Tuesday 13 December 2016

Upcycled Fabric Christmas Gift Tags How To

I don't know about you, but at this time of year I love being surrounded by wrapping paper and ribbons and glitter and sticky tape, watching a Christmas film as I wrap Christmas presents! I like to give my gift wrapped packages a personal touch by adding handmade gift tags. Today I'm sharing my really simple and thrifty How To for fabric scrap gift tags...

1) You will need

Fabric scraps (I used felt, tweed and tartan), gift tags, scraps of ribbon, scissors, double sided tape (not pictured)

2) Cut small squares of fabric for your "presents." You could make a template if you want to, but I cut mine freehand. Add double sided tape to the back of each square and stick onto the bottom of each of your gift tags

3) Cut pieces of ribbon to decorate your fabric present and attach using double sided tape. You can make each tag unique by using different fabrics and differing pieces of ribbon to dress your present design

4) Tie a little bow in contrasting ribbon to decorate the top of each present. Attach using double sided tape

That's all there is to it and you'll soon have a lovely set of unique gift tags... Happy making!

You could also use the fabric present idea to make your own Christmas cards

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas!

Monday 12 December 2016

DIY Christmas Jumper How To

It's Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 16th December so I thought I'd re-share the How To for my DIY Christmas jumper! It's really simple to make using buttons and trimmings that you may already have in your sewing box and it gives a festive new lease of life to an old jumper. Find the how to here - if you make one, do share your photos in the comments, I'd love to see!

Happy making!

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Sirdar Gorgeous Ultra Super Chunky Yarn- A Review

I love the current trend for mega chunky knits knitted on huge needles- I've been admiring all the lovely cosy pieces that are popping up on Instagram- so I was really excited when Sirdar yarns introduced their latest product!

 Gorgeous is an ultra super chunky (think 20mm needles) yarn, in a 51% wool, 49% acrylic mix. It comes in 6 lovely colours and is so very soft! There are a range of patterns to go with the yarn, including cushions, blankets and even rugs, but as a bonus, there is also a free snood pattern on the ball band. 

By day I work in an art and craft shop in the wool section (both brilliant and dangerous for a craft addict!) and when the Gorgeous arrived I couldn't wait to try it. I picked out this beautiful bright pink shade and set to work knitting the snood.

As you can imagine, the project grew very quickly and I was able to make the snood in an evening. The pattern only requires one hank of yarn so these would make great Christmas presents!

Gorgeous would be a perfect yarn for beginners to use- the patterns are simple and due to it's very chunky nature it's easy to handle, but it also has the wow factor to appeal to more experienced knitters. I thoroughly enjoyed using it and I'd like to make a blanket in it next. The Winter is suddenly looking very cosy!

You certainly won't get cold wearing one of these!

If you'd like to read more about Sirdar Yarns, check out their website here. Gorgeous is available in all good yarn shops, including my friendly local yarn shop, where you can also order online here.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Bust Christmas Craftacular London

I'm so excited to be taking part in the Bust Christmas Craftacular in London, this Sunday 27th November. Find me there with around 70 other Designer/Makers and a fab line up of crafty workshops, live music and a pop up cafe and bar. The Fair is taking place in the great venue that is York Hall in Bethnall Green and you're sure to find lots of Christmas gift ideas, as well as treats for yourself. 

 Find out more about Craftacular here. I would love to meet you there, pop by and say hi if you're planning a visit!

Sunday 20 November 2016

Renegade Craft Fair London

It's certainly been a mega month! I've been really busy making, so I just wanted to show you some pics of what I've been up to...

 A couple of weekends ago I had a stand at the fab Renegade Craft Fair at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London. I really love Renegade because there's always such a friendly atmosphere among the diverse selection of makers that take part in the fair. I worked really hard in the lead up, making lots of new pieces.

I'm really chuffed with my new table name banner from AllHerGlory  The glittery packaging really made me smile too when the parcel came through the door!

I didn't get much chance to take many photos over the weekend, but I'm really grateful to everyone who stopped by to say hi. It was lovely to chat to so many people and it literally made my year to hear people say they had sought out my stand at the fair and to meet people who follow me on social media. Hi to everyone who stopped by to say hi! *Waves*

My Harris Tweed mini embroidery hoop necklaces had their craft fair debut at Renegade and I'm pleased that they were well received. I got some new colours of Harris Tweed offcuts to use, but the mustard is still my personal favourite!

I also made many new Shetland wool Fair Isle necklaces for the fair. I love knitting these

If you didn't make it to Renegade, I'll be taking part in the Bust Christmas Craftacular in London on Sunday 27th November. I'll be sharing more new makes and looking forward to meeting more of you there!

Thursday 17 November 2016

Louise Dawson Design In Homemaker Magazine

I'm really excited to share with you that my work is featured in the latest issue of Homemaker Magazine! The article is all about the journey from when I started crafting as a child, through to the inspiration for my work today, plus insights into what's in store for Louise Dawson Design jewellery. I love the magazine so I was so chuffed to have my work featured. Thank you to all at Homemaker Magazine!

Wednesday 19 October 2016

New Harris Tweed Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklaces

Just dropping by today to let you know that I've just added three new Harris Tweed mini embroidery hoop necklaces to my Etsy Shop! There's a lovely navy blue, sea green and bright pink and each piece is embellished with upcycled fabric pieces. They would make an ideal gift as they come with a beautifully hand decorated gift box, but would also make a great treat for yourself! I've got a navy blue one and it's my favourite accessory at the moment- they are very versatile and can be worn dressed up or down. Also available in mustard and burgundy Harris Tweed, take a look at them in my Etsy Shop and let me know what you think! I can even make you one as a custom order if you'd like one in a particular colour, just drop me a custom order request on Etsy. 

Have a lovely day all!

Sunday 16 October 2016

Renegade Craft Fair London 2016

I'm delighted to be taking part in the Renegade Craft Fair at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, London on 5th and 6th November. I'm busy getting ready for the fair- lots and lots of making going on here at the moment! I'm working on some new pieces (sneak peeks coming soon!) as well as new colours in my existing collections. I would love to meet you there, come and say hi and have a chat! There are some great makers taking part so it'll be an ideal place to start your Christmas shopping. Follow me on Instagram for updates on what I'm making in the lead up to the fair

Some #wip for the fair!

Wednesday 12 October 2016

How To... Three Knitted Pumpkin Patterns

October is here, meaning it's officially pumpkin season! I thought it would be fun to get into the spirit and make some Autumnal themed decorations, so I set to work with my needles and came up with three knitted pumpkin designs. I used less than 25g of leftover double knit yarn to make the three pumpkins, so they are a great thrifty make and they make lovely stand alone decorations on a mantle piece or as part of an Autumn wreath. Happy Autumn and happy making!

A note on the pumpkin sizes...

The small pumpkin measures approx 2.5cm high, 4cm circumference,36sts x 10 rows
The medium rib pumpkin measures approx 3.5cm high, 7cm circumference, 36stitches x 15 rows
The large stocking stitch pumpkin measures approx 4.5cm high, 9.5cm circumfernce, 36stitches x 20 rows

I used 3.25mm needles and double knit yarn. I haven't specified a tension, so your pumpkins may come up slightly larger or smaller than mine, but they will still be very cute! The most important thing is that the stuffing can't be seen through the knit when you stuff the pumpkins- if you think it's looking a bit loose, go down a needle size

1) You will need

Approx 25g double knitting yarn (I used Stylecraft Special DK in shade 1711 Spice), Small amount of green double knitting yarn (I used some from my stash), Small amount of toy stuffing, knitter's sewing up needle, Scissors,  Pair of 3.25mm knitting needles

2) To make the large (I say large, but it's pretty small really!) stocking stitch pumpkin, cast on 36 stitches and work in stocking stitch (Row 1= knit, Row 2= purl) for 20 rows. Do not cast off

3) Allowing a 30cm tail (for sewing up), thread your working yarn onto the sewing up needle and thread through all of the stitches on the needle. You can remove the stitches from the needle if you prefer, but I find it easier to do this when the stitches are held on the needle

4) When all the stitches have been threaded, remove the stitches from the needle and gather up tightly, as if you were making a hat

5) Fasten off securely, keeping the needle and yarn still attached. With right side facing, sew down the side seam of the pumpkin using mattress stitch. Alternatively, if you prefer, you could turn the piece inside out and stitch the side seam with a running stitch

6) Once the side seam is sewn up, with the needle and yarn still attached, sew a running stitch all the way around the inside bottom edge of the pumpkin. Pull the yarn to draw together slightly

7) Use toy stuffing to firmly stuff the pumpkin

8) Once the pumpkin is completely stuffed and you're happy with its shape, draw the thread up tightly to gather the top and fasten off securely

 9) Now to knit the stalk! The stalk is basically a knitted i-cord, which is most commonly knitted using double pointed needles (DPNS) . To knit the stalk in this way using DPNS, first cast on 5 stitches using the green DK yarn. Knit 1 row. Slide the work along to the other end of the needle and knit the next row. The working yarn will be on the left side of the work, but draw it across the back of the work and use it as normal. Knit 5 rows in this way, then cast off.

However, if you don't have DPNS, it is possible to knit an i-cord on single pointed needles. Here's how...

Cast on 5 stitches

Knit 1 row

Slide the stitches from the right needle onto the left needle

* The working yarn will be to the left side of the work. Simply draw the yarn to the right across the back of the work. Continue working in the way described above until the i-cord measures the desired length

* Fasten off the top piece of yarn and weave in the end. Leave a long piece of yarn attached to the bottom of the i-cord, to use to sew onto the pumpkin

The i-cord I used for the stalks on my pumpkins was 5 stitches wide by 5 rows long, but you could adjust the size accordingly, just keeping checking the length of the knitted stalk against the pumpkins as you knit

10) Sew the stalk onto the centre top of the pumpkin

So that was the pattern for a basic pumpkin, but you could also try a couple of variation!

Create a "rustic pumpkin" by knitting the basic stocking stitch pumpkin to your desired size and then stuffing it. Instead of fastening off the yarn once you have drawn up the bottom of the pumkin securely, instead, thread the yarn tail onto a needle and draw the yarn up directly through thecentre of the pumpkin and pull the thread through the top.

* Follow the lines of stitches and draw the yarn once again through the bottom of the pumpkin and out through the top, to create an authentic textured pumpkin effect! Fasten the yarn securely on the underside once you have achieved the desired effect. Sew on the stalk

* To create a ribbed pumpkin, cast on 36 stitches in orange double knit and work 15 rows in 2x2 rib (Row 1= knit2, purl 2, Row 2= purl2, knit 2). Finish as for the stocking stitch pumpkin

That's really all there is to it to make some simple but effective Autumnal decorations. If you knit some pumpkins, please share your photos in the comments! Enjoy!