craft, crochet, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

New Products, New Ideas

I’ve had a lovely few days with Mum visiting, as I’ve been unwell and she has been visiting to look after me.  But also we’ve been practising my sewing skills, expanding my repertoire after having attended a sewing class recently.

I had the idea to make a crocheted clutch bag, but wanted to know how to line it with fabric to get a professional finish.  Thankfully Mum has the skills to teach me!  This is the item in progress.  The first part after finishing the main crochet design, was to block it to size and measure up the fabric.

Finally I have managed to use my KnitPro blocking pins and mats and they were fabulous – well recommended (from Wool Warehouse with free shipping…)  The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran – it holds up very well and was a joy to work with.

We quickly decided that there needed to be some interfacing to stiffen the edges, otherwise it wouldn’t hold up too well.  Eventually we settled on sew in interfacing which we measured to just under the size of the silk taffeta lining fabric.

And here is the finished article!  I’m so happy with the outcome – finished off with a magnetic bag clasp and a vintage brooch.

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In fact, I love it so much I’ve even started on the next one already!

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art, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 28

Nearly there!

Day 28: Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?

I have always been a crafter, it’s in my blood!  My Mum is very inspirational and we have always made things together.  Here she is with some of her hand stitched and pieced quilts for Project Linus, made for children and teenagers who are sick or traumatised.

Mum and I have done craft activities together for many years, from simple childhood crafts, to things that we have created together and sold at craft fairs.

We started off with dried flowers (this was the 1980s!) and I also at the same time learnt cross stitch – I had many commissions and made some lovely pieces for Mum and Dad, but never made anything for myself…

We moved on to decoupage (what is now known as Victorian Decoupage) and my very talented elderly uncle made some wonderful wooden objects which we painted, covered with paper and varnished, often cracking them and rubbing in raw umber or occasionally using gold or silver leaf.

Unfortunately, no photographic evidence of this exists, but we enjoyed making things together and it was only my moving to London that stopped us doing so much crafting together.

I then had a quiet few years (well, not in my social life!) where I did little crafting.  When I moved down to Wiltshire I took up firstly knitting and then crochet, and I haven’t looked back since…

I would like to feel a bit more confident with my knitting and would like more experience in using a sewing machine, but Mum always says that my hand stitching is probably the neatest she has ever seen.

If I had the time (and resources!) I would love to devote more time to craft as it gives a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness that I rarely get elsewhere in life…

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Uncategorized

Busy Weekend Ahead!

Some weekends are just made for crafting – especially at the moment in the UK with our rainy days and cold weather.  I can quite happily pass the time snuggled under the small hand-pieced and sewn quilt my Mum made for me ten years ago when I moved into my first (proper) home.

However, this weekend I will be venturing out, in the name of crafting!

On Saturday I will be scouring the Vintage Bazaar in Devizes Corn Exchange, hoping to find some lovely vintage fabric and trimmings!  Particularly looking forward to meeting Sue from Vintage to Victorian whose lovely textiles I have been coveting for some time…

Sunday is going to be a pilgrimage of epic proportions – bright and early in the morning I will be travelling to Bath to catch a coach to Olympia in London (one of the biggest exhibition centres in the UK) for the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show – I cannot wait!

This cornucopia of textile loveliness includes workshops – I am hoping to book a space on one or two of these – I have my eyes on Arm Knitting and Needle Felting…

Other highlights include installations from a crocheted jungle to some of the exhibits from the Fashion and Textiles Museum.  I think I’m going to have to make a wishlist of what I would like to see in order to make sure I make the best of it.

Above all, there will be lost of delicious stalls selling fabric, trimmings, notions and above all – wool and yarn!  I am particularly looking forward to this part of the weekend (no surprise there then – I think my stash may grow just a little…)

I’ll update early next week with hopefully some photographic evidence of this wonderful weekend!

Happy crafting…

Lou x

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Uncategorized

Exciting Etsy plans

Morning all – just a quick update…

I have made a rather monumental decision – I’m going to open an Etsy shop!

The last few weeks have been a bit of a reflective time – with the cold weather and lack of funds post-Christmas I’ve put in considerable hours considering what path I want to follow to sell my products.

I live in a part of the UK that is not particularly geared up for crafts – I have attended some craft fairs but have found the results to be patchy.  It seems that I get a lot of positive comments, but that doesn’t always transpose into sales.

For some time I’ve been thinking about the different online communities and also how I can back up the route I choose with social media.  There are so many pros and cons of the different options available, it has been quite challenging to finally make up my mind!

Although Etsy is quite big, and I think you can easily get lost there, I have heard lots about the great community and backup from Etsy UK.  I’ve also decided to rationalise my makes into mainly accessories – hand knitted and crocheted bags, wraps, scarves, gloves, hats etc.  I also have some sewn bags which I will also put on Etsy and see how they go!

Now my decision has been made I am planning my makes, pricing and shop policies and then will be setting up a (hopefully) speedy production line – difficult when I work full-time!  I have a week off after Easter and am planning to open the shop perhaps in late April / early May.

Has anyone else had any experience of selling on Etsy or other marketplaces online?  How did it go?  What did you think of the results?

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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