Rainbow bunting project

Since sharing about this exciting project we thought we would give you more information.

For those who have not heard, here is where you can read how our idea came about. Essentially our idea is simple. We want to bring joy to the community and shift focus from being anxious, scared, or bored to a more positive perspective. We hope you can join us and make some triangle flags to be joined together so we can put them in our windows. We hope this will bring smiles to people who passes our cafe while we are on quarantine. The more bunting the larger the smiles and we have plenty of space in our windows!

When we reopen again we are going to use the same bunting to decorate our ceiling. We are planning on a fun fair style celebration with stalls selling handmade goods, fun activities for kids, and much more. So while we wait, we need to prepare for this exciting event. Which is why we would love to see your handmade touch on our opening deco.

The address to either post or drop off your handmade flags is:

  • 5 The Crescent
  • MK42 0UJ
  • SHORSTSTOWN

The flags can be made up from any material, as long as it can be stitched together onto our binding. For more ideas keep on reading! The possibilities are limitless! Although there are two rules to keep it neat:

  1. The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
  2. All flags need to be roughly the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.

PAPER FLAGS

Paper is the easiest way to make flags! It also makes a good template for making fabric flags. Paper can be painted, printed, cut, glued, and even stitched! The options are limitless and doesn’t require much skill therefore kids can be involved too!

FABRIC FLAGS

Fabric flags require slightly more skill and work compared to paper ones. However this is a more traditional material to use for the bunting. The key is to find a good method to finish off the flag edges. Our method is as follows:

  1. Cut out two flags from your chosen fabric, leaving a 1cm seam allowance on two edges
  2. Pin those two flags together leaving “wrong side” out
  3. Stitch the two edges of the flag where you left the seam allowance
  4. Invert the finished flag and iron to press it down

Of course some fabrics do not require such edge finishing (felt for example) and if you use serrated scissors to cut the triangles out then you won’t need to do any stitching.

Finished flags can me embroidered (for embroidery stitch inspiration go here), appliquéd, dyed, and/or printed. Edges can be further decorated with various trims.

KNITTED FLAGS

Knitted flags are fun and very good for meditation ;-). But seriously, knitting is so much fun! If you don’t know how, I think this is good time to start and this project is quite simple to begin with!

There are many knit stitch patterns out there to create different textures, but we will go with the most basic one, called Garter stitch pattern. All you need to know is a knit stitch with this one!

  • Cast on 30 stitches
  • row 1: slip 1 stitch, knit 29 stitches
  • row 2: slip 1 stitch, knit 27 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 3: slip 1 stitch, knit 26 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 4: slip 1 stitch, knit 25 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 5: slip 1 stitch, knit 24 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 6: slip 1 stitch, knit 23 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 7: slip 1 stitch, knit 22 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 8: slip 1 stitch, knit 21 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 9: slip 1 stitch, knit 20 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 10: slip 1 stitch, knit 19 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 11: slip 1 stitch, knit 18 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 12: slip 1 stitch, knit 17 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 13: slip 1 stitch, knit 16 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 14: slip 1 stitch, knit 15 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 15: slip 1 stitch, knit 14 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 16: slip 1 stitch, knit 13 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 17: slip 1 stitch, knit 12 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 18: slip 1 stitch, knit 11 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 19: slip 1 stitch, knit 10 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 20: slip 1 stitch, knit 9 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 21: slip 1 stitch, knit 8 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 22: slip 1 stitch, knit 7 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 23: slip 1 stitch, knit 6 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 24: slip 1 stitch, knit 5 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 25: slip 1 stitch, knit 4 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 26: slip 1 stitch, knit 3 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 27: slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 28: slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 29: slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together
  • row 30: knit 2 together

When knitting you can also play with different colours if you want to create all sorts of patterns. Finished knitted bunting can be embroidered or decorated in other ways (like here with a mini bell)

CROCHET FLAGS

Crocheted flags can be equally fun. It all depends what you prefer. Some people swear by only knitting, some are totally in love with crochet. I love both! I think crochet is good for lace work or other intricate patterns. For this pattern I will keep it simple. Only double crochet stitch is used here!

  • row 1: work 22 chain stitches
  • row 2: dc (double crochet) 22 (stitches)
  • row 3: dc 20, skipping 1st and 22nd stitch (row 2)
  • row 4: dc 18, skipping 1st and 20th stitch (row 3)
  • row 5: dc 16, skipping 1st and 18th stitch (row 4)
  • row 6: dc 14, skipping 1st and 16th stitch (row 5)
  • row 7: dc 12, skipping 1st and 14th stitch (row 6)
  • row 8: dc 10, skipping 1st and 12th stitch (row 7)
  • row 9: dc 8, skipping 1st and 10th stitch (row 8)
  • row 10: dc 6, skipping 1st and 8th stitch (row 9)
  • row 11: dc 4, skipping 1st and 6th stitch (row 10)
  • row 12: dc 2, skipping 1st and 4th stitch (row 11)

Again, I just wanted mention again, there are so many lacy crochet pattern patterns out there! This triangle stitch pattern is my fave! I even think that it might be unique to me as I never came across anybody doing it! My source was an old book of trims, I just adapted it into a pattern.

All flags you make will be joined into one big bunting using our black binding material. I thought it will blend in well with black ceilings :-).

We really really look forward to your creations (and I am really getting excited about this!). And of course I am very very thankful to everyone who may participate or even consider participating!

Rasa xoxo

Let’s get ready to celebrate!

Hey everybody! Hope you had a lovely Easter. I was very excited to hear the Queens speech this year: yes indeed, Easter has not been canceled!

A lot of people have been telling me that it is such as shame that our cafe is closed right now. Yes, I know we only opened recently, but we still feel very very lucky because of all the support we have had since then. We are serving a need in the community and that means huge success to us! And I know for some of you these uncertain times are so so hard. I heard lots of sad stories around how some of you are not well, feeling lonely, really bored with monotonous daily routine. I hear you and we really want to help!

When I was in labour with my first (sorry that I am sharing my labour story here), I did not know when my pain would end. It was over several days and I was loosing my hope. I did not know when my suffering would be over and what really helped is to focus on the end. Or more like prepare for the end. The midwife I had by that time (when I was loosing my hope) was very good with shifting that focus. She kept saying “shall we get the bed ready for the baby?” and “should we make sure all the notes are done?”. These were only small, unessential questions. It’s not like it would take a long time to prep the bed for the baby once it arrives. But it really really helped to set my mind on the time when I can just celebrate!

I feel the same applies here. Currently we are in some sort of labour. It does not depend on you, but you are so tired of waiting! Waiting to resume to your normal life! So shall we work together and maybe shift this focus to something more positive? We decided to get ready for our second re-opening, and as a community focused cafe we would like to involve you too! So can you help?

A few weeks ago, Suzannah (one of our team at the cafe) suggested we re open the cafe in craft fair style. “Everyone will be making, so definitely will want a place where they could sell their produce” she said. And I must admit we fell in love with this idea! We elaborated a little, this could be so much more! This could almost be like a fun fair, but indoors! Lots of bunting came to my mind when I tried imagining all this!

So how can you help you may ask? Well, we thought wouldn’t it be lovely if we made gigantic bunting for this event! As it gets made, flag by flag, it could be displayed at the window to hopefully cheer you up as you walk by. Eventually it could cover the whole ceiling!

So the idea right now is for everybody to make up some bunting flags that we could join together to make it longer one as we go along. We have a bit of bunting in already, but would it be not great if every triangle flag is unique and and has a personal touch? Any material is welcome, as long as it is strong enough to be stitched together into a binding. It can be made of paper, fabric, yarn. Whatever suits your craft skill! It can be painted, dyed, embroidered etc to make your mark.

We are new to this idea still, so any suggestions are welcome. There are two rules to begin with so this project works as a one:

  1. The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
  2. To keep all uniform we thought it would be good idea to keep all the flags the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.

As I already mentioned, this is still a new idea and currently we are trying to get all the vibes from you. How do you feel about it? Would it help?

Once we see if this works we will post more details on logistics such as where to post the flags. Also we can then give you some suggestions on how to knit a flag for example or a few embroidery tutorials perhaps.

Excited to hear what you think!

Rasa xoxo

It's not too late to knit a hat!

kids bear hat knitting instructionsFirst of all, Happy New Year everyone!
Secondary, just because it’s winter, that does not mean it’s over very soon. I hope I am not sounding too negative for some (I know some of you are really looking forward to Summer already), but we only had one winter month and there are two left to go. My point is that we should enjoy this weather and make the most of it!
I personally love love January (I learned to love every season), because it’s time for refocusing, spring cleaning (would like to call it winter cleaning but it sounds weird), detoxing (If you are into it) and knitting of course. I love January because it is a beginning of the year and the plans are not strictly set therefore it is often not a busy month.kids bear hat knitting instructionsOver holidays I have started knitting because we have gone away and I was free from doing all the house tasks. I find knitting (or any other crafting) is something I can do while chatting or watching a movie. I find it very relaxing! I knitted this hat for my nephew that Tomas is modelling here, hence blurry pics because he can’t stay still. If you fancy knitting this hat then you can access the project here!kids bear hat knitting instructionsHave an enjoyable January!
Rasa xoxo

knitted scrubby pouches + three ways to use it

Knitted scrubby pouches It was such a breakthrough when we started reusing cleaning cloths, I am sure it saved few £££ too. It does not take a lot of space in the washing machine and I never seem to run out of them. Now my next step is to reuse scrubbing sponges, we go through soooo many! This is when I thought I could make my own! I saw few knitted wash cloths around so I thought it will be fun to knit the scrubbers too. I chose garden twine for it’s ridged and rough properties and garter stitch for it’s simplicity and texture. Let’s see how they hold up 😉
These scrubby pouches are great as they can be used three ways. You can insert biodegradable sponge for some sponginess or a bar of soap for continuous foam (this can be suitable to use it in the bath I am sure). Alternatively you can use your hand which I find is easiest when doing some intense scrubbing.Knitted scrubby pouches To make this scrubby pouch you will need:

  • garden twine
  • 4-6mm knitting needles
  • matching size crochet hook
  • scissors

To begin with cast on a row measuring your hand width.
Knitted scrubby pouchesContinue by knitting on both sides which makes up garter knit stitch. Carry on knitting till you achieve long enough cloth that fits your sponge when folded.Knitted scrubby pouches Fold the cloth in half and join one side together using a crochet hookKnitted scrubby pouchesCrochet a chain same length as the cloth width. Knitted scrubby pouches Join another side same way as the other previously.  Knitted scrubby pouchesThis turns the cloth into pouch.Knitted scrubby pouches I have already tried out this scrubby pouch and must admit it is not as effective as a regular scourer sponge because it is not as flexible and soft. However with some practice it does work and it is gentle enough not to damage your pot and pans ;-).Knitted scrubby pouchesHope you found this useful!
Rasa xoxo

Ways to use up your yarn scraps

How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips So the thing is that since I organised my yarn and saved it from moth infestation I realised I had lots and lots of scraps. If you been crafting for many years, than you will understand it’s never a good idea to let your small amounts of yarn just keep piling up. It takes up a lot of space and then you may worry about moths possibly attacking it again. No, thanks! So what do you do with all those little bits of yarn that are leftover after your knitting and crocheting projects? I thought of few ways…
1. Small projects, first comes to my mind. With winter coming over I have been knitting socks and hoping to knit some gloves and maybe hats. These are fit to become Christmas gift too!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips While there are plenty of small projects out there I find knitting socks is my favourite item to knit (that magical heal turn gets me every time!).  If you feel the same then click here for basic kids socks. Or if you prefer to knit this pretty baby hat then the tutorial for it hides here :D.How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsIf you are after for a very teeny weeny project then you should check out this crochet triangle pattern tutorial. It makes a very cute garland for Christmas tree perhaps??!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips 2. Making big multicolour rugs or blankets is another good way to use up yarn scraps. Few years ago I started making this never ending, upcycled crochet rug that sadly did not continue (because it did not fit our new home style). But the point I am trying to make here, this is very good project to do to use up all those itsy bitsy bits of yarn. How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsOr this giant blanket, very popular way to use up all that scrap yarn. I know, I know, I made it in one plain colour, but trust me, it looks good in multi colours too!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips3. Using up scrap yarn can mean using it in patterns or trims. Here is one example, but there are plenty projects out there with pretty patterns ;-).
How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips 4. Did you know that you can use leftover yarn for embroidery and cross stitch? Here is my laptop cover that I made few years ago. It is still one of my favourite items that I made :).How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips Finally, here are the socks I recently made for Lukas. I could not be more proud :).How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsHope you got inspired 😉
Rasa xx

How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestation

How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationSo as you may know for me this year was all about organising. Because there are lots to tidy up after doing (still doing) so much DIY! Few months ago I started working on my craft supplies and sadly I came across a horrifying moth infestation which made things a little bit more complicated… arghhhh!  Not only did I have to untangle my very messy yarn I also had to get rid of these unwanted creatures… yuck! This is how my yarn basket looked like when I discovered the sad reality…How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationFirst I googled if it was really moths I was dealing with. Pictures online matched with mine which confirmed that it was indeed what I feared most.  I realised I had to just get on with it, quick! So I read and I read about different methods how to kill the moths, larvae and it’s eggs (this article was my favourite), but the only one that seemed practical to me was to freeze all my yarn. Hmm… that will need lot’s of freezer space! So I did it in batches which caused some problems with the yarn that was waiting in the queue. You see these evil moths are very quick to breed! I started with eggs and one moth and after just a day it turned into more eggs, moth and larvae…arghhhh!!! I ended up freeing up as much space as I can (that meant using up some of the frozen food) so I can stuff leftover yarn into freezer. Luckily we were going on holidays so I could just leave it there and forget it for a bit and deal with it later… phew!How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHow I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationOnce I was back from holiday (all relaxed and all) I went back to sorting out my precious yarn. I cleaned the basket where I store my yarn with vinegar. I ordered some moth cedar and distributed it around the house. I organised the yarn and I think is so far so good. I think I won!  How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHow I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHope you found my story comforting if your yarn got infested (to be honest I just hope it does not happen to you).
Rasa xoxo

How John Smedley knitwear is made

John Smedley factory tour A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to look around the John Smedley knitwear factory. I left Lukas with Nanny and took Tomas with me on the tour all the way to the beautiful Peak District. It felt like my fashion years are back again!!John Smedley factory tour For those who don’t know John Smedley knitwear I really recommend to visit their website where you will find more detailed info (the whole history if you want). John Smedley is a family business that is owned by many generations of the same family. They still handcraft finish their garments and still maintain many traditional craftsmanship methods. So buying their knitwear is really worth the money if you want to add some staple jumpers and cardigans to your wardrobe as they are made to last ;-).John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley knitwear starts with a good quality yarn, mostly made with sheep hair (or cotton for summer) which I was quite surprised by. My memories of sheep wool is not great and I remember it being rough and stingy on the skin. But wait, this yarn comes from special sheep that come from New Zealand (called merino sheep). Their hair is softer because of better weather conditions. John Smedley factory tour The yarn then gets washed and conditioned to achieve maximum softness.John Smedley factory tour As I was visiting John Smedley factory it was obvious that the quality is the top priority here. The knitting is checked and checked again at many different stages and gets rejected when it does not meet these high standards. But it does not go to waste. These clever machines unravel the knitwear so this beautiful yarn have another chance to become a piece of knitwear again. Pfew! Thats good to know ;-).John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour I especially loved some of the older machinery that although it is vintage is still very well maintained and making quality garments(however these are a little louder than modern ones). John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour Every piece of knitwear is kept on needles as you would expect (If you are knitter yourself you would understand what I mean here). There is special compartment for trims as you can see here that get later attached to the main body.John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour This is where the garment gets its handcraft finish. The neck hole is cut by hand and then a special machine knit stitches the body and the trim together.John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour Finally each garment gets a final steam press.Smedley garments are beeing pressedThe factory building has it’s old charms as well. The original water mill is still here, although it is no longer used to power the machinery it still makes a very pretty feature.  John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tourHope you found this post interesting as much as I did when visiting this fine knitwear factory ;-).
Rasa xoxo

Baby trousers that got converted into a hat

Kids hat pattern includedBefore Lukas was born I was knitting these baby trousers that ended up being ridiculously too small (even a small baby would not have fitted in!). So I decided to undo the legs and finish it as a hat. It fits Lukas already! It’s amazing how big his head got ;-). The baby trousers that got converted into a hatKids hat pattern includedThis is my first time using Lukas as a model, hopefully there will be more babywear projects coming. However I realised how difficult it is to take a picture of a baby. He does not seem to be smiling when I want (and he is smiling usually), but instead he looks disappointed…Kids hat pattern includedOr yawning!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe pattern can be found here!
Rasa xoxo

Project fail: baby trousers

Project fail: baby trousers
Lately if you have been watching me on Instagram, I was knitting for our baby boy some trousers. Although I am really pleased with the chevron pattern I have created, I had an inkling that they might be too small for quite a while. After knitting one leg it became obvious that they are indeed the wrong size and probably would not even fit a tiny baby :(. I took it to the baby group last Monday and it’s official: this project is a fail (better noticing earlier than late).
The idea to knit these trousers came to my mind after seeing these lovely creations by Camp&Company. I just love the shape of them and this is what I wanted to recreate on the ones I was knitting. Oh well… I still have time, I am sure toddler would look super cool in these as well :-).  Camp & Company baby trousersAnd what about the trousers I almost finished knitting I hear you say? Well, I am thinking to turn them into chevron patterned hat! After all I did take a lot of time for working out the pattern and actually knitting them ;-).Chevron knitting pattern Knitting baby trousers
 
Lovely sunny day, isn’t it?
Rasa xoxo

Little things I am knitting for our new arrival

knitting for a babyJoni and I are expecting our new arrival very soon and lots of you have been asking what I am knitting for our new baby. To be honest I only started knitting recently and so far I finished a hat and little socks. Time permits you might see here some baby pants and maybe even a jumper.
As for inspiration I have been mostly inspired by Pinterest (of course) and the book called “What to knit when you’re expecting” that was a gift from my mum in-law (love the title of it!).You can learn how to knit baby knot hat by clicking here.And if you prefer to learn to knit socks then click here (although you might need to get your own measurements for the baby as their feet proportions are completely different to the kid’s sizes).knitting baby socks
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA baby socksI hope I inspired you 😉
Rasa xoxo