Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘craft’

Knitting and Stitching Show- Harrogate

Last Thursday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  I went to see what was new, to top up on supplies and to have a great day out. I didn’t attend any of the workshops, I did check online but there were none I fancied.

I am still not certain what I made of it!! I had been to a previous show ( about 8?years ago maybe)in Harrogate but I think that was a combined embroidery and hobby show, so slightly different. Certainly the earlier show was held on the Showground which had plenty of parking.

The location for the Knitting and Stitching show was in the exhibition centre smack in the middle of town with NO parking. So problem one is find the exhibition centre, problem two find a car park, problem three find your way on foot back to the centre, problem four on leaving remember how to get back to your car!

I don’t like crowds. And as I don’t like crowds I went on the first day and was there shortly after the 4 day show opened. Having bought my ticket, which took less time than I imagined and got inside , guess what? It was crowded, very, very ,very crowded! I figured that everyone had got through the doors and stopped at the first few booths, so I plunged through the hoards and indeed the crowds thinned and I was happier.

I found my way to a couple of stalls I was really interested in. The first being Adelaide Walker from whom I had bought my felt supplies by mail order. Now I would love to be able to show photos of the various stalls I visited, but it was crowded and many of my favourites had a no photo sign, so instead all I can share are the photos I took when I got home ,of the goodies I bought.

The first being this merino wool for felting.

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From there I visited a booth for the International Feltmakers Association, where I had a really interesting, informative and friendly conversation. I then went onto a lady who made fabric collages which were so pretty that I bought two kits for Christmas presents, and I wish I had bought more,  and one for myself. Again this lady was really helpful and happy to chat.

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By now the crowds had caught up for me. I will be honest I was totally staggered by the number of people who attended. In places it felt like a rugby scrum. And from here on in any thoughts of having nice friendly chats with stall holders went out the window. Which was a real shame, because this is a chance to talk to experts and in some cases professional practitioners of the crafts I love. And was what I liked about the show I had attended a few years ago.

There were plenty of stalls for knitting, but as I am pretty sussed on knitting and have two yarn suppliers I am more than happy with, I just had  a casual look round these stalls, and there were no yarn purchases.

But Fabric was a different matter. There were many fabric stalls most offering fat quarters. I did a lot of looking around as the prices varied quite considerably. But here’s what I came away with.

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and these

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Now if I couldn’t cope with the crowds, neither could some of the stalls. Not only didn’t they have time to chat they could barely keep up with their sales. By midday many were looking very harassed and some were already selling out of popular items. It was probably a shop lifters paradise.

One of the biggest scrums surrounded the stall where I bought these. Maybe it was a poor layout but three staff couldn’t keep up… and many shoppers were using their elbows to good effect

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These are baskets for potpourri and lavender to decorate and

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and these precut hearts. And one Christmas present.

There were a couple of more disappointments along the way.  One well known supplier of all things crafty had a series of demonstrations going on, including the weirdly named xpandaprint, only problem was that the demonstrators were so engrossed with what they were doing they forgot to speak.

And the other one, well the prices. It struck me that threads, experimental packs etc were more expensive than I would have expected. I go to such events with cash only to ensure I don’t overspend, so I think carefully before each purchase, and I actually came away with nearly a quarter of my budget left as I didn’t like the prices.

I won’t mention the toilets, or how hard it was to find the exit when I had had enough, which was nearly two hours earlier than I expected.

It is great that so many people want to attend, but maybe the show should be somewhere with a bit more space and a car park!

On the plus side I did get the above items. I chatted to a really lovely fellow attendee over a sandwich at lunch . But would I go again, the jury is out on that one!

Oh, I nearly forgot the best purchase of the day. Look at these lovelies below, wooden hearts and buttons and beads galore, and £1 per pack. I saw some stalls charging nearly that per button.

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Have you been to this show or the one in London, what did you think? What is the best way to see whats new?


A Pink Heart Fabric Wreath

Ever since I made a  Christmas raggy wreath I have wanted to make a Pink Heart shaped one.

All you need is a wire coat hanger- bent into either a heart or round shape.

A large quantity of fabric scraps in your chosen colour cut into one inch by six inch strips. You can use remnants or charity shop finds- I acquired a lot of scraps by begging for minute offcuts of fabrics from my dressmaking friends.

And time- around 4-  6 hours should do it. It’s an ideal craft to do whilst you are doing other things.. cooking, brewing tea, watching TV etc.

Start by cutting a piece of card 1 inch by 6 inches. The fastest way to cut the fabric I found was to cut a length of material 6 inches long, then to wrap the card inside the width of fabric and then cut down the long edge, thus..

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That way you get a lot of pieces at once. There’s no need to be over fussy if the odd piece is too short or too narrow. or even a bit of the raggity side

This is the first pile I cut.

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I needed to cut two more similar heaps, but don’t do too many at once, start tying and then cut more.

Then you simply knot each strip around the wire frame. Cut more pieces as you need them. Keep checking the overall effect. As I progressed it looked too pink to me, so out came my stash of silver fabric, which lifted the whole wreath. Keep tying till you can fit in no more.


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Next you need to do something about the hook part.

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Take a length of fabric, fold over the top and secure to the top of the hook, secure with a few stitches or fabric glue. I prefer to stitch in place.

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At the end of this I cut the fabric strip in two and tied in place around the frame. Then I stitched it tightly.

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Finally tie a couple of pieces to cover these stitches.

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Nealry there now..

Have a good look, does it look finished or would you like to hang something in the middle. My original intention had been to hang a crochet heart like this here,  but when I looked at the wreath I think it would have been too much. So instead out came five silver Christmas baubles and here is the finished wreath.

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with baubles..

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Now to make Mr E a nice card and plan a suitable dinner…

Christmas version

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Linking with Handmade Monday

Upcycled treasures into homemade Christmas cards

This year I made a big push to use all my carefully kept craft materials to make some Christmas cards- 20 Christmas cards in fact. Carefully kept? Well mostly recycled Christmas cards, scraps of unused Christmas wrapping paper- you know the odd bits you are always left with which are too small for anything, treasures from packaging, craft materials gifted by crafty friends etc. Here’s what I mean.

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These are all made from old cards with bits added to some. You may need to click on the picture to see them better.

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The papers on these are the scraps from previous years wrapping paper. Father Christmas came from a last years card.

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The two snowmen on here are from old cards too- the orange bow was from packaging of something or other.

The urge to get covered in glue and glitter stems ,I am sure , from my happy days working with pre- schoolers.

We tried to go to a Christmas market on Saturday- nightmare- the streets were rammed with people and the market stalls when we got there, were 6-8 people deep.We gave up. Popped into a few of likely looking shops- advertising they were Vintage and Handmade. Handmade they may have been- but Vintage style is what they were. Most disappointing. I’ll stick with my homemade Christmas decorations,which probably do qualify as Vintage now!

It seems sad to me that there is such a market for commercial Vintage style- when the real thing can be made with love at home.

Linking with Handmade Harbour today- some lovely handmade treasures there!

I’ve not been able to blog for a couple of days on account of the glitter and glue- all tidied up now, and on with the knitting…

Love to know what everyone else is making for their handmade Christmas.




Keep Calm ,Craft on!

Some weeks this is just so true, and last week was one of them. A time of change and adjustment chez nanas- E has new job , in York rather than across the other side of the country in Manchester- therefore home every night, wanting proper dinner! Both of us getting used to each others working life routines, both wondering what happened to the long evenings! We’ll get there!!

On a different note his Dad needs some support at the moment as he thinks through whether at 92 and failing eye sight he’d like to move into a home, and My Mum not coping with the heat, suffering a a rather scary hallucination, and down in Wales miles and miles from any of us.

Again we will get there, and what can be done by way of support when the distances and other commitments are there.

So keep calm and craft on.. I decided to start a blanket for a Moses basket for the new little someone- hoping still for a girl, i wanted some pink, but not too much in case of a boy, wanting bold colours as I read once that babies see bold colours before pastels, failing to get to grips with every wavy/ ripple pattern I tried and eventually going for a Granny Stripe..

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And now I worry it’s not baby enough after all- what do you think?

When I worry, I clean and tidy, last week I went through a chest in which old WIPs are stored- the one I unearthed at the very bottom must be 20 plus year, if not 30 years a WIP. I had cut out the Body parts and then stopped- I think it had been intended for my niece- now a Mum herself, but the new little somebody might like her.. so today I picked up the WIP and embroidered some eyes!

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Looks a bit spooky!

Linking in with Frontier Dreams for more keeping calm and crafting on.

Vintage inspired picture!

I am actually quite pleased with how this project turned out. It all started last year when I spotted this picture in a Woman’s Weekly Craft magazine.

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I just needed to do something similar. The first thing was to source a suitable frame. The one in the magazine came from Marks & Spencer and cost £25. Too much. But the Range stocked one which I liked even more and at a fraction of the price. Fast forward one year… and time to get cracking! First thing- assemble fabric, trimmings, saved objects and start to make my selection.

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Note that box of trimmings on the right- salvaged with permission by Mr E from a firm that made bikinis- samples of trimmings, ribbons, buttons, etc etc. Clever Mr E.

Starting to make my choice..

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Fabric from friends-ask anyone who makes pretty dresses for girls if you can have their off cuts.. I ended up using two such off cuts as background fabric, plus some home hand dyed silk ( by me). Keep all bits and pieces from chocolates, stationary gift boxes, cosmetics, broken beads and brooches. The fabric and trimmings are all sellotaped at the back, I have sewn on the buttons, fabric flowers and bells. The brooch was given to me by my Mother and comes from Switzerland and is just pinned on. What I like is that without too much trouble I can make other such pictures for the frame – maybe on an Autumn or Winter theme.

And here it is !

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How does it compare to my inspiration picture?

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It now has pride of place in my bedroom.

Linking in with Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour

Pink Saturday

How to stuff a giraffe!

How do you stuff a Giraffe- with extreme difficulty! Boom Boom- the old ones are the best. Equally testing is how to add horns and a mane!

First who am I talking about- meet Maisie (NB I thought her name was going to be Geraldine but she turned out to be Maisie, or do you think differently?)

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Here she is again, wanting to Go Out to Play (Eat!!)

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So how do you stuff a Giraffe? Well start with a bigger opening than I left. Then use small pieces of toy stuffing- you can’t rush this. Twice as much stuffing material as you think- I have learned that the hard way. Children do tend to carry toys under their arms by the neck which does stretch them somewhat. Make sure you get every nook and cranny Full. I find a knitting needle really helps.

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Having my hand up the backside of the giraffe made me most grateful I am not a zoo vet!

Here is Maisie where she asked to be in the garden..

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chowing the greenery and

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enjoying the fragrance!

I decided to make a giraffe because every craft book I seemed to open  had a toy spotted giraffe as part of the props, but never a pattern. So I was really pleased when I found this one.

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The only problem was I could not access the right materials for the horns and mane. So I used some cord for the horns, and some fluffy trim for the mane. I couldn’t stitch it in as shown on the pattern- instead I sewed in the two ends of the mane  then after it was stuffed I stitched it down.

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So do you like her? Linking in with Frontier Dreams and Handmade Monday




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