Wristies – made in an evening

OK, hi everyone! Yesterday was my birthday and what better way to spend it than my DH and daughter taking me to my favourite craft store (with its very own cafe) for breakfast with my son home from uni)?
While we ate, I glanced at the rainbow selection of wool stacked from floor to ceiling and racks of ribbons in every colour under the sun :-). There were yarn bombs decorating the indoor pillars and a delicious variety of books to suit beginners and experts alike. So, what did I buy?
My youngest child wanted me to crochet her some wristies (she’d seen the ones I made earlier in the week). She chose some wool – blue flecked with silver and a grey for the stripe. While she browsed, I flicked through the books. One caught my eye and made me giggle: a book on pipe cleaner pets! Not seen one on that before! I resisted buying the book – for now – but for anyone interested in trying a new craft … It’s also available on Amazon:
Maybe this is something to try next year on Squarebird?
I then found some pretty pink and grey yarn which was perfect for my friend. This evening, after watching the indoor sparklers flicker on my birthday cake (bought for me by the colleague I’d made the red wristies for earlier), I crocheted another pair of wristies for my friend.

20141221-044310-16990184.jpg (photo by my daughter)
Now onto making some for my daughter!




When a colleague asked me to crochet or knit her a pair of wristies and gave me free reign over colours/style and pattern, I checked out a number of patterns and basically it evolved from 38 chain. I modelled the size around my own wrist and hand length. She hasn’t seen them yet (I said I’d have them ready by Friday), so hope she likes them now they’re finished. I enjoyed making them so much, I’m going to make myself a pair!

The wristies consisted of mainly trebles, so the pattern grew quickly – if I’d opted to do some knitting, they could well be waiting until after Christmas!

First ever crocheted necklace

Over the year I’ve achieved several firsts at crafts:
Pewter casting
Patchwork chicken pin cushions
Toothbrush bracelet (yes, really)
Printing on a gelli plate
Completing a 39 square embroidery project
Painting a mural on a wall
Creating a magazine-rolled pen pot
Book sculpting
Holding my first art exhibition (outside of college)
Creating my first knitting pattern and publishing it
Taking part in the National Novel Writing Month, achieving the winner’s 50,000 word badge and working full time!
Stitched my first teddy bear out of a cushion cover …

…just to name a few! There have also been many crafts I’ve revisited and enjoyed very much such as drawing and sketching, book making, lino cutting and printing, pyrography and writing haiku. Time and again, I reminded myself that it would be a huge challenge to produce a craft a day as this blog suggests in its name. I mostly achieved that – and sometimes posted more than one post in a day – until I began to work full time and seeing my son go off to uni. It was only when we got to November I reasoned with myself that I could produce better work if I spent more time on it than pushing myself to get that blog post out before midnight!
There have only been a few days when I’ve not added a blog entry … that’s only recently. This is because I’ve realised there are some things that need to stay hidden for a bit so that ideas can grow and creativity can happen :-). Also, some opportunities happen when you least expect them … and aren’t even consciously looking for them (such as when I found the route to buying my first printing press) and having one of illustrations published (outside of the blogesphere) this week!!! That really was exciting!
Now, I have editing to do on my newly written novel – a creative journey in itself, so if this blog goes quiet you’ll know that I am still busy creating. But … I’ll be back and hope that you will drop by and say hello in the comments now and again.

Meanwhile, here is another first: I’ve never made a crocheted necklace or piece of jewelery before. I was inspired by a colleague wearing a knitted bauble necklace at work today. She had a lovely deep red jumper on and a long necklace. As I’m not keen on knitting, I decided to attempt to make one using a size 3 crochet hook and a ball of cotton string :-). I chose string mainly because I’m not keen on the wool colours I have in my cupboard; each of them were bought with specific projects in mind or I’ve been given random odd balls of yarn by my mum who knits trauma teddies for children who’ve been displaced through natural disasters. I’m also thinking that I might dye the string now that I’ve made the necklaces. What do you think?



Having a go … at weaving on a loom

The town museum in Frome was offering a hands-on weaving and spinning workshop to correspond with their dying, spinning and weaving exhibition.  The museum also displays interesting local history regarding the local printing trade and Singer. DSC04512
Every Tuesday and Thursday a group meet at a nearby Church to practise techniques and styles; use the looms and make various items.  It was intriguing to look closely at the bag you see in the picture.  It’s made from an VHS video tape and adds sparkle to the fabric of the bag. 
There is no way I would have guessed that this was what it was made from.

The dyed wool was gorgeous – a bowl of rainbow threads, some spun, some loose.  Children took part in using a framed loom – a bit similar to a picture frame minus the glass.  There was a piece of foam tubing cut down the centre and positioned at the top of the loom.  Woollen yarn, threads and even aluminium foil were woven horizontally.  Again, the foil provided texture and added sparkle against the different thicknesses and colours.

After a demonstration, I took to a loom for the first time and had a go at braiding a strap which was approximately 2.5 inches across.

The other displays in the museum included old printing presses and Singer paraphernalia, which were equally fascinating based on the fact that my background is in printing and publishing and my mother once owned a black and gold Singer sewing machine, working on handmade clothes for me and lingerie for a company in the city of Bath many years ago.

Bath Yarn Bombing 10th May 2014

This week I’ve been teaching my mum how to crochet roses to decorate little knitted bags for the Christmas Shoe Box appeal.

After pulling everything out from my understairs cupboard, I not only came across a vintage sewing machine complete with embroidery connects (photo later), but a Build-A-Bear voucher which my daughter was delighted about and my stash of crochet hooks – the metal variety not the plastic kind that snap easily!


These are great for decorating bags, but also hair clip fastenings or brooches.  

On an earlier post, I mentioned a yarn bombing event where a local artist was calling for knitters and crochet enthusiasts to contribute a rose or two for a display taking place in Bath.  I created a knitted rose pattern for those crafters who preferred to knit rather than crochet:


I went into Bath today (for my daughter to spend her Build-A-Bear voucher as it’s been in the cupboard for two years!) and saw the roses out on display, which coincides with Bath Fashion Week.


the roses added a bit of colour to an otherwise wet and dreary day …


The bunting was also knitted.



A new crochet hook

Just posting something I was doing yesterday – a work in progress. I started this round of crochet a few days ago and the needle snapped. My lovely husband bought me a new set and I managed to do a bit more of my project. Today, however I’ve been suffering from an excruciating migraine, causing me to be in bed for most of the day and I’ve been avoiding computer screens. Apologies for not sharing a new craft, but my body said no today!


Yarn Bombing!

As some of you are aware, I knitted and crocheted some flowers (roses) when I read about ‘yarn bombing’ and people were being urged to help take part in producing lots of flowers!  Well, today I drove twelve miles in search of a special Easter outdoor event in some beautiful grounds and these are just some of the pictures from it.  Next month sees a number of ‘unusual’ festivities happening near us and includes the flowers people have been knitting plus the possibility of an installation of a 90 metre waterslide filled with washing up liquid and water (of course).  My son’s registered for a ticket  … if he gets selected he will get one go on the slide.