Saturday, 15 November 2014

A little bit of Xmas crafting . . .

I can't remember what led me to Little Treasures shop/blog on Thursday, but whatever it was it led me to purchase a lovely pattern for crochet snowflakes, which I spied previously.  I know you can get lots of free snowflake patterns on the internet, but her patterns are so beautifully written and illustrated, they really are for keeps :)  I wasn't disappointed with my purchase, and it came with a freebie 'holly and berries' pattern - how cute was that!

It was great to just get on with some self-indulgent crafting!  I set to making the snowflake (there are two in the pattern BTW) straight away, using some 4 ply cotton yarn from my stash.  Later in the evening, I couldn't resist having a go with the holly and berry pattern, using some DK acrylic yarn and a 3.5 mm hook.


A little close-up of both creations (the berries are filled with polyfil stuffing) . . .


and the snowflake (I used a 3 mm hook and Lyric Puppets cotton 8/4) . . .


Just for info - I spray starched the snowflake once it was finished using Dylon spray starch - it worked quite nicely.

Some possible uses for the holly and berry decoration - adding them to one of my crochet slippers perhaps, hehe  . . .


A little bit OTT, but I was having a bit of fun by this point!

A little summary . . .


I had a little play-around with adding one snowflake to a card, which worked quite well too :)

I'm so chuffed with both these patterns!  Great for adding to Chrismas gifts, or just to add a little festive touch around the house - I'd definitely recommend trying them out.

It's a stunning, calm day here in the Hebrides - you can see the Scottish mainland hills very clearly, just gorgeous!


Wouldn't it be nice to get some lovely, mild winter weather - we'd better make the most of today in any case!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Change of Plan . . . .

A whole month without blogging - yes I do have a decent explanation though, honest!  After much head-scratching, soul-searching (well, just a little bit!), humming and ahhhh . . . ing, and all manner of other metaphors, I have finally decided to lay 'Tweed Delights' to rest. Eventually the retail side of my tweedie crafting antics has gradually petered out, just as my interest in a much wider range of crafts eg. crochet, embroidery, sock-knitting, fair isle knitting, etc. has expanded.  

So no more 'Tweed Delights' - my website has gone, but I now hope to continue with my crafting and blogging.  The journey continues, but in a slightly different direction!  Perhaps I will now get time to line this tweed jacket I made over 20 years ago - it has hung in my wardrobe all that time (how's that for a W.I.P.  - work in progress, hehe).  I'd also love to make another pair of these Egyptian Socks by Nancy Bush, which I knitted last Winter - I'm thinking another pair in red and white this time - they were such a joy to make : )


So no more online selling, but lots more personal crafting to come I hope :)

October Holidays seem a long way ago now, but we enjoyed ours anyway.  A lovely visit to Glasgow preceded by a chilled out week at home, being vaguely domesticated.  Scones, crochet, and big mugs of tea . . . .


Well, must dash now and catch up with eight years of housework! Yikes, yes, eight years since Tweed Delights started - where did that time go?? :)  Anyway, I'm pleased how things have evolved and I'm looking forward to a smooth transaction from craft retail to . . . . well, more crafting adventures - wherever they take me!  I'll keep you update here at any rate :) :)

(I have accrued a huge amount of crafty skills over the past few years - my thoughts right now are how to maintain and adapt these skills, to share them perhaps - lots of Tweed Thoughts!)

Cheerio an Drasda, and see you soon I hope :)
Alison x

P.S.  A HUGE thankyou to all my lovely customers/friends, over the last few years - you are the BEST! xx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Switching craft . . . .

Oh well, I've put the very mild, but persistent shoulder ache down to my crochet antics - perhaps a little too much over the summer, but I did find it very relaxing and enjoyable to pick up in between everything else that was going on.  I tend to keep my left shoulder quite rigid when crocheting (I'm a right handed crocheter and hence use my left hand to tension the yarn), it all fits together to explain why I might feel an ache in my left shoulder.  I found this blogpost quite interesting - isn't it nice to see a man crocheting!! 

I've decided to go back to some knitting as I really miss having some kind of needle-craft project to hand.  I really enjoyed the speed of crocheting - it works up so fast!, also the creativity of it - so many possibilities :)  But I've never had any issues with shoulder aches with knitting so I'm going back to it for the time being.   Guess what I'm starting with . . . .


I had these two balls of sock yarn in my stash which I picked up cheaply on E-bay.  My recent yarn purchases have been for crochet projects - Oh Dear, so I may have to adapt them for knitting projects, at any rate I can't buy any more yarn for the time being!  I'm going to make a plain old basic pair of socks (Vanilla socks in the US??) using Ann Budd's basic pattern.  I enjoyed having a little browse through my sock knitting books though - they're such a lovely resource to have . . . 

I may have to knit something else up while doing the socks - I think I may feel a scarf coming on!  Anyway I hope taking up some knitting work will mark the return of my crafting mojo which seems to have faded a little of late :)  I know, I know - where's the tweed, I hear you say!!  Hmmmmm - I'm working on it . . . . . :) :)  I'm sure I'll feel inspired soon(ish!)

Have a lovely weekend :)
Alison x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pancakes 'n slippers . . .

I've been a little absent of late - a shoulder ache had put a halt to my crochet projects and I  just took a complete break over the last week and a half (or two!).  I love my crochet but not enough to suffer aches and pains!  I'm still being cautious and it might be a sign to get the sewing machine out and do some real (tweedie) work, hehe :)

Youngest has been practicing his culinary skills and made some lovely pancakes last weekend (and this weekend!).  They were very yummy - although he did manage somehow to drop an egg yolk on the pavement outside the house first . . . . don't ask, hehe!!!  (em . . . we didn't use  that egg yolk just in case you are wondering!) . . . 


Prior to the shoulder ache/injury I was making these sweet little crochet slippers (another Mamachee pattern).  I added a little crochet rosebud to mine . . . .


I think they turned out really sweet :)


. . . they look quite dainty on, like Cinderella slippers! . . . . I'm thinking Christmas pressies here :)


Better think of getting the sewing machine out soon before I forget how to use it.  My poor tweed collection will be collecting dust - Oh Dear!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A tale of three beanies . . . .

As I've mentioned I've been spending most of my crafty time recently doing crochet projects.  I've not been 'in the zone' to do anything too time consuming but I was led to 'Mamachees' lovely Etsy shop through LittleWoollie's blog.  What a treasure trove of lovely patterns - crochet heaven, hehe!  I popped a couple (or 3!) into my shopping basket :)

Here's the results of the beanie pattern I purchased . . .


I had so much fun making these . . .


. . . in lovely soft Lion Brand wool . . .


I've been experimenting with different size hooks and pattern lengths to get the perfect fit beanie!  They always turn out different as sometimes I manage to skip a row of the pattern - happy accidents!!

I thought it might be nice to make some beanies in colours that reflect our local landscape so I've ordered some earthier colours (although I love these ones too!).  We're moving into Autumn here - a lovely season . . . 


I've neglected the garden this summer (again!) I'm afraid, but the colours still look fabulous this morning.  Flowering shrubs always save the day . . .


The veronica hedge looks quite stunning out the back :)

Eldest is safely (I hope!) settled back at Uni, so life is rolling on regardless and perhaps I'll feel calm enough to engage in some more regular crafty activity - here's hoping :) :)  I will probably make him a new beanie soon in some more manly/'studenty' colours as I did make full use of him before he flew off and followed him round the house trying on my beanies at various stages of completion (you've got to make the most of them, hehe!)  He was very obliging actually - they're both well used to my 'crafty' capers!

Alison x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Back into a little routine . . . almost!

Well, where was I now??  Can't remember when I last blogged but at a certain point in the summer holidays I decided just to go with the flow and just enjoy the 'here and now' - so that's what I did :)  Lots of birthday celebrations, family visits and time just flew by! 'Youngest S' has just gone back to school (a little reluctantly of course!) and we've had 'Oldest S' at home all summer after a quite demanding first year at Uni.

In the meantime we've enjoyed a lovely summer with some genuine sunny, hot weather for once and I took to doing some crochet projects and completely shelved doing anything on the sewing machine.

I'm currently working on this crochet bolero made from a series of squares . . . .


I love the colours of this yarn - it's Drops Delight . . .


Each square is lopsided ie. longer at the top than at the bottom, so that when they're all joined up they form a circle.  I love this pattern - it's interesting enough to hold my attention and every square looks different due to the variegated colours.  I have to make about 20 of these squares but I'm not rushing this - it's a 'laid back' enjoyable one - easy to pick up and drop - perfect for right now.


The orange square at the top here is actually made in Noro Kureyon - it was my test square but the colour is lovely.  The other squares look nice and Autumnal though too, so I'm happy with them :)

I also made this over the summer . . .


I'm not sure what I was thinking of  LOL!!  It was a really fun pattern - I chose a pretty bonkers colour (it's actually NEON green!!) and decided to make it a short-sleeved, cropped version of the pattern.  In a creative spur of the moment I added a scallop edge to the sleeves and body . . .


I was quite proud of my 'MODS' (modifications) as they say over on Ravelry!

I'm calling this an experimental piece as I've no idea that I would wear it!  The colour is a bit wrong and it's not quite 'me' but it's my first crochet garment so I'm chuffed with that :) :)  I haven't added my attempt to my Ravelry account yet, I have to take some better pics!

Anyway it was a learning process and I LOVE Doris Chan's design - very funky and fun (beautiful lace work!) :)  I will try this one or another one again sometime (but maybe not in NEON green - ooops!)  (My youngest has stated that I'm NOT allowed to wear it outside of the house, haha!!! - I might stop traffic, but not in a good way!)

I won't be quite back in the crafty/bloggy groove until eldest is back at Uni - don't think I will be able to switch off sufficiently until then.  I'll keep crocheting in the meantime :) :)

Cheerio an Drasda!
Alison x

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Simple pleasures . . .

I've been passing this patch of wildflowers on my way out to the moor track for the last week or so - it looks really pretty in a chaotic way :)  It was a bit blustery the day I took this pic but it's still lovely . . .


And a close up of the most perfect daisy . . .


We've had beautiful weather this week, but I did manage to finish the crochet bag last weekend - it was a race to see how it would turn out . . .


Just perfect to hold a couple of library books!  I'm really delighted with this pattern - so simple :)  I made the handles a lot longer than the original pattern required - 100 chain instead of 40 chain!  I wanted to use it as a shoulder bag though and did 3 rows of double crochet so that the straps weren't too thin.  I made the straps separately and just double cocheted them onto each side of the bag.

We're off to the Heb Celt festival today - it looks a little overcast, but I'm sure it will be fine :)   If the heavens really open I can always christen my new flowery wellies, hehe . . .


Bye for now!
Alison x