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Archive for March, 2017

Last year as we were travelling on the New South Wales north coast we took a detour off the highway though a little town and we discovered a treasure trove. A second-hand book store and a craft cooperative shop selling spinning fibre, finished knitting and other beautifully made objects. We now make it a point of stopping in Ulmarra and visiting the bookstore and Fibre Delights whenever we are passing by. On our January visit I picked up two complimentary braids of merino fibre (very reasonably priced). With the idea of plying them together. This was so soft and spun like butter, and I seem to have neglected a picture of the braids in my eagerness to start spinning…

I spun for a traditional three-ply and split each braid into three and spun one bobbin light to dark and two bobbins dark to light. I then wound them off into a cake ready for plying.

ready to ply

Several plying sessions later I had 472 metres from 179 grams.

plied2

I wasn’t convinced.

plied

But then I wound it into a cake.

fibre delights caked 2

I upcycled an envelope to use as a tag with the yarn details on it…

fibre delights caked1

And found myself very happy with the yarn. I think it’s going to make a great pair of socks.

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Another pincushion

While Gorgeous Girl was busy stuffing the pincushion she claimed for herself I returned to the machine to work on a pincushion that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. This year I’m trying to spend some time sewing up some of the smaller items that I’ve pinned rather than just storing them in Pinterest. The pattern is from Crazy Mom Quilts.

It’s a bit wonky, but I like it.

pincushion 1

It’s teeny tiny.

pincushion 2

I’ve forgotten how nice the instant gratification of quick sewing projects is.

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A pincushion

I have been saving my scraps from the hexagon quilt I’m working on. All those weird shapes that come from cutting the hexagon pieces that are too big to throw away, but not big enough to get cut into strips or squares got put into a ziplock bag and tossed into my ‘works-in-progress’ tote along with the other more organised scraps.

I had a specific idea in mind, to use them to create made fabric. A few weekends ago I pulled them out and decided to give the technique a try on a small scale.

IMG_2159I started in the centre and sewed the strips randomly to each other. Every piece in the centre is a scrap from my hexagon quilt.

I then framed it with a border of lovely spots and used the same fabric for the back. This came from The Calico Cat. A few years ago we did a swap, I crocheted a hippo for her and she sent me a bunch of fabulous fabric in return. Shortly after that fabric arrived my sewing mojo left. Now that it has returned I’m having fun using it up.

Kidlet was so taken with this that she claimed it for her own. Stuffed it and sewed it shut herself.

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She refused to accept any advice or guidance as to how to sew it closed and she did a pretty good job. She does sew on occasion, so she will make use of this pincushion. Now I need to make another one for myself.

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A friend of mine is having a baby soon. I believe that babies should be welcomed with handmade goodies, so I decided to crochet a blanket. Since I didn’t have enough coordinating yarn in the stash and friend lives in a different country to me I sent her a link to the Knit Picks web site (they now deliver to Australia) and asked her to choose a few colours. That way I could be sure that what I made would fit in with items she already has for the baby. When we visited Australia at Christmas time I picked up my order of yarn, I used Knit Picks Shine Sport, and began.

This was worked on while flying to the USA and it covered my legs in the cold Maryland weather (I’d forgotten how nice it was to snuggle under blankets while working on them). I then finished it off when I got back to PNG and  finally, last week Gorgeous Man posted it to my friend when he was in Australia.

The pattern is Neat Ripple and the instructions were really clear and made the whole process very easy. This was my first time doing chevrons.

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It was also my first time to do a crochet moss stitch border.

Neat ripple 1

Neat ripple 3

Colours are most accurate in the last photo. The mother-to-be has received the blanket and tells me that she is thrilled with it.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and working with the yarn. I suspect that I’ll be making a bigger version for myself one day (when/if we live in a cooler place).

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Last year Gorgeous Girl asked if I would make the birthday present for her best friend. We looked through Ravelry together and decided on the following patttern: Tiny Long-legged Cat.

I used yarn that Gorgeous Girl and I had dyed earlier in the year. This yarn was found in an opshop (thrift store) and was truly horrible to work with. Very rough and scratchy, at the completion of the project Gorgeous Girl was given the remaining yarn to play use as she saw fit (this has resulted in yarn mazes around the house and yard).

cat 2

According to Gorgeous Girl this cat with attitude was a big hit at the party.

cat 1

Gorgeous Girl’s friend has now relocated back to Australia, but the girls are keeping up with each other through weekly skype video calls. I’m so thankful for technology that allows the tyranny of distance to be defeated.

 

 

 

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So I had a little computer problem that prevented me from posting. But fortunately Gorgeous Man had a work trip to Australia last week and has returned with a lovely new computer for me, so I’m back in business. (You can buy computers in Papua New Guinea, but they tend to be much more expensive than buying in Australia and so since he had to be there anyway I decided to wait a few weeks for my replacement).

A few months ago I painted one of the pages in my journal black. While I was doing research in the USA I had most evenings to myself and so had time to play around with it. This doodling was inspired by Alisa Burke who creates wonderful art.doodles1

I’m rather pleased with this.

One thing I have committed to this year is to spend one evening a week actually trying something from the many myriad of pins I’ve pinned on pinterest. It’s been great and I can feel my sewing mojo returning. Pictures of those projects in a future post or two.

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