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Big cosy collar

knitted-collarI just made myself this big, cosy collar with a big pair of needles (size 10 European guage) and a ball of chunky wool in black with bright flecks of colour. I was supposed to follow a pattern, but I just ignored it and did my own thing! Love the results, so I thought I would share.

Big cosy collar [Tutorial]

So easy it almost knits itself!
This lovely collar looks great over a simple crew neck sweater for indoor wear, or as a cosy collar ‘cum cowl hood outdoors as a substitute for a normal scarf.

Materials required:

150 grams chunky wool (soft acrylic used for the one in the image)
Size 10 knitting needles
Darning needle & toning thread

Method:

Cast on 35 stitches
Simple plain knit stitch for 58 – 60 cms (I did a purl stitch at each end of the rows)
Cast off
Stitch together the short sides of the completed rectangle

A few earrings for you

As promised, here are some earrings, and there are more on the way. These are super chunky and great fun – not for the weak hearted! All made using upcycled stretch fabric, and then ‘garnished’ with some lovely felted cord. Dangly glass beads at the base in coordinating colours. A sure way to get noticed this winter!

Sew Pretty

Experimented with one of these sewing pouches yesterday, and I know I shouldn’t be the one to say it, but I will anyway – I love it! Shades of grey and red are high on my list of favourite colours anyway, so this combination of grey felt and red ribbon and buttons is a winner!The photograph doesn’t really do the colours justice as there is a bit of a colour cast. All the felt is made in Germany, so the piece is very much home-grown on a European level. I like the size of the little purse too which is big enough for some scissors, a couple of cotton reels and other small odds and ends for sewing. I have included a thick felt heart to stick a few pins and needles on, so all you have to do is ‘load’ the purse and take your sewing kit anywhere. Good for those crafters who do ‘craft-ins’ with like-minded crafters, or just for those who are not into sewing but like to know where to find the necessary for sewing on the occasional button or darning the odd sock. I might do a few more of these, maybe using other colours for the embellishments. I’ll check out what I have in the felt and button stash.

My biscuit man

ginger0031Been wanting to make some of these little guys for ages, but I was finding it hard to get hold of the felt colour I wanted. At long last my suppliers came up with the goods and I was able to ‘bake’ half a dozen. I also decided to set up a little kit for home ‘baking’ just in case anyone would like to have a go – mainly because I think it is the kind of small project that a younger child could attempt with just the minimum of supervision from an adult.

They actually make lovely little ‘fist’ sized cuddlies, so it would be easy enough just to leave off the hanging loop and use as a small mascot. I know kids like to hang these things on their school bags and use them as mega-sized keyrings too.

Don’t forget though that these are definitely not suitable for very small children because of the small parts.

Follow this link to my Etsy page if you would like to purchase a gingerbread man kit

Well it’s a start!

Had to begin somewhere didn’t I? So here is my first, dry felted ‘bead’ – next step, the coat of many colours maybe?

Anyway, upwards and onwards – I must now set myself a new target with the felt making as I can already see the limitations of tiny felt balls which will most definitely not keep me satisfied for very long!

Divine

felting-fashion-100x128This most divine book dropped onto my doorstep yesterday and has me drooling. I have mentioned that recently I fell in love with felt, but if I thought that was love, I just hadn’t been prepared for this new surge of passion that this book has brought through the door. If anyone is interested, I picked it up at Amazon, and it’s called ‘Felting Fashion, Creative and inspirational techniques for feltmakers’ by Lizzie Houghton. For the time being I have limited myself to just devouring the images of Lizzie’s incredible garments, and the brief passages I have read already make me aware that I probably just don’t have the kind of work area to be able to make any of the bigger pieces. But maybe I will be able to attempt a brooch or pair of earrings – who knows. Anyway, if you get a chance, take a look — you won’t be disappointed.

Travel Buddies

JesS and I have been doing quite a few things, though she tends to limit herself to flashes of inspiration for earrings. I’m the one who pulls out the sewing machine, and this is what I was up to last month…

I call them travel buddies to take along with you during your short breaks and vacations and use as shoe bags, document pouches etc. although they could very well be used for all sorts of other functions of course. As a small child, my daughter always had 2 or 3 bags like this to host her special travel companions – a favourite doll, pjs and so on.

The inspiration for these coordinated sets (4 bags per set) came from some gorgeous Liberty prints I found designed for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for an exhibition of old British quilts. Many of the prints I have used are replicas of those old quilting fabrics which I have coordinated with a block colour to create these drawstring bags and matching accessories. Once I got the “bug” I went ahead and made several sets in several different colourways – some using the Liberty prints and others using pretty Tyrolean cotton in various traditional prints. We are lucky enough to find these quite easily here and I pick up most of mine in a local market.

In most cases I have used a chunky twisted cord for the drawstring, and have added either wooden or hand crafted polymer beads to block the cord ends. Each set has a little complimentary lavender pod sachet to keep your suitcase smelling sweet!

Keeping the chocolate hot

Keep the hot chocolate hot

is what I said. There are all sorts of occasions for wanting to take a cup of hot tea or cocoa to someone outside – maybe it’s for the lads working under the car bonnet – or for the gang around the bonfire letting off fireworks – or even for the snowball fights when there’s too much fun going on to drop everything and go inside. Helps you to keep those dirty feet outside the door for a bit longer too!
So this is my solution – a thick felt holder for hot mugs so that you can take the hot drinks outside and be sure that they won’t go cold straight away. What do you think?

Felt ornaments for the tree

Tough going

for the felt hearts I am sewing right now. Not quite a drill job, but I do have a pair of pliers to hand to pull the needle through at almost every stitch! The problem is probably down to the fact that I am having to use a hefty cotton and a needle with a larger eye to stitch these things up. I never expected it to be a quick and easy sew, but this is ridiculous! Taken me all morning to sew just 4 hearts! Anyway, hope to get some pictures up soon so that you can see what it’s all about. A lovely set of Christmas tree ornaments, all sewn by hand … they are meant for the shop, but I am very tempted to just keep them for myself!

So here they are

a few mangled fingers later! My lovely set of softly padded felt hearts for the tree — decided to keep this set for myself, but have made others for the shop. Even if you don’t use them on the tree, they are sweet enough to add to a lovely garland for the front door – or maybe over the top of the mantelpiece. I also think they would make extra special gift tags – any other ideas?

Follow this link to purchase a set of 6 completed hearts in my Etsy store

Follow this link to purchase a DIY set of 6 hearts in my Etsy store

Time for an overhaul

Here is a quick peek at what I have been up to over the last few days.
tree-hearts1-300x271
Just realised that Christmas is around the corner, and that we have a craft market at the weekend – although the weather forecast is not in the least bit encouraging so I have my fingers and toes crossed that it will hold up until Monday! At the last market all our earrings seemed to go really well, so I should have been making some of those – but have just not found inspiration right now! Fell off the motorbike and I have a streaming cold and my brain (and body) are too addled to think creatively.

So felt hearts it is.

Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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