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Mrs.Steel's School of Stitchcraft and Scissory is ALL about making more, and taking less.  Got hole in the knee of your favourite jeans?  Patch them.  Hate the idea of some horrible denim patch?  Make it an excellent feature.  Reusing, upcycling, remaking; it's a way of life as well as a deeply gratifying, and enjoyable thing to do.

So preaching done, and here's today's lesson: just one way to patch a hole.  I think it may be time to start a Mrs.Steel's School account, so we can find all sorts of other, really clever examples of beautiful, creative ways to make your clothes go further.

Some scraps of fabric you like
DK Cotton yarn (but you can literally use anything, I like to use what I have to hand)
Twilley's Gold Fingering yarn

i. Cut your scraps and pin in place.  I've gone for two squares, sat one on top of the other.

ii. Thread your needle and sew simple rows of running stitch, up and down the first patch.  I liked the look of the rows going over each end by a couple of stitches.

iii.  Change to an alternative yarn, and sew rows of running stitch across the next patch, and over the first one.

iv. Fasten off all your ends, and walk around staring at the beauty on your knee.

You can make your stitches as fancy as you like, starting with a simple running stitch is a great way to get going but you can make all sorts of stitchery patterns when you get confident.
My Dearest Squash-blossoms, I have a pocket for a garden, but am determined to do my bit by growing at least some of the things we intend to eat this year, so today is a tiny little, seed pot make, that is also incredibly gratifying.  This is still very happily in keeping with the make more, take less approach that is the school motto.

If you've never grown anything before, don't be afraid!  The worst that will happen is nothing, the best is that you can have fresh pea shoots in your salad every day.

When I get round to making emblems for each house, this will very firmly sit in The Green House, alongside other botanical joys (but I'm doing my best to take things slowly and do things in a measured and calm way, MOST unlike me).

All you need are some empty toilet rolls, a box of some sort to keep them in, a pair of scissors and some seeds.

I've chosen peas, carrots and onions, and I'm going to get a few sewn now, and will then do some more in another couple of weeks so as not to have a glut of anything.

Step 1: Cut the toilet roll in half.

Step 2: Make 4 slits, to about half way up the cut roll.

Step 3: Fold the bottom together like a cardboard box, so that each section overlaps the next.

Step 4: Fill it with some compost and pop a seed in it.

Step 5: Place on a water proof tray, put on a window sill and water lightly.

I've also used an empty egg box for some of the smaller seeds.  Once these have started to grow, you can literally just pop them out and into the garden or a window box.

Recently I was asked by Paintbox Yarns to pick a collection of 10 colours, my favourite colour pack.  I love bold, bright colours, and chose my favourite, fall-back palette.  These are the colours I use for everything from embroidery to crochet, and love having a stash of them in DK cotton for all craft situations.

I recently used them to make a big, fairground inspired, letter cushion for Mrs.Boss (Katie), and thought I'd share the grid with you.  I've kept the format down to a basic grid so that you can use it for tapestry crochet, cross stitch, freehand embroidery, knitting, anything you like.  I also thought you might like other letters, so have designed most of the rest of the alphabet too.

Please share these to your hearts content, but we would love it if you could credit Mrs.Steel's School if you do.  We'd also love it if you wanted to share any makes with us!  Just hop over to Instagram and tag your pic with #stitchcraftandscissory.  Oh, and you can pick up the cottons at LoveCrochet ;)

Porridge is one of my all time favourite foods. At work, a visiting lecturer accused us of being "porridgophiles" that's how frequently we consume it. I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (rarely on the same days though) as it can be be so versatile. My all time favourite though has to be "Bakewell" porridge - almondy, raspberry sweetness, wrapped up in warming, satisfying oats. As with all my recipes I make this to suit my FODMAP lifestyle so if you're like me and need to treat your belly gently, or are trying to be a bit healthier and cut down on the fats, use water for the body of the porridge. However, if you are lucky and can indulge in milky of creamy goodness, swap out the water and use your favourite milk instead. This is a very simple, very quick recipe that delivers big on flavour and comfort. The following quantities makes 1 bowl.

Bakewell Porridge


2 handfuls of oats
1 handful of ground almonds
Enough boiling water to cover the dry ingredients
Splash of cold millk
Fresh raspberries or raspberry jam
2 drops almond essence (optional - if you love that bakewell flavour go for it, if you prefer subtler almond don't!)
1 handful flaked almonds


Place the oats and ground almonds into a bowl, cover with boiling water and microwave on high for 1 minute. (If you are a porridge purest, please feel free to cook on the hob. I only do it in the microwave to save on washing up!)
Remove from microwave and stir the mixture until it thickens and looks gloopy.
Add the splash of milk and almond essence to loosen - keep adding and mixing in until you hit the porridge consistency you prefer.
Add the raspberries or jam.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Sit near a radiator or fire with a cup of tea and consume slowly. 

Mrs.Boss xxx
Hello little ones, how is your half term treating you?  Not being one to give you too much of an easy ride, I thought I'd share a little lesson during the hols ;)

Today's lesson is a take on a classic, crochet hexie, with a little bit of fancy colour changing to make it all contemporary. 

5mm hook, 3 shades of aran weight yarn. 
(I've used Cascade Pacific in A – Peacock, Blue Mist, Aquamarine, Baby Turqoise, Yarn B – Jet Heather and Yarn C – silver, but Paintbox Simply Aran would work just as well.  If you hop over to LoveCrochet, you can find all of them.)

Using yarn A and a 5mm hook, ch3, ss ends to make loop.
Round 1: Using Yarn A, ch 3, tr into loop, ch2, 2tr into loop ch2, Yarn B, *2tr into loop, ch2, 2 tr* rpt in yarn C, ss to finish

Round 2: Join on in ch sp using  matching colour yarn, then work a tr in each st, (tr, ch2, tr) in each ch sp.


Round 3: Join on in ch sp using matching colour yarn, then work a tr in each st, (tr, ch2, tr) in each ch sp.

Round 4: Join on in ch sp using  matching colour yarn, then work a tr in each st, (tr, ch2, tr) in each ch sp.

To avoid weaving in all those ends: when you join on a row, draw up your start loop, and then wrap both the working yarn AND the tail around your hook and use them both to make your start chain, and work over the ends as you go.

If you'd like to have a go at making the finished pattern, you can find the link to the full instructions here.

Mrs.S xxx

Hello Loveheart's!  (As a term of endearment that I use on a regular basis, it's extremely gratifying to be able to use it in a relevant context).  With the romantic time of year nearly upon us, I thought we could have a lesson from both  Stitchery and Yarnistry houses, that either celebrates or empowers those that choose to participate.

So if you're feeling romantically inclined, first we have a crochet loveheart tutorial.  Worked up in a jersey yarn (recycled, my favourite) it can be used as a coaster or placemat for the perfect, schmultzy evening of roses and fondant fancies.

Or for the more cynical among us, there's a cross stitch pattern, in cross stitch ;) that you can use to adorn anything with a nice grid pattern to work on to.  I've used a knitted jumper, and worked into the stitches with a bit of DK cotton, but you can use anything you like.

Crochet Loveheart

Jersey Yarn
9mm hook

Cross Stitch Lovehearts

Paintbox DK Cotton in Daffodil Yellow, Bubblegum Pink and Bright Peach.
Twilley's Goldfingering Yarn in Red
Yarn needle

I've grab a plain, knitted jumper from a thrift store, and am working into the holes made by the stitches for my cross stitch grid.

Start by finding the central point of your material, and work the middle loveheart from there.  This way you will be sure to have a nice, symmetrical pattern.

To work the lettering, follow the design below, but again, start from the middle as this will help you to ensure the letters sit evenly across the heart.