Coming soon to Manchester

Craft | Wednesday October 6 2010 | 11:15 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , |

I first heard of Purl City Yarns a few months ago when its creator, Charlie, had a request on Ravelry for yarnie folks in Manchester to answer her questionnaire to help her get funding and develop plans to open a yarn store in the city.  Believe it or not Manchester does not already have a yarn store that stocks artisan and less ‘mass-market’ (for want of a better word!) brands and it has been very much needed.  I, like many others, buy yarn online or when out and about elsewhere when I see lovely things.  Online is great, but I do like to touch, see and smell the yarns (OK you may think smelling them is a bit weird, but don’t judge me on that!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a yarn snob and firmly believe there’s room in the market for all sorts and us yarnies love nothing more than a practical bargain yarn.  I personally use a lot of them for projects that need to be easily washed and used and washed and used over and over again.  Especially good for kids things – baby milk and hand wash alpaca are never a good mix!!! 

So back to Purl City Yarns!  The shop is in the Northern Quarter in Manchester and is opening very soon.  I’m quite sure I’m not alone sitting on my hands to stop myself buying yarn elsewhere until its open.

They will be stocking some lovely brands and accessories – here’s a list from their website:

Stock is growing and the shelves are filling up:


I am really looking forward to having a yarn ‘community’ locally with the associated groups, courses and events.  I have a growing number of friends who share my passion for making and doing and I am sure we shall enjoy spending some time browsing the shelves of Purl City Yarns and no doubt spending some £££ too!!

I love the look of all the yarns that are coming but my favourite has to be these Natural Dye Studio yarns – these are all the colours that float my boat!


However, after my recent experience of getting Caveman to hold a skein for me while I wound it into ball I may have to rope in some other help for that task!!!

Fancy checking out Purl City Yarns yourself – opening day is 12th October and here’s all the info you need to find or contact them:

62 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ

0161 425 3864


Maybe see you there!!!

I’ll leave you with some more of PCY’s own pics of their yarn (all pics in this post are theirs).  I LUUUUUURVE this first one – pink and green is my fave colour combination, hence the colours of this site:



Designed your own amigurumi?

Craft | Tuesday October 5 2010 | 7:33 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: |

I have had a go at a few amigurumi since I’ve been crocheting but never been very successful with them.  But they are mega cute and I must master the techniques they use.  I also have a couple of the Super Cute crochet books which are well, super cute!!

But what if you want to design your own or make one in the style of your own pet?  Here’s a great tool I came across via Craftzine and Lion Brand Yarn Studio.   It’s a really straightforward little app where you can change the size and shape of all the parts of your amigurumi design and it will generate the pattern!  I’m yet to have a proper try of it, but isn’t it a great idea!! 

Let me know if you use it!


Flat top!

Craft | Saturday October 2 2010 | 7:17 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , , |

I’m having a bit of trouble with a circle!   I’ve crocheted many circles before and they have come out round and flat, but not this one.  It’s not critical that it’s completely flat, as its for the top of a hat, but if you’d seen some of the versions before this one you’d agree they definitely wouldn’t have worked.

So this circle has been ripped back more times than I care to remember.  I ended up more or less making up each round as I went along.  Standard circle increases on each round weren’t working and in the end I have repeated each increase pattern for two rows instead of putting more stitches between each increase with each new round.  It seems to be working!  It isn’t completely flat, but that’s OK for this project.

This circle is the top of a beret for my sister-in-law as it was her birthday yesterday.  Don’t worry, it’s not going to be late really as I’m off to Scotland this week and will see her on Thursday.  Good job as with this cold autumnal weather she’ll need it to keep her ears warm!  Brrrrrrr!


An apple a day

Craft | Wednesday September 1 2010 | 5:40 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , , |

Two of my buddies from work are getting themselves a Civil Partnership this week and I wanted to make them a little gift to celebrate.  I have settled on a set of my super cute little apple coasters which are a real favourite of mine and have been really popular with everyone who has seen them.

I got the pattern from a booklet in a magazine earlier this year (sorry, can’t remember which one) and they are really simple to make.  The basic shape is really simple as it starts off as just a few circular rounds then the last one makes the curvy apple shape with a combination of slip stitches, doubles, half trebles and trebles.  Simple but very effective in my opinion!  I have tried to adapt the basic pattern to make a pear shape too but haven’t quite mastered that yet, but it isn’t far off.  I’ll share pics of that if I ever master it.

And in case you’re wondering, all the rubbishy stuff is still going on, but I have decided that as crafting and blogging are what keeps me sane and clinging onto the planet, I am not going to let them be affected!


On my broomstick

Craft | Tuesday August 10 2010 | 11:29 am | Comments (6) | Tags: , |

As I mentioned in last weeks Happy Stats I have been investigating broomstick lace / crochet and managed to get my head round the fundamentals.  So off I went with my broomstick!


There are so many places online that describe how to tackle this so much better than I could, so I won’t even try.  What I will say though is that it needs 3 hands, so I was on a losing battle from the off, along with a normal crochet hook and a broomstick, or a similar sized and shaped stick type thing to make the loops.  I used the biggest knitting needle I have which is 15mm but I think a bigger one would have been better, or even a bit of broom handle or dowelling.

So without the aid of a 3rd hand I managed to get off the ground.   It’s rather unusual technique in several ways, not least because you work from left to right making the loops, so it all feels a bit back to front!


I love the look of the loops crossing over each other.  It somehow reminds me of art nouveau styling.  Does that make sense, or is that just in my day dreamy head? 

I think it would be great as a scarf, cushion cover or even some jewellery items.  I still need to work on getting the hang of it, 6 rows does not an expert broomstick crocheteer make!  But as a starter I am impressed with the technique and will stick (sorry, no pun intended! Honest!!) with it!!


iCrochet! uCrochet?

Craft | Thursday August 5 2010 | 8:21 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , |

I have come across something from Sarah London on her website that’s brilliantly simple and simply brilliant!

It’s a new way of sharing all things crochet in a gallery where you can upload a crochet image from your website and browse all the beautiful, colourful and inspiring things other crocheteers have finished or are still working on.  Each week images are updated so there will always be new and exciting things to see.  Have I added mine?  Of course I have!

Get yourself over to iCrochet (but do have a look round here too!)

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