Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Crafting for the Baby

A few things I've been sewing and knitting up for my Bellyfruit.

A mei tai made with this pattern and some delicious Japanese mushroom fabric. It also has a hood/headrest which I'm going to adapt to be removable via snaps, but I'm not putting that on just yet.

This was made for the baby to be carried in, but I asked DH and Elliot to test it for me and they're hooked!

I knitted a little outfit for the Bellyfruit too.

The top is adapted from a cardigan pattern, and the longies are Sheepy Pants. The wool is NZ Treliske Organic Merino 8ply. I dyed some up under the tuition of a friend, and used some undyed wool for contrast.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Creative Holidays

Turns out that the only 'net access in Fiji would have required Em to hitch a lift in a boat out in the middle of nowhere, so I was safe. She wasn't *that* desperate for her emails.

Here are a few quick pics of things I’ve been up to over the holidays. Except for moving house. I don’t have pics of that, but it certainly took up most of my time and energy.

I knit these Shannon's longies up (blogged a few posts below this one) still had wool left over so I made the hat to go with them. I made up the pattern inspired by a few I've seen, and I added an i-cord knot at the top. Now I still have 25 grams of this wool left so I’m wondering if I have enough for some little baby mittens.

A perfect set for the Bellyfruit for winter.

Amongst my New Year spending (post Consumtion Challenge I did have a few things I had been hanging out for) was a *snap press*. And my first snapping project was this tiny little nappy for the Bellyfruit. If you’ve read this blog before you’ll recognise the outer fabric. I’m still not finished with the first bedsheet after all these floral projects. The inner is apple green cotton velour and there is a hidden layer of bamboo fleece. I will be making a bamboo and velour booster to snap in, too.

Don’t you love the sheepish model?

I also removed the velcro and added snaps to my first self-designed nappy which I had made for Elliot almost one year ago.

I like this nappy even more now, and it still fits Elliot perfectly.

One last creative thing to show off today.

I have gone in on a swap on Rav where you’re assigned 4 swap partners whom you send a small parcel to on their birthday, and you receive 4 gifts on your birthday. I am enjoying thinking of things to send my swappers, and I’m looking forward to receiving crafty type gifts (for a change). My first swapper’s birthday was last week, and part of my parcel was these ridiculously extravagent Swarovski crystal stitch markers.

Mmmm, yum! Fortunately I bought enough beads to make myself a set. They caught the light so beautifully. I am sure they will be well loved and used in their new home.

We are happily settled into our new home now, in regional Victoria, and really enjoying the change of pace.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Reusable Coffee Bags for One

I'm going to take a risk and assume that Em is off partying in Fiji with no internet access. Hopefully, if she does have net access there, she will have better things to do than to check this blog.

Before she left to go galavanting across the Pacific Islands yet again, she asked me to make these for her.

They are coffee bags. You put your scoop of coffee (real stuff, ground beans) in them and use them like a tea bag. The coffee steeps, or brews, or whatever you call it, and then you pull out the bag, give it a rinse, and drink your coffee.

Em saw this idea overseas in her vast travels, and decided this would be a great solution for all those times when she is stuck with little more for company than a good book and a breathtaking view of the beach and the ocean in some tropical paradise.

If you'd like to try this idea yourself, I used 6.5" squares of a muslin/cheesecloth type fabric (supplied by Em, so I'm not sure what it is).
- I overlocked the edges all around.
- Then I sewed down a small hem on one edge to encase the cord later.
- Then I folded the square in half and sewed from the stitch line I just made down and across the bottom edge.
* The pic below explains the sewing. The green line is the hem for the cord (obviously done while the square is opened out), and the red line is to sew the square into a rectangular bag.
- I then threaded a length of cotton string through the hem at the top, and delivered them to Em's house for her to discover when she arrives home this coming week.

I left the bags with the seams facing out so that the little bits of coffee won't get stuck everywhere. Hopefully they will be easier to rinse this way, but they can just as easily be turned inside out if desired.

I plan to try this for myself if I find some brilliant herbal tea in leaf form.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all the Consumption Challengers!
1 hour to go (well, in EST anyway).
I can't wait to hear about all the things that you have all learnt this year and what your plans are for next year. I'm looking forward to writing my own synopsis of the year.
Enjoy the dawning of a new chapter!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Admitting defeat (and some fun, creative pics)

First up, I need to update this blog to explain that my Consumption Challenge has ended one month early.

DH lost his job in early November and two weeks later started work 140kms away. He has only been able to come home on weekends (and now for unpaid Christmas leave).

It has been a real strain on us all - physically, emotionally, and financially. You would think that the Challenge would be a help at this time, but I simply don't have the thought processes left to make alternatives happen.

My house is a disaster, packing boxes everywhere. My mind has been a disaster with stress over how Elliot is coping without his 'Da' around on weeknights, and about when we will be able to move (we are waiting for the tenant to move out of my PIL's old house so we can move in). And I would dearly love to know which house I will be birthing this baby in so that I can consider some local independent midwives. That's another thing to stress about. Things like going to the op shop have been impossible. I just can't manage DS in a shop of any kind right now, especially not an op shop. I get exhausted just thinking about it. I usually do that stuff with DH.

Life has taken over and my priorities have been redirected into survival mode.

I'm not going out and just shopping to my heart's content, but I can't honestly say that I have been sticking to my Challenge since the start of December. It's just been too hard to think outside the crowded little square my mind is in.

Reality bites.

I feel really pleased with what I have achieved.
I am looking forward to some blogging about all the things I have learnt this year, but that will have to wait until I am settled into a new house without all this tension.

Thank you to everyone who has been such a support to me during this Challenge. It has been awesome and I can't wait to celebrate all that has happened over the past 11 months, but that will wait until next year.

My latest creations:
In other news, I made a summer outfit for Elliot from scratch. DH seems to really understand how hard the past 6 weeks of solo-parenting have been on me, and has given me tons of space and time to be creative while he spends some much-needed one-on-one time with Elliot.

The t-shirt was made using fabric kindly given to me by a fellow Raveller, the pants are made of fabric which has been wasting space in my fabric stash. The mushroom print was a little treat I bought the other day in a rare outing by myself.

This outfit cost me under $1 (probably about 25c) to make.

I think the next t-shirt (yes, it was so easy and fun I'll be making more) will have ribbing for the arms and waist too, to create a real retro 1970s vibe.

I learnt heaps while making this, such as the importance of using stabiliser when appliquing onto knit fabric, and the joy of basting (har har) for the t-shirt hems.

One of the comments I received yesterday on this was "Very Nintendo!". Ha ha ha!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

To market, to market...

I saved these links for fabric shopping bags some time ago. Now seemed the right time to have a shot at making them.

First up I made some bags from some fabric you may remember from earlier projects.

For these I used this tutorial, and they are made with just one layer of fabric. They were made using the overlocker almost exclusively (except for the final seam on the french seamed bottom).

Then I made these two bags as Christmas presents. The darker one is for my mother, the lighter one for my KK for Andrew's family Christmas.

These are made using two layer of fabric, and the birdie applique (inspired by this) is made from the same fabric as the lining fabric. I used this tutorial for these.

I would really like to have a go at this bag soon.

Monday, 15 December 2008

The wrong season for knitting?

I am told it is the wrong time of year to be knitting. Pah!

Here are some recent FOs. I seem to go in cycles from knitting to sewing and back again. Seeing that the house is a disaster zone (packing boxes everywhere) it seemed logical to turn to knitting.

This beautiful ball of Susanne's House of Wool 10ply yarn arrived from Shannon. A totally unexpected gift from my Queensland friend. She saw that back in October I had blogged about my wish list for knitting projects, amongst them her Shannon's Longies pattern. What could I do, but try to do justice to her generous gift?

I love the way the colours pool. I am working on an embellishment for these. I can't wait to see the Bellyfruit wearing them. Mmmmm, yum!

This dishcloth was knit from bamboo/cotton in the Grandmother's Favourite pattern.

I knit these Picky Pants longies quite a while ago from Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply, but the Curly Purly waistband wasn't holding, so I cut and frogged the waistband and redid it with this ribbed drawstring waistband. Now that Elliot can wear them again I have discovered that the pants are one or two inches too short now. D'oh! The rise is still fine so I'll be extending the legs next. Shouldn't take long.

I bought 200g of this Yarn Cafe Australian Polworth Merino 8ply wool in the Earth Mother colourway from the Destash on Rav. These Fetching fingerless gloves only used about 1/4 of the wool, so I'm probably going to make longies and other lovely bits and bobs from this scrumptiously soft yarn. These gloves are heading o/s this week to a soon-to-be snow-covered city.

This Mini Wonder Soaker was made from some Monster Knits 8ply BFL, in Flame, also bought on Destash.

This 12ply Paton's Overlander yarn was sent to me from a very generous blogger, the owner of Possum Pouches. With it I made a Spare Ribs Shoaker for Elliot. I just love this pattern. It fits Elliot so well without any short rows - it just snugs right over any nappy. Hurrah!

To see all this and more come and join me over on Ravelry!