FO Friday 13.10.17

Happy Friday the 13th!!

One little FO this week – I finished off my first ever snowflake.

Isn’t it cute.

I also have my PVA glue ready to make it a bit more solid.

In other news my model head arrived today, two weeks earlier than expected!

I have plans for this here head. I don’t like the fact that it’s female; I much prefer those hat forms that are just general head-ish shapes. So first up the nose is coming off. That will probably get messy!

Then I’m going back to summer holidays at my Nan’s house and breaking out the flour and water for some papier mache. That’ll get rid of the facial features and give it a smoother shape.

And the final step will be decopatch with some tissue paper I bought ages ago. It has this gorgeous, subtle sheen to it, which I think will look quite good. Colours yet to be decided, although it will definitely not be blue or pink. Even though I don’t believe in all this gendered colour nonsense, I know I’m in the minority.

All that paper should give it some extra weight as well, so if I ever manage to get outside for photo shoots again it shouldn’t be blown away in the breeze.

Oh and of course mum got me some thread to make the snowflakes from the book she sent!

That’s my week. Anyone else super glad it’s Friday? Got some FOs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

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My first octopus

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Photo from My Nomad Home

You may have seen or heard about these preemie octopi. Octopods. Octopussies. Whatever the plural is.

They started off in Denmark, where a study found that babies in incubators did a lot better with an octopus friend –  the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord, and baby can grab onto them instead of pulling at any vital wires. They also help lower baby’s heart rate, provide companionship, and all sorts of other good things.

Of course I wanted to join in straight away. Combining crafts with helping people is one of my favourite things in the world! But at the time there were no UK hospitals accepting the octopoms, so I filed the idea away for later and got on with other things.

Fast forward to this week, and an email went round saying the wife of one of my colleagues had given birth 8 weeks early. Baby was okay, but would be living in an incubator for a wee while.

Ding! went the lightbulb above my head.

Enough time has passed that some Scottish hospitals will now allow an octopus in with incu-babies, and (I figured) even if this particular hospital won’t allow it, baby can still have it when he gets out.  So here we have my first ever preemie octopus, Oliver:

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Isn’t he the cutest!

I had a brief look over this pattern, decided I didn’t quite like the shape of the body, and went off and did my own thing. I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

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Making friends

Oliver will be handed over to his new family next week, so I’ll have to wait and see what they think of him. In the meantime…. I’ve had a thought.

There are a few Etsy shops I like that offer a charity matching option, for example you buy a blanket for yourself and the shop donates a blanket to a hospice.

What do you all think of Quiet Water offering this with preemie octopodes (obviously I will learn the correct plural term before setting it up)? You get a cute little curly wurly octopus and I send one to a hospital that will accept them, to help a little baby feel better.

What do you think? Would you go for Oliver with an added bonus? 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

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

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

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.

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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

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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,

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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!

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

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

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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:

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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

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:

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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 😉

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 😉

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