Monday, January 13, 2014


My sister was keen for the kids to start using glass rather than plastic cups, but wanted different colours so they could each identify their own glass for the day. I shopped around a little, and I know I could have found a suitable coloured set, but I liked the idea of customising some plain ones myself. Actually, the ones I found weren't totally plain, but they were the right size and shape for smaller hands, and I quite liked the bubbles/circles in the glass.

Two things made trying this seem reasonably doable to me: one was that I could buy permanent glass paint in pen form, and the other was finding many images of this "confetti" style glassware - inspired by the glassware made with coloured glass speckles in clear glass, many people had made their own cheaper versions with paint.
I didn't go for the full confetti look, which I think would have needed more colours (and/or some white in the mix) but I was happy with simple spots. I had a set of six small glasses and only three colours of paint, so I did some of them with spots in two colours. But even with the colour combinations, I thought the distinctions might be a bit too subtle, so I added either a heart or a spiral to each one on the bottom.

The paint is supposed to be dishwasher safe. I imagine it will eventually wear off, but I hope it lasts a good while. You have to read the fine print though. I managed to get two pens which said just to let it dry for 72 hours, but unexpectedly the third said the glass had to be heated in the oven to about 150 degrees. So I cooked them all, starting with the glasses in the cold oven as it heated up, to avoid shocking and breaking them. My oven isn't really working properly - only the top (grill) element heats up, but I think that was enough to get them hot enough to set the paint. At least I hope so!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Orange: not the only baby wool

This latest little baby cardigan (Baby Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre) has finally depleted my stash of orange baby wool, a 10-pack bought around the time my now 8-year old nephew was born. He got an orange vest - not the one shown below the same vintage pattern, without the tree motif on the back. That was my first knitted garment ever, how exciting that was! A bit later I used some more of the orange wool (Patons Dream Time) for a more ambitious version of the vest, shown below. Then I used it for the bolero for my baby niece, and I loved the combination of that orange with the hand-dyed pink so much that I always had in mind another project with the same combination.


Actually I planned to make something similar to the bolero for this project, but I didn't want to use that pattern again as it was knit in pieces and seamed. Immediately after I finished that bolero, I tried a seamless top-down raglan for her twin brother, and from then on I have had no desire to seam such a small garment, ever again. I was surprised that combing Ravelry didn't uncover a suitable pattern written for 4 or 5 ply. A lot of the more modern patterns are written for heavier weights like 8ply and worsted. I really love knitting 4 ply, think it's more likely to get more wear in our climate too. Yeah, I possibly could have converted a worsted pattern, but I didn't want a lot of trial and error time with this project.

So I started planning how I could combine other patterns to improvise what I needed, but soon realised I needed to get a move on, as baby S was surely growing and the weather getting warmer. I shifted gears and ended up choosing a very different pattern, the baby version of the very popular Tea Leaves cardigan. There is a kids version too, called Tiny Tea Leaves.

I'm actually really glad I went this way. I would still like the challenge of improvising that seamless bolero pattern, and probably will do it at some point, but I love how the tea leaves pattern came out and think it really lends itself to two colours.

Finally, getting a little bit scared that baby S wouldn't get much wear out of the cardie before growing too big (by this time it pretty much summer), I added a little monogram washer to the package.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Last things first

There are a few Christmas projects to show you, though not as many as in previous years. But before I get to those: a very recent and very quick finished project. A few days ago, Aunty arrived in Canberra for a visit, and showed me a picture she had taken of a big crocheted hair ornament she liked. Hint, hint. It was worn (and I think also made) by a lady working in a gallery they visited on their way to Canberra.

I think I managed to replicate what I could see in the pictures (can't be sure, but it's a similar overall effect). It did turned out to be a good bit smaller than the original, but suits her for now as her hair has some more growing out to do before it's long enough for the full updo. So I said I would have another go at making a bigger one, in a while.

I coudn't find a blank hair clip finding in time, so just bought a very cheap dollar store fascinator/flower clip and pulled it apart.