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.

IMG_20160804_191258

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 Рfirstly 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!

IMG_20160812_173753

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…

IMG_20160829_165019

Advertisements
Standard
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!

IMG_0283

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!).

 

 

Standard
cats, craft, crochet, knitting, music, Uncategorized, yarn

Top Ten Review of the Year

Well, another prolonged absence due to work – I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but next year I will make more time to post on my blog as I have missed not being able to post so regularly.¬† Getting organised is half the battle I think…

This year has been an interesting one (in all senses of the word!) – a new addition to my family (OK, so he’s a kitten) and a rebranding of my blog and business as well as opening my Etsy Shop.

Add to that the most manic year of my (full-time) working life and major changes within my working structure – which are all still in a state of flux!

But in many ways a fantastic year, much love and laughter with friends and family, and finding a kindred spirit in crafting in my friend Anna (and her five-year-old Mikey who’s favourite phrase is now “let’s get crafting!”)

So here is my Top Ten Review of the Year on looking back through my blog, I do hope you enjoy it!

One – The arrival of Sir Patrick of Naughtiness

As an Astronomy geek, I managed to persuade Anna and Mikey to name their rescued kitten Professor Brian (Cox) after everyone’s favourite physicist and ex-popstar.¬† I was amazed they went with it…

IMG_20150712_115127

I was even more amazed that I ended up rescuing his brother, whom I named Sir Patrick (Moore) after the famous and much beloved Astronomer and BBC Presenter (RIP).¬† It particularly helped that he had a squinty eye in which I could imagine the real Sir¬† Patrick’s monocle.¬† I met the real Sir Patrick¬†once, he was absolutely delightful, and was very kind to me when another celebrity was very rude to me (you know who you are, Michael Fish!).

IMG_0078

Two РOpening my Etsy Shop

This was a long-term aim over the year and was delayed many times due to factors outside of my control!  In the end it was opened in October and I had my first sale within 24 hours.

I haven’t quite had the time since then to promote it as much as I would like, and I have exciting plans for my Etsy shop¬†for 2016, so my upcoming week off in February will be spent at home getting things sorted…

IMG_0039 IMG_0025

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three – Vintage Shopping at the Car Booty

Regular readers will know that I love a bargain.¬† Most Sundays I can be found at Frome Car Boot Sale, rummaging around in other people’s junk.¬† For several months this year I had an amazing run on vintage notions and patterns and went a bit overboard buying them.

I have now decided to offload some of them in 2016 when I take part in a Craft Fair which also lets you sell related goods.  Some, though, I cannot bear to part with!

IMG_20150208_121059 IMG_20150208_120903

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four РYarn, lovely Yarn

I wrote about my yarn addiction on several occasions, it has perhaps got a little out of hand, especially after I visited the Kensington Olympia Knitting and Stitching show in March – but I did get some beautiful yarns, including the cashmere / cotton blend to make this lovely shawl on my Etsy Shop.

IMG_20150315_135204 IMG_0095

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five – Devon knows how they make it so lovely

Through my lovely friend Anna, I’ve had the chance to visit Chagford, in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor, twice this year for Craft Fairs.¬† Such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly and welcoming, it’s a real treat to visit there. ¬†Bonus treat – the tiny ponies and other cute critters at the Miniature Pony Centre nearby.

IMG_0654 IMG_0655

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six – Holidays-a-go-go!

I’ve been extremely lucky this year with holidays – having a gorgeous week in Marbella in March, with Mum, and then again in Bayeux in June with Mum, Dad and my brother.¬† The first time we’d all been away together for several years.¬† Both were fabulous holidays, much needed and much enjoyed, and allowed me to expand my stash even more with some really lovely yarns and notions (as well as some cheeky¬†goats producing the softest mohair)

GetAttachment (20) GetAttachment (19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20150724_192608 IMG_20150703_104826

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven – My first giveaway of Crochet Patterns

In October I gave away the pattern for my first designed project, some mini Halloween Treat Baskets – to fill with yummy chocolates.¬† I had great fun designing the different faces and putting together a beginner’s project which I was happy to share for free.¬† Although a simple design, it has given me a taste for more!

IMG_0150 IMG_0159

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight – Geek Loveliness

A fabulous year of nerd-dom¬†has been bookended by Star Wars. ¬†In May I posted about my trip to Marbella and the surprise of hearing a youth orchestra starting up with the Star Wars¬†soundtrack – I have never departed¬†a cafe in such a hasty fashion¬†before… ¬†In May I also posted a cheeky geeky guide and then followed up with a visit¬†to the Doctor Who Exhibition in September with my family. ¬†There is an adventure to go through which is rather interactive – I was more scared than the kids!

GetAttachment

 

 

 

IMG_20150905_122616

IMG_20150905_122357

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nine – Animals A-Plenty

It never surprises me that my most popular posts tend to be around my two black cats, Ella and Sir Patrick.  After all, they are endless sources of amusement to me!

IMG_0162 IMG_0186

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten – Art and Crafts

And back to my main loves Рart and crafts.  In April I visited Standen, a home filled with delights from the Arts and Craft movement which I so admire.  Moving on to June I waxed lyrical about Salvator Rosa, one of my favourite artists, and in July I wrote about the beautiful lace that I encountered on my goaty adventures in Bayeux (and of course the famous Tapestry).

Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_-_The_Day_Dream_-_Google_Art_Project

dsc_0049_sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

download (4)

And finally, throughout the year I have been extolling the virtues of crafting,¬†thank you for joining me on my journey this year, and here’s to 2016!

Standard
craft, crochet, knitting, yarn

Top 10 Stash Loveliness

I was inspired by the recent post from Cassy of knit the hell out¬†about her Blogiversary and reminiscing about her stash, especially those special¬†yarns you¬†almost don’t want to use because they are so gorgeous.

I thought I would have a look through mine… ¬†I love a Top 10!

One. Rowan Creative Focus Worsted РI bought this for a particular project and have not yet started it Рa series of knitted bags with bamboo handles.  I also have three in a fabulous fuschia pink which I bought for a scarf but ended up using something else instead so it is also sitting in my (ever increasing) stash..

.

IMG_20150328_142506

 

Two. Araucania Ranco ¬†– this¬†yarn I bought on a whim from my local yarn store and then, on a whim, again on the next visit (oops!). ¬†I love the soft, subtle colours¬†but have no idea what to make with it! ¬†I’m not a big fan of socks, but there must be something lovely and delicate which I can put this pretty 4 ply yarn to use on…

 

IMG_0216

 

Three.  Aubergine Silk Рhand dyed and 1 ply but knits / crochets up as 4 ply.  This was bought for me as a present from Mum when we attended a Craft Fair in Sussex.  But what to do with it?

 

IMG_0218

 

Four.  Some beautiful hand-painted Alpaca Silk, Cashmere Silk and Merino Fine Lace from the excellent shop Watercolours and Lace Рthese are definitely ear-marked for a series of shawls, but I decided to learn more first about designing my own patterns before I use these lovelies.

 

IMG_0215

 

Five and Six. Another set of wonderful yarns, delightful colours and beautifully dyed and spun by the very talented Jean at Kaeravel Crafts РI did start making up the citrus one into a scarf but ran out of time and ended up using something else instead.

IMG_0214

IMG_0213

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven. Some Sari silks – I have three in total – they will be lovely as a little embellishment, but to what? ¬†I haven’t made my mind up¬†yet!

 

IMG_0212

 

Eight. ¬†Some Noro Silk Garden – what a lovely yarn. ¬†I bought this at the yarn exhibition at Olympia, back in March. Since then I’ve been made aware of the delicious ribbed striped scarf design by Jared Flood¬†– I just need to buy another set to contrast with it!

 

IMG_0211

 

Nine. This amazing chunky handspun and dyed yarn was one of my first purchases, at the Craft Fair where I got the Aubergine Silk. ¬†It was the most I have ever spent on a yarn but so worth it! ¬†It came with two shawl patterns and I haven’t been able to decide yet which to do…

 

IMG_0210

 

Ten. Well, this is a bit of a cheat really… I did actually get round to using most of this (although have 3/4 of a skein left to do something with!) ¬†this is Amorini, a 4 ply Cotton / Cashmere blend from the Little Knitting Company. ¬†Perhaps a scarf or small shawl with the leftover yarn is in order.

 

IMG_0095

 

I’m sure I’m not the only one with an ever-increasing stash… But any ideas on what to do with my favourite yarns would be most gratefully received!

Standard

Very exciting news…

My Etsy shop is now open for business… ¬†Visit me¬†here!

Here are a small selection of some of the items you will find on there.  I would very much welcome any feedback on Etsy from shoppers and sellers alike!

A selection of hand knitted and crocheted scarves and wraps in beautiful yarns…

IMG_0031

IMG_0030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0095

IMG_0041

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand quilted Japanese-style patchwork bags in gorgeous colourways…

IMG_0141

IMG_0134

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0130

IMG_0121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scandi-style bunting in soft muted grey/blue, red and white.  Ideal for Christmas but lovely for all year round!

IMG_0118

 

 

I’m off for a rest now – very excited but also exhausted from the effort of uploading all of the pictures, finalising the policies and working out all of the measurements!

Happy snoozing!

 

Lou x

Uncategorized

My Etsy Shop is now open for business!

Image
Uncategorized

Don’t be a Dummy! (or rather, do!)

As regular readers of my blog will know, I love a bargain and most of all my local car boot sale…

One of my recent purchases was an adjustable mannequin Рit is a bit on the skinny side for me to use to make clothes.  Add to that that my dressmaking skills would horrify the gorgeous Patrick and May from the Great British Sewing Bee!

I did have plans for this mannequin though (unlike some of my random car boot purchases like these…)

IMG_20150208_121059 IMG_20150208_120903

IMG_20150201_111416

I do love vintage patterns and haberdashery items, so I am sure there will be a use for these somewhere (even if with these patterns, it is just to have a laugh at the 1980s typical lack of style!

So, with my Etsy shop back on track (opening up later this week), I have put a temporary calico cover on the mannequin to show off some of my scarves and wraps. ¬†Here’s a little sneak preview…

IMG_0042 IMG_0033

IMG_0038

Happy crafting!

Lou x

Standard
Uncategorized

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.

 

IMG_20150521_154100 IMG_20150521_153929

 

IMG_20150521_153852IMG_20150521_153417

 

 

 

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).

 

IMG_20150529_152432 IMG_20150529_152514

IMG_20150529_152806IMG_20150529_153120

 

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

Standard