With Purls

I was always wondering how people do all those finger-knitted stuff from rugs and blankets up to scarfs and earrings. Being an expert knitter, I realized that the peak of finger-knitting still wasn’t conquered, so I googled some patterns and decided to knit a necklace (it sounds sooo weird).

Seems like choosing the pattern took me more time than knitting process itself. It is literally the most easy-to-do thing I’ve ever crafted.

You can find a YouTube tutorial to finger-knit as it is quite widespread technique. I saw even an online store, which sell finger-knitted outdoor clothes. It looked pretty cute and so much overpriced for extremely simple DIY stuff.

I also like this necklace fits the idea of recycling and is totally eco. It’s a bit massive I guess, but it will lay great on some tender silk shirt or tee.

And I’ll leave you with this pun ‘How do you make knitted jewelry? With purls’.

PS to the knitters: t-shirt yarn is even easier to do. It took me 15 minutes only. Just take some cotton jersey t-shirt and cut it in corkscrew way to get a long thread. Tug, tug and tug to make it curl. The end!

Outfit: Grey knitted jumper


Now that the clocks have sprung forward an hour and the sun is blazing everybody round my way is dressing like Nick Grimshaw on his way to throw a frisbee around the local park. But this is Manchester. Next week an Arctic weather front might roll in from the Urals and I’ll be skating on the lake in Platt Fields. And that’s when I’ll be glad of this recently knitted grey jumper. Continue reading “Outfit: Grey knitted jumper”

Spice Girls collage

spice girl college
Looking back at my first ever knitting project made me feel nostalgic for my craft achievements of yesteryear. So today I present a fabric collage, diligently stitched for a textiles project at school. Look at the attention to detail: the handpainted Union Jack, the belly button piercing on Scary, the stitched daisies on Baby’s dress. Truly a modern masterpiece. Continue reading “Spice Girls collage”

Oxfam Originals photoshoot

Oxfam Orignals Manchester photoshoot

It’s not every Sunday a girl gets to have her hair crimped in the chilly basement of a Northern Quarter, but this wasn’t just any old Sunday. I spent all day dressed up, dressed down and directed in the downstairs of Soup Kitchen for an Oxfam Originals photoshoot.
The hard work was done by others, including outfit styling by Lauren Reyhani and makeup expertly applied by Katy Brody (even though I started twitching as soon as she sharpened her eyeliner pencil). The images above are just quick snaps, but Proper Photos taken by a Proper Photographer will follow at some point in the future.
My favourite look is the white suit at top right. Combined with the French plaits it’s giving off a Liz-Lemon-dressed-as-Princess-Leia-vibe, don’t you think?

Oxfam Originals Manchester photoshoot

My first knitting project

Striped scarf
Striped scarf
These days I might seem like an Olympic-standard knitter (for example, consider these stockings, or this hot water bottle cover) but this scarf is the first thing I knitted on my own. YES THAT’S RIGHT, ALL ON MY OWN. Using my very own hands and fingers and brain powers. OK, my grandmother did the casting on and off. But the rest of it was my handiwork. Apart from when stitches multiplied on the needles without my bidding, and Gran had to take over. So about 80% solo. The neon, 1990s colour scheme was all my own design. Continue reading “My first knitting project”

Reading material

Home needlecraft book

Home needlecraft book

Pattern Magic 2

Pattern Magic 2
Books. I love ’em. For me, the glow of words on a screen are never as appealing as paper and ink.

Craft books are especially appealing because they can be annotated and introduce me to new ideas. And two craft related books have recently joined my bookshelf: The Illustrated Guide To Home Needlecrafts (a charity shop purchase) and Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic 2. Continue reading “Reading material”

Outfit: Ethics

northwest is best ethical fashion

Can fashion ever be ethical? It’s a big question for a small blog post, and once you start asking questions about ethics you have to ask questions of the questions, with each interrogation spinning into a new interrogation. After all, people make entire academic careers out of that.

When Ceri of Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog invited me to submit an ethical outfit to her online competition I started asking myself a lot of questions. Some of the accessories I’m wearing above are handmade: the patchwork tote bag I sewed together with fabric scraps (there’s a clearer image here), plus the handknitted scarf and socks (also seen here). And handmade is ethical, right? But what if the wool came from neglected sheep? And what if the dyes used had a negative environmental impact by getting into the reservoir and poisoning all the children in the village? It’s just a theory, but it could happen.

The coat, and dress beneath it, came from charity shops. And secondhand clothes are ethical, right? But what if the coat – a 1995 Marks & Spencer dusky pink trench – was manufactured by people earning less than a living wage? Today, Marks & Spencer’s ethical policy demonstrates their commitment to workers’ rights, but what about 16 years ago? And is the trade in secondhand clothing really something to be proud of, or a wasteful element of our consumer society? And what if the previous owner was a murderer? Does that make me an accessory?

Returning to my opening question – can fashion be ethical? Probably, depending on your definition of ethics and the resources available to you. Despite my questions, this outfit is as ethical as I can afford to be. Buying secondhand clothing prevents unwanted textiles going to landfill, and gives money to charities. Making clothing and accessories gives me an understanding of the processes involved in garment manufacturing, and therefore a respect for well-made clothes. So, forgive me for the potential smugness, but I think this outfit could be applauded as, yes, ethical.

scarf – knitted by my mother // shades – st ann’s hospice charity shop // pink trench – hope house charity shop // patchwork tote bag – handmade by me // socks – knitted by me // boots – oxfam originals manchester

Outfit: teal

northwest is best teal coat falke tights snow leopard scarf
Just a standard day off outfit. A leisurely cycle into town kind of outfit. A maybe stop off somewhere for a cup of Earl Grey kind of outfit. A going to the Cornerhouse to see the Rashid Rana exhibition kind of outfit (the exhibition is worth a visit for the photomontages and mirrored cubes. Some of the pieces are stomach-churningly graphic but there are clear warnings so you don’t have to look too closely). A standing outside the old fish market (now a car park), squinting into the sun and having my photograph taken kind of outfit.

teal overcoat – sue ryder charity shop // fake wayfarers – st ann’s hospice charity shop // scarf – so old i’ve forgotten // black dress – rspca charity shop // teal tights – falke // flat lace-ups – office
northwest is best rashid rana cornerhouse manchester

northwest is best rashid rana cornerhouse manchester

Company magazine

Company magazine Oxfam
Although we live in an increasingly digital age I still love the printed page. The indepth articles! The glam editorial photoshoots! (Tulisa needs to sit up straight though, or she’s going to fall off that stool.) So I was excited to see my cheeky chops in monthly fash, slap and sauce glossy Company magazine, as part of a feature on young women who volunteer. Over the past six years I’ve volunteered on and off in four different Oxfam shops (not that I like to mention it, but I currently spend about four hours each week in Oxfam Originals), so it’s nice to recieve a little bit of recognition for all the time and skills I’ve donated to the charity. Of course, I do so because willingly and don’t the Queen to invite me round for tea and Victoria Sponge at Buckingham Palace, but it still feels like a warm and fuzzy little thank you. Continue reading “Company magazine”

Cabled cushion cover

Knitted cabled cushion cover
Knitted cabled cushion cover

Another knitting project complete. This time it’s a cushion cover, made using this pattern. Because I used chunky yarn and fat needles it was quick to make, plus it makes my sofa look much brighter. As you might have noticed from my previous knitting project – a hot water bottle cosy – I’m rather fond of cables. If I continue at this rate of production my house will end up looking like this. Continue reading “Cabled cushion cover”