Thursday, 28 January 2016

Little Socks for little feet . . . and some sheep's tails :)

Thursday seems to becoming my day for blogging :)  I've been pretty busy the last week - it started last weekend when I took the notion to make a little pair of baby socks with some lovely cream chunky wool I had purchased for another use.  My mantra at the moment is "make use of what I have" in terms of yarn anyway!  Once I looked at my yarn stash I started coming up with all sorts of ideas and notions of things I wanted to knit - the plan is to stock my Etsy shop with lots of yummy knitty and tweedy creations, yay!

I have to say I LOVE using my double pointed needles - be it bamboo ones or steel ones.

This yarn was lovely to use - I finally found out that it's a Drops yarn (wool and alpaca mix) so very soft for little squidgy feet :)  I think they turned out quite cute:

I made the decision this week to rename my Etsy shop to the same as my website/business name:  Handmade on the Croft.  I'd named it Yarns on the Croft initially but I've decided to keep everything under the same name now - keep it simple!  

I'm pleased with how my own website is developing and having my own domain name is really good :)  It's also simple to contact me from there on my Contact page :)  I'm trying to tidy things up so it's easy to find me and my 'makes' online!

Back to the fun stuff - I also decided last weekend to make another fair isle sheep sleeve with a little change to the reverse.  I made this one in grey which I thought worked well . . . 

I made a little change and instead of having the reverse exactly the same I embroidered two little bobbly tails (on two bobbly sheep bums!) instead . . . 

Sorry, not so clear in my photo but you get the gist!  I thought it added a bit of fun anyway :) 

I do like how the sleeves are very slim but quite densely knitted because of the double width of fair isle technique . . . 

I've still to get back to my new sewing machine - perhaps later today!  I think the last thing I made was this tweed/vintage style sleeve (I'm a little suspicious that this is what, er, damaged my old machine).  Perhaps I'll be using a lighter weight lace embellishment the next time - I did love this one though . . . 

It's listed here :)

As you can see I've been very focussed on making stock at the moment - perhaps a craft fair should be on the cards later in the year.  It's something I will have to look into definitely :)

For myself I'm still drooling over this yummy yarn which I'd forgotten I'd ordered before Christmas and it arrived well into January . . . 

It's a lovely dark/gold bronze colour - Ji-ji the cat would loveto get her paws on it :)  It'll be on the back burner for a while though until I get my Etsy shop stocked up :)  I have a few more ideas of stock I would like to add eg. tweedie buttons, perhaps more kiddie socks, and of course I'm sure I'll be making some more fair isle phone sleeves - I've another design in the wings!

Are you an Esty fan or not?  I do love browsing through it myself but it's difficult to be impartial when you are also selling from it at the same time!  Any suggestions/opinions re either of my online shops would be gratefully received - I can take it, hehe!

Better go - I still haven't checked out that sewing machine - oops :)  A busy week at the office job next week so I may have to take a week out of my blog - back soon though!

Apologies for a very 'shop' driven post - I guess it's where I'm at, at the moment though :)

Alison x

Thursday, 21 January 2016

More fair isle work . . . I'm addicted!

I think the last time I blogged I'd just started a new fair isle phone sleeve (was that only last Thursday??) - it seems like quite a long time ago!  Perhaps I've been busier than I thought?

Anyhooooo, that sleeve went quite well I thought . . .

. . . I had used a design from one of my fair isle reference books, so I was quite keen to use my own design which I put together with various patterns . . .

. . . I was spurred on to make one further design, which was a lot of fun and I think my favourite . . . here it is in the making . . .

Sheep!  Don't you just love them :) :)  After a few false starts and a bit of research I decided that the 'head on' view of the sheep would be the best approach for my design - and Yikes, I ended up knitting with three colours in a row - quite laborious but I think it was worth the effort. (I gave the sheep some little beady eyes with a touch of embroidery - couldn't resist!)

Here's all three of them, completed . . .

Sorry, my photographs are not the best today - such a dark, wintery day here!  On the plus side I did manage to list them in my Esty shop here - my first item to be listed!  Perhaps that should be my New Year's resolution - to list items as I make them -what a good idea, hehe :) :)

The bad news today was that I DID get the sewing machine out and instantly managed to damage it - ooooops!  I knew I was pushing it to the limits with the thickness of fabric I was experimenting with but did I  listen . . . . er, No!!  On the plus side I have a spare sewing machine which I haven't used in a long time so I had to get the manual out . . . . and we all know how we hate manuals, Yuk!  I'm sure I'll struggle through it though ;-)

BTW the sleeves fit an i phone 6 or as I also found out (from 'borrowing' my son's phone!) a Samsung Galaxy A5 - Shhhhhh, don't tell him, hehe :)

I'm off now to plough through the manual for my 'new', old sewing machine which is a computerised one - Ahhhhhhh, technology - eeeks :) :)

Bye for now
Alison x

Thursday, 14 January 2016

A very late start!

Oooops, I seem to have missed the beginning of 2016 - at least where my blog is concerned!  Happy Belated New Year anyway :)  Hope you had nice festivities - it's a distant memory now!

I'm back crafting to my heart's content.  The sewing machine is still dormant but I've been busy with some knitting designs.  After making some tweed i-Phone sleeves at the end of the year I thought it might be fun to make some knitted equivalent ones as I had the correct sizing anyway.

I'm currently working with this design chart from one of my fair isle reference books.  I played around with the number of stitches required to give me the right width of knitted fabric, now that I know that, I'm having fun with different patterns.  Here's the current one . . .

I've chosen a button for the closure already, as you can see!

Another pic taken later on today . . . 

The colours look quite different as it was dark when I took this photo - ahhhh, Winter - the days are too short!

Here's a sleeve I finished last week . . . 

I'm just using my stash of acrylic yarn for these as I have a good colour selection.  This second one has been added to my website.

I'll show the finished top one at the weekend.  Next task is to design my own fair isle chart which I'm looking forward to - lots of possibilities!  The woven texture of fair isle knitting gives the fabric extra strength and density which is an added bonus :)

Good to be back crafting in 2016 - I didn't get round to making New Year resolutions this time - maybe I will before the end of the month! (along with a little pile of fair isle phone sleeves maybe!!)

Have a lovely weekend :)
Alison x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas . . .

Hello crafty peeps - a very quick post today to say Farewell for the Christmas break.  I've been quite busy creating some new stock the last week or two - some lovely new ideas I've enjoyed making!  The Christmas stick ons are on the windows (we had some lovely clear crisp sunny weather earlier in the week) . . .

. . .  and to further update, Ji-ji the cat is fully recovered after her trip to the vet and has been getting thoroughly spoiled - and yes, here she is sleeping on my crochet throw which took me 3 months to make - she does love it though :) :)

I won't bore you with lengthy photos of my recent creations but I have started up a new blog purely to list my new stock :) When I started my new craft business I thought of creating a supporting blog for my new online shops but temporarily shelved the idea.  It now seems like a good idea to keep some of my lengthy craft posts separate from purely stock/business related posts although I'm sure both will converge and cross over!

I now have set up an additonal blog to update on new items added to my online shops called 'Tweed and Yarns'.  I will keep my Tweed Thoughts blog (this one!) going as a more personal craft diary and to just ramble on about what I'm making, different crafting techniques, inspirations, etc.  Pretty much as usual really!  You can of course click on my shop links anytime and I'll make occasional references to new 'makes' here too :)  Business as usual, just an extra blog for 'crafty biz' specifically!

Well, better dash - I now have two blogs to maintain and some tweedie creations to make and perhaps to knit!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas - I look forward to reading all the lovely craft blogs that have kept me inspired up until now - you're the best!

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur!
(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Yeat)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Something for the shop, at last!

Finally I have managed to make something for my shop, photograph it and list it - Yay!  Why so long - I don't know but it does take time to create something from scratch, take some pretty photographs and write up a decent description, etc, etc. - it's tough being a 'one man band' LOL!

Anyway, I added these three iPhone 6 sleeves to the shop today . . .

A lovely work colleague asked me to make one for her phone and it was such a good, snug fit, it seemed daft not to make some more, so here they are :)

I lined them in some pretty cotton fabrics . . .

I think the buttons look quite pretty too . . .

You can tell I'm quite pleased with them LOL :)

I think they've given me just the motivation to get moving with making more stock now, so I'd better get going with that!

See you soon :)
Alison x

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Now where was I . . . ?

My blog has been a little quiet this month - a combination of a rather sluggish laptop and well, just getting caught up in crafting and not getting round to recording it here - oops!  I started off at the beginning of the month doing some little Christmas decorations because, well the patterns I came across were just so cute!

Here's the main ones . . .

How cute would these look on your tree!  I found this pattern here.  Really fun to make and easy - I followed the screen instructions and then scribbled them down as you can see here - nice to add to Xmas pressies I think :)

Next up was some cute Sweater ornaments - well I couldn't resist these . . .

Another afternoon spent faffing about, but a lot of fun - my family really thought I was losing the plot at this point!  Why are you making them????  Well, they're fun!  And quicker than an actual size jumper :)  You can get the pattern here :)  I used some leftover shetland yarn and 2.75 mm needles (I think!).  I used a pattern from my Norwegian pattern book for the green one (more of that to follow next).

Well, these distracted me for a little while at least, until . . . . .  I got really caught up in Mary Jane Mucklestones pattern book '150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs' and decide to try out some of them for smaller items eg. purses just so I could have an excuse to knit them.  They're such lovely vibrant designs, they're hard to resist.

I started on this page - very Christmassy colours I thought! . . .

I loved the owl pattern so ended up with a little purselet . . .

Sorry!  Dark pictures - it's that time of year :)

Finally, I had a go of the reindeer pattern - he was so lovely, I had to try it out!

I also added a key ring to one of the sweaters - I thought the two things would make a nice gift for 'someone'!!  It's all very haphazard this crafting at the moment - ooops!

I'm blaming the cat as she's very distracting LOL.  She's still just a little kitten - almost 7 months old though but wants in and out constantly.  She will have to get a little operation next week - she's being neutered poor thing but  we can relax a little more about letting her out and about afterwards ;-)

I will be holding her paw next week after the operation until she recovers - I'm sure she'll be fine though :) :)

Cheerio an Drasda!
Alison x

Thursday, 22 October 2015

My First Crochet Throw - finally finished!

I haven't been around for a while - October holidays crept up quietly and pleasantly, very nice it was too!  I had no plans for the break apart from a vague notion to finish off the crochet throw/blanket I'd started making squares for at the beginning of the Summer.  81 squares and each one different, if only marginally - I was really pleased to make them all unique, it was a bit of hit and miss.  I really wanted to make a genuine granny throw from oddments of my wool stash though to give it a real heirloom feel.

It was a lovely sunny autumn day when I sewed the last row together . . .

. . . . draped over a ladder outside the house . . .

a close up of the squares . . .

I'm chuffed it's finally finished!  Not sure that Ji Ji the cat was quite impressed, but I'm sure she'll find her way to lying on it yet!  Whether I let her or not is the question . . . . hmmmmm.

I'm enjoying leafing through my two crochet books from the summer in the meantime - I love picking up a book and making a square just for the fun of it!

The 'Home' double crochet square was fun - I haven't done cross stitch since I was in Primary School, hehe!

I'm just playing with these squares for a bit of fun at the moment - with a view to covering this cushion maybe - no deadline, just practicing!

It's blowing a hoolie of a gale here in the Hebrides today!  Just right for snuggling up :)

Bye for Now :)
Alison x