Back in issue 93 of Let’s Get Crafting we launched our annual toymaking competition in partnership with King Cole. LGC HQ was soon flooded with impressive and beautifully creative entries. It was certainly a tough decision, but with the help of our expert judges, Sue Stratford, Sachiyo Ishii and Hannah Cooper, a winner has been crowned! Caroline Turner created the unique pregnant flower fairy project – check out her pattern below and recreate the design for yourself. Congratulations on your win, Caroline
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Runner-Up Story Revealed
After launching our annual competition back in issue 92, LGC HQ was flooded with fantastic and imaginative crafty stories. The team loved reading through each and every one – we’ve shared many laughs and were also touched by plenty of emotive reads. It was certainly a tough one to judge, but we want to congratulate Leska Beikircher on her runner-up story!
No ordinary couple would admit to meeting at a knitting club, but Shaun and Carolyn were no ordinary couple…
The first thing that a long-time observer might notice about the two of them was that they had been living in the small coastal village of Edafedd for as long as everybody could remember, all the while looking like they were in their sixties. The second, and perhaps even stranger, thing was that everybody knew Shaun and Carolyn loved knitting, everyone knew they had met at a knitting club, yet nobody had ever seen them pick up knitting needles or indeed a skein of yarn. However out of the ordinary these facts were, nobody in Edafedd was aware of them. Nobody thought it at all strange that the owners of Gwaell Cottage were so obviously not what they seemed. Because, you see, everybody in Edafedd was under a carefully constructed charm which prevented them to acknowledge anything unusual about the couple. Shaun and Carolyn, as you may have guessed, weren’t even their real names. But they had been using them for so long that they had grown fond of them; they were like your first knitted cardigan – imperfect perhaps, with one or two nearly invisible mistakes, but all the more precious because of it, and soft from constant wearing.
Shaun and Carolyn were knitgicians. Ancient knitgicians. Powerful ones, too – at least they had been powerful once. They had perhaps been the most powerful and well-known knitgicians in the entire knitgical world; before the Great Frog. Those had been tumultuous times. Many a battle had been fought between knitgicians and the Creatures from the Dark Side of the Stash. Carolyn had brought peace to more than a dozen villages when she defended the Portsmouth coast against the Moths of Mayhem. Shaun had earned his place among the more well-esteemed knitgicians when he fought off the giant Raven of Rib that had been terrorising the Isle of Wight. And, of course, the knitgical world would never forget how Shaun and Carolyn led a formidable attack against a horde of Garter Ghouls in Greenwich using their own creation, the Perfect Purl charm, on 2mm needles – on their wedding night no less.
Shaun and Carolyn were invited to join the Council of Stash in the year Row 234. They proved to be invaluable members when the Council itself came under attack that very same year. A squadron of Velcro Wasps had pillaged and plundered their way through Scotland, moving ever southward toward the Castle Gauge, famously situated behind the Swatch Swamp where the Council of Stash had its permanent residence. The knitgicians readied their needles, gathered their yarn, and met the fearsome beasts with knitted brows. For ten days the powers of good and of evil fought mercilessly. Shaun joined a faction that distracted the Velcro Wasps with reverse stockinette charms, while Carolyn’s circle successfully attacked the squadron from the rear with interchangeable needles. More beasts joined the fighting just as reinforcements arrived to support the brave knitgicians. It turned into the decisive battle of the Stash Wars, from which the knitgicians – after twelve days of warmongering – emerged victorious.
A tranquil period of peace followed, which lasted for more than five decades. But, as is so often the case during periods of serenity, boredom set in among the young knitgicians. Many of them began to resent the ancient ways, complaining that knitting needles were inferior instruments: the wooden ones broke regularly, the metal ones too often let the charms slip away before they were even cast on properly, and circular needles tended to get tangled with each other. In short – they were unhappy. They began to demand freedom for themselves to choose their own handiwork. Before long the young insurgent knitgicians-in-training, who called themselves the Stashbusters, discovered an easier way of casting spells and creating charms: crochetegic. Small underground bands of renegades taught themselves this new art, and before long they cast off their knitting needles forever in favour of good, sturdy crochet hooks. What followed was later referred to as the Time of the Great Frog.
Instead of fighting against the hordes of the Dark Side, knitgicians were now forced to battle each other in order to protect their way of living and what they believed was right. Some ancient knitgicians joined forces with the renegades, while a small number of youths stayed true to their elders – but peace was not to be found, however many Stitch ‘N’ Bitch circles came together to mediate. The Council of Stash was overthrown one bright spring morning when a dedicated assembly of youngsters stormed in and turned all the wool into acrylic by crochetegic. The elders, realising that their time had finally come, bowed out gracefully, taking their yarn with them. For a while, the knitgicians lingered together, looking for a safe haven, an exile they could all travel to. But before long their Knit and Natter parties unravelled.
Many travelled to Iceland and took up sheep husbandry. A great number went all the way to the Andes, where they opened up alpaca farms. Some were even so disappointed that they buried their needles and sought solace in pattern-writing. Shaun and Carolyn withdrew to Wales. They knit themselves a cottage using short rows, then used up the last bit of knitgic the young crochetegicians had granted them to cast a protective spell on themselves – no one could ever know who they truly were. Time passed, for knitgicians outlive humans by two centuries, and eventually other houses were being built around Gwaell Cottage, as the remains of knitgic attracted people on a subconscious level. They knew even as they gradually built the village of Edafedd that this was a safe, peaceful place to live in. Just as they knew that Shaun and Carolyn had met at a knitting class and were a perfectly ordinary couple, even though nothing could be further from the truth.
Read the winning story here.
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