Along The Lanes: Episode 1 – New knitting podcast

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 19.21.16

After talking about it for… months? or years? I’ve finally got my act together and recorded my first podcast / vlog about knitting, crafts and squishy yarny things.

I had so much fun recording and editing the first one that it’ll hopefully become a regular thing. It’s a good chance to play with video editing in ways that wouldn’t necessarily be suitable for work-related videos, and I get to waffle on about my favourite new yarns, patterns and projects – and anyone who’s ever got me started on those will know I’ve got a lot of love for the wonderful designs that are being created in recent years!

There are about a million crafty podcasts out there, so I won’t be the first or the last, but I hope I can make mine a fun and bright place for viewers to spend a few minutes with me in their week. I promise an avalanche of wildly colourful yarn, tales of WIPs, frogged projects and beautiful FOs. :D

If you enjoy the video, don’t forget to subscribe and give it thumbs up!

Tips for VAT MOSS Registration

VAT MOSS is the latest brainchild of HMRC (the UK’s Tax & Customs part of the government) and it’s been giving everyone some weird and wonderful headaches. While I don’t have time to go into details about why it’s going to hurt small businesses a lot (here’s Ysolda’s great summary), I wanted to quickly pop a post up as it seems many others are getting the error message I got to. (Skip to the end if you’re in a rush)

When logging in to the Government Gateway site, the logical first place to look to register for MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) is under the “Services you can add” header; This is where I previously had to register for other services. You’ll find a link to register for MOSS for Union and non-Union businesses.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 14.54.21

Pick the right one for your business (if you’re in the UK, you’re Union).

However, when using this link to register, I encountered this error:

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 14.48.55

No matter how many times I checked our details (which I knew were right), still that error.

I tried tweeting the @HMRCCustomers Twitter account and got flat-out ignored. I then proceeded to email the Online Services Helpdesk. Two weeks later, they responded with the following:

“For security reasons we are unable to provide any information, or carry out any actions, requested by email.”

I was instructed to phone the VAT helpline, which I did earlier today. After half an hour on hold, and an almighty battle with the voice recognition system (Did you say “I want to cancel child benefits”?, Did you say “I want to import a car into the UK?”), I managed to speak to a nice Scottish chap. After quite openly explaining that they were helpless and hoping for more information soon, he put me on hold a while longer and then pointed me to a completely different section through which you register. Of course. Because that makes sense…

You’ll find the registration section you need under “Register for HMRC Taxes”, accompanied by the confidence inducing “This is a ‘beta’ service” message.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 14.56.13

Once you’re in there, it shouldn’t take you long to register, but somehow, it has been absolutely teeth-pullingly impossible to get the information needed to get this far.

Good luck to everyone else who’s having to wrestle VAT MOSS for 2015!

Being Creative is Exhausting!

Lately, I’ve been feeling like my brain might explode. We’ve been fairly busy with work, but it’s all been good, manageable work towards our next product. Yet, as soon as I have time to spare, my head goes back to crafts and a squizzillion ideas fight their way around my brain like desperate parents battling their way into Wal-Mart to buy the last Furby for Christmas.

This September, I’ve been knitting for four years, and yarn dyeing, spinning and crocheting for two. In between, I’ve been sidetracked by various types of jewellery making, weaving, papercrafts and lately, I’ve fallen madly in love with resin jewellery. (Can’t wait to share a few photos of the gorgeous pieces I’m making!) Oh and I’ve always done bits of sewing whenever the fancy takes me.

And that’s just the crafts I can think of while looking at what’s in plain sight in my craft room; Forget the bags of alpaca and sheep fleece in the garage or the paintbrushes in the cupboard. You get the idea…

I remember when I started getting into drinking better coffee, a friend said to me:

“Beware, it’s a very deep rabbit hole once you start considering grinding your own coffee beans, and then possibly roasting them yourselves!”

Admittedly, it’s Andrew who fell down that particular rabbit hole of making the Perfect Coffee (an endeavour from which I reap the benefits every morning), but in reality, every craft, book and TV show should come with that warning as far as I’m concerned.

Knitting led to buying yarn hand-dyed by others, then dyeing my own, then spinning fibre blended by others, then blending hand-dyed fibre on my drum carder. And now I’m considering getting my own alpacas (one day!)

The pattern seems to be repeating itself with jewellery, as I’ve started making my own mixed media paper bases and I’m about to enrol into a silversmithing course at a local college. I can’t keep anything simple, can I?!

I’ve managed to carve a day a week, greedily reserved for making lovely handcrafted things and swanning around my craft room, and I spend the rest of the week longing for that special time. The only difficulty is choosing what to do on the day!

Plant ALL THE THINGS! (aka being a newbie gardener)

It’s the end of May of my first springtime as a gardener. Well… I say “a gardener”. I have major impostor syndrome when it comes to it, because I really have no idea what I’m doing and am winging it all the way. Having said that, I’ve planted seeds, they’ve grown into little plants and are still alive. I guess that makes me at least a bit of a gardener.

Apparently, a common mistake of newbie gardeners is to plant too much. *raises hand* Yep, sounds about right. We’ve got… a lot planted, and so far, much to my surprise, most is still alive.

We’ve replaced our old greenhouse, which was made of rotten wood and brittle glass, and held together with paint and wishful thinking. The new greenhouse is gorgeous, feels much sturdier and safer, and has loads of planting and storage space.


Planted in the greenhouse

Inside the greenhouse, about 2/3 of the ground is concrete and the other 1/3 is a planting bed. This is where I’ve put six tomato plants and five peppers. This leaves three gaps for two “Mini Munch” cucumber plants and one “Gherkin” cucumber plant once these have grown beyond tiny seedlings (once I bring back the chilli plant on the left back inside the house).


Each plant has its own grow pot, so they can be watered through the outer ring to get straight to the roots, hopefully giving me the best chance of not-totally-killing-them.

The tomatoes are San Marzano, Orange Berry, Ildi, Cour di Bue, Red Pear and Tigerella and will be deeeelicious when they’re ready. The hot peppers are Jalapeño, Fresno, Sweet Banana and Red Cherry, and the sweet pepper is Rubens.

A few more tomatoes and one Purple Beauty pepper are in grow bags against the side wall.


There are still quite a few small seedlings living in the greenhouse, but they’ll get booted to the great outdoors as soon as they’re big enough. I’m particularly looking forward to the aubergines being ready to transplant into patio pots.

Planted outside

As of today, here’s what lives outside:

First, courgettes; Planted outside today, we’ve got 10 plants in 6 varieties; Soleil (yellow long ones), Black beauty (dark green long ones), Patty pan (Small light green roundish ones), De Nice a fruit rond (pale geen ball shaped), Yellow scallop (yellow small round) and Lebanese (pale green long ones). Alongside them is also a single marrow, Mrs Marrow, who will become the resident alcoholic. Her future lies in making marrow rum.

A few troughs of herbs serve as windbreaker, containing oregano, sage, orange thyme, apple mint, Corsican mint and horseradish.

More of the same tomatoes and peppers reside outside, to allow me to compare how they grow outside vs inside the greenhouse; San Marzano, Ildi, Orange Berry and Tigerella outside, along with two more Jalapeños and one Sweet Banana.


We’ve built a frame for peas and beans, which has runner beans, french beans and mangetout peas climbing happily along (though there seem to have been some recent slug visits that need to be seen to). At the end of this raised bed are some Calendula flowers, as they apparently are good companion plants to just about everything.

In the same large concrete bed, there are carrots, swiss chard, Sturon onions, garlic and elephant garlic. Wait until you see the size of the heads of elephant garlic!

Beyond these beds is the raspberry jungle that continues to grow, with loads of fruit forming and juuust starting to blush. They’ll probably be ripe by mid-June, so to make sure the birds don’t eat them all before we do, I’ve started building a makeshift frame. (I’ve made more progress since this photo, but it chronically starts raining every time I go back out to add another bit of netting so it’s not quite done!)


The back raised bed has two types of beetroots (Boltardy and Cardeal), two types of cabbages that don’t seem to have started coming up yet (Attraction green cabbage and Kalibos red cabbage) and some cauliflowers that also haven’t come up yet.

There’s also Andrew’s much-awaited sweetcorn still growing well and about 2ft tall now. In the hope of staggering the harvest, I’ve planted them at different times in seedling pots, but I’m worried now that batch #3, which was planted directly into the soil, won’t come up. Oh well, it’ll still be about 13 plants worth of sweetcorn, which ain’t too bad.


The potatoes are starting to look good, with the earlies promising to be ready in late June or so.


The garden gnomes are protecting the gooseberry bushes.



And the flowers are popping up everywhere in the rest of the garden, along with unidentified weeds I no doubt need to tackle (once I figure out what’s good and bad!)



As you can see, it’s a perfectly sensible (ahem…) selection of plants for a first-year gardener… right? ;)

Discovering My Green Thumb


Flowers from the garden

I’ve always assumed I’d never be much of a green thumb; When anyone gave me potted plants from the supermarket, they’d be dead within weeks. And while the thought of eating fruits and vegetables that had actual flavour, I never had the inclination to dig up the grass to plant my own.

Then in August, we moved house and everything changed. Rather than the miserable always-shaded garden from our old house, where 12 neighbours’ windows were always overlooking, we’d just moved to a house with a large allotment*. That’s when I realised that, with the right setting, gardening could actually be a lot of fun.

[* “Allotment” is a term used in the UK to describe a green space used to grow fruit and veg. In urban areas, these are often communal areas where everyone rents a little patch of their own. We’re very lucky that ours is at the end of the backyard and quite spacious, but I do envy the sense of community and amount of advice that must exist in shared allotments.]

Over the autumn and winter, we let the garden get rather weedy, so much of March was spent weeding. Not the kind of dainty weeding where you walk around in your straw hat and pick up a little weed here and there. Picture Indiana Jones in the jungle with a machete. Yes, that’s more like it.

By the first week of April, enough had been cleared out to consider planting the first potatoes. I bought a bag of three types of potatoes to be planted at about 3 weeks intervals, so I should have some nice variety this summer! The first ones (Colleen variety) are showing lots of leaves now, closely followed by the Remarka potatoes in the second row. The third ones (Sarpo Mira) aren’t visible yet.


Who knew potato plants looked so pretty?

Amusingly, while looking at the weeds that are starting to grow in the areas we haven’t planted in, it looks like we also have Surprise potatoes; otherwise known as ones the previous house owner planted last year that are now in random spots in the ground and growing of their own accord.

Another legacy from the previous gardener is a corner of raspberry canes. Again, these were only tended to in the Spring so there are a LOT of new canes that will need to be dug out at the end of the summer, but I suspect we’ll have some amazing raspberries this year – if I can stop the birds from getting at them first!


Raspberry madness

And a few random asparagus shoots have also reared their heads.


New asparagus spears shoot up every time I look away!

The remainder of the garden is all a bit of a wild meadow, with loads of perennials covering the garden in new colours every week. Once we get to know what’s already there, we’ll be able to add our own touches, but this year, it’s mostly a process of discovery.


Wild meadow flowers

The Jade Sweater: An Adventure in Spinning and Knitting My First Top

As they say. when it rains, it pours! No blog posts in 9 months, and now two in one day? The woman’s gone mad!

On Monday, my new spinning wheel arrived; an Ashford Joy 2. It’s a dinky little thing, intended to be very portable. It even comes with its own backpack to be carried around.


She joins her sister, Maya, an Ashford Traveller into my very small herd of spinning wheels.

I’ve already spun a lovely braid of Texel wool from Hilltop Cloud, from this…


into this lovely woolen-spun two-ply yarn.


I bought my spinning wheel from Wingham Wool Work in South Yorkshire (same as my previous wheel) and the kind folks there include either a voucher for £15 of free fibre, or credit you £15 on any fibre you purchase with the wheel. I decided I’d take on the ultimate spinner challenge: Spinning a whole sweater worth of yarn, then knitting my own sweater.

Now, before I show you the amazing fibre I picked, I’ll just clarify the term “sweater”. It’s an all-encompassing term knitters seem to have agreed on to represent all pullovers, cardigans, jumpers and other usually long-sleeved tops you wear to keep warm. I don’t yet know whether I’ll make a pullover or a cardigan that opens at the front, but either way I need to spin roughly the same quantity.

The fibre I picked is a lovely blend of 70% merino and 30% silk in teal blue, with a bit of darker blue and white silk. It’s a gorgeously soft blend and I’ve got 500g of it to play with! And yes, the fibre matches the cushion… :P


And so begins the Jade Sweater Adventure.

Rainbow Dyeing Experiment: The Long-Awaited Tutorial

Before I begin with my tutorial, I’ve been meaning to post this since last year, but back when I first spent a few hours putting the post together, the dog ate my homework Squarespace ate my blog post. Disheartened as I was, I never got around to re-writing it. Thankfully, I’ve now switched back to WordPress, which is far smarter than I am and saves my drafts as I work on them!

This is a fun rainbow dyeing tutorial for those who like experimenting with colours and creating their own colours with yarn or fibre to be spun, knitted, crocheted, woven to your heart’s content afterwards. It was a brilliant fun afternoon, heavily documented with poorly-taken photos and I highly recommend trying it.

The objective is to create a wheel of rainbow-dyed fibre by using just the three primary colours (or your choice of three colours). It’s particularly effective with raw fibre; sheep fleece that is still coated in lanolin, the natural greasy coating produced by the sheep. Of course, you can use commercially purchased fleece or undyed yarn if you don’t have a sheep handy.


Gathering your materials

Most of the materials used for this experiment are readily available, but it’s important that you keep these utensils and pots separate from the ones you cook food in. The acid dyes I use are not food-safe and should be kept away from curious kids, pets and used according to safety instructions.

  • A large cooking pot with a lid (glass lid is ideal)
  • Undyed yarn or fibre of your choice (more on choosing your fibre below)
  • A bottle of dish soap (Fairy, Dawn, etc)
  • A plastic spoon or two
  • A pair of plastic-tipped tongs (optional, but very useful)
  • A plastic tray or container for your wet fibre
  • Somewhere to lay or hang the fibre
  • An old towel
  • Fibre dyes (I use Landscape Dyes, but you can use Ashford, Kemtex, Eurolana dyes and more)
  • Vinegar if you’re using dyes that aren’t all-in-one (see your dye instructions for any extras you might need)

Choosing your fibre or yarn

Different fibres react differently to dye. For example, fibres like wool and silk (protein-based fibres) can take on a deep, rich shade when dyed with acid dyes. Meanwhile, acid dyes won’t take on bamboo and other plant-based fibres.

If this is the first time you experiment with rainbow dyeing, I would suggest getting a good resilient fibre that doesn’t felt too easily. I used long, curly locks of Gotland fibre. Sheep like Southdown, Ryeland and plenty more will cope with relatively rough handling without felting.

As I said above, if you fancy using superwash yarn (which is yarn that has been chemically processed so that it doesn’t felt as easily), go for it!

Preparing the fibre

If you’re using raw sheep fibre as I did (it had been lightly washed but still had lanolin in it), you’ll need to split the locks into manageable chunks.


If you’re using yarn, you’ll need to tie loops around your skeins at regular intervals to avoid creating a spaghetti mess once you drop it in the water.

Getting the pot ready

Pop your non-food cooking pot on the hob and fill it with enough cold water so that it’ll cover your fibre later. Mine was about 10cm full. Add a couple of squirts of dish soap and swirl it around.

Lay out the fleece or yarn in a circle. For the fleece, I put all the tips together in the middle and the cut ends towards the outside (like a sun or the hands of a clock). For yarn, I’d suggest making two overlapped circles with it. Very gently push the fibre down under water so that it’s wet through. If need be, top up with a bit more water.


Turn the heat on to medium-ish so that it bubbles very gently – and get ready to start making a rainbow!

Creating your rainbow

I picked three primary colours of Kraftkolour Landscapes Dyes, which you can get in the UK from Wingham Wool Work. The colours I used are Chamomile (yellow), Marine (blue) and Plum (magenta).


Before we start putting dye on, here’s a tiny primer on how acid dyes work: The quantity of dye used is relative to the amount of fibre you want to dye, not to the amount of water you use. When the fibre and the dye meet, the dye will set onto the fibre. If you’ve used the right quantity of dye, you’ll see your water eventually becoming clear again.

Lay a towel on the countertops to avoid getting any dye on your kitchen. Use a spoon to pick up a small amount of dye from the first colour. Don’t sprinkle directly from your pot of dye, as you’ll get steam inside the pot which isn’t good. You’ll also have much more control over the quantity of sprinkles with a spoon!

Imagine you have six pizza slices, you want to sprinkle three of the slices, leaving almost a full blank slice in between each one. At first, it looks like some areas will remain white, but given a bit of time, the colours will spread and mix, creating your three secondary colours; orange, green and purple.


At this point, you want the water to be bubbling very gently. Furiously strong bubbling will mess up the fibre and might felt it, or you might burn the bottom fibres on the bottom of the pot. Pop the lid on and leave it about 20 minutes. Resist the urge to stir – Stirring can felt fibres and will muddle up your rainbow.

After 20 minutes, use a plastic spoon to gently move some of the fibre to the side. How clear is your water? If it’s clear and you’re satisfied that your fibres have taken up enough colour, you’ve gauged your dye quantity very well! If there’s too much undyed fibre, you might want to verrrry gently move fibres and sprinkle more dye on.

If there’s a bit of colour left in the pot but it’s getting there, you can squirt a little white vinegar into the pot. This will help the final bits if dye exhaust onto the fibre.

When you’re happy with the depth of colour and the white pizza slices are now nice and colourful, turn off the heat. Set a timer for an hour or two to let the water cool down.

Draining, rinsing and drying the fibre

Once the water’s cooled down enough, use your tongs to pick up the fibre and lay it out on a tray to cool further. While the fibre cools down, fill the sink or your pot with water and gently swish handfuls of the fibre to get the superfluous dye off. Again, gentleness is key – you don’t want your fibre felting now after all the hard work’s done!

Lay the fibre out on a rack or mesh to dry. I use a drying rack with old cotton fabric pinned to it into “hammocks”.

When dry, split off the dyes and arrange into a rainbow. Admire your magical work :D


What’s next?

If, like me, you’ve got fibre, it’s time to spin it. You can either spin it into a neat gradient yarn or use the locks in really wild tailspun art yarn! Even though my rainbow is imperfect, the locks that had blue and yellow on them appeared greener once spun as the colours mix together some more.

If you’ve dyed yarn, start knitting or crocheting with it!

The next tutorial (which hopefully won’t take me a year to publish!) will cover a few ways of spinning yarn I really enjoy, from lace to art yarns.

If you experiment with rainbow dyeing, I would LOVE to see your results so please do share your own photos! :D

[Credits: Thank you to Sally aka Castlemilk on Ravelry for the original stove-top rainbow dyeing experiment.]

Getting Ready for Tour de Fleece 2013

While you might associate knitting and fleecy activities to the depth of winters, to me, it’s a year-round activity.

Every year, Ravelry members organise an event that follows in the footsteps of the Tour de France. Rather than making a bicycle’s wheels spin, we make our spinning wheels spin. (And to date, the Tour de France haven’t come by to tell us we’re denigrating the sport.)

It’ll begin in two weeks, on 29th June, and end on 20th July. How many miles do you think I can spin during that time?


It’ll be my first year taking part and I’ve also been spinning for under a year (which I find hard to believe sometimes, as I’ve learned so much already), so I’ve joined the Rookies team.

I’m gathering my supplies, choosing what to spin and what my goals will be. I’m taking it fairly easy because it’s summer after all, and my nerves are still reeling from the insane-schedule year we’ve had around Alfred v2.

Here’s what I have in mind:

Art Yarn Experiments

I recently started playing around with art yarns. Since realising that art yarn isn’t necessarily a veiled insult when talking about a new spinner’s inconsistent yarn, and doesn’t strictly have to be crazy “wtf do you do with this?” yarns, I’ve started enjoying experimenting with it.

To date, I’ve made a few thick-and-thin yarns which should knit up into cozy cowls or hats, and I’ve attempted cocoons, which look… butterfly cocoons wrapped around yarn. Here’s what it looks like on the bobbin:

Looks like a mess, but I swear it'll be cool when it's done!

Looks like a mess, but I swear it’ll be cool when it’s done!

A Little Spindling

When I started last year, I first bought a spindle. The starter kit I picked up for £15 contained a spindle, instructions and three different prepared fibres.

I quickly progressed to buying a first spinning wheel from a friend, then a second one by Christmas, once I knew what I wanted. (I now want a third one to make big art yarn on, so please do tell Santa) However, the first love was spindling.

During the Tour de Fleece, I’ll try to rekindle that love by finishing the pink Bluefaced Leicester I started in September.

My lovely IST Crafts spindle with some pink fluff

My lovely IST Crafts spindle with some pink fluff

The Unusual Suspects

As well as the above, I’ll tackle some of the more unusual fibres I’ve acquired over time…

I dyed these silk hankies a few months ago so will most likely spin the gold and moss one (third one in this stack) into some fine silk laceweight singles. Silk hankies are made by stretching a silk cocoon over a square frame. Do it over and over again until you have many layers and it makes a hanky. You peel one layer at the time, stretch it out and spin it nice and thin.

Spinning these takes patience, but most of all, it takes incredibly smooth hands. The silk catches on scratchy fingers or cuticles and can drive you completely ’round the bend. However, it’s so lovely when it’s done and makes very strong yarn!


I may also brave the gorgeously soft cashmere I bought last year from La Chèvre d’Oeuvre in Canada. I haven’t dared yet as I’m worried I’ll ruin this posh fibre or fail to do it justice, but I’ll have to do it someday!

Another, ahem… special fibre… is my cat Jack’s soft duvet-like fur, which I’ve been brushing and saving up for about a year. I’ve got 20-25grams so may blend it with something like baby camel or angora before spinning. I still don’t really know what to make with it though! :D

Handspun Yarn: How I started and some recent creations

In the rare stolen moments of freedom I’ve had these past few months, I’ve found great enjoyment in yarn spinning; taking fluffy stuff and turning it into usable, knittable yarn.

Over the past 9 months, I discovered the art of spinning. In July, I ordered a spindle kit from Hilltop Cloud on Etsy. It looked something like this, but with fibre in blue & white combinations.

In fact, I highly recommend this kit if you’re just curious about spinning but don’t want to spend a lot to get started. The spindle is accompanied by three different fibre preparations to give you a chance to get your head around the basics, and Katie provides some instructions on drafting and spinning. Having said that, I really “got” it through watching YouTube videos and practice, practice, practice!

HilltopCloud Learn to Spin kit

HilltopCloud Learn to Spin kit

I took the kit to our Fairford Airshow week away, which is a lovely opportunity to spend a week watching planes go by and not do a whole lot else. It gave me time to learn to “park and draft” (where you stop, draft the fibre to the thickness you want, then pick up your spindle and spin until it holds together) then progress to drafting without stopping.

Eventually, I realised that I fancied giving wheel spinning a go and purchased a wheel… which quickly became two. But that’s a story for later where I’ll introduce my two wheels.

You’ll have worked out by now that I’ve fallen in love with this meditative and calming, yet creative and colourful art.

Here are a few of the recent creations I’ve made since the beginning of 2013:

Each picture contains details of what fibres I used, but generally speaking, these are fairly standard fibres; British Bluefaced Leicester wool, merino wool, Wensleydale curls (dyed in wonderful colours) and a bit of a quirky mix of merino, soya fibre and sparkles.

Today, I also worked on some black alpaca with silk noils, which was fantastic fun and so much easier than I’d expected. Once the few mini-skeins dry out, I’ll be sharing pictures.

On Friday, I’ll be picking up a large quantity of raw alpaca fleece – two whole bags of it! That’ll no doubt be picture-worthy too. :)

For fun, next time, I’ll try to document in more details the numerous kinds of fibres I’ve acquired and whether I’ve enjoyed spinning them. I’ll also let you in on a secret about the single fibre type I’ve been too much of a wuss to dare spin because it’s so wonderful that I don’t think I can do it justice yet!

Hooked on Granny Squares: Baby Blanket

In October, I attended a workshop on “Granny Squares and Beyond”, a crochet workshop by Joanne Scrace of Not So Granny at the Sheep Shop in Cambridge. It’s always lovely popping by the Sheep Shop, where the owner Sarah always has a smile and some great new squishy, lovely yarns. In the back of my mind, I had a slight concern that signing up for a beyond-the-basics course without having ever tried crochet was a bad idea, so I spent Wednesday night fiddling and teaching myself double crochet and treble crochet. Turns out, it’s fairly easy to learn, and I wasn’t the only one cramming in a last-minute lesson (as Daisy, who also attended, decided to teach herself using YouTube at midnight the night before the course!)

Joanne patiently walked us through the various types of crocheted squares (or triangles, dodecagons or whatever shape you wish!), how to connect them and finish up the blanket. As a nice small group, we all progressed quite quickly and I had three squares done by the end.

Once I got home, I couldn’t resist making “a few more”. A quick calculation showed me that 100 squares would make a perfect cot or stroller baby blanket for friends who have just had their first baby. Despair! After a few more calculations and swiftly measuring the squares I had done, I worked out that 56 squares would be sufficient for a baby blanket that won’t drag everywhere!


As the stack grew, I started deciding on layout. By the end of November, I could move on to attaching the squares together. I made long strips of 8, then attached the strips together.


Lots of loose ends to sew in and little bits to snip, but for a first blanket, it seemed to hold together wonderfully well. The recipient also seemed quite happy with it!


​I’ve since started another acrylic blanket using Stylecraft Special DK in the Lucy colour pack, inspired by the lovely Lucy at Attic24. I used to dread acrylic, but this feels nice and effortless to use and will last a lifetime! It may also take a lifetime, but I view this as a very relaxing TV project if I’m not currently working on something interesting. Very much a no-deadline project :)

Having said that, the next project is likely to be another granny squares project and I’ll most likely treat myself to some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino instead…​


Oh hello there!

I'm Véro - a crafty, knitty, spinny gal who enjoys making (and drinking) a cocktail or three. If you've stumbled here, you might enjoy browsing some of my older posts with the tags over to the right or finding out more about me.

Say hi in the comments or on Twitter! :)



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.