Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Menu Planner

Here's the link to Future Girl's blog which features, among other excellent things, the quirky and versatile menu planner I've been using recently with great success. Having a loose plan for what the brood and I are going to chomp down on across the course of a week is helping me with shopping, economising and making sure we get a bit more dietary variety. Another happy fact about this menu planner is that it's 6 day format allows nicely for finishing up leftovers accummulating in the fridge, so, more quick lunches/random dinners and less wastage. Like.

And I love a freebie.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Ruth Cross

Just to keep our wee archive of all things cool and beautiful up to date, here's the link to the Ruth Cross website we've all been drooling over this week. I particularly love the 'toggle' necklace (top pic) and the big bead and loop creations, one of which is shown here (bottom pic). It's fantastic to see such a fresh perspective on knit designs.

Fairy Tale Blanket

I have a pile of patches sitting on top of our bookshelves that rather remind me of the incredible, inviting stack of mattresses in The Princess and the Pea fairy tale. My little patches aren't waiting to have a vegetable inserted between them or to be tested by royalty, however. They're waiting to be joined by yet more little patches before being fashioned into a blanket. I imagine the blanket's (distant) future as one of much luxury; it'll sit on the back of a deeply comfy chair waiting for someone who needs a bit of blankety goodness to match lazy thoughts of coffee, music, swaying fireplace flames and a good book on a wintery day. Blissful. Maybe cake should feature in the picture too, it would be unkind to leave it out of such perfection. I can visualise the blanket's future so clearly and with such decadence that it's a bit of a shock to look back at my wee squares and find them unfinished.... Ach well, the vision is good motivation nonetheless.

The squares are made of Bamboo tape yarn and were originally inspired by a little moss stitch heart tutorial in the Stitch 'n' Bitch Knitter's Handbook. The great thing about Bamboo tape for a knitting novice like me is it's very easy to reverse and correct mistakes thanks to the yarn's ribbony structure and slight stretch. On a very practical note the Bamboo's totally washable in the machine too, this will be very helpful when it comes to my less than careful attitude towards devouring coffee and cake. I simply cannot exist in a dry-clean only environment.

So far I've completed about 25 squares, each is 23 stitches by 23 rows, I think I'll need about 60-80 squares to make the finished product a decent size. The whole project is ideal for picking up here and there, doing a little and then putting down till time becomes available again. Even when there isn't time to knit, in their stack of mattresses kinda way, these wee squares are eye candy just as they are.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Baby blues

After the arrival of a friends fourth baby ( I can sympathize with that number, but know it is enough), I dug out my knitting needles and resurrected one of my favourite patterns. The wonderfully unisex tuck through scarf. It is a straight forward idea and I tend to follow my nose with it. Firstly I dug around in my huge bag of half finished projects and pulled out a ball of beautiful blue grey bamboo tape. Then I wrestled with my drawer full of knitting needles until I found two that matched. I started with casting on three stitches, then in plain knit increased at the end of every row until I was happy with the length. Then cast every other stitch onto a holder kneedle and knitted the remainder for 5 rows or so. I put those stitches onto a holder and knitted the other half up in the same way. Once the two pieces were the same size I knitted them together alternately, back onto one needle. Then continued with plain knit until I was happy with the length. I finished off by doing the same in reverse. Divided the stitches, knitted the separate pieces, rejoined and finished by decreaseing at the end of every row. When I had three stitches remaining I cast off. Now that sounded as clear as mud! Have a go and experiment you might hit it lucky and make something recognisable.

Lucite and silver wedding embellishment.

Finally I have found the time and have set up my shiney new hardware to do more blogging. I am feeling inspired by Heathers knitting find. I am loving the clickety clack of my needles in the evening. My neck cuff is taking shape and needs an inspired lining. This evening I am thinking about my new sister-in-law Carrie, who asked me to rustle up a wedding necklace, for her marriage to my brother Dan. After much discussion we came up with a loose brief and the lovely let me have a long leash for the rest. I mixed lucite flowers, very Carrie, retro and quirky, with tibetan silver charms and beads, reminding me of my Dad who couldn't be there for the wedding. I managed to use the extras to make some cute hair pins. Carrie looked beautiful and was kind enough to say she loved the creation........what else could she say!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

A Shot of Culture

After a morning of dashing around changing shoes and buying birthday presents ,I dropped into the art gallery for a shot of culture. What a fantastic exhibition of Ron Mueck sculptures. Get yourself down there ladies and check these out.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

On the Round....Stool Cosy

In-keeping with the round theme, whilst watching 'The Tudors' last Friday night I knocked out, using lovely thick cotton yarn a 'stool cosy' to brighten up my rather drab bathroom and to keep my little ones bottoms warm during teeth cleaning duty.
Using only single crochet, I gradually increased each round until I had reached the desired size of my stool (around 130 stitches.) I then decreased quickly to create a smalled diameter. The finished item was then stretched over the stool, and tied with extra yarn underneath to prevent any small fingers pulling it off.
I have to admit I am enjoying the simplicity of the dense single crochet stitch and have been mesmerised by the 'pinwheel' pattern I am finding in the rounds.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

simple crochet

Finally managed to finish some simple crochet projects and post them, inspired by the book by Erika Knight, 'simple crochet', I have used cotton and hessian string, and am now inspired to try some more. I'll have to look in some junk shops to find some different sized bottles for crocheting, or perhaps try and create some sculptutral shapes out of wire to crochet. I feel the need to try some crochet bottles on a larger scale so watch this space....giant crocheting here I come...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Happy Birthday Heather!!

If I actually sit and think about it, crocheting a cake is probably right up there with the crazy ladies who make poodle toilet roll holders, but I have to say I had so much fun making this (pattern in 'Amigurumi Two by Ana Paula Rimoli) two tier majestic cake I can hardly bear to part with it! I know it's going to a good home though - Happy Birthday Heather!!!