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Mostly Knitting Blog

Want to find the new stuff on Knitting-and.com, or read about my latest projects and discoveries? This is the place.

Hairpin Crochet & Things that Begin With the Letter “R”

I’m getting far too distracted with new toys at the moment, when I should be finishing the suffolk puff/yo-yo coverlet so these will be the last little experiments with new toys until I’ve finished my current projects (or at least most of them!)

I took the test pieces that I made on my new hairpin lace tool last night and played around with them to see what I could come up with.

Hairpin lace crochet ric-rac

First of all was a cool ric-rac braid. Made with a small width and a fine thread this would be great as ornamentation on crazy quilting. Made with yarn you could join lots of strips together to make a retro afghan. The waste threads I mentioned in my previous post made this incredibly easy to do because I was never worried about picking up loops from the wrong side of the braid.

I also found reference to hairpin rosettes in one of Interweave’s Weldons reprints (I’ve forgotten which one, I’ll have to go through them again) and had a go making one in yarn.

Hairpin lace crochet rosette

I just made up the regular crochet part as I went. DK weight yarn on a 4cm pin with a couple of rounds of regular crochet made a 13.5cm rosette. I might use this idea to make a scrap yarn afghan.

Edited to add:
A study of tatting combined with hairpin crochet lace. With lots of interesting links if you just want to do the crochet.

Stitch Diva Studios Tutorials
I have to go out now but I’ll see what other links I can come up with for tomorrow!

Flickr.com is a Dangerous Place


Ponto Fofoca ou Ponto Origami?, originally uploaded by Carla Cordeiro Artes.

I had planned on playing with my singercraft tool last night but I was overwhelmed with curiosity about this technique and how it’s done. So me and my investigating feet* went on a little hunt.

The text with Carla’s photo is in Portuguese and I don’t speak Portuguese so I started (and ended) by looking in the bible of fabric squishing The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff. There it was, in the chapter on smocking. Apparently this is called north American (or Canadian) smocking and is the flower design.

I had a go, and since I’m English and I really love the vintage gingham I was using, I had a go at English smocking too.

I really love the top design in the English smocking sample that I did (the diamonds). It has both a pleasing geometry and a lovely stretch, plus the gingham makes an interesting effect of darker diamonds on a lighter background with stripes.

I’m definitely going to file these techniques away in subconscious as totally cool and hope they resurface in a project soon ๐Ÿ™‚

* 10 points to anyone who can tell me the source of this quotation!

Tsumami Kanzashi


orange kanzashi, originally uploaded by thea superstarr.

I’ve been admiring these little fabric flowers on Craftster and people’s blogs for a couple of months now, and was really happy to find this blog post about them.

craftster.org blog ยป Kanzashi Yumminess

Now I need to find a book about how to make them! Jamie and I were dreaming about where we would like to go for a holiday overseas if we could ever afford one. I’m thinking I want to go to Japan so I can buy craft books and needlework gadgets <VBG>

Edited to add: A series of in depth tutorials. Click the download link for each one to save them.

Edited a second time: You can just assume that I’m going to keep editing this post with more cool stuff until I post the next entry. K? ๐Ÿ™‚



The Kanzashi Website

Hi Honey, I’m Home!

Actually, I’m only temporarily online because of the aforementioned laptop-software-murder but I thought that while I’m here I should tell everyone who asked that yes, I am safe and sound! Sorry I can’t reply to you all privately but the computer work I get paid for had to come first (SORRY!)

We still don’t have a rental, and haven’t ended up in the town I would have liked, but I’m a firm believer in “stuff happens for a reason” so it’ll all be fine in the end, I’m sure. In fact, some of the reasons have already presented themselves and they’re well worth the sacrifice. Well, at least one of them (the other is also good, but is also available in Wollongong, which is where we wanted to live but haven’t ended up).

Did that make sense?
No, I didn’t think so.

In the meantime I’ve been making stuff (in the name of sanity preservation. Is it working? Probably not).

Wanna see?
Of course you do, or you wouldn’t be reading a knitting blog.ย ๐Ÿ˜›

The first couple of things you’ll have already seen if you checked out the new patterns I uploaded over the last couple of days.

Firstly a quick recap with the Dr Who Scarf:

Dr Who Scarf

In case you’re wondering, yes, all that garter stitch is enough to drive you barmy. And no, that is not my mannequin. My family are somewhat nuts, everyone seems to have mannequins all over the place (actually, the same mannequins seem to get passed around, although my Dad did just buy a new one…)

The other project you might have already checked out are some cushion covers that I made from old denim samples I bought from Reverse Garbage in Marrickville. (Fellow Aussies, you can google their website and order online! Very cool)

Denim Cusion Cover with Frayed Spots

Denim cushion cover with an embroidered flower

Denim cushion cover with pocket

Denim cushion cover with stripe

Not bad for $5, huh? I only consider myself an advanced beginner when it comes to sewing, but I’m particularly proud of these. My favourite is the one with the embroidered flower.
But that’s not all I’ve been up to! I’ve been learning teneriffe lace.

Teneriffe lace

This is the only thing I’ve made so far. It’s the beginner’s lace mat from “The Technique of Teneriffe Lace” by Alexandra Stilwell. It’s an excellent book if you want to learn Teneriffe lace and well worth seeking out. It also has a chapter on daisy looms that I want to explore. I bought my copy through http://www.abebooks.com from an Australian seller, and there still seem to be plenty of copies around at excellent prices.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am definitely going to learn more.

Whilst cleaning out one of his rooms, my Dad brought out an old favourite that I made for him last century! I don’t think I ever showed this one online because I didn’t have a digital camera way back when I made it.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine

It’s Thomas the Tank Engine. The pattern is from the Robin yarn company in the UK. I don’t know if you can get it any more but if you have anyone in your family who appreciates knitted trains, then it’s well worth seeking out. You knit a few pieces, sew them together, knit a few more, sew them on, ad infinitum. I think there were over 60 pieces in Thomas. The pattern is extremely well written. I never forgot what a piece was for, and aside from stuffing the base a little too firmly I think it turned out really well.

Of course all I care about is that my Dad loved it so I don’t care that I overstuffed the base.
๐Ÿ™‚

At the moment I’m making another “Badly Written Doily“, in the hopes of being able to put up the corrected pattern with charts as my next update in a month or so. I have MORE that enough yarn to finish this one, so I’ll get past round 172 this time! I also have a very large book of graph paper to chart it with so there’s no way I’ll run out of that either.
In fact, I think I bought enough yarn to make 2. I’m up to round 154 and haven’t used all of one ball of cotton yet and I bought 3!

Finally, a quick list of birthday goodness.

I had my 36th birthday while offline and received a gift certificate from Borders, which I spent immediately on some fibre and philosophy books which I’ll tell you more about later. Dad gave me an embroidery frame that he made for me. I also managed to score 2 glass display heads with $$ from my sister. I’ve been looking for some for YEARS, so when my Dad’s friend phoned up and said that a local camping supplies shop was closing down and selling the shop fittings, off we trecked and lo and behold, just what I needed! Somehow I also ended up buying some down feathers too. I wonder if I can add them to my spinning without inhaling half of them…

I’ll try and post again in a couple of weeks. Don’t have too much fun without me!

Sampler Scarf

At the beginning of last August the more devoted of my readers might remember that I used Deb Menz’s multicolour combing techniques to make some red-based rovings from some odds and ends.

At the time I was disappointed by the way the grey looked in the finished yarns so I put them away.

Well, I finally knit them up and whilst I prefer the rovings without grey, the grey does give a really attractive and interesting effect. But it was REALLY ugly as yarn. Go figure.

Here’s the finished “sampler” scarf that I knit. It’s a simple K3, P3 rib and the yarns are an 8 ply weight (DK) single throughout.

Experimental Scarf
I made lots of different red rovings using the techniques in Deb Menz’s book “Color in Spinning” and made the samples into this scarf

And here are the 8 individual rovings as they knit up. I’ve stretched the rib out so you can see the full width of the knitting.