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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 ;)

In Januray I set myself the resolution of falling in love with traditional crochet motifs: the granny square and the hexie.  I'm far too fidgety to sit and make the same thing over and over, usually these sorts of traditional makes wouldn't appeal to my, wriggling child.  However, they're so ubiquitous, and SO popular, ,that I figured there must be something that keeps people coming back.

I regularly write for, and as I like to make tutorial for them each month, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have an experiment, and see what a playful attitude and some very contemporary colours could do.

So far we've had 3D Geo Hexies, a bold design with 2tone granny squares, and this month it's the turn of the Honeycomb Hexie.  This months is my favourite so far, but I'm genuinely excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.

I'm gradually getting the full patterns written up and in the Shop, but if you're happy to hang out and don't need full instructions, I will eventually be getting most of the tutorials up at Mrs.Steel's School. 

I used to work with a very dear, acerbic chap, who used to refer to me as Headmistress.  It made me feel like I was in a very particular role, and made me come over all Margaret Rutherford or Alastair Simm's in St.Trinian's.  As a result, whenever we would email about work, I'd get a particular persona in my head, and would find myself writing in the style of a slightly pompous, slightly posh governess, and I enjoyed it enourmously.  (I'm starting to do it now, I literally can't help it).

It's this voice that overtakes me when I'm writing Mrs. Steel's School if Stitchcraft and Scissory blogs.  In fact it's partly what inspired me to open a school in the first place, the enjoyment of playing a headmistress.  It just got me thinking about how all of us that use the internet to communicate with the world develop our own voice, but also that we can have as many 'voices' as we like.

I'm hoping everyone enjoys Mrs.Steel as much as I enjoy being her, and that's it's taken in the slightly farcical tone in which it's intended.  But also that it makes the school accessible and fun too, and that's the real point of it.  Which reminds me: if you're trying to find us on Instagram, due to a 'technical error' the original account has disappeared.  So in the good, old fashioned, 1940's spirit that seems to possess me when dealing with the School, we have relaunched as @stitchcraftandscissory.

Do come and join us. 

Today's lesson has just been released; there's a free crochet lesson AND a cross stitch pattern today, all Valentine's related.

AND I've FINALLY released the Secret Loveheart Mitten pattern for general sale, which is over at the Shop if you'd like it xxx

I am super lucky to have heaps of crochet work on at the mo, but it comes with a couple of downsides. 1. I can't share any pics of any of them and 2. I get so fried crocheting all day, that I no longer find it relaxing of an evening.  This is when all the other stitchcraft and scissory come in to play.

This week I have mostly been playing with my cottons and a yarn needle, and getting my stitch on.  Couple that with some Tom Hardy in BBC's 'Taboo' and once the sun has set and the Bests are in bed, I have been an extremely happy lady.  What's more, starting up Mrs.Steel's School is giving me a lovely opportunity and excuse to do more of this sort of thing AND I can share all the how to's with you as I do it.

Customising thrift finds with a bit of stitchery is one of my fave ways of making something individual.  I'm not a massive fan of applique, so creating my own surface designs for garments really only left me with one option.  But getting the guts up to work my first stitches into a jumper was really hard.  However, once you get on it, there's no going back.  My first  attempt was actually a sugar skull storm trooper, just using DK yarn and a big old needle.  The purdy flowers have evolved over the last few months and now I'm trying to get the guts up to work the phases of the moon around the neckline of a mohair jumper.  I'm not quite ready for perfect circles and delicate fabric, but I'll get there!

How to free style a hand embroidered flower is now over at the school

I am literally thrilled to announce that the School is taking off in the most delightful way, and we can already open up our curriculum to cover the Dark Arts (or baking).  As much as I try, I am a horrible baker, but love taking pictures, so my twin sis has stepped in and offered up her favourite, gluten-free brownie recipe.  Hop on over to the Stichcraft & Scissory blog for your free tutorial.

(And I just have to share with you, that while I was having a lovely time, in my first foray as food photographer, I dropped my camera in the cake mix.  I think in future I'll make sure that I always wear a strap!)

Well my darlings, before Christmas you would have seen the pic of all those Hogwart's House Mittens that I made for my friends and fam.  Today I've posted the pattern for free as part of the new Mrs.Steel's School curriculum ;)  The link is in the side menu, so if you fancy hooking up a pair, hop on over there and get you hook out.