Thursday, 28 September 2017

Guest Post - Diamonds and Purls by Poppy Dolan - Blog Tour

I don’t know about you, but I can spend days at a time pouring over sites like Not on the High Street and Etsy. Gorgeous gold rings made by artisan jewellers with your anniversary engraved inside; maps from all the important places in your life cut into heart shapes and framed to hang at home; luxurious leather notebooks with your initials in gold embossing. My heart swells and my bank account empties at the sight of it all. Personalised gifts are the way to go, it’s all about unique, one-off, just-for-you, customised presents. But when you want to give really special things to the special people in your life, shopping for one offs for every birthday, Christmas and Valentines gets pricey. So the answer is - get crafting them yourself!

            ‘Unique’ is definitely the word for some of the things I’ve knitted in the past, and that’s probably being kind. Stuffed toys with one wonky eye, hats that are so tight as to cause headaches and baby cardigans that will probably fit when the child goes to school. But they’ve at least raised smiles along the way! And as I’ve tried my hand at different things, my woolly skills have improved and now I can turn out something genuinely useful and not bad looking. I choose the recipients carefully - they’ve got to have a robust sense of humour and tastes that aren’t too fined; one mate might squeal with joy over a lime green blanket and another might go another shade of green altogether and hide it at the back of their airing cupboard forever.

            But the one thing everyone loves to receive is a soft little hat for their new baby. And these are one of the quickest and simplest things to knit. In fact, I’ve put a beginner’s pattern in the back of the book! Parents get sent flowers (bit useless), onesies (which could come off any old rack) and food (admittedly a great gift when you’ve just had a baby) but if you gift them a totally one-off knitted hat, made with love and patience they will treasure it forever, much more than anything you could have spent your month’s wages on. In fact, a baby hat I’ve made has been used by three children in the same family, which I love to hear, and when clothes that have been outgrown are bundled up and put away or given to the charity shop, it’s always the handmade things that get saved as keepsakes. So a knitted gift might be made out of wool, but it will be more precious than a diamond. Grab yourself some needles and a pattern and make your own one-off gem!

Thank you so much Poppy for this lovely post.

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause. 

But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

About Poppy

Poppy Dolan is in her mid thirties and lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near-obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There's More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She's currently working on her fourth novel – it's about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.
You can get in touch with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn't bite. Unless you are a dark chocolate digestive. 

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1 comment:

  1. The bluebell bunting society was the first book I read by poppy and really enjoyed it. This book sounds like another great read. I really enjoy books that include crafts. Adding it to my Christmas list.


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