Thursday, March 24, 2011

Something for me and something to help...

Obsession crochet continues apace.  A friend from past recently posted on Facebook "does anyone knit or crochet"...turned out she was looked for people to crochet or knit tea cosies for a leukaemia fundraiser she was involved with.  Her friend's child died of the disease and hearing that made me need to do something for her event.  Happily this coincided with my other need; to crochet at every given moment of the day.  The result:

Not quite a knitted tea cosy, but seriously cute and took very very little of my time.  More gems from the Arigurumi book previously mentioned.  So I very happily posted these off yesterday and am hoping someone takes a fancy to them and donates some money to the research cause at the same time.

Meanwhile, the something for me cause still looms large.  So I have been working merrily away on Kim Miller's Infinity Scarf (pattern here on knitpicks).  This is a BIG experiment for me as I am using entirely the wrong wool for the job.  Her pattern used gloss sock yarn (so fingering weight or 4 ply) and I am using Sirdar Juicy DK - a gorgeously strokey bamboo and cotton blend.  However, I did a test of the tension and it seemed pretty much OK, and the Juicy is pretty thing for a DK (meant to be around 8 ply).  It is a lovely soft greyish colour and feels lovely.  Bit of a bother to crochet as the strands happily separate at the slightest manipulation, but am getting around that mostly fine and I figured the different wool won't really matter as long as I end up with something that goes around my neck.  I guess a scarf doesnt really need to be super duper accurate.  

Anyway, this one is a work in progress but the progress is making me very happy.  I really love it already.  I still have to decide (once it's finished) whether to add the crochet edging and fringes.  I have a feeling I will add the edge but not the fringe but it's hard to tell until I am closer to that point.

Anyway, best get on with it so I can wear it while we still have winter (I know it just started but I am terrible for becoming distracted).  There was another FO today but that will have to wait...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Magic Ring and "jogless" colour changes

Courtesy of Eggbird designs ( I just found this:  Interestingly the magic circle instructions I have don't mention doing the DCs (Am SCs) over the yarn and the tail.  Very much looking forward to trying this out...

Now I just have to work out how to change colour on Arigurumi without a funny little step - I know there is a way!  And then I did some searching and found this:  I haven't tried it yet but it looks a lot better than the colour changes I do so hopefully I can master this technique.

Makes me want to start another project!  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ultimately twirly skirts

One of the biggest disappointments I have had making things as gifts was when I gave a friend's daughter a cool (I thought) skirt made of Angelina Ballerina fabric.  She was delighted mostly, but put it on and moved and said "Oh, it doesn't twirl".  In that single moment I thought:  "Oh, you are right".  And she was.  The skirt was great but it really really needed to twirl and it didn't.

So for my latest project I picked the brains of Jill from The American Patchworks in Hobart (our sewing guru).  Apparently the key to supreme twirlyness is to make a doughnut shape of fabric, rather than sewing straight bits of fabric together.  This makes the waistband and bottom edge harder to deal with as they are pretty curved and also sometimes bias along the edge.  However, as the picture to the left attests; this trickiness is well worth the effort.

The skirt in the picture was cut from a normal width 110 cm long piece of fabric.  We folded it in half and then half again and then cut a curved piece out around 4 inches from the point of the folds (making the waist circle - the centre of the doughnut) and then again around 20 inches from the point (making the skirt around 16 inches long, give or take a bit for hems etc).  We attached a bias-cut casing for the waistband and threaded elastic through it and sewed ric-rac around the bottom edge (with the bottom of the ric-rac sitting on the bottom raw edge of fabric).  We then turned up the bottom edge on the ric-rac sewing line and top stitched close to the edge.  This left the top edge of ric-rac (reverse side) pointing out the bottom; giving a cute little wiggly hem and avoiding the need to fold up and up again to make a proper hem.

I could make about a hundred of these - it took less than a few hours to make and that included a lot of fiddling and working out I wouldn't need to do again.  And the sheer delight was amazing - the hardest part was getting it back off her after doing a quick waist measure before I seamed the elastic together.  Am going to try and make another one in a double layer of tulle/gauze for dancing next.  I suspect it will be tricky (slippery fabric!) but she would be beside herself.

Meanwhile, back to the crochet...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Zero - Trip to MONA and upcoming crochet with a friend

So today seems like a good day to start blogging.  My husband and I took our first trip out to MONA ( which was wonderful and as an added bonus, I went wool shopping with a friend for more arigurumi projects.  I showed her Lan-Anh Bui & Josephine Wan's great book Amigurumi and she was hooked.  She doesn't even crochet yet but let's face it...if anything would get you started it's cute seahorses and ballerina bunnies (see cover pic below).

Coincidentally, or perhaps not really, the friend I am teaching to crochet works out at MONA.  This is the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania and it is amazing.  A private museum full of fantastic art and it's free to visit.  We never had it so good.  Among the favourites were a labyrinthine section with binary numbers on the walls called Kryptome (I think), the most beautiful display of ancient coins ever (arranged like a night sky star burst in a jet black case) and the most unbelievably gorgeous sparkly black gem swirl; apparently I like the black but sparkly stuff!  The space itself was beautiful and the perect housing for Sidney Nolan's Snake, which has virtually never been displayed before as it was too big (see picture from The Mercury below).

Two things struck me when I saw this (aside from it being wonderful).  One was how like fabric art or a quilt it was; and the other, which naturally followed on, was how little other fabric art there was in the collection.  It set me wondering how much old fabric art is preserved (naturally deprecating medium, undervalued due to association with women etc).  Something to research further...

In the meantime, crochet tomorrow and more trips to MONA in the near future...

Sparticles x