Friday, July 27, 2012

A Fiddly Lining

The Hakelbeutel is an unusual shape of bag, which means that I can't do my regular  of lining.

See how the base looks?


I'm pretty sure this is the reason that the bag ended up in Hibernation to begin with.

The thought of trying to line it had me tearing my hair out - so the bag was sent to the Naughty Corner for a while (which is where that Male Centaur is at the moment, just in case you were wondering). And after about six months in the Naughty Corner, it was packed away for good!


Here's my Plan of Attack.

I'm going to line the bag using the same construction process as the actual bag uses.

So I've made four rectangles - their measurements are one square wide and four squares long, plus seam allowances. And I'm putting them together just like the bag was done.

Here's some photos for anyone else contemplating the process... Like you Loren!





So far, so good!

I just need to turn down some seams along the top edge, and fit the lining into the bag.


I have run into one little hiccup.

In making the lining, I have assumed that all the squares were the same size...

They're NOT!

When I felted the bag, not all sides felted evenly. So my lining fits beautifully for about 80% of the bag, but sits too small across one section. I'm having a fiddle to see how I can get around this.

Wish me luck...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Those secret handles...


So here's what I've been working on...


I started out by making loads of knitted I-cord
(using the magical Embellish Knit, of course)


Then used MACRAME knots to create the handle.

Now I just need to make a second on the same as the first!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time for some sewing...

Hakelbeutel Bag

Had a bit of a sort through the fabric stash today and chose the lining material for My Hakelbeutel. As you can see it's an off white fabric with a black floral print.
I don't like to be all matchy-matchy with my linings, so I like the idea of a simple black and white.

Hakelbeutel Bag

This remnant came from my Grandma Maria (my Mother-In-Law)
Maria is a professional dressmaker, thought it's years and years since she's worked in the industry... A couple of years back when she moved house (after 40 plus years in the same place), she had a HUGE fabric de-stash - and this is one of many remnants which came to live with me!

Rag Bag
While I have the sewing machine and the fabric out, I'm going to line another bag...

This Rag Bag was stashed away in the same UFO box (that's Un Finished Object box) as the Hakelbeutel. It dates back a few years, too. I remember making it on a Crochet Weekend back in 2010, I blogged about the weekend but I don't think I mentioned this bag...

It's made from rag strips which are about 1cm (1/2 inch) wide and I think I used about a 7.0mm hook. I followed the Easy Peasy Crochet Bag pattern, and added a buttonhole handle...
All that left to do is the lining, and maybe an embellishment.

Rag Bag

And I'm thinking that depending on the amount of material left over - 
it will become a top or a dress for either Katie (age 8) or Charlotte (age 1)

But for the moment, the fabric is drying... 
and I'm working on the secret handles... 
which may or may not be successful... 

we'll both have to wait and see on that one!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Hakelbeutel

Haekelbutel Bag

The one that Dawn gave me?

Well, as I was writing about it... I remembered that Dawn and I had worked that Pattern at the same time...

Which meant that I, too, had made a Hakelbeutel bag!!!!

But where is mine? 

WELL... It's not QUITE finished yet...

Haekelbutel Bag

(So this Unusual Looking Photo is a view of the inside of My Hakelbeutel Bag...
I love the way the light is shining through the holes) 

How long have you been following my blog for?

Were you with me in Early 2009?

If you were, then you might remember this project.

It started out with some experimental dyeing with these results.

Then came a little more dyeing, and I worked this new yarn into a crochet bag.

The bag was WAY too big, so I worked up a quick swatch for felting.

So far so good the swatch was a success!!!

And I gave  you a sneak peek at how the bag turned out after felting...

But that's where the story ended.


I don't know!

I just kind of got lost on what to do for the handles,
and the project ended up packed away for a few years...

So what do you think?
Is it time to get my act together and finish it off?

I still don't know what I'll do for the handles though.

Any suggestions?

Haekelbutel Bag

Monday, July 23, 2012

Awwww... Mr Goldfish!


I am spoiled!

As some of you already know, I had been planning to go to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show last Friday...

But Little Miss Charlotte was miserably sick - so I had to give it a miss.

(insert sad face here)

I first heard about the show FOUR years ago - and I've been trying to get there ever since!

But there were always other commitments which prevented me going...

Then I thought I had it all sorted for this year - and Charlotte got sick...


But after dinner on Saturday night Mr Goldfish took the kiddies (well, three of them anyway) to Grandma's house... and declared we would be making an early start for Bendigo in the morning!

And he took me to the Show!!!


Bendigo purchases

Do you know that I've never ever ever ever ever bought fancy yarn before?

Not exaggerating.I have not bought hand dyed yarn before now.

Well.... almost all of what I use is recycled...

Lately I've been purchasing some acrylics for my toy designs - because when I'm pattern writing, I need to be using a consistent yarn throughout the project... (I'd rather not - but when your offering a pattern, people need to be able to replicate what you have designed, so I do.)

But that it all I use.

Recycleds and some new acrylics.

I'm not complaining - I love my recycleds... they always amaze and inspire me. Like that scrappy blanket I made - I have been blown away by the feedback I've received on that blanket - people are in awe of it - but it's just scraps!!!! How cool is that?

Anyway, lately I've felt the urge to make some 2ply laceweight scarves. And my experience of recycling laceweight yarns is not good. It's just too fine, which leads to so many breakages, and insane frustration!

So I headed off to The Show with a firm shopping list. Looking for three skeins of 2ply laceweight yarn. A green colourway and a deep red colourway for gifts I will be making... and  dark purple colourway just for me...

Bendigo purchases

And I did it.


Just couldn't find a deep red (probably because it was the Sunday afternoon, and the show was almost over) which I loved in a 2ply laceweight. So I've gone a little thicker and chosen a beautifully dyed 4ply fingering weight instead.

Bendigo purchases

So the laceweights are a 45% Wool, 55% Silk... and the fingering weight is 100% Merino. Desperately excited to see how they work up, but I'm trying to restrain myself and finish a few other projects first. Like the design I am working on for the AUGUST CHALLENGE... you are going to love him! He is soooooo incredibly adorable. But I need to finish sewing the limbs on - and write up the pattern for you...

Back to the yarns for a minute. They were all purchased from the one fabulous vendor, Jane of Moseley Park. And I have to say... I LOVED EVERYTHING she had on offer! Her colourways are so wonderfully exquisite - I wanted one of everything... and the service was the friendliest we had. Jane also has an online store if you'd like to take a peek.

Bendigo purchases

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mitts that Fit!

Mitts that Fit

Ooooohhhhh... I'm loving the way these mitts fit!

Mitts that Fit

One is finished, and the other one - ALMOST done... 
Just need to knit up the thumb, and stitch down the top and bottom hems.

Mitts that Fit

I'm making them from the Alpaca Yarn which was in my Prize Pack.


Here's the Project details...

I made the small size.

Please note there is a small error in the pattern (for the small and large sizes). Errata is available on the Ravelry Pattern Page which I have linked you to.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Alpaca Lana D'Oro
The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, and the Alpaca I have used claims to be a Worsted - but it feels more like a DK to me!

Needles: 3.25mm circulars
The pattern calls for 3.75mm size... I don't own any that size, and chose to go down rather than up because I work loosely.

Mitts that Fit

Must go and finish the other one. I'm already wearing the first, and it's soooo toasty and warm!

Have really enjoyed the way these mitts work up - and I'm planning to make a second pair, using the burgundy alpaca from my Prize Pack. My Mother-In-Law has been complaining about how bitterly cold it is at the moment... and she LOVES that shade of red...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dawn's Haekelbeutel

Haekelbutel Bag

Isn't this bag just LOVELY?

It belonged to my dear friend Dawnie-Pants
(she's the one who made me the AWESOME Granny Clock)

Haekelbutel Bag

Did you notice that I said the bag BELONGED to Dawn?

As in, it once was hers, but no longer is?

After our Crochet Meet here one day, Dawnie almost left her bag behind...

I JOKINGLY suggested that she be very careful to take it with her, because I'd had my eye on the bag for a while - and if she left it behind - then she just might not ever see it again.
I would have to claim it as my own!


Right there and then, Dawnie emptied her bag and GAVE IT TO ME!!!
(insisting that she doesn't much like it anyway)

Haekelbutel Bag
I feel a bit cheeky about the whole thing!

The bag is so perfect.

It's big enough to hold a large project, as well as my books.

And I love the way the handles just tie together, to keep inquisitive little fingers out.

Haekelbutel Bag

Thanks Dawn.

I definitely owe you one.


PS. If anyone is interested, the pattern is Inga's Haekelbeutel
(I've linked to the Ravelry project page, from there you can click on your chosen language for the Free PDF Crochet Pattern)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

String Saving is SLOW work...

Tea Bag String Collection

String Saving is SLOW work...

But you probably already knew that. right?

Tea Bag String Collection

So here's the grand total of my collection so far:

One Whole Gram.

In truth, it's probably a little less than that... since the scales kept flipping between 1 and 0.

But I have time. I can wait.

Anyone care to guess at how long it will be before I have enough for a scarf?

I'll start the guessing off with 10 months...

What do you think? More or Less time than that???

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scrappy Blanket - Complete

Scrappy Blanket

It was worth it!

Saving all those leftover threads...

Tying them all together...

Knitting up the squares...

And joining them all!

Scrappy Blanket

I am totally in LOVE with this Scrappy Blanket.

It has been the perfect time of year for piecing it all together.

We're in the thick of Winter here at the moment - and the evenings really do get mighty cold. The heating system here is one of those central systems, where you have to heat the whole house... and I really don't see the point in doing that - especially if I am the only one up!

I've been toasty and warm though.

With the blanket sitting on my lap as I work - I've been warmer and warmer with every square that was added.

So my new Scrappy Blanket is now the Couch Blanket...

Mr Goldfish loves it - and so do the kiddies. I've made it a single bed size - which means it's large enough for two people to snuggle under - or even three...

And there are loads of squares leftover, too!

Scrappy Blanket

As you can see, I've joined my squares in a basket weave pattern... where one square sits horizontally and the next one vertically. I love the effect of the stripes all criss-crossy like this.

Just LOVE!

Now what to make with the leftovers?

(I haven't counted them yet - but I'm pretty certain I've only used about half of them)

Could be another blanket - Because I know there will be tussles over this one...

Monday, July 16, 2012

You voted me INSANE! and I love it

Scrappy Blanket

So last week I asked you to vote in a poll... about whether it was INSPIRED or INSANE to save teabag strings for the purpose of knotting them together into yarn...

The results were closer than I expected, but not surprisingly the insane vote won out:

The most received comments about this latest recycling phase of mine, went along the lines of:

"Don't you have enough to do with your time already?"


"Won't there be a lot of knots?"

Scrappy Blanket

And the answer is a resounding YES to both questions!

Yes, I do have a lot to do with my time already,
but this is Fun, Challenging and Free...

Yes, there will be a huge number of knots,
but I think that is part of the charm...

Scrappy Blanket

Like my Scrappy Blanket.

Remember I keep telling you to save your ends? Even the short ones?

Well I've been saving mine for a while now - and many of my Craft Buddies have been saving their ends for me to. Gotta love the enablers of the madness!


The ends have been knotted together...
 and rolled into balls of yarn.

Then knit into squares
(mostly while I was pregnant with Charlotte, and a bit brain dead in the creativity department)

Then those squares sat around in a bag for a year and a bit...
Scrappy Blanket

And now they're becoming a blanket...

Aiming to finish it up today, so I can share a finished photo with you tomorrow.

(and best thing of all - NO ends to weave in!!!)

Scrappy Blanket

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gifts for Isabella


I really do love making head wear for Little Ones. 

In fact, I'm even thinking that it might be time to FINALLY start selling some of my pieces... but I'll talk to you some more about that another day...

These ones are a gift for Little Isabella.

I've made them to fit a six month old... 

And since My Charlotte is such a Tiny Little Dot, she was able to model them!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Night Owl

Night Owl

I've been wanting to share my Night Owl with you for such along time now...

and FINALLY I can!

Night Owl

I'm so in love with him...

He was originally made for Little Charlotte's room - she has a few OWL things going on in there - but then I decided that I wanted him in the lounge room where I can admire him all the time.

Night Owl

One of the most adorable parts is his beaded CD tummy.

The photos don't really show how wonderfully reflective it is. But it's shiny and beady...and the reflection makes it look like there are twice as many beads there! Love.

Night Owl

I made him for the 2012 International Freeform Crochet Guild Challenge.

The theme this year was:
"INSPIRED! Music and Art in Fibre"

The plan was to take a piece of music or art, and interpret it using Freeform Crochet.

So I chose to focus on the work of a contemporary artist by the name of Karla Gerard.

(you can check out some of her art here on Flickr)

I loved her simplicity and boldness.


Anyway, the Challenge pieces have been formatted into an online exhibition here.

Check out the awesome work of these Freeform Artists from across the globe. You just need to click on the individual tiles there to see each piece of work in all its glory

(and lots of the artists are from Melbourne, Australia - YAY!)


And if you're a little bit inspired by any of this - join the International Guild - so you can be a part of next year's Challenge... You know you want to!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Random Act Of Kindness


It must be my week for surprises in the mail...

This one came completely out of the blue - a generous surprise from an online friend, Julie... 

Two sets of adorable wooden buttons.

It really made my day. 

I keep looking at them...

Playing with them...

And pondering what to do with them...

Then I read through your comments on my blog from yesterday - 
when I was wondering what I should make with the New Yarn.

Katie commented:  OoOoOoO! I love that yarn! Maybe a cowl with some cute buttons, or some leg warmers to get ready for winter!

And now I'm thinking - YES - a cowl - with my Cute New Buttons! 

And my Swish New Yarn

What fabulous timing...

Now I have another choice to make. 

Though the combination in the top photo is my favourite for now. 





While I was reading through the comments about my plan to save the tea bag strings,
I came across this one from Judith W:

um, insane. Now on to the matchbox in that jar - can you post a better picture of that critter; is that how it came, or did someone fashion that? want it.

Well, Helen - I probably am Insane - but I'm quite okay with that!
As for the 'critter'... it's a kangaroo. The photo is printed on the match box - that's the way it came. I'm guessing it's probably from the 1980s... as I'm slowly working my way through an old stash of matches Mr Goldfish uncovered one day.

The box is NOT in pristine condition, but it's yours if you want it.
And there's one with a koala too, if that's of any interest to you.