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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Holiday Sock Update

Hi Everyone 
As usual the Internet connection on the Grand Tour is very difficult to maintain. However, I've found a little time to knit. Here's an update on the right foot sock.  


All is well, so far !
Thanks for calling in today.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Knitting Socks

Hi Everyone 
It's that time again ........ we are off on the the first part of our annual Grand Tour. This year, we will split our travels between the begining and the end of the long school break. The first part of the Tour will be to Scotland. As usual, I will try and post a picture story each day but (as usual) we will be in a remote place and Internet connection often lets me down !!!
My first photo story is a making project for the Tour and it's a pair of socks. I always have socks on the go but this time, it's a new pattern and is a 'toe up' pattern. I need to practice the cast on technique (more) it's a bit tricky to get it to look neat. I've almost abandoned this pattern and returned to my trusted start at the top version but .... having slept on it, I'm going to give it more time !!


So far, I've done a knit sample to get the tension sorted and calculate the stitches etc. I make a 'made to measure' sock and may introduce an additional block colour for the toe part and a band around the top cuff. I fancy trying out a crochet scallop boarder on the cuff ? 

Thanks for reading.
Call in again.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Crochet Yarn Baskets

Hi Everyone
I'm making a yarn basket for my crochet/knitting projects today. I've been planning this project for quite some time - almost every time I pick up my knitting or crochet the yarn ball seems to disappear around the floor and I remind myself about the yarn basket idea. I've seen some great examples of the  solid, clay versions but I need to be portable (and lightweight) so the crochet solution seems to be the way to go.

I've  made some lighter, smaller crochet baskets in workshops recently but need a more substantial item. I'm thinking of using T Shirt yarn and will go with whatever colour yarn I have in my stash. I think, I will probably follow the same style as the smaller workshop versions (see photo bottom left) but I do like the two colour look.


I'm also wondering about a space to thread the yarn through the side of the basket and think a button loop will work - not sure if this is necessary but I like the idea. Will get some development photos as I 'make'. I'm not sure about size - I'm going to find the largest ball of yarn I have and size the basket accordingly. I don't have a pattern as such and will just 'wing it' and see what happens !

Thanks for calling in.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Making Mini Charms

Hi Everyone
It's time for another Making Workshop today. We are making Mini Charms. The charms will be suitable for attaching to our recent wet felted coin purses (read back for more on this project). I've made up a range of samples using polymer clay, felted wool and jewellery findings. All the charms are attachable via a little lobster clasp.
Hopefully, MAKERS  will be inspired to make little charms to compliment their individual coin purses. As usual, I will get some photos of the work produced and I can share later this week.
Until then, here are a few photos of my mini charm samples -


While developing beads and shapes for the charms, I ended up with an extra bag of shapes. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the extra beads and shapes but I'd like to do something. In the meantime, all my little 'gems' are stored in an organza bag - looking pretty.


I especially like the fish - perhaps they will find themselves into a piece of jewellery.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Yarn Dish Cloths ?

Hi Everyone
It's been a very busy weekend - we had a lovely time in Scotland celebrating a family birthday. I'm now trying to 'catch up' with life ! Not much time for anything creative.
However, against the odds - I've managed to finish a little project (started Friday while watching golf on TV and suffering from a severe head cold). It's a lovely new pistachio dish cloth. I'm going to make a few more because they are so good. I made many knitted dish cloths as a child but these crochet versions are something else !
My intention was to but practice crochet waffle stitch with a view to making a few cushion covers. I've completed a simple square in a single colour using cotton yarn for my dish cloth. My next move is to add another colour (two colours per cloth) and develop some colour patterns. Here is a photo story of my dish cloth :


The waffle pattern is very simple but effective as a surface pattern, I'm not sure lots of colours will work but I want to experiment and see what happens. The waffle pattern is probably enough of a feature on its own. I'm thinking simple blocked colour areas or boarders ? I need to experiment.
I'm very pleased with my dish cloth and wondering if it's too nice to use ?

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Mini Charms - update

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm sharing an update on the mini charms project - I've managed to complete a number of the charm ideas (shared earlier this week - read back for details) and have tried them out on my purse. I need to develop extra felted versions later today (2 or 3 ideas) and this will complete my little charm project. I'm not sure which charm I will use for my purse, yet ? All the charms are made for my own specific purse so all would be suitable in terms of colours. Here they are :


At the moment, my favourite is the tassel charm (top left) although I do like the little house too (top right).

Other news - I have a great, long list of projects 'under development' and want to spend some time looking at priorities and planning of work over the Summer break (end of next week). So, I'm going to try and plan that later today. We also have another series of workshops next Tuesday which will include the mini charm project and a crochet session. I'm hoping I can get some photos of the other purses made by our regular Tuesday Makers - I can share the great work produced next week. The crochet session will also give me some time to organise a number of ongoing crochet projects. Im exited about developing a dish cloth in cotton crochet !!! Please note - dish washing is not my thing. I just like the cloth pattern/colours.

Thanks for calling in.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Poly Gems etc.

Hi Everyone
I had a busy day yesterday - 'out and about' and didn't get much time for production. However, I have a few little things to share. I'm currently making some slightly larger Converse baby shoes (read back for more on this project) and spent time developing the first stage. Here is an image of the idea -

The new pair will be pink ! I've made e first part of the sole and should finish them later today. It's a quick make and I need them quickly for a real gift !

I also have a bag of PolyGems - these are little polymer stones ready for developing into cabachons for mounting onto rings and other jewellery. I'm excited about developing this idea, it's been on my list for some time. Hopefully I may get a chance early next week to make a ring with one of these gems (the big one !)


My final item is a start on Vita - read back for more details on this project.

Vita will be similar to the green version of the doll. She is croched but will possibly have a fabric dress ? I'm also working on her face and have set some safety eyes into her very small head. I'm trying to develop an eyelid. The TILDA dolls tend to have tiny eyes and minimal features and I'd like to try and develop her features. This is an experiment and I'm not sure how this will work ? I love the long plait in the pink version in the photo and I will try to go for something similar.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mini Charms - under development

Hi Everyone
I'm in the process of developing some mini charms for my felted coin purse - read back yesterday for more on this. Yesterday, I spent time developing polymer clay elements - they are cured and ready for finishing. I've decided to colour some pieces with a pigment wax, I'm hoping this will both seal the charms and allow any surface patterns to be highlighted.


All items have some form of hole for assembly and I've chosen either a chain or cotton cord to make each charm. I had planned 8 sample charms but came out with a few more, so will have a good selection to choose my final charm for the purse.
The charms will be clipped onto the frame using a small lobster clasp - this will allow the charms to be changed anytime.


Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Mini Charms

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm focussing on making mini charms for the felted purse project (read back for more on this). There are so many ideas that it's taken me quite a while to narrow down my inspiration selection. I've put together a little board to inspire me to make my charms. I will adapt the colours and size of the sample ideas to match my own purse - a simple, practical design. I want to use the purse so my charm needs to be robust too. Here is a quick reminder of the purse :

I aim to use the inspiration board to direct my charm development  and will adapt each idea to compliment the purse. Hopefully, I will get a little charm from the exercise. Here is my inspiration board :


My favourite (at the moment) is the fish idea. However, I'm not sure it's right for this purse ? I think, the tassel idea will probably suit my design best ?After my making session, I should have 8 samples charms (of the right size) and be able to make a choice of which to use. I will share my results tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Positively Distracted

Hi Everyone
I've struggled all weekend on various levels - moments of planning have been rejected and I've gone from project to project, dabbling with lots of new ideas and possibly wasting time !. It's also been a busy sport weekend and I've been distracted by tennis and football on both days. Today, it's time to get myself organised.
However, amongst the self indulgent activities, I came across a great little project which has got me interested in making beads from yarn. I've long been interested in knitted jewellery but haven't found (until now) anything which fits my brief. While Pinterest browsing (many hours lost on this) I found an image which I liked, it seems there is a whole book - and here it is with the knitted beads :


After spotting these knitted beads, I found a knitted, yarn necklace and spent some time adapting it to my liking. Here is the result :


I'm not there yet - I want a bit of bling on these 'beads'. At the moment, the 'beads' are not quite formed, there is a suggestion of a bead but I want to define the shape a little more. I'm thinking - adding more yarn in a little wound ball or felting a little ball shape etc. I'm also pondering how to fasten the necklace and possibly adding beads or buttons. My necklace sample is made in one piece, increasing and decreasing at intervals. The connecting part of the necklace is an 'i cord' technique.


Thanks for reading.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Distraction Time

Hi Everyone
I'm distracted again ............. although, I've managed my work task list well all week - yesterday, was rather distracted by a couple of projects. I started with a quick half an hour knit. I'm always knitting something - this tends to be an evening type hour or so (while watching TV). My current project is a cotton yarn vest top. Not sure why ? But I got the knitting out - just to check where I was !! - fatal.

Another couple of evening sessions and I'm done. I like the simple drape of the yarn and it's going well.

However, I also started a little project which I couldn't put down - crochet baby converse shoes ! I had seen this idea on YouTube and immediately put it on my 'to do' list - several months ago. So, it's been on the list for quite some time. A moments distraction over lunch and I was hooked (literally). My afternoon was hijacked. The sample version needed several attempts and I'm not totally convinced it's neat enough (for me) but you get the idea. I've learned lots from making this sample? They are so cute and I have lots of new babies everywhere (several neighbours have new babies) and I (fortunately) know several very young children who I could gift a pair - every excuse to make lots more in a range of different colours. 


Have a great weekend.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Felted Purses - progress

Hi Everyone
I've finally managed to get a few photos (not sure why I couldn't get them off my phone yesterday ?) from the Felted Coin Purse workshop earlier this week, these photos give a flavour of the lovely work produced by our Makers.
Each Maker considered their own ideas for embroidery and beading before attaching the purse frame. Everyone collected a range of materials and started to embellish the basic purse. This turned into an experimental process and inspiration 'flowed'.



Many of the purses have an abstract, contemporary feel to the design and look great with contrasting threads and beads. As the the session moved on we saw some fantastic pieces emerge. 
We have one more session with this project and I'm confident the purses will be completed next time. The purse frames have a little space for adding a charm and Im working on some samples to inspire our Makers to complete their fabulous Coin Purses which will include a charm of their own.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

New dolls and purses

Hi Everyone
I was hoping to share some images of the decorated purses from yesterday's workshop (read back to yesterday's blog for details). However, I've not had time to get the photos sorted. The purses are a great success and some Makers managed to start sewing on their frames. All the purse are lovely and the embroidery ideas are making them very special. Well done to everyone. I'll spend some time managing the photos later today and share on here tomorrow.

I'm going to start a new doll today. Miss Mitchell is on hold for a short time. I'm going to crochet a TILDA style doll (usually a fabric design) - she will be known as VITA, the doll design reminds me of Vita Sackville West. 


I  thought I would like to develop this doll to try out a few more ideas before developing Miss Mitchell - it's important that she comes out as good as I can make her. I'm thinking, I can combine crochet, knitting and sewing to make Miss Mitchell. I learned quite a few things from making Lucy and I'm hoping Vita can also provide a similar learning experience.

Will share my progress with developments.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Making Workshop

Hi Everyone
Today, is the second workshop in the Felted Purse Project. Last time, we actually felted the main part of the purse. The purses have been shaped 'round' as they dried around a polystyrene ball.
 Today's workshop will plan how the purses are to be decorated and hopefully we can attach the purse frames. We probably need another session to finish them completely.


All our MAKERS will approach decoration in their own way - so we will have a wide range of very different purses.
I've made some more felted shapes (myself) which will get a little more decoration than my first purse, which takes a minimal approach. I intend to embroid and bead as I go - no plan as such !  I'm also going to develop some beaded charms to add to the little hook on the side of the frame. 


I'll share some examples from the workshop in tomorrow's blog.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 4 July 2016

More Felted Purses

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the beginings of a few more felted purses today. The colours are rather muted because of my limited range of felting wool. I'm using a rather coarse but strong version and the resulting purse is a more substantial item. I need to develop some small grey buttons to add to my decoration but the purses are growing on me. I've got some ideas for embroidery and will try out extra beading. 


I quite like the idea of little French knots on the top left purse - to create flowers or grass heads ?
I also tried a few different felted flower ideas - not sure about the flowers but will try out some ideas when the frames are connected. I'm also thinking about creating some little beaded charms to add to the frame. The frames I'm using have a specific little space to add such a thing - perhaps, I can develop some beaded flowers ?


Thanks for reading. Call in each day this week to check out my progress.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Back on track ?

Hi Everyone
Having avoided working for most of yesterday. TODAY - I need to get back on track ! I had a lovely time yesterday, chatting and drinking coffee most of the afternoon; then my evening was taken over by a school parents event but eventually, I treated myself to a few tennis matches on Tv (it's Wimbledon again).
So..... no excuses for me now, I've had my day off. I did start my 2nd felted purse (yesterday) and I managed to completely ignore my initial colour plan (see 28/6/16 inspiration ideas) and ended up making a yellow coloured purse. 


It should have been more 'mustard' but I quite liked the yellow (at the time ?). I want to get lots of embellishments going on and have seen a purse with lace around the clasp frame which appeals. I also quite like the idea of adding some felted/beaded flowers as well as more embroidery. I've seen an inspirational purse (see my photo story above) with flowers. This is a little too much for me but it's the sort of thing I'm considering. I'm going to develop another couple of purse this morning and will devise lots of embellishment plans. I aim to add some of the buttons from last week (read back for details) too.
If I manage to accomplish my plans this morning, I can call into Wimbledon again.

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.