Thursday, June 19, 2014

Getting Organised..

I used to have a craft room.

My very own craft room.

The space was all mine - and I didn't have to share it with anyone.

All my goodies were in the same room - and I knew where to find things...

MOST of the time.



Along came baby number four - and we needed the space for a nursery.

Bye-bye crafting paradise. Hello Baby!

Since then, I've been in a jumbled mess with my supplies.

But I've found a new way to store them... it's in the middle of our Family Room... which is not ideal - but it's neat, organised and most of all INSPIRING...

Now if only I had another three of these shelving units!

And my own room.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I call her Jodie...

Raggedy Rascal of the Sea

It's been a little while since I've made a toy... those flowers and beanies have kept me very busy!

But I've been asked to make some more mermaids for sale at Just Planet Gift Shop and Cafe in Sunbury... so it's time to pull out the safety eyes and stuffing... and start creating some characters.

Raggedy Rascal of the Sea

 I'm working from one of my own patterns: Roweena the Raggedy Rascal of the Sea.

The fully tested pattern is available in PDF format, for AU $4.50 - you can click here for more information, including the link for purchasing.

And if you'd like to see some of the mermaids made by other people using my pattern - click here.

As for this mermaid - I call her Jodie - after my real life, purple-haired friend!

Raggedy Rascal of the Sea

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Forty Flowers...

If you're at all familiar with my work, you will have noticed this about me.


Even if I do use the same pattern twice... the projects never look the same...

The yarn is different... or the embellishing is different... I just don't do matching.

Unless it's a pair of mitts.

And even then - I make each one different if I can possibly get away with it!

Singed Petal Flowers


You'll be shocked by my latest adventure.

Because I have just made FORTY of the same item.

In the SAME colour.

With the SAME embellishments.

And I don't even have photos to prove it - but I did make them - I promise!

I made 40 of these organza roses - each one with an alligator clip on the back... one for each member of my choir...

It nearly drove me insane - but then again, I didn't have far to go, did I?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Celestial Beads

Beanie Festival 2014

Well... it's the first day of winter here...

And it's living up to expectations - dreary, cold and wet!

Please don't think that I'm complaining though...

It makes for the perfect crafting day - indoors where it's warm and dry - and no guilty feelings about how you should be outside making the most of the sunshine...

Most of us here have spent the last week or two suffering effects of the flu - so I lost my little model for the Alien Encounter hat, and for this one too. Poor little blossom was down for the count, and spent the best part of a week in bed.

Beanie Festival 2014

This beanie was created for the Celestial category at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival.

And if you're thinking that the copper wire and beads looks a little familiar... it's from a project I made a few years ago - you can read the original blog post about it here.


I added a bunch more beads to fill out the centre section of the sun... since it just needed some more bling to give it a lift.

And once again, it was fabulous to recycle an old piece and put it to good use!

Beanie Festival 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alien Encounter

Beanie Festival 2014

Finally I have finished ALL of my festival hats!!!

Beanie Festival 2014

This one is a competition beanie....

Beanie Festival 2014

You might remember that the theme this year is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

And I think that this piece will suit the ALIEN category nicely!

Beanie Festival 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Birth of an Alien

Beanie Festival 2014

Now that those other hats are out of the way for the moment - I'm working on my ALIEN HAT...

Beanie Festival 2014

It's pretty BRIGHT... especially the fluorescent yellow of the eye... 
there's a couple more of those eyes to come


It's changed a little since the original sketch I had planned... It ALWAYS changes, but you can see the basic elements are all still there...

I was a bit disappointed not to be able to have the eyes up on stems the way I had sketched - but there was just too much weight in them (there's polystyrene balls inside) and they kept keeling over... so I've had to secure them directly to the hat...

Hopefully I'll have a finished photo for you tomorrow!

Beanie Festival 2014


Look closely at the photo above... 

At the bottom left hand side...

That smooth brown looking surface...

That is the TOP OF MY DESK!!!!

So glad I have a photo of it... just to remember what it looks like... because we don't see it very often these days...

Usually it's hidden under a sea of STUFF!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Beanie Festival 2014

Loving how the front of this one is so very different from the back...

The front side is all about the bobbles... and then the back features the spoke wheels...

Beanie Festival 2014

The photos are a little on the blurry side - due to fading light - but you get the idea!

Beanie Festival 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stripey Jester

Beanie Festival 2014

I started running out of time with my goal of sending beanies to both the Castlemaine Beanie Affair and the Alice Springs Beanie Festival...

Beanie Festival 2014

So I raided my storage tubs which are full of unfinished projects...


I have enough unfinished pieces to fill more than one tub...

But that's a story for another day!

Beanie Festival 2014

Anyway, I discovered a half made beanie which I had been making from this pattern here.

All the stripes were already done, but I wanted to give it a different finish...

So I added some freeform knitting and crochet to the top - and created two long.... hmmm... what would you call those long tips you see on a jester's hat? Ears maybe? You know the bits I mean!

Yep. I added two of them - and some big old tassels to finish off...

Beanie Festival 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Plum Surprise

Beanie Festival 2014

I think that PURPLES and GREENS would have to be my all-time favourite colour combination...

Beanie Festival 2014

They just complement one another so beautifully - and remind me of a glorious Springtime garden!

Beanie Festival 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Button Down the Hatches...

Beanie Festival 2014


Beanie Festival 2014

Could this hat be any more different from that last one?

Beanie Festival 2014

It's so subdued, calm and serene...

Beanie Festival 2014

And although it's really not plain - it certainly feels that way after some of the others!

Beanie Festival 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Carnival is NOT Over...

Beanie Festival 2014

I have a NEW favourite hat!!!

Beanie Festival 2014

This one is so bold and cheerful and colourful and fun...

Beanie Festival 2014

I love everything about it - from those brightest of bright colours, to the granny squares, to the way it morphs into a pixie hat, and the giant pom pom...

Beanie Festival 2014

And my model loves it too!

Beanie Festival 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Super Dooper Looper

I'm taking a quick breather from all those quirky hats...

In my Ravelry group this month, we're looking at ideas for STASH BUSTING your leftovers...

You know all those little bits and bobs you end up with at the end of other projects? Not the super short tiny ends... but those quarter balls... not big enough for another project, but not small enough to throw away?

I promised that I would share some ideas with my friends there... and if you're a Ravelry member, you can check out the discussion here.

But here's the details for those of you not on Ravelry.

My all-time favourite knitting stitch for stashbusting:

Super Dooper Looper

I call it MOSS STITCH… but depending on where you hail from, you might know it as SEED STITCH.

It’s a simple stitch - but hugely effective.

You just K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1… over and over again… then on the next row or round, you do the opposite - and K all of your P stitches, and P all of your K ones.

But what I love is the way that it weaves your colours in together. You don’t end up with clearly defined rows or stripes, but instead have more of an overall meshing of colours… Which is an excellent way to blend your scraps together.


In this project, I’ve used an assortment of browns and creams… but don’t be afraid to throw together completely contrasting colours… IT STILL WORKS UP A TREAT.

Take a look at this cushion cover I made a few years back:

cushion 1 - progress

It uses a bunch of different colours - from greys to greens, reds to purples, and whites to blues…

There was NO PLAN with those colours, and NO DISCRIMINATION… I just grabbed what was lying around, and started knitting.

But this time I’ve made myself a SUPER DOOPER LOOPER...

Super Dooper Looper

 Pattern available as a free download: download now

Basically it’s a long looped scarf.

Mine can be loosely looped twice around the neck, or can be wrapped three times for a more snug scarf on those chillier days.

Super Dooper Looper
I wanted quite a bit of drape in the scarf, so I’ve gone up to a larger needle size.

My scraps are mostly 8 ply/DK weight - and I would generally knit those with 4mm needles. So for the scarf I’ve gone up and used 6mm needles.

I wanted a loop 185cm (73 inches) around. I did a quick swatch and learned that I had 11 sts per 10 cm. So I cast on 203 sts.

If you cast on an ODD number of stitches - then you will just need to K1, P1 eternally - and don’t need to pay any attention to where each round begins or ends.

Then I worked in the round for 36 rows (13 cm or 5 inches) before casting off loosely in moss/seed stitch.

(PS. One day I'd LOVE to make a blanket using this method... I don't have the time right now... but maybe you'd like to try one?)

But here’s the trick to keeping those colours moving: Don’t let your colours meet!

What do I mean by that???

Always change colours before you get to the end of the round, so that you don’t work one stitch on top of the other in the same yarn.

In fact, I like to stop about 10 stitches before my colours overlap.

Then I introduce the next colour…

Not all of my yarn scraps were long enough to work an entire round in - so I just added new colours as I needed or wanted to.

Super Dooper Looper

Here’s the trick for colour changes without pesky weaving in: 
Introduce your new colour before you finish with the old one.
Work with the two yarns together for the next 6 - 8 stitches, then snip the old yarn and continue with the new one.

That’s it. You’ve just woven in your ends!

When the project is finished, and you have washed and blocked it (if that’s part of your plan) then you just snip off all those loose tails. BUT NOT THE STARTING AND FINISHING TAILS. They will need to be woven in separately.

When you snip the tails, don’t cut them too close to the stitches. Leave about 3mm so that they don’t pull out of the stitch immediately, but they don’t stick out either.

Because of the loose stitches in this scarf, the odd tail might slip out. They do keep in place better when your gauge is tighter.

But don’t stress it! Just leave them out - or poke them back into place with your fingertip. Life’s too short to stress about that stuff…

And if you want a really scrappy look to your work - leave those tails at about 25 - 50mm (1 - 2 inches) and make them a feature.

 Pattern available as a free download: download now

Super Dooper Looper

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's Complicated...

Beanie Festival 2014

I'm a bit CONFLICTED by this hat...

Beanie Festival 2014

I feel like there's a lot going on -

so many different stitches and colours,

that I don't quite know where to look first...

Beanie Festival 2014

And it AMUSES me that from some angles,

there's a little bit of a mohawk going on!

Beanie Festival 2014

Here's one final photo, to prove that my model wasn't COMPLETELY sullen during this shoot...

Beanie Festival 2014