Felt queen Gillian Harris (a.k.a. Gilliangladrag) has invented the fluffiest of wooltop pompoms ever. We’ve borrowed the instructions from her blog so that you too can make one of these amazingly soft and furry pompoms. And they’re quick to make too!

 

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Start with just ONE tiny metre of merino wooltops (usually used for felting or spinning.) And a pompom maker! That’s all! ANY wool tops will do – but here I used our house blend “Phantasmagorical” (£4.80 for 100g will make about 4 pompoms!)

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Best Essay Writing Service Website Split the merino wooltop length in half lengthways and wrap half around the left side of the pompom maker and half around the right side, tucking in the ends. It’s so fluffy and bulky – that’s all you’ll need :-)

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Secure the pompom maker and then start to snip! All the way around. As you do – the pompom will magically come to life!

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A Level English Essay Next, secure the new furry wooltop pompom with some strong string and tie it REALLY REALLY tightly. I used our candy twist twine here:

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Literature Review On E Payment Carefully release your new fabulous pompom…

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It’s the furriest, quickest, most fabulous pompom ever! Ever so soft and really LUSH!

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Students Buying Essays The last thing to do is give it a trim (my favourite bit) – and then it’s ready to hang! Imagine a Christmas tree full of these :-)

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(Or adorn your favourite hat! Here I used our Red Merino with Pink Tussah Silk Blend) The possibilities are endless…

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Let’s all get wooltop pompom making immediately! :-) )))))

 

Project instructions by Gillian Harris, originally posted on gilliangladrag.blogspot.co.uk.

There’s a buzz in the office. Everyone’s talking about Knit Your Own Moustache, our fantastic new title for May. We’ve had a great time trying on the moustaches, wigs and other fun disguises, and I’m even thinking about taking up a night job as a detective – I just have to knit and crochet myself a few more disguises! To celebrate this great book, we’ve asked author Vicky Eames (a.k.a. Wife of Brian) to tell us a bit about writing it:

So I’ve written a book. An actual book that real people can buy in proper shops. Wowzers. This is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was wee, and now I have realised a dream. To be fair, I’d never imagined it would be a book about knitted facial hair, but these surprises are certainly the joy of life!

In all seriousness, I have loved making Knit Your Own Moustache. I am very proud of the end result, and the process has been a great experience.

There’s a slight clue in the title, but in case you haven’t spotted it, the book is about knitting moustaches and patterns thereof. But it is not this alone, oh no – it is in fact a selection of patterns to knit and crochet your own variety of disguises. What this basically meant for me was that for the duration of my designing and writing it, I had an excuse to wear ridiculous things most of the time. Hurrah. I’ve been knitting beards and moustaches for a few years now for my shop Wife of Brian, so I’m reasonably familiar with the world of daft. As a result, I’m always open to a bit more silly and at times I really did get carried away creating for this book! I talked to a lot of people, looked at loads of pictures, sketched plenty of ideas and, best of all, wore a plethora of silly hats, wigs and masks to work out what I, my friends, and hopefully some real people, would most enjoy in this pattern book.

Once I’d come up with a few ideas I then had the fun of making them a reality. One thing I love about knitting and crochet is that if you can imagine something, there is a way to make it. The fun part is figuring out how! In the old days I used to be a mathematician (of sorts) and so sometimes I like to be very systematic about how I go about things. Hence, for some of my designs, the graph paper came out and I employed a lot of logic before I even picked up any wool. For others the kooky lady took control and I just made it up as I went along! But everywhere I went I took the latest project and my notes – thank goodness I didn’t lose that notebook!

I have quite an unusual job, working in theatre. Thankfully this means that I work with creative and quirky people who generally don’t bat an eyelid if I smuggle some wool backstage. And I had to do a lot of that to squeeze everything in. (Thank you for your patience, Team Theatre.) As is always the nature of things in my work, the deadlines would always fall during particularly busy periods so any free minute was filled with knitting and I know I sent in a lot of my text amongst the (very) wee hours of the morning. But when you’re enjoying your work, whatever it may be, you don’t resent that. Well, not much. All I can say is, if I sound a bit bonkers in the book (and now, in fact), I can only blame it on a lack of sleep rather than an innate madness …

My publishers and everyone working on this book have been all sorts of brilliant. One thing I have especially loved is the freedom and trust I have been shown and the amount of involvement I have had. We had a great day in the wilds of Dalston taking pretty pictures of my silly things on the faces of a few of my brave friends. Everyone that was there that day got involved with ideas and although it was a long and exhausting day we had a lot of fun. You’ll see in the book how great the photos look and what a daft time we had.

Anyway, I now have in my hand an actual copy of Knit Your Own Moustache. It even has a barcode so it must be real. I am absolutely delighted with it and every minute of theatre/woolly multi-tasking was definitely worth it. If you happen across a copy, I welcome you madly to my bonkers knitty world. Happy moustache-ing, all.

You can learn more about Vicky and her quirky world of woolly disguises at www.wifeofbrian.com. Make sure to grab your copy, available from May!

The arrival of projects for a new book is always a highlight of the LoveCraft’s calendar and Jane Brocket’s­­ The Gentle Art of Stitching more than lived up to our expectations. LoveCrafts spoke with Jane about her inspiration for this title…

This book has been a pleasure to write. It is inspired by the generations of ordinary women (like my Nana) who brought beauty into everyday life with their stitching. I mean simple stitching, not ‘art’ embroidery or immensely intricate and skilful work.

It’s an exploration of simple, enjoyable, easy-going stitching in various different forms. Instead of focussing on one branch of stitching, it covers many (e.g. sashiko, kantha, quilting, vintage-style embroidery, classic stitches, cross stitch) and offers lots of ideas for different projects that can be done by anyone who can thread a needle and stitch a basic stitch. It’s all about the joy of sitting happily and stitching with lovely colours on interesting textures and fabrics. It’s mostly simple stuff to do while talking, sitting in the sunshine, or on holiday, and doesn’t require great amounts of planning and nerves. It encourages readers to thread a needle and start, and to focus on the very essence of stitching (without special equipment and complex patterns). Nothing in the book takes forever, and all the projects are easy to finish.

The Gentle Art of Stitching gives the opportunity to experience the process while giving you room to experiment. Experience tells me it’s not necessary to follow rules slavishly. Sometimes you realise that there are there are many ways to do something. I feel it’s better to get started and then see where your stitching takes you, than to feel anxious about getting started and not actually making anything at all. I enjoy feeling my way through something, and find the biggest hurdle is developing the confidence to say I’ll do it the way that works for and pleases me. I make things that I know I’ll enjoy making, that are easy to fit in with family life, that can be put down and picked up and don’t require seclusion and, very importantly, can be completed in a reasonable time-scale. This is what The Gentle Art of Stitching is all about. Lovely projects to guide or inspire you in the gentle art of stitching.

Lining up for a great shot

Learn more about The Gentle Art of Stitching and order your copy here, publishing September 20th.

When I heard that my new book, Knitting Everyday Finery, was going to be published in the UK, I was excited for a number of reasons.

Like many New Zealanders, I’m an Anglophile. I love……… teapots, shortbread, Liberty, Rowan, Paul Smith, Tricia Guild, Boden, the list goes on. One of my best friends lives in Acton. We feel related to you over there. It’s in our blood. My ancestors came here from Wiltshire and Perth in the 1850s, so you’d think that would be time enough to brush off the influence of the old country, but a few generations later we’ve not lost our sense of belonging to British culture.

We love to knit, and we do most of it the British way. Amongst the piles of knitting paraphernalia that I inherited from my mother, a prolific knitter, there are English patterns that date back 80 years.

Here’s what my grandmother’s generation was knitting

 

 

English Woman’s Weekly was the crafts bible of my childhood. My Mum had a subscription and it was a red-letter day when each new copy arrived and with it, a new knitting design. Many were fabulous, like a matching aran sweater and mini skirt that I knitted during lunch times at school, and which taught me to cable.

Here’s a 1950s Women’s Weekly from my Mum’s stash

 

and a knitting supplement

 

 

and this is what she made

 

 

I learned to knit English, used English terms and abbreviations, so it was a shock when I opened my knitting shop in California and discovered I had to learn a new language: ssk, yo, inches (who knew those that threw the tea in the Boston Harbour would still be adhering to imperial measurements?), and a completely new system of needle sizes.

These days the knitting world is very multi-cultural and most knitters are familiar with all the different methods and terms, but recently I was reminded that not everyone is. One of my patterns was featured in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly (yes, we now have our very own), and several elderly ladies have telephoned me with a pressing question: “Dear, can you tell me what does it mean to ssk?”

 

Here are my mother’s “beehive” bakelite yarn holders from the 1950s

 Learn more about Mel at her Author Page and on her blog SlipSlipKnit.

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