Saturday, February 27, 2010

Little bits of knitting

noro buttons

Tiny little pieces of knitting in Noro Silk Garden Lite, covering a variety of ugly or damaged shank buttons from the stash. I tried a covered button kit but the fabric was a bit too thick for it to work. But no matter, it was easy enough just to gather the edges and pull the fabric tight around a normal button - same way I did these.

Oh yeah, the odd one out here is plain 4ply cotton, crocheted.

I'm not sure yet what these are for (although there are also more on the way, it's hard to stop) - possibly some brooches.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

big fat river in flood

I want to show you this beautiful scarf my mum made for me.

It is silk, very light, and I think all the little coloured squares are silk too. Their edges are supposed to fray a bit with wear.
scarf backside
Thread meanders on the reverse side too.
silk scarf
I am so lucky.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Their cups still full of sand

I never get my crafty 'to do' lists entirely ticked off. (Do you? I'd love to know) They just evolve, with some items getting written back into list after list, and others falling into a crevice in the back of my brain (doubtless also still recorded towards the the front of one of my notebooks - but I rarely look there). I just have to trust that if they're worth it, they'll come out eventually.

Do you ever worry about the things you've forgotten to remember? Wait, I know that sounds like a pointless and crazy question. What I really mean is those times when you think of something you'd like to remember later, and you have to decide if it's worth finding somewhere to record it just that second or whether to trust that you'll remember it later. It's at that decision point I tend to wonder about some of the things I have trusted to memory that have never come back.

But this is one idea that was always going to come back. Half an egg carton has been sitting on my dressing table for years. (Little sister, I'm so sorry, I think you know what this is).

Protected inside for all that time, three beautiful dyed and painted Easter eggs. My sister made eggs like these for the whole family a few Easters ago. I resolved to make a suitable vessel for mine, probably felted. Then I just put them in a safe place and nothing happened.
The blue and gold wooden egg (no, it doesn't go, I don't really mind) is a trigger to get going on this project. I bought it just the other day. Because I liked it but also because I knew it would give me a push to get on with the egg-vessel (don't know if it will be a basket, exactly) project.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures hanging in a hallway and a fragment of this song

white frames
This is an idea I could swear I saw on one of the blogs I always read. Yet I haven't been able to find it in her archives so maybe I'm misremembering that. If you're reading this and it was you - sing out, I'd love to give you the credit! Anyway I saw the idea somewhere, filed it away in the back corner of my mind. It came back to me when I needed ideas for Christmas presents, late last year.

I found quite a few examples online and decided on my approach. Cut out the photo, use it as a guide to cut the shape out of nice black/dark coloured paper, stick it on a background paper, choose a frame and possibly get a matt cut as well.

I spent lots of time shooting and selecting profile photos of the three kids. Resizing them so they would all be in proportion and the right size for the frames I eventually settled on was a little bit fiddly, but I got there.

On several op-shopping expeditions I picked up lots of small frames in good condition. I wanted to make two sets of three, and thought I might use similar but not quite matching sets, perhaps painting the frames to tie them together. This all became too hard in the end and I ended up buying the two matching sets of inexpensive frames new.
silver frames
The thing that gave me the most trouble was the idea of cutting out the photos. I was pretty sure I should use a craft knife rather than scissors as this is supposed to be neater, more precise, more polished. Unfortunately I don't really have well-developed craft knife skills. I found a pair of small precise scissors and hoped I could get a good result with them, if the knife didn't work out. I got several extra copies of the photos printed in case of mistakes, but it still worried me and I put off starting.

I worked hard at all the other projects I had going on, but avoided this one. I ended up with my little sister coming over right before Christmas (okay, it was Christmas EVE) to help me with the cutting. She did a lovely, careful job with the knife. I actually had to stop her before she did all of the cutting for me - I felt it was important that I do some of them myself! I used the scissors and it was ok. Not perfect, but what is?
K had had a bright idea during the planning phase - I could do half as much cutting by skipping the black paper, and simply painting the backs of the cut-out photos with matte black spray paint (which we happened to have already). This worked out surprisingly well. It took a bit of practice to get a nice even coat - at first I tended to overspray them, leaving some slightly raised bumps of paint.

Luckily the framing was easy to put together at the last minute. I had earlier abandoned the idea of getting matts cut - this would require bigger frames than I really wanted. So, amazingly they were all ready for Christmas, though unfortunately not in time for good daylight photos.

And I think they were very well received. I'm not sure you really get the effect of silhouettes like these unless you know the subjects. It's fascinating how recognisable a silhouette actually is, considering how much information is lost from the photo. I suppose, given that you can often recognise someone you know well at a distance by their shape and gait, it's not that surprising.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Forgive me if I'm repeating myself

b dress
I made this little dress for a little girl who's been owed (at least, in my head) something knitted since she was born 19 or so months ago.

I made the 18 months size. I think those sizes are generous - it looks like it will be biggish on her. My niece is still wearing hers, which I made about a year ago - much more wear than I expected.

It's made from Lincraft Amalfi cotton in 'purple mix' with contrasting 'turquoise mix' hidden between the ridges in the yoke and hem. I wondered if I should have used the contrasting yarn for the actual ridges instead, for a less subtle effect. The Amalfi turned out well and should wash and wear well, but it was terribly splitty to knit, worse than any other cotton I've used. It really slowed me down, watching what I was doing and repairing split stitches as I went along. I noticed that my knitting action adapted a bit about halfway through to avoid some of the problems, but it still needed close attention and good light.
Oh yeah, and I did put buttons on it. I had two options and couldn't decide so I ended up having the recipient's mum choose. I don't have a photo but they are a pale purple that went nicely. The buttons ended up on the 'wrong' side - or at least opposite to the other two I've made. I must have somehow done one row less before joining. I don't think it matters (please don't tell me if this is some terrible faux pas!)

This is a wonderful free pattern from Tora FrØseth, who not long ago launched her online store with patterns and kits. I love free patterns and I've made good use of this one. But next time there is a baby or toddler girl to knit for, you can expect to see Sweetheart instead, as I've just purchased the pattern. Seemed fair to make a purchase.