The grumpy crafter

I’ve been in a right grump recently, for no particular reason and I can’t seem to shake it off. I could probably blame my husband, kids, the weather, the general election and many other things that sometimes irritate me, but I think it really is just me in a grump. In an attempt to cheer my self up I have tried to make a few bits in between making stuff for Sherwood Art Week, and I sort of think it’s working. 
I made a pair of Carrie Trousers from Sew Over It, I really like the style of these trousers, and thought they would be perfect for summer. I used some very cheap viscose polyester linen look stuff from the local market, which I’m glad only cost £1.50/m as these trousers nearly ended up in the bin! They are huge through the leg! I managed to adjust the waistband so they sit a bit lower on my waist which I think looks better, but then I chopped too much off the length of the leg- argh! They are okay though, and I think I can make some adjustments to the pattern for a future pair through the leg. 


I’m really very pleased and cheered up by a bag I’ve made using Rico Fashion Jersey. It’s lined with some quilting cotton from my stash, and I bought some handles, also by Rico, to stitch on. I’m so happy with it! The pattern is the Everyday Bag from Modern Crochet by Molla Mills. I’ve not used the type of yarn suggested in the pattern, but I didn’t think it would matter too much if the bag was a little bigger. I like the stitch definition this yarn gives, and it holds its shape well.


I lined it using some quilting cotton from my stash which I must say is a rather good match. Finding a zip was a bit tricky but I’m glad I persevered… I did threaten to have a zip related strop if I didn’t find the right one after I’d been in four shops with no success! Sewing the handles on was tricky but I’m pleased I used them as the finish is much nicer.

 I bought all the yarn and the bag handles at Knit Nottingham, which is a lovely independent yarn shop in town and I got some great advice from Eleanor about the yarn. She had made a bag with it and also used the same handles which really looked good. I used four and a half balls of the yarn, and one fat quarter of fabric to line the bag. I’m going to have crochet bags every where, they are rather addictive to make. 
I’ve decided to take part in the #sewingforsummer challenge on Instagram. This summer the challenge is to make a shirt dress, and I’m going to attempt the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges shirt dress. I’ve made a toile for the bodice, and so far it’s not going that well. I think the shoulders of the pattern sleeve just do not fit me. I’m going to compare the pattern pieces of another pattern that does fit and maybe combine the two patterns in some kind of Frankenstein’s monster dress pattern. The shirt dress needs to be made by 21st June, so I have a while yet, and already have my fabric, this beautiful viscose from Stof and Stil. 

I’m not ready yet to share too much of the embroidery and crochet work I’ve been doing for Sherwood Art Week. I’ve put a few sneaky peeks on Instagram, all will be revealed soon! I like what I’ve done. I think I do anyway…. Which takes me right back to my grump! 
Teresa xx

Making a crochet jumper

Making an item of crochet clothing was one of my aims for this year, and I’ve done it! I wanted to go for something fairly straightforward and decided that the crochet top from Mollie Makes Magazine, issue 53, by Anna Wilkinson from the book Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet, might be the one to start with. I couldn’t get hold of the yarn that was suggested in the pattern, but it does say any similar Aran wool superwash would do. I decided on King Cole Merino Blend Aran, in Raspberry, which apparently is anti tickle so I should be able to wear it next to my skin. 
Making the top was really straight forward, as I had hoped. I made it in size 12, but the length for size 8 in the longer length version. The body has no shaping, it’s just at the arms and neck. I only did one round of trebles at the neck, the pattern says three, as it was a bit too high on my neck. The shoulders fit perfectly, although further down I’m getting used to the boxy fit. It’s a pretty substantial top, it’s nice and chunky and feels very warm on but it’s quite heavy too! Seeing as I’m a chilly sort of person- I can always feel a draught- I think a woolly t-shirt will suit me just fine. It’s the first time I’ve sewn up a crochet garment and doing the sleeves were a bit tricky, as you have to ease the body not the sleeves (which is the opposite of dressmaking!) but I managed it second time round! I’ll definitely make more crocheted clothes. 


I’m also wearing a self drafted hand made circle skirt, which I love! It’s made with some poly/cotton/acrylic mix I bought from my local market for £1.50 a metre! Perfect for a fabric greedy skirt like this. I feel a bit like I could fit in at Hogwarts when I’m wearing it, I’m channeling my inner Professor Snape! I like the skirt with the top, it’s an outfit I feel rather happy in. Now I just need some warmer weather to wear it! 

Teresa

Yarn bought at Wool Warehouse, Scissor Necklace by n0meo 

A few crafty things

Hello everyone,


Firstly thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my Betty Dress (last post), I was very pleased everyone likes it as much as me! I’m also very pleased as a photo I put on Instagram of the dress has won me £20 to spend at Sew Over It, I’m the SOI show off winner for February! Yay me! ( Sew Over It pick their favourite make from one of their patterns from the hashtag #SOIshowoff every month, if you want to take part).


Other than my Betty Dress I don’t seem to have much to show for February. I did finish a crochet jumper but I haven’t taken photos yet and keeps raining so I won’t get them done today. I continued making my granny square coat. I also started making a scarfy shawl thing with some mohair acrylic mix that was on sale in Boyes. It’s a rather nice yarn. Does anyone shop in Boyes? I love the nearest one to me, it’s like going back in time to a shop in the late 80s, they have often have great craft supplies (as well as lightbulbs, batteries, cleaning products and some bizarre clothing!) 


I did make a lovely bag when I did some pattern testing for Rosina of Zeens and Roger . It’s made using t-shirt yarn from Tiger and was a quick and satisfying project. The pattern is now available here. I’ve now popped some beads on the end of the tie fastener. I think it looks nice and summery, I’m looking forward to using it. I rather like t-shirt yarn, I’ve not used it much before but I’ve enjoyed playing around with it. 
I hosted FolksyHour on Twitter on Tuesday night which was great fun. FolksyHour is a chance for Folksy shop owners like myself to get together and have a chat about all the aspects of running an online shop, and making your own products. I decided to create a desert island of craft and inspiration, taking inspiration from Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the theme, we managed to pack lots of music, some art galleries, quite a lot of craft supplies and Tom Hardy’s leg! You can read all about it here
Teresa xx

Granny Squares, Stars and Circles

Well the end of January is nigh, and I thought I’d share a little crafty catch up with you all. I’ve been adding a few new handmade bits to my Folksy shop over the last week or so. One of the perks of this job is that I test out all my ideas – particularly jewellery- on myself and wear a test piece so I can see how well it works and if it needs any tweaks. After some ‘rigorous testing’ with a navy version I made a collection of these star necklaces in some juicy colours. 
They are hand stitched to a felt backing for extra sturdiness, and are attached with jump rings to gold or silver plated chains. (Link to Shirley Rainbow shop here.)

While I was making these necklaces I got a bit distracted by the colours and made this necklace too, and after lots of lovely comments on Instagram I’ve decided to make this style of necklace for my shop too! It would be made to order, and I’m going to try out some different colour ways too, soon. (Shop link as above.)

I’ve been playing around with the crocheted picture frames I made a while back. I was really pleased with how these have turned out, and I’ll hopefully make a few more for my shop too. If you have any ideas for words to stitch please let me know!! 


I’ve started a new crochet project for myself too. I had a mad session on Pinterest a few weeks back, where I was searching for crochet clothing. Well I found this picture: 


Image from Kitsch Bitch via Pinterest here.

I love it!!!!! And so with some odd balls of Drops Karisma I’ve started to make a granny square coat. Eeeek! I’m stupidly excited by it. 

And finally, I’ve nearly finished my first Betty Dress, by Sew Over It. I’m a bit in love with this fabric too. I might wear my granny square coat with it one day……..!

Teresa X 

Handmade Gifts 

October, November and December were some of my most productive creative months yet most of the stuff I made were Christmas gifts and therefore have not been shared anywhere online yet, which is what I usually do on Instagram on finishing anything! So here it all is…

I made a little amigurumi teddy for my little boy, from Simply Crochet mag issue He is very pleased with him, especially the red jumper which is his favourite colour. I used Stylecraft Special DK for a more snuggly feel to the teddy. 

I made another amigurumi toy, this time a donut for my daughter to go with all the toy cakes she asked for, for her baby doll to eat. I used some questionable quality acrylic yarn I had in my stash but it seems fine as a donut! 


More crochet, a snuggly cowl scarf for my mother in law in her favourite colour. This made using Drops Nepal, which is wool and alpaca Aran weight yarn and just lovely to work with.

Yet more crochet, some coasters for my godmother, which I hope match her colour scheme in her living room. I used my favourite Drops Muskat to make these. 

A break from crochet! I used some Liberty fabric to make a brooch each for my mother and sister using Dandelyne mini brooch hoops. I’m going to have to make one for myself too at some point. 


Using a free template from Paper and String and some of their wool felt I made an embroidered cactus for another of my sisters. I filled the bottom with some lentils to help it stand up. I’d made one for myself a while ago which she had admired on Instagram (so useful to get ideas for people!) 

Back to crochet, I made a cushion cover for my youngest sister with Stylecraft Mosaic in Graffiti. This is a super chunky yarn and the colours are beautiful. I think my husband got tired of me exclaiming over it. My kids thought the pom-poms were the best bits. I sewed the crochet square by hand onto an IKEA cushion cover which I’d altered a bit. This one was a bit hard to give away! 


I made a little picture for my daughters bedroom using some wool felt bunnies from Cloud Craft and some ribbons and fabric from my stash. I had a right time of it getting it into the hoop, those flexi hoops are a right pain! I’m not sure it’s straight but as she is only three I have got away with it! 

More crochet, quite a few people got crocheted baubles, each were different. 

My grandma was given a festive crochet mandala style doily. I like the colours in this, I think I’ll probably be making one for my house too. It’s made from Stylecraft Classique Cotton, in DK I think.

My two nephews were made hand appliquéd pennants to hang on their bedroom door. This was inspired by an idea in Mollie Makes Magazine. I was really pleased with them.


And finally, this crocheted mandala doily mat thing for my other sister (that’s three sisters if you wondered! My two brothers didn’t get handmade gifts, too tricky!) I loved making this and she liked it too. 


I didn’t sleep much on Christmas Eve, wondering if people would like their gifts. Then I got rather stupidly emotional after giving all my hand made stuff! My husband told me don’t be daft. I’m trying! 

Teresa xx

2016 and onwards

Happy Christmas everyone, I hope you’ve all had a lovely break.  
It’s that time of year to make resolutions and reflect on the year before etc etc, and that usually means giving myself a hard time for what I’ve not achieved… 

However, last year’s resolution was to stress less. I’m not sure how well that held up during the political turmoil and general craziness that happened in 2016, but on a personal level I think I achieved it. I had a lot of plans for Shirley Rainbow this year, of which hardly any actually happened. I’m trying not to give myself a hard time though, it’s hard to plan sometimes when you have small children, and as they are only little once (to quote a good friend) so I’m trying to enjoy that as much as possible. I’ve even embraced doing crafty and creative projects with them…. Honestly, I find it so hard to do! I’m trying my best though as there is virtually no time for creativity in the school curriculum, and surely as a qualified crafty mum I can provide that at home. At least it justifies trips to Hobbycraft….. 


Granny Triangle Shawl 2016

Right, onwards to 2017. I’ve just made a list of all my dressmaking plans for next year that already have fabric for, patterns for and just need the time to make them!  I’m looking forward to get my teeth into that but I’m not going to give myself a hard time if it doesn’t get done as quickly as I’d like. I’m going to a wedding in February and it would be lovely to wear some thing I’ve made! Crochet wise, I’d like to make a jumper or cardi this year. I just have to decide which one I’d like to attempt. And maybe another shawl. There’s something so cozy about wearing one. 


Some fabric awaiting my attention …

In my folksy shop I have been doing lots of drawings and doodles for new products, which is exciting ( well it is for me! ) and when the kids are back at school next week I’ll be gathering materials and having a little play around. I’m looking forward to having a new year spring clean and sort out.

So for a New Years resolution for 2017? Maybe procrastinate less?! Be a bit more organised too… There’s no snappy little phrase springing to mind. I’m sure it will!
So on that note, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy (and creative!) New Year, to followers new and old,

Love Teresa xx

Crochet Star Bauble- Free Pattern! 


I’ve been very impressed over on Instagram by beautiful crocheted baubles. I obviously wanted to have a go at them myself, but to my absolute frustration none of the patterns I used seemed to work for me! They just didn’t fit the baubles I have. It’s either a tension thing, or something, I couldn’t work it out. So, undaunted (actually I was really irritated with myself) I made up my own pattern. And here it is… I hope you enjoy it!

To fit a bauble sized 6cm diameter. 

I used Stylecraft DK and a 4mm hook. I changed colour on each round.

Pattern in UK terms. 

Make 2. 

Chain 5, join with slst into first chain to make a ring.
Round 1: ch3, 11tr into ring and join with a slst into ch3. 12 st. Fasten off yarn.
Round 2: join in new colour between any two stitches- not into the top of the st. Ch3, 2tr into same space. Miss two st, 3tr into space 5 times, join with a slst into ch3. Fasten off. (18 st.)
Round 3: join new colour into any st. ch2, then work a 2tr bobble st into same st. Next st, work a 3tr bobble st, and repeat in every st round, join into ch2 and fasten off. (18st).
Round 4: join new colour in between any stitch. Ch 3, 1 tr into same st. Skip a st, 2 tr in next st, all around, join with a slst into ch3 and fasten off.
Round 5: join new colour in between 2 tr st, ch2, 1htr into same st. Skip a st, 2htr into next st, work all the way round and join with a slst into ch2, fasten off. 
To fasten the ends off I just knotted both ends together of each round tightly and cut off the excess. As the inside of the bauble is not going to be seen again or moved around I’m sure this will be sufficient! 
Sew the two halves together using a couple of whip stitches, then pop a bauble or polystyrene ball into one half and continue to whip st round joining the two halves together. Fasten yarn off and add a hanging loop. Hang on your Christmas tree and admire! 

To make a larger bauble 9cm diameter add the following 2 rounds after round 4:

Round 5: join new colour between two tr in the same st, work between st not into the top, ch 2, 2tr bobble st into the same space, ch1, then work a 3tr bobble st in between the next two tr from round 4. Work all the way round and join using a slst into ch2. Fasten off.

Round 6: join new colour into any st, ch1, dc into every st round, fasten with a slst.
Continue with Round 5 as Round 7.

I couldn’t resist making a mustard and grey bauble! 

Note: I hope you enjoy making your bauble. If you have any questions about the pattern please ask and I will help! If you make one and want to share it, tag me @shirleyrainbow_tb on Instagram, I’d love to see! Or pop a picture on my Facebook page, link in the sidebar. 

Please credit Shirley Rainbow if you make these baubles to sell, thank you 😊