Christmas competition!

Well hello there, how are you all? So Christmas is on it’s way and I have a little competition for you! If you’d like to win a personalised hand-knitted snowflake Christmas stocking such as the ones I have listed here, then here’s what you have to do:

1) Head over to The Purly Queen facebook page here and like the page

2) Then wander over to my shop here, have a browse through the listings and favourite at least one item (other than the Christmas stockings)

3) Leave a comment here on the blog or on the facebook page, telling me which item you liked most and who you think it would make a perfect Christmas present for.

Once that’s all done, I will enter your name in the prize draw and the winner will be picked on Saturday 6th December (that’s Small Business Saturday in the UK) so the stocking will be made in time for Santa to fill it with lots of goodies!

Looking forward to seeing which knits you like best!

Cheryl x

P.S. If by any chance you haven’t shopped on Etsy before, here’s a code for £5 off your first purchase http://etsy.me/1yuRXe3 , valid in mine or any of the Etsy shops. Happy shopping!

Grey and white

It is freeeeezing here. I am sat with multiple layers of woolies on, a hot water bottle on my lap and a furry spaniel by my side and I’m still chilly. Bah, I think I’ve got yet another cold on the way. Everything outside is a bit gloomy, all grey and white skies. I realise it’s slightly ridiculous to be moaning about the weather when people in the US have snow higher than their front doors but there you go, I am feeling VERY sorry for myself).

But here’s something that’s grey and white and a lot more cheerful. Towards the end of last year, my lovely friend Debbie commissioned me to make a reindeer patterned hat for her to wear on her super-exciting sabbatical this year. Her and her hubby are taking a trip to lots of different places in South-East Asia and while she won’t need anything woolly while they’re in lovely hot places like Thailand and Laos, later on in their trip they’re going to Everest Base Camp where I imagine it will be almost as cold as it is here 😉

We found the perfect pattern (from my ever-growing vintage collection), picked the colours and wool (Debbie Bliss Rialto which is a gorgeous extra-fine merino wool) and after a few weeks of lots of twisty fair-isle knitting, a beautiful bobble hat was born!

Debbie's reindeer hat!

Debbie’s reindeer hat!

Ah, seeing her lovely face has cheered me up a bit! I think some lemon and ginger tea and an early night is in order and hopefully normal cheery service will resume soon.

Remember, if you would like a reindeer hat of your very own or have an idea for something else you’d like made, drop me a line. Stay warm, people x

Hello!

Welcome the the woolly world of the Purly Queen! Pull up a pew and settle down with a cuppa while I introduce you to my ramblings on my knitting business and life as a PhD student among other things.

I have been knitting for about 6 or 7 years and was lucky enough to be taught by Claire Montgomerie, a very special friend of mine who also happens to have a Masters in textile design from the Royal Academy of Arts! She’s the author of several knitting and crochet books and her blog is here http://www.montyknits.blogspot.com/

Knitting became my companion on my many work trips around the country and across the world and as I find that knitting always helps me to work through my thoughts, it was particularly important in helping me make the decision in 2009 that it was time to look for a new challenge in life. I moved from London to Manchester to do a MSc in Social Change and launched myself as a freelance researcher, while trying to get my southern softie self to adjust to the cold and rain oop north! I started my PhD in January and whilst I love the process of reading, writing and researching, the more I do it, the more I need creative outlets to balance out all the theories and statistics!

The Purly Queen was born out of a need to channel those creative urges (and you know, paying the bills!) and I’ll be blogging more in the future about why I think making things by hand and supporting the craft industry is so important. Another reason was that when looking for gifts for babies and kids, I was so tired of the same old things in pastel colours and I’m hoping to offer something a little bit different.

If nothing else, setting up a business gives me a great excuse for searching for vintage patterns and playing with different yarns and buttons – all in the name of work!

The aim of this blog is to chat about how the business is progressing, posting sneak previews of newly knitted pieces and all things knitting. Most likely there will also be rambles about the PhD, cooking, craft,healthy living and yoga so prepare yourself for an eclectic mix!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing this journey with you all. Remember to keep checking http://www.folksy.com/shops/thepurlyqueen for knitted goodies!