Now this blog is a little bit of a departure from what we have been talking about before, but we wanted to let you know what is “in” in Elizabeth Rose and beyond. You see the “in” could be what is fashionable in the crafting world, what new products are out or even what we have in the shop that is new and exciting.
So firstly, who has ever heard of Arm Knitting? No? Neither had I until I couldn’t sleep one night and was watching a certain video website and up it popped! Now I was as surprised as you and when I showed the video to Charlene she announced “We have that wool in the shop in 2 colours!”
Now the claim from the lovely lady on the video is that with just one ball of wool, half an hour and two arms you can have yourself an infinity scarf! Ideal for this cold weather. Seems too good to be true but I tried it and it worked. Nobody was more shocked than I.
So let me talk you through it: One afternoon and I was at a loose end – rare but it does happen! So laptop out, video up, cup of tea at the ready and away I went! Now I never got to drink the cup of tea because I hadn’t got any arms free but I did it! I knitted an Infinity Scarf with just my arms and a ball of spare aran wool. Although, I would recommend that you do get the proper super chunky wool as it is heavier, but hey ho this was my test piece. No darning! No finishing! 4 stitches and voila!
Other projects that I have seen for arm knitting include a throw for the sofa or even a rug to cover a whole double bed! Strong arms needed for those. They all claim though that whatever you knit on your arms can be done in an hour or just over it. Maybe that challenge would be for when the snow sets in. But till then I think I will just practise making scarves.
Dior’s New Look from 1947
Dress making is still seeing a resurgence among home crafters and the trend this year is for vintage. With new sewing machines and new fabric blends, vintage patterns are easier to make up than ever before.
Raiding my mother’s pattern stash never seemed accessible before as the fabrics they told me I needed to make a dress were always of the higher price bracket. But today modern fabric blends can lend themselves very easily to the vintage patterns. Or go a bit more modern with a plain shift dress form the sixties or right up to date in terms of vintage with a seventies inspired trouser and long waistcoat combo.
The “New Look” from Dior that appeared in the 1940’s and 50’s, is my personal favourite. The flow of the lines and the attention to the woman’s form, make it a classic style and it can be updated with funky new fabrics. The wiggle dress, worn famously by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, can now be made in a day with the help of modern technology and worn for years to come.
Another trend that we are seeing in the latter half of 2016, is in the home craft area- cushions and lampshade to match! It could not be easier to update a plain cream room with a few subtle changes. Imagine making 4 sets of cushion covers with their matching lampshades and you could have four different seasons for one room for not alot of effort. Or even take it a step further and embellish a plain fabric with a little flower fairy for a little girls bedroom. As with other home crafts the limit is just your own imagination and in such frugal times it is nice to know that you can update the feel of an entire room without reaching for the paint brush or wallpaper paste.
But it is what’s in in-store though that has got Charlene and I excited – Debbie Bliss, the Queen of knitters, has brought out a homeware range for every stage of knitter and just in time for Christmas. The range includes mugs for that warming cup of tea, tea towels with lots of knitting terms on them, and a very unique apron were some of the info is upside down! Very useful as it means you don’t have to get up to see what you need!
But the biggest and best bit for me would have to be her Knitters Knowledge book. Wow! A hardback book with more info than you ever would think of including how to begin to knit if you are left handed!
Call in and see it for yourself. As with her yarn, Debbie Bliss has created a timeless well thought out range to suit every knitter and as stocking fillers they are perfect. Imagine the mug with a ball of wool and a pair of needles inside to inspire a new knitter. Perfect little gift!