Friday, 25 November 2011

Book Review: Crafting with Cat Hair

OK. So I admit I had a few preconceptions about this book when I was asked to review it by Quirk Books. I am not a cat owner so my view is somewhat skewed here as I can't try out any of the projects nor does any of the cat care advice appeal to me personally. So I have had to try and imagine I'm a cat owner. Lets call my imaginary cat Rhubarb.

If I did have a cat called Rhubarb I would be thrilled by this book. As a vegan I quarrelled with myself for a few months on whether I would continue to use wool and felt. In the end I decided I would. But for those vegans who have an issue with using wool due to the sheep taking part in the same industry as that which produces meat I wonder if this would provide a good alternative? Taking fur from your cat after brushing doesn't hurt it in anyway. I would be interested to hear from any vegans on this.

The amount of projects are amazing. I had no idea cat fur would felt in the same way as wool roving. The projects are really well thought out and easy-to-follow.

These mittens are so cute!

There are no patterns as such, just the pattern for the cat motif which you trace and felt with.

To top it all off you get a whole section which contains advice for cat care (which of course will come in useful when grooming Rhubarb!) and lots of lovely pictures of cats...What more could you want?

Crafting with Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya is available on Amazon UK here or Amazon US here

I was sent this book to review by Quirk Books.

Christmas Postal Dates

Christmas is almost upon us and the month countdown has begun!

Cross Stitch decorations available in my shop

For those of you who are international readers/buyers who may be buying online for the first time or for those of you who have forgotten how soon the postal deadlines are here is a reminder:

Mon 5th December (In just 10 days!)

South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand

Fri 9th December (Just two weeks left)

Eastern Europe, USA and Canada

Mon 12th December

Western Europe (France, Germany)

Sat 17th December

UK Second Class and Recorded Signed For™

Tue 20th December

UK First Class and Recorded Signed For™

So if you live in Australia, France, Germany or the US get shopping if you want something from the UK!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A finished Refuge Blanket!

Hooray! I finally have a blanket to send to Refuge! What a great feeling!

Refuge and domestic violence charities are the subject of severe cuts to their work which will have a huge impact on an already slim service. Needless to say without putting too much of my personal life up on the blogosphere the charity is very close to my heart and it was a nice feeling when I felt very motivated to crochet the blanket.

I know there are a lot of knitters and crocheters out there who probably knit blankets all the time for charity and wouldn't dream of writing a whole blog post about it but as this is the first time I've made anything for charity or indeed knitted or crocheted a blanket I thought I would mark the occasion!

If you have never done it before I would highly recommend it. What a lovely warm feeling to know a child will be comforted by the bright colours of my blanket while staying in a refuge with their mother.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Finishing the Refuge blanket

Yes! I've finished the 30th square for the Refuge Comfort Blanket. It's a good job I didn't attempt an adult blanket as I am still quite a slow crocheter!

I've steam pressed the squares and tied all the threads in. I started to crochet all the squares together with single crochet yesterday afternoon and was amazed at how easy it was. It's so much easier than knitting a blanket and then sewing it all together. I'm satisfied at the way the squares look when together as it was supposed to be a completely random patchwork of bright colours and bits and bobs which I had left over in my stash.

It's been living inside my Ravelry knitting bag but will soon be sent off to Refuge which is just as well as the deadline for receipt of them is in around two weeks' time! Phew!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A frothy coffee with crochet

I've had a bit of an unfortunate fortnight. There was a shock two mondays ago, also last sunday, I caught very bad flu on sunday too and there has now sadly been a severe motorway crash next to the town where I live. It's shocked me and my thoughts are with the families and friends of those lost and injured.

I made myself these vegan scones this morning as an elevensy treat with a cup of decaf coffee which I whisked to make it frothy. It cheered me up on a drab day!

I've been so ill I wasn't able to leave bed from sunday through to wednesday so I feel as if the week has been lost. With a very high temperature, a foggy head and severe fatigue I was only too happy to close my eyes and sleep it off but when I opened them again I indulged myself in some Ravelry time.

I opened a Ravelry account a few months after I fell ill in 2009. Since then it has grown hugely in size and now even has its own shop full of merchandise which sells out so much I literally had to run two weeks ago to purchase a Ravelry knitting bag!

It's great for reading what other people are obsessed with in terms of knitting and crochet. Also, now I'm into crochet as well as knitting I'm finding it twice as enjoyable. I browsed the free patterns and found a really bright crocheted paper chain idea to use up any remnants of the lovely acrylic I bought last week. Wow! So amazingly colourful! I'm looking forward to draping mine on our christmas tree to brighten up our room!

I also found a beautiful new crochet blog to read. Alice lives in Wellington, New Zealand which is a stunning part of the world and I'm very much enjoying reading her posts about balancing studying with crafting and pictures of Alpacas! I will talk more about balancing studying with crafting in another post but it can be challenging at times! Also her pictures of yummy bright yarn make me want more bright acrylics to be mad with! Perfect.
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