Archives for the month of: June, 2018

If you follow the wonderful indie dyer Countess Ablaze, then you will know all about her initiative called Tits Out Collective, if not have a read here.

As soon as I read about this I knew I had to join in, because I hate plagiarism and copying of any sort.  I also know how difficult it is for people to earn a living in the world of yarn, be they designers, dyers or the myriad of other workers, which makes plagiarism by anyone in this field doubly criminal.    If you know how hard it is for others, why steal from them?  Well some do – and rather than get angry it’s an excellent idea to do something positive!  So I am in!  Here is my rapidly designed crochet shawl:

AgrarianArtisan

This really is a rapid design and I am amazed at how I managed it!  I read about the Tits Out Collective on 19th June, and I designed the shawl within 2 days, drafted the pattern then made my sample by the end of 24th June – 5 days!   It has gone to test, one tester is already finished.  And the pattern is now with my tech editor.  Hopefully everything is in place so I can launch this at noon (UK time) on 1st July.  And I am not the only designer involved, in fact there are over 250 dyers and designers involved in this so far – the excitement is amazing!

A bit more about the design:  It is an asymmetrical triangular crochet shawl where you start at one point and work across until you run out of yarn.  The edge is inbuilt, so once you do the final row you are finished.  I find these sort of designs great for using all your yarn.  I called it Twits Shawl because it can be made from two skeins of 4ply yarn – so if you buy 2 different skeins of Tits yarn colourways from 2 different dyers you could use them both in the shawl – TWo skeins of tITS yarn – get it?

Actually this can be made in any yarn weight, provided you use a suitable hook.  I didn’t have any the original colourway for my sample so I used some 50g skeins of vintage NDS yarn (Godiva Silk 4ply) in colours that are vaguely similar.  I started with a variegated skein then added varying stripes of solids.   I used a 3.5mm hook and just over 200g in total which made a large shawl – it’s over 200cm long;  2 skeins of 4ply should make a shawl approx. 200cm long by 60cm deep.

Finally, but most importantly, during the month of July I will donate £2 from the sale of each pattern of Twits Shawl to The Christie, my chosen charity.  The pattern will cost £3.50 and be available from Ravelry only during July, as this makes it easier for me to control launch and check sales, after July I’ll upload to other channels.  It has a chart and will be available in UK and US crochet terms.

If you want to buy some of the yarn from dyers, then be poised over your keypad/board at noon on Sunday as I predict it will sell quickly – I’ll be poised as well 🙂

Until launch…..happy crocheting xxx

#titsoutcollective

Like many people I am constantly  looking for ways of reducing plastic in my life.  For knitting and crochet that means avoiding yarns with acrylic and nylon in them as much as possible and looking for embellishments that aren’t plastic.   When it comes to buttons there are some alternatives to plastic such as wood, metal and shell, and I particularly like shell buttons.  But I like beautifully crafted things as well, and wood, metal and shell buttons seem very limited in style.

Two years ago I had the pleasure to meet Robert Mack, a gentleman who makes the most beautiful fine bone china buttons.   These are a fabulous alternative to plastic and are very practical; if you think they are delicate then you may be surprised to learn they can be washed in the machine!   Last week Robert’s daughter Jocelyn contacted me to let me know she has joined the family business and is re-launching under the name Whim Wham Buttons.   These buttons are so beautiful aren’t they?

ButtonsStillLife0715

There is a new Etsy shop. This is stocked currently with the range of 6 different flower buttons in a variety of colours – all 6 styles are in the photo above, from tiny little Rosie buttons at a little over 1cm across (these would be fabulous on baby clothes) to the larger Eva buttons at over 3cm across (I think I’ll put one of these on the next phone case I crochet which will be in silk yarn).

All of these can be used in the traditional way, as buttons, but also make beautiful embellishments.

buttons_model0446shoulder

They work well in knitting and crochet, and in sewing.  I’m so pleased because I’ve just got my sewing mojo back!

cover picFleur on dress

What is a bonus is that they are very affordable, it will not break the bank to have beautiful handcrafted fine bone china buttons but it will enhance your own beautifully crafted knitwear and sewing.  When I’ve spent hours, or even days, making something I’d much rather embellish it with these than with the alternatives!

As the re-launch progresses there will be more items added to the Whim Wham Buttons shop, and I’m signing up for their newsletter so I find out quickly when something new is happening.  I predict they will be very popular so jump in now and buy an heirloom or several, and sign up for the newsletter too!

Whim Wham Buttons can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you Jocelyn for letting me know about this re-launch, it made my week!

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

All photos in this blog post were supplied by and ©whimwhambuttons

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