knitted easter display on hshandcrafts

Crackin’ Crafters

 

Insect EggsAfter my research the other week into knitted egg cosies I was fully prepared to get going on our work Easter project to decorate some eggs along the theme of the type of work we do.

For those that don’t know I am an agriculture PhD student in an agroecology department of a research institute. This means that the type of work we do, the theme around which the eggs should be decorated, is anything to do with agroecology. Essentially this is everything that is found in a wheat field, except the wheat. Not a simple task.

 

Together with some of my colleagues (also very crafty people!) we set to work to create a display on the theme of farmland biodiversity so we had a knitted soil together with colourful bacteria and fungi sewn on, crochet wheat and weeds and then for the main event we knitted egg cosy insects and sewed them on to the eggs so they could be suspended from above to create a 3D scene! I knitted an egg cosy to look like a greenfly or aphid. We also had a ladybird, a bee and a moth.AgEgg

We also had to come up with a team name and as egg-related puns seemed to be the theme of the day we decided to go with “Crackin’ Crafters” and created an embroidery stitch sampler to showcase our team name!

crackin crafters

We were all so proud of our display, despite its Blue Peter like appearance – and given the difficulty of the theme I thought we did really well. There were loads of amazing entries, no other knitted ones though!! It was a really fun day and a great way to make us all think differently about our work and get a it crafty!to create an egg themed display around the type of work we do.

If you want to find out more about what its like to work as a PhD student in my department you should definitely check out my friends blog about the trials and tribulations of an agriculture PhD (she’s the one who made that amazing ladybird!!)

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Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration: October

Sorry for the late post in my monthly Pinterest Roundup series. I probably sound a bit like a broken record at the moment but everything really is very busy at the moment. Decorating is well under way at the new house and I am now half way through my placement so my work will also be going back to normal after Christmas so hopefully then things will calm down a bit. For my October Pinterest roundup I would like to indulge in one of my guilty pleasures! Occasionally I get stuck in a bit of a Pinterest vortex and keep clicking through the related pins. This means that once I get stuck on a topic I can get lost for hours finding lots of pretty things to make. This month I got was caught in the trap of Big Bang Theory inspired crafts!

Here are some of my favourites:

Firstly this amazing cross stitch pattern featuring all of the gang! I love how you can immediately tell each character from their charicature despite the simplicity of the pattern.

Cross Stitch big bang theory

Still on the embroidery theme is this chart explaining the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. Amazing.Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Finally, how adorable is amigurumi Sheldon!Amigurumi Sheldon

What have you been pinning this month? Why not add a link to your Pinterest account in the comments, I’d love to see what you’ve all been admiring!

H.

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Roundup: July 2015

Wow! July has been and gone and I’ve not made a great deal but I really love the things I have made like my Gingham blouse.  I have also seen so many great things over on Pinterest to fill me with inspiration for next month! here are some of my favourites:

Look at this cute crochet blanket, I really like the simplicity of it whilst still being bright and colourful!

Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern Annie PDF Instant Download Cot Pram Sensory

I’m also loving the new Zeena dress pattern from ByHandLondon, aswell as this other new dress pattern (I think it might be Buttericks)

 

and what about this gorgeous cross stitch bee!

Cross stitch bee cushion

 

You can find these and more beautiful pins over on my Pinterest account and be sure to check out the new board I have just created filled with sewing tips!

H.

 

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Roundup: June 2015

This month has just flown by – I’ve been really busy with work but still managed to find some time to spend on Pinterest! This month I’ve pinned some gorgeous things to my inspiration boards. You should go and check them all out but here is a quick round up of some of my favourites:

Firstly this delicious looking colour combination perfect for the summer!

added to colour combinations on HsHandcrafts Pinterest

A new colour combination to try

I’ve also discovered this Japanese embroidery style – Sashiko. I think its really beautiful and can make some plain fabric stand out with its gorgeous geometrical patterns.

Sashiko embroidery

Sashiko embroidery

I’ve also got a couple of crochet finds to share. Firstly this amazing blanket. I love how the stripes of neon add so much fun to the main grey colour!

neon stripe blanket

neon stripe blanket

and finally in honour of Mr. Dinosaur who I introduced to you last week here’s a fun project to crochet him some friends!!

Crochet dinosaurs

Crochet dinosaurs

button bracelet

Also, once again this easy bracelet DIY was my most repinned pin! Maybe I should give it a try!

H.

Pinterest Roundup May 2015

I love Pinterest! and I really enjoyed creating my last roundup of my favourite pins so I decided to do another.

Since last time I have vreated a few new boards as so many of the lovely things I found could not be contained in the boards I had created so far!

Firstly I made an embroidery inspiration board.

I think my favourite pin so far on this board has to be this little fella!

beetle embroidery

I also created a jewellery making inspiration board

I love the idea of combining crochet onto ready made jewellery just like this ring here

crochet ring

 

I also made my colour inspiration board which I blogged about here.

Just look at these gorgeous beach tones!

decking colour inspiration

 

The final two boards I created recently were to help me with my KCBW posts and are on craft photography and sustainable crafting

Other than these new boards, I have been busy pinning away onto my other inspiration boards. Here are some of my favourites

I also added analytics to my Pinterest account so I can see what all you lovely people are clicking on.

Turns out this was my most clicked and repinned pin of the month! Maybe I will have to make one to celebrate.

button bracelet

 

If you want to follow me on Pinterest you can find me here.

I would love to see what you guys are pinning or where you find your inspiration so let me know your usernames and top tips in the comments!

H.

backstitched embroidered bike

A journey into embroidery

About a month ago I saw an offer for a new sewing magazine to get the first 3 issues for £5 – bargain! I wasnt really sure what to expect but when my first copy arrived I read the entire thing from cover to cover twice! The first time there was lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” and exclamations of “where’s my sewing machine! I want to make it now”. The second reading I was more restrained as I’ve set myself a task when it comes to sewign to not have more than one project on the go at once. Instead, I turned down the page corners of everything I want to try – and pretty much every page is turned!

However, I couldnt resist but do something from the magazine before the next issue arrives in a couple of weeks. So I managed to convince myself that embroidery does not count as sewing and so it was perfectly legitimate to start something new!

I have never embroidered before but is something I have always liked the look of and thought about trying. So it seemed like the perfect coincidence that there was an entire article on backstitching – one of the mst simple embroidery stitches. There was a tutorial of how to do it and a pattern that only uses this one stitch. There was also promise of more stitches in the next issue!

On my trip to Hobbycraft a few weeks ago I had bought an embroidery hoop and a blank canvas bag in anticipation of starting this new project so I could quickly get to work.

The pattern was for a bicycle which I placed underneath my taughtened bag and traced using a blue pencil (as recommended). I think this was the trickiest part as it was quite hard to keep the pattern still underneath the fabric. At least now I know for next time I should try pinning it down or something.

Once I had started stitching I realised that this is in fact a really fun new hobby as it is quite relaxing and I enjoy the precision element to it. Also, you can do it whilst watching the tv! and better still if you go wrong you can just undo the  one stitch that needs changing unlike in knitting where the whole thing has to get unraveled!!

Anyway, I think it turned out really well for my first attempt and am really looking forward to trying some more stitches to produce the amazing range of textures and styles you can see in embroidery. I think I will fill the whole bag with my practicing!

Backstitched embroidered bike in embroidery hoop

Backstitched embroidered bike in embroidery hoop

Backstitched embroidered bike on a tote bag

Backstitched embroidered bike on a tote bag

backstitched embroidered bike

backstitched embroidered bike

beginnings of knitted cowl

Bank Holiday Weekend WIPs

I hope everyone had a nice relaxing bank holiday weekend. With 4 days off work there was plenty time to fit in lots of crafting around all the housework. On Friday I decided to give myself a whole day without chores. I mainly spent that time sewing as I have been working on a skirt for some time now and progress has been slow. So I set my mind to it and by the end of the day the skirt was finished! I wont show you it now as I want to take some better pictures and give it the full post it deserves seeing as I have spent nearly two months on it!

On Saturday we went on a little trip out to the shops to sort out some bits and pieces and as we just happened to be driving past Hobbycraft it would have been rude not to go in, especially as I had a voucher that I had received for my birthday. I decided to buy the rest of the wool for my sunburst blanket so that I could start on the final round of the individual grannies. I decided to stick to the plan and bought a dark blue. When I got home I was eager to check out my purchase in combination with the other colours already in my blanket so quickly completed a few squares and I’m really happy with the result.

completed granny squares for sunburst blanket

completed granny squares for sunburst blanket

I also decided to buy an embroidery ring as this is something I have always thought about trying but not really known where to start. However, a couple of weeks ago I got the new “Simply sewing” magazine and there was a section on embroidery and a simple design to practice simple backstitches so I thought I would give it a go.

On Sunday we went out for the day so unfortunately not much crafting took place and then on Monday I managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting around the housework. I am currently working on a cowl, that is knitted in the round so it seems to be taking forever as each round is 320 stitches and so I am only on round 11 despite feeling like I should be making a lot more progress!

beginnings of knitted cowl

beginnings of knitted cowl

 

How have you been getting on over the bank holiday? I cant wait to see all the progress everyone has made.

H.