A Sewing Book Review by Ella (11 years old)

Sewing School, 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make, by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle

Ella loves making things. When the Sewing School book arrived at Morris and Sons we knew exactly whom we would be roping in to do a book review for us. Ella spent the day with her Aunty Jan and made the eye glasses case on page 90. Don’t look past Ella’s beautiful scarf, her Aunty Jan made for her out of Noro Taiyo yarn.

Ella book

In Ella’s words:

“It all started on a cold morning at my holiday house in Queenscliff. On this particular morning I decided it was time to make the eye-see-you glasses case. I got out the felt, needles, thread, scissors and this book. And it was then that I realised my needle was too blunt, so, I sent my Mum out to get more. But in actual fact when she got back I was almost done.

Every 5-10 minutes we took photos of me moving forward, through the steps. In the photos you will see it’s similar to those in the book. You will have so much fun making this cool case for an awesome present or to keep for your own.”

Ella (11 yrs old)

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Well done Ella. It looks very awesome

The glasses case took Ella 2.5 hours to complete. She has also let us know that she is going to be making the skirt on page 110. We are looking forward to seeing images of her sporting her new skirt.

The book and all the accoutrements to make the above projects and many more are available in all our stores.

It was a delight to work with Ella and her Aunty Jan and Ella’s Mum. Thank you for doing the review for us Ella. Much appreciated. We hope that this will fire up other girls your age to get into sewing.

 

 

Morris and Sons Estate, 100% Australian Wool

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‘I just want a stock standard, good quality, well priced, Australian wool, ball of yarn’. We hear this in our stores all the time. We may have mentioned this before, we aim to please and deliver. Enter, Morris and Sons 8 ply 100% Australian wool in 50 colours, Morris and Sons 4 ply 100% Australian wool in 54 colours (a dream come true for Fair Isle knitters, we think) and Morris and Sons 14 ply 100% Australian wool in 55 colours. The 14 ply yarn is the ideal yarn to get somebody started on the road to knitting bliss. There is no need to tell them about the pitfalls in this road just yet. Get them good and hooked. They’ll find out soon enough!

We were lucky enough to arm wrestle a very accommodating (thanks Mum) crocheter into crocheting us our Rainbow blanket using all the Morris Estate 8 ply colours. Winter is around the corner why don’t you give this a go. Watch it morph from a tummy warmer to a knee rug to a blanket big enough to cover a person or two on the couch.

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And, as there will definitely be yarn left over you might want to keep your eye on this little work in progress. The pattern should be available soon. That’s if you want it?! Let us know via Facebook or leave us a message below whether we should write up the pattern.

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A Little Promotion using Morris and Sons Estate 8 ply

To get you started we have teamed up with Jen from Little Yellow Cat to offer our readers a little promotion. She has designed a Fair Isle hat, the Katie Beanie, in Morris and Sons Estate 8 ply. The pattern for her Katie Beanie normally costs $6.00. Up until midnight on the 30 April it will be available to you for $3.00. Using the download discount code: morris2014

To take advantage of this offer go to Little Yellow Cat and click on “add to cart”. Don’t forget to enter the discount code morris2014 to get your pattern at the discounted price.

Brown beanie uses #8036 Egg Yolk, #8007 Chocolate and #8047 Fishing Green.
White beanie uses #8018 Posey, #8002 Voile and #8045 Canopy

Until the next time, here’s wishing you all a lovely week and as usual make time for needlecraft every day.

 

Crochet Wild Animals

“Unleash the creative beast in you with the 15 wild animal projects you’ll find in Crocheted Wild Animals, including a rabbit, a camel, a frog, a flamingo, an owl, a polar bear, and a chameleon. Projects vary in complexity, but you’ll want to make every one – and with the easy-to-understand instructions you can!” That is what it says online. We decided that this book was so cool it deserved an in depth review and definitely at least one sample. To the rescue came our very own Emily in Melbourne (we have an Emily in Sydney as well, thus the geographical distinction).

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Crochet Wild Animals by Vanessa Mooncie
Difficulty: Intermediate
Reviewed by: Emily (Melbourne)
Let me start off by saying, wow, this book is gorgeous! This crochet book is a step up from your typical crocheted toy or amigurumi book. Flipping through the pages for the first time was filled with squeals of delight from us girls at the counter, with the general consensus being: We must make everything!

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I’d say the book is ideal for those who have played around with the basics of amigurumi and are wanting a bit more of a challenge, a bigger project. The patterns are written out in typical amigurumi style, with the addition of crochet charts. As a lover of charts I was very excited about this, and found them handy as a quick visual reference for basic patterning. But you definitely need to pay attention to the written instructions, as some parts are quite technical and don’t always translate well into a chart (I have been watching Poirot lately and whilst working on the flamingo’s tail my “little grey cells” certainly got a work out!).

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As to the layout and feel of the book, the 15 animals are gorgeous and bursting with personality. From the elephant to the giraffe, the deer to the owl, and with some surprises like the chameleon who can flip inside-out to be a second colour! The instruction’s layout is clean and the pictures are fabulous, with lots of different angles which is great for assembling your new little friends. You can’t help but fall in love with all of the characters in this book, and for those who haven’t yet learnt to crochet, now might be a good time…

Hi, my name is Fernando and I can be found sitting around in the shrubbery, hanging out on the counter in the store or floundering around on the tiles trying to get control of my legs.

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Image On the counter.

Image Well, nobody’s perfect….

For Fernando we used Morris and Sons Maya 100% Alpaca and his glorious tail was made out of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk Colour Fruit Salad. This is no ordinary bird!

We thought it would be a good idea if the readers of our blog could get to know our staff a little better. We’ll shine a spotlight on Emily this week. Emily works in our Melbourne store. She is also our Crochet Stage 1 teacher and our Amigurumi Teacher. Have fun reading about what rocks Emily’s world and what makes her get out of bed in the morning. We asked her a few questions.

Image Morris and Sons Melbourne Emily

Favourite crafts: crochet, knitting, sewing, play doh.
Current project: Haha, too many… But I finished making a giant flamingo last week!
Favourite beverage whilst crafting: Chamomile tea.
A bit about you:
I Love Colour! I always have loved colour. From when I was six telling
mum “No mum it’s not purple, it’s Magenta”, to surrounding myself with
pretty flowers in the garden, to my two stacks of folded,
rainbow-ordered fabric which sit on my bookshelf. Some people say it
borders on obsessive. …I am one of those people!

 

Platypus on Collins Street

Cleckheaton have re-issued a delightful pattern book from their archives. Aussie animals. We had a visit from the Platypus who, understandably had a bit of a freak out in Collins Street.

He is knit up in our Morris and Sons Estate 8 ply. The book has 15 gorgeous Australian critters to knit up. Among our favourites are, of course, the platypus, the frilled neck lizard and the emu.

Cleckheaton Aussie Animals Pattern Book

Cleckheaton Aussie Animals Pattern Book

Cleckheaton Aussie Animals Pattern Book

Cleckheaton Aussie Animals Pattern Book

Sewing!…At Morris and Sons!…Really?

It’s a busy blog post today. We have a caption winner. It’s also time to take it up a notch in the woolly world of Morris and Sons, as we wait for all of our fabric to arrive. Yes, we are going to stock fabric. It’s on the ocean somewhere, but it’s on its way. Let’s hope it encounters favorable winds and gets here soon. In the meantime all the sewing books have arrived. It’s so exciting and we just couldn’t wait to review just one of them. To whet your appetite even more we have a really quick sewing tutorial. As if that is not enough we had a response to our request for a ‘hug me tight’ and an explanation of what exactly it is. Thank you to everybody who let us have patterns and images. It’s all on Facebook.

First things first. Congratulations Robyn Lee. You are our caption winner. Of course we loved them all and most of them made us giggle. In the end we decided to go with the caption that got the most ‘likes’. It’s witty and funny as well. If you want to read them all, they’re on Facebook.

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Sewing Books: ZAKKA STYLE, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale. A design Collective.

24 Projects stitched with Ease to Give, Use and Enjoy. ‘Rashida has gathered talented designers from around the world to bring you 24 delightful Zakka projects’. What does Zakka mean? We have been hearing the word bandied about a bit lately. It’s a Japanese term meaning “many things.” According to the explanation on the dust cover of the book it is all about the little things that improve your home and appearance. We all need a little thing or two to make us happy and this little book surely does deliver. All the products in the book are simple, sweet and relatively quickly made. We chose to make the project featured on the front page.

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Sewing Kit on Page 23.

It is by Theresia Cookson. Toss it into your craft bag or take it on a trip with you. It’s small and handy.

The instructions are well presented. All measurements are in inches. A little irritating if you are used to the metric system, (our sample maker had to re-cut the odd little square here and there as a result).

A tip for the beginner sewer. Linen is actually not that easy to work with. It has quite an unstable weave. If you don’t like your piece to keep moving about and changing it’s shape, calico or any other homespun is a really good alternative.

We used some linen and fabric we have in the store and made our own sample.

TUTORIAL: Crochet hooks and double point needles lying all over the show. Let’s tame them and get them into some kind of order. Turn off the television and turn on your sewing machine. This will take you all of an hour. Make a few for friends.

Follow these easy how to steps. You will need:

2 main pieces of fabric 20cm x 50cm

Enough iron on webbing or fusing to back the above two pieces of fabric.

1 piece of pocket fabric 25cm x 50cm

2 pieces of ribbon or cord 30cm long each and a fabric marker.

1 button. Whichever button you choose to use, make sure it has a shank.

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Step 1: Fuse the two main pieces of fabric.

Step 2: Iron pocket piece in half lengthwise.

Step 3: Place the pocket at the bottom of one main fabric piece. Raw edges of pocket in line with raw edges of main fabric. Pin

Step 4: Place ribbon pieces on top of pocket fabric.

Step 5: Secure with a 6mm seam.

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Step 6: Mark stitching lines 2.5cm apart all along pocket. Stitch up and down all along.

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Step 7: Place second main fabric on top, RS facing. Pin.

Step 8: Stitch around leaving an opening for turning.

Step 9: Turn and press. Top stitch around, closing the turning opening.

Step 10: Sew on the button.

Step 11: Store all your crochet hooks and dpns. Roll up and twist cord around button.

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Daisy Crochet Headband

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This lovely girls crochet headband is a new Morris pattern. It is a very quick project and would be perfect for a summer accessory. The pattern can be extended to suit any sized head, so ladies, you can wear it too!

The pattern uses the durable and colourful Morris Avalon Pima cotton in three colours.

The pattern and yarn is available to purchase online or in store.

Crochet knowledge required:

  • Treble decreases (explained in the pattern)
  • Treble stitch
  • Double crochet
  • Chain

Fair Isle knit: Ainsley Beret

This week Emily, our very talented staff member, brought in her newest knit; the Ainsley Beret.

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The Ainsley Beret pattern has been in store for a while, and as soon as Emily started working she was interested in giving it a go. Within a couple of weeks, Emily had knitted up the Morris and Sons Ainsley Beret in the new Morris Estate 4ply yarn.
The Morris Estate is great for fair isle. As it is a merino wool it is great for regulating body temperature. So good for chilly outdoor days. Fair Isle originated in the Shetland Islands on the island of Fair Isle and became very popular during the 1920’s. Traditionally the Fair Isle technique uses Shetland wool which is very sticky. This means that the colours stick together like glue. After blocking the yarn becomes very soft, lovely for garments worn close to bare skin such as berets. The stickiness of the Morris Estate 4ply Merino creates the Fair Isle effect perfectly.

A great achievement for a first fair isle knit. The pattern and yarn can be bought online and also in store.

Skills and techniques used for the Ainsley Beret:

  • stranded colour work
  • knitting in the round
  • knit and purl stitches
  • blocking

The Ainsley Beret is a great short project for someone interested in learning the Fair Isle technique.

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Knitspiration: Gingko Shoulderette Shawl!

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This week one of our team members, Imogen, impressed us all with her beautiful Gingko Shoulderette Shawl by Maggie Magali. It took Imogen about a week to finish the shawl. The pattern is a free download from Ravelry.

The Gingko Shoulderette Shawl uses a mixture of lace techniques and stocking stitch in a top down pattern. Interestingly the lace portion is worked on both knit and purl sides.

It took her just under two balls of the Morris and Sons 4 Ply Avalon Pima Cotton in colour Turquoise #4418.

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Why did Imogen choose the Morris and Sons Avalon Pima Cotton?

While Pima Cotton was cultivated in Peru, and is primarily grown there, it has also been introduced to farming in Australia and the United States. Pima Cotton is known for its durability and absorbency. This makes it excellent for knitting quality garments that don’t fray or wear over time. The Morris and Sons Avalon is made in 4, 8 and 10 ply and it comes in a huge range of colours. These are available for you to purchase online here.

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The Morris and Sons Team

Get Sewing for Spring!

Over the past couple of weeks Morris and Sons have been coming up with some fantastic new sewing patterns which are now hot off the press ready for you to get your hands on. These garment patterns have been designed specifically for beginners, so if you’re keen to start sewing then make Morris and Sons your first stop.

The patterns which are currently available are: Bush Baby Booties, The Eyre Infinity Cowl, and Kelly Kangaroo. These patterns have been tried and tested by our Morris and Sons team.bootiesinfinitycowlyellowkangaroo

Currently we have two different lines of fabric in store. These are Aboriginal Print 100% cotton fabric, and Saffron Craig’s 100% organic cotton fabrics. Not only are these fabrics perfect for quilting, they are also great for sewing garments. Their 100% cotton make up means that they are durable, but also breathable for comfort in the coming months.

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We look forward to see you in store and are ready to help you with any queries.

Thanks,

The Morris and Sons Team.

The Noro Magazine and Melbourne!

From the last few posts on this blog it is clear that it’s no secret that we love Noro! Recently, our Melbourne store has been knitting up some beautiful creations from the newest Noro Magazine, Colour Blooms. We think that these are so gorgeous that had to share a couple with you!

If you haven’t checked out this Noro Magazine Colour Blooms below you need to now! It’s just got too many incredible patterns in it to miss out on for both knitters and crocheters. We’ve placed a handful below to give you a taste. But if you haven’t definietly pop into one of our stores and have a flick through this magazine!

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Front Cover Shawl!

Our favourite is this beautiful shawl! The same one that’s on the front cover. Being not too warm but not too cool, this is the perfect project to prepare for Spring with! It’s been knitted in Noro Silk Garden Lite Colour 44. And the pictures below just say it all…doesn’t this colour just make it?

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Baby Garments and Toy Sheep!

If you’re looking for some wonderful cute baby garments and toys to knit then you cannot go past this combination. Amazingly, this whole outfit – the beanie, jacket and toy sheep – was all done with only one ball of Schoppel Starke 6, Colour 2170!

There was even some left over for another gorgeous baby sheep.

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We hope you enjoy looking at these creations as much as we do!

Happy knitting!