Tuesday, 24 August 2010
I was so lucky to test knit something for Cheezombie. The same designer who did the Slug, which is probably one of my favourite knitted toys. So feel very priviliged to be allowed to test knit another pattern for her.
And now, without further ado, meet Mr. Clam:
Friday, 16 July 2010
My 6 year old is a huge fan of Star Wars and Clone Wars (a cartoon version of Star Wars). I wanted to surprise him with a knitted version of his favourite character: Ahsoka.
I used the Poppy pattern from Ysolda for the body.
The dress I made a number of sizes smaller, because Ahsoka is a trainee Jedi (Padwan?), and a dress would just get in the way of fighting, right? I also added holes in her hands so she can hold on to her lightsabers, or flowers, when she's feeling particular girlie :-)
The pattern for the doll is really straightforward and I especially liked how Ysolda also isn't a huge fan of sewing
up seams, so this doll is knitted pretty much in one go.
If you're looking for a simple and easy doll pattern that also looks good, definitely get her pattern!
I als had to add head tails (that's what they're called) instead of hair. And after a couple of bad starts I managed to get something that doesn't look too bad. I did forget to add one band of blue on the outside tails, because I was just so concentrated on getting the curvature of the tails right, I totally forgot to switch colours. I also 'tattood' her face with tribal markings like she has in the series.
Monday, 28 June 2010
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
So what am I talking about? The Swiss Market was the first market organised by the Swiss Club in Auckland, New Zealand. And it was an opportunity for Swiss people living in Auckland to showcase their products or to sell typical Swiss products. There was cheese (of course), yummy bakery goods, beautiful Swiss style carvings, a good friend was selling her famous gingerbread products, I had sauerkraut next to me and there was so much more. The food stalls nearly all sold out at the end of the day.
I did pretty good too, and am pleased with the day. Tired but very happy.
I was surprised that the soaps were the number one sellers. Usually it's the Manuka Healing Balm or the moisturisers, but it seemed today was all about soap. I made a special Helvetia soap for the Swiss market, where I tried to capture the scent of Switzerland in winter: pine forests, Christmas markets, Gluehwein, apres ski :-) Those soaps were all gone by midday.
Another soap that went really well was called 'Dornroesli' which is Sleeping Beauty in german. It's a soap poured in a rose mold with some of the soaps all rosy pink coloured and some had a pink flower and green leaves. The scent I tried to create for that one was one of magic - the moment when Sleeping Beauty falls under the spell and the roses start growing around the castle to hide it from view.
And a new soap called Celebration (champagne, bubbly, celebration) went really well especially with the male customers. I did say that it was a soap and contained no alcohol, but they liked it nonetheless. Hm.... maybe I should bring back my beer soap? Not sure if my dear husband will let me 'borrow' one of his beers. LOL
So overall a great day and I hope they'll do another one towards Christmas.
Thanks to all to came and visited my stand! And I hope you all enjoy your soaps :-)
PS sorry about the quality of the photos, I only had my iPhone with me to take pictures.
Monday, 10 May 2010
I'm doing another KAL this year. Last year I did the Secret Garden KAL which was a circular shawl and went to my mother-in-law. The shawl was beautiful, knitted with a silk/merino blend in a gradience colourway called peacock which went from green to purple.
I was so taken with the design and the whole KAL thing (KAL = knit along), that I decided to do another one this year with the same dyer (Unique Sheep) and same designer (Janine Le Cras).
The KAL this time round is called Moonfleet and is based on the same name book by J.Meade Falkner. It is a old tale, published in 1898, of smuggling, hidden diamonds and seafarers. I bought the audiobook and I'm hoping to knit and listen as I'm doing the KAL.
For the yarn I've chosen Marici, which is a 100% silk lace yarn, in the colourway Daybreak, a blend of yellows, orange, red, purple. It feels beautiful and the colours are just perfect. The design is going to be a rectangular shawl using beads. And that's all I know for now. The first clue is coming out this week on May 14th. I can't wait!
But we did get our swatch instructions last week and I got my first taste at using silk. It's nothing at all like wool or cotton. It's very very slippery and knots really easily. It took me 3 hours to wind the silk into a ball (by hand). I really need a wool winder! And then I had to try and knit with the slippery silk. It took me quite a few rows until I finally got the hang of it, kind of. If the yarn didn't look and feel gorgeous, I think I would've given up. But the end result of the swatch makes it worth it:
I'll keep you up to date!
Saturday, 8 May 2010
A few weeks ago I received my beautiful Blendy Box and to my surprise it had 2 whole balls of wool in it. I was thrilled to have gotten a ball of Zealana wool which is 40% possum and 60% NZ merino.
Possum is an amazing wool. The hairs are hollow on the inside making it especially insulating, which is how possums keep warm. Another animal with such unusual fur are polar bears. Unfortunately I don't think polar bears are quite as accommodating to parting with their fur.
Anyway, as soon as I held my possum wool in the hand, I knew exactly what I wanted to make from it. A lacy neck warmer.
It's knitted in three parts, a technique I learned from Anne Hanson, which I thought was quite clever. First you knit the bottom edge, then you pick up stitches from the top edge and lastly you knit the button sides. The nice thing about it is that there is no sewing up to do.
It took a while to come up with a nice pattern. I wanted cables and lace, and I wanted a nice edging to go with the cables and lace pattern. Also I wanted it to be rather fine even though I was using DK weight.
And then lastly I needed the right buttons to go with my Victorian style, lacy neck warmer.
The pattern is part of my Outside the Box collection which is available exclusively from Ravelry.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
The reason it's been so quite the last few weeks is because I've been working on a new collection called "Outside The Box". It's a pattern collection specifically aimed at yarn sample boxes.
Everybody loves getting samples, but then what to do with them? They're never enough for a whole project. So I decided to design little whimsical, artsy patterns which use up one or more of these samples, combining them in different weights and colours. But most importantly they are all easy to personalise using your own samples and colour choices.
I'm sending out a pattern sample with the next Blendy Sampler Box, which will also give access to the full pattern collection on Ravelry. I have to use Ravelry, because it's the only place that will notify buyers when the pattern gets updated, or in this case, when I add another pattern to it. I'll be adding patterns to it throughout the year.
Just to give you a peek to some of the patterns:
Monday, 22 February 2010
I thought I'd show you what my 'work place' looks like:
I've been busy the previous weekend, packaging and labelling my soaps to sell at Craftworld, Westgate. I made four different soaps and after 2 months of curing they were finally ready.
Summer Fling is a summer scent full of summer fruits,
such as raspberries and peaches,
accompanied by the floral notes of magnolia, cyclamen and lilies
and finishing off with lingering white musk.
Sweetgrass, a bright and green scented soap.
Not the herbal grass scent, rather a sweet and fresh summer scent.
Sweet Valentine, which is a sweet and floral soap
with a fruity scent of dew fruit and lychee,
finishing off with a subtle fragrance of lily and geranium.
And Honey, Oats and Milk soap is made
with real milk, oats and manuka honey.
The oats give it an gentle exfoliating effect,
the milk and honey are full of skin soothing properties.
The soaps are available at Craftworld in Westgate (West Auckland).
Or for online shoppers, either at my Etsy store (international orders),
or for those in New Zealand, at my Felt store.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Ready for another pattern?
The idea for these little fishies came from my 6 year old boy when he looked after our neighbours kitten. He loved little Cookie and always found new ways of playing with him. I explained that he could use a piece of grass or string and the cat would chase it. And that's where he started to get creative and I started using my knitting skills.
These fishies are easy and fun to knit. They take about 15 minutes, even for a beginner. Like all my patterns, they're very easy to follow and full of photographs to help explain.
And they're not just for the cat. You can make several of them and use them as decoration. Or you can turn them into a fishing game with a fishing rod and a bit of velcro.
The ideas are endless!
Oh and before I forget: you can buy them directly from my blog now. Thanks to Ravelry, the most amazing Knitting Community!
Thursday, 11 February 2010
I'm so excited! I've been approached by Amy from Magpie Patterns who told me she was a huge fan of my Pitter Patter socks, quote "I love your Pitter Patter Sock pattern (I found it on Ravelry) and have knit about a dozen pairs of socks using it."
And now she is offering MY patterns on her online pattern store!
She also did a small feature on my patterns on her fantastic blog! I've become a regular reading of her blog, because like me, she doesn't exclusively concentrate on knitting but more of all sorts of interesting crafts. And she has some amazing ideas and posts. And every thing looks so professional on her website, which is why it's even a greater honour for me to be featured on her website and blog. I definitely need to work on my photographs.
So where do I go from here?
Well, I'm working on several ideas at once. I've got some fun little Catnip Fishies coming, for all the cat fans out there. With special thanks to my 6 year old boy for the idea.
I've been working on a pattern of different New Zealand Birds. I'm concentrating on them being an easy and quick knit, yet look cuddly and cute and especially baby safe. They've been quite a bit of work though because I want them to look perfect!
A good friend of mine had a baby girl and I wanted to knit some pretty little booties or socks with a very special luxurious fingering yarn. However, the two patterns I tried didn't turn out nice at all. The problem is that the yarn I'm using doesn't hold the stitch definition very well. It contains cashmere, baby camel and silk. So I've been experimenting with different stitches and ideas. It was also very interesting trying to remember how small baby feet can be. Luckily there are quite a few sites out there with information on different sizing. So watch out for some baby socks!
Friday, 29 January 2010
I finished this a while back but never got round to taking pictures of it. I have this little rule you see: my 6 year old isn't allowed the toy until his mum has taken pictures of it. And today, finally, I remember to take it to the beach and I even remembered to take the camera along (last time I left my camera at home and only had my crappy iPhone camera with me).
So without further ado, here's the Slimy Sea Slug:
There's a little story behind it. Last year we had toxic sea slugs on our beaches and needless to say our curious little boy was fascinated by them. Every time we were at the beach he spent ages looking, in the hope of spotting one. And unfortunately for him, lucky for me and for all the other beach goers, he never found one. So when I came across this gorgeous Garden Slug pattern, I just had to knit it.
I also had the perfect yarn for it, dkKnits in Times Square. This is probably my favourite yarn colour ever, it is the right mix of different colours without it getting too colourful. Here are my socks I knit with it. The pattern is called Maeby by Feministy, an amazing designer.
Unfortunately Becky from dkKnits had some serious health issues last year and can't stir her dye pot anymore due to the vinegar fumes. It's a real shame because not only did she love dyeing and even had an cool customized hand-dyed yarn club, but I thought she was extremely talented at it too. She had a such a creative vibe. And on top of all that, she's always been so friendly. I never suspected what she was going through until she told me. And she's sending me a big box of yarn that she custom-dyed for me last year. Can't wait to get it!
Anyway back to the slug. The pattern is fiddly and easy. And yes, you can use fiddly and easy in the same sentence. You see, although knitting tiny things are always fiddly, if you have a pattern that explains it so well and has pictures in it, so you can't mess it up, you end up being very surprised at how easy it all was. The whole slug only takes a couple of hours to knit and that includes the fiddly little bits.
The body is all knitted in one piece. And the only thing that needs to be sewn on are the lips. So really it's a very easy pattern and I'm definitely making more of these.
Perfect yarn + perfect pattern = perfect slug.