Wednesday, May 26, 2010

simple maths


bag for sale - click here for details

how did I make it???

40 plastic bags


2 audio cassette tapes


a macrame belt


some kitchen string


some fabric remnants


a length of scrap wool

... and there's even a pocket inside


Monday, May 24, 2010

super sleuth!

embroidered bootee

Guess what guys???

We have a super sleuth among us...

Three big cheers for VJESTICICA who managed to track down the pattern for these bootees!!!

You can find the pattern in this book here which is available for sale from Annie's Attic.

Mind you, that's not where I got the pattern from...

I used this book here:

booklet, bootee

Some of you Aussie folk might actually have this one at home. I probably bought it about 12 - 15 years ago, probably somewhere like Big W or Spotlight or a similar store. It's a Patons booklet, and it's one that was around for years and years. But no longer in publication.

Here's what the bootee looks like in my pattern book:
booklet, bootee - closeup

And here's my finished bootees...

Well, one is finished, anyway!

I thought I'd take a comparison photo for you - one with embroidery and one without...

pre and post embroidery

My embroidery isn't EXACTLY as directed in the pattern...

The blue on green at the top is supposed to be bullion stitch - which I haven't mastered yet... so I just worked a straight stitch there.

The dark blue crosses on light blue are as written, but I added a little red dot in the centre of each.

And the light blue zig zag on dark blue, was supposed to be herringbone stitch, but I couldn't get it working neatly into the space... and I went the simple zig zag instead!

Anyway, time for me to get on with embroidering the second bootee, before the baby outgrows them...

Friday, May 21, 2010

cutie bootees

bootee, progress

Ooooooh.... it's a long, long time since I have sat down and made a pair of bootees. And I honestly don't think that I have EVER crocheted a pair, so this project was quite a novelty!

This is the sole of the foot... can you just imagine the eency weency teeny weeny little footsie wootsie which is going to fit into these???? Too adorable...

But, as we all know... they GROW UP!!!


the pattern was a bit of a challenge for me - as it is written in UK terminology, and I generally only work in US terms. So there was a bit of translation going on in my head the whole time, but I got there in the end.

Now here's the surprising part...

So far I have followed the pattern EXACTLY.

Well, I changed down a hook size, but that was only because I couldn't find a 3.5mm hook (not that I don't have one, just that I couldn't FIND it)

And I didn't use baby yarn in pastelly colours, because... well... I didn't HAVE any... but I've stuck with a 5 ply yarn...

But those things don't really count, do they???

Other than that, I have followed the pattern as written.

Even all those colour changes - they are exactly as written in the pattern.

But they're not finished yet! There's embellishing to come - it says so, right there in THE PATTERN!!!

I'm off to find a tapestry needle, will have the results for you soon...

bootee, pre embroidery

Thursday, May 20, 2010

blocking with knitting needles

needle blocking, closeup

Now this is a technique that I heard mentioned a couple of months back, and finally decided to give it a try for myself.

Blocking with knitting needles.

Obviously it only works for small projects.

I've used 2.75mm needles, which are 35cm long. It would have been even better if my needles were actually straight, but these ones are a weeny bit bent.

They're a perfect size for blocking a 30cm/12 inch suare.

Just weave needles along all four edges. Make sure that your piece is sitting flat, and then give a light water spray all over. Lightly press if desired (although you do need to be VERY careful with some fibres).

Leave the piece to dry or cool down, before removing needles.

needle blocking

How easy is that???

And it saves messing around with all those pins like I usually would.

Have you tried needle blocking yet?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

recycling an old belt


Thanks for all your responses to my last post. I do love to hear feedback from you... it's always of interest to me to hear what your experiences are... and also the ideas that you have

I especially love the idea of fusing the woven plastic (thanks frill.friend)

Also... I hadn't ever thought of adding beads into the plarn as I ply it... another fabulous idea! (thanks echo)

Well, the body of the plarn bag is finished...

but what to do for a strap???

Experience has taught me that as a general rule, crochet straps s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I wish it wasn't the case, but they do.

Or maybe I just put far too much STUFF into my bags???

Anything is possible...

Now that I think about it though... I've only ever worked crochet straps widthways. I've chained say 6 sts, and then worked short rows of sc until I reached the length that I wanted.

I usually work a row of sc down each side of the strap for extra stability, but I'm wondering if I would get a better result if I worked the entire strap sideways... like I chained 80sts, and then worked 6 rows???

Well... that's something to try another day... because today I've decided to use a belt.


Sometimes I like to make a feature of the buckle... like I did with this bag

But there's nothing that I find terribly interesting about this one. So the plan is to remove the D-rings (which I'm sure will come in useful for another project at some point) and just use the fabric for the strap.

Now... off to find something for the lining...

Monday, May 17, 2010

recycling plastic bags


I've been thinking a lot about plastic bags lately... and how to use them in my craft.

There a challenge running for the month of May, over at my group on Ravelry... to create a project which recycles a plastic bag.

Any kind of project at all.

Using any technique you like.

Which got me to thinking... there's so many things that I haven't yet tried with plastic...

One is to FUSE it... to take about eight layers of plastic, sandwich them between sheets of greaseproof paper, and then iron them so that they fuse together. The resulting plastic sheet can be cut and sewn, just as you would with fabric.

I've tried fusing once before. It wasn't exactly successful, so I tossed the idea... but I'm starting to think that it would definitely be worth another try.

The second idea that I would love to try is WEAVING with plastic strips. I saw a fabulous bag (you can see it here) which I would love to make. It uses woven squares of plastic, which are then patchworked together and stitched into a bag... and it looks amazing.

Despite those ideas running around in my head, I started on an entirely different plastic project:

I'm working on a crochet bag... using two strands of plarn (plastic yarn) and on strand of audio cassette tape. It's my first attempt at combining plarn and cassette tape.

So far, so good... Stay tuned to see how it goes!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

there's something very wrong with me...


There's something very wrong with me... and I'm not sure that it can be fixed.

Today I walked into an Op Shop...

You know... a Second-Hand Store, a Thrift Store, a Charity Store... whatever you like to call it...


It's a while since I've really been Op Shopping... and when I walked in today, I cause myself pausing in the doorway.... taking a BIG DEEP BREATHE in through my nose...

I wanted to savour the aroma... it seeemed so familiar, and comforting, and friendly

I was thinking to myself, ahhh I love that smell...

And then I suddenly realised that the SMELL which felt so wonderfully comforting to me, was a blend of mothballs and musty old upholstery.


I don't think that our Op Shops here smell as bad as some that I hear about... but really... one isn't supposed to ENJOY the smell of them!


So I shopped and shopped and shopped...

And then I shopped a little more.

Four Op Shops later, I was loaded up with goodies... and wondering where I was going to store all my new-found treasure!

I won't overload you with all my finds in this post, but I did come across this beautiful bracelet.

The elastic is starting to deteriorate in it, it's yellowed and becoming brittle... so I was thinking that I would re-string it...

But then when I took it apart, I decided that it would be much more fun to make earrings with the pieces.

So I'm off to play with my jewellery making tools...

I'll show you some more photos when I am done.

Oh... and looking at that last photo, I need to moisturise my hands, too!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

we are family

Check this out...

chi-kore and dawnie-kore

My friend Dawn has made her very own Chi-Kore...

I'm calling him Dawnie-Kore!

She brought him a long to our crochet meet the other day...

Isn't he gorgeous???

He's smaller than my little guy, because he was made using a lighter weight of yarn.

I was so delighted when I met him, that I seriously had a tear in my eye... it really was like meeting a family member for the first time!



Been having a little bit of a break from the yarn...

And focussing on some jewellery making

These earrings are made from recycled materials

Except for the bits which actually go through your ears - THOSE BITS ARE NEW

A couple of pair have already sold... but there are still some for sale in my store... click here to take a look

They're only $12.50 for a pair!!!





Saturday, May 8, 2010

rainy days...

Our weather here is approaching winter.

The days are getting shorter.

And colder.

And we're even starting to see some rain, which is a precious gift.

Given that our state is still in drought.

So to entertain the kidlets the other day, we did some face painting.

katie - rabbit

A good wet weather activity.

Always followed by a long warm bath to soak it all off before dinner.

ben - pirate

Usually I do the faces for them, and then allow them to paint tatoos on one another's arms and legs.

And sometimes I let them paint my face too.

But not this time.

sam - lion