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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.

A baby blanket

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).

A small gift

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).

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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.

 

 

 

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.

Teacher gifts

The end of the year was, as previously mentioned, a bit frantic but I did want to make something personal to tuck into the gifts for Gorgeous Girl’s teachers this year. In the end I settled on making some crocheted bookmarks. This Radiant Rose bookmark was crocheted out of handspun. You can find the pattern here.

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I hot glued the rose to a large paperclip.

The second bookmark I made was a bird. I really loved how this turned out, it was lots of fun. Pattern can be found here.

birdbookmark

This was made from sock yarn scraps. Many moons ago I made Gorgeous Girl a cardigan from this yarn and there’s still yarn left over. She liked the bird so much she asked for one of her own. I don’t have a picture of that one though.

I like the bird so much that I think when I get back to Papua New Guinea I’m going to make myself one.

Greetings

So, I didn’t mean to disappear for an age. I got overwhelmed by the end of the school year and all the marking that went along with that. Since my last post there have been quite a few finishes on the craft front as well as a trip or two.

We spent Christmas in Thailand this year which was wonderful and I’ll do some posts about that as soon as I’m reunited with the computer that likes to talk to my camera…

Right now I’m in the USA. I was privileged to be given research funding to visit some archives and so am half-way through my visit.

I did get the baby blanket finished and gifted. I’m happy with how it turned out and the baby’s mother seemed to like it very much.

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More makes to follow over the next few days and travel photos when I return to Papua New Guinea in a week or so.

I wonder if anyone is still reading after all this time.

Spinning

I have finally spun up the last of they fibre I dyed myself when I first started spinning in 2008. I split the braid in half and then split one half in half again to get a blend of mixed and plain colours.

Here it is before its bath.

stuff I dyed 1

It bloomed nicely.

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All caked and ready to knit. my dye

It’s going to marinate in the stash for a while though. Hopefully not as long (8 years) as the fibre did…