Thursday, 26 April 2007

Crafting in Progress

I haven't got any finished projects to share but I'm busy trying to fit crafting in amongst all the mundane bits of life like washing, cleaning, cooking and caring for family. I'm working on an octopus and trying to finish a few gifts which can be shared after they have been given.

The octopus is from this wonderful pattern and I'm using some wool felt which is a first. It is very nice to work with. I am sewing the legs at present and I'm glad there are so many to perfect the technique with. There will be photos when it is finished.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Little Doll

From Crafty Bits a...
Here is my first attempt at making a Ruby Doll. I have learnt a few little things along the way about making sure the arms are securely tacked before sewing the body pieces together and to leave a large enough hole for the turning through to be easily done. Slowing down a bit would have probably been a good idea but I wanted to get her finished. I am looking forward to making another one.

The Garden Grew

From Corking
Making these flowers was fun and so the garden grew a little. I tried one with a piece of spool knitting done with very thick wool on one of the spools I create with a class of children. I then tried out two in DK weight wool on the same spool and then used lace dye on these after making them. I now have a nice full pot of flowers that will never need watering!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Corked Flowers

Here is my latest experiment. Corking, spool knitting or french knitting is something I have shown lots of children how to do using an empty cardboard tube and four paddle pop sticks. Over the years I have collected a variety of spools. I am always interested in what can be done with the metres of cord produced by eager children. I stumbled across this beautiful flower bookmark (edited in 2011 to say sorry but as is the case in webland the link no longer exists) and that inspired me to create a flower in a pot. I have created it in a larger size and it has a skewer threaded up through the stem so that I can poke it into one of my indoor pots. I have used an aran weight wool and the corker I used was this clever Clover design. I will have to create a bit of spool knitting on one of the kids spools to see if it can be used to create these.

A great book that I found all about spool knitting with children is called "Corking" by Judy Ann Sadler. It show various sizes of corkers made from tins with nails attached and has animals created with pipe cleaners threaded through the various pieces of knitting.

A great web page all about corking tools that I have found is "The Lost Art of Knitting Nancies". It reviews quite a few interesting designs. Then just recently I discovered "Spool Speak" and "Hankering for Yarn". I am itching to make a red hat one day soon.

More pictures of my bookmark inspired flower are in my Picasa album - Corking.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Finishing Some UFO's

I have spent some time finishing some UFO's and some gifts. Can't share the gifts until after Mother's Day. UFO's included lots of trimming of laminated stuff for my work.

Today I have started revisiting my fabric stash. I have found some useful bits and pieces for a few more bags and soft toys.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Knitting Stuff

Just a quick post to say that I've started knitting my brown bag and have finished a mobile phone sock. The sock has a little flap at the top and a clip to clip onto a bag handle, belt loop etc. It's blue and very fluffy and bobbly! Work has also begun on a phone sock for crafty things, which is being made from a beautiful blue alpaca wool.

I've also been working on those cross-stitch butterflies; almost three of them done now!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Felting Attempt 2

I have just finished my second felting experiment and am quite pleased with the end result. Another bag which at one stage I thought would be a definite reject.

The ideas for this back came from a book called "Funky Chunky Knitted Accessories" by Jan Eaton. I borrowed it from the library and have to take it back today. I will have to find my own copy one day soon. When I did a book search I also found one called "Funky Chunky Crocheted Accessories" and I would love to have a look inside it.
I combined two yarns for this attempt. One was a pure aran wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills and the other a Sean Sheep yarn picked up from Big W for twenty cents a ball when they were selling it on special to clear. The end result was a very fluffy bag just right for patting.
I just knitted a big long rectangle with a little bit of garter stitch at the start and finish. Folded this in half and stitched up the sides. Put it in the washing machine to felt. This one came out wider that it was tall. After referring to one of the books I borrowed from the library I found out that this is quite usual - more shrinkage in one direction.
I was a bit disappointed but continue on with adding the handles. These were made from felted french knitting. The design I was following added the handles by folding in the sides at the top to form a pleat and poking a hole through the bag to thread the handles through. These were tied with a knot which sits inside the pleat. After I had done this stage I like the bag better. I still think that I was really looking for a taller, thinner bag but as this was all a big experiment I still liked the end result. The decoration was a copy of an idea from the book. I added a closure of mine own by knotting a piece of felted french knitting and sewing it to the bag. On the other side I added a button for this to loop over. See more photos in my Picasa album - Felting Attempts.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Finishing offs

I've have finally turned some of my cross-stitches into things.

One I made into a pretty little scissor keeper which has jewel like colours stitched onto navy blue Aida. You attach it your delicate stork scissors by a length of ribbon to stop them getting lost.

I also made a card out of a picture of a frog that says 'You're great'

They were both made from kits off magazines.

Now I can go ahead with some new ones to turn into UFOs!

Little Felted Bag

I have finished my first attempt at a felted bag. It was made from some test squares for another project. I sewed the bag pieces together and added a french knitted strap. I sewed the strap on so that it ran from the bottom of the bag on each side. I felted the square for the flap at the same time but I attached it after the felting. I use blanket stitch to attach the flap. I also ran a line of blanket stitch along the top edge of the bag. All in all I felt pretty pleased with the end result. More pictures in my Picasa Album - Felting Attempts.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Craft Fair

This year's Quilt and Craft fair was great, if a little smaller than last time. Crafty things and I spent all day there cruising the stalls. Both of us got lots of new goodies and left with lighter purses!! I did a little workshop and made a beaded brooch. It's purple and the beads dangle off a special safety pin. This is really cool, the head screws off so you can put things on the pin and then just screw the head back on.

I got some Fiskars pinking shears which are really comfortable. They are spring loaded and have squishy handles which make cutting sooo easy.
Some other purchases were: a brass flower stencil (the one crafty things used for her cards), a frame to hold my cross-stitches in while I'm working on them, 2 applique kits (one is a pelican and the other is 3 ladybugs. They have fabric, Vliesofix and the pattern in them) and a rubber stamp that says 'Made with Love by' so you can put your name there.
Some geat crafting things are on the way!

Some progress has been made on the lacy crocheted scarf! It grows reallly quickly! The colours look even better now they are made into something.

Cards Galore

I am definitely in a card making mood at the moment. Here are the latest two - made today. I am having great fun trying out the new acquisitions from the recent craft fair. The dragonfly stencil is showing great potential. I used thick card and mica ink and then cut it out with a sharp blade. The ribbon has wire running through it and was fun to bend. It didn't go through my sticker maker very easily!

The flower stencil is another new one. Here I have been experimenting with some new sparkly stuff. It is very fine, round particles that roll everywhere. I watched a demonstration of stencilling using PVA glue and then adding the sparkle but I think I need some more practice. My first try was horrendous. With this stencil I tried adding the glue with a q-tip and then sprinkling. It sort of worked. I definitely need a sprinkle board. Pity I didn't buy one.

More ideas are rolling around the brain so stay tuned.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Latest Cards

These are three of my latest cards.

The first two have ribbon flowers that are stitched as loops in a circle. The ribbon is silk ribbon that has been hand dyed using Ozecraft dyes. The idea for the ribbon flowers came from the February 2007 copy of Quick and Easy Stitch and Craft. In the magazine they used a diamante for the centre of the flower but I tried a button and quite liked the end result. A visit to the craft fair at the weekend reminded me that I had the dyes and I purchased a small amount of silk ribbon to experiment with. Using the dye also means you can create unique background paper to match the ribbon. The silk ribbon is probably not quite robust enough for the flowers as dragging it through the holes made the last loops a little more bedraggled than the first.

The dragonfly was a new stencil purchased at the weekend and I also played with Sparking H20's to give it some sparkle. Background paper is Heidi Grace - garden flowers. I think maybe next time I try the dragonfly I will place it on an angle.

Unfortunately when I scanned these cards the colours have not quite come out the same as the originals. I tried to adjust them but was still unhappy with the hessian. It is more muted than it appears in the scanned image. Oh well, I just need more practice at editing images.