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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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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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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!

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And the winner is …

Louise Meeke!

Congratulations!

Please get in touch to choose your prize!

For everyone else, you can have 20% off with the code OCTNEWS for the rest of October.

Did you like your newsletter? If so, please tell your friends. I’d love to increase circulation so that we can have more competitions and offers over the coming months.

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The Gallery @ Papercuts

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Yesterday was the launch of a gorgeous new gift shop and gallery in Whitley Bay. The Gallery @ Papercuts is the brain child of Saffron and Pat. Located at the back of a successful craft shop, this pop up shop is destined to be a huge success. I have filled four cubes with a mixture of hoops, memo boards and jewellery – some of which sold before I could even take a photo!

The gallery contains an array of beautiful art, jewellery, cosmetics, gifts and even preserves. The is certain to be something for everyone!

Other contributors include:

Claire Cooper

Claire Cooper

Kath Woollen

Kath Woollen

Tori Lo

Tori Lo Designs

Green Ginger Glass

Green Ginger Glass

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Strong Women

Last night I spent time with two amazing women. I respect and admire them and know I am very lucky to have them supporting me 100% in everything I do. This has made me think about all of the other incredible women I know.

Since becoming a maker, I have joined various online groups and met some women who have achieved what seems like the impossible whilst surrounded by small children, piles of washing, groceries, pets and sometimes – husbands.

I don’t think I’m a feminist. I don’t think these women are better than or different from anyone else on this planet but they stand out to me because of what they have accomplished by, and for, themselves.

These women have supported me in my new ventures and enabled me to join their ranks. Initially I felt like a fraud. They were confident, independent, talented. I was just me!

I want to share with you a few of these women who have inspired me over the last couple of years. There are many more out there and I would love you to share the women who have influenced you in the comments.

Agni Prasanda BurningStef from Agni Prasanda Burning

Cake etc

Rachel from Cake etc

Cuddlebums YarnJodi from Cuddlebums Yarn

Devon Sun YarnsDaisy from Devon Sun Yarns

La Petite Fleur CakesNic from La Petite Fleur Cakes

Woolaballoo

Lucy from Woolaballoo

That's Sew Newburn

Emma from That’s Sew Newburn

Fleabubs by Lala

Nic from Fleabubs by Lala

Who are the strong women you admire? Share in the comments, we’d all love to meet them!

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Hi-ho, hi-ho …

Today is my first day in my new job. As you can probably guess, I wrote this a few days ago and scheduled it to appear today.  Right now I’m sat in a room full of sensible adults talking about sensible things.

I’m both excited and terrified about starting this job. I was at my last school for seven years. New starts are scary! The children I met on intake day were lovely, the staff helpful and the building fairly easy to navigate. Doesn’t stop the dreams about the students not listening or forgetting to plan a lesson and staring blankly at a class of 60!

I think I may take some crochet. If all else fails I can wave my magic stick and have them all fascinated. It is amazing how interested even preteen boys are in creating something out of a ball of yarn.

Wish me luck!