Another Black Sheep

Having been to Yarndale only a few days ago it was rather indulgent to visit a yarn shop but, when invited to join my yarny friends for a quick trip out to Black Sheep Wools, I could not resist, after all I am a self-confessed yarn addict! And I had visited Ovelha Negra in Oporto very recently – Ovelha Negra means black sheep – so I thought I should try an English one.

It was a fun time, we got lost going there and again coming back (the coming back was probably my fault – sorry Julie!). So when we arrived we were ready for a coffee, and in my case a lovely homemade scone with jam and cream, in the café. Once refreshed it was time to shop.

I didn’t need any more yarn but I can never resist. I had decided to make some slippers using a pattern in the new magazine #crochet which needed 2 balls of Rico Creative Cotton Aran, so I selected the 2 balls. I then found myself in the ‘yarn dive’ area which is full of bargains. I could not resist some Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon on sale at £4.99 per skein – this will be great from some Christmas seasonal makes but is also great for wrapping. Although Ruth did say I looked like a cheer leader holding up this sparkly yarn in both hands!

All those sparkles brighten up my day!
All those sparkles brighten up my day!

Black Sheep is an extensive yarn shop and includes other crafts. There is a good selection of fabrics and, with seasonal makes on my mind, I bought some:

Christmas fabric
Christmas fabric

One thing I didn’t buy at Yarndale was some more of the KnitPro Karbonz knitting needles. I bought a pair on my trip to Blackpool and they have become my favourite needles. I am using them at the moment for the Sunny Sail shawl (using yarn purchased at Yarndale) but I need to transfer to circulars soon. When Julie spotted they had sets for sale I really could not resist at all – so a set of 7 interchangeable needles was also purchased.

This set will help keep me organised
This set will help keep me organised

I enjoyed the trip out and I am sure to visit Black Sheep again, especially as their prices are very good. And the café does lovely cakes and food. Why is it that yarn and cake go so well together?

Happy knitting and crochet xxx

Inspiration………

I count myself very lucky to have some inspirational crafting friends, they make some amazing things and are always happy to share their ideas and what inspires them. So I am now going to share 2 things that I made thanks to inspiration from my friends.

The first is a sewing project. Whilst shopping in Tesco this week I spotted some lovely tea towels, good fabric with nice patterns – £4 for a pack of 3 – one spotty, one floral (a little Cath Kidston I think) and one plain white waffle. I instantly remembered Riana sharing her tea towel tote, so I knew exactly how useful these tea towels could be. I just needed a bit of webbing, which I found in John Lewis, and in no time I had made this:

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I call it the Tesco Tea Towel Tote! And it is destined to be a present. Thank you Riana!

The next inspiration came from Heike (do have a look at her blog here http://www.madewithloops.co.uk). She shared a photo on facebook of a very colourful granny bag, gathered at the top into some handles. And this inspired me to make a purse along the same lines – here is my take on a granny purse.

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The best bit of this is the lining, have a close look here:

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Yes, it is a white waffle – taken from one of the Tesco Tea Towels.

I can’t recommend tea towel sewing more highly, you frequently find some lovely printed fabrics (Riana made a tote using a cupcake printed towel from Ikea), they are good quality and they are generally very good value. And they are already edged, which reduces the sewing. Next time you go shopping look for tea towels, you may find yourself inspired to make something beautiful from one…or two……

Happy knitting, crocheting and sewing xx

A good day…….

Yesterday was one of those days to remember.  Along with a group of friends from knitgroup, I attended a patchwork workshop in Moseley, Birmingham.  I have never travelled too far for a workshop before, but when the workshop is being held at Guthrie & Ghani and the tutor is Sarah Hazell, I would travel the length of the country!  Have a look at Guthrie & Ghani here:   http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/about

The Guthrie part of the business is Lauren Guthrie, who some may know was in The Great British Sewing Bee and was just pipped to the winning post by the amazing Ann (my Bohemian Rhapsody inspiration).  The emporium (I just can’t call it a shop!) is lovely. They stock the best fabrics, such beautiful bolts of pattern and colour, the best quality yarn (sooooo squishy) and oodles of really useful haberdashery.  And to top it all they have plenty of space to browse pattern books, or simply sit and drink a coffee inside or outside in the little courtyard.   Upstairs is the studio where workshops are held, and this is large, airy, light and very well equipped. 

Here is what I made:

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The pincushion is destined for my blocking pins, and the lavender pyramid for my wardrobe, although I may change my mind as shutting it away in a wardrobe just doesn’t seem appropriate.

Sarah’s workshop was brilliant, she had prepared  lovely packs for us, and had lots of beautiful fabricfor us to choose from for our projects and she is an excellent tutor.  I have always had great fun at her workshops.    I had never done any sort of patchwork before and I am a little rusty at sewing (which I used to do a lot of in my teens) but I am pretty pleased with the end result!  She will be running more workshops at Guthire & Ghani, including Learn to Crochet and Luxurious Knitting with Kidsilk Haze.  In my view, her workshops are the best and you will learn so much from her.

I feel quite inspired and I have purchased all this:

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I plan to make 2 shells tops, one of which will have some crochet……..so keep your eyes open for that one!  And I love the pyramid lavender pouch, so I think there will be some featured in Christmas presents this year!

Happy knitting and crocheting….. and sewing!

xx