You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘crochet’ tag.

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This is the longest W>I>P I’ve ever had but finally my African Flower blanket is done (all but the edging).

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Back in 2015 while we were mooching about on holiday,  we passed a knitting shop selling off it’s closing down stock. Too good to pass up. I had already inherited a big bag of the dark and light grey Angora wool so chose a similar weight and fluff to match.

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I got started pretty happily but then fell out of love with the colours and doing the shape. It’s sat gathering dust for quite a while…

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But there’s nothing like the impending clear-up for family coming to stay at Christmas to galvanise a tidy up, sort out, throw away and get done mentality. And so after taking a deep breath and just getting it done…it’s done!

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And now I really love it!

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We have builders in (hurrah  – new bathroom) but time is never your own when the house is occupied, especially for quiet creative pursuit. However I’m not complaining (we really did need a new bathroom reno) but I am finding time for shorter projects.

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Hello! Today is the first day here that truly feels like Spring. It’s also the first day in a week that I feel well (stupid virus, nothing serious) and maybe it’s a combination of those two things that has prompted me to tidy out my iPhoto library today and come say hello with pictures.

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It’s not that I haven’t been busy creating (apart from last week) but quite the opposite and once there’s too much to say I find it becomes harder to say anything.

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In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.

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I was thrilled to get the opportunity to begin teaching one of the MAC’s adult evening Textile classes (insert whooping and cheering). This has taken me on a journey back in time and a re-birth in skills once learnt and used. I studied all kinds of Textile art for my degree before specialising in Print and it has been really invigorating prepping samples to show the students – here’s some batiking I did inspired by these gorgeous anemones.

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I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.

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You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” well this couldn’t be truer in the context of me teaching my daughter to crochet. First she knocked out her own gorgeous Granny Square blanket as her first project, then set about a huge Granny Square blanket as a friend’s birthday gift (here’s where I got jealous!) then for Mothers Day she made me this beautiful cushion cover for a pillow on our bed 😍

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And the making = love message has been strong in our house of late as we celebrated a BIG birthday this weekend. We can’t believe our kids are 18 and 20 – where did the time go?

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Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.

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And following the tradition to have a special item to commemorate a landmark birthday like 18, this little pumpkin asked me to knit her a cardi! Ahh…

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It did nearly kill me as it’s the most complex thing I’ve done yet but that’s how you up your skills level isn’t it!

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Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.

Firstly, on my last post – thank you my sweet commenters 💖😻

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You know you’ve been busy when you rely on photographs taken to remind you of where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. But it’s all good and being busy is all part of the business of being alive!

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This was my WIP until recently. Now I’m struggling to remember the pattern because another WIP has superseded it.

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Which is this one – a blanket for my youngest (who is planning to take it to Uni this time next year 😭) We are doing it together but she’s so hooked (and might have more free time than me) that she’s done two-thirds of the above.

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I am so chuffed to see her relaxing doing crochet – I feel like someone else has beamed down to my planet!

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We have visited many Uni’s over the last few months. I took a snap of this poem at Sheffield because I love it – especially this bit: “Among the jumbled bric-a-brac I keep a padlocked treasure-chest of empty space and on days… I turn the key, throw back the lid, breathe deep.”

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I took a day trip to London, saw some new East End places and some old face’s – Spitalfields and Anthropologie (of course!)

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I started teaching the Baby and Toddler Sensory Art Play at our local Arts Center, which is the most fun, I love it! – I missed working with kids and this is a nice little dose of that without all the other hassle and expectation of working in a school environment.

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I decided I would make some fruit inspired patterns beginning with the summer fruits. I have done raspberries so far. That’s it! Life interrupted.

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It has not been Year Of The Garden this year but the blackberry brambles and the apple trees just did their thing regardless. I’m ashamed to say that only the rabbit has eaten any of the apples. The garden centre was selling off seeds for 50p a packet and I got rather carried away. So next year, instead of growing courgettes we forget to harvest, I have declared the veg garden is going to be a cutting garden and I’m going to be organised and do it right. There I said it here so I’m now accountable!

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I had a big project come my way recently –  to design two tea-sets. It’s a competition and I might have really good news to share very soon – eek! 😃. I really enjoyed doing it and finally my huge collection of vintage china got put to use as visual reference – see I knew there was a reason to collect it!

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I spent two solid weeks on it ignoring all the housework, cooking as simply as possible and just keeping my head down – this was the ironing pile at the end of that. I thought I’d share it to re-dress the balance if you thought I was living a beautifully styled, ordered life and share some reality with you instead!

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P.S.I’m on Instagram if you like a quick, up-to-the-minute way of connecting. Link above left if you’d like to see all this in real-time.

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Happy weekend everybody! I wanted to share something with you today in the hope that it might appeal to you crafty makers out there too.

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I came to hear about Project Linus (Project Linus USAProject Linus UK) through my dear friend who works as a doctor of critically and terminally ill children.

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You remember Linus from the cartoon Snoopy? He’s the inspiration for the name as he was almost always seen with his blue security blanket.

Their vision is to:

 “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and Afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

In short to provide a blanket anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

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Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies etc – read Duncan’s story here but have a tissue ready.

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I have a stupid amount of fabric and yarn stashed away that I will never use up even if I crafted everyday for the rest of my life! And I already have enough blankets and quilts but still love to make them regardless of that. So this was the perfect project for me as I still got to indulge my love of crocheting and quilting, benefitted by slimming my stashes down and got to make something that’s much-needed by someone else.

I used Ikea fleece blankets to make my fabric quilts – it’s a simpler and cheaper way to back them and they are so snuggly.

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And there is nothing I like better than seeing an unappealing tangle of yarn like this…

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magically transformed into a beautiful and useful blanket (and it justified all my tv and film watching!)

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In the UK Project Linus gave away 26,980 items in 2014, their best year yet – I’d love our crafting community to spread the word and maybe make a blanket and help 2015 be even better. And if making something seems too large an endeavour, they also need donations of fabric, money and time.

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If you have been inspired to become a ‘blanketeer’ and you live in the UK you can find out where to donate your handmade blanket here or for the USA here.

Sometime ago I was lucky enough to be given a sack of my M-I-L’s project leftover’s and that added to my own growing collection of To Do’s, has meant a lot of wool in storage. This past year I have tried to actually use some up rather than keep buying stuff for new projects. This has worked out well mostly except for my weakness for buying new sock yarns.

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It has been a struggle to identify the yarns sometimes and then find patterns to suit or do the maths to convert yarn and pattern to match. This baby-wrap above was a case in point but I managed to make something which turned out the right size and shape and it’s now donated to the Made4Aid site if your interested in purchasing it for charity.

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I finally edged my granny’s blanket from years back before the yarn got re-purposed for another project.

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I made a granny square cushion for a friends birthday…

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and knitted some hanger covers in some cottons that look lovely but are hard to use for wearable things as there isn’t much stretch to the yarn.

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I bought this wool years ago in Whitby for a scarf for myself and whilst I still love the yarn with it’s changing hues and specks of gold, I knitted it into a tie-able scarf for my mum for Christmas.

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All that hasn’t really made a good dint in it yet – there’s more to come!

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Outside maybe cold, white and covered in snow…

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… but inside it has been bright and hot.

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I examined my crafting at the end of this weekend and saw my subconscious at work. Hot colours to remind me of places far away.

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Lots of bright colours employed in using up ends of yarn, appropriately made into a hot water bottle cover.

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And for a snow-excited Spaniel, stripes of Kaffe Fassett scraps quilted up into a dog-bed pad.

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I love how crochet can be like colouring-in with yarn. No real plan, just whatever colour I fancy next.

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All warm and dry but longing for summer already.

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Back in August while I was on holiday in Wales, I began this hand-made Christmas gift.

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I’ve done a basic crochet course and made granny’s squares but I was keen to try and master something else, so armed with tutorials on the iPad and a week with little else to do, I set about crochet and un-crocheting until I had mastered this puff flower.

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I saw the idea on the Coco Rose blog and she credits Millie Makes for the design.

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It did take me a while to understand it but then it became as easy as pie and I was hooking it up without too many mistakes!

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It became really puffy and super soft and once it was big enough and sewn onto a cushion cover it became very tactile and was loved and hugged by the recipient on first sight. It’s always satisfying to challenge your skills and try something new but even better to hand make a gift that is received so well – win, win 🙂

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On our recent trip to Pembrokeshire I became the junk shop equivalent of David Dickenson (without the perm-a-tan though!)

It would seem that Wales has lots of vintage goodness ready to sell and at good prices.

We found one cold, warren of a place piled high with everything you could think of and not being staffed by the owner. This opened up the opportunity for some cheeky bargaining (I still don’t know what came over me.)

I came away with 3 old wooden storage boxes, two blue and white jugs, a tiny floral jug, a lace work cloth, two embroidered chair-backs and an enamel pan for £15. I quick-stepped it out before the owner came back. I mean when is anything ever as cheap as 50 pence! My gall is a disgrace!!

The next day I spotted two lovely white and blue enamel pieces sitting outside an antiques shop and bartered them down just a little bit.

I have a plan to fill the oval tub with lettuce seeds so that we can grow our own salad this summer and keep it by the back door.

 So now the garden is ready for it’s thrifted, vintage makeover (as soon as it stops raining).

We had also been very lucky on a recent family trip to Manchester to come across an antiques arcade. There was beautiful crockery, coloured glass wear, old books, crocheted loveliness and a super wicker basket to carry it all home in.

I have saved the best for last – all the crafty holiday photo’s.

In the North of the island we found by chance a sleepy little village called Volimes which was lined each side of its one main road with crochet stall, after crockery stall, after crochet stall.

My favourite one was run by this lovely lady who was crocheting as we browsed and in broken English she explained how she had made all the pieces, pulling them out to show (sell to) me. I in turn used my broken Greek (sign language and smiling) to show that I too could crochet and so we crossed the language divide and settled happily on common craft ground.

I bought this table runner because I fell in love with The Lovely Crochet Lady and because it is supporting a handmade livelihood and because at 15 Euro’s it was cheap for all the work that had gone into it and because the pattern seemed quite modern and reminded me of red and white swirly sweets.

Oh and because I fell in love with The Lovely Crochet Lady!

She was making an edging whilst we were there. She could crochet one meter in two hours and sell it for 10 Euro’s. Thought provoking… it reminded me of this little film found here which is worth a watch.


And it seems only fitting while I’m musing on the necessity of passing down craft skills to the younger generation, to tell you that Lu had her most successful knitting lesson while we were away. She is a natural at increasing stitches!

And to finish up, a little water-colour sketch of the view from our veranda. Hope you enjoyed our holiday too and it wasn’t like having to sit through some boring relative’s slide show! Happy Bank Holiday.

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That sweet moment when you click ‘Pattern Fill’ 👩‍💻 💻 🤗😆 #photoshop #patterndesign #surfacepatterndesigner #pattern #print #surfacepatterns #computerdesign #mydesktoday #patterns #patterndesigns #artistoninstagram #patternplay #productiontime
The ironing’s done ✔️ time for a #slowsunday and this beautiful #marthearmitage book #inspiration #olderartistsinspire #artbook #printmaking
These ladies #markitproject have learnt soooo much on their printmaking journey (as have I) Today was our last screen-printing session before we concentrate on other production tasks 🧵➿✂️ 📦🏷We have 2 fairs booked - local peeps save the dates: December 1st and 8th 🌲 #screenprinting #skillup #withrefugees #refugeeswelcome #skillsforlife #empoweringwomen #craftcommerce #womeninbusiness #learningnewskills #craftcanchangetheworld #everyonedeservestobehappy
You are invited to @mac_birmingham Textile Club next Saturday 🧵 🖌 ✂️ Only £31 to spend an uninterrupted day working on your own textile project with all materials and studio access plus my support/advice/enthusiasm/corny jokes as wanted 🤣 Print, Stitch, Machine, Dye any which way you’d like. #textileworkshop #textileart #printmakingworkshop #printmaking #screenprintingworkshop #sewingworkshop #textileartists #birminghamtextileartist #birminghammakers #textileartworkshop #workshopsuk #macbirmingham #craftworkshops #thingstodoinbirmingham #keepoutoftherain 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 student work shown by Georgina, Elaine, Hannah and Anna

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