Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL

Kaffe Fassett is one of the big names in crafting. If you’re a knitter or a quilter, you will most likely have come across his name on various occasions. He’s famous for wild, vibrant colour combinations and intricate patters. I … Continue reading

A Crafty Day Out – Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair

Kirstie_Allsopp_Handmade_Fair_BannerCraft Fairs are pretty much every creative person’s ultimate heaven. Apart from DIY Stores and plant nurseries maybe. And cooking shops. And art supply shops. And, and, and – but I digress.
Fact is – I love Craft Fairs. I also love Art Fairs. And Food Fairs. And Vintage Fairs. Anything that gives me an excuse for a day out with lots of creative visual and sensual input, really.

Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair is the first of its kind, uniting many different crafts under one (tent) roof. Many crafters have lots of different crafting interests, for me – apart from the obvious knitting and crochet – it’s cooking and home decoration, gardening and a little bit of sewing/needlework. Whether you’re into painting, upcycling, dressmaking or ceramics – you’ll find something worth going for.

I spent the whole Saturday wandering around the many tents browsing, attending workshops and chatting to other crafters, a mix which made me forget I had gotten up at 5am that morning to fly from Germany to London in order to join the fun.
Below are just a few pictures of workshops, people and my favourite findings at the market tents that I’d like to share with you.
If you’ve been there, feel free to link to your pictures and tell me about your favourite things in the comments!

Upon arriving, I made a beeline for the Rowan Yarns / Coats Craft Library Tent. The tent was beautifully decorated, and there was always one or more designer there happy to chat and sign books (which could also be purchased in the tent). Poor Suzie Johnson had lost her voice, but brought a gang of the most adorable knitted creatures with her. I got her book ‘Janet Smith Can’t Knit‘ and simply love it. Rowan designers Sarah Hatton, Kaffe Fassett, Martin Storey and newly independent former Rowan head designer Marie Wallin were all there to sign their latest publications.

From there, my next stop was the Coats Crafts workshop tent, where they offered a selection of workshops led by various designers. I sat in at Stuart Hillard‘s No-Sew-Cushion, Jane Crowfoot‘s Crochet Class, took a crossstitching class with Mr X Stitch and tried beaded knitting for the first time. Needless to say I had a blast. All tutors were wonderful and despite the large number of paricipants (all workshops were sold out) happy to answer questions and help where help was needed.

Between workshops and catchups and book signings there was enough time to stroll through the numerous market tents. My favourite discoveries were Red Hen Originals, (potato prints of chickens and other animals ), Lauren’s Cows (paintings of cows) and the adorable stitched sheep at Pippicraft. But see for yourself.

I’m hoping this great event will become an annual thing, I for my part would definitely go again. Coming up in October is the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, make sure to check back here for pictures after Wool Week 2014!

Anthropologie Inspired Gift Tag Tutorial

I recently saw Anthropologie’s cute Pop Dot Monogram Decorations, and immediately decided that yarn letters would be perfect as gift tags for my Christmas presents this year. Almost all of my presents are handmade, so of course the tags would have to be handmade too. I have lots of odd bits of wool and glittery things lying around, and these letters are perfect to use those last scraps up.

Anthropologie Gift Tags FinishedThese letter tags are quick to make, the materials cost next to nothing and they look cute both as gift tags and as decorations on your Christmas tree! I made a whole set of MERRY CHRISTMAS letters which I’m giving away as a gift this year. And of course you could change the theme to go with any occasion, birthdays, holidays.. you name it!

Here’s what you need:

Anthropologie Gift Tags Utensils1. Glue Stick (I like Pritt)
2. Hot Glue Gun (keep out of reach of children!)
3. Decorations (I used card making supplies, but anything goes. Sequins, beads, etc)
4. Scrap Yarn
5. Pencil
6. Cardboard
7. Scissors

First, decide how big you want your letters to be. You can either draw them freely, or print templates and glue them to your cardboard. I made my letters about 7cms tall. Cut all letters out neatly trying not to bend the cardboard too much.
Anthropologie Gift Tags RawChoose your yarn colours. Start by glueing the end of your strand of yarn to the cardboard with the hot glue gun and let it dry. Wrap a thin layer of yarn around the whole letter. If you have trouble keeping the yarn in place, use a little bit of hot glue to fix single strands. Don’t worry about the glue peeking through, you can hide the glue under the next layer of yarn. I used hot glue for sharp angles and to stop the yarn from sliding off the edges of my letters. Tiny amounts of glue will do so don’t go overboard. You can even out any wonky lines in your letter by simply wrapping more or less yarn around the cardboard.Anthropologie Gift Tags HalfwayLetters with holes (A’s, D’s, etc) can be tricky to wrap if they are too small. It helps winding your wool into a tiny ball that will fit through the holes, or cut a long piece of string, thread it through a sewer’s needle and use that to wrap your letter. 
Anthropologie Gift Tags PureWhen you have finished wrapping your letters, pick up your glue gun and your decorations and get creative! 

Merry Christmas!
Anthropologie Gift Tags Present