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Friday, 25 March 2011

It's All About The Crochet!

Hello and welcome back! I have been a little naughty and missed a blog last week! However the reason was that I was holding off telling you some news until it was all signed, sealed and delivered!

Myself and David have bought a house! (Sorry everyone who already knows, you will be feeling somewhat disappointed by the lack of surprise) And now that we have the mortgage settled I can actually tell you about it!!!! Yes our own 2 bed house which is out of the city centre and nearby fields............sort of. We get the keys on the 5th of May (41 days.....not that I'm counting!) and we are to say the least quite excited yet bewildered! As you can imagine I have already been visualising how to decorate the house, what wallpapers and paint I want etc I will be brimming full of projects soon enough! But I will tell you more about that in future blogs!

So moving on the main theme of today, crochet! I have been battling with crochet for a while. For some reason the lack of a second needle and lack of understanding where to put the crochet hook into next was too much for me to overcome! Now do believe me I have tried many times. I went to a drop in workshop at John Lewis, I didn't get it. I scoured the net for instructions anrd tutorials, I didn't get it and I even tried to take out books on it, still couldn't get it! So I was really hoping that when I signed up to my beginners crochet class at I Heart Art I would finally pick it up! It was my last hope before I gave up on crochet for good and stuck to knitting. I did hear that you were either a crocheter (is that a word?) or a knitter anyway!

In week 1 of the class Janet taught us how to do double crochet, seemed simple enough once you got the hang of it but for some reason I was so slow! It one stitch forward and unravel two back. After 2 hours I hadn't got very far! But nevertheless I hoped that week 2 I would progress as long as I got some practise in. Now I have to say practise really does make perfect, although I wouldn't go as far as to say this is perfect, it's perfect in a bit of a squinty edged way. Here are my 3rd, 4th and 5th attempts at a double crochet square.

Double Crochet

So after my progress I got a bit confident and a bit cocky. Hurrah I can do double crochet BRING on the granny square. So after a bit of googling I found a granny square pattern and decided to have a bash at it......

Hmm I think I need some more practise least the first one looks vaguely square. After some more googling I came across some beautiful crochet wonders that made me inspired (and jealous). I love the look of crochet and have always wanted to do it! The woman's blog who I stumbled accross was Lucy's called Attic 24. Go and have a look at her use of colours will completely grab you, and I fell in love with the crochet hearts and Japanese flower scarf she has done. I love it so much I hope Lucy doesn't mind me putting her photo of her scarf up!!!!

Lucy's amazing Japanese Flower Scarf!

Feeling inspired I messaged Janet telling her "Look, look I want to be able to do this!" Let's just say I was trying to run before I could walk! But once I master crochet a little more I would love to do something like this!

Yesterday I went back for week 2 of my crochet class and learnt how to do half double crochet. Look's like all my practise has paid off I was finally getting the hang of the crochet malarky. I whipped up my square by the end of the class!

Half Double Crochet Square

Not quite ready for the granny squares yet Janet introduced me to working in a round first, which I also managed to complete before the end of the class!

Looks a bit like a shell to me! With my growing grasp of crochet demonstrated Janet gave me the green light to move onto the granny square! Hooray! So last night I left with a smile on my face ready to tackle the granny square! This is the granny square pattern I will be working on!

I hope Granny gives me a break and doesn't make it too hard on me...................
Watch this space to see the results!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Knitted huts and tea sets!

Hello All!
This week's blog will take a slightly different format in the fact that I don't have a specific project to present to you! In fact I don't have any at all (yes I'm still beavering away with the jumper!) But this past week has been a busy week within the crafting realm so I want to share with you some photos of my adventures.

As I mentioned last week, Friday 4th March was the opening night of an exhibition being held at "I Heart Art" in Aberdeen. My jewellery (Neon Haze Designs) was invited along to exhibit and is still there waiting for all you lovelies to go and buy it! Here are some photos from the night.

Saturday saw David and I head down to Glasgow for the weekend. Luckily the ICHF Hobby Craft and Creative Stitches Show ( was on (great timing!), what an excellent chance to stock up on some bits and bobs! This is the second time I have been along to one of these events and I can't quite believe how many stalls are there! From card making to needle craft from rag rugging to quilting, you name the craft it will be there!

This year all knitting fans were in for a treat! I was walking through the hall and came across a MASSIVE knitted hut!!!! It was spectacular! "Above and Below The Waves" was the idea of Alison and Ann Murray. The project was made to raise money for the RNLI "Train One, Save Many" campaign.

2000 knitters contributed to the project which took 2 years to complete. The sewing up alone took 5 months to do! It is truly amazing and if you do get the opportunity to experience it first hand go and check it out. For those of you who can't here are some photos. Doesn't it totally inspire you to create something large??!
For more information please go to

As you walk through the hut you enter a world of knitted under the sea wonders!

A beautiful Jellyfish

The resident sea monster "Nemesis" created by School children in Devon

A beach scene

The entrance to the hut with the friendly mermaid

The lobster man, complete with knitted lobster!!!

Of course no trip to an event like this would be complete without burning some money! I didn't go too crazy but I got some nice things.

Hmmm some more patchwork hexagons or fabric covered earrings perhaps?

Buttons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some new button jewellery just waiting to be created

Every girl needs some pretty ribbon to add to her stash

Lastly I want to touch on my new found wonder called the tea set. I have been scouring charity shops in the hope to find some lovely gems I can use to decorate my future new house (a bit premature I know!) A few weeks ago I came across a gorgeous set for only £3! AMAZING! Pastel colours and golden rims, how quaint! Possibly a bit grubby to use but they will look fantastic displayed in the kitchen. Here is a photo of some of the set.

It was probably very wrong of David and I to assume that this would be the last tea set I would buy. A pretty tea set and a bargain comes along and I am sorry but I just can't say no! So it happened again yesterday...........I saw a tea set I liked in Shelter, £4!!!!! wow!!!!!

How very cute and complete with plates and all sorts.
"Why have you bought another tea set?" asked David
"It was pretty....................."
Do I have to have a reason?  I don't have any plans for this tea set as such, but the idea of creating a mosaic mirror frame or something has left an imprint in my brain ever since Kirstie Allsopp showed us how. So if they don't get used for tea, or hung on the wall, or used to make tea cup candles, I can always smash them up and make art.

But alas it didn't stop there................for those of you who know me I have a bit of a thing about polka dots..
Polka dot mugs in pastel colours had to be bought!

£5 in Shelter and if I'm not wrong they are in M&S as we speak!

Oh before I forget I have also set up a facebook fan page and twitter for Neon Haze Designs! Go and have a search. You can find my twitter account on, follow me and find out what I'm upto both with Neon Haze Designs and general craftyness!

Ta ta for now, I'm off to go and look for tea sets. Think I'm getting a bit "tea potty" for them...........................haha!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Exhibition and Patient Knitting

Good morning! Its Friday and not only is the weekend fast approaching but tonight sees the opening of an exhibition which is being held in "I Heart Art" in The Galleria, Aberdeen. I will be exhibiting (and selling) a selection of my jewellery there and it is all pretty exciting! There will be a range of other artists/makers there too so if you are in the area (and free) come along! It begins about 7pm and there will be some nibbles and wine. Don't worry if you can't make it though as everyone's work will remain up for one week. So go have a look! You can find out where it is by going onto I Heart Art's website.

If for whatever reason you can't make it along, here is a taster of some of the things I will be exhibiting. Not everything on these photos will be there but fear not if you see something you like (and it doesn't get sold) it will be making an appearance on my folksy shop very soon!

Now it's time to have a nosey at what I have been working on this week. Ok I say this week......this project has actually been on a go for a long exactly? we say around 2 years...... you may have guessed I'm not the most patient of knitter's! Like a lot of crafts people I like to have my fingers in a lot of pies so to speak. Something else comes along that looks interesting and I just CANNOT RESIST giving it a go. Off the knitting goes into the knitting bag (or in my case a classy Tesco carrier bag) and off my hands are to try needle felting or sewing bags or something else. I have to say I suffer from this a lot which you probably already guessed from my blog. However I do eventually go full circle and back to the beginning and in the case of this jumper I have done just that!

One day my mum turned around to me and said "Camilla, I think it's time you knit something more challenging than a scarf" I gulped in fear, rectangles were all I could knit, the thought of doing something more challenging was a bit scary, but I knew I would have my crafty mum on side to help me when it all went wrong! So I began to look around in magazines and see if anything caught me eye. Quite quickly I found a pattern I loved! It is in Issue 2 of The Knitter (to give you an idea of how long ago this was they are on issue 29 now!) It is a Fair Isle style jumper designed by Belinda Boaden and I just love it, the colours are so lovely not to mention the pattern itself!

I'm probably not supposed to put these up but I wanted to show you what it will hopefully look like. I love it and one day when it is finished I'm going to write to The Knitter and show them!

 So not only will I be knitting a jumper but I'm going to learn how to do Fair Isle, perfect! This will certainly be a step up from a scarf. As I have already mentioned I love Fair Isle, maybe it has got something to do with my mother's side of my family being Norwegian. My Grandmother and my Mum have both knitted me wonderful cardigans which I love so it would be good to follow in their footsteps!

To give you a brief over view the knitting of the jumper (although very slow) has been going well, will relatively few mistakes! I am really enjoying doing the Fair Isle pattern, its exciting to finally see the pattern emerge! I would like to think I am almost done, well i am almost. Here is where I am up to at the moment.

The back of the jumper

A close up so you can see the Fair Isle pattern in detail

An even closer close up!

A well used pattern chart!

The front of the jumper, still in progress!

I am almost finished the front of the jumper, I only have a few more centimetres to go and then I'm onto the neckband. Of course there are still the sleeves to go, but I have been working on them at the same time. First one was completed a while ago and I only just finished the second one on Sunday. So hooray I'm almost there! I ALMOST have a jumper...............hold on Camilla, don't start the celebrations yet.........
So after I finish my second sleeve I decide to compare the two together.......ok......why are they not the same size???? Why is one a lot smaller than the other........what has happened???? why why why???????
"Did you remember to change your needles after the rib?" asks my mum

Another schoolgirl error! I forgot to change the bloody needles over.......its only 25mm of a difference in size. Hmmm maybe I can stretch it a bit.............maybe I can sew some of it in........maybe I can start a new trend with odd sleeve sizes.........
Mum tells me the worst thing ever, "Camilla you need to unpick it and start it again"
Start again?!?!?!?! But I was so close! I could almost see me wearing the jumper, it was so so close and now I have to start the sleeve again?????
This is where the test of patience comes into play.
"You only have to unravel it to the ribbing"
I guess that makes it slightly I'm not quite there yet but hopefully my train trip to Glasgow this weekend will give me plenty of time to sort out the sleeve!

The moral of this story??? Read your pattern and pay attention, not all patterns are suitable to do whilst chatting! Opps............

Mess of wool!