pattern and her choice of yarn for a cardigan she’s fallen in love with – solves what to get her for Mother’s Day!

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to Yarn Box and their customers.

They are currently running a de-stash programme – where their customers can send in any yarn that they no longer need and receive a 20% off voucher to spend in the Yarn Box shop. The de-stash yarn is then sent out to those that contacted Yarn Box with details of the charity that they knit for.

I received this parcel this morning and the contents will help replenish my stocks for the knitting I do for Loving Hands.

A big, big thank you …

Loving Hands have new Winter Challenges – Lou, the founder, has made a miraculous recovery from her accident in the Summer and is back on board with the following challenges:

Here you go then – you have all been ever so patient waiting to hear about the new challenges – this challenge will run from now right through to New Year so it is definitely Winter Knitting :0)

While I was ill we had loads of emails and two of them gave me the inspiration for two of our challenges.

The first one came from Alice a student at Bristol University. She is a member of the Kenyan Orphans society charity group and is going over with a large group of fellow students to help out. She requested 300 teddies with their bags to take with them to give to the orphans as a way of ‘breaking the ice’ and helping the kids to trust them. I thought this was a lovely idea – we have 10 bears to start this challenge off already so just 290 bears and 300 bags to go!

The other email was from a church group who are helping a community in Zambia – they are looking for blankets of all sizes for an Aids Hospice, School and Orphanage – apparently there is a great shortage of bedding and the temperatures can drop so low at nights. It would be great to be able to send them 200 blankets to help out their charitable quest :0)

We have also decided to help out the Sailor’s Society again this year and are looking for 300 hats to send them to help the sailors keep warm – as we are now almost 300 in number this should be simple :0)

Specially for our stitchers we have a challenge just for you – we are looking for 100 pairs of pyjamas or nightdresses for Linda McDonald’s orphans – I believe Suzanne will still have some of the packs of fabric and patterns available for this challenge as we didn’t get any made last time round. Thought you would like a special challenge for yourselves this time. Obviously we will still need the teddy bags as well if you want something quick and easy to do :0)

Needless to say if none of these challenges appeal we still need all our usual things so feel free to continue with warm clothing for all ages for Blythswood or Linda McDonald or if you like fiddly things then toys for the orphanages or knitted boobs might fit the bill.

Hope you are happy with these challenges – keep up the great work team – you are all stars :0)

If you’d like to join the group – either as a knitter, crocheter or a stitcher – drop by to the website http://www.lovinghands.org.uk and send Lou your details. There’s a lively forum of other members to keep you motivated too.

October is Breast cancer awareness month if you are planning an event and fancied knitting a boob to raise awareness you can get a pattern (and donate your finished boobs) from Bliss or from Loving Hands  They are certainly conversation starters. If they can be used to demonstrate how to breastfeed there is no reason why they can’t be used to show women how to check their breasts correctly too.

Knitted boob

In fact this is the first pattern I’ve ever written. I caught the preemie knitting bug whilst knitting for Loving Hands and have been experimentintg with different designs and stitch patterns.

A couple of months ago Knitting Magazine (from the Knitting Institute) ran a competition to design and knit a preemie set. The result was this:

 

Bee Stitch preemie set

Bee Stitch preemie set

It is my first ever attempt to write a pattern and you can download it either by clicking on the patterns box on the right hand side or from the link on the Free Patterns page.

It looks a bit complicated but once you get used to the stitch it is easy and the end result is really cute. Please feel free to comment with your tips and experience in writing knitting patterns.