Category Archives: Fabric

Finding the pattern…

Planet Penny has been about pattern making for a while, what with mice, and bunting and other colourful things.  However I have long hankered after learning a different sort of pattern making, surface pattern design.

I’ve always been fascinated by fabrics and wallpapers.  I used to lie in bed as a very small child finding faces in the flowers in the curtains, and trying to spot identical areas and wondering how on earth it could go on and on repeating.

So that’s why, some time ago I signed up to Pattern Camp, run by Jessica Swift, the painter, surface pattern designer and author.  This has meant a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, waaay out of my comfort zone, learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.  And although I’ve been using Photoshop for years, I’ve had to discover an awful lot of stuff I didn’t know!

Because I haven’t had my brain in gear for a lot of this year I ground to a halt a couple of months ago and with the course over I hit a brick wall of frustration.  But a couple of weeks ago the lovely Jessica announced two free weeks of access for previous campers, exactly what I needed to get me going again.

This time, it all started to click into place, and I’ve had so much fun, especially now I can not only tile a pattern, but make half drop repeats too!  (I’m even learning the lingo!)

So, here are my very first attempts…Pink and Gold pattern by Penny GJPainted flowers pattern by Penny GJAutumn Colours Bold Flower Pattern - Penny GJPurple flowers pattern - PennyGJI only ever wanted to try this out of curiosity, but I love it!

These designs are all about the process, a learning curve, but I really want to push it further.  I keep thinking about what I could sew…and wrapping paper!  It’s very exciting.

And, in case you are wondering, I haven’t given up on knitting or crochet.  There are a couple of posts in the pipeline guaranteed to hit the spot, a different sort of pattern altogether!

See you soon…x

Writing and Testing a Crochet Pattern

One of the aspects of writing a crochet pattern is the constant niggle in the background of accuracy.

I don’t know about you, but I rely heavily on my spell checker when I’m using a keyboard, my spelling is much worse when I’m typing (and it can be a bit erratic when I’m using a pen, I must confess!)  However, that’s no help at all for typing crochet abbreviations so it’s quite a slow process.  And that’s after dreaming up the idea to begin with and then making it a second time so the pattern can be recorded.

By the time you get to the point where you make the item again from what you have written down it’s hard to judge whether you have explained yourself properly. By then you know the pattern inside out!

My latest make is a granny square cushion cover using the Planet Penny Cotton Colours with Snowdrop yarn which I backed with one of the PP fat quarters – jolly red and white spottiness.

Granny Square cushion - Planet Penny Cotton Colours

Granny square cushion - crochet pattern

cushion back for crochet pattern

I’m very happy with it, but now there is the question of the crochet pattern, and the making up instructions, and making sure it all makes sense.

What I need are some testers, and I’m trying to work out the best way to make it work.

So…

…if you are a Planet Penny customer with a Rainbow pack of yarn who would like to make a cushion, I’ll provide the pattern, the fat quarter and a ball of Snowdrop yarn in return for trying out the pattern, giving constructive criticism, and sending photos of the finished article.  How does that sound?

If you could help test the Granny Square Cushion crochet pattern I’d love to hear from you. You would need to have some crochet experience, be used to working from a pattern, have basic sewing machine skills, and be able to produce a clear photo of the finished article.

You can leave a comment, or get in touch via the contacts form with some details which will help me choose.  I need 2 or 3 people to get a good cross section.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you and hearing about your crochet pattern skills!

 

Planet Penny Cotton – FABRIC!

Fabric? yes..  now there’s a change!  This is something which has been simmering on the back boiler for a while and now I’m taking the plunge and telling you all about it.

I’ve made a couple of cushions over the last few months using the Planet Penny Cotton yarn to make the fronts and then finding a suitably brightly coloured fabric for the back.  I find it works really well, looks striking and makes a really simple opening on the cover so it’s easy to remove for washing.

this is the Granny Square crochet cushion

Planet Penny Cotton crochet cushion

…and for the back I used a much loved piece of Provençal print from my stash…

Provençal print fabric backThe Log Cabin Moss Stitch cushion which I later knitted…

Planet Penny Cotton moss stitch Log Cabin cushion…I backed with another treasured piece of Alexander Henry print fabric…

Alexander Henry Print fabric cushion back

…although this time I didn’t have quite enough material to make the envelope back.

But I’ve been thinking for a while it would be good to find a range of fabric which complemented the Planet Penny Rainbow colours and over the last months I have been working on it.  It still needs a little tweaking but I think I found some really pretty bright and more subtle colours and prints which I hope you like too.

The fabric has a lovely smooth finish, it’s gorgeous quality and I threw my sample pieces in the washing machine with a white towel to test them, with no colour loss and no shrinkage so I’m happy to recommend it to you.

I have in mind not only cushion backs, but linings for crochet and knitted bags, cheerful bunting, soft toys and accessories which will tie in with the blankets, throws and of course mice and  garlands made from the Planet Penny Cotton Yarn.

I found a great little pattern to share with you whilst trawling through Pinterest which shows of the fabric a treat, and have made a whole flock of birds!

And here they are…

pink fabric birds

blue green fabric birds

multi Fabric birdsI had a lot of fun getting them to roost in my little tree…

blue fabric birds in tree

pink Fabric birds in tree

multi fabric birds in tree

The fabrics will be available in packs of 4 assorted fat quarters from the Planet Penny Etsy shop and I will be listing them gradually over the next week or so, no two alike, so keep your eye out to see what’s on offer!  This is just a sample….

planet Penny Fabric and miceIf you like the birds, you can find the pattern here, they are easy and lots of fun.

This is a bit of a leap of faith so I’d really like to know what you think, and I’ll be back soon…x

 

 

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