Paja’s Party

Have you all been following the Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party?

It’s been so much fun to take part in this. It’s always great working in tandem with the other blogstars, and it’s so interesting to see how we all took the same starting point (garden party and ‘pastel colours’) and came up with different things.

So far you’ve been round to Lucy at Attic24, to see her gorgeous tin covers, and Julia at Hand Knitted Things, to see her tea cosy and bunting. I hope you all enjoyed a cuppa and a good slice of cake – Victoria Sponge is my preference for a summer garden party, though there’s always a good case to be made for scones with clotted cream and jam.

And today you’ve come to visit me! I have cake, I have tea, I have a jug of Pimms for later on. Ready for an afternoon tea with me?

Photography courtesy of Stylecraft Yarns, who treated us blogstars to a spectacular photoshoot with our finished items!

Introducing ‘Paja’s Party’, a three-in one pattern – it starts off as a coaster that can either grow into a place mat, or into a gorgeous beaded jug cover. Perfect for an afternoon tea in the garden! Crocheted with Stylecraft Naturals Bamboo+Cotton, it’s a gorgeous pastel perfection that will set off your afternoon teas perfectly.

And let me also introduce you to the pattern’s namesake – Paja! (pronounced pie-yah). Paja is the daughter of one of my carers, and she’s a little superstar. Ever since I moved house, she’s popped in at least once a week to help unpack a box, or plant some bulbs in the garden, and she has entirely taken over watering all my pots and hanging baskets. She’s also a complete ray of sunshine πŸ˜€ and when I was picking colours for this design, Paja helped me choose.

I’m particularly proud of the beaded jug cover, because I haven’t designed using beads before, though I have crocheted with beads on several occasions. But don’t be scared if you haven’t done any crocheting with beads! The pattern will talk you through it, with plenty of pictures to help.

Here’s what you need to make these:

  • Stylecraft Naturals Bamboo+Cotton in Buttermilk, Pale Pink, Powder Blue and Lavender. I used less than a ball of each, and made four coasters, four place mats, and a jug cover.
  • 3.5 mm hook
  • Tapestry needle for sewing in ends
  • 36 beads for the jug cover – size doesn’t matter, but they must have a big enough hole to be threaded onto the yarn!

Gauge is not essential for this project. Use the hook that feels comfortable for you. For reference, my measurements after blocking are: coaster = 11cm; place mat = 31cm; jug cover = 28cm (from longest point to point).

The fabulous people at Stylecraft are giving you and a friend a chance to win the yarn to make these – head over to their Facebook page for all the details.

The pattern is in US terms, and is available for free on Ravelry.

However, as always, if you like the pattern, it would be great if you could make a contribution to charity.

Today, I am particularly asking you to donate to ME Research UK. You can go straight to their JustGiving page here.

Why ME Research? Because I have ME, and have had it for over twenty years now, and this week is ME Awareness Week. ME research continues to be badly under-funded, despite affecting an estimated 250,000 people in the UK and over one million people in the USA. There is still no diagnostic test, and there are no current treatments for it.

In their own words, ME Research UK ‘exists to fund high-quality biomedical research into ME/CFS – to find its cause, to develop effective treatments, and ultimately to discover a cure. Thanks wholly to the support of donors, to date we have provided over Β£2 million of funding for more than fifty research projects around the world, but there is still much more to do.’

So please do donate in return for this pattern. The cost of a cup of coffee or a slice of cake can help make a difference to hundreds of thousands of lives – including my own!



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