cats, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized

Feeling Festive and Feline Fun!

Since my last post, so much has happened. ¬†Having had nearly a month off from posting due to a mad few weeks at work which has consumed all of my time and energy, I’m finally having some time to myself and am able to get back to my crafting (and blogging!)

I completed two Craft Fairs, the one in Devon went really well and I enjoyed the mini-break, meeting some lovely folks.  I then did a small Christmas Fair locally which was not so successful, but great fun nonetheless.

Adding to all the madness is the preparations for a certain festive period – I have done most of my Christmas shopping, and am now moving on to last-minute gift-making…

First off is a crocheted scarf for my Dad which I am making in Katia Kathmandu – a gorgeous colourway in blue/green/grey which hopefully keep him toasty warm through this winter.

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Next up is a scarf for my brother РI am trying to decide whether I have enough time to knit this or if I should crochet it a bit more quickly.  Again I have decided on a Katia yarn РBasic Merino Flash, a soft wool/acrylic mix with a soft variegation in colour from bright crimson to a more mellow maroon.  My brother looks fantastic in red and as both he and Dad loved the scarves I made previously, I hope they do also with these.

 

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My Mum is also getting something, but as she reads my blog I am not putting anything on here about it – she will just have to wait and see!

Another present in the making is an upcycled project that I made and then was never happy with.  It is a lovely pattern and the first major item I made when I learnt to knit.  It is from the book Knitty Gritty by Aneeta Patel, whom I wholeheartedly recommend as a knitting teacher.  I wish I could have made it to one of her classes, but the two Knitty Gritty books gave me a firm foundation to start from.

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I am going to remove the pink flower (which I only put on as a tester) and am going to crochet some pretty embellishments around the shoulders of the hot water bottle.  This has been sadly sitting in a box since I made it, and Anna has remarked on it a few times, so I hope she likes the final result.

I will then turn my hand to a secret project for my little friend Mikey, who turns 5 on Boxing Day. ¬†I may not complete it in time, so will save it as a January present…

And finally, a project for myself РMum and I had our annual pilgrimage to Peter Jones in Sloane Square (part of the John Lewis brand) and we saw some beautiful yarns.  I bought some for myself which I am going to knit up on different sized needles.  This stunning yarn is Debbie Bliss Angel Prints, Kid Mohair and Silk, as soft and strong as you would expect with that gorgeous mix.

I have never made anything for myself so this is going to be fun.  I am going to try it with 3 1/4 mm and 5 mm needles and adjust it if I am not happy with the result.

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Finally, a little update on Sir Patrick, who is now 7 months old and a real purr-sonality. ¬†He doesn’t ever stay still enough to take any pictures, but I managed to snap these today. ¬†He is fascinated by all the knitting and crochet activity and has a penchant for lace (he has excellent taste!).

The final picture is just typical Sir Patrick. ¬†He was checking out the camera lens and managed to fog it up with his breath, in true soft focus style… ¬†Ella is just beginning to cope better with him, and he is calming down a little, which is a relief for us all!

 

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Etsy Countdown Revisited… 3!

My Etsy plans are finally back on track…

After a longer than expected hiatus due to illness, I am raring to go and very excited about restarting my Etsy Countdown!

I have begun taking some photos with my fancy new camera and coming up with descriptive and accurate details for my sewn, knitted and crocheted goods – there’s certainly more to it than I expected when I initially came up with the idea to sell my wares online.

So whilst I’m working hard on this I will leave you with a short and sweet post with some of my tester photos, trying to offer different views of the products. ¬†Any feedback would be gratefully received, but be sure there is a bit of cropping and other tricks to be applied before they go live!

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Happy crafting!

Lou x

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It’s the Etsy Countdown… 3

Afternoon all!

So, the time has come for me to unveil my Etsy shop on Monday…

The countdown has begun!

Photos are being snapped, UFOs are beginning to turn into FOs, dummies are being dressed, seams are being sewn, descriptions are being written and policies polished to (hopefully!) perfection…

I will be counting down again tomorrow with more details, but here are a few of my first snaps of my items and WIPs taken with my new camera.  I decided on a Canon Powershot SX400 IS РI am certainly no camera expert, but this bridge camera is lightweight, has enough settings and gizmos to keep me happy without completely confusing me!

 

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This pebble stitch scarf with picot loop edging is made in King Cole Gypsy – although it is an acrylic yarn, it is such a beautiful, soft medium to work with and the colours are absolutely fantastic.

 

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Next is a double chain scarf in James C. Brett Marble Chunky Рagain I surprise myself in using an acrylic yarn, as I tend to prefer working in natural fibres.  I make an exception for this yarn.  Not only does it have a fabulous texture and is easy to work in Рbut the colour choices and mixtures are a treat for the eyes.  This project has since been finished and will be going up in the shop!

 

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This one, however, is still in progress… ¬†I’m a bit of a slow knitter! ¬†This child’s scarf is in half moss stitch, which gives a lovely flat almost ribbed appearance on one side, with little crescent moons on the other. ¬†For this scarf I am using Sublime Baby Cashmerino Silk. ¬†It’s extremely soft and seems to knit it up well…

So – back to the plans – or perhaps a cup of tea and a biscuit first!!

Happy crafting!

 

Lou x

 

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Wiltshire and Somerset Travels

I am very lucky to live in the beautiful county of Wiltshire.  Within a few minutes of my home is beautiful countryside Рheading north, the beautiful Bradford-on-Avon and the spectacular Roman city of Bath.  Heading south there is the world-renowned Stonehenge and Salisbury, dating back to the iron age.

To the west, my best-loved town, Frome (OK so it is technically in Somerset!), with its arts and crafts and to the east the even more magical stone circle of Avebury and the up-market Marlborough.

This weekend has been a wash-out so far (typical British weather!) so I have been limited to a quick trip to Frome. ¬†Visiting Mary Kilvert’s fabulous shop I bought a few goodies (can’t spoil the surprise on those by posting piccies!) and enjoyed my chat with her very friendly and helpful staff. ¬†I also visited a little Italian cafe called Paccamora¬†opposite Mary’s shop, which was full of character, and the tea’s not bad either…

I also just happened to, ahem, pop into Marmalade Yarns, which is fast becoming my go-to yarn shop.  Maxine very kindly offered knitting advice, and I got a sneak peek of her latest ideas for the next window display.  I treated myself (quelle surprise!) to some lovely yarn Рsome for more makes for my forthcoming Etsy shop, some to make a fancy scarf for Anna, and a bit of beautiful lace to perhaps make myself a wrap or shawl.

My camera has given up the ghost so I have no piccies sadly, but have now treated myself to a new one Рyay!  So that means I will have to go back.  And, perhaps, buy some more yarn?

Despite the current inclement weather, over the last week or so, I had time for a couple of trips to one of my favourite local destinations РThe Courts Garden in Holt Рa National Trust venue.

 

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The borders were jam-packed with beautiful specimens – unfortunately I only had an hour to walk around so i didn’t get to enjoy it fully. ¬†The pond is my place of solace and reflection¬†(well, not in it, you understand!)…

Another day I met up at the local Country Park, for a long walk in the sunshine, with my friend Anna and her little boy Mikey, amiably and ably assisted by their bonkers dog, Dave (known to me as Dave-a-roo).

 

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As you can see Mikey is incredibly photogenic.  Dave, on the other hand, is a Rottweiler in a Chihuahua body whilst out and about.  I have promised him that I will never reveal his secret.  When at home he is known to me as Shaky Dave Рhe literally quivers at the slightest approach of my cat Ella or anyone else.

Oops Dave – sorry – the secret is out…

Happy weekend all!

 

Lou x

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Etsy Works in Progress

What a busy week, I’ve had a day off this week and spent the whole day preparing my Etsy plans and policies. ¬†¬†I still feel like I’ve got a lot to do but have enjoyed all of the preparations.

Now I’m enjoying myself completing some¬†works in progress ready for the grand opening which I am planning for July!

Here is just a little sneaky peek… ¬†Unfortunately my camera is playing up so I can only use my smartphone camera, which is clearly not up to the job… ¬†The first pairing is the most lovely¬†acrylic – I’m really not a fan of acrylic (except as a mix occasionally with wool) but this yarn is so amazing. ¬†The picture definitely does not do it justice.

The colour scheme is King Cole Magestic and it is rather aptly named.  This scarf is made in pebble stitch which gives a soft, nobbly texture and the colour scheme is what I would term Electric Teal (eel!?) with tinges of blue and turquoise and shots of bright fuchsia and a muted, but bright lime green.  It reminds me of a stormy sea with a bold sunset.

The next project is a range of girls’ headbands in Rowan’s wonderful Wool Cotton 4ply. ¬†This is the loveliest yarn to crochet with and gives a sturdy but soft finished project. ¬†I will be making these in sizes from newborn to adult. ¬†Every time I have made these at craft fairs I have sold out, particularly for the under 5s! ¬†My colour choices for these are Old Rose, White and Lilac.

 

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These fingerless gloves were made in Debbie Bliss Cotton DK Рit holds its shape very well and the buttons are some of my most favourite ones Рart deco style, found in a street market in Dieppe in Normandy.  They look rather fabulous and tone in beautifully into the gloves.  I have enough of this yarn left in a bright lemon yellow, I think that would make another fetching pair!  This pattern is not one of my own Рit is a free pattern on Ravelry from Adriana Veleda.

 

 

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Finally I have been working on a granny square bag in Explorer Coast DK Рthis gorgeous yarn Р55% soft merino yarn mixed with a sturdy but soft 45% cotton.  Although not a fan of granny squares, this one I find particularly attractive.

 

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So, not long to go until my Etsy shop opens – and more finished projects to be shared soon…

I have really enjoyed having several projects (all very different) on the go at one time РI would love to hear any feedback on how many WIPs other crafters have at one time!

Happy crafting!

 

Lou x

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