Wednesday, 27 August 2008

New socks started

I started these new socks last night, it feels very comfortable to be knitting again. I guess I knitted myself out and needed a bit of a break, but now I'm ready to go again :)

This is a pattern from the book Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm using some merino cashmere wool from the Knittery, it's in the colour water lilies.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Finished Pincushion and Spring

It seems rather an unproductive couple of weeks, but it's such an effort to have to get my sewing machine and ironing board out and put them away again every time I want to sew something that I've been making things that don't require machine sewing. I've finished my felt pincushion, and I think that next I'm going to do some more knitting - I've certainly got enough projects to be getting on with there. I'm also going to buy some lovely fat quarters to make myself a quilt, I've no idea of the design yet but I just love the fabric so I'll buy it first and decide on the quilt later.

It's been feeling very spring-like over the last few days, there are lots of blossoms out and some of my spring flowers have come up. I've taken some photos on our walks because I find nature very inspiring.

I like the shape of these ferns, we always called them fish ferns although I have no idea if that is the correct name or not. They do look like fish bones don't they?

Saturday, 23 August 2008

WIP - pincushion

All my pincushions are far too small to be really useful - I usually end up using lots and lots of pins so that my seams turn out really straight and the little ones I get in Woolworths etc just can't keep up. So last weekend I bought a nice pile of felt and a box of assorted buttons from Woolies and I've been sewing up a nice big square pincushion for myself. This is the first time I've sewn with felt and I've discovered a few things.

1. Felt comes in some really beautiful colours that in themselves are very inspiring.
2. Sewing with felt is great because you don't have to worry about unravelling edges etc.
3. Designing with felt is great because all the little pieces stick onto each other and don't need pinning. Although, see point 4:
4. I have rougher hands than I realised - all the little pieces preferred to snag on my hands instead of staying on the fabric.
5. I really suck at blanket stitch!

When I've finished this pincushion, I'm going to make another one - it was really fun moving all the pieces around to find a design I liked. And it's one craft that is really quite cheap, so that should keep my husband happy :) (Although he's a bit like, "you're making what now?")


I've been tagged by the lovely Ruth, she has an amazing crafty blog: For The Love of It.

Here are the rules:
I have to write either 6 random things about myself or if I have been tagged previously 6 things that make me happy.
Then I have to link the person who tagged me and tag 6 more people you know (and let them know you have tagged them in a comment on their blog).

1. I have many many many crafty works in progress, and I've only ever finished a handful of them.
2. I studied ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs at uni (not so much practical use for that in Sydney ;).
3. My favourite flower is jasmine, I'm just ecstatic every year when it finally flowers.
4. Like Ruth, I enjoy reading historical romances - my favourites are by Georgette Heyer.
5. I've only ever had one real boyfriend, and I ended up marrying him :)
6. I am very short, 5'1 - I have come to terms with this over the years ;) (Except when my 6'2 husband puts essential kitchen items on the top shelf of the pantry and I have to stand on a chair to get them down again LOL)

Now I'm supposed to tag 6 people, but just about every bloggy person that I know has already been tagged so I might just tag 4.

1. Tracey at Cross stitch, quilts and life, she has recently started quilting and is buying lot of lovely fabric
2. Belinda at *~Bee~*, she makes some great quilts and other sewing projects
3. Corrie at Retro Mummy, I'm sure she's too busy with her beautiful new twins to be tagged, but anyway she has a fabulous blog and she also contributes to Japan Craft Journal - I am absolutely in love with Japanese craft and fabrics so this is very inspiring!
4. Emma at Sampaguita Quilts, she is an amazingly talented quilter and it was actually one of her quilts (her Owl and the Pussycat quilt) that inspired me to start quilting, which began all the rest of the crafting - I'm sure my husband is very grateful Emma ;)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Blog name change

When I started blogging I couldn't for the life of me think of a good name for my blog. Now I have :)

Another messenger bag

I asked my sister to choose some fabrics from my stash so that I could make her a messenger bag as well. She chose some lovely corduroy fabric which I matched to some ribbon and thread etc, and I chose a cute elephant button for it as she likes elephants. I was much quicker at cutting it out and sewing it up this time, now I just need to find someone else who would actually use a messenger bag so that I can perfect the technique :)

Monday, 11 August 2008


I remember that months ago when I first read about softies I just didn't get the whole softie-love thing. After having seen many beautiful examples on different blogs I now think that they're the cutest things ever :) I picked up this softies book and my daughter and I read it together - she fell in love with this lizard, and I got her to pick 2 fabrics from my stash. Today I finished her off, and presented my DD with her when I picked her up from preschool. She hasn't put her down since and has named her Rosie Kellie.

DD isn't your typical girlie girl - some of her favourite toys are her plastic dinosaurs, snakes, sharks and frogs. Rosie Kellie is now the best friend of a rubber komodo dragon, and they spent the evening spitting venom at some lions. DD has now requested that I make the crocheted Jack Sparrow pirate from the softies book (a little advanced for me just yet!). He is very cute though :)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

A tiny bit of quilting

And I have done some quilting, a lone autumn leaf. I love the bee fabric, and the individual fabrics are so beautiful. But all together, it's quite LOUD. So I did one leaf, hid it for a while, and then decided that I'd share it with the world. Maybe it's not so bad after all...

Fabric makes me happy

I am going to make my daughter some clothes from the Ottobre magazines, so when Lincraft had a 50% off fabric sale this week I bought some great corduroys.

And then today I went to Spotlight and bought some lovely summer cotton fabrics, I am in fabric heaven!

The camera really hasn't done all the colours justice, they are so much richer in real life. I'm also eyeing off some of them for making more bags. But really I just want to wrap myself in them and love them because they are so beautiful! :)

I love messenger bags

I often have my 13 month old son on my hip in a sling when I go out, which makes it difficult to balance a handbag on the other side. Even when I don't have him I find it difficult to carry a handbag - it keeps wanting to slide off my shoulder and sometimes I just want to use both hands for whatever I'm doing and not for holding a handbag. So I love messenger bags, you know the kind with a big strap that goes over your head and across your body and the actual bag part sits next to your hip? Anyway, I found a great pattern, the Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag. I'm really a novice sewer, I've only ever done my couple of quilts and a couple of nappies for my son, nothing more difficult than straight stitch. So if I can do this then anyone can! The pattern instructions are incredibly easy to follow, I ended up with a bag that looks really professional, I love the little details like the inside of the pocket and the square on the front. And it's been so useful, I've been carrying it everywhere.

Knitting in the deep end

Ok, so I have about 15 projects that I'm knitting all at the same time. Here are a few of them.

First there is my Central Park Hoodie. It's turning out really well, I love the colour of the wool and it knits up nice and quickly.

Then there is scarf number one, which I'm knitting for myself using the Falling Water pattern available on Ravelry. I'm using a baby wool and it's lovely and soft and warm. It's not such a quick knit, but it's one that I can do while watching tv etc so not much concentration needed.

Then comes scarf number two, which I'm knitting for my sister using the Persephone pattern. It is definitely not a quick knit, all those cables take time and concentration. I did end up miscrossing one of the cables and I had to frog it back almost to the beginning, but I'm getting the hang of it now.

Then we have some socks that I have actually finished! :) I made them for my mum for mother's day, the pattern is Primavera (available on Ravelry) and the wool is some lovely marino cashmere from the Knittery, called waterlilies.

Next up are a pair of knee socks that I'm making for my sister, they are a bit hard to see in this photo as they are in black wool, but they do have cables.

I started some Clessidra socks just to practice cables for the first time, talk about jumping in at the deep end! These are serious cables, 110% concentration and focus needed :) They also take aaaaages so they may just not get finished. They are really beautiful but I just don't have the time at the moment.

Then comes the pair of pants I'm knitting for my son, I'm using bamboo/cotton yarn from Lincraft which is lovely and silky. I've almost finished these, I just need to put in some elastic and finish off a couple of hems.

And lastly (at least, this is all I could find in my knitting box) is the hemlock throw I'm knitting for myself. This is a seriously beautiful piece of knitting, but my goodness it's doing my head in! It would not be an exaggeration to say that I end up unravelling every single row that I do and having to redo it about 3 times. I have since discovered that it's lace knitting, and that lace is tricky :) Anyway I love love love the colour and shine and softness of the yarn (Panda Magnum), and I couldn't think of a nicer thing to snuggle under on the lounge - at this rate I'll have it finished in time for the next ice age so that will work out well.

So lots of WIP's here, I guess that I should really try to focus on one thing at a time and finish things off, but my point of view is that, firstly, if I have lots of things on the go I will never get bored because I can switch around to different projects. Second, because I'm basically a beginning knitter this is like knitting school for me, so I'm doing lots of different projects to try out different techniques. And I'm getting much more confident and quicker with my knitting as a result - sometimes it's a good thing to jump in at the deep end :)