Starting the new year with creativity

The new year started well for me but I hadn't been knitting or crocheting in a couple of years, other than to finish off one or two scarves I had started.

Recently, a delightful new little shop opened not very far from my ballet shop, and I was inspired to start all over again, because I suddenly realised that I had become addicted to social media and have not been producing anything.  (This also goes for my jewellery, my photography, colouring and other things I enjoy doing in terms of arts and crafts).

By constantly trawling social media, I realised that I was becoming a numbhead and somehow I wandered on to Ravelry and was inspired to create.  Part of it was also seeing that lovely huge stash, waiting to be turned into something pretty or cosy. Ok I did buy two lovely skeins of a new yarn (will post it in my online stash at some point), but in the meantime I have started a project that burns up 3 skeins of yarn that are not matched up with anything else.  I've also restart…

Guaging Yarn Weight

I sometimes have issues with yarn weights, especially because I often buy the yarn and then try to fit it into a pattern, which is probably what most people do.  I must admit that this is fundamentally wrong, in the sense that it then becomes very difficult to gauge what we can actually do with the yarn, unless you end up buying a pattern specifically for that yarn, which is not necessarily what you want!

I've ended up making many project messes with that one and will seek to avoid doing that again, believe me! Such a waste of yarn as it is never the same once you unravel it again. It seems to lose the natural feel of the fibre though that has never really made a difference to the finished project.

I've managed to find a good weight guide here.  This should allow me to be able to guage whether a pattern is good for the huge stash I have at home... and hopefully to start working through it although I sometimes spend years not even looking at the yarn I have!

Here is the simple…

Crochet bun holders

Most ballerinas have crochet bun holders, and you may want to make one for your daughter - this is a pretty easy one to make!

However, we also sell them for your dancers in pink, pale blue, white, navy blue and black.  Contact us if you want to get them, or visit our ballet shop!

Oriental Dream

Well here I'm at it again! I bought some lovely bead collections from Sabrika's in various ethnical colours - Oriental Promise, Pink Garden, Forest Green, Seascape Tones and Tropical Sea - and got into this 'making' frenzy. So I decided to post some of them here.

This first one is my Oriental Dream Necklace, on sale on Etsy. I made it while unable to sleep, at two o'clock in the morning. I was thinking of re-visiting the Far East, in particular India or Thailand.  I am quite pleased with the outcome, needless to say.  Find it on etsy, or else contact me through the comments below if you want something custom-made for yourself.

Here is a picture!

My latest works

I have been working hard to improve my quality of work... never easy when you're running about like a mad hatter, as I do.  So, the best option I have found is to leave my work laid out on my dining table so that I can simply plonk at my chair when I am inspired, rather than have to prepare the whole set up before I even get started.

So, a few weeks back I ordered some lapis beads - some round ones and some long ones.  I had seen a Neptune necklace on BeadsDirect, and quite liked the idea but did not have the materials. So I adapted it to this:

Everyone likes it - I may have to order more Lapis. or more long beads in a different colour for that matter.  Then I was looking at another design by BeadsDirect, and I created the following purple delight; using seed beads, lampwork beads and multi-faceted rondelles:

They are available on Etsy.

My first order!

So today I wore the first set of jewellery that I ever made - my earrings, bracelet and necklace.  They are in an aquamarine colour and very summery.  A lady just walked in to my office and passed a compliment and then she asked me to make her a pink set.... so I have my first order.

Yesterday I was speaking to the lady who taught me my first proper steps, Jane Hewes, and she did suggest that once word gets round, I will start being asked to make stuff for people. And thus, here we go! I did not think it would be so soon, but it is nice to know that I will be able to sell some of my stuff - there is only so much one can wear in the same colour, even though certain colours tend to be repeated.  I cannot wait until she comes back in November - we can have a catch-up (and not just jewellery) and she will teach me some new wiring techniques.

I will try to update this post with some pics later on....

Cellini Twist Jewellery?

I saw a tutorial on Beadsdirect's blog (via youtube)... and it is for jewellery with a cellini twist. I'm so tempted to make it... but I do think that I shall first try something easier, with less skill required.  The twists are absolutely gorgeous and I would like to have them but i am not sure about the bead sizes I have - apparently the different sizes give the build a twist... We shall see!

Thanks for the inspiration and tutorials, Beads Direct!