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August 2020

Charity of the Month - The Wildlife Trusts

By Vanessa 2 months ago

We’re delighted to be supporting The Wildlife Trusts as our charity of the month throughout September! During the month, you can round up your orders to the nearest £ at the checkout and all money raised will be donated to The Wildlife Trusts, a registered charity no. 207238.

We’ll also be matching donations so whatever you donate, we’ll donate the same amount, therefore doubling the total amount raised for the charity.

The Wildlife Trusts believe people are part of nature; everything we value ultimately comes from it and everything we do has an impact on it.

Wherever you are, Wildlife Trust people, places and projects are never far away, improving life for wildlife and people.

We believe that by working together, we can change the natural world for the better; everyone has a part to play.

To find out more about the vital work that The Wildlife Trusts does please visit their website here.

Helping Hedgehogs this Autumn:

Autumn is an important time for Hedgehogs as they get ready for hibernation. This means surviving for many months without food or water while living off their own fat reserves that they build up in Autumn. As the season progresses, many people ask how they can help hedgehogs to build up their reserves ready for the winter months. Not only this, but hedgehogs also need a home to settle down into for the winter.

How can you help?

Help hedgehogs to get around by making holes and access points in fences and barriers to link up the gardens in your neighbourhood. Find out more here.

By providing safe places for hedgehogs to live, you’re much more likely to see these prickly creatures in your garden. Find information on how to build a hedgehog home here.

You can download a booklet which provides all the vital information about helping hedgehogs this Autumn here.

FREE PDF Hedgehog Patterns

Throughout September we’re also offering our hedgehog knitting and crochet patterns as FREE to download as a PDF - Print at home pattern to raise awareness of this endangered species.

DK Hedgehog Toy Knitting Pattern

Hedgehog Toy Knitting Pattern

Hedgehog Toy Crochet Pattern

Hedgehog Toy Crochet Pattern

Throughout August we helped to support Hospice UK and raised an incredible £1,693 thanks to your checkout donations. Thank you so much to everyone who donated! We’ll also be matching your donations bringing the total raised for the charity to £3,386.

Hospices have been on the frontline of the battle with COVID-19, continuing to care for vulnerable people whilst also easing the burden on the NHS.

We need to make sure that we continue this momentum to improve end of life care for people across the UK. With your support, Hospice UK will continue to strive for that. Hospice care transforms lives. It is there for us through life, through death and through grief. Every year in the UK, hospices provide vital care to 225,000 people with terminal or life-limiting illnesses, as well as providing support for many of their loved ones. From managing someone's pain, to looking after their emotional, spiritual and social needs, hospice care supports the whole person, helping them to live their life to the full.

Read More Posted in: News

Queen Blanket Crochet Along (CAL)

By Vanessa 2 months ago

Introducing the NEW Queen Blanket CAL designed by Icelandic crocheter Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar.

Titled the Queen Blanket CAL, it is crocheted using Stylecraft Special DK and is a kaleidoscope of colour and mosaic effects. Mosaic crochet is a technique that is very easy to do but creates amazing geometric patterns. It has the added benefit that you don’t have to sew in ends as these are encased in the border of the blanket when that is added! How brilliant is that?

Tinna will be supporting the CAL with a set of step-by-step video tutorials, which will include an introduction to colour choices as well as showing how the pattern works interactively. These will all be available for free on Tinna's YouTube channel.

Part 1 launches on 18th September 2020 via Tinna's Ravelry store.

Note: Throughout the duration of the CAL, the complete pattern will cost $5 which is roughly £4. From 1st Nov, the pattern will cost $10 which is roughly £8 at the current rate of exchange.

Here are the dates for when each part of the CAL will be available:

18-Sep Part 1

25-Sep Parts 2 & 3

09-Oct Part 4

16-Oct Part 5

23-Oct Part 6, the border

There are three enticing colourways for the Queen CAL available in Special DK and each blanket comes in two different sizes. Each colourway is aptly named too:

Ruby Queen Blanket - Small:

Ruby Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Small

Ruby Queen Blanket - Large:

Ruby Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Large

Tequila Sunrise Queen Blanket - Small:

Tequila Sunrise Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Small

Tequila Sunrise Queen Blanket - Large:

Tequila Sunrise Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Large

Oceania Queen Blanket - Small:

Oceania Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Small

Oceania Queen Blanket - Large:

Oceania Queen Blanket Colour Pack - Large

Note: There are two kits available per colourway – one for the small blanket and one for the large blanket.

The blanket sizes are as follows:

Approx. 95 cm x 125 cm for the small blanket

Approx. 150 cm x 2 m for the large blanket

Read More Posted in: News

Knitting & Crochet for Lefties - International Left-Handers Day!

By Vanessa 2 months ago

It’s International Left-Handers Day, an international day observed annually on 13th August to celebrate the uniqueness of left-handers.

This event is now celebrated worldwide, and in the UK in recent years there has been more than 20 regional events to mark the day – including left-v-right sports matches, a left-handed tea party and pubs using left-handed corkscrews where patrons drank and played pub games with the left hand only (Left-Handers Day).

But what about left-handed knitting or crochet? Being left-handed can sometimes be frustrating in everyday life and it can be difficult for lefties to learn to knit or crochet and read patterns. However, where there is a will, there is way. Many left-handers have learned to knit, some decide to knit or crochet the ‘right-handed way’ and others choose to use their left hand as the dominant hand. There is no right or wrong way! Remember that both hands are required for knitting and crochet. You’ll need one hand as your dominant hand and the other to work the yarn.

Here are a few tips that we’d recommend if you’re learning to knit or crochet the left-handed way:

  • Just like right-handers, start off with a simple project before moving onto something more challenging when you’re feeling more confident.
  • Left-handed knitting and crochet is the mirror image of the right-handed way, everything is done in reverse.
  • If your teacher is right-handed, it might be helpful to sit opposite them to mirror what they do.
  • Lefties knit from the right needle to the left needle or hold the hook in the left hand and work the stitches from left to right if you crochet.
  • When reading charts, you will need to read from right to left, instead of left to right.

  • There are plenty of resources available that you might find useful if you’re left-handed and are learning to knit or crochet.

    Here's a tip from Erin in our Customer Services team: “I’m left-handed and I’m learning to knit and crochet, my top tip would be to be patient and remember it’s not easy for anyone regardless of their dominant hand to learn to knit or crochet”.

    A blog by Karen Lynn dedicated to the left-handed knitter here

    Learn how to cast on, knit rows, and bind off/cast off to complete a simple project here

    Learn left-handed thumb method cast, knitting stitches (both knit and purl), cast off, and continental knitting here

    Learn left-handed crochet here

    Read More Posted in: News