Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Winter Colour

We grew up near a beach which means we NEVER go in the summer.  That's when it's baking hot, there's not a scrap of shade or relief from the incessant sun, all the colour is bleached out of everything by the blinding sunlight and it's rammed with lobster-pink packs of people all claiming a tiny patch of pebbles as their own.  No, we go in the winter.  In the winter when the subtle shades of pale blue and grey of the sea and sky blend into each other, when the cloud and mist comes down and cuddles you, so all you hear is the crash of the waves as you comb through pebbles, shells and curious bits of creature.  And, there's no-one else there, it's just you, the beasts and the sea.

So last weekend, wrapped in scarves, hats and coats we packed up and hauled out to the beach.  It was gorgeous, and this time, instead of pocketing all the pebbles and scraps that we found, to fill the house with an unsettling fishy smell in a few days time, I just took photos.  The colour palette of everything that we found is going to be a fantastic inspiration for some makes at a later date.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Pom pom addiciton

I have this thing about 'integrity of making' (which is as meaningless as it sounds, or at least I don't know exactly what I mean when I say it, but kind of have a feeling about what it's SUPPOSED to mean), and I have made many, many pompoms over the last few years using the traditional method of 2 circles of card with a hole int he middle.  I've gone through the faff of making mini-balls of yarn that will fit through the central hole, I've experimented making the hole big enough for a ball of wool (nope, didn't work), I've used chair backs to make MASSIVE pompoms which was a Herculean effort. 

Now, I saw Her Royal Highness Kirsty Allsop using a pompom maker on a tv show ages ago, and I sneered.  I turned my disgusted nose up and wittered on about 'plastic contraptions' and 'what's wrong with a bit of cardboard?' and diligently spent many more months resentfully fudging half unwound balls of wool through cardboard hoops, but feeling like a craft puritan.

Last week I entered my first Hobbycraft (don't ask, that's another post) and Mr.Steel&Stitch said "have you seen this?", plonking a couple of pompom makers in my hand before running off to catch a child before he took down the store.  I stared at them for a LONG time before putting them in my basket, but come home with us they did.

OH MY G.O.S.H!  They are AWESOME (a whole world of Lego Movie references right there).  Big beast and I literally spent 3 hours making pompoms in our pajamas on sunday morning- quite honestly the single best morning of my entire life.  I later collected twin and her beasts and then they spent 3 hours making pompoms.  It's so easy!  It's so quick!  You can do 6 strands at once!  Any mix of colours, 4 different sizes, a design so simple a 6 year old can do it!  We are going to have a very pompom themed Christams this year...

All craft puritans, give yourself a break and purchase some IMMEDIATELY.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Arm Crochet

We've all seen arm knitting - it's brought supersize wool wear into the craft spot light.  I even accosted a poor girl in the street yesterday to accuse her of arm knitting her scarf using Cygnet Seriuosly Chunky (guilty on both counts), and it clicked as to how easy it would be with crochet too.

It's easy - but you only use the hand to hold your stitches on as you work, not the full arm.  I need to set up some sort of filming thing so I can post a proper tutorial, but for now, here's the outcome, I feel another infinity scarf coming on...

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Crochet Halloween

Finally, Halloween arrived!  This was our first Halloween in our new house and it was amazing.  There were swathes of little monsters, witches and ghosties roaming from door to door, our little beasts got the idea VERY quickly and ended the evening with, literally, buckets of sweets.

The big beast got up at 5am in his excitement, and we'd watched 'Nightmare Before Christmas' by 6.30am.  We spent the day carving pumpkins, collecting leaves and autumnal things from the park and dressing the house.  It all got a bit Martha Stewart, but looked amazing.  

The candy skull crochet wig worked out amazingly, and the floral headdress is still one of my favourite makes ever.  Seeing how much effort all the people near us made, getting dressed up was the least we could do!

Inkeeping with the candy skull theme, I worked my socks off to get a candy skull rug ready in time, getting up at 4am but when you get a picture in your head if what you want to make it's hard to let go until it's done.  This is 1/2km of yarn and 10 hours work, my back and knees were ruined from crawling round the floor, but it's so freaking cool it was worth every second.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Half term carnage

So we're 4 days in to the half term, the littlest beast allegedly has chicken pox (although I've never seen them like this before), so he's full of beans but forbidden from playing with anyone.  I'm crocheting like a lunatic to meet a deadline, the house looks like we've been burgaled, and the big beast has been incessantly peeping about getting Halloween things ready all day.  To placate him, give us an indoor activity, and satiate the small beasts addiction with smarties we've baked smartie muffins, iced with Nutella.  I'm sure the truck or treaters will be thrilled tomorrow if they make it that far!

I think I feel an Early Boys Bedtime coming on, and then a 'world of interiors' and a yogi tea?  Don't mind if I do.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

S-s-s-super crochet!

As I sit watching my roast potatoes turn a golden brown in the oven (true story) I thought I'd share with you a couple of the supersize makes that have come forth so far.

A lot of these makes are requested by my evil twin (another true story), so the crochet bike saddle and handle bar warmers are for her, but I've been using them, just to test them you understand, and will definitely be making some for myself.  The 'string bag' was  an experiment, but such a success I shall be making more - one of these tucked in my bag will be perfect for forgotten groceries.

All made with a 25mm hook and off the shelf chunky yarns (cygnet and Zpagetti in this case), and they work up really quick which is fantastic.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Stitched Corner Shop

Just walking around my home town of Brighton today and this little gallery caught my eye.  I nearly just walked on by, there are plenty of little galleries all over Brighton, but something tugged at my curiosity, and after doubling back to see what it was, THIS is what was in there!

Pictures can't convey the bonkers amount of work that Lucy Sparrow (the artist) has clearly put into this, it's literally mind boggling.  Every bit of this corner shop including the magazines, posters and till have been hand sewn and made of felt.  It's completely extraordinary and will only be there until October 27th, so if your're in Brighton go and see it at the no walls gallery on Church Street and be amazed.