A Crafty Trip Down Memory Lane.

Nanna's handmade blankets

The first week of the summer holidays was a trip to Southampton. In between the obligatory trips to Toys R Us and Ikea there are the visits to family. I always go and see Nanna and Grandad. They both turned 90 in January and are still surprisingly independent (to be honest, I’m always expecting them to pop their clogs). On this visit we went through some of Nanna’s crafty gubbins and it triggered a nostalgic twinge.

nanna embroidery

Look at this! She embroidered this table cloth in 1945 and she said that she’d like to pass it on to me. I’m quite chuffed about that. It’s really very pretty. It needs a bit of cleaning (anyone got any advice on how I do that?). She stitched it whilst her brother-in-law was in hospital (he’d had his face torn apart by shrapnel).

Vintage flower embroidery

Who doesn’t love a bit of vintage embroidery?!

Nanna's flower embroidery.  table n flowers

Now that it’s the holidays I won’t have much time but I would love to try something like this. I do tinker with embroidery but don’t do masses of it. It’s another thing to add to the list.

knitting needles

She also decided she didn’t want her spare knitting needles anymore. This is daft because I’m sure she’ll want some of them back. Also, I am terrible at knitting.

She hasn’t given me the ones she regularly uses. I think these are all surplus. In amongst them is a tunisian crochet hook. I got quite excited about this as it coincides with the growing fancy that I want to learn a bit of that.

Old bag

Then there’s this awesome bag. It needs repairing but I think it’s pretty cool. I think she said a friend gave it to her, I’m not sure. My guess is 1970’s.

Madeira Madeira bag

I’ve got no clue how to fix the broken bits. To be honest I haven’t checked out how broken it really is. I can just see that the fabric is coming away from the baskety bit.

Nanna's patchwork blanket.

Upon returning home to Devon I went and rummaged in my own cupboards and dug out a few things.

Patchwork blanket

Nanna made this patchwork blanket for my 18th. For a good couple of years leading up to that birthday I’d see hexagons here and there and ask what they were for. She was always evasive and I wouldn’t get a straight answer, hah! I have to be careful with it, I think there might still be a pin lodged in the layers somewhere. I found about three when I got it and managed to get a couple out. I use it regardless, pins be damned. It is not quite twenty years of age.

Having made a patchwork bag using english paper piecing, I know how this sort of thing is a proper labour of love. And her hexies are smaller than mine!

nanna's crochet blanket.

This is the crochet blanket she made for my eldest boy just over seven years ago00000 when he was born. It’s a classic Granny and it is this blanket that made me go to my local wool shop and buy my first crochet hook!

My first bit of crochet

Rewind to some point in the 1980’s… This tatty looking thing above is the first piece of crochet I ever attempted. I made this foundation chain and decided that crochet was rubbish. I don’t think it helped that I was told that I must hold the hook a certain way (me n Nanna don’t agree on hook hold). Knitting was easier; I could make squares and scarves and things. This crochet failure was tied to the middle of a Nanna made crochet blanket that I had as a little girl. (I threw it away last year. It was stinky and holey. The foundation chain is the only bit that remains).

Nanna knitted baby blanket

She knitted this one, for Eldest boy also.

Marceline tortoiseshell

And as usual, the cat wanted in on it so she clambered on Nanna’s blankets and went to sleep.

I’m still feeling funny about old things (not Nanna and Grandad. The other stuff). I’ve been sorting through my old work from when I first started school. I blame going back to Southampton.

school work.

aeroplane museum This was when I went to the Hall of Aviation in Southampton (now called Solent Sky). I took my boys last week. Still awesome.

dolls wedding outfit

I don’t know if I blame Southampton that much. It might also have been before that because I asked my sister to dig stuff out a few weeks ago. I was watching the Sewing Bee and had begun to wonder when I first started sewing.

I used to sit for hours, hand sewing outfits and accessories for my Sindy. After a while I graduated to the sewing machine. I was around ten when I made this wedding outfit from the leftovers of my other sister’s christening gown. My step mum helped me do this as I don’t think I could have managed those sleeves alone. I think I need to ask Sister to go back in the loft to see if she has the red cordoury dress I made her for Christmas when I was twelve… I was dead proud of myself!

Handknitted dolls clothes.

What Sindy/Barbie wouldn’t want knitted clothes?! Some Nanna specials.

hand knitted dolls coat.

I particularly love this coat and I actually think my mum knitted this. It wasn’t passed on to my sisters, it was the only one I kept.

HAnd knitted baby blanket.

Speaking of my Mum. I’m fairly certain she made this one and the one below. One knitted, one crocheted. Both in the seventies, for my brother.  I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

Crochet baby blanket

She said this one wasn’t suitable in the end. Too many holes for baby fingers.

Anyway, I’m gonna go. I didn’t realise there was so much from the past that still exists. What the blazes am I gonna do with it all?! Hope there’re no ghostly cooties clingling on to all the dust.

Block Colour Crochet Ripple blanket.

block colour crochet blanket. drapey drapey.

Excuse me whilst I saturate one single blog post in several pictures of the same thing. I took many photographs and enjoyed doing so. I’m spreading my joy. There also might be a “reward” at the end, in the shape of different things.

Crochet ripples. block colour blanket.

This will be on Etsy by the end of the week (I tell myself), along with many others. I need to stop hoarding.

folded blanket

This was such a quick and easy blanket to make. It was one of those ones where you don’t have to think. Love those ones. The only fretful moment was when I ran half a row short of the shrimp. Luckily I had a small ball (less than a handful) left from previous adventures so I didn’t have to buy a new ball just for the sake of a few metres.close ups. over exposed edge.

 

I’m now wondering what other colour combinations will work well. For many years I would make all sorts of blankets, in all sorts of colour combinations but I’ve recently begun to notice a pattern emerging. I think I might be developing some sort of crochet style. It might not be a good style but I suspect there’s one there nevertheless.

block colour crochet ripple blanket

Taking repeated pictures of the same thing is confusing, I hope I’m not posting the same pictures twice.

colour block blanket. Easy crochet.

This is still me using up the significant yarn stash I have. I’ve been really good recently, I don’t think I’ve bought any yarn since May. (I’m not including the stuff I bought at the Bovey Craft Festival. Special circumstances).

Colour block crochet ripple blanket.

Here are the details: It’s Stylecraft Special dk in Denim, Shrimp, Navy, Mustard and Sage. I used Attic 24’s Neat Ripple and I think I chained 115 to begin, just right for a baby blanket. The border is Parchment and I used it to fill in the ripples and make a sort of picot edging.

Collection of crochet blankets.

These are some other blankets that I’m planning on Etsifying this week. I’ve bagged them up and weighed them.  Looking at Royal Mail yesterday was exhausting. The pricing schemes are baffling. In the past I’ve made the mistake of not charging enough for p&p and I want to avoid doing that again. It’s blinkin expensive no matter which way you do it and I worry it’ll put people off. But! I shall stop looking for excuses and just give it a go.

pile of blankets

And on a different note, I’ve put up a  picture on my facebook page to show my summer fete stall. Feel free to go and have a look. It was a very hot and sunny day, which was great (I feared rain). I had no idea what to expect, hmm, it was OK.  Having shared the fete blog post locally, I had a few visitors who came over especially to see me, which was lovely. But overall, I don’t think I had stuff that made people spontaneously decide to splurge. Eeh, I don’t know! It was a learning experience and I’ve even had interest off the back of it, so that’s good. Exposure innit!? I hadn’t considered that that could happen.

felt pixies.

And in the interests of sharing all that I do (not just the stuff that makes me feel pleased with myself), here are some cheeky pixies!

screaming pixie.

Er, yep, I made those!

sitting pixie made of felt.

I have no idea what was going on in my brain. A bit cutesy aren’t they?! At least they make me laugh and that can only be a good thing! What you must do is go and look up Pixie Day in Ottery (try wikipedia too). It’s another tradition here, in town, alongside the more famous Tar Barrels. The local kids from scouts, guides, beavers etc run around the town dressed up as pixies for Midsummer. It’s a long story but a fun one.

Anyway, I’m off to do some stitching now. The sewing machine is calling to me this week. This morning I drove to Exmouth, to go a closing down sale at a fabric shop. I spent so long choosing that I didn’t have time to go to the other fabric shop (probably a good thing; I’ve spent all my pocket money).

 

I’ve linked up to…

 

Me You and Magoo

Summer fete fun!

Even more felt things.

For four weeks I’ve been making things. OK, I know I always make things but this time I’ve been making things with a specific purpose. A month ago I was asked if I fancied having a stall at the school’s summer fete. I thought “why not?” Hopefully I’ll get to sell a few things and help towards raising money for the school. Sounds alright. I enjoyed doing a similar thing last Christmas. That was my first time doing such a thing and I found out that I really enjoyed myself!

My main concern this time is that I have no idea about the kind of things people might like at this time of year. Christmas is easy as everyone is always up for buying a new decoration (or two) for the tree. Summer? Not got a clue. I might have misjudged this but I’ve gone for a little bit of everything. It’s a learning experience and I’ll find out a lot, I’m sure.

Collection of crochet blankets.I’ve said previously that I don’t think this is the sort of event for selling baby blankets but I’m taking some anyway. You never know. By the way, these blankets have been made over a period of a few months not just churned out in the last four weeks!

Lots of felt brooches and keyrings.

There will be loads of felt designs. They’re all my own designs. I’ve got either brooches or keyrings. I think the owls are my favourite.. or the fish. And the cats!  The cherries look fabulously kitsch! I think I love them all.

Handmade crafts

I’ve got some random makes too. Leftovers from playing/experimenting. I really like the rose brooches. They’re aran alpaca with wool felt leaves. The rose is Attic 24’s May Rose.

Crochet hearts with roses.

Speaking of Attic 24, these are the May roses used on a sweet crochet heart. Have a look here for the original inspiration.

crochet hearts and flowers

Someone has already asked that I put one of these aside for them so I do hope that that’s a good omen for the rest of them.

crochet roses and bows

It would appear that I’ve got a thing about these May roses, I’ve used them for hair slides too (not many though as I know that there is another stall that’ll be there, selling hairclips and I don’t want to tread on any toes ;p ). For the crochet bows I started with a pattern from Nicki Trench’s Geek Chic Crochet but it was too big and taking far too long to make a single bow. I cheated by using less stitches and using quicker stitches too. For some reason I find trebles much easier and less fiddly than half trebles. Most of these are made using scraps that were left over from blanket making. There’s a lot of merino stuff and the pastel coloured ones are a merino yarn mixed with cashmere. It’s lovely stuff to work with.

crochet hearts. Keyrings.

Puff hearts are from Planet June. Very cute.

pile of blankets

There’s something about a pile of blankets that I love. It’s a good job too, I have a mountain of crochet blankets in my house. And that’s the ones that are here to stay. I’m not going to mention the ones I was supposed to put on Etsy six months ago.

Crochet ripple blanket

This one will be finished by the weekend. Just in time.  There are so many more things I wish I had time to make. It seems that I have just about run out of time. However, I would like to point out that this really isn’t everything that I’ve made over the last month. I might share some other things on Instagram too. There will be loads more…

Little crochet coasters

You’ll just have to come and see me to find out what else there is. I might look like a misery guts but I’m honestly not (I do suffer from Bitchy Resting Face though), so if you’re at the school fete in Ottery st Mary this Saturday, come over and say hello! I think it’s 12-3pm. Thanks very much. X

 

 

 

First time putting real things on Etsy!

Spring set of needle cases.

I don’t usually visit here over the weekend but I’m here to quickly link to my Etsy shop, which I have now added things to! Go me! Not sure how well these needle cases will do. They are needle cases after all, a bit too specific maybe. At the time I didn’t know what else to do with the embroidery I’d done. I actually would like to just present them on their hoops in future. They looked so nice like that. Any way, here is the link and some pictures. Have a lovely weekend!! X

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ZeensandRoger

Handmade felt needlecases

stitching daffs. daffodil embroidery almost completed snowdrops stitching.Snowdrops embroidered needlecase Snowdrops embroidered needle case Hyacinth needle case standing Hyacinth needle case Hyacinth embroidered needlecase Daffodil needle case back. Daffodil embroidered needlecase Daffodil embroidered needle case standing

 

Small things and Fun things.

Easy handmade valentines day card.

It’s half term, so it’s all a rush. Without too much gubbins I’ll share what I’ve been up to over the last few week.

Handmade birthday card

Husband got a Valentine’s card, my Mum got a birthday card. Both quick, easy and fun to do yet very effective, I think. Inspired by The Messy Brunette and her post about Valentines.

Cotton crochet doily

I made a couple of doilies with the cheap Drops cotton I bought. Cheap for a reason. VERY splitty. But I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing at 80p a ball.

Ugly cotton doily

The first one is the better of the two but neither are great. Not dainty in the slightest and I think they’ll just get hidden away rather than used. I found a diagram pattern on pinterest that I used. And I only went and blocked something!! I usually try to avoid it but here, there was no escaping it this time.

Hyacinth embroidery

I completed my hyacinth embroidery. I can’t find the time to do anything with the flowery embroidery things I’ve been doing. Maybe next week.

Making a crochet scarf.

Crocheting instead of perservering with my knitting. I love crochet.

perle cotton x50

Buying cotton. I can go through so much embroidery thread. Hopefully this is the answer. Bought from Ebay for less than £25! 50 flippin balls!

many colours of anchor cotton

It wasn’t in any kind of colour order so I’ve been playing with the way they live together.

colours!

I’m more excited than I should be about some cotton.

Look!

Look at the beautious bounty of awesomeness!

colourful thread.

It was bought with Christmas money, I still got a mild telling off for buying more craft crap. It has nowhere to go.