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Archive for August, 2008

And yet another bag

I like bags.  Can you tell?

Super quick knit.  It’s the Isabeau purse from Chez Plum, knit in Lion Cotton.  A few hours to knit, then seam up the sides and handle with single crochet stitches, add a lining and a button.  Done.

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…but now I have a new use for one!  OK, OK, I could do some sweeping, but that’s not very fun now, is it?

I came across a cool scarf on this wicked crochet blog called Roman Sock, that used something called Broomstick Lace.  It looks so flippin’ cool!

Traditional Broomstick Lace would have used the handle of a broom as a the loop gauge, hence the name.  Definitely easier to use a large diameter knitting needle though.  I found this YouTube Tutorial for Broomstick Lace, and it made it look so easy.  So off I went, to give it a go.

I have to admit, it took a bit of time to get a rhythm going. And the fact that you pull out your needle from the loops to crochet back across, had to be done in cognito, as little people seeing you pull knitting needles out of your work could well reek havoc to future knitting projects.

This scarf is done with Moda Vera Bamboo Cotton with a 3.75mm hook and a 12mm Knitting needle.  This yarn splits extremely easy, so it was a challenge to do the lacework with it.  But you live and learn.

Now, onto figuring out how I can make a lined bag with this technique.  Just imagine how cool that will look.

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Royalty

I think we have some royalty in the family!

Doesn’t Miss KT4 looks too cute.?!

OK, it was a royal pain in the bum to do.  I have been waiting to do this crown for awhile, but since you can’t get the Lion Brand Glitterspun Yarn in New Zealand, I put it off.  But i was in Knit World yesterday, and saw this yarn, and it immediately made me think of the crown. It’s Jo Sharp Lumina, which is an 8 ply yarn, 62% viscose, 36% cotton and 2% polyester, and it has little tiny gold sequins strung on the yarn.  I used a 3.75mm hook to crochet the yarn around some 26 gauge floral wire.  I did 3 rounds of singles on the base, and 7 rounds of 7 chain segments, adding picots at the points of the seventh round.

I need to use some spray stiffner I think, as a couple of uses and it will be ruined.  And then, maybe add some dangley jewels too.

A couple more pics…

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Thoughtfulness

I have been on the receiving end of some lovely friends this week.

I had a surprise parcel in the post on Friday, from my friend Sheryl, but hmmm, I wasn’t expecting anything.  I open it to find a beautiful birth announcement for her lovely wee girl. But there was also a hank of Utiki wool for me to dye, some Dirty Soap AND some chocolate.

I have to admit, that the chocolate didn’t last even an hour.  But I can’t bring myself to open the soap, since it looks are darn pretty, even though it smells absolutely divine.   The wool will most definitely be dyed in the next session.

Then, I came home yesterday, to find yet another surprise.  This is what I get for gripping I guess, oops!  A beautiful new set of light mamapads and an Aero Mint Bar.

Well, you have to imagine the the Aero bar, as chocolate doesn’t last long around these parts.  Yes, I love chocolate.  I also love Esther, who is just the sweetest and most thoughtful person.

Thanks for making my week you two.  Muah!

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Well, I finished.  The Ravelympics are done.  Ten knitting projects are complete.  And I still had seven hours to spare by the time I was done.

My first two projects were done in a flash, being small items.  The next three, took a couple days, but were done in the first weekend of the Olympics.  Then I slowed.  Sore fingers will do that to you.

So, here are the last five.

I’ve done another pair of the Slip Stitch Longies like I did in this post.  I am just in love with these, so will post a pattern soon for anyone else keen to knit them up.

These are knit using The Wool Company Utiku Multi coloured in the Sunset shade.  I love how the pooling is still slightly visible, yet totally broken up by the slip stitches.  Here are a couple more pics, closeup.

A friend of mine is just starting chemotherapy, so I’ve knit up a hat to keep his warm in the coming Northerm Hemisphere winter.   It’s the Ribbed Beanie from Wooly Wornhead, knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky.  Nice and simple, yet very stylish.  Modeled by the lovely DH.

This is the last bag for the Ravelympics Bag And Tote Backstroke.  It’s the Watercolour Bag, knit in Utiku for the edging and bottom, and Noro Kureyon for the body of the bag.  I wussed out and just used leather for the straps, instead of knitting a 10 foot icord.

So, I was finally on the home stretch.  I saved the socks until the end, because they were going to take longer than the longies.  Nothing like prcrastinating.  I had a lovely Regia sock wool for KM7, but could I find the wool?  Nope.  So I knit up some Opal Lollipop, which KM7 seems equally pleased with.

And the finale, would of course HAVE to be longies.  Knit using The Wool Company Utiku Possum Merino, I knit these up for a little wee man, set to arrive in the world in September/October.  I wanted them to be able to go with everything, and what goes with everything better than jeans.

So, as I cross the finish line, fingers in plasters, Ben Gay rubbed into joints, toothpicks holding eyes open, I did what any avid knitter would do.  Cast on.

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I’ve been a member of The Nappy Network for almost two years now. A good friend of mine, the gorgeous Miss Kelly, decided to run a Themed Yarn Swap. WOW! Awesome beyond awesome idea. Here were her rules:

This is a themed yarn swap.
What this means is that you will need to pick a theme that you wish to build your swap package around. Your theme can be anything – a song, colour, emotion, book, quote, pattern, an era, country – whatever inspires you at that particular time.
Think laterally if need be, but you must include a note in the package explaining how each item relates to the theme

Now, you’ve picked your theme, you need to put together your swap package.
Your package must have:
* 100g hand-dyed yarn – now ideally this will be yarn you’ve dyed yourself, however HD yarn you have swapped for, or purchased from the likes of Jolly Jumbuck/Vintage Purls etc could be used if need be
* 1 piece of knitting paraphrenalia (sp) – a stitch marker, or row counter, or appropriate sized needles for the yarn, or something along those lines
* A pattern suggestion that will suit not only the yarn, but the theme as well! There is no obligation for the recipient to use this pattern – it is merely a starting point for their pattern scouring
* A recipe (this will be where the lateral thinking bit comes in I think!)
* Something SMALL (i.e, a small gift. So if it is something knit must use less than 50g yarn, if sewn something using less than 1/2m fabric, if purchased something less than $10)

Man, how cool is that. I got the info from my recipient, and put my thinking cap on. I had a mental block. Darn. WHAT TO DO! The most difficult part, is that my swap person requested no red. Oh NO!! That’s my fav colour.

After a lot of research, I found several references to Elephants. At this point, all I could think of was the joke my girls tell me, at least several times a week, like I have never heard it before.

Q: Why did the elephant paint her toenails red?

A: So that she could hide in the strawberry patch!

And guess what?  That would HAVE to include the colour red.  So I put my thinking cap back on, but I couldn’t come up with anything else, and my mind was thinking of all things elephant.  So, I changed the joke, as you do, right?

Q: Why did the elephant paint her toenails blue?

A: So that she could hide in the blueberry patch!

So, I chose my yarn.  I picked Cleckheaton Merino Spun, which is a bulky weight wool.  Big, just like an elephant!

I forgot to take pictures of the wool in a super hank, but here it is, sitting in a vinegar and water bath.  It’s the one on the left

And then I got all the dyes out.

Then the fun part!  The actually dyeing.  I’ve used Dylon Dyes, and heated them on the stove so that the colours set better.  The dye bath does have vinegar in it, as the heat opens the fibres and makes the colours deeper.

And here it it, freshly rinsed.

The colours that I used are:

  • Elephant Grey
  • Riviera Blue
  • Madonna Blue
  • Windsor Purple
  • Arabian Nights

Dyeing with grey was a huge challenge.  I did a test hank first, where I made up the dye bath with water and vinegar, and it split the colours something fierce.  As soon as I put the wool in the jar, all the different colours making up the grey were taking up at different rates.  So this time, I soaked the wool in the vinegar and water bath as usual, and made up the dye bath with just water and dye.  The dye started taking straight away on a much more even basis this way.  I did add extra vinegar after the yarn had been in the jar for awhile.

And this is how it looks in the hank.  The white streaks are the acrylic part of the wool, with is 20% of this yarn.

So, the yarn was done.  And now onto the rest.  I knew I wanted to do a bag, and also make something with elephant charms.  Of course, that assumes you can find elephant charms!  After four shops, finally found a pack with two elephants in it.  So I made up a set of five stitch markers and a row counting bracelet.

The stitch markers are made with tiger tail and threaded so that (hopefully) they are snagless.  The row counting bracelet works like an abacus, where you have a row of beads for the ones and a row of beads for the tens.  There is a little beaded ring, and you slip the beads through to one side.  This bracelet will count up to 99.

My swappe also gave a few suggestions for the gift part, of things she would like.  I read to the part about a bag, and stopped reading.  HA

I decided I wanted to do an applique elephant on the outside to tie it together with the theme.  I found this pattern, which was just perfect, and used some Michael Miller Frosted Fairy fabric from the stash for the body and ear.  I have never appliqued by machine before, and it took forever.  Faster than by hand I reckon, but a good learning experience.

For the inside, I added in a couple clasps as well, to hold the stitch markers and bracelet.  I am still feeling a bit bad I didn’t add in pockets, but I was running out of time.

I also added in the little elephant I crocheted in this post.  I miss him already, as he was my computer buddy for a week.

For the recipe, it had to be something blueberry of course!  I did some  hunting and found a recipe for Blueberries N Cream Cheesecake on Cooks.com.  A wise person would have tried it out first, but seeing as I am the only one in the house that will eat blueberries, and the fact that my bum is big already, I didn’t see the need to make a cheesecake just for me.  I did, however, download a nice blueberry image and used it as a washout on the background of the paper, then framed it in silver and laminated.

The hard thing to do was pick a pattern.  100grams of bulky wool isn’t a lot of do soemthing with.  So included The Last Hurrah Scarf off of Ravelry.  I hope it works out ok.

Lastly, I made up a card to explain the theme.  I used some cool elephant skin-print paper I found at KiwiScraps and some more downloaded blueberry images that I grouped and cut out, along with some die cut elephants and voila!

And this is what it all looks like together

And all wrapped up, set to go!

That was the so much fun.

Yet, there is even more!  I got my swap in the post yesterday.

*Jumps up and down*

It’s a Mermaid theme.  The wool is Cleckheaton Country (one of my favs), dyed with food colouring in blues and greens.

The pattern is for the Ocean Waves Scarf which is a free pattern download on Ravelry.  The recipe is for a Blue Lagoon, a lovely sounding vodka drink (thank you so much, as my allergy to Preservative 220 has caused me wine withdrawal).  I got the coolest set of stitch markers and a Coconut Bath Fizzy as well.

Thank you so much Shyrel!  I love every single bit of it!

So, Kelly, how much longer do we have to wait for the next one, huh?  😀

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Wordle for the fun of it

A bit of fun, thanks to the lovely Gabes, I gave Wordle a try.  It creates a word cloud using the RSS feed from your blog.  This is mine.

Sorry for the small size, but I am HTML-challenged. If you click on it, you can see it larger.

And look!  There is Gabes, immortalised on my word cloud.

Thanks for a bit of fun distraction.

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