Archive | Crafting RSS feed for this section

New Year & Hedgehog Mitts

26 Jan

I haven’t blogged for a while, however I’m not feeling guilty about it or beating myself up for not keeping up with my ideal 1 blog post a month. I have been busy crafting; knitting, needle felting, sewing and much more. I have just been spending more time doing than documenting/reflecting in blog posts. I have been  posting the occasional Instagram WIP photos when I’m busy making and doing, still acts as a good reminder as what I’ve accomplished. That said there are finished project I do really want to share and I do still an enjoy blogging.

collage-of-recent-makes-nettynot-blog
I got quite a bit of knitting done in 2016 (unlike 2015 which I wrote about here). I have had a different approach to knitting this year. I’ve only had one larger project on the go at a time, and knitted several smaller things in between and along side. Sometimes for practical reasons, like not wanted to take a whole garment to knit club or just getting inspired by something.

stranded-knits-by-ann-kingstone-nettynot-blog

I started my hedgehog mitts after a spark of inspiration having treated myself to Ann Kingstone’s “Stranded Knits” book at Yarndale back in September. I fell in love with the Hedgerow Cardigan when saw the book at the first Yarndale but thought I’d never get around to knitting something that complicated, but I’m started to think it’s achievable (eek) it is stunning (though it  might end up being a 2018 project – once I’ve collected another yarn – so many colours) – isn’t it beautiful?!

 
stranded-knits-hedgerow-cardigan-nettynot-blog

But for now, needing new mitts and loving the fairisle Pleiades Mitts in stranded knits, I thought knit them as a good pause mid Puffin Sweater, however I decided to change the motif slightly.

pleiades-mitts-nettynot-blog

Taking the same hedgehogs design from my adapted paper dolls jumper and playing with different stripes. I also managed to knit these mitts using yarn entirely from my stash – always a bonus, and then I can feel less guilty for buying more yarn!

hedgehog-planning-nettynot-blog

hedgehog-mitts-nettynot-blog

I completed these back in October and I have been wearing them loads, which you can tell from the slight pilling that’s already occurred – ah well, you can be too precious about these things – they are very woolly & warm and there’s not much point in knotting things you aren’t going to wear.

hedgehog-mitt-details-nettynot-blog

Macrame Bracelet

3 Jun

A little while ago a had an experiment with Macramé which I mentioned in this previous blog post. I’d made a simple knotted bracelet introducing different sized beads. My long term intention was to make a friend a bracelet for her birthday, after she’d commented on a macramé bracelet we’d seen at a show earlier this year. My macramé skills left a little to be desired, mainly down to a tension issue, hence needing  a practice project.
Macrame Bracelet - Nettynot BlogI have worn this bracelet quite a few times, but knew I needed to make the gift a bit more impressive. To pinterest I went in search of a little inspiration.

Macrame Inspiration - Brooch on Pinterest

I came across this picture of a brooch which triggered an idea in my mind. I’d already gathered and bought some beads and S-Lon cord for what I had in mind. To be honest, other than a bit of a practice and looking for inspiration, until I start making something I truly don’t know how things will turn out. Sometimes they work as I imagined and other times it’s a disaster – but a good way to learn.

I got started and played around with a few different bead combinations and then got stuck in. The knotting for this project it relatively simple, using forward and backward knots. Macramé is definitely made easier using a Macramé board and pins.

Macrame Board - Nettynot BlogMacrame bracelet growing - Nettynot Blog

I made the bracelet over a few evenings, I found it quite therapeutic and good to have a slight change from all the recent knitting.
Turquoise Macrame bracelet - Nettynot BlogHere’s the finished article, I’m really happy with how it turned out, and not too dissimilar to what I had imagined. I also love the texture that’s created on the back of the work.
Turquoise Macrame bracelet back - Nettynot BlogI made a few minor mistakes, which are hard to identify and I didn’t even notice until the very end, as they didn’t effect the pattern on the front I decided not to worry about them, it just makes it more unique!
Turquoise Macrame bracelet  front - Nettynot BlogFinding ways to start and finish macramé neatly is the biggest challenge, though using these little triangular connectors I thought made a nice feature. To finish the end of the bracelet I knotted the pairs of threads together; looping them though the connector creating a larks head knot.
Turquoise Macrame bracelet - knotted end - Nettynot BlogTo secure all the knots and ensure they wouldn’t come undone I used some hypo cement on each knot. I chose to add a toggle bar for the clasp, I think they look so much better than a trigger clasp (my usual go to clasp), and I find them much easier to do up single-handed.
Turquoise Macrame bracelet - toggle clasp - Nettynot BlogI have now given the finished bracelet to my friend for her birthday and it seemed to go down very well, even if a few extra jump ring are needed to prevent the loss of blood flow to her hand, but these things are easy to adjust.

Thanks for reading!

Silver Art Clay Day

30 Apr

Since discovering that I teach Silver Art Clay workshops I’ve been asked by a couple of friends whether I’d show them how to make something. I casually said “Yer sure…” then a few more friends asked and so a date was set! I hired the workshop space at The Bead Shop and last Sunday got set up to show everyone.

I feel here I should tell you what Art Clay actually is; Silver Art Clay is mouldable clay make out of recycled pure silver, water and an organic binder. You can shape and manipulate the clay however you like and once it’s fired (the binder burns off and the water evaporates) you are left with pure silver – magical really! It’s popularity increased hugely after it was featured on Kirstie Allsopp‘s “Kirstie’s Homemade Home” series several years ago, although I seem to remember Kirstie’s items weren’t overly successful, she and many others watching, were blown away by this wonderful material.

Our Art Clay Day; I did a quick demo to begin, then found out what everyone wanted to make, guided them in the right direction and off they all went.

Everyone busy - Nettynot BlogI had to stop myself going into full on teaching mode, as it was a relaxed craftanoon and I was giving everyone free rein, after all we have a small picnic set up too and I was technically NOT at work –  there’s always more to do than I anticipate, with “does this look alright”, drilling holes and antiquing finished pendants, it all got a little busy towards the end. But it was ALL worth it! I find it immensely satisfying to teach someone a new skill and help them to create a unique piece of jewellery from scratch and it’s even better when you’re showing your friends! (sorry for the cheese – but it is true!)

No cheese here though, probably the only thing we didn’t have…mmm.
Picnic - Nettynot blogHere’s some pieces in progress, Margaret brought along a collection of vintage sugar craft cutters which make great pendant shapes. Rebecka took inspiration from her background in textiles and started weaving clay together and Jem went free form, creating lots of different pieces, look out on her blog for a post soon showing off her finished pieces.

Art Clay in progress - Nettynot BlogThere was much excitement as everything went into the kiln…
Pre-firing Art Clay - Nettynot BlogHere’s some of the wonderful makes! Lots of different bits n pieces – makes me happy! Anyone who is familiar with some of Amy Blackwell’s illustrations might spot her distinctive style in the form of a lovely hand.
Kiln ready - art clay firing - nettynot blog I do like a good before and after shot – although my camera was misbehaving for the finished jewellery.

Finished Art Clay Pieces - Nettynot BlogEverything was a bit too shiny for my camera, however I’ve pinched a few photos from the others, which show of the detail much better.
Some finished Items - Nettynot BlogYou can achieve so much with Silver Art Clay, it’s a wonderful material. It allows you to make anything from stunning sculptural pieces to simple items with imprinted texture. Once an item is fired you can sand and polish a piece until you get a mirror finish, giving it a high end ‘bought from a posh jewellers’ look. However I’m much more in favour of something that’s been handmade retaining a handmade element. When I finish an item I tend to give it a quick burnish, to highlight all the raised detail, which contrasts well with the matte surface of the lower detail – simple yet effective.

Rebecka’s woven pendant above was antiqued using liver of sulphur, which oxidises the surface (basically speeding up the tarnishing process), she then polished over the raised areas creating that wonderful contrast and highlighting the detail.

Button Charm - Nettynot Blog

I found a bit of time to utilise a mould I’d made from a metal button and created a small charm pendant. This is the kind of small project that’s very achievable and a great way of replicating something.

Thanks for reading!

Springing into Action

15 Apr

I just don’t know where the past month has gone, it only seems like a week ago that I was in the Lake District, but when I actually think about it I have achieved more than I thought I had. Spring and its longer days and lovely sunshine seem to be doing me some good.

Blaithin Sleeves - Nettynot BlogI’ve made some progress with my Bláithín Cardigan. I’m still managing to shock a few knitters at knit club by explaining what steeking is, however I’m not quite there yet. I have knitted the body up to the arm pits and it currently set to one side while I knit the sleeves, I decided to figure out how to knit my sleeves both at the same time using magic loop on a long cable, once I got my head around the idea and knitted the first row I was away! I hate it when you finish a sleeve, only to have to knit a whole other one, this way I won’t have that dreaded feeling, I am also ensuring that I do all my increased on the same row of each sleeve – brilliant!

10 Stitch Blanket  - Nettynot BlogI mentioned back in February that I’d collected up lots of my stash yarn ready to knit another blanket, well…. I started it. I just fancied getting started, admittedly I’ve not got very far, it is a film n a half’s worth of knitting (that’s an official unit of knitting time, right?). I’m using this 10 stitch Blanket pattern on Ravelry, and 5.5mm needles with doubled up DK and the odd bit of Aran weight yarn. I’m enjoying it so far, it’s going to be a useful in between project and one I can just pick up and put down when other projects are too taxing (or I’m too tired to concentrate) I’m imagining it will very much be an on going project for some time.
Succulents - Nettynot Blog

I’ve also been busy adding the odd finishing touch to my Bathroom (which is close to being entirely finished) I’ve added a few small succulents in matching pots to brighten up the window sill. There will be a future post about these as I intent to create a little something extra too.
Macrame Bracelet - Nettynot BlogI do love learning something new and recently I’ve tried two new things. I taught myself Macramé (I knew a little already) however I created my own little pattern to get going, I have a larger project in mind and wanted to build a little confidence first. I’m quite pleased with the results, it’s also a great way to add one of my many buttons into a piece of jewellery! I also went to a lamp shade making workshop, I will write a whole post about this little venture soon.

I’ve also done a fair bit of spring cleaning and sorting – cleared out my wardrobe, sent a bag to the charity shop and created a pile to clothes that might get chopped or adjusted. I also collected up all my unfinished sewing projects and I intend to finish at least a few of these soon.

Get it Done February Finale

4 Mar

My February got off to a good start with a pledge to get stuff done, my productivity continued in the first and second weeks of February, however in the last part of February I was a bit here there, n everywhere. I had a week off work where I visited Friends and Family in London and The Lake District, so getting stuff done became more sporadic, however with a few extra days at home in between my trips away I did get several things DONE!

I finished my secret Patchwork project mentioned in my earlier “get it done” blog post, this project deserved a whole post of it’s own which you can see here.
Close up Quilt - Nettynot BlogI bought new fuses, not the most exciting purchase I know, but after having to pinch them out of lesser used items when they’ve blown in more useful items I thought it was about time to replace them, which means I have no excuse not to use the Wii Fit (I will use it again…someday!)
New Amps - Nettynot BlogI took the opportunity to do a bit of gardening, I have lots of lovely snowdrops growing in my garden at the moment, thanks to my Mum who planted them the week I moved in 6 years ago and they’re still doing well. They do struggle to grow through all my weeds – so I got rid of them. It was worth it, in just half an hour and two buckets full of weeds later all was tidy making the snowdrops stand out and the garden look loads better.
Snowdrops and Gardening - Nettynot BlogI have also bought several new house plants to brighten up my home including some cute little succulents for my newly decorated bathroom – I just need to find them some suitable pots. I was also given a grow your own poppy kit in a lovely colourful pot and I’ve now sewn the seeds – just waiting for a Poppy.

New Plants - Nettynot BlogEvery time the sun streams through my lounge window it’s been highlighting how filthy it is, making me think I really need to clean the windows (both inside and out) and I eventually did it – It’s make such a big difference! It’s lovely to get it done as spring is approaching and there’ll (hopefully) be even more sunlight coming through.

Clean Window - Nettynot BlogI know I have way too many knitting projects on the go, but one more can’t hurt, I’ve planned on knitting a new blanket for a while now after being inspired by a cushion cover I was shown by one of my regular workshop ladies where I work – a square pattern where you just knit 10 stitches, round in a spiral, this image on Pinterest illustrates it much better than my description. My intension is to use up some stash yarn (as well as some new yarn) and who doesn’t need more hand knitted blankets. I’ve not cast on yet, but I have rummaged through my stash and pulled out all appropriate colours.
Yarn for blanket - Nettynot BlogA little while ago I did a little decoupage project, covering a flowery decorative watering can (which was a little bit twee for my taste) with some lovely grey textural images, however I hadn’t got around to sealing the paper, which I’ve now done!

Decoupage - Nettynot BlogI have also started to tackle my bare wall in my lounge, I have been collecting up small picture frames for sometime, with the intention of having a wall full of framed postcards, prints and photos. For several years it’s just had some fabric in embroidery hoops and one other solitary picture hanging there. Now I’ve frames and hung 2 more pictures, a good start to growing the collection.
Picture wall - Nettynot BlogI’ve also turned some lovely glass leaf pendants I bought recently into a pair of earrings – possibly one of the simplest ways to make earrings (just add fishhooks) and in reality takes less than a minute to do, but getting around to these things is always the tricky part and highlights the true nature of why I set myself this challenge – getting stuff done!
Glass Leaf Earrings - Nettynot BlogI like the idea of setting myself a challenge of doing something everyday, I always start with good intentions, however it’s not always that practical, life and other commitments get in the way. It’s also easy to put too much pressure on myself with these things, but who’s going to count whether I’ve actually done 28 things… probably no one and in the end I have got lots of stuff done – whooh! The things I’ve done that have made the most impact on my life have been adjusting my kitchen shelf, (simple things…) and cleaning my window (exciting stuff). Going to Light night, making the small quilt and hanging a few more pictures in my living space have been my happier accomplishments.

Festival of Quilts

11 Aug

I have been to the festival of quilts, held annually at the NEC, before but I haven’t been for several years. I wanted to go this year and my wonderful birthday gift from my friend, (you can read my previous post about it here), came with a free ticket to the festival – perfect! So yesterday off I went with my friends Rebecka and Jem to spend the day immersed in a glorious world of fabric.  

I had a small shopping list with me, however by far the most interesting part of the show are the very impressive quilts on display. I managed to take 97 photos of quilts, eep! I have picked out my favourites to share with you, I hope you find them as inspiring as I did.

I’m afraid I didn’t get the details of each quilt, however more information and galleries can be found on the shows website http://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/
Festival of Quilts 1 - Nettynot BlogFestival of Quilts 2 - Nettynot BlogFestival of quilts 3 - Nettynot BlogFestival of quilts 8 - Nettynot BlogThis quilt by Claudia Pfeil called Fire and Ice is rather spectacular – the photos don’t do it justice. We were lucky enough to have a steward lift up and show us the reverse of the quilt, which was just as interesting.  


Festival of quilts 6 - Nettynot Blog

Festival of Quilts 4 - Nettynot Blog

Festival of quilts 10 - Nettynot Blog

Although a much smaller quilt than most on display, this one was one of my favourites – I love the colour and it really makes me think of Arts & Crafts fabric. Amapolas by Isabel Munoz.
Festival of quilts 14 - Nettynot BlogGreat hexagons.
Festival of quilts 9 - Nettynot BlogThis bright quilt was attracting a lot of attention by Pamela Miller – Rainbow Wow.

Festival of quilts 13 - Nettynot BlogI love the close up texture of this seemingly subtle quilt.

Festival of quilts 11 - Nettynot Blog

More beautiful detail. 

Festival of quilts 12 - Nettynot Blog  A lovely bold design, Mosaico by Maria Isabel Navorro Isardo. 

Festival of Quilts 5 - Nettynot BlogI hope you’ve enjoyed my snippet of what what on view. I shall definately be making more effort to attend each year, it has been very inspiring!

 

A Colourful Birthday

10 Aug

It was inevitable and last week it happened….. I turned 30 – eek!  I had a great time, celebrations made it across 2 weeks – well why not?

30th Birthday Card made by Jem Weston - Nettynot Blog

Given that my small family are spread about the country, I gathered them up for lunch and a potter around Chatsworth gardens on a lovely Sunny Sunday afternoon – the gardens were a colourful delight!

Chatsworth Gardens - Nettynot Blog

I have always wanted to do a Murder Mystery and decided my birthday would be the perfect opportunity. So having looked at several options I decided hosting it at home and getting everyone to dress up from the 80’s would make my day! It did! Everyone made so much effort and I was thrilled. I also rather enjoyed making 80’s decorations and biscuits (yes, they’re rubik’s cube biscuits, and yes, they took ages – but worth it)!

80's Murder Mystery - Nettynot Blog

My wonderful crafty friends got me a fantastic present! They all chipped in and got me a place on the Amy Butler Colour story workshop held at the NEC as the Festival of Quilts was getting set up! It was a great day, I went along with my good friend Jem Weston and had a fun and relaxed day cutting and sticking bits of paper and fabric creating our own unique colour boards. (You can read Jem’s blog post about the workshop here).
  Jem, Amy Butler and I - Nettynot BlogMy Colour Story - Amy Butler - Nettynot Blog

I love Amy Butler’s bright vibrant patterns, so it was fascinating hearing all about her design process and where her colour inspiration comes from and how she creates her own colour collages to inform her new collections. Her latest collection called ‘Glow’ is out in the UK very soon, it was great to get a close up look on the day. My favourite fabric from the collection reminds me a little of the 80’s – in a good way – bright and bold!
Amy Butler - Glow collection - Nettynot Blog

What made my day later in the week was Amy’s Instagram image from our workshop day featuring me and a small section of my collage – slightly over excited – eeep!!!
Amy Butler's Photo CollageYou can follow Amy on Facebook here.

delightfultones

One girl's creative adventure.

livjaa

making things.

WhipStitchDesigns

Exploits of an art fair kid, all grown up.

sylkotwist

Just another WordPress.com site

Jane Makes

Stitched & Baked

Stitch and Purl

Welcome to the Stitch & Purl Blog. knitting, sewing, arts, crafts, cooking, baking, seasons, mamahood. love.

Thread Carefully

Share our enthusiasm!