Monday, 30 April 2012

Prairie prairie quite contrary

Well actually not contrary at all, very obliging in fact. These have been signed off now, there are three different prairie point techniques used here. Two fairly fiddly and one total genius! There are probably a million tutorials on line but here is a link to one. Basically this method uses a constant strip of fabric, cunningly cut and folded rather than several little squares. It is even possible to sew two strips of fabric along their length and make a strip of alternating coloured triangles- seen here in the top row of the top picture. I have made all of these samples big enough to be useful post c&g, I would like to make Anna a layered skirt each layer with a prairie edge- how cool? 
 I follow quite a number of fabulous blogs- the list seems to swell daily. I have watched as Wipso has made an astonishing quantity of pillowcase dresses for African children. I had assumed when she referred to knitting 'Fish and Chip' jumpers she was talking about the unusual shape of the garment. Today I followed a link and found out more. Here is where I found myself. So I think some more knitting is in order- I have put Mum on the case and plan to ask the girls at work if they'd like to make it a bit of a canteen project. If you can manage a spot of knit one purl one and have some bright DK in your stash perhaps you'd like to rattle off a Fish and Chip outfit too?  

Friday, 27 April 2012

Sparkle and Shine

Stitch, Cloth, Shimmer and Shine, just about covers it all doesn’t it? This book really does cover it all. Sarah Lawrence of Crafty Notions fame put together this ‘recipe book’, but sadly passed away before its release. I think her description of it as a recipe book is brilliantly accurate, though there are some more project based sections at the back of the book if this is how you prefer to work. I have been to lots of shows and visited big name stands such as ‘Art Van Go’ and have been left a bit confused. All the pretty bottles, sparkling films, squirty bottles shiny plastics, very attractive but what was I meant to DO with them. More to the point did they relate in any way to my textiles? I used to think not…..after looking through this book though I’m more excited. I didn’t have many of the supplies in my stash, no friendly plastic, no films and yet there were still new ideas which anyone could try. I used some coloured wire, wound around a knitting needle and strung with seed beads to make feature beads for these ear rings. This was quick, easy, cheap and has so many possibilities. There are many more ideas here I’d like to try and I will certainly be visiting some of those exciting stands and filling my basket with shimmery shiny supplies at the next big fair!

This title is priced at £15.99 and is beautifully photographed. It takes its place very happily alongside other textile classics. It is a great addition to any fabric fiend’s library! 

I kind of wish I'd had his book earlier in my City and Guilds course, I think it will really encourage me to play more and be a bit braver....Ill certainly need courage to wear these eighties-tastic ear rings! 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Eye- eyelet captain

I feel my mojo a-rising. Despite a frankly poo week- or perhaps because of it- I feel the need to get back in the grove, to seriously nail the City and Guilds work- to cross some stuff of the list. This sample got me 'machine eyelets' ticked off. I am not a natural machine-er. I am, if I'm honest, a bit of a control freak and my lack of skill means that the machine controls me. I quite like this sample though and boy is machine work Quick- well quicker than buttonholing eyelets by hand! I am waiting to put a fantastic fabric behind this sample and add some beads and hand stitching. My thoughts are turning to what my next direction might be after the course is finished. I think I probably need to register as a business to extend my options and I also think I need to put together some small workshops to offer people like the WI and maybe guides/scouts. I think some voluntary stuff could be cool. So can I ask- if you are a maker do-er are you officially registered and all? Is it a whole heap of trouble? Do you have sleepless nights over the paperwork etc? Which way next I wonder? Exciting times! x

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Come on in the Meerkat's lovely

Knitted Meerkats. Are you into Meerkats- do you ‘get’ the whole Meerkat thing? Is it all ‘simples’ to you? Hmm you know I find it a bit irritating, give me the Cadbury bunny or the Smash robots any day. So I wasn’t exactly excited about this book……until I looked inside. Sue Stratford who wrote this book is obviously very pleasantly mad. I like mad, mad is good. Mad makes this book so much fun. These Meerkats are cute , diminutive, they have character, bags of character and babies, they have babies, in little baby carriers- yep seriously- well not that seriously- which like I say is the really good thing. I knitted a grown up Meerkat, I didn’t use the two strands of special wool recommended, I just broke out some fawn mohair and it seemed to work fine. The parts knit up quickly and are brilliantly shaped. I made up and stuffed as I went as all the little bits could get confusing and that way I could see my little guy emerging from the fluffy chaos. The book recommends that you place two coins in the base of the body and this does give the model a good stability. Anna asked me to make the ‘Fluffy Flippers’ kat , but there really is something for everyone, from brides to punks. I think the yarn I used for the cream stripes on the swimming costume was a 3ply rather than 4ply so it does pull a bit over my slightly chubby guy. I also found it hard to find the colours I wanted to use in 4ply, as you only need very little quantities I didn’t want to buy lots of new wool so made do a bit with some cotton sewing thread. These figures seem up for that though; a bit of fiddling about, personalising, chopping and changing.

This title is a hard back with lovely thick pages, that nice matt paper which smells like almond shells. The pictures are lush and inspiring and I can put my hand on my heart and say that the patterns I followed Work and I’m sorry to say that that doesn’t always go without saying. The book costs £9.99 and has patterns for twenty different kat outfits and two different kat sizes. The possibilities are endless though huh? I’m a convert, you can never have too many Meerkats! 

It's proving to be a particularly mad time here, with SO much going on. I hope things will settle a bit soon. I also have loads of City and Guilds work to share in my next post. I do hope you are all doing fine and finding time in your hectic schedules for a bit of make and do? xxx