Sunday, 29 April 2012

Craft your perfect day - 3KCBWWC 3KCBWDAY7

A perfect day of crafting, for me, would be something more general than just knitting and crochet but spent with my knitting group from work and any other like-minded craftspeople who cared to join us.

The day would be spent in in a puprose-built large wooden conservatory-type studio with stained glass windows and lots of skylights. Outside, a beautiful lake, or maybe a forest, or the beach. There would be a 2 Michelin star cafe (with the world's best Earl Grey tea) and bar area.

People would be free to come and go as they pleased throughout the day and there would be........
  • access to unlimited beautiful yarns, beads and fabrics
  • a whole wall of shelves containing reference material/reading with comfy chairs and sofas in which to relax, chat and try various crafts
  • felting and spinning demonstrations
  • lit display cabinets with gorgeous finished items for sale
  • inspiring images on the walls
  • video instruction/demonstration rooms - how to develop and adapt your ideas in knitting and crochet
  • a yarnbombing workshop
  • an option for music and inspirational lighting in the different rooms
  • the use of drawing and painting materials as well as photographic equipment with the digital means of manipulating images
  • e-Learning courses for a whole selection of various crafts, accessible online when you get back home.

I don't think that I would actually get very much done because I would be so busy drooling over yarn, beads, fabric, finished items for sale and reference books, as well as doing my best to sit in on most of the demonstrations. The Earl Grey would most definitely have to be checked out too.

If I ever dream about this place, I will let you know what it's like!!! :)

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This has been an excellent first Knitting and Crochet Blog Week for me and I have really enjoyed the days that in which I have been able to participate and the new blogs I have read - there's a lot of interesting and excellent work out there. 

Many thanks to Eskimimi Makes for all the organisation!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Improving your skillset - 3KCBWDAY6

Although I have knitted and crocheted on and off since the age of 10, it is only in recent years that I have seriously tried to get to grips with it, making an effort to understand the various stitches and patterns to find out how it all works and see just what can be achieved when you know how. My Mum liked to handknit when she got the chance but had a knitting machine too on which she produced all sort of jumpers, socks and tea cosies. I didn't really do much knitting with her but we used to sew, paint, draw and write poetry together. My paternal grandmother, who was a member of the Townswomen's Guild for many years, was an excellent seamstress who made most of my dresses when I was younger as well as lots of soft toys. She was also the person who first taught me to crochet.

A couple of years ago we started a Stitch & Bitch in group in work during Tuesday lunchtimes (7 of us) and the information that is shared is worth more than it's weight in gold (or yarn!). Our skills and experience range from zero to those who have been involved with knitting/crochet for more than 30 years and everyone is willing to contribute what they know. As well as everyone's individual projects we have produced enough knitted/crocheted squares between us to make a decent sized blanket and I will be blogging about this at a later date to show how it has come together (I have the honour of crocheting together the stitched-together strips).

A lot of the squares were inspired by a desk calendar owned by one of the group. It contains a different stitch/pattern for each day of the year, made up as a square, and was therefore ideal for something like this....and someone like me!

Another member of our group (who is more of a knitter) gave me a fabulous book from the 80s called 'The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches' which I have read cover to cover but haven't had the opportunity to use yet. It has an excellent section in the back on  Tunisian Crochet which is something I would really like to try.

It uses a different type of hook which is either double-ended or looks more like a knitting needle with a hooked end! The stitches stay on the hook itself and the outcome is something that looks like a cross between knitting and crochet.

The rest of the book contains lots of other interesting 'ordinary' crochet stitches with diagrams as well as written instructions so that you have the best of both worlds really. I have plans for all of the following.

As for making a list of some skills I would like to try? Well, this would include, in no particular order........
  • Knitted 'realistic' animals  Dogs Cats
  • Gloves (fingerless to start with)
  • Socks (which I always fear will come out different sizes!!)
  • Knitting or crocheting a whole garment for myself
  • Learning to spin (I recently bought a drop spindle and some wool batts)
  • A wall hanging with lots of additional texture, beads and sparkly bits
  • Knitting using circular needles
  • Crocheted spirals and baubles

  • Really chunky crochet with a big yarn and a big hook

Fortunately, the spirals, bauble and chunky crochet are patterns in this book.... they have more of a chance of being of being achieved in the near(ish) future.

Making a deadline for any or all of these? Hopefully by the end of the year, but we will have to see!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Something a bit different - 3KCBWDAY5

An A-Z of Crafts, Tea & Cake!

This is a kind of 'lucky-dip' really.

The subjects of either 'crafts', 'tea' or 'cake' have been randomly allocated within the alphabet below (x and z were tricky!!!) so that you can't guess what you will get. There are so many sites online within each subject and this made it difficult to choose, but in the end I selected links that gave lots of information and good pictures/diagrams so that you can get the know-how to actually try the 'craft', learn about the 'tea' or make the 'cake' etc.

Also, re my 'Colour' post on Monday, I have created the alphabet buttons in pastel shades as these are not the types of colour I would normally work with.

So, have fun!.......and learn something too hopefully!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Photography challenge - 3KCBWDAY2

Lionel Bear and The Great Porridge Theft!

Lionel loves his porridge. It is the highlight of his day.

He has a problem though. The porridge is always really hot when it's made, but if he leaves it to cool there is never anything left when he comes back and he can never work out why! This makes Lionel very cross and grumpy. Sometimes he even cries, so today he is guarding his ingredients very carefully!

With everything in the pan, Lionel stirs it very slowly making sure that it doesn't burn and, more importantly, doesn't disappear.

Sometimes he is a little too over-enthusiastic and actually tries to climb into the pan!!!!

When the porridge is ready he pours it into a bowl and sits waiting for it to cool whilst remaining resolutely on guard.

Then Lionel is joined by his friend Syd.

'Ooh!' says Syd, licking his lips, 'did I just hear the doorbell?'
'I'm not sure', says Lionel. 'I'll just go and see.'....and off he goes out of the room........

....leaving the porridge dangerously unguarded, and at the mercy of.....

.........(Dah-dah-DAH!!!)........The Great Porridge Thief!

When Lionel returns (and there was no-one at the door!!)......

......he discovers that once again, his porridge has ALL GONE!!!

Oh no!!! What a disaster! No porridge! Lionel is distraught!...

......but then he remembers that he can always make some more.....

......and remains blissfully unaware of the identity of The Great Porridge Thief!!!