I made stuff pre-blog too; pretending to be a crafting blogger. When you’re not. Yet.

Made in K Town. Free crochet mandala pattern.

I’ve spent years being inspired by other bloggers work. It became something I really wanted to do too. It looked fun and it looked like a good way to keep on track of what I was doing creatively. I was lazy and procrastinatey and used several excellent excuses as to why I hadn’t just done it.  I’m still so new to it all, but if I had started when I first I had the notion then I would have been being bloggy for six or seven years by now! In my head, I have been doing it for six years or seven years. I’ve spent much time taking pictures of crafty projects and each time I’ve thought that maybe they would end up as a blog post. So, I’m going to put up some pictures of work that was done in the six months prior to hitting Publish for the first time. (I was going to write a post about yeasterday’s [relevant unwitting typo, that applies] kitchen endeavours but that was such a disaster that I need a few days to recover :/).

Crochet mandala. Free pattern from Made in K Town.

I went through a mandala phase. These two are both Made in K Town using Rico Creative Cotton. Cheap cotton, very splitty, lovely colours. This has led me towards doilies, which I still need to make more of. Soon.

Single bed crochet ripple blanket.

I made my eldest boy an Attic 24 Ripple for his bed. It’s Stylecraft Special. Everyone loves a bit of Stylecraft rippling.

My boy's ripple blanket.

The boy chose the colours. So off I went. It was reasonably speedy once the first few rows were out the way. A repeating colour pattern was a weeny bit boring though. Next time, it’s random colours, like it’s supposed to be.

Dolly's crochet blanket

I made teeny niece the mini version for her dolly. I didn’t use the same pattern. This version has more ripples so looks better scaled down. It’s actually adapted from a cushion cover pattern from Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench. When I say “adapted” I mean “added a few more rows”. The edging, I think is the one that was on the Granny Stripe made by Lucy at Attic 24.

Alpaca baby blanket

This one was a special request for a baby blanket.  My Sister in Law chose the colours. It’s Stylecraft alpaca DK. The blocks were from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. Don’t go thinking that all the blocks end with the same stitch count though. They really don’t. Hmm. I really liked how this one turned out but I only blocked the edge (which is from Edie Eckman’s Crochet Borders book) and not the individual squares. Next time, I will try super hard to block stuff.

Little squares baby blanket.

One of the quickest little blankets ever. It was so much fun. The squares were done in a few days and it was the first time I used a continuous-join-as you-go. This was for a baby girl born in early spring. I’d make one of these again for sure. It was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest and it led me to Katie’s Kitchen.

So many made things.

There are six handmade things in the picture above. Six! I am responsible for five of them but the cream knitted blanket is a Mother in Law job. Three blankets, two cushions and a dolly. Huzzah.

felt cherry blossom. Hand sewn needle case.

Sewing has been worked on too. I’m better than I was but there is definitely room for improvement too. Having said that, the cherry blossom needlecase is one of my favourite felty sewn things I’ve done.

A mermaid's purse

And a Mermaid’s purse! Well, another needlecase… She was lovely to make. After Christmas I plan on making more of these sorts of things and giving them a go on Etsy. I’m not entirely sure what the demand is for needlecases and such, I guess I’ll find out. I will obviously shout very loudly on here if these sorts of things head towards my Etsy shop.

Phew, I feel a bit better now. I’m off to have yesterdays’ leftovers for lunch, which thankfully, taste better than the experience that I had in the kitchen.

A crafted, cat themed birthday present.

kitty cats.

I’ve been waiting to use this fabric for ages. Yesterday morning I snipped off a small rectangle to line a teeny purse I was making. I’ve still got loads left. I’m wondering if I could Halloweenify it somehow. I bought it at Fabricland, less than £4 a metre.

little felt cat purse

I was in a rush and have made many errors. Dodgy blanket stitches and misaligned fabric lining got to me a bit but I only had a couple of hours to hastily chuck something together. Initially, I wasn’t going to do anything but that would be mean. How could I not give my awesome friend a birthday present?! Anyway, I usually like last minute ideas the best.

small felt purse

I’m pleased with the little nose and whiskers.

stitched cat

I can’t decide if this cat is brilliant or awful. It’s freehand, can you tell? Miaow.

cat birthday card

To go with the so-bad-it’s-good present there was an card equivalent. Me, Husband and six and a half year old all had an opinion on how the card design should be. In the end I thought we were all winners and all our ideas were included.

Marceline

 

Handmade elderflowers are better than real elderflowers.

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I think it was the weekend of Father’s Day that we saw lots of elderflowers blooming in Grandma and Grandad’s garden. Six year old and Daddy filled a little trug with elderflowers because six year old wanted to make elderflower cordial. I hate the stuff, it sucks. I do not get why everyone loves it so much. Blurgh. Any way, seeing as he’s only  six, I obliged and helped him make a drink out of the pretty but stinky flowers.

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It was a made up recipe because we didn’t have things like citric acid. I whacked in a tonne of sugar and loads of lemon juice. It was far too sweet but mixed with fizzy water, we got away with it. He made me drink some.

Anyway, playing with these flowers gave me an idea for an elderflower without the stench. I quickly sketched out my idea and got stuck in. I decided to sew a brooch using felt. The last time I did felt sewing was when I made a cherry blossom needle case. It was one of my first blog posts and no one saw it!

beginning elderflower brooch

Cutting out the little flowers was a fiddly job. I didn’t bother using the templates for those, just cut little circles and snipped petal shapes into them.

elderflower design taking shape

I have white felt and off white felt. They are both different sorts of felt. I wanted to use the off white but I think it must be 100% wool because it is mega fluffy and breaks away at the edges very easily. I decided to make two brooches as I wasn’t sure which felt would be the best. In the above picture you can see I have used off white flowers on a white felt backing and vice versa in the other bloom. The extra woolly felt was definitely not good for the small flowers.

outer crochet purse

The beginnings of this purse is going to be the thing I pin the brooch onto. Originally, I was going to do it applique style and have the flower as the purse’s design feature. It turned out I couldn’t be bothered to do that so I added a little brooch clasp instead and that way I had a brooch or bag decoration!

To make the purse, I chained 34+1 and did enough rows until I was happy with the length before dropping the first stitch of every row for about eight rows (it might have been ten rows!). I then did six (maybe eight?)rows with a 2tgr at the beginning and end of each row. In the last three of those rows I made the button hole. To do this, I missed two stitches in the middle of the row and chained two instead. In the following row I made two single crochets in the space and then did the final row normally. Apologies, probably not the best instructions in the world but I didn’t write them down very clearly. Before fastening off it’s a good idea to go round the edge of the entire piece with single crochet for a neater result.

I used a 4mm hook and double knit yarn.

lining crochet purse

I sewed on the lining by hand and cut a hole for the button to go through. The button hole (also hand sewn) is messily stitched because I haven’t learned how to do it properly.

open crochet purse with lining

I folded the bottom up and crocheted the sides together (whip stitch would be good too). I forgot to go round all edges first with the single crochet, so I botched it, as usual. To rectify my error I attached some yarn to one of the corners and just single crocheted along the flap edge. Seeing as this is a prototype, it’s not bad. You learn as you go, I suppose.

a crochet purse with both elderflower brooches

I absolutely prefer the brooch on the right. It is brooch number two. The first one I used darker embroidery thread for the middles of the flowers and it  doesn’t work for me. I also went crazy with some dodgy french knots but they don’t work for me either. The flap is curling up so it looks wonky, but it isn’t really.

elderflower brooches

Yep, the left one is such a newb. Deffo the one on the right for me.

crochet purse with elderflower brooch

They look lovely together! I’m pleased now. I think, if I was going to get brave and open an Etsy shop, this is the kind of thing I’d want to sell.

elderflower embroidered felt brooch

So, that is the new thing I made.

Back to crochet this afternoon I reckon. And after a week of feeling rough I have my appetite back just in time for slow roasted pork and veg from the garden. All is good. Hurray!

Deciding what to blog about

I bought new fabric!

I can’t decide what to blog about today. I fancy having some random pictures is the thing.  I bought some fabric a couple of weeks ago from a shop in Exmouth. Gorgeous fabric, expensive fabric, birthday money fabric. I have no clue what I will be making with it. Every now and then I stare at it, then I put it away in the fabric drawer.

vintage books

Last Thursday I went to Exeter for car mending and lunch. There is a bookcycle place down the bottom of the high street. The books are free but you give a donation (however much you feel the books are worth). Three per person, but I stole Husband’s allowance too. I found Ladybird books!!ladybird books

More Ladybird books to add to my collection! I love Ladybird books. I love jumbling for them, car booting for them and finding them in charity shops. They’re getting pricey these days though and hard to find.

basket of tricks

I’ve been rooting through my basket of tricks this week. It’s a massive mess in there but it’s full of all things awesome.

needle in the eye

I got the basket out to make some felt eyes for a project I’m working on. It’s mostly a crochet thing. A new pattern I’ve invented all by myself! A friend is going to help me design a PDF thingummy so that, I can maybe put them on here to download and ultimately (one day) sell stuff on Etsy. Or some such thing. Maybe. It’s alien to me at the moment but it’s important to learn new skills I suppose.

sunny garden

Here, more gardens pictures, ha! Next door is like a building site, I pretend it’s not there.

lupins and peony

The peonies are out but I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. They’re not that great. The clematis is on its last legs.

baby lupins

The best thing about the lupins is the leaves. A fantastic contrast to boring roundy leaves. There are loads of colourful spires on this one too.

lupins afternoon sun

Anyway, I think  I’m going to go and sit in the garden now (after I’ve done the washing up and hung out some laundry).

garden bench

And lastly, in this random collection of pictures, I would like to say Thank You to Joyful Solitude for nominating me for a blogging award. Wow! Such a fabulous thing to happen so soon. Must be doing something right! I googled it and haven’t found where the specific award comes from. My gut feeling tells me not to accept because I dont know what it is. Well, actually I’d love to accept but there are conditions of acceptance which, to me defeat the purpose of this space, which is that it is mine and I want to do my own thing.  To accept the award you’re supposed to tell seven things about yourself and nominate ten others for the award. I might be shooting myself in the foot, maybe I can defer for a while instead? I’m being a pooper at a party about such a nice thoughtful thing. Eh, I’m still thinking. Also, I’m still adjusting to blogging. It takes me ages to do any thing. For five years I said “I’m gonna start a blog tomorrow.”

hotwheels

Sorry, one more thing. My eldest (6) requested that I post this picture of his Hotwheels car. Here it is sat on a dusty shelf.

Sewing felt

finished caseFor years I didn’t really get why people made stuff out of felt. I never really liked it as a medium. Then I realised it was because the things I’d seen were cheap and nasty and probably had glue blobbed over it.

I think it was last year when I decided to give playing with felt a try. I don’t recall what it was that made me want to try. I do remember thinking that the interest would wear off quite quickly though. But, what happened was I got more into it and more interested in adding details and seeing how small I could get things before the stitches frayed the teeny tiny pieces.

I’ve been trying to find examples of things I made first. This is the latest make:

P1090616It’s a needle case. It’s a present to myself but I haven’t swapped over any pins and needles yet because then, I might ruin it. It’s all hand sewn and made up from my head. I’ve made a few needle cases  over the last year. They make nice little presents.

deconstructed needlecase

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Mostly they’ve had different designs stitched on the front too.  Here is one I made for my sister about six months ago:

mermaid

This little mermaid was so lovely I made her twice. But because they’re handmade, the same design always looks different.

new mermaid

I think this badger brooch was an early make from two years ago. I still like him. I gave him to a little boy whose mum hangs it on her Christmas tree! He wasn’t the first felt thing I made but for now, I’ve given up trying to remember what was.

badger