Cushtie cushions!

I’ve always fancied learning how to make a cushion and when the opportunity arose at Crafty Angel I jumped at it!  https://www.craftyangel.co.uk/


Crafty Angel has been open for just under a year and you could not find a more peaceful setting for this creative haven.  Angela is a graphic designer and this is reflected in her flare for fabric choice and attention to detail.  She is also great fun and a skilled teacher immediately putting you at ease.


Everything was supplied to make a piped, button back cushion.  All one had to do was turn up and bring a packed lunch!  Tea, coffee and an impressive selection of soft drinks and cake appeared at regular intervals too!   The only decision one had to make was which material to choose.  Believe you me, with so much fabulousness that was hard!


Three ‘fat quarters’ are all it takes to create this cushion along with some piping and covered buttons.  Along with learning how to make the actual cushion there were lots of top tips on sewing and use of equipment.  I for one had no idea you could unscrew a thread spool and store your needles inside!  Well did you?!  (Ok, so it’s just me!)

Firstly, we made the piping which was actually more straightforward than I’d imagined.  Placing it round the cushion was a little bit more tricky but again Angela demonstrated techniques to create a professional finish.


Once the binding was on it was then time to put the whole thing together and make covered buttons and button holes.  As before, all the stages were demonstrated and we had all the tools required, including state of the art sewing machines to make life easier.

Even when muggins here managed to accidentally cut through the cushion backing the ‘Crafty Angel’ came to the rescue with the most ingenious solution.  I wonder if you can spot him!


There were three of us on the course today and it wasn’t even lunchtime when we’d all decided we want to return for more ‘Crafty Angel’ magic!  Future workshops will include dressmaking, umbrella making, machine embroidery, lampshade making, knitting and crochet with Rowan Yarn, bag making, quilting and book binding to name a few!  Personally, I can’t wait!

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‘Twas the night before Christmas!’

Well that is what it felt like when I left Alexandra Palace this evening.  Today was set up day for the Knitting & Stitching Show which opens to the public tomorrow and for the next five days!  What was the ‘knitting trucker’ doing there I hear you ask.  Well there has been an extraordinary development in my portfolio career.  It is a long story which I won’t go into now but suffice it to say this is all thanks to my GP and a plastic bag!

I have been recruited to work for Rowan Yarn  http://www.knitrowan.com (Mez Crafts UK) as a brand account manager for independent purveyors of fine yarns…..I added the last bit 😉…….but it is the most important sounding job title I’ve ever had!  My first official day in the job was yesterday and today I was to help with the ‘load in’ for the Rowan Stand at the show.  #knitting&stitchingshow http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london/

I thought you might like to see a bit of the behind the scenes action.  Before……


During……..


…..and after…….


…….and some more……


If you are going to the show I’d love it if you came and said hello.  I’ll be the one doing the ‘kiddy let loose in a sweet shop’ impression!  We are located in the West Hall at TGB18.  Over the five days there’s opportunity to meet the designers and book signing sessions.

Guess the designer!


Before heading home I went for a wander……

The Toft girls chilling…

Kim was delightful


…..and finally, this is not the end of ‘the knitting trucker’!  I will be continuing to knit in my truck from time to time!  😊🚚💜🚛💜

http://www.wornandwashedfabrics.com
http://www.thetoftalpacashop.co.uk

Brum & back…

For a long time my usual Friday ‘gig’ has been Stansted to Birmingham airport and back.  A slight diversion up the A10 to avoid a M11 jam.  A spot of crochet in my break and some very important cargo on the way back! 

In-cab entertainment


Before you ask……they DID reach their destination!

 

Seriously soggy Saturday……

It was a seriously soggy Saturday yesterday when I drove to Manor Farm, Bourn http://manorfarmbourn.com where the Purl Alpaca http://www.purlalpacadesigns.com workshop was happening in the Malthouse.


We were warmly greeted by Tracy and Kari-Helene with tea and homemade biscuits, a great start!  Among the little group of six were a lady who’d driven from Birmingham and another who had combined a trip to visit friends & family with the workshop.  She was over from Malaysia…..a testament to the winning combination of Kari-Helene’s designs and Tracy’s luxurious ‘home grown’ alpaca yarn!


One of the great things about Purl Alpaca workshops (and if you visit them at yarn shows), is that you get the chance to try on the garments as well as to actually see the true colours of the yarn and to FEEL it!  I warn you now this stuff is addictive!

‘cloud’ of alpaca fleece.


I think I came across Purl Alpaca at the Knitting & Stitching Show at ‘Ally Pally’ some 9 or 10 years ago, http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london/ and was immediately drawn to the unique designs, soft colours and feel of the yarns.  I tried on the Iago waistcoat and loved it!  It was also an incredibly clever and straight forward pattern, perfect for this beginner! http://www.purlalpacadesigns.com/product/iago-waistcoat-knitting-pattern/ Every time I wear it I receive admiring comments.  (I have to be honest, the pattern photo doesn’t do it justice).

Five balls of yarn and a pattern are included in the workshop so once everyone had decided what they wanted to make we sat down to enjoy more tea and cookies and casted on!  Both Tracy and Kari-Helene were at hand to help and advise and explain new techniques.  

The mini version of mine!


http://www.purlalpacadesigns.com/product/solo-tank-top-knitting-pattern/
I have to admit I already had this so brought it along to ‘dive in’ with the help of Kari-Helene.  

Just before lunch we paid a visit to meet the V.I.P.s themselves!


…….then there was lunch!

All homemade and delicious!


…..and the most delicious chocolate cake with bramble coulis and cream, but it didn’t last long enough for me to take a pic!

Sitting, knitting with friends, tea & cake on a soggy Saturday afternoon is good for the soul….I didn’t want to leave!  But I’ve got this little stash to keep me going till next time!

Soggy selfie!


Someone else I met on the way out at Manor Farm…


……and finally…….


Tracy calling her ‘people’ up for apples.

For further info on Purl Alpaca Designs, patterns, yarn and workshops go to: http://www.purlalpacadesigns.com

‘Work in Progress Wednesday’

Not knitting but ‘The Crochet Trucker’ this week.  A spot of stash busting!  If I remember correctly it is Herdwick https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herdwick and I bought the skeins in a tiny shop somewhere in Cumbria when I was staying with friends.  It was the colour that got me, naturally dyed I think!  Anyway, a lap rug is the W.I.P.  

Calming cab crochet!


Having spent over five hours on the M25 this afternoon I was loosing the will to live only to have another job tagged onto my day!  But the jams had cleared and the rain stopped on the trip from Stansted to Becton   As the sun set I sat listening to the seagulls and a ‘v’ formation of geese gaggle overhead and watched BAe 146s (my old truck!) on final approach to London City.  With a flask of Assam and my crochet ‘blanket to be’ life didn’t seem so bad after all.