Pottery painting

Yep, it’s new hobby time again. Although this one will probably be much more sporadic than the others.

Last week my friend at work asked if I would like to go with her to try pottery painting, and I (being unable to resist anything crafty) said heck yes! So on Friday we went along to The Craft Pottery in the city centre.

First things first we had to select an item to paint, which sounds easy enough, but actually took us 10-15 minutes. They have so. much. choice. There are bowls and plates, mugs, egg cups, square tiles, faeries, bunnies, cookie jars, sugar skulls, camper vans, the list goes on! My friend was planning to paint a plain mug with a star wars character, but ended up choosing a novelty mug in the shape of a castle. I kept it simple and went with a little noodle bowl, although I will definitely have to go back soon to paint the ‘cup and saucer’ soup bowl I spent ages dithering over.

After noodling around on Google images earlier in the day I decided I wanted a pattern made up of little dots, and a cat peeking over an edge, but that was as specific as it got until I sat down with the blank bowl in front of me. Which made choosing colours another difficult decision.

The Craft have these clever plates on every table to show you how the colours will look.

Colours

There are so many beautiful colours I couldn’t choose just one so I went for a rainbow. You can’t go wrong with a rainbow.

And I must have been in a particularly loving mood because I decided to do a heart. Pencil marks burn off in the kiln so I sketched in the shape as a guide for my dots and got started.

I wanted pretty strong colours so each dot needed 3 coats.

At the start I was worried about the colours running or me smudging them, but the paint dries really quickly so neither was a problem.

We painted and chatted away, with occasional help and feedback for each other, and the time just flew by.

By the time I finished the inside of my bowl 2 hours had whizzed past! The £3 painters fee gets you unlimited time though, so I decided to also paint the outside of my bowl. This time keeping it simple with some rainbow stripes.

By then my friend was finishing up (I wish I’d taken a photo of her castle, it was amazing) so I just had time for a quick cheeky cat on the base of my bowl.

Then we were finished, just over 3 hours later! We left our goodies where they were, paid for our pieces, and headed out for a coffee. The staff will glaze and fire them and we’ll go back later this week to collect our finished items. I’m so excited to see what the colours look like.

So if you’re ever in Glasgow I highly recommend checking out The Craft Pottery. It’s super fun and really quite relaxing, plus you get to take home your very own work of art at the end of it.

Hannah

xXx

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A present for me

This isn’t something I made, but I just had to share it! My friend at work is just as crafty as I am and she made this for my birthday party (private hire of an archery range).

It says “I don’t wear bows, I shoot ’em”, with an arrow underlining them. She was sad because the ink ran a little so it’s not as crisp as she planned, but I just love it!

xXx

WIP Wednesday

I realised I have an awful lot of WIPs going on at the moment.  So I thought I’d name and shame, and hopefully that’ll motivate me to get some of them finished!

Camper van amigurumi


My mum asked me to make this, so of course it jumped straight to the top of my WIP list. Isn’t it cute! I really hope mine will actually look like the photo…

 

12-pointed star blanket


After frogging this thing almost back to the beginning twice, I can’t wait to get it done and crossed off the list.

 

Oval star doily

Another commission, which I got by crocheting during my choir rehearsals. Craft in public, people; you never know what might come of it! I’ve waited over a month for the yarn to arrive so this is second on the priority list after the camper van.

 

Amigurumi cactus.

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What is this yarn?? It’s terrible! But my cactus is turning out super cute despite my yarny struggles  🙂

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Puff stitch scarf

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I’m still loving the puff stitch, and this scarf is growing super quick. I’ll probably be able to use it as soon as it’s finished if the Scottish weather keeps living up to its reputation.
 

Lacy scarf

Confession: I had completely forgotten about this scarf. I found it at the bottom of my WIP drawer and had an “oh yeah!” moment. Shame.

 

Kindle cosy x2

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These are both nearly done, I’ve just been putting off the finishing touches for some reason.
 

Chevron doggy blanket

It was supposed to be a baby blanket, but this is very old acrylic yarn that squeaks across my hook if I go too fast. You know the type. Nobody would put this anywhere near a baby’s skin.

 

Mystery hook

I had an idea, which I’m still trying to work out. Hopefully there will be a post soon where I can declare it an amazing success!

 

Amigurumi octopod keyring

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Another idea I had, which is proving somewhat successful. I’ve made two so far, tweaking the pattern each time, and this is my third attempt.

 

Celtic knot coaster 

I also forgot about this. More shame.

 

So there’s my list. My looooong list. I think it’s time to implement a new rule: no new WIPs until this lot is finished!

What’s everyone else working on? Got more than one WIP on the go? Let me know in the comments

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: puff stitch 

And also WIP Wednesday. I love a twofer!

I’m making a Puff Scarf, which uses a TON of puff stitches, as the name suggests.  These are the squishiest stitches I have ever squished! I loves them!

Here’s how to make your own squishy goodness (am I saying squish too much??)

Yarn over, go into the space, and pull up a loop to the height of a stitch (dc in this case)

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yarn over again

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go into the same stitch and pull up another loop

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Do it again

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And again

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Now there are 9 loops on the hook. One final yarn over, and pull through all 9 loops

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Then it’s just a chain to secure it, and you’re done!

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Do it enough times and you’ll end up with a super squishy (I just can’t stop saying it!), beautiful scarf. I’m using a Mixed Berry Caron Cake and so far it looks like this

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I’m probably very late to the puff stitch party, what have other people made with it? What do you think of my scarf? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: pic-not

I’m fully moved in to my new flat now, but unfortunately the internet is not, and earlier this week I used up my data allowance. So when the time came to crochet a picot border on my star blanket, I wasn’t able to Google ‘how to crochet picot stitch’.

But I’d read some instructions a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t actually try it out at the time, even though I’m definitely a kinaesthetic learner when it comes to crochet, but I was sure I would remember it anyway. It’s a simple enough little stitch.

I mean, my memory never lets me down…right?

Wrong (of course). The only part I remembered accurately was that a picot usually involves 3 chain stitches. So here’s what I did:

Two single crochet

Slip stitch in the next stitch

Chain 3

Slip stitch in the same stitch as before

Which I think looks quite pretty, but is not a picot stitch.

Of course I made it almost halfway round the blanket before getting some internet access at the library and discovering that I was doing it wrong.  So now I’m dithering about what to do; rip it all back and do an actual picot border, or just carry on with my pretty, made up stitch.

What do you think? Picot or pic-not? And has anyone else ever accidentally made something up? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

What’s in a name

You may have noticed that I haven’t had a tangle of the week post for a couple of weeks. That’s because I’m moving to a new flat this weekend, and I just haven’t had time for tangling! I’m hoping to get back to it in April. In the meantime have a post about my shop name.

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I find names really interesting. Where they come from, what they mean both lexically and personally, whether people like their name or not, what name they might have had. It’s just so interesting!

For example, my first name is from the Bible, and means ‘God has favoured me’. If I had been a boy I would have been called Samuel (from the same Bible story). One of my middle names is my Mum’s name, and the other is the name of a family friend so close we may as well be related. I love the stories and the ties created by all of my names.

I’m also a writer, and a good chunk of time before I start any story is spent working out the names of my characters. I find that if the name isn’t just right, the characters will not work with me.

So basically, names matter to me. A lot.

Now let me tell you a secret: Quiet Water Craft was not my first choice of shop name. In fact I took a while to be talked into it. What I really had my heart set on was ‘Bäsksele’.

Just look at it

Bäsksele

 

It’s a Swedish word that, aside from looking lovely, is chock full of meaning for me. During my gap year I spent 4 months in Sweden helping a couple of missionaries from my home church. They lived in a teeny tiny village (99 people) called Bäsksele. The people were super friendly and welcoming, I learned so much and became strong in so many ways, it was really a pivotal point in my life. So it’s a word that’s important to me.

The word itself translates roughly as ‘quiet water between two rapids’. Being an introvert and suspected Highly Sensitive Person (wow you’re learning a lot about me today!) this idea of quietness in the midst of noise and busyness appeals to me in ways I can’t even explain. Silence is my nirvana.

Last of all, it reflects the way I feel when I’m crocheting or zentangling, or just creating in general. I have a full time day job in a busy open plan office; it’s all go, all noise, all the time. After work I go home and have choir or salsa or pole dancing, shopping, and cleaning, and laundry, and cooking, and and and. Then I pick up my crochet hook or fine liner pen, and suddenly everything stops. The rapids are rushing by on either side of me, but in my wee bubble of creativity the water is quiet and calm.

I really wanted Bäsksele for my shop name. But a wee focus group of people who have never met me (so hopefully unbiased) pointed out all the problems with it:

I’m based in the UK and will probably have mainly English and American customers, so a foreign word could put some of them off.

It makes it more difficult to remember, especially as people were not sure how to pronounce it (say ‘best seller’, but replace the ‘t’ with a ‘k’. That’s close enough).

It didn’t really give an idea of what I was selling. Even when I made it ‘Bäsksele Crafts’ they weren’t buying it.

So I admitted defeat and went for a somewhat watered down version of the name I super wanted. Thus Quiet Water Craft was born.

What do you think of the two names? Does your name have an interesting story behind it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

A first!

**ANNOUNCEMENT**

I’ve received my first ever commission (from my sister, for a friend of the family, but shush – it still counts!) for a crocheted baby blanket.

After wanting to make a star blanket for months, now I get to make two at once as I’m still finishing off my Caron Cake star blanket and my sister liked it so much she asked me to use that pattern for the baby blanket.

Almost finished my first star blanket

I’m not sure whether we don’t know yet if it will be a boy or a girl, or my sister knows that I hate the whole ‘pink for girls, blue for boys’ thing, but the end result is that I’m using green and pale yellow baby merino DK.  The green is a wee bit brighter than it looked online, but the yellow is nice and subtle so I don’t think it’s too garish a combination. I do love working with Spring colours as Glasgow is dragged kicking and screaming into warmer weather.

Look at the lovely colours

So far I’m only on round 7 because it’s been such a busy week I’ve had to squeeze in a few stitches whenever I got a minute to myself.  It keeps peeking out of my bag and giving me the eye, so this weekend I’ll make sure to spend a good chunk of time working on it.

Stop looking at me in that tone of voice

I’m so excited to make something I know will definitely be wanted and go to a good home! 

Hannah

xXx 

Versatile Blogger Award 

Oh oh oh I’ve been nominated for an award!  Thank you sooo much Tami of Tanglewood Knots!

Versatile blogger

 

The Versatile Blogger Award is an award given by bloggers to other up-and-coming bloggers. It is designed to encourage new bloggers to keep up the good work and help people to discover new blogs.

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • List the rules and display the Versatile Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers of your choice and let them know.

So here we go!

Seven Facts About Me

  1. My ‘real’ job is being an Administration Assistant for a rail company (although I might get a title change in the next 2 weeks)
  2. My Aunty taught me my very first crochet stitch, but the rest I taught myself using Youtube.
  3. I sing with a community choir every week, and I LOVE it!
  4. I have a Masters degree in Creative Writing
  5. I’ve been dancing salsa for six and a half years
  6. I really want a (very small) tattoo, but I’m too much of a wuss
  7. As well as salsa, crochet, zentangle, card making, singing, baking, writing, and all my other hobbies, I also enjoy face painting

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15 Blogs I Nominate as Versatile Bloggers

Oooh this is tricky. There are so many fantastic blogs out there, and really I’m only just starting to discover them!

  1. Craft and other crazy plans aside from having a gorgeous cover photo that I just want to squish, does crochet and card making, just like me!
  2. It’s all in a nutshell has lovely crochet patterns and CALs. It’s my hope that at some point this year I’ll get to try out the Mandala Madness CAL, because it’s GORGEOUS.
  3. Homemade Geekery is new to crochet, but producing some serious quality items. My favourite so far is the shark hat.
  4.  Isn’t She Crafty makes beautiful greetings cards. I’m enjoying her current stash-busting drive.
  5.  Handdrawn Yarn loves dyeing (hehehe) and produces some really stunning yarn colourways, and also makes adorable tiny yarn-ball earrings that I wanted as soon as I saw them.
  6.  Blinking Cat was one of the first crafty blogs I found. I love the Moogly CAL that’s running at the moment.
  7.  Lotje’s Little Gifts shares my wonder at the magic of crochet, and has some super cute patterns.
  8.  Paperpuff is another card-making blog I love, and has just recently posted about a knitted FO that makes me want to learn to knit.
  9.  Puddleside Musings has some really helpful crafting and storage tips, and still sends hand-written letters to penpals. I used to write letters all the time, I really must get back to it…
  10.  I love Crochet 539 because she makes adorable little crochet earrings, but also because she crochets for charity e.g. blankets for sick children and super things like that.
  11. Just today I discovered Five Monkeys Menagerie, with super cute amis and more charity knitting/crocheting making goodies to donate to hospitals for premature babies.
  12.  HStone Yarn Craft just shared some awesome Minecraft crochet squares. I’m definitely keeping my eye on those!
  13.  Diane’s Crochet just tried an ami for the first time, and it’s much better than mine turn out with two year’s practice 😉
  14.  Twinklehook tells it like it is, which I love, and produces some gorgeous crocheted goodies.
  15.  And finally, another of the first crafty blogs I found, Two Hearts Crochet. She has Firefly squares and Star Trek amis. Need I say more?

 

Gosh that was actually quite hard work. I’m sorry if I’ve missed anyone out – I love each and every blog that I like, comment on, and follow, and I super love this crafting community that I’ve stumbled across!

Thanks again for the nomination, Tami 🙂

Hannah

xXx

Opening day

I have been faffing about and making excuses for a couple of months, and now I’ve decided to just get on with it.

So, my etsy shop is now officially…

OPEN!

I only have four items listed so far and I need some serious work on my photos, but I have more items to load, and done is far better than perfect!

quietwatercraft.etsy.com  if you want to have a look around.

Let me know what you think!

Hannah

xXx

Magic Mum

A bit of back-story: Although I live in Glasgow now, I’m originally from Cheshire, where the rest of my family still live. Because my Mum is lovely she sends me care packages now and then with bits and bobs like sweet treats, pretty earrings, cool recipes I might like to try out, and little useful things.

The magic part is that nine times out of ten, the parcels will contain something I need. For example, I notice my deodorant getting a bit low and make a mental note to buy some more next time I go shopping, then a Mum parcel arrives all stocked with deodorant.

When my flatmate moved to London she left behind a massive bottle of fabric softener. The weekend after that finally ran out, guess what Mum said she’d bought me?

So basically my Mum is magic and/or psychic. But this week she really outdid herself.

I follow a lot of yarn crafters on Instagram, and since Monday/Tuesday-ish they started talking about Caron Cakes. They look gorgeous, and when I found out they were 200g of beautiful coloured yarn each, they went straight to the top of my I WANT IT list.  However, I’m in the middle of a pact I made with myself not to buy any more yarn until I have a least 20 items in my etsy shop.

It’s fine. I can wait…

Then a parcel arrived from my Mum

How gorgeous are they?? I’m going to make a star blanket with the one at the back, but no plans for the other two yet.

Making a start on my star blanket

Of course the parcel also included tapestry needles, which I was waiting to buy on pay day, and some cute crochet patterns.

I really don’t know how she does it. My Mum is just magic!

Hannah

xXx

Look, no pattern!

 

I’m almost certainly running before I can walk here, but I’ve decided to start making some crochet goodies without patterns.

The patterns I’ve bought so far are fabulous, but they take up almost 20% of the money I’ve spent on my shop. Plus they all (so far) use really simple stitches that I know how to use; in theory I could have written any of the patterns I have bought.  So I’m going to give it a go!

Obviously you don’t just dive into something super-complicated for your first go without a pattern, so I decided to start with a hat.

I know from experience (having to restart one hat project at least 5 times) that beginning with the brim and working up doesn’t really work so well for me. Those chains were determined to twist, no matter what I did! There’s also the fact that I love magic rings, so the obvious choice for me was to start from the top and work my way downward.

Here’s what I did (Yes, I’m as British as they come but still use American crochet terms. Don’t go looking for logic here – there is none):

1) Make a magic ring, 6 double crochet into the ring (6)

2) 2dc in each stitch (12)

3) *dc, 2dc into next stitch* 4 times (18)

4) *dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (24)

5) dc in each stitch (24)

6) *dc, dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (30)

At this point I wanted to do something a  bit more interesting, so I decided to experiment with some front post and back post double crochet (fpdc and bpdc)

7) Ch 2 (counted as dc), fpdc, *dc, fpdc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)

8) Ch 2 (counted as bpdc), dc, *bpdc, dc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)

9) Repeat 7) and 8) until desired length (including a stripe of colour because I can) (30)

10) Finish it all off with a row of single crochet and a slip stitch at the end (30)

 

That gave me this awesome waffle-patterned hat

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Ta da!

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Looking at it on my desk I was super proud of myself for actually making a real thing without a pattern, but…I didn’t like it. To me it looked like an old lady hat. Given the choice, I would never wear it.  But my taste in hats is not everybody’s taste in hats so I tried it on, ready to take some photos for listing in the shop, and it’s actually not that bad!

Then one of my friends modelled it for me

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She really likes it, which makes me feel super duper proud! Thank goodness for individual tastes in the world – if my friend likes the hat then there will definitely be someone out on the internet willing to buy it when my shop finally goes live.

So there you have it; my very first pattern-free crochet make.

What do you think? Would you wear the hat? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Tangle of the week – Y-ful power

There were going to be lovely photos with this post, but I have managed to break my shiny new phone after having it for a week. Well done, me. So please excuse the fuzzy rubbish photos – hopefully I’ll be able to update them with better ones soon.

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Hand drawn - Copy

I’m just gonna come out with it – I love, love, LOOOOOOOVE this tangle!

I LOVES IT! Even though I think it will take me a good deal of practice to get it looking as uniform as the tutorial shows it. I love that it looks kinda steampunk, and that it seems so complicated; without the tutorial I don’t think I’d have been able to work it out for myself. I’m all for super simple things that look harder than they actually are.

You can find the step-by-step tutorial here, and here are my step-by-step photos, which are a good deal wonkier than in the original.

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What do you think? Would you be happy to receive a card with this pattern on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx