Monthly Archives: February 2014

String printing – textiles week 1

So, I battled the world’s worst cold (who has a cold for a week? Honestly?) to get to my Textiles class and I am so glad I did.  There are 12 of us, all ladies, and it was mega exciting to be in a proper studio!  I will try and sneak a picture one week.  To get started our tutor Erin showed us a super simple printing technique.  We wrapped some wool around a wooden block and wiggled the strings about a bit to make a pattern.  Then we used leftover ink from the “proper” students to print with.  We practiced on paper but next week we’ll be on the fabric.  We used Dylon dyes and some other thicker pigment dyes.  It was amazing to see all the different patterns, colour combinations and ideas from one simple idea when used by 12 different people.

My first ones looked like a crazy pink zebra.  I also made some patterns and most excitingly, we covered a couple of pieces in Dylon dye and then dipped the block in bleach to print – can you believe the amazing green colour that came out on the brown page? I think the last one looks like a migraine on a page but the tutor quite liked it…

printed papers

L-R – Top row: 1 Dylon dyes and bleach printing,2-4 printing with Dylon dyes

L-R – Second row: 1 Dylon dyes and bleach printing, 2-4 printing with pigment dyes.

Bleach print on inkMy favourites! I think I will be using these colours again. These are currently livening up the wall of the Han Cave and I am looking forward to next week already.


1 Comment

Filed under Other crafts, Uncategorized

Back to School

I am so excited, because I am going back to school – sort of. Back in September I signed up for a 10 week textiles evening class at our local college, but not enough people wanted to go so it got cancelled. I was disappointed but last week they called to say they had enough people on the list so class will be starting on Tuesday!

I was one of those children who loved school because I just liked learning new stuff, I was quite academic so didn’t really get much out of creative classes. Not that we had many, we did art of course but because I couldn’t draw, paint or sculpt I thought it wasn’t for me. In the last six years I have realised I am a creative person and I’m not afraid of trying new things. After all learning to sew or knit is only following instructions isn’t it? What’s the worst that can happen?

The course is going to cover lots of things I haven’t done before like dyeing and embroidery so I hope these will add really nicely to the things I already do. It will be nice to meet other people who are into these things too. Of course I’ll be sharing all the experiments here too, so watch this space!

1 Comment

Filed under Felting, Knitting, Other crafts, Sewing, Uncategorized

February Challenge

#sewcrazychallenge ! Again I seem to be late with the homework, though better than January.  I wanted to learn piping because I have some amazing oak leaf fabric to make into a bench seat cushion, and I can just imagine it with professional looking piping! I thought I’d best practice on some scraps though, before I tried on the expensive stuff… I used the tutorial that came with the challenge, and garden string that I nicked from the man cave.  It was pretty easy really and I decided to turn it into a pin cushion, because I keep ending up with them rolling about on the table and I’m worried for the cat! The theme is “home is where the heart is” so I reckon something for the Han Cave fits in too


The scraps actually came from a project I did for a friend who is soon to have a baby.  I don’t have any but I can imagine that sometimes you just have to nip to the shops and don’t want to take a full changing kit, so I thought this pouch designed to hold a pack of wipes and a couple of nappies would be a good idea. It also counts as a bonus project for the challenge which should be a gift.  I enjoyed making it, it was pretty easy, I just had a little trouble sewing neatly around the opening. Yeah, yeah, I’ll iron it before I send it, just wanted to take the photo in the daylight!



Fabric supplier: Franklins of Colchester (oh yes, I entered town!)

String supplier (for piping): Husband’s shed

1 Comment

Filed under Sewing

Another long term WIP…

As part of my knit-from-the-stash resolution I pulled out both a pattern I’ve been thinking about for years and a yarn I have had since 2012. The yarn is Fyberspates Gleem Lace, which is just such an appropriate name for this shining skein, the pattern is Flowers in the Rain which I got at a knitting event from the p/hop stand. If you’re a knitter and at all charity minded I encourage you to find out more about p/hop. It translates as “pennies per hour of pleasure” and is a fundraising endeavor for Medecins Sans Frontieres.

However, this pattern is not giving me “hours of pleasure” so far. I’ve got my stitch markers in place, I knit carefully with the chart on my lap but I keep messing up! I think I am starting to see the pattern come out but I am not enjoying this. I think I am really in the mood for TV knitting (you really cannot watch Borgen and knit lace) or just the instant gratification of sewing. Cold fingers due to my Victorian house (at least I hope it is just cold and not the arthritis) are also making is project unappealing. Still, I’ll keep going, but it’s going to be a while!

Difficult knitting


Apologies for the flash photo, but I am never in my house in daylight. It is a fairly good reflection of the colour.

I’ve done a little baking too, but nothing worth showing. I tried a “healthier” muffin recipe from one of the Saturday magazines from Lorraine Pascale – yuck, I’ll never bother with that again! Maple syrup is NOT a suitable substitute for sugar in a cake. The other was lemon curd jam tarts with the curd I made, not pretty, but tasty.


Filed under Knitting

I got an order!

My sister liked the drawstring bag I did for her youngest so much she asked me to make two for her friend’s boys who both have birthdays this month.  I think she enjoyed browsing fabric to choose too.  The fabric was from Fabric Rehab (or course) and the main patterns are Super Kids by Ann Kelle and Scenic Route by Riley Blake Designs. I wish I hadn’t just gone onto their site to check the names – now I want to buy more fabric! These are starting to get smarter now I’ve made a few.


The theme for the Sew Crazy Monthly challenge is up too – “Home is Where the Heart Is”.  I’m thinking oven mitts, because ours are truly a health hazard. But I want to learn piping too… Looks like a lot of my crafting time is going to be sewing!

Leave a comment

Filed under Sewing, Uncategorized