Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Project

Apart from the coasters that I need to make my grandma, I'm in need of a new project. (Oh, I forgot about the hand warmers. I'm still working on those.) I don't particularly go looking for a new project, but something will catch up eye sometimes and I'll just start working on it before I think it through.

Take this beautiful project:

How beautiful is this blanket! I would *never* usually consider doing something quite so ... well ... modern, in it's appearance. But my life has changed quite a bit this year, and this has really taken my fancy.

(You can see the blanket in full at Lutter Idyl)

So, now I have to figure out the yarn I'll be using. Since I made my pact earlier this year, I'll be sticking with the beautiful wool I can get from Bendigo Woollen Mills, which is a little harder for me to visit now but I'll get there :) And I'll probably be going with their Luxury yarn as well. It's always so soft. I happen to have a ball of their 4ply Luxury wool yarn in my box in a "denim" colour, which is almost right for that darkest colour in the blanket. I'm wondering if it's a bit thin though, because I'm working it up and I'm not sure it's thick enough. Anyway, I've made a square with a 4mm hook and am working on a 3.5mm hook as well.

The only problem with the yarn I'll be using is that they *don't* have the hot pink or rich bright orange in their yarns. In fact, in the luxury blend they don't have an orange at all. They do have a colour that might work for the bright pink, but I might have to do a bit of a switcheroo to be honest. 

I'll keep you updated with what I decide on. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finished set of coasters

I've quietly been taking orders for my crochet, mostly from friends. Ever since I posted up a baby blanket on my personal Facebook page a few months ago, to mostly show someone who I was making a blanket for, and someone asked if I could make one of those for their sister, who was having a baby.

This is my most recent order.

I like finishing them for presentation to the client in a pretty way: who doesn't. It's the mark of a personally made project.

These were a challenging project, because the client wanted soft neutral colours, with a mustard yellow to pop. Great colour choices, but out of the five colours, I could only get my hands on 2. I make my coasters these days out of cotton and only cotton. I can only buy the colours in cotton that I can source in Australia, and let me tell you these do not include mustard yellow OR grey. (Grey, possibly, but in a different brand of cotton (Bendigo Woollen Mills perhaps), and these are made up in 8ply Panda.)

This simply meant that I had to dye the yarn to suit the colours I wanted.

My issue: I had never dyed yarn myself before. Hell, I'd only ever dyed one piece of clothing!

So. This project not only took 2 months (I've gone from working one job 2 days a week, to 3 jobs, over 5-7 days a week.), but I went through a trial set, and three sets of dyeing. OMG.

Did you know that Panda White cotton DOES NOT LIKE TURNING GREY? In fact, it turns a beautiful shade of lavender. Which is honestly lovely, and I'm using it in a personal project, but HELLO I NEEDED TWO TYPES OF GREY. This led to me looking at the bowl of black dye that I had, and then at what other yarn I had. I tried Panda's off-white/ecru colour next. Perfect. I guess because it's more like a natural shade, which possibly got a fixative in it to make sure it stays white. I used THOSE greys on the trial coasters, which I made on the plane travelling across country to attend a funeral. (You can just get So Much Crochet Done on the plane!)

Of course, the next time I tried to dye some yarn grey for the final set, it wanted to go more lavender than grey. But, hey - it turned out well. (See greys above.)

Then I decided to offer the client the option to have a backing on the coasters, something else I hadn't done before. And of course, it was a yes! *laugh* So I went with felt, and I went to a craft fair the week I finished the coasters of, and picked up a really lovely soft bamboo/synthetic felt, which I just loved. I whip-stitched the backing to the coasters, and I think they worked SUPER WELL.

And the client was super pleased, which was the only point in the end :) 

Monday, July 15, 2013

My ball of Noro yarn

A few months ago, my Mum found a beautiful yarn store in Hobart, down in Tasmania. She bought me this lovely ball of Noro:

Isn't it pretty? I don't have the label anymore (I'm sure it's around here somewhere in a box, but I moved since I got given the ball and I have NO idea where it is!) but it's a ball of Noro with silk and cotton. It feels sturdy but a little silky.

And I have no idea what to do with it.

I thought I'd make a pair of gloves, since it's quite a fine ply (4ply). But I've been working on that other pair of gloves. Then I saw this post:

Japanese flowers and tutorial by Claire from My Craft Little Moments.

She points out how she loves the work by Sophie Digard:

And saw scarves like these in Selfridges:

Lovely, huh.

Anyway, Claire has written (and photographed) out a little tutorial for us to make our own Japanese Flowers and that's what I'm currently doing with my Noro. Making Japanese Flowers that I'll join together and make into a nice little scarf. I'll throw you an update later in the week after I've completed some of the flowers and have something to show you :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A wrist warmer...

Apologies for being missing from the blog for a while. Been quite disrupted in my life, what with a few events, so let's see how we go from now, yes?

Thanks for your patience and sticking around :)

* * *

A few weeks ago, I saw this awesome looking baby blanket posted on one of my feeds. Now, I usually make my baby blankets in what I call the "granny square" pattern: basically 3tr,/3dc, ch, 3tr/3dc, ch etc. I like my baby blankets that way, but I do worry about little fingers getting caught. I do also figure that the weave will be close enough to keep bub warm, but open enough to drape in a hotter season. But this baby blanket was made with more a shell stitch, in a deep purple, and it looked amazing. So, I followed a link to the basic stitch that she'd used:

Blanket stitch! I'd never heard of it! So, I grabbed a ball of Schoppenwolfe sock yarn that I'd found pretty cheap (yes, Schoppenwolfe! I think it was because it was the last ball of the colour lot - I only saw one of this lovely cheery pink - and it was in the mid-year sale anyway) and had a bit of a go at this stitch:

(picture from

Isn't it nice looking?

Well, my first experiment went along quite well, and I suddenly thought I should actually *make* something instead of just trialing out the stitch.

So, I made up a hand warmer. It's been rather cold of a morning here in Melbourne-town (where I live now - part of the disruption!) with about a solid week of frosts (something I was used to up in the country, but which I thought I should have mostly left behind!), and I found I was sitting on the tram in my gloves, unable to pick up my tablet/phone and read a book! Darn it all! So, I thought I should make some fingerless gloves, or hand/wrist warmers. 

Ta da! Whaddya think! I didn't follow a pattern, and realised about 12 rows up that it was coming along nicely for my wrist, but gee my hand attaches to my wrist and it's a fair bit wider :D So I started increasing the pattern, which was a bit tricky since it's a fan/shell sort of pattern, but I got it going. 

Then I tried it on after I sewed it together, and realised that I should have really fastened the bottom of the warmer with a button since the starting row is RATHER SNUG! For a moment there I was thinking I'd be wearing the glove for a while since I couldn't get it off! And it's still pretty snug to get on, but it works. I added in a whole little thumb section too (my first "separate thumb" for a glove/warmer!!) and added a bit more to the main part of the hand as well. I edged the top parts in a dc/sc just to make the top snug around my thumb/hand. 

Now, just to make a matching one! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quick little baby hat to make up

So... your friend/cousin/sister/distant relative just had a baby! Congratulations! But STOP! Have you got a new baby present? NO!! Oh my gosh you completely forgot to organise that baby gift! And you're going into the hospital to see them later! What will you do!?!?

Well worry no more, I have the perfect solution!

Yep, a baby hat.

You see, this was (sort of) what happened to me last week! Except it was my step-father's niece and we were seeing her at a party on Saturday night, and my Mum started panic shopping for a gift. I stopped her and said "why don't we go find some yarn and I'll make a baby hat". Problem solved!!

I found this terrific pattern: HookedOnNeedles: Crocheted Baby Hat The blog post even says the same thing :) Can be whipped up in around 2 hours (OK mine takes a bit longer because my attention wanders, but still it's completely done in an afternoon!) and is perfect for a new born present.

The first version I made was a bit bigger.

Probably twice the size.

The first green hat is made of 4ply baby yarn with a 3.5mm hook, and I would say it's a good size for a newborn-3 month old (although I'd say the bub will outgrow it by 3 months to be honest). The baby yarn is 100% acrylic, so easy to wash & will dry quickly. The second blue (and it is actually blue! It looks rather grey...) hat is for more a 3-6 month old (again, I predict a bub would grow out of it by 6 months) and was made with a 80% cotton-bamboo, 20% acrylic yarn with a 4mm hook. It would have easily been around 25% bigger than the little green hat.

I can't recommend the pattern enough. So simple, enough for a beginner to follow along easily.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Out and About in Melbourne-Town

Went into Melbourne yesterday to have lunch with my step-dad since he was over from Perth.

After I demonstrated that the awesome phone he bought me could take great pictures, he couldn't quite get the camera on my phone working (don't judge, it's SUPER tricky - half of my photos turn out blurry (see below!) as well!), so I showed him how to take a selfie :) Also - look! it's me... :)

We had a lovely day ;)

On my way back to the train station (a 7-block journey I had already tried to make, but I was 4 blocks away and 2 mins away from missing the train, so I got off the tram and went window shopping!) I was walking up a street I don't usually go down to walk to the train station, and I saw these in a window!

How cute are they! Crocheted pillows in a STORE DISPLAY that is not a craft store!

I just about fell over. Crochet really is "popular" these days :)

Anyway, I thought the pillows were tops. They're not a "traditional" granny square, and I adore how they are closed-up with buttons!

I've finally finished my studying. YAY! Handed in the last piece of homework for my course and barring no revisions, I wont have to do any more work. I shall just get my Certificate IV in the mail. I'm VERY PLEASED. Also, after 15 months of straight studying, I shall be able to get back into my crafting. This makes me VERY HAPPY.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I think we tend to forget how things used to be made. You can walk into any craft store and pick up a piece of lace for decoration, and it's not expensive. Some of it is, some of it is dirt cheap. Most of it is machine made: I don't know if any lace you can buy in a store is handmade anymore.

Lace is one of those things that you can crochet: not fine "Irish" lace, but a lot of cotton lace (doileys, fine bedspreads) is crochet, if it's handmade. I've always looked at the beautiful pieces that some people have made and gone "Gosh, I'm not sure I could do that". I worked with some heavy cotton last year and made the little fan bookmark:

Which I was super proud of. But I haven't tried any more lace/fine work again.

So when I picked up some 2/3ply remnants from Bendigo Woollen Mills, I ... I have no idea why I picked them up! *laugh* They're beautiful and very very fine.

Beautiful soft colours, very soft yarn. You can see why I got some :)

I decided that I'd try to make up a pattern in a book that I'd gotten out of my local library. Foundation row: 338ch. Did not help that I had to completely unravel two rows on my 2nd attempt at the piece.


It's got two side pieces and a centre piece that 'joins' the two edgings together. I'm partway through the centre piece, but I had to just put it aside for a bit. The yarn is so fine that I was having a hard time working it up.

Not exactly the kind of lacework I was talking about earlier, but you can see the similarity. It's very fine work that's going to take a bit of time to get done. I hope the recipient likes it ;)