Tag Archives: Show

Happy New Year

Happy New year to all, have you made any New Year resolutions?  Have they been broken already?  I decided quite a while ago that New Year Resolutions were a bit of a misnomer, we can resolve to do something at any time of year.  It is just that a new year gives (some of us) a blank slate – It cant be as bad as last year…  this year I will – loose weight…   go to the gym…   learn a new skill…  quit smoking/drinking… of course there is nothing wrong in these, just that we so often fail, and then think that we can’t start again till next year – in reality we can start again the very next day!

But of course we should know that we can do this at any time.  For example I was told that I couldn’t have an operation on my shoulder as my blood sugars were too high.  So I quit sugar (I’m not an angel – I always start with good intentions) I have maintained this – at the moment.  But I started quitting sugar on the 16th July, it is a constant battle – I love chocolate! – but if I do have a bit, I try to make sure it is small, and if I have a bad day (I check my sugar daily now) then the next day I try to be extra good.

It is the same with the business as in personal life, we can start with the greatest of intentions and then ‘life’ gets in the way, I have never understood that, life is everything we do so we are just living it!

Working at home doing something I love to do, makes the blurring of the edges of business vs life even harder.  At the end of last year I did a month of Full time teaching in Primary school.  I decided after that (a resolution of sorts) that I did not want to go back to full time teaching.  I am much happier doing a couple of days a week.  or odd days of supply.  I also decided that I needed to earn more money doing the things that I do love to do, teach crochet, and design awesome patterns that are accessible to beginners, and which use as little sewing up as possible!  I also enjoy going to wool shows to exhibit, and pass on my passion about crochet.

Waltham Abbey Wool ShowOf course at this time of year my focus is on the Waltham Abbey Wool Show.  As part of our business it is one of the best parts of the year.  Kate and I are really excited about this year being our biggest and best show yet.  Dedri Uys is opening the show and judging the competition, as well as launching her new Sophies Universe book.  We have 10 new exhibitors along with over 30 favourites.  Nine workshops, free skein winding, and a new Charity – Knit for Peace, so lots to see and do.

So I have decided to blog more regularly, post more tutorials, and lots more patterns – I have quite a few in the pipeline, I’ve just got to get busy making samples, testing and publishing the patterns.

I have also been reading more about business, how to succeed, so will be putting some of that to the test too.

I hope you will join me on the journey.

Diana

😆

I knit – Fandango

Went to a lovely show on Friday,  the I knit Fandango, met up with Rachel, and had a lovely day chatting to stall holders about everything from Yarn to Instagram!  Which I really don’t seem to be able to get my head around at the moment!

I was to be Rachel’s restrainer (the opposite of enabler) she has lots of lovely yarn at home, is designing for people and wants to use up some stash to make space for more yarn!  so patterns=good – accessories=ok, more yarn=bad!  she also was shopping for a friends birthday, so that was allowed too.

I did take lots of pictures of inspirational colours, and interesting accessories that are popping up now, which are in the gallery below.

When looking back on my pictures I did notice a trend.  For several past years, colours have been quite natural, vintage type look, lots of pastels, but after seeing Easyknits last year with their amazingly vivid colours, I thought wow, how different… at Fandango there was definitely a trend towards stronger/deeper colours.  looking through the gallery I would like to know what you think?  Which do you prefer?  Please write a comment below.

 

How to get inspired

Yesterday, after voting I went to Hatfield house for the living crafts show.  It was great! I spoke to loads of people about what they do, and it is fascinating to see other people’s passions.

The show is still on over the weekend so go have a look, and be inspired!  (Living crafts website)

Images below are clickable and go to full size.

 

New Yarn…

On Tuesday I got up really early, really, really early, to get on a train to Birmingham for Stitches (as its known in the trade) or the Craft, Hobby + Stitch International Spring Show.  I was really excited this year as I had been invited to the launch of a new yarn from DMC, Natura XL.

I wandered around the exhibition for a while then went to see the fashion show, this year the focus was much more on sewn garments than knitted, but here are some photos, the first are from Lion Brand, and the others are from Creative World of Crafts.stitches lion brand

I also noticed that the American yarns are now becoming more available, Lion Brand has been to a couple of shows, and this year Creative World of Crafts were here showing of Bernat, Caron, and Lily and cream which I have been waiting for, for a long time!  It is great to have a good squoosh of the yarns that I have seen in patterns for the last couple of years and had to try and substitute!stitches creative

Back to the DMC workshop, we were given a brilliant goodie bag, with a set of bamboo needles, with ceramic ends, a bamboo crochet hook with a painted end with sweet flowers, and some of the new yarn, along with a shade card and press release!
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We were introduced to the yarn and then the best bit we were able to play and chat!  I started with a lovely soft green, and while we had been given a couple of patterns to look at, I decided to make some wrist warmers.  I completed them at the next Chain ‘n’ chatter on Friday, and have taken some piccys to help.  Any comments on the pattern would be most appreciated.2015-02-20 14.43.02

This is the pattern I created, my hands are 19cm at the widest part of my hand and 17cm around the wrist.  There is no shaping, they are slightly on the large side after a few uses, so I would recommend 1 row shorter for the same size that I made, and adjust amount of rows as necessary for smaller or larger sizes.  It is an easy pattern, made with one ball of DMC Natura XL and a 7mm crochet hook.

Make 18 chains.

Foundation Row:  Double crochet in the 4th chain from hook, *treble crochet in next chain, double crochet in next chain , repeat from * to end.

Row 1:  chain 2 (counts as first tr), *double crochet in next stitch, treble in next stitch, repeat from * to end, make last dc in the top of the turning ch (each treble will be made in a double crochet and each double in a treble crochet)

Repeat Row 2, until you have completed 13 more rows – 15 in total.  (you can make these smaller or larger depending on your hand size)

Fasten off with a long end, which will be used to sew up.2015-02-20 11.03.00

Working with an over sewing stitch, fold sides together so that the chains are visible (like picture)2015-02-20 11.07.28

Working from the right side, over-sew in first stitch, and into next 7 stitches, over-sew in 8th stitch (you may want to pass the thread through the stitch to secure it) .2015-02-20 11.12.12

Then weave the end through the next 3 stitches on one side (thumb hole made) over sew the next three stitches, and fasten off, sew in both ends.2015-02-20 11.33.18

Please enjoy this free pattern, and let me know in the comments what you think.

Watham Abbey Wool Show

Hi All,

I am sooooo excited/nervous about Sunday… We had such a terrific show last year, that I am swinging between emotions really quickly!

I am confident in the organisation, that the hotel is prepared, that all our lovely exhibitors are ready (except me – and that puts the panic back).

I am nervous about how the workshops will go – just the organisational part – we have some great teachers!

Kate and I love twitter – we have had all sorts of lovely people re-tweet about the show.

I guess my hope is that everyone who comes has a great time, from the exhibitors & attendees, volunteers & tutors

Of course if you don’t know about the show do visit our website  and find out all about it!

See you Sunday!

Diana

Christmas Show

Hi all,

Been a bit busy this month, with some very exciting things – that I’m not at liberty to share with you at the moment, but I will as soon as I can!

I found out about this set of 3 free shows at Excel, which is about a half hour drive away, I also went to meet some of the peeps at Woman’s Weekly, who have been lovely and welcoming.

At the entrance we are greeted by some lovely lads singing Christmas songs, and then we are into the show, there are 3 colour themed areas, White, red and purple, the three shows are Simply Christmas, Hobbycrafts, and Art materials live,

 

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I can really say that what ever craft you are into you will find something that you like, I have seen marbling, beading, card making, glass making, painting, some reeeally lovely food including truckle cheese, cookies, and an amazing bakery.

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some wonderful and inspiring colour palettes too!

After I had a good look around I decided to try a couple of free workshops, the only one I ended up having time for was a watercolour with the lovely Matthew Palmer.  He did promote his videos, and other products, but they are really good, and having looked around since, there is nothing I can see to match his texture brushes!

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We started by taping the paper to a wooden panel, then taping a curved line across the board for the edge of the field.  Using a small amount of blue we painted the sky with a wash making the paper wet.  we then used natural light green for the ‘sunny’ part of the trees. Using the extra large texture brush made it really easy!

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We then added the darker green also with the texture brush, then thinned out the colour to do a mid green on the trees.  the clever bit was to then use a plastic card (credit/debit/loyalty…) to scrape off paint to make the tree trunks.  We then removed the line of masking tape to work on the bottom part of the picture.

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We added some light green, then used the purple to first sweep across the page then stipple in the bluebell effect, also cleaning the brush off to add to the stippling and remove some of the paint.  Finally using a piece of card we made lines across the field and added the bushes, using a fine brush to paint the gate and fence posts.

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It was lovely to just create something quite easily (because Matthew stepped us through it) that was creative, but completely different to the crochet I have been focused on recently 🙂

 

Knitaholics – Romford

2014-09-20 12.52.30Just come back from the Knitaholics show in Romford, previously Tina went and set up a stand for us, but since I wasn’t sure what would appeal to the mainly Machine Knitters who attend, I thought I would pop along and have a look!

2014-09-20 12.38.42They were a lovely friendly bunch of people, with a passion for what they do – which in any craft is the way to attract new peeps, I do have a knitting machine at home, which was gifted to me when I was at the Shop, and I am very tempted to have a go!

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Also met a lovely lady – Susan Burns, who makes knitted wire jewelry, including some lovely poppies, you can find her on facebook – linky here .

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I will be going next year, but not sure what I will take – probably buttons, books, knitting needles and crochet hooks!