Twitter Giveaway: Craft and Listen Pack With Exclusive Pattern!


My sister-in-law, Fay, has recently launched a craft company, Knit It Hook It Craft It and a podcast, The Crochet Circle.

Fay has a true gift for making things. Whether it is cooking beautiful food, tiling a bathroom or stitching a skirt, she achieves excellence in anything I have seen her try.

Imagine how excited I was when she turned her skills to making a shawlette/scarf inspired by In The Light of What We See!

As Fay knows I am a novice crocheter (and she wanted simple pattern that could be done while listening to an audiobook or watching television), the pattern is suitable for beginners. It has a geometric edge pattern, and I can absolutely picture Mina wearing it.

IMG_4203Plus, she found beautiful hand-dyed yarn (by Ripples Crafts in Scotland) in colours which match the book cover perfectly.

Yes, she’s a genius.

To celebrate my very first ‘bespoke book-inspired pattern’, I’m giving away the audiobook of In The Light of What We See, the exclusive pattern, and a skein of hand-dyed yarn (enough to make the shawlette). Just head to Twitter and RT/follow to enter!

You need to follow both my account and Fay’s – @ma_dashper and @SarahRPainter

Good luck! 

Terms and conditions:

To enter you must follow (or already be a follower!) of both accounts and have retweeted the competition tweet.

One entry per Twitter user.

One winner will be chosen at random. The prize: one skein of yarn, the crochet pattern and one copy of the audiobook (on CD).

Giveaway is open internationally and closes at 9pm (GMT) on Friday 2oth May 2016.

Friday Five: The Feeble Edition

Argh! It’s the end of the week, already!

I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed and feeble this week, so this Friday Five is all about trying to combat that.

1. New knitting project. Knitting is definitely good for stress-relief and the repetitive action helps me to think through story ideas, too.

This owl pattern and yarn combination is super-cute, but the yarn itself is making me cross-eyed. I’m getting used to it, though, and the pattern is nice and simple, which is what I need at the moment!



2. I’ve been giving myself plenty of reading time (as I know that will help me to ‘refill the creative well’, as well as being an enjoyable escape from my own head) and I really enjoyed The Lie by C.L. Taylor and Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

3. Easing out the post-deadline kinks with some yoga. I’ve been saying ‘I must do some yoga, it’ll do me good’ for so long, that I (finally) got sick of myself and actually did some. Hurrah. I’ve been following the 30 Days of Yoga on the  ‘Yoga With Adriene’ channel on YouTube and I really like her down-to-earth, approach.

amandapalmer4. I don’t think I have a number four, unless you count walking lots and listening to podcasts.  Oh, I know! I’ve been listening to Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and let people help
audio book and it’s really good.

5. There is no number five, either. Feeble, see?



Quick reminder! If you want to be in with a chance of winning one of two signed copies of The Language of Spells, sign up for my mailing list here and I’ll put your name in the hat! 

Craft: Easy lace scarf


I’m at the discovery stage of my WIP, which involves lots of staring out of the window, thinking about my book while I’m watching TV or when other people are talking to me (sorry!), making a book collage, a soundtrack, and doing lots of free-writing.

The last bit is the most important. I call it my ‘zero draft’ because it’s not even cohesive enough to be called a ‘shitty first draft’.

I love this stage. It’s exciting and highly creative, and it’s the perfect time for a knitting project. I like having something to do while I’m thinking (there’s a reason ideas come when I’m in the shower or driving), and it has to be something simple and repetitive so that my mind is free to roam. This ‘one row lace scarf’ pattern from Give Me A Purl is perfect.

I’m making one in a lovely green-blue sock yarn and 5mm needles (you use bigger needles than usually recommended), and it makes a lovely stretchy scarf. You can use any type/weight of yarn, so it’s good for stash-busting, too.

[Image Credit: Beautiful sock yarn from RedBarnYarn]

Friday Five

Five fabulous links to distract and delight…

1. Becoming a writer has definitely affected my enjoyment of reading. Although I can still lose myself in a book, more often than not my enjoyment is accompanied by my ‘writer self’ examining and dissecting the prose. I’m not alone, as this interesting post by Candy Gourlay proves.

2. Author Joe Hill’s love letter to notebooks and a – slightly disturbing – rundown of his journal-keeping habits.

3. Knits for Nerds. If the cover of this book (out next year) is anything to go by, it includes a knitting pattern for a Princess Leia outfit. It makes me so happy that this exists in the world.

4. The Graphics Fairy. Gorgeous blog stuffed with free vintage images for crafting projects, collages and arty blogs.

Um. Yes, I realise that’s only four… Have you seen the sunshine today? I’m heading outside. Have a good weekend, all!

Craft: This week I have been mostly…


Now that the book is done (done!), I’ve got a little more time and I decided to start knitting again. Rather than finish one of my on-going projects (that would be too sensible), I’ve started something new. A mini shawl/scarf affair made with an elongated garter stitch.  As it’s the first time I’ve used circular needles, I chose a simple pattern and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s growing quickly, too, which is always nice.

Although the pattern states fingering-weight yarn, I’m using Rowan Damask DK. It’s made from viscose and linen so it has a nice drape and is pretty fine for double-knit. Better yet, it’s on offer at the moment at Black Sheep Wools.

[The brilliant Knit Night cupcakes are from Vegan YumYum. More pictures and a tutorial here]

Crochet A Rainbow

Sarah LondonFibre artist Sarah London is running the Crochet A Rainbow project in aid of Australian Flood Relief.

She is asking for donations of four-and-a-half inch granny squares (five rounds) to make into colourful, warm blankets for those affected by the disaster.

I still haven’t learned to crochet, but I’m reliably informed that granny squares are very easy – perfect for learning, in fact – and I certainly have enough yarn…