A new toy!

Craft | Wednesday December 7 2011 | 12:52 am | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been finding myself drawn more and more back to knitting recently, but I have a real mental block about a lot of knitting. I often love the look of it but don’t ‘get’ how it works much of the time, unlike crochet which makes sense to me.

So I have a new piece of equipment which I am hoping will help. Ok, it might be cheating, but I’ll live with that!

I have a shiny new second (third?/fourth?) hand knitting machine! It’s a funny beast, but today I managed to create this lovely precious little piece of knitting below:

(apols for the picture – it was taken on my phone as can’t find anything since I moved – camera included!)

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Buttons from Duttons

Craft | Friday November 6 2009 | 11:17 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

Buttons from DuttonsI haven’t gone into this in much detail on here before, but I’ve got a bit of a thing about buttons.  Quite a big thing about buttons actually!

So imagine my surprise and delight, during my holiday in Yorkshire last week, when I stumbled upon a shop in Harrogate called Duttons for Buttons!   OK, it’s true… I knew it was there.  In fact I was beside myself with excitement about visiting it! 

How heavenly is a shop with floor to ceiling buttons… big ones, little ones, blue ones, plastic ones, glass ones, silly one, kiddy ones, glass ones, stripey ones. 

In fact if you couldn’t find a button to match your project here, it probably doesn’t exist.

 

I decided that rather than buy buttons I could get elsewhere I’d get something unusual and that I couldn’t easily get elsewhere.  So here is the little selection  chose.  I also got the tiniest pair of scissors.  Ideal for trimming little thread ends.

Buttons

 The dark purple and the black and white buttons are glass and very pretty asnd unusual. Unfortunately you can’t see the purple too clearly but they have a lovely swirly shape in them. 

The black and white ones are very unusual and have a delicate feel, but they’re not fragile. 

As for the brown ones, I just thought they were so unusual and look like macaroons.   I think they will look great on a chunky knit.

Maybe one day, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll show you my button stash!

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Black Letter Day

Craft | Wednesday October 14 2009 | 4:53 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , |

There are several kids in my life (none of which are my own I will add) and kids love things with their names on then. I am sure its a way of having a little control and identity in your life when so much of it is governed by others, or maybe that was just me. 

Anyway, back to my point!  To date when I’ve wanted to make peronalised things I have drawn letters in a haphazard way which turned out kind of OK, as shown on this bag I made for Lucy, but not the prettiest.  I can make, sew, knit, glue, crochet, hammer, felt etc but don’t ask me to draw or write anything by hand.  So I needed a plan!

Lucy lettersLucy denim bag

I decided to choose an appropriate font, blow it up, laminate it and cut out the letters to use as templates.  It wasn’t ideal for two reasons 1) the letters took  a g e s to cut out so my hands hurt really badly and 2) even laminated, the letters are quite thin so not the easiest to draw round as templates. 

However, I love this curvy, chunky font, which is Cooper Black in 200pt so each letter is around 5cm / 2 inches tall.  I think it will look great in felt and bright colours for kids, or even on a laundry bag for us grown ups saying ‘smelly socks’.

letter templates

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Hooked Up

Craft | Saturday September 26 2009 | 12:32 am | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

Well its ages since I got my delivery of new crochet hooks, but here at last is what I think of them, and the other ones I have tried.  Before I even write a word on the Clover plastic hook you’ll see in hte picture below what the main problem was!!!

3 crochet hooks

So, here we go:

Clover Reflections

Clover 4mm crochet hook broken

When I first got this hook, in a Clover Reflections set of 3 in a tube case (you’ll soon realise I LOVE things that come in their own holders) I was really impressed.  3 hooks, in 4mm, 5mm and 6mm, great colours, case, soft handles, ergonomic design – what could be wrong with that?  Well, after only about one week of use the damage shown above happened.  I have a very standard and even crochet tension and was using double knit yarn so there was really no excessive pressure on the end of the hook.  This set cost approximately £15.00, so not the cheapest hooks either.  I was really disappointed this one broke as it was comfy and colourful to use and the 4mm is size I most commonly use.

Traditional Aluminium

Traditional 4mm steel crochet hook

This is the type of hook that is most commonly known in crochet hooks, and probably the most traditional type.  It’s strong and everlasting and just goes on and on doing a good job.  What more could you ask for?  Well, this type is now available in a coloured finish which adds a bit more pleasure to their use.  I have found that the embossed size and brand name on the shank to be a bit irritating on my fingertips, but then I am a sensitive gal and the little things in life tend to annoy me.  All in all a great crochet hook, reliable and a great price at around £1.20 for 4mm.

Prym Soft Handle

Prym 4mm soft handle crochet hook

I’ll admit it up front that I saved my favourite til last!  When my Clover hook broke I set about finding an alternative and bought a set of Prym Soft Handle hooks from PurpleLinda Crafts.  I am really delighted with these hooks and the 4mm has been in constant use since they arrived.  The handle has a soft, non slip finish.  The metal hook is smooth and strong and easy to use – and I particularly like the shame of the actual hook.  I do find it can get a little sticky depending on the yarn I am using but I give the end a quick rinse with a little washing up liquid and I’m off again.  I have been careful to keep the handle dry as not sure how it would cope.  I have a set of 8 of these hooks, in 2mm-6mm, for £12.99 which is great value, and they are also available individually for around £2.00 for 4mm.

I’d love to hear what your favourite hooks or needles are and why.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

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