DIY rainbow mobile

Friday, August 26, 2016

There is something so appealing about these melty craft beads. I've bought Hama brand and the Ikea version, Pyssla, and both equally good. You can get a much wider colour selection if you can find a shop that sells the Hama beads, whereas the Ikea beads come in a great big tub but have a limited colour range. Great for the kids, unless they are like the big guy and want to recreate minecraft characters. You'll need the Hama bead pack with the widest range of colours for that!

The boys and I have used them for a few of our craft sessions now, and recently they pitched in together and made a rainbow. With no fixed idea what we were going to do with it, it floated around for a couple of weeks until I suggested we make a mobile, we could make a bunch of rainbows! This was greeted with positive noises, so it went on the mental to do list for next craft session. In the meantime talk turned to rainbows at odd moments, and littlest got quite interested in rainbows and how they are made. He loved the idea of a mobile with the sun, clouds, and rain making him a rainbow.

We have easy access to sticks here. Painting the stick white was a great task for him. It was a bit tricky sorting out how to make the shape of the raindrop, I was tempted to go straight pixel graphic style, but with the very round rainbow and sun I was happier with the rounded version. As you can see below I used the heart shaped board.

You use baking paper when you iron the beads together. 

I decided to keep it small. How cute is this? I was planning where each item would hang. You can see here that I used the heart shaped board for the cloud too. One full sized heart, lightly ironed, and another leaving off the outermost line of beads, leaving spare pegs to be able to place the larger heart and then ironing the whole thing again together. All of the pieces were flipped and ironed on the reverse as well. We have a local market happening here soon, and biggest has plans to make keyrings with the melty beads, I'll share if he gets them done.

Stash Down - Project One - Finished Object - Frisson

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Its my Mother-in -laws 70th Birthday soon and I wanted to make her something special. I haven't actually made her anything before, which is shameful because she has made me many things and always returns home from overseas trip with a skein of yarn for me. 

The yarn was part of the last load of yarn to make it into the stash tub before it was declared closed for the year. I bought it from Spendigo (Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show) when I saw it I immediately knew that my Mother-in-law would love it. It is merino plied with a single thread of silver which makes it sparkle. What I didn't consider was how much trouble I would be in with Miss K for returning from my marvellous yarn trip with amazing yarn which wasn't for her.

When it came to choosing a pattern, I knew that my Mother-in-law had always admired the lace shawls that I had knit in the past but finds shawls difficult to wear and often wears scarfs. To be very honest, I find traditional scarfs really boring to knit and wanted something that as fairly simple, would showcase the yarn and result in a finished object that was worthy of a birthday gift.  I trawled through Ravelry for a suitable pattern, this is one of my favourite past times, and found Frisson by Brittany Wilson. 

I didn't quite have enough yarn to knit the last repeat of the pattern so I ripped back to the end of the previous section and cast off. Leaving me with a little bit of yarn to make something for Miss K. 

 This is not my Mother-in-law, this is my friend Kate who agreed to model for me.

 And this photo is for you Michelle, look what's in the background!

Big Granny Wrap Up

Monday, August 8, 2016

I made it! Yes! Finally finished the big granny square blanket with pompoms which is for my eldest boy. How many projects have you finished in that time? Let's not count shall we?! I wish I was faster is all I can say. The final size was a balance between being big enough to wrap around eldest boy for snuggling and me being totally over making it.

So back in this post I counted up that I started with 16 balls, and now the yarn left over - 2 black (well almost three) and 4 almost 5 white. So I used 5 and a bit black and 3 almost 4 white. I have enough white to go again. Little guy has decided on a white and yellow version of the same, after scaring me for a bit there asking for red and white. I'll have to go check out the local stores for cheap yellow acrylic, Kmart had some but it was a really egg yolk yellow, too dark, or a pastel one. Neither were quite right.

My pom poms have certainly improved, however the method and speed of production has not. Currently I am still getting best results from the old cardboard template method, which is annoying because the template get trashed after two or three pom poms. Which has given me ideas, but really I can see the benefit of the Clover brand pom pom maker, consistent sizing, the fact the split in half makes them quicker to wrap, and you have a more even thread length. In a cardboard template you end up with uneven thread lengths because you cannot wrap thickly near the slot without all the yarn falling off, so it naturally becomes lopsided, which means more trimming to shape it after.

Finished Object - Maroo mitts

Friday, August 5, 2016

I probably should have blogged about these before I started my one year austerity challenge.
Anyhoo, you may remember that I started them when I was a passenger on a six hour drive to the ski fields but I couldn't finish them on the way home because I broke a needle. 

None of this yarn featured in my last post. 

The pattern was designed by Australian designer Ambah O'Brien. I 've knit a few of Ambah's patterns before and love her use of simple lace patterns . I also suspect she loved stripes almost as much as Michelle does.

The mitts are finally finished and have been gifted to my work mate who has been happily typing away with warm hands.

Stash limits

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Firstly, lets start with an acknowledgement of a fundamental piece of fibre crafting etiquette, and now lets disregard it.

I am frequently asked about the size of my stash. It seems that many of my knitter and non-knitter friends are intrigued and it would seem that they believe I have a whole yarn store tucked away somewhere. Consequently, since my accent isn't that far from Dame Maggie's up there* (I can ramp it up when required), I often repeat the above refrain.

However, there comes a time with most knitters/crocheters/fibre craft enthusiasts where we start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of our stash. I have discovered that the tolerance level for each person is as individual as they are.

I, for example, have one plastic tub (possibly 80L) which contains my "Good Stuff"  and a chest of drawers (that white one in the background of the pic below) where a dump my cheap acrylic and partial skeins. Now the chest of drawers I don't really worry about, I don't tend to buy a lot of acrylic and the partial skeins seem to get used up nicely in colourwork and small knits like socks or contrasting colours for larger pieces. However, when I can't get the lid to fit nicely on the plastic tub I know its time to scale back for a while.


And you can guarantee that the yarn I want is at the very bottom. (Hello foot!)

While this plastic tub is full, I can not buy anymore nice lovely squishy yarn because then I would have to figure out another storage location.

I've never flashed my stash before, here it is.

Honestly when you stretch it out like that it doesn't seem like much 

Squish it all together ....Whole nuther story....Also remember this does not include acrylic or partials so yep there is more.

Anyway,  I have to admit that I need to do something about this and I have decided to be good and attempt to knit from stash for the next year (or until it gets boring or I have room in my stash bucket again…honestly, I’m not that disciplined).

I plan to take another picture in a years time to see how much I have managed to chew through.

I need to:
  • use the aged yarn which is waiting for the "perfect" project, 
  • make some random baby garments (for gifts, no spawning is happening here),
  • knit some birthday gifts, 
  • knit a jumper for me, and 

How long do you give me before I fall off the wagon?

*Imagine if you will, Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman spawn a lovechild who spends equal amounts of time in England and Australia, well apparently that's what I sound like.
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