Sheffield Makers Fair

Yay!  My first craft fair!  Come and find me at St Mary’s church at the bottom of Bramall Lane in Sheffield.  Its a really cool fair full of top quality arts and crafts.  Cheap admission for visitors, and a lovely cafe – try the cakes.  I’ll be bringing with me the stuff I have online here, but I also hope to have some of my art on display too, which doesn’t transfer as well as I’d like to online promotional sites.  Come and see what it really looks like, and say hello.

How to Avoid a Pocket Full of Tealeaves

Like lots of folk these days, I carry around my own teabags.  Black tea’s OK, but I drink it black (as you should) and I can’t drink it stewed, so I carry around a stash of Redbush which just doesn’t stew.  And when I’m on a health kick, I’ll carry around white tea or something.  But if, like me, you just filch a couple of bags from the stash in the kitchen, it only takes a day or two for them to become very rumpled and sad-looking.  And only a day or two more before they collapse completely and release their contents all over your pocket or bag, never to be removed.

At a craft fair I saw someone had knitted rather fabulous teabag wallets.  What a ripping idea.  So I knitted one of my own and it works really well.  You can knit one in pretty quick time.  However, I needed to make them in double quick time for an up and coming fair, so out came the felt, and here we are, a teabag pouch big enough to take two individually packaged teabags of your choice.


Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show

I’ve just got back from the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.  Its every November, the last weekend, and it runs for four days.  If you haven’t been, you really must, its really rather fabulous.  You do need a whole day to get around it all, especially if you want to take a look at the rather excellent exhibition which is always good for inspiration and wow factor.  This is the place to get stuff you can often only get on the internet, its a great opportunity to take a look (and feel) at some lovely fabrics, and pick up some excellent end-of-range bargains.  I’m in the middle of making stuff for Chrimbo at the moment, so I can’t make a start on playing with the stash I brought home.  Most frustrating!  But I guess I’ll enjoy it all the more when I finally have some time over Christmas to get stuck in (once I’ve mucked out my shed).

Some of the stuff I bought was a lovely ribbon-yarn with which I’m going to knit a dress.  I already have one that someone else knitted, so I can cross-ref that with a pattern I have for a strappy vesty, tanktoppy thing that would make a great dress if I make it long enough.  The colour is a watered silk kind of green, very pretty – and at £6 for 1500g its a right bargain!  Then I bought some yarn that looks like fair isle when you knit it up.  I’m intrigued to see what it will look like.  I’ll be using it to make a vesty, tank-toppy thing.  Of course all these will feature on the website while in progress (in case I don’t get them finished for months and months).  Fat quarters figured, of course, as did leftover bits of really pretty material, two balls of sari silk, and some wool in Bagpuss pink and Bagpuss cream with which I’m going to make a bobble hat minus bobble but with ears.  I’m going to bastardise a pattern.  This has to be knitted in the round, which I’ve never done, so I had to buy the tools for this.  Hope I will managed.  I will report back.

Finally, one of the most exciting finds was these massive needles for extreme knitting.  I’ll take a pic and post them online.  They must be 25mm at least.  The lady who was selling these was using them to knit the most fantastic rugs.  They were really chunky, and using the right kind of yarn, you could even make door mats.  I can’t wait to play with them!  I really like these knitted puffeys that are popping up everywhere, but I’m not paying the price.  With these new needles I can make my own.

So, all in all a mighty good haul.  Watch this space for some pics of my new acquisitions.



Plastic Stuff

So there I was on retreat, and there was this other lassie busy crocheting with bits of plastic.  She was making little circlets just to see what happened, but was thinking about making coasters or corsages.

Well I can’t crochet (yet – but I will, you know), but I did think that if you can crochet with the stuff, you can knit with it.  So I had this bright idea of making my mum a knitted bag.  You can see my efforts on my plastics page.  First of all I had to collect plastic bags because being a green kind of dude, I don’t use the things (engages smug mode).  So I got folk at work to collect them for me.  This worked really well, although I ended up with loads of bags I couldn’t use as well.  They have to be the cheap, crinkly ones that cats like to sit in (please remove cat before attempting knitting).  I’m sure folk thought I was an easy repository for their rubbish!

I began this exercise at the beginning of October, thinking a couple of months would be enough.  Hahahahahahahaaaa! O no it wasn’t apparently.  By the time I got to Christmas, I’d got about half a panel done.  So it turned into a birthday present.  That gave me until May.  O yes, I was sure to get it done by then.  Hahahahahahahaaaa!  No.

Its not like I was being slack, its just the prepping of the plastic to get it knit-ready was pretty laborious.  I won’t make such a blummen big bag next time.  So by the time I’d finished it, it was ready for the following Christmas.  It took just over a year to make it.  I was pretty impressed with it though, and made myself a mobile phone cover in the same way.  Needless to say, that didn’t take a year to make.

Now I have a massive stash of prepared plastic bags in my shed.  Partner has developed this habit of bringing home plastic bags – he’s like a really chuffed puppy fetching slippers – ‘Here you are Great White Overlord, I’ve got you a bag!’.  Awww…bless!  But I ain’t going to complain, because its very good of him to help, and it will mean I have a good stash next time I take it upon me to make my very own sleeping bag, or duvet cover or something…Not sure about the green credentials tho..

Knitted Bag in Plastic

My First Felted Thing Continued

Well its OK just making a bowl, but it does need a bit of embellishment as well.  I’d saved the most decorative bit for the inside.  Bit dumb really, as its going to be covered with  ‘Interesting Things’ (in the absence of a rabbit skin bag – if you don’t know what I mean, you need to read ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide…).  Next time, I’ll make sure the decorative felt is on the outside.

Anyhoo, I’ve begun to embellish.  Out came my lovely beads.  I wondered first of all whether I should try to hide where the felt pieces overlaid each other, or make a feature.  I decided to feature them, so I stitched them together first, to make sure the PVA I’d stuck everything together with didn’t get tired and come apart.  Then I decorated the stitches with beads, and then I decided to go around the lip of the bowl with beads too, to give it a sort of crusty effect.

This is where I’ve got so far.  It still looks a little plain to me, so I’m not sure at this moment whether I will leave it as it is, or whether it needs some more decoration.  I’ve parked it for now, to give the ole back burner a chance to chew it over.  Praps I should put my Interesting Things in it; that might help me decide.  I shall let you know in my next instalment.

Close-Up of Beading Embellishment, Felted Bowl

Close-Up Embellishment, Felted Bowl

Beaded Edge, Felted Bowl

Beaded Edge, Felted Bowl

Close-Up Beaded and Stitched Embellishment Underside Felted Bowl

Close-Up Embellishment Underside Felted Bowl