Monday, 4 November 2013

Sewing for Pleasure and Friends

I have not been completely idle these last couple of months; I have been busy sewing up a few samples for my good friend Lynda (Laa Laa Land) as she is exhibiting at the NEC in Birmingham at the Crafts for Christmas on 7th to the 10th November 2013 (this week).  

I got a bit carried away and made Lynda a quilted hanger with her logo inspired by her business card.

Earlier this year I made some mini crochet bunting for the stall.

Can you tell I wish I was going too, this way a little bit of me will be there?

I have been working on some of these for a while now but I couldn't share these until now as Lynda has only recently added them to her online shop.  Some in progress shots.



If you are planning to visit the Exhibition do pop over to see her and say hi, she really is a lovely lady, and if you can’t make it you can snaffle up kits and patterns from her online shop here, there are new patterns being added all the time, including these beauties.


 and just in time for Christmas


How delightful.

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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Lest We Forget

It is that time of year again when we start to see poppies everywhere, in commemoration of Armistice Day. Armistice Day also known as Remembrance Day is on November 11th each year and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning – the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

Due to many different issues I have not been able to make poppies to sell this year as I have done in previous years, but I have made a small handful to give to friends and to wear myself, giving a donation to The Royal British Legion on their behalf.

There are many free patterns out there for poppies but I made this one up myself as I was sat with my wool basket at my side and a sleeping kitten on my lap and couldn’t reach the iPad for a tutorial.

If you would like to make your own, the pattern went something like this 
(UK Crochet Terms)

1st round: Ch2, In second chain from hook, dc 11, join last dc to first with a slip stitch (10 sts)
2nd round: Ch1, *in 1st dc (dc, htr,tr), in 2nd dc 2 tr, in 3rd dc 3tr, in 4th dc (tr, htr, dc), ss into next dc* repeat from *to* (24 st)
3rd round: Ch1, in 1st st of previous round (dc,htr, tr), in next 10 stitches tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr,    2tr, tr,2tr, in 12th stitch of previous round (tr,htr,dc) ss into next dc.  
In 14thst of previous round (dc,htr,tr) tr into next 9 st, into 23rd st of previous round (tr, htr, dc) ss into last st of previous round.
Bind off and sew in ends.

1st row: Ch 6, In 2nd chain from hook, work 1dc, 1htr, 2tr, 1ht,1dc, ch1 at end of row ss into back of second chain from hook to form picot, turn,

this is where you ss into the back of the stitch can you see where I've placed the needle for clarity?
2nd row:, working along the other side of the chain, work 1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 1htr, 1dc.
Bind off and sew in ends, leaving a tail to attach leaf to flower.
Finishing:  I added a small circle of black felt with a small 6mm dolls eye as the centre, but you can simply sew a nice black button in the middle.  Using black cotton add the stamen and add a simple french knot at the end of each stamen.

Attach your leaf to the back and tack in place, add a brooch back (or a safety pin) to the back and you are done.

I covered my button and gave it a spritz of spray starch to set it.

As I said I made this up as I went with a paper poppy as a guide but as it is a standard poppy shape it is likely that there are very similar patterns out there, this is my own.

 Please feel free to use this pattern to make poppies for your own use or to sell for charity. Please do not make poppies to sell for personal profit from this pattern.

If you are planning to make yourself a poppy instead of buying one you can make a donation to the Royal British Legion directly here.

The Exhortation

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, not the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

When you go home tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow we gave our today

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n.b. thanks for the feedback I have made an amendment to pattern 06.11.14 Kandi x

Friday, 1 November 2013

Pins and Needles 2013

This year Pins and Needles (an Initial J Event) was held the weekend before last at Newcastle Race Course.
This is an event that I always attend and tend to stock up on good local produce. This year there were lots and lots of papercraft exhibitors and the sewing and knitting folks were in the minority.  With the event being called Pins and Needles and having a quilting exhibition, and needlework exhibition on show I was a little disappointed not to have more relevant stalls.  I did however come across a new exhibitor who was selling some delicious local wool Natural Knits, The Knitting Gift Shop. 
They have an online shop and you can find them here.
I did snaffle up a few bits from Woolaballoo, a lovely wool supplier from Hexham and I have made myself a very quick neck warmer (crap photos but it's more mustard than green in real life).   I am not the fastest knitter and I managed to knit this up one evening after work (part of the cost went to children in need too).
How cool is the huge button, I swapped the button from the kit with this one which I bought from The Knitting Gift Shop, the lady tells me her husband made these from the leg of an old chair.
This year one of the workshops was Tunisian Crochet, this is something I was really interested in.  I can knit and crochet but this is a technique I have never tried before, so I signed up.
Its a bit odd if you are used to crochet.  In traditional crochet, you work a row of stitches, and the row is then complete. At that point, you turn the work and move on to the next row.  Tunisian crochet is different, each row is a two-step process, and you never have a need to turn the work.  I got myself a bit confused at the end of each row but with a bit of practice and a lovely helpful teacher, I nailed it (I did frog it and start again when I got home and got it right).

If you are interested there are loads of good YouTube tutorials showing how it is done the tool is a cross between a knitting needle and a crochet hook. The finished article is very thick it is like double thickness crochet, if you need this dense finish Tunisian may be the way forward.  As a result of this thickness, the Tunisian uses up lots of wool, I can’t imagine making a full size blanket in this way if for no other reason than the excessive cost of the wool but I hope to make a cushion cover sized piece from patchwork Tunisian squares in the future.  I will add that to my ever growing list of things I want to make.
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