A little bit dapper – scarves for chaps

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In all the making of toys, shawls and homeware, it is very easy to forget my chap. Big B, might of course be quite relieved. But sometimes I do feel a bit guilty that he is not top of the making list. This autumn I decided to rectify the situation. It is not often that he needs extra layers to keep him warm. He does seem to have his own internal heating system. But very early in the morning on a station platform and cosy scarf is most welcome.

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A scarf is quite an undertaking of time, and because I am quicker with the hook than with the needle I chose to crochet the scarf with a linen stitch pattern. I used a 4mm hook and alternate 2 rows of Stylecraft Life Vintage Look Dk in Volcano with Life Dk in Silver Grey. By alternating the colours you can tone down the self-striping pattern and create more muted tones. I used just one ball each and when I had completed the length finished the scarf with a crab stitch edging.

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Not too bulky

What do you think? Ideally I wanted to create a beautifully soft and textured look without seeming too homemade. Smart enough to wear to work beneath a woolen overcoat. Big B doesn’t like something too bulky around his neck and the scarf needs to pack away neatly in his work bag.

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I will be honest, this will not be your most scintillating make. But it will be very welcome on a frosty morning or trudging home in the dark at the end of the working day. A little reminder that there is someone at home who loved him enough to make a dapper scarf.

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The post A little bit dapper – scarves for chaps appeared first on Emma Varnam's blog.

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Battle for the mother land: indigenous people of Colombia fighting for their lands

The 50-year civil war is over but, in the Cauca Valley, indigenous communities are on frontline of fight against drug gangs, riot police and deforestation

In pictures: Colombia’s land battles shatter the peace in Cauca Valley

A green-and-red flag flies over a cluster of bamboo and tarpaulin tents on the frontline of an increasingly deadly struggle for land and the environment in Colombia’s Cauca Valley.

It is the banner for what indigenous activists are calling the “liberation of Mother Earth”, a movement to reclaim ancestral land from sugar plantations, farms and tourist resorts that has gained momentum in the vacuum left by last year’s peace accord between the government and the leftwing guerrillas who once dominated the region – ending, in turn, the world’s longest-running civil war.

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Source: gad

Google Pixel 2 XL review: the best big-screened Android experience yet

The fastest and smoothest Google Android device has a cracking camera, squeezable sides, great battery life and baked-in AI

Google’s direct challenger to the iPhone 8 Plus and upcoming iPhone X is the Pixel 2 XL, and you may be blown away by the sheer speed of the thing.

The Android-maker has removed the gloves, thrown down the jacket and is seemingly ready for a straight-up fight with Apple, despite the ramifications of inevitably competing directly with Google’s partners such as Samsung and other key Android smartphone manufacturers.

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Source: gad2

Stylecraft Blogtour 2017 – Maple Shrug

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This has definitely been the year of the Granny Square for me. I have loved finding new ways to use this crafty classic and make a whole range of objects and accessories. You might think that having one theme for my book might feel restricting. In reality it tends to free my imagination and curiosity. I try to think of new ways to make, fold and use a basic crochet square.

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The colours

Back in the summer, when all the Stylecraft Blogstars got together we were given a choice of three colour packs. I chose the ‘Desert’ theme. I knew our blogtou11r would be live in autumn and it occurred to me that the colours would be perfect for cosy project. In this pack there are four balls of Batik Elements Iron and 1 ball each of Rose, Cherry, Coral, Old Gold, Heather, Graphite. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

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I make a very awkward model for this garment but you can spot cheeky Stanley getting in on the act!

The pattern

I have created a cocoon shrug. Quite surprisingly it is just a huge granny square! I know that doesn’t seem to make sense. The pattern is very very simple and for the two weeks of the blogtour you can down load it for free. Then I will make the pattern available for purchase.

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Waste not – want not

I had a little bit of the yarn left over from making the Maple shrug and I made a little additional project which I will share with you at the end of the blogtour. If you haven’t used Batik before I know you will love it. Batik yarn is very very soft and the marled effect of the blending gives the crochet material a pretty faded look.

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Getting hold of some yarn

For those of you who fancy making your own version of the Maple Shrug you can download the pattern for free Maple Cocoon Shrug – Emma Varnam. I would love it if you would subscribe to my monthly newsletter as well. If you would like to win a pack of the yarn then please do go to the Stylecraft Competition page and enter **here**. I should hear who has won the prize tomorrow!
Congratulations to Catherine who won the yarn pack and thank you to so many of you who entered! I am also so grateful that so many of you have left kind comments.

This year there are sixteen designers and bloggers involved in the blogtour who have used the Batik Shades with added Batik Elements as their inspiration. That means sixteen chances for you to win a pack of yarn and get a unique free pattern. Tomorrow please visit the awesome Polly Plum and her fabulous blog Every Trick on the Hook. She creates the most wonderful Granny Squares and I can’t wait to see what she has created.

Other bloggers involved include my lovely blogstar friends; Crafternoon Treats, The Twisted Yarn, Patchwork Heart, Hand knitted Things, Cherry Heart, Annaboo’s House and Keep Calm and Crochet on; Catherine’s Crochet Corner, Lucia’s Fig Tree, Zooty Owl, Attic 24, Janie Crow, Crochet Between Worlds, Get Knotted Yarn Craft,

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The post Stylecraft Blogtour 2017 – Maple Shrug appeared first on Emma Varnam's blog.

Source: em

Social media: 10 ways to market your business even more effectively

Social media can be a brilliant way of helping you connect to your customers, but only if you do it right. Here’s how to really make it work for your business

It’s no good being on social media simply because you feel you ought to be there; you need to have a specific goal in mind. Are you trying to raise awareness, get feedback from customers, drive direct sales, promote a new product?

Understand what you are trying to do
Jordan Stone, head of social media at Vodafone UK, says: “Be clear about what you are using social media for. There is no single way, but you need to define what you want to achieve and then really focus on a plan.

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Source: gad