Saturday, 24 September 2011

*Magpie* - Get Smitten Vintage Fabric Bundle for Autumn

As you no doubt already know, I am an avid hunter of vintage textiles. I love to combine mid century floral fabrics along with simple crochet into many of my designs and kits at Get Smitten and this Spring I decided to share some of my extensive stash of treasures in the form of fat quarters

The Get Smitten store on Etsy is currently boasting some of my more Autumnal coloured vintage fabric fat quarters, in warm shades of golden yellow, orange, fawn, chestnut and soft foresty greens - ideal for an array of creative projects to take you into the cooler months

I spent a few happy hours this afternoon outside photographing this bundle of 4 fat quarters that I pulled together as a discounted set (a saving of €2 on the individual prices per fat quarter). I love the textures in nature that lend themselves perfectly to the Autumn theme.. the old wooden bench against the stone wall, the rough twine against the prettiness of the fabric; subtle but still so beautiful

I'm starting to get to grips a little more with this camera now - it's a Sigma SD14 with a vintage Olympus lens - tentatively lent to me by JW who, in case you didn't know, is a pro photographer. He loves to scout for vintage camera goodies while I'm snuffling out the fabrics, crockery and books! We make a formidable team. But he is quite protective of his kit and I am rather enjoying using this particular set up!

Anyway, back to the fabric! I thought it would be fun to pull together a mini collection of vintage fabrics under the theme of a seasonal colour palette - I know that for some of my students, selecting a range of fabrics to use can be one of the most difficult / time consuming parts of any project and can often be the main factor holding them off from starting something new. I chose 4 fat quarters as this makes the total quantity of fabric one metre

This set would work perfectly in my Brit Brit Hooray Union Jack cushion or as bunting for an Autumnal celebration such as Thanksgiving, a harvest festival or even Halloween. You could make an apron, a bag, a sewing machine cover, place-mats, a table runner, mini gift bags; the possibilities are endless!

I created a group on Flickr recently so that my Get Smitten clients can showcase the items they have made with either the vintage fabric supplies or any of my patterns. I hope whomever buys this yummy set of fabrics shows us what they do with them... I'd love to see, wouldn't you?

Lisa x

p.s. this wasn't meant to be me shamelessly plugging my work but whilst I'm here I may as well also shout up the Get Smitten fan page on Facebook - I would LOVE to have you come over and 'Like' it so that we can chat! See you there! xx

{photos by Lisa Pocklington for Get Smitten - Autumn Fat Quarters Bundle available in the boutique here!}

Monday, 5 September 2011

Je crochet, tu crochet... nous crochetons?

I often find myself reaching for solace in a magazine on a rainy weekend - so this Saturday I treated myself to an issue of French yarn mag Phildar. (I told you I was obsessing over yarns!) I guess it was a combined lure of the bright colours on the cover and the fact that this issue boasted a whole bunch of crochet projects!

The magazine is a summer edition so I will be adapting the yarn choice to make them work for this fast approaching Autumn / Winter season. I have a ton of soft beige mohair to use up and so will ease myself back into the world of knit with this simple, flowing cardi

I reclaimed the yarn from a huge Alpaca jumper last winter, it is a lovely caramel colour and so I think I'll make it up into the lace effect waistcoat, below, which I'll be wearing over my new, knitted, navy sweater dress, nipped in at the waist with a giant, tan leather belt.  I have a long train journey coming up next week and this will be the perfect travel project!

This is possibly the project that swung the purchase for me... I love the effect of waves in crochet, especially when using different textured yarn and have been wondering how to incorporate some deep blue, glittery yarn I came across last summer into a project. I'm thinking of teaming it with grey & silver... not yet decided on the accent colour as yet. It will involve a lengthy delve into the depths of my supplies!

So feeling all inspired and pleased with myself I sat making these decisions over a nice cup of tea in the dry warmth of my lounge... and then it hit me.  
All the instructions are in French!  

Now, a crochet pattern looks scary enough on first sight at the best of times, but throw in the added complication of a foreign language and there is sure to be some head scratching going on! Not to mention quite a bit of un-doing and re-doing... ooh la la!

But I'm up for this challenge; in fact I'm so totally ready for this challenge I can hardly wait until my train journey next week to begin. You see, I have been planning (and chickening-out) of running my crochet & sewing workshops as bilingual sessions for some time. My French is good, but teaching in French to the French has always seemed a bit too scary... I mean, teaching in your own language can be tricky enough when you need to find alternate ways of explaining something until that wondrous "a-ha" light-bulb moment arrives for the student.

So, now it's my turn to be the student again - seems like perfect timing what with all the kids returning to school this week! I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. I'm looking forward to enhancing my vocabulary, learning new terms of phrase and experiencing that joyful eureka moment of success! And most of all I'm excited to be pushing my comfort zone and finally having the confidence to take Get Smitten Creative Workshops to the next level!

Wish me luck!

Lisa x

{images by Phildar from issue 50 of Phildar magazine - you can flick through the whole issue online here}

p.s - 'crochet' means 'hook' in French, however, it is not a verb to be conjugated as implied in the blog title! You would actually say 'je fais du crochet' (I do crochet) as it is a pastime. Just sayin'!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Smitten with September

It's September right? Good; this means that I can officially start getting excited about knitwear and yarns. Not that I'm not excited about them for the rest of the year you understand, it's just that once September kicks in I am likely to have a few more people to share this passion with! Hurrah!

I adore September - the crisp blue skies, the low but warm sun, the smell of Autumn approaching, the textures in nature and most of all the fact that you can snuggle into a cardi or drape yourself in a scarf whilst still wearing shorts!

So what's on the cards at Get Smitten then? I hear you cry. Well, the Get Hooked! learn to crochet workshops will commence, followed by a short series of workshops in which we will make some small items... I'm currently working on the designs right now and have selected the perfect tweedy yarn for one of them already!

Local boutiques will take stock of my latest range of hand crocheted beanies - there's plenty of sparkle, texture and floppiness to be seen this year

There will be online tutorials for crochet projects - hopefully with video! (gulp!)

I will be harvesting yarn from pre-loved garments, brocantes and charity shops to use in my work

And for personal happiness I will be adding the finishing rounds to my utterly gorgeous crochet blanket, trying my hand at crocheting socks (not sure why but feel I ought to give it a go!) and dusting off the knitting needles to make myself a cashmere cardigan from a vintage pattern

Nothing too ambitious there then!

Naturally, I'll keep you in the loop (crochet pun intended!) with my yarn adventures and hopefully inspire you to have a go yourself. It's easier than you think! You'll love it, I promise

Lisa x

{image by Funkyarns - visit their etsy store for the most gorgeous hand-dyed yarns you've ever seen!}

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