Thursday, May 29, 2008

de-stressing cables

free knitting pattern! download here


These thick luxurious cables are designed to massage, de-stress and exfoliate. Gently cleanse your back without straining. This is the ultimate back washer. A perfect gift idea, or an indulgent addition to your own bathroom.

Knit this fabulous washer in cotton so that it is easy to care for. After use, you simply rinse and allow to air dry. It can also be machine washed and tumble dried.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

missing in action

One of my WIPs has gone MIA. Could it possibly be because my craft area has turned into the PFH??? For those of you not 'in the know'... a WIP is a Work In Progress. And what is the PFH... I hear you ponder?

Well the PFH is the Pigsty From Hell.

Yes, I made it up. But I am at a loss for any other words to describe my environment. Unfortunately it's not just confined to one room either. Or even one storey.

There is at least one craft project 'on the go' in every room of my home. Upstairs, downstairs, even in the car. I've lost track of how many WIPs there are at the moment. But whichever room I find myself in, there is a project I can pick up and work on. And if none of those projects inspire me? I just start something new.

I'm vaguely remembering some kind of New Year's Resolution about FINISHING one thing before I start another. Obviously that didn't work out so well for me!

Getting back to my point. I was working on a knitted rag bag. It is a large size tote and I am about one third of the way through it. Gone. Missing. Disappeared. Never to be seen again.

Well, hopefully not NEVER... but where can it possibly be? I feel like I have looked everywhere. Repeatedly. And it's not a small project either. Plus, it's attached to a giant rag ball. It's got to be here somewhere!

Here's a photo of how it looked two weeks ago. If you've seen it, please send it back my way.

no liner bag progress (closeup)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

it's a bit like a bra

Little Miss Three is so pleased with her new shrug... "it's a bit like a bra" she exclaimed excitedly

The pattern was designed by Rebecca Webster who is a fellow Woolaholic. It is her first design, and she has done a gorgeous job. Congratulations Bec!

ggshrug (flash2)

Would you be surprised to hear that I didn't strictly follow the pattern? Of course not... you know me better than that by now!

My yarn choice was of course recycled wool. The pattern called for aran weight merino. I used one strand of DK wool in a dark pink, and knit it together with assortments from my scrap yarn basket. None of it was as fancy as merino, but it was all 100% wool.

I worked the main part of the shrug according to the pattern, omitting the picot edging and the ties. I then crocheted a picot edging all the way around the shrug, and also the sleeves... and crocheted the tie.

To be honest, the fit isn't fabulous on my daughter. I plan to make another one and next time I will work with about 10 stitches less across the back. As is, it seems to be loose in the body, but snug in the sleeves. If you look photograph of the garment on it's own, you can see that there should be a reasonable space between the left and right fronts. Does that make sense? But when my daughter is wearing the shrug, it pulls in tighter at the ties, which seems to make the neck then go a bit gapey. It might be due to my yarn choice since I wasn't using that recommended. And I'm a naughty knitter who doesn't check her gauge. Which is probably why I don't knit garments very often.

Overall... I love it. Little Miss Three loves it. I will definitely make another one.

And did I mention QUICK? Finished in an afternoon. Perfect project for me, since there is no time to get bored!

ggshrug (suitcase)

Friday, May 23, 2008

stripped bare

cables crazy

Didn't take long at all to recover this fabulous wire from inside those cables. It was simply a matter of splitting the cable open at one end, then pulling the wires in one direction and the plastic cable in the other. Resulting in a basket full of multi-coloured delight.

A short while later and the wire was coiled into easily managed rolls. Because much as I loved the aesthetics of that basket... that funky random method of storage was only going to end in disaster, and probably tears!

I have absolutely no plans for this wire. But one day inspiration will strike, and when it does... I am ready for it. As it turns out there was not as much yield as I was expecting. Perhaps I will start one of those ongoing projects... like maybe a toy basket or a laundry hamper... and I can just add to it as I collect more wire.

Hmmm... the mind boggles

cables tidy

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a surprise from my husband

It was late. The kids were all settled for the evening, and the chores were out of the way. Time to relax.

Mr Goldfish approached me. His hands were hidden behind his back. He had that sweet puppy-dog look in his eyes. "I've got a surprise for you"

cable peek

Now what wife wouldn't appreciate a gift like this? I was so excited. I may in fact have danced a little jig. A handful of old telephone cables he had discovered while cleaning through the study. Who needs diamonds?

No. He wasn't planning to tie me to the bed with them. Nor proposing that I tie him to the bed....

See that tiny bit of red and green wire poking out from one of the cables? I'll be crocheting with that. Or maybe knitting. Perhaps macrame? Who knows!

I wonder what other colours I will find hiding inside?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

queen of recycling

As you know, I am a member of the Silly String group over at Ravelry. Each month we are issued with a challenge, inspiring us to try our hand at something a little unusual.

'Legions of Queens' was the name of the challenge this month

The task involved firstly choosing your domain... What do you want to be Queen of???

Next you needed to create an appropriately themed tiara or crown crocheted from wire... one which would actually fit on your head!

So. I nominated myself 'Queen of Recycling'

Firstly I needed to source myself some recycled wire. I turned to Mr Goldfish for this one... surely he had some kind of wire stashed away in his garage that I could use?

Of course he had oodles, but nothing fine enough for me to crochet with. Then he came up with the suggestion of cutting open some old electrical wiring, and salvaging the fine copper wires from inside to use. Has anyone ever tried this? I would be interested to hear your feedback on it.

As it happens, Mr Goldfish couldn't find the electrical cables... and I was getting impatient. Can you believe that? Me getting impatient about something? So he handed me some telephone cables instead. I sliced them open and 'ooh-ed and ah-ed' at the pretty colours inside.

The telephone wires weren't too bad to work with. It took me about an hour to crochet the tiara. At that time my fingers weren't at all sore. I have heard some awful reports about people developing blisters and the like from working with wire. Admittedly my wrist was sore. Sore enough that I would have needed to stop for the day and continue again tomorrow sometime. And I'm happy to report that my hook was unscathed. Apparently the wire is notorious for destroying crochet hooks.

To embellish my tiara, and in keeping with the recycle theme, I used an old clip on earring for a a feature at the front, and then a couple of brass split pins to finish off.

tiara 2

tiara 1

tiara 3

Monday, May 19, 2008

desmond is done...

Desmond the Lion is finally completed...

Crafted entirely from recycled yarns. Pattern will be available for sale next month.

lion - finished (full body)

lion - finished (rear)

Friday, May 16, 2008

remember desmond?

It feels like a lifetime ago that I started work on designing a crochet toy lion. Desmond the Lion. King of the Jungle. I created an adorable head with a magnificent mane, and then ran out of creative genius! I have started work on his body so many times. But I am never happy with the result.

Desmond has the patience of a saint. He sits perched on top of my sewing box, gazing down at me working on other projects at my craft desk. It must drive him insane, but he says nothing. Just waits quietly. He knows his time will come.

And indeed it has. The pressure of time is upon me. My nephew is turning two, and Desmond is a gift for him. So I have two days in which to adorn my lion with a body and perhaps legs and a tail. Wish me luck, and keep watching this blog for my progress.

lion head on sewing box and more

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

random scarf

Every now and then I love to go to my stash, grab a variety of different yarns and then set to work on a random scarf. Each row a different stitch from the last. Each row in an alternative colour. All different types of fibres mixed together. Cottons, mohairs, silks , wools, novelty yarns and blends. Whatever I have lying around. It's a wonderful way to use up all those bits and bobs.

JP scarf1

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers' Day

It's that time of year again... the time when we all ponder and stew over what to buy our Mums for Mothers' Day. That one day of the year when we are particularly mindful of all the sacrifices our Mum has made for us over the years, and we want to thank her appropriately.

I prefer to make my Mothers' Day gift if I can. Mum always encouraged and praised my crafting endeavors throughout childhood (as long as I cleaned up after myself) so it seemed fitting to handcraft a gift for her. But what??? I was really stumped this year.

Mum has been desperately unwell for quite some time now. I wanted to make her a gift that would lift her spirits, and not necessarily something that would also be practical. Part of her treatment has been regular ongoing platelet transfusions. So somewhere in the playground that is my mind, I came up with the idea of creating an 'emergency bag of platelets' for her.

Platelets are responsible for helping your blood to clot. Microscopically they look like little plates (thus the name platelets) and they have thorny tentacle-like protrusions which help them to mesh together nicely when clotting is required. I like to think that they also have shiny eyes and a fabulous big smile... but this is yet to be scientifically proven.

click here for pattern

 emergency bag of platelets

As it turns out... these little guys were very well received, and Mum was able to have a good giggle about them. We all did.


Friday, May 2, 2008

smiles from the boy

My eight year old son was so excited last night. I finally presented him with the crochet version of Lux-Roy the Plastalien. You might remember that Master Eight moulded a creature using plasticine, and it was my challenge to bring him to life using crochet

luxroy (closeup face)

Lux-Roy is worked from oddments of stash yarns. His eyes are exquisite purple beads from one of Miss Three's many broken bracelets. Unfortunately the photography doesn't show their true colour. His hands are purple heart shaped beads.

luxroy (rocks)

Because of the long thin nature of the antennae and the arms... and knowing my children as well as I do... I know that Lux-Roy will be stretched and spun and 'tug of warred' with. So I have paid extra attention to securing the limbs. We'll see how long he can withstand the 'love' my children will impart on him, before he requires surgery!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

someone 'gets' me

I received the most wonderful parcel in the mail the other day. Completely unexpected... the best kind of surprise. I was very curious! Before tearing into it, I checked out the details of the sender. The parcel had traveled all the way from the USA. It was from Messy, whom you might remember I made this doll for recently as part of a swap.

Now I was even more curious. I wasn't expecting anything from Messy...

The parcel was filled with all sorts of goodies sent to challenge and inspire me. A fabulous array of items for me to recycle in my craft. Lots of bits and pieces... fabric samples, threads, trimmings, and so much more. Also a gorgeous journal for me to keep track of my crafting adventures and plans, and some treats for the kids.

Thank you Messy. You absolutely 'get me'.... and enable me. And I noticed that you yourself recycled the mailing box which I had first sent you. Precious!

surprise from bonnie