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Another installment of gift ideas for knitters! This one focuses on patterns.

Mochimochi Land (http://mochimochiland.com/shop/)

Some of the mochi mochi patterns I have made in the past

An online shop and blog from New York. Probably some of the cutest toy patterns around, they are based on the idea of amigurumi. This is basically cute knitting at a small or tiny size, but some of the mochimochi patterns are a lot bigger. The toys aren’t traditional knitting subjects like teddy bears or rabbits but odd monsters, tiny vikings and squirrels on roller skates. Awesome! Individual patterns cost from $3 to $7 which works out pretty good for us UK knitters with the current exchange rate. Books are also available through the site, but since US to UK shipping is extortionate you are better going through amazon or waterstones. Some books are even available on kindle, which is nice and handy as a portable pattern!

Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/knitting)

Ravelry has a lot to answer for, in a good way. If you are a knitter then you probably already know about it, if you don’t then go pay it a visit! Free, easy to use and with more knitting patterns and knowledge than you could ever need. You need a log in to use it, so maybe more one for knitters buying for other knitters. It has thousands of free patterns but if you really want to make a knitters day and they are on Ravelry, then check out if they have any patterns in their wish list, queue, favourites or shopping basket that you could buy for them. Many start from just £1 and the recipient will usually get pdf files sent to them, although some patterns are also available in hard copy if you like to wrap things!

Ysolda (http://ysolda.com/patterns/)

Some Ysolda patterns I have made in the past.

Bit biased here, since I’m sure there are lots of other Scottish designers who have lovely patterns too. But I haven’t knitted any of them, and I have made up some of these Ysolda ones. If you are looking for a gift for someone who likes to knit pretty lace, simple toys in the round or cosy cabled jumpers then there are some good options here.

Amazon would also be a good place to look, if you know the username of the person you want to buy for, since the wishlist feature can be very useful.

Some other tips, if you can, would be to check whether the person you are buying for has knitting preferences for patterns. These can include things like:

  • do they prefer knitting in the round or flat? Some patterns can be lovely but if they never knit in the round they might never use them and vice versa!
  • do they have a particular favourite yarn weight? It’s no use buying lovely lace shawl patterns if they only ever knit in chunky aran weight.
  • will the pattern you intend on buying mean that they might need other accessories? For example, more stitch markers or a certain size of needle.

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Knitting is my usual thing, but that dinosaur fabric you see there made me want to try sewing. Fat quarters are apparently a big deal in the sewing world but I bought that bit purely for the dinos - shallow but hey! I used the quilted playmat tutorial over at the Purl Bee with a few modifications. The backing is one piece of purple cord rather than a mirror of the front and I only quilted a few of the dinos rather than them all. I hand quilted the dino shapes and the large dino outline was done freehand whilst the hearts were done on the machine. I also sewed down the outside of the mat as well to help it keep its shape. For a first go at quilting I'm quite pleased, now to find some more dinosaur fabric!

Today is the Solstice, but that hasn’t meant it is pouring down outside. The endless grey doesn’t make for much cheer, so I’ve put together a few links to pretty things to help spread the cheer!

Firstly, fancy some armchair shopping? Need a new bag? Why not have a look at this Folksy shop here: Little M Bags – it makes great use of recycled ribbon, sequins, buttons etc to add some sparkle to your study or shopping.

Do you need a wee creature to help make mischief? These wee guys are so cute and also available from Folksy

If all that crafty stuff has made you want to get out the sewing machine, then how cute are these! SO, they just do childrens patterns but there must be at least one wee person you know who needs something made – Oliver and S patterns

If knitting is more your thing than sewing, then The Yarn Yard is where you can buy handdyed wool from near Edinburgh. I’ve used some to make a secret surprise shawl and baby socks so far, but have plans to use it much more.