Hello lovely readers! I hope you’re all enjoying the bright autumn weather before the rain starts. This post will have a very autumnal theme, but first, lets talk about Made by Hand.
Made by Hand is an annual contemporary craft fair, with arguably some of the best craft people in Britain displaying work and giving workshops. It all started in Devon where they hold an even bigger (I’m reliably informed) event. The Mother and I look forward to it all year. We’ve all been to craft fairs where the produce on offer has been unprofessional, unappealing, old fashioned, and lets face it, boring. None of that here thank you very much. It’s wonderful to see beautiful contemporary crafts with the added bonus of being able to talk to the maker and be able to order bespoke items. The opportunities to go ooh are endless and it’s always a good place for inspiration. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the range of makers there with everything from blacksmithing to textiles to pottery.
As you can imagine, everyone is crammed in as every available space of the beautiful City Hall (see above) is used, so you need to give yourself a decent amount of time to really appreciate things. Extra time will be needed for the workshops on offer, where there again is huge variety. How I wish I had the time and funds to do one this year. Time to get saving for 2017 I think. I’m starting to sound like a sales rep now so I’ll leave you with some of the best finds from the day. I’ve tried to attach the appropriate website for each picture, but I was being hugely disorganised (overstimulated) and was rubbish at taking names down. Please let me know if there are any mistakes and I can correct them.
While furiously crafting away this week, my brain has also been working overtime on planning lots of post Christmas projects. I’ve also realised that my projects are planned for at least the next 12 months, which is a worrying, but also a very comforting thought. As is usually the way, I’m planning autumn and winter items and I’ll end up making them in summer. Still, it’ll be lovely to have ready made things ready for next year. And I’m having such fun looking at colours.
On the way home from Made by Hand we stopped into our local yarn shop – which also doubles as a wine shop and deli, ingenious – because while looking online at colours is good, its never as good as going in and putting balls together to see what things will actually look like.
I’m a tad obsessed with blankets at the moment so I‘ve been looking at doing this ripple blanket for a while. It’s bound for our spare room which is painted in my favourite shade of blue. This room also doubles (or maybe triples?) as the library, craft room, junk space and tortoise housing area. (They had to be moved to where the kittens couldn’t get at and bother them. And also so the tortoises don’t eat them while they have a sit in the box.) One day we’ll get it sorted as a usable room and I’ll have all the room I need to store all my supplies. One day.
Anyway, I’ve been looking at these blue colours for a ripple stitch so that our guests can have a blanket when they stay, I can have a blanket when I’m working in there and we have something nice to subdue the bright red sofa bed. I always tend to think in ombre when I’m planning colours and I like the idea of the ripple going through from dark to light. The question is do I go from dark to light and run through the colours backwards, or dark to light then begin again at dark. I’m still not sure. It might have to be a case of try it and see. What d’you think? Answers on a post card.
I’ve also been planning to make 2 shrugs in this design. One in a grey and black (have to be sensible for work of course) and one in glorious colour. I’ve been thinking for a long time about what colours I wanted. I always need to stop myself going for blues – default setting – so I’ve been looking around me for inspiration.
On the way to Made by Hand we passed lots of lovely trees turning colour. Luckily for us Cardiff is filled with greenery, so the colours at the moment are glorious. I’m usually drawn to the reds, but I’ve been struck this year by the yellows. Yellows that really stand out from the green background of the trees behind. My favourites are the ones that have all the colours from deep reds at the top, turning orange, yellow then eventually green at the bottom. It all just looks too perfect. So, the decision was taken that this would be the Autumn Leaves shrug. Again I have to stop myself from making it in to a blanket. It might still happen if I’m happy with it. Colours are still undecided and again I’m not sure if I want to progress the colours through the spectrum or randomise it. I think I’ll have to use the plain one as a tester to check sizes and then I can plan further.
I’ve included some of the tree pictures so you can fully understand the wonder. They’re not great pictures (far too many signs and cars in the way for my liking), more for me as a point of reference. But you can look at the colours, see what I mean and see why I’m getting so excited!
I’m planning now, but these projects won’t be finished until way in the future. I’m hoping that the yarn Santa hears my prayers and delivers them for me. We’ll see.. On that note..
While I cant show you anything that I’ve been making – it wont be long I promise – I can give you an update and whip you up into a frenzy. No? Just me then..
A1 – Finished! Just waiting for a suitable day where I can wash it.
A2 – Finished and gifted! Expect an update soon!
B1 – 75% done. I have ends to weave before I can go any further. Sigh.
B2 – Yarn bought and patiently waiting for Himself to pick up from the sorting office.
C1 – 50% done. Tired stitching meant I had to annoyingly redo some. Such a perfectionist.
C2 – No progress L
C3 – Yarn at sorting office
C4 – Yarn at sorting office
D1 – Big progress! The endless counting of stitches has finished, now for the fiddly bits that I think are going to be a lot harder..
D2 – No progress
D3 – No progress
D4 – First attempt failed, waiting for instruction from a master
D5 – I’d completely forgotten about this one until I was going through my patterns – schedule amended accordingly.
Lots of no progress there, but I’ve been concentration on no more that 4 projects at a time to keep myself sane. Only 4 I hear you cry? I know. Part timers eh?
While the list looks glum, I’m surprised at what’s been achieved. If only I could show you I’d be able to prove it. Sit tight people. They’re on their way!