Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Ta - Dah !!

Just a very quick hello today to say my latest pat*tern is now live on Ravelry!!!

Tina's Allsorts, Popcorn Dreams ScarfThis is Popcorn Dreams, a long shallow crescent shaped scarf, made in 4 ply.
Designed to be a One Skein Wonder Scarf, although the length is adjustable if you have more or less yarn.

Pop across to Ravelry now to buy your copy!

As a special introductory treat to those of you who pop in here regularly, use the coupon code TinasTreat10 at checkout to save 10%. (Valid until midnight Friday 22nd June 2018)

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf
And don't forget, my other scarf pattern is also available. This is A Tail of Two Dragons, a knitted scarf in double knit.

I'll try and pop in again soon with some more pics not only of the samples I made but also those of my testers!

Tina's Allsorts, Popcorn Dreams Scarf

Thanks for stopping by!!  T  xx

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Time flies!

I've been away from my little space for HOW LONG?? Six weeks?? Really?? SIX? How did that happen?..... Guess I must have been busy...

Busy with the beach bag I mentioned last time, that's for sure! It took a bit longer than planned as it became a bit more detailed - especially the lining. But it is now finished and listed on Etsy, should you care to take a look. Thankyou to all my lovely followers on instagram, who helped with the design process!
I'm toying with the idea of making another but doing it more slowly so I can write the pat*tern up with lots of pics - and a choice of either a detailed lining for the sewing experts, or a really simple hand sewn one for the non-sewing. But pat*tern writing takes a long time you know, so it may not happen anytime soon!

I took it down to the local beach for a little photo shoot to try and get some nice pics for Etsy. While I was there, I took some more pics of my Tooty Harmony Blanket and the Winterberry Blanket which is on Folksy. Want to see??

Tina's Allsorts, Crochet Beach Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Crochet Beach Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Crochet Beach Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Crochet Beach Bag

This last shot was designed to show just how BIG the bag is, as the ones with props made it look medium sized. It isn't - it's two feet wide!

I finally went back and finished the border on my Tooty Harmony Blanket. Just a very simple border of treble crochet which frames it nicely.

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony Blanket

 And you can really see the little bobbles on the Winterberry Blanket in the sunshine! That's still listed on Folksy at the moment but will transfer across to Etsy soon.

Tina's Allsorts, Winterberry Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Winterberry Blanket

You will also find the Peacock Tail Bag I crocheted a while ago - I have re-listed it on Etsy with some new photos.
Tina's Allsorts, Peacock Tail Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

The "I Love London" print project bag I showed you (6 weeks ago...) has sold and is on it's way to Oklahoma as we speak! It may even have arrived today. I will buy more of the fabric and make another as it was rather fun. It's Woodland Friends partner (see pic) is still available, if you're interested??

On the pat*tern writing front, I've been busy writing, re-writing, re-writing and yes, re-writing again, a crochet scarf pat*tern. I think I've shown you a sneak peak before. It's a long, narrow crescent shape with a nice bit of texture.

Tina's Allsorts, Crochet scarf
It's getting close to being ready for someone to test it for me. I can try and test the pat*tern myself but to be honest, because I know it inside out now, I might not actually do what is written but automatically do what is right. If you know what I mean?! Each version I have made has come out a bit different as I've developed the shaping of it. The increasing was soooooooo simple - the decreasing? No. Again and again and again I tried. But eventually I was happy with it.

Designed to be a one skein scarf, preferably in a beautiful soft merino 4 ply but equally nice in a soft baby 4 ply. The main reason it took so long was because I wanted it to only need one skein. Knowing exactly when to start changing your shaping for the decreasing wasn't easy at all!

It doesn't have a proper name yet - something that took so long deserves to have just the right name but I'm not quite sure what. If you have any ideas, please do drop me a line!

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey Blanket
If you're a new visitor to my blog, perhaps you landed here via Your Crochet, one of the free pat*tern websites? My Tooty Stripey Pat*tern was picked up by them in mid April and has been very popular, with lots more people downloading it.
They gave it a lovely write up, with links to the pat*tern on Raveley,  plus my blog page - and even protected the content so the picture couldn't be copied.
 One of those people asked me for US Terms version of the key to all the stitches I used and I was very happy to oblige. I don't know why I didn't think of it before - sorry!

If you have downloaded it and made your own version, I really would love to see it, so please do get in touch - or share it on instagram and tag me. And don't forget, it has it's own dedicated page - click the button at the top of the screen.

On a sad note, I'm very sorry to say that Creative Crafts,  the craft shop where I have worked one day a week for the last two and a half years has now closed. Ridiculous rate and rent increases, coupled with the rise of internet shopping finally became too much and after a big sale, the store closed at the end of April. A great loss to the city  of Winchester.
There have been a lot of independent retailers priced out of town by greedy landlords over recent months - as it's one of the best places to live in Britain, they seem to think they can charge what they like. But the thing that makes it one of the best places is the quirkiness of all the different shops. The new retailers moving in are the big chains though, so the city will soon look just like any other.... And anyone who loves arts and crafts - like me - has lost a massive resource. Very sad indeed.....

So my Mondays now feel very empty and strange, as I'm sure is the case for Lyn the owner and the other staff - and my body clock is completely thrown out!

On the up side, I did have someone offer to sell printed copies of my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf pat*tern at a yarn fair, along with my stitch markers recently. I didn't have many stitch markers made - and they certainly weren't packaged in any way - so I spent several frantic evenings making loads of them! I've yet to hear how many sold but I enjoyed making them so much I think I'll make a batch and try them on Etsy.
The same people also suggested I might like to design some of my own knitted and crocheted items with accompanying pat*terns, that can be made up in the wool they spin themselves. My pat*tern will showcase their yarn and their yarn will showcase my pat*tern. So I now have a head absolutely BUZZING with ideas on what I could make!! I thought a man's scarf and a ladies textured shawl to begin with, preferably using yarn in its natural undyed colour. But what weight of yarn??... Decisions decisions!

Anyway, I think that's enough for today! I'll try not to leave it so long before I pop in again!!
Thanks for reading!    T   xXx

Tina's Allsorts, Fluufy

PS  Fluffy says Hi!!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Merino Blanket & Dress a Girl Ta-Dah

This is a double ta-dah today! Firstly, some truly amazing photos of the little dresses I sent out to the Philippines with my friends back in February. He  gave them to Mara's project worker to take back to the project and she very kindly sent these fabulous photos when they were distributed. They chose the most needy families at the project and the parents were given the pencil cases that I'd made and the little girls received the dresses. 
I'm told the girls are around about 5 years old and although I made the dresses to fit a UK toddler,they actually work quite well as blouses too. Although I suspect the arm holes may have been a little bit tight with the elastic!!!
I can't tell you how happy these photos made me when he forwarded them - I love that first one where they're diving in to choose a dress and holding them up for a better look!! And to think that the project worker took the time to take the photos (and so may of them!!!) and send them straight away! It made it all worthwhile making those dresses, especially knowing how much fabric I have tucked away in the cupboard that I never got around to using! I think next time I'm in the mood to make dresses there will be another batch on the way - and they won't have elastic around the edge of the sleeve, just in case!!!
If you've ever wondered whether it's worth making these dresses - or shorts and trousers - then think no more. These photos show just why it's worth it!!

Tina's Allsorts, Dress a Girl Around the World

My second ta-dah is my blanket. My big, beautiful, merino, cost- me-a-fortune blanket. But oh my word, wasn't she worth every single penny!
I can't tell you how much of an absolute JOY it was working on this blanket - I think I enjoyed every single stitch and when you consider that I have 122 rows with 242 stitches each, plus the border, that is a lot of stitches!!
I went for a very simple border around the edge - a row of cream with bobbles, topped with grey along each side, to match the beginning and ending rows, and then a single row of pale pink trebles all the way around the outside. And that was it. I even had a whole ball of cream wool left over as it went further than I expected, along with almost half a ball of each colour except the mid pink.  I could have done a few more rows but it really didn't look right without the pink.
I even made myself a matching stitch marker just as I was about to finish!
Want to see??

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

It's a good size at 55 x 45 inches and is really warm and snuggly! I decided not to wash and block it yet, as the side borders did a good job of straightening out any unevenness in the edges.  And as I have discovered with previous smaller projects, wet merino wool can be scary !!
Although I'd love to be able to carry on using Merino yarn for every project, I really don't think I can afford to. I know there are cheaper brands out there on the market but they may not be as good as the Debbie Bliss that I got half price...

So it's back to acrylic. Although  I hate to go back to acrylic.  But  I've dived straight back in and I went shopping yesterday and spent nearly an hour choosing six balls of blue in different shades, from dark blue through to very light variegated blue. The aim is to make a BIG beach bag which will be big enough to hold all your beach towels, and your picnic, and everything else you might need for a family day by the sea.  (And which hopefully I'll be able to sell.)

I made a start on the base last night in navy blue just as the sun was going down and it reached the point where I could hardly see what I was doing !
I'm in two minds about the pattern that will go up the side of the bag  - on the one hand I might do a little shell pattern (maybe the one that was used on the gloves I was given at Christmas) but then again, maybe a soft wave pattern? Or even just a simple granny stitch?
I want the colours to remind you of actually looking at the sea - dark at the bottom, getting lighter at the top, to make you think of water and waves on the beach. I haven't even done a a test square,  I just dived straight in before I could change my mind about using acrylic!! I put a pic on Instagram this morning of a possible colour sequence, asking which way round to put the darkest blues (apart form the navy of course). The result so far is more than 10:2 in favour of either one or the other - but I'll need to go back and check which before I start!!!! Need to decide on the stitch pattern first though...

On a different note, I did a spot of sewing last weekend. Having sold the project bag in my Folksy shop last month , I wanted to make a couple more. I got carried away with this one and made a matching set, as the London print fabric was so Fab!

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

This woodland friends print is very cute too and I plan to make a little notions purse and pin cushion today,  then list both bags as sets rather than separates. Although actually,  I want to keep them both and FILL them! And not with acrylic either!

I'll put these of  Etsy this time, so follow the link in the sidebar and have a look later if you're interested.

That's it for today,  talk again soon,   T xx

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Merino Stripey Blanket progress

If you follow me on Instagram, or read my last blog post, you'll know I'm working on a Merino Stripey Blanket using the beautiful pure merino yarns I bought in the January sales.
I did say to someone that I should call it my Serendipity Blanket, as considering I had to make do with the colours available across 3 different brands, they work really, really well together. Serendipitous indeed.

I'm writing up a separate page for the blanket with all the yarn details, along with how I worked out a colour repeat that should make the best use of the yarn I have, without running out of anything (hopefully!!). And lots of photos of course.
The blanket is growing rapidly, which is hardly surprising as I'm really enjoying working on it.

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf in Crochet

I've actually only been working on it for 2 weeks not 3, as I had a week off from it while I was trying to work out a crochet version of my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf.
That's going quite well, other than I opted to make it using just one skein of hand dyed 4 ply. Yes, just one skein... Well, it was given to me for Christmas and being hand dyed, there's just the one. And it only has 400m, not the usual 450m for 4 ply. It isn't going to be enough though as I'm incorporating quite a few bobbles into the pattern and they, of course, take extra yarn. So that's been put to one side while I have a little rethink. I know it would look better in a solid colour, or with just speckles rather than variegated as well. So I might frog this lovely yarn and use it for something else.

We had some rather unexpected snow again this weekend. There was some light snow for most of the day yesterday - weird little dry pellets of snow that blew around rather than stuck together. I was hoping we would therefore escape anything more but no, I got up today to at least a 4 inch deep layer. But the temperature is rising already, so it will melt very soon I'm sure.
I took the opportunity to try and get a snowy photo of my blanket but my phone struggled with the brightness of the snow, so I had to settle for a pic of it draped over a bench with a bit of snow on it!

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

As I write this, the blanket is spread across my lap keeping me very warm indeed! I can see I'm going to have to do some research on budget merino yarn - if anyone knows of any, please do let me know as I don't really want to go back to acrylic!!

Fortunately, I had planned a day of hibernating indoors today with lots of crochet planned, so no going out on icy roads thank goodness!

And remember my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf? Here I am modelling it in the snow this morning!

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf

I'm very pleased to be able to say I have now sold 6 copies!Woo Hoo!! I was very pleased to have sold just one. That one copy made it worth all the effort to design it and write up the pattern, so another five is a bonus!
And guess what?? I sold the project bag I made a while back too!! I'm so glad it sold as the blue version that I made and kept is in constant use and I love it. Who would have guessed a medium sized zip up bag could be so useful when it came to woolly stuff?!
I do enjoy a spot of sewing now and then, so will have to make a couple more when I have time. 

Well, that's all for today - time to get on with some crochet! Til next time,  T  xXx