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Felt & knitted shoulder bag

felt-knitted-maroon002Just finished the first of several of these bags which I plan to make. Pleased with the result, and as usual, I love the colours! I like to make things which I use/would use myself, so inevitably I end up using mainly my own favourite colours. Obviously if any of you have other colour preferences, just give a shout and I will keep my eyes open and imagination alert for other colourways for listings.

Felting fun ‘Cossack’ hat

cossack-hat001Inspiration in progress – what say this should become??? Experimented with some washing machine felting yesterday and this is the resulting piece.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how soft the felted piece remained. As you can see, first of all I had to knit it up and then give it a fairly energetic whirl in the washing machine with some neutral liquid soap to get the felt effect. I could have continued with hand felting to flatten it completely, but decided instead to leave the piece as it is as I really like to see the knitted stitches in evidence.

So here you can see what my piece of mystery felt became – a sort of Cossack hat. I was really pleased with how it came out and decided to do some simple embroidery to decorate the felt crown, and to add a scattering of interesting buttons on the front area of the headband. I continued with the same colour theme of gingernut brown and deep blue throughout – for the embroidery and for the buttons. Well whoever buys this will know that it is unique! I only made one!

Frivolous accessories

frilly-scarf002Just adore this new yarn I have used for this touch of glam on a cold day – a frilly scarf to brighten up even the plainest coat or jacket and bring out the feminine in you! Pretty, frilly and surprisingly warm in spite of its airy appearance. Love these colours too! I think there will be a couple more on the way soon. Must check out the other colour combinations.

Pompoms galore tutorial

pompom-tutorial001If anyone is interested, I have just added a pompom tutorial – I have set it all up in a downloadable pdf file for you – free for the taking, and have fun with the pompoms – they are always such a cheerful addition to scarves and hats and sweaters for both children and adults alike.

You can pick up the pdf file for download by clicking on the link below …

Papier maché bauble tutorial

Managed to get the tutorial done for the papier maché baubles if anyone is interested. You will see that I have suggested inexpensive toilet paper to create the paper base, but of course other paper, preferably from recycled sources is a good alternative. Just be aware that the build up of thicker paper is going to make it more difficult for the light to show through, and so try to leave some areas a little thinner with fewer layers — or even to create small open ‘keyhole’ spaces for the light to be seen. You can pick up the pdf file and more information — just follow the simple instructions in the tutorial pdf which you can download by clicking here …

Sewing machine out

Got the machine out and am putting together a few ideas. These lovely ‘colour keepers’ for the kids have proved to be popular in the past, but as they take quite a lot of time to make, I just hadn’t got around to creating a new bunch. Following Jay’s advice, I will be doing some of these for older users – she says that she would love one, but not necessarily with teddy bears and smurfs! So there will be a couple for her age group – and why not – for the customer who would love to have a secret scribble and doodle now and again!

So briefly – what are they? Well a sort of wallet or carrying case for coloured pens, pencils and so on – with a section for tucking away the odd doodle, and a small pack of paper to start you off. Each has a small pencil case sewn into the centre area and a set of felt tip pens. Intended for both the young and the young at heart!

Biker’s crafting break

guzzi-castelfranco-9-12-12Not the most glam photo of hubby that I have, but today we took a break and whizzed off on the bike to a Christmas market — or at least — there was supposed to be one! Don’t believe everything you read on internet! I was foolish enough to look at a site which purports to have all the dates of all the Christmas markets around Europe — but they got this one wrong! Anyway, Castelfranco Veneto is a nice little walled town, so all was not lost.

It was a beautiful, though freezing day (hence the woolly hats as soon as we whipped off the helmets) — and we found a little bar which did us a huge portion of pasta alla carbonara (egg and bacon pasta basically), and an excellent coffee, so we were well satisfied. On our ride homewards we even found a little market which was selling all sorts of wonderful handmade bits and bobs, so apart from getting some lovely ideas, I also purchased a few things to put under the tree, feeling well pleased with myself as part of the profits will go to good causes.

I was very tempted by the log cabin selling hot chocolate, but it would have probably argued with the pasta I had eaten! My bike gear is so close fitting, particularly in the winter months when I have extra layers on, so it’s wise to not overdo the food — shame though!

Specs’ keepers

old-gold-amberFollowing an unexpected couple of requests, I have now added a couple more specs’ keepers to the collection. The one you see in the image is made with old gold silver lined Rocaille glass beeds and has an amber colour glass bead at each end of the thread and gold findings. The other one is a lovely midnight blue with cobalt blue glass feature beads and silver findings. I will be posting the image for that very shortly.

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!

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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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