A beautiful summer walk and some crazy coloured sheep.

We had a lovely picnic on Sunday with a walk up Castle Hill in Mere.

It is only 20 minutes from our house, but I forget its there.

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Tony and Arthur took a short cut up the hill while I walked around the edge.

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This is the same hills as the view from our house.

The colour of the grasses against the sky were amazing.

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It really felt like a lovely ‘escape’ when we got to the top.

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We had a picnic, then did quite a lot of cloud watching while lying in the sun.

It was so peaceful, I will be going back a few times over the summer holidays I think.

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Now for the colourful sheep! Influenced by my Toft Alpaca visit

and the colourful talk by Kaffe Fassett.

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I am making a few different garlands and these have been designed to go

on one called ‘Counting Sheep’. I will also make some into Keyrings

and will have the patterns for sale on my website very soon.

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They have been crocheted with Rowan wool cotton.

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Time to make the garland now.

Have a good week T x

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A visit to Toft Alpaca and a colourful talk by Kaffe Fassett.

What an amazing day!

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I left the house at 6 am and got to Toft Alpaca Manor 9 ish, I did end up on the 303 going the wrong way at one point! due to going around the roundabout wrong at Newbury. I managed to find my way back along a tiny lane, luckily the roads were fairly quiet so I got away with it.

We were greeted by the gorgeous colourful Alpacas.

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Dyed especially for the event with animal friendly dyes that fade gradually and the Alpacas will be back to their normal colour in a week or so (quicker if it rains).

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The food was fantastic, coffee and danish pastry to start the day served by very happy people. I was on my own so quite nervous to start with, but I shouldn’t have worried. Everyone was lovely and very chatty, I met some great ladies. One group of local ladies had recently finished making a knitted garden which sounded fab. (I am so hopeless with names I think I need a dictaphone when I’m out and about)

Lots of people were interested in my scumbled bag and it got lots of compliments and oohs and aaahs and how did you do it’s 😉

In the morning there was a walk around the Alpaca farm.

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where I managed to take a few pictures.  Most of the day I spent chatting and forgot to get my camera out.

Lunch followed the walk, with yummy colourful cupcakes for pudding.

Then it was the talk and waiting for Kaffe Fassett to come in the room I could hardly breathe. I felt like a teenager going to see there favorite band. It was very strange. I have admired his work for a very long time, and never thought I would get to meet him.

The talk was very funny and so inspiring. It was weird because I felt tearful and totally overwhelmed. It made me feel normal !

I have days where I am embarrassed about my house being higgledy piggledy, with bits of old wall paper and carpets from the past still visible, rooms that still need painting and a crazy colourful kitchen. These were the things that Kaffe liked and photographed the character of a place. I have turned down 2 interior photographers this year because I don’t think my house is ready to be photographed, but looking at the photographs that Kaffe was showing I could see what they have seen. (though it still does need a lot of work doing to it!)

The talk has also inspired me to keep going, we all have days where we wander if we’re on the right path don’t we? Sometimes its just a chance meeting, being in the right place at the right time that can take you to the next level. I am lucky that I have been able to experiment and make what I like all I need now is that lucky break 😉

 

When the talk ended we were all able to go and get our books signed..120 of us! poor Kaffe. Everyone was very excited to meet the man himself. I could hardly talk when I got mine signed but did ask him about crochet and showed him my bag. I probably mumbled and ran away quickly. He has just written a crochet book for Rowan so I will be looking out for that when it is published.

I bought ‘Knitting With The Colour Guys’ by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mobly.

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There is so much beautiful colour inspiration in this book.

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I love the photography in it.

How exciting to have it signed to. Ya 🙂

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It was the most fantastic day and the Toft Alpaca team were superb led by the very lovely Kerry. Congratulations to Claire also on organising the Kaffe Fassett talk.

I am sorry I did not take many pictures the wool all looked very yummy as did the mulitcoloured macaroons at the end! I was either to nervous or talking to much lol

Have a good week everyone. T x

 

 

 

Colourday Owls Owls and more Owls.

I am seeing so many Owls around and about I thought I would share some.

Apparently ancient cultures believed the owl offered protection against evil spirits and ill health.

Here’s a few colourful happy owls. If you click on the photographs it will take you to the source of each one. There are some very talented artists and makers out there!!

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I love these boots!!

Owl dress by Orla keily for people tree.

 

 

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Retro folk art owls.

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colourful crochet owls.

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Owl by Ashley Percival

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There are soooo many more around all cute and colourful.

 

Have a great weekend T . x

Fluffy Flower Brooch Tutorial Using Rowan Kid silk haze

This is a little crochet pattern for these fluffy flower brooches. They are great as brooches or to add as embellishments. I have written this in longhand with abbreviations highlighted to make it easier for beginners to follow. Image

Materials Double knitting yarn for the center (selfstriping works best)

Rowan Kid silk Haze for the outer petals.

Crochet hook 4

Crochet hook 5 (If you are a loose crocheter I would go down a size in hooks)

wool needle

sewing needle

coloured cotton

assortment of buttons.

Scissors

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Using the Dk CHain 4, join with a Slip Stitch to the first CHain forming a circle. Image

3 CHain then Treble Crochet into the circle (yrh put hook through circle yrh pull back through. (3 stitches on hook) yrh pull through 2 stitches yrh pull through remaining 2 stitches) repeat 13 more times, you can move the stitches along slightly if it gets tight.

Join with a Slip Stitch to top of 2chain (1st stitch) Image

CHain 6 (3chain counts as Treble Crochet), miss a SPace TReble Crochet into next SPace

*CHain 3 miss a SPace Treble Crochet into next Space* repeat all the way around,

join yarn into the base of first stitch with a Slip Stitch. Image

Next is making the petals. DC,TRC,DTRC,TRC,DC into each space /(3chain) joining  with a SS at the base of each.

Longer version for beginners.

Into first 3 CHain, *Double Crochet, Treble Crochet, Double Treble Crochet, Treble Crochet, Double Crochet, Join to the base of the next 3 CHain with a Slip Stitch* repeat until you have completed all the petals. Join with a Slip Stitch.

Cut off yarn and pull it through the last stitch. Turn your flower over. Image

Put your hook through the back of the stitch wrap orange yarn over hook, and pull back through making sure there is a long end.

*CHain 8, Miss a space/stitch Slip Stitch into back of next Space* repeat all around. Join into first Stitch with a Slip Stitch.

Cut Yarn and pull through stitch.

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Next insert the hook in the back of the stitch between the orange petals. YRH pull through Stitch.

pickupgreengreen Kid silk Haze Rowan

CHain 12 miss a stitch, Slip Stitch into back of the next Stitch (between the orange) CHain 12 repeat all the way around, Slip Stitch into last Stitch/Space cut yarn and pull it up through last stitch.

Sew in the ends using a wool needle. I would  turn the flower over so the front is facing and pull up the wool ends so that they are on the front of the flower, then sew them in (not visible from the back leaving it neat). Then choose a large button use a sewing needle and cotton and stitch it into the center. I would secure the cotton first again on the front side of the flower (under the button) then sew the button on, sewing the cotton through to the back with the last stitch, turn the flower over and stitch on a brooch back. Secure cotton and cut off as close to the brooch back as possible. You should end up with a very neat finish.

I hope this is helpful for crochet beginners. If I have written anything wrong or you have problems with the pattern do let me know 🙂 I would also love to see any flower brooches made using this pattern. Have fun.

Aside

So there we were Friday night settling down with a glass of wine in front of the fire to watch ‘Not Going Out’ on Bbc1 when Daisy (Katy Wix) walks in wearing one of my handmade brooches. I nearly dropped my glass of wine as I stood up pointing and shouting thats my brooch ha ha.

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A brooch I crocheted and stitched, carefully choosing colours that compliment each other and vintage fabric to edge it with. How lovely to see it being worn by ‘Daisy’ who has a personality not dissimilar to mine (as Tony pointed out)Image

I did finish the evening with a couple more celebratory glasses of wine 😉

I have spent today topping up my website with a few more of these brooches. As a few have sold over the weekend. 

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I hope you’ve had a great weekend  

T x

Crochet Necklace inspired by the sea.

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I have been trying out some more textured crochet stitches and using the Rowan Tweed Aran wool.  The combination of wavy texture and the blues and greens in the wool remind me of the sea, I have added little beads that catch in the light as the sun would catch sparkle in the water.

This is what a holiday by the sea does even if it is cold 😉

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I love the texture of this wool and the bumpiness of the stitch.

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This picture was taken last summer in cornwall, the colour’s are exactly those found in this gorgeous wool.

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I will be concentrating on writing some patterns for my website over the next few weeks, I have so many ideas bubbling away and sketchbooks full of designs. I must concentrate on one at a time 😉

Inside Crochet and a Peek inside my Studio

Last Thursday Inside Crochet’s April edition came out. Knowing I was in it I rushed to Sherborne (approx 10 miles away) to get my copy.  I had been tweeted about the feature early in the morning (my favorite time on twitter) by a few people and was getting very excited. A fellow tweeter and crochet designer Kat Goldin was also featured with a book review on her new book Crochet at Play and  a Pretty Tutu pattern taken from the book.

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Unfortunatly I could not find it in any of the news agents in Sherborne and did not feel like driving to the next town, so had to wait until the Friday to get my copy in Frome.  With my phone pinging all day from people who had seen it 😉

When I finally got my hands on a copy I was thrilled to see the lovely colourful photographs and read the 2 page feature beautifully written by Lindsey Harrad.

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Inside Crochet has changed a lot over the last year and is looking and feeling fab. There are some great patterns, book reviews and lots of gorgeous photographs to get you inspired to pick up your crochet hook!     I am planning to make the Dream Catcher by Sara Sinaguglia for Arthur, may change the hearts and flowers to little cars to make it boyish. It looks like a lovely pattern.

Happy Saturday, egg painting and a family walk.

After being inspired by Landscape magazine who had a gorgeous tutorial on egg dying, Arthur and I decided we’d have a go.Image

We had lots of other ideas to, marbling, and wax resist. We appear to have a cupboard full of the right tools.

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Arthur liked using the wax. I think I may have ruined our fondue set which worked brilliantly for melting the wax…I might try some wax resist on t shirts next.

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we wrapped the eggs in nylon (from a pair of tights) and secured each end.  This was to make it easier to dip in the dye.  Also to hold the leaves on for making patterns (this didn’t work as well as in the photographs in the Landscape mag).

We used dyes from Lidls, I think I may have added a bit to much water to them..there was only german instructions so I had to guess by the pictures.

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I didn’t really think about how I would get the wax off..I may work that out tommorow!

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Marbling worked the best, we only had 2 colours. It was amazing how the oil just stuck to the egg.

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Arthur also painted some with gouache paints which also worked well. They are not a patch on the beautiful eggs I showed on my blog yesterday but it was a fun morning.

We picked Tony up from his office at 1 and headed for Clarks Village to get Arthur a pair of walking boots. It was packed! After going in every shop we managed to find a bargain £12.00 pair that are waterproof and that Arthur liked. Next stop was Glastonbury Tor for a walk to test them out.

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Going up.

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Jumping.

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Very bouncy shoes!

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Going down.

A lovely walk, and the shoes were tested and approved ready for our holiday in a couple of weeks.

I’m a bit worn out now and ready to chill out, tommorow I will get up very early (clocks go forward) to be the Easter bunny 😉

Happy Easter xx

Colourday: Some eggcellent Easter colours.

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These pictures have made me want to paint and dye some eggs, I don’t think they’l come out like the ones above but it will be a fun project with Arthur.

The handpainted eggs are believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the household.  If you click on the last picture it will take you to some more amazing photographs of the eggs being painted in East Germany.

None of the pictures belong to me and each one is linked to the original source.

Have a great Good Friday 🙂 x