Thursday 27 June 2019

Calling On All Crocheters - Summer Draw

Hello everyone!  I've been working on this for aaaaaaages!  I first made one of these bags a few years ago and kept telling myself I'd write the pattern eventually.  It's evolved a bit since I made the first version in black (see blogpost).  I wrote a first draft last year when I made another for myself and one for a friend (see blogpost) but then it ended up on the back-burner when I started my studies.  Well,  at last, I think it's finally ready.  I wanted to explain all the steps as clearly as possible so it took a long time to do all the testing and take all the photographs.  And as this was my first crochet pattern, it was a bit of a learning curve too.

I'm very grateful to my friend Megan for doing a very thorough revision of several drafts of this pattern.  Her help was invaluable.

The pattern shows how to make the bag, the zipper piece, the bobble pull, how to line the bag, to make the adjustable strap and how to stiffen the base.  Armed with this knowledge, you can then use the directions as a guide and change the size or stitch pattern as you wish for example.  So it's a bit of a "crochet-bag-making-tutorial" really.  You can see in the photo above that the pattern on the pink bag is slightly different and I also finished the edge around the zipper with shells as I thought that went well with the soft pink.  The variations can be endless.

If you crochet and fancy having a go at making this bag, I'm having a draw for two patterns... 
I will be sending not only the pattern, but also a kit bag with all the pieces required to make the bag:  two sliders, one adjustable slider for the strap, 4 feet and plastic canvas pieces for the base.  So you won't have to go on the search for all those separate pieces.  You'll just need your cotton yarn of choice and a matching zipper and lining fabric.

I use one of these bags all the time, summer and winter.  They are fully washable and you can easily make a new one to match outfits... or just for a change!

It's fun to choose a nice matching fabric for the lining, subtle or striking, the choice is yours.

If you are interested in winning a copy of this pattern with the kit to make it, please leave a comment below.  I will be holding the draw next Sunday, 7th of July.  As I've not been so active on my blog lately, it may take a while for readers to notice this blogpost, so hopefully 10 days will give people long enough to enter the draw if they so wish.  And once I've got the kit bags organised, it will also eventually go on sale in my Etsy shop.

Best wishes,

Thursday 13 June 2019

It's Been So Long... I'm not sure where to start!

I've no doubt lost some subscribers over the last year due to my infrequent postings... and probably more so due to posting so little about tatting!

I'm on summer break now and needing to catch up on all the things I've not had time to do during the year.  I'm afraid I'll disappoint people again however as there's still not been much tatting going on!  But I do have some "tatting-related" items to show you.

I've really enjoyed ceramics throughout the term and finally got some pots on which I like the glazing.  Not only is throwing pots difficult... but glazing is such a mystery!  When you're inexperienced like me, every pot that comes out of the kiln after glazing is a bit of a surprise.  And not always a good one.  But I like the mix of colours on the ones below.

I made my own stamps out of clay which I used on the shallow bowl and the small pot leaning against is was decorated using a rubber mat which I laser cut with a design drawn from a piece of lace (though not tatting this time).

For this little pot, I used a piece of piece of embroidered and sequined fabric
that I pressed into the clay before the first firing.

I made a CNC-machine milled rolling pin from my Regal snowflake design.  However, I had to modify it somewhat as the design was too complex for the machine to mill so it's not as detailed as I would have like it to be.  It was an interesting experience and a great learning curve but my conclusion is that using the laser-cutter for designs is much better and so much more detailed.

I made a mug from the design but it's a bit rough!
It's now come back after glazing but I'm not happy with the result sadly.

Still related to tatting, I cast one of my tatted snowflakes in pewter!
Not perfect but something that could be explored further.

I went a bit crazy decorating one of my bowls (it's upside down on the turntable)
with filaments of clay, using a fine nozzle-tipped bottle.

I liked the look of it best like that,
before firing and glazing.

And lastly I knitted and unknitted a sweater three times over the last couple of months!  I wasn't happy with the first pattern I chose and the fit.  So I unknitted and re-knitted another pattern but found out near the end that my gauge was off and the sweater was smaller than I would have liked.  So I unknitted again and re-knitted with larger needles and finally!  The sweater is done.

(Top in photo is the first design which was being unknitted to knit the bottom design)

(Lines across the middle are from having put it to dry over the radiator!)

Summer is slow to arrive here in the UK.  It's still very cool and we're expecting rain for the next seven days!  I hope it's sunnier where you are.  Please let me know what you're up to!  I've missed hearing from you through my blog.

Best wishes,