Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Look what I got!

I got a wonderful parcel of goodies in the post yesterday. Melinda from Bonnie Babies offered to send me a whole load of buttons that she had, and I can't believe how cute they are! There are some really old ones from Woolworths, and others that could possibly date from the 50's or 60's. Here are some of my favourites, but there were many more.

I especially love the little ice cream cones and pencils, and I have so many ideas of how to use them. At the moment, I'm thinking that they would work really well as decoration on little hair slides, brooches or coin purses.

I haven't blogged for a while, mainly because I've found Crafter...oo! It's so addictive, and there are so many great links to tutorials and useful information. I've also been working on a purse that I test crocheted for someone on Ravelry, but I can't show a picture yet as the pattern hasn't been published. I should really go and knit some more of my dad's sweater now - only 1 1/2 sleeves to go *sigh*

Monday, 16 February 2009

More bags and buttons

I've spent the past few days working on a few more bag designs, and have managed to finish two. Here they are - the first one is a patchwork mini tote, large enough to hold a student's A4 papers, or a knitting pattern, needles and wool. It's entirely hand-stitched, and lined in cotton. The fabrics are vintage cottons, and it's finished with four marbled buttons.

Here are a couple of detailed pictures, one of the button and one of the lining.

The other bag was felted from a mohair and wool scarf, originally hand woven in Scotland. It's decorated with sequins and buttons, and lined with purple cloth. The handle is an old beaded necklace.

I found some lovely buttons in a charity shop today, and here are some close-ups of the most interesting ones. I paid a pound and got a handful of buttons - bargain!

I also made some labels for my designs with my husband's help, using a tutorial from Laurraine at Patchwork Pottery. They're so easy to make, and I highly recommend it as a tutorial. I used 1" wide cotton tape, and it worked really well.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

My first bag designs!

Following my charity shop excursion the other day, I spent a quiet evening felting away. The scarf that I bought felted beautifully, and I made two bags from it. There were lots of purple trimmings in my sewing box, so I added blanket stitched edgings in sparkly purple, and some buttons shaped like flowers. The finished designs were going to go on my new Folksy shop, but my mum snapped up the handbag as soon as she saw it! Here is the handbag with a pendant chain handle -

and some shots of the inside and details.

This is the second bag -

and a close up, plus a shot of the tag I made.

I went round the charity shops again today, and found a huge pile of 100% wool mens' sweaters. I bought and felted one in burgundy red, and plan to make a tote bag out of it. The lining will be a paisley silk scarf in burgundy, cream and green. Other finds included a dusky pink suede skirt, perfect for a posh handbag, and a pink silk scarf with butterflies on. I also felted another mohair and wool scarf to make bags, and did some sketches for a patchwork bag with bits of fabric I had in the loft.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tidying the stash

I had an hour to myself today, so went for a wee stroll round the charity shops in the town. I've been needing a new sewing box for ages, and was pleased to find an old filing box for £1, and a nice glass screw-top jar for 99p. I also picked up a pink woven woollen scarf and a piece of purple material, which I'm going to make purses with - only £2.48 for the pair.

Finlay "helped" me to sort out my sewing things, which was an interesting experience! Here are my buttons all together -

and here are some close ups of the most interesting ones.

I love sorting through my stash - I always find things that I forgot I had, and get lots of inspiration. I found some buttons that will look good on the pink purses I'll be making, and I have started to felt the scarf in the washing machine. I also discovered lots of ribbons, laces and sequins, which looked pretty all together.

Progress on my Dad's jumper is going well too - I've finished the back and have cast on the front.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

There aren't enough hours in the day!

I could really do with 24 hours of productive time, and then 12 hours to sleep - there are so many projects that I want to do and ideas that I have, and not enough time to do them in!

This week has been really busy. First of all I finished the sweater I was making for my mum, in Idena Cotton Sport. The yarn knitted up really nicely, very soft and smooth, and it means I have a bit more space in my loft.

Then I decided to clear out the loft and organise my stash. I have a terrible habit of being unable to resist wool from charity shops, so I have a very haphazard collection in various cardboard packing boxes. Unfortunately the roof had leaked and one box of fabric had begun to get mouldy, so I transferred as much as possible into plastic stacking boxes. In the process I found all kinds of fabric, embroidery kits, wool, and other things that I'd forgotten I had. I have lots of ideas for patchwork bags using the fabric I found, so I will need to sketch some designs. I also found a felt alphabet book that I started making when I was about 16 - it's still only half done! Oh well, it might just be ready for baby number two!

I also found some blue yarn that I'm going to use to make a sweater for my dad. I've had the pattern for ages, but now I've found the perfect yarn. It's a charity shop find, but I think it's mostly wool as it's very soft and warm. Here's the pattern that I'm using. I've knitted almost up to the back armholes in three days - not bad going so far!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Snow and scrummy yarn

It's been snowing here all week, on and off - it's so much fun! We had a snowball fight at work, and F enjoyed playing out in the garden.

I also test knitted another hat for Erssie Major, the Biggie Rib Super Bulky Slouch Beanie. I had some King Cole Magnum Chunky in my stash in a sort of purple and green multi shade, and it knitted up perfectly. It's a really easy pattern to make, just K1 P1 rib and some simple shaping, but the finished product looks very effective. The yarn is mostly acrylic with some wool in it, very light but also warm and squishy. I'll be wearing it out in the snow to keep warm!

I'm nearly finished working on the cotton sweater I'm making for my mum - only the collar to do now. It's knitting up nicely in Idena Cotton Sport which I had in my stash, and feels very smooth. I also bought some Hayfield Bonus DK to make a sweater dress for my sister - all in black though, which I HATE knitting with!