L for Lace – A to Z Challenge

The Making of lace spans hundreds of years and before mechanisation was all hand made. I make bobbin lace on a pillow and every year i go to the lace makers fair in Birmingham.

I make Bobbin lace for the love of the process, and the finished effect. It is time consuming and fiddly at times, but not as difficult as you would think.

lacelace 1  lace2

 

At any one time you will only use 4 pairs of bobbins, even though there may be 60 pairs on the pillow.

 

The other ways of making lace, tatting, knitting and crochet, all produce good results but very different types and thickness.

if you want to have a go at making your own lace I would recommend you go an a course to learn. pillow lace has a lot of set up steps and equipment, whereas knitting and crochet you just need to be able to read a pattern.

Have a go and find out for yourself how rewarding it is.

Happy Craftfing

K for Knitting – A to Z Challenge

I love knitting, but talking to fellow crafter’s I find some don’t know how to read a ball band or how to correct the tension when they are knitting.

At the beginning on the year I ran a workshop on knitting, and covered these two basic knitting facts.

 

Understanding a Ball Band

Understanding a Ball Band

Also on the ball band there could be the measurement for the tension square that the wool will knit to, and most patterns will tell you the tension square measurement.

Why is it important?

By knitting a tension square you ensure your knitting will be the correct size, and you will have enough yarn to complete the project.

For years I knit really tight, and now I knit really loose (thanks to my Mom giving me cotton to knit with. I ended up so tight on the needles I couldn’t move the stitches).

So if you knitting doesn’t turn out to be the right size, knit a tension square.

For double knitting 22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches square on 4mm needles.

If the square is bigger repeat the square smaller needles and check measurements again.

If smaller increase the size of you needles and knit another square.

By reading the ball band correctly and knitting a tension square, your knitting will be the correct size and fit correctly to the measurements on the pattern, plus you will not run out of wool.

Happy Crafting

 

 

February Round up

So February was a mixed month weather wise in the UK. Rain, flooding (but not where i live) sunshine, and the last few days have felt like spring is about to arrive.

My Olympic challenge was a success with two hats knitted to the correct size. what a result, my attempt at hats have resulted in dolls hats in the past.

Girls day way great, lunch out at the pub, laughter and tea. oh and I made a plated rag rug on the sewing machine for my demo’s on March.

also the crochet workshop’s were a good, everyone make at least one granny square, and went home with plans for more.

I also started Slimming world diet.

MARCH

The Craft network challenge did not happen 😦  to may other things going on, but i still have a week.

I am running 2 craft workshops this month, Learn to Sew – bond with you sewing machine and Rag Rug Making (places left on both)

This month is all about Rag Rugs, I have a demo for the WI and will be attending a craft fair in Stourbridge where I will be doing another rag rug demo and workshop promotion. we will also be selling craft items.

Mother day UK will be then end of the month and then I go on holiday, which i think by then i will need, looking at the busy schedule. so which project shall I take with me?probably be Needle Tatting as that is a workshop for April.

no rest for the wicked (and i need chocolate, I will allow 3 syns only on slimming world)

Happy Crafting

Olympic Challenge

The winter Olympics are here. 16 days of snow, ice and people going fast down hill. I for one will be watching.

I Challenge you to 16 days of crafting.

The plan is to start your project while watching the opening ceremony, and to finish on the closing.

It can be any project you like, knitting, crochet, sewing you choose.

The idea is you start and finish a project in an allotted time frame, I am a prolific project starter, not many finished in a short time frame, “eventually” always seams to be my mantra.

My Challenge

I will be knitting hats. Some of you will be saying “well that is easy” and some “oh how complicated”. I am not a hat novice, more of a hat disaster area (both knitted and crochet)

The winter Olympics gives me 16 days to perfect the right sized hat, instead of them fitting a doll or putting handles on them to make a bag, both have occurred.

Starting with a tension square (yes I will be doing this properly) then going on to the main event of the hat, and if i get good, more than one hat.

The pattern is off the loving hands website and will be in odds and end I have in my stash. When they are finished and the right size (I am allowing for reknit’s), the hats will be given to charity for older people to stay warm, or for the armed forces.

Get ready, turn on the TV and get creating.

Happy Crafting

 

 

Random moments of delight challenge

As part of the Zero to Hero challenge , they asked to join another challenge (as if I don’t have enough to do)

So having looked at the possibilities which were not endless, I found myself disappointed at the selection. My blog is about crafting and there wasn’t anything in this category. So in the end I chose random-moments-of-delight-challenge. Mainly because crafting has moments of delight as well as the disasters.

My moment of delight today is a new book on fair isle knitting.

I have knitted for most of my life and my Mom often tells of the time I first discovered knitting needles, not to mention I couldn’t get my tension right (to tight) so she gave me cotton the knit with, (it gets tighter on the needles the more you knit, because it doesn’t stretch like wool. In the end you can’t move the stitches and have to start again) did I mention my Mom believes in tough love LOL.

I have never mastered knitting in two colours so decided for 2014 i was going to teach my self. The book has arrived, now to find some wool and needles.

Let the learning commence.

Happy crafting

Winter Crafts

When I think of crafting in the winter, one of the Christmas songs lines always comes to mind. “Baby it cold outside”

It is time to snuggle up on the sofa or your comfiest armchair and craft.

So what are the best crafts to do?

  1. What is your craft?

    Knitting, crochet, sewing, paper crafts. Choose the one that gives you the most comfort.

    I always go for knitting or crochet because the work in progress acts like a blanket as you work (snuggly factor of 8).

  2. What is the project that is most important?

    This is a had one to answer,

    Do you have a project with a deadline? i.e. Baby due in spring or a present that you can’t put off starting any more

     

    I use January as a UFO month. Unfinished objects.

    So I have a knitting workshop to finish preparing for, a jumper that is half finished for hubby, and a rag rug demo to finish samples for.

    Which do I chose, probably the one I have set up next to my chair.

     

  3. Set yourself you

    Next to my chair is my knitting basket (with said jumper in) so it is easy to do that project when I like, but the other two are just an important.

    I spend a couple of hours with a cup of tea on a quiet evening or afternoon sorting through what I need. Tools, fabric, wool. This all goes into a basket and is placed next to my chair.

    Now when my favourite TV programme in on or I have a few minutes everything is ready to go

     

  4. Enjoy yourself

    The main reason I have so many projects on the go (apart from the workshop projects) is because I loose interest in a project and what to do something different.

    I have a few rules

    1. have three projects on the go (charity, personal, work)
    2. are you enjoy doing it? And have you still got you spark when you started?
    3. Can it be done in my favourite chair? (where else would I want to be when it’s cold)

I hope with this post I have inspired you to go and look in your craft cubby hole and find some inspiration and zing. Cuddle up in your chair and make something.

If not have a cup of tea and put the telly on, what better place to be in the cold drab month of January.

Happy Crafting