Monday, 12 May 2014


This weekend I was reunited with an old friend, thanks to the lovely Claire Montgomerie, Commissioning Editor of Inside Crochet.

Claire had tweeted whether anyone was interested in any Patricia Roberts pattern books as she was having a clear-out due to a house move and this little tweet sparked an old desire deep within to find the first knitting book I'd ever bought as a teenager.

Many moons ago in the early 80's, just following my punk era, I spotted this book in my local wool shop in Warrington, and just had to buy it. I love the cover image - a little risque for a knit book - don't you think?
I was a regular visitor to this shop which was located just around the corner from my home. In fact I think I may have been the only 'youngster' that passed through the doors!!! I'd been knitting and crocheting for many years, thanks to my nan, and was desperate to knit something for myself. I was quite a trendy young person and during the punks years my friend and I made our own clothes - usually a tight fitting skirt to wear with a jumper or baggy top. Sometimes the garments didn't quite last the night, but fortunately rips and holes in clothes were all the rage for a punk, so it didn't really matter if the seams came undone (which was a good job really!!). A few years later, we tentatively embraced the bright colours of the eighties, along with shoulder pads, leg warmers and plastic jewellery, before I eventually returned to my punk roots and entered the dark side - otherwise known as Goth, where bright colours were no-go!!

But I digress. For many years I've been searching for my elusive Patricia Roberts knitting book. They're quite hard to come by and cost quite a lot to buy on the various auction sites. So I'd given up and forgotten about it, until Claire's tweet. I asked Claire if she had the book with the liquorice allsorts jumpers in it, and guess what - she did and very kindly sent it to me, along with a couple of other Patricia Roberts Pamphlets - what a star!!! Thanks to Claire I spent Saturday reminiscing about bygone times when all as I had to worry about was what I was going to wear that night!! The booklet Claire send to me was an abstract of some of the patterns from the main book, but luckily they were my favourite ones.
This image really tickled me up - it seems a lifetime ago when smoking was 'acceptable' and even used in photoshoots:
I love the tweed jacket and feel compelled to find the time to knit one up. It would look fab with jeans. The shades used in the original book are back on trend now, so mustards and browns here we come......

Do you remember your first knitted garment? I'd love to hear all about it. Happy Crafting, Lynne x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Celebrating Yarn Shop Day 2014

I had a great day today celebrating Yarn Shop Day at The Wool Shop in Crewe, Cheshire. But what is Yarn Shop Day? I hear you ask.

Yarn Shop Day is the brainwave of Let's Knit Editor Sarah Neal. Sarah explains, “Love Your Yarn Shop is designed to remind consumers of the value of their local wool store. With the growth of the internet we have far more shopping opportunities than ever before, but when it comes to knitting there’s no substitute for seeing and touching the yarn, and for having the advice of experienced knitters on hand. Yarn shops provide all this and more; they are sources of great inspiration and often a community hub. It’s been a tough time for the high street recently so we’re encouraging consumers to support these shops and enjoy all that they have to offer.”

So, on 3rd. May 2104, lots of crafting activities took place in yarn shops around the country. I popped along to The Wool Shop in Crewe, West Street, Cheshire.The reason I travelled to Crewe (about 12 miles) is that sadly there isn't a wool shop in Congleton. I hadn't visited the shop before, despite knowing the lady who owns and runs it. I met Pam when she came to my crochet classes in Sandbach, Cheshire, bringing along her knit group. They're such a lovely (and lively) group of ladies, and in the end they came along to 4 sets of courses and learned the basics of crochet through to advanced stitches including tunisian crochet and broomstick lace.

It was great to meet up with them all again, along with some new ladies, eager to learn some crochet basics.

I was asked some familiar questions, each one of which I will write about very soon in individual posts in the hope that I will help lots of other eager people enjoy and develop their crochet and knitting skills.

We made cute little bows using double crochet and treble crochet, and also tried broomstick lace crochet.

After visiting Pam's fab shop in Crewe and making a note of the yarns and accessories that she sells, I now know that I can pop along and enjoy her knit club on a Saturday morning and also pick up any accessories and yarn that I need instead of ordering online.

Here are my own reasons why you should try your very best to shop in your local yarn shop:

~ Supporting your local yarn shop is essential. It's not just a place to buy yarn, it's a place to meet new people, make new friends, learn from experts and share your ideas and passion for knitting and crochet.

~ For every £1 sent locally, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to only 40p with a larger business (quote from the Guardian

~ Most yarn shops are also a hub of crafty activity as they also run knit clubs, workshops and classes. So it's a great place to meet new people , make new friends and learn new skills.

~ Knit and Crochet groups are a great way to share your passion for crafting and can be an invaluable source of inspiration - be inspired by other people's projects, colour schemes and use of stitches and patterns.

~ a Knit and Crochet group is a great place to share resources and reduce your outgoings - you can share books, magazines and tips and tricks for making your projects perfect.

~   In your local yarn shop you can smoosh and squish the gorgeous yarns, see colour shades first hand and feel the quality of products.

So don't be shy, go ahead - enjoy your local yarn shop and join a friendly, creative community. 
 Have Fun, Lynne xx