30 September 2014

Yarndale 2014

It's not going to be too hard for you to guess what I've been up to this weekend is it?

Yep, I went and had a fun filled time at Yarndale!

My sister and I have been planning and looking forward to this trip for a while, along with plenty of others from the blogging and IG community, so we were pretty excited come Friday when it was time to get ready for the off.  We did have a few last minute problems though, like suddenly finding out we had no hotel to stay at!  I was beginning to fear it wasn't going to happen at all, but after some fraut telephone negotiations I managed to get a different hotel booked and the trip was saved.  Phew!

I'm so glad it was, because despite the arduous 6 hour trip up the builders yard's that is the M1 at the moment, we made it to Yorkshire in one piece and it was fab.

There was a wonderful atmosphere about the place and you get right into the spirit of the event straight away with pretty crocheted Yarndale signs and yarn decorated trees.  Then, once you are inside, you are greeted by the famous great swathes of bunting, which looks just amazing.  If you walk through the bunting and onward into the main space you can turn around and look at the wall of mandalas decorating the walkway above too.

As you'll probably know, Yarndale is held at Skipton Aution Mart and although it would normally be a most bizarre location for an exhibition, for this wooly wonderland it works brilliantly.  If you haven't been, let me see if I can give you a picture.  Imagine a huge farm barn, warehouse sized, filled with rows and rows of metal animal pens, the kind that are usually filled with straw and contain pigs or sheep or some such.  Now imagine that you removed the animals and the straw, cleaned the place nicely and then re-filled the animal pens with lovely stall-holders selling a myrid of yarn and yarny related delights.  That's Yarndale!

In the center of it all is a enclosed area which I think is usually used as a auction area, but is repurposed for this weekend as the Knit and Knatter Lounge, resplendent with one completely wonderful crochet superstar, Lucy of Attic24 fame.  I wandered in to see if I could catch a glimpse only to realise I was practically standing right next to her.  My sister told me off for behaving like a ditsy fan-girl and I admit I was a bit excited!  I must have been a little star struck because I didn't pluck up the courage to speak to Lucy, although I'm sort of kicking myself about it now, I let my shyness get the better of me.

Anyway, after we had seen everything, at least twice, we went back to our hotel, tired, hungry, spent out, but very happy.  It was a good weekend.


Today is the last chance to buy the Granny's Christmas Tree Skirt pattern and get a 25% discount.

The offer is only available in September so hurry if you haven't got yours yet!

S x


25 September 2014

The Colour Collaborative: September


I was a little bit surprised, given how many times I've typed the words 'stitch' in my blogging life, to find that the stitches I think of when I hear the word aren't crochet stitches, or even knit stitches.  Before either of those, my first thought is of sewn stitches.

The needle and thread, the act of fabric being pierced by a sharp point and the thread drawn through behind it.  For some reason, that's just 'stitched' more than any other type of stitch is stitched.  How strange that I should feel that to be true.  I use crochet stitches almost every day and knitted fabric is made up of hundreds of stitches.  Then there's the 'cramp in your side' kind and the 'fixing wounds' kind, not to mention the 'stitched up' kind and more besides.  But even so, nothing says stitched to me better than that picture up there.

When I sew I like to see the stitches in the fabric.  The lines of ditches they create in quilts, the soft wrinkled pucker of the fabric as the stitch pulls it into place.  Simple stitches are enough for me, just running lines, in and out, straight and orderly, following outlines or spelling words.  They don't need to be complicated to be beautiful.

It's true to say that I love the conformity of machine stitches, those nice, even, orderly lines, so regular, and on a good sewing day, so straight.  They appeal to the control freak side of my nature but despite that, you really can't beat the feel and rhythm of handmade stitches.  So individual, so personal, each one carefully placed, each one linked to the last and a tiny part of the whole.  Yes handmade stitches do win over their regimented brothers I think.

Maybe that's why I like them to show up against the fabric and maybe that's why I find the back of patchwork nearly as pretty as the front.  Or maybe it's just because I want everyone to see how much time it took, how many stitches I made, how hard I worked.  

Or maybe it's just because stitches make me happy. 

: :

Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's great posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River

What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 
our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

S x


23 September 2014

Zingtastic Mitts

I'm in love!

So, so in love with these new mitts of mine.  The colours, the puffy stitches, the ziggy zags, everything about them makes me very happy inside.

If you've been following for a while, well since last winter any time, you'll probably have gathered by now that I'm a bit nutty about mitts, or wrist warmers, and the obsession show no signs at all of slowing down this year.  They are just such a snuggly thing to wear when the chilly days start coming. They provide a little extra warmth for those crisp days in Autumn and sorely needed coziness when the harsh grey days of winter settle.  Essential wear in fact, especially for those shorter sleeved cardigans.

It's those puffs that make these mitts so particularly snug and warm though, all fluffy and fat, they trap the air beautifully and are toasty as you could wish.  In fact, it's not really been cold enough to wear them here yet but this week is feeling decidedly sharper, so I think it will be soon.

For once, most unlike my usual self, I actually have the pattern ready all go straight away.  Pretty surprising, no?  I was so excited by these mitts I just couldn't wait to get it all sorted out and ready to go.  Now I've made these and I've fallen for them so hard, I kind of want to make all sorts of things to go with them.  A hat maybe, or a scarf - oh a nice snuggly, puffy scarf, that would be so good... yes, there are definite possibilities.

I've made these in lovely Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, such a lovely soft yarn and it wears pretty well I find, so a practical choice for wristies.  But most of all, those colours, (which are all still available at time of going to press - I checked) are just fantastic and zingy together.  Zingtastic in fact!

: :   Z I G T A S T I C   M I T T S   : :

by Sandra Paul

Buy Zingtastic Mitts now

Useful links:

Zingtastic Mitts on Cherry Heart Boutique

Zingtastic Mitts on Ravelry

I've included a complete colour chart so you can recreate these mitts exactly if you want to, or as always, you can get your own colour mojo going and reinvent them as you wish.

Either way, I'd love it if you'd come and share them with us at my Ravelry group...
 Cherry Hearts Cozy Corner.

Don't forget that there's also a 25% discount off my
  Granny's Christmas Tree Skirt pattern if you buy in September...

S x


20 September 2014

The Craft Hub: Chookie Egg Cozies

I'm over on The Craft Hub for the last time today.  It's been a pleasure working with Hobby Farms on these little home projects and for my last I thought I'd share some cute crocheted egg covers.

I'm calling them Chookie Egg Cozies as that's what we call boiled eggs in our house. I'm not sure why, I think it originated with my husband, but chookie eggs they always are. If you are anything like us, then the 'chookie' egg is something of an event in the household. The family gathers and waits expectantly for the eggs to be ready, egg cups of various designs are selected with care by each member and then egg cozies of various shapes and sizes are chosen. Because it is surely some kind of unwritten rule that you can not only have one egg.

These cozies are incredibly simple to make but that doesn't mean you can't get creative with the designs if you want too. You can use up yarn scraps, play with colour, keep them plain, make stripes, work half and half, up to you! But make sure you have enough for everyone, because they'll all want to make sure their spare eggs are the best dressed at the table.

Find out how to keep your own eggs warm over on The Craft Hub with the Chookie Egg Cozy Tutorial.

S x

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