Thursday, 26 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope all my readers, WildCat Designs fans and customers have a lovely Christmas, and that Santa is good to you! I'll be back soon with more ideas and inspriation, but for now I am enjoying the festivities, and hope you are too :)

Thank you for reading my blog, commenting on my posts and 
supporting my little independent business in 2013!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Cyber Monday 2013

The WildCat Designs Boutique

Cyber Monday Deals at WildCat Designs

I'm having a flash sale in the WildCat Designs online boutique
Cyber Monday means you'll get 20% off everything in my Etsy shop!

To claim your discount, 
just enter coupon code 
during checkout.

WildCat Designs Knitwear Accessories

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Christmas 2013

WildCat Designs Christmas orders

WildCat Designs last order dates for Christmas 2013

UK orders: Wednesday 18th December

Orders for Western Europe: Friday 13th December

Orders for USA: Wednesday 11th December

Orders for Canada & Eastern Europe: Sunday 8th December

Orders for Japan, Oz, NZ & everywhere else: Monday 2nd December


I *will* be accepting orders after these dates but
please be aware that items may not arrive in time for Christmas,
after all, it is a very busy time of year!

The order dates also apply to my WildKittens online shop.

Shop online: Bigcartel, Etsy, DaWanda or Folksy.


Custom orders: If you are interested in a custom order,
please get in touch by Friday 15th November.
Email enquiries {at} wildcat-designs {dot} co {dot} uk

Winter 2013 at WildCat Designs

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Spooky Style

I LOVE Halloween! It's a great excuse to get all ghoulish :) Plus I suppose it helps that I like all things skully/piratey/stripy... not to mention the fact that I love a good zombie flick!

Last year's Zombie Pirate effort!

There's some great Halloween-inspired stuff out there at the moment.

Like this Tatty Devine batty necklace -  I love the fact that it's glittery black perspex!

Perfect for any aspiring Batgirl or Batwoman. Other highlights in their collection include the awesome "Aaarrghhhhh" necklace and for the gents, there are some ghostly cufflinks!

Continuing with the bat about these!

Bat printed tights by Tattoo Socks

Or perhaps skulls are more your style?

Skully ring by Datter Industries

Cobwebby wonders:

Spiderweb necklace by Stars & Scars

Spiderweb earrings by Cherryloco

...not forgetting decor for a spook-tacular Halloween party!

Wishing you a ghoulish ghost night for Halloween! 
[insert evil horror-tastic laugh here]

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Winter is Coming!

It has certainly been feeling a little autumnal round here lately. So I thought it was high time I did a little WildCat Designs update. Cosy knitwear ahoy!!

Etsy shop

I have been updating my WildCat Designs Etsy online shop in the last couple of weeks - this is definitely the best place to see the full range of knitwear accessories I have on offer for autumn/winter. There are some brand new designs for 2013, along with some of my best sellers!

Custom Orders

If you're interested in commissioning something special for a loved one this winter - or fancy getting a bespoke handmade piece made especially for you - please do get in touch, I am happy to discuss custom orders. Should you wish to do this, please feel free to email enquiries {at} wildcat-designs {dot} co {dot} uk or contact me directly through one of my online shops.


I also have a collection of felted Merino lambswool scarves for kids, along with cute hand knit baby gifts and PDF knitting patterns.

Find out more by visiting the WildKittens Etsy store.

If you want to find out more about my WildCat Designs label, my dedicated website should tell you everything you need to know. (P.S. there's a bit about me & my designs on my new blog bio too, for the curious!)

Where to Buy WildCat Designs
You can find my WildCat Designs creations online:

Etsy (WildCat Designs)

DaWanda (offered in three language flavours) - EN - DE - FR (€)

Bigcartel (£)

Monday, 14 October 2013

It's Knitting Week!

Happy Knitting Week,  fellow crafters! 

I never really need an excuse to knit, as you can imagine... but all the same it's nice to celebrate the ancient art of fashioning things conjured by artfully manipulating two sticks and some fibre into something new.

There are *lots* of knitter-friendly things going on this week!

Here are my picks:

• Free knitting patterns on the UK Hand Knitting Association website - here.

• Knitting as a spectator sport? Well believe it or not, it happens in Norway!

• Win a fabulous knitting holiday in Shetland (yes please!)

• Fancy a freebie? How about a nice ball of Bergère De France yarn? (info here)

It also happens to be Wool Week here in the UK as well (how convenient!). 

If you're in London or Edinburgh and fancy learning a new skill or want to boost your knitterly abilities, check out the Knit Nation events (including workshops and drop-in sessions) hosted by John Lewis stores and run in conjunction with the Campaign for Wool folks as part of Wool Week. Did I mention they're free?!

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Fabric of Britain

I recently had the good fortune to discover a series of documentaries being broadcast on BBC Four about different aspects of Britain's textile heritage.

I just happened to come across the series by accident when I was looking for something interesting to watch on the BBC iPlayer and I'm glad so I did! Unfortunately I missed the first one, which was entitled, "Knitting's Golden Age" - as you can imagine, to say I am disappointed to have missed it is a massive understatement. However I was able to watch the subsequent one, called Fabric of Britain: The Story of Wallpaper.

This proved to be a fascinating insight into the origins, history and development of wallpaper from the 16th century right through to the present day. As a textile graduate, I always gravitate towards this sort of thing. When I was a student, we had the opportunity to explore three different disciplines - print, weave and knit. The ones I instinctively felt an affinity with were print and knit.

So I did have a personal connection with the subject matter, as through my studies I learned about pigment, the science of colouration and gained an appreciation of different substrates, dyes and printing processes. I feel really lucky to have had the chance to create my own silk-screened designs.

I thought it was great that the programme explained and demonstrated several printing techniques such as lino printing, etching, block printing and even gave an insight into how flocking is created. I remember one of my favourite techniques to do was devoré which is a nifty process used to create patterns whereby a chemical dissolves one of the fibres in the fabric to produce a "burn-out" effect.

I also liked the exploration of the development of different styles over time or patterning and how the fashions in wallpaper have changed - often from heavily patterned to simple clean designs and back again. I love that William Morris designs were featured, especially those stating they were "Arsenic Free"!

If you have access to the iPlayer, I suspect the final instalment, "The Wonder of Embroidery" might be worth a watch... if you're based outside the UK and/or don't have access to the BBC iPlayer, you can still see some video clips of each of the programmes here.

The Fabric of Britain series is part of the wider "Handmade in Britain" set of programmes - made by the BBC in partnership with the V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum in London). More information here.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Memories of the City of Light

A few days in Paris...what would you do?

We saw many of the famous sights such as the Musée du Louvre (above), 
l'arc de Triomphe (below) at the top of the Champs-Elysées...   

We walked and walked and I took loads of pictures...
thankfully my patient boyfriend didn't seem to mind!

Paris is such a photogenic city and the beautiful light coming through the clouds 
on most days we were there gave some of my photographs quite a magical quality.

We were lucky enough to be able to watch the Tour Eiffel do its twinkly 
sparkling at night from our hotel window too!

As my boyfriend had never been to Paris before, we opted to ascend 
the Eiffel Tower at night, which was pretty cool.

It's a great way to see the lights of the city.

We also managed to enjoy some of the café culture 
that France is so well known for...

I also enjoyed seeing some of the pretty Parisian architecture.

I noticed rather a lot of prehistoric creatures about the place 
(no complaints here though!)...

...Jurassic Paris!

So long, oh City of Light...I am certain we shall meet again!

P.S. If you click on any of the pictures, you can view the photographs at a larger size in a slideshow!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Crafty Roundup September 2013

This is the perfect time to bury oneself in craft projects - cooler weather, cosy evenings at home and maybe a few gifts to make in time for December. I've certainly been getting stuck in to my knitting! I also recently spotted some really cool knitted graffiti in Edinburgh - a rainbow of railing cosies :)

knitted rainbow railing cosies

I thought it was high time to do another of these, so without further ado, I present to you my roundup of crafty goings-on for September & October:

Glasgow School of Art Postgraduate Degree Shows
14th-28th September at The Lighthouse, Glasgow

The Big Knit by Innocent Smoothies
The annual mini hat knitathon is looking for donations of hats by the 1st EDIT: 31st of October. See for more info. I also found a very cute owl hat pattern on the Guardian website!

Shetland Wool Week 2013
Shetland without wool simply wouldn't be Shetland. So in celebration of the wondrous fibre that is wool, they have a whole host of events running 7th-13th October - see for more details.

Shetland sheep! 
Some rather lovely Shetland sheep! 
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Oooh...and let's not forget National Knitting Week! The annual UK-wide knitfest. This year it's happening from Monday 14th – Sunday 20th October. Running in tandem is UK Wool Week, championed by the Campaign for Wool. You can look forward to more on the blog about both of these soon :)

Phew, I think that just about covers it!

Any upcoming creative events you think I've missed? Leave me a comment!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Dreaming of Paris

I am off to Paris on Tuesday! I can't quite put into words how happy and excited this makes me. It's truly one of my favourite cities to visit, for so many reasons.

I will be glad of a little change of scenery, time away from work and some precious quality time with my other half - it will be the first time I've actually been there with a romantic partner, and he has never visited the city before so I'm looking forward to showing him the sights.

If you've never been, I heartily recommend it - it's a place I would describe as having an almost magical quality about it. I recently watched the Tour de France's final foray up the Champs-Élysées... enough to send me off into a little daydream! As a child I visited the famous avenue and will always remember it because the trees which line the street were beautifully lit for Christmas.

It helps that I speak fairly good French, I suppose - well... at least I do when I'm not rusty! I am tempted to watch Amelie again (one of my favourite films of all time so I hardly need an excuse to watch it) to get my "French brain" in gear.

I have a sketchbook and some photographs from previous trips (including the ones featured in this blog post - they are from 2001 and shot on 35mm film so I had to *scan* my prints!) that I really love and treasure, so here's hoping I come back with a few new memories to cherish.

I'm only going for a handful of days but you can be sure I'll be aiming to make the most of it! Things I am looking forward to include: visiting a proper boulangerie, eating fresh crepes and lovely croque madame/monsieur(s), buying macarons, browsing the Parisian markets, checking out foodie treats "dans le supermarche," going for a wander along the river Seine and seeing the Tour d'Eiffel sparkling at night. I also dearly love the Musee d'Orsay and will be thrilled if I manage to return to the Orangerie to immerse myself in Monet.

I also hope to visit a couple of crafty/woolly shops while I'm there - 
so if you have any good recommendations for me, 
I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

In the Summertime...

...bloggers get lazy! Ah, at least so it would seem for this blogger. My goodness, has it really been over a month since I posted?!

I do have a good "excuse" though... things have been a bit mad outside of the virtual world!

I've moved from the fair city I call home (Edinburgh) to the Scottish Borders for work and since I've been in my new flat, I've been decorating and setting up home, whilst being sans *proper* internet for a good while (iffy 3G signal doesn't quite cut it...). I'm pleased to say I'm now firmly back in the 21st Century - with a lovely light duckegg blue bedroom to boot - hip hip hurray!

I'll confess too that I have been enjoying the sunshine - it's been such amazing weather, and it even stuck around long enough for me to celebrate a big milestone birthday. No complaints here!

I am very fair-skinned so I've been working on my summery freckles. I don't tan, I just burn (or wilt!) in the heat... but I quite like being pale and interesting - I sincerely doubt I would suit a tan anyway!

I'm quite happy with my Celtic colouring. Plus, I do feel there are rather too many girls (and even a few guys) who seem to think that orange is a "natural" look... I'll never understand it.

P.S. Since Google Reader is now as dead as the proverbial dodo:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mini Amigurumi Giveaway

I have decided to keep the competition to win a copy of Mini Amigurumi open a bit longer and have extended it to the end of June - hurray!

The competition will now close at midnight GMT on Sunday 30th June.

The book features lots of super cute critters to make for those of you who are handy with a crochet hook - I especially liked the ones shown below :) To find out more and to read an interview with the author, Sara Scales, check out this blog post.

crochet projects from Mini Amigurumi by Sara Scales

To enter, just leave a comment on this post with your email address. Entries from anywhere around the world are welcome - I am happy to post the prize worldwide!

After the 30th of June, I will collate all the entries received (including those from the original post) and draw the name of one lucky winner.

Good luck!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Amigurumi, Anyone?

I’m thrilled to introduce Sara Scales, author of Mini Amigurumi, a collection of cute crocheted critters! She’s also an accomplished miniaturist and crafter. Read on to hear more about her work – and enter my competition to WIN a copy of Mini Amigurumi! {info on the competition can be found at the end of this post}

Mini Amigurumi by Sara Scales

Can you tell us about yourself and how MiniDreamz began?

MiniDreamz as a name has only existed for about 2 years. I decided I wanted to make my crafting and miniatures my life. I realised I was not cut out for working 9 - 5 and started to struggle with depression. I am now 46 years old, very happy, a mum of 2 - Charlotte (20) and Thomas (15) - and have been married to my husband, Shaun, for 21 years. We also have many pets: a dog, three cats and three rabbits.

I have a busy life, I run a craft/dolls house shop with my friend Julie, who is a paper crafter and jewellery maker. We also run many classes and workshops there between us. I also contribute miniature projects on a monthly basis for Dolls House Magazine. These projects are mainly miniature cross stitch (my other favourite craft) plus crochet.

mini amigurumi panda

What made you decide to work in miniature scale?

I think it is in my blood. From when I was tiny myself, my mum has recollections of everything I drew or made being small. Because I come from a long line of crafters the tools for me to create have always been there, so if I found a scrap of fabric I would start to make little things.

funny bunny amigurumi

How long have you been practicing the art of crochet, and what attracted you to Amigurumi?

I only started to crochet about 6 years ago and it was Amigurumi that attracted me to it - I mean, what is there not to love about it? It’s just sooo cute! I had to teach myself as this is the one craft my mum could not seem to get me to achieve when I was younger, although she is very accomplished herself. I feel now that this is because of the rigidity of old school methods on holding of yarn and hook, I hold mine very different to her.

When teaching a class this is something I try not to make an issue out of and I allow people to find their own individual way of working. Since I started I don’t think there is a day goes by when the crochet hook is not in my hand. And of course as soon as I had built up a bit of skill the obvious progression for me was to miniaturise it, as I by now already had a dolls house and had been creating other miniatures in different mediums.

cheeky crochet chicks

Who or what inspires your work?

What inspires me? Everything and everyone, I am one of life’s observers and I have quite a vivid imagination. It could be a flower, an animal, a person or a place. I love to be given a challenge and it’s great when people randomly ask if I can make something unusual. My answer is usually, “Why not, I’ll give it a go" - thankfully it usually works.

Do you have a favourite project from your book?

My favourite project has to be the kittens, although this is one of the simplest designs, it has a sentiment for me. The three cats symbolise my 3 cats, Jack (the black one), Poppy (the multicoloured one) and Thai (grey). As I said previously, we now only have two cats as we sadly lost Thai to cancer last year aged ten, I still miss her so much.

three little kittens

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is considering writing their own craft book?

Hard one this, perseverance, just keep trying, this book was not my first suggestion to the publishers. I basically researched the publishers to find out their requirements and then went straight to emailing them with fingers crossed. I think sometimes it is luck of the draw as they have so many submissions, so don’t be hard on yourself if you get a rejection it is not always that your work is not up to standard, perhaps I wore them down! No seriously, they were great even before I was accepted, giving advice and explaining the process. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of making the book but it is hard work. I don’t know if I will get another book accepted but I will live in hope that I come up with an idea they may like.

Crochet Kokeshi Dolls

Check out Sara's blog or you can follow her on facebook. You'll also find Mini Amigurumi, published by GMC Publications (The Guild of Master Craftsmen) on Amazon.

For your chance to win a copy of Mini Amigurumi, just leave a comment on this post with your contact details. Competition closes on the 15th of June at 12 noon (GMT). EDIT: Competition has been exented until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 30th of June!  A winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted.

P.S. This giveaway is open to all - I am happy to post the book internationally!