New Year 2018

Thank you for reading, for the comments, messages and emails. Thank you for coming back. Thank you for being there!

I hope 2017 has been good to you. I wish you an even more awesome 2018! Here’s to peace, health and happiness in the new year!

Finnish Craft & Design at Tampere

The most awaited craft and design event of the year is starting tomorrow in Tampere! I had a chance to visit the Finnish Craft & Design / Suomen Kädentaidot in 2015 and I loved it (read about my visit here). This year, I will be attending it again with a blogger pass as a crafts blogger . Already, I am planning how to get the most of of my day and here are some tips for you too!

  1. Finnish Craft & Design (english website) or Suomen Kädentaidot (finnish website)
  2. In addition, there are 2 other fairs – railway modelling & dolls house fair. One ticket for all.
  3. The website has clear instructions for arriving at the Tampere Exhibition & Sports Centre.
  4. To avoid huge queues, the best option is to get your ticket online in advance.
  5. There will be a LOT of people, so it tends to get pretty warm inside. Dress in layers and leave your extra stuff at the coat check (€2). Trust me, it will be much easier walking around the halls.
  6. Remember to take a water bottle & a snack. There are restaurants & toilets. Good idea to take short breaks & be hydrated.
  7. Make sure you don’t miss your favourite programs by looking at the timetable (in finnish) and planning the day accordingly.
  8. Here is the list of exhibitors.
  9. I also like a map of the halls, it helps navigate my way quickly.
  10. Many exhibitors take cash only. So, be ready, take cash before reaching the exhibition centre – it will save you time.

I can’t wait for tomorrow! Excited to meet some lovely people & check out the shops. You can see updates from my visit on Instagram (see side bar) & follow me @crafty.spell there.

 

Crochet: Warm Scarf

I made a new scarf with a thick wool & alpaca blend yarn. Alpaca blends are my favourite yarn, they are so soft & warm. This scarf is very simple to make, absolutely beginner-friendly crochet!

Yarn: Drops Andes, 2 balls

Hook: 10 mm

Pattern recipe:

The scarf is made using half double crochet (HDC) . I started on one edge, increasing by 1 stitch every other row.

When I got to the centre of the scarf, I checked the width against my neck, repeated the rows a couple of times & then started decreasing 1 stitch every other row towards the other edge.

Make sure there are same number of rows on both sides of the centre of the scarf.
You can make this scarf with any yarn & hook and how big you want.

 

For more scarf & cowl inspiration, check out these from the blog (click picture to go to post) –

Slip stitch scarf
Orange Cowl
Reversible cowl
Honey cowl
Cute poncho/cowl

The above black poncho/cowl is also made with Drops Andes. It is also lovely to wear & my go-to accessory in winter.

Crochet: Puffy slouch hat

I came across this crochet hat pattern a few years ago. After that, I saw it pop up on Pinterest often. The pattern is super easy, puff stitch is a pleasure to work with & overall look is good! I used Red Heart yarn (first time), we don’t find it that easily here. The yarn was soft acrylic – I would prefer wool or alpaca.

Pattern: Grey Slouchie Crochet Beanie by Vickie Howell for Caron

Yarn: Red Heart

Hook: 5 mm

I didn’t make any major changes but I tried it on as I made the ribbing to make sure it fits me right.

For more ideas for crochet hats, check out the following posts (click on picture to go to pattern) –

Easy Cozy Purple Hat
Jan Stripes Hat
Ribbed hat
Beret

Let me know which is your favourite! Happy Autumn!

Spring 2017

Lovely and bright spring days! I was so busy working on my craft projects, travel, visiting craft fairs in between & attending other events. So, here’s a little update of what happened in the last couple of months.

I visited the crafts fair at Messukeskus. Dollhouses have been rising in popularity as a hobby in the last few years. In fact, a friend suggested I try it out as my new hobby but as it is I am involved way too much with yarn, beads, fabric (although, combining them together to make miniatures for doll houses seems tempting) – I think first I need to finish the million WIPs I have stashed around the house! For now, I can only marvel at the doll houses from a distance. At the fair, I found some really cute ones –

Look what caught my fancy.

This light, delicate jewellery that looks like henna tattoo to the untrained eye is actually made from soya bean oil! How unique! Personally, I prefer the ear rings.

***

I crocheted a few scarves, wrist warmers & a throw as gifts. I packed them in organza bags.

My first ever crochet project was using granny squares. After that, the only other project using granny squares is the throw above (lower right in pic).

New cushion covers

These cushion covers are so simple, quick & gratifying. After a particularly frustrating sewing session, I haven’t touched my sewing machine since September 2016. Finally, I figured that my sewing machine and I work well only with cotton fabric. These cushion covers are made with cotton fabric from Ikea.

The pattern is from Samelia’s Mum. I used this same pattern when I made my first cushion cover. A couple of years ago, I learnt some fabric printing techniques and made a few hand printed fabrics. One of them, I sewed into a cushion cover.

In case you are planning to make a cushion cover or two, I recommend you to use the pattern I linked to above. It is great for beginners as well as for more experienced sewists.

P.S. If you like these cushion covers, please pin them. Thanks!

 

Unusual laundry day

My beautiful purple hat went for a spin (40 minutes) in a high heat dryer. I used it all winter in 2016. It was warm, cozy & I loved the color. I made it with Drops Lima – wool & alpaca mix yarn. I put it in a washing bag and tossed it along with other wool clothing. I thought it might felt, but it didn’t bother me. From the washer, TH moved it to the dryer. Although he thought it might be a bad idea, he wanted to try. And, he did. When the clothes came back, he said that he might have ruined my hat. I laughed.

Now, my beautiful hat looks fuzzy and small. It won’t fit my head anymore.

I didn’t feel sad or angry. All I could think of was – hey, I can make another one! Maybe because I have been itching to make another hat but had to tell myself I have enough already. Now I got a chance. Or, maybe because I was curious to see what happens to a wool product I made.

Nevertheless, good bye my beautiful, warm & cozy purple hat –

 

Wishlist for 2017

This year, for the first time I am planning ahead my projects! From fall 2016, I have picked out yarns, colors & patterns that mix well with other items in my wardrobe and fit into my personal style. I started a few projects too and then my hand began to hurt. So, I am taking it slow and working on my projects now & then.

By the end of 2017, I wish to knit –

  • Long, loose & light sweater : Skappelgenseren by Dorthe Skappel. Photo from Maria Skappel’s blog

skappel

  • Top down sweater/cardigan : IMPROV by Karen Templer. Photo from Karen Templer’s blog

improv

By the end of 2017, I wish to crochet

cardigan

  • Throw blanket : Pattern undecided yet, let’s see how it goes.

Other things I wish to do by end of 2017 –

  • Sew a dress
  • Paint
  • Make a few ear-rings
  • Purge my closet

The most time taking ones will be the four big knit & crochet projects to be done in the next 11 months! Well, what do you think?

 

Farewell 2016 & Welcome 2017

I hope your 2016 was good & you got a chance to relax and spend some quality time with your loved ones over the holidays. 2017 is almost here & I am so excited! I am hoping it will be I can make it into a better year than 2016.

I wish each one of you unconditional love, peace of mind, health & happiness. Believe in yourself & anything is possible ♥

Have a fabulous 2017!

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new-years-eve-1789147_640P.S. Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence in 2017. The celebrations are already starting today on New Year’s Eve. If you are going to ring in the new year in Helsinki city centre, remember the fireworks this time will be at Töölönlahti instead of Senaatitori (Senate Square). For a handy map & info of the events, go here.