January’s selfish crochet: Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs

My January selfish crochet project has been the Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs. I was inspired by Rosina over at Zeens and Roger, go and look at her BEAUTIFUL version! It’s been an absolute pleasure to make this shawl and I’m so pleased with how it has turned out, even though it has embarrassingly highlighted my inability to count to six.

I’ve used three different brands of yarn. I was a little concerned about it but decided that it would probably be fine, the yarns are all very similar. 


The grey yarn is Fyberspates Coop Knits Socks Yeah! in Melanite, from Wool Warehouse.

The mixed colour yarn is the Platinum Sock Cold Lava colour way by Lovebug Yarns.

The orange border is Crocosmia Askham 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns which I bought at Yarndale. This yarn is a blend of silk and alpaca which I think makes a nice contrast in the border.


Pattern wise, the instructions were nice and clear, and the stitch count table was very useful. The shawl is huge! Lots of counting of stitches. I used stitch markers to mark after 50 stitches which made it a lot easier when I lost count. Being huge makes it perfect for wrapping around and around my chilly neck. I’ve enough yarn left to make some mitts too, although those might have to wait until autumn. I’ve got too many other ideas that are bursting to get out before mitts need to be made! 


Teresa xx

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Shirley Rainbow HQ – craft space tour

Happy new year blog readers! I’ve had a bit of a slow start to the new year, all is well and I’ve enjoyed a bit of a break from online shenanigans.
I’ve made an attempt to get my house in order. Kitchen cupboards have been tackled but it’s slow progress and I felt very pleased when my first wholesale order of the year came in and I had to tidy my craft space. I’ve had a proper shuffle around, trying to make space for new craft supplies acquired recently and generally making the whole area work better. So as its tidy (ish) I thought I’d give you a little tour. Which sounds very grand but I can assure it isn’t! 

I have my craft space in my bedroom, which is quite big, I take up two walls of space with my desk and storage unit. I have a very laid back husband who doesn’t mind that he sleeps in what must occasionally feel like a haberdashery. Or yarn shop. Or pure crazy craft mess! I do my embroidery and dressmaking up here as well as all the boring admin, and the exciting packing up of orders. Crochet is mostly done on the sofa downstairs (with the tellybox on). 


On my desk is the vintage sewing box I bought from eBay. It came full of old sewing stuff and was a little bit bashed about. I repainted it pale blue with a tester pot and gave it a bit of varnish too. I covered the worst dents and scrapes with flowers cut from pieces of wallpaper, which I also used to line the inside. It now stores lots of sewing equipment. The big shelves have all my Shirley Rainbow stuff in, my dressmaking projects, patterns, yarn and many other bits and pieces. 


I’m definitely not a minimalist! I like to be able to look around my space for inspiration. There’s lots of books and magazines to for reference. It might look messy to the untrained eye but I can assure you that every sewing pattern I’ve downloaded has its own plastic wallet and is carefully stored! I’m planning on making some more nice labels for my drawers so I can find stuff again after my reshuffle. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peep into my craft space!

Teresa x

Ps. Sorry the photos aren’t the best, it’s just so gloomy today!

The Handmade Fair- Guest blog tutorial by Shirley Rainbow 

If you pop over to the Handmade Fair website you will now be able to find a tutorial by Shirley Rainbow! 
This is a piece of work I was asked to do over the summer by the lovely people at Folksy (who were sponsors of the Handmade Fair this year) and I’m so excited to say it’s available for people to see now! It’s a step by step guide to stitching and finishing an embroidery hoop for display. 


The link is here if you would like to go and have a look.

The Handmade Fair is a craft fair created by Kirstie Allsopp.  There are lots of lovely tutorials on the Handmade Fair blog featuring all kinds of crafts, it’s definitely worth a look for some inspiration. 


Many thanks to Folksy and the Handmade Fair, and also to my friend Lucy for letting me take photos in her beautiful home! 

September Craftiness

I thought I’d share a mid September catch up on some crafty bits I’ve been working on recently. I had hoped to share an exciting project I’ve been working on but sadly I’m not able to yet- hopefully soon! 
I finished the Floral Fields embroidery design by ThreadFolk.  I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this, it uses surprisingly simple stitches but the overall effect is beautiful and complex. I’m decorating my living room next week and it will be given pride of place in my newly decorated room. I’ve been eyeing up some of the amazing free embroidery patterns available at DMC for my next project. I’ve not really done many embroidery patterns designed by others before, as a qualified embroidery designer I should be able to do them myself I suppose! However for an easy project to pick up in the evening it’s ideal, as all the hard part of designing is done for me.


As the weather here in England has turned decidedly autumnal I’ve been thinking about gloves and scarves and hats. I’ve made a one colour version of the Autumn Vintage fingerless mitts by Rosina of Zeens and Roger, using some Hobbycraft Women’s Institute Soft and Smooth Tweed. This is a really lovely Aran weight yarn, it really is very soft, almost a silky texture. The slubs through the yarn give a tweedy texture without any roughness, and the mustard colour is spot on. Why does this yarn not come in more colours?! Even though I completely botched up the pattern (I worked in the round despite the instructions clearly telling me to TURN….) I’m very pleased with how they have turned out. I’m not sure what else I will make with the yarn, I’ve got about 350g of it left! 


I’ve been working on a few new pieces for my shop, particularly to take to a charity craft fair I did last weekend. Sadly the weather was pretty horrific- beautiful sunshine all morning which lured us into thinking it would be nice all day but instead it turned very windy and we had several downpours of rain- I do hope the fundraising was successful. 


Last but not least I can share this piece of embroidery my mother in law asked me to to do for a recently bereaved close friend. I was so pleased that both of them liked it, it was a pleasure to make it. 


Til next time

Teresa 

Crafting is My Therapy

Image from July’s entries to #craftingismytherapy

For the month of August I’m the guest host of the hashtag #craftingismytherapy. The hashtag was created by Nicola of Me You and Magoo and Jennifer of Jennifer’s Little World to promote a creative online community. To quote Nicola “the focus of our hashtag is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me time’ to unwind in our busy lives”. 

Even though I crochet and embroider for my online shop I love to keep some craft time just for me, and this hashtag is perfect for sharing this. I’d love you to join me! Just use #craftingismytherapy_august on Instagram posts during the month of August, as easy as that! I’ll be sharing a round up of my favourite posts at the end of the month here on my blog and also on Instagram and Twitter. 
Any craft is welcome, at any stage in the making process! 

There is also a giveaway being run for August, a fab set of Posca pens will be sent to a lucky person! You will automatically be entered by sharing a relevant image tagged with the hashtag above. For more info on the giveaway please check here or here.

Teresa x

Crafty Doings in July

After spending a lovely hour or so catching up with my favourite blogs this morning I’m inspired to write a catch up post of a few bits I’m making and have finished recently. My living room cushion makeover is on going. We have a four seater sofa and an armchair, so I am fairly limited in the amount of cushions we can practically fit and use in the living room! I think I can squeeze a couple more in at the most. My latest cushion is my corner to corner crochet cushion. It’s made with Stylecraft Special DK and some sparkly acrylic stuff. I really enjoyed making it, it’s so quick even when you are in a right tangle of yarn. I put a zip in one of the sides so it can be washed. 

I’ve started a new piece of embroidery, just for me! It’s from the Thread Folk Artist series, I think it was a limited edition design, you can find the Thread Folk shop here. I’m really enjoying it so far, it suits my style of embroidery of small areas of stitch to make the whole. 


I’ve made these cute little thank you cards for the teachers at school. I got a bit obsessed with taking photos of these, I love the flower pattern (which is by Emma Lamb, in her book Crochet Home) and I can see more of these flowers being made in the future. 

I wanted to add all the pieces of work I made for Sherwood Art Week to my Folksy shop, but so far have only added my Satsuma Bird Hoop Art. Lots more to come soon. I’ve also added free 1st Class postage to all UK orders from my Folksy shop.


Last weekend I had a lovely time meeting some other Folksy shop owners. We met at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and enjoyed ambling around, admiring the Tony Cragg exhibition and talking about all sorts of stuff. Thank you to Trudi, Jane, Anna, and Holly for a great time, and Camilla and Sian for organising it! 


And that’s it for the mo! Nothing else that I can reveal yet- I have some Christmas bits and bobs in production, yikes! 
Teresa

Crafting Gold (and silver and bronze!)

I’ve been really into metallics this year, I bought a gold spotted sweatshirt in the January sales and some gorgeous gold brogues from Clarks too, so when I saw on Instagram that one of my favourite online haberdashers, Cloud Craft was selling iron-on metallic vinyl I knew I had to have a go! 


As with all my orders from Cloud Craft it arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to have a little go. I bought one sheet of gold, silver, bronze, copper and pewter. The instructions provided were very clear, and I tested my fabric to see if it could withstand the hot iron. I had a go on 100% wool felt, which did scorch slightly but the colour returned to normal after a few minutes so I wasn’t too worried. I used scissors to cut the vinyl which was a little tricky, but only, I think, because I decided to cut out something so small. And voila! Here is my first little mini make!


I also had a go at cutting the vinyl using a paper punch. This was not very successful, the punch was just not sharp enough to get through the protective plastic sheet that covers the metallic surface. However a hole punch was fine, and I managed, inspired by my sweatshirt, to create beautiful metallic spotted linen. Here is the finished result with my embroidery design. 


I also tried it with the copper sheet.


The only no-no with this vinyl is not to use a biro to draw the shapes you want to cut. The biro seeps into the fabric during ironing and creates a rather obvious line round the shape, I’d recommend using a pencil! 

I found it trickier with larger pieces to get the heat evenly distributed so this is something to practice, as they have buckled slightly. I’d like to play around with different textured fabrics for appliqué. Applying the vinyl to felt gives a wonderful, almost leathery texture. I’m really impressed with this stuff, the effects are great. I’m looking forward to playing around with some Christmas ideas too, expect to see a lot more metallics from me! 

Teresa

Disclaimer- I am not affiliated with Cloud Craft in any way, just a very happy customer of their products and service!