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Mostly Knitting Blog

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

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. 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 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.

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.

Ooh, Pretty…

I decided to play with some colour blending on my hackle, ala Deb Menz. (If you can’t get her book Color in Spinning buy her videos. Actually, buy the videos even if you do have the book).

I have a couple of bags of uninspiring roving that I probably bought at the Aussie Sheep and Wool show when it was still held in Melbourne. All the colours went together so I decided to use those.

On the bottom I put a burgundy red and a nice rich orange.

Wool fibre

Inbetween I put a gorgeous bright red and on the top I put a purply warm brown and a salmony pink. Not that disgusting 1980’s shade of salmon pink, this is more of an aged Victorian salmon pink (very aged, considering the Victorians liked such bright colours).

Wool fibre on a hackle for colour blending

And here’s the finished roving, which I’m totally in love with.

Multi colour sliver for spinning

I definitely need a lot more practice getting the colours from each layer through the diz at once. Or maybe I should just use a larger diz… (duh, why didn’t I think of that before?)
But that’s going to have to wait until my shoulder blades stop hurting from fighting with my wheel yesterday. It really hurts to sit hunched over a wheel for half an hour while you try and figure out what you’ve done wrong to it!

And now I’m taking my sore obsessive self off to bed.

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