Monday, 30 September 2013

Design Wars :: Yarn ::

design wars yarn

 You may remember me talking about being accepted to compete in Design Wars 5 a couple of weeks ago.

  design wars yarn-2

 Well...on Friday my yarn delivery arrived!

  design wars yarn-3

 I'm so excited, the yarn is beautiful and the colours are wonderful.  I cannot wait to get stuck in.

  design wars yarn-4

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Little Sheep Tags :: a tutorial ::

I'm afraid to admit I have already been thinking about Christmas knitting, really in terms of knitting time it isn't very far away at all. As a side thought of this (or maybe in a little attempt at procrastination) I got thinking about accompanying gift tags for all these handknits. As a result these little sheepy tags were born.


 Last year I made little cardboard tags with yarn information, washing instructions and a little spare yarn wound around (the same yarn as used in the piece) incase of any mishaps.  Recently I've been playing with shrink plastic and so the idea for these little sheep was born.


If you would like to make your own I have sheep template here, you are welcome to print out and trace.  With the shrink plastic I used the resulting tags measure 4.5cm (1.75") across and 2.5cm (1") tall. Here's what you'll need ::
Sheep Gift Tags

Cut a piece of shrink plastic to a size just a tad larger than the picture you are going to trace.

  Knit gift tag  

 Carefully tape your plastic over the picture (this is optional really, it helps to keep the plastic in place making the tracing easier, but you could just hold it in place with your hand if you thought that would work for you).

  how to make a gift tag

Using a black permanent marker trace your picture onto the plastic.


 Remove your plastic from the drawing underneath and carefully cut around it, using your small sharp scissors, leaving a couple of millimetres between your drawing and the edge. This is the tricky part!

  gift tags for hand knits 

 Using the hole punch, punch a hole in his tail, this is so you can thread a piece of string/yarn through it so that you can attach it later.  You might want to practice the positioning of your hole on a piece of paper first, so you can work out how far in you need to go, I won't lie, I messed this up on my first attempt!


 If you like you can do a little colouring at this stage or if you like a classic look leave him plain.  I coloured in the faces, legs and ears of mine.

  sheep gift tags 

 And now you're ready for the fun part, baking!  Follow the instructions on your shrink plastic and watch your little sheep curl up, shrink and flatten down again. I had a couple of pieces of parchment paper and a heavy book ready, then as soon as I took them out the oven I popped them between the 2 sheets and put the book on top to help flatten them further.

  knitting gift tags 

 You can then varnish them if you would like them to have a glossier finish. And there you have it, little sheep gift tags, perfect little bobbins to accompany your beautifully crafted hand knit and crochet pieces.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Design Wars ::

Design Wars #5 was announced this week and I'm thrilled to say I am going to be taking part. If you haven't heard about Design Wars before, it's basically a challenge wherein 10 designers battle it out to come up with the best crochet design which is voted for over 5 categories. The only theme is that all the designers must use the same yarn, which is provided by Red Heart. I use Red Heart a lot for my Crochet Today designs, so I'm fairly familiar with them and really pleased with the choice of yarn we're going to be using.


There are some really great designers taking part in the round and I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with. If you fancy checking out the other designers you can find their facebook pages listed below :: Jenny Allbritain :: Susan Carlson :: Sarah Lora :: Sascha Blase-van Wagtendonk :: Crystal Bucholz :: Lisa van Klaveren :: Alessandra Hayden :: Tara Murray :: Katie Hanken To keep up to date with all the Design Wars going ons you can sign up to their mailing list here. Stay tuned here for more details as I can reveal them!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Inside Crochet 45 ::

Issue 45 of Inside Crochet came out last week and as usual it's full to the brim of gorgeous patterns and wonderful photography (courtesy of Britt Spring).

An ode to the granny square, Joanne Scrace's gorgeous cover scarf is such a beautiful modern twist on the classic (I know Joanne generally isn't a big fan of!), making it classy and sophisticated and taking it a world away from it's usual image.

Simone Francis's dressing gown is unlike anything I've seen before, so delicate and glamourous.

I also have a pattern in this months pages, my Leonie Cardigan.  I'm particualry fond of this design, it's made in Rowan Pure Wool 4ply and it so light and soft to wear.  Crocheted as a bit rectangle, the front can be left to hang open, or fastened with a shawl pin in a number or ways.  The stitch pattern I used is the classic Catherine Wheel Stitch.

As the lovely Claire, is so swift at returning samples I already have it back in my possession and I know it's going to be the perfect accompaniment to autumn.

Issue 45 is on sale in most newsagents now, or available online here.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

School ::

So this morning I sent my boy off for his first day of school.

I thought I'd be so fine about it all, but you know I certainly did have mixed feelings last night.

Fortunately the Mr took him in, so I didn't have to be the one sobbing at the gates!

Of course this all means great things for me and my little business as I have much more time for working.