Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Hat on a plate!

We went away this weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday.  It was the most glorious weather so it seemed a little incongruous to be knitting a winter hat but knit I did! I cast off last night after we got home and the result of all my hours of labour was rather less than hat shaped! However, I followed advice to soak it and stretch it over a dinner plate and Hey Presto - we have a hat!

It's not quite dry yet so I can't take it off to try on. I fear that I hadn't taken into account the larger than average size of my head, but I want to make another one anyway as my tension changed whilst making this one as I got used to holding a colour in each hand, and I would make different colour choices too now that I can see how these colours work together. Nevertheless, I'm pleased I finished this one, and am looking forward to continuing my Fairisle journey!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

New directions!

As a child I was always sewing, crocheting and knitting. My dolls had an extensive, if somewhat bizarre, wardrobe. As an adult, these pastimes fell aside and it wasn't until about 6 years ago that I reignited my love of crochet. My self imposed challenge of not buying any new clothes for a year has brought me back to the sewing machine but knitting had remained a hobby of my youth. I did make a pair of socks last year just to prove to myself that I could do it but a workshop this weekend at Marmalade Yarns has inspired me to pick up my needles again!

This may not look like much at the moment but one day soon it's going to be a Fair Isle tam!
As much as I love crochet, it has its limitations regarding clothing. I've just got my hands on this gorgeous knitting book which is full of things I want to make and wear.

The first thing I want to make is this...

It may take a while, judging by the progress of my hat (impeded last night by a glass of wine or two, and the subsequent ripping back of a row of misplaced colours!) 

I'm also experimenting with a new direction in my painting. I love painting colourful birds but have recently had an urge to paint larger, darker, more sinister looking birds. This bird is painted in a combination of acrylics and acrylic ink and is a work in progress. 

It's not a great photograph - I hadn't realised how tricky it was to photograph something so dark. 
However, I'm thoroughly enjoying working on a larger scale, and trying something new. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Crochet Bag - a prototype...

Family life has got in the way of creative time of late, but I was determined to use the sunny Bank Holiday weekend to actually finish something.  For ages now I've been wanting to make a crocheted bag. I've spent far too long on Pinterest looking for inspiration but wasn't able to choose one design. I finally decided to make one out of some cheap acrylic in my stash as an experiment. I'd seen a lovely, structured bag made out of the African Flower motif so I made a few motifs to see how they would fit together.

The shapes came together quite quickly resulting in a rather floppy sack shape!

I found some Amy Butler fabric and made a double thickness lining to add a bit of structure.

I sewed the handles inbetween the linings and then hand stitched it to the top of the crocheted bag...

I did consider putting some cardboard in the base but decided against it as I didn't want it to be too rigid. As a first attempt it's not too bad, but I already have plans for prototype number 2!

I want to use some of this yummy yarn (Rowan Fine Tweed) to make a similar bag but with a different motif and a slightly more rounded shape.

Finally, in honour of the sunshine that has finally made an appearance, here is a gratuitous shot of Mabel in her Summer attire!