The Marthall Baby Blanket isn’t the only blanket kit I have for Cheshire Fibre Festival.  I have another baby/lap blanket, and here it is:

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This is called the Snelson Snuggle Blanket and can be made baby sized at 65cm square, or slightly bigger to be a cosy lap blanket.    Mine is cosy lap blanket sized!

The yarn is Stylecraft Malabar Aran, which is a blend of cotton and silk, quite a luxury for a baby blanket.  But it has thickness and weight, so it would be good for a cot topping blanket in winter (or for your legs curled up on the sofa!).

It has a stripe design which makes up surprisingly quickly and uses 5 colours (100g balls), there is only one colour choice for the kit, as shown in the photo.  Priced at £28 it is more expensive than the Marthall Blanket, but then it is more luxurious🙂

Happy crocheting  xxx

 

Well you loved the Festival Bag, I’ve seen they are being made all over the world!   And in less than a week I already know I’ll be seeing some at the Cheshire Fibre Festival 🙂

After much consideration I decided on the patterns that I will take to CFF.   There will be 7 designs, which may not seem a lot but 7 samples do take up a lot of space and you want me to have lots of kits as well, don’t you?    The 7 are from across my range of designs – some knitting, some crochet, scarves, shawls, cowls and a blanket.  The blanket pattern is the one I designed for the blanket workshop, I’m pretty pleased with it and when you see the sample I hope you’ll love it too.

Sorting the patterns was the last piece of my jigsaw, and now I know exactly what I will be bringing to the festival.    Nic and I visited the venue again and sorted out some details, so I feel that it’s been a productive week.

So are you ready for me to spill the beans on some of the things I’m bringing?   Over the next few weeks, I’ll be disclosing a little bit every so often.  Today I’ll show you the Marthall Baby Blanket (crochet), which comes in kit form.

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There are 3 colourways for the kit – this one is Meadow and Duck Egg, but there are also kits in Pale Rose and Raspberry, and Wisteria and Plum.  The kits come with 400g of dk yarn, the pattern, a handmade stitch marker and a ‘handmade with love’ label.   And teh price – £12.

I hope you like it, but I guess I’ll find out on the day if I sell any!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is now the latter half of August and many of the usual UK summer festivals are over, but there are still a few to go and just enough time for you to make yourself something retro to take with you. To inspire you here is my quick make festival bag:

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When I was making it I thought wouldn’t it be fun if people who visit the Cheshire Fibre Festival could come wearing some festival garments or accessories.  Summer will be over by the time of CFF but we could brighten it up couldn’t we?  So are you up for it?  It could simply be a bag like this, or anything else you want to wear/make.     I’m happy to bring my bag and I may wear some flowers in my hair!

To help you – here’s my recipe for the bag.

It is made from scraps of DK yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) and based on 2 granny squares.  I made two 9 round grannies in slightly different colours, and the bag ended up approx. 24cm square excluding the pompom trim and handle.   But you can make it any size you like.  Mine used a total of 70g of yarn, but the blue edging and handle was the most – probably about 30g (but this isn’t accurate, just my guesstimate).

Abbreviations :
St (s) = stitch (es)
Sp = space
Ch = chain
Dc= double crochet
Tr = treble
Ss = slip stitch

Start with a couple of granny squares.

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Then using the colour for the joining, edging and handle (blue in my case), work dc  all the way around 3 sides of the first square, I did 1dc per st or sp along the edge, and (1dc, 1ch, 1dc) in the corner sps.  Do not break the yarn but carry on and work dc similarly around 3 sides of the other granny, your grannies will be joined at one point.

Now put the grannies wrong sides together and join by working dc through both granny edges all around the 3 sides.

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Do not break the yarn but make a chain the length of the handle (I did 100) and join to the other edge of the bag with a ss.

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Now turn and work a round of dc all along the handle and then around the top of one side of the bag.   Do another round of dc along the handle and the same top.  Break yarn and finish off.

Rejoin yarn to the underside of the foundation ch of the handle and repeat 2 rounds of dc along this side and the other top of the bag, on the last round when you reach the centre of the top of the bag make a ch loop to fit a button – I did 8ch.

If you make a bigger bag you may want a wider handle, if so just do more rounds of dc either side of the handle.

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Sew the button to the other side of the bag and make a tassel and attach to the button loop.

You could finish there but I wanted an edging all around the sides and I opted for little crochet pompoms.  You can find out how to do them here  (beware it is in US crochet terms!).   I made mine all the way around 3 sides, leaving a 3 st gap between each pompom chain.   You could just do a fringe if you  like.

If you make one, please share a photo of it.

Happy crocheting xxx

…. is a re-make of Huckleberry Cowl, a design of mine from 2012.  I love this cowl but I think the original sample didn’t do the pattern justice, the yarn was a little too silky so didn’t give the cowl a firm structure.   I decided to re-make it, slightly longer and in a sturdier yarn – but what to choose?

In my stash I had a skein of Triskelion Yarn and Fibre’s Pryderi Dk, in a gorgeous blue – Cornflower.   It is soft yet sturdy and is giving good stitch definition.  In fact, it is perfect for this design.

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Now it’s on the needles, I can’t put it down.  So I predict I’ll finish it and be blocking within 24 hours,.   Then I’ll re-write the pattern adding new photos and yarn.     The pattern may well be a contender for the small selection I will take to Cheshire Fibre Festival. 

Happy knitting xxx

 

…. is the Chevron Cowl.

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I’ve been pondering which patterns to bring to Cheshire Fibre Festival.  For a while I didn’t know whether I should bring patterns, after all they can be found easily on Ravelry and Loveknitting/Lovecrochet.  But my facebook friends explained how they love to see patterns and the designs at these events, and that buying a pattern at a fibre festival gives you the chance to see what yarn quantities and notions you need, enabling you to buy everything you need on the day.   And it’s a bonus if you can be sent the Ravelry download link as well.   So I decided I would bring some.  But which ones?

At the same time I know that Chevron Cowl was awaiting publication, having been published originally in Inside Crochet issue 77.   As I reached it out today I realised it just has to make an appearance at CFF.  I had forgotten how much I love it!  It is very adaptable, having buttons that can be arranged for a long cowl, a long scarf/cowl or wrapped around twice for a very warm cowl.    It is made in aran weight yarn, three different shades of Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran, which is sooooo soft.   I used 3 pastel shades but the beauty of the design is you can choose whatever colours you like – bright, soft, dark, light, rainbows…..anything goes.

So yes, it will be making an appearance at CFF.  You’ll see the original design  and be able to buy the pattern, and leave you Ravelry name/email and you’ll be sent a download as well.

But if you can’t wait it’s just been published on Ravelry here and LoveCrochet.

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

 

Let me introduce you to another of the fibre artists at the Cheshire Fibre Festival – Diane from Eco-stitch.  I discovered Diane’s yarn a few months ago, when looking for linen yarn I could try in mandalas.   It didn’t take much swatching to realise that I loved it!

Here is a bit about Diane, in her own words.  Followed by a little peek at a design of mine in her gorgeous yarn!

My name is Diane and I’m the founder of Eco-stitch, based in Cheshire in the UK.

We source top-quality linen yarn from just across the Channel, where you can find the best flax-growing area in the world, which results from ideal climate conditions and centuries of know-how in flax cultivation and linen production.

We hand-dye this beautiful fibre using low-impact, non-toxic dyes and transform it from this:

Diane-1

Into this:

Knitting has been my hobby for years, and I recently took up crochet again. I love natural fibres, but I only discovered linen about 18 months ago, and I just fell in love with this beautiful, ancient fibre with so many natural qualities. It is also a very eco-friendly yarn which can be used in many different crafts, hence the name “eco-stitch”. I felt that linen yarn was really quite under-represented in the UK and wanted to promote its wonderful natural qualities, which you can read about in more detail on our website.

I will be attending the Cheshire Fibre Festival on October 1st with our hand-dyed linen yarn. You will be able to see all the different colours and skeins in real life.  In the meantime, you can take a look at what we have to offer on our website shop.
Hope to see you soon at the event,     Diane

Thank you Diane.  Your yarn is gorgeous :-)  And here’s a sneak peek at something I designed.  It uses 3 50g balls of eco-stitch dk linen:

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Diane and I, and the other vendors, look forward to seeing you at the Cheshire Fibre Festival.

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I’ve had a few requests for a little preview of the stripey blanket design that will be included in the workshop at Cheshire Fibre Festival.

Well, it’s versatile and may not be just stripes………

But if you want a teeny tiny preview of the stripes:

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No, it’s not a scarf, it’s just carefully folded and is really quite large!

Happy crocheting xxx

Goosfest is an Arts and Music Festival in and around the village of Goostrey in Cheshire.  It is well known by people who live in and around Goostrey and many would like it to be a secret.  Why?  Because human nature is to keep excellent local festivals to ourselves, it is selfish and it happens the most for the best festivals!  So shhhhh….don’t let anyone know I told you this 😉

This year is the 10th anniversary and they have a fabulous round up of events.  There’s comedy, music, fashion, lectures and workshops.   The workshops include jewellery making, glass fusion, baking and knitting and crochet.  Yes, knitting and crochet is featuring for the first time – my friend Jenny and I are sharing a venue on Sunday 2nd October.  I’m holding a crochet workshop and Jenny is holding a knitting workshop.

My workshop will feature the Goostrey Granny Cushion (a few kits for this design will also be available at Cheshire Fibre Festival):

Information on what’s on at Goosfest and details of how to book can be found on the website here.   But be quick, it’s very popular!

Happy crocheting xxx

The second workshop I’m holding at the Cheshire Fibre Festival is called Magical Mandalas and is all about mandalas.

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Magical Mandalas

Until early last year I really didn’t take much interest in mandalas.   One day my concentration levels were particularly low (did I ever tell you my boredom threshold is a tad low? – it affects my concentration as well) and I just picked up my hook and doodled with a colourful mandala.  I chose some colours I love and within no time it had turned into a beautiful mandala – that’s the one on the left of the photo above.  Suddenly it lifted my mood (colour does have that effect, don’t you think) and something just clicked.  From then I just couldn’t stop making them, designing them, playing with the colour.  And, as is usual, I didn’t stop at that, I researched the history and I used all my crochet experience to make them quickly and neatly.

So the workshop will introduce you to the history of mandalas, their uses, the maths (there’s always maths in crochet!) and will include hints and tips on how to make perfect mandalas.   As well as comprehensive notes, there will be several mandala patterns including a new one designed for this workshop called Merryman’s Mandala.  Oh, and some lovely yarn – I like to use Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK- so there will be 5 colourful 50g balls in the workshop kit, along with a handmade lockable stitch marker and a ‘handmade with love’ label.

This workshop isn’t entirely new, I’ve held it several times before and each one has been great fun, there’s just something about colourful mandalas that brings out energy and lots of fun!

The workshop starts at 2pm and ends at 4pm, and costs £25, booking essential – details of contact are on the CFF page.

By the way, I’ve recently added some more information on the CFF page about travel and transport.  If you’ve not looked at the page recently you may want to update yourself.

Happy crocheting xxx

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The latest blog post is from Jenny Barnett, needlefelter extraordinaire!

Read all about Jenny, by Jenny – and enjoy!

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Hello from Jenny Barnett, felt maker, sculptor, illustrator, author.
I’m really looking forward to joining you all at the first Cheshire Fibre Festival on 1st October 2016
I’ll be bringing along a collection of needle felted animals, kits and books, and some lovely ceramic and felt dolls, knitters and tiny handmade felt garments and inspiration. I’ll be showing visitors how needle felting is done, and they can take away fibres and equipment to make their very own little wool sculpture.
In the afternoon I’ll be holding a needle felting workshop, making badgers and some butterflies and toadstools. Sorry the workshop is already full, but I’ll bring along some kits to make these, along with the popular hares, fox, sheep, chickens, seal, robins and unicorns and more…
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I’ve been lucky to have many years experience as a freelance sculptor working for the giftware industry, modelling collectable figures for  Wedgewood and Royal Doulton, and then designing my own creations and commissioned portraits and exhibiting at festivals and events like Woolfest, Wonderwool Wales and Yarndale.
I’ve been a felt maker for over fifteen years after trying it at local college and workshops, and love using wool.
When needle felting I use the wool just like clay, making a range of creatures with lots of character, and with the wet felting technique, I combine the wool with my clay sculptures, it’s a a lovely tactile combination.
I’ve held lots of workshops showing others how to enjoy creating with wool, and have put all this collection into a popular needle felting book, and I’m now working on another felt making workshop book, due to be published later this year.
We have travelled around for a while in our narrowboat home, and have settled in Cheshire alongside our other old narrowboat butty called the ‘Maid of Hare’, a whole boat dedicated to studio space and full of wool and clay. My writer husband renovated the boat, and now we plan to work on more illustrated books and ideas together.
You can follow progress on Facebook and further workshops and events will be posted on these links too.
Look forward to meeting you at Cheshire Fibre Festival.
http://www.facebook.com/jennybarnettfelt
www.jenny-barnett.blogspot.co.uk

 

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