Between projects

Yes, I am currently ‘resting’ from creativity. I am very much between projects. But I am spending a lot of time in my studio – my favourite place – planning.

Corner of my studio

Corner of my studio

In a surge of efficiency I finished off a few projects which were mostly done but required tweaking and finishing touches. I had some giant wool scraps which I turned into this lovely bunting:

Spiral wool bunting

Spiral wool bunting

A while ago I made this little ghostie from an old Jean Greenhowe pattern, and I never got round to sewing on the eyes, because embroidery isn’t my strong point. So instead I finished him off with some cool sunglasses, which made him very jolly indeed, as you can see.

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It is very nice to have objects about you which inspire and encourage. In my studio, these include my giant knitting needles hand-crafted by my Uncle, and the note he sent me in the parcel:

'Happy Knitting!'

‘Happy Knitting!’

My workbench is more or less clear and ready for me to start something new. Now all I need is a clear mind and a few free hours to get my notebooks out and start creating again.

Wishing you all the best with your creativity over the coming weeks!

Till next time,

L x

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A Week in my Studio

I just had the luxury of spending the entire week in my studio, having taken some long overdue leave from the FTJ (full time job). Allowing myself more or less all day to plan, create, and knit has been wonderful.

You can see from the sheer amount of clutter on the desk that a few projects are in progress.

Works in progress

A knitting pattern is ready to be posted, there are sample basket bases, a part-finished knitted handbag, some completed cotton cloths, double pins, needles, thread, and a pile of spiral coasters. I am loving the spiral coasters, even though they are not knitted, just sewn in place. I decided to take some pictures of them, with Larry’s help.

Thanks for helping, Larry!

Thanks for helping, Larry!

That's better!

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I think the cats have enjoyed having me around the house all day. There is usually one or two hanging out with me, either on my lap or in one of the baskets.

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The FTJ next week is going to be insane, as I will have loads of catching up to do plus lots of preparation for a trade event next Friday. But I must try to harness this week’s creativity and motivation, and continue with it in every spare moment.

I’ve got to design more patterns!

Happy crafting!

Till next time,

L x

Autumn Craft Fair

Now that I’ve knitted a few dishcloths and fishcloths, I thought it was time to do a craft fair. I don’t often do them because I mostly sell my printed patterns, so my audience is limited to knitters. So I was interested to see which would sell best, the finished items or the instructions on how to make them.

Gathering my stock together, I realised I had quite a few new designs to add to the cupcakes and Chrismas decorations. Firstly there was the Fishcloth, which is selling quite well on Ravelry.

Fishcloth

Then the Rayfishcloth

Rayfishcloth

The ideal cloth should be reversible, so after much research into reversible patterns, I have these three:

Three Reversible Cloths

I just love having no wrong side – it’s a kind of knitting magic.

Then there are the two cats. I’m not completely happy with either of them. I feel I could go further into detail without writing a very fiddly pattern. So they are a starting point for a work in progress.  But a friend of mine went wild for them and asked for the pattern, so I thought, there’s nothing to lose in writing up the patterns as they are and seeing if they sell. I called them ‘Shelf Cat’ because they have a flat circular bottom which makes them ideal for sitting on your shelf or bedside.

Shelf Cat

Shelf Cat – the fluffy one

Then there were the 3 gorgeous little keepsake bags, based on my cupcake pattern, i.e., they have circular bottoms. And some beautiful stitch detail, beading, and double drawstrings.

Trio of Keepsake Bags

The fair was a lot of fun. The homemade cakes were wonderful, the tea first class, and they looked after the stallholders so well. The tea ladies came round often to take tea and cake orders so that you didn’t have to leave your stall, and the tea was served strong in big mugs – just the way I like it and perfect for going round the cake menu.  Lots of people stopped to admire my things and to chat about how their mother or grandmother used to knit. It was quite funny telling people that most of my things were not for sale, they were just samples to sell the patterns. Even so, I sold quite a lot of patterns. My deal of the day on buying three really helped.

As for the finished items, I priced my fishcloths, rayfishcloths, and reversible cloths at £5 each, showing the ball band from the organic cotton yarn.  Not surprisingly I didn’t sell a single one. But I expected that, and I don’t mind because I don’t really have time to make up my designs to sell. I am more interested in working on new designs, in the limited time I have.

One very friendly chap spotted my Birthday Cake with Lit Candles and just loved it. He was off to a birthday celebration that evening and really wanted to give it as a gift. ‘I’m very sorry, but it’s not for sale’, I said, quite amused by having lots of things on my table which were not for sale at a craft fair. ‘But I can sell you the pattern, if you’d like to knit it yourself’. This made him laugh, and he asked me why I wasn’t selling it. ‘Because then I’d have to knit it again, ‘ I replied. This made him laugh even more. I relented a little, seeing his enthusiasm, and asked him to make me an offer for it. ‘I’ve no idea what these things cost’, he said. ‘Why don’t you tell me what you want for it?’  ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Fifty quid’. ‘Fifty quid!’ he said, still laughing. ‘I’m not buying it for that’.  And I replied ‘I’m not selling it either’.  It was a hilarious exchange.

And the bestseller of the day? The Shelf Cat!

Till next time,

L x

New Fish Dishcloths are here!

These are my new fish dishcloths. They could be face cloths too, or washing cloths at bath time. Kitchen or bathroom, they are made to swim in water!  The yarn is super soft, 100% organic cotton. This was a real find: it’s hygienic, naturally clean, which helps to protect against allergies and respiratory problems (so says the blurb). The wash and wear properties are far superior to normal cotton, and it’s softer too. It certainly feels wonderfully soft on your fingertips.

I wanted to write a quick and fun knitting pattern for the fish. I realised that for a heavy-wear item like a cloth, it probably wasn’t a good idea to sew anything on.  I didn’t want any fussy details with threads to hide, especially when the wrong side of the work would be so visible. All the detail had to be knitted in, in one go.  That way, the wrong side would be relatively neat and uncluttered, and there would be no chance of any sewing gradually coming unravelled after some heavy use.

I really enjoyed playing with these fabulous bright colours!

 

Next job is to lay out the pattern and get it listed.

I have another fish design in development…very excited! Coming soon…

Till next time,

Happy knitting,

L x

Soft cotton cloths are here!

A package of beautiful organic cotton yarn arrived this week:

 

It really is very soft and lovely to handle.

Time to get to work on my 100% reversible face cloths. Knocked out two so far:

 

 

I love how this yarn catches the light and really shows off the textures created by the stitches.

There are a few more patterns to try, all reversible. I am loving having two right sides and no wrong side. There’s something very agreeable about it.

Meanwhile…sad news about my spinning wheel. I took it apart and sent it off to my uncle for his expert verdict. I had hoped it wasn’t beyond repair and that he would be able to work his magic on it. But sadly it was not to be. ‘I don’t understand how it has ever worked’, he said. ‘It’s a mystery how it came to be built like this.  It’s totally unusable I’m afraid.  Even if I rebuilt it, you would only be able to spin very fine yarns on it, as the orifice is so small’.  This is not ideal for a total beginner like myself, and anyway, I would like the option of spinning different yarn weights, including chunky. Well, at least while I had it, my spinning wheel looked pretty and romantic…but I would prefer one that was functional too.  So the spinning project is shelved…for now.

However, my lovely uncle has made some enormous circular needles for me, and they are winging their way to me in the post. Extreme knitting, here I come!

Till next time,

L x