Monday, 26 October 2009

Eye Candy Crochet Scarf......

This is post 406!! Blast I missed the 400th post birthday. Once I come back from visiting my sister-in-law I shall have a belated giveaway. However, until then how about my latest crochet make.

Sophie liked the jewelled scarf that I made.

So Friday evening a little voice says,

"Mummy I really like your scarf."

"Do you?"

" you have any more wool?"

"I have some why?"

"Any pink?"

"Hummmm yes I have."

"Oh, easy would it be to make me a scarf like yours, but smaller, pinker, with a white edging and fringing on the end?"

"I do not know, why, would you like me to make you one?"

"Yes pleaseeeeees Mummy"

Well, who could resist a request like that? So this is how I went about making Sophie's crochet scarf. I needed to make the proportions smaller than for my scarf so we decided to create just two rounds of pink for each square and then add a row of single crochet in white around each of the square.

I used a soft acrylic wool and some that I had left over from making the crochet baby blanket. I made a total of 18 squares, pale and bright pink wool was used. Made most of those Friday night then finished them off Saturday afternoon. I blocked the squares on a board over night. My squares still do not always look like they have been blocked. Not sure exactly why not, but there you go.

During Saturday afternoon I added a row of single crochet in white wool around each square. Then in the evening I stitched them all together and then Sophie tested the size for me. So far so good. Once Sophie had gone to bed I crocheted two rows of single crochet using white wool. I I then blocked it again over night. On Sunday I showed it to my little customer.

"Do you like it?"

"Oh yes Mummy it is lovely" (eagerly trying it on)

"Does it need anything else?"

"Hmmm, what about something on the ends?"

"OK, like what?"

"What about bits hanging down, you know like this scarf?" (dashes out to find the scarf that goes on her doll)

"Oh fringing on the ends?"


So I then began to find something that I could wrap the wool around to help me make the fringing all of the same length. To make the fringe blend in with the scarf I used three strands of wool, (one of each colour) wrapped it around my pin tin and then looped it through the holes created by the crochet edging.

I then trimmed the fringe to make sure that it was all the same length. A real Eye Candy Scarf which will be going to Brighton with us later in the week. This was fun to make and this is why I like my sewing, crafting etc, having the skills to be able to make something for my little girl that she has designed, enjoys wearing and is not mass produced. Draw backs? Sophie wants to learn how to crochet!! I think we shall tackle the knitting first!


New Coin Purses

Above shows some of the coin purses that I made last month. I am also going to use these as a method of gift wrapping jewellery this Christmas as after it has been opened the earrings etc can then be kept inside or used when going on holiday. I have made a couple more but I have yet to add the buttons. These will be added to Etsy and Folksy this week. These can also be made in different sizes too. Again, other sizes are available in both shops. Links in the margin. Blogger will not do the links today. Typical.
I have some other items to finish this week plus another tutorial in the pipeline.
A pretty murky day here in Cornwall today so I think snuggling up on the sofa with a DVD may be an option this afternoon.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Seed Swap Update....

I am a very bad blogger with a poor memory. I did email Pomona personally to say thank you for her swap parcel. However looking back through my posts I can not see that I have posted about it here. Tut Tut. I can only apologise and maybe blame it on my age. (The big birthday is looming).It was all wrapped up in lovely purple tissue paper and the smell was gorgeous. Inside the tissue paper was a floral bag tied up with yellow ribbon.

Inside I found four packets of seeds which will be sown in the garden next summer. By then we shall hopefully have our veg patch sorted out as well. At the moment we are busy with a building project in the house which I intend to say more about this half-term.

Inside I also found four lavender bags. This was the smell I detected when I was opening the parcel. It reminded me of my Grandma's garden. I had a lovely lavender bush at my last house, but for some reason I can not achieve the same standard of plant at my present house. Typical.
I intend using the lavender in an embroidered sachet that I had already started. I have quite a bit of lace upstairs which I had collected years ago because I had the intention to make a cream and lace quilt cover which never happened.

This was a lovely smelling swap which is now making my sewing room smell lovely and a pleasure to be in. i really must buy another lavender plant and try again to make my own for next year. Many thanks Pomona.

The clocks have changed and a welcome extra hour this morning was very nicely. It is lovely and sunny here today so a trip to Lanhydrock for tea, cake and a walk around may be in order this afternoon.

Many thanks for all of the comments on the button bracelet post. I think that is the highest number for a single post that I have ever had.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Recycled T-shirt into headbands.

Whilst blog hopping during the summer I stumbled on this recycling idea which I found here at

I decided to use a strap t-shirt that I realised that I had not worn in ages!

Firstly I cut off the hem at the bottom of the T-shirt and across the body just under the arm pits. I then cut up one of the side seams so that I could lay the T-shirt out flat on my cutting board.
Next I needed to cut a rectangle measuring 12cm deep x 43- 48cm long (4.5" deep x x17-19" long). I found that 18" was best for me but you could measure your head before you start.

Due to the size of my T-shirt I had to do this as two separate rectangles. The key to this is using what you have and adapting it if needed.

Due to having two separate pieces, I needed to join them together to make one long piece (so this was not in the original tutorial). I used a straight stitching but set it to be just a little longer to prevent puckering.

You really must put pins at the start and the end of the seam otherwise stretch fabrics such as these will be stretched when passing through the machine and the edges will not meet up when you reach the other side.

Here I now have one long piece of fabric. Next with right sides together pin and stitch to form a tube using a 1cm seam allowance (3/4"). You will need to start and stop you r stitch line approx 4cm in from the ends (1.5"). This will assist with the joining up of the ends.

Turn the tube the right way round.
Take the ends and with right sides together and pin them. Due to most of the fabric being in a tube the pinning may look rather curved, but do not worry, it will straighten out. Stitch along pinned edge. You may want to try it on for size at this stage. Tuck the join inside the tube.

You will now have an opening which needs to be stitched up. With this stage you have a choice, either slip stitch it together with a needle and thread or machine stitch the opening shut using the slightly longer straight stitch used earlier.

Then it is ready to wear!!

Below are a few examples made by my students.
They work very well with patterned T-shirts including those with writing on. on average we managed to make 2-3 headbands per T-shirt used.
They can be adjusted for all sizes of heads and it is a great way of recycling kids T-shirts by making the headbands for them. They could even help select the T-shirt that they have grown out of and be involved in the recycling process.

My students then asked about embellishing them as well, so there are loads of possible ideas to try out. I use headbands whilst gardening, putting make-up on, aerobics and cycling to keep my hair out of my face. These are all washable, recyclable again and much nicer than horrible plastic ones.
If you have a go then please do let me know as I would be happy to post any pictures here on my blog.
Take care.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Button Bracelet Tutorial

You can use any buttons that you have and they do not have to be all the same size. For this tutorial I am going to use a range of blue buttons.

All you really need is some 5mm ribbon and some buttons. You could have a bracelet clip as well to make putting on and taking off the bracelet a little easier, but use what you have.

Then line up the buttons in the order that you would like to be on your bracelet.

I then cut a length of ribbon about 45cm long. This may seem a bit too long but you then need to cut the end of the ribbon at an angle to form a little point to help get it through the holes in the buttons. You may well need to keep re-cutting this point as you make the bracelet so the ribbon will be shorter anyway.

So come up through the first hole in the first button and then back down.

Pull the ribbon so that it lays on the top of the button. Then take the ribbon up through the hole of the next button and down again.

Push the two buttons together so that they are sitting slightly one on top of the other.

This is what it should look like on the back.
Continue to add the buttons in this way. For the centre of my bracelet I decided to layer two buttons one on top of the other. This would look really good if you had a particularly large button and layer a couple of smaller ones on top. Again, you have to experiment.

Here I have continued to add to the bracelet after the centre buttons were added and this is the back again.

At some point you should check the fit of the bracelet. You really need a bit of a gap between you and the bracelet.
Now you could just tie the bracelet on or use a clasp like the one shown above. These can be found in most sewing or craft shops. Or recycle one from a broken piece of jewellery.

To be honest I was not sure how to add this so I decided to tie the ribbon on and then seal it with some dabs of clear nail varnish. If I make some more I shall probably think of a different way, but this has worked well.
Above shows another bracelet that I made in shades of brown. I also made a little pink one for Sophie but this time I used shiring elastic, as a clasp would be too fiddly for her to put on and take off.
Know, I have been singing the praises of buttons for years, but I think that I may have gotten through to my students as we ran a little session on how to make these. Here are some of the results.
I would like to make a really bright funky version of this but I will need to source the buttons for that idea.

Give it a go and let me know if you use this tutorial as I would love the see what you make.

Happy Sunday to you all.

Take care.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Josie has come to the rescue....

Many thanks to the three bloggers who offered to help fill our swap spot. Josie got in touch first and has contacted her new swap partner.
I was asked today about making the card. The magazine Crafts Beautiful has a site which has lots of ideas and some downloads which might be of interest. Also Do Crafts might be worth looking at for inspiration.
Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with a little bracelet tutorial for using up some buttons. Tried it out at school last week and it went down brilliantly.
Take care

Friday, 16 October 2009

URGENT! Helped needed...

Unfortunately one person has had to drop out of the Christmas Stocking Swap. Is there anyone who would like to fill the slot. Your partner is in the UK. The deadline is 14th November but under the circumstances could be extended as long as your partner gets it before Christmas. Please let me know asap. There are earlier posts here will inspiration and guidelines which I can explain further to the new participant. Please help out if you can.
Many thanks.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Felt Seamless Bag Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I attended an Embroiderers Guild Felt making day class. It was a very busy day and taking pictures was not always possible but I hope that you will get a good idea of what I did.
The aim was to make a seamless felt bag.
I had some wool roving and managed to buy a bit at Creative Stitches in Exeter, plus what I had from needle felting with Sophie in the summer.
We needed 80grams to make the main body of the bag. We then divided the 80grams into two equal halves for the next stage.
Having a piece of very thick plastic, we actually cut up one of the thick blue bags for life from Tesco because we did not have enough to go round. On top of this wee drew the roving into lengths and laid it one the plastic horizontally, over-lapping the ends slightly. Then layer it vertically, over lapping the ends and again horizontally etc. I ended up with four layers in the end.
The next stage was to repeat again for the back. Using some more roving we were then shown how to create a design to go on the front. I decided to decorate the back as well.

Back view

Front View

We then added some soapy solution and then agitated the roving to get it to felt. Now this process took AGES! My arms had a real workout!. We then worked on attaching the designs to the front and the back of the bag. We then took the half that had the plastic on the back, dampened the felt edges and wrapped them around the edge of the plastic. This was then placed design face down and the other side was placed onto the plastic and the roving edges wrapped around again. this is how you get your seamless edges. Is this making much sense? It was surprisingly easy to do. We then needed to work the sides to make them felt and improve their strength. after a while we could take out the plastic. To take it home I put my towel inside the bag because was worried that my bag would be "Stuck! together. It then sat on my cooling wire on top of the storage heater over night.

It know looks like this! Front view, not too bad I think. What I have started to do now is embellish it with stitching, beads and sequins etc. I also need to make some handles and as yet I do not know how long to make them.

Back view, I will also need to add a lining as whilst felting the bag did get a little thin in some areas. I thought that I might be able to strengthen it to by adding some additional felting shapes such as more 3D petals etc. I shall see how it goes. What do you think. We all worked really hard that day but it was very satisfying. I shall certainly try this again but maybe on a smaller scale. Could try it will the GCSE group too, maybe a coin purse.

Lots of fun.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Crochet Flower Necklace.

Well, the Christmas Stocking swap has gotten off to a good start and we now have 8 from all over the world. I am surprised and astonished just how such a small group can live so far apart, but I suppose the internet has sort of shrunk the world a bit too, hasn't it?. I am looking forward to seeing what we all make. I hope to have made 7 new blogging friends too.

Right, onto newly made items. You may remember the crochet flowers I was training myself to make using coton perle during the summer holidays. Well, I really wanted to make something small using the flower idea. I could only find tutorials etc on making jewellery which were far too difficult for me to follow. So I decided to have a go at making something myself.
So, I made three flowers, two smaller ones and I put the larger one in the centre. My next problem was how to join them together. So I made a length of crochet and attached them to the flowers. Necklace fastenings to the ends of the crochet chain. Once I out it on I could see that it was too light weight and did not sit very well at all. I then added using transparent nylon thread to add some iridescent sequins and beads to the two smaller flowers and a chunky Mother of Pearl button to the centre flower.

This did make the necklace sit much better when worn. I am sorry that i seem to be a bit blotchy in this picture. i intend to wear this to work this week, a little ray of Summer on these dark mornings.

Sophie wanted to help so she is modelling it this time. Here you can see the sequins a little better. I think that I will have another try at this with a thicker coton perle yarn and use more flowers too thereby having smaller gaps between them. However, it is not a bad first try and I think maybe a nice bright red colour for Christmas maybe. Any suggestions on style and shape for the next necklace or know 'easy' tutorials?

I have been reeeeally busy at work this past week or so and seem to have spent very little time at home. I have also been asked to alter two pairs of trousers, I have an Etsy special order half made and a request to make a bag for a pram. I had no commissions during the Summer holidays and now they are coming along like buses, typical!

Only a few weeks to go now until our trip to see Mamma Mia and Sophie is starting to get rather excited about it!

Hope you all have had a good weekend and I would like to say thank you for your lovely comments this week.


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Christmas stocking Launch and Partner list

Here are the swap partners for this years Christmas Swap here on Indigo Blue Designs.

Andrea @ Indigo Blue Designs........Glenda @ Tuliprose Have emailed.

Josie @ Sykesssillysite.......Louise @ Vintagegiraffe

Meredith@ Denver life.......................Ally @ hey goodbooking

Kathleen @ soulwovensongs........Molly @ Crocheting My Worsted Have Emailled

Due to an uneven number I am going to swap with two people. I have a couple of possible entrants but they did not get back to me. Never mind.

A reminder of the swap guidelines can be found here, rather than typing them out again.

Please could you contact each other, look at each others blogs to get an idea of what they might like. You will both need to swap address details and emails if wished.
Any problems such as not being able to send anything then please let me know asap then I or someone else can step in and help. I want to try and avoid any no-shows and people being disappointed, especially at Christmas. We have just heard in the UK that there are likely to be postal strikes so I am going to try and make mine asap and beat the backlog. let your partner know when you have sent the stocking then they can keep their eyes open. Email each other and you might make a new blogger friend. Any problems let me know. Do not forget to add your picture to the Flickr group, any probs with this then email me a picture and I will upload it for you.

Have fun with this.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Christmas Stocking Inspiration2 - Patchwork

See here for swap details.
Here are some more ideas to help with your own swap creation. We are now up to 7 people with another thinking about it. We are based in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Not bad for just 7n of us. I really would like to make it up to at least 10 people so come on, sign up you now you want to really. I really like the above stocking using a white theme. Crazy patchwork has been used here.

Little hexagons have been used to great effect here. You can buy fabric with this style printed on it, by putting some thick sew-in interfacing behind it you could quilt it nicely for extra padding.

Delicate flowers. I would find it hard to put this away after Christmas. I think it would look nice all year round, or am I just being weired?

I love blue (hence the blog name) and crazy patchwork which was the first patchwork method that I learnt. Good way of using up lots of fabric scraps.

Very Autumnal this creation and would look good hanging from a mantel piece wouldn't it?

Very Christmassy fabrics here and I like the bright red cuff at the top of this one.
For all us lovers of pink (my daughters influence!) I thought this was fun too. Could swap the star for an initial. Could put your swap partners initial on the stocking.

I am not suggesting that you make two but I thought that this showed perfectly how stocking templates can be shrunk and still look good. obviously we would like a bigger version made please.
All of these ideas came from google images on the theme of patchwork stockings. Next I shall feature knitting and crochet.
Take care and please would like to make numbers up to 10. Sign up deadline is Friday 9th October 2009.
Swap post date is 14th November to try and beat the Christmas rush.
Take care and thank you for all your comments especially the new visitors as I shall be popping over to your blog for a visit.

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