Thursday, 29 July 2010

*yawn* Folksy Friday is off to Bedfordshire...

Another two week wait for my Folksy Friday post, but I’m back! Since the tragic demise of my poor laptop (which has now gone to the great PC World in the sky) I’ve struggled to find another one that can handle my destructive EMP, despite the best attempts of my lovely other half to find me a temporary replacement. Apparently, the unsufferable ignominy of being my laptop drives every machine I’ve come in contact with to harakiri... until now. So, armed with a really cute – and hitherto stable (fingers crossed) – netbook courtesy of Andy’s sister, I’m back causing havoc. Grin.

Not much havoc, mind. I always joke about ‘getting too old for this’ (I’m 26) but I have to concede these world-weary old legs can’t stand up to a whole weekend of shenanigans without payback any longer. And I am KNACKERED. So when I asked my knitty Twits for inspiration for this blog post, too tired to even think straight, the answer came back immediately – the blissful respite of bed.

I’m surprised to note that even in the height of summer – the hottest on record since 1998 – there are some lovely cosy items on sale you just couldn’t wait to curl up under the duvet with (oo er). And I think I could imagine away the sun just long enough to enjoy a cuddle with the Ted in a Bed Hottie Cover by Tea and Crumpets. The hot water bottle cover itself is made from vintage blanket fabric, with a crocheted pocket on the front to hold Ted in place, so he’s always there for that extra little bit of comfort. Aaaaah...

Course, summer or winter you never want to be woken up too early by the unforgiving rays of sun – which is why you need the Lazy Daisy Eye Mask from 4getmenot! This neat little accessory is made from double thick green felt to keep out any pesky light, and embellished with daisy motifs. Such a simple solution to an age old problem!

This next item is absolutely my sort of thing – if only Annie Rose made other housewares I’d probably get her fitting out my whole house!

Bang on vogue, the scruffy chic mix of colours and motifs goes with pretty much anything and immediately revives a warm feeling of nostalgia and comfort. I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m more a winter girl than a summer one – quilts like this Panache Scruffy Throw make me pine ever fervently more for the first leaves to fall.

And finally, Knitted Duck's own little contribution to the Land of Nod – this Blighty trio is hand knitted with crochet trim on the Union Jack and intarsia houndstooth motif on the two smaller cushions. I made this set while feeling especially patriotic and Vivienne Westwood-y and immediately got a commission for a second in pink and pale blue. Britannia just got cool.

Now I really am struggling to keep my eyes open... time for this snoozy little duck to go to Bedfordshire. If you like what you see here or have something related of your own you’d like to add feel free to comment below – the more the merrier!

Night all, (sort of)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Jingle jangle - It's Folksy Friday!

I'm back! Granted, my laptop very much isn't (sob) but I'm working on that. Nonetheless, it looks like replacing it is going to put a sizeable dent in my bank balance, so any hopes of a new wardrobe have gone right out the window this month. Sigh.

All is not lost however; if you've read my blog before you'll know how much I love a bit of accessorising. There's no end to how much you can update a tired old outfit with the right finishing touches, with the double advantages of making your look unique and fresh every day, and saving you pennies along the way. And one of the most classic yet constantly evolving accessories is a favourite of mine - the bangle.

I've just listed this on Folksy and Etsy - the base is made of cardboard tubing I rescued from work which just happened to be a perfect diameter for the project, and the 'upholstering' is acrylic yarn and gold thread knitted together so the gold flecks are picked out in the light. It's a real statement piece, certain to get you noticed... :)

And it has a matching ring - also available on Folksy and Etsy. Tiffany's has nothing on me.

But enough of my bragging - here are a few lovely things I've unearthed from Folksy's intrepid sellers!

This one leaves me speechless - surely it needs no explanation? KNITTING NEEDLE BANGLE. By Bettie Sells Stuff. A-maze. I love that she's spreading the knitty word in new and wonderful ways. :) As well as extolling the virtues of re/upcycling - a cause I champion - the ingenious usage of the needle effectively teaches an old dog new tricks. And they say that can't be done...

This Peach Floral Filigree Bangle by My Beady Eye is more traditional, and a beautiful example of vintage chic - the delicate filigree detail is subtle, feminine and timeless. I find items like this are perfect for dressing up work clothes - muted dull workaday blouses become Chanel, Primark becomes Prada. Almost. Ah well, a girl can dream.

This last item is fun and striking and mouthwatering all at once - tall order, capably fulfilled! I love the sense of playful nostalgia, and the bright colours are really enhanced by the crystal clear resin they're set in. Hats off, Sour Cherry - your Smartie Bangle is truly scrumptious!

That's all from me now my lovelies - as ever, please feel free to comment below or post up related items. Show us what you got!

love and knitties
KD x

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Have your birthday cake and eat it...

Well, I can't, it's not my birthday - but it was my gorgeous little sister's birthday this week, as well as about fifty other people I know, and I never need much of an excuse for cake... So happy birthday to Leyla, and to everyone else who's been cutting cake recently!

It was partly this and partly the triumph of finally finishing a long standing commission that inspired this weeks' blog - subject being, as you've guessed, birthday cake. It actually goes back to a house party in May when Natalie and I were hailing the virtues of cake, and everything cake related (in fact, I'd just listed a couple of knitted cupcakes on my shop - one has sold now but the other is still available!); so she charged me with designing a cupcake shaped knitted handbag... and here's what I came up with!

The body of the bag is knitted with three strands of wool together on slightly-too-small needles, thereby making it stiffer and with a tighter weave, and giving the walls more practical integrity. It's also great fun knitting with more than one strand when you mix up the colours, as you get these beautiful depths of colour and texture. The base is in good old fashioned seed stitch - I experimented with more complex stitches but this one worked the best - and the top in even more old fashioned stockinette stitch, with a row of loop stitch (as used also in KD's Loopy Teacosy) to give the cake a little bit of decoration. And of course, there's the customary cherry on top. Perfick :)

The keen eyed among you will notice that it's not Friday ergo this is not a Folksy Friday post (boo), for which you can thank the tragic demise of my laptop on Wednesday (double boo); nonetheless I thought it would still be nice to take a shufti at the Folksy vaults.

And how can you have a birthday without a birthday card? Especially one with a cake! This 'Happy Birthday' Cake Greetings Card by Quite Contrary Crafts is simple but so striking, and can be personalised! They are painstakingly handcrafted and each comes with a coordinated envelope. Moonpig can sod off.

Now, look at this next item and tell me just how delicious it looks. Getting your mouth watering yet? Yeah, it's a candle. Don't believe me? Click on it. This amazingly lifelike Banana and Bubblegum Glittery Cup Cake candle by Mr Wick is not only mouthwateringly tempting, it also has a yummy banana fragrance. I'm almost annoyed it's not real.
This final item is - IMHO - sheer brilliance. These Birthday Cake Meerkats from Nifty Knits are knitted in the round in one piece, rather impressively, and make excellent birthday gifts. You can even choose which kind of cake your meerkat is holding, and wires in the legs and tails enable them to be freestanding. WANT.

This is just torture for me now, what with my own birthday being a full 8 months away... I'm off to stuff my face with cake. Please feel free to comment if you have a birthday cake related crafty thing or have seen something as beautiful as these!
Love and knitties,
KD x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Time for Tea - and Folksy Friday!

Lo all! This week's Folksy Friday theme is close to my heart: a British institution, the bedrock of our society, the cure to all our ills... the humble cuppa. You can set your watch by the regularity with which my friend Ruthie gets her brew on, and there's a good reason for it. The answer to all life's problems is a good cup of tea.

I decided upon the theme after completing a design for a new item for the shop; a set of four knitted Teacup Coasters, on sale on Folksy:

which after a number of Frankenstein-esque prototypes (most of which now lovingly adorn my bedside table) came as something of a breakthrough on Sunday evening. Needless to say I celebrated with an apposite cup of char.

So I started idly scanning Folksy for some tea-themed goodies, and look what I came across...

These teacup candles by Rosie Maguire are so simple and yet so pretty - there's a lovely 'vintage' chic about them that make them great gifts. In fact I've bought one as a present for someone very close to me - that being said I'm making no promises about actually giving it to them...

This charming teatime necklace by Little Red Star is one of those items that really stands out for its ingenuity and quirky charm; it's a great example of what Folksy is all about, because you're never going to find this on the high street...

Tangerinie and Purple Hippos is the talented creator of my final pick this week; this adorable pair of teatime earrings which look good enough to drink!

I'm not sure if it's the mini-ness of the pieces or the intricacy of the detail, but there's something about these which really carries me back to my childhood - to doll's houses and playing grownups and make believe - with such nostalgia that I forget I'm old enough to drink the real thing now. Tee hee.

That's enough of the tea eulogy from me now I think - I'm off to get working on the next line of designs. Maybe after a brew... ;)

KD x