I spent a happy evening at Super + Super last week, taking part in their screen-printing class with textile designer Georgia Novis. Super + Super is a lovely little space, very close to the seafront and I had an utterly charming time there.
With the move edging closer and closer, I am definitely in nesting mode, so I was very much looking forward to coming out with a tea towel. In the end, I came out with both a tea towel and a tote bag, so even better! I bought a print out with me to trace for the stencil – the Aperture Science logo from Portal, a game that t’bf and I are quite fond of. It also helps that it is quite simple to trace, which made getting it onto the wax paper and then the brown paper of the stencil a lot easier than previous, somewhat overambitious attempts at stencilling!
The final items:
I need to seal the tea towel with a hot iron but the tote bag has already been out to the Brighton Mini Maker Faire with me.
And there we are, the finished fascinator. It did end up with a few tiny bloodstains as it turns out that sinamay is quite sharp when you’ve frayed it. It even survived the trip to and from Wales and we were very lucky with the weather. The wedding, btw, was lovely and involved an outdoor structure built and designed by the groom’s younger sister (an architect) and each table had a different theme, designed by one of the people seated on it. There was an excellent spider themed one (the bride likes spiders; thankfully I didn’t have to sit at that one!), a pictionary themed one, one with origami napkins with people’s names embroidered on them as placemarkers and so on, lots of lovely handmade and crafty touches from everyone involved!
ps. not sure why there are huge blocks of empty space in entries. Trying to sort that out now…
The above gallery is, as it currently stands, a fascinator I’m making for a wedding at the end of July. We will be camping in Wales for this wedding, which I am sure was a great idea before this “summer” started. I plan to rock the fascinator/welly boot (mine have goldfish on them!) combo with aplomb!
The construction of the fascinator is going quite well – those pictures are the fruits of an evening – although sinamay is definitely something you need a thimble for, once you fold it as it is quite tough to sew through and harsh on the hands. I have yet to bleed on it though, which is is a plus. Next stage, after some gluing to make sure things are secure, will be making frayed “flowers” and a sinamay rose and then I shall be done. Hooray!
Other than that, there’s not been a huge amount of crafting (or blogging…) as about a week after my last post, I was successful in a job interview. It involves relocating from London to Brighton, so when I haven’t been in Brighton at work/learning how stuff goes, I’ve been packing everything in London up to go into storage while t’BF (who lives in Brighton already, albeit in a studio flat) and I flathunt for a flat for the two of us to move into.
It’s knackering and stressful but ultimate worth it, as t’BF and I have lived in different cities since we started dating, almost three years ago. It is also, of course, very sad as Jam (the even quieter half of this blog) and I have been flatmates for over five years now and now we’ve had to go through all our stuff and sort out who owns what – particularly traumatic when it comes to the craft heap…
I’ve got a pair of simple socks on the go and my on-going secret crochet project so I’m not completely craft-bereft, and there is nothing quite like being forced to go through your stash to spark off 18 million possible projects. Although they all have to wait till the relocation has finished, which I am hoping will be by September.
Hopefully, I will return with the final stages of the fascinator and then photos of the finished object, on my head, in Wales (weather permitting!) shortly.
Oh blog. It’s been quiet here, I know. Aside from some technological shenanigans, I’ve just been kind of slumpy with regards to crafty things and blogging in general. I have WIPs everywhere, both fabric and knitting. But that’s starting to change and I figured it was time to get back on the horse and what better way than to start with an extremely fun experience?
Image used with permission of Homemade London
Due to the wonders of twitter, last Saturday saw me turning up at the newly opened and beautifully appointed location of Homemade London
as a willing volunteer for their press photos photoshoot.
Image used with permission from Homemade London
It was a small affair but lovely, with four other crafty volunteers, we busily tried out all the stitch options on Homemade London’s sewing machines, talked about crafty things, tried our best not to freeze up on camera and discovered that London is ridiculously small for somewhere so big, with mutual friends and ‘I know you from somewhere!’ moments popping up unexpectedly.
We drank tea and champers and ate absolutely gorgeous cakes and generally had a fabulous time. Nicola, from Homemade London is a delight and I can’t wait to go on one of the classes (as a disclosure, volunteering got me a voucher for a class) – Jam has already been on one, the scent class and really enjoyed it but I’ll leave that to her to write about (HINT HINT!) – and it certainly served as an excellent kick in the rear about blogging again!
Which, in related news, you may notice a selection of linklog posts have popped up recently. I’ve been tweaking the settings and have hopefully managed to get it set up to post once a week with all the crafty links I come across while I’m meandering the web. There’s also still a few things I need to tweak on the main layout but hopefully they’ll be sorted shortly.
Objects in the mirror may be closer than they seem.
Fixing the blog up! :)
Look, crochet! I have achieved slight dominion over that damn hook, thanks to the lovely ladies at Make Do Mend, whose class at the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green last week got me over the hump of frustration.
I’m still working on edges as if I’m not crocheting in the round – things go a bit trapezoid! But, after falling into John Lewis (perilously close to work) with one of my fellow librarians – also a beginner crocheter – to purchase some more yarn one lunch time, consulting a few videos about starting the round off, I have become a lean, mean granny square making machine.
I’m not sure what they’ll become yet but I’m enjoying seeing the improvement in shape and tension with each one – perhaps I’ll turn them into some sort of cushion or lap blanket!
Oops! I meant to start the knitting and crochet week yesterday, along with everyone else but, yeah, that clearly didn’t happen. But never mind, I shall combine today and yesterday’s topic into one!
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda? TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo1
My mom and her mother have always done something with yarn and I grew up with crocheted or knitted blankets – known in my family as Joseph blankets, due to their multicoloured nature – but oddly enough, I never learnt to knit or crochet from my mom or gran. I learnt to knit at Brownies in South Africa for my craft badge but never really got on with it as a kid. I picked it up again when I was about 13 and living in Ireland and knitted a few misshapen garter stitch bag-like things and scarves with random holes in them and then put it down again. Fast forward to age 22, when I moved from Manchester to the Czech Republic for a three month internship. Jam (the silent half of this blog…) had been talking about her knitting and got me interested again, so before I moved, I picked up Stitch & Bitch, some terrible acrylic yarn and some needles and started back down the route of relearning things like casting on in an actual usable fashion.
The first thing to come out of that was a two colour Garter Stitch scarf, which I no longer own and once I’d moved to Prague, I started cheerfully working my way through all the scarf patterns in SnB, particularly because my internship required spending three days a week in a town outside of Prague called Beroun, which meant a commute to knit on in the mornings. I got quite good at knitting related Czech and my knitting grew to involve hats, all done on straight needles because I couldn’t work out circs.
When I came back to Manchester, I kept knitting and moved on to shrugs, wristwarmers and socks and pretty much haven’t looked back since! My gran knitted blanket squares up to her death, although the squares from the year before she passed away show the ravages of dementia more and more and my mom tends to make crochet edged Joseph blankets for members of the family out of the many bags of squares my gran knitted before her death, which I assist with when I go home by sewing up the edged squares into strips.
A selection of early projects:
Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so! TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo2
A skill I aspire to is crochet – as I mentioned above, my mom makes Joseph blankets for the family by doing crochet edging around the squares my gran knitted and sewing them together with one big crochet border and I would like to join her in that endeavour because I like the idea of creating things that have a connection to my mom and gran and my family at large. I’ve just never got anywhere with crochet!
But, I am grasping the bull by the horns and have signed up for a beginner’s crochet class in a couple weeks! I will no doubt report back about that once it has happened.
Work and my life got really busy for a while there and updating this here blog kind of fell off the radar for a bit. But it’s spring and I’ve spent the bank holiday weekend starting a huge organisation of my stuffs, including going to Ikea with my other half and throwing a lot of stuff out.
I’ve been puttering along with my stash bust though. I’m currently knitting a Prairie Rose Shawl in some Malabrigo sock yarn in Botticelli as my commute knitting project and I’ve knitted Ysolda’s Ripley hat (I did the garter band with the closer fitting hat) in some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran & chunky for the gift box and a snood out of the remaining aran yarn (although, no photos of that one yet).
I’ve also finished my sewing class and the skirt that I was working on, although I need to trim the threads, wash and iron that before I can take photos. It was really good, actually to just have that safety net of someone else who knows what they’re doing being there. I’m already plotting my next skirt as my flatmate picked up an Amy Butler skirt pattern that is crying out to be made in some accidentally purchased floral cotton. I’m also planning to do some fabric buttons and a new belt for my spring mac.
And today, I started unearthing my rusty embroidery skills by making this feltcraft owl cushion. It took me about an afternoon to finish and some of that was spent youtubing things I couldn’t remember, like, uh, backstitch. My tension was also all out of wack with basket stitch so I ended up finishing the cushion off with a whip stitch.
I have a fairly ridiculous collection of beads and bits and bobs and I have decided that this year, aside from knitting my stash, I also need to sit down and sort through my collection, work out what I am going to use and what I’m not and then actually do something with them.
So, while I haven’t sorted them out yet, I did make something. It was a rather belated birthday present for a fellow crafty librarian, the lovely Jennie Law.
It’s a kilt/shawl pin, with vintage pearls and silver findings. I also busted out some embroidery thread and did some paper embroidery, using a modified image from What Katie Does‘s tutorial but didn’t think to take a photo of that, alas!
The Socktopus Mystery shawl is complete! I did end up casting on again on bigger needles, 6mm this time and that plus the DK-y weight of the yarn means my shawl is huuuuge. But still, lovely!