Yarn – Craft book-a-zine

A few months ago I designed a knitting project bag for Scheepjes, a wonderful yarn and haberdashery company based in Holland, for publication in their stunning Yarn book-a-zine. I was thrilled to be asked to contribute, it’s been years since I have submitted work for publication and I must admit I was also a little nervous – would my work be ‘up to it’? After a few prototypes, I designed a bag which is reversible with an elastic adjustable closure which doubles up as a wristlet for knitting on the go, I think it turned out well.

A couple of weeks ago, the magazine arrived and I was so excited to see the bag in print. Yarn is such a lovely magazine, every issue has a theme, look at the super stylish, beautiful cover.

 

 

Here’s the bag in it’s full glory…

 

If you haven’t seen Yarn before and you are keen on knitting or crochet I urge you to grab a copy – they are available from Wool Warehouse and other Scheepjes stockists.

 

 

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Vintage Heaven

I am an absolute sucker for a vintage sewing machine, I love them! I scour Gumtree, eBay and my local charity shops for these old beauties. I have some stunning old Singer machines, my favourite being my trusty 201k which I use whenever I can.

In the past month I have picked up a couple of absolute stunners. The first was a 1980’s Bernina 1020 in a local charity shop, this was such a find. The previous week I had missed out on a very similar machine at a very reasonable price on Gumtree which was snapped up. I was actually thinking about this as I was mooching about the shop and then I spotted it – almost the same machine for a fraction of the price, I practically threw myself on it! It is in full working order and came with a walking foot – yay! The only downside was that the accessories box with all the extra feet was missing and one of the pegs on the table extension was missing. No matter, I managed to source a replacement part from eBay so the table is stable now, and I got a foot adaptor which means I can use the feet from my modern (rather modest) Bernina. Isn’t she fab?

 

My latest find which I bagged from an Antiques shop last week is a real retro stunner. I’ve never seen a machine like it, it is BEAUTIFUL and in mint condition. It’s a Pinnock, a name I’d never heard before, made in Australia sometime in the 1960’s I think. Look at the colour! I needed to faff around a bit to get this treasure to sew nicely, but with a new needle, a wee clean and some oil I coaxed her into behaving. I still can’t get over how gorgeous she is, she’s been treated very well in the past and is amazingly clean.

 

At last count I have about 9 sewing machines now – eek! I can’t help myself.

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A riot of colour at Kitschy Coo

Connecticut native Amanda Cusick has lived in Edinburgh for 18 years and is the owner of Kitschy Coo, a specialist fabric supplier based online and from her shop based in my ‘hood’ in Edinburgh . Amanda was the first supplier in the UK to specialise in selling quirky (mostly organic) jersey fabric sourced from Scandinavia, and has the biggest range in the country. She designs and sells digital sewing patterns which are available for download from her online shop and also makes a range of  fabulously colourful children’s clothing. Her shop  is a riot of colour, both inside and out.

 

I dropped by to see her recently to find out more about her business;

Amanda,  how did Kitschy Coo begin?

“I originally worked in the finance sector. After the birth of my children and back-to- back maternity leave I suffered with post-natal depression. Sewing became an outlet, I found that being able to create something was very therapeutic. I began by making clothes for my own children and then started to get orders from other mums, and so it just took off from there. The fabric side of the business has ‘exploded’, 3 years ago I outgrew the space I had at home and moved into the shop”

 

How did you learn to sew?

“I am entirely self-taught. I began on a pretty awful sewing machine with nasty cheap fabric. Most beginners start with something a little easier than jersey! I must have been pretty determined to give it a go faced with those obstacles!”

Why do you source your fabrics from Scandinavia?

“First of all the Scandinavians have a great range of fantastic jersey fabrics, I deal with around 20-30 suppliers based in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Austria, and Finland . Secondly I much prefer to use and sell fabric which is ethically produced in the EU, I try to be as eco-friendly as possible, I don’t like the concept of ‘cheap’ fashion sourced from far-flung countries”

What’s next for Kitschy Coo?

“I’ve been based in my shop in for 3 years, I’ve now decided to look for a place in a ‘collaborative space’ with other makers. I am very keen to get involved in some form of social enterprise work, I know how much learning to sewing helped me get through post-natal depression. Art therapy is a very helpful and valuable activity and I’d like to pass on skills to other women in the area”

You can find Kitschy Coo at 10 South Trinity Road, Edinburgh and online at www.kitschy-coo.co.uk

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New Bag Sets

I’ve added a new product line to my Etsy shop – bag sets! The small zipped purses are perfect for notions, thread snips, needle gauges, stitch markers and the large zipped bags are great for a knitting project – sock makers love ’em!

You can find them in my Etsy shop here.

Love this Japanese fabric, it has a linen feel, gotta love French Bulldogs…..

This fabric is a hoot, very retro camping print – who doesn’t love a bear playing a banjo!

And this birdhouse print , the fabric is from Dashwood Studio, I am a total fan of their amazing prints, they have THE best surface pattern designers.

 

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A new home and new stock in the shop

Well look at me Doris and Hazel has gone all dot com! Yes folks welcome to my new ‘grown up’ place on the web where I will to continue to share my creative ‘goings on’ and let you know what’s happening in the shop. Getting to grips with this new web set up has been relatively straight forward so far – the swear jar is only half full. It will be a learning experience for me for sure.

December 2016 was my very first Etsy Christmas and I’m very pleased to say that lots of lovely customers bought bags. When you make and sell things it can be very daunting –   you put yourself and your creations ‘out there’ and then chew your fingernails hoping someone will like what you make and when they do  it’s magic! Believe me every Etsy shop owner does a little ‘happy dance’ each and every time an item sells. So I’d like to say a  great big thank you to every single customer!

I’ve spent the time between Christmas and now gathering lots more fab fabric and I’ve just uploaded a selection of  new medium zipped pouches. These are padded and measure  approximately  22cmx15cm (9″x6″),  they fit nicely into a handbag and are large enough to fit smaller tablet devices (great for the 7″ Kindle Fire tablet).

Here’s a selection that can be found in the shop. I’m working hard on the production line and there’ll be more shop updates for the knitting project bags and notion purses very soon.

 


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Back in the creative groove

Crikey, is it really almost a year since I blogged? Yup!

I have to admit my creative mojo ran away from me over the Summer, sewing, knitting and crochet pretty much went on the back burner for almost 3 months, which is most unlike me. Slowly but surely it’s returned and I have a million creative ideas whizzing round my head again and an equal amount of WIPs/UFOs.

I’ve picked up my Attic24 Coast Ripple blanket again, it’s a MONSTER, big enough for a double bed, or at least it will be once I’m done…….

I’ve also started yet another knitting project, the zickzack scarf which is a free pattern from Ravelry designed by Christy Kamm. It’s super easy to knit, with a 12 stitch pattern repeat, however I’m a bit thick when it comes to knitting and I kept on having to rip it out and start again having lost count of the stitches. I stuck with it and started again and I think I have the hang of it now….

The yarn is gorgeous it’s Lang Yarns Mille Colori Baby  The scarf takes 4 skeins, you knit 2 rows with one ball, then the next 2 with the other. I’ve spotted lots of other versions on Instagram I love how it looks like a Missoni design.
The return of the mojo also means I have uploaded new stock to my Etsy Shop – 5 new patchwork cushion covers…
A friend of mine bought a couple of the non-festive cushion covers and they are proudly displayed on an amazing funky 1970’s basket chair which hangs from a frame, hopefully I will get a photo soon!
With Christmas approaching fast (well it is for Etsy sellers I guess!) I need to get cracking with making some more of my cosmetic/project bags very soon.

 

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Exciting News – Etsy shop is open

After years of thinking, procrastinating and planning I have finally take the plunge and opened my Etsy shop – squeeeeeeeeallll!

Not only that, I have already had 3 sales – double squeeeeeeeallll!

It’s been a steep learning curve but I have been involved in a Facebook Group called Etsy Resolution that has been incredibly useful and given a whole gang of Etsy wannabees from across the globe the push we all needed  to just get on and do it

If you would like to have a peek at my wares here’s the link Meanwhile here’s a taster of some of the bags in the shop, they are super useful for lots of things – including toting about your knitting or crochet (or lippy).

More stock coming soon!

 

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