Pros & Cons of a Handmade Christmas (& a little thrifting…)

Last year my two sisters & I agreed that, seeing as we were all fairly broke, we would do our best to stick to handmade gifts for Christmas. It worked really well – I’m still wearing the knitted scarf that S gave me, M got a great knitting needle case from S and some sketchbooks from me for college, and S leads me to believe she wears the crochet collar I made her 😉 – and so we’ve decided to do the same this year. Unfortunately they both read this blog, so I can’t let anything slip about what I have planned, but suffice to say that a couple more weeks to work on everything would be welcome..! :-/

I can tell you that I’ve crocheted this cowl for my best friend (who thankfully doesn’t know this blog exists yet):

It’s made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino wool in aran weight, which is such a gorgeous yarn – really warm & soft, with no itchiness at all. Plus the colour is fantastic. She’ll be getting a journal or two as well. (It helps that she’s a great writer, so I can actually justify using my bookbinding skills to give her things to write in..!) Continue reading

Getting Up to Speed

Ah… it’s nice to have a new place to share my projects. Here’s what I’m working on at the moment:

Sewing:

I’m muddling through a dress at the moment. I’ve made a lot of changes to the pattern, mixing View D of Vogue 8766 with a Burda dress from the 12/2012 magazine. This is (gasp!) the first time I’ve made a muslin for any dress I’ve attempted. This  is mainly due to the pattern changes I’m making, but also because the fabric is Magee Tweed and therefore very expensive. (I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it – €40 pm?! – but it is really nice.)

The skirt part of the dress needs a lot of alteration, and I’m sort of stuck at that point at the moment. There’s really nothing exciting about altering a muslin.

Continue reading

Time to Introduce Myself! (First Post Nerves)

Well… hello!

To quote my brand-new About page: My name is Yvonne and I love to work with my hands, mainly in book arts, sewing and crochet. This blog is a place for me to share projects I’m working on, post tutorials and hopefully get to know some fellow binders & crafters worldwide!

This is my first WordPress blog, and in a way, my first real blog. At least, it feels that way. I’ve had a couple of Tumblr blogs – for my photography, and then to keep myself occupied when I moved home last year – and they’ve both largely run their course. I think this one will be a bit more permanent. I’ll be moving to a beautiful part of Co. Sligo in a fortnight, and that’s when I’ll be getting the wheels in motion on my new business, a bindery called Needle & Flax. (I’m excited about it, & pretty anxious to get started!)

This blog will be a parallel venture where I can share more than just business. My mother taught me how to sew when I moved home last year, and we also took a crochet class together before Christmas. I learned to make books in a summer course at the NCAD in Dublin, and it’s something I love to do now. So those are a few things you can expect to see here on the Needle & Flax blog. I hope there are other crafters out there who will enjoy reading about my projects, and help me get better at the crafts I enjoy!

I suppose I might as well get on with it & write an actual post.

Is there anybody out there? … Hello?