crochet · Etsy · Shopping · vintage · vintage hair

Snood of the week – Fancy green cotton

A new snood, in infancy.

Today I’m going to finish this snood, I’m making a small one as a custom order for a customer and while she’s said she’s in no rush for it I’d rather get it done than have the poor thing hanging around half done and it’s pretty so I want to finish it. I call this one Fancy Green Snood because its fancy on two levels, the pattern is fancy and the cotton is pretty fancy too. I am resisting calling it Spring Greens (which is the name for it in my head).

I have started this snood and restarted it a few times now, it’s one of those stitches that you have to gauge by eye as you do it and a couple of times now I’ve taken a step back from it and seen a stitch in a row 2-3 rows back that I’m not happy with so I unravel it and do it again. If charged for my snoods by an hourly rate some of them would be in three figures. Still though, if its not right its not right and I have to redo it.

I only have this one ball of this mercerised cotton, I have no idea at all where I bought it so the chances are this is going to be a very limited colourway. Mind you, green is one of my favourite colours so if I do ever see some more of this I’d buy it but that kind of depends on being allowed to go to out to shops that are allowed to open…

That first picture was taken a good week ago, I know that because I’ve finished reading that book and nearly finished another since then. Here’s how it looks right now.

Looks a bit darker than in real life but you get the gist.

I only have the edging to do, a bit of sewing and then Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt, we’re all tickety-boo and away she goes.

I do have one more of these in stock in my Etsy shop, its a large one. I think I have enough of this colour to make a medium and a small to complete the set but we’ll have to see how that goes as I make them. The pictures below are of the large size, I put a cream ribbon on this one because there is quite a lot of cream in this yarn and also variegated green is much harder to match to a ribbon!

crafting · crochet · Knitting

Today I’m Making… alpaca jumper, a scarf and some hearts

img_3142In my usual way, I start at the bottom left and work my way around clockwise. So, here’s what we are looking at in this picture:
  1. An alpaca sweater
  2.  Placemarker for things I have to do today
  3. Placemarker for my embroidery coursework
  4. A reminder to write this blog
  5. Crochet heart bunting
  6. Fisherman’s rib scarf

That’s a cup of black coffee in my ‘I’d rather be knitting’ mug.  I used to have that mug at work but then they banned individuality so I had to bring it home where I’m always knitting so it makes no sense here.  

 

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A  couple of weeks ago me and The Mister went to Pennybridge Farm for one of their two hour alpaca experience days.  It was without a doubt one of the nicest days out we have ever had.  The people so obviously care deeply for the alpacas and love what they’re doing.  I never knew alpacas would be such gentle and friendly animals. We both fell a bit in love with them.  I’d really like to go back and do it again next year. I’ll pop a picture below of the gorgeous yearling that we got to walk and feed.

They have a great little gift shop, and in that gift shop they sell huge bags of fleece for spinners but they also get the fleece spun into yarn to sell in the shop.  It was pretty reasonable too at £14 a skein.  They had a deal – 5 skeins for £60 so I snapped that right up in this gorgeous light biscuit tone.  Its funny because it doesn’t feel like anything much in the skein but once you start knitting with it, it is the softest most beautiful yarn.  I would quite happily knit with nothing but this forever more, its that nice.  Really.

I offered to make The Mister a jumper, not really expecting him to be that interested because he sure as hell never wears the socks I’ve knitted for him in the past.  But to my delight he jumped at the idea.  We spent a bit of happy time on Ravelry choosing the pattern. He favours a close fitting jumper so he went for the Eren by Marianne Munier which comes in a nice wide choice of sizes and the profits from sales of this pattern are donated to a cancer research charity, which I only just noticed. Its knitted top-down in the round and so far it’s easy enough to follow. The pattern is translated from French to English and I think so far they’ve made a good job of that.  You may think I’m mad but I’m really looking forward to getting past the arms so that I can do a ton of plain knitting in the round.  I love that, it’s pretty much a meditation.

img_3119So this is Aniken – he likes to randomly trot for a few seconds when you’re walking him. He’s also a bit too fond of willow, they give you some willow to feed to them but Aniken has absolutely no qualms about walking up to another alpaca and stealing the willow right out of their mouth.  How he gets away with it I don’t know, I mean, he is very beautiful but so are the others so he can’t just be trading on his good looks.  

Bizarrely one of my favourite people at work went here too not so long ago and when I showed her the pictures we’d taken it turned out they’d walked Aniken too.  There are 87 alpacas living at Pennybridge Farm so that’s a pretty big happy coincidence I think. 

Next up are three placemarkers for things I really need to do today, they are generally housework type things or other little tasks that I really need to get done today.

That’s what the first one is anyway.  The second is for my City & Guilds hand embroidery coursework. I caved in and nipped up town to buy the right size graph paper after spending an age struggling with the teeny tiny version I was using.  So now I’m actually making progress with my cross stitch sample and I think I’ll be able to finish that over this weekend and at least make a bit of a start on the second piece. At least I’ll have time to watch some YouTube demonstrations on drawn thread embroidery which is not something I’ve done before, it’s never really appealed to me but I’m happy to be converted.  

The third one is to remind me to actually write this blog, so here we are.  I really need to make more effort to blog, I like to read other people’s craft blogs and even if no-one but me ever read these, it’s interesting to me to see what I’ve been doing back over time.   

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Next up we have these cute little crochet hearts.  There are a ton of free patterns online to crochet heart motifs, I used the one from the Planet June blog.  Nice and easy to follow and you can scale it up easily just by changing yarn and hook size.  I’m using up scraps for mine, this the leftover yarn from a feather and fan scarf I made last year that’s shades of pink and lavender going into grey. Its quite fuzzy and sparkly so I hope I have enough left to make a good few of these.  They live in a little pineapple block printed cotton laundry bag from Flying Tiger.

The picture above is from my Instagram feed. I was rereading Alice in Wonderland last week, I’ve finished it now and I did enjoy it but I did not particularly enjoy the amount of stares I got from my fellow commuters reading this on the train. I know it’s ridiculous of me but I like to think of my commute as a quiet and private space and I don’t like people leaning over me to look at my book. I suppose it is quite unusual to see adults reading books with pictures in public, but still, sod off!  

img_3147Last is my fisherman’s rib scarf which I’m knitting using inherited acrylic yarn.  You might remember I completely frogged this and started again after I made a weird see through section that I couldn’t fix.  I’ve made this version on smaller needles so it’s lost a bit of its pleasing squishiness, I didn’t intend to make it on smaller needles, I thought I was using the same ones as before to be honest.  And that is why you’re supposed to make proper project notes in Ravelry isn’t it? I still like it, it’s still squishy and it looks neater in this smaller gauge but it has lost some pleasing squish.  I think when I’ve finished this I’m going to add some contrast tiny tassels along the edges. I fancy something neon. Maybe bright bright pink or green. Or both. Sod it, why not both?

Right that coffee you see at the bottom is not going to drink itself.  I’m off. x

 

crafting · crochet · embroidery · Etsy · Knitting

Sunday Crafts update

Here is my plan for today. Every Sunday I choose a maximum of six projects to work on for the day and work on them in rotation, either in one-hour blocks or for the length of whatever podcast I’m watching on YouTube, because Sunday is also the day when I binge watch podcasts and Sewing Quarter. I start at the bottom left corner and go round in a clockwise direction. If I finish something I can replace it with another project. I’ll go into each project in more detail below but so far today we have:

The PPS shawl – by Louise Tilbrook
Three snood orders to pack up ready to post
My current book – Lady Audley’s Secret
A black snood
A marker to remind me to do my embroidery coursework
Shell Cottage socks – by Curious Handmade

I actually cast on this shawl when I was on holiday in Crete in June, then I came home and neglected it a bit. I am the sort of person that has a million projects on the go all at once which means slow progress on pretty much everything but there’s no deadline on enjoying yourself is there? Who cares if it takes forever.

I’m using my gorgeous little bird yarn bowl from Little Wren designs – who sells on Etsy and she has these in several colours. The colour has not come out brilliantly well in this picture – this is a really cute sandy yellow in real life.

Here is my progress so far, as you can see I’ve finished the first set of stripes and things are looking pretty good so far. I’ve started the shaping for the main single colour part of the shawl and that’s coming along nicely though I’ve realised I have made my usual mistake of doing slightly too tight yarn overs for the increases but thankfully it hasn’t ruined the shape and a bit of blocking will sort it out if need be.

This is a great pattern and really enjoyable to knit.

Here’s a close up of the yarn – the stripes are a mini set from Manos del Uruguay, they’re the silk blend Fino and I bought mine from Interknit Café at a local monthly artisan market but she also sells online and had several other colours when I bought mine but she was expecting them to sell out fairly quickly

The main colour was a silk blend from Once Upon a Time Skeins who sadly has stopped dying to sell but I believe she still has a few skeins on Etsy of other colours and fibres. Her colours are beautiful, this one is a gorgeous eau de nil lightly flecked with blue, yellow and pink.

I’m using my Knitpro Zings, I mainly like them because of the colours – I find the join between the needle and the cable can be a bit harsh but this metallic lime green goes so well with my colour 2 stripe that I don’t care.

I love this stitch marker, I bought a set of these from Wild & Woolly in London, which is currently my favourite bricks and mortar shop. The owner is such a nice woman, though I’ve only managed to visit a couple of times myself to be honest. These stitch markers were part of a multi coloured set that are all stamped with different stitch abbreviations so that you know what it is you’re supposed to be doing when you get to them. Brilliant.

Not much to say here except that the postage and packing element of an order takes a fair bit of time in itself, but once these are all labelled up and in my bag to take to the post office tomorrow I’ll replace these with another craft project.

These poly bags are plastic so not ideal but they are recycled. I did use brown paper for a while but I was really worried that one day a customer would cut right through the snood when they cut open the package. I want to find an economic degradable version of these poly bags but if I can’t I’ll move back to brown paper and swallow my fear.

Next up is my current read. I’d never heard of this author before buying this book. This is utterly gripping, it’s a Victorian ‘sensation’ novel. It might even be THE Victorian sensation novel, it was hugely popular in it’s day and would make a brilliant tv serial drama. Lady Audley is not all she at first seems to be, there’s not much mystery here in that you pretty much know what she’s up to from quite early on but its the way her secrets are gradually unravelled that makes it so completely gripping. I’d say this is one of the best books I’ve read this year out of the 25 I’ve read so far.

I read 50 pages a day so when I’ve hit that target I can replace the book with a craft project.

A black snood. Always there is a black snood on my hook. This particular hook is my much beloved Lyn Roberts silver hook, bought at Yarnporium 2018. It never leaves the house but it is the only hook I will use to make snoods when I am at home. I LOVE it. I do like making black snoods but I also like a bit of variety in my life so I probably don’t make anywhere near as many of them as I should. Plus I’ve scaled down dramatically the number of snoods I’m making this year so that I can get on with my embroidery coursework.

Speaking of which – this I my placemarker to remind me to actually get on and do some of my embroidery coursework.

I feel like I am quite behind with it but I only have one and a bit modules to complete. I think I’ll be able to finish this current module by the early part of October but I’m still worried that I won’t have time to complete the one after that in time for the end of the course, which I think is November. I need to check that really but I’m scared of the answer.

I’m plotting out a counted stitch chart today which I’ve made harder by having the wrong sort of graph paper.

Last but far from least are my Shell Cottage socks. These were the first pair of socks in this year’s Curious Handmade Sock Society. I haven’t finished a pair yet and I think we’re on the fourth pattern release now. That’s alright.

This project bag is from Flying Tiger when they did their £2 sale earlier this year. Nice isn’t it?

Its a good roomy bag, plenty of room for your socks, pattern, yarn and notions. There are a couple of pockets inside and some of those ring things to feed yarn through which I never use.

See how I’ve artfully draped my yarn across the repeat where I knitted an extra row. Actually I think I did that on another repeat a bit closer to the cuff. See also how little I care.

So here we are, warts and all.

I think I like the Curious Handmade patterns best of all because she literally writes out everything row by row, and you get a percentage in the right margin to let you know how far along you are. Its simply brilliant.

I’m knitting these on my Addi Crasy Trios which are my favourite needles for socks and the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature sock. Good old WYS, you can’t go wrong really can you and they have the best solids.

So that’s it for today. I’m happy to report it’s absolutely piddling down outside so I’m staying in and enjoying myself with a ton of coffee and toast. I hope you’re loving your day too. x

crafting · crochet · Etsy · Knitting

Today I’m making… a snood and a scarf

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It’s been far too long since I’ve updated this blog. I really want to make more of an effort with this rather than just spending time on Instagram, don’t get me wrong, I do love a bit of Insta but I feel like the time is right to move back to blogging.

I’ve been on holiday since my last update, 9 nights in Crete which was really lovely but I think I’ve fallen out of love with flying. I used to really enjoy the whole airport experience but this year I just found the whole thing really stressful and just not worth it.  So we’re thinking of staying in the UK next year and maybe driving up to Yorkshire. I’m all for it.

Right so lets get on to what I’m actually making today.  Usually on a Sunday I have about six projects on the go at once and I flit between them all during the day but today I’ve only picked two things to work on and hopefully I’ll make some decent progress for a change.

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First up is a lipstick bright red snood.  I finished a large one in this colour this morning and have updated my Etsy shop with it, so if you want a large red snood I have one ready to post to you.  This one is going to be a medium, and then I’ll make a small.  Not sure I’ll get both done today, I have some housework to do too and I have this delicious Portuguese tart to eat (only 50p in Asda!).  I’m in love with this shade of red, it’s a blue red so very easy to wear, I’m a redhead and I can wear this shade.  You’ll also see in this picture my perfect and much loved solid silver crochet hook from Lynn Roberts Design and I’m sure I mention it all the time but it’s just the most joyous thing to work with. It feels really special and is a joy to work with.  When I’m at home its the only hook I use, I don’t tend to take it outside because I’d be really upset if I lost it.

Anyway, I’m making a bit of an effort to put some snoods back in my Etsy shop, I’ve had to put them on the back burner for most of this year because I’m doing a City & Guilds in hand embroidery and I need to concentrate on that really so I’m only adding stock I have in hand rather than listing everything and making snoods to order, which I what I normally do but means I’m constantly making them and I fell way behind with my coursework.  I think I’m back on track now but my snoods are thin on the ground to say the least.

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Next up is my fisherman’s rib scarf.  This will eventually go in my Etsy shop but it will be a long time in the making.  I can’t quite remember where I got this yarn, I’m pretty sure it was passed to me, it might have been my mum’s but I don’t think she ever bought grey.  It doesn’t really matter does it?  It’s an acrylic 4ply so that means it is pretty practical for a scarf because its easy to wash and won’t felt from rubbing against your clothes.  Its SO squishy and soft and the shade of grey itself is such a nice pearly grey, with almost a pink tone to it.  I just realised this Sunday is all acrylic.  Now I’m not much of a yarn snob, I just use what I like and I do like hand dyed natural fibres but if I see acrylic and like it I’m having it.  A lot of my acrylic yarn has been gifted to me when another knitter has died or has a destash and it’s better to knit with it then send it to landfill.  However you feel about yarn content, this is a lovely yarn and I have two huge balls of it.  Let’s just take a moment to have a little smirk at my two huge balls.

As I said, this is fisherman’s rib which has the look of brioche but none of the faff.  I have seen several people online assert that brioche and fisherman’s rib are the same thing, they’re not. They’re really not, fisherman’s rib just looks like brioche and has the same squish factor. It feels amazing.  I have actually pulled back about three inches this afternoon because there was a row where I slipped a stitch with the yarn in the wrong place and I had been thinking it didn’t really matter because it was in a pretty good place for me to sew on a label to cover it up anyway, but then thinking about it that mistake draws my eye so much that I’ve been putting off working on the scarf so I thought, sod it, just rip it back and reknit. Of course I could have just dropped that stitch and picked it up correctly all the way up but I like knitting, so more knitting is good, right? I’m going to put a stitch marker in to see how much progress I make on this today.  How many inches do you think I’ll recover? Its 4ply knitted on 4mm needles.

Books · crafting · crochet · Etsy · Knitting · vintage

Today I’m Making… all the snoods

Today I’m making several snoods all at once, a Gin Poodle and a 1940s sweater.

The snoods have several days grave before they need to be posted to customers but I to post early if at all possible so I think I’ll have them all done by Tuesday at the latest.

I’ve already finished two snoods from this order, look at how little teal yarn was left! That was a slightly hairy moment, I can tell you. Sadly my supplier had stopped dying this shade so this is the last teal snood for the foreseeable. I’ll keep my eye out for a replacement, I really liked the teal but never got around to making one for me. Berk.

The sweater is the Pretty as a Picture 1940s sweater, all I need to do to finish it is finish the swag shown, sew it up and knit the neckline so I want to get all that done today if I can.

The Gin Poodle is just for my own amusement and because I only have three of them in my Etsy shop at the moment.

The book is my current read and to be honest I’m not that engaged with it. I’ve started skipping descriptions of dinosaur skeletons for instance. I think if you can skip bits of a book it’s not the book for you. I’m using it to give my wrist a rest now and then from crocheting snoods.

Books · crafting · crochet · Dieting · embroidery · Etsy · Knitting · Shopping · wittering

New Year’s Resolutions

Yeah I know, they’re a bit tragic but I’m doing it anyway.

  1. Read at least 34 books this year.  Easy peasy, I’m on Goodreads so I’ve set myself a reading challenge.  Click here to see how I’m doing.  Right now I’m doing fantastically well, I have read no books yet this year and I’m apparently bang on target.
  2. Lose 20kgs.  Thought I’d chuck in the traditional fat bum challenge.  Though my bum isn’t actually that fat I have spotted a bit of thigh bulge today that has to be got rid of immediately if not sooner.  Then once I’ve lost 20kgs I’ll still want to lose another 10.  Then perhaps another 5.  We’ll see. I work for a law firm and the cakeage is immense and I loathe exercising so this one is a bit challenging. I also hate exercise clothes and seriously object to any heel lower than a kitten heel.  Keep thinking about taking up running but I also very much dislike outdoorsiness. And running.
  3. Do more embroidery.  I very rarely sew. Its the one thing I absolutely love doing and yet I hardly ever do it because I used to hand sew for a living and now I don’t and it may sound pathetic but its quite emotional for me and I’m a bit frightened I’ve lost all my skills. So much as I’ve amassed a huge quantity of yarn and patterns and stuff I’m going to scale back the knitting and crochet (except for snoods and Gin Poodles of course) and get back into embroidery.  I had a small test piece framed a few years ago and the framers asked me if I’d like to make more for them to sell.  So I might not be a complete ham-fisted duffer.
  4. Stop buying mass-produced junk.  You know that ‘make it, don’t buy it’ idea floating around at Christmas? Well I’m going to stop buying things from major chains and only buy handmade wherever possible.  I’ve had my last clothes shopping spree in 2016 so from now on I’m going to make my own clothes, at least they’ll fit properly and I won’t bump into anyone else wearing the same thing. I can try out embroidery on my own cuffs and that too can’t I? I’ve got a sewing machine up in the loft and I expect that is where it will stay because I don’t really like sewing machines.  Hand made clothes last longer because they’re better and every stitch is beautiful. I’m not expecting anyone else to agree or even see the simple beauty of a white cotton tacking stitch or go into ecstasy over a button hole, but your loss and all that.
  5. New Etsy shop. Once I’ve got my fingers back to being able to pick up with a needle a single thread in any fabric without looking I’ll be able to produce work worth selling. These are not going to sit well with super kitsch knitted poodle bottle cosies or even lovely vintage style hair accessories so they’ll need their own space.

Five resolutions are enough.

6. Oh but hang on. Food. Must stop eating things that make me ill, like fried things, fatty things, dairy, and eggs.  A doctor told me years ago that the odd sensation of my throat going all thick and gagging for hours after eating isn’t really normal and should be avoided. Spose he might have a point.

7. Bugger it I’ve thought of another.  I have a half brother somewhere.  Not even sure what his name is but I should find him in case he’s the head of membership of a major ballet company or something and can get me a hefty discount.

 

crafting · crochet · Etsy · vintage hair

Today I’m Making… gold hair snood

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This morning I finished making my first ever metallic gold 1940s style hair snood.  Its something customers have been asking me about for quite a long time but I’ve never found a metallic yarn in a quantity that makes it possible to make a large snood without a join.

I always have a look in yarn shops for metallic gold but never have any luck, in the end I found this yarn online from the Turkish company, Ice.  Turkey seems to be a pretty enthusiastic knitting country, a lot of yarns seem to be produced there now and its good quality too. Ice make a lot of more unusual yarns, I’ve bought from them before and never been disappointed.

So, I have bought six balls, each one is just enough to make one large snood with a fair bit left over so not entirely enconomic  and the yarn is quite expensive so this batch of six will be the only ones I make.  If you like them and want one please do move quickly, they’re a very limited run.

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The other reason I won’t be making these regularly is the yarn is properly metallic, it’s gorgeous, it has a lovely sheen and teeny tiny little sequins that really catch the light so they’d be brilliant for performers but the yarn is quite stiff so it’s blimmin’ hard going on my hands to crochet with.  Course, this means the snoods are a bit stiff too, so if you have one of my usual acrylic numbers it won’t feel anything like that.

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I am going to keep looking for a softer metallic gold yarn, I think Ice do a lurex thread I can use alongside a ‘normal’ yarn but finding a base colour of a non metallic gold is also a bit of a challenge.  Don’t hold your breath because I’ve been keeping an eye out for gold for years so far.

Books · crafting · crochet · Etsy

A pair of sparkly snoods

Things have gone a little quiet over the Easter weekend for me on Etsy orders so it gives me a chance to let you see the progression of an order I have just posted off to America.

I’ll take this picture by picture and explain what is going on. The first picture is the yarn I use to make the sparkly snoods, the cone on the right is super fine metallic blue lurex which I crochet in with the usual blue yarn.  The lurex is a funny thing, it is really quite strong but feels very delicate as if it would snap at any moment.  In the background of this pic you can see some of my snood making yarn, that wicker unit is crammed to bursting with the rest of my snood yarn and a small amount of Gin Poodle yarn also on the coffee table are a couple of books I’ve read and haven’t decided what to do with yet, a train timetable and a book and map that I intend to make paper flowers from.

Next pic is the snoods nearly finished, the silver one is pretty much done apart from adding the elastic, the ribbon bow and sewing in a label, the sparkly blue one  isn’t quite finished, I’m putting a neat edge along the hair band here.

Next up is the book I am struggling to get anywhere with (The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen) which I’m reading in between making things.  I just can’t get into it, I don’t like any of the characters and don’t really care what happens to them. I’m a quarter of the way through it so surely by now I should care a bit? I’ve set myself a modest target of reading 26 books this year and I’m already three books behind schedule. Ms Bowen is not not helping. Sometimes I just give up on a book I’m this apathetic about but this is a book I picked up through Bookcrossing so I feel like I owe it to its previous owner to let them know what happens to it so I’ll slog on.

The last two pictures are the snoods pretty much ready to go sitting on my bony knees – all I’ve got to do now is wrap them up in tissue paper and add some complimentary sparkly hair grips to the vintage postcard and send them off.  The postcard is just over 100 years old, I bought a job lot of them and while they last I’ll use them as my notepaper or hairgrip holders in all my orders.  This one shows Gertie Gitana who was a music hall actress also known as The Staffordshire Cinderella.  This one was written on and posted, nothing exciting though, just some bloke Dave asking after his mate Jim and saying he’ll be home soon because they expect to be sent off to France soon.  I wonder if he was a soldier in the First World War but he doesn’t say so expressly. If they are blank I usually write a message on the back but if they’ve been used I like to keep them as they are and just pop one in the package as a nice surprise. Not that it will be much of a surprise if the customer reads this post before the package arrives.

 

 

crafting · crochet · Etsy · vintage · vintage hair

Today I’m Making… 1940s style Ribbon Snoods

Today I’ve finished making two snoods that might already have a buyer, 2016 has been lucky for me already, with an order every day so far.  If things continue like this it will be astounding.

This red is gorgeous, its a nice rich lipstick shade, by that I mean it has blue undertones which I find is the most flattering type of red.

    

I have been crocheting these snoods for about ten years now, a whole decade! Its a bit of a shock to realise it has been that long. My first ones were made following an original 1940’s pattern to the T but I wasn’t overly keen on the fit so I reworked the pattern until it gave me the fit I was looking for.

I have fine hair so the standard size was too baggy on me and didn’t look great so I tweaked the pattern again to give three sizes:

Short – for bob length hair off the shoulder
Medium – for hair down to the shoulders but not lower than the bottom of shoulder blades.
Long – hair is below shoulder length

The red and purple ones shown here are both large.  When it comes to hair, one size definitely does not fit all.

This aubergine colour was quite hard to track down, I do have another chalkier shade of purple in stock and one that is quite bright too in a cotton.

    

A saggy baggy snood does not look good at all and not all of us are good at fiddling about with padding and hair pieces so why bother.

I also did away with the traditional drawstring ribbon to gather it up because I think that is the one thing almost guaranteed to make it ping off the back of your head and besides it makes getting it on way to fiddly.

So my snoods have elastic running around them which makes them much easier to get on and you can still have a ribbon bow at the top.

It was at this point in the process that another Etsy seller based in America bought a couple of my snoods in different sizes and by an amazing co-incidence they now sell snoods that look quite similar to mine. Best of luck to her and her karma, she sells lots of them but I still believe mine are the better fit and quality, my prices are better too.  I do think it was more than a bit cheeky of her to so flagrantly copy mine but it happens.

In some ways I would like to sell more of them but then would I still enjoy making them so much if I was under pressure to get them done? I have tried teaching other people to make them for me to build up my stock but I am very very picky about quality control and I’ve never found anyone who can make them to a standard I find acceptable.

What I really enjoy is the personal contact I have with a lot of my customers.  Take a look at my feedback on Etsy if you have time and you’ll see some lovely reviews and some utterly gorgeous photos from customers.

Now all I need is to track down a good metallic gold yarn, and that’s a quest I’ve been on for years and years.

Beading · craft fair · crochet · Knitting · knitting group · Workshops

The Make It Show, Farnborough 2015

I have had a great day at the Make It Show at Farnborough Airport (yes, there is an airport at Farnborough and its quite busy, though lord knows who feels the need to fly in to Farnborough).  This is turning into my favourite mixed craft show of the year, I swear it gets better every year.  Its on tomorrow too if you fancy it – £9.50 entry and there are quite a few stalls doing free or super-cheap informal workshops so well worth the ticket price. http://make-it.org.uk/home.php  

Personally I bought a 3 day ticket for £15 in advance but that option of course isn’t open to you but I’m giving you the opportunity to marvel at my thriftiness for free.

The first thing I did was walk the whole show just to scope it out.  As usual there is a huge seating area with the usual catering (I’m not a fan, its particularly rubbish for veggies or anyone who fancies something healthy but that’s pretty much the deal at all of them) but they’re quite happy for you to bring your own.  They have staff patrolling collecting rubbish so its always tidy enough.  TONS of seating.  Very unusual for a craft fair and I hope they continue to stick with this policy in coming years.  The loos up at the catering end get busy but they’re fine.  At the other end of the hall behind the workshop area there are chemical loos.  I won’t go into details but expect festival conditions.  This is several shades beyond my idea of acceptable.

The variety of stalls gets better every year. There is quite a lot of card making but also knitting, crochet, UK yarns, kits, beading, art, lighting, storage, food, artisan brewery (See the GIN!!), patchwork, embroidery, cross stitch, stamping, oh blimey so much I’m sure I’ve missed out a ton of stuff.

My first purchase was from Made by Ewe. She has knitting and crochet kits, hand dyed yarn and knitting supplies like knitting and crochet needles. She also had a lovely kit to make a little fox wearing a pirate jumper that she designed because she keeps chickens.

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To be honest I wasn’t intending to buy anything on my first walk round I was just scoping but then I saw a really nice shawl/scarf and noticed it was made from that ladder yarn I hate.  Well, my local knitting club has a yearly competition and this year the theme is to make something with ladder yarn.  I wasn’t going to play because I hate novelty yarns and I’m still annoyed that I didn’t win last year after I made a gorgeous cuff with knitted in beads (the theme was Knitting with Beads) and didn’t even get placed.  The woman that won entered a completely repulsive felted bag that she’d tied some beads on to, and the same with the 2nd and 3rd place. Horrible work and the beads were not knitted in.  I’m still put out.  I mean I don’t want to bang on about it but I was robbed. ROBBED I TELL YOU.  So Mrs Made by Ewe had this lovely kit for less than a tenner, you get the yarn, pattern and a big chunky crochet hook with a ceramic bead on the end and I definitely didn’t already own one of those.

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I made a bit of a start on it, to be fair it looks like sort of chain mail g-string at the moment but I’m sure it will be divine when its finished.  I’m going to add some skull beads to stop it being too twee.  You’ll see more of those later.  I’m taking home the prize this year or that local knitting group is going to have recounts until I do.

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In the background you will see the back of the bag for life I also bought on this stand.  Very fine thing it is too, I now have enough bags for life to turn Buddhist.

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Next up I went to Anita’s Beads. Where is Anita? Has anyone ever met Anita or is the nice bloke who runs it Anita?  The woman ahead of me in the queue to pay had bought literally tons of stuff, she’s bought so much that I lost all shopping guilt and added some crystals to my skull beads.

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I bought a couple of rings from him too, I really like polished semi-precious gemstone rings, they’re so cheap at only a pound each. What I’m going to do is use these to weigh the shawlly wrap thing I’m making with the ladder yarn rather than tassels.

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The second picture looks like I have sausage fingers, let me assure you my fingers are mere chipolatas, not bangers.

Last year I tried really hard to get to the Beaker Buttons stand to buy a Dorset buttons kit but it was so popular I couldn’t get near it, this year she has a bigger stand and I managed to get in at a quiet moment and have a bit of a chat.  She’s adorable. Really friendly and knowledgeble about the history of Dorset buttons, she also dyes her own yarn and spins. They do workshops and drop in sessions at her shop and I wish she was nearer to me.  You know one of those people that you instantly want to go to the pub with?

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At the end I did a workshop with the excellent Riverside Beads. I did a kumihimo workshop with them last year and it was so well done I was happy as larry when I saw they were doing workshops again this year.

I made this!

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Tell me that’s not fantastic?  They do loads of workshops, they’re based in Peterborough so well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby.  This only took an hour to do, I swear you could do it faster.  They sell a kit for only £8.  They ask you not to share the pattern but they are happy for you to sell any you make and only ask you to donate some of the money to The British Legion. She said they make loads of them in November and donate them to the Legion.  You could use the same principle to make other flowers but the poppy is really lovely.  So easy to do too.

I’m going back tomorrow to have a go at Zentangling, some embroidery and to have a massive chocolate and Bailey’s cookie.