Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Dorset Buttons

I love discovering new crafts,  especially new crafts that involve using yarn and even more especially new crafts that involve using up all the teeny tiny bits of yarn that I just can't bear to throw away...

Brighton Unwind provided me with just that thing. Ever heard of Dorset Buttons?? Well, bizarrely enough nor had I until a couple of months before when I happened to read a book called  Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier (same author of The Girl with the Pearl Earring ).

The book centres around a family from rural 18th Century Dorset who go to live in Georgian London to escape family tragedy and find their fortune. The mother and daughter earn 'piece' money by making Dorset buttons, a centuries-old craft that heralded the introduction of cottage industries to the rural communities.

So it was then that when I came across a stall selling buttons and  kits I knew I had to give it a go.

Crosswheel Button Necklace

Tree Button

Rockpool Necklace construction

Rockpool Necklace 

After speaking to very-inspiring Jen Best who has published this fascinating book

I bought a small button-making kit and with her advice in my ears resolved to try it out once home. 

It's harder than it looks! Here are my first attempts...I have along way to go before I get to Jen's level!

I will definitely have another go as I love the idea of producing my own buttons to go with my own creations. Just need a few more days in the week...

Darcey Dress

I have been wanting to make the dress on the front of this book for what seems like an age but had never got around to ordering it. 

Until I decided to go to Brighton that was...so this was to be the special pattern for the special yarn that I knew I would be treating myself to...

In the end I decided to go for some Alpaca Silk Mix and actually didn't spend a fortune as I opted for Drops at only £3.30 a ball...what a bargain.

I started it in Brighton and had it finished by the following week...

...it has to be worn over a long slip/dress but I had already bought one with this in mind and luckily it seems to work.

Ta Dah!

Now I plan to make another one in some of the Skein Queen 4-ply I bought at Brighton...can't wait!

Confessions from Brighton


It all started so beautifully ...sunshine, sea, champers, and our hooks of course...

Maybe there was too much wool to choose from...

Maybe the champers was too free-flowing...ooops

...but whatever the reason here is (are) my confession (s)

Skein Queen



Bit more Skein Queen

oops and a bit more Skein Queen

Old Maiden Aunt Yarns

Bit more Skein Queen

Bit more Old Maiden Aunt Yarns

I just keep laying it all out and sighing at its loveliness. Simple pleasures eh? 
Now I have to spend a happy morning going through my Ravelry favourites and plan out some projects...most are destined as Christmas presents so not ALL for me, honest. 

All I know is that it was WOOLTASTIC and I'm already planning on going next year too. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about Brighton Unwind is a new wool festival like Yarndale/Unravel/Fibre East etc...and it's  especially brilliant if you go with your chief hooker - Big Love Mrs E! xx). 

Pistehead Goes Down Under!

I was very excited to get my first Pistehead order for Australia in June. I have only done Ski hats up to now...like these ones...

This lady had found me through Google and wanted a couple of Minion-type hats to go over her horse riding helmet so after adapting it to go over a peak at the front I managed to produce 2 like this as ordered!

I haven't heard from her yet so I hope they fitted ok!

June Stock Take

With fluffy fur balls around my ankles over the last few weeks it has been hard to keep up with this blog but I did manage to do a stock-take of some of my 'makes' as well as start preparing for the silly season by making a few items to sell. 

These are some sweet little 'crocodile stitch' booties which I made

using up bits and bobs of various half-used balls of random wool.

Then I got a bit carried away with making kids' ponchos using a Drops Pattern and both 

                                          as well as James C Brett Marble Chunky 

These little flowers are so fast to hook up and I put a safety pin on the back so they can be

inter-changeable according to taste!

Another of my favourite Drops patterns, again using James C Brett Marble Chunky but I left the sleeves off this time

Every Tea Pot needs a Cosy of course...

and a girl can never have too many bags...

...or gloves for that matter.

These little collars seem to be all over the shops at the moment so I thought I'd have a go at removable ones to jazz up a boring top...

Ooops another bag...

..or two.