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!

Sunday 9 October 2016

UK Handmade Showcase

I'm delighted that two of my necklaces have been featured in the UK Handmade Autumn Showcase, which features handmade and unique items made by designers and makers across the UK. Take a look at the pieces and find out more about the work of those featured in the Showcase here- so many lovely things!

Wednesday 5 October 2016

On Instagram In September

 Happy October! I hope you had a great September. It's remained beautifully sunny and bright (for the most part) throughout the month here in this little corner of the UK, but the mornings and evenings have been noticeably darker and chillier, with the onset of Autumn creeping in.

 It's been a busy month, here's a look at what I got up to through my Instagram photos. It's always fun to look back on the month, but if you'd like to keep up with what I'm up to as it happens, you can follow me here. I'd love to follow you back too! Here's to a fab October all,

One of my favourite shops in my hometown- the florists- looks and smells amazing!

Visiting a local garden that was open for charity on a sunny and hot afternoon. September certainly had that Indian Summer feeling!

Still hot enough for an ice cream treat in the garden!

I treated myself to a "Knit" scrabble tile phrase necklace from the lovely Claire, aka Claireabellemakes. I absolutely love it!

I've been making lots of new work this month and I've added new colours to my range of Harris Tweed mini embroidery hoop necklaces

A selection of my knitted and Harris Tweed button brooches and mini embroidery hoop necklaces are now available to buy from The Minories Gallery in Colchester. Thanks to the team at The Minories!

Working on necklace orders

New colours sneak peek!

Working on some new colour ways in my hand knitted Fair Isle necklace range

Button brooch close up!

Coming soon to my Etsy shop are these Swarovski Crystal, freshwater pearl and upcycled bead triangle necklaces. Watch this space!

Tartan and leather bookmark on its way to its new home!

The latter part of the month saw some more grey and Autumnal weather, but that didn't spoil the amazing views across London on our trip to the Sky Garden

As usual, Nelson has had a chilled out month!

He's too cute!