Monday, 23 June 2014

Raspberrys & Cream Shawl...

 Do you know how difficult it is to try and buy 100 percent wool at my local wool shop?
There are so many acrylic/rayon mixes that fill the shelves it puzzles me.
Whenever I knit or crochet, I feel that the yarn choices are as important as the patterns themselves.
The UK produces high quality yarns but seem to be let down by the distribution process.
Buying off the internet just isn't the same. I like the feel the yarn and see the true colours that you would never be able to replicate from your computer screen.

The pink shawl shown above is one I'm crocheting using a 4 ply yarn with 30 percent wool content.
Its the best I could get.
I am happy however, with the colour content.
I just needed something to do while watching TV without using too much brain power and this fitted the bill a treat. I have to either watch TV or listen to Radio 4 whilst I crochet or knit, I just have to otherwise it does work!
If you are interested in working this shawl then I have listed some links below which might help you make one of your own.
The pattern is free.
Dads roses are lovely again this year. They are growing well over his little potting shed and look glorious now they are all in flower. I have them on my bedside table.
Roses are so special to me, especially these pink ones from dad.  
They are from the same bush that he gives me year after year.

Dads roses from June 2010 
Dads roses 2014

Thursday, 19 June 2014

More fair isle knitting...

I'm working my way through Nikki Trenchs book, just trying little projects to build up my skills and confidence in using fair isle.
The photo show a completed face cloth using cotton yarn, along with my previous swatches. Although I have yet to block and weave in the ends.
I have already cast on another!
Its actually easier in some cases to make up your own patterns than try to follow one of the charts. I remember a while ago now, this blog post and this one from Vanessa who was experimenting with fair isle. She found that it was really easy to make her own patterns. Such beautiful stitch work...x
I have had a go with some of my own pattern repeats and really enjoyed the process.
I almost feel brave enough to have a go at the neck warmer in the book, it seems more manageable now...
Still can't believe I'm knitting fair isle!



Saturday, 14 June 2014

fair isle & nordic knits (from Nikki Trench)


I have bought Mollie Makes magazine every since it came out and loved every issue. Issue 40 had a pattern for a Nikki Trench snood knitted in fair isle style which go me thinking...
I have always had a passion for all things fair isle and have been in awe of other knitters for years. I took a leap of faith however after reading the Mollie Makes article, thinking really just how hard can it be?
The book is just so beautiful... it has loads lovely patterns and photos and a section at the back of the book of how to knit using fair isle techniques. So I had a go, started small and just followed the charts, did it stitch by stitch, line by line and made a few swatches...and they worked...alright...not bad...!
Wow, now for me this is the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. I can't say just how happy I am to be able to do a few swatches like these, it just blows my mind!
Has anybody else had a crafting epiphany?

PS. The book I bought is fair isle and  nordic knits by Nikki Trench.
I got mine from the link in Mollie Makes but wish I had waited and ordered it from Amazon instead as it is over £1 cheaper.
Will remember to wait for the price drop next time.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nikki Trench's Tea Cosy inspired by a Swimming Cap

Ok, so I've had a rethink on the traditional lace making front! I watched a video or two on Youtube and while I think its do-able, I'm going to need full concentration and a spare afternoon to try and master the basics.
On a more positive note though, the work I did see was very beautiful.
So in the meantime I've started this tea cosy. Sometimes when you are crafting its all about what you already have and I had these crochet cottons in a few different colours. Not what the pattern states to use but none the less, its what I had to hand. Also I'm not a great fan of colour, especially with crochet, as I prefer to see the texture of the stitches instead. However, when I saw this pattern by Nikki Trench in this months "Inside Crochet" I couldn't resist. By the way, its great news that she has become a regular columnist, I so admire all her work, what a catch for them. This has got to be by far the best crochet magazine on the market.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Traditional Hand-Made Lace-Making - with Antique Tools

I'm continuing my journey into exploring antique/vintage crafting techniques. I recently purchased this lace bobbin pillow complete with card pattern, pins, cotton and wooden bobbins. It is quite old and well used, which I love! I love old lace, you know the proper, intricate, delicate type that can really make a garment or piece of linen beautiful.
I have no idea how to make hand-made lace with this equipment but this is the beauty of the internet/youtube and all the teaching techniques it has to offer. It has helped me to improve and inspire my crochet, knitting and embroidery projects and I'm sure it will show me how to learn this beautiful craft of lace-making.


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