Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Worth a bunt

I love the ‘Twenty to Make’ series, this is not a secret, I’ve raved about them here before. I was a tiny bit sceptical when I received this title to review. I mean bunting yawn yawn, been there done that, made metres and metres and metres……..how wrong can a girl be? ‘Twenty to Make Bunting and Pennants’ by Kate Haxell is a gem. The general instructions at the start are well written and then the journey begins from simple pinked bunting to nursery bunting stuffed with lavender= genius! As the name suggests there are twenty ideas here; really truly absolutely something for everyone. Magazines are not much shy of a fiver now so to have twenty well designed projects for £4.99 is ace value, there’s also an offer on the Search Press website, don’t blame if you get carried away! I had a go at the pleated fan bunting. It was very quick to make, light on fabric and looks so Victorian parlour. In other fabric it would look French, or Rococo, you see the list is endless. I did think at first, before a proper look that this would be a giveaway book…but no, hands off; it’s just too good to giveaway. This isn’t really a review, it’s an unreserved recommendation!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Eye eye-lets be 'avin you

So everyone is back to school. Will has started at the junior school and is doing so well, he is so full of enthusiasm and curiosity- it really makes me proud. That's my job right? As a mother we are allowed to be proud yes? It seems to be proud of ourselves is unacceptable as adults- but it still makes me glow in a way nothing else can when my parents tell me I make them proud- how nice! x
The return to routine has allowed me to attempt some more City and Guilds catch up. I have now been ticked off for eyelets and cutwork. I had a nice time playing with various ideas and materials.

I also bit the bullet and had a go at space dying. The children helped and we dripped different cold water dyes onto various materials and threads. We managed not to make too much mess- though when I blew my nose later I ended up with a purple present! This was an exercise in learning a technique rather than trying to achieve a particular end product so I can use these materials for stitch samples etc. if I want to. I think I would do it again for something very special but it was a bit of a palaver. I wonder if painting with a large brush and watered down fabric paint would have had a similar effect?
Finally I also had another outing with the sketchbook and challenged myself to work with charcoal to make my marks more definite. I am pretty pleased with the outcome. The children came with me and also worked in their little sketchbooks, it was nice to see their results showing the freedom which I am trying to find. I need to do more design work for my course .....unless I can get the kids to do it!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Well hook me a corn cob!

75 birds, butterflies & beautiful beasties to knit and crochet by Lesley Stanfield is full of the sublime to the knitted slug! Honestly this is a book with patterns for the world’s best nature table. The book has a nice clear techniques guide at the start, a gallery of beautifully images of the finished items, instructions split into knitting then crochet patterns and finally there are suggestions for how the little knitted what-nots can be used in a larger project. My only comment for improvement of the gallery might be a discreet ‘K’ or ‘C’ symbol so that one doesn’t get all excited at the prospect of rustling up a leaf (sorry) to find that it’s been knitted if one can’t knit very well. I myself am not a confident hooker so tried my hand at a knitted caterpillar. I found the instructions required a little care, though concentrating for the short while it took to complete the critter wasn’t too demanding.

I am not usually one for ‘sensible’ but I am struggling

to see where I might put knitted beasties to use. If you go in for novelty knitteds or cunningly crocheteds I would say this is a must for your library. At £10.99 for, well, 75 patterns I would say it’s a reasonably priced book and would be a jolly gift to while away the winter evenings looping up spring.

Little Arabella Miller
Found a furry caterpillar
First she showed it to her mother
Then her little baby brother
Both said;