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Friday, October 30, 2009

FringeyThings - a Scrap Yarn Project!

As promised, look what you can make using a couple of odd balls of fun yarns, anything with texture. i took 4 balls of totally different yarns, and this is my result... 4 DIFFERENT DESIGNS,  although when worn they do look similar.

 as shown below: BLAZE - MOCHA - PLUM - MIDNIGHT

these took me approximately an hour and a half to create and are lots of fun to wear because they are lightweight, fluffy and delicious to feel!!

Fringeythings are available as a PDF pattern to purchase from my Ravelry store.

Now I am off creating some crocheted bangle covers for wooden bangles... how fun!!

til next time,
Tracey :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scrap Yarn Projects - do they really exist?

Anyone who is addicted to yarn craft may very well argue that point. Scrap Yarn is something that is very often used for embellishing and other yarn crafts, even donated to someone else to add to an afghan or trim.

The thing is, we have all been left with a couple of odd balls of yarn that are so lovely, too lovely to "waste" on trivial projects, and not enough to make anything worthwhile.


I am going to show you how, with a little bit of imagination and the desire to create something really really quickly,that SCRAP YARN PROJECTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL and how you can turn 4 balls  of fun yarn into a wearable accessory that will be the envy of everyone. And it will cost you next to nothing...if you are clever!!

The idea of my Scrap Yarn FringeyThingys (yes, its a cop out name, but so apt) was to use up the balls I already have in my stash and believe me there are many!! If you have the burning desire to go ahead and create one, then I suggest, when I post the pictures up later this afternoon, have a look and see a scrap yarn project that really does exist! Then,  go to your nearest yarn supplier and buy 4 of the cheapest 50g balls of as different a yarn as you can find and make one. The more dissimilar they are in thickness, texture and colour, the better!!!

You will surprise yourself at how gorgeous and warm they are and how easy and cheaply they can be made. This is a true beginners project and one that I have been using in my classes for years - BECAUSE IT IS SO EASY!! A true Scrap yarn project that will be the number one Christmas Knit in town!!

stay tuned...

Tracey :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yarn Craft - the joy of creation

I think I need some pet sheep and goats, to feed this addiction of mine! I am up at the ungodly hour of around 5.30am each morning, burning to get some needles or a hook or a loom in my hands and just...do!

Today I am concentrating on making the most gorgeous ruffled collar. I have stitch definition in mind, I have concept and I have idea. i also have some gorgeous yarn that is screaming for attention.

Design a collar, create a stitch, finish a project. They are my ambitions for my knitting project today.

So if anyone has any qualms in wondering where or how to start something like a Victorian Ruffled Collar - I shall, by the end of this project, show you how easy it was!

Needles are calling...

til next time!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Therapeutic Properties of Yarn Crafts

Some people do yoga for relaxation, some exercise and others listen to music. All of those things would be recommended at one time or another but for me, my only true form of relaxation is in crafting with yarns.

I often knit laying down in bed!! Whenever I need to think hard about something, I knit. if I am in a light mood, I crochet, when I am feeling extra creative, I make embellishments from fine yarns and maybe, paper or beads or something that has take n my fancy through the day that is lying around my craft room.

I find working with the tensile properties of yarns, of any description, gives me an inner peace and a core to relaxation that nothing else gives me. It is probably because of its ancient roots, of actually creating with the yarns, making fabrics that can be worn or displayed. it is like producing a never ending canvas.

Combining different yarns in a single project, creating a balance of texture and colour, give me a feeling of sheer delight - being a designer of wearables - and making others want to pick up needles and emulate my concepts is such a thrill.

So next time you are frustrated with a project you are working on, find some yarn and create... with the advent of freeform now, anything is possible.

The pictures shown in this blog, of this amazing bag are my very very first attempt at freeform crochet and knitting and it only took me 14 hours to complete. Every time I look at it, I get a feeling of peace and satisfaction, as I remember the coming together of the colourful fabric - all made up of irregular shapes and truly amazing yarns!!

All you need to do is keep one thing in mind - no matter what your choice of relaxation is, make sure you are enjoying it and that it is giving something to you that nothing else can. That is the very nature of therapy and for me, you cannot beat yarn crafts for therapy!

enjoy the journey...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knitting and Crochet Addiction - you know you've got it bad when.....

... you are sitting on the floor surrounded by yarn (and in this case I had 2 huge suitcases full of every colour imaginable, tumbling out all over the place!) when a song popped into my head!

And now I can't seem to get rid of it!!

Do you remember the Wombles?? Well my recent addiction to freeform knitting and crochet has given me a song to sing while I "create" my scrumbles:

..."over hook., under hook, scrumbling free, the freeform knitters and crocheters are we!! Making good uses of yarns that we find, and fibres the everyday cat leaves behind...!!:

yes yes, I know...

but at least one thing is for sure...I LOVE WHAT I do!!

PS. the  Crafting Clinic is open!! Perhaps a prescription from the Crafting Clinic Nurse is what I need... :-)

Happy Scrumbling everyone!!

Tracey - the Crafting Clinic Nurse

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flawless Knitting - fact or fiction?

Have you ever seen ads for knitting enthusiasts to knit garments from home to be sold in a store? Ever wondered how knitters got their knitting so good that they were confident enough to do that?

Let me tell you, it is not that hard! if you can knit and purl stitches, then you too can make your knitting projects flawless and desirable for sale.

Let me share a few of my proven tips with you...

First of all you need to be sure that what you are knitting is well within the scope of your capabilities. no point choosing a garment that has many stitch variations, such as cables or intarsia when you can't do them confidently. For beginners, I recommend a scarf - two reasons, one is it is reasonably easy to do and secondly because chances are, it will get finished! No point knitting a garment that will suffocate inside a plastic bag for years and eventually get tossed out - that is sacrilege in the worst form :-)

Next, you need to set realistic goals for your knitting. It is difficult to start a 3 yard scarf knitting project the day before Christmas, with not much hope of getting it done to give as a gift the next day! That will only leave you disillusioned and defeated. Make sure all your knitting projects can be done within a time frame so that you can remain disciplined in your endeavours. It really works, if you do some each day.

Third - you need to assess your knitting yarn and ensure that you are choosing the appropriate yarn for that particular style of knitting. It would be difficult to knit a lacy pattern using chunky style wool, for example, and naturally the end results would be disappointing. These days there are so many avenues for buying yarns and fibres it can be exhausting. (that is why there is a free Crafting Clinic available for you!) Projects usually have a recommended yarn that they have used, but if you are careful, then substituting yarns can become a fun part of your knitting project!

Fourth - I have a motto that is simply: Let your yarn work for YOU..by that I am simply meaning, choose a yarn that is not only attractive to look at, but is easy to work with and therefore fun to use! I use a lot of textured yarns and even plastic bags and strips of torn material to create certain elements for projects, especially when it comes to finishing touches.

and last but not least: choose a knitting project that requires simple stitches. Often garter stitch (knitting every row) is all that you need, in order to make a stunning statement when you use a yarn that is suitable. Creating beautiful knitting projects is as easy as the work you put inot the ptoject before you start it!

And naturally, knitting is not the only project that these rules apply to. Crochet is another yarn craft that, with a little bit of preparation and determination, will have you churning out results like you never imagined.

And please, remember the Crafting Clinic is available for FREE advice on this and any of your yarn projects, so feel free to ask a question, it will be a pleasure to help!

Until the next time, stay encouraged and keep your projects going!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Hello and Welcome!

The end of the year is nearly upon us, so what better time to introduce The Yarn Basket? You may be able to get that elusive project finished just in time for Christmas Giving! :-)

Q.What is The Crafting Clinic?
 A. The Crafting Clinic is an online Crafting Clinic that people can ask questions and advice about their crafts, and share news and information with others on the net. It is referred to as a "clinic" because it conjures up help and mending and recovery! Some projects really need that...:-)

 Q. How much does the advice cost?
 A. The Crafting Clinic is a totally FREE advice "clinic" that offers helpful information about all crafts, particularly yarn crafts and anything to do with yarns and fibres. It is run solely by me, and advice given is given without judgment or prejudice. That means you won't have to feel silly by asking even the most ordinary questions, because every question is answered confidentially. No one else will see the questions except you and me!

Q. What sort of crafts can I ask advice on?
 A. I am well versed in the following crafts:
KNITTING - circular, straight, moebius, round and long loom knitting, long tail cast on, provisional cast on, double knitting, cables, socks, gloves, short rows, yarn over increasing, lace patterns, textured knitting, scrap yarn knitting, free form knitting reading patterns, yarn substitution, needle size conversions..and much more!
CROCHET- single end hook, double end hook, afghan crochet, freeform crochet, cables, increasing, Tunisian crochet, hairpin lace crochet, granny square crochet, yarn substitution, hook size conversion, reading patterns and much more!
BEADING - freeform bead making, recycled bead making, hand making beads from natural products, ie paper, potatoes, yarns etc...
GREETING CARD MAKING - materials found around the home, how to embellish cards with things found around the home, what makes the best cards, yarns and cards, inks, embellishments, and all things card related
SCRAPBOOKING - making memories from simple things, paper bag scrapbooks, using yarns on pages, knitting a spine, crochet a border, making yarns work with other materials, embellishing with recyclables and anything scrapbooking
 EMBELLISHING - giving things a complete new look, eg scrapbooks, clothes, shoes, hair accessories, you name it! Using things you may already have around the home to add finishing touches to projects eg, hairclips, elastics, buckles, buttons, ribbons, shoelaces, foil cups, cake papers, pipe cleaners, paper, yarns, beads, anything!

Q. What is the point of a Craft Clinic when I can research my craft on many other sites?
 A. That is a good question, and the answer is very simple: this is a  personal, single ownership site. The service I offer is not a generic page with links to often unhelpful services which seem to have you going around in a complete circle and still not have the answers. My service, is different because the emails you send me get to ME - not to someone else who is working part time in an area they are not qualified in. Your questions will be answered by ME and not some cut and paste link to more sites. I am experienced enough to be able to hopefully help, if not then direct you in your challenges, and if I can't then I will research the material for you - saving you from taking that time!

Q. Why are you doing it if you are not getting paid to do it?
 A. another very good question! The truth is, I am getting paid for it, because every single person who enlists my help and who, in turn is helped by my advice, is my payment. :-) I am largely self taught in all the areas of my crafts, and I never had a single place to go for the help that is readily available online these days. I want to provide a service where people can come in, ask their question and be happy with the answers they get because they are directed at them, not anywhere or anyone else.

So these are a few questions that you may have been wanting to know the answers to. There will also be tips on how to use certain techniques in your projects along with tutorials on execution of techniques, as well as links to lots of Yarn Craft content sites, along with free patterns to try for yourself! Lots of them my own original design :-)

So please, feel free to  ASK ME A QUESTION

...keep the faith
Tracey - The Crafting Clinic

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