Tuesday, 29 October 2013

We Love Rico Wool & Yarn

Over the last few months we have been working hard on our website.  The over all design has not changed much but we have been working on increasing our range including Steampunk Fabrics and Christmas Fabrics. We've also been changing how our wool and yarn is displayed in our virtual shop. Before each style of yarn was  categorized by manufacturer. However many people found having to go in and out of all the categories frustrating. Now all of the categories of yarn are on one page.

Knitting and crocheting  by hand is a fantastic way to spend the evening. You can chat, listen to the radio or audio books, watch TV and still have an amazing garment when you finish.
Many interesting effects can be achieved with Rico yarns and wools. So here's a rough guide to help you experiment over the cold Autumn  and Winter months as you knit on the sofa.

 Rico Baby Teddy Aran is a light and fluffy yarn perfect for projects for babies such as hats and fluffy cardigans.

Rico Big Moment is a soft and fluffy yarn. One of these giant balls makes a beautiful warm and soft scarf.

One of the balls would make a fantastic gift as all someone would need is a pair of knitting needles to go with it to complete a full knitting project!

Creative Can Can is an easy to knit scarf yarn. One 200g ball knits a long ruffled scarf.  Can Can yarn comes in solid colours as well as glittery colours and blended colours as well.  Again a fantastic early project or gift for someone keen to get crafting.

Rico Creative Cotton Aran. The crochet and craft yarn! Creative cotton aran is perfect for crocheting and knitting accessories and useful household things. Used to make cute animals and other stuffed toys.

Rico Creative Filz is a very strange but useful yarn. You can knit up a project quickly and then "felt" it by washing it in a machine. . This creates a sturdy fabric suitable for bags, hats and even slippers. You don't have to felt your project however.

Rico Creative Galaxy DK  is a double knit yarn with colour matched sequins attached along it's length  and self-stripping colours. This makes fantastic glimmering  shimmery hats and scarves.

Rico Creative Liesl.  The voluminous yarn with glitter effect. One 200g ball of creative liesl makes one beautiful scarf in brioche stitch. This yarn is especially easy to work with and is therefore perfect for beginners. The thin shiny thread gives the scarf an especially pretty glittery effect.

Rico Creative Loopy Pompon and Rico Creative Loopy Pompon Neon

A loopy yarn that also has small pompoms upon it. This makes a beautiful light weight scarf suitable for Autumn and Spring. I've also seen this worn as club wear when made in Neon!

Rico Creative Pompon Party and Rico Creative Pompon Print.
Pompon yarn can be used in lots of different ways: whether for knitting scarves and accessories or in crafting! When knitted into a scarf the pompoms swish about creating a beautiful sense of movement.
However the yarn can also be knitted to give a tight fabric of bobbles!

Rico Essentials Cotton DK.  A yarn made from 100% mercerised cotton. It is fine, smooth and has good definition. It is available in a wide range of shades all with a lustrous sheen. It knits to a standard double knit and would make an excellent replacement for more expensive cotton yarns.

Rico Essentials Merino is an ultra fine yarn renowned for being very easy to knit with. Suitable for both clothing and accessories.

Rico Fashion Fluffy.
The trendy faux-fur yarn fashion fluffy gets its name from its soft, fluffy feel. It is a yarn in in the trendy faux-fur look available in harmonious pastel tones and in great colour change patterns. One 100g ball makes a scarf.

Rico Fashion Métallisé has a long length and makes a very light knitted garment with a lovely metallic-effect.

And there you have it. A brief guide to our Rico Wools and Yarns. Even the most ardent sewing machine fanatic has to admit the knitting has it's advantages.  Remember the key to learning a new skill is to allow yourself to play. Many fantastic creations begin with simple "messing about".

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Can you wear your Halloween costumes all year round?

Everyone at Fabric8 loves Halloween. Most of us enjoy sewing, knitting or some other way of creating fun things to wear or cool decorations for the home. Halloween tends to be the time we can really go mad and indulge the less serious side of our nature. In the past I've seen people make "Dark Jedi" and "Zombie Pirate" costumes to wear to work. Looking closer at these outfits I noticed they were very well made and realised they were built to last. As it turns out the costumes were made for more than just Halloween. A long pirate coat for example can  be worn through out winter. The Dark Jedi robe became a bath robe to be worn around the home.

Then my boss had a stroke of genius. With everyone trying to save money these days why not show people some fantastic costume ideas  that can be worn all year round!

Steampunk was an obvious starting point for us. Check out our blog on a brief guide to what is Steampunk.
 This picture of our shop window display (complete with ghostly Renault reflection) helps to give a sense of the over all feel of Steampunk.

We stock Steampunk sewing patterns, however you can make any Victorian or Western wear a little steampunky with the right accessories. These creations can then be worn night clubbing, or out to special events. I wear my wasitcoats as part of a steam punk outfit and in day to day wear as well.  Steampunk jackets and dresses don't actually look out of place in most venues, they just make you look more individual and creative.

You can also use this blog to learn how to make pirate shirts and how to make harem pants (or  Pirate pants). Pirate shirts can also be used for Medieval wear, or for  when you just want to look like a poet.
  You can always make a fairy petticoat to add an ethereal touch of the super natural to any other outfit or use some translucent fabrics from our Halloween fabric section to augment an existing outfit.

 And you don't need to limit yourself to Steampunk. A good corset and petticoat combo can make a great "Dark Fairy" costume. These can then be worn  with a jacket or other top and with a more full skirt to form a ball gown.

Once you have an outfit you're happy with you'll be amazed at where it can take you. I know of modern day Victorians who go dinosaur hunting in the museums of London, and of mad scientist who go for days out at the London science museum, resplendent  in a lab jacket and brass goggles. Or of corseted ladies in full ball gowns who take picnics to Kew Gardens.  You can take just about any costume you want and then just become a "what ever-Zombie". For example, a retro zombie girl. This then gives you a perfect 50's dress to go out Jive dancing in. What ideas can you think of to make a Halloween costume reusable?

Don't see Halloween as a time to spend time and money on a throw away outfit. See it as a launching pad for new and amazing creations that will propel you into all sorts of adventures all year round!