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  • We are opening the doors of our new studio this Sunday, so do come and say hi. I can chat to you about the cosy hand knit workshops that I will be hosting this autumn/winter. I will also have a selection of knitting kits and knitting patterns with me. You can also take a look at some finished knitted samples of my designs whilst you are here. I will be at the studio from 11am-4pm. Blackberry Cottage Studio, 25 Cuckoo Lane, North Leigh, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 6PW (There is a large private carpark outside the studio)
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  • Hi there

    As promised, I have  put together a few more images from my Blossom collection that was commissioned by Rowan.

    I feel these designs are great for those days when our little girls just want to get out and have fun.... but still look pretty of course!


    I also included these two pretty crochet bags in the collection as girls of all ages just love bags! My daughter always loves to take a little bag out with her, the prettier the better. On most occasions she pops her favourite dolly in her bag, so she can go down the slide or sit in a swing with her, Sooooo adorable!

    If you are tempted to buy the book, the team at Rowan have told me that Little Rowan Blossom is now available at most wool shops and online stockists that sell Rowan yarn.

    I can't believe it's almost September and autumn is around the get on with my new designs!

    Speak soon

    Linda Whaley

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    Hi there

    I know I shouldn't be working as it's Saturday morning but as this is one of those mornings when the house is quiet....a rare event in the summer holidays...... I thought I would pop a quick post out to you.

    I know it's only August but I can see that quite a few of you are getting ready to start your Christmas knitting projects as my festive knitting patterns have been whirling their way over to you this month. You are far more organised than I am! 
    To those of you who have already knitted all my festive picture knits, and want something new for this Christmas, I do have a couple of new Little Pickle Knits patterns for you, which are due to be released in the Autumn.

    I also wanted to let you know that I have now released this new DK cabled blanket knitting pattern....'Skye'

    I have really enjoyed knitting this blanket, and it's already well travelled..... but I must admit it didn't see much action and was somewhat neglected whilst we were away. 

    As I mentioned in my previous email, this latest blanket has instructions to knit this blanket in 3 sizes, small for baby, medium and large...... so its not just for babies this time!

    This blanket has been knitted in Rowan's Super Fine Merino Wool DK, and the colour is Marble. Enjoy!

    Best go as the kids will be thundering through the house any moment now!

    Speak soon

    Linda Whaley

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    Hi there

    We are back home from our holiday...and I'm feeling more exhausted than before I went! Holidays with young children are fun but they are definitely non-stop!

    So.... as promised here are some images from our latest 'handmade birthday party'  This year was a Mermaid and Pirate party.

    I so love setting the scene for the children so their imagination can run wild!

    The dining room was completely emptied and transformed into an under the sea scene.

    As we only had an evening to dress the room and the garden, we spent a few evenings in the lead up to the party, making the props. We made everything apart from the fab deep sea back drop.... an unexpected find in our local joke shop. We covered the back wall from floor to ceiling with this plastic sea covering and it transformed the room!  We also popped a sand and seaweed seabed mural along the bottom edge that 'dad' had painted on a roll of lining paper, using sponges and poster paint.

    We draped two lengths of blue netting across the ceiling to give the effect of being under the sea.  I cut wavey strips of crepe paper, and curled parcel ribbon. These were stapled along lengths of parcel ribbon and strung across the ceiling and windows. Varous fish silhouettes had been cut out and were ready to stick onto the backdrop.

    I had also made a few jelly fish the night before. They were very quick and easy to make. I used some cellophane cake presentation/gift bags and bubblewrap. I blew air into each bag and deflated it slightly so I could push up the bottom to look like a Box Jellyfish.  As the bags are made of cellophane this shape stays in place. (plastic bags won't work). I then sealed the top with the metal ties that come with the bags. I cut thin strips of bubble wrap and used PVA to stick them around the underside of the jellyfish. PVA is great as it becomes transparent when fully dry. We hung the jellyfish from the ceiling using thin cotton thread.

    I also made a net out of string which hung from the ceiling. I borrowed some realistic toy crabs and a lobster for the 'catch'.

    When the children came downstairs in the morning they were so surprised. Our daughter just said "Oh my! Wow! and our son said "Cooool" But what I loved the most was that both of them rushed upstairs to put on their mermaid and pirate costumes, and couldn't wait for the other children to arrive. The party started at 11.30am so they didn't have too long to wait.

    The children played mermaid and pirate themed action games, along with Musical Chairs and Pass the Parcel which are always so popular. We put pink shrimp sweets and chocolate coins in each Pass the Parcel layer.

    A row of childrens tables and chairs were placed in the 'under the sea' room for the party tea. The tables were covered with the same sea water fabric. The girls each had a sparkly mermaid princess tiara and the boys had an eye patch and ear ring, to wear at the table. The table was simply dressed with silver paper plates, blue clear cups, crazy straws, and plastic fish shaped serving platters in the centre of the tables.

    The birthday cake was made up of 4 thin layers of sponge in different shades of blue......mmmmm yum.....yes very blue!  I asked a cake decorating shop to make the mermaid as cake decorating doesn't come easily to me.  All I had to do then was to pipe some cream wavey icing between the layers, add some rough sea on the top and pop the mermaid in the sea!

    As we had previously put on a Pirate party for my son we had lots of pirate props stashed away.  Some pirate bunting, a flag pole, some pirate flags, balloons, and a ships wheel transformed the playhouse into a pirate ship.

    We played a version of Grandma's Footsteps but called it 'Sleeping Pirate', where the children had to steel the treasure from the pirates treasure chest.

    The children also had a treasure hunt in the sandpit, and an obstacle course which included 'walking the plank'. One little pirate didn't want to stop and walked the plank 16 times.

    Lots of fun!

    I wonder what next year's party will be?

    Speak soon

    Linda Whaley

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    Hi there

    I am just emerging again after a busy and fun few weeks watching the children in two sports days, a gymnastic show, a performing arts show, and the end of year class open days.

    We also put on an Under the Water birthday party for some little mermaids and pirates yesterday.... It was another of our handmade kids parties, which was so much fun to do. The preparations kept me very busy in the evenings this last week.  I will post some photos later this week....but today I am taking it easy!

    This afternoon I have been relaxing and enjoying the garden in the .... yes... hurray.... sunshine!!!

    I just had to take a photo of my Hollyhocks in all their glory.  

    Hope it's sunny where you are too.

    Back to a normal working day tomorrow.

    Speak soon

    Linda Whaley

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