Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Needlework bags

This is a great book on bags - making them and decorating them. And no, I have not had the chance to try it out yet, eventhough I have had it for over a year (at least). The ISBN is 4579107926.

Basically, there are six different bag shapes to make in whatever fabric takes your fancy. Then you have a choice of decorating them either in beads, ribbon, cord, applique and wool. These are a few of the examples from the book.

Maybe one day soon, I'll post a bag I have made ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Felt mascot book

This book has a slightly more commercial feel as it has little mascot dolls of Hello Kitty, Miffy (?) - the cute little rabbit, the little blue haired angel and the little red haired angel and various others. ( I would list them but as you can see I don't really know their names apart from Hello Kitty.) Anyhow, the ISBN of this book is 4834721256.
Here are some other projects included in the book.

Japanese crochet basics book

This is an amazing book on the basics of reading Japanese crochet symbols. I get very confused between English and American descriptions because a double crochet is actually a single crochet in English or American, see I can't even remember which. This book just shows the symbol and how to make it. Voila, pattern interpreted. Easy peasy.

The ISBN of the book is 4529030474

Friday, August 26, 2005

More books

This book has a more traditional feel. The dolls are dressed in kimonos and playing with traditional toys and musical instruments. The ISBN is 4529034895. If I could get my hands on some lovely Japanese fabrics, I think I would make some of these lovely dolls. (Sorry about the flash in the pics.) But the project I love is the sushi made from traditional Japanese fabrics. Almost gorgeous enough to eat. Just yummy!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Japanese craft books

Everyone seems to have a collection of Japanese craft books. I've been using Japanese crochet and knitting books from the late 70's and early 80's which belonged to my aunt in Malaysia. I'll need to persuade her to send me her copies as she doesn't knit or crochet. I have just remembered that I have crocheted a hoodie for lil man last summer. I must photograph it for this blog. Tomorrow.
Anyway on to my collection. Over the next few days, I'll try and post my collection. This is a predominantly felt mascot doll book. My Wild West Month of softie came from this book. The ISBN is 4277540392. This is the original cowboy together with a reluctant donkey/horse. It obviously doesn't have the floppy neck syndrome of my doll. And here is my version. For more details, check out my blog from a few days ago.

These next 2 dolls are really on my next to do list. (Actually more the next 20th in line of projects!)

Monday, August 22, 2005

New project Clapotis

I just noticed an inconsistency in my previous blog. I didn't finish Branching out on my drive to Cornwall. I had already finished it. I just blocked it last week.

However, I was knitting a new project on my journey. It's Clapotis, pattern from Knitty. It's the one everyone has knitted. Better late than never. The yarn is Adriafil Globe, a bargain buy of £1 per ball from I forget where (sorry). I have to say I'm really enjoying knitting with this yarn. Two weeks of knitting (and everything else that I do) and I am all done with the increases. Just 11 more increases to complete on the straight part and then I am done. (Oh that will probably take 2, maybe 3 months at my rate. Watch this space.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Meet Flash Harry

Please say a big hello to Flash Harry, my submission to this month's MOS Wild West Theme. He's a cowboy, a sheriff no less. He is made predominantly from felt but has a cotton shirt and bandanna. He was an inspiration from a Japanese craft book (details in another post). He's got natty stetson which covers up the fact I made his hair in dark navy blue rather than black. (Memo to self - must sort out yarn stash!) He's got a happy persona because Aidan didn't want him with an angry face or sad face. Hubby says Flash Harry is not quite John Wayne more Village People. Here he is showing off his badge and holster. (Is it me or this picture a bit blurry?)

I had a lot of fun making him and it took about a week to complete. There is a slight design fault where his head is a bit floppy even after a reinforcement. I'll have to try again.

Now I have to get back to my knitting. Lots of projects to complete.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Finished Objects

Productivity was definitely a buzzword for the last 2 weeks. It certainly helped that we had a 6 hour drive to Cornwall and back. I completed my Branching out scarf, pattern from Knitty, yarn was Jaeger Mohair Art from the Liberty sale. I really love the ice blue colour and the feel of mohair. It's also back in fashion again. Win - win.

Next up is a lovely cardigan from Rowan Babies called Dumpling (great name!). The yarn is Rowan Big Wool in colour Swoosh which is just gorgeous. Really easy to knit up in 12 mm needles. I need to be honest here, I actually completed this in September last year (obviously in a larger size than I needed it). I didn't finish it (seaming and sewing buttons) and thought it was definitely time get going as winter will be upon us and she will outgrow it in a minute. Good news, she loves it and she could still get a few more months of wear (at least 6, optimistically). Even better news, she looks gorgeous in it! This is why I knit.

Lastly, this project I started in September last year but got really uninspired with it and left it in the uncompleted pile until last week. There was one side of the poncho left to knit and that really only took a few days to complete. I'm not sure that I am particularly keen on novelty yarn. The yarn is Wendy Shimmer and it's a poncho again for my little girl. She does love it and it is really soft and cuddly when knitted up. But it was just a pain in the you know where to knit. I did drop some stitches but you can't really tell.

I'll be posting more over the next few days as I am working really hard to complete my Month of Softies project. It's looking good.

PS sorry about layout of photos on my blog. Can't seem to arrange them very well. Oh well.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Lovely break in Cornwall

We've just (well 6 days ago) returned from a short holiday in Cornwall. What a great time to be had by all, great food, wonderful company and fab weather.

On our way to Penzance, we took a short detour to visit our friends in a little village in Dorset. They have a lovely house surrounded by farms and farmland. We saw cows, pigs, chickens and ducks. In fact there was a pond on the property and they had ducks, lots of them.

Our friends are getting married or at least having the reception here, on the same weekend that we were visiting but next year. It's going to be gorgeous.

On to Penzance, about 6 hours west of London. We stayed with some friends who were such great hosts. We didn't have a very successful trip to the beach. Aidan was stressing about the water coming in and getting us wet. Try explaining the concept of tides to a 2.5 year old. Keira just found sand very tasty. But we did have a lot of fun at the tide pool. Trying to catch fish and prawns (actually that was Daddy - he had fun!)

On a knitting note, I did also find Knit Wits in Causeway Head in Penzance. It was run by some great gals and they had some great products including SWTC Bamboo yarn, UK Alpaca and some of the less easily available yarns. The only thing I purchased was a ball of Opal Cotton sock yarn. I am ready to try my hand at sock knitting, although the prospect of 4 dpn needles is quite daunting. More on that later.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Rowan Magazine

Firstly, my camera is in need of charging but I can't find my charger. In my post tidy up, I can't find anything. (That's an exaggeration but still no charger!)

Anyway, it was exciting to hear the thunk of post arriving this morning. Rowan magazine 38 has arrived. I saw it Liberty on Monday but resisted the temptation to flick through it as I wanted to give it my undivided attention. I love some of the designs - But boy do I dislike some of the others (ARMI, ODILE, MIKA etc - they just look very unflattering and shapeless and DANDY - a pompom scarf?!!!!!) Sorry, not my cup of tea.
Do LOVE most of the accessories - BRAIDEN bag, BOO Bag, CLYDE bag, CAPONE felted hat - how gorgeous! On my list to make! I do like LUCY sweater , FOGGY PANDA sweater and BIANCA cardigan.
I look forward to seeing more from the three new designers at Rowan.

On other completed projects, I have finished Branching out, from Knitty. It needs washing and blocking which will only get done after we come back from our holiday. Adios.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Spring cleaning in SUMMER

It's because the weather has been pretty bad here in London, I've decided its time for a spring clean (again!). Also, I have an ulterior motive. My crafty endavours have been encroaching all over the house. Scissors, knitting needles, yarn, paint etc lying around for 2 kiddos under 3 years of age is just asking for too much TROUBLE. Lil man has just learned to use a pair of scissors. But he doesn't like the pair of safety scissors from ELC - "cos they not sharp, Mummy, not like this one" (only my ultra sharp ones for fabric!)

So, here I am, 2 days of tidying up and I have a small dedicated craft space. I just need a small folding table for my sewing machine and I am all set. Actually, if I'm honest, I also need a massive cupboard for my growing yarn stash and fabric stash. But that needs to be kept secret from hubby. Well if he goes away on business again soon, I promise I'll photograph my new space and my stash. Might take days!

Sorry for a pictureless post.

PS - very excited about playing in a netball team in a league! First practice/training session on Thursday. Hurray.