My current knitting project is some alpaca mittens with chunky ribbed cuffs. I’m thinking I might add a pompom or two to the cuffs, but not sure yet whether they will be made from matching or contrasting wool… I’ll try to make my mind up before the knitting part is finished!
Archive for November, 2014
It has only recently dawned on me how near we are to Christmas (having Christmas stuff in the shops since September just seems to make me blind to it!), so I have started to get some Christmas craft materials together.
As well as aiming to make as many gifts as possible (I’m on the second pair of ‘Christmas-present gloves’ now…!) I also like to make sure that they are wrapped nicely. As I have a few presents to send abroad I am going to have to get started on the present wrapping sooner rather than later, especially as present wrapping seems to take place in a parallel universe, where however long you think it will take needs to be doubled to calculate the actual amount of time needed!
At the moment I am looking through my stash of craft materials for inspiration for home made Christmas presents…
As anyone who makes things- whether it be sewing or painting, jewellery making or book binding- will know, suitable storage for tools and materials is always needed. If that storage is also good looking and unique, then so much the better.
The upcycled jars here required a minimal amount of time and effort, but they look much better on the shelf in my studio after a bit of a makeover.
All that is needed for this project is some glass jars with flat lids, some patterned self-adhesive vinyl, a pair of scissors and compasses.
The self-adhesive patterned vinyl that I used was a great vintage find- two unopened rolls of stick-on ‘shelf lining’ from the 1970s/80s.
As well as (or instead of) sticking a patterned disc to the jar lids, a broad band could also be placed horizontally around the glass jar itself.
This is a very simple project, but I think it results in a much more attractive form of storage than just using the plain jars, with the added bonus that it just took a few minutes to do!
As you can see, I have finished the pair of socks that I started just over a week ago. I used two balls of a lovely self-patterning Opal Sock Yarn that I bought a couple of years ago- my New Year’s Resolution (to buy no new craft materials in 2014) has definitely helped me to thin my stash of craft materials!
I had some of the yarn left over, and I didn’t want to put it back into the yarn drawer to remain unused for another two years, so guess what I made…?
…Fingerless mittens! I designed the fingerless mitten pattern a few years ago as a one-ball project, and it’s great for using up spare sock yarn.
The weather here in Devon has just started to get colder this week, so the fingerless mittens have already had an outing. As soon as the temperature drops a little further, the socks will also become a regular wardrobe staple for the winter.
The fingerless mittens are also a fairly quick project to knit, so I am planning on digging out some more nice yarn, and making at least one pair to give as a Christmas present. As we are already over a week in to November, I should probably crack on so that they are actually knitted in time for this Christmas!
It’s the time of year when there are lots of crunchy things underfoot when out for a walk: fallen leaves, conker cases, acorns etc. It seemed a shame to just throw away all of the perfect little acorn cups that had fallen in the garden, so I made this garland with some of them instead!
Once acorn cups have dried, the acorns fall out (ready to start growing!), so I only used empty cups for this garland. It was fiddly joining the twigs with wire, but unlike using glue, it meant that the finished piece is flexible. Obviously the insides of the cups weren’t naturally bright pink, I just fancied a pop of colour.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with the garland, it was mainly an excuse for some playtime with a different material! At the moment it is hanging across the top of a mirror, providing some seasonal decoration. Nature definitely makes the best bunting!
Feathers are such magical things, so light, soft and delicate, as well as being functional- aiding flight and providing insulation. I have enjoyed using feathers in some of the jewellery that I have made, as well as using them in some clothing upcycling projects- such as adding a feather trim to the collar of a coat.
The ‘painted’ feather on the right hand side was an experiment- the designs were drawn on using permanent marker pens (‘Sharpies’ in this case). The drawn marks stayed quite sharp on the surface of the feather, with less ‘bleeding’ of the colours than I expected.
My favourite DIY project using feathers is the necklace in the centre of the picture: it combines three of my favourite materials, a peacock feather, an opal, and gold. I constructed the pendant in such a way that the feather can be removed and replaced if it becomes damaged, but it has proved to be amazingly resilient. I made the pendant about six years ago, and despite regular use, the feather has not yet needed to be replaced.