Hobbycraft ExCeL 2014

7 April 2014 | Categorised in: Craft, Other

On Saturday, I had to chance of winning a pair of tickets to the Hobbycraft show at ExCeL, London. This show was more about papercrafts, but I did spot some knitted things around and it is what I have photographed for this post.

A knitted charity did seasonal knitted scenes.

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and there was a huge dragon who’s scales were made from knitted squares.

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Some beautiful yarn.

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There was much textile art too.

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I saw this when I was at the Knitting & Stitching show a few weeks ago but I did not know how to embroider so I didn’t have a go. This time, I saw people just sewing on stuff so I thought I’d just try it out. But this is apparently meant to be the world’s longest embroidery. You could just pick a spot and find a space anywhere on the canvas and sew something.

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and here is my contribution and I have never done something like this before! and I wrote my name and dated it.

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Nicki Trench Workshop

31 March 2014 | Categorised in: Crochet, Other

On Saturday the 29th of March, I trevelled to Lewes (which is just outside Brighton), for an intermediate crochet workshop with crochet designer, Nicki Trench.

I only knew about Nicki Trench when I first bought her Crochet Living book, and I saw her Stripy Wave blanket which I later did make for my mum. I had also discovered that my mum owned a few Nicki Trench books!

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The workshop started at 10am till 4pm and about 7 people came to the workshop. We were served lovely tea and biscuits, then we introduce ourselves before starting practising our crochet techniques!

Here is my space on the table. I got attached to Mr. Humpty Dumpty who was my crochet friend throughout the workshop.

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Nicki Trench showing the beading technique to a few other crocheters!

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Some techniques we were given to practise were the ripple stitch, Catherine Wheel stitch, intarsia with hearts, beading and raised flowers. Nicki shared techniques on crochet hooks, how to hold the yarn, types of yarn and many other tips. She also taught everyone how to read crochet charts. Everyone was at a different level, so we were to work at our own pace and we could choose what we wanted to work on…it was all very relaxed!

Practising the bobble stitch which I have never done in my life but found its texture very interesting.

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Beaded on crochet for the first time!

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Everyone busy at work.

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Here’s the sofa with THE blankets you see in books.

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I wanted to make the black granny square blanket on the left with flowers for my mum before. This is from her Crochet Living / Debbie Bliss book.

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We stopped for an hour for lunch, where her daughter made some lovely homemade vegetable soup and bread, and fruit and yoghurt for dessert.

The final thing I did was to practise the raised stitch flower technique. I was a bit confused at first but Nicki helped point stitches out and made me see where the yarn should have gone when doing this technique. I made this and I think I want to make it into my own personal granny square blanket! I really like the colours too, it’s very ‘tudor’-like. I’d have to edit the pattern and design it a little differently! But I was super inspired after this.

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At the end I really, really had a lot of fun and would like to go again! Also, it’s quite nice to crochet with people rather than learning on your own sometimes, which I think helps you progress even more.

Of course, I did not leave without adding to my yarn stash! He, he…

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Here are a few links you might be interested in:

1. Nicki Trench’s websiteNickitrench.com
2. Her workshopsWorkshop page
3. Her crochet clubMembership page

Alice in Wonderland Cushion

27 March 2014 | Categorised in: Knitting

I took on an ambitious colourwork project for my friend Alice. I thought the theme fitted in really well seeing how this was an Alice in Wonderland cushion and that she loves reading.

I bought the cushion has a kit, which came with the pattern and a 30% Cashmere and 70% Merino 4ply yarn in five various shades.

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Before blocking, all the pieces curled up quite badly eventhough a selvedge was done on the side.

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During blocking – I used many pins because I was using a towel and I needed to stretch each square to 18x18cm.alice_2

The pattern came with nine motifs:

Hearts

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‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards.’

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At last the Dodo said, ‘Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

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Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquetground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets; live flamingoes.

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‘I didn’t knit that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats could grin.’

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‘You”ll get used to it in time,’ said the Caterpillar; and put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

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It was all very well to say ‘Drink Me’, but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry.

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The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another hedgehog, which seemed to Alice an exvellent opportunity for croqueting one of them with the other.

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Tis the voice of the Lobsterl I heard him declare, ‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair’.

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Sewing it together using mattress stitch. I balanced the sqaures out depending on the design. If one design had a motif towards the edge, I would use the background colour yarn for that square when sewing with another square.

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and the first side is done!

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and the final cushion with Alice herself! :D

The only thing was, I had just enough turquoise and yellow/green yarn, and I had spared very little when sewing in ends, so I was quite lucky that it all WAS just enough to complete this.