The results are in…

As part of KCBW6 I set up a poll to find out what type of blog post you like to read and would like to see more of on HsHandcrafts.

Now the poll has been up for over a week I thought it was time to take a look at the results

poll results

Its kind of unsurprising really that most of you love seeing a completed object (so do I!) So I will do my best to get these to you as quickly as I can make them.

What I am really pleased to see though is how much you guys like to see my WIPs. You may have noticed I have been trying to update you guys a bit more on this recently through the introduction of my Weekend WIPs feature. I am going to try and update you regularly on what I have been working on over the weekend. Now I cant promise that I will be able to do this every weekend as you know there are some weekends where there just isn’t time for crafting!

The thing I am most pleased with about these poll results though is that some of you like each type of blog post I include and that’s great! Whilst not every type of post is for everybody hopefully I post something for everyone and you can all enjoy reading them!

H.

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KCBW6 Day 5: Something A Bit Different

It’s day 5 of knitting and crochet blog week!

Today we have been tasked to do something a bit different. This involves blogging in a different style to normal. Now, I usually blog about my makes and how they are progressing. sometimes I even have a finished project to share with you. So today I thought I would concentrate on the yarn itself rather than the project and in the spirit of trying something different I have created an infographic!

I love infographics they are usually really simple visual ways of getting lots of information. In my real life as a PhD student I need to take on a lot of new information and so these are a really great way of condensing all of that information into bite-size chunks.

As my work is agriculture and environment focused I thought to myself what better way to combine these interests with yarn and crafting but to tell you about wool production and its merits in terms of sustainability.

So here it is, my infographic on sustainable wool! I’d love to know what you think!

sustainable wool infographic

Needle Roll on HsHandcrafts

KCBW6 Day 4: Bags Of Fun

It’s day 4 of KCBW6 and we’re over half way! Well done to those who have made it this far and welcome to those who are just joining in. We’ve been having loads of fun already so be sure to check out the posts from the previous days and check out all of the other lovely blogs that are taking part over on the facebook event.

Today’s topic is about our craft bags!

Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.

Bags of Fun - Needle Roll

My Needle Roll

Now as I am fairly new to all of this I don’t think I have too many “unmentionables” yet although my collection of craft supplies is growing rapidly! Instead I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by showing you my needle roll which is not only where I keep all my knitting and crochet supplies but its also something I crafted myself!

In fact it was my first project on my new sewing machine back in January. I went to my local fabric shop and scoured the scraps bin. They usually charge only a pound a metre for anything you find in there but as I was buying lots of other sewing supplies at the same time they threw in these lovely silver and purple fabrics for free!

There are lots of tutorials online for needle rolls so I read through a few of those and decided to just dive straight in. I cut the silver piece for the back and sewed and then alternated the purple and silver pieces for the pockets sewing in slots of different widths to hold all my supplies.

One important piece of information I had gleaned from my pre-reading was that I should sew a flap at the top to stop my needles falling out! A piece of advice that I’m really glad I took!

I’ve found my needle roll really useful and it has space for all my long needles as well as some larger pockets at the front to store my circular needles. I can also store all my crochet hooks as well as a couple of pencils some small scissors and a tape measure!

It is also the perfect size to fit in my screen printed tote bag which i use to carry my current project with me.

H.

KCBW6 Day 3: Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers

For day 3 of knitting and crochet blogging week we are looking at photography. I have recently been trying to make my photos more appealing and have been thinking more about lighting and positioning but his was a chance for me to try some new ideas.

I scoured pinterest to get some inspiration on how to take better craft photos. I even created a new board!

As I don’t have any newly completed knitting or crochet projects (everything is currently firmly parked in UFO status) I decided to dig out something old to photograph. This little teapot was something I decided to crochet one day just for the fun of it. I haven’t used it for anything yet and I’m not really sure what I could use it for, perhaps a keyring or a necklace. Anyway the pattern is from here in case anybody wants to make one and it seemed the perfect thing to try some new craft photography techniques out on!

Crochet teapot Plain photograph - no editing

Plain photograph – no editing

The first technique I really like the idea of is playing with the background. For this I used a piece of white fabric to nestle the teapot in. I have then edited the photo using picmonkey to change the brightness and contrast to make the object stand out more from the background.

Crochet teapot - with background altered brightness and contrast

White background with altered brightness and contrast

There’s always the classic black and white

Crochet teapot - Not quite black and white - Ive left a hint of the blue in there

Not quite black and white – Ive left a hint of the blue in there

Another idea I idea I tried was to use framing and text to enhance the image. I used the same photograph as above but this time I split the image into 9 frames and then removed the image from the top corner to give space for some text.

Crochet teapot - Framed image with added text

Framed image with added text

and finally no round up of photography techniques would be complete without some bokeh!

Crochet teapot - bokeh!

Bokeh!

I found loads of other techniques I would like to try but I just havent had time yet. I’m not sure if I will use any of these again but it was fun to see how easily you can change the feel of your photograph just by playing around with how you take and edit the photograph.

H.

KCBW6 Day 2: It’s All About You

Its Day 2 of knitting and crochet blog week! How did everyone find day one? I personally enjoyed reflecting on the different types of yarn and thinking about how each yarn has its own personality and can bring something new to a project.

For day 2 its all about me! We are tasked today to:

shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us. The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.

So for this task I thought rather than ranting on about my life story I would give you a nice list of my favourite things!

First here are some of the things you might have guessed already: –

  • bright colours – particularly blue and yellow
  • geometric patterns – these really appeal to me (maybe because I secretly really love maths!)
  • clothes – since I started sewing I have managed to curb my shopping habit a little but I always love new clothes whether handmade or shop bought!
  • colourful things – especially pens and stationery

and here are some things you might not know: –

  • science and nature – I am a scientist by day and a crafter by night!
  • pyjama days – why shouold you have to get dressed if you’re not going to leave the house?!
  • tea – I have an entire drawer at work filled with different kinds!
  • music – I play piano, saxophone and clarinet and love playing jazz. I alos love listening to all sorts of music, particularly folk and chilled out indie.
geometric cowl

KCBW6 Day 1: If You Were Yarn

Knitting-Crochet-Blog-Week-6-Banner

This week is knitting and crochet blog week, the brain child of Eskimimi Makes! Its a chance to try out something new whilst celebrating everything to do with planning creating and using your knitting and crochet. I’m really excited to be taking part this year and am looking forward to a week of trying new things. If you want the lowdown on what knitting and crochet blog week is all about you can find it here

So the topic for day one: If You Were Yarn. The question for today is about describe your personality but also requires a bit of thought regarding the properties of different yarns and what makes them unique.

The prompts for today ask:

If you were a type or brand of yarn, which would you be? Are you a classic pure wool? Is there extra tension but a bit of bounce in you because of your high twist? Would you be more like a high-maintainance, strictly hand-wash fluffy angora or a ‘bring it on’ acrylic, bravely heading into the world of possible baby-sick laundering disasters knowing that you will always come out bright and unharmed?

As someone who is relatively new to knitting and crochet my yarn vocabulary is still relatively limited and many of my projects have been made with reasonably cheap yarn so as to avoid disappointment and a lot of wasted money if I were to make a massive mess!

The yarn I use most often has to be Hayfield Bonus DK as it is available in most shops I vist and is usually one of the cheapest yarns on offer. Thinking about it this yarn does suit my personality really well, it isnt too fancy and is always there to help no matter what the occasion (or project). Its pretty down to earth and can be lots of fun!.

However, I think the perfect yarn to reflect my personality would not be as bold as Bonus DK. It would need to have a softer side. In fact, I think the perfect yarn to describe me might just be Wendy’s Aran with Wool! It is the yarn I used to create my geometric crochet cowl. It is still fun, bright, colourful but it also has some subtle darker tones. It a mix of reasonably hardwearing aran blended with softer wool. Also, it is a chunky wool which is perfect for my personality as it gets the job done quickly so that I dont have chance to get bvored along the way. Also it makes a super warm cowl which is perfect as I hate to be cold!

geometric cowl

geometric pattern crochet cowl

If you had to pick a yarn that represents you and your personality what would it be?

H.

Knitting and Crochet blog week

I’ve decided to take part in the knitting and crochet blog week run by EskimiMakes. This sounds like a great opportunity to expand the way I approach blogging and also a chance to focus on creating some new and exciting blog posts to fill a whole week.

Knitting-And-crochet-Blog-Week-6-Eskimimi-Makes

For those of you who have not heard about this before. It will take place from the 11th til the 17th May 2015 and invites knitters and crocheters from all over the world to take part in a community blog week. There are a number of topics to blog about over 7 day period:

  • Day One (Monday 11th May): If You Were Yarn.
  • Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
  • Day Three (Wednesday 13th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers.
  • Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.
  • Day Five (Friday 15th May): Something A Bit Different.
  • Day Six (Saturday 16th May): Polls Apart.
  • Day Seven (Sunday 17th May): Your Time, Your Place.

For more information about what these topics might entail check out this recent post explaining them in more detail!

I’m really excitied for this opportunity and am already beginning to think about my posts.

H.