Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Industrial Strength Blocking

I have had a new shawl/rug ready for blocking for a couple of months but keep procrastinating because is is a bugger of a job.  I usually use the back of a rug to pin things out on, but it is not very satisfactory for the large round pieces as it is not quite large enough in one direction and I don't get enough stretch.

However given our veranda is literally falling to bits I thought it probably wouldn't matter if I hammered a couple of nails in and pulled them out again.  All the timber will have to be replaced before too long anyway - thus industrial strength blocking was born.

Industrial Strength Blocking 1

There is a towel under there to prevent snags and absorb some of the moisture.  It is still a bit wonky as I did not have a finished measurement and I had to stretch it out by eye but is is a really effective stretch.

Industrial Strength Blocking 2

I did not realise on my first couple of blockings how tight you really have to stretch the work out.  Not until I actually knitted a pattern in the yarn it was designed for and had proper measurements to block to.  Especially with lace patterns, my blocking wires are starting to look a little bet and battered but it is all in a good cause.

Industrial Strength Blocking 3

I used fencing staples which were particularly effective as the blocking wires could not jump over them as they can with t-pins when you stretch it really tight.  I did not even have to hammer them in too hard and you can't even see the holes they left.

And it was a very effective block:

Girasole 1

This is the Girasole pattern from Brooklyn Tweed (again) it is so much fun to knit although the edging seems to last forever.

Girasole 2

It is worth it though, the knitted edging looks so much better than a crocheted one.

Girasole 3

I cannot for the life of me remember what yarn I used - I think it might have been Cleckheaton but I really have no idea.  I have a fair few balls left but they seem to have disappeared into the mysterious vortex of my study.

Girasole 4

Anyway at least that is another UFO out of the way - not much of a dent in the pile so far but it all helps I guess.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catching Up On UFOs

I was so excited at all the things I was going to get done in my five week break but the first two weeks have been killed a bit by the horrible hot weather. I am totally a cold weather person (you will never here me complaining about the cold), hot weather just destroys my ability to do anything much at all.

That being said we are partway through a week of cooler weather so I have started to get moving again.  I am hoping to get some of my enormous pile of unfinished objects sorted out, plus I need to finish the legotorium, make myself a new giant crochet Cthulhu, and get started on some bird like things for my next art project.

First UFO off the block is a very basic scarf made from hand dyed mohair.

Rainbow Scarf 3

I have had this stuff for ages and have started and pulled apart a couple of projects, ultimately I figured colours this lovely don't need an exotic pattern and went for a plain garter stitch scarf.

Rainbow Scarf 2

I am a total sucker for things in spectrum order, it just needs to get cold enough for me to wear it now.

Rainbow Scarf 1

I have not taken any pictures of the legotorium yet - still too much of a disaster area.  We have a ridiculous amount of Lego and keep adding more all the time.  Maybe next week things will be a bit more under control.

My polymer clay arrived today for Cthulhu's claws so work will have to commence soon.  I was going to make a practice version, but given I only tend to like making things once (especially when they are that big) I am just going to wing it like that last one.

For the first time since we moved to this house we have black cockatoos living in the big pine tree.  They are supposed to be native to this area but have been chased away by the feral sulphur crested cockatoos.  We have a mated pair and their fledgling who is quite big but still being fed by its parents. They have the most beautiful eerie call but chatter very melodically when they are all in the tree together.

Black Cockatoo

This is the baby, pretty much grown up but still conning food from mum and dad.  They are the yellow tailed variety, I think the red tailed ones are almost extinct.  I hope they stay around and nest on our tree.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Things are Changing

Lots of good news for the beginning of the year and hopefully a chance for me to get my act together and do more artwork.  As of this week I no longer work full time and after 5 weeks off will be working 3 days a week - so no excuses really.

I have been quite angry with my work since about September last year and found that all the times when I usually work out design problems and have my best ideas (morning shower - best place in the world) I was instead having internal rants about my job.  Not the best state of affairs, so when an opportunity came my way to leave - I went.

Stay tuned for developments, I am planning a new Cthulhu (just for me) and an avian theme to my next big crochet project.

These photos are for Mum - just to show you how alive they are:

Succulents 2

Succulents 1

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rita's Shawl

Although I have been rather slack on the update front I have been working on a few things albeit slowly.  Up until the end of April I was consumed with finishing this shawl for Mum's 60th.  It is knitted in Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Meteorite (a little more yellow than I had hoped from the picture but it knitted up well).  The pattern is another Brooklyn Tweed called Leaves of Grass, it is beautiful and I cannot wait for Jared's next circular pattern.

Leaves of Grass 1

It took ages to knit this - I totally underestimated how long the edging would take.

Leaves of Grass 2

Leaves of Grass 3

The middle did not quite block flat I probably should have put some more pins in.

Leaves of Grass 4

For once I actually knitted the pattern in the listed yarn so I had blocking measurements - I was surprised just how far it was stretched out.

Leaves of Grass 5

Leaves of Grass 6

Leaves of Grass 7

Leaves of Grass 8

Leaves of Grass 9

Leaves of Grass 10

Leaves of Grass 11

Leaves of Grass 12

Hopefully more to come on a new crochet art project soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gardening and a New Friend

When Mum and Greg visited in January they had a bit of a frenzy in the garden and weeded out the bed outside the kitchen (among other things).  Naturally Corto being the giant ginger pain that he is decided he would dig it up to make a lovely dust bath, which in turn drove Scott to make a beautiful herb garden.

Herb Garden 1

The netting is to keep out the possums, who while fluffy and adorable absolutely decimate any soft herbs we plant, they even eat the chili bushes down to the ground.

Herb Garden 2

We have tarragon, sage, mushroom plant (weird but yummy crispy leaves that taste like mushroom, the texture really throws you), and black ornamental and quite hot capsicum.

Herb Garden 3

Plus horseradish, parsley, thyme, jalapenos and black something or other chili, in the week or so since I took this picture they have all grown heaps more.  The wet coolish summer we have has has been brilliant for growing things.

Aside from the digging we have had more dog drama, everyone is fine but it did get a little expensive. GIR's lipoma on his front leg had grown very big, as had the skin tag on his elbow (called Pepe, don't even ask how it got it's own name) and the vet thought it was time to remove them.  There were way more stitches on the lipoma than I would have thought but GIR was very good and did not even need a bucket on his head.

Poor GIR

He is all better now and the scar is disappearing nicely.  Of course a couple of days after GIR had his surgery Corto had to get in on the act by putting his paw through the glass in the back door.  Luckily he only got a little cut, particularly as it turned out it was not safely glass and shattered everywhere.  Expensive to fix but at least he was ok.

Another Dog Drama

Just got a new member of the monster family from Loki Coki, such a great combination of crochet, felt and embroidery, I wish I has thought of it.

Loki Coki Monster

How adorable is she, now I just have to resist the temptation for another one.  Here she is in her new home, snuggled up with Cthulhu and Shoggy.

A new Friend

Been a bit disorganised on made things lately, I have a new rug but it needs to to be blocked and the weather has not been in my favour.  Did a colour variation on one of the Urban Threads designs for Mum, although it still needs to be sewn into a bag.

Tropical Feathers

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Toy Frenzy

I said ages ago I would show off my new toy.

My New Toy

I have wanted one of these babies for so long.  I have been making bags for the market which look like this.

Heart Bag

Heart Detail

I was going to put off the purchase until I could afford some digitising software because the designs that come with the machine are so awful.  Then I discovered Urban Threads  who have heaps of totally brilliant designs and they are happy for you to put them on things you are going to sell.

Brain Bag

Brain Detail

Lung Bag

Lung Detail

I made his one for myself, I changed the colours around to something a bit more vibrant.

Octopus Bag

I also made some plain bags to see how the would go at the market.

Green Retro Bag

Pink Retro Bag

I made Jenny's dog Bizzy a little jumper - she is a trembler.

Bizzy Bee

I also finished Scott's second red rug.

Red Rug 4

Red Rug 3

Red Rug 2

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I just don't seem to be getting things finished at the moment so I thought I would take a moment to celebrate some of my many UFOs.  These are just the ones that have a good chance of being finished in the nearish future - there are many many more languishing in tubs just waiting for me to dig them out and get working.

Oddly enough I dug this one out of a UFO tub but I have no idea why it was there, it is huge already and perfectly useful as a rug to snuggle up under on the couch.  It is a prime number rug - every prime numbered ring is in red.  I guess it could just keep getting bigger and bigger which would be cool, maybe one day when I have some free time.

Prime Number Rug

This one is a kit I got from Prudence Mapstone at the last craft show I attended, basically some wools and a pattern for the square, you just mix and match colours as you please.  The yarn is Freetrade alpaca and is wonderfully soft.  he colours are not those that I would choose if left to myself but the work together wonderfully and I can't wait to see it finished.

Alpaca Rug

I have just started work on the next round of crochet creatures and have been experimenting with feathers.  Trying to expand on the Gol Goroth design and work more detail into the wing structure and feathers.  I have a long way to go.


This is the beginning of a fantastic retro cardigan, I have only completed the front panels so far.  I am using a thicker ply than the original pattern to try and get it large enough to fit me - so far I think it is going to work.


I had enough wool left from Scott's lace rug to make another so started a different pattern from a doily book - it does not have that far to go I should really try and get it done before the weather gets too warm.  You really can't tell what the pattern looks like now it needs to be blocked before it will kook any good.

Another Lace Doily Rug

And lastly my African Flower rug (actually I do seem to have an awful lot of rugs on the go - I can think of at least three more that have not made it here) inspired by Pandatomic a Flickr contact who does absolutely marvelous crochet work.

African Flower

Anyway that is just a few of the things I am pottering around with at the moment.  Later this week I will tell you about my new toy and share some of the things I have been making with it.