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This year, for me, was all about crafting while camping (and crafting while queuing – lots of that!)
Sitting around in the cold was the perfect opportunity to snuggle up and hand bind the Liberty quilt, which is all finished now, ready to wash and iron for it’s final show and tell sometime soon.
‘Abigella’ brought her finished quilt – made with Tilda fabrics – it reminds me of a delicious box of chocolates and Lisa was granny squaring ( incidentally she has a book out now showing the step by step technique of felting a handbag – do take a look.)
I think ‘Glamping’ might be on hold for a while now as when we packed up to leave we chose not to bring the tent back with us (10 years old with dodgy zips and split poles) but anyway the car was too full of all my quilts and rugs! Happy to be back with electricity and running water. I’m not as young as I used to be
It’s good to be back in the rhythm of everyday life and back to blogging. Just before Christmas I happened across this yarn at our local market. The woman who runs the stall was knitting with it herself and enthusing about it so it didn’t take much to distract me from my original intent and purchase this as well.
It took some adaptation to knit with because you fit two stitches between each pompom and because every time I looked at it my brain told my stomach I was hungry for marshmallows!
Seriously though, how is a girl to spend time knitting without giving in to that thought? (Anyone ever played Bananagram and wanted to eat white chocolate? Then you know what I mean!) The end result is a lovely soft, spongy scarf which fits regardless of how large I may have become eating a bag of marshmallows in the process!
This is my first Christmas with a blog and it’s a funny thing when you’re working away secretly on stuff but can’t post about it. You may have thought I was being lazy but no! Here is one cat that’s out of the bag now so it’s safe to show you.I’ve been making aprons for a while now (have a look here for more) but this is my first teen apron! The lovely Babooshka fabric came from Holland House Fabrics.
Another cat set free was this. I’ve shown knitted cupcakes before but these were given on a little cake stand from Laura Ashley and are great for helping to keep New Year resolutions because they are calorie free!!
I had the most inspiring time at the Knit and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday. Loads to see and buy – quirky ceramics, new screen printing techniques, beautiful (and affordable) Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics, yummy knitting and intricate embroideries.
1. Katie Almond 2. Committed To Cloth 3 and 4. wornandwashedfabrics.com 5.Sublime 6. East Anglia Stitch Textiles.
The embroideries of Louise Baldwin (below) were really inspiring in their use of colour and technique. She layers paper, fabric and recycled materials like a collage and then stitches through with stitches that look like a drawn line.
Vicky Lindo wins my award for the most charming, whimsical embroideries of cats and dogs. Every picture tells a story and endears you it because it’s so cute – the style of the cat or dog and the little witty embroidered captions.
Not especially my cup of tea but admirable all the same, was this enormous knit project from the North East Marine Trust. I don’t like rats but that knitted one just might turn me…a little!
This beautiful bag was a gorgeous birthday present I was given last week. My good friend (she of the ‘sewcial’s') has been toiling away at hand sewing – yes hand sewing! – every stitch of this bag for me. What’s more she has made this beautiful object totally from recycled fabrics (found in the local charity shops) and pieces of hand felting that we’ve done together. The pale green base fabric has not come out well enough in any of the photo’s; it doesn’t do it justice. It’s a pre-shrunk wool jumper (third time right apparently) and it’s so soft and cuddly that I could happily take this bag to bed with me! I think she should begin writing her Green Sewing book?!! Maybe…but she will definitely have to stop telling me that she can’t sew!!!!
And if it’s not enough to have such a lovely handmade bag for a present, it was one of two things she’s made me (more tomorrow on the other one!)
I’m a lucky 40 year old to have a friend like her.
I’ve been feeling the pressure lately here with the run up to the RBSA show and then continuing to paint for another open show coming up. And I guess with every high (the giddy excitement of getting in the show and winning something ) comes a low.
I found this week that I’d lost my mojo a bit and have been trying not to beat myself for not being able to settle to any great task with a paint brush.
I have found myself wanting to knit cupcakes though!
There’s something very therapeutic about knitting, it’s very gentle on the brain (once you’ve mastered the pattern.) The repetition is calming, a bit like sitting repeatedly rocking in a rocking chair except at the end of a few hours you have something to show for it.
When I was in France recently, you may remember the need for wool free crafting ideas. The cupcakes began then only made from material scraps.
I’m not sure what the appeal is with cupcakes – it’s a motif I love to return to either with paint or fabric. I’ve been known to batik cupcake pictures, applique cupcake aprons, paint cupcake’s then Photo Shop them into stationary items, not to mention make them to eat! Maybe it’s because they represent fun and frivolity, or that they’re colourful and reminiscent of picnic’s and relaxing times. I think I may have answered my own question there about why I need to find distraction with them right now!
We’re off to France for a week with our treasured friends. The only draw back is that my friend has a wool phobia, and if that wool happened to be wet…well that’s even worse.
How do I spend a week wool free because everything I’m working on that’s transportable has wool in it somewhere.
….Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! Embroidery (Crafts) and this…
Crochet (Instant Expert) by Katy Bevan.
Just in case you thought I was all about painting, here’s my latest and most successful piece of knitting to date.
Taken from Thrown Together by Kim Hargreaves and Kathleen Hargreaves, this pattern is Nan (but the whole book is full of gorgeous and very wearable knits, beautifully photographed.)
Using size 12 (noisy because I bought metal) needles and Rowan Big Wool, it was a dream to knit up fast.
All finished just in time to sit in the cupboard until winter!