Creepy Cute {Review}

Creepy Cute CoverIt doesn’t take much of an excuse for me to indulge myself in all things spooky and with Halloween on Friday I had to share this little gem from my crafting bookshelf with you. I’m a sucker for a book that feels nice, and this colourful, slightly larger than your standard penguin novel, hard back book with a matt cover appeals on every level.

You can make yourself a monstrously cute horde of 20 different fiendish minions with the patterns in this book. The best bit (for all of you that are as impatient as I am) is that because they are amigurumi patterns these devilish dolls are small, quick to make and chances

Creepy Cute Cactusare you have enough yarn lying around to make a few already. (That’s twice in as many sentences that I have I’ve tarred you with my own brush, but if you had as much yarn hidden around the house as I do you’d be trying to make yourself feel better about it too.)

Each of the patterns is graded in terms of it’s difficulty Creepy Cute Patternsfrom beginner to epic and comes with a close up colour photo of the finished project, a stitch chart and a ‘long hand’ written pattern too. As if 20 different patterns wasn’t enough the book also has plenty of useful tips on how to give your monster a professional finish that Dr Frankenstein would be proud of.

Did I say I love this book? I want to get that in there again before I Creepy Cute drawershave to say this… I am not entirely sure that the patterns are necessarily 100% right. I am very happy to hold my hands up and say that this could be my slightly haphazard counting, or maybe a little wobbly tension here and there, but at times I could see something had gone astray but for all the re-counting of stitches and re-reading of the pattern I couldn’t for the life of me see where I had gone wrong. But we wont dwell because between the pattern, the chart and the photo it was easy enough to work out how to keep the pattern going.

Creepy Cute peeking

I honestly wouldn’t let that put you off buying the book, but if this is your first foray into the world of 3D crochet then you might want to hone your skills before having a go at these. Then again, it could be the perfect learning curve. As you can see my Day of the Dead Gal is a little shy so I am off to crochet her a date to take her to the Dia de los Muertos fiesta this weekend – otherwise she’ll have no-body to go with. Groan!

I would happily buy this bewitchingly beautiful book as a gift for someone crafty and I am looking forward to adding more members to my Creepy Cute army.

Overall rating: 4/5.

Creepy Cute is written by Christen Haden and published by Quirk Books.

ISBN 978-1-59474-232-3.

 

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{How To} Upcycle an old jumper into a bag.

Every so often a friend of my Mum’s brings me a huge bag of hand-me-downs. It’s such a treat. After her last visit I plunged my hand into a bag, rummaged around and pulled out a huge knitted jumper. It was a chunky, grey wool knitted in loose, wide stitches. The body of the jumper was a T shape, two large squares for the body and four smaller squares for the arms. I loved it, it looked dreadful on me.

Tools of the trade

But did I give up and throw it to one side? Oh no, I wasn’t letting this one go to the charity shop. So here is what I decided to do with my new jumper instead…

1) First I cut both arms off the jumper leaving me with a vaguely square bag shape. When you cut into a knitted fabric you have to stitch along the edges you are about to cut otherwise when you snip through the stitches your jumper will unravel. For smaller knits you can do this on your sewing machine using a zigzag stitch. I used a tapestry needle and a strand of the wool I was using for my edging to catch in the stitches around the arm holes.

Single crochet edge2) Next for a nice chunky edging. Using three strands of double knit yarn together I single crocheted all the way around two sides and the bottom of the bag, closing all the openings as I went.

 

CAT BAG 01

 

Hmmm, not so much plain as blank don’t you agree? I decided to stuff new bag with squashy balls of yarn for some wooly inspiration. Once the bag was full there was really only one way to go…

3) I cut eyes, nose and whiskers out of some pre made felt and I had all the best intentions of stitching them on, but ended up sticking them to the front of the bag with fabric glue. (They will fall off eventually, there wasn’t much surface to stick them to but when they do I will actually take the time to hand stitch them on, promise!).

Yarn Bag

From misfit jumper to the cat’s whiskers of a yarn bag in an hour and a half, and I had everything I needed in the house already. Purrrfect.

The Cornershop. Lucy Sparrow

The lucky residents of Bethnal Green are about to have a wonderful new cornershop open up on a busy street corner. But this isn’t yet another Tesco’s Metro, although it looks just as well stocked – everything on sale in this shop has been handmade, by Lucy, out of felt. The project has been 7 months in the making and throws open its doors to the public today at 6pm.

To see Lucy Sparrow’s Cornershop blog click here.

This is exactly what a rainy day like today calls for, I could spend hours scrutinizing the photos, writing a mental shopping list of things to fill my cupboards with from this crafty corner shop. But not only is Lucy’s imaginative, immersive installation open for business daily until the end of the month, it will also be host to 12 workshops aimed at bringing together various local groups. In her blog Lucy tells us that the workshops will provide an opportunity for a shared making experience and discussion around the steady disappearance of cornershops all over the country.

I was interested to read that Lucy had secured part of her funding using Kickstarter. Now, I know I have spoken to a couple of people about Kickstarter recently, I have totally forgotten who exactly but you know who you are! The link to her Kickstarter proposal is here.

The time for fundraising is over now, but it is still an interesting read and explains a lot about her motivation for starting the project in the first place.

If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter then today is a good time to have a look at that too.There are loads of innovative people out there who would be doing such interesting things if only they had a bit of cash to help them get started. As you will see Lucy Sparrow far exceeded her £2,000 target, as did the guy looking for $10 to make a potato salad (which I notice is closing in two hours). I’m still slightly kicking myself that we didn’t pledge for this one

 

But hey, while I’ve been writing this post the sun has come out so it’s not all bad!

Hope the sun is shining where you are, if it isn’t I hope you’ve got everything you need for a blanket fort.

 

another lovely basket

I am not sure which I love more the rainbow handle or the gorgeous detail on the Easter eggs. Big thank you to 6yo C in Bristol for this one.6yo C Bristol

19.04.14

I am a hoarder of the worst order but having lived at five different addresses in three different cities in the last 7 years I have come to appreciate clearing out the inexplicably useless things I choose to hang on to. I love taking bags of stuff to the nearby charity shops and passing on clothes to friends, it’s all those other things that I feel the need to squirrel away that are the problem. Clothes that aren’t in any fit state to be worn but could add some lovely colour to that rag rug I’ve been meaning to make, I strip the zips, buttons and trims off everything and have miles of bits of ribbon taken off packaging.

In a recent clear out my Grandmother asked us all to let her know if there was anything any of us wanted putting aside. The house in question is the home where my Grandparents’ raised their seven children, which in turn was played in and visited by 13 grandchildren and with the eldest of the 12 current great-grandchildren being in his mid twenties and the youngest being only a few weeks old, serious hoarder goodies, I mean treasured family memories up for grabs.

I’ve been covertly coveting this tablecloth that Gran never had a chance to finish – I mentioned the proliferation of children in our clan right? – for years. It’s a beautiful combination of cutwork and embroidery made up of hundreds of Gran’s tiny, perfectly even stitches. Apologies for the crumpled fabric in the photos, I haven’t quite plucked up the courage to press it yet.

But that’s not all, oh no, this was a real hoarders-hand-me-down. In the bag with the tablecloth was a whole gold mine of embroidery patterns on canvas, transfers, all the wool and silks I needed to finish the projects, a book about needlework and something the like of which I have never seen before.

 

I really wish I had at least a tension square that I have created to show you, but I just can’t figure it out! Having only one needle does not simplify things, it seems to make knitting far MORE complicated. I will not be beaten by such a ridiculous article though. I hope in the end to be smiling like the guy in his cardigan from the pattern book, at the moment I think I feel more like the lady in her cardigan/ mini skirt combo!

{How to} Make a felted rose

Video

So in the same week that I wrote my first guest post I find myself posting my first video tutorial. It’s not perfect but I’m really pleased with it.  I couldn’t wait to finish typing up the instructions to go alongside these photos before posting my video but they are on their way very soon.

Click here to go to youtube:

Rose tutorial24

A bevy of your beautiful baskets

Super excited at the arrival of the first basket photo. Massive thanks to Stan for getting the ball rolling with this little beauty! Who’s next?!…….