Knotty Sunday

I’ve always loved crafts. I’m sure my parents would agree that as a child, this was reflected in the creative trail I would leave throughout the house. Well, nothing has changed and I’m currently expanding my crafting repertoire with Macrame.

Book and twine

I realise now, that this was actually something I used to practice extensively in my youth, making the friendship bracelets that adorned many a child’s arm. The macrame mat, hemp twine and book were birthday presents from earlier this year. Don’t be put off by the cover. This (and the images inside) do look a little old fashioned, but this is by far the best book I’ve found that shows the variety of knot combinations. There are a few projects, but if you are a total beginner would find these difficult to follow as they are not step by step. I’ve found that many of the knots are ones that I used to perform but now I have proper names for!

Page

My watch strap has certainly seen better days. The leather has split and now flaps around rather awkwardly dipping in many a meal or paint pot! So, you can guess where I’m going with this blog post - yes, page 138, macrame watch strap.

Hooking on

This only uses 8x 1m lengths of hemp (4 on each side) so is really inexpensive to make. To start, the hemp was looped in half, threaded through the watch bar then the ends were passed back through the loop and pulled securely.

Clove Hitch

The next step is tying the knots. The knots used for the pattern are called diagonal clove hitches. They create little loops on diagonal threads which can be manipulated left and right to create wonderful patterns.

Knotting

I think perhaps I should have experimented on some spare cotton first as this did take a little practice to get neat and symmetrical.

Pattern

The second part of the strap is noticeably neater and stiffer than the first but I’m still extremely pleased with how this turned out. I fastened with a button at the back so this isn’t adjustable, but I’m sure you could attach a proper watch buckle or bracelet clasp instead.

Watch strap

Not bad for a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon :)

Sewing Bug

So I’ve got the sewing bug again. It could be watching the Sewing Bee or just the inability to find clothes on the high street, but I’m feeling enthused.

New patterns

I’ve ordered a few patterns and fabric to get me started. I chose flowery cotton for a pretty 1940’s inspired blouse and something with a bit of stretch for a bat wing style top. Haven’t sewn with jersey before so will have to do my research and a few test sews first.

Pins

I already have a cutting board, rotary cutter and fab quilting ruler, but I treated myself to some new items. Prym glass headed pins, Fiskars fabric scissors and by far my favourite purchase, a water erasable pen. Had an air drying pen previously which was pretty useless, but this is great. Would thoroughly recommend getting one of these :)

Watching this season of the Sewing Bee, I spotted lots of different fabric weights. I admit I haven’t really thought about purpose made ones before. I previously used tins of tuna, chickpeas or whatever was in the cupboard but these would be much better. I have a plethora of fat quarters, fabric scraps and ribbon just waiting to be used. I knew all those randomly purchased bargains would come in eventually :)

What you need for 10 fabric weights with handles:
10 Fabric squares - 8x8cm
10 Felt squares - 8x8cm
10 pieces of ribbon - 12cm long
Rice or other dried pulses

Fabric

So, choose the fabric. Easier said than done I know. I’m like a child in a sweet shop rooting though my cupboard. Now, do I go plain fabric, fancy ribbon or fancy fabric, plain ribbon. A compromise me thinks. Plain felt for the bottom, patterned fabric for the top and plain ribbon. Done.

Cut squares

Cut felt and fabric squares 8cm wide and ribbon in 12cm lengths.

Layout

Lay the ribbon diagonally on a piece of felt. If you’re using patterned fabric or ribbon, lay the fabric wrong side down and the ribbon right side down. Now lay another piece of fabric (right side down) on top. Pop a few pins in just to hold the ribbon steady.

Sewn piece

Sew a 1cm seam around, leaving a gap for turning and filling. Cut the corners to make these less bulky.

Turn inside out, fill with rice, dried peas or chickpeas or anything else you fancy - not too full though :)

Finished weights

Sew up the gap by hand and hey presto. Fabric weights. I’m sure these will improve my sewing enormously :)

For the Dads

As another Father's Day approaches I began to ponder my gift options. Finding things to make for a man always seems somehow harder. My mind was a blank and I've been making presents for so long that I couldn't possibly buy a gift. What would people think ;)

After much deliberation and male interrogation I settled on a few ideas. There are plenty of knit and crochet options for all these so whichever your preference, you'll be sure to find something for that special man :)

Knit and Crochet Father

Good old socks - sure to please if you have the time to make them.

Tie - something a little different and could be made to match a pair of socks.

Tablet case - always useful as most men have some form of gadget that needs protection from bangs, scrapes or sticky little fingers.

Cup cozy and coaster in one - protect your furniture and keep the coffee warm in style.

Beer hugger - for those who prefer their drinks cold, a can or bottle hugger will stop those chilly fingers.

Guitar Strap - personalised style for those musical Dads.

Scarf - a little warm for the summer weather but will certainly come in for those colder days.

Dish cloth - a cheeky little present for all those who enjoy a bit of housework.

Sewing Father

If you need something quick and prefer a bit of sewing, the PurlBee have instructions for handkerchiefs, a wallet, a quilted laptop sleeve or tie. Make them as bright and cheerful as you dare.

Only a month to go to Father's day so better get busy. Happy making :)

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