30 days has September

August turned out to be really quite productive.


I finished off my shawl and star blanket, I tried out a granny basket, made a gift for my sister, got some knitting done, and made so many cards they’re literally piling up.

There was even time to make it to an all day Sacred Harp singing and my monthly book club as well!

I reckon I’d be quite entitled to a rest after all that, but I’m still planning to have a useful September as well.

I have invested in a really big piece of white card, which I can hopefully use as a backdrop for some better photos. I also realised that the light bulb in my hallway is about ten times brighter than the one in my living room, which is stupid if you ask me, so I’m going to swap them round and that should also help with less-terrible photos. And being able to see what I’m doing in the living room.

The yarn for my brother’s Christmas present(s) has arrived so I’m going to make a start on that, as well as some little Christmas goodies to be listed in the shop. Feeling terribly organised, even though I know some people started with Christmas in July.

I’m also going to finish off all the little bits of projects that are hanging around and getting on my nerves.

So that’s my (rough) plan for September; better photos so I can stock the shop, finishing up, and Christmas! What’s everyone else got planned? Or are you just going to wing it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

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FO Friday 28.07.17

Here is my finished puff scarf, which I have wanted to show off since I finished it last Saturday morning! 

I’m really pleased with the colours now. So glad I had that other Caron Cake to play with.

Aside from that, I have no crochet FOs to show you. I’ve been working on the bigger items so it’ll take a wee while to finish them off. BUT I have been beavering away with my paper stash and have quite a few finished cards to show off:

I learned this new technique and am doing it do death ūüėČ


This idea came from Isn’t She Crafty, although I had to alter it a bit as I didn’t have any ribbon that went with the scraps.

Despite buying the least useful set of letters ever, I managed to make a few wooden scrabble tile cards.

‘Ren’, ‘Non’, and ‘Pare’ are some gender-neutral terms for children to call their parents, if you’re wondering.

There’s also this card I made during my woodstamp printing workshop

I was really surprised at how well the yellow shows up on the card. I was expecting it sort of fade into the background, so I could stamp a different colour slightly off-centre and it would look like a shadow or reflection. In the end I liked it this way so much I just left it as it is!


So that was my rather productive week.

As I’m away next week helping out with a summer camp for girls, there won’t be any WIP Wednesday or FO Friday post. Or much crochet being done at all, really. So I probably won’t be liking or commenting until a week on Sunday at the earliest, but I will do my best to catch up when I can, and hopefully my scheduled posts will actually publish in the meantime!

How’s everyone’s Friday going? Got any FOs to show off? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Out of stock

I remember now why it took me so long to open up my shop in the first place.

Yesterday I decided to add my zentangle cards to stock, as I’ve got a few made up ready to go, so I opened etsy and signed in.

Wait, I need photos of the cards first.

I set them up and took a few photos – rubbish photos because it was starting to get dark, but I figured they would do as placeholders until I could take better ones.

But wait, if somebody actually buys one it might get damaged in the post.

Over to Amazon, where I lost half an hour comparing various plastic wallets and board-backed envelopes, and trying to decide which size(s) would be best to get. That’s another ¬£20 closer to just not tracking how much I’ve spent on this shop with no return because it’s becoming too much to think about.

Right. Those should arrive tomorrow so let’s get the cards listed at last.

Oh wait, I wanted to take proper photos of them so I can get a run printed instead of them just being one-offs. But now it’s dark and there’s no hope of getting quality pictures.

You know what, never mind. I’ll just go to bed.

So my little shop is still sitting there with only 4 items in stock and not a thing sold.¬† But at least I thought about the board-backed envelopes now, and I’ll have some ready when I finally sell my first card. That’s quite organised for me!

Hannah

xXx

Tangle of the week – B’Twined

This is another tangle that I love, love, LOVE, but still haven’t quite perfected yet. My lines always come out a little wobbly, and getting them to meet up is difficult!

Instructions (click on the photo to see it clearly) can be found here.

There are a few different ways I do this tangle. For the card up at the top of this post,¬†I left in the basic grid lines that start it off. I didn’t draw in the diagonal guide lines for that one and I think it shows; most of the ‘arms’ are more curved on one side than the other.

Obviously you can also leave in the diagonal lines if you like

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But that looks pretty messy to me, so I never do.

You can also remove all of the guidelines if you draw them in pencil rather than pen.

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A more subtle difference, which might be difficult to explain, is the way the arms overlap each other. In the instruction photo you can see that Pegi draws every arm facing one direction first

Diagonals

And then every arm going the other way

Diagonal 2

Which produces a B’Twined that looks like this:

See how each cross has 2 arms that are on top and 2 that go underneath others.

But an alternative is to draw them in a zig zag pattern

20170523_113518-1

Which produces this:

Now it looks like there is one upper layer of crosses with all arms on top, and one lower layer with all arms running underneath. It’s a subtle difference that probably nobody would notice unless it was pointed out to them, but I love the fact that I can produce more than one thing from a single tangle.

What do you think of B’Twined? Have I inspired anyone to give tangling a go yet? 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.

***

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 ‘B√§sksele’.

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 B√§sksele. 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 ‘B√§sksele 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 

New stitches: fpdc, bpdc, dragon scale

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.

***

I’ve only been crocheting for a couple of years. I’m still at the stage of learning how many new stitches I still¬†need to learn!¬† Just this year I’ve¬†discovered three new-to-me stitches:

  1. Front post double crochet (fpdc)
  2. Back post doucble crochet (bpdc)
  3. Dragon scale stitch

I have also used¬†front and back post half double crochet (fphdc and bphdc respectively) so technically I’ve learned five new stitches in just over¬†two months!

The pattern I was following used fpdc and bpdc alternately, to create a gorgeous lined texture:

I love the look of it, but I’m also quite interested in experimenting with maybe just using one or the other,¬†alternating with a regular double crochet stitch.

I also wonder if you can fp and bp into the same stitch to increase, or if that would just make a mess. There’s only one way to find out*, so keep an eye out for my experiment posts in the future

Dragon scale stitch

20170312_165449

This is fast becoming my favourite stitch of all time. How could it not be, it’s just gorgeous! I mean technically it’s called crocodile stitch. But I don’t want to be a crocodile; I want to be a dragon.

This one works by creating a row of V-stitches (double crochet, chain one, double crochet all in the same stitch), and then double crocheting 5 stitches down the first post,

20170312_165644

chain one, and 5 stitches up the second post.

20170312_165548So basically, a fancy way of using fpdc!

It took me a few goes to understand where I was supposed to put my hook and how to get the second lot of 5 to face the other way, but when I got it I just whizzed through. Dragon scale looks far more complicated than it actually is – another reason to love it!

Does anyone else have a favourite stitch? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

*Okay, so there’s youtube. But that’s no fun!

Colour combination question

If you’ve got 30 seconds to spare,¬†I could do with some help!

I’ve made two bow tie hats from a Melanie Ham pattern – one in lilac and one in wine red. I’ve made a bow in each colour as well, and now I can’t decide which bow to attach to which hat. Here they are:

same-colouropposite-colour

My camera is rubbish so the colours aren’t very accurate in these photos, but you get the idea.

So what do you think? Same colours or different colours? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

Tangle of the week – Paradox

sam_3736

Of all the tangles I’ve learned so far, this is my absolute favourite. For me, this is exactly what zentangle is all about; you do the simplest thing (draw a straight line) over and over again, get into that meditative zone where the time just flows by, and end up with something stunning.

 

The tutorial can be found here. Although I actually struggled to understand it; I only got it once I tried turning the paper 90 degrees after every line.

 

Paradox can be structured like this:

Or a bit more random, like this one:

sam_3730

I personally¬†prefer the structured one, but that’s just who I am.

I love that optical illusion of arrows pointing in and out, and curves made out of straight lines. Even though I know full well that it’s made of straight lines in 3- or 4-sided shapes, I still can’t help but see the curves. It’s brilliant!

Do any of you tangle? Got a favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xX x

Ideas

Have you ever heard of the 100:10:1 method of generating ideas? It’s really simple.

  1. Quick as you can, preferably within one day, write down 100 ideas. Quality/feasibility/sense don’t matter at this point. Just write.
  2. Choose the top 10 ideas and develop them
  3. Then pick the 1 best idea from those 10 and develop it fully.

The end

100

I decided to do this to generate ideas for crocheted goodies to sell in my shop. I numbered a couple of pages in my notebook 1 to 100 and then spent a few minutes staring at that number thinking “I’ll never get that many!” But you have to try, don’t you.

It was halting at first. 1-5 done, think for a few minutes, 6, 7, 8, think for a few more minutes. 9. 10.¬† It was tough and I really thought I wouldn’t manage,¬†but then I hit 36 and the floodgates opened – my brain was supplying ideas quicker than I could write, and right now I have 112 ideas sitting on the page.

The difficulty is in narrowing it down to 10. Some are obviously ridiculous and can be crossed off immediately e.g. cable ties,¬†beards. But the rest…it’s difficult to choose.

A general idea I have for the shop is that I want to sell useful things, not just dust-collectors. That means pretty much all of the clothing options could go into the top 10. Bags are also useful, as are tea cosies, bookmarks, coasters, door stops. But I like pretty things too, so I could also add necklaces, earrings, hair slides and badges.

On the other hand, some of the not-so-useful things really appeal to me on a nerdy level: pokeballs, Nintendo characters, the feminism symbol, cuddly bacteria, Mjölnir.

How to narrow it down?

If I put on my practical head for a minute (it must be around here somewhere) and consider the fact that I’ve already spent almost ¬£100 on this shop without making a single penny back yet, I should go for things that I can make with materials I already have. So badges and earrings are out.

Also things that wouldn’t cost too much to post out, so no doorstops. Preferably quite quick to make so I can get stocked up asap.

How about this:

  1. Hats
  2. Gloves
  3. Scarves
  4. Door mufflers
  5. Bookmarks
  6. Necklaces/chokers
  7. Bags
  8. Slippers
  9. Coasters
  10. Nintendo goodies (I just can’t resist!)

Of coursre, I’ll probably end up making most or all of these for the shop at some point, but for the point of the exercise the one idea I’m going to focus on is the first one; hats.

I’ve bookmarked a few patterns for different kinds of hat, beanies, floppy brim, tulip hat etc.¬†I’m also fairly confident I can work out a pattern for a simple hat myself, so you can look forward to posts about that in the near future.

Has anyone used this method for generating ideas before? Think you might give it a go now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

Crochet fangirl

I find crochet and yarn absolutely fascinating. I still can’t quite get my head round how crocheted things actually stay together and don’t just unravel with the slightest touch. As long as you’ve tied off; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally undone a row or two just by dropping what I’m working on. #CrochetProblems.

It’s incredible what different shapes, sizes, and effects you can get just by using a different yarn type or a bigger/smaller hook, and don’t even get me started on all the different stitches.

For example, I’m trying to make my first hat to sell in the shop and I’m following a pattern that doesn’t seem to say how big the finished product should be. I’ve made a start with two different yarns, which look like this:

20170214_202948
Side note: I can’t wait for my light box to arrive!

 

That’s 46 stitches each, using that same crochet hook, but one is with regular acrylic DK and the other is acrylic chunky.

How cool is that??

Okay, possibly not very cool if you’re a hardened crocheter, or not as easily pleased as I am (very). But this is part of what I love about crochet. If I were not frantically trying to make enough stock to open¬†my shop right now, I would probably do a similar exercise with one yarn and every size of hook I own. Just to see the different sizes and effects that came out.

Back to my hats – the blue yarn would only make a hat big enough for¬†a baby, and it’s far too scratchy for that, so¬†I’m just going to undo it.¬†I’ll stick with the yellow yarn and¬†also add in a few stitches because as it was I couldn’t get it round my own head. It’s a pretty simple pattern so hopefully this hat will be ready for listing by the end of the week!

Has anyone else ever got this excited over crochet? Let me know in the comments so I can feel slightly less weird ūüėČ

Hannah

xXx

Welcome

Hello world!

I love crochet, zentangling, and creating greetings cards. I love¬†them so much I decided to open my very own Etsy shop; Quiet Water Craft. It’s not quite up and running yet, as I’m still stocking up and sorting out bits and pieces like a logo, but hopefully¬†I’ll be open for business by the end of this month.

This blog will be a wee behind-the-scenes space, where I talk about the shop, my products, new ideas, and anything else that might be interesting to people. Or just to me. Whatever ūüėČ

So welcome, feel free to have a look around and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see that isn’t here.

Hannah

xXx