Sunday, February 10, 2013

The best day in the world.. Pancake Day!

Pancake Day is this coming Tuesday, the 12th of February :-) Here's some tasty inspiration!! ♥ ♥ ♥

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 ♥ All images found via pinterest.. Check out my board for source links

Don't they look faaaantastic!! My personal fav is with ice-cream, strawberries and icing sugar - YUM!

How do you have your pancakes? 

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Celebrating Heartagram Day 2013

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H.I.M Heartagram Day 2013 by luvfromamy on Grooveshark

Happy Heartagram Day fellow H.I.M fans :-)

Take a listen to the above playlist (you won't be disappointed!!)

What is Heartagram Day you ask? Reaching a worldwide fan base, this special day is dedicated to Finnish rockers H.I.M, where fans can promote and share their love/favourite songs/videos.

Formed in Helsinki during the early 90's the band have since released 7 studio albums along with various greatest hits and remix compilations. Often described as Gothic love rockers, the band penned a new genre of music simply called "Love Metal" - the band mix their heavy musical roots (inspired by Black Sabbath, Turbonegro, KISS) with rrrromantic lyrics which often detail the darker side of love.

Heartagram Day is named after H.I.M's icon logo, the Heartagram which can be seen tattooed on frontman, Ville Valo along with many fans and celebrity friends. 

My favs:
Album: Razorblade Romance & Venus Doom
 Song overall: Aahh I have too many but overall I'd have to say "Razorblade Kiss"
 Heavy song: "Venus Room" / Soft Song: "Heaven Tonight"
Lyric: "I'll write down everything I've learned. And edit it down to a single word, Love" (Plus a lot more, but this word is so strong and very "H.I.M")

Check out H.I.M's wikipedia if you'd like to learn a little more, and keep an eye on - H.I.M are currently in the process of releasing a new album (yippee!)

Now for some pics and videos! :-)

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 Acoustic "For You" performed on the popular Finnish music show Jyrki, 1998. I LOVE this version.. "For You" is one of my favourite song but this acoustic version blows me away. 
"Pretending" official music video off the 2001 record, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. This video clip is really trippy and uses a rocking dolly to give the moving illusion. DIZZY STUFF!
 "It's All Tears" from H.I.M's Digital Versatile Doom live DVD/CD. This song has a wicked bass line and really shows off Valo's vocal range (when I first heard "It's All Tears" on their first album I assumed there were two singers as I couldn't believe one could go that low and high in a sentence). This whole concert is excellent! 

Hopefully I've introduced this fantastic band to some brand new fans :-)

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Bonjour! How To & Review - French Knitting Bee

Bonjour and welcome to the first luvfromamy product review :-)
Today I am going to share my thoughts and experiences with the French Knitting Bee


I often noticed the French Knitting Bee while shopping at my local craft store, the cuteness of the product caught my eye even though I wasn't really familiar with french knitting (That's right... I hadn't heard of French Knitting.. Ha and I call myself a crafter!). One day after "umming" and "ahhing" in the wool aisle for quite some time I decided to purchase this little Mr and give him a go.

If you're not familiar with this product or French Knitting
in general, here's a quick little run down! 

French knitting, or spool knitting as it's often called, is a fundamental knitting style that uses a spool and pegs (usually 4 - 5 pegs) to create a tube like, woven cord. Depending on the diameter of the spool, your cord will be very narrow with minimal elasticity or wide with a lot of stretch. Your "spool" can be anything from a purchase knitting bee like mine or an antique "dolly" spool of your grandmas!

The knitted cord can be used for a variety of accessories and home decor pieces such as bracelets and coasters - great huh?!
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Now that you're in the know, let's continue on with the French Knitting Bee how to guide :-)

You can purchase your own French Knitting Bee in a variety of colours from your local craft and haberdashery store, such as Spotlight or Lincraft.

You will receive:
The french knitting bee (FKB)
The awl to assist with weaving/casting
Bonus "Pom Pom Magic" pom pom maker (PPM)



The packet lists handy instructions on how to use the FKB and PPM, but I find learning from others to be quite helpful too. Hopefully the below instructions and pictures can assist you! :-)

(Please note: My method is a little different to the instructions on the packet, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! First difference is I cast on CLOCKWISE rather than anti-clockwise. As far as I am aware there is no difference with the finished product, I just find it a lot easier and far more natural to work in this pattern!)

1. Firstly, you must insert a thread of yarn into the top opening of the FKB. Continue the yarn through the "body" of the spool until a little length of yarn protrudes from the bottom (almost like a tail haha!)

TIP: If you are finding it hard to thread the yarn through the bottom opening, a crochet hook can be a handy "yarn grabber". Also, make sure you keep a light grip on the yarn "tail" as this is a very important part of spool knitting! :-)

2. While holding the tail, take the "top section" of yarn and loop it around the first peg in an "e" like shape (going clockwise around the peg). When done correctly you will naturally go to loop around the next peg, to your right, in the same fashion. Overall you are going in an ANTI-clockwise motion around the spool, but you will be wrapping the "e" shapes clockwise around the pegs. Keep looping these "e" shapes until you have looped all four pegs like the below image.


3. Take the "top section" of yarn anti-clockwise with your left hand and position it ABOVE your "e" loops on the first and second peg (pictured below). Now we begin to introduce the awl into French knitting :-)


4. With the awl, carefully pull the bottom thread of yarn ABOVE the newly wrapped thread, and then OVER the peg. You will notice the "stitch" has disappeared down into the spool hole. Gently tug on the yarn tail to make the stitch tight. Move onto the next peg to your right.

5. Continue this motion around each peg of the spool. If you talk yourself through the motions it will sound something like this "Position, above, over, tug. Position, above, over, tug..."

Note: Tugging the tail is not required after each thread but I find doing it every now and then keeps the cord nice and tight :-)

After a few minutes you will notice the cord starting to poke out of the bottom of the spool, keep French knitting until the cord has reached the desired length!

French knitting can sound rather confusing, so to make things a little easier here is a video to demonstrate Steps: 3* - 5. This video was taken on my FIRST ATTEMPT so please excuse my slight shakiness, but as you can see.. it's very simple even for a beginner :-)

6. To cast off you will need to snip your yarn from the ball and position the "top section" as you would normally. When you pull the bottom thread ABOVE and OVER the peg, continue to pull the remaining (that is on the peg) yarn's loose tail through the stitch so it is no longer on the peg. Do this for the remaining 3 pegs and you will have successfully cast off!

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* Overall, how did you find French Knitting *
Initially, I found French Knitting to be a little daunting, I had to pay great attention to casting on and the knitting motion to make sure I was doing it correctly. Once I got in the "groove" my knitting became quite fluid and I increased greatly in speed. Although far more time intensive (in my opinion) than crochet I really like the end product; the woven cord is very pretty and the intricate design looks impressive.

* What were your thoughts on the "French Knitting Bee" product *
Very cute and eye catching! The French Knitting Bee is a little more fiddly than what I was used to, but it's all about PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. It does get easier and you will soon be watching TV while you French knit hehe, (plus there's no counting so feel free to chat away!!) The French Knitting Bee is very comfortable to handle and the rubber "bee stripes" make the spool easy to grip. The pegs are a very slippery so until you are a confident French knitting pay CLOSE attention to the "ABOVE the thread and OVER the peg" motion, as you don't want to un-thread all your hard work.

* Any suggestions? Improvements that could be made? *
If the pegs were shaped slightly different like this it would make the ABOVE and OVER step a lot easier as the yarn could catch and not slip off. The directions on the back of the packet assume you have knowledge on how to knit and list casting off as "cast off the same as knitting" - a little more detail would be very handy!

* Overall rating *
I really like this product and will continue to use it :-) I definitely recommend it to anyone who is wanting to learn a new skill. The woven cord looks really pretty and I have already incorporated it into a few of my upcoming store products. With a few little improvements the French Knitting Bee could move from a good product to a GREAT product.
3 acorns out of 5
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Hope you enjoyed this review and please feel free to post your experiences with the French Knitting Bee and any feedback :-)
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