Hats for Heroes by Tina Selby

March 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I came across a lovely story the other day about Welsh ‘super-knitter’ Tina Selby.

Having read that troops in Afghanistan were in need of goodie boxes a couple of years ago, Tina created a box of essentials and added a homemade woolly hat, having read about how cold night time becomes during Afghan winter.

Tina Selby

Tina Selby- Hats for Heroes

The homemade woolly hat was a hit so Tina decided to knit more and eventually encouraged her line dancing troop to knit hats too. Together, and with donations from knitters across the country, Tina and the girls sent over 5000 hats to troops serving in Afghanistan.

Although the woolly warmers can’t be worn whilst on duty during the day, lots of soldiers wear their hats whilst sleep to keep the cold at bay. Apparently Tina sends the hats out with a bar of chocolate which is a really nice touch!

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Patchwork blankets for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

March 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As I’m sure many of my regular readers will be aware I adore dogs and I’m also a huge fan of knitting. So when I read about a new appeal to get knitters knitting for homeless dogs at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home I couldn’t resist sharing it.

Battersea are looking for volunteers to make hand knitted blankets for pups who are living in foster care and to make it even easier Battersea’s Dogs and Cats Home has called upon the expert help of Lauren O’Farrell aka ‘Deadly Knit Shade’. A professional knitter and the founder of Whodunnknit, who has come up with a simple but beautiful patchwork pattern that anyone could knit (perfect for beginners).

Marcel the dog and his Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket

Marcel the dog and his Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket

The Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket is simple to follow with only knitting and purling required but what makes the blanket extra special is the paw print design integrated into each square. Battersea aren’t fussed about the colour of yarn which you use so I’m planning on something bright and playful to hopefully lift a dog’s spirit.

Once the blankets are complete Battersea Dogs and Cats Home will be putting them into doggie bags which also contain food, bedding and toys for pups that are going into foster care before they find a permanent home.

Battersea hope that the blankets will become a comfort to the dogs, many of whom have had difficult lives, and much like our special toys or quilts which we all possessed as children the blankets will become something that the dogs can cuddle and find comfort in wherever they maybe.

The Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket

The Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket photo by Lauren O'Farrell

I feel really inspired to start knitting especially because these blankets are going to such a worthy cause. Rescue dogs can generally feel very isolated so I’m sure that something as simple as a warm and comforting blanket will make them much happier and hopefully help them find a loving home.

Download The Purly Paw Print Patchwork Blanket pattern from www.battersea.org .

Creative Knitting- Yarnstorming

March 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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For years crafting has been seen as a hobby for ladies of a certain age but it would seem that knitting is finally becoming trendy. So much so that creative knitting groups are getting together across the country and their work is popping up in the most peculiar places.

Earlier this month residents of Saltburn, in North Yorkshire, woke up to find a 50 yard long Olympic themed scarf fixed to their local pier. It can only be described as an utterly spectacular scarf featuring hand-knitted woolly figures of athletes who will be taking part in the London 2012 Olympics– swimmers, runners, gymnasts and weightlifters.

Saltburn Olympic knitted scarf

Olympic Scarf in North Yorkshire

What makes the scarf so magnificent is that its creator(s) remain completely anonymous. Nobody knows who painstakingly knitted the masterpiece or why. And this notion of mysterious crafty work isn’t unique to the Olympic scarf knitter in North Yorkshire.

As “yarnstorming” aka knitting something and secretly leaving it for passers-by to enjoy is becoming more and more popular. An exclusive knitting group in London called “Knit the City” have been yarnstorming since 2006 and have created some of the most creative knitting I’ve ever seen.

Knitted olympic athletes

Knitted athletes - Olympics 2012

Knit the City’s work includes everything from telephone box cosies, hand-knitted characters and randomly placed knitted graffiti which has appeared across London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and London Bridge. Their work also made an impromptu appearance in Tate Britain during a 2011 exhibition for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Knit the city telephone box

Knit the City- Telephone Box cosy in Parliament Square

I’ve spent years knitting and have created everything from baby clothes, tea cosies, scarfs and even teddy bears, many of which I’ve passed on to the charity Teddies for Tragedies. But I’ve never seen such a creative and fun approach to knitting. Yarnstorming adds a great sense of excitement which I’ve not seen before and it’s definitely giving knitting, and crafting in general, a new lease of life.

So I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more yarnstorming in the future and fingers crossed we’ll find out who these secret knitters really are. I’m so intrigued to find out how they produce pieces in such secrecy.

Knitted Olympic Stars by Carol Meldrum

November 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was just checking out The Guardian Online and came across an adorable feature, which is perfect for any craft lovers who are particularly looking forward to the Olympics.

Renowned quirky knitter Carol Meldrum has created a series of knitted icons, which illustrates Olympics stars throughout the years.

Mark Spitz Knitted

Seb Coe and Steve Ovett

In here ‘Knitlympics’ collection, Carol has created knitted dolls of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, high jumper Richard Fosbury, sprinters Florence Griffith-Joyner and Usain Bolt, swimmer Mark Spitz and 70’s gymnast Ogla Korbut to name a few.

The Olympic collection now sits alongside Carol’s portfolio of celebrity dolls after she has previously recreated celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, The Queen and The Beatles.

Carol Meldrum’s creations are great fun to look at and wonderful inspiration if you’re an avid knitter!

Olga Korbut knitted

Usain Bolt Knitted

Age UK- The Big Knit 2011

August 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Age UK has announced that the eighth annual ‘Big Knit’ will be going ahead this year and the campaign to get knitters knitting has already begun.

thebigknitlogoFor 2011’s Big Knit Age UK has teamed up with Innocent Smoothies who want knitters to create mini woolly hats, which might sound a little bizarre considering the name of the event. However, all makes sense as Innocent will be decorating their smoothies with mini woolly hats made by Age UK knitters. For every mini hat created Innocent promises to donate to Age UK helping them ensure a warm winter for the elderly.

Age UK have come up with a target of making an ambitious 650,000 mini woolly hats which would make a very impressive donation of £162,500. So the pressure is on to get everyone knitting. To get you started Age UK has come up with a great pattern guide that caters for all knitters- beginners, intermediate and advance. Click to download.

The big Knit 2011

If your struggling for ideas or need a little creative inspiration check out the Big Knit gallery. The team and I are planning on joining the fun by making our own mini woolly hats. I’ll post photographs as soon as our hats are finished.

Send your mini hats to Age UK by 10th October 2011 to help keeping winter warm for the elderly.

Knitting for Kindness

January 18, 2011 at 10:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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When I came into the Bath-Knight office this week and someone mentioned a new passion for craft making I just knew I had to write a blog. In actual fact, Lyndsay who works in our Marketing department is attempting to learn a new craft ever month this year.

What a wonderful challenge I thought to myself before I proceeded to ask what crafts she would be hurling herself into. When she said that January would bring knitting I was pleased and after realising that she was a complete novice I was overjoyed.

Today I came into work armed with my trusty knitting needles ready to show her the ropes and realised how sociable and charitable crafts can be.

I love to knit and it is something which I enjoying doing with my Mother. It is a simple craft that can end in garments such as scarfs, cardigans, cushions, quilts, blankets. But the most wonderful things that I have ever created by knitting are teddy bears. Yes, teddy bears, a small hand crafted teddy bear which is made with lots of love.

My Mother and I stumbled upon a fantastic charity, Teddies for Tragedies, an organisation which sends knitted teddy bears to disadvantaged children all over the world. The teddy bears are a small gift that can become a special, meaningful possession for children who have sometimes lost everything. 

To contribute you simply knit a teddy bear, so far my Mother and I have knitted 8 bears following the patterns available on the Teddies for Tragedies website. From there Teddies for Tragedies has a handful of charities which they work with to ensure that the cuddle toys go to children who need them.

The idea of cheering children up with such gifts came after the odd cuddly toy was packed into a medical emergency aid box, when medical staff handed out the toys along with essential medical care to countries in great need the teddy bears brought a great sense of joy and most importantly allowed children to smile!

Closer to home a local charity called Ray of Hope takes in hand crafted knit wear, anything from baby clothes, shawls, soft toys and other crafted items like cards. However, all have to have a baby theme ready for the babies which are being taken care of on the Maternity and Neonatal wards at the Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Many of the babies here are premature so small sizes are appreciated, the charity prides itself  on having such a brilliant sense of community and are always looking for new knitters to contribute.

I can’t stress how easy it is to get involved. It is a great feeling to spend time knitting something which is not only adorable but going to a grateful home, whether that is here in a local maternity unit or thousands of miles away where a knitted bear is one of a child’s very few or sadly even their only toy.

With some luck and lots of practice Lyndsay will be posting her first knitted teddy to a very welcoming home! If you would like to be involved follow the links.

Teddies for Tragedies:http://bit.ly/kIhZJ

Ray of  Hope:http://bbc.in/dGIadC

Ray of  Hope Patterns:http://bbc.in/eavduY

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