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Yay!  So excited by the lovely responses from the Charity Yarn Sale, that it has spurred me on to get some more woolly packs made, and listed, today.  If I'm honest I'd lost faith in the online community (I was much more wounded from being dropped from the CrochetGirlGang than I could have ever imagined), and embarking on a Masters was another way to find my tribe, and really try and make a difference.

Sharing this yarn with people, the incredible, positive response and the passion that others clearly share when it comes to thinking about how we can all work together to make a difference, has been incredibly affirming.  It is amazing that sharing something as simple as a love of yarn, can connect people in such a powerful way.

If you want to get a little preview of the new listings from today, here you are, or here :)  Remember that all the proceeds from these sales will go excusively to Friends of the Earth and funding my MA only.







Love to you all special creatures, here's to making a difference and the power of making xxx
Right, so most of you know that I have a slightly militant streak when it comes to pushing using your creative powers to save the world.  I always try and do it in a gentle way, and mostly it comes from trying to encourage people to make their own things (I truly think that by understanding just how long it takes to make a jumper, you're more likely to think twice about how Primani can make and sell one for £3.50).

In an effort to find a way to truly make a bit of a difference, last week I started a Masters in Sustainable Design.  I'm hoping to use the knowledge I've gained from crochet world, aswell as from my many past lives to help encourage and influence more people to think about creative ways to save the planet.


My first pit stop in this journey is a very, very simple one:  I'm have a mass charity sale of all of my yarn collection.  I'm incredibly lucky to do what I do, and invariably after writing a book, or completing a commission there's some woolly goodness left over.  I also have a slight addiction to buying yarn, so add it all together and it makes for one hefty stash.  I figured if I sell it off I can raise money for Friends of the Earth (this is a UK registered charity that helps support all sorts of organisations that are trying to create a more sustainable future) as well as help fund my MA.  All the proceeds will go only to these two 'causes'.  Here's a little taster...







So if you feel like helping the planet, as well as getting some lovely yarns and exclusive makes to boot, hit the 'shop' link in the sidebar there, and see if anything takes your fancy.
Happy Holiday!!  A few years ago the the gorgeous US crochet Superstar @suregal27 (Susan) launched a new annual holiday - Granny Square Day.  On the 15th of August, we all hop on instagram, share a pic of our favourite granny squares, and then Susan turns them into gorgeous blankets.  Each year it's had more and more people joining in, and I feel like it's a brilliant way of everyone sharing a little bit of something that we can all master, regardless of where we live, what we do or who we are.

This year Susan asked if I'd like to make a drawing to celebrate the day, and I jumped at the chance!  I've created something that you can all down load and colour in yourselves, so feel free to copy this image to your hearts content (although, as usual, not for nefarious purposes please!) and we'd love to see your finished colour combos on instagram.  Just tag us up and happy holiday!



I don't know if you do this, but I have this unconscious habit of trying to find a theme for my day/week/month/year/life.  I guess it's a bit like finding a story that fits what's going on, that helps you make sense of the world.  (I realise this sounds like it could be getting pretty deep, pretty quickly, don't worry.  It's really not).





This month the planets have aligned and my theme seems to have become working with Natura XL Cotton (see?  Told you).  I had a very exciting commission from a super mag, using this lovely, smooth, chunky yarn.   I'd also started working on Modern Granny hexie design using it because of the very beautiful, deep, burnt colour palette they have, and THEN the very clever and super lovely MarRose aka Marianne Dekker-Roos, asked if I'd like a copy of her new book 'Colorful Crochet'.




Well, you don't say no that do you?!  It's very much in Marianne's vibrant, eclectic style, and  amongst all the lovely, bold patterns was a very cool, graphic, linear cushion that is right up my strasse.  And it is made using?  You guessed it: Natura XL Cotton.


There's a whole variety of patterns for all sorts of skill levels (and using all sorts of yarns!), and she has very kindly also given me an extra copy to give away to one of you guys.  So if you'd like one too, just leave a comment here, and on Monday 3rd July we'll randomly pick a winner ;)

Em x
Well hello there little ladybirds, long time no write!  I've been having a bit of a hiatus from the electronic and social media side of things, and I won't lie, I've loved it.  I thought I'd take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.  Ahem, sorry, force of habit.  I thought I'd take a minute to write about how caught up we get in the electronic world, especially as independent makers and designers, and how taking a break every now and then is healthy.

During my hiatus I've made a collection for the front cover of Mollie Makes...


I came to social media as someone looking to get in touch with the wider world and find my tribe and my goodness, I found them!  (Hi everyone!)  I love the very genuine relationships I've made through instagram, not to mention the lovely commissions and incredible offers of work and experiences I've had because of it, but, there has been a downside.  In nuturing my online community, I neglected the bit of me that is very much a social creature, that thrives and is utterly present when in the company of those I love.

...a little motivational banner for Mollie Makes too...

Now, like a lot of us yarnaholics, I'm not so good at the social interaction.  As much as I love it, I can come away and dwell on things I've said or done faaaaaar too much, and often find it easier to entertain myself.  With wool. And with social media in my pocket, and my instapals right there at the click of a button,  it's even easier.  But also like a lot of us yarnaholics, I get The Anxiety.  The Anxiety feeds on us when we're alone, even with instapals in our pockets.  The remedy?  Spending time with real people, as difficult as it may be.

...started work on an exclusive design for HobbyCraft (eep! SO exciting)...


But do you know what?  The more I do it, the less difficult it becomes. 

...started building a collection for a new book...

There is a fear that if you're not posting something ever day, or responding to things when they pop up on your device, that you'll lose your online presence.  As someone that relies on it, it's a genuine worry.  But the benefit that spending time with people brings, has to out weigh that fear, DOES outweigh that fear.  So I'm going to try and keep it up, and hope that I can nurture my online and offline relationships, in a balanced and happy way.  So I will see you soon, but I'm going to hang out with my other pals too.
 xxx

...but most importantly, invited all those special people to share a special day with us :)

Ok, so I said I wasn't going to post for a while, but the Easter hols have hit, I'm home alone with the Beast's, and this is the perfect space to touch base with my community and find some sanity.

I kind of want to say something about that I've been keeping in for an age, but it was never the right time to say.  I also don't want to come off as a whinger and a whiner, as the online community has been my lifeblood for the last couple of years, but it seems important, so, here I go (deep breath).  Just over a year ago I started the CrochetGirlGang on IG, invited some other makers on board, and in the beginning it was a genuine, positive, collective experience.  But then I gave over the account log in info, and passwords, and was very unceremoniously booted from the set up.  It's left me feeling incredibly jaded and untrusting of the IG and online world, and I've been struggling to engage with it since then.

Gorgeous IG family, I keep trying to get back on board with the whole thing, so please forgive me if I've seemed absent, but it's been much harder to recover than I thought.  I will get there!  Mrs.Steel's is absolutely a bid to find my tribe again, but I can only apologise if I'm not as on board with it as I should be.

Whinging over.  In other news, I've had the incredible good fortune to have made 3 separate makes for Mollie Makes mag, as well as some brilliant challenges for Simply Crochet, and some sneaky filming for a new project that I can't tell you about just yet.  I've also been carrying on with my Modern Granny Challenge that I set myself in January, it's been really exciting and a lovely way to engage with the online crochet community.  So here are some pics of the makes so far, (I was thinking about turning them into a calendar for next year, assuming I get that far!) they're all using traditional hexies or Granny squares, but using some contemporary colours and interesting patterns to bring them bang up to date.






My dear, sweet darlings.

I'm going to have a break from blogging over here for a little bit, to focus on building up Mrs.Steel's School of Stitchcraft and Scissory.  I want to get as much energy behind it as I can, to promote the ethos of living in a crafty way to help make the world a better place.  I know it's only making stuff, but if I can find the time, I know I can show everyone that there's a whole way of life connected to creating things with your hands, and Mrs.Steel's is the forum I'm going to try to do it with.

That's not to say I won't still use this space, I will!  But for now, you can come and see me by hitting the link in the side bar ;)