Saturday, May 30, 2009

project #2 - bubble frenzy beer cozy

coaster & cozy

pattern used -
yarn used -
  • assorted recycled cottons
  • approximately 8 ply/DK weight
  • used three different colours
hook used -
  • 4.0mm hook
thoughts -
  • I'm not really a fan of the whole beer cozy concept... Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I don't actually drink beer! beer cozy - close up
  • now that I have made it... I've decided that I quite like it... and it will fit perfectly over a bottle of Smirnoff Ice... Mmmmm.... VODKA beer cozy
  • I followed the pattern, but added a third colour. So I still made the colour changes in all the same places as the pattern called for, but I alternated through three colours instead of two. It seems to give the pattern a completely different look.
  • totally off-topic, but is it possible to alternate between three things... or does the term ALTERNATE technically imply that there are only two possibilities??? coaster
  • I also made the accompanying coaster from Lisa's pattern, and added a final trim in sc using size 20 crochet thread and a 1.25mm hook coaster - close up
  • the coaster will live on my desk here... the perfect spot for my coffee cupcoaster in use

Friday, May 29, 2009

project #1 - miniature handbag

I have started out on a self-imposed challenge... which will keep me more than busy over the next few weeks!

Lisa Gentry has published a new e-pattern book... called Hooked For 30 Days - 30+ Crochet Designs In 30 Days. Each day she will be adding a new pattern to the book .

Well, I had this crazy idea that I would keep up with her, by creating each project on the day that it comes out.

Sounds insane, right???

Well... it would have been insane if I had started when the first pattern came out...10 days ago, but I didn't...

So I'm going to start now...and try and catch up!

I know... it's beyond insane... especially when you consider ALL the other projects I have going on at the moment. But cheer me on anyway!!!

Here's the first project:

miniature purse

pattern used:
materials used:
  • pattern calls for size 10 crochet cotton... but I wanted to use what I had on hand, so I used size 20 crochet cotton and a fine recycled ribbon type yarn, and just worked them together yarn choice
  • also needed about 400 beads... all from my recycled stash beads
hook used -
  • 1.5mm
thoughts -
  • it took me forever to thread all those beads on, but I love the result threaded beads
  • in fact, it probably took me longer to make this miniature bag, than it would have taken to make a full-scale one in hand
  • pattern is well written and easy to follow
  • I had orginally planned to put a small lining into the bag, but the stitches sit so tightly together, that it doesn't need one
  • I love the way this piece turned out... although I'm not entirely certain what I will use it for
close up

Monday, May 25, 2009

collecting stamps...

stamps 2

Just wondering...

Do children still collect stamps these days??? What about coins???

Perhaps it's a dying art.

When I was growing up, it was a very 'boy' thing to do. All the boys seemed to have either a stamp album or a coin album, where they lovingly and carefully stored away their treasures. There was always great excitement when a new item was added to the collection.

One of the great decorator items of my childhood home, was the STAMP LAMP. Made by my father, it was the focal point of the living room. Originally it was a glass wine carafe. Dad had covered it in stamps... added the necessary cabling... filled it with sand... and added a lampshade. I loved the STAMP LAMP.

Unfortunately it didn't stand the test of time, and no longer exists. But I always imagined I would one day make one of my own.

stamps 1

Over the years, Mum had hoarded an interesting array of goodies. Mostly things from our childhood. Toys, school books, letters and cards. All sorts of things which we had long forgotten about. So it has been an interesting time to sort through these memories, now that she has passed away.

While sorting through my brother's memories, we came across a huge envelope BURSTING with stamps. They had been collected with the aim of addding them to the stamp album, but they didn't quite reach their destination. Most had just been torn from the corner of their envelope, and stashed away.

Of course he no longer wants them. They've been in storage for at least twenty years, and naturally his interests have changed since then.

But I couldn't allow them to be trashed!

They're home with me now... to be transformed into something new. Perhaps my very own STAMP LAMP, or maybe a vase.

Actually... I'd really LOVE to cover my filing cabinet... but I don't think I have nearly enough for that. Maybe I will start... one drawer at a time?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth... honest!


I've just been really distracted of late!

There's been lots of re-organising going on at my place lately... and it's eaten up all my crafting time. But it's been wonderfully therapeutic, none-the-less...

It's most liberating to clear the JUNK out of your life... which leaves the path clear for you to focus on the important stuff...

My craft room has had a massive clean out. The only problem is that I get distracted when I'm sorting, because I want to play with everything...


Like my button and bead collection...

I spent hours and hours the other day... sorting them into colour groups... and I loved every minute of it!


Friday, May 15, 2009

the humble dishcloth...

It's interesting to see how passionate people become on the subject of knit/crochet dishcloths.

They seem to either LOVE the handmade dishcloth... or HATE it! Either they can't get enough of them... or they can't imagine anything more repulsive. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Which side of the fence do you stand on???

Until a couple of years ago, I hadn't even heard of a knitted dishcloth...

When I did hear about them... my response was UGH! Why make something beautiful, and then subject it to kitchen duties like that??? It made no sense to me.

But there are so many people around who LOVE their dishcloths. In the end, I decided that I had to try them... so that I could make an informed decision.

Well... I'm now converted!

LOVE the humble dishcloth and all that it represents. I had a friend visiting with his daughter a litle while back... and at one point he needed a dishcloth to wipe up a kiddie mess at the table. I passed him one of my fabulous creations... and he BURST OUT LAUGHING!!! and said "OMG... this looks just like something you would find at great aunt betty's house!"

I'm not entirely sure that it was meant to be a compliment... but I took it as one. I love that it has an old world charm, reminiscent of days gone by... and a simpler lifestyle.

Recently I made a dishcloth as part of a 'prize pack' for my local craft group. There will be lots of different cloths in the pack... all of which will look fabulous.

But I wanted mine to jump out from the others. Not to be bigger or grander or fancier than the others... I just wanted it to distinctly say:



  • there's lots of colours... because I can never choose just one
  • a simple design... just the way I like it... easy to make, and you don't need much pattern detail when you have all those colours
  • it has a tasseled trim... so I didn't have to weave in any ends
  • and made from recycled materials.. of course!
  • plus it has a scrappy quality to it... which I adore


Thursday, May 14, 2009

first ever pair of socks

So, I haven't actually made a pair of socks before.

I've tried. I've started dozens of times. But I always lost interest when the first sock was about halfway done.

Knitting... Crochet... Didn't seem to matter which way I went...

The problem with knitting is that I really don't like to use circular needles. Or double pointed needles. I mean... I CAN use them... but I'm just so slow with them. They feel awkward and uncomfortable to use.

When I knit, I like to 'tuck' the right needle under my armpit. I know it's a little bit odd... but it REALLY works for me. I've always worked that way... and I can knit quite quickly. I've been knitting that way for 30 years now... so it's a well established habit.

So that means that I need to use long needles... so circulars and dpns totally disrupt my style and my rhythm... in short, they drive me insane!

I love the neat finish of 'no seams'... as well as the fact that you don't have to actually DO the seaming. But to be honest, using straight needles I can knit and seam an item in about half the time it would take me to knit it using circulars or dpns.

Which might explain why this sock pattern really appealed to me. Each sock is knit in one piece using DK yarn on straight needles, and then seamed up the sides.

So... here we have sock one:


And sock two:


You might notice that they are not a matched pair???

They are my contribution to the MISMATCHED MAY oddball challenge which I was telling you about here.

You might also remember that I had started to crochet a pair of socks for that challenge? Well... they've been abandoned for the moment... but I will crochet some socks... one day soon!


pattern used -

yarn used -
  • crazy yarn mostly (but not limited to) 8ply/DK weight

needles used -
  • 4.0mm

thoughts -
  • these socks are not a 'fitted style'... but then we all knew that just from looking at the pattern
  • they are in no way 'delicate'... but I didn't really intend them to be... I mean, look at my yarn choice
  • mine are a bit big in the foot, and would not be comfortable to wear in shoes... but, they were intended to become a house sock anyway
  • quick and easy to knit... but I think that next time I decide to knit socks, I will persevere with the circular needles... even if they do take longer... the result is better!
  • despite all of the above... I LOVE THESE SOCKS!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

how good is your imagination???

socks - flat

So tell me... how good is your imagination???

Because these are supposed to be a pair of socks.

Can you see them becoming socks?

socks - flat - closeup

All that remains to be done is the seaming, which I'm hoping to finish off later today.

I keep telling myself to have faith... they WILL be socks... they WILL be SOCKS... THEY WILL BE SOCKS!!!

But I think I'll have to see it to believe it...

socks - folded

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my hair is growing!


Well... it feels like it is taking forever to grow back... but when I look at the photos, I can see that it's actually come a long way in about eight weeks.


If you missed the original post about WHY I shaved my head.... you can read it here

Monday, May 11, 2009



pattern used -

hook used -
  • pattern calls for a 3.5mm hook, I used a 4.0mm hook
yarn used -
  • pattern doesn't really specify what weight yarn to use
  • of course I used reclaimed yarns!
  • I worked the body with one strand of green 8ply/DK yarn, and one strand of the variegated green which I dyed in this post here
  • the spikes were worked with two different shades of yellow 8ply/DK yarn held together
  • the wings were worked with red 12ply/bulky yarn

thoughts -
  • it's not a detailed pattern
  • really just a basic set of notes to guide you through
  • I found it simple and easy to follow
  • my only modification, was to work a row of sc around the outer edge of the wings after they were attached... to 'finish' them off more neatly

Saturday, May 9, 2009

remember those curtain rings???

Every now and then I get a message from one of my readers, asking what I ended up doing with those wooden curtain rings. You might remember that I asked you to help me out with ideas... and you guys came up with some really creative suggestions. Click here for the original post.

Well... I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I have done NOTHING with them!

Nada... Zilch... Zero... Nothing...

But I do have a plan.

I want to make a hippy-type curtain. Not sure where it will go though. Maybe across my craft room window... or in the door way to my craft room... or else it will hang against the wall above my bed.

One thing I have been looking for is some decent sized wooden beads to use with the rings. Of course they would need to be recycled... a reasonable size... and there would need to be lots of them!

Well... look what I found...


They'll be perfect!

And where did they come from???

car seat cover

One of those beaded car seat covers!

They've has a good wash in some disinfectant... and are ready for me to start playing around with.

Friday, May 8, 2009

hint of spring

Here's the alternate square for the block-a-month crochet-along:

(and I promise, NO MORE SQUARES for a little while now... I'm even starting to bore myself with these!!!)

hint of spring

pattern used -

hook used -
  • pattern calls for a 4.5mm... I still haven't found mine, so I used a 4.0mm

yarn used -
  • pattern calls for worsted weight/10ply yarn
  • I used a variety of reclaimed DK/8ply yarns
  • rounds 1 & 2 - mid blue
  • round 3 - maroon
  • round 4 - dark burgundy
  • round 5 - cream
  • round 6 - brown and white fleck
  • round 7 - camel
  • round 8 - river gum green
  • round 9 - navy
  • round 10 - maroon
  • round 11 - cream
  • round 12 - brown and white fleck

thoughts -
  • this pattern was one that I really had to focus on... and follow the instrustions step-by-step
  • it's not difficult... you just need to work slowly
  • not sure if it was just the subtle differences in the yarns that I was working with, or just the way the pattern works up... but my square was very higgildy-piggildy... especially very 'bunched up' around the centre... meant to take some photos but I forgot!... but blocked nicely into the proper shape
  • I'm not delighted with the centre of my square... the blue feels a bit out of place, so I might add a little embroidery to the middle, just to tie it in better with the other colours
hint of spring - closeup

Thursday, May 7, 2009

victorian dream

This must be my week for getting squares done!

I've managed to get myself organised early in the month... and here is my may square for the block-a-month crochet-along:

victorian dream

pattern used -

hook used -
  • 4.0mm

yarn used -
  • pattern calls for worsted weight/10ply yarn
  • I used a variety of reclaimed DK/8ply yarns
  • round 1 - cream
  • round 2 - natural fleck
  • round 3 - camel
  • round 4 - dark burgundy
  • round 5 - mid blue
  • round 6 - navy
  • round 7 - cream
  • round 8 - river gum green
  • round 9 - camel
  • round 10 - navy
thoughts -
  • I am totally in love with the centre of this square!!!
  • I worked one additional round to bring it up to size... round 10 worked in dc

victorian dream - closeup

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

mismatched may

Check out the fabulous challenge this month over at the Oddballs group on Ravelry...

They're calling it 'mismatched may' and the idea is to knit or crochet a pair of whatever you like... socks, gloves, earmuffs... there has even been some discussion about whether a brassiere counts as a pair... I'm fascinated to see what people are working on there!!!

Anyway, the idea is that you make your pair... but they don't match... a bit like fraternal twins...

So I am working on a pair of sock made from crazy yarn... there's even a snippet of fun fur in there!

here's the progress to date:

progress 1

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

waldo's puzzle

Another one for the 2009 Block-A-Month CAL...


pattern used:

hook used:
  • pattern calls for 5.omm hook... I have used a 4.omm hook

yarn used:
  • pattern calls for worsted weight/10ply yarn
  • I used a variety of reclaimed DK/8ply yarns
  • ring 1 - cream
  • ring 2 - brown and white fleck
  • ring 3 - cream
  • ring 4 - brown and white fleck
  • round 1 - petrol
  • round 2 - dark burgundy
  • round 3 - river gum green
  • round 4 - oatmeal
  • round 5 - peacock blue
  • round 6 - cream
  • round 7 - mid blue
  • round 8 - brown and white fleck
  • round 9 - river gum green

  • I was initially terrified of the intersecting rings at the centre of this piece, but I needn't have been
  • the pattern is very clear... and has detailed step-by-step photos to guide you through the beginning of the square
  • if you take your time and follow the photos closely, you will easily be able to complete this complex looking square!
waldo closeup

Monday, May 4, 2009


Still going with the 2009 Block-A-Month CAL...


pattern used:

hook used:
  • pattern calls for 5.5mm... I used a 5.0mm

yarn used:
  • pattern calls for worsted weight/10ply yarn
  • I used a variety of reclaimed DK/8ply yarns
  • round 1 & 2 - dark burgundy
  • round 3 - river gum green
  • round 4 - brown and white fleck
  • round 5 - camel fleck
  • round 6, 7 & 8 - navy
  • round 9 - cream
  • round 10 - river gum green
  • round 11 - brown and white fleck

  • as always, I started with an adjustable magic ring
  • this is a nice, simple square... although the pattern of the arches seems to come out best when the entire square is worked in a single colour
  • I worked round 10 using sc instead of dc, as my square was already getting too big
  • I probably should have used a 4.5mm hook for this square, to suit my loose tension... but that would have meant tidying up my work area, so that I could FIND a 4.5mm hook... and it all just seemed too hard at the time!

arches closeup

Saturday, May 2, 2009

loving this book...

While I was away on my break... I managed to check out some second-hand stores, and came across the most wonderful book ever!


It's an oldie... of course... published in 1979... but it is chocked full of crafty goodness. There are almost 500 pages of craft techniques, project ideas and patterns.


each page has clear photos and diagrams...


and there is even a section on experimental techniques...


and of course, I want to explore them all!

Friday, May 1, 2009

baba yaga hut challenge

Have you heard about the Russian folklore character called Baba Yaga???

I hadn't... so I had to do some research on this one!

Can you imagine a cross between Freddy Kruger and a Fairy Godmother? I know that they seem like polar opposites, but from what I understand about her, it seems to be a spot on decription.

Baba Yaga is a wild and untamable woman... she is a fearsome witch with iron teeth and a very long nose... a skeletal character, who travels along the ground or in the air perched in a mortar, pushing herself along with a pestle. She sweeps away her tracks as she moves.

On her softer side, she is an all-seeing, all-knowing nature spirit... who rules over the elements.

Or so the legend goes...

And where would such a woman live???

In a hut with chicken legs, of course!

Her hut has a personality all of it's own, and it screeches and screams as it spins through the forest. The windows appear to be eyes, and the keyhole is a mouth with sharp teeth. Baba Yaga enters and leaves her hut through the chimney. Around the house is a fence made from bones, and topped with skulls.


Where am I going with all this???

Well the current challenge over at the Silly String group on Ravelry, is to crochet your interpretation of Baba Yaga's Hut. Click here for more information. Please join us, if you are looking for a challenge. We are very welcoming of new members. There is no deadline... and we have all been a bit slow to get started on this one! Remember.. it's YOUR interpretation... so there is no right and wrong... it's just an opportunity to stretch out of your comfort zone, and try something totally new!

I've fiddled about, and come up with this sketch...just an idea to start the ball rolling...

baba yaga hut - sketch