28 November 2014

Lace crochet house with lights for Christmas

Happy with my finished Christmas decoration! Starched lace crochet.

Here's the house without lights:

I sewed the roof pieces together at the top but the roof itself is just set on top of the walls. This makes it easier to fit the lights.

This was the first time I tried this and I'm happy with most things. I starched this using 50-50 sugar-water solution. Next time I might use glue-water to make it harder. 

Haven't decided yet where I will display the house!

23 October 2014

Loads of knitted flowers

Continuing posts about The Knitting and Stiching Show in London. The knitted pergola at thePalm Court entrance deserves its own posting. A few days ago I described general impressions about the show.

These give lots of ideas about using knitted flowers also in smaller scale projects.

Each corner of the pergola was covered with different colour flowers.



Lots of people have taken part in the project. I would love to know how many hours it took to attach all the flowers, leaves and birds!

20 October 2014

Inspiration from Knitting and Stitching show in London

The three days in London were exciting! After that I spent a week in I, that is why I'm only writing about the show now. Knitting and Stitching show has such a wide selection of things to see. This is just an overview, more details later.

At the Alexandra Palace Palm Court entrance there was a large pergola entirely covered with knitted flowers, leaves and some birds and other animals. Everybody seemed to take photos of it! It was used to collect money for charity.

There were endless amounts of stalls to buy materials or products at. I had decided beforehand that I won't buy any wool as it takes up so much room on the flight. The part that I found most interesting was a gallery showing handknitted fashion of several arts college graduating students. It was great you were allowed to take photos of them freely.

These lovely pieces are by Emma Wright, Nottingham Trent University:

Another lovely gallery exhibition was called Precious memories, by Jo Beattie. She had embroidered images based on old photos on very fine organza and hardened them.

You could choose from a wealth of workshops and demonstrations. I tried out these jumbo needles - too hard for my wrists, I found!

But I will definitely try out making log cabin patchwork using a quicker technique than the traditional one.

As I love everything colourful and bright, it was lovely seeing embroideries from Gujarat, India.

Plenty to buy!

The huge round window of the main hall in Alexandra Palace helped in knowing where I was.

A great view towards central London from the front yard in Alexandra Palace:

9 September 2014

Crochet Christmas tree angel, video tutorial

In the late 80's I decided to make a quick-t-crochet angel for Christmas tree. I was then working in Northern ireland as a craftsperson. I noticed how much people wanted to decorate their homes for Christmas. Over the years i have made hundreds of these, if not over a thousand. Many of the come put every Christmas time in Ireland, Finlad as well as many other countries. I have used these to send to friends instead of Christmas cards.

Now I decided to finally make instructions for crocheting the angel. This time the pattern is only on video. I want to see how many hits it will get. Making video tutorials is fun! Enjoy my accent that is a mix of Finnish and Northern Irish :)


1 September 2014

Crochet circles for staircase

My daughter has a yoga and dance hall with a boring staircase leading up to it. She wanted something bright, colourful and handmade for it. I decided to make crochet circles. Each circle is different.

Many more are needed because the staircase is high. But this is a good start!

Corner of the mirror:

A couple of photos of the room itself. My daughter loves just as bright colours as I do!

This project taught me also not to take anything for granted. The girls had glued some of the circles with the wrong side facing up. I had forgotten that if someone doesn't crochet, they don't know which side is right or wrong! But I didn't turn them, the paint would have come with them!

23 August 2014

Sock blockers using Ikea bendable chopping boards

I have long wanted to have sock blockers. Only I haven't wanted to buy them and have been too lazy to make them!  I always wet finished socks thoroughly, shape them on a towel and let them dry. But that way it is hard to get them exactly the same shape and size. 

I had considered making them out of hobby clay that hardens in the oven. But I got a better idea from a discussion in a Facebook craft group. Someone mentioned they had made them using bendable chopping boards from Ikea (Hippusia-blog, in Finnish only). I decided to drop in at Ikea (15 minutes drive from my home) and get those to try that.

The chopping boards come in packs of two. Price at the moment £1.40 in Britain, 1.99€ and the same in dollars.

You need the boards, a carpet knife (or scissors you use for heavier work) and a base to cut on. I used a thick wooden baking board that pulls out of my kitchen units.


I drew a shape using a finished sock of the right size. When cutting the second one I used the first one like a stencil. With the second one I noticed that I could have saved some of the board for making blocks for children's socks by drawing the shape closer to the edge!

I cut a hole to the top of the sock shape for hanging. Then I wrote the shoe size on the blocks. Make sure to use permanent felt tips!

Finished! Easier to take photos of new socks, too, rather than photographing them on my own feet.
These are hanging from my top closet door handles with Ikea hooks that are normally used to hang keys in my hall.

22 August 2014

Patchwork sweater

This sweater is not one I have just finished but I haven't potographed it here before. It was fun making it in between other, smaller projects. Geometric shapes are easy to knit. I have crocheted them together from the right side. The collar rolls up. The sleeves are shaped from the top of the arm by decreasing stitches.  I measured the sweater to an old one to get the right fit.

From the close-up photo you may see that some bits have been knitted on a knitting machine, not by hand. I used to have a Bond knitter type of a machine. I didn't really like the kind of finish you could get using it, so I don't have it anymore. Using a knitting machine feels too much like work to me! You need to stay sitting by the machine and you can't concentrate on a TV programme or talking with people at the same time.

But I love the colourful finish!

20 August 2014

Bridesmaid's and flowergirl's dress

Yesterday I posted about a wedding dress I made. I also made one of the bridesmaid's dresses, for my daughter, and a flowergirl's dress for her daughter. The bride had selected coral as a colour for her wedding, and that was used for the dresses.

The bridesmaids dresses are not at all what British or American ones would be! The bridesmaids wanted a print dress that would be wearable afterwards. They could not have had the same cut because the other bridesmaid was on her last month of pregnancy. She made her own dress. She also made a flowergirl's dress for her 2½-year-old daughter. But on the day the little grl wouldn't wear it because she said it was scratcy at the shoulders! Instead, she wore an ordinary cotton summer dress for the wedding.

Flowergirl's dress

We decided to make dresses of two different fabrics. The top one is transparent sheer fabric. The skirt part is a fairy dress style, with two squares set on top of each other.

Below a phone photo I sent to the other bridesmaid to show how the pieces of the bottom part of the dress were arranged.

The skirt part consists of a square of each fabric, with a round hole in the middle. The hole is 1/3 larger than the girl's measurement around the chest.

Excitement in throwing rose petals :)

Bridesmaid's dresses

The bridesmaid's dress is made of fabric that feels like a scarf. My daughter chose the shape to be copied from her sister's old evening dress.

The dress is bare back.

I loved the wedding because the bride and groom had managed to make everything show their own personalities!