knits by sachi

Mr Men and Little Miss Calendar!

I am very honoured to be able to design this project; Mr. Men and Little Miss Calendar.
It is a free gift comes with the current issue of Knit Now magazine.

Most people in the UK know the characters, but if you are not familiar with them, Mr. Men is a series of 49 children’s books by British author Roger Hargreaves commencing in 1971. From 1981, an accompanying series of 42 Little Miss books were published by the same author.

I was thrilled when I got this commission earlier this year. The chief editor and I picked our favourite characters, six each from the Mr. Men and the Little Miss books.

I have a nice memory of Mr. Men. The first soft toy I bought for my baby son was a stuffed Mr. Happy. He must have been only a few months old. My older son was such a cry-baby but when he saw the Mr. Happy at a shop, he gave an amazing smile. I had to get it, of course.

I made these Mr. Men just like the one I got for my boy. Size and style are very similar. It was such a joy to create them.

I took some photos before they are off to the publisher.

Both of my boys grew up reading Mr. Men books. Their favourite was Mr Happy, Mr Tickle and Mr Bump. I sent the photos to my older son in university in London. He said the toys made him feel nostalgic. Precious memories.

It would be great if the toys could accompany story times. If they were made by someone close to the child, that would be even better, don’t you think?

Because of the licencing, I am not too sure if the patterns will be available except this calendar, however, I would like to find someone to make it into a book.

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More festive knits

There are lots of exciting knitting magazine issues out now. Exciting for me because they have many of my patterns.

Knit Now has my knitted Nativity.

I have many sets of Nativity dolls made with different materials. These dolls are finger puppets. I thought it would be nice if children could play theatre with the figures.

The set includes Mary and baby Jesus, Joseph, three wise men, three shepherds, ox, sheep and donkey. I got carried away and made more than enough for both hands. The pattern is running in two issues. Both should be out now. Some figures share the basic body pattern so it is not too complicated.

Part 1 is this

and part 2

It is a bit of a shame that you can’t see the animals too clear in this photo.

I like the human figures, but I like the animal puppets very much. They stayed on my table for a while and kept me company.

They can stand on their own. You can stuff the body with stuffing and enjoy as Christmas ornament or put them on peg doll stands.

The new Knit Now magazine also has an exciting free gift with my patterns. I would like to share the news in the next post.

Oh, I was almost forgetting. This pattern is out from Woman’s Weekly now.

The outfits are removable. You get both boy and girl bear patterns.
The commission included the nighties like these.

Sadly, there was no space for the nightie patterns. You can get them from the magazine’s website. The information is included in the article.

I just bought a copy. The issue will be replaced with a new one tomorrow, so hurry!

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Christmas knits

The issue with these little elves came out in August while I was away in Japan, suffering from the heat!

Since I started submitting my patterns to magazines, it became my habit to knit Christmas early. I do festive knitting in June.

We had an amazingly hot weather for a week or so in June, but I was knitting Santas, snowmen, elves and reindeers. Thinking Christmas is still far away and the weather being so nice and warm, I don’t get into the spirit, however, I enjoy creating Christmas toys every year. It is one of my favourite things to do.

Magazine editors wanted Christmassy characters earlier than previous years. They said that their readers want the patterns early. I quite didn’t expect the elves to come out in September issue, even before Halloween and all, but I am quite fond of the artwork. I think they are charming. You can surely enjoy them any time of the year.

I get queries for patterns which appeared in Let’s Get Crafting. They have a fantastic website and you can download some of my patterns for free.
Here are some of my previous work.

The latest addition is this one, robins.


They are all downloadable from this page: https://www.letsgetcrafting.com/free-patterns
You will find lots of delightful projects.
They also have a sister magazine, Let’s Knit. You can get more patterns here: https://www.letsknit.co.uk/free-knitting-patterns

The projects are all worked with their covermount kit yarns. To knit my designs using commercial DK (8-ply) yarn, I recommend 3mm knitting needles.

From Knit Now magazine, this kit came out with last month’s issue. See, everyone is preparing early.

The latest issue of Knit Now should have the part 1 of my Nativity finger puppets; Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the three wise men. The following issue will have the part 2; three shepherds, a bull, a donkey and a sheep. I can’t wait to see them in print!

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Magazine interview

Someone wrote about my career recently and made me sound like a knitting super star.

This article came out in Let’s Knit magazine published in the UK.

The Queen of Cute! I have never been called a queen of anything. I am very flattered.

I did a one page short interview article with them some time ago. It was before any of my books came out and was my very first interview. I sent a copy to my mum. I still have the issue myself.

I supplied most photos. My book publisher, Search Press kindly offered some images as well, like this puppies photo. This project is included in A-5 size mini book, 20 to make tiny toys. It is one of my favorites. I am pleased that it is included in the article.

I submitted this photo. It is one of my knitted amusement park project, airplane ride.

My knitted carousel was in the same page, and apparently, these attracted many interests. I would love to publish these patterns some day. Knitting part is not too complicated, however, the assembling requires good explanations, possibly with step-by-step photos.

Also, the airplane project needs a little bit more work. Each airplane is hanging on the edge of a skewer and they don’t always stay like this. Here I confess, some of the airplanes turn upside down when I let my hands go and I had a bit of trouble taking photos. I have to sort something out to fix this. May be I should tie a string to the top side of the airplanes to keep them right side up.

The characters are rather sweet and I do like this project.

I have a baby,

a giraffe,

a penguin,

and a little bear.

The article comes with the aardvark knitting pattern. It was another unique request from the publisher. I didn’t even know what aardvark was until I got this commission.

He is wearing a multi-coloured jumper, but it is knitted with a sock yarn and you don’t need to knit in fairisle. The jumper has a button in the back and is removable.

I hope many will enjoy him.

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Patterns in magazines

This pattern was out last week. I was lucky to spot it at a supermarket.

It is in Woman’s Weekly published in the UK. Editors are always so busy and I don’t get notifications of when my patterns get published. Editing weekly magazine must be tough and I don’t know how they do it. I guess I have to be diligent and looking out for my work.

This is one of the quirky requests I often get from editors, otherwise, I would not even think of knitting robots. They named them Knitbots. Clever!

I like getting requests. It is rewarding when I succeed to meet their brief and receive nice compliments. I also enjoy the challenge, but the best of all, I get inspired to create. Sometimes, I carry on having fun, making similar items after I finish my commission.

Some time ago, I made these dummy holders for the same magazine.

I missed the publication for this one. I haven’t got a slightest clue when these came out. Dummy holder is far from what I need at this moment, but surprisingly, I very much enjoyed designing them. I finished the original request and continue making more holders. It is a bit silly, I know, but I made ladybirds, flowers, chicks and all sorts of things as a motif.

I also discovered that they would make nice brooches, so that I made even more. Animal faces are simple and cute, and seasonal items are also fun to make.

To be honest, there have been some commissions I initially could not feel too excited about. I thought they were not my style or anything I fancy knitting, however, I always ended up having lots of fun with them. I think I truly love creating knitted toys. It is very important for me to work with other people.

This knitting kit is out from Knit Now magazine this month. Making knitting kit is tricky and needs careful planning. I hope many will enjoy the project. This magazine if out for a month, thank goodness, so you have a bit more time to buy a copy from a shop.

As for the missed publications, Woman’s Weekly is putting up all knitting patterns on their website soon. Once it is activated, I will post a link on this page.

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Visit to Keito dama

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had nice holidays.

We certainly did. We spent two weeks in Japan and it was just amazing.

Apart from the recent emergency trip in November, our last visit was in 2011. My mother was still well so that we traveled Kyoto and Osaka together. It is a shame that she is in hospital now and probably, she will never get to travel with us again.

However, I was determined to enjoy this trip and had planned many things to do during the stay. First, we visited Tokyo.

My in-laws live in Tokyo but hadn’t seen us for quite some time. Father-in-law had gotten us to stay in a nice hotel with a fantastic view of the Skytree.

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One of the exciting event in Tokyo was visiting Nihon Vogue-sha, one of the leading craft book and magazine publishers in Japan. I always wanted to get in contact with Japanese publishers. I was delighted when I received a message inviting me to visit them.

The office I visited was their knitting magazine, ‘Keito-dama’ (translated yarn ball) editorials. Interestingly, the editor I met was a man who is a keen knitter himself. I know there are many male knitters out there, but never had have seen one in person.

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I had brought all my book titles and many issues of knitting magazines. I also gave him one of my little knitted work.

This little cat.

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We talked about knitting and crochet extensively and that was such a joy. Time flew by very quickly.

He gave me a couple of knitting books and the latest copy of their magazine which is full of beautiful designs.

Among many interesting articles, I found this one. It features crochet beaded handbag.

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The article is about how these bags are made with many hours of effort and are treasured by many, quite often handed down from a generation to a generation. What a coincidence! I thought, because I was just given a crochet bag from my mother a few days previously.

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This bag was made especially for my mother as a wedding gift. It means it was made fifty odd years ago!

It is beaded and crocheted. I cannot fathom how many hours are spent to create this. It is a handbag to go with a Japanese Kimono. Although my mother is very well aware that I do not own a single set of Kimono, she thought I would appreciate it since I am a creator myself. I am very honoured.

Mum thinks her life is approaching toward the end. She has given me all her precious jewelries over the last few years. I used to get upset and became teary every time she did this, but somehow, I learned to accept them with a smile.

I will certainly treasure this beaded bag.

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Recent publications

While I was away in Japan, some of my patterns came out in print. Most of them feature Christmas knits. It is the time to get busy with making gifts for your loved ones (and yourself).

Simply knitting magazine UK has this one: Santa, reindeer, elf and sleigh set.

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The request was to make the Santa family with miniature toys. This pattern is in the A-5 mini booklet which comes with the magazine.

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Pattern is not at all complicated, but assembly may require a bit of patience. The sleigh has a cardboard inside for sturdiness. I have added the template and instruction drawings with a help of my son. If you think the sleigh is a little challenging, you may be able to find an alternative, for example, wooden toy sleigh.

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This project is a lot of fun and very rewarding at the finish.
It looks like this with everyone together.

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I have made many Santas. This one is easy to make and is one of my favorites.

Another project is this one: Christmas ponies in Knit Now magazine.

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The pony is knitted all in one. The pattern is surprisingly simple. The blanket has a Christmassy motif, but it can be knitted without it of course. Using multi coloured sock yarn may produce an interesting effect.

And one more.
A few days ago, I received these from America: Toy knits published by Interweave.

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I was invited to submit my work in January so that this magazine has come a long way. It is more like a book than a magazine. It has been carefully planned with lots of time and care.

It contains many many projects and beautifully produced. I can assure you that you will find something you would like to try. There are book reviews and interviews included, and I was very happy to find my book in it.

I have two patterns in this issue; Knitted zeppelin and bunny in a jumper

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Cool, yes?

This is the very first time that my work appeared in a knitting magazine in the US. I hope readers will enjoy them.

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Love to Knit and Crochet interview

The article has this photo, my favorite amusement park train with happy animals.

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In the current issue of ‘Love to Knit and Crochet’, you will see my interview article, yes, again!

This time the article goes on two spreads, 4 pages. How flattering!
The first spread;

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and the second;

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I received the request some months ago by e-mail from the editor. Attached was the previous blogger’s interview PDF as an example. The pages were colourful and beautiful with lots of photos nicely arranged, and I felt a little anxious about accepting the request. I hoped that the editor can work a magic and make me look nice, too.

And I think she did!

I supplied all the photos. The hardest bit was the photos of my working space. I don’t have a studio dedicated to my knitting and sewing, I just work in a corner of our dining room. I wish I had a posh and stylish studio like I often see in magazines, but I do like my corner. I work most of the day but I don’t have to feel isolated.

The problem is the room is between the conservatory and living room and do not have direct windows. It is bright enough for me to work but photos taken in the room usually look too dark with funny colours.

I tried to do without work space photos, but I knew that the editor wanted these the most. That is the whole point of the interview, isn’t it? To show behind the scene?

So I asked my younger son to carry down the large lighting equipment that my husband uses for e-bay photos and there we go, we tried.

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They are not brilliant images, but I think it worked.

This shelf was made by my son. He made it for GCSE design tech. He scored very high with this one.

It is supposed to be a coffee table and cannot say it is the most convenient thing for my stash, but I am keeping it. Maybe some day, I can tell his children the story.

The article comes with the knitting pattern of this hedgehog pin cushion.
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I don’t like sticking pins to animal toys but this is an exception. Hedgehogs have spiky back and I feel less guilty.

Cute?

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Knitted astronauts

I found the better photo of my YSD mascot.

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My elephant, named Tiny looks very cozy with the monkey Chris. These pattern should be available soon through Let’s Knit magazine website for free.

The shop had our posters and books displayed in shop windows. I brought my knitted samples which attracted young and old. It was very nice to see people’s reactions when they see my creations.

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And of course, I had brought my business card that I made for this occasion. This one looks much nicer than the one I had when I used to work in the City!

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It was a small event, but I had a lot of fun with my fellow author and editor, May Corfield. And the shop was offering everything 20% off sale! I got a few balls of Rowan of course.

Another exciting event from last week. Knit Today May issue with my article has come out.

This one has my knitted animal astronauts and guess who, Tim Peake. Tim Peake is a European Space Agency astronaut and International Space Station crew member who is traveling space at this moment.

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This article goes across three spreads and you get the pattern to knit four animals, pig, dog, mouse and rabbit, and Tim. You also get the pattern to make the rocket.

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Editorial team has taken great photos and did a fantastic art work. I am very pleased with how it came out.

My younger son did the illustration for making up section. It is his first published work! He is looking to take graphic art courses after six forms. I hope this article has given him further motivation for his study.

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I heard that the editor has sent the images to Tim on ISS. I hope he liked it.

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Let’s Knit May issue

May issue of Let’s Knit magazine is now out in shops.

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This one comes with my Farm animal knitting kit. You can make sheep, dog, cow, pig and mouse with the yarn in the packet. Exciting!

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But it was very tricky and difficult to make this kit.

First, we had to choose colours and amounts of each ball considering where to use main and contrast colours. I made samples using my own yarn. Originally the editors wanted the animals bright and vivid for the magazine to stand out among many other competitors, but after seeing my animal samples, they decided to go for natural colours. I think it is nicer that way.

After agreeing with the colours, the kit went to production. I re-knitted the animals with the kit yarn to alter the pattern, but I found the yarn much thicker than commercial DK yarn and had many trials and errors.

But I know it was worth it.

The patterns are super simple and easy. They share similar patterns, too. For body, you knit a square and sew four corners to create legs. I like simple patterns and detest gussets with passion. Knitted pieces are stretchy, allowing you to shape after sewing up. I don’t see much point in over complicating knitting patterns for toys.

This issue has more exciting news; the mascot for the Yarn Shop Day.

I have received an honour to design the mascot for the big day this year! I was asked to make an elephant, so here it is.

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I chose soft yellow so that it can be a boy or a girl. Readers can choose any colour they like for the elephant.

The elephant is named “Tiny”. It seems he has a mate called Chris, the monkey. Tiny sits about 12cm and for me, it is not so tiny, but with the monkey Chris, he does look Tiny.
You can pick up their patterns at the YSD participating shops on Saturday.

Tiny and Chris

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Yes, the Yarn Shop Day is next Saturday, and I will be at C & H Fabric shop in Tunbridge Wells with a fellow author and editor, May Corfield. She has written crochet books; 20 to make crochet granny squares and 20 to make crochet hearts. We will be doing a book signing and a workshop.

I am going to do an easy toy knits workshop.

For example, these animals. They are all made with knitted square pieces, no increase nor decrease.

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This way, children or non knitters can have a go. Some can be made with garter stitches so that you don’t have to purl.

I hope many will come see us.

A Happy Yarn Shop Day!

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