Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Botanic Hat

Hello friends!
Just before Christmas I suddenly realised I needed a present for a man, that would be easy & quick to make, but still be wonderful (to match the recipient :-) ). So I started searching through Ravelry and stumbled upon the Botanic Hat by Stephen West (he's awesome, check out the rest of his patterns on Ravelry too!)

 I was SO happy to find this pattern. I made the first one, using local alpaca and Noro Kureyon, as soon as I downloaded the pattern, it's very well written, easy to understand and it's REVERSIBLE! Then I still had some of the same yarn left... so I made another one...

Then I remembered my brothers Birthday was only a few days away as well, so he got one too... For this one I used some Scheepjeswol Stone Washed XL (which I absolutely LOVE).

Then I remembered the beautiful handspun wool from EIisabet's Handspun, that I had been saving for something special, but I'd been busting to use it... So I made another one. needless to say, this is now my new go-to pattern when I need something for a man!

HOT TIP: When making this hat there is only one colour of yarn used per round, you don't cut the yarn after each round to change colour, you just carry it up the side of the hat. But, make sure you leave the yarn not in use at the FRONT of the work until it is time to use that colour again. This will result in the yarn carried up the side being invisible, which is a bonus, especially, when this pattern is reversible :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hello friends!
My Birthday is late in the year, right before Christmas, which can be a bit of a downer at times, because everyone is too busy with Christmassy things to do anything for your Birthday, so for my most recent Birthday, instead of letting the poor timing of my birth get me down I made myself a really fabulous Birthday present, crochet, of course!

I crocheted myself a bag! I was heading out the night of my Birthday for a non-Birthday related event (which was awesome, by the way) and I REALLY wanted to use this bag, so I did have to finished it record time, and I was seriously still stitching the lining in as I was running out the door, but I did indeed finish it!

I used Scheepjeswol Cotton 8 which, despite the name is a 4 ply/Fingering weight 100% cotton yarn. I really enjoyed working with this yarn, it has a nice hand feel as you're working, it comes in LOADS of amazing colours, has a nice matte finish, and isn't splitty! So there's lots to love about it.

I didn't have a pattern for this bag, instead I reverse engineered it from a picture I had seen on Pinterest. I later discovered that the very talented and delightful Lucy from Attic 24 has a really great tutorial for the motifs used in this bag. I used the "join-as-you-go" method, which saved a lot of time because it meant I didn't have to sew any of the motifs together. I vaguely guessed the size for the lining and used some black satin that had been languishing in my fabric stash for a few years, which I sewed with my machine, then I hand stitched it into the bag. The plastic handles had also been languishing in my crafty stash for many years, waiting for this project I guess!  In total, the bag took 26 motifs to complete.

Have you ever made yourself a birthday present? What was it? :-)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Libertas Cardigan

Hello friends,
You might remember the Libertas Collection that I released late 2014? Well, I have a few more photos to add, as I thought it might be nice and useful for you to see what the Libertas Cardigan looks like on a human, instead of a "flat lay" :-) So, here it is!

The LibertasCardigan pictured above is beautifully modelled by the lovely Kay of Crumbz Craft in Healesville. 

The Libertas Cardigan pictured above is made using Panda Cotton Blend, which is a really great yarn! It's fantastic to crochet with, and it's not "splitty" like a lot of other cottons, when you try to crochet with them :-)

You can purchase the Libertas Cardigan pattern from Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy. This pattern can also be purchased as an ebook which includes the Libertas Mitss and Libertas Hat patterns from Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy :-)

Also, we've had quite a few "beginners" make this cardigan so far, and they have been very successful, and pleasantly surprised with their garment making skills. This is a really great introduction to crocheting adult garments, as it's very simple and easy to follow, works up quickly (yay for instant gratification) and it's all made in one piece with NO seaming! So, if you've been meaning to attempt an adult crochet garment, but haven't found a pattern you feel confident you could finish, this might just be the one! It's available in 8 different sizes as well! So why not go for it?! It works up just as well in cotton for summer as it does in wool for winter :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Hello friends!
It's time to welcome in 2015! I hope you all had a stress free and relaxing Festive Season, and hopefully a bit of time to get crafty as well :-) I have been a bit slow on the yarn craft front so far this year because the weather has been rather warm, and really not conducive to working on a massive woollen blanket that's draped across my lap, for example. So I've been trying to work on a few small things, like fingerless mitts (still in the testing phase, so I'll show you some pics soon :-) ) and a few new sock patterns as well. I aim to get a few more patterns released this year than I did last year.

Some of the patterns currently being tested are 4 different womens cardigans, knitted in 10 ply/Aran/Worsted weight yarn, one plain, and 3 with some simple but effective colour work. Yay! More adult garments! And another 2 womens pieces in 8 ply/DK/Light Worsted weight yarn, with options for a cardigan or a sweater,  one with stripes and the addition of some fruity knit or crochet embellishments, and the other with some simple colour work. 

There are also a few sock patterns in the pipeline, a shawl pattern, and one fingerless mitts pattern (so far). I'm also working on some new 4 ply/FIngering weight cardigans, one knit, one crochet :-)

And for the little ones, there will be another e-book of crochet sweaters/jumpers coming out very soon,  and it will have patterns suitable for boys and girls, and in sizes, from newborn to 6 years!

So stay tuned for some more Shara Made patterns in 2015! I hope this year is the craftiest yet, for all of us!