Sunday, 30 August 2015

Finding inspiration in travel

Colour Inspiration - Cornwall - Crafts from the Cwtch
After our family holiday in Cornwall, we've popped home with enough time to refresh our luggage and change cars as the children and I head off again for a few days. I've done only a very small amount of knitting in the last week, but have returned with lots of inspiration and will be coming back to start working on various new projects inspired by the colours and textures I've been photographing on my travels. If you follow my Instagram account, you'll already have seen lots of pictures - these are just a few of my favourites. 
Colour inspiration - Cornwall - Crafts from the CwtchAs well as enjoying the Cornish coastline and summer skies, my attempt to wear a 'mostly handmade wardrobe' has taught me a lot about the things that I need to make next. More on all of that in September when the school holidays are over and I will have time to gather my thoughts and make coherent notes. In the meantime, I hope you are also having a lovely weekend and enjoying these last few days of summer. 
Saturday, 22 August 2015

Handmade Wardrobe Inspiration: Interview with Cal Patch

One of the most awesome things about being a craft blogger is having the perfect excuse to talk to the creative people you admire. I'm delighted to bring you an interview with an expert enabler and advocate of handmade clothing. You'll see that Cal Patch is not only a teacher but an inspirational woman who is able to make just about anything. She brings some thought-provoking insights into the world of 'fashion' too...
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you start by telling us a little about your background as a designer and teacher? 
I majored in Fashion Design in college, reasoning that it was a practical form of art and that I could probably make a living using it, whereas I wasn't so sure that was true of an art degree. So I've been designing clothes since 1991 (whoa, that's almost 25 years!) when I graduated and immediately moved to New York City. I worked in Fashion for about a decade, but very early on I began to become very disillusioned with the way that the clothing manufacturing industry works, and especially the direction it was moving in. Eventually I left and opened my own boutique where I sold my own and other artists' handmade clothing and objects. It was a really fun project which lasted nearly 4 years (1998-2002), during which I learned that I'm a terrible salesperson and a pretty good teacher. People kept telling me they would love to learn how to sew and crochet, so I started offering classes as a way to draw interest into the shop. That's when I found out how much I love to teach. From there, I opened one of the first indie craft schools with a friend in 2002 and teaching has become a major component of my work ever since.

You seem to be able to turn your hands to anything - from crafts to teaching, to playing the ukulele! Have you always been this way? When did you start 'making'/ who taught you?
I have always been a maker. I grew up in the 70's which was a very DIY time. My grandmother was super crafty and never without a project in her lap. My mom was always re-finishing furniture she brought home from a flea market or putting up wood shingles on the bathroom walls. I was constantly into some artistic endeavor: paper maché puppets, macrame, ceramics, woven ribbon hair clips, embroidery... and I loved drawing, painting, or any kind of art. I really wanted to be an artist as a career, but I had no idea what the reality of that looked like, which kind of scared me off. But generally I grew up believing I could do just about anything I set my mind to!
Ukulele has been a very recent addition to my repertoire (thanks to my pal Alisa who put one in my hands and showed me one chord) that's been very interesting because it's completely out of my comfort zone. I had always wanted to play an instrument (I played violin as a child for 2 years, and have always regretted giving it up) but it seemed like it would require too much dedication which would take away from my fiber arts. But it's actually such a good "gateway" instrument because you can pick up the basic skills fairly quickly and play some simple songs (as you also recently learned!). I'm fascinated though by the process of learning something from the ground up, and being a true beginner. When I learn a new fiber technique, it's pretty easy for me to understand the principles and grasp the skills quite easily because I am so immersed in the fiber world already. But music is a whole different realm that I know nothing about, so playing with my uke feels more like a hobby and an escape from my usual pursuits.

You had (what many would consider to be) the dream job of being a designer in NYC, what prompted you to move upstate to become a 'crafty farmer'?  
It was totally my dream job! Until I saw the dream for how it really operates. I'm appalled by the way the clothing industry has evolved since moving the manufacturing overseas, which has allowed the huge chain stores to take over with their cheap, disposable clothes that most people are addicted to. The term "planned obsolescence" is usually attributed to electronics, but the fashion world invented that concept. I see fashion as a scam. The combination of making us believe certain styles are "in" and then very quickly "out", and producing very cheap clothes that soon fall apart, is like a perfect storm of corporate profit. But it's our own fault as shoppers that we support it. I used to fall for it myself, but somewhere around the early 2000's I started to realize that it was hypocritical of me to be making and selling handmade clothing while wearing H&M. So I basically stopped shopping. For the last few years of living in Brooklyn, I was working from home, making dresses and selling them in my Etsy shop and at craft fairs, and teaching at shops all over NYC. I realized it was crazy to live in one of the most expensive cities while working from home, which I could essentially do anywhere. And I really craved nature and outdoor space and a garden and chickens, not to mention a whole house and more studio space. So when I met someone who was willing to make the leap with me, we jumped! That was in 2008 and I've never looked back. The quality of life and cost of living are infinitely better here, about 2 1/2 hours north of the city.

I 'discovered' you from your beginner-friendly sewing classes, and only later did I realise that we share many other passions too. I especially love the way that you encourage people to "DIY". For those who haven't seen your classes or book, can you tell us about your approach and why you think it appeals to so many people? 
Sewing isn't hard. A lot of people have a memory from childhood, or Home Economics classes in school, where they had some difficulties with sewing, and the teacher (or, often, a relative) got frustrated and maybe did some cursing and it left a bad taste in their mouth about the idea of it. I have exorcised many a Sewing Demon! I seem to have a knack for breaking things down to the bare bones, and seeing through the eyes of a beginner, and explaining things clearly. Plus I have a great deal of patience! My goal is to teach people that sewing is fun, practical, and not intimidating. And so empowering!
My biggest contribution to the sewing movement is showing home sewers that they can actually draft their own patterns, and that it's not nearly as hard as they might think. It's actually very straightforward and logical, and allows you to make exactly what you envision, rather than be at the mercy of what commercial sewing patterns are available, and the pattern will be made using your measurements, so the fit is practically guaranteed. Also, learning how pattern drafting works will help you alter your commercial patterns to fit you better.

Your latest Creativebug offering is 'Crochet for Knitters". I know that many knitters are put off by patterns which include crochet, so I think this is a really great idea for a class. What can people expect to learn from it?
Yes! Crochet is my other passion, specifically trying to show the world all of the GOOD and lovely crochet that is out there, because there's been a lot of Bad Crochet out there since the 1980's, and so people have a stigma that crochet is the ugly, tacky, cheap stepsister of knitting. I've seen some bad knitting out there, but for some reason it's not held against the craft of Knitting as a whole. Anyhoo, I have a lot of Pinterest boards showing beautiful crochet, for example: my "lovely crochet" board, if anyone needs convincing! And I have designed a few crochet patterns and have more in the works.
Crochet for Knitters is a class I've taught for years, after many a knitter told me that they avoided any knit pattern that even mentioned the word "crochet", because they didn't know how. It's funny to me how a knitter will pull out all their reference books and watch 37 YouTube videos to find the right stretchy cast-on for a sock, but wouldn't do the same for a single crochet edging on the neckline of a sweater. There really shouldn't be a Great Divide between Knitting and Crochet; they are both wonderful, and they both use the same yarn, and each has its strengths and weaknesses, and we should all know both. That's my opinion! So in this class I teach a few simple techniques that can be very useful additions to a knitter's toolbox, like crochet button-bands, edgings, and joining or seaming techniques, plus a quick flower tutorial. And my secret plan is that learning some of these tricks will lure a few more knitters over to the dark side. MWA HA HA!!! (rubs hands together with evil grin)

Finally, what's next for you and where can we find more of your work? 
I have another Creativebug workshop coming out in September that's another work-along (multi-session) class to follow up from last year's Pattern Drafting one, which shows you how to make 2 master patterns (shift dress and skirt) and then how to manipulate them into a whole wardrobe's worth of styles, and how to sew them. I can't say what the new one is yet, but it does build upon the first one so if anyone's interested, now's a good time to work through that one as you'll use those patterns for the new one!
I'm also teaching some live-in-person classes coming up: later this month (August) I'm teaching a Make Your Own Dress Immersion Weekend at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, NY (and resident artist Lisa Congdon will be there! squee!) 8/22-23 and Print & Sew Folk Dress with Maya Donenfeld at Craftstitute in Ithaca, NY, 8/29-30. In September I'm teaching Sew Your Own Leggings at Fiber College of Maine. and in November I travel back to Texas to teach 4 classes at the super fun Lucky Star Art Camp! All of the links and details can be found on my teaching page which I update regularly. 

I've got some new book ideas in the works, and I could be coming to teach at a retreat or shop near you, so keep an eye on my website and facebook page to keep updated! And for those who aren't ready to whip up their own handmade wardrobes quite yet, you can always commission a handmade dress or leggings from me in my Etsy shop. Handmade doesn't only mean made by your own hands! We can't all do ALL the things, so supporting other independent artisans is a big part of changing the system.

It's been really lovely to chat with you Cal, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for us. I can't wait to see all these new things you're working on, and am very envious of everyone who will be on your weekend course. Your class AND Lisa Congdon *gulp* -  have fun!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview as much as I loved putting it together - if you've been reading the blog for a while, you'll understand that a knitting/crocheting/sewing dog-lover with a ukulele feels like a kindred spirit! Feel free to leave a comment for Cal below and please check out her links: Hodge Podge Farm BlogFacebookCreativebug Classes, Etsy, Pinterest and Ravelry.
Thursday, 20 August 2015

Guest Post: Helen Stewart on the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge

My name is Helen Stewart. I’m a knitting designer and the host of the Curious Handmade Podcast, and  I’m so happy to be posting on Crafts from the Cwtch today: Sarah visited the Curious Handmade blog earlier this week and had so many wonderful things to say about creating a handmade wardrobe, so I’m glad to get a chance to try and return the favour! It’s a subject that we’re both really excited about at the moment, and this topic that seems to be getting a lot of traction among makers recently. I’ve just launched the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge and the response has been heart warming.
There’s something so personal and intimate about creating the clothes in which we live out our daily lives. We’ve all been somewhat in the grip of “fast fashion” for years now, and it really feels like it’s time to shake that off and explore what it means to slow down, buy less, and make more. Clothes shopping is sold to us as a recreation activity, but in reality, for most women, it’s actually an exercise in frustration. Spending hours in shops trying to unearth a garment that meets all our requirements can be stressful! Does it fit properly, do we like the colour? Was it manufactured ethically? Can we afford it? If we take a step back you can start to see that all of that time might be better spent just making what we want. Also (and this might be the strongest motivation for me!) there’s just such joy in making. It lights up the creative and the practical sides of the brain, and it’s so satisfying, especially if you’re creating an item you’re going to be living with and using day after day.

I’d been thinking about all of this for a long time when the idea for the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge came to me. At first it was just going to be a theme for a month or two of podcasts, but as I spoke to other makers and designers, I realised that the idea had so much more power as a community exercise. Making clothes can be intimidating, especially if we need to learn new skills, and support and encouragement from like-minded people is the very best way to see a project through to the end. Eventually, in a conversation with my friend Susan (she’s Kizmet on Ravelry), we decided to collaborate on an official challenge. The rules are simple: choose one or more handmade wearable pieces to knit, sew, or crochet for your daily wardrobe by the end of October. The thread in the Curious Handmade Ravelry group was started less than two weeks ago, and it already has more than 250 posts! It’s a place of daily inspiration for me and everyone else who has jumped on board. People are really going deep, exploring their motivations and aspirations, and it’s just such a positive vibe.

For my own challenge projects, I'm starting to think in terms of coordinating outfits after talking to Libby from Truly Myrtle for the Curious Handmade blog and podcast recently, as well as seeing other people's plans in the group. I'm thinking about using the Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt as a core piece as well as a long Washi dress and possibly a skirt for the sewn items. I already have the patterns for these three pieces, so it’s a start! Then I would like to knit a versatile simple cardi that would go with all three items.I’m also in the last stages of designing a shawl for a Mystery Knit Along (coming very soon!) and I think that would be a really special piece to mix in as an accessory with the rest. The possibilities are really so endless with this challenge that I’m trying hard not to get distracted by all the things!!

We’ve really just started, but I am so thrilled by the whole thing. It’s going to be a really meaningful project for the whole community. I think it’s easy as makers to focus on gifts and creating things for other people, so there’s something wonderful about giving yourself the space to focus on your own needs, and to think about how your craft interacts with your day-to-day life.

If you would like to join in with the challenge, you'll find more 'Handmade Wardrobe Inspiration' right here on Saturday, when there'll be an interview with 'Do-it-Yourself Clothes' expert Cal Patch. Don't miss it! 
Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Handmade Wardrobe Project 7 - Inside-Out Layering Tunic

After making the second HWP project - called the 'Weekend Tunic' numerous readers and friends said they'd like to make one too, and asked about a pattern. There wasn't one as the project was improvised, but there were detailed notes in my journal including a list of the improvements I'd make if I had the chance to do it again. Some were design issues (improving the neckline for instance), and others related to getting the best out of the yarn, which I found a tricky the first time around as I was trying to graft shoulders and had to sew up a front and back whose patterning didn't match. In my opinion, this yarn is not easy to sew and the self-pattern seems quite random. However it looks great knitted up, and that's why people love using it. 
So I got hold of more yarn (ironic, as the first was a stash-buster) and over the last few weeks I set about making the changes and writing the pattern. I'm delighted with how it turned out and couldn't wait to show you. It's designed as a layering piece, so here it's photographed with a white long-sleeved top (left) and a black vest (right). 
This time it was mostly knit in the round which removed the need to sew any seams - a major improvement as it really was a nightmare to sew the first time.  
I knit the front and back together rather than attempting to graft them, which resulted in an easy and very neat join (pictured left). The neckline is higher and the armholes smaller, so the fit at the shoulder is more like a t-shirt. Additional changes to the cowl neckline also mean it sits much better, and the stitch patterning matches. 

Without the things that annoyed me about working with the yarn (King Cole Opium) the first time, I actually enjoyed knitting this one - even though I chose a notoriously tricky colour - black!

As it's part of the Handmade Wardrobe Project, it was important to me to write the pattern in a way that would make it easy to customise at various stages. As well as including three different size options, the length, armhole, neck-to-shoulder ratio and cowl length can all be knit to suit the wearer. I love the 'wrong' side, hence it's an "inside-out" tunic, but I've included instructions on joining the front and back to get a 'rightside-out' tunic if that's more to your taste. 

The pattern has gone out to testers and I'll post an update when it is ready for release. It'll be available as a PDF download from my LoveKnitting designer page and I'll also put a link on Ravelry so it'll be easy to favourite/ add to a project queue etc.  

In the meantime, I have SEVEN handmade garments ready for my 'mostly handmade holiday'. Not sure if I can squeeze another in this week but there is some gorgeous new yarn here, and I have an idea for another garment - something I can easily knit on holiday. More on that soon.

If you're enjoying these HWP posts, be sure to check back in later this week when I have a really interesting interview with one of the people who has inspired me to make my own clothes. Follow Facebook page updates, via Bloglovin' or subscribe by email (in the sidebar, above right) so you don't miss it! 
Friday, 14 August 2015

Handmade Wardrobe Project 6 - Sailor Tunic

If you are interested in making a handmade wardrobe of your own, be sure to read to the bottom where there are details of how you can participate. 
After deciding to aim for a 'mostly Handmade Holiday' in a week's time, I calculated there might be just enough fabric to make a longer version of the Sailor Tops I've been living in, if I combined a meter of plain cotton with a 50 cm remnant from my 'stash'. *Just* enough of the contrasting fabric was no exaggeration, as you can see from the photo.
The Project 
The yoke and raglan sleeves were directly from the Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top pattern, but I made a few modifications to the body:
- Adding as much length as the fabric would allow so it's a tunic-length on my (short) body, it worked out at around 12 cm (7"+) on the finished garment after hemming 
-  Changing it to an A-line shape by using the width of the fabric (I simply cut the neckline as per the pattern and then used a long non-slip ruler and rotary cutter to cut a straight line from the underarm to the outside edge of the hemline)
- Sewing two rows around the hem (at 3/8" and 5/8") so I could practice sewing neat parallel lines
Materials 
My previous Sailor Tops (here and here) were made from forgiving fabrics, and it was time to step out of my comfort zone and put my stitching to the test with a lighter-coloured yoke and dark contrasting thread. I used:
- 1m Tula 100% Cotton Percale in Navy - see below for special offer
- 0.5m floral 100% cotton remnant
- Gutterman thread (after a previous disaster involving cheaper thread/ a constantly-snapping bobbin)
- This was the first sewing project where I had 'proper' tools, and it made an enormous difference to the time spent, and the ease of working. Definitely something to consider if you're just getting started with sewing (and probably worth another post).
I took this photo after wearing the tunic at my desk for a few hours, and didn't iron it when I took it off, so you can see how it actually looks when worn. I think this is important with a longer length garment as it has to be comfortable to sit in, but still fall back in place when you stand up. This fabric does the job well and I love the slightly 'lived-in' look which has a similar effect to a lightweight linen.  Also, it's an opaque fabric but still lightweight and cool enough for summer.

Lessons
- I did a pretty bad job of the gathers on this one. In fact this project didn't come together as easily as the other two, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm becoming "consciously incompetent" and have higher expectations, or it may be complacency. 
- My stitching has definitely improved but it's still not great. I find 'stitching in the ditch' on the curve (pictured) to be the trickiest part as you're also sewing through the gathers. It looks fine if it's not scrutinised too closely, so I'm hoping no one will notice. The hemming looks quite neat, so the practice is paying off. 
- For my next sewn garment I'm going to try something different, although I'm not done with this pattern yet.

I have had such lovely feedback from so many people since starting this project. The people and things that inspired me have also been inspiring many others. Helen from the Curious Handmade blog and podcast has launched a handmade wardrobe challenge (listen here, the challenge kicks off at about 11 mins) and a lovely thread on Ravelry where is a lot of inspiration and people are discussing the reasons for making their own garments, and sharing their FOs. I'll be popping in there regularly during the challenge and it would be lovely to see you there. Right now I have some knitting to get on with so I can finish garment number seven. 

Exclusive Reader Offer
Online fabric store myfabrics.co.uk are offering a discount to any CftC readers placing any order before 13th September - use the code CWTCH0815 to get £10 off when you spend £35 or more (can not be combined with other vouchers). I've been really pleased with their service and delivery is within a few days so they get a thumbs up from me. 
Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Handmade Wardrobe Update: In which I have an idea

With our summer holiday looming, thoughts have turned to what to pack. The things I like wearing the most are (surprisingly) the garments I made over the last few weeks. Being layering pieces they will suit the changeable British weather, and they are the top of my list. Incidentally, I must learn to put things on the hangers properly *blush*.
Crafts from the Cwtch Handmade Wardrobe Project
So I started imagining how nice it would be to pack my case with at least one handmade garment for every day... but I only have five garments, clearly not enough for a week in Cornwall. Can I realistically finish enough wearable garments to have a 'Mostly Handmade Holiday'?

I've been through my modest pile of fabrics (it didn't take long) and thought about other things I'd like to make in the next week. First up, a longer length A-line tunic with the same yoke and sleeves as the Sailor Top pattern I've made twice. Update: since this post was scheduled I stayed up very late to make it. It didn't all go *quite* to plan, and when I have enough light to photograph it properly, I'll show you.
I would really like to make another dress and have a couple of lovely patterns already - Weekend Doris and Dottie Angel's Simplicity 1080. Unfortunately, there aren't enough suitable fabrics to make them and my pre-holiday budget isn't going to stretch, so that's not likely unless I can thrift a vintage sheet or something. But I do have enough 'bits and pieces' to make one or two tops (you know how I love a scrap project) and there is another knitted tunic on my needles which is almost finished too, so there is hope. 

In other news, I finished test knitting a lovely new pattern by my blogger friend Libby aka Truly Myrtle a couple of days ago and it also fills a gap in my wardrobe (and goes with my Cora handbag) although I'm not counting it as a HWP 'garment'. It's Libby's Industry Shawl which is due for release on 24th August - you'll be able to find it here after that date. 
Industry Shawl by Libby Jonson, on Crafts from the Cwtch blog
As you will have noticed, the light here is terrible - it's been raining for two days - so the picture doesn't do it any justice but it's a fabulous 'knits and purls' textured pattern which uses (almost exactly) 100g of fingering weight and is easy to knit. It blocked out huge, but is small on the needles and would make a great travel project as it's pick-up-and-put-down-able. 

I'll be back with another update later in the week. In the meantime, more pictures are on Instagram
Saturday, 8 August 2015

DIY Knitted Flip-flop Recipe

One thing I have learned from my Handmade Wardrobe Project so far, is that I like to have a good basic template for my projects. When my friends at Scheepjes sent me a pair of "DIY flip flops" I considered adapting all sorts of 'barefoot' crochet sandals, but after further consideration decided that (a) I'm far more likely to wear a basic pair with the option for temporary customisation, (b) I wanted a distinct left and right foot, and (c) there are not enough knitting patterns for this sort of thing. So I set about writing a recipe which will form the basis of my own DIY flip flops, and which you can also use and adapt for yourself. 
DIY Knitted flip-flop sandal recipe/pattern on Crafts from the Cwtch
Materials: 
- Scheepjes DIY Flip flops (see note on sizing, below)
- 1/2 ball of Scheepjes Bloom 100% cotton yarn (quick drying!)
- 4mm double pointed needles
- Crochet hook and sewing needle for attaching to the base
- 2 lockable stitch markers or safety pins

The Recipe: 
1. Leaving a 15 cm tail for sewing up, cast on 3 stitches
2. Knit an icord for 3cm
3. RS: K1, yo, k to last st, yo, k1
4. WS: Purl 
5. Repeat these two rows until you have 13 stitches, then increase for the appropriate foot

6a. Right foot RS: K1, yo, k to last 2 sts, kfb, yo, k1 
6b. Left foot RS: K1, yo, kfb, k to last st, yo, k1

7. WS: Purl
8. Repeat 6a/b and 7 until you achieve the desired width (try them on your foot to get a great fit) - the flip flops pictured were increased until 25 stitches 
9. RS: K1, yo, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, skp, yo, k1
10. WS: Purl 
11. Repeat 9 and 10 until the desired length - I worked these three times
12. K1, yo, bind off 1 st, *k2tog, bind off 1 st, yo, bind off 1 st, rep from * until all sts are bound off, then use a lockable stitch marker or safety pin to hold the last stitch, until you are ready to attach it to the loops in the base
13. Making sure you have the correct foot and base, use the tail from step 1, pull the icord around the toe post and sew to secure (pictured) 
DIY Knitted flip-flop sandal recipe/pattern on Crafts from the Cwtch
14. Try the flip flop on before attaching to the other loops, this way you can ensure a great fit
15. Either crochet a small chain to attach the knitting to the loops on each side, or sew around the loops to secure. You can see from the pictures that I also crocheted along the side section 
16. Weave in all ends
17. Customise your flip-flops with beads, buttons, brooches, embroidery etc... 
18. Head to the beach or poolside with your knitting

The flip flop bases will be available imminently from Deramores (they offer international delivery too). If you are a Dutch reader, you should be able to find them at your local Scheepjes stockist. They are incredibly squishy and comfortable but please note that they come up small, so this pair is a size 39/40 and although I am a 40 they don't fit me (my mum is delighted as they fit her perfectly and she's a UK 5, those are her feet) but I've ordered a bigger pair and you'll be able to see those in a 'Handmade Wardrobe' post very soon!  
DIY Knitted flip-flop sandal recipe/pattern on Crafts from the Cwtch


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Making Memories: Daytrip to Nymans

It's been quiet on the blog as we have been making the most of the holidays. On Tuesday we met some friends for a lovely day out at Nymans, a National Trust property situated close to Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

Built in the late 1800s as a family home, Nymans is billed a gardener's paradise, but even if you're not a gardener, this place is worth a visit. Dogs are welcome in the woodland, but we left Archie at home this time so we could also enjoy the house and gardens. Compared to other local properties such as Petworth House, there isn't as much to see indoors - the house was partially destroyed by fire in 1947 - but what remains looks like something from a period drama or fairytale illustration.


At Nymans, it's all about the outdoors. The gardens have a certain beauty at any time of year, but August is the perfect time to visit with lots of things for the children to do (skittles, lawn croquet, skipping, teepees, and all sorts of 'find the bug' activities) while the adults enjoy the stunning array flowers.  
As well as the planned activities, there are lots of geocaches to find in the surrounding woodland, where there is also an idyllic lake and a selection of wood carvings situated amongst the trees. 
While I enjoyed the gardens and stunning scenery, the children had a wonderful time climbing and running, laughing and jumping around with their friends - all in all a perfect day out. These are definitely the days that childhood memories are made of. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

WIP Wednesday: For the love of stripes...

In last week's tutorial,  I showed you a peek at a stripy gift project I'd started. It's been a while since I knitted with Scheepjes Stone Washed and I'd forgotten quite how scrumptious it is to work with - really soft and it glides beautifully over my needles (metal or wood). Needless to say I have fallen in love with it all over again and am thinking of different colour combinations for an adult stripy top (which I could make for my handmade wardrobe project).

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is to show you the back of the 'jogless' stripes - the 'jogless scar' if you will - here's the inside...
As it hasn't been gifted yet, I'd better wait to show you the rest - be sure to pop back next week! 
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DISCLAIMER: Crafts from the Cwtch is part of the Deramores, Craftsy, Etsy, Creativebug and Amazon Affiliate programmes and works with a few carefully selected sponsors. Where posts or projects are sponsored, the opinions will always be entirely my own. You can find out more about affiliate links and blog sponsorship here.

Hello and welcome. If it's your first visit you may like to start with my most popular tips & tutorials, or the patterns. You can read more about me on the 'Hello' page and you may also like the CftC pages on Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy. I hope you enjoy your visit! Sarah
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