Andalusia, craft, crochet, knitting, Spain, spring, travel, Uncategorized

Marbella Yarn Bonanza

After my latest visit to Marbella and another round of the haberdashery stores, I came away with some new ideas and some fantastic cottons.

First up is one of my new projects using more of the fabulous Marbella Cotton which I bought last time.  I’ve decided to make a range of vintage-style cotton shoppers – in the UK as in many places, we’ve become more aware of the use of non-recyclable and plastic bags and so I thought these would be a welcome addition to my range.

These bags will be finished off with straps and lovely large buttons with some ribbon or cord threaded through the top.

As a true yarn freak, I couldn’t help myself but buy, erm, a few more cottons in various colourways – oops!

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My next project is to make a few different versions of my favourite shawl – the original grey one is in a cashmere/cotton blend which makes it a bit on the pricey side, so I felt that a range of different yarns would suit all pockets.

These lovely cotton yarns in coral and soft pastel pinks and blues (again from Marbella) will certainly fit the bill.  I shall be delving into my stash to find some other possibles.

Finally the post-holiday blues meant a visit to my favourite local yarn shop – Marmalade Yarns – I must truly be a regular as this time I earned a discount – yay!  I came away with the three gorgeous yarns above – without a definite plan for them other than I can see them all as lovely wraps or shawls.

First is Fyberspates Vivacious 4Ply, a 100% superwash merino in ‘Sunshine’ – a yellow which is just so bright and spring-like, it makes me smile just to look at it (the test of a true yarn-mad person).  The next yarn is Skein Queen Entwist 4ply, another 100% superwash hand-dyed merino in Emerald Lies, a breathtaking mix of gorgeous greens.  And finally, Rowan Fine Art in Pheasant – a beautiful mix of autumnal colours – reds browns and chestnuts.

So, you would think I have enough to be going on with, but I also have some other plans that I have been working on (more of them later in the week!).

 

 

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craft, crochet, knitting, nature, spring, Uncategorized

Spring Crafting the House

Much as I love Winter, taking down the Christmas decorations is always a sad time – I usually make a big effort with my two mantelpieces, which seem to look bare and a bit sorry for themselves when the festive season is over.

This year, I decided I would do something about this (as opposed to just moaning about it…)

So, I resolved to make a seasonal display of my living room mantelpiece for each season.  I have started with Spring – there’s still a bit of work to do but it’s a start!  My friend’s Mum found the deserted nest in her garden (don’t worry – she waited several years for someone to claim it but they never did)

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It’s a bit of an eclectic mix and I feel it needs some handmade / crochet loveliness to jazz it up a bit, but it’s a start!

I can never do anything by halves, so I then cleared my new shelf (opposite the mantelpiece) and decided to make this British woodland scene (which will be permanent but with perhaps some seasonal visitors…)

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I have some work on the set-up of this to do, but I think the foxes kit which Mum bought me from Kidsonroof works really well in this setting.  Apologies for the picture quality – it is very overcast today so even my ‘proper’ camera struggled to take a clear image!

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My little crochet Toadstool looks sweet but a little lost on the impromptu wood stumps, again a few additions are needed so I think I should get crafting…

What would you like to see added to the scene?

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nature, spring

Springtime in Wiltshire

This week I’ve been holidaying at home, and what a lovely week it has been!

I’ve managed to get in some fun days out and shopping trips as well as getting some of those long-overdue jobs done at home…

On Thursday I had a lovely trip out to Lacock.  This is a beautiful village owned by the National Trust, and includes a beautiful Abbey and grounds.

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The village is beautifully kept and as most of the buildings range from 14th to 18th Century, it is heavily used as a filming location for many period dramas, including Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Cranford.  The Abbey cloisters have also been featured in many of the Harry Potter films.  It is a film and TV buff’s dream destination!

We’ve had such a mild winter here in the UK that strolling through the Abbey grounds, I found a wonderful carpet of spring flowers as far as the eye could see…

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Carpets of yellow and purple Crocuses, Cyclamen, my favourite Snowdrops, and even the odd patch of Daffodils and Narcissi already in bloom.

 

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I then wandered into a part of the garden that I have not visited before and found this wonderful Botanical Garden.

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What a lovely way to finish my week off.  And to top it all the Fox Talbot Photography Museum at the Abbey had an exhibition of Icelandic landscape photographs – a year from now I am hoping to be back in Iceland, probably one of the most beautiful places on this planet, and certainly one of the most fascinating.

One of my earliest blogs was about Iceland, so I may have to revisit that one now and ramp up the excitement factor for next February!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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craft, crochet, knitting, spring, yarn

Spring Plans

Happy (belated!) New Year

Christmas passed me by in a flash this year..

One minute I was desperately making presents for my friends and family, work was completely manic, and then it was all over and the New Year arrived!

I still have two presents to complete – I had a last minute idea for presents for my brother and my little friend Mikey, but they are not quite finished yet, more details and photos to follow…

So now I’ve finally got the time to turn my attention back to home and to my plans for 2016.

I’ve amassed a large amount of craft trimmings, notions and yarn over the last year or two – most of which I have had plans for, but like all good crafters, sometimes I got a bit carried away!

A lot of my collection is made up of the vintage goodies I collected at the car boot sale and at vintage fairs.

 

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Although some are well worth keeping, I would have to be retired for at least 30 years before I could use them all up!

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So along with my spring clean at home, I’m going to pack some up and sell them either online on at a Craft Fair in Frome which also allows the sale of craft items.  This means that I clear some space, for some more crafty bits of course…

Most of my crafting takes place either at the dining room table or on the sofa – I don’t have a permanent crafty space, so I’m going to rejig my dining room so that I can make a proper crafting space.  I am planning to get rid of the computer cabinet and create some shelving space in the alcove to tidy up all of my crafty bits.

I just need to look for a nice small unit / desk to fit in this space and then I will paint and perhaps decoupage my dining room chairs and make some nice seat cushions.

 

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I bought this antique sewing machine (sadly not in working order) at the car boot sale which I would love to have on show.  Due to the wooden base it is incredibly heavy but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!

 

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I have some nice plans for the weekend, to finish my presents for Mikey and my brother, and to finally get around to doing some of the fun stuff I have had to put off for a while.

Oh, how I love weekends!

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WIPs and a mystery project…

Afternoon all…

What a week it’s been – a funeral, a manic week at work, grumpy cat and very little time to myself.  So now the weekend is here, phew!  And lots of lovely plans afoot.

Thought I would share a few of these with you, including some of my WIPs.

I’ve been asked to do a Craft Fair in Devon, my friend’s lovely Mum has offered us both a table.  So I have had to make some quick plans to make some Spring gifts (unfortunately it’s the week after Easter!).

These flower headbands sold so well I don’t have any left so am frantically crafting some more in various girlie colours in sizes from baby to adult…

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I made some Spring baskets in pinks, greens and then realised that I never make any boy-ish colours.  So I found some blue variegated yarn and started making these ones.  I had a very small amount left of a peach speckled yarn which came out so beautifully I had to give that one away to a friend for her granddaughter (and didn’t get a photo of it, damn!).  The yarn was given to me and I didn’t think I’d ever find it again.

Imagine my surprise when I was lazily daydreaming in the ever-reliable Wool Warehouse, and I found it!  This fabulous package turned up today (as if I really need any more wool – I haven’t updated my Ravelry stash as I’m rather frightened of how many skeins I have hanging around at the moment!)

 

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This was THE peach yarn!  King Cole Splash DK – bargaintastic price as well at £2.99 for 100g.  And wowzers – they do it in all sorts of colours including a fabulous blue mix and this rather mental combination called ‘Sunshine’ (for which you need sunglasses so I prefer to call it ‘Headache’).

 

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The colours aren’t really adequately expressed in this dreary dank natural light.  Imagine a neon nightmare including a bag of Refreshers smashed together and sprinkled with pixie dust.  Well, that doesn’t even cover it.  It’s mad, but I kinda love it!

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I also got some more Rowan Creative Focus Worsted (above) – in other exciting news, plans for my Etsy shop are coming along nicely, although I am rethinking my start date as I have two holidays coming up which are going to put my original dates under pressure.

For this lovely yarn (which I also have in Fuschia) I am going to knit (yes, I know, I will be brave and practice!) some handbags.  I am awaiting some lovely bamboo handles which are coming from China (via Ebay).

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This scarf is a wedge stitch scarf in James C. Brett’s Marble Chunky – I rarely work in Acrylic as I find it too uncomfortable next to the skin, and not always of the best quality.  But this is a quality yarn, bought in my fave shop, Marmalade Yarns, in Frome, is really lovely to work with and the colours are amazing.  As a geek, I thought I’d give this finished scarf a suitably geeky name – Wedge’s Antilles Scarf.  Get it?  If not, it might take a geek to explain!

Finally my other work in progress at the moment is a secret mystery project – what on earth will these covered curtain rings become?  Answers on a postcard…

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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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