Day #10 Techniques I Want to Try

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #10

Techniques I want to try – Entrelac

I have never tried Entrelac before, either knitting or crochet, and I have always wanted to. It looks so complicated and fluffy, with lots of raised texture as well as looking really warm and snuggly!!

I understand the basic idea of it, but just haven’t had the time or patience to try as I hate picking up stitches! Basically, it looks like a chunky basketweave kind of stitch, that’s the only way I can think to describe it!

Here are 3 patterns from Ravelry to get you started with Entrelac:

  1. Entrelac Made Easy Cowl by Susan Gressman

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/entrelac-made-easy

2. Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/entrelac-scarf

3. Entrelac Blanket by Catriona Stevenson

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/entrelac-blanket-3

These are all free Ravelry downloads, have a look if you want to learn a new technique and add to your list of crafty skills.

You can be as clever and creative with colours and patterns as you like – I have a fantastic circular version of an Entrelac throw made in rainbow colours.

Entrelac is definitely on my list of things to learn. What technique is on yours? x

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Day #8 New Crafts To Try This Year

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #8

New crafts to try this year

I feel like I tried a lot of new ones last year in 2020 – resin, mosaics, made a leather handbag, tried Lino cutting, got to grips with my sewing machine in earnest…

This year, I want to focus more on finishing UFO’s and WIP’s, and on improving my technique and learning new techniques for current skills (I am thinking knitting, crochet and sewing here).

I still have the materials for the Lino cutting and printing- I had a go last year and didn’t pick it up again after I cut my hand quite badly – doh!! So, maybe that’s one for the summer.

I also have a block of candle wax to turn into candles and a lot of shea butter and oils to make into salves and body butters etc. These are more about using up what’s left of my stash and making a bit more room for stuff.

As regards knitting and crochet here are a few goals for this year:

Entrelac

Double Knitting

Brioche Knitting

Improve on my colour work and Fair Isle knitting – there is a cowl and hat in the Shetland Wool Adventures journal that I would’nt mind having a go at

Do more varied versions of the granny square – I tend to stick to the plain one all the time

Knitting in the round– socks and mittens are a sort of goal for this year

And for sewing?

I did a collar facing last year and added zips- I used the zipper foot for the first time ever!!

I think the biggest issue is the measuring and cutting out of both patterns and fabric. And the finishing touches and just finishing in general. I am quite a fast sewer, but the edges always look wonky…so the actual technique of sewing needs a little work, rather than specific projects.

So, to recap, no new crafts this year until I finish my current projects and I am going to focus on improving the crafts I do at the moment. 🙂

Although, saying that, this pattern is in my stash…I love the first 2 (they remind me of Assassin’s Creed and Rey’s outfit from Star Wars) and I want to do A with the sleeves of C and no pockets like B…

sewing pattern

Day #6 Favourite Crafty Celebrity

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #6

Favourite Crafty Celebrity

I live in the UK. There is only really one person that comes to mind when we think of a crafting celebrity…yes, I am of course talking about Kirsty Allsopp!

To those not in the UK, she is probably best known over here for hosting a lot of selling your house type TV programmes, where the people do up their home and then decide whether to sell it or not, or maybe they are simply looking for a new house somewhere.

But, in more recent years, she has also hosted a lot of craft programmes with different formats. She tries lots of crafts, she does tutorials for some and there was even one series where she entered lots of craft fairs and shows.

I particularly love her Christmas craft shows…although they always seem to be on air at funny times and I miss them!

I guess the US version would be Martha Stewart?!!!!

I like Keith Brymer Jones from a TV show called The Great Pottery Showdown – it has become a guessing game of whether he will cry each episode, but he’s a sweetie!!

And Patrick Grant from The great British Sewing Bee – all the women watching that show like him!!!!!!!!

There are many other crafty people I like, but I’ve looked at TV and not Youtube or anything else.

Who do you like? Any suggestions who to watch?! x

DAY #4 Longest Item To Make

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #4

Longest item to make

A contender for longest make is the orange jumper I am knitting now. I started it a few years ago, did about 6cm of rib at the bottom and then lost all interest and forgot all about it.

I picked it up again last year and did the back, now I am working on the front. Then just sew it together, do some tiny sleeves and a tiny collar.

where I had got up to in 2017/2018
knitted jumper
progress 2020

I want this off my needles this year…hopefully by end of summer I will have finished it. The cables slow me down as I haven’t done a lot of them in the past.

I don’t like having long projects on my needles, they become a THING. And the THING bothers me that they’re still there in my bag/drawer being all unfinished and that…

DAY #3 Favourite Thing I Have Ever Made

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #3

Favourite thing I have ever made

Well, where do I start with this one? I have made so many things from so many different materials. Also, what are the exact judging criteria?!!

I generally go for easy, quick-ish knits and bits. I like to knit and crochet blankets, cowls and hats. I am only just now starting with the sweater knitting after about 5 or 6 years of knitting. I am late to that party.

One of my all time crochet faves is this shawl I made with Stylecraft Cabaret DK, I don’t know the shades but I did 2 balls of a multi-coloured shade and then 2 balls of a grey/ blue shade.

It is so soft and snuggly and I used up yarn I had already and best of all…I crocheted it in the sun last year during lockdown 2020. Something beautiful and practical out of being stuck at home. Pattern from a book called Shabby Chic Crochet designed by Agnieszka Strycharska.

Another of my all-time favourite (non knitting or crochet related) makes was this recipe design I cross-stitched at university. As if I didn’t have enough to do then!!

I have kept it hidden away for all these years until last year, when I got out my hot glue gun and stuck it to the front of a spare notebook I had and it is now my hand-written recipe book. Of course, it doesn’t look as glamorous inside…

The pattern was from a cross stitching magazine with a free calendar and the pattern was in the calendar, I can’t remember anything else about it than that!! Possibly Cross Stitcher or World of Cross-Stitching magazines??

I also love this granny blanket I made last year using up Double Knitting scraps. It’s bright and funky coloured and eye-catching and is currently on my bed on top of my duvet as it’s getting cold here. Last night was -3C BRRRR!!

crochet granny square blanket
crochet granny square blanket

As for knitting? It’s hard to pick a favourite. Probably all of the mini Christmas makes I did last year. I bought 3 volumes of pattern books from a website called Deramores. They were called Christmas Knits by King Cole Yarns. And I knitted baubles, stockings, a Christmas pudding tea cosy, Christmas hanging trees…so much festive goodness!

knitted stocking
mini knitted stocking
tea cosy
knitted bauble
knitted bauble

So, yeah, that’s a few of my favourite makes. I realised when writing this post, I don’t actually have a lot of pics of things I have made. Every so often I have to make more memory space available and I go through and delete photos, but also I just don’t take many pics! I am not the best photographer in the world…

Also, a lot of the favourites have been given away to friends and family.

What are your favourite makes?

DAY #2 Favourite Yarn Brand

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #2

Favourite Yarn Brand

I have always loved James C. Brett, especially their Marble Chunky range – I have made so many things for both myself and other people from it. It knits up really well and fast and is chunky and warm.

I have used quite a few different yarns from both King Cole and Stylecraft. Usually the cheap acrylic ones – either 100% acrylic or a mix with either polyester or wool.

I tend to shy away from 100% wool as it can be a bit itchy and scratchy for me.

A brand I have only recently started to use is Hayfield. I like their aran yarn which I used for my Christmas stockings. It’s bright and soft.

So…I would say I don’t go for the expensive or luxury brands!!

The trouble I find with most brands, including the ones above, are that most of them are made in other countries like Turkey, and the fact that the material is acrylic and not the most eco-friendly. No-one has forced me to buy acrylic and I don’t want to sound like a yarn snob, I like the feel of acrylic yarns and the fact that they usually wear well, like they stand up well to a washing machine in my experience.

In the future I definitely want to use more British spun and dyed yarns and more natural fibres such as wool or alpaca. I have never tried a bamboo yarn before, so that is on my list.

style craft cabaret DK

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE

I have had fun thinking up this little challenge to get this blog well and truly up and running.

Feel free to use these prompts if you want to have a go yourself.

  1. Last crafty thing I worked on (doesn’t have to be finished)
  2. Favourite yarn brand e.g. Stylecraft
  3. Favourite thing I have ever made
  4. Longest item to make
  5. Eco-friendly crafting
  6. Favourite crafty celebrity e.g. Kirsty Allsopp
  7. Talk about your crafty childhood
  8. New crafts to try this year
  9. Favourite knitting stitch
  10. Techniques I want to try
  11. Favourite colour palettes
  12. Knitting vs. Crochet
  13. Charitable makes/ donations
  14. Making for children
  15. Epic Fails
  16. How craft blogging has changed since my first blog in 2015
  17. Using up your stash
  18. Messy vs. Neat workspace
  19. Natural or synthetic fibres
  20. Favourite crafty Youtubers
  21. Favourite crafty book
  22. Specific items/ projects I want to try e.g. mittens
  23. Most practical/ useful thing I have ever made
  24. Favourite place to craft away
  25. Morning/ afternoon/ evening person/ crafting
  26. First make of 2020
  27. Halloween makes/ knits?
  28. Ever taught anyone to knit/ crochet etc?
  29. Last craft kit you bought
  30. What will be the next project you work on?