Monday, 15 December 2014

A Tale of Two Scarves . . . . .

Well, I have actually managed to make a couple of handmade gifts this year . . . . hurray!!  The crochet seashell scarf is finished, complete with scallop border . . .


I'm quite pleased with my modification of adding the scallop pattern to the beginning of the scarf - I think the edging was too pretty to 'square' it off as the pattern suggested.  I finished it during a power-cut this week - lots of thunder and lightning here!


I made the scarf about 100 cm long as that seemed long enough to tuck it under a coat or jacket as I think the recipient would do :)  Great pattern, only problem is I want one for myself now!  It was so nice to see Alessandra's version here - we've been crocheting in tandem, how cool!

I really wanted to have a go at a man's scarf then, so made a simple vertical scarf using half-trebles.  It worked - I'm so delighted with this simple scarf and it only took a few hours to make . . .


I chained 165, then continued in rows of half-trebles (starting chain of 2 at the beginning of each row) - 3 rows of each colour.  I used Lion Brand Wool Ease and a 6.5 mm hook.  It measures about 54.5 inches long (138 cm) and is 5.25 inches wide . . .


I'm not sure if its manly enough or not???!

Anyway, I'm sure the recipient will tell me :)


And this weekend . . . we had snow - yippee!  Youngest made a snowman . . .


Isn't he cute?  He didn't last long sadly - as you can see the snow is melting already, aw :(

Christmas preparations are ongoing here - hope yours are going well wherever you are :) :)

Bye for Now!
Alison xxx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

So much to make . . . . so little time!

Aaaaaagh - it's that time of year again, so many plans to make homemade gifts . . .

I keep getting distracted at the moment by lovely patterns in books and online - it's relaxing not to have to come up with my own designs! 

Today I set off to my craft space to do a little sort-out and possibly look for some yarn to make a quick scarf as a pressie maybe.  I came across a stash of King Cole Big Value Chunky acrylic yarn I'd used for a previous project - hmmmmm, that looks good for a scarf maybe??  Quick dash onto Ravelry to see what came up for this yarn - came across a lovely pattern which I happened to have in a book already - bingo!!

Well, before I knew it I was standing in the middle of a guddle of craft stuff and yarn, hook in hand and a yummy ball of bright pink chunky wool . . . . . . there's no time like the present!


The pattern is Chunky Seashell Scarf by Nicki Trench (Cute and Easy Crochet).  Isn't it great when you can start a project there and then, LOL :)

This is a lovely easy pattern using a 7 mm hook - I think I'm really going to enjoy it, and it's working up a treat today already . . .


I've copied out the two main rows of the pattern so I don't have to lug the book around the house while I crochet! . . .


I've just returned to this book in the last week or so . . . . really lovely patterns!  I bought it initially when I was a beginner crocheter so only made some quite basic patterns.  Looking at it last weekend though I decided to have a go at the Russian dolls near the back of the book.  This was a lovely weekend project - I made the largest of the four dolls - it was a treat to make . . .


I'm not sure if she'll be a gift or not yet, but I loved making her and hope to make the rest of the set later - perhaps a Xmas holiday project?  I hiccuped a bit at the reverse double crochet stitch (which I Googled later) in the pattern, but managed to fudge a bit of a fix up!

I'm waiting for some yarn to make some other Xmas gifts (also inspired by this book!) so I'll share them with you soon I hope :)  (Or maybe just a sneaky peek!)

I was really disturbed by the TV images of the Black Friday shopping mania in other parts of the UK last Friday - VERY scary stuff, thankfully we didn't have scenes like that here in the Hebrides!  I'm avoiding the shopping queues until I really have to :) :)  How about you?

Bye for Now . . .
Alison xx

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A little bit of Xmas crafting . . .

I can't remember what led me to Little Treasures shop/blog on Thursday, but whatever it was it led me to purchase a lovely pattern for crochet snowflakes, which I spied previously.  I know you can get lots of free snowflake patterns on the internet, but her patterns are so beautifully written and illustrated, they really are for keeps :)  I wasn't disappointed with my purchase, and it came with a freebie 'holly and berries' pattern - how cute was that!

It was great to just get on with some self-indulgent crafting!  I set to making the snowflake (there are two in the pattern BTW) straight away, using some 4 ply cotton yarn from my stash.  Later in the evening, I couldn't resist having a go with the holly and berry pattern, using some DK acrylic yarn and a 3.5 mm hook.


A little close-up of both creations (the berries are filled with polyfil stuffing) . . .


and the snowflake (I used a 3 mm hook and Lyric Puppets cotton 8/4) . . .


Just for info - I spray starched the snowflake once it was finished using Dylon spray starch - it worked quite nicely.

Some possible uses for the holly and berry decoration - adding them to one of my crochet slippers perhaps, hehe  . . .


A little bit OTT, but I was having a bit of fun by this point!

A little summary . . .


I had a little play-around with adding one snowflake to a card, which worked quite well too :)

I'm so chuffed with both these patterns!  Great for adding to Chrismas gifts, or just to add a little festive touch around the house - I'd definitely recommend trying them out.

It's a stunning, calm day here in the Hebrides - you can see the Scottish mainland hills very clearly, just gorgeous!


Wouldn't it be nice to get some lovely, mild winter weather - we'd better make the most of today in any case!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Change of Plan . . . .

A whole month without blogging - yes I do have a decent explanation though, honest!  After much head-scratching, soul-searching (well, just a little bit!), humming and ahhhh . . . ing, and all manner of other metaphors, I have finally decided to lay 'Tweed Delights' to rest. Eventually the retail side of my tweedie crafting antics has gradually petered out, just as my interest in a much wider range of crafts eg. crochet, embroidery, sock-knitting, fair isle knitting, etc. has expanded.  

So no more 'Tweed Delights' - my website has gone, but I now hope to continue with my crafting and blogging.  The journey continues, but in a slightly different direction!  Perhaps I will now get time to line this tweed jacket I made over 20 years ago - it has hung in my wardrobe all that time (how's that for a W.I.P.  - work in progress, hehe).  I'd also love to make another pair of these Egyptian Socks by Nancy Bush, which I knitted last Winter - I'm thinking another pair in red and white this time - they were such a joy to make : )


So no more online selling, but lots more personal crafting to come I hope :)

October Holidays seem a long way ago now, but we enjoyed ours anyway.  A lovely visit to Glasgow preceded by a chilled out week at home, being vaguely domesticated.  Scones, crochet, and big mugs of tea . . . .


Well, must dash now and catch up with eight years of housework! Yikes, yes, eight years since Tweed Delights started - where did that time go?? :)  Anyway, I'm pleased how things have evolved and I'm looking forward to a smooth transaction from craft retail to . . . . well, more crafting adventures - wherever they take me!  I'll keep you update here at any rate :) :)

(I have accrued a huge amount of crafty skills over the past few years - my thoughts right now are how to maintain and adapt these skills, to share them perhaps - lots of Tweed Thoughts!)

Cheerio an Drasda, and see you soon I hope :)
Alison x

P.S.  A HUGE thankyou to all my lovely customers/friends, over the last few years - you are the BEST! xx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Switching craft . . . .

Oh well, I've put the very mild, but persistent shoulder ache down to my crochet antics - perhaps a little too much over the summer, but I did find it very relaxing and enjoyable to pick up in between everything else that was going on.  I tend to keep my left shoulder quite rigid when crocheting (I'm a right handed crocheter and hence use my left hand to tension the yarn), it all fits together to explain why I might feel an ache in my left shoulder.  I found this blogpost quite interesting - isn't it nice to see a man crocheting!! 

I've decided to go back to some knitting as I really miss having some kind of needle-craft project to hand.  I really enjoyed the speed of crocheting - it works up so fast!, also the creativity of it - so many possibilities :)  But I've never had any issues with shoulder aches with knitting so I'm going back to it for the time being.   Guess what I'm starting with . . . .


I had these two balls of sock yarn in my stash which I picked up cheaply on E-bay.  My recent yarn purchases have been for crochet projects - Oh Dear, so I may have to adapt them for knitting projects, at any rate I can't buy any more yarn for the time being!  I'm going to make a plain old basic pair of socks (Vanilla socks in the US??) using Ann Budd's basic pattern.  I enjoyed having a little browse through my sock knitting books though - they're such a lovely resource to have . . . 

I may have to knit something else up while doing the socks - I think I may feel a scarf coming on!  Anyway I hope taking up some knitting work will mark the return of my crafting mojo which seems to have faded a little of late :)  I know, I know - where's the tweed, I hear you say!!  Hmmmmm - I'm working on it . . . . . :) :)  I'm sure I'll feel inspired soon(ish!)

Have a lovely weekend :)
Alison x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pancakes 'n slippers . . .

I've been a little absent of late - a shoulder ache had put a halt to my crochet projects and I  just took a complete break over the last week and a half (or two!).  I love my crochet but not enough to suffer aches and pains!  I'm still being cautious and it might be a sign to get the sewing machine out and do some real (tweedie) work, hehe :)

Youngest has been practicing his culinary skills and made some lovely pancakes last weekend (and this weekend!).  They were very yummy - although he did manage somehow to drop an egg yolk on the pavement outside the house first . . . . don't ask, hehe!!!  (em . . . we didn't use  that egg yolk just in case you are wondering!) . . . 


Prior to the shoulder ache/injury I was making these sweet little crochet slippers (another Mamachee pattern).  I added a little crochet rosebud to mine . . . .


I think they turned out really sweet :)


. . . they look quite dainty on, like Cinderella slippers! . . . . I'm thinking Christmas pressies here :)


Better think of getting the sewing machine out soon before I forget how to use it.  My poor tweed collection will be collecting dust - Oh Dear!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A tale of three beanies . . . .

As I've mentioned I've been spending most of my crafty time recently doing crochet projects.  I've not been 'in the zone' to do anything too time consuming but I was led to 'Mamachees' lovely Etsy shop through LittleWoollie's blog.  What a treasure trove of lovely patterns - crochet heaven, hehe!  I popped a couple (or 3!) into my shopping basket :)

Here's the results of the beanie pattern I purchased . . .


I had so much fun making these . . .


. . . in lovely soft Lion Brand wool . . .


I've been experimenting with different size hooks and pattern lengths to get the perfect fit beanie!  They always turn out different as sometimes I manage to skip a row of the pattern - happy accidents!!

I thought it might be nice to make some beanies in colours that reflect our local landscape so I've ordered some earthier colours (although I love these ones too!).  We're moving into Autumn here - a lovely season . . . 


I've neglected the garden this summer (again!) I'm afraid, but the colours still look fabulous this morning.  Flowering shrubs always save the day . . .


The veronica hedge looks quite stunning out the back :)

Eldest is safely (I hope!) settled back at Uni, so life is rolling on regardless and perhaps I'll feel calm enough to engage in some more regular crafty activity - here's hoping :) :)  I will probably make him a new beanie soon in some more manly/'studenty' colours as I did make full use of him before he flew off and followed him round the house trying on my beanies at various stages of completion (you've got to make the most of them, hehe!)  He was very obliging actually - they're both well used to my 'crafty' capers!

Alison x