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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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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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 22-23

Two for one today – buy one, get one free!

Day 22: Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?

This hasn’t as yet happened to me – luckily everyone has seemed to like what I have made for them, but I have stopped part-way through making something when the person did something to annoy me!  Luckily they made up for it and got the item in the end!

Day 23: If you had the supplies (and patience) for it, what project would you start today?

It’s not so much the supplies nor the patience, but the time to do something that I find lacking!  I would love to make a lacy shawl, but as yet I haven’t as yet tried to knit one, I have made a few crochet ones though…

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art, cats, craft, knitting, travel, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 11-16

Unfortunately I had to go away with work unexpectedly for a few days and therefore have to catch up now on my 30 Day Knitting Challenge.

Day 11: Do you have a “Knitter Hero” or someone that is just way too awesome for their own good? Do share!

My knitty heroine is Lauren O’Farrell AKA Deadly Knitshade – a graffiti knitting artist with a fabulous sense of humour, she also loves cats, so what’s not to like!?

This is one of my many favourite pieces…  A Phone Box cosy from her book Knit the City.

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Day 12: Where do you keep your stash?

My stash is finding itself strewn across the house – it started off in my purpose-built Tardis cabinet but has now stretched across to the bottom of my dresser and to many different nooks and crannies downstairs.  It hasn’t yet trickled upstairs yet but I think it’s only a matter of time…

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Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

I love Noro yarn and bought this bargain-tastic lot recently – but not yet found a project for them all…

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Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

When I started knitting and crocheting, i started with a lot of cheap acrylic double knitting yarn to practice – such as the one for this mobile phone cover which I made for my friend…  I rarely work with acrylic now.

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Day 15: What was your least favorite pattern and why?

I tried this Eyelet Scarf in Jarol Heritage 4ply, which I was never very happy with, but looking back it is not as bad as I thought…

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Day 16: Have you ever had a knitting related injury?

When I first started knitting, I found it very hard to wrap the yarn with my right hand, as I am naturally left-handed, however after a few teething pains it became bearable over time.

My worst injury was a series of small, odd-shaped bruises on my legs and shoulders, which I could not work out where I had got them from.

Eventually I worked out that I was using needles that were too long and was pushing them into my legs or shoulders to help move the yarn along sufficiently!  I soon moved onto better yarn and needles which resolved the issues.

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 10

Day 10 already!

Day 10: Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?

There are so many amazing designers and patterns to choose from – but one that I keep going back to is the amazing Noro Silk Garden scarf from Jared Flood.

It is a relatively simple knitting pattern, but the impact from the alternate colours is outstanding.

Noro Silk Garden is one of my favourite yarns, even without making anything, the yarn itself is so delicious and is hand-dyed in Japan.  It is 45% Mohair, 45% Silk and 10% Wool.

If you hadn’t already realised, I am a massive Noro fan and recently managed to get hold of a whole basketful of yarn at a bargain price.  It’s so gorgeous, I’m not even sure I want to use it!

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craft, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 7

Oops – this should have been posted yesterday – not sure why it did not!

Already a week through my blog challenge…

Day 7: Your least favorite?

I have a fair few least favourites but I think this is probably it…

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Again – one of my first projects.  I attempted a simple hat pattern from Ravelry and although, technically, I completed it correctly – my tension was so far off that it was extremely baggy!

I also made a little boo-boo that I covered up with a hideous concoction of button / swirl and although I liked the yarn and colour combination, there’s little else of any worth that I can find in this…

The best I can say for this is that I learnt a lot from it and the mistakes therein!

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craft, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge -Day 5

Question of the day is…

Day 5: How long did it take from the time you learned how to knit, to finish your first project

From when I first understood the basics from my book and picked up my needles, it only took me  a week or so to finish my first project…

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It was a simple garter stitch scarf, which I diligently worked on every evening, and got into the knack fairly quickly.

However hideous it is to look at now, I do feel a sense  of accomplishment!

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30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 1

I saw Meggiewes 30 Day Knitting Challenge and decided that I would participate as I have been neglecting my blog for far too long and it would give me the kickstart I need!

So, here I am on Day 1…

Day 1: What was your first finished project?

My first finished project was a simple garter stitch chunky scarf follow a pattern by the brilliant Aneeta Patel in her book Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner.

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I made it too wide and so it wasn’t quite long enough, but it taught me a lot about tension and the basic knit stitch.  Although it slightly pains me to look at this now, I am still proud of what I achieved, especially being left-handed and finding it hard to get the dexterity to wrap the yarn with my right hand…

Thankfully I’ve moved onwards and upwards!

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Autumn, charity, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing

Seasonal Plans

We are now coming into my favourite time of year – Autumn.

I love Autumnal colours, smells and the darker evenings where you feel happy snuggled up with a project or a book and some music on the stereo.  I would say also the lovely crisp sunny mornings but, well, the UK is going through a bit of an Indian Summer and the heat is rising rather than abating, even Patrick can’t take it…

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It’s a hard life, isn’t it!

Last year I didn’t do many Craft Fairs and I really missed it.  I’ve been thinking about some ideas and have a few days off now to take them forward (as well as relax…)

Firstly some Wreaths – firstly I was just thinking about Christmas, but once I got started I couldn’t stop!  I’m trying to decide the decoration for these (apart from ribbon to hang them with) – I’m thinking something simple and not too fussy.

Over the last few years I have made some Halloween baskets, and even shared a pattern here last year.  This year I decided to focus on four of the designs and have been asking for votes on which people like the most… Comment below by 5pm Sunday (GMT – UK time) with your four faves and I will enter you in the draw to win a set of four!

Finally, I am still struggling on with my brother’s scarf – reversible half-moon stitch in this gorgeous wool – Katia Basic Merino Flash – going from bright crimson to a dark rich red.  Hopefully it’ll be finished soon-ish…

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With more to do I’ve started looking at a couple of local Christmas Craft Fairs so I will soon have to start making my very popular Christmas Puds and stockings, and maybe a few more ideas to come.

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charity, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

Works in Progress

I’ve been rather lax in writing my blog recently, work has been so manic and I’ve had little time or energy to do much crafting, let alone write about it!

Crafting has always been a stress reliever for me and I have really missed it…  Thankfully things are starting to get back on track and I’ve been getting out some projects to enjoy…

One thing I did make time for was some squares for the fabulous craft community project Jenny’s Blanket of Hugs.  Organised by the brilliant Just Pootling this was a wonderfully supportive idea.

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Jenny is the daughter of Amanda from Little Box of Crochet and has been battling multiple tumours with grace, style and strength.  I’m so pleased to have been a small part of the crafty effort to make something beautiful, but also useful, for Jenny.

Hundreds of crafters across the world made enough squares to make seven large blankets, some of which will now be raffled for various good causes!

Apart from my squares, I have actually managed to finish a couple of things – firstly this Flower Shawl which is now for sale on my Etsy shop.

I’ve also started making some eco-friendly cotton shoppers – since we have to pay 5p a bag now in any shop we may as well shop in style!

Next up is a new ripple scarf I am designing in a gorgeous variegated Artesano superfine DK Alpaca – lovely to work with, but a bit hard on the eyes sometimes!

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Apart from these I have several other little bits that I am working on – but they have to remain secret for now…  I will leave you with a gorgeous basket of Noro yarn which I picked up for a bargain during my recent visit to Worthing to visit Mum and Dad.

I haven’t got any plans for these yet…  But that may soon change…

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