The Special DK Limited Edition Pack Blog Tour

There are a few of us here at Stylecraft who had never heard of a blog tour before ours started a few weeks ago, and we certainly didn’t know that they are usually associated with authors as a way of promoting books.

It all started back in March when the competition to suggest new shades for the Special DK range began. We asked you to send in colour suggestions and we received over 300 entries so the judges Sarah Neal (editor of Lets Knit Magazine), Phil (TheTwistedYarn), Lucy (Attic24 blog) and Annabelle (Stylecraft) had a really tough job to narrow it down to a shortlist of 10. We then asked our followers on Facebook to vote for their favourite of the shortlist and Duck Egg was the clear winner.

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As there was so much love for the other 9 shades we decided to add the two closest runners up to the Special DK range permanently too – Lobelia and Grass Green. Although we soon realised this wasn’t enough as there was more uproar and outrage at the loss of the other colours, so we set about making a pack of 10 x 50g balls of each shortlisted shade and the Limited Edition colour pack was born! It took a while to get these colours made and in that time we decided a blog tour would not only showcase the colours properly but we would also get to see some fantastic creativity from some very talented people.

On 25th September the virtual Stylecraft bus set off and made its first stop at Janie Crow’s site to see two cushion designs using the colour pack that was in progress. She also designed a small crochet bag and included the tutorial/pattern in the post which you can find here.

Janie Crow

The 26th was the turn of Helen at The Knitting Exploits of Josie Kitten. Hers is a delightful blog and the ripple cushion that Helen designed is gorgeous – a fantastic way to use your Ltd Edition pack or any combination of Special DK colours. The blog post is a must read; just to see the way she introduced us to the colours in her garden and to meet her gorgeous yarn loving cat, Florence. The pattern is available on Ravelry and on the day it launched it was in the top 20 most downloaded patterns, which is no mean feat considering Helen has never written and pattern before. Find it here on Ravelry and her blog post here.

Josie Kitten 3

Sunday 27th was the turn of the designer Emma Varnam who treated us to not one but two designs and both to keep you warm this winter. She used the winning colour Duck Egg to make a lovely knitted hat with a cute ribbon and button instead of using a traditional pompom and then a jewel fan crochet scarf out of the brighter shades to add a bit of wow to any outfit. Find the blog post here and the updated beanie hat pattern here.

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On Monday 28th we pulled up at Crafternoon Treats who treated us to a delicious crochet bag – this was on display on our stand at the Knitting & Stitching Show and proved so popular – almost everyone wanted the pattern (which you can find here). She used an interesting stitch that we don’t often see which gives the bag the look of knitting whilst actually being crochet.

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The Twisted Yarn was our host for Tuesday 29th and Phil had been teasing us for weeks as she worked through her knitted bag pattern. She assures us that Carnival which isn’t as complicated as it looks, even though it is Fair Isle. Find her blog post including the pattern here.

the twisted yarn 1

Wednesday 30th was Day 6 so we were over halfway but not flagging as it was the turn of Heather at The Patchwork Heart. She treated us to the Paintbox blanket pattern using the colour pack and a few other shades besides. This project is simply gorgeous and the sample squares that she uses to work out the colours are a project in themselves – read about it here.
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We hopped over to the Lebanon to meet Angie at Le Monde de Sucrette on Day 7 for her crochet granny scarf with circle tassels. We knew she would create something fantastic as her other projects are so colourful and we weren’t disappointed. To read it click here.
Le Monde de Sucrette 1

Hand Knitted Things hosted the blog tour on Day 8 (Friday 2nd October) with gorgeous knitted hats with mixed colour pompoms using 8 of the 10 shortlisted colours. Although Julia’s Pathfinder pattern isn’t free it certainly is fantastic – find it here on Ravelry.  Click here to read the post.

 Hand Knitted Things 1

Day 9 was Sandra at Cherry Heart – you may have come across her before as she has designed the Spice of Life blanket and we have seen many gorgeous works-in-progress across t’interweb. Sandra’s post was great – she made little wraps of the new shades and slotted them into the existing colours perfectly. Read her post here.

Cherry Heart 1

The penultimate was our very own Sue Pinner who featured at least five projects, we couldn’t count them all. Now Sue is an absolute genius with colours and when she popped in to see us this summer she just rearranged the colours in 3 quick steps and they looked so much better together. Find her blog here.

Sue Pinner 1

To finish in the manner we had become accustomed to Janie Crow was the final blogger and after 10 fabulous days it could have been a little bit sad… if she hadn’t designed 2 fabulous cushion patterns for us and using the colour pack. You will be able to find the free cushion cover patterns on our website in the Free Pattern category very soon.

Janie Crow 1

We hope you enjoyed our blog tour either at the time or by using the links in the text and we hope you got your hands on a Limited Edition colour pack too.

Innocents Big Knit

Innocent 1

Twelve years ago innocent came up with a great idea to raise money for Age UK to help older people whose lives are at risk during the cold weather because they don’t have enough money to heat their homes properly.  They asked the public to knit little hats that would adorn their smoothies in store – each little hat represents a donation of 25p – and so the annual Big Knit was born.

In the first year the hats numbered in the thousands, but the campaign was so popular that this year innocent are calling for 800,000 hats for the UK!

You may very well have seen the smoothies in your local supermarket or even knitted a few yourself.  What you may not know is that the Big Knit is also extremely popular in Sweden and Denmark.

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Juliet Bernard has been working with innocent, creating patterns and interpreting celebrity designs for 10 years. “It’s great fun and really pushes your creativity because each mini hat is just 30 sts by 16-18 rows,” she says.

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But this year the hats for Sweden are a bit different, Juliet told us “Innocent’s PR Company are very creative. I was asked if I could knit hats for 11 statues in Stockholm.  A couple of them needed to be around 2 metres in circumference and be very eye-catching using fruity colours.”

Juliet designed (and made) the hats you can see here, which were knitted on 20 cm needles using 10 ends of yarn.  She chose Special DK to get just the right colours. “Knitting on such big needles is quite tiring for your hands but with 10 ends, they do knit up quite quickly.”

Innocent 3

Making giant pompoms wasn’t quite so straightforward until she spotted a video on YouTube. “Luckily Stylecraft’s (Special Aran with Wool) comes in 400gm balls. By tying them tightly around the middle you can cut into the big ball to create the biggest pompom I have ever made,” she says.

The closing date for this year’s Big Knit is 11th December and you can find more information as well as lots of patterns here www.thebigknit.co.uk