Saturday, 31 December 2011

Julian the shrimp and a junior knitter

How was it for you then? Was the festive season all you might have wished for? I do hope so. We had a lovely family Christmas break 'up North' and are now home to chill and play with our presents. Speaking of presents do you like Julian? I knitted him from one of my goodie bag books. He was for my now absent friend Claire who seems to be developing a collection of kitsch shellfish and I can do nothing but support her. I will knit up a bit more bonkers food and review the book in good time, when everything calms down a bit more....and when I can pick up knitting needles without a certain little cutie wanting to 'help'.
Anna seems to be taking to the needles like a duck to water, which is tear jerkingly nice. Simon did point out that it wouldn't be long before she was 'better' then me which stung a bit, because I think it's true. Anyway I've been all grown up and ordered her a book for more ideas, which includes finger knitting so I've been playing with that too. Have you ever tried it? It' super easy and nice and tactile.

I realise that I have been less disciplined about blogging since the city and guilds and that there may be considerably less of you out there reading my drivel but I would really love to get back into the blogging swing with a swap. I would like to know who might be up for it. I am thinking that this will be a thrifty kitsch swap, posted in time for Valentines. Four items, one handmade, at least. A real fun one, within the U.K perhaps to keep costs low.
So who's up for it? I strongly suggest you sign up or I may just bomb you with knitted shrimp and glittery flamingos anyway- because the fun's in the giving!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

More toggles than Paddington's duffle coat!

Toggle-tastic! Here they are in all their impractical glory. I think some of these would be fairly functional, others I can see as a notebook closure, something like that. So here's a run down; I knotted some plaited paper string at either end,
next a strip of felt wound and beaded, also a small tube of fabric, stuffed, gathered at either end and beaded.
I struggled and broke a needle making this rolled leather toggle, but I do love the texture, and the smell. I remembered making these fire lighters as a child from newspaper, this one is made in posh paper and rubbed with a gold ink pad.
I wired and beaded a bead for a very spiky toggle. I also found some narrow plastic tubing which I packed with threads and pierced. I really liked this toggle and the contrast of textures, I will definitely be returning to this idea.
Finally I went bonkers with some silk cocoon strippings. I wrapped it in ribbon, added some buttons and used scobidou to make a loop for attaching. This is deeply impractical, very frivolous, I'm not sure it's even a toggle- but I do like a little pink stupidity!

On this very theme I am planning a swap for the new year. It will be my blogversary in January and I hope to have a 'Flamingo's for February' swap. This will be a KITSCH swap. So how about it....hands up for a spot of deep winter tackiness!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A grand day out

Do you like my new books- cool huh- crochet decs, knitted decs, knitted food. I am very excited about the prospect of knitting my mate Claire some shrimps- who wouldn't be?
Do you like my sparkly pink wool? It has that smell, that fresh real new wool smell. I have no idea what I will make with this wool, it doesn't matter. Do you like my lovely smooth wooden double ended needles- tell me; when did a set of double ended's become 5 needles, rather then 4 (I'm not complaining!)?
So where did I gather all this treasure? I went to London. Yep little ol' 'scared of the city' me. To be fair I did get my Mum to meet me there. Who else could I take with me for such a heady day of w-o-o-l? We wended our nervous, slightly lost, way to I knit. This is a wool shop WITH A BAR (If I swore here there would have been an 'F' in their- I don't seem to generally so feel free to insert one if you like that kind of thing). When we had got our bearings we had a tiny mooch and found a vintage shop, which was seriously lush. We found the toy exhibition at the OXO tower gallery, then headed for the Tate. Now I know lots of people head 'up to town' quite regularly but this really was a great adventure for me and Mum. So why? Well it all came about because of the lovely Mary at Search Press.
So after all out tiptoeing through the city we headed back to I Knit for 4pm when we had been invited to meet Arne and Carlos of knitted Christmas balls fame. And fame if definitely the word for it! These guys are HUGE- not literally, they are actually of a very pleasing petite stature- unlike myself who's fat grey arse draws my eye every time I look across at the picture! You may remember from my review here that I thought the guys came across as pretty darn cute- and they ARE! Hooray- for integrity- for being bloody lovely-for knitting in a shop selling cider-for knitting balls with red ribbons on to raise money for an H.I.V charity. Hooray!
I had a really really magical day all in all. I chatted to some ace people, I had my mojo topped up just by seeing the joy on peoples little faces as they clicked their sticks and relaxed. If you have the opportunity for a big exciting day out- some time for yourself, a chance to spend the day with someone you love, wherever it may be- take the chance won't you? I have realised I am not very good (read crap) at taking care of myself and doing something indulgent and brave is just the kind of thing I need to do now and again.

Massive thanks to Mary and Search Press. The books, plus one more, were in a goody bag they gave me on the night. I will review the knitting ones in time but realistically the crochet one is beyond me. Leave a comment if you're in the U.K and you'd like it. It will be first come first served.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Button it!

The buttons have been signed off- yippeee! I could actually have kept on buttoning forever. I had to produce at least ten different samples- here are some of them. I started with making simple fabric covered buttons, one embroidered first. I added a chain stitch around the rim to cover over any creases.
Next I free machined a heart for a covered button ad added some beading.
My absolute favourites next. My first attempt at Dorset buttons. I don't know if it's because I'm a Dorset girl but Oh My God- how much fun are these?
I cracked out the Fimo and teeny tiny cutters for some seriously girly flowers and butterflies.
I also made some more grown up Fimo buttons, playing with texture. I also needle felted and used shrink plastic so ended up with quite a nice variety of buttony samples. I have also completed toggles which were fun too.
I am trying to get through my texture design module, I really have to force myself to do it....step by step....grit my teeth. That's what being a grown up is all about perhaps? No wonder I struggle!

I haven't just been City and Guilding day in day out though, oh no. On Wednesday I had a grand day out. it was V V special, not least because I shared it with my lovely Mum. I promise another post with all the glorious detail very soon.