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Help! I’m a Liberty Print Addict

I’m sure I’m not alone but I just can’t stop buying this stunning tana lawn fabric. I think I may have been late to the party but I am certainly making up for it now! Liberty print fabric is available in a vast array of colours and patterns but every one is divine! I have been buying scraps and off cuts over the last year but finally treated myself to two full metres (don’t worry – it was in the sale!)

Liberty Print Fabric

I have been using my tiny flashes of delight to create Liberty print ear studs, hair ties, pin badges and necklaces. I feel a true obsession coming on as I trawl the internet for vintage Liberty print fabric; I dream of stumbling across a pile in a charity shop!

History of Liberty Print Fabric

Arthur Liberty began his career as an apprentice for a draper. He then took on a job at Farmer & Roger’s Great Shawl and Cloak Emporium – a position that set him on course of his life’s work. After ten years of work there, learning about textiles & other arts, he decided to branch out and open his own business in 1875, named ‘East India House’ where he solely sold Oriental imports – namely rugs, decorative objects and…fabrics!

After a few years, East India House grew & demand for their gorgeous fabrics became stronger. It was then that Liberty made the decision to import undyed fabrics and have them handprinted in England in the style of Oriental fabrics. At this point, Liberty started marketing their fabrics as ‘Made in England’ and their growth as a British brand began.

In the 1920s, Liberty began to produce miniature floral, paisley & abstract prints that became known as ‘Liberty Prints’ and the rest, as far as we are concerned, is history! Liberty Prints are an absolute best seller in our online collection with over 150 prints to choose from available in cottons, silks, and even PVC & corduroy! Despite all this choice, their Tana Lawn cotton is by far the most popular – a specific lightweight cotton that is ideal for dresses, blouses, shirts & skirts.

With thanks to Joel and Son Fabrics

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The Winnie Shawl

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The Winnie Shawl

This pattern has been designed with beginners in mind. It is ideal for perfecting an even tension and confidence with garter stitch.

You will need:

  • 5mm needles (I prefer a circular needle as the shawl becomes very wide towards the end).
  • 100g of sock weight yarn (this pattern would work just as well with any weight of yarn. Just adjust the needle size accordingly).
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in the ends.

Pattern:

  1. Cast on three stitches using your preferred method.
  2. Slip 1, knit front and back of next stitch, knit 1.
  3. Slip 1, kfb, knit to end.
  4. S1, kfb, k to end.

Continue until you have almost used almost all of your yarn then cast off using the method of your choice ensuring that your edge is nice and stretchy.

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Hello February!

January has been rather blue all round but we can now put it behind us and embrace February with open arms!

I spent a couple of weeks in bed feeling poorly and pathetic but managed to knit up a very small storm.

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A mix of knitting, crochet and even a first attempt at weaving. I feel I’ve really neglected you all and will try to get back in the swing of blogging and regular newsletters. What have you all been up to? I’d love to see your crafts.

For more regular updates, follow me on instagram, facebook and pinterest.

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Advent – Cuddlebums Yarn

This Christmas, the lovely Jodi from Cuddlebums Yarn launched an advent box which contained 25 little paper bags of loveliness. Lots of yarnies like me signed up and on the first of December we tore them open like excited toddlers.

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The range and variety of resulting projects are amazing!

Advent Wrist WarmerI started by knitting a pair of wrist warmers following this pattern. I used days 1 to 11; splitting each mini-skein in two so that I have a matching pair.

I realised after the first two days that 25 x 5g was a lot more than one pair of wrist warmers so I cast on my first ever Hitchhiker shawl. I had seen the pattern many times and it had been in my queue for ages! In order to create a big snuggly shawl, I decided to stripe the colours with some grey from Jodi which I already had in my stash. I used 3.5mm needles with a 80cm cable which was perfect.

I love how it turned out!

Advent Hitchhiker

As a group, we shared our excitement each day. Some of us were good and didn’t peek ahead; some of us were not. Some of us knitted; some crocheted. Some of us were fast and finished by boxing day; some of us did not. But what we all had in common was that we loved the surprises and the amazing colours which Jodi and created.

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If you would like to add an image of your finished project please add it in the comments or email it to undertherowantrees@gmail.com and I’ll add it to the slideshow.

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Lumpy Bumpy Cowl

 

I have been knitting for a little over a year and initially struggled to find simple patterns to practise on and easily became frustrated and disheartened. I have attempted to create a pattern which is simple, achievable and contains links to tutorials to help with learning new skills. I hope that the Lumpy Bumpy Cowl will fit the bill!

Ideally, before attempting to start this pattern you should be able to perform the knit and purl stitches but the video does show these clearly.

The finished cowl is beautiful and snuggly and has a great stretch to it. I would love to see your finished creations! Do shout if anything is unclear.

You will need:IMG_20151030_170012Stylecraft Chunky

200g of Yarn (chunky or super chunky work best)

Circular needles (8mm to 15mm depending on yarn)

Darning needle

Pattern:

Cast on an odd number of stitches using your preferred method. I like the long tail method as it is lovely and stretchy. This is a great video to show you how to do it. I would recommend a bit of practice.

I cast on 19 stitches for super chunky and 33 for chunky. You can use any number you like to alter the width of your coLumpy Bumpy Close Upwl. Remember that making it wider will mean that you need more yarn or that the finished cowl will be shorter.

The pattern from here is very simple: knit one, purl one. Each row should begin and end on a knit stitch.

Turn your work and repeat.

Continue in this pattern until you run our of yarn. Cast off and sew the ends together using your yarn tail and a darning needle. Weave in the ends and it is ready to wear!

The finished length will vary depending on how wide you made your cowl. 200g of super chunky created the perfect length.

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Creativity saved me!

Hi, I’m Danielle and I am the creative behind Under the Rowan Trees. I call myself ‘creative’ because anyone in my school art class would let out a laugh if I called myself an artist and I’d like to think I’m more than a crafter – I’ve taken the next step and turned my hobby into a business and it has saved me!

I’m a part time teacher, a full time wife and mum and somewhere in the middle I am me! I lost myself for a bit but thanks to Under the Rowan Trees – I’m back!

My job is tough. I’m sure you all know that we don’t work 9 until 3:30 but what people don’t always realise is the emotional burden that goes with working with adolescents. As a new mum I was exhausted. I worked in a school under a lot of pressure from Ofsted and under even more pressure from some of the students. I was miserable!

I took up crochet towards the end of my maternity leave and I knew right away that I was going to love it. The textures, colours and the concentration – perfect therapy! Endless counting and pattern reading stopped my mind from wandering … worrying.

The biggest shock was that as I started to share my work in online forums and Facebook groups, people liked it! I was used to nothing ever being quite good enough. Results could always be better; books could always be marked a bit faster; my baby wasn’t sleeping. All of a sudden I was getting praise and people were asking me for advice!

My next step was to set up a Facebook page to share what I was doing. My friends and family liked it and then some of their friends and family. I soon had 200 likes. That is when I decided to start selling my makes. I had branched out into embroidery, knitting and jewellery making. I love starting new projects; hunting for materials and patterns (shopping!).

It has been nine months now and business is growing slowly but steadily as is my confidence. I have left my job in the tough school and taken another closer to home. My baby is now a three year old and is an amazing little boy who gives the most gorgeous cuddles.

It has taken hard work, lots of it and quite often the first step I’ve had to overcome has been getting out of bed but I’ve done it! I’ve been to several craft fairs, not sold a huge amount but people loved my work – worth more than any cash to someone like me.

Want I want you to take from my ramblings is that if I can do it, so can you. Get out of bed. Try something new. Ask for help. Share what you have done. Keep trying and grow!

I’m not going to be a millionaire any time soon. I may not even cover my costs (that would be a bonus) but I am happy and I’m making others happy by sharing my creativity. I’m doing it and I’m not going to stop!

Follow our journey into 2016!

www.facebook.com/undertherowantrees

www.undertherowantrees.etsy.com

www.instagram.com/undertherowantrees

www.twitter.com/undertherowans

www.pinterest.com/undertherowans

undertherowantrees@gmail.com

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Cloudy Day Hat

Cloudy Day Hat - Crochet Pattern

Cloudy Day HatToday I have made a simple bobble hat. This pattern is ideal for beginners; easy to adapt and really quick to make – perfect for a cloudy afternoon!

Equipment
Aran weight yarn (I used a wool/acrylic mix)
6.5mm crochet hook (I’m a tight hooker)
Darning needle
Pom pom maker

Abbreviations
Trc = treble or triple crochet (UK)
Htc = half triple crochet
Ss = slip stitch
Sts = stitches
Ch = chain

Pattern

  • Starting with a magic circle, ch 3 (counts at 1 trc) then work 11 trc (UK terms) into the ring.
    (If you find a magic circle tricky, ch 4 then join with a slip stitch to form a loop).
    Join your last trc to the top of ch3 with a slip stitch (12 sts).
  • Ch3. 2trc into each stitch around. Join to ch3 with a ss. (24 sts).
  • Ch3 trc into next stitch then 2trc. (Trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (36 sts).
  • Ch3. (Trc, trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (48 sts).
  • Ch3. (Trc, trc, trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (60 sts).
  • Ch3. 60trc. Join with ss. Repeat this row until the body of the hat is long enough. Approx 9 times.

Ribbing
This section is worked at 90 degrees to the main body of the hat. Half triple crochet (htc) should be worked into the back loop only to create a ribbed effect.

  • Ch 8. Turn.
  • Skip 2ch. 6htc. Slip stitch into next stitch on hat body to join row to main hat. Ss into next stitch. Turn.
  • 6htc. Turn.
  • Ch2 (counts as htc). 5htc. Ss into next stitch on hat body. Ss. Turn.
  • 6htc. Turn.
  • Ch2. 5htc. 2ss. Turn.
  • Repeat this row to the end. Slip stitch the final htc row to the first. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Use a pom pom maker or other method of your choice to make a nice big pom pom. Stitch to the top of your finished hat securely and weave in ends.

Wear and enjoy!

This pattern is available on Ravelry.

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Laser Cutting – Guest Post from Chris Braithwaite

Our lovely friend Chris from Laser Cut Supplies has written a guest post for us to explain how he brings to life amazing designs for Under the Rowan Trees.

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I’ve always been creative, and found my first love for computers 25 years ago. I started graphic and web design when I was 13. I’ve taught myself everything – never had any education in computers or design. I’ve always used technology and creativity to solve problems.

I moved to Leeds from Hull when I was 21, met a girl, fell in love and decided Leeds was my new home. 5 years later we have our first child. My partner is very meticulous with a keen eye for detail. For our son’s first birthday she bought boxes and balloons and stickers and made personalised favour boxes for the children. The comments she received were fantastic and as she enjoyed making them and so wanted to make a small business out of it. I worked out that the profit margin was tiny, and we couldn’t charge more for what is essentially a disposable item.

I had been looking for an excuse to buy a Silhouette Cameo craft cutter, and with a small bonus from work, this was the perfect excuse and opportunity to buy one knowing I could save money by making everything from scratch.

As time went on I brought many ideas to life, but eventually my tiny craft cutter was no longer cutting it (pardon the pun) and about a year ago during a stint of depression I decided that if I didn’t change anything, nothing would ever change. I decided to invest in a laser cutter. Secretly I’d been wanting one for years, but never had the guts to outlay such an expense. I took a risk and it paid off. I love experimenting and creating. It’s the perfect tool for me. 

Laser cutting starts at the design stage.

Laser Cutting DesignWhen designing something for laser cutting, a few things need to be taken into consideration. Because a laser cutter burns the material, although not impossible, it’s very difficult to achieve shades. Any point on the material is either “burnt” or “not burnt”, so for simplicity let’s call this Black & White. All designs are created in blocks of black and white.

You also have a choice of cutting, engraving, or a combination of the two. When you decide to cut a section you need to think about whether or not that section is going to fall out of the design or not. You also need to think about how strong each section will be once cut. Because of the precision of the laser it’s easy to create objects so thin that they break very easily.

A lot of thought needs to go into the designs to ensure that they are both attractive and functional.

Once a design is created it needs to be exported to the laser.Laser Cutting Vector

A laser cutter is a type of CNC (Computer Numerical Control). CNCs don’t use pictures like a printer would, they use
vectors. A vector is two points with velocity. The machine uses two (sometimes 3) axis to move a laser beam along a vector. The laser works a lot like using a magnifying glass focusing the sun to burn things, except the focus has a much higher precision than a magnifying glass. If focused correctly it is precise to 0.01mm

Preparing a laser cutter for use is a much more complicated process than simply pressing print on a printer.

A laser is produced in a fragile glass tube – something to do with agitating co2 inside a chamber. I don’t really care for the science involved. The tube gets hot. very hot, and as such needs to be cooled. If the laser tube raises above 25C it will shatter. To keep it cool, water needs to be pumped through the tube all the time while operating. About 50 Litres of deionized water helps keep it cool for a few hours of use.

One the beam has been created, it needs to be redirected to the material, and it does this by being bounced off 3 carefully placed gold plated mirrors and then finally through a  focusing lens. All these parts need to be cleaned on a regular basis using Isopropyl Alcohol. this removes all dust and grease and soot. If you were to leave the parts dirty they would heat up and eventually crack.

As we are burning the materials a lot of smoke is produced. This needs to be removed from the machine and the room. A simple air extractor does the job here. You know the saying “Where there is smoke, there is fire.”? That is very true here. A small flame is often created at the laser point which can damage the lens, or much worse cause fires. This needs to be extinguished, and we do that by focusing a jet of compressed air right at the point. This not only puts the flame out, but it reduces the heat of the smoke, and in turn reduces the extent of the burn to the material.

The laser usually cuts at around 2cm per second (which is pretty slow) and some cuts – depending on complexity –  can take in excess of an hour to cut!

The materials that we use includes paper, card, mdf, spruce plywood, American walnut, cherry and acrylic. We are always exploring with new materials.

There are some materials that we can’t cut – anything that contains chlorine for one. This would produce chlorine gas and that’s probably the last thing you want to be inhaling. Other than the health issue, it would corrode the machine. Polyvinyl Chloride is hidden in a lot of things. A good example is LPs which sometimes get laser cut. This must be done with more advance machines and ventilation

Each material that we use has different settings, so it’s not a case of one size fits all, and as most of the materials we use are from nature, we often find imperfections and have to compensate for these.

I personally find acrylic the best material to work with; the engrave gives a good contrast, it cuts cleanly and it smells great. It can be filled with acrylic paint, and sanded easily.

Acrylic Snowflake

Who knows what the future holds? Maybe a bigger laser and a workshop. I’m still testing the water but I’m confident that one day I’ll find my niche.

Laser Cut Supplies can be found on Facebook.

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Poppy for Peace

Whilst in Belgium this summer we visited the amazing Yser Tower in Diksmuide. The tower contains the Ijzer museum which is an awesome experience. Yser Tower and Pax gate

Not only is the panoramic view from the top of the tower of Flanders breathtaking but the journey down the tower will make you seriously question your knowledge and feelings war.  As well as seeing the reality of life in the trenches, you can also experience it first hand as you pass through the pitch black corridors of the twelfth floor surrounded by the sounds of soldiers gasping for breath. Truly haunting.

No More War

The message of the museum is clear – no more war. It was after this visit that I was inspired to purchase a white poppy. A poppy for peace.

Peace Poppy

This stunning white poppy was created by the amazing Grainne at Glassworks. She designed and created this white poppy exactly as I requested. It looks stunning on our window and is a permanent reminder of the importance of peace.

I have also recently visited The Weeping Window at Woodhorn in Northumberland. 5,200 ceramic poppies which represent lives lost during world war one. These are part of the display that was originally at The Tower of London. The majority of the poppies were sold to the public but these were kept so that the installation could tour the country. Another display is currently at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window 2

The art work is very moving and has been seen by thousands of visitors during its time at Woodhorn. The archives at Woodhorn contain documents which start to tell the stories of some of the 5,200 whose lives are marked by these poppies. We looked at the very basic information contained on the application forms and medical examinations of some of these young men and at the devastating telegrams which informed their families of their fates.

What better reason can you think of to wear a white poppy for peace this December?

More information about the poppies and their tour of Britain here.

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Jakeart1

 

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I met Justine through an online craft group and fell in love with her style. Her art work is just amazing and so diverse as you can see by the few examples I’ve selected to share. It was only later that I learnt that she was a cancer survivor and an amazingly strong woman.

Recently, Justine organised a charity auction in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. I was more that happy to donate a prize to this amazing cause and have to confess to bidding on a few items myself! The auction was a huge success and we were able to help Justine to smash her £500 fundraising target.

Make A Wish
Make A Wish

Justine’s Just Giving Page is still live here if you would like to donate and she is selling prints of the amazing Make A Wish on her facebook page with £5 from each sale going to charity.

Look out for Justine’s work (and mine!) in the Handcrafted Uniquely Community – perfect for gift shopping!

You can find JakeArt1 on EtsyFacebook and her own website. Do pop over and say hello and tell her I sent you!