Thursday, 25 October 2012

Knitty Gritty

As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder I always turn back to knitting. I picked up my needles the other day to finish a leg warmer I started in 2008... yes 2008 four years ago. One single legwarmer has waited four years for a partner, well now it's friend is almost finished. I got the matching arm warmers out of the cupboard to discover moths have eaten four holes in them. I have used them alot but its still annoying, I suppose I should make them again seeing as I am on a roll. And then invest in moth balls.

I visited the knitting and stitching show at Ally Pally on the 11th and got inspired by all the lovely fabric and wool. I especially fell for the hand dyed wool. I regret not buying any while I was there so this week I have made it my mission to find some lovely hand dyed wool made in the U.K. I found Tangled Yarns via a post on Little Cotton Rabbits the other day and found exactly what I wanted. They have lots of unusal yarns and were really helpful when I asked for advice. I ordered Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday very speedy indeed, I highly recommend them.

Juno fibre arts is a Devon based yarn and fibre dyeing business. Asti selects, dyes and spins the yarn, what an amazing job. I chose Buffy in the Berries colourway. Its gorgeous, the colours are really rich and it's so soft. I have found a sock pattern I want to try it scares me a little bit because you have to use 4 needles or a circular needle which I have used once before but for a simple bag. I am up for the challenge though. Has anyone else made socks before? I am a little worried they will fall down easily, I don't want to go to the bother of making socks then looking like Nora Batty.

I also bought a skein of a yarn that has been dyed using natural dyes- lac and logwood. It's the colour of blackberries its soft and made of cashmere, baby camel, angora and merino. I am going to use it to crochet a cowl, less annoying than having to keep wrapping a scarf around me. I am going to make my own pattern maybe using a flower motif? Ohh and I also found Andes by Debbie Bliss on sale at my local shop reduced to £4.50 which I thought was quite cheap. I am sure I paid about £8 when I was making the Japanese Flower scarf of Attic 24 fame.

I took a course on digital printing at the show I'll tell you about that next time and some of my other purchases. I will leave you with a photo of the cute knitted village from the show, I love the allotment.

Any tips on socks I would be happy to hear,

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Busy stitching

 I have been busy making not one but three baby quilts- I think it's two too many. I enjoy making them though and because I am a beginner I want to make more as i keep thinking of ways to improve them.

 This is my munki munki quilt- heather ross, the inspiration is from Aneela at comfort stitching
 I started it last year and just never got around to finishing it.

I am waiting for some Heather Ross fabric that I have had printed at Spoonflower for the backing and I have somered polka dot binding for the edge. It has toadstools on it and I love it. I uploaded it from the Cd in the Heather Ross book I talked about last time.
The second quilt is a pink pack I bought from Kim at Worn and Washed a couple of years ago. I attempted a nine patch design where you have 9 squares that you sew together in 3 rows of 3 squares then you dissect each block by cutting it in 4 even squares then you re- sew in a random order. That's how I understand it but I am certainly no expert. I liked the effect but I didn't bother with it because it was only small and I had no reason to finish it. Then I had my little girl and suddenly had a reason to finish a small pink quilt. It's probably my favourite because it took a little more effort to make and I like the overal effect of the random blocks. Pictures of that next time as i haven't had a chance to take them yet.

Here is the finished one taaadahhh!!
This one is made of old feedsacks, new repro feedsacks, rescued scraps from a scrap bin at my husband's work and old aprons that had seen better days. i hand quilted it with multi coloured thread in zigzags. The backing is so cute it's a sickly sweet jumping fawn print from Fabric Rehab. The binding is a yellow polkadot.

I think I may give this one to my sister for her new baby arriving in December.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I absolutely love..

Besides making things I love books, especially craft books. I look to them for new ideas and techniques. When i got some redunancy money I treated myself to five new craft books it was really hard choosing and I bought more than I should because I loved them all.

I choose making children's clothes by Emma Hardy. This has some nice simple patterns in it that  I hope I can try. I am going to attempt to teach myself, I was thinking about doing a course at make and mend in Chelmsford. But I might teach myself and spend the money I save on wonderful fabric.

Little Stitches from Aneela Hoey of Comfort stitching fame. This book is super cute I am only hoping I can make time to embroider.

Printing by Hand craft books by Lena Corwin
There are some great projects in this especially the Lino printing which I used to do at school.

A field guide to Fabric Design by Kimberley Knight
This is a good resource book i haven't read it properly yet but am really excited to looking in to this 

And Prints by Heather Ross. I just love her fabric especially from munki munki. This book is fantastic if you love her work. It has a few projects I may make but I was mostly interested in the cd you get with it with lots of her discontinued prints which you can print at home or send to spoonflower to have yardage printed. At the moment I am just getting around to finish a quilt I started making with some munki munki prints, the inspiration is from Aneela over at Comfort Stitching, its a project i started about 1 year ago. I loved the prints and liked the idea of incorporating them in a quilt that was simple to make, i dont go in for fussy. I have just ordered some toadstool print for the backing and i am waiting for its delivery so i can eventually finish it.

I really want to start to think about designing my own fabrics that I can either screen print at home or through places like Spoonflower. Then I can use the fabric to make clothes for my children this is of course in my little dream world which I increasing spend a lot of time in lately. It could happen couldn't it??

All the books are great and just what I wanted, sometimes you order from Amazon  
and are disappointed I like to have a nose through the book first to see if it's what I want, so the search inside option is invaluable. 

There were plenty of books I couldn't buy that I wanted so I might share my wish list with mr bob hint hint.
Have a great week! I shall be doing some of this
Sarah x