Homemade Christmas 1

I like to make as much as I can for Christmas – it’s fun to do, is invariably cheaper than buying and means one ends up with a unique gift or decoration.

Instead of a tree which sits in the room, this year I wanted a wall mounted one. I’ve seen pictures of trees made from wood and thought I’d attempt to make one using branches from the garden. I cut these a couple of weeks ago, cleaned them and let them dry out and finally tied them using some sisal string into a Christmas tree. Simple decorations, just some stars,warm white lights and a fairy on top – et voila! My homemade tree!

image

A grand day out to Yarndale

Last Sunday, I drove a 380 mile round trip to go and look at yarn. No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses, this wasn’t just any old yarn, but a big, beautiful yarn festival in the Yorkshire Dales, hence the descriptive moniker, Yarndale. I’ll try and describe it for those who haven’t heard of it.  Imagine being in glorious quintessential English countryside; green fields, heather covered hills, a bustling market town surrounded by farming country and having the idea of transforming an agricultural livestock mart into a yarn, fabric and craft market for a creative and colourful weekend. This is the ethos behind Yarndale, and the team behind it have worked magic to bring about its great success.

I decided to nip down for the day on Sunday, with my mum.  A lovely, autumnal drive down on quiet roads, 3.5 hours and we were there for the afternoon. Despite reports via Twitter of long queues to get in and hoards of people crowding  round stalls, I need not have worried, it was just fine. Busy enough for there to be a bustling,excited atmosphere but in a relaxed and friendly way.  The venue was so big that it made it easy to wander and browse, and chat to the vendors. Lots of places to sit and rest awhile too which was a big bonus once the feet started to ache!

image

There was some colourful yarn bombing outside in the park and in the entrance area to the mart, including this fantastic crochet bunting

image

And these mandalas which decorated the railings above the ground floor

image

I couldn’t fit them all in, there were almost 1200 of these! A feast for the eyes! All the work of Lucy at Attic 24 and her blog readers, it looked amazing and added such colour and vitality to the venue. Lucy is one of the team behind Yarndale and she was in the building, surrounded by fans. I couldn’t get near to say hello! Probably just as well, she must have been exhausted after 2 days non-stop talking.  Maybe next year?

What else did I see?

Alpacas!

image

Sheep!

image

I didn’t take many more photos because a) my phone’s battery died and b) really I was there to look at the wonderful and many goodies on offer,  to get some inspiration, to chat to other yarn and craft lovers and to spend some cash! All of which I did……

image

My haul of goodies, lovely yarn from Gam Farm Rare Breeds (those are their sheep in the photo above), Teeswater Wools, Ripplescrafts, Littleowlcrafts and Strathearn Fleece and Fibre, buttons from Skybluepink Designs, a case for bits and bobs (I can’t remember who I bought this from, sorry:-( ) and some gorgeous cards and a picture from H-anne-Made.

image

 

It was a real treat to see so many exhibitors under one roof selling so many beautiful and high quality items. I could have spent even more than I did! It was also lovely to chat to all those exhibitors who I bought from and other visitors to Yarndale. There was a warm and happy atmosphere and my mum and I left feeling it was so worth the long trip as we’d had such a great experience.

A grand day out indeed 😉

image

Scarlet flowers and frills

image

A baby blanket in scarlet, cream and green,  a present for my friend’s new baby, I was inspired by her name in my choice of colours, and made it flowery and frilly, just like all beautiful baby girls should be. A red flower centre, surrounded by a cream granny square with a soft green treble edge. I joined the squares together on the back using the red yarn and double crochet stitching, 16 squares in total. Then I added an edging of half treble crochet rows in red and cream and a final shell stitch row to create a frilly edge. Lovely and summery!

Vintage pink and blue

My vintage crochet in fact; I discovered these squares in a box last week when I was having a tidy up. I must have made them when I first started crocheting, about 5 years ago. Definitely during my purple/pink period!

image

I think they look pretty good for a novice – I have an idea for a way to use them, better than putting them back into that box and forgetting them again.

i also found a very wonky piece of raspberry pink star stitch crochet, meant if I remember rightly, to be a cushion, but I obviously went wrong somewhere and it was more of a diamond than a square!

image

The star stitch pattern looks lovely but even if I blocked the piece I don’t think it’s useable, so I decided the best thing was to rip it out and start again. I’ve used this lovely wool and silk blend yarn for lots of things before, it’s a dream to work with. It makes beautiful roses, like the one at the front, with its pink sisters.

image

It was interesting looking at my first crochet makings. They make me realise I wasn’t so bad after all, but, delightful as pink and purple are, I have become more adventurous with colour now!

2013 review: Crochet

This year has been a little sporadic on the crafty front. I was so busy with work for the first part of the year, and then lovely hot summer + yarn + sick cat do not go together well, then more of being busy, so I didn’t think I’d have much to review. But I did make all of these things this year, so perhaps it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought!

1-Desktop89

11: Homemade Christmas decorations

I wanted to bring a bit of rustic charm to my Christmas decorations this year, and I hit on the idea of making an over mantlepiece wall hanging using a big branch from the garden. I cut a branch from one of my lilac trees(they do need pruning!) trimmed it a bit, added some natural twine to hang it, then to decorate, a one-colour theme.

IMG_1341

Some golden baubles, a couple of golden love birds!

IMG_1339

stars and moon and a golden heart for happiness

IMG_1338

I love it!