craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Spain, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

Adventures in Sewing and Crochet

So this week has been a real learning curve for me, following my sewing course recently… Mum came up to visit and we finished off a crochet clutch bag which I was making with a lovely taffeta fabric lining and finished off with a vintage brooch.

So I decided to make another one in a soft rose pink and to learn from my mistakes and difficulties.  Without Mum there is was even more of a challenge, as she is very experienced at sewing.

I messed up the measurements (twice!) and had a complete mental block at one point, so had to ring Mum to ensure I had remembered it all correctly…

Once I had sorted it out I forged ahead and was thrilled with the result.  Mum provided me with the beautiful oriental-style fabric which I used for the lining.  The brooch may be a temporary option, I may look out for one which goes more towards silver.  I love scouting antique shops and car boot sales for vintage brooches.

I’ve managed to find a company who produced labels to sew / iron in at very reasonable costs – Wunderlabel – so will see how they come out and then add the clutch bags to my Etsy shop.

These have really given me the bug to start in a slightly new direction and focus more on specific ranges, more work to come on this but I feel very excited about the future of my Etsy shop.  I also have some plans to do a few craft fairs here and there.

Now I’m on to more bags with some lovely yarns… Some Drops Cotton Merino DK from Wool Warehouse in cream, silvery-grey and forest green (although this colour did not come out well in this poor light!) and also some Lanas Stop Merino DK in this amazing rust/ginger shade, which I bought in Marbella.

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Holiday Crafting Plans

So, we’re having a lovely time in Bayeux, and will be very sorry to be leaving!

I have plenty of photos and information to post on my return, but as promised I thought I’d send through the projects I took with me…  Mum is a first-rate quilter, sewer and has now taken up knitting as well (I’m sure it has nothing to do with me though!)

She made me this fabulous project bag which I use lots and lots – and have packed to capacity with bits and bobs from my stash that I thought I would like to use up…

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Firstly some lovely Rowan Pure Wool Aran that I have been saving up – I have had many ideas of what I would like to use this for – a hat or scarf, I’m not sure I’ve made my mind up yet!

Next some Crofter DK – I wanted to try this out so only bought a skein of each…  My plan when going on holiday was to make some prototypes, let’s see what I have done with them when I get back home…

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This Artesano Alpaca yarn I bought in Marbella, I have four skeins so that is plenty to make something yummy with – I so love to work with Alpaca, but this is much finer than I am used to!

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Another Marbella purchase, some Filosofia Palma in the most beautiful colour schemes – perhaps some crochet jewellery or a set of rather stylish coasters…  What will these become?

Finally some Sirdar Americana – I made a lovely shawl with this cotton, but they only had one skein left in this colourway so I bought it on impulse.  What will the plans for this be?

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What fabulous creations can you make with one skein?

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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My Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015

Morning all!

I’ve had a lovely week off at home – poring through all of my favourite magazines – Craftseller, Simply Crochet and Homemaker – as well as trawling the internet for inspirations for Spring 2015.

So I thought I’d put together another Top 10 (see my previous posts, you’ve gotta love a Top 10!) for the season to come.  Spring is one of my favourite seasons, it holds so much promise for the year to come and the buds and new growth spied on a frosty walk brings a warm feeling that’s nothing to do with the temperature outside!

One – Marsala is the Pantone colour for this year – a rich earthy warm red-brown – expect to see this throughout our homes and fashions all year.  It’s a difficult colour to match without a direct comparison, but this lovely wool from Wool Warehouse comes fairly close.

ce154b643acb6d31e03c1f78ddda8e6aTwo – Upcycling seems to be a trend that is showing no signs of going away – the latest edition of Craftseller had a whole supplement devoted to it.  There are some wonderful ideas on Dixie Henderson’s Pinterest including this use of recycled drawers.  It’s a bit too pinky frou-frou for me but the idea is fabulous…

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Three – Crocodile stitch (crochet) – there is a great tutorial for this on Lost & Found Lane – this would make up a fabulous dinosaur or amigurumi monster.  On a more practical level I think it could make a most stylish cushion or scarf as found on Yarn Muse.

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Four – Crochet jewellery – I think we can now safely move on from loom bands to something a bit more stylish!  In the last few months I’ve seen quite a bit of crochet jewellery and have pinned some lovely ones to my Pinterest board.

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Five – Farmland animals – as well as the ubiquitous woodland animals which I’m pleased to say are still here.  Getting a little bit political for a minute, some hunting morons – I mean enthusiasts – think the British public are turning back towards their favour in repealing the hunting foxes with dogs ban.  This is clearly not the case when you see the popularity of the fox in every corner of British life over the last few years.  Just look at this Etsy page for inspiration, fox fans!

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Having had a lovely day with Mum in Southampton on Thursday, we enjoyed our trip to our Mecca, John Lewis.  These were the farmland scenes that awaited us in the cushion department.  Being an avid woolie fan the sheep in particular do appeal to me.  But I love ducks as well!

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Six – Yellow – all shades of yellow (particularly those going towards green) are going to be big this year.  I love yellow, it’s such a bright and sunny shade.  Most of us can wear a shade of yellow which suits our skin tones.  I personally live bright, acid yellows.  Deramores have a wonderful selection of yellow yarns, I have my eye on a few from Bergere de France. I’ve pinned these to my new Colour Pinterest board.

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Seven – Polka dots and gingham are going to be everywhere (not together – imagine – what a dog’s breakfast!).  I particularly love them on ribbons and adornments.  Knock me down with a feather if this gorgeous satin ribbon from the ever-reliable Wool Warehouse doesn’t tick three of the Top 10 boxes in one – yellow, grey and polka dots!  The grey gingham ribbon, again from Wool Warehouse covers two trends.  I can see this as a plain contrast on a very bright article.  I shall have to get my thinking hat on…

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Eight – Blue and white – all the trends are included in these gorgeous fabrics from Craftsy – I spy (with my little eye) gingham, blue, grey, yellow, and possible some polka dots.

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Nine – Grey (forget 50 shades of…) is the hottest neutral – it’s everywhere from clothes and furnishing to fabric and yarn.  It’s a great colour to use in knitting and crochet for men’s garments – my Dad was very chuffed with his Ombre for Hombre scarf made in blue and grey (made for Christmas – I am officially a trend-setter and so is he!)

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Ten – Macramé – initially I wasn’t sure about this one as I grew up in the 70s and it was everywhere (and naff!) but I have seen lots of stylish macramé influences around.  Back to good old Pinterest for this inspirational board by Ana Maria.

So I hope you have enjoyed my little tour around the Top Ten Crafting Trends for Spring 2015 – hopefully I can get some serious crafting done so I can replenish my stash with some of the delights I found in researching this blog.

I’d love to hear your ideas about trends and whether they differ across the world – I am assuming most of these trends will be prevalent in the UK but what about Canada, Australia or the US?

I have some very exciting news which I will share in the next few days about my online presence and what new plans are afoot – more to come soon.

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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