New craft stash additions

I’m now back from holidays, and thought I would share some new goodies which I found while I was away.  I went to a lovely little shop which has been around literally forever (since 1913 anyway), called the Bon Marche.  It is a proper, old fashioned haberdasher and fabric shop, and they randomly keep budgies and parrots at the back.

I spent a while wandering round to find some wool to make a crochet diary cover for my sister, to cover her boring work diary.  She asked for turquoise, pink and sparkly, and while I couldn’t find that exactly, I found some turquoise, purple and sparkly which she is pretty happy with.  And it was only £1.70 for a massive ball!  I’m part way through this project, so when it is done, I’ll post a little tutorial.sparkly wool cocojudeI got some cute Scottie dog fabric from there, which I will be using with some other blues from my stash, to make another mini quilt. scottie dog fabric cocojudeI also had a quick hunt around the local charity shops, and picked up a very funky, 70s yellow floral double sheet for £1.50! yellow retro fabric cocojudeI’m not entirely sure what I’ll be using it for yet, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for it somewhere along the line.  I love fabric like this, it is very happy!


A Moral Tale

(from Stitchcraft magazine, 1941):  keep calm and carry yarn

Be warned by Miss Susannah Bleech,
Who wanted wool for undies – peach –
When all her woolshop could supply
Was in the palest shade of sky.
‘But How provoking!’ Susie cried
And stamped, ‘I’ve tried and double tried;
After the pains I’ve been and gone to
You’d better get peach ordered – pronto!’

‘Pray don’t upbraid me in this fashion,’
Replied the man, ‘I’ve had my ration,
And now I do not think it’s fair
To try and get an extra share,
Small special orders grieve the souls
Of Paper, String, and Wool Controls;
To enemies you give a hostage
When you incur unneeded postage.
Forget the peach and take the sky
To do your bit for Victory.
Besides, who really cares – do you? –
Whether your vests are peach or blue?’
* * * *
The shopman paused – he’d won the day;
‘I’ve been a chump,’ blushed Sue, ‘O.K.’

Thanks to my friend Beth for this brilliant little poem and Fiona Thornton for the great picture!

Spotlight on Milana Felt Designs

Today’s spotlight is on Milana – the most amazing felted goodies I’ve seen!  I can’t begin to imagine how long it takes to create something like Elsa’s stole (2nd picture down), but it really is a piece of art.

What is your name, how long have you been crafting and what is your main craft?

Hi. My name is Elsa and I’m a woolaholic. I’ve been a felter for 5 years now.  I’m originally from Mallorca but have been in the UK for many years.  Yes, my life in the UK is very different but one thing Cumbria, where I’m based now, has in common with my island home is not the weather, but sheep! felt pebble necklaceI’ve loved working with wool from a young age and always had a crochet project on the go until I discovered felting. The creative and tactile process of turning a heap of random fibres into such a beautiful, and functional material is something I feel everyone should experience.

What is your favourite item which you make and why do you like making it?

Because I enjoy variety in my making, I find working with felt the ideal medium.  My favourite use of felt is to create one-of-a-kind wearable pieces such as delicate wraps and funky stoles.  vintage style stoleI usually start with either a piece of fabric (for nuno felt) or a specific colour in mind and let that dictate the finished project.  Ideas evolve during the creating process and so it’s always exciting to see the finished results.

Do you have any tips for budding sellers / crafters?

It can be hard work being a maker.  You have to adapt and become many things including creative director, stock controller, administrator, web designer, marketing manager, photographer, copywriter, etc.  But two things I’ve learnt as a newbie are:-

1. Not to try and do too much too soon. It’s ok to build things up slowly and get things right rather than rushing in and regretting it.

2. Online shops, bricks and mortar shops and market stalls can create different business and creative opportunities. In time, they’re all definitely worth exploring. ladybird and pebble felted soaps

Good luck to all makers in their current and future ventures!

Where to find Elsa




Tshirt yarn is amazing!

I have been wanting to make tshirt yarn for ages, and following a clear out of the wardrobes yesterday, I had a go.  For the uninitiated, tshirt yarn is basically jersey fabric cut out into long strips about 1 inch wide.  It doesn’t matter if you’re cutting ability is shocking (like mine) as you just need to pull the strips and they sort of curl over on themselves and make a nice chunky yarn.tshirt yarn

I used this tutorial from Gracious Rain to make my yarn, along with lots of old tshirts and vest tops which have seen better days. tshirt yarn crochetThis is my work in progress, I’m using the largest crochet hook which I can find (8mm) so it is quite tight.  I’m also ruining my nails as it is quite hard work to pull the stitches through!  I’m making a bag, and will post a picture of the whole thing once it is done.  Depending how it turns out, you may also get a tutorial and pattern out of me 🙂

Crochet block of the day – is actually a crochet heart!

This crochet heart is the product of me seeing something on Pinterest which caught my attention, and then inspired me to do something completely different.  crochet heartMy little crochet heart was made using some leftover variegated wool which I had in my stash, and I used the very, very good instructions from Bella Dia.  It only took about half an hour to make (including faff time).  I have a few different plans up my sleeve around what to do with these hearts, so will keep you posted!

I’m also excited to have found an interesting looking sewing workshop which I will be signing up to in the near future, as part of my New Year resolution quest.  I’m hoping to do a few drop in sessions at MIY workshop to make a simple dress, and would love to do the stretch knit workshop.  Unfortunately, the one coming up is full but another session is planned for later in the year.


Crochet block of the day – stripes!

I finally managed to pick up my lovely navy blue wool this week, so I started on the first stripy block.  This one is all UK double crochet (block number 105 in the book I’m using, but with less colours).  stripe crochet blockI have been combing Pinterest for ideas and so far have seen nothing like what I want to do – I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing!