Saturday, May 28, 2011


I wanted to call this a Neckerchief as it brings up images in my mind of Benjamin Bunny messing about in Old Mac Gregor's garden.  Unfortunately for it to be a Neckerchief it has to be a little bit triangular, so this will be a Scarflette.  The actual blog is about BLOCKING your knitting.  I am confessing straight up that this was my first attempt and as it was so successful I am converted.  You have to block your knitting specially if you've spent all that time knitting up a gorgeous lacy pattern.  Picture 1 is my piece fresh of the needles. teaches us about blocking why you would want to do it and how to do it to what type of fibres.  As I used a 100% wool here steaming did the trick. You should get some T-pins I think they will make the job a bit easier.

Look how beautifully the pattern has opened up. The steam just pulled the pattern into place.  My scarflette pattern is just a rectangle, when folded over your shoulders let the two pieces hanging down the front meet with a nice brooch or in this case some little buttons (thanks to the lacy pattern I just used existing holes)

When you put a jacket over this it looks like you have this gorgeous knitted top on it acts like a false collar it is lovely and warm but not too hot for in between weather a great layering technique. You can also do it out of those lovely balls  in your stash that you only have one of, as it doesn't have to be nearly as long a a regular scarf.

That's my bit for the week. Wish me well as we've reached D-day for moving and the packers will be here on Monday morning.
Have a Crafty week.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This weekend I attended the Craft and Quilt Fair here in our fair City.   I anticipated this event for weeks now as I've really enjoyed previous years.  I have to say they didn't disappoint.  The Quilts are outstanding and all the exhibitors were helpful and super friendly.  I hope they all do extremely well financially as I'm sure the commitment on their side to be here are huge.
As I walked around and enjoyed the stimulus overload the bits that stood out for me (and possibly only because it is my interests) was the wonderful Linen Quilts and specially the Japanese influences.  I remember lots of Owl designs.  I definitely stopped at every wool stand I loved what Teresa Dair from "dairing" in Victoria is doing she showed us how to knit using our arms as needles (think about that one for a while) I suppose you had to be there. Her website is super they sell online and they stock the Habu Textiles range (Japanese again).

The other Fabrics that I enjoyed was from Sakizome momen. Sakizome means "yarn dyed" and momen means "cotton", so the yarn is dyed before weaving  these traditional fabrics.
This gorgeous quilt is by Be Be Bold ( ) from the woven precut fabrics.

and last but not least I'm inspired to try the traditional  Sashiko method. According to Wikipedia:

Sashiko (刺し子?, literally "little stabs") is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan. Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches, this running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread.
Many Sashiko patterns were derived from Chinese designs, but just as many were developed by the Japanese themselves. The artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) published the book New Forms for Design in 1824, and these designs have inspired many Sashiko patterns.

Equipped with loads of new ideas floating around in my head I can't wait to get busy.

Have a Crafty Week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Please tell me you can relate.  You're all excited, luggage packed, suitcase weighed and on the aeroplane.  After a long but reasonably pleasant flight you get to your destination just to be hoarded with the rest of the nameless individuals on your flight to the carousel where you await your luggage.  There it starts, luggage coming through the tiny little door and you wonder, "My suitcase is black? or is it really a navy blue?" Three people make a beeline for the only red case on the carousel and awkwardly fall over each other trying to figure who's case it is. Inconspicuously people try checking the tiny tags to see if this case they selected is really theirs and then shyly pop it back onto the rotating floor. If you hesitate too long trying to make up your mind if it's yours or not zoom it swishes by and you have to wait for it to come by again. Well no more.  I decided this trip is going to be different.  So I applied some green crafting, recycled a bit and had a lot of fun turning  shopping bags into gorgeously bright luggage tags.  I made matching hand luggage tags just in case my brain is so numbed from the hours of travelling that I forget that the happy smiley faces belongs to me.  If it happens to cheer my fellow travellers in the process it will be a great bonus.

I've tried my hand at a mini tutorial I hope you find it helpful.

The smiley faces comes from a shopping bag. You can cut out any motive or word that you like and use that.

Take standard shopping bag, cut off handles and slit bottom open

Fold bag in half and then half again (8 thin layers)

Layer your folded shopping bag image and see thru plastic.

 I found that dark ink smudges so I use a thin layer of clear plastic (from the veggie isle) over dark colours otherwise it tends to stick to your  brown paper.

Applying the heat is not an exact science and takes a bit of practise, test the heat on different plastic thicknesses. Sandwich your plastic between two layers of paper (newspaper can come off on your plastic specially working with white)
Remember to work in a well ventilated room and keep little people away from the hot iron.  Always be careful when you touch the plastic you've just melted it, it's going to be hot.

After the initial melting together I cut the excess thin plastic off
Iron both sides of your plastic till your happy with the result.


As you practise you'll get the results your looking for.

I cut a template, traced and cut round my tags.


I cut a template and traced round my tags.


Some eyelets (these from the scrapbooking section) gives it a nice sturdy hole.

I decided to tie it to my suitcase with a cable tie.

There you go ready for the journey.

Have a Crafty Week

Sunday, May 8, 2011


 A year or two ago I discovered sock knitting.  It always seemed too hard to try. With all those needles you could just tie yourself up.  The surprising thing is, it is much easier than what it looks and it is mostly a quick weekend project.  I love the amazing sock yarn that the wool and craft stores stock. If you want to start off, get a basic pattern and maybe a thicker yarn and aim for some Bed socks.  You can then graduate to the more fancy lacy types when you know what you're doing. is a wonderful site full of great knitting info and patterns.  Register with them (It is free)  and then download their "7 Free Sock Pattern" booklet.  The other free download from them is their "8 Free knitting patterns for Children".  In this children one is a sock section with a very nice basic sock pattern that I've tried out a few times. With the cooling Autumn air about I found some yarn I had left from last years' attempts and whipped up some tootsie warmers for the little feet in my house.

Some more sock knitting needs to happen as I've also managed to get the most beautiful self patterned 100% wool yarn and I have just the pattern for it.

Have a Crafty Week

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I have been severely told off this week by a well meaning friend.  Here is the thing in exactly a month my whole house and family will be moving across the country. She said I should be packing and NOT crafting!! Well here is my side of the story, when packing, a whole lot of decisions need to be made.  In this specific case I'm looking at this old cutting board and thinking "definitely not worth moving you across you go on the throwaway pile"

Just a bit later I'm in another area packing a few things and then what do I find a half used tin of chalkboard paint now that can definitely NOT be packed so out that goes... Together in the out box my cutting board and tin of chalkboard paint started scheming about being allowed back in -  and the rest is history.

It didn't take very long at all (and I had to take a break from packing anyway) and now in my yet unknown house on the other side of the country I'll have a Note board with character.

 Mark the area you want to paint with some tape. Chalkboard paint goes on best with a roller and you'll need a couple of layers (let it dry in between). If your wood is very faded you can use some woodstain to give it a nice glow.  I wanted a little ledge  for my chalk to rest on (otherwise I'll never find it) so I re purposed some pencils from the drawing cupboard they're the extra thick ones for toddler hands. A bit of wood/craft glue and it works like a charm. Here is a closeup.
I suppose you can add to it by turning in some hooks to hang your keys on depending on where in your abode you'll be using it. Next time you buy a humble cutting board - think what you can do with it when it has served its purpose .. I'm thinking of buying one big enough to become a tray.

Have a crafty week.
ps. Please send me a picture of what you've done with your cutting board.