Weaving! My New Loom!

Exciting times for Patchwork Fairy, I’ve bought a loom!  I already sew, quilt, crochet and knit and for a long time I’ve wanted to learn spinning and weaving! Two week’s ago I bought a brand new loom!

Ashford Knitters Loom

New Loom and instructions!

I actually started buying one in July in order to get an early start on Christmas presents but that didn’t work out and I ended up buying a different one a couple of week’s ago.  This is an Ashford Knitters Loom!  It’s the same as the plain Rigid Heddle Loom but comes already assembled and ready for use!  It’s only a small 12 inch loom and even now I’m thinking I could quite happily have one twice this size.  However, mine is very light and portable and also folds up, so doesn’t take over the dining room table in the way that a wider one would.

I bought it online from Wingham Wool Work and I was very impressed with their customer service.  Although you pay on ordering they don’t actually take the money from your account until they have despatched your goods. From ordering to playing with my loom took about 4 days!

It arrives with everything you need to start weaving, except the yarn, but that was never going to be a problem in this house!!  The box included two different sized shuttles and a coloured pictorial guide which was very good.  I managed to set up the whole thing by myself with no need for DH to interfere help at all!!

I started practising with my Stylecraft acrylic as this is a very good yarn at a reasonable price.  It’s smooth and soft, so easy to learn with, although I wasn’t very good keeping the sides straight at first.

weaving in autumn colours

edges aren’t too good on this first ever weave!

but I did get a bit better with practice,  and help and advice from the Rigid Heddle Weaving groups on Facebook I managed to create a sort of scarf!

scarf in autumn colours

Finished scarf with fringe and crochet edge

People are so kind and will take the time to get newbies out of pickles and disasters.  The green wool below was a wool and acrylic mix and so hairy the weaving ‘sheds’ wouldn’t open, but in no time at all, with one post in the Facebook group  I had half a dozen suggestions as to how to solve it!

green yarn on a loom

very hairy yarn! Wool and Acrylic mix on the warp and mohair on the weft.

 

It was much easier using the hairy yarn on the weft with a smoother double knit by Hayfield called ‘Spirit’ on the warp.

purple and green weaving

nice mix but obscures the warp pattern

 

purple woven yarn

showing the warp pattern

 

I find weaving very relaxing and productive, in fact it’s much quicker to complete say a scarf in a plain weave than it is for me to crochet or knit one.  My next task is to weave DH a scarf for winter and then I’m going to try out some more expensive hand dyed  wools from my stash!

I don’t know if weaving appeals to some unconscious need to create and provide but I found myself incredibly happy and at peace sitting in a low comfy chair overlooking the garden, cup of tea to hand and the sound of rain pattering down on the conservatory roof!  With this new skill, come the Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll be able to make my own clothes on the run!

purple wool on a loom

weaving and a cup of tea ..bliss!

 

Roses and Baby Blanket!

Wow 😮 so much going on here I haven’t had time to write! I’ve been having fun reviewing products for Minerva Crafts – hint – I’ve been making roses and you can see what I’ve been up to over on their blog!  But here’s a sneak peek!

Pink tulle rose

Delicate little rose!

I’ve also been busy making a baby blanket for my fourth  grandchild who is due to be arriving in 4 weeks!

Multi coloured baby blanket

Almost finished! Pattern by The Patchwork Heart

We had a lovely time at the Baby Shower. I had great fun making the cake!

Pink iced baby shower cake

Rose and Raspberry Victoria Sponge Cake.

I totally forgot to take a picture of the pram  quilt I made and the little pink and grey dress. Have to ask the parents-to-be to take some before granddaughter arrives!!

More pics next week!

Linking up with Handmade Monday

 

Making Pom Poms!

I’ve had great fun this week! I’ve been reviewing Pom Pom makers for Minerva Crafts! I think I’m addicted to these cute fluffy little guys which spring forth almost magically from the Pom Pom maker!

To see my review and see what I made with my Pom Poms pop over to Minerva Crafts and have a read!

Pink and silver woolly Pom poms

Just a sneak preview of the Pom Poms I made!

New Patchwork Fairy Dresses!

So I’ve finished my new range of handmade patchwork fairy dresses and I’m almost ready to put them in my Folksy and Etsy Patchwork Fairy shops! It’s taken quite a while to complete them as handfinishing is quite time consuming!  I’ve loved creating these – it’s just my kind of thing –  Fairies, pink, purple, ribbons, floaty tulle and crochet!

My first dresses are all small sizes while I test the market. I can make them in larger size to order if necessary. Already a friend has requested an adult size so she can float about playing Fairy Godmother!!

Doesn’t taking photos take a long time?! Much harder than you’d think to try and set a scene and get the lighting right.  I took a lot of photos trying to get the perfect one, not sure I’ve really got it right yet though!

Pink fairy dress

Pink dress with cotton and silk bodice

I enjoyed crocheting the bodices in some lovely tactile yarns.

Fairy dress in pink, purple and blue

Violet and Pink soft cotton bodice with pink, purple and blue tulle.

This bodice of this one is a fresh Egyptian cotton

Lemon yellow fairy dress

Lemon cotton bodice with delicate tulle skirt.

Fairy dress with gold and lilac bodice

Silk and cotton and merino wool bodice with delicate pastel coloured tulle skirt.

These are not everyday dressess so I’m hoping to appeal to the market of special occasion dresses – birthdays, weddings, flower girl, family photo occasion etc.  This is a departure from things I’ve previously sold on Folksy and so I’ve run the shop down deliberately so I can launch the dresses as a new line.

One comment I’ve had from my test pictures is that fairy dresses should be sold with wings – I’d welcome any comments about them and whether you agree with the wings idea – I wasn’t originally intending to sell wings!

 

Making Fairy Dresses!

Making Fairy Dresses!

It’s been quite a while in the planning but I’m almost ready to open up The Patchwork Fairy Etsy shop selling the new range of patchwork fairy dresses. There’s lots of tulle, lace and ribbon and it’s all very pretty!

Pink, yellow, blue lace being sewn onto lilac gauze

Sewing some lacy trim on a fairy underskirt!

 

Pink lace being sewn onto lilac fairy dress

Pink lace trim

 

As well as the new range of dresses there will be the fairy necklaces and earrings I’ve been selling for quite a while now.

Fairy Pendant made from glass beads.

Camali Fairy Pendant

 

Fairy earring made from glass beads

Fairy earring with blue wings

 

Here’s a sneak peak at a sweet little lemon yellow dress! The bodice is crocheted in lemon cotton with little pink flowers.  Around the middle of the dress is a trim of yellow, pink and white fabric flowers.

Yellow Fairy dress

Lemon yellow cottton bodice with yellow and white tulle skirt.

So to find out when the finished items go on sale and grab an opening discount check out the Patchwork Fairy Facebook page over the next couple of days!

Very Berry Handmade Hoop Swap

Well I’ve taken part in Artist Trading Card (ATC ) swaps before but this was my first very berry handmade mini hoop swap!  The ATC swaps involve making a small credit card sized original hand crafted piece of art.  There must always be some sewing but the ATC can be a multi-media extravaganza of whatever takes your fancy.  The mini hoop swap is very similar except that the work of art is encompassed within a mini hoop of 4-5 cm in diameter and has some embroidery.

In the past my ATCs have been very diverse and they haven’t included embroidery so this was a new challenge.  There was no theme to this swap just some brief details from the recipient of my hoop as to what colours she liked.  Ali from Very Berry Handmade sorts out all the swap partners and sends off the details to everyone.  It’s a secret swap so the recipient of your art is not the person who sends one to you!

Here are some of my ATCs from previous swaps.

ATC for the Verry berry handmade spring swap

My ATC I sent to my swap person!

textile picture of Glastonbury Tor

My ATC – NightFall in Avalon

Felted scene of houses with decorations

Sparkly Mid Winter Madness!

Little card with mini patchwork quilt, some crochet and a little greetings card.

ATC My Favourite Crafts

Handmade card with green fabric Christmas tree

Sparkly tree with liberty wrapped presents

Appliqué sewing machine and quilt with a cup of coffee

“My ATC – My Craft Room!

Fabric picture of a fire, a black cat and a girl sipping cup of tea.

“Tea by the Fireside”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the mini hoop swap I took a long time to start actually making it as I just didn’t have any inspiration at all. Then one evening I was idly playing with a small square of purple fabric and it  struck me that folded into four it looked a bit like a butterfly!  So that’s how I developed my mini hoop – I sewed the ‘butterfly’ onto some linen, then placed the hoop around it to see where I wanted it to sit, then embroidered freehand the stem of a flower, the butterfly’s antennae and sewed a button for the flower head.  A little bit of silver glitter glue to enhance the butterfly’s wings and it was done!

 

 

Fabric butterfly in an embroidery hoop

My mini hoop for the swap

Sixty Million Trebles!

You may not have heard of Sixty Million Trebles or maybe even know what a treble is in this context? Neither did I till a few months ago.

It’s really simple though, a woman who loves crochet heard that there were sixty million refugees fleeing Syria without much to keep them warm.  So she had an idea. She started a Facebook group asking people to crochet (or knit) a blanket to donate to the refugees with each maker counting the Trebles  – a type of crochet stitch – in their blanket and adding a tag to state the number. The goal is to have sixty million trebles overall, each stitch representing a life.

All the blankets will be temporarily joined together to hopefully make the world’s largest blanket!  The centre of this enormous blanket will be comprised of crocheted flags of each country! Once it’s been measured as hopeful the world’s largest blanket it will be divided up back into the individual blankets and shipped out to the refugees.

So this is what I’ve been doing the past few months- crocheting a blanket and two flags. I signed up for Guyana and Singapore because they looked interesting to make but not too difficult! It’s taken me a while though as I have to have rest periods when crocheting a lot

And here is the result!

Crochet purple crochet blanket

My blanket!

Crochet flag of Singapore and Guyana and a purple crochet blanket

My flags and blanket

The idea has really taken off and people everywhere are making and sending blankets into various collection points in the UK whilst we wait to arrive at the magic Sixty Million!

So if you read this and you crochet or knit it’s not too late to join in! Just type Sixty Million Trebles into Facebook and join the group and get hooking! (or Knitting if you really can’t Crochet!)

One stitch – one life.

Planned Pooling in Crochet

Autumn coloured yarn made into a cowl

Crocheted a cowl in Red Heart ‘Autumn’ or ‘Fall’ as it’s called in USA!

 

I’ve been fascinated recently by the planned pooling technique in crochet! It’s a method of crochet which involves carefully counting and manipulating your stitches to force an Argyle type pattern.  It’s not easy! I actually used 3 diffferent hook sizes to get the patterning to work as I kept needing to use more or less yarn up in within the rows!

There is a very helpful Facebook group called Planned Pooling in Crochet with lovely, helpful members who advise and support newbie after newbie tearing their hair out and crying “it’ll never work! I just can’t do it!”   It’s  definitely worth joining if you want to try the pooling technique.  This Pooling calculator is very useful too, although it’ll mean more to you if you read through the Facebook group posts first!

I used Red Heart super saver to make this cowl as not many UK yarns will pool – the sequence of colour change in the yarns has to be just right and even some Red Heart will not pool. Fortunately the Autumn shade above pools relatively easily. I bought a few different balls of this type of yarn whilst I was about it as it took ages to find a supplier in UK!

Below is the start of another scarf using Red Heart Supersaver  in Wildflower.  I love this colourway – it’s very pretty!   The  only downside of Planned Pooling is you can’t really watch TV whilst doing it as it need concentration!! Hence it will take me a very long time to make another complete scarf and much as I’d like a  blanket in it ….. not sure the old brain could sustain the focus!😀😀😀

Yarn in purple, yellow and green making an argyle patttern

The start of a new Planned Pooling project

So if you fancy a new project and you can already crochet quite well I’d recommend Planned Pooling – but a word of warning –  once you start you just might not be able to stop! (And you might miss your favourite TV programme!) 😜

Autumn coloured yarn made into a cowl

Crocheted a cowl in Red Heart ‘Autumn’ or ‘Fall’ as it’s called in USA!

New Year means tidy the craft room!

Well it’s New Year and that means it’s time to tidy the craft room! I can no longer make anything in there as there is no room!   I can’t post a picture because it’s too awful for public viewing!  I may, once it has been restored to normality, post some before and after pics!

But for now, here here is a brief roundup of some of my recents makes and adventures!

This ribbon was on my presents from my son  – far too good to throw out!

Green ribbon

This crochet flag was finally finished!

Crocheted flag of Guyana

My crochet flag of Guyana for the Sixty Million Trebles Project

This was a post Christmas walk!

Lake with atmospheric clouds

View over the boating lake at West Kirby

This is my latest stash increase as I am addicted to crochet planned pooling!

Balls of wool

My new red heart yarn for planned pooling

This was a refreshing walk in the North Wales wind!

Llandudno Pier on dark day

Twilight on Llandudno Pier

And finally, it’s back to Patchwork class and a new project!

Fabric in shades of green and dusky pink-purple

My latest fabric selection for a new patchwork wall hanging!

Well that’s all for now! I’ll be back with some updates on the planned pooling projects once my craft room is tidy! 😏