Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crochet Hat in Araucania Patagonia

While recently visiting my friend, Ms S, she suggested we nip down to her local yarn shop.   What a great idea, so we left the Daddies with the kids and dashed off as fast as we could.  The yarn shop was very quaint, with an interesting mix of things.  Some acrylic things that have possibly been there for  many years mixed with skeins of  brand new, cutting edge organic fibre combos.  I found this fantastic cotton skien - called  Patagonia by Araucania. It is hand dyed in Chile and comes with a detailed four page tag attached.  Telling stories of fair trade, ethnic origins and artisans, I just loved the colours and texture.   

I had visions of making winter hat for myself but ran out of yarn so Miss S scored it.  It was really quick and easy, all done in single crochet,  just keep going around in a spiral Amagarchi style.  Plus a couple of crochet flowers because Miss S and I love embellishment.

Perfect fit
It also matched the purple snood/cowl I knitted for her.
Its one of my first forays into knitting!
I don't know if you can get a feel for it from these photos but here in
Brisbane its a bit too hot to wear all of this during the day.  Miss S is
actually wearing her fur vest, snood and beanie over a sun dress and bare feet.
Bless her.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Ghastlie Quilt

Two years ago now, I got this fantastic fabric "The Ghastlie's" by Alexander Henry.  I thought it was so special, so precious and inspirational....  so I stashed it away in my good fabric pile, never to be touched or used!  How crazy is that.  Anyway I have been conquering that stashing instinct and thought blow it I will make a quilt and use it all up in one go!  Reckless I know.

It's Miss M's birthday and she loves all that goth/scifi/victoriana styling, so a Ghastlie quilt for her it is.  See lucky I held on to the fabric for a few years so she could grow into it.
A Side 
For the B side I thought I'd go a bit more pretty and versatile.  Plus I used some gorgeous stashed Liberty floral that wasn't quite enough to make a dress with.   I know its not really what some people would call a quilt, its a bit of a cheats quilts, really big pieces sewn together, more of a throw really.  I learnt alot from making Miss S's quilts and got some good tips in a comment from Debra.  Thanks Debra I tried it your technique and it worked really well.
B side

P.S. A few people have told me it was very tricky to leave a comment on my posts.  I have had a play with the settings so it should be much easier now.  Please feel free to leave a comment, I love comments. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crochet Shrug Finished

I have been meaning to put up the pics of my finished Shrug!  I finished it about a month ago and have worn it quite a bit.  It is the Granny Square Shrug from the Crochet Modern Vintage  by Panda.  It was an easy pattern and came with the crochet diagram as well as the written pattern.   I thought the hard part was choosing the colours but for me the hard part was the monotony of all that plain black granny crochet between the granny squares.
Back (gawd that looks like 80's hair) 
This shot looks a bit busty, apologies, but its meant to show the side view 
This is me trying to look all interesting and alluring like the model in the pattern.
I am pretty tall/big person so always need to adjust patterns for length and this was no different.  Instead of having 8 squares on each side I have 10.  This is an easy change to make and I guess you could make it smaller the same way too.

This super easy pattern is more or less a rectangular lap blanket
joined together at two ends to make enormous arm holes.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nanna Knit Re-style

Twenty years ago when I was doing my "Grand Tour" based in the UK, my Nanna made me this stunning cardigan.   I lived in London and Nanna lived down near Brighton, so on weekends I would go down and get some Nanna love.  We would go day tripping with my Aunt, to all sorts of lovely places.  One day trip we went to a wool store, Nanna said to choose a pattern and wool colours and that she would make it for my birthday - fantastic!

   I love this pattern, the colours, the texture.. I absolutely love this cardigan.  Nanna's skill and talent blows me away every time I see it, but I have never really worn it.   It has always been an unflattering fit and never been comfortable.  This is not my Nanas doing, I remember her saying at the time it wasn't really the right shape but as I wasn't available at the time for fittings she just followed the pattern.

Never the less I have always loved it, I have taken it all around the world with me, moved it from house to house and would never part with it.  I would however love to wear it!  So I decided to reshape it but I was so worried that I would ruin it, would it be sacrilegious to cut it?  After much deliberation I decided Nanna would be much happier if I was actually wearing it than just appreciating it in my draw. 

The Arms are slightly too short and shaped like Bat Wings.
The length is too long for a cardigan & too short for a jacket.
The neckline in very high and it looks dreadful buttoned up. 
What were we thinking with those buttons!!!
The stitch work is amazing, my Nanna was so talented.  
I gave it a good Soak treatment.
 Then as soon as it was dry pinned it to shape, cut out
the excess knit and re-sewed the seems.  
I removed the buttons completely, took in the arms and reshaped
the neckline into more of a V.
The neck still isn't perfect but with a scarf you can't tell.
 The length doesn't seem to matter now.
I delighted with the outcome and so relieved I didn't wreck the whole thing!
I love it now and I wear it all the time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Never Trust Quiet Children

I had one of those lovely hours the other day...  a bliss full of hour of piece and quiet.  No noise from the children, no disturbances,  no being asked to adjudicate spats.  So I spent some quality time crocheting with my feet up.  

In the distance back ground I could hear the joyful sounds of children engaged in creative play, happily enjoying each other company. I was doing Mummy air punches.  I should have known better.

This is why they were so happy, they had got into my Yarn Stash!  A wool wonderland had been created for the La La Loopsie dolls.  I guess it could have been worse, at least they hadn't unraveled or cut anything and I still got an hour of crochet time in.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interpretive Fruit

You've heard of interpretive dance, well this is our interpretive fruit.   Imagine the fruit, feel the fruit, be the fruit!

Master B's Prep class have a shop corner this term and all the children were asked to bring things in for the shop, but no real food.  Master B really wanted to take some fruit, we don't have any fake fruit so he suggested we could make some.  We had one of those afternoons where the schedule goes out the window and we just make stuff.   Some kind of dinner is thrown together at 7pm and I am not sure if the children had a bath - very fun.

Miss S and Master B decided what fruit they wanted, drew some pictures and then picked the fabrics, I did the sewing.  We tried to use different textures which worked out well as these were pretty much the most suitable fabrics anyway.  They are very rustic and I hope they don't freak out any fruitaphobic children.

Corduroy Apples (Do you remember this fabric Mum and siblings?
Its from the mega roll Mum had when we were kids.
 We had a whole house worth of soft furnishings made from this.  We had curtains, couch covers, mattress protectors, camping equipment and even a surf board cover...)

Felt Pineapple

Tea Towel and Felt Grapes

I forgot to photograph the Bananas, they are Flannelette
left over from Miss S's Jane Austin dress.

Felt and Ric Rac Cherries
( I was getting really sick of sewing by now, so very sloppy stitch work, sorry.) 
Lyrca Knit Pears,  these are my favourite.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Yarn Stash

Now that I am really good at managing my fabric stash and no longer hoard I have started to stash yarn.  I am not sure how healthy it is but its' just so lovely.  

How gorgeous is this colour combo of Cascade Ultra Pima 
Or this combo of Ultra Pima, I am thinking of making a wrap for me.
The other Cascades in my collection, it is my
favorite yarn to crochet with, its 100% Pima Cotton
This is the left over yarn from my shrug,
I think I am going to knit with this but I dont know what yet.
Noro Kureyon, 100% wool, awesome for little projects and felting.
Noro sock yarn - I dont have any plans for this.
  I just adore the peacock colours and had to have it, are they the words of an Addict? 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jane Austin Girls Dress

Miss S and I stayed up way too late one night and watched an old BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.  Needless to say she was hooked and has been living in a Regency cloud since.  She asked if I could make her a Jane Austin Dress, could I ever!  Its a dream come true to make period costumes for my children.
I used the Make it Perfect Wonderland pattern  that I love and have used before to make nighties for the girls.  I also did a bit of Stash Bashing and used a pink flannelette I have been hoarding for 10 years!

It's a tad big, I made it for about a size 10 because this girl grows
 at a rate of knots and I like to get milage out of things.

I made the skirt part much longer than the pattern,
and made the bodice a bit shorter for a more Regency look.
  They are both really easy adjustments to make on the pattern.
 I also made the back bodice piece as one panel instead of needing buttons
(Why make things trickier.) 
Some ribbons and trim for extra prettiness.
 There has been much Princess-ing in our house since.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Sewing Place

Oh for a dedicated studio/craft/sewing place.   For a few years now I have been trying to come up with ways to create a studio space somewhere in the house for me.   We do heaps of crafty things in our house and have lots of tools and materials.  As you know bringing everything out and packing up again because you need to eat dinner on the table is NOT practical.  I started off with my machines in the laundry, which was fine when the children were young but we quickly out grew that space.  Mr Daddy agreed to consider and extension to the house that could be a rumpus/studio room but it just seemed excessive.

The Laundry Work Space - It was tricky to
 keep the washing from taking over.

And it was pretty small.

He then agreed that as he parked his car on the drive way half the time or was away, we could have his cars half of the garage.  This worked well for quite some time but everything just got so dirty and I had to constantly battle to stop it from becoming a dumping ground.  Now all along I have been saying that I should just have the downstairs study and Mr Daddy can use the desk in our guest (Grandma's) room. Wouldn't that be reasonable!  But Mr Daddy hasn't been ready for that (in his defence he did have a few good reasons why he needed the down stairs room too.)

Our garage space, I loved this space in summer with the door up,
watching as the kids played.  However its freezing in the winter,
 badly lit at night, has a spider problem and was often full of bikes and junk.

Could this be the perfect space???  Its right next to the kitchen,
well lit, warm in winter cool in summer, clean and insect free. 
Anyway long story short, we have decided to trial sharing the study, novel hey?

I have lost no time in moving all my stuff in
to this nice clean spider free space.
Its a hard space to photograph but so far so it is working really well.
Plus its just so important to have all your lovely things out.