Sketchbook Club

I have rediscovered drawing and painting after attending a couple of sessions of Jennie Maizels’ Sketchbook Club, held at Made & Making!

The sessions are pretty prescriptive with lots of reference provided but that’s great if you are not sure where to start. I have subsequently been inspired and started to create my own pages. I find it quite absorbing and less stressful than sewing or crochet can be! I have enjoyed using watercolours as I haven’t really worked with them before. It feels quite experimental as you can finish a page in a session (once I stop fiddling with it!) and I am not too worried about the result being perfect as you can just move on to the next blank page.

I have also discovered a great art supplies shop, Seawhites of Brighton which has a factory outlet quite near by.


Spring sewing

I started the year with lots of ideas for sewing projects – some of which have happened. The hot water bottle cover was essential for Minky’s chilly Guide camp at the beginning of February – as were the PJ bottoms which I made by adapting this shorts pattern.

I experimented with making coin purses and ended up using the Essential Wristlet pattern to get a neat finish on the top zip. I used this tutorial to add the zipper pocket on the teal version.

The set of seat covers were for a friend with cream coloured chairs and three young children!

The tie dyed bunting was for a project at my old secondary school. It is celebrating it’s 50th birthday so they asked for present and past students to make pennants for bunting to be used at special events. I made tie dyed pennants in homage to the clothes we wore in the sixth form.





Christmas makes 2017

My Christmas makes this year included: crochet baubles using my yarn stash and baubles from a charity shop; chutney made from harvest lunch left over tomatoes and fabric christmas trees created from recycled fleece and buttons. I got together with some friends to make wreaths over coffee, which was a really lovely thing to do and while I was making my Christmas cards, I gave a friend a quick linocut tutorial. The red bauble was made with Stylecraft DK yarn on a 3.5mm hook. It is based on 12 UK trebles into a ring which fits a 55mm diameter bauble.




I have been crocheting hats galore! The Granny Stripes hat is a free pattern from Yarnspirations. The Galilee hat and Castaway hat are based on Mamachee patterns. The Nordic beanie is a based on a My Rose Valley pattern. I have one more hat to make then I think I might be done with hats for a bit!

The Granny Stripes I made with Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Graphite, Silver, Midnight, Petrol & Mustard. I used a 4mm hook (I think!) & 3.5mm for the ribbing as the pattern is for a worsted weight yarn and Stylecraft Special DK is light worsted. People had commented the pattern came up big so I guessed that it would be about right.

Minky’s Nordic Beanie is based on the Mamachee Galilee hat. I made the Teen/Adult size up to Round 7 using Stylecraft Special DK yarn and a 4mm hook (to fit a 10 year old) to get a basic beanie shape. Then I based the pattern on the My Rose Valley Nordic hat.

Rnd 8 – (color A) Ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 4, 2dc in next st, (dc in next 5, 2dc in next) around, join. (70)
Rnd 9 – (color A) Ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 4, 2dc in next st, (dc in next 5, 2dc in next) around, join. (70)
Rnd 10 – (colour B) Ch 1, sc in each st around, join. (70)
(Ch 1 at beginning of each following round, – doesn’t count as a stitch, Ist stitch of round into same stitch)…
Rnd 11 – (colour C) sc, Ch 1, skip next, around
Rnd 12 – (colour B) 2sc in each ch sp, around
Rnd 13 – (colour D) dc in each st around
Rnd 14 – (colour E) 2dc into same stitch, skip next, around
Rnd 15 – (colour B) 2dc in space, skip next, around
Rnd 16 – (colour E)  2dc in space, skip next, around
Rnd 17 – (colour D) dc in each st around
Rnd 18 – (colour B) sc in each st around
Rnd 19 – (colour C)  sc, Ch 1, skip next, around
Rnd 20 – (colour B) 2sc in each ch sp, around
Rnd 21 – (colour A) dc in each st around
Rnd 22 – (colour A) dc in each st around
Rnd 23 – (colour E) sc in each st around.

The Castaway hat is crocheted mainly in back loops and although I love the final effect of the ridges, it was a bit slow going. I used James C Brett Marble DK in MT18 and a 5mm hook (I think). In the pattern it has a repeated “slouch” round (Round 10) but I substituted a rounds of doubles instead, then when I got to Round 22 I continued in doubles and began to reduce to create a beanie shape.







Autumn linocut prints

These are the first linocut prints I have done for many years. I wanted to create a couple of different Autumnal designs to make cards for all the birthdays we have around this time of year. I bought a little Essdee kit with a proper bayer (I seem to have managed without one previously). The kit also came with some soft cut lino which was so much easier to use than the tough stuff I have used before. I ordered some of my favourite Elle Erre card from Soho Papers (my local craft shop used to sell this card but no longer does). The texture of the card looks great with the printing. I am looking forward to making some Christmas cards next.


Mending these pairs of jeans is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – since I went wore through the knee of one pair then tripped over while out walking and ripped the knee of another pair on a rock. I came across Sashiko – Japanese embroidery and the idea of Boro – mended and patched textiles, on Pinterest. I loved the idea – and look, so gave it a go on the first pair. Then while researching on Pinterest I came across some lovely embroidered patched jeans, so decided to try this too. I looked in all of my local haberdashery shops for Sashiko thread but ended up ordering it online from Japan Crafts along with needles and a coaster kit to try out. I am not sure how these will wash and wear but for now, I am really pleased with the result of my “make do and mend”.

Crochet season

September marks the start of the crochet season for me. I don’t generally crochet much in the summer, but when the season starts to turn and the evenings start drawing in, the urge to crochet hits me! I really wanted to start a new project this week and decided to crochet a simple cleaning cloth to ease me back into it. The stitch I used is either linen or moss stitch – I used this tutorial then added a border and hanging loop. I also went to my local “Crochet and cuppa” group for inspiration – and a chat!