Lauren Loves Blog

A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

1 Jul 2020

Chunky Lempi Jumper Knitting Lesson 1: the gauge swatch

Hello all and welcome to our first knitting lesson for the Lempi Sweater. As a reminder, if you would like to join our Knit Along (called a KAL in the knitting world!) then you need to check out my last blog post here for the instructions on what kit to buy. 

Our first step is to knit a gague swatch. This tells you if the needles and yarn you've picked, and your knitting style, will lead to the finished item being the size you want it to be. When we knit things like toys and hot water bottle covers, this isn't so important, but when we make clothes it's very important. This jumper already has a bit of extra room in the body, so if your swatch is bigger than 10cm, your jumper will be bigger! 

I've made a video to talk you though it:

Happy knitting!

24 Jun 2020

Knitting lessons - chunky jumper

Who's up for some more knitting lessons? I've been kindly sponsored by Love Crafts to teach you more knitting lessons and I've chosen the Lempi Sweater by Novita Hygge (it's free to download here). It's a gorgeous, really chunky jumper which would be perfect for late summer evenings after a BBQ.

This is an easy knit, and you'll learn a new skill - to knit in the round (it's way easier than you'd think)

Here's what you'll need

Choose the size you'll need:

Body circumference in CM
Amount of yarn in grams

Once you know your size, pick your super chunky yarn and buy enough! You can use the Novita Hygge yarn if you like. I chose to make it using MillaMia Naturally Soft Super Chunky in Sailor Blue and I'm making a size S so I've got 9 balls. A cheaper but lovely alternative is Paintbox Simply Super Chunky and if you were making size S, you'd need 8 balls. The benefit of the Paintbox yarn is that you can chuck it in the washing machine, but if you choose a real wool like I have, it will be lovely and soft. Pros and cons!

Other supplies you'll need

  • 8mm 80 cm long circular needle circular needle 
  • 8mm double pointed needles
  • 10 mm 60cm long circular needle 
  • Darning needle for sewing together
For my circular needles, I have an interchangable circular needle kit which can do lots of lengths and widths of needle. I love mine, which are from Hiya Hiya. They're slippery and sharp which suits my tension, but if you have a looser tension then I'd recommend looking for bamboo ones. Check out my Instagram highlights and IGTV and YouTube for some video introductions to knitting

If you can't decide what colour to do, you can check out the Ravelry page for this jumper to see how others have made it. 

Let me know if you have any questions. I'll give you all a week to gather your supplies and then like last time, I'll do some videos for how to follow this knitting pattern!

27 Apr 2020

Lockdown knitting lessons

Lockdown! My gosh what is happening to the world? I don't know about you, but I swing wildly from being completely calm and OK, but then I move towards feeling really panicked and anxious!

One thing keeping me sane is knitting. I've always loved knitting and I'm sure I've blogged about it loads before. I've recently just finished a cable knit jumper to replace my old Topshop one which was bobbled and stained (my one on the left, Topshop on the right)

After chatting to some people on Instagram, I decided to start doing knitting lessons. Together we can knit a hot water bottle cover as a good way to learn the basics of knitting

I've uploaded the basic videos to YouTube - how to cast on, knit and purl. If you'd like to knit along with me to make the hot water bottle cover, go to my Instagram page and watch the stories highlight for the information, and then look at the IGTV videos which will talk you through making this. 

The yarn I have used is called Bloom by Biffsugar Yarns and I've done some videos here on learning the basics. 


24 Nov 2019

Date night outfit: Flattering Leopard Wrap Dress

Last night, Sam and I treated ourselves to a date night. We haven't been out together in ages, so decided to go into Bournemouth. It was a wet, rainy night! I also had the great excuse of having had my hair freshly done that morning, so I needed to wear my hair out!

I wore my lovely new leopard print wrap dress which is so flattering and comfortable (despite having had a huge pulled pork burger before going out!). I am aware that in leopard print with red hair, I look a lot like Pebbles Flintstone, but I'm ok with that!

Quick side note: How do other bloggers cope taking photos in the winter?! I've had to colour correct everything to make it seem less orange and dark which is really frustrating

This lovely dress is from ANGELEYE, a brand I had not heard of before. They contacted me and kindly offered to gift me a dress. This is the Cream Leopard Print Dress and is £38. It's so comfortable and I love the flounce on the bottom of the dress which makes it really floaty and feminine. Sometimes with wrap dresses, they fall apart when I sit down and flash my pants! This has a good amount of wrap fabric and keeps my dignity despite how many cocktails I had last night!

I paired the dress with my very old rose gold heels from ASOS. These ones are very similar but look slightly easier to walk in! 

If you're in the market for your Christmas party dress, I'd definitely check them out. They have some lovely bits like this floral suit, this navy floral satin wrap dress, or this 20s inspired beaded mini dress

We had a great night, but we were home fairly early. We're so old these days! This morning, as I write this, I can confirm that I do have a slight hangover and I'm enjoying snuggling with Teddy dog on the sofa, watching the new episodes of The Crown!

14 Nov 2019

Dying My Copper Hair and Keeping It + The Fade Out

At the beginning of August, I went to my hairdressers April Scott Hair in Southampton. I had just got married and like most of my married friends I wanted a whole new look. Rather than have the traditional wife hair chop, I decided to go ginger!

I thought I would share with you my journey so far - how I kept the copper colour for 2 months, and then what it has faded to after a month of using normal shampoo and conditioner. The journey involves a lot of selfies and non-edited or posed photos!

When I first had it done, the colour was a lovely, intense copper

This is the colour in mid-September while we were in America

Starting to get some roots!

To keep it red I have been using this combo:
1. I washed my hair with a colour safe shampoo to get all the dirt out. 
2. I did a second wash with Infuse my colour copper shampoo - this shampoo adds lots of colour but is quite drying so I had to use an oil when I dried my hair. I mixed it with Schwarzkopf BlondeMe Blush Wash in Apricot to add more pink tones to the copper. I left it on while I washed and shaved my legs
3. I then used John Frieda Radiant Red Conditioner and again left it on while I washed all the red splashes off the walls of the shower and enjoyed a soak. 

After 2 months, the colour had lasted well

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How I've kept my hair colour ❤️ When I first went ginger I was told by a lot of red heads that it's the hardest colour to keep. Apparently red dye just washes put really quickly. I spoke to some red headed friends and did some extensive online research and started using: @infusemycolour_official shampoo in copper mixed with @schwarzkopfprouk blush wash in apricot for pinkier tones. Leave that on while I shave my legs and wash my body. Then use @johnfriedauk radiant red conditioner and leave that on while I wash all the red splashes off the shower walls! I find the infuse my colour shampoo quite drying and I know @rachus (a fellow ginge) does too so you might need an oil when drying your hair. The photos are on the day it was done. In early August, and again at the end of September. I wash my hair every 3 days and it seems to have really helped keep the colour. . . . #aprilscotthair #aprilscott #redhead #redhair #ginger #gingerhair #gingerlife #infusemycolour #schwarzkopfblushwash #schwarzkopf #johnfrieda #johnfriedaradiantred #hair #haircolor #haircolouring #bournemouthbloggers #bournemouthinfluencer #bournemouth @bournemouthbloggers @aprilscotthair #copper #copperhair
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In early October, I stopped using the shampoo to see how it faded out. My roots were getting really long and they're not that red so I wanted to blend my roots a little better. I have an appointment for late November with April so I thought I'd fade it out so we could see what colour it really was without me adding dyes and toner. 

This is the last month in order. I wash my hair every 3 days with Aussie colour safe shampoo and conditioner.

(today when I snuck off to the toilets to take an update photo) Scuse my foundation free face!

Overall, I've loved being a red head! I'm so pleased that I think it suits me and I can;t wait to get my copper locks back again next week. If you find anything that helps keep your copper from fading then please do let me know! My next job is going to MAC for a makeup lesson when I'm back to being ginge so I can learn what colours suit me as none of my blushes, eyeshadows or lippies quite work anymore. 
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