Introducing Reyna

Well, I didn’t make much progress on Miss Winkle nor did I find the time to finish her before my birthday. I did, however, remember that while I had finished knitting Reyna, I had yet to block her! A-ha! A new knit shawl to wear on my birthday after all. Wheee!

Below is a photo essay of sorts of the process of blocking Reyna, from squishy off the needles to open lace and lovely blocked-ness. Well, she was fantastically blocked, but I wore her on my birthday and forgot to get a just blocked photo! I will ask my husbitect to help me take a better of Reyna over the weekend, perhaps after I block her again.

Just knitted shawl

Off the needles and all squishy

Shawl soaking

Bath time! I use Eucalan to gently soak my knits.

Pinned shawl, blocking

Blocking wires and many, many pins used. Tin for scale.

Close up of knitting

Close up of the gorgeous lacey texture!

Knitting project photo

Reyna after blocking and wearing on my birthday. Will need a better photo to show her off!

If you would like to knit your own Reyna shawl you can find the pattern on RavelryΒ it is by Β the talented Noora Laivola.

I used one skein of Ella Rae lace merino (4ply/fingering).

Em-Broid-er-eeeee!

Here we are on day 17 of Blogtoberfest. The native participants are seeming to be more slowed in their intensity… Sorry! I was drifting into being the David Attenborough of Blogtoberfest! *slaps self*.

Today has been lovely. Lots of geekyness with my love and general relaxation. Some of today was spent browsing embroidery patterns online, and deciding on my next project. I have plans to make my own, very geeky, pattern. Probably SciFi based. But for now, while I am learning stitches, I have decided to embark on another pattern from online.

This lovely one is from Doe-C-Doe, who has a tremendous amount of vintage patterns available online. You can see for yourself, here. I love mushrooms; both the visual aspects as well as the deliciousness of eating them. So mushrooms had to be an embroidery subject, sooner rather than later.

I have the attention span of a flea, or a squirrel in a room full of nuts. So my latest craft obsession is embroidery. It’s not all short attention span, however, it is also partly based on the weather being warmer, and my seasonal lack of interest in wool. Embroidery has my eye now as it is cooler, and more portable. Well, at least around the house.

So in my photos you can see my latest pattern selection, courtesy of Doe-C-Doe, my brand new pink keyboard with non-stickable keys thanks to my Husbitect, my fuel of choice (wine plus unpictured cheese & pate) plus my newly traced pattern in a hoop, ready to go. I am chuffed with my new air/water vanishing pen. It makes me feel more experienced. Ahem.

* Today’s post was brought to you by Blake’s 7, Cliff Richard, Dean Martin, Doctor Who, Wine and Cheese. Plus the colour pink.

My Creative Space

I came across my first attempt at embroidery the other day, and am now adding the last few stitches to finish it. Just a little more detail on the trunk, and a couple more nuts for the squirrel. Cute, isn’t he? I found the pattern on Flickr, in the Embroidery Group pool. Embroidery is more appealing to me at the moment than knitting and crochet, no thanks to the warmer weather!

I’m not sure if I have done the stitches correctly, but I am quite happy with it nonetheless! I’m going glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the hoop and hang it up in the hoop. These first hoops I bought weren’t the best, very hard to tighten. I have some better, plastic ones now. I also enjoyed winding all my threads onto the cards and arranging them in my storage box.

I just came across a very lovely site with free vintage embroidery patterns: Vintage Transfer Finds. Do take a look, so many wonderful patterns to be found.

Visit Kootoyoo for many more Creative Spaces.

Halloween Links (Blogtoberfest Day 7)

As I type this, I am listening to “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett, “The zombies were having fun, the party had just begun…” Listen and watch here.

Anyhoo, since we are getting close to Halloween, how about some craft and food links for Halloween fun?

  1. A collection of recipes from TLC. Make Bat Wings with Drip sauce! Mmm…
  2. Papier-Mache Black Cats from Martha
  3. Spiderweb Plates, again from Martha
  4. Vintage Halloween postcards from Craft Jr
  5. Halloween Crafts and Cards from Vintage Image Craft

I have always wanted to have a Halloween fancy-dress party. But I don’t know enough people who would be interested. Boo! But I think I will make some decorations and themed foods regardless. The Kitty Litter Cake has been on my must make (and must gross people out) list for a long time. Is this the year I make it? I think so! Muhahaha! I’ll just have to make sure my Max Kitty doesn’t think it really is a tray!

The ghosty cupcake at the top is one of the Halloween foods I have made in the past. That year I made dark chocolate cupcakes and used food gels to draw spiders on some, and placed white marshmallows on the rest. I shaped each marshmallow by pulling a little of the top part up, and then twisting it to look ghost-like. I then made a mouth with a toothpick, then decorated with gels and icing. Ghost Mallow; not all that scary but very cute and tasty!

You have Mail – Crafty Mail

Yay, a brand new mem to join in! Visit the lovely and talented Julia at Daisy Girl Adventures to join in on You have Mail – Crafty Mail!

I haven’t received anything crafty in the mail lately, Β so as we can also use crafty things that we have bought, I thought I would use my collection of Golden Hands books (18 in the series) that cover knitting, dressmaking and needlecraft. I love the Β range of projects and the graphics used throughout the books.

The series was published in the late 60s and early 70s. I was very excited when I saw the complete set at a secondhand book sale! I plan on using the books to learn new knitting & crochet stitches as well as to guide me as I learn to use my sewing machine. There are some good step-by-step guides and pattern tips which I hope will make things a little clearer.

Have you received some crafty mail or purchased crafty goods? Join in!

My Creative Space | Button Craft

I thought I would play along with ‘My Creative Space‘ this week as I have something to share. I’ve always wanted to have ago at making rings, finally I have! I made this ring using a plain ring blank from Lincraft and two buttons, one slightly smaller than other so that they fitted together. Both buttons were from Lincraft, I love the red one with the shell-like finish. I used a hot glue gun to fix the buttons together and then onto the ring.

Of course now I have made one, I want to make more. Which means I keep looking for interesting buttons, like those below that I found at an antique store. They need a bit of a clean but they are so pretty. I’m not sure if they are plastic or bakelite. I think the yellow ones may be bakelite while the rest are plastic. The two red heart buttons are modern, but the rest are vintage. Hmm…I wonder if the store has any new ones? I feel the need to go check and rummage through the button boxes for more treasures.

Vintage Crafting

I’ve been flicking through some of my craft books to find something easy to make while recovering from the flu. I have a complete set of ‘Stitch by Stitch – The illustrated Encyclopedia of Sewing, Knitting and Crochet.’ which was published in 1984. There are 20 volumes and lucky for me, the ones I have are all in excellent condition.

You can sometimes pick these sets up at book sales and on eBay – keep your eyes out for them as they are wonderful. Lots of basic and advanced instructions with detailed illustrations. The projects range from clothes (kids & adults), household items and toys. There are a few different editions, so the covers may look a little different than mine. The three projects below are ones that caught my eye today as they are quite fun and cheery.

I really want to make the pompom bathmat, that would feel so good and sqooshy under your feet! If you’d like to make one of the projects above and just cannot wait until you get your hot little hands on the books, I found some links with similar projects.

  • Pom Pom Rug from Super Minx. It’s from a vintage craft card set, neat!
  • Anjie from Pom Pom Emporium (super cool name) mentions a book that has a pattern for a pom pom rug plus she links to a free pattern from Lion Brand yarn.
  • My Google Fu failed me and I couldn’t find any patterns for licorice allsort cushions or similar projects. But I did find a recipe for Licorice Allsort slice. You need something yummy and sweet to fuel creativeness! The recipe is from Taste.com.au, a site that is awesome for finding delicious recipes. Really worth checking and bookmarking. The photo of the slice is from Taste.
  • Lucy from Attic24 has a gorgeous tutorial on crocheting hexagons which you could use to make a rug
  • And of course, the lovely Pip from Meet Me at Mikes has a wonderful set of video tutorials so you can learn how to crochet.