Thursday, November 22, 2012

wrapped up

it seems summer is on the way with the lovely weather we've been having. luckily the heat is a way off still, especially at night, because there's nothing worse than trying to work with sticky needles and sweaty yarn! i needed a light wrap to throw over those summery dresses that have been on high rotation lately, so spent a few happy hours trawling my favourite free pattern site lion brand.

sea shell shawl

this shawl is an easy shell crochet stitch and with a big hook i made it in an evening. i used some stash yarn called Moda Vera "Amanda", a lightly brushed wool/acrylic blend which is very lofty, resulting in a lightweight but warm wrap. i tweaked the pattern to finish at a better length, and added a fringe for a bit of granny glamour. now i can finally use my shawl pin that i bought in Broome a few years ago!

shawl back

seashell stitch

i know many people find blogging to be a lot of work, for me it's the fear of a blank page. i just thought i'd show you one of the many hindrances i face, a cat with her own ideas of what a keyboard and mouse are for!

could i get any closer??

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

crochet love

i love free patterns from lion brand
i love granny square patterns

granny squares throw

i love clashing and mashing colours together like kids do
i love how white tones it all down

vibrant colour

i love a throw that matches the couch
i love a cosy finished project!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

granny goodness

i am totally smitten with my new book granny chic. created by two people whose blogs i love, they give an honest insight into the life of thrifting, hoarding and making that has many similarities to mine. most crafters would know all about burning the family dinner when you need just five more minutes to feverishly work on a project!

op shop treasures

anyway, i've unwittingly joined the ranks of "grannies" the world over, fiddling with bits of yarn, thrifted sheets and crochet hooks, scouring op shops for unwanted ornaments, kitschy kitchen wares and combining the lot into a glorious mash-up of colour and pattern. some people would want to scratch their own eyes out rather than have to endure this kind of decor, but as a maximalist, i enjoy it. the beauty is that you can't copy the look exactly; you rely on your own local finds, dependent on other people's throw-aways. it's the ultimate in creativity!

granny apron

when i saw this project in the book, i couldn't resist making my own granny apron to wear while crafting or cleaning, whichever one wins on the day. once again, the instructions are clear and concise, leaving room for customising to your own tastes. i used an old tea towel, a pretty tray cloth and added a little embroidery to inspire my blogging day! i don't know if i quite have the nerve to wear it out of the house like Tif does, maybe when i get a bit more grown-up?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

a weekend round-up

last Friday was the start of the local Agricultural Show, always a good day out providing the weather is fine. this time we weren't disappointed, it was fine and sunny with a maximum temp of 30 degrees. i love looking at the handcrafts shed to see what the locals have been making through the year, and the kids love the animals. Abby's favourites were the horse jumping and the chooks, as she is hoping for one or two in her own backyard (chooks, not horses!)

show jumping

of course, after walking through the agricultural part of the show, it's always fun to go on the rides. the bumper cars are an old favourite, but i just couldn't say yes to some of the more scary rides! the kids are far braver than i ever was when it comes to that.

bumper cars

too scary for me!

after a long hot day, we dragged ourselves home for a cuppa and a rest. i had been saving "granny chic" until after i'd finished wrangling my accounting studies, but i couldn't resist having a little peek. i found a tiny reserve of energy to make a start on a roundie cushion for a thrifted cane chair that has been in dire need of comfort. once i got started i wasn't tired anymore!

this cushion is so quick and easy to make, i used an old sheet found on my op shop jaunts. i even made the insert as i haven't been able to find round ones at the local shops. i was hand stitching on a doily as i heard the fireworks from the show that night, and it was all done. i must say, i've been a bit distracted by my doily stash ever since...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

when life gives you lemons...

normally i would go directly to a lovely fabric or yarn shop to cheer myself up, but as i'm on a self-imposed stash diet, i decided other measures had to be taken:

number 1: buy a book.
under advice from Di, i went to a really good bookshop to get a crafty magazine. it's good in theory because you get some fresh ideas to use what you already have.sadly there was nothing new that caught my eye so i wandered to the books for a browse, and whoops, i bought myself an early Christmas pressie, not one but two books from some of my favourite bloggers.

gerties book for better sewing

i've always loved vintage clothing, especially from the 1950s, so Gerties book was a must-have. i particularly like all the information on couture sewing details, as that's what makes dressmaking so worthwhile. when you pop on a handmade garment that's been well finished and fitted, you feel utterly spoilt. years ago i hand tailored coats and jackets without any qualms about time or effort, so i'd like to get back into that frame of mind.

granny chic

if you've read this blog before, you'll know i love dottie angel and her granny ways! recycling fabrics and making do with found objects is a subject close to my heart, so buying her new book Granny Chic was a no-brainer. i have "high hopes" of starting the new year with a challenge of the utmost kind, and have already put some rules into practice as a bit of a test to see how i go. wish me luck everyone!

number 2: drag yourself into the 21st century.
although i have a large number of commercial sewing patterns, i'm not that keen on using them. i've used Burda and Knipmode sewing magazines for just as long, and i prefer them for fit and style. however, it's all too easy to get stuck in a rut and forget to explore all the new exciting options out there. i've never used a pattern download off the internet before or joined a sewalong, entered a pattern contest or used an online video teaching resource.

basic knit wardrobe

when i was offered a really good discount on a class with the online resource Craftsy, i thought i'd give it a go. the course is called "Sewing with Knits" and includes patterns for five basic items. so far i've made three of them and i've enjoyed re-learning how easy knits are to sew. in my opinion, the use of an overlocker or serger has only made sewing with knits more stressful. in this course you go back to basics, using simple stitches the way Mum used to sew knits years ago.

simple stitching

there's not much that can go wrong with a line of basic zigzag and there's more control with a normal sewing machine. it all fits with my new motto: "simplify".