Tara Tuesdays – Part 48 – NOT So Quiet On The Crafting Front

NOT so quiet on the crafting front…

Along with my shifts at school and at the expense of the housework (oh it can wait), I have realised that since December I have been on three workshops, helped construct a willow igloo in my village, made a tapestry hanging, a cushion cover, crocheted three cowls, a beret and a frilled neckerchief, how have I had the time I ask myself!

We have a gorgeous new Café “The Courtyard” recently opened in the village and they have been running lots of different craft workshops that I have been just dying to have a go at! I love trying out new things especially if I haven’t done them before. The first workshop was Baubles of Beauty and was run by the lovely Laura from Freckles and Fire. It was just her and me and we had a lovely evening drinking tea, eating cake, putting the world to rights and making these beautiful baubles. I managed to make this:

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It was very fiddly but looked stunning hanging on my tree at Christmas!

My next workshop (again led by Laura) was Decadent Decorations. I learnt how to make hearts and giant snowflakes using old music paper. These were VERY addictive – I made a huge one for Emma when she visited before Christmas.

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Photograph above taken from Freckles and Fire Facebook page.

My most recent workshop was felt making where I learnt how to make felt balls from dyed merino tops with the lovely Mollie. My arms were killing me with all that rolling but I was delighted with my efforts and made this jewellery:

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My friend Lois came to this workshop with me and made this beautiful necklace:

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We have since booked again for another felt workshop and plan to make a felt bowl this time, watch this space!

My cushion cover was a Christmas gift for Lois and I used Emma’s Essex Linen and some Liberty fabric that I had in my stash. This pattern was one of the very first things I learnt to sew on my sewing night classes. I haven’t done any sewing for ages and this was a real joy to make:

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I am not ashamed to admit that I have become addicted to crochet! I am still a newbie but really do love how quickly things make up. I borrowed a pattern from Lois for a Drops cowl and used some yarn I had been given to make this:

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Not the best picture but it gives you an idea. Not content with just the one, oh no, I went on to make the same cowl in a smaller and medium size!  When the latest issue of my Simply Crochet magazine arrived I couldn’t wait to try the beret and the frilled neckerchief. Here they both are.  Back of the beret and also the medium cowl!

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Me in said beret looking tired and old!

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This was worked in the round using the amigurumi method, I used stitch markers which were a great help!

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Here is my frilled neckerchief which I finished yesterday and absolutely love!

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And finally, here is the official blurb on the willow structure I helped to construct:

A new structure appeared on the Rotherfield Millennium Green on Saturday 10th January. Seven enthusiastic volunteers with help from basket maker, Dominic Parrette, constructed a 3 metre wide ‘igloo’ using freshly cut willow rods which will root when pushed into wet soil. The workshop was part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called Meadows in the Weald. In rather damp conditions Dominic explained how to mark out the base of the structure with mulch… matting. The volunteers then started the building process by inserting 6 rods about 20 cm into the ground at regular intervals around the circle – 2 rods vertical, 2 at 45 degrees to the right and 2 at 45 degrees to the left. With what seemed like magical art they were guided to inter-weave the rods and start to build the dome. In parallel, a 2 metre entrance tunnel was similarly created.

Being very whippy, the rods needed tying at each crossover point, so the ever resourceful Dominic used ties cut from an old car inner tube. Fighting the wind and rain showers, the first level of weaving was finished and an outline of the end result was beginning to be seen. With much head scratching the volunteers continued the weaving always remembering the mantra – ‘over then under’.

The final result was far better than we expected and, when the willow starts to grow in the Spring, the whole structure will green over and become a living sculpture for children to play in. Until then, it will be best to leave the structure alone so that it can establish itself and take root but it won’t be long before buds begin to appear and the whole community can enjoy the fruits of our labours.

And here it is in all it’s glory!

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After reading all that I think I need to have a nice cup of tea and a bit of a rest, phew!

PS. No pics available of the tapestry!