Monday, April 30, 2012

the Accidental Hat... and Little Miss Paper Mache


My first Accidental Hat was made years ago for my daughter Katie. We called it the Accidental Hat, because it was originally supposed to be a bag - but you can read all about that in the Original Blog Post.

Just looked at the date on that original post - January 2008 - WOW - more than four years ago!!! How many of you were reading my blog way back then???



This one was made in an adult size. I've created a ribbed effect to make it stretchy and extra comfortable. Plus I've worked an extra row before changing each colour, which means that there are NO ENDS to weave in at all.


I'm not going to write a formal pattern, but here's the basics for how to make it.

  • 8ply yarn and a  5.0mm hook
  • chain 46
  • work in sc (US) through BACK LOOPS ONLY
  • work two rows of each colour until length is 53cm (or desired circumference)
  • seam foundation row and last row together
  • tie loose ends together to close the top of the hat across

On a separate note... here's the progress on Little Miss Paper Mache:


I think she's going to be an ongoing project for me, as I fiddle about with some shaping.

Friday, April 27, 2012

... and the Cat Next Door



This version of the Earflap Hat feels really, really messy.


I think that it's the combination of the 'crazy yarn' with the popcorn stitches - it's just all a bit too much visually.


Oh What A Mess...


But I kind of love it anyway!


These hats are NOT my own design. If you're looking for the pattern, it's available for sale here.
The designer is Leslie Nelle-Urinyi from Wool Mountain Studios.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paper Mache Mannequin


For the longest time I have wanted a Head Form so that I can display hats to photograph. I've trawled through so many Op Shops looking for one... with no success.

Well, you DO see them in the Op Shops - but they are always very clearly marked NOT FOR SALE.

After what felt like a Lifetime of Searching, I gave in and bought a new one.


I picked it up at Lincraft - it's polystyrene with a black velvety finish. The one on display looked a bit worse for wear, all scuffy and splotchy, so I chose one in the cellophane packaging...

Sad thing is, that within a few days... my Brand Spanking New one looked just as awful as the display one in the store.

The velvety finish became patchy, and every foreign fibre would stick to the form like glue. I thought I could fix the exposed polystyrene by painting over it with black nail polish - but I think that just made it worse.


Twelve months down the track, and I've become a little greedy. Now I want a head AND torso mannequin, so that I can display scarves as well as hats...

So I've decided to make one myself - as you do!


I'm using some polystyrene packaging for the torso... and adding it to the head which I already have.

It's Super Messy to work with polystyrene... as you can see...


It won't ever be a Realistic Mannequin, but will work well for my needs.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earflap Hat...


So this hat is rather heavy (it must be all those popcorn stitches)

... but OH SO WARM!


Excuse the Blank Face on my model!

She looks a little disturbing actually... but I'd like to assure you that I haven't wrapped a sheet over the head of one of the kids...

She's a Work In Progress... I'm making my own form, and the paper mache on the head was still a bit damp - I've covered her with a cloth to protect the hat.

I'll chase up some photos to share tomorrow - they'll give you a better idea of what I'm up to.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My What Big Teeth You Have...


Actually, they might be a little too big...

Looking back to the original sketch, I was aiming for much smaller teeth... and a lot more of them.

Will have a play around with some smaller ones today, and see which ones I prefer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alice Springs Beanie Festival...


Have you heard about the Alice Springs Beanie Festival???

It's a HUGE community event which happens every June in Central Australia.It started out as a way for Aboriginal women to sell their crochet beanies, but has now expanded into a celebration for all artists to join in together. There's loads of workshops to attend, exhibitions to behold, and fellow crafters to befriend!

Have you ever been?

I would love to go - but just to give you an idea, Alice Springs is 2276km from my home... that's a driving time of 23 hours and 12 mins... Approximately... If you don't stop to pee...

Maybe one year... And I'll take my dear friend Dawnie-Pants with me...and Jonnine - you can meet us there!

Anyway, each year there is a Beanie Competition, with a bunch of different categories. You can check them out here if you are interested.

I've chosen this one:

3. Favourite Bedtime yarn.
Remember being tucked up in bed and hearing or reading a story that transported you. The characters, the faraway places, the imaginary friends. Bring them back to life in your favourite beanie.

And as you might have guessed from the sketch I shared on Friday - I'm working with Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Here's the progress so far. You'll have to ignore those little black threads all over the right hand side. I started working on the hair, and then changed my mind about how I was going to do it.

I do that.

A lot.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

No time for Chitty-Chat today...

Here's a Plan for my latest project - I'll be back with more details on Monday.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Snail for My Mum.


I'm still plodding along with my 2012 IntNatCroMo freeform piece... But I wanted to share with you one of the components which I made earlier on in the challenge.

The Day 8 Instruction, was as follows:

Chose a stitch, motif or edging that symbolises each of these things to you (3 in total)
  1. The bread of your life the things that may seem hum-drum, but are so important to your world
  2. The roses of life, the things that enrich it and feed your soul
  3. The woman in your life who you have most looked up to.

The woman in my life who I have most looked up to was My Mum…Those of you have been reading my blog for a while now might remember that I lost my Mum to leukaemia about three and a half years ago (aged 58). Yep - it's been that long already!


So what could I crochet to best represent My Mum???

I know - A SNAIL...

Yes. You heard correctly. A snail. A common, everyday, garden variety of snail.

And why would that be?

Way back when I was at Uni, Mum also attended as a Mature Age Student. Anyway, I remember that she was running an experiment which involved keeping and observing snails. I have no recollection of WHY… but I clearly remember the process of catching and keeping the little slugs… they were numbered with Liquid Paper on their shells, and she was always documenting their movements.

For years after we would tease her mercilessly about her hobby of watching snails mate!!! And how that made her an inappropriate role model for us...
So I had to make this little guy for my freeform in Memory of Mum…


I'm undecided on the final placement for him just yet...

I kind of like him here, but he BLENDS in a bit too much, and I would really love him to be more of a feature in the piece.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One More Makes Three...


Here's the brief for the Final Swap Scrumble:

"I also like rich, jewel tones. I really like color combos that are primarily cool with pops of contrasting colors. For example, a blue and purple based scrumble with pops of gold and orange.
I do not have a project in mind for the pieces I receive. I will likely just display them individually as pieces of art in my craft room."

Once again the purpley tones have not photographed in true colour... One day I will figure out why that is - but in the meantime it will continue to drive me MAD!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Scrumble


This Scrumble is VERY different from the one I shared with you yesterday... isn't it???


The brief this time?

“I have no colors palette and just wait for some fresh and happy scrumbles with no particular theme. I love abstract and flowers."


So I selected some really bright and cheery colours...


And went about creating an abstract style of flower.


Monday, April 16, 2012

A Scrumble to Swap


Do you sometimes hesitate to join in a fun activity because of nerves???

I do it all the time, and this is a classic example...

A few months back, I saw that there was going to be a Scrumble Swap held in the Prudence Mapstone Group over on Ravelry. The idea was simple. Participants would be placed in groups of about seven, and then send a freeform scrumble to each of the others in their group.

You could nominate your chosen colours, so that when you received your six scrumbles they could be worked into one larger Freeform Project. Or not. Really... you could do ANYTHING you wanted with them... ANYTHING at all.

It sounded like it would be an INSPIRING swap... on a few different levels. Firstly, you would be making scrumbles in a variety of colour combinations which you might not usually use. And Secondly, you would be receiving 'puzzle pieces' from other crafters, to work into a project of your own.

I was Intrigued...

But a Little Bit Terrified, too...

So I didn't sign up, but have instead been watching from the sidelines (wishing that I had).

Long story short - One of the participants was having trouble meeting her commitments, so I flew in to act as a Swap Angel. Basically, I offered to make some of the scrumbles on her behalf.

So now that this one has been received, I can share the photos with you...

Here is the brief which I was given to work with: “My favorite colors are jewel tones-rich deep colors. I am working on this jacket, which will have oranges - brick-yellows, so those would be nice, but any rich deep colors are fine. I prefer all (or mostly from natural fiber yarn) , whenever possible.”

My piece is about 5 x 6". The purpley tones haven't photographed as beautifully as they appear in real life, which is a shame, but never mind...


Friday, April 13, 2012


Forgot to mention that I was going to take a Little Break over Easter...

School Holidays always throw me for a bit of a loop. I get so used to My Little Routine, with just Charlotte and I - and it really messes up our habits when the older kids are home!

I've been putting some time into finishing off my 2012 IntNatCroMo Freeform CAL piece...

Not all of these pieces are stitched in place yet, but I finally have a feel for how the finished Wall Art might look.

And YES... Those ARE my toes you see in the photo. Standing on the table to try and get the perfect shot.

The things I do for you!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Winner Announced

Congratulations to Adriana for her winning Matryoshka Doll.

kaaktus - matryoshka 2

Choosing a winner is always tricky... but here are my favourite characteristics of this doll:
  • two for the price of one - bubs is an inspired addition to the doll
  • those braids are a brilliant feature
  • the closed eyes (complete with eyelashes) are adorable
  • I’m a sucker for felt and blanket stitch - so those cheeks are perfection!
She is such a wonderful interpretation of my original pattern.

So, as the winner.... Adriana will now tell ME what to design for the next Knit Challenge, which will begin in May 2012.

Stay tuned, and I will let you know what she chooses! 

kaaktus - matryoshka 1

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Crochet Challenge

Are you ready for the April Challenge?

Meet True Blue the Quirky Koala...

This project was suggested by Juanita, the winner of our last crochet challenge.


Here's a refresher of what it's all about

  • Each month I will offer a new pattern for FREE to those who wish to participate
  • One month will be a KNITTING challenge, and the next month will be a CROCHET challenge
  • Take a photo of your completed project and enter it in the competition
  • I will choose my favourite project… the one which makes me go WOW the most! my decision might be based on yarn choices, embellishments, interpretation of the pattern… you get the idea
  • PRIZE? the winner gets to tell me what to design for our next challenge... maybe you want me to write a pattern for something you've seen me design in the past, or perhaps to bring something to life from your imagination... it will be the WINNER'S CHOICE... you could choose to have me design a plarn toy elephant, some crazy elton john style glasses, or an easter surprise for your great aunt elsie…
    it might be something sane or crazy… either way, it will be designed and embellished in that true laughing purple goldfish style which you know and love! BUT bear in mind… whatever you choose… will be MADE by you guys the following month… so choose something YOU want to make…

So, here's the plan for April...

  • Crochet this toy from my pattern. 
  • Enter your project photo in this competition over at Ravelry. If you are not a Ravelry member, you can enter by emailing me your entry
  • Entries will close 30/4/12 at midnight, my time (AEST Australia)
  • Winner announced 2/5/12... photo of winning project will be posted here on my blog... and I'll also tell you why I chose it
  • The winner will then choose what they would like me to design for the next Crochet-Along (CAL) which will be run in June 2012

SO... are you in?

Want to join in the fun?

Email me for the pattern to get started