Welcome to another blog post. My last few crafting posts have shared items I made in 2022, and never got around to blogging. This year I am trying to get my blog organised, and document more of my crafting life. During 2022 I delved into more miniature knitting. I decided to make some clothes for my Neice’s Barbie dolls, as a birthday gift. I really enjoyed the process, from hunting down vintage pattern books on eBay and Etsy, locating patterns for top-down jumpers on Ravelry and making these items on my Addi crasy trio needles, and chiagoo miniature lace needles. I also got to dive into my Bendigo Wool Mills 4ply cotton stash, which I bought specifically for making dolls, toys and accessories.
The following photos are captioned to outline some of the creative processes, and problems, I encountered.
I did enjoy making these items, and my niece and family were enthralled with the detail and work put into them. I learned a lot about jumper construction, which has built my confidence to get back to my own top-down knitted jumper in possum blend that I began a while ago. More about that jumper another time.
At the end of 2022 a few of my work colleagues moved on to different schools. Some of these people had become my close friends during the last three years, and I took the time to handmade some gifts. There was also a birthday and a new baby, so lots of gifts to make.
I found this lovely Paton’s sierra at Unwind Craft Cafe when I went shopping with my sister-in-law. The colours are so beautiful and reminded me of the colours another colleague would often wear to work. I used a cowl pattern that Unwind had paired with this yarn, and was really happy with how this simple knit played out.
All of my crafting was not focused on those leaving work. I also tatted a golden dragon from Anne Bruvold’s pattern for one of my Son’s friend’s birthdays near the end of the year. This is Altin Basak size 50 thread, and the metallic thread in it usually annoyed me, so it was in a naughty drawer and only used for Angelina trimmings. However, I quite enjoyed making this little dragon, even though I had to keep a close eye on my tension so as to be able to close the rings and not break the thread.
Another dear colleague became a Grandmother near the end of the year, and so I brought in a few items I had on hand, as well as finishing off another Bakewell blanket for her to gift to her new grandchild. The blanket is made in a Schepjees whirl, Lemon cassis cream colourway, one of my favourites. Recent increases in shipping costs will likely make Scheepjes yarn difficult to source in Australia soon, so my little stash of whirls is going to be used sparingly. The other clothes and booties are assorted bamboo, cotton and acrylics, which I prefer to use for baby items as they are less likely to trigger an allergy.
So, that is a summary of some of the gifts I made in the last few months of 2022. Other gifts included knitting miniature doll clothes for another birthday, and I will post about that soon.
What have been your favourite items to craft and gift?
With apologies to Kenny Rogers for repurposing his wonderful song in my blog post title.
There is so much going on in the world this week, I offer this blog as a distraction from the reality of war, flood impacts and the ongoing pandemic.
Those who have been crafting for a long time will understand that sometimes a project will just not be going how you had hoped. This realisation often comes multiple hours into a project, and there is a point where you need to decide to persevere regardless, put it aside in the naughty corner for a while, or just decide to frog the project and move on. Over the last month, I have been wrestling with this decision with a project that I had hoped would become a special family heirloom for our first great-niece.
First, for those new crafters, to frog a project means to pull out the work done in crochet or knitting. The motion of unravelling the stitches which make up the fabric you have painstakingly worked on. We often say “rip it, rip it” back, which sounds like “ribbit”, hence frogging. That is the word origin story I am familiar with, anyway.
Now, to the problem item. A seemingly simple pattern, the knitted spiral baby blanket from Monsteryarns. I thought it would look amazing using a whirl, which has beautiful variegation and long slow colour changes. I had come to terms with it being a labour of love, over a kilometre of 4ply yarn on 3mm needles was going to take a while. So, in November I began knitting. By December I realised I had misread one of the pattern rows, so frogged what I had done (approx 30 rows in) and started again.
I was happily working at least 2 rows a day over the Christmas holiday period, and into February. This is when the next issue surfaced, the shlubs in the yarn were really visible in the knitted item. Previously I have used whirls to crochet. The schlub (aka fuzz buzz) is where the new colour is added in to the yarn. It is a feature of this yarn, and usually not very visible in crocheted work. Unfortunately in this blanket these schlubs were very visible, making it look like the fabric had been caught and pulled. I tried to pull the fuzz to the back of the work, but this made the stretch in the stitch more obvious, somehow.
There were two options that I worked through in my mind. I could keep knitting and hope the schlubs could be blocked out. Not likely, as the stitches are quite visibly different in the knitted fabric. I could frog and re-knit it, cutting the yarn before and after the schlub, then weave in the ends. This option defeats the purpose of using this beautiful, long gradient yarn, as the big draw card for me is having a stunning fabric made with only two ends to weave in. Could I really give this to a new baby when it looked so unprofessional? Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t do that, so have decided to frog it completely and instead finish off another bakewell blanket to gift instead.
So I will frog the knitted blanket and try the spiral blanket again with an 8ply hand dyed yarn sometime in the future. For my new great-niece I will finish off a bakewell blanket I had in progress, and will probably also have time to make another little kina or in threes cardigan also.
With the decision made I feel quite relieved. I can now stop worrying about what it might look like at the end of many more hours of work, and just move on to make some beautiful items.
I wonder if you have been through a similar thought process with a project you thought would be special?
Hello again friends. Lockdown 6.0 in Melbourne is well under way. From the daily numbers of Covid19 cases, I think we will be in lockdown for a few more weeks (I am, however, happy to be wrong in my estimation, and hope we can get back to normal sooner. )
So, my days are spent teaching my students online, and trying to keep up healthy routines with my family. My evenings are mostly spent watching TV and trying to craft. Somedays I can follow a pattern well, and others my mind just wanders and I have to frog my work the following day. I have decided to stop beating myself up about this, and start to accept what I am able to do as a bonus.
Many of you, who have followed me for a while, know that I usually have multiple projects on my shuttles, needles and hooks at anyone time. I have always floated between projects, working on them when I feel like it. Over the last few months I haven’t been tatting very much (just starting a couple of small doilies, and some basic bookmarks), and much of my time has been spent knitting and crocheting, as I have been mostly choosing simple pattern repeats that I am less likey to mess up. Here are a few of the projects I have been working on over the last few weeks.
I really like the simplicity of the patterns when knitting in the round, and by making smaller items I seem to be motivated to complete them as I can see them on the shelf near the TV. I find my bigger projects often take longer as I put them in the cupboard between sessions, where the languish until I am hunting down a thread/yarn/pattern or needle/hook/shuttle and ‘rediscover’ them.
Here are some links to ravelry and the patterns I have used above. Some are paid patterns.
It is fair to say living through a global pandemic has put us all in a bit of a spin. What were normal routines have been disrupted by lockdowns and uncertainty. I live in Melbourne, so we had extended periods of severe restrictions and lockdowns across 2020. I was relieved to be able to work from home, learning to teach my secondary students remotely. Like many of you, my crafty friends, I was also appreciative of having my crafts at hand to support my mental well being.
I was crafting regularly, but found at different times I couldn’t concentrate on some patterns. So I scaled down my expectations and used some basic patterns to make sure I could still get my crafting fix. I’ve ended up with at least one of each of a basic knitted, crochet and tatting project on the go at most times across the last year.
I have realised that I didn’t blog much at all last year. I did spend a lot of time on various projects, and photographed many of them, but just didn’t get around to the blogging part. Over the next few weeks I will share some of my projects.
Near the beginning of the year I was lucky enough to win a shuttle give away from Lorraine Kolusa for valentine’s day. It took a while for the shuttle to travel across the world, but when it arrived I was really happy to have such a lovely shuttle in my care. I had wound it thinking I would use it for Jon’s Threads that bind doily, but have ended up using it more recently for Laura’s Amanda doily.
I also made two lovely crocheted items with Scheepjes whirls. First a Grinda Shawl, made in a woolly whirl for my Mum.
And second a granny square baby blanket for a family friend. I was going to use the bakewell blanket pattern, but it was one that was too complicated for me during the second lockdown. Though I did manage the bakewell pattern during the first lockdown.
I also had some knitting projects, with an “in threes” baby jacket and three knitted “can I borrow that” scarves which I made as part of a knit along through Unwind cafe.
That’s probably enough for today’s blog. I’ll upload some more projects soon.
I think it is fair to say that the last few months have been a rollercoaster for all of us. It is times like this I am glad I have my regular crafting routine. From age 7 when I learned to knit, crafting has been part of my everyday experience of the world. It is as much a part of my identity as my love of reading and science. I am pretty sure for most of you it is the same, the processes of crafting are part of our “being in the world”.
*Edit: I have realised the date once I posted this- Happy international tatting day!
I have been focussing on finishing the baby blanket began in December/January. The colourful wedges baby blanket, from Purl Soho, was a fun knit, it uses only garter stitch and has taught me how to do short row work too. I made it in Bendigo Wool Mills Imperial blend (wool, alpaca and silk blend) which was a limited edition release last year. It is a beautiful yarn to work with and makes this blanket soft and drapey.
Starting the Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket. Pattern: Purl Soho Wool: Bendigo Wool Mills Crafter: Fiona T
Beautiful wool from Bendigo Wool Mills to make clothes and baby blankets
Blocking the Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket
Colourful Wedges Baby Blanket Finished and ready to wrap
You may also recall that I began making a dress for my Neice in the same yarn. I really like the look of the crochet dress, but I think I will have to adapt this a little as making the full dress in the yarn is too heavy for practical daily wear. I think I will pull the dress part back, and use some fabric to make a dress and attach to the neck and shoulder line. So it will still have the cute granny square colour burst, but not be too heavy for my niece to wear.
Beginning of a crochet dress for my niece
Progress on the crochet dress
I have also been tatting along with the Arleta doily, from January. I am using Alenalea’s beautiful threads, which reminded me of the colour of irises. I was surprised recently just how close her colours are to nature, as my Iris had a midseason bloom. The picture below shows just how close these colours are.
A pale pink and purple iris matches exactly to the variegated thread colour “Gorgeous Size 20”
Progress on Arleta doily
I am tempted to join in Jon’s tat along on Facebook and have a shuttle wound for it. A very special shuttle from Lorraine Kolasa’svalentine giveaway. It took a few weeks to get to Australia, but it was very welcome when it did arrive. It is so beautiful, both to look at and to feel. Thanks so very much Lorraine for this super generous giveaway. I am eager to take this shuttle for a test drive.
A well-packaged gift
The beautiful Valentine Shuttle
Valentine shuttle wound with wildflower size 40 thread, ready for Jon’s pattern
I am also working on a few other projects, and have found some very old UFOs as I tidy up shelves and cupboards. I will share their progress next time.
I wonder what craft are you getting done during the pandemic?
Happy New Year! I thought I would spend a few minutes uploading some images to review my craft adventures during 2019. I really didn’t think I had done too much crafting, as I was teaching, finishing my PhD thesis, spending time with family and friends and we also got a puppy. It seems I managed to squeeze in a fair bit of crafting though! The photos below show a wide range of fibre crafts I have begun, and many I have completed. In looking through these images, there are a couple of projects I had forgotten about too…like the Mary Konior Spinning Glass mats experiments, and a monthly bookmark challenge I set myself. I am pleased that I have been able to blog semi-regularly and managed to have a giveaway too. I hope 2020 will see regular posts, and that I can share more of my creative ideas with you all too.
Climbing vines for 2019 Yarn bombing with Yarn Corner
A range of posts yarn bombed with yarn corner
A doily edging from a Russian pattern, finished in 2019
Climbing vine installed
Oval Doily in Ecru (Linda Davies) about to be made in Fuchsia thread by Onemadtatter
Woman standing outside a factory sales shop front with two bags
Practice of short row wrapping technique for Purl Soho baby blanket
Julie Patterson’s Flower cross, tatted in 40 white mercerised cotton for a friend’s wedding
A chemistry experiment- Kr
AlenAlea’s Monthly bookmark pattern
A lovely handmade gift from a beautiful student
Crocheted squares for a charity blanket from school.
Red and Green crocheted cristmas lights for 2019 Christmas Yarn Corner installation
AlenaLea Design monthly tatting pattern
The beginning of Rozetta
Colourful crocheted Christmas Lights
Hedwig- From a wonderful friend on submission of my PhD.
Lady Kina in Bendigo Wool Mill’s Bloom Butterfly.
Crochet for a baby blanket
Beginning of a crochet dress for my niece
AlenLea design monthly pattern and thread
AlenaLea Design Monthly thread and pattern
Crochet square for a Yarn Corner Care Blanket
One of my favourite bookmarks from Julie Patterson made in AlenaLea Thread
Beautiful wool from Bendigo Wool Mills to make clothes and baby blankets
Our display table at the Nana’s handmade market…many of these are my personal collection and not for sale.
I hope your year has been filled with great things, including crafty fun. I also want to wish you all the best for 2020. Many thanks for following, as always happy crafting,
Well, the last few months have been very busy at our house. I submitted my PhD thesis for examination in August, and the time since my last blog post (which wordpress tells me was March) is a blur. It is Spring here in Australia and I feel like I am waking up along with the flowers. I particularly enjoy the smell of wattle in the warming air as I leave the house in the morning, and seeing the iris’ blooming in my garden.
To celebrate this milestone for my studies, I am running a craft giveaway*. I have been buying things and putting them aside over the last year, and coming up with ideas for both local (Australia/NZ) and International prizes for you lovely followers of my blog. As I clean up the ‘backroom’ I am also discovering that I have doubled up on a few books, the first of which will be part of the Australian Prize pack. Others will form giveaways leading up to Christmas.
Image of the Australian prize in the onemadtatter giveaway October 2019. Image of a book, a tatting shuttle and thread in similar purple and blue tones.
The Australian Prize pack includes some ofAlenAleaDesign’s thread, 70m of size 40 “Crystalyne” colour, a brand new Dreamlit posted bobbin tatting shuttle in Amethyst Petals colour and a craft/mystery novel “A Tangled Yarn” by Betty Hechtman. I have been enjoying Betty’s novels over the last few years as an escape from academic reading. The copy I am giving away was a “double-up” as I accidentally pre-ordered two of these books- so the winner will receive a brand new, unread book.
The International Prize will be an AlenAleaDesign monthly pack. This will be the October Pack, which will be released later this week. It will be mailed to the winner of the international prize.
Now, how to enter. Comment below on this post, or on this post’s thread at the Onemadtatter Facebook page. If you comment in both places, you have two chances to enter. Both Facebook and WordPress usually tell me which country you reside in- so this shouldn’t be a problem when I make up the lists of commenters for the random number generator to choose from. I will draw the winners using a random number generator on Sunday, October 6th, at 4pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDST). I will email the winner directly, as well as announcing on the blog and facebook page. If I don’t hear back from the winner in four days, I will re-draw the name for that prize.
So let’s start sharing, to enter a comment to let us know what your favourite thing about Spring is (Even if it isn’t Spring in your part of the world.) Mine is the change in the air temperature, the scent of wattle and the colourful Irises popping up in my garden.
As always, happy crafting
*I am giving away craft items which I have purchased. I will also pay for postage of the items to the winners. The international prize is also purchased by me and posted to the winner by arrangement with the Vendor. Aside from supporting local vendors, I have no business motive on this blog, or through this giveaway. Onemadtatter is my hobby blog and a place where I share my love of all things craft.
I usually have a few projects going at any one time. Over the last few months a few of our friends are preparing to welcome new babies into their family for the first time. These have recently been gifted, so I can now reveal them on my blog.
First up is a picture of items I have finally conquered. I have had so many versions of this ‘gym boots’ pattern, and this is the first time I am happy with the result. I used Bendigo Wool Mills 5ply cotton, and a 3.25mm hook to make these. The pattern is from an Annie’s Attic Collection book.
The second picture below is of some of my favourite items to knit. There is an in-threes cardigan, made in Bendigo Wool Mills 8 ply Bold Bamboo, with a co-ordinating Milo vest/dress. The second Milo Dress is made in 8ply Bendigo Wool Mills Savanna, which is an Alpaca wool blend, and it has a matching head band from a modified Muki Crafts paid pattern. Of course, I had to make a pair of the little Mary-jane style shoes and socks, in 5ply acrylic, as I knew this recipient is having a baby girl.
I am really enjoying knitting and crocheting these small items. I especially like the top down, seam free items, as the patterns are so clever with very few ends to weave in.
I wonder what kinds of items you like to knit or crochet for babies?
A little while ago I saw this very cute pattern on Julie is Coco and Cocoa, and it was knitted in the round using a very short cable needle. I really wanted to try out this kind of knitting, and so purchased the pattern from her etsy link. The pattern was reasonably easy to follow and, once I got clear on the way it was worded (and needed to check back to the blog itself for the revised instructions, hints and tips) I remade the hat twice more to get it to fit me (increasing the stitch counts according to the noted on the blog). This hat is pictured above, being started at one of my favourite cafes and the finished in the picture beside it – Bendigo Wool mills 8Ply milky way (wool and milk fibre yarn). Sometimes working through these problems makes you feel more triumphant when you do complete a project.
Despite the sizing hiccup, the pattern was quite fun to make, and also to practice cables, so I bought some new 10ply Bendigo wool mills bamboo/wool blend yarn and made the one in the bottom picture. I have yet to add buttons to either hat, as we are now getting warmer weather in Melbourne and I no longer need the hat for my walk into work. I will source some cheap buttons over summer so the hats will look new for the rotation in time for Winter 2017.
Don’t forget to enter the 1,500 likers giveaway, you can enter by commenting on the blog post here: 1,500 likers giveaway or on the facebook page with the post about the 1,500 likers blog.