Wednesday, 26 September 2012

All for a good cause...

Now I'm more than probably a little biased (especially as I used to work there!) but The Spellbound Bead Company is most definitely the best bead shop in the country, if not the world.  Nestled in the small cathedral town of Lichfield, Staffordshire, this family run business offers a shop filled to the brim (literally!) with beads of a myriad of colours as well as semi-precious stones, crystals and original design kits.  Its a good shop there are many coffee shops and eateries in the area to allow you to peruse your purchases and realise that you have to go back and just a few more beads won't hurt....

One kit sold is Katie's Flower, available in a number of colourways and ways to where it.  With 80% of the proceeds going to a truly excellent cause, this really is 'feel good  fashion' - there really is every need to make one in a number of colours to suit any outfit and adorn any coat.    Follow the link to read more.  Go on treat yourself or a loved one....

Ingredients (wire cutters not included)
Perfect for beginners, the usual high standard of super clear instructions means you can whip up this gorgeous accessory in less time than it takes your cup of tea or coffee to get to optimal drinking temperature.

wrapping with wire

You're also bound to get the beading bug and be tempted to buy more from this shop's gorgeous offerings.  The owner, Julie Ashford, designs all the original kits and now also has had  a spellbinding book published full of tempting projects.....All kits sold in the shop are graded according to ease so there is something for everyone whether you're a beginner or a beading master.  And the best bit is they also offer a stunning website and mail order service and attend many major UK craft shows

Have fun whatever craft is your pleasure....

Monday, 24 September 2012

Cute as a button...

Apologies again as I seem to have sadly neglected my blog.  Life seems to have taken over and ther's never enough hours in the day - I'm sure you're all familiar with the same complaint!  What with fending off the usual coughs and colds resulting when all the kids return to the classroom and share their bugs, I've been job hunting, preparing for a craft fair, amongst other things.

I've been meaning to make some baby and toddler hats for what seems like for ever and now we're having some gorgeous crisp and sunny autumnal weather here in the UK, I've been spurred on to designing some.  I've even gone so far as writing up the pattern which is a new habit I need to most definitely keep up.

Based on a flower set in a granny square, I've  come up with the Flowertot hat (boy friendly version being worked on as we speak!).  Worked in double knitting yarn on a fairly large hook, this is wonderfully soft and stretchy with the aim of being both stylish and practical.  With the cute flower and slightly open top so baby is warm but not too hot, and the addition of a simple picot edge, this hat will be perfect for the upcoming colder months.  This pattern is easy to scale up or down for adults or tinier tots by working in a different weight yarn (aran or 4 ply) as well as altering hook size.  After crocheting for a while, you soon get to know whether you're a loose 'hooker' or a slightly more snug one!!

I've decided to make  a few patterns available FREE - everyone's favourite word! - and share the crochet love.  Please feel free to let me know any comments, errors (ahem, I hope not) or feedback as I would love to know what you think. 

If you're not a crocheter and want to buy or order the hat, please message me through facebook or email me .  May I also add that if you make any hats for sale then please please please credit the pattern to me, FuzzyFingers.  There will also be a link to the pattern through Ravelry.  Have fun and happy hooking!

Flowertot Hat

Double knitting yarn approx. 150m
5mm hook
Approx circumference 46 cm (18 inch)
Gauge 8 tr x 5 rows to 2 inch square
UK terms used

Ch 4, join to form a ring
Round 1: (rs) ch 5 (counts as tr and ch 2 sp), *tr, ch  2* 7 times, join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 5, turn
Round 2: (ws) sl st in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, (dc, ch 1, tr, dtr, tr, ch 1, dc) in same sp (petal made), *(dc, ch 1, tr, dtr, tr, ch 1, dc) in next ch-2 sp* rep * * to end, join with sl st in first sl st – 8 petals made, turn
Round 3: ch 1, pulling petals forward and working round post of each tr on round 1, dc round back of post of first tr, *ch 3, dc round back of post of next tr**, ch 5 (corner made), dc round post of next tr, rep from * 3 more times ending last repeat at **, ch 1, join with tr in first dc, turn
Round 4: ch 3(counts as first  tr here and throughout), 2 tr round post of joining tr, *ch 1, 3 tr in next ch-3 sp**, ch 1, (3 tr, ch 1, 3 tr in next corner ch-5 sp, rep from * 3 more times ending at **, ch 1, 3 tr in last corner, ch 1, join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3, turn
Round 5: ch 3, 2 tr in same sp,  *ch1, 3 tr in next ch-1 sp, 3 times,** ch 1, 3 tr in same sp as last worked (corner made), then work from * 2 more times, ending at **, ch 1, join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3, turn
Round 6: ch 3, 2 tr in same sp, ch 1, * 3 tr in next sp, ch 1* to end , join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3, turn
Round 7: ch 3, tr in each tr and ch 1 sp, rep to end, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3, turn

Round 8: ch 3, tr in next 6 sts, 2 tr in next st, *tr in next 7 sts, 2 tr in next st* rep to end, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch 3, turn (72 sts)
Round 9-15: rep round 7
Round 16: ch 1, *dc in next 7 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts,* rep to end, turn (64sts)
Round 17: ch 2, htr in st at base of ch, htr in each st to end, turn
Round 18: ch 1, dc in same st, *ch2, miss next st, dc in following st*, rep to end, join with sl st in beg dc.
Fasten off and weave in ends.  Feel free to decorate with button or flower detail.

Written pattern copyright Aimie Bennett 2012. Please do not reprint or repost this pattern, but please feel free to link to this page to share this pattern with others.  Be sure to like FuzzyFingers on facebook.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thank you Mr Postman!

I felt like Christmas had come early this week.  No sooner than mini Fuzzygingers returned to school when my eagerly awaited copy of 101 Fabric by Fabric Ways to Sew a Metre arrived along with Interweave Crochet Spring 2012 and 99 Little Doilies.  Unfortunately not much was achieved for the remainder of the day as I had to (and I mean my life depended on it) look through them, drool over many things and add to my ever growing must make list.

Definite must makes are :

Flirty Skirty

Logan's Guitar

Roman Blind - been meaning to try one for ages

Urban Wabbit Hunting Cap - for me and for presents

Charming Bag - lovely pleats and button details

Now the last thing I need to do is to add to my must make list but some things are just so gorgeous and tempting. The school holidays have meant production rate has slipped (this means non-existent) but should improve now the new term has started. I do have acres of fabric ready to go so I must be disciplined and use what I have.

Fish print for Mr Fuzzyfingers?

Love these tunics in I'W Crochet

I follow several blogs and love Coletterie - its just so inspirational and gives some insight into the designers' lives and their creative minds.  I love the way retro patterns and detailing have been given a refreshing new twist.  I also enjoy a new feature highlighting good sewing habits and sticking to them, for example,  not holding pins in your mouth (ouch - we're all guilty!).  My new habit I'm adopting is to only cut out fabric for one project at a time - with the aim of eliminating a 'must finish/in progress' pile.  It has been hard as it is all too tempting to have one larger project with a smaller quicker one on the go for some instant gratification.  Who isn't guilty of this whether it be sewing, crochet, knitting...?  The problem I've found is that those larger projects never seem to get finished...
Have you got any good habits, tips or hints you want to share?  Get in touch and let me know as I'd love to hear...

Also what's at the top of your must make pile and how do you choose or prioitise?. ...Suggestions for this gratefully received...

Couldn't resist this...a cat's life in my house - enjoying some afternoon sunshine..

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Flirty frocks

Once the school holidays had arrived and the school uniform was put away for 6 weeks, I found that most of mini Fuzzyfinger's clothes didn't fit!  After taking stock of the situation and passing on what were mainly pristine clothes to friends, the drawers were looking a little bare.

If like me, your child is tall for their age (at 5 my little sweetpea is regularly mistaken for a 7 year old) you may have experienced this same trouble.  I have to buy clothes in  for 6-8 year old, depending on the shop of course and their sizing.  Why do shops vary so much for children and adults alike?  Another good reason to make your own as then your clothes fit like a dream!

The problem I hit then is a lot of the clothing in larger sizes isn't really that great or suitable for a 5 year old. I am not a fan of novelty slogans, strappy tops and too short dresses. Snd don't get me started on the colours....

Using this great book, Absolutely A-Line by Wendi Gratz, I have made up a couple of simple but gorgeous A-line dresses that are bothe the perfect length and in lovely colours.  This has also been a great way of using up some of my fabric stash of those bits that are too big to throw out but not quite big enough for adult garments.  I can also tinker around with using some pretty trimmings and practise techniques too.

I love the vintage feel of the chambray skirt section completed with the heart motif bodice - the broderie trim just finishes it off nicely.  This one is lined with the striped shirting and the back is closed with a hook and eye with a decorative button.

Restricted by a slightly smaller scrap of this lovely striped shirting  (used for my first Sorbetto top and bought for me by mum from a remnant pile), I made a shorter bodice section with a longer skirt.  I finished this one with a simple ribbon loop and button closure.

Continuing my tradition that I seem to have started,  I made a lovely twirly circle skirt for mini Fuzzyfinger's birthday.  What little girl doesn't love a skirt that twirls...