Mystery Blanket Club 2023: post 5, June

Mystery Blanket Club 2023: post 5, June

WELCOME TO THE FIFTH INSTALMENT OF THE 2023 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! And as we make a start on the June squares we are already halfway through this year’s KAL. There are some familiar squares to knit this month as well as some new ones, so there’s plenty to keep you inspired and busy over the next four weeks!

In this month’s blog, as well as all the latest news about the Club, you can read about the May Mystery Meeting at Yarn Loft in Nottingham, there is some exciting news about a new kit promotion, some lovely stories from the members, and you can read and see pics about my recent knitting holiday to France. There are also a couple of teasers on the front cover of the June patterns, can you spot them?!?

So let’s begin by taking a look at my June intro which has lots of tips and useful information about the squares you are knitting this month. This is followed by a new tech vid for Square 23, Option Two which is worth checking out if you decide to opt for this square.

This is a reminder of the techniques that were covered in previous blogs:

  • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch (February)
  • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (Option One): the Fairisle technique (February)
  • How to knit the decorative loop stitch (February)
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February)
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (February)
  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February)
  • How to cable (February)
  • How to knit a contrast-coloured bobble (February)
  • Square 16, Forager: how to knit the exaggerated decorative purl stitch (February)
  • Understanding lace stitches (March)
  • How to thread beads onto your yarn (March)
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (March)
  • The intarsia technique (March)
  • How to add Chain stitch to your knitting (March)
  • How to add Swiss darning to knitting (March)
  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge using several colours (April)

THE PRINTED PATTERNS HAVE BEEN POSTED TO THE MEMBERS WHO OPTED FOR THEM, with the overseas shipped on Friday 26th May and the UK on the 30th May. As I explained in my intro, I posted the overseas patterns as soon as I arrived back home from France, so please accept my apologies if you don’t receive them by the 1st June, but they are on their way and should be with you soon.

I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT A SMALL ERROR IN THE JUNE PATTERNS, which you may (or may not) notice when you knit Square 2, Hawthorn (both options). It’s in the picking up instructions on pages 7 and 10 where it says to pick up along the cast-off edge of Square 43. This is of course incorrect, you are picking up along the cast-off edge of Square 1.

I have listed these corrections on the Addendum page on our website:

IF YOU WATCHED MY INTRO VID THEN YOU WOULD HAVE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT THE MULBERRY YARN IN YOUR SECOND PARCEL, so I just want to clarify what you need to be aware of. We think that there are twenty parcels - most probably all overseas - that have a ball of Rowan Kid Classic in shade 894 Mulberry in them, instead of the ball of yarn you should have which is Rowan Alpaca Soft DK in shade 207 Mulberry. The two balls of yarn look very similar in colour and size, however, the feel of them is quite different. Kid Classic has mohair in it and is consequently a hairier, coarser yarn, whereas Alpaca Soft is much smoother and softer. Kid Classic is a lightweight aran yarn, so it is thicker than Alpaca Soft which is double-knitting weight. So before you start knitting with your second ball of Mulberry, please can you check it very carefully. And if it is Kid Classic, please let us know straight away and we will send you the correct ball of Alpaca Soft DK. We do not want the other ball back from you, so you can keep hold of it. Just make sure you put it in your stash and don’t use it in your Mystery Blanket! In the June patterns there is a square that uses only Mulberry, so it is really important that you make sure you have the correct yarn for this square, and of course for all the others in the blanket that also use Mulberry. Please email Sue at if you have any concerns and she will sort it out for you.

WHILE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF YOUR KIT, I just want to clarify one other thing, and that is that you should only have one ball of Simply White and one ball of Barn Red in your whole knitting kit. We sent out an email last month with a list of the contents of your second kit, and mistakenly included Simply White and Barn Red. So just to be clear, you were sent one ball of each of these yarns in your first parcel, but there were none in your second parcel. Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

A FEW MEMBERS HAVE CONTACTED ME ABOUT SQUARE 1/43, FALLING LEAVES, OPTION TWO, where there appears to have been some confusion over the instructions for Row 1. So just to make it clear I will explain how it should be read. Inside the square brackets there is an instruction to ‘(K1, yf) 3 times and K1’. This is all worked into one stitch only, and not two stitches. That is why there is no comma between ‘3 times’ and ‘and K1’. If you follow this, then you will end up with the correct number of stitches at the end of the row.

AS I MENTIONED EARLIER ON, I HAVE JUST COME BACK FROM A FABULOUS WEEK AWAY IN FRANCE, where I was joined by twelve knitters -  some familiar faces, some new, and some Mystery Blanket Club members too! We enjoyed a lovely week together at a gite in Bercloux in the Charente-Maritime region of France, which is about an hour and a half car journey north of Bordeaux. I have been tutoring knitting holidays for Sue Culligan (Knitting Holidays In France) for the past sixteen years, and sadly this is her last year of running them.

Below: (left to right), Sue Culligan, Marion and me.

So we all made the most of our time there, eating the most wonderful homecooked food, drinking wine, knitting and visiting the local towns of Cognac, Saintes and St Jean D’Angely where we explored the quaint old streets and got some much-needed retail therapy.

I designed this tablet case called ‘Reminisce’ for the ladies to knit while they were there, which was a recolour of a project that I ran for our Inspired Minds workshop at Nunsmere Hall Hotel. The project was created to celebrate ten years since the launch of the book ‘Kaleidoscope’ which I co-wrote and published with my good friend Jane Crowfoot. The beaded stripe on the front panel is a reworking of a bolster pattern that is in the book called ‘Zing’. The original colourway was in shades of pink, grey and neon yellow, but I decided to recolour it in shell pink, aqua and azure taking inspiration from all the wonderfully iced cakes and pastries that are presented so beautifully in their patisserie shops.

Below: the front panel of Reminisce.

Above: detail of the back panel of Reminisce.

The good news is that if you fancy knitting up this case then we are launching it in our online shop later this month as part of our ‘On The Case’ promotion. You can find out more about this later on in the blog…

The weather wasn’t quite as hot as we had expected, but that didn’t stop us from grabbing some rays as soon as the sun was out. We spent our knitting time either outside in the garden or in the large spacious workshop room overlooking the garden.

Above: (left to right around the table), Eileen, Kate, Christine, Sue, Jen, Katrin, Sue, Joan and Margaret.

Below: (left to right), Mary, Shelley and Marion.

All of the ladies worked so hard on the project, some of them opting to experiment with colour and recolour it in different shades of Cotton Glace - the results were amazing! I was thrilled that most of them managed to finish it by the end of the week, leaving only the lining fabric to sew in when they got home. Well done ladies!

Above: the various colourways of the project that the ladies knitted.

We did, of course visit a yarn shop, it was a lovely little one in Cognac that I’ve been to several times before called ‘My Little Mailles’. We were especially excited to see a range of yarn called Cowgirlblues that is a South African dye house and design studio owned by the daughter of Margaret who was on the holiday with us. Margaret had travelled all the way from Cape Town in South Africa to be with us in France, which is where her daughter Bridget also lives.

Above: Margaret in My Little Mailles with her daughter's yarn.

The yarns that she produces are absolutely beautiful, made from South African wool and mohair, and wound into the most irresistible hanks of loveliness! You can check out her website here and see all the wonderful yarns and designs that she produces, they really are worth a look (and a purchase!):

My week at Sue’s in France would not have been complete without a visit to two of my favourite shops - Amalgame in St Jean D’Angely and Maisons du Monde in Saintes. I love to browse around them, looking at the colour stories and themes, and finding interesting pieces to purchase. They are both homeware shops and are so inspirational for colour and design. And as usual, they didn’t disappoint! I just had to be careful that there was enough room in my suitcase for all the lovely bits and pieces I bought! These shops are just too tempting!

Above: beautiful home accessories in Amalgame in St Jean D'Angely.

Below: bright colours and bold prints in Maisons du Monde.

So although it’s the end of an era for Knitting Holidays In France, I feel incredibly thankful to Sue for inviting me to tutor so many workshops, and for the wealth of wonderful memories I have of my visits to France. Big thanks to Sue and Culli for all their fabulous hospitality and for making the workshops so thoroughly enjoyable. And to all the wonderful ladies that have joined me there over the past sixteen years, thank you for coming along and being such great holiday companions, it’s been so much fun!

WE ARE LAUNCHING OUR ‘ON THE CASE’ SPECIAL PROMOTION IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS TIME, so keep an eye on your inbox for news of this, especially if you fancy knitting up the ‘Reminisce Case’. As well as ‘Reminisce’, there are three other new kits to choose from - ‘Autumn Purse’, ‘Lavish Purse’ and ‘Chic Case’. For a limited period we are offering 10% discount off our whole range of cases and purses. So if you are ahead with your blanket squares each month and need something to fill the gap, this could be the perfect solution!


Above: new kit, Autumn Purse.

Below: (top to bottom), new kits Lavish Purse and Chic Case.

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SIGNED UP TO MY 2023 MYSTERY BABY BLANKET CLUB, I AM DELIGHTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT MEMBERSHIPS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!  This is a reminder of what I have in store for you if you decide to join me on this new and hugely exciting new knitting KAL…

The project is knitted in Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino, which is a mixture of merino wool, acrylic microfiber and cashmere. It is beautifully soft and has a luxurious handle, making it the perfect choice for a baby blanket. It is machine washable.

There are two colour options to choose from. The base palette includes soft green, camel, butter yellow, taupe, cream and faded denim, and to complete it there is a choice of either:

Above: Grey/Silver colourway.

Below: Rose/Candy colourway.

    The kit for this blanket will be available to buy in our online shop from 1st June 2024 when the Club has finished, but there are lots of reasons to sign up now and grab yourself a membership. By joining the club you will benefit from:

    • 10% off the cost of the membership (£139.50 + shipping after discount)
    • 10% discount voucher for a single transaction in our online shop*
    • Free fabric gift bag (by Paper Mirchi)
    • A dedicated blog and technical support throughout the project
    • The opportunity to knit the blanket before anyone else!

    *excludes Mystery products.

    Each member will receive a knitting kit which includes over fifteen balls of Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino yarn, seven sets of emailed patterns (with the option to purchase additional printed patterns), a fabric gift bag and a woven label. The finished size of the blanket is approximately 72cm x 98cm.

    The blanket design includes the techniques of intarsia, fairisle, lace, textured stitches and stripes, offering you an exciting variety of squares to knit up over seven months. (There will be no beads or embellishments in this blanket).

    Above: a previous Mystery Baby Blanket design, Love You To The Moon & Back.

    If you would prefer to pay in instalments you can use our online payment system Splitit, which enables you to make your payment over two, three or four months - you choose what suits you best. Simply select this option at checkout when you make your first payment and then your remaining payments will be taken automatically from your account. It’s that easy!

    You have until the end of August to get yourself signed up to the Mystery Baby Blanket Club before it begins on 1st October. We are signing up members from all over the world, so wherever you are, why not come and join in the fun!

    IF YOU ARE STILL UNSURE ABOUT THE TITLE OF THIS YEAR’S MYSTERY BLANKET, THEN ANOTHER LETTER IN THE PUZZLE MIGHT BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED. Some more members have got it right, and so for Andrea Surgeoner, Maggie Bentley, Barbara Hathaway, Barbara Frenchman, Wendy Philippi, Stella Ho, Jane Turner, Valerie McNulty, Janet Holdsworth and Anna Wallis de Garay the mystery is over!

    But for those of you who are still guessing, here is another clue. This month the letter I am giving you is... “O”:

    T  H  _  / _  _  _  H  A  _  T  _  D  / _  O  _  _  _  T 

    As the months go by it should be getting easier. So if you’ve got an idea, send your answer in to Sue at and she will let you know if you are right. You never know - your luck might be in this time!

    THERE ARE FIVE SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH, with alternative options for three of the squares:

    Square 2, Hawthorn 2 (Option One) – fairisle pattern with stripes, textured stitches and hooked-in beads:

    Square 2, Hawthorn 2 (Option Two) – textured pattern with stripes and hooked-in beads:

    Square 3, Vines 2 – cable pattern with slip-stitch beads (same for both options):

    Square 23, Dragonfly (Option One) – intarsia dragonfly motif with hooked-in and slip-stitch beads and Chain stitch details:

    Square 23, Dragonfly (Option Two) – cable pattern with hooked-in beads, contrast-coloured bobbles and lace stitches:

    Square 31, Foliage – lace pattern with hooked-in beads (same for both options):

    Square 46, Wolfsbane (Option One) – fairisle pattern with stripes, textured stitches and hooked-in beads:

    Square 46, Wolfsbane (Option Two) – textured pattern with stripes and hooked-in beads:

    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 and give pre-warnings as to what look out for in the pattern instructions. Also take note of the description under the title of each square as this tells you what the stitch structure is.

    You can use the tech vids to help you knit your squares. But here are a few extra tips to assist you:

    SQUARE 2, HAWTHORN 2 (Option One): this is the first square that you will need to make a decision about this month. It is very similar to Square 44, but there are some colour changes.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (Option One): the Fairisle technique (February blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (February blog)

    If you chose Option One for Square 44, then I would recommend that you choose Option One also for this square - that is if you want to keep the design balanced and symmetrical. The fairisle section, the decorative stitch pattern and the stripes are the same as Square 44, but there are changes to two of the colours, most noticeably Barn Red which has been swapped for Ginger.

    Remember that there is a correction to this pattern. It’s in the picking up instructions at the top of page 7 where it says to pick up along the cast-off edge of Square 43. This should of course be Square 1.

    There are several tech vids from previous blogs that you can take a look at if you need some assistance. However, as it is so similar to Square 44, you should find it fairly easy to knit. Just keep an eye on those colour changes!

    SQUARE 2, HAWTHORN 2 (Option Two): like Option One, this square is very similar to Square 44 with two of the colours changed. It features the decorative loop stitch that was in Pixies & Nixies and Elves & Imps, so this is a technique you will be familiar with if you chose Option Two for these squares.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch (February)
    • How to knit the decorative loop stitch (February blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (February blog)

    As with Option One, Barn Red has been swapped for Ginger and Pumpkin has been swapped for Maple. All the other colours remain the same. Isn’t it fascinating how this small change makes such a difference to how the pattern looks? The changes are small, but the effect is very different, resulting in a square that is much warmer and brighter in tone than its sister square.

    Remember that there is a correction to this pattern. It’s in the picking up instructions at the top of page 10 where it says to pick up along the cast-off edge of Square 43. This should of course be Square 1.

    SQUARE 3, VINES 2: this square revisits the cable that you knitted in the previous mail out for Square 45. There are no other changes apart from the colour of the yarn.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • How to cable (February blog)
    • How to thread beads onto your yarn (March blog)
    • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (March blog)

    Instructions for threading the beads are on page 12 and need to be followed carefully so that the beads are added to the knitting in the correct order. They are positioned slightly off-centre within each cable, and their positioning alternates as the cables twist back and forth from the front (left twist) to the back (right twist). You can double-check that the beads are in the right order as you follow the chart and/or the worded instructions which specify when and where each colour bead is to be placed. Fingers crossed then that your bead threading is spot on!

    Remember that to keep the cables nice and neat you need to make sure that the yarn is pulled firmly as you take it back and forth between the cables. Sometimes the edge stitches of a cable can be a bit loose, so an extra tug on the yarn as you begin and finish each cable will help tidy them up.

    SQUARE 23, DRAGONFLY (Option One): so here is our second creature in the blanket, and it’s an intarsia challenge for anyone who fancies a bit of colour work!

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge using several colours (April blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • The intarsia technique (March blog)
    • How to thread beads onto your yarn (March blog)
    • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (March blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • How to add Chain stitch to your knitting (March blog)

    It does not matter which option you choose for this square, so go for whichever one you prefer. Option One is the trickier square to knit because it has intarsia colour work, however, don’t let that put you off - if you need any guidance there is a tech vid for the intarsia technique, and also for the chain stitch embroidery and beads. So all areas are covered!

    There is quite a lot going on in this square, so it would be a good idea to give it a good read through before you begin. The secret of successful intarsia is to be prepared, so the winding off of yarn for the separate areas of colour is advisable before you cast on. I would suggest that you wind off one ball (or bobbin) of Barn Red, two of Harvest, two of Clay, two of Acorn and one of Blackberry. Remember that you need to keep the carrying across of yarns at the back of the work to a minimum and only do so when necessary.

    If you need a reminder about how to pick up stitches to begin the square using several colours, you can go back to the April blog where you will find a tech vid for this. But if you are casting on rather than picking up stitches, you could take a look at the tech vid from the 2021 Mystery Cushion Club which shows how you do this:

    The Black beads on the body are threaded onto the yarn and knitted in using the slip stitch method. The Emerald beads on the wings are hooked in.

    After the square has been knitted, blocked and pressed there is some chain stitch embroidery to add to it. It is indicated on the chart, and you can also see it in the image on page 14. You can use these as a guide, but feel free to be as creative as you like with it, you don’t need to match exactly what you see on the chart, especially the two swirls at the bottom. These are finished with a sewn-on bead, as are the antennae, the details of which are at the end of the pattern instructions on page 15.

    SQUARE 23, DRAGONFLY (Option Two): if you don’t fancy intarsia, then this is your alternative square to knit. There’s a lot going on in it with cables, lace stitches, beads and contrast-coloured bobbles, but there is an in depth new tech vid this month that guides you through the rows. So why not give it a go?

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • Square 23, Dragonfly: Option Two (Rows 1-7) (NEW THIS MONTH!)

    There are worded instructions and a chart for this square, however, for some of the rows on the chart you need to read and follow the worded instructions - these are the ones that are in either red or green. You will see that under the chart on page 19 it says for two of the symbols to ‘see instructions in green/red for corresponding row’. My test knitters coped with this okay, so hopefully you will too!

    On the chart there are coloured squares for the bobble stitches, but we’ve also included initials for the colours, just to make it super clear. In the tech vid you will see that the contrast colour for each bobble is purled on a wrong side row so that it is ready and in the right place to knit the bobble on the next right-side row. You will need to cut a length of yarn for each bobble (approx. 30cm). Details of what you need and how many of each colour are on page 16 below the image.

    You will find the explanation for c5b on page 30 of the June mail out, it’s on the far right-hand side. Notice that some of the stitches in the cables are worked through the back of the loop to tighten up the edges. This makes them look extra neat and tidy.

    I would strongly recommend that you watch the new tech vid for this square as it covers all the techniques you will need to knit it. In the demo I work on a reduced number of stitches - otherwise the film would have been twice as long! But I demonstrate enough of each row for you to get a good grasp of what to do. So, pop this on and either watch it all the way through first before you begin or watch it as you knit each row.

    This square did take me some time to do - except for a few rows there is something extra to do on every row - a cable, a bobble, beads - so you’ll need to set aside plenty of time to knit this one. But it will be worth it - I promise!

    SQUARE 31, FOLIAGE: this is a relatively easy square to knit (in comparison to the last one!) and combines basic lace stitches with hooked-in beads.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • Understanding lace stitches (March blog)

    You have a choice with this square to knit it from worded instructions or from a chart. The chart is on a separate page to the worded instructions, you’ll find it on page 22.

    I just want to point out the abbreviation P2togtbl, which occurs first on Row 2. You have worked this before, it was in Square 17, Thicket from the second instalment. If you can remember back this far, it was a bit of a tricky decrease as the stitches need to be purled together through the back. But it is essential that they are worked in this way to ensure that the stitches travel smoothly and untwisted in the correct direction. You will see what I mean if you look at the right side of the square after you’ve worked a few rows. Intriguing, isn’t it!

    SQUARE 46, WOLFSBANE (Option One): for the final square this month you need to make a choice between Option One and Option Two. This is the slightly trickier one as it has two sections of fairisle with hooked-in beads.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (Option One): the Fairisle technique (February blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (February blog)

    You can choose whichever option you want for this one, it does not matter what choices you’ve made for other squares in the blanket so far. It is similar in stitch structure and design to Squares 2 and 44 (Hawthorn), so you might want to go for the option you didn’t knit for these two squares - just to mix it up a bit.

    The tips I gave you for knitting Square 2 also apply to this square. As I just mentioned, it is very similar to Hawthorn/Hawthorn 2, but the colours are different with the warm tones swapped out for cooler ones. And there is a different fairisle pattern to knit as well, with hooked-in Indigo beads instead of Red.

    SQUARE 46, WOLFSBANE (Option Two): like Option One, this square is very similar to Squares 2 and 44, but it’s a cooler colour palette with Shadow replacing Ginger/Barn Red.

    Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

    • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (February blog)
    • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (February blog)
    • Square 8, Pixies & Nixies (both options): how to knit the decorative slip-stitch (February)
    • How to knit the decorative loop stitch (February blog)
    • How to bead, the hooking-in method (February blog)
    • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (February blog)

    As mentioned for Option One, it does not matter which choice you make for this square. So if you fancy trying out the decorative loop stitch, maybe for the first time, then go for it. The final decision is down to you!

    HAVING A YARN STORE AT THE END OF YOUR ROAD IS JUST PERFECT FOR MONTHLY ‘MYSTERY CLUB’ MEETINGS! And at the beginning of May I found myself in the delightful company of Claire, Jan, Kerry, Alison, Mary, and Doreen for a couple of very enjoyable hours at Yarn Loft in Carrington, Nottingham. This was our second meeting, and it was great to be able to sit and chat about the project (and numerous other things!) while we knitted blanket squares. It’s always a very informal session and Doreen does a fantastic job of keeping us fed and watered with hot drinks and cake while we work on our squares. What could be better than sitting in a gorgeous yarn shop with like-minded people, knitting and being fed cake and a cup of tea!?!

    Above: (left to right around the table), Mary, Claire, Jan, Kerry and Alison.

    We chat about all sorts of things, and often new techniques or tips are exchanged, and solutions are found if there is a query with a square. Mary demonstrated to us how she knits a cable without a cable needle, which most of us found quite baffling. But she made it look so easy and explained it very clearly, so I think some of us might give it a go. It’s especially handy if you find yourself in that very frustrating situation when you need a cable needle and realise it’s not in your knitting bag! So thanks Mary for that, it’s a fabulous tip!

    Below: Mary demonstrates how to cable without a cable needle - wow!

    If you are interested in coming along to our next meeting on Wednesday 7th June then the meeting is between 4-6pm at Yarn Loft, 118 Hucknall Road, Carrington, Nottingham, tel number 07825 702433, website: To cover the costs of hosting the meeting there is a small sub to pay (£3.00), which can be paid to Doreen on the day.

    Above: some of the tempting goodies at Yarn Loft.

    Just send a quick email to me at to let me know you are coming and we will make sure that we have a cup of tea and a cake ready for you!

    A FEW OF YOU HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH WITH UPDATES ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE BEEN KNITTING, PLUS THERE'S BEEN SOME HELPFUL KNITTING TIPS SENT IN. So I begin with Hazel Lackie from Bristol, UK, who sent in this picture of her amazing blanket which was inspired by the 2015 Mystery Blanket, ‘Back To The Country’. Isn’t it fabulous!

    Above: Hazel's fabulous blanket design!

    This is what Hazel had to say about her wonderful creation:

    Hazel says:Some time ago I told you about a blanket I was knitting for my sister-in-law based on Back to the Country. She saw my Back to the Country and asked if I would knit one for her. They live in Barbados and were returning to the UK when she retired, which is this September, so I had to finish it. 

    I didn’t have the right wool so I adapted it and used the wool I knitted my Harry Potter blanket with. So many of the colour tones had to change, for example the blue is darker as are the green and pink. But I found enough to make it work. I also changed some of the squares, designed a couple and moved some around to suit the subject.  I used a couple of your designs from other blankets - Shingle and Shells (for the shingle beaches around Blakeney), and the fish I call ‘Bajan Whispers’ as she is a marine biologist. I designed my own Goldfinch as she used to watch them on our bird feeder and a Camberwell Beauty butterfly as her parents were members of the Norfolk butterfly society. The dragonfly became an Emperor using the colours I had. Then I created the diagonal squares - Hedgerows and Norfolk Lavender Fields.”

    This is a real work of art, and the story behind it and the inspiration for the squares is truly lovely to read. The balance of colour is perfect, and it’s fascinating to see how well the new squares blend in with the original ones. I am sure that your sister-in-law will be bowled over when she sees what you have done for her Hazel! What a wonderful gift and one that will be kept and treasured forever.

    ANOTHER ONE OF THE MEMBERS HAS BEEN KEEPING HERSELF BUSY AND CREATIVE WITH SOME FABULOUS HAT DESIGNS. Take a look at these beautiful creations by Daphne Cavanah from Wadebridge in Cornwall, UK! Inspired by the ‘Bracken’ square in this year’s Mystery Blanket, Daphne has designed these hats in three gorgeous colourways:

    Above: colourway, A Cliff Top Walk'.

    Below: and the inspiration for the design:

    Daphne says: “I have been incorporating the Bracken pattern from MB2023 on the last three hats I have made. This one is called 'A Cliff Top Walk'. A friend of mine called Mary Lunnen often puts up photos of her walks. The idea of the bright yellow lichen on the rocks and the pink flowering Thrift has been running around my mind for a while. I love this hat and so does the friend it is going to!

    And here is ‘The Riverbank’, with bobbles representing yellow irises, bullrushes and the flash of blue for a kingfisher. I have added the bobbles randomly and I am very pleased with the result."

    Below: colourway, The Riverbank.

    "Back to bed for a couple hours now, lol. That is if my creative mind will let me! I must get back to my cushion cover kit and the May mail out. So nice to be able to sit in the garden and knit. Keep being our inspiration Debbie!”

    Above: a third colourway using the stitch pattern from Bracken.

    You might remember that Daphne contributed a huge collection of lovely, knitted accessories to the Member’s Gallery which went live on our website back in January. These are just as beautiful, and I really love the fact that they are inspired by a square from the blanket - what a fantastic idea! The stories behind the colour palettes are intriguing too and so interesting to read. Thanks Daphne for sharing more of your wonderful creations with us! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!...

    SUSANNE IHMIG FROM ESSEN IN GERMANY HAD A COUPLE OF THINGS SHE WANTED TO SHARE WITH THE MEMBERS. First of all she has a great tip for reading intarsia charts and keeping track of what row you are on - which I have to admit can be a real problem.

    Susanne says: “This is my method to keep up with the correct line in an intarsia square, I use a textmarker, so I can see the line ahead as well as the line below and I don't get puzzled..”.

    Above: Susanne's textmarker (or hi-lighter!).

    When I replied to Susanne she was quite intrigued to find that this is what we call in the UK a hi-lighter pen. I have used hi-lighter pens (or as Susanne calls them, textmarkers) to mark where I am on a chart, and it really does help a lot. So that’s a great tip Susanne, and one that some of the members might find very useful if they haven’t tried it before.

    Susanne also wanted to share with us her recolour of Square 9, Toadstool, Option Two. She contacted me to ask whether she could knit it in a different colour, and look what she’s done! Doesn’t it look lovely in Maple!


    Above: Toadstool recoloured in Maple.

    Susanne says: “Not yet pressed but looks also great in Maple! I enjoyed knitting this pattern very much!”

    I always find it fascinating how a change of colour can completely transform the look of a square. I think this one would look great in any colour, but Maple is a great choice. Thanks for sharing Susanne!

    PLEASE KEEP SENDING IN PICS OF YOUR FURRY FRIENDS ASSISTING (OR HINDERING?!?) YOUR MYSTERY KNITTING. We’ve had a few more, but I know there’s many more of you out there who like to knit-a-long with your furry best friends by your side! I plan to show the pics in a fun gallery later on in the year, so if you want your pet to have its mini moment of fame, please send in a pic and a few words and I will be sure to include it. All pets are welcome 😊

    DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US ON ALL OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, and enjoy the messages and photos that are shared between myself and the members:

    Instagram: debbieabrahams_knitting

    Pinterest: debbieabrahams@debbieabrahamsk

    Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Mystery Knitters

    Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Handknits

    Ravelry: Debbie Abrahams Handknits

    AND FINALLY, I CLOSE THIS POST WITH THE FIFTH 2023 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 FIVE (JUNE): this month’s winner is member 143, Catherine Slater from Grimsby in the UK. Well done Catherine! Please choose a prize from the following selection:

    • Your choice of one of Debbie’s knitting kits up to the value of £28.00 (take a look at them in our online shop).
    • Five packs of Debbie Abrahams Beads (size 8/0 or 6/0) from the selection on
    • A £25 voucher towards a Debbie Abrahams Mystery Club membership: 2023 Mystery Cushion Club; 2023 Mystery Baby Blanket Club or 2024 Mystery Blanket Club.
    • A Mystery bag of five gifts!

    We will notify Catherine to let her know the good news!

    There are a few choices of squares to think about this month, but hopefully after reading this blog these decisions will be easier for you to make. Remember to check out the tech vids - old and new - for assistance, and if you’re still stuck then drop me a line, I am always happy to hear from you! Keep sending in your pics and stories about what you are knitting - they are always a joy to read and lovely to share in the blog. Perhaps you can let me know what the weather is like wherever you are knitting in the world? I am sitting here hopeful by that by next month the grey sky and even greyer clouds I can see outside the window are white and fluffy against a brilliant blue sky - come on sun, where are you?!? I am eager to get outside and knit, so all being good that’s what I will be doing when I talk to you again at the beginning of July. Until then, have fun with the June squares and keep those knitting needles busy, bye for now, Debbie, x

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