Strictly this is not something I’m working on today (but I want to), it’s just I created it some weeks ago and have come to a grinding halt. I love the colour, I love the stich, I love the yarn (Rowan Baby Merino btw)…. I just can’t decide whether to leave it as it is or whether to make it into a moebius scarf and join the ends.  (Apologies for only showing a partial image of scarf, WordPress refuses to let me upload any more pictures.  After 3 hours of trying this is it!)

Thoughts?

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No, I’m not thinking of Del Boy* – but the jubilee. I’m not a royalist but having found a stash of red, white and blue yarn in my store, I played around with some ideas until I came up with the ‘Jubilee Humbug’: suitable for enthusiastic monarchists and those who may not wish to embrace the festivities as much. I’ve ended up with a whole family of humbugs to the delight of my daughter at least.  Of course you don’t have to be British to make these – use any colours you like; it could be for a football team or to match your outfit whatever shade it is!

Trio of Humbug Jubblies

The Jubbly Family

Since they’re so quick to make I’m sharing the pattern with you here; I apologise now for any errors, I haven’t had a chance to get it tested out by a volunteer.   Please let me have feedback so I can make sure future patterns are usable by all. If you get keen and make a bunch to sell, credit Seawitch Designs and of course do not reproduce the pattern for sale yourself.

Enjoy!

Humbug

Ability level: confident beginner.  UK instructions with US in [].

You need:

  • 3 colours of DK yarn (same brand would be best to keep tension even).
  • 2 black safety eyes, buttons or beads
  • Soft toy stuffing
  • 3mm or 3.5mm [D or E] crochet hook

You need to work two 10 by 10 ‘squares’ (they may be more rectangular) as follows:

  1. Using  first colour, chain 11
  2. Turn and dc [sc] in second chain from hook (10)
  3. Turn, chain 1, dc [sc] to end (10)
  4. Join in second colour, turn, chain 1, dc [sc] to end (10)
  5. Turn, chain 1, dc [sc] to end (10)
  6. Work 6 more rows switching colours every second row.
  7. Square is complete on row 10.

Work a second square starting with the second colour for the foundation row.

To make up:

  1. Sew in ends.
  2. Place squares together with stripes vertically and dc [sc] round 3 sides.
  3. If using safety eyes, insert them now in desired position.  (Tip: partially stuff humbug so that it can stand up, line up eyes and then pinch top together to get feel for right position.)
  4. Stuff humbug (not too much!), and then pinch the top together to form a cross.
  5. Join top with dc [sc] and finish off.

Make some more humbugs in alternating colours as I did here.  You could also make them into brooches to pin to clothing or hats.

*Just in case: Del Boy was a character in UK TV programme whose catchphrase was ‘Lovely Jubbly’.

I had hoped to blog before this with many wonderful new photos of undersea life in Fuerteventura. Sadly, once again, the camera suffered an accident so I have none to offer!

But I’ve been busy at workshops since I came back. Firstly with Artillery from Walthamstow creating braids as part of Make Yourself at Home http://www.makeyourselfathome.org.uk/. If you live in or around Edmonton, London have a look at the some of the events including street of Blue Plaques and Birdbox Avenue.

This weekend I went to the Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park to help add some soft circuits to the Digital Commons project underway there. MzTek had organised a drop-in workshop to allow women to learn a bit about circuits, conductive thread and electronic switches. About 10 people turned up to try their hand at adding LEDs to one of the patches from the Digital Commons; either to their own embroidery, or, as in my case, adding some light to an existing patch. Ele, who is curating the work, has a blog with pictures from the day and the wall of completed memes. (Blog can be found here: http://eleweekend.blogspot.co.uk/) There will be another chance to add circuitry to the memes at the end of May at Flossie 2012, at Queen Mary’s University http://www.flossie.org/.

The patch I embellished had the phrase:

to be a meme is a condition.

Since I wanted to use a swing switch this reminded me of programming conditions using ‘if’ statements and secondarily of ‘conditional clauses’ as part of grammar. I used thick conductive thread to sew two lines from the battery pack to the ‘condition’ with a bright red LED (strangely this was clear when unpowered) for the first circuit and a less bright green for the second one. I used two small metal beads as contacts and put them in the ‘o’s of condition. Hopefully viewers of the final exhibition will be able to touch the memes to make the lights work – some of the circuitry on other memes was installed with pressure switches – so that they can be viewed in all their glory.

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As with the V&A workshop I attended recently, time seemed to move fast; I paced myself as to what I could achieve although I did find using the thread easier this time. I’m naturally impatient, which is why I crochet rather than knit, so had to make myself slow down and sew carefully.

Top tip: use a needle threader to get conductive thread through the eye of the needle. Conductive thread frays quickly and because you double the thread to pull it through the eye you don’t get this problem.

I normally drink tea, but sometimes coffee just hits the spot. At home, I love using the cafetiere to make ‘proper’ coffee but find that the last cup usually comes out too cold. I don’t have a microwave so can’t blast it in that; tea cosies seem to keep tea warm so I reasoned some kind of cafetiere cover would be useful. I created this one using recycled cotton yarn and bought some wooden style buttons to trim it with. I used a stitch called ‘spike stitch’ which gives a great texture and, I hope, better insulation. The fastenings are done in double crochet (single in US terms). I will be putting the pattern up here soon as cafetieres seem to be so varied in size that I can’t really offer the finished product. However I do have this one for sale on Storebeez: http://www.storebeez.com/products/green-cafetiere-cosy/1007/

I made two coasters out of the remaining yarn (one shown here).

Virtual Craft Fair

The fair is now open for viewing!

You can find my stall on the Gifts pages:  http://creative-connections.ning.com/page/gifts-19-35

Enjoy

Daphne aka Seawitch

I decided to try my hand at creating a neck wamer – I find scarves too bulky for wearing with ski type anoraks and now the weather is blowing hot and cold it was time to have a go at a neck warmer, sometimes called a snood I think (to me a snood is worn in the hair).  The great thing is you can stick it in a pocket if it gets tropical, try doing that with a 3 foot scarf!

So this is the result, I made it complete with buttonholes and then had trouble finding suitable sized ones which didn’t cost more than the yarn used to make the neckwarmer. I eventually found these lovely buttons at my local bead shop, Indivijewlistic http://www.indivijewelistic.com/ .  The neckwamer itself is constucted from half trebles using two strands of acrylic yarn – I find wool too itchy – and looks great with both my ski anorak and Uniqlo padded jacket, and of course the matching headband I blogged about in ‘New Year, new crochet’.  If you want to try making it yourself, I’ll be putting up the pattern soon.  In the meantime, I’ll be selling a few in different colours on my virtual craft stall at the end of this week, or to order if you have specific requirements.

Enough from me, here it is:

I mentioned that I was going to be have a ‘stall’ at a virtual craft fair, it’s run by Creative Connections in the UK, but people seem to be from all over.  I’ll be putting the link up to it soon but in the meantime, url will folllow nearer the date!

Virtual Craft Fair

I know it’s a little late but I have been busy with horrible financial stuff – the tax return has gone in now and I can get going with the fun again. I have been trawling the web though for ideas on Lilypad arduino, Aniomagic’s Sparkle and soft circuits in general.
This is my resolution for 2012: merge the tech with the craft! However am in stasis since I’ve now done so much research I can’tdecide whether to go for the easier option of Sparkle (no programming involved) or to go with the Lilypad which is more challenging (C programming needed and I only ever did Pascal) plus I’m not sure what the future development of these will be, or to do-it-myself using battery packs, conductive wire and LEDs. One tip I will follow though is to use beeswax to coat the wire as this should make it easier to sew with.

To show I haven’t been completely idle on the crafting front, here are some of the things I’ve been making this month:

  • Chthulhu from the Creepy Cute book (Nicki Trench) for my friend Janette; I promised her this only two years ago and have actually redone a lot of it since as I realised the crochet was so loose it going to show the stuffing.
  • It was high time to make something for myself so I decided on a headband and matching snood (neck warmer?); the challenge was to make something that would go with my ski anorak (I felt I would be needing to wear it this month) and my fave black non-puffa puffa from Uniqlo. Since I’m not a frills kind of girl I went for using strong colours with two strands of DK and simple shapes. I like the final effect although have had to pad the headband with second layer of crochet as it has large gaps. I could only find a 12mm crochet hook on the day I decided to create this wonder as I’d mislaid the pencil case containing my entire collection of hooks, snips and tapestry needles. The resulting open pattern of half trebles worked up quickly but did let the wind through on a test run outside!

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And since I’ve mentioned the pencil case I will share its loveliness (depends if your as much a fan of Mr Monkton’s quirky cartoons and rhymes as I am!)

Shoe of Salvation

As part of my plan for this year I’m attending a workshop at the V&A on soft circuits – making cushions that light up and rattle. I have a plan to do my own creation post workshop based on brain coral swirls. I have a picture by Alex Mustard of brain coral under UV light and the colours are stunning. So purples, greens and maybe pink with some glittery lights is the aim. (If you want to see the photo follow this link: http://www.amustard.com/Web_galleries/glow11_gal/ )

Am feeling chuffed that my mate ordered a ‘venom dripping’ spider (see October blog for pic)  for his mum’s birthday and was a little let down when the ‘itsy bitsy cute, fluffy’ one arrived. His mum was happy though and if it helps her to get over her arachnophobia that’s worth something?

On the garden front, have lost the battle with the local squirrels as they’ve dug up and eaten all the crocus and tulip bulbs I’d planted; they left the broad beans and, eventually, the garlic alone so at least I have some feeling of being green fingered. The squirrels are getting ever bolder, I found one sitting on the windowsill eyeing up the indoor plants recently, and they both sit on the fence trying to stare me out whilst I’m in the kitchen. Stlll they’re doing me a favour by eating the remaining crab apples – I just wish they’d leave the plants alone as they keep digging them up to find acorns and other goodies they think are down there.

 

and it seems there’s a new WordPress!  Have I been away that long? (perhaps not, have just given up on the new interface….)

So – Christmas, birthdays (times 3) and anniversaries are past; and am struggling with doing finance-y type things so am not reaching for the yarn stash just yet.  But the longer days are giving me a spur to make stuff – what to start with?  I have ideas for sea creature related amigurumis in mind – but do I make them realistic or cute (complete with teddy bear eyes)?  Or shall I get ready for the next seasonal event and make some lovehearts for Valentines?  Let me know.

And in the meantime just to show I haven’t been completely idle, checkout my store on Storebeez.com – a new marketplace in the UK:

http://www.storebeez.com/stores/seawitch-designs/

More items to follow soon!

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Just a few of the items I’ve made for this Christmas.  Let me know if you like them!  (And if you want any they’ll be in my Etsy shop soon….)