Monday, 30 March 2009

First Toy Society Drop - Pickle

Having discovered The Toy Society last week, at the weekend I made this little chap:

Pickle 1 Toy Society

While he was being made, I named him Pickle. He sat on the bookcase for a couple of days, and I knew that if he was going to be dropped somewhere, I had to do it soon, before I got too attached.

This morning, I packed him into a bag, with a note and a tag inviting people to take him. I left for work a bit early, and hung him outside a local school, waiting for a small person to find him on their way in:

Pickle 2 Toy Society

Although the pavement was empty and the roads quite quiet at 8:10 when I was hanging him there, I felt quite nervous, but excited. I hope he makes someone's Monday.

If you want to be part of it, just check out The Toy Society blog, and join to get all the info :)

Edit: My drop is now up on the blog here

Monday, 23 March 2009

Little Giraffe

I knitted this Little Giraffe for my new niece/nephew, who isn't due till September.

Giraffe Mosaic

Little giraffe likes flowers, the nice warm lamp on my desk, bananas and yellow bowls, though he's not too sure about pea and pesto soup, even if it is home made!

The pattern was great, a quick little knit. I made a couple of modifications:

  • Worked it on two circs instead of DPNs

  • Knitted an extra row of yellow before starting the body chart to secure all the legs together

  • Rearranged the stitches so the ear flap was on one needle, and worked an extra row there so the yarn was in the right place for redividing the stitches to work the face.

Also, I made sure to catch the yellow yarn in on the middle stitch of each spot, when I didn't do this, the legs got very tight. Next time I'd leave an even longer tail for sewing the ears and making the horns, and I'd embroider the eyes before stuffing the head.

Now I just need to pack it away till September & not forget where I've put it!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Ahead of the game

I'm in a funny place here. I think they call it Organised. I've finished a good friend's birthday present, with over 3 weeks to go till their birthday, and cast on for my new niece/nephew's knitted giraffe I'm making for when they are born in September.

I've got a list with all the people I want to get gifts for this year, and while it contains lots of gaps where I don't have ideas for specific people yet, the next things I am going to make are a couple of Christmas presents. Christmas. An event which is 282 days away!

And I'm not the only one. Spinonehalf has started her Christmas knitting too.

Maybe it took a few years of last minute December cramming to get us to learn that we really should start early. I'm just not sure March was when we'd planned to!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Maker Faire

I'm still editing my way through the photos* I took at Maker Faire this weekend, so in the meantime, here's some video footage to give you a taster of what went on:

* though my camera appears to have lost 100 of my photos!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Technology is Awesome

Miss & Mr Wrapped in Wool, Mr Wonderfuls and I are up in Newcastle at the 1st UK Maker Faire. The website was a bit vague about what was going to be on, but we decided to trust our gut intuition that Make:/Craft: would put on a fabulous event & trek up here.

When we arrived in the marquee, we made a beeline for the joint stand, where I got to sy 'Hello' - it was great to see Folksy at the event. We were quickly distracted by the local weaving/spinning/dyeing guild, who were demonstrating weaving on an Ashford loom, tablet weaving and needlefelting.

I fell in love with the loom weaving, it is such a relaxing process. We were using a plain warp, a novelty yarn weft and weaving slubs of a merino silk blend in every now ad again to add texture. I spent quite a while weaving and made a small felted brooch.

The Curiosity Collective had a fabulous stand with models based on proverbs. I especially liked the Watched Pot, which sensed when it was being watched and displayed how close to boiling it was.

We did some silk painting, which was very peaceful and relaxing, despite being surrounded by the sounds of many interesting electronic devices.

Wrapped in Wool and I went off to the Chiptune Marching Band workshop, and spent a happy 3 hours making fab battery powered, hand crank rechargeable noise machines, then proceeded, with the 20 or so other workshop participants, to flashmob both the faire and Newcastle Station with our interesting sound tubes

We rushed back to the main marquee to try to see all of the other stand which we mised when we were weaving and Chiptuning, including the lovely guy at the Howduino stall, the fantastic full sized animatronic horse on wheels, the Maker Shed store where I bought a tshirt and a LED picture kit, the lady who told us all about Gocco, and explained how they're not being made any more, and loads of other great stands.

We didn't get to do all of the events at the Faire, we skipped the Robot Wars in favour of workshops and stalls, and didn't have time to go to the discovery centre.

In all, it was a fantastic day, and I hope that the Faire will return to the UK next year, or sooner. I think next time I'd like to see more crafters sharing our skills alongside the more electronically minded folks, some examples of conductive thread/lilypad arduino projects (maybe a workshop with some stuff to take home) and even more shopping!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Morning Elegance

This is just wonderful:

Eye Spy... Makes Me Laugh

I'm a bit late for this week's date, as this week I've been a bit busy. Drobtinice set us the theme of 'Something that makes me laugh', and it has got to be my family.

People who meet my parents say that all my eccentricities suddenly make sense. Yesterday my dad called me, almost crying tears of laughter to tell me about an incident at his work resulting in the destruction of a modelling straw tower with a bit of lighting equipment. It's impossible not to laugh when my dad is!

From my mum's endlessly optimistic belief that she needn't do a gauge swatch when knitting hats:

Mum Hat December


To my dad having the sense of fun to still let us put his hair into bunches and ponytails, even when his girls are in their twenties:

Dad Hair
Yes, some of those are held up with freezer clips

And my sister and I being on the same wacky wavelength:

Hev and ali

I know whenever I feel a bit blue my family will cheer me up.

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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Eye Spy... Something that makes me Happy

I'm playing along with Eye Spy Sunday hosted by Cindy of Bug and Pop, and this week's theme, courtesy of Iris and Lily is 'Something that Makes Me Happy'

I spent part of this morning folding my tiny quilting fat quarter collection using Kootoyoo's instructions, and the little happy pile looked so beautiful:

Fabric Stash 2009-03-01 (11)

I've got some colour family groups, with possible quilts/projects in mind for these:

Fabric Stash Mosaic 1

1. Amy Butler Midwest Modern (IIRC) - all these are long quarter yards so I'll probably pick up a few more co-ordinating prints and do something like the stacked coins with them.

2. Moon & coordinating prints - no idea what I want to do with these, I think I need a few more coordinating blues first.

3. Pink & Greens - I want to pick up some more co-ordinating small scale prints with these and do a star block or two with them. The one at the back is a long quarter, the other 3 are FQs.

4. Kaffe Fasset Floral - Got this one free on my last Cotton Patch shopping spree, no plan as yet!

5. Liberty print - I was given this print in a Craftster swap about 4 years ago, and I've been hoarding it until I can learn to sew clothes to fit my figure and then I'm going to sew it into a blouse. I've got a metre of it, so I think I'm going to have to find a lightweight black cotton to pair it with to make up the yardage. Kootoyoo's folding method also works with lightweight fabric (lighter than quilters cotton) up to a metre, and with quilters cotton up to half a metre.

6. Lovely flowery pink FQ - my sister bought this FQ about 4 years ago, wanting to make something for her (now eldest) daughter Chloë. She realised that she was unlikely to be able to, and gave it to me, so I am waiting until I find the perfect project for her to use it.

I love the pure, happy potential of a stack of beautiful fabric, and I've really enjoyed neatly folding it all. I've also been using the folding round a quilters ruler method for the yardage that I bought.

Does anyone have any suggestions of good ways to fold the long quarters?

Another thing making me happy this week is the mittens I finished knitting:

Treat Mittens Mosaic

They are knitted from the beautifully soft and warm Mirasol Miski, baby llama fibre. They have a gap across the palm for sticking your fingers out of to get out your train pass or press the Pelican crossing buttons. The end of the thumb is open to help with that, but you can tuck it into the palm if it gets cold. I've called them 'Treat' because they were such a happy, easy knit - more pics here.

They're knit on 2 4mm circs, and are a quick easy knit. A friend will be testing the pattern for me, and then I'll have it available for download.

I'm off to have some home made lemon and ginger ice cream.

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A Change of Plan

After a visit to Cotton Patch, I appear to have totally changed the fabrics for the quilt. Mr Wonderfuls came with me, because he has a good eye for colour, and helped me choose the fabrics. We've gone for a subtle crocodile theme, hopefully something that is still little boy friendly but will grow older with him.

This is the final plan:
TJ Quilt Final Mockup

The backing will be turquoise, and I'm going to stitch the centre in the ditch, and probably do a wave pattern on the bubble borders, if I can get that looking good.

Fabric Stash 2009-03-01 (1)

The fabric on the left is the backing.

What do you think?

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