Friday, May 28, 2010


yep, that's me.

I  have indeed been indulging in a bit of the fine art of crochet which may come as a bit of a surprise to some.  While I don't fall into the same camp as the self-confessed crochet haters, I do come pretty close. If crochet hooks went rusty mine surely would be. It's not that I hate crochet, or even the look of it. Just like the next crafty chick I'm ga-ga for a good granny square. Speaking of which, check these pjs out . I am super super tempted, but do you think the fabric might be a bit, umm, garish in real life?  Oh, that's right I'm not buying clothes this year.

So my crochet technique, is well, a little unorthodox. I am forever wrapping the yarn the wrong way, probably because I hold the yarn in the same hand as my needle... oops, I mean, hook, pretty much like I do for knitting.

But the Budding Designers Downunder Group on Ravelry had chosen two scarf patterns for this months  Knit/Crochet-A-Long. The scarf pattern was my Paula's Scarfette, so I decided to have a crack at the other one, the crochet one.

And the result:

Pattern: the glorious Urban Shells  by Katherine Crombie
Yarn: the yarn cafe's spiced, misty morning colourway, 100g.
Hook: knit pro harmony 4.5mm

I started on this last Sunday when I was just starting to feel a little bit crapola with a cold.  It was an afternoon of chuckles and laughter as I tried to figure out what the heck I was doing. At one stage I actually had 25 stitches lined up on my hook!! But I battled on, improved quickly and just quietly while the anti-crochet brigade are looking the other way, it was a little wee bit addictive.  shhh!

Friday, May 21, 2010

a new Oriental Lily

Can you believe it's almost two years ago since I first finished the original Oriental Lily ?  Wow!  That also means that Lily is now two years older, and yep, you guessed it, that dress is no longer tunic length. It's actually even getting a bit short for jumper length, and let's not mention the sleeve lengths.  It still fits her in the chest though!

We've been talking about making a new one, we even had the yarn all purchased. So last weekish I started knitting it up.  It was interesting knitting a design that I wrote the pattern for nearly two years ago, at times I had to resist the urge to rewrite the pattern. That's the tricky part about visiting old patterns, you've developed since then and always seem to find ways to improve it. But you know, I'm not going to. There's over 500 versions of this on Rav and it has a pretty good rating so it must be alright... and I really really like that it's a free pattern still. That's sort of important to me, as a reminder of how far I've come in such a short time with this pattern writing stuff.

Anyway, when it came down to it there wasn't that much I changed with the pattern to be honest, just some minor twiddling to modify it.   Lily still measures the same in the chest as she did two years ago, so I knit the same size as the original with a couple of little mods to cater for her longer body.

Despite all that knitting knitting knitting for all that length, this took me about 10 days to complete. I'm very very happy with how it turned out. Even better is the fact that Lily LOVES it. She had to put it on straight away, which is massive as usually I get a "Later Mummy!"  And she kept it on all day, begging to wear it to kindy. Yep, I let her.

I totally adore this colour combination, the blue is just perfection on Lily's colouring.

The variegated yarn is a yarn cafe yarn, you've probably heard me banging on about Elissa's yarns enough to know that I adore her yarns.  This one is Four Bags Full merino 8ply, colourway 'Maia Jade'.  300g of this colourway went into this dress.  As testament to Elissa's skills is the fact that the two skeins matched perfectly. Generally when you're knitting with hand-dyed yarns, two skeins of the same colourway may not always match perfectly. Dyeing is an inexact science, and dyers will often recommend you alternate skeins. Most knitters, particularly lazy ones like me, don't.  In this instance I started knitting the bodice with the 100g skein hoping it would do the bodice and sleeves and I could start the skirt with the 200g skein using the obi to break up the dress in case the two skeins weren't closely matching. 100g wasn't enough but it didn't matter as the two skeins were perfectly matched!!! YAy!!

Funnily enough, Mum has just finished knitting Tully a rainbow dress in this colourway.  It's kind of cool that the girls have kind of matching dresses. I know they will love it.

If you want some more details on the mods I used to make this dress or you want to see some more pics of this gorgeous girl in this dress, you can find them on my Rav project page here .  You don't have to be a member to have a peak at this one.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

creative space...

very little happening in my space today, a little sewing of some new pants, and when I say little, I seriously mean little.  One child on the lap while sewing I'm now quite adverse at, but today it was the two of them pressing buttons and twiddling nobs. One child was infinitely more helpful than the other and was pressing the correct buttons at the correct time. The other one, meh.

So we got a little done; some buttonholes and a few seams. Oh yeah, and their names on the inside of the waistband. That's not because I'm super organised or anything like that! That's because Lily, a typical five year old, likes to write her and Toby's name on everything, and she has discovered the sewing machine can do writing.  mmm.

I'm sure I'll  have these pants finished by the end of winter. At least the fabrics are a pleasure to work with,  gorgeous gorgeous organic denim and some lovely Ink and Spindle stuff from last year's trip to Stitches and Craft.

more creative spaces to be found over at kootoyoo

and yep, deliberately no knitting today ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

it's the small things

I've been doing a bit of small item knitting of late. I love those instant gratificatin type knits that you can whip up in a few days, or even better a night. It's a good way to break the monotony of a bigger project.  I've been taking a little bit of a break from designing new patterns this month. and it has been lovely and refreshing, although truth be told I have had to fight the urge to cast on at least four different designs I'm busting to get out there! But no, May is for me and some fun little knits.

The first fun little knit was a tea cosy for my cute little Denby pot.  Mainly because as it gets cooler my chai is getting cold in the pot and well, you know, I've NEVER knit a tea cosy! I think a tea cosy is one of those things that every knitter must knit at some stage.  It's a bit like knitting baby booties, it has to be done.

Of course, I shopped the stash and chose a glorious red for my tea cosy. I love red. I used the tea mitten pattern (Rav link) and although it came out a bit big for my little baby I still love it and it is serving its purpose.

The perfect button came from my button stash. I'm glad it's being put to use, because seriously, where else would you use buttons like these?  I can't seem me adding them to a shirt or any clothing garment to be honest. but for a teapot, they're perfect!

my other small knit was a cute little hat from ysolda teague's ripley pattern  I knit it in some glorious emerald malabrigo. I had a little row tension issue so despite getting stitch tension and  knitting the slouchy version it came out more cloche style.  still uber cute though.

I gifted it to my sister Megsie for her birthday, and forgot to take a photo..... so I'm waiting patiently for a photo of it on her ;) (hint hint)

Maybe she doesn't like it :P

Sunday, May 16, 2010

this was one of those times......

when you swear in front of your children.

Yep, dropped the big doozy.  Luckily, it was the child with the least vocabulary and understanding with me when it happened.

Be warned, this was a crafting accident I am ashamed to admit. Completely my fault.
  Distracted by some sewing I realised it was time to pick up Lily from kinder, then realised I had to return a form. Five minutes frantic searching and I still couldn't find it. Late, late, late.

Backing out of the driveway without checking the distance on the other side of the car from the fence.... bang!!! bye bye mirror. It was laying in the middle of the drive *eep*

Of course, they got out of kinder late..

Thursday, May 13, 2010

creative space

yippee!! It's Thursday morning and the rainbow child is at kinder, the milo boy is sleeping. The house is a mess, but it is peaceful and quiet. Some crafting time for me!!! I'm knitting, which is probably no surprise. What precisely?  An Oriental Lily for my Lily.  Of my designs, this is probably the one I've knit the least.  And now that the original one is well and truly too small, she's getting a couple of new ones.  This one is going to be dress length with long sleeves and is knit from some gorgeous yarn cafe Four Bags Full merino in the 'Maia Jade' colourway.

It looks a little like this so far....

I have 300g of the 4BF and I knit the sleeves first out of the 100g ball just in case the skeins weren't closely matched. But 100g wasn't quite enough for the top of the bodice and the length for Lily's long long arms so I had to use some of the 200g ball. I was really really pleased it was a perfect match and even the pooling matches. Which is pretty incredible for hand-dyed yarn!!!

I've used Heirloom Color Works 8 ply to work the obi and the cuffs. It is an absolutely perfect match, if you put a strand of the blue from the maia jade and a strand from the Color Works next to each other, you cannot tell the difference. Exact same shade!!!

Other things going on in my creative space at the moment is some sewing!!!! Shock horror! I have dusted off the machines and have been busy puttering away on the machines. I am indeed a patient and putter sewer, definitely not a whip it up quickly time of gal. I am patience and precise.  Apart from some secret chick business, I am working on a little elephant.  A little elephant from Jodie from Ric Rac's pattern, Parsley and Beet.  What is even more astonishing is that I only bought this pattern on Sunday at the Stitches and Craft Show and I am already using it!!! That really is pretty unheard of for me, you have no idea how many patterns I have sitting here I have bought and still not used. Actually, you probably do. I think it's a common crafting trait.

Lily chose the fabric for those one, which is a test run until I dye the doctor's flannel I also bought form Jodie to make a spesh one.  

All was going swimmingly with this yesterday, until Toby decided to empty a cold cup of tea over the fabric mountain he and Lily had created from my quilting fabric box (the distraction method I employed for some sewing time) EEK!!!  frantic rush to the washing machine ensued, and luckily it was only one load of fabric that was affected, and nothing sacred.  I pinned this together with Toby sleeping on my lap and then sewed it with him sitting on my knee.  The tiny little circle feet do make for challenging sewing with an 18 month old helper who has a different idea as to what tension I should be sewing at. This afternoon after kindy, Lily and I will stuff and finish her off. Then we shall make her a dress.

Other scores from the S&C show included some essential Ink and Spindle and Kristen Doran fabric and a purse kit from Nicole Mallalieu.  How good am I for not breaking my fabric buying ban!!! (Disclaimer: hand printed fabric does not count as fabric buying)

And a lovely softie pattern and some yarn from Kate who masquerades as both Two Little Banshees and One Fat Slug.

more creative spaces over at Kirsty's.

Monday, May 10, 2010

why spam blogs?

I just don't get it.
I've just spent the last little while removing spammy comments from my blog. grrrrr. They really piss me off, I tell you!!!! I just don't get it, do they seriously think me or one of my readers is going to click on their chines hyperlinked symbols or their strange comments that have no relation to the post whatsoever! why?
stupid spammers!!!

I know, I know I could turn on the moderation but I really don't want to have to so I'll say it here...


Particularly you, Gerald F Rotter.

And you know what, I bet I get spammy comments in this post too.

To end on a nicer note and because every post needs a photo, here's one of the cutest boy around.