Archives for posts with tag: crochet
Knitting and Stitching 2015 - Goodies

Knitting and Stitching 2015 – Adding to the stash!

Some of you may be off to this show at Olympia, London this weekend so just wanted to share with you some images of my visit on Thursday (great idea to have half day tickets at reduced price, unless you’re going to a workshop it’s hard to see how you could spend all day there).  My aim in going to these events is to get some inspiration for my next designs as well as having the inevitable shopping spree – I’d been trying to find some buttons suitable for mug hugs and wanted to be able to feel what I was buying rather than use online shops, so had several good reasons to go!  I was quite restrained and only purchased a few things!

The yarn is cotton which I want to use for ‘mug hugs’ and my jellyfish amigurumis (or possibly finally venture into creating a cuttlefish) – I was a bit disappointed at the yarn offerings this year which were firmly geared towards knitters and bulk buying.  I use only small amounts of yarn at a time in a variety of colours, there weren’t many places I could find these.  One stall I did discover was RKM Wools where there was a rack of cotton yarns in a variety of weights and colours – sadly even they didn’t have the weight of crochet cotton I was after (No 3 if you’re wondering) but were very helpful and friendly.  The plain aran yarn was exactly what I was looking for, as were the buttons which I got from a couple of stands:  Italian Buttons (no active website) which are the plastic ‘sweetie’ ones; and Textile Garden who had a wonderful range of buttons to ‘pick and mix’, where you could select individual buttons (all priced separately) which made it perfect for me as I only wanted a few to try out.

Thread cutter

Thread cutter

For a while I’d been considering buying a thread cutter pendant and I managed to find this lovely metal example; when I’m crocheting and travelling on public transport I generally crochet a few motifs or flowers, and use my ‘snips’ or some children’s scissors but I often feel I might be accused of carrying a dangerous weapon so have been in search of an alternative.  The thread cutter has a circular blade embedded in the pendant and you slide the yarn in to one of the indentations to cut it.  This one is from Sew Mate (other cutters are available!) and it cuts crochet cotton well, will have to see if it can cope with DK acrylic yarn.  I also plan to take it on my next plane trip as scissors are usually banned for hand luggage.  From the same stall I bought some more tapestry needles for the DIY crochet kits I’ll be selling at the next craft show.

And finally, pure indulgence!  The material is from Beadtime and I felt the fishes calling me.  Not sure what I’ll use it for – lining a bag perhaps but I love the print.

The National Fashion Textiles Competition

The show was hosting the finalists’ entries for the competition which is open to 16-19 year olds.  I am was truly astounding by the quality and imagination in their work.  (see if you can spot the lavender stalks and grass used in one of the entries…)

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Crochet Jungle

If you’ve never crocheted before you might wander over to this stand (part of Toft) and have a go (or you might like to show off your skills).

Crochet JungleCrochet Jungle

Click here to go to Crochet Camp!

Promised yourself you’d learn to crochet this year?  Then try this……

I’ve been following the Crochet Camp  run by the beautifully named ‘Slugs on the Refrigerator’ for a couple of weeks planning to make some of the goodies – but other work has now got in the way.  So for those you who still have some time, how about making some items of your own?  I might be tempted to have go myself so will post my efforts for comparison!

 

Have fun!  (Go to their Facebook page to join in automatically with the new patterns)

 

PS Tent is optional!

After a prolonged break have got back into crocheting.  For a recent craft fair, I wanted to create some beasties to liven up the Seawitch image, and had the brain wave of replicating one of my favourite dive sites in Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.  So we have an octopus, some squid, and jellyfish:

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The jellies and octopi got a bit cutesy so I made up ‘Angry Squid’.  Despite this two little girls were happy to make off with the deep red (Humboldt squid-esque!) one from my stall.

Next I plan to create a ray or two – sting and manta – possibly an angel shark and cuttle fish (adapting the squid pattern).  This year there have been sightings of sun fish (mola mola) so I may try one of those – although they may not make very interesting amigurumis.  I also have plans to incorporate some soft circuits into the the jellyfish to give them illuminated stingers.

Patterns will follow too and the completed items will soon be on sale online via Folksy.

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?

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 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 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.

 

The mini coven

Well, actually more Nanny Ogg than mermaids. But they are from me as the Seawitch. They’ll be on sale tomorrow at the craft fair in Enfield, UK from 10. Hurry, hurry!

I spent some time adding a post about Ada Lovelace and Android apps development which has vanished, so instead have decided to share the cuteness of my latest amigurumi!

Enjoy……

Pumpkin Cute

Waiting for the big day

Hi – have been inspired to share my thoughts after meeting Doris Chan today at the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally in the UK.  This event always amazes me as there are so many great displays – not just the stalls – but the graduation shows from many wonderful artists.  I turned a corner and saw a knitted lampshade and stand cover which just made me smile!  Sadly I have forgotten the name of the creator of this loveliness – you know who you are!

Doris demo’d broomstick crochet to the crowd and patiently answered my question on ‘just how to do you shape the piece?’  As with all crochet (and possibly knitting) it’s all a question of maths.. which brings me back to why I’m doing this blog.   A few years ago I stumbled over the crochet reef on its world tour when it was at the Southbank Centre in London – I found out that it was started in Australia but really came about through research into ‘hyperbolic’ curves.   I then played about with this myself and came up with some interesting shapes – mostly scarves!

I hope to share my creations with you, and possibly some of the patterns of how I did them.  Expect a few amigurumis on the way as well – I came across these too and have been making them as festive decorations.

Keep hooking!

Daf