inspiration cup runneth over (or, do you know when to stop, Ceri?!)

So, anticipating a rainy week in deepest Pembrokeshire this summer (which actually only became one rainy day!), I took along a couple of my dirty secrets – craft magazines!

It was lovely leafing through all the thick paper, drinking in the sumptuous photography and imagining I was an expert at every craft they featured!  I was particularly taken with a couple of projects though, and couldn’t wait to get going.

So on my return I bought a whole heap of ricrac, and ran up a bouquet of ricrac roses as shown below.  The tutorial I followed was in Mollie Makes, but there are plenty out there all over t’internet – I have seen loads on Pinterest since.

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I mounted the red one onto a vintage style brass ring base which is visible underneath the flower, but neglected to take a photo – I will remedy that soon!

As you can see in the photo, the metallic silver one stayed tightly furled, and could not be persuaded to bloom!  I have a stack of other colours in my basket, awaiting planting and watering – am thinking hairclips, embellishments and more rings!

Other loveliness prompted by perusing in my holiday flat include these rather darling retro looking pin cushions.

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I love these – so practical and funky, and relatively easy to do, and take a small amount of fabric so can be a good way to showcase nice material.  This was featured in Making magazine in the summer, along with a case for stork sewing scissors – dying to give that one a go too! Have half a dozen or so pin cushions waiting for the final binding and tassel treatment – finished pile photo to follow!

Also in Mollie Makes were a series of bracelets, made from embroidered lace, crocheted wool onto metal chain and jersey threaded through curbed chains.  I haven’t got around to the lace yet (but have some lovely vintage looking stuff in red, black and cream lined up and ready to go!), but have had a go with some jersey and chain.  Really easy tutorial to follow in MM, but bit fiddly with gluing on the ends.

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One went off to my best friend once she’d fancied it on facebook, so that was a bonus!  An old pair of littlest daughter’s leggings was sacrificed in the making of these fellas, as the girls even made their own wrist warmers out of the ankles!

I tried non jersey fabric and it frayed badly, so I created some tubes (ideal opportunity o try out my loop turner!!) and gently stuffed them with toy stuffing and then, as they didn’t bend properly, just threaded the tubes through the big old chains.  As the chains then fell down like Nora Batty’s stockings, I stitched a couple of holding stitches each end to secure them, and on they look really effective.

chain tube chain tube close up

Finally, in Mollie Makes there was also a darling tutorial about crocheting directly onto a chain bracelet and adding a bead – which of course I had to try (given the surfeit of beads I have acquired!).  Loving the outcome – and even lost my first attempt to CM Jayne at our last muthas’ meeting!  Big girl fancies the khaki green one…maybe for her birthday with a hat to match?! Hats and headgear next post topic!  Need to get my models warmed up!

crochet chain

Simon Cowl

As the days started to draw in and the cold seeped into my bones, I have been knitting and crocheting steadily for the upcoming Handmade Christmas fairs.

Always on the lookout for a new pattern, and sick to death of berets and bobble hats (post to follow on those beauties soon!), I joined Craftsy.com and stumbled upon this lovely pattern for a simple crocheted cowl by Frayed Knot.

cowl 3

I started off hesitantly, as I am not so au fait with crochet patterns, and true to its claim, it really was for beginners!! Above is the half way mark (cunningly promoting Mr S in his newspaper ad as the face of divorce for lawyers Slater & Gordon in the Daily Express!).

It should have been the same again for the second half, in the opposite direction, but the yarn I used was a bit thicker than the lace weight recommended, so it doesn’t have the movement, and has come up more of a neck warmer than a drapey number.

cowl 1

So I decided to just do the one round of scallops to complete the edge, and finish it off there.  I love the steely sheen to the wool, which is more of a dark teal than the pictures show here.  It sits up, as demonstrated in the pic below, which seems very crown like to me!

cowl 2

The pattern comes with a detachable flower, which I am thinking of doing in the red version of this yarn, but I don’t think it really needs it.

Have cast on last night in a lovely soft yarn with a metallic green thread through it which was a present from my friend Kate – it is a rule that you must only create for yourself with yarn that was a gift, so who am I to argue?! Watch this space!  C x