HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE JULY MYSTERY BLANKET BLOG! – and guess what?!? That lovely sun is still shining here in Nottingham so it looks as though summer is finally here! And what better way to start this month’s news than with an update on little Seth, who has been extremely busy helping his daddy. Here he is with sponge in hand making a splendid job of cleaning our car. And after that he set to work on filling in and painting an exterior wall. What a great little handyman he is!
SO NOW ONWARDS WITH THIS MONTH’S MYSTERY BLANKET NEWS...beginning with the optional printed patterns which were posted week commencing 25th June, with the overseas patterns being posted a few days ahead of the UK ones. So if you have not already received them, they should be arriving with you very soon. The emailed file was sent to all the members on 1st July, so if you have not received it yet, please let us know and we will resend it to you. Oh! – but don’t forget to check your spam folder first as it can sometimes end up in there. And if you still cannot locate it then contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will assist you.
IF YOU SIGNED UP TO THE MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB THIS YEAR, then there is a dedicated blog for this on my website which has all the latest news and advice. This Club sold out so there are no more memberships available. However, you may be interested to know that my brand new 2019 Mystery Blanket Club is well underway in the Design Room and the exciting news is that you will be able to sign up for it in a few weeks time…
…AND AS PROMISED LAST MONTH, HERE IS SOME ADVANCE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2019 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB… (without giving away the “mystery”, of course!) After a very colourful and vibrant 2018 Mystery Blanket design I have decided to go in the opposite direction next year with a design that has a much softer and quieter colour palette. So, for those of who have been waiting for something more serene and calm to come along, this could be the Mystery Blanket for you! I am returning to wool-based yarns with an emphasis on soft, cosy fibres, and I have selected some gorgeous yarns from the Rowan collection to work with, including their brand new Alpaca Classic, Felted Tweed and Alpaca Soft DK. And of course there will be plenty of beads in it too as this design needs a ton of sparkle! I am not going to say too much else about it at this point, apart from that there will be lots of fairisle patterns in the design as well as stripes, textures and embellishments. So if you haven’t tried the fairisle technique before, this blanket would be a fabulous introduction to it. But remember that there is always that second option offered on colour-work squares which gives you the opportunity to opt out and knit something a bit easier if you prefer.
The Club will run exactly the same way as this year, with patterns spread across ten months and the knitting kit split into two parcels, posted in February and May. Memberships will be limited again and the patterns will only be available to those who have signed up to it. So if you want to be part of next year’s very exciting new Mystery Blanket, don’t forget to secure your place by visiting the web-shop on my new website as soon as it launches in a few weeks time. You will find memberships with various options for UK, Europe and World Zones 1 and 2 to purchase in my online shop. Every year my Mystery Blanket Club has sold out, and next year I expect it do the same. There is a signing up deadline of 31st December 2018, however, the Club will close if the memberships sell out before this. If you want to find out more about next years Mystery Blanket, it would be a good idea to visit the FAQ page on my website where you will find lots more information: http://www.debbieabrahams.com/mystery-clubs/mystery-blanket/
IF YOU ARE ENJOYING WORKING WITH MY GLACE COTTON SHADES AND WANT TO PURCHASE SOME MORE, then you’ll be glad to know that I now have a plentiful supply of the following shades available to purchase:
Candy (066); Teak (351); Jaffa (316); Rich Red (1006); Azure (410); Lime (256); Sienna (1049); Jade (187); Lilac (869); Pale Blue (1031); Heather (871); Sky (140); Emerald (230); Spring Green (260); Moss Green (281).
And the even better news is that for a limited period Mystery Blanket members will be offered the yarn at a 25% discount! So you can purchase it for just £3.71 per ball (plus shipping) (usual RRP: £4.95). At the moment it is only available to Mystery Club members so it is not in my webshop for general sale. So to place your order simply email Sue with the list of colours and quantities you would like to order and she will sort out your payment with you. Payment can be taken using the following options:
- Paypal: we will send you a Paypal invoice
- BACS: bank account 29364260 / sort code 77-22-08
- Cheque (UK only): made payable to Debbie Abrahams Ltd and posted to: 26 Church Drive, Carrington, Nottingham NG5 2BA
Place your order before 1st September to take advantage of this great discount!
SO, IT’S NOW TIME TO TAKE ANOTHER GUESS AT THE THEME OF THE MYSTERY BLANKET – and I am pleased to announce that another four members did guess it correctly last month: Lucille Tut, Jennifer Dixon, Gaynor Rees and Tessa Muncey. And in addition to these ladies, Carole Perry who is not taking part in the Mystery Blanket this year but is watching from the sidelines after having been a member in previous years, also guessed it correctly. So well done to all of you! However, if you are still trying to guess the theme, I am going to give you one more letter before it is revealed in next month’s blog. So here goes, the final letter is “A”:
C A S A / B A T _ _ O
Please send your guesses to Sue at email@example.com. There are no prizes for the correct answer – it is simply a tradition with the Mystery Blanket and hopefully a bit of fun for you all too!
THESE ARE THE FIVE SQUARES THAT YOU WILL KNIT THIS MONTH…one of which has a second option for you to choose from:
Square 10: Ripple #3 – striped pattern with textured stitches and hooked-in beads (same for both options)
Square 24: Salon (part 1) – multi-coloured wave pattern using Japanese short-row shaping with beads and chain stitch details (same for both options)
Square 41: Mask #2 (part 2) – four-colour stripe pattern with textured stitches, hooked-in beads, swiss-darning and chain stitch details (same for both options)
Square 42, Option One: Star – intarsia motif with textured stitches
Square 42, Option Two: Slant #5 – three-colour striped pattern with textured diagonal stripes
Square 48: Ocean Blues – multi-coloured wave pattern using Japanese short-row shaping (same for both options)
On each pattern page there is a list of Pattern notes and tips that are worth reading before you start to knit each square. These bits of advice will help you to plan how to knit each square up, and pre-warn you about what to look out for. Also, there are indications in the description of each square (under the title) of what the square entails. For example, Square 42, Option One, Star, states that it is an intarsia motif, so this is the technique that you should use to knit this square.
ONE OF THE SQUARES THIS MONTH HAS A SECOND OPTION, but this time you can choose whichever option you prefer as it does not have to match any of the other choices you have made in the design so far. It’s Square 42 which has the choice of an intarsia motif or a striped textured pattern.
THERE ARE A FEW REPEATS TO KNIT IN THIS MONTH’S SQUARES – BUT DON’T WORRY, as there are still plenty of brand new squares to come in the remaining instalments.
SQUARE 10: RIPPLE #3: this is the third “Ripple” square you have been given to knit so far, however, although the colours of the stripe pattern are identical to Square 38, the colours of the beads are different. So be aware that you are using Emerald, Indigo and Mink this time instead of Emerald, Lime and Lipstick. And pay particular attention to the chart as the beads are not always positioned in continuous lines, they are broken in places, although they all follow the wavy shapes of the textured stitches.
SQUARE 24, SALON (part 1): this square returns to Japanese short-row shaping, however, it differs to the other squares that you have already knitted using this technique as it has chain stitch embroidery, garter stitch ridges and beads knitted in using the slip-stitch technique, as well as a completely different colour palette. You will end up with multiple loose ends as there are a lot of colour changes so it is advisable to knit some of them into the back of the work as you knit the square to save time at the end. And those that you don’t knit in can be sewn in later on, taking some of them across the work and others into the vertical (selvedge) seams after the square has been sewn into the blanket. There’s only one question left to ask about this square – and that’s whether there is going to be a “Salon - part 2”? Well you know the answer to that – you will have to wait and see!!!
SQUARE 41, MASK (part 2): this is the same as Square 16 from Mail Out 5. No prizes for guessing what Square 34 is going to be!!!
SQUARE 42, OPTION ONE, STAR: this is the same as Square 8 from Mail Out 2, however, despite this, you can still choose either Option One or Option Two for Square 42 as it does not have to match what you knitted for Square 8.
SQUARE 42, OPTION TWO, SLANT #5: as the “#5” suggests, this is another variation of Squares 8, 15, 29 and 36, but watch out as the colours of the stripes in this square differ from its’ sister squares 8 and 15, starting with Sunshine yarn at the beginning rather than Lime yarn.
SQUARE 48, OCEAN BLUES: it’s back to Japanese short-row shaping again for this square in a repeat of Square 2 from Mail Out 1. By now you should be able to do this with your eyes shut!!!
NEXT I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT A LOVELY DAY I SPENT AT “I LOVE EWE” IN STAMFORD, LINCOLNSHIRE, running a Mystery Blanket workshop at Rachel’s gorgeous shop. It was a lovely hot sunny day, so we were quite glad to be sitting inside in the cool, working on a Mystery Blanket inspired project. I ran the same project – the Ocean Waves purse – that I ran a couple of months ago at Jane Crowfoot’s studio.
I was joined by a very enthusiastic group of ladies, some of whom were members and some that were not (but maybe next year?!?)
Above, left to right: Rachel, Amanda, Cheryl and Jeanette came as non-members, but enjoyed learning new techniques from the Mystery Blanket.
Below, left to right: Diane, Patricia and Merida are fully focussed on their knitting.
For the non-members the technique of Japanese short-row shaping was brand new to them, however, they embraced it wholeheartedly and by the end of the workshop they were all Japanese short-row shaping pros!
The ladies got on tremendously well, and there was happy banter all day long as we knitted away in Rachel’s shop. She provided a lovely lunch too of sandwiches and huge slices of cake – which I thought was thoroughly well deserved as such good progress had been made by everyone by lunchtime.
Above, left to right: Annette, Diane and Patricia get to grips with the pattern.
Thank you to all the ladies that joined me for the workshop – some of whom travelled long distances to spend the day with me at I Love Ewe. It really was a very enjoyable day, and hopefully one that I will be asked to repeat again next year.
If you have not visited Rachel’s shop before in Stamford then it is well worth a visit. She is now a “flagship” store for Rowan which means that she stocks the full Rowan range of yarns, as well as many other brands too. So if you fancy a real treat and are in the area, I am sure that Rachel would love to meet you. Rachels’s shop is at 4 Stamford Walk, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2JE, tel: 01780 763838, website: http://www.i-love-ewe.com
JUDY DEVLIN FROM KOROIT IN AUSTRALIA SENT ME SOME LOVELY PHOTOS OF HER KNITTED ARK, which I just had to share with you as it is totally amazing! She knitted it for her daughter’s son, Zion.
Judy says: “I thought you might like to see my last project I did as a surprise for my daughter for her first baby. I was able to find a very talented woodworker to make the ark for me.”
The photos are really beautiful, taken by professional photographer, Sophie Timothy Photography. Thank you so much for allowing me to share them with the members Judy – it really is lovely and I am sure it will be much admired by everyone who sees it!
CATHERINE POPE FROM NOTTINGHAM HAS BEEN SUPER BUSY, NOT ONLY KNITTING UP HER MYSTERY BLANKET (AND MYSTERY CUSHION!), but she also managed to find time to knit Building Blocks from my More Blankets & Throws To Knit book. She knitted it for her daughter’s friend’s baby, which I thought was a very generous thing to do, and I am sure it will be well used and very much loved too! I love the different colours that Catherine has used which give it a completely different look to the original blanket in the book. It's amazing how much a design can change just by altering the colour palette!
MARIEKE MULDER FROM THE NETHERLANDS SENT ME THIS VERY CUTE PHOTO OF HER 2018 MYSTERY BLANKET WHICH HER DAUGHTER HAS ALREADY FOUND A VERY GOOD USE FOR!
Marieke says: “I just had to send you this picture. The Mystery Blanket from this year already in use! Lean, my daughter, took these already finished pieces and made a wonderful bed for her Barbies!”
It’s good to see that the Mystery Blanket has many different uses! And I am sure that once it is completed, Lean will be keen to keep a hold on it to keep all her Barbie dolls happy!
YARN IN NOTTINGHAM HELD THEIR MONTHLY MYSTERY BLANKET MEETING IN JUNE, and I was thrilled to be able to join them as unfortunately I was unable to attend the meeting last month. I was joined by Mystery Blanket members Catherine Pope, Aileen Lyon, Kerry Bloodworth, Joan Bray, Liz Jenks and of course the host, Sarah Doherty.
Above, left to right: Audrey, Catherine and Kerry look very happy to be at the meeting!
Below, left to right: Joan, Audrey and Catherine focus on their knitting projects.
Audrey Russell-Smith also joined us who was very excited about the imminent start of the 2018 Mystery Cushion Club. We had a lovely couple of hours together, knitting up Mystery Blanket squares as we chatted away over a hot drink and a biscuit.
Above, left to right: Kerry and Audrey get stuck into their knitting at the meeting.
The next meeting at Yarn is on Wednesday 11th July from 4:00 – 6:00pm, and I will be attending that meeting. And now that the 2018 Mystery Cushion Club has kicked off, don’t forget that if you are a member of that Club you are very welcome to join us. So if you can pop along to Sarah’s lovely shop for a couple of hours, it would be really lovely to see you there. Yarn is at 55 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EN, tel: 0115 9253606, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE HAVE HAD A CANCELLATION ON OUR HELL BAY IN THE ISLES OF SCILLY KNITTING HOLIDAY IN OCTOBER. So if you would like to join me and lots of lovely knitters on that trip, we now have the following suite available:
Spring Tide First Floor suite with surrounding views. The cost of the suite is £885 (which does not include the cost of your travel): https://www.hellbay.co.uk/our-rooms/spring-tide
If you are interested in booking this suite then please contact sue at email@example.com for more information.
THIS IS A REMINDER OF THE MYSTERY BLANKET WORKSHOPS THAT I AM RUNNING THIS YEAR IN THE UK:
If you want to find out more information about these workshops or make a booking then please contact the individual shops:
- Saturday 28th July: Yarn Loft, 118 Hucknall Rd, Nottingham NG5 1AD, tel: 07825 702433, website: www.yarnloft.co.uk (contact Doreen)
- Saturday 1st September: The Knitting Corner, Curborough Hall Farm, Lichfield WS13 8ES, tel: 01543 415837 (contact Doreen Humphries)
- Saturday 8th September: The Kast Off Group, Barnham Broom Golf & Country Club, Honingham Rd, Barnham Broom, Norwich NR9 4DD, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (contact Jean Gosling)
MY KNITTING HOLIDAY AT THE WATERMILL IN POSARA, ITALY, NEXT MAY HAS NOW SOLD OUT. However, if you would like to be added to the waiting list in case of a cancellation, then you can contact Bill and Lois directly by email to get your name on the list: https://watermill.net/mill-forms/contactus18.php
Thank you to everyone who has booked onto this trip, and I look forward very much to meeting you all next year in beautiful sunny Tuscany!
AND FINALLY FOR THIS POSTING, THE SIXTH 2018 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB PRIZE DRAW!!! Each month a member is picked at random to win a Debbie Abrahams prize. So it is worth reading right the way to the end of each blog to see if you are that lucky member!
PRIZE DRAW FOUR (JULY): this month’s winner is member 286, Fiona Graham from Borehamwood, Essex, UK! Well done Fiona! Please choose a prize from the following selection:
- A Debbie Abrahams book: Blankets and Throws to Knit/ 25 Beaded Knits/Kaleidoscope
- A Debbie Abrahams dvd: More Blankets/A Professional Finish
- Four packs of Debbie Abrahams Beads from the selection on http://www.debbieabrahamsbeads.co.uk
- A £15 voucher towards a Debbie Abrahams Mystery Club (2018/2019 Mystery Cushion or 2019 Mystery Blanket)
The good weather looks set to continue for some time here in the UK, so there’s going to be plenty of knitting “al fresco” for me this month! I will back here next month with all the latest Mystery Blanket Club news, including a report on my Mystery Blanket workshop at Yarn Loft in Nottingham. So enjoy the sunshine, get your needles out and have a wonderful July! Take care and happy knitting, Debbie x