Tuesday, 30 September 2014

New bookmarks and more!

I am still enjoying the exploration of the possibilities of crochet motifs. The latest batch are worked in brightly coloured crochet cottons and will be used to decorate a number of items.

The first few have been used to embellish these bright felt bookmarks ( now listed in my Folksy and Etsy shops):

I love the bright colours and the finished items have an almost retro feel. I have enjoyed looking through the items recently listed by the Craftyfolk team at Etsy in order make a selection of other bright and retro finds to show you - I hope you like them (each photo is a clickable link!):

My BuddyBling

Monday, 29 September 2014

Purses and more

I am enjoying crochet so much that I thought I would explore the possibilities of producing some different items. What do you think of these purses?

I've really enjoyed making these. The shape is based on a pattern I made for some embroidered purses which I listed some while ago. It is a practical shape and seems to compliment the shape of the folded mandala design on the purse flap.

The small rosette in the centre of the first photo is worked in finer crochet cottons. I love the bright colours. This is a hint of things to come - perhaps key fobs, scissor fobs ....

Friday, 26 September 2014

Completed blanket

..... and the next one has been started.

Just click on the photo to see the blanket in my shop. I tend to think of this one as sun, sea and 'ice-cream' colours. I love it!

I have now started another - the same design but entirely different colours which give a totally different effect. Bright rosettes, surrounded by natural cream wool and completed by a merino blend yarn in two shades of brown (rust). In my mind, this one is in autumn colours with many bright splashes of colour.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Once-spinning plates .....

..... are crashing to the floor all around me. My 'work schedule' is in total disarray as I come to the end of a hectic family summer. My son is about to return to university, and, although we still have several open days and university visits to go to with his sister, it should now be easier to set aside a reasonable amount of time to stitch.

I must return to embroidery and felting - stocks are low. I am planning some other items in the same style as this bag - pin cushion, needle case, purse ....

My stocks of bookmarks are also very low, so more like these will be on my list:

I have  very few needle cases like this:

Presently, zipped purses are only available in my garden design:

There are only one or two moorland items like this still available:

All in all, I need to be more disciplined. Replacing this stock will form the focus of my work. A few items based on re-purposing linens and other textiles will be fitted in. I have enjoyed making my crocheted blanket and I love the result. I have worked out how many squares I should aim to make in a day to allow me to complete one blanket per month, taking into the account the time needed for the border and finishing. Talking of the border, I think this simple scallop works really well:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Great Grandmother's Ring

I never met my Great Grandmother, who had, by all accounts, a strong personality. She had six sons and, desperate for a daughter, dressed the youngest in a girl's bonnet - until my Great Grandfather put his foot down! Despite this, she must have been proud of her family who all did well. Three of the brothers continued their father's business - the village bakery and general store - one training as a baker and confectioner, my grandfather running the grocery side and his youngest brother organising the delivery round. Sadly my grandfather died, at the age of 40, before I was born and his youngest brother also died early in adult life. Lawrence continued the business until his retirement. The other three brothers were a bank manager, personnel manger for the UK division of a large chemical company and a journalist for the Daily Mirror, who had one or two of his poems published in a collection of World War II poetry.

My mother and aunt referred to their Grandmother with some awe. I think she was a hard-working lady, who was used to getting things done and had something of a fiery temperament. She was small in stature, the men in the family were all very tall - but there was no doubt who was in charge of the household.

My Great Grandmother's engagement ring was handed down to my mother and I now have custody of it, before it passes on to my daughter. It was too small for my mother. Despite being taller than my Great Grandmother, and in spite of all the craftwork which my hands do, my ring size is small and it fits me perfectly! The last few weeks have been difficult, with a lot of issues in my immediate and wider family (not all of them easy or pleasurable to cope with). I love this ring and draw strength from the image of the lady who didn't let life's ups and downs get in her way - it is my constant companion at present.

I have crammed more into the last few weeks than I thought possible and, true to my Great Grandmother's spirit, have resolved that there will always be time for my work in and amongst everything else that life requires of me.

I thought I would show you a collection of items echoing the blue and gold of the ring. The first two are from my Etsy shop (all photos are 'clickable links'):


These lovely items are from the Craftyfolk Team leaders, in recognition of all their hard work on members' behalf.

Katie Bug Creations4U

If you would like to see other items from these shops and other Craftyfolk sellers click here .

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blankets and throws

This blanket is progressing nicely I think!

Since taking this photo, I have worked two rounds of the edging with one or two more to go. I like this pattern and my yarn stash should enable me to make one or two more in different colour ways. A day or two to go before this is listed though!

I have always loved all forms of patchwork, from 'paper-piecing' ( hexagons and beyond to more complex patterns) to machine stitched strip patchwork, with all sorts of other techniques in between. I have 'harvested' several sets of focal squares from the vintage linens which I have been collecting. I am hoping, by backing them with new fabric, to make them robust enough to feature in patchwork quilts, alternating with patchworked squares in pretty prints in coordinating colours and featuring some traditional patchwork block patterns.

Friday, 19 September 2014

I used to be a shirt ......

...... now I'm a very lovely trinket bowl - what do you think?

I'm very taken with this bowl - crocheted from recycled shirting with a lovely crocheted motif from a recycled, vintage tablecloth to neaten the centre. It would hold your favourite jewellery, your keys, a small project - perhaps lace crochet, tatting or similar, or if you can't find any practical excuse to have it, just display it for its own sake.

It has taken me a few hours to make, but has been a complete pleasure - not least because I have saved more textiles from landfill to such beautiful effect. It will be listed in one of my shops soon!

(Now listed here)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A New Basket

..... which will shortly be listed in my Etsy shop. The body of the basket is crocheted from strips of recycled fabric cut from two kids Tshirts (the base), one shirt (the cream stripes in the 'wall' of the basket) and a new fabric remnant, originally bought for fancy dress (the rust colour in the basket wall). The lining and handles are stitched from a new, pure cotton, light weight, furnishing fabric. A small circle of felt neatens the centre of the lining.

Pictured here with a current project of mine ( I use mine as work baskets), this basket has a diameter of about 32 cm and a depth of about 18 cm, and it could have a variety of uses.

The blanket pictured as work in progress will be completed and offered for sale too! Whilst trying to sleep last night, I was planning many other items, including trinket bowls for jewellery/keys etc, storage canisters with drawstring tops, larger bowls - possibly for fruit etc ............

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Reinvention, Recycling, Re-purposing ..........

I have so many textiles in my collection. At the end of our dining table is a blanket chest with my vintage linen collection (three more tablecloths expected early next week - Shh!!) - it won't fit anywhere else! I have three linen baskets of yarn (No - mis-counted - four linen baskets of yarn), shrunk in 'vac-pac' bags, in the conservatory and the cupboards above our wardrobe have more - as does one of the drawers under our bed. One tall shelving unit and two chests of drawers are full of new fabric. My craft room has four large boxes of hand-dyed fibers and my collection of yarn 'snippets' for felting. Textiles for recycling are freshly washed and then store in large vac-pac bags (T-shirts, fleece, denim, other) - some are under the sofa in the conservatory, others in my craft room. I love creating things for our home - often combining new materials with 're-incarnated' ones - but I have too many our own use. So I have decided to offer some items for sale.

The focus of my work will remain embroidery. Embroidered vintage linens and left-overs from other projects have featured in my work for some time.

I shall soon open a new shop section for non-embroidered items.

I am just finishing a work basket like these - the new one in cream and rust:

The re-decoration of our 'breakfast' room is almost complete- I hope it will make a good backdrop for photos on sunnier days. The remnants of wall paper on this photo have now vanished and the wall has been filled and sanded so many times I'm surprised that there's any plaster left! The crisp, very white finish we now have doesn't look right with the lovely pale yellow in this blanket, so I've been working on making it square-shaped. It  needs another few squares and a lovely border.I'm going to do a trial wash on a couple of sample squares today, and, if all goes well, this will also be listed as a small throw/lap blanket. 

I'll never be able to produce these items in large numbers but I hope I'll find enough customers to help me re-home my stash in this way. 

In order to have some consistency in 'branding' ( yuk!! that phrase doesn't sit well with the way I feel about my work - sounds too 'hard-faced' and commercial, although perhaps this is why my Paypal account doesn't overflow!!) I may try producing some hand-embroidered 'Lynwoodcrafts' labels for these items. What do you think?