Saturday, 22 March 2014

Knitting: family presents

For the first time in my crafting career, I offered hand-made gifts to members of my family, and (to my surprise!) they all adored their presents.  So much so, that I now receive orders from other (neglected) family members and repeat orders as well!

Without further ado, here's what I made:

For my lovely sister, a cowl:  I like how it "hugs" the shoulders and keeps a sensitive and beautiful neck warm and protected.  I used the ombre pattern and I'm pleased with the end result (so was my sister...)

(from the scrap yarn, I made her this cute little neck scarf by Martha Stewart)

For my niece, I knitted a cowl of her own in the very exciting colour of ... mouse grey (her choice, not mine...).  I used the canaletto pattern and I  was surprised by how beautiful the lace pattern - discreet but making a difference!

For my nephew, a classic men's scarf (he's actually the one who started the trend:  he made a specific request for this!).  He already knew the colour and, when I sent him several patterns to choose from, of course he chose the difficult one - but also the better-looking one: Kyoko Nakayoshi's men's scarf introduced me to the world of finger-twisting knitting.  I didn't expect to manage it, but manage it I did and now I feel much more confident about new techniques in the patterns.  Bring it on, I say!

Now, as to my mother:  she's old school, so her request was a simple, two knit, two purl kind of scarf... You can imagine my disappointment that I would not get to showcase my "talent"... So I got to choose the yarn:  a beautiful purple-grey chunky yarn and I got to choose the ends - ruffled!  At least something to get me interested in the knitting!

Before I start the next rounds of gifts, I'm now knitting for me... a cardigan in the making!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Crafts: The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

Well hello there - glad to find you again!

Having spend this past year and a half on a personal matter, I'm really glad to be back on track and back to my beloved activities:  crafts galore...

I'm just back from visiting one of the more famous shows and my first outside Belgium:  The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show in London, UK. 

Rowan - so much to choose from...
When:  Of course, the very first day - I naively thought to take the day off work, so that I would be one of the first visitors, avoid all those not being able to come because of work and thus be comfortable.  Right?  Wrong!  This must be one of the more visited venues I've ever been to!!! Good thing I dont' suffer from agorophobia, because it's places like this that can trigger major emotions.  To explain, I'm of a certain age, don't like being tread on constantly, rather enjoy lingering over "stuff" and appreciate contact with the sellers that takes longer that 3.2 seconds...

Soak and needles
Where:  Olympia, London.  London Underground is great for such things, and the people at the reception great - helpful and calm and very, very accomodating!

Time:  given that I was there for anything knitting, stitching, sewing only, I managed to skim on the remaining parts of the show, so overall it took me about 3 hours to get a very good glimpse of the show!

sewing patterns with a difference
What I left with:  I'm happy to say that there were a good many offers to be had.  And a lot of new businesses worth getting to know:  my bundle of joy included:

-  Rowan yarn, at a staggering 70% reduction
-  Knitting needles, at the difficult sizes of 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5
-  Knitting soak (from Canada!)
-  By Hand London sewing pattern (btw, the girls were amazing and their stand really cute!)
what presents are made of
-  Sew la di da vintage sewing pattern (intrigued to try this one out)
-  Stitching little projects (for various presents I have in mind)

I didn't buy anything from but I'll seriously consider once I've mastered my sewing skills:  a rather new company, Til the sun goes down, with a selection of vintage-inspired fabric --delightful!  Really, people, keep an eye for this site, because the fabrics are the most elegant and a treat to see and touch!  The shipping costs to Belgium are more than reasonable, so I'm already thinking of all my DVF-inspired wrap-dresses I'll be making...

What I really enjoyed:  the whole buzz and the way all workshops were full -- so full! The whole experience showed what a great community the crafts community is - and what a great escape from all that can be negative in our lives!

Now, on to stashing everything away...