Saturday, 28 December 2013
To block or not to block that is the question.
I'm a blocker, I block my hats, blankets, whether they be knit or crochet and any little baby knits, such as jumpers, cardis, leggings etc.
Blocking just gives everything a professional finish in my opinion. It relaxes the fibres of wool, and makes your work soft and drapey, it also has the advantage of stretching your work, should you find your items, a little small or tight. There are so many different ways you can block your knitted/crocheted goodies, but I am of the type that finishes the item off, then blocks on completion.
There are others that block their knitting piece by piece before sewing the garment up. There are crocheters that block by square before crocheting a blanket together......not me.
I like to unpin the item off a towel or blocking board and know that it's finished.
Just thought I'd give you a quick look at how I block.....I finished a couple of little cardigans over the weekend, and I just wanted to show you the before and after shots.
As mentioned, I had sewn the little cardigan up, except I hadn't put buttons on it....they did come last. Buttons are always last, because sometimes with blocking you do have to do a bit of stretching and maneuvering and the buttons can end up in the wrong spot, just saves having to un do the buttons and replace.
Firstly I knit all the pieces of the little garment. The knit is patterned with little fleur de lis in it, as you can see they are very hard to see....the fibres of this wool are all tight.
All little pieces sewn into place and ready for blocking.
I don't do anything special when blocking. I have a stash of normal sewing pins with coloured tips (so I can see where I've placed them on my knit), a polystyrene board with an old towel on it (this acts as my blocking board and works a treat). A spray water bottle with just room temp water in it and that's it.
As this little garment was quite squished up, I did spray it damp first so it was more pliable, especially the back of the little garment, and then just placed it flat on the board, and started pinning into place.....Nice and flat, without stretching the rib, but trying to get as much of the pattern to sit flat as I could.
I'll just let you know, it took a good 20 minutes to block this little 3M to 9M cardi into place. I moved, straightened, stretched, flattened and just played around with it till I was happy with it....It looked like this.
Once flat and pinned, then I get trigger happy with the water bottle and just spray until the knit is damp to wet to the touch. I then like to pat the water that sits on top of the wool into the item, and then give it one final spray again. I then leave it until it's dry to the touch, unpin and usually then just pop it on the back of a chair, or the top of the clothes horse so it gets some air around it.
And then, once dry, it's beautiful and flat, soft as butter, and very drapey, and the patterning opens up so you can see it in all its knitted beauty......lots of relaxed fibres in this little knit!!
I did two little cardis, in the end!
The process I use is the same for blankets, nothing changes.
Hope I'm being helpful here, some of you will be au fait with all of this, but for those that don't....You learn something every day!!
Any way, I'm done for the evening. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I probably will be back in 2014....weather permitting.....loving this hot weather a little too much!!
These little cardis, are for sale, and you'll find them in my Etsy store. The link is at the side of the page.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I'm looking over a 4 leaf Clover!! I sold my 100th Clover pattern over the weekend, well officially it's now 105!.....In my eyes a milestone. I'm truly grateful for all the wonderful purchases, feedback, photos and love for my little Clover pattern, and also to those that have purchased a completed hat, there really is a lot of Clover love going on, she says with a big smile!
One of my favourite blogs On The First Day of Marriage has a little Clover hat going on, little Miss Phiney looking as warm as toast, all snuggled up in wool and big thanks to Nell as well........I look at the images and I just wish for Winter as we head into a scorching 40c day tomorrow!!
So if you are after your own Clover pattern, I've popped an image on the right hand side of the page which you can now click and it will take you to my Etsy store.....Again, the wonderful Katherine Heise from Heise Photography took that perfect image, you may also know her from Lamb loves Fox as well.
I'm going to sign off now and I don't think I'll be back before Christmas....So I will thank you all for popping by my little blog, may you and yours have a wonderful and safe holiday season and I will see you back in 2014.
Warmest wishes to you all.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
It's coming to that time of year where I spend days upon days making quilts.....I have at least 2 quilts to complete over the Christmas break....I need to finish Niece No 2's quilt....being bogged down at work, hasn't been helping me to keep up with time lines.
I've managed to get most of my knitting orders done....and thank you to so many understanding customers who have told me they don't want their hats till the New Year, it then only leaves me 5 more to do before Christmas. The pressure has been lifted
I've also been making some little pixie hats....Trouble & Striped I call these little hats, just because of the cheeky, bright and colourful nature of them.....nothing sweeter than little bubs all wrapped up in organic merino. It's far from hat season here in Australia, but I figure, the more I do now, the more 'ready to ship' stock I have available once hat season comes along in 2014
I've also worked out my next "knit your own" pattern for end of January, start of Feb...I'll keep you updated on the pattern progress. I won't be revealing which pattern I'm going with just yet. Like to keep some things a surprise!
Also thanks so much, for all the new fans that have joined my blog here....It's so very lovely to see. When I started this blog, I really didn't think anyone would read it, but I'm humbled by its members and its readership.....it warms my heart.
Well that's it for today....short but sweet. I'm actually home from work today. I slipped down the back stairs in my apartment block last night....the stairs where wet, it was dark.....suffice to say I've had to make a trip to the Osteopath this morning....no major damage done, just feeling a little sore and sorry for myself.....sitting for long periods of time is not making things easier either. Anyway.......
Hope all is well in your part of the world.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
I've had a colourful week to say the least....colourful in clothing, work, emotion, woolly goodness....and I'm afraid to say language. An emotional roller coaster is the only way I can describe it.
I'm sure something good will come out of it eventually....Don't you have to sift through the s**t to find the good stuff?
Anyway, I put away the hat orders last night for some lovely calming crochet....something else that's colourful. A new baby blanket commission. African flowers. It doesn't have to be ready till next March, but it was just nice to come home from work yesterday and just let my brain wander with colour and creativity....sometimes you just need that sort of stuff.
I've put my first couple of squares up on Ravelry. I'll keep you updated with its progress.
Hope your week has been better than mine.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Sunday, 24 November 2013
I'm sorry there has been no woolly business going on around here....I am working hard to get all my remaining knitting orders completed by Christmas, so therefore I haven't picked up any crochet for weeks now.....my best laid plans of having personal items and blankets and other bits and bobs finished by Christmas are just that......plans, with now no immediate completion dates.....otherwise know as WIP's.
I've also been working long, long hours at my casual job. Longer hours that I anticipated which at this time doesn't leave much time for anything else....thus the lack of blog posts. On the upside my little garden, is flourishing. Lots of rain and lots of sunshine, all in one day mind you.....that's Melbourne! I've managed to work out which which seedling is which, and am now waiting patiently for lettuce and radishes to be first for the picking....the tomatoes won't be ready till mid Summer I expect. I'm loving the teeny tiny garden I've created in such a teeny tiny space.
A couple of other things I'm loving this week are my Danish Duckfeet Sandals. I've traded in my Saltwater's this Summer for duckfeet, and I'm loving the change. They have virtually been on my feet since arriving a couple of weeks back. Also I ordered some vintage fabric Lavender Bags from Little Sally Waters. I was going to gift some of them, but now they're hanging in most rooms in the house! The smell is just wonderful.
Anyway, that's me done for now. Hope you're all well, see you next time.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Not longer than 48 hours ago, I was standing in my kitchen popping seeds into little planter pods, oh bless my cotton socks.....looks like I'm going to be eating a lot of radishes this Summer.....or are these lettuce, basil, coriander or tomatoes!! Forgot to mark them didn't I!
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
I never had the intention of being away for so long, but time has just gotten away. So to condense down what could be a long post, here's a little of what I've been up to since I've been away.....Knitting orders (nothing new there!!), lost 4.7 kilos in weight, celebrated my 46th birthday, got a small promotion at work, successfully grown chives, mint and parsley whilst still avoiding those pesky possums. Purchased all the goodies to start a balcony vegetable garden. Saw a few movies, About time...worst movie I've ever seen, Diana, second worst movie I've ever seen, Captain Phillips and Prisoner, two of the better movies I've seen. Also went to Gold Class cinema for the first time. Internet shopping from The Fat Quarter Shop, buying pre-cut squares for Christmas break quilting time. Planning another blanket even though I haven't finished the one I'm crocheting now and just spending some time reacquainting myself with the outdoors and embracing the beautiful Melbourne sunshine.
Hope you're all well,
Monday, 14 October 2013
Sorry about being absent for a little longer than planned, but I've been knitting like a mad woman......I decided to take on some custom work, the last for 2013, and boy oh boy, suffice to say I've got a lot of orders.
It has been nice to sit back and just get on with the orders......Unfortunately my knitting seems to be in sync with my casual day job. My day job has been quiet since July, but Murphy's Law, I take some orders and bam......my day job kicks into overdrive and I'm going to be required 40+ hours per week right through to Christmas more or less.
Suffice to say that all spare time is now dedicated to knitting, so there isn't much other news.....orders have been heading out to Norway, Germany, Sweden, France, US, UK and I have the biggest bunch of orders from my nearest and dearest customers right here in Australia.
My Etsy store is open for a bit longer, I'll take a few more orders, I'm also working on another pixie hat for boys and girls, and I managed to get a third row done of my big coloured hexie.
Hope all is well in your part of the world, and I should say thank you to everyone that leaves a comment, I read them all and try to reply to as many as I can when time permits. You'll also notice I've been slowly adding to my blog roll on the side of this page. So many blogs appear in my stats, so I've been sharing them with others, so much woolly love floating around the world.
Anyway plenty to do today, it's my one day off this week.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
I finally finished my second row of my block coloured hexie yesterday. We had the most horrendous winds blowing last night that damaged a lot of houses, saw the power go out to over 50,000 homes, closed the airport etc etc.....I can't knit when it's stormy for some reason, I find crochet more of a comfort. So with the TV on loud to block out the noise of the rattling windows and the crashing waves of the bay, I crocheted lots of hexies.
I'm setting myself a Christmas target for this blanket, so 20 more rows in 12 weeks. Achievable, what do you think?
Friday, 27 September 2013
There really is something quite comforting about a pile of quilts and blankets. The organic merino hexie is on its way to its new owner in Adelaide.
One day I'll have a big stash of woolly blankets to call my own.
Thursday, 26 September 2013
I bet you were all thinking.....she hasn't done another blanket. Well I have!! Still unblocked, hexie with straight edging, and a custom order.
As I type this blanket is on the blocking board. I was a bit iffy about the border on this one. Unlike the two other hexie blankets I've done with my invented straight border, here and here. I decided I didn't want little flecks of colour in the border so I had to be a bit inventive again....In the end I went with a HDC border with a little wavy edging. Once it's all stretched out, a little relaxed and all soft and drapey I might be a bit happier with it.....but it's bright and colourful and that is the main thing.
I'll pop up some more images when I'm done.
Hope you're all well.
Saturday, 21 September 2013
Its been many years since I've been to the Royal Melbourne Show. Originally an agricultural show, but over the years commercialism has taken over and now it's more about the rides and the show bags, and less about the animals, farm produce and craft. Every time I go back to the show, I still get that nostalgia hit from memories of traipsing around the showgrounds with Mum, my sister and my brother during the September school holidays around 40 years ago.
My aim is to always spend most of the time looking at the awards for knitting, crochet, sewing and all the other craft and hobby competitions.....I'm going to be honest and say I sometimes wonder what the judges look at when awarding prizes for wool and fabric based competitions. Some of the decisions rendered me speechless, and not always in a good way, but who am I to judge, the amount of work on all pieces is really priceless and unfortunately prize less in a lot of cases.
I also love looking at the awards for baking....cakes, scones, slices, biscuits then the making of preserves and sauces, always a lot of fun.....and then the cake decorating, it's all there to be viewed.
No trip to the show in my mind isn't complete without a visit to the Country Women's Association as well as a look at the animals, my favourite bit of the show. The dog competitions, with shades of "Best in Show", the absolute precision cutting of sheep fleece for judging.....the absolute boredom on the faces of most of the cattle, and the swishing tale of a rag tail cat, who was just getting a bit fed up with the constant petting. The overfed, lambs and goats wandering around the nursery animal shed, all these things along with the colour and the spectacle of the show, make it an enjoyable day......but I will say, I'm done for at least another 5 or so years!!