Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy belated birthday

BoyGoblin turned two not long after The Big Move, and so it was time for another birthday badge. You can see last year's here (and there's a pdf tutorial too).

Felt baby safe birthday badge - train
This year it was all about steam trains.

This works the same as the last one, with a magnet sewn into the frontspiece, and into a large plain felt circle worn inside the clothing. 

felt baby safe birthday bade with rear piece
A big hard-to-swallow felt circle for the back, with the magnet double-sewn in.

You can see that I had to use oblong magnets this year - round ones work better.

Felt baby safe birthday badge ribbon close-up
The ribbon really lifts it
The ribbon was a real find - from a bargain store, of all places!

felt baby safe birthday badge stitching close up

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Making time

My Boygoblin is obsessed with clocks at the moment, and I fear that  the decorative clocks in his room that seemed such a cute idea at the time is simply confusing him.

How do I know this? Because he comes out with breathless statements like "The big hand is on the castle and its half past the dragon and now its time to play trains!"

So we raided the craft box and made our own. 

kids crafts play clock from plastic plates and pipecleaners
Move over, PlaySchool

I did all the sharp stuff, but he coloured the clock face, threaded the hands onto the pipe cleaner and through the plate, and stuck most of the numbers on.

close up of hands of plastic plate play clock
I cut and coloured the hands. BoyGoblin did the rest.

I'm considering upping the stakes and getting a clock motor for it for his playroom. Only considering mind.

rear of plastic plate play clock showing pipe cleaner fastened to matchstick
No motor, just a matchstick (safer than a split pin).

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


This is a project that is inhabiting that limbo land between WIP and UFO. Which is it?

purple pachyderm progress crochet
This is when I started having doubts. 
Even Dearwife is finding it hard to stop laughing be encouraging, and she is usually extremely supportive of even my most misguided creative endeavours.

Its the beginnings of an elephant, and it was to be my first softie.

purple pachyderm with ears crochet
It looks less like a poo now i've attached the ears.

But, you know, I'm not sure about the pattern. Im still reserving judgement, because its hard to tell until its finished, but I'm not chuffed that the animal will be top heavy. Rather than weight it with beans, which means it cant be washed, I foolishly stuffed it with toy pellets, which are now working their way out between the loops and shedding all over the floor. Poor thing looks like it has some awful disease.

crochet shedding soft toy pellets
My softie's shedding choke hazards. I see here he is mysteriously covered in cat fur, so someone in the house must love him.

The yarn is just awful to work with - its flocked, so it gives a lovely soft fabric, but the stitches are impossible to see, which makes the work impossible to read. That means there was a lot of rework going on, and I found it nigh-on impossible to reuse the yarn that had been frogged.

So, I  ran out of the yarn which I bought in the UK, and is not available here, so he's going to have to have pale purple legs. And possibly eyelids. (and oh jeez, don't even talk to me about safety eyes. Safe for whom, exactly?)

Disaster all round, but I'm not quite ready to give up on him.

I am going to have to do something about his pellet problem, though, and I fear it might be terminal.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Patient feet

Cosy alpaca toes for the littlest, who also astonished me with his forebearance, allowing mummy to slip his feet in and out of partly completed slippers throughout the hot afternoon. (I think he was actually more tolerant than his mumma.)

a pair of hand crochet slippers for a toddler
Not sure how long these will stay white when goblintoes inhabit them...
 I bought a pattern for the applique alphabet, forgetting that as I'm left-handed, I've had to reverse them all - either working backwards up the pattern, or reverse engineering each letter. 

crochet applique initial on handcrochet toddler slippers
f is for faff
I've already given up, and all the cousins will be getting stars appliqued on their toes. 

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Unseasonal slippers

I must be looking forward to the cooler weather, as I've spent the last week or so as Ive broken up work on the soul eater with hooking up a series of slippers.

I've now got a long list of requests, so here's hoping the mood stays with me, otherwise this could get very tedious indeed.

First up a test pair for me, from the simple cable slipper pattern.  

chunky cable crochet slippers. Alpaca
Cosy alpaca. Perfect for February in Australia.

These are in the most gorgeous, easy to use, and affordable alpaca yarn, sourced from, of all places, Spotlight. On clearance is was only $2 a ball (about 47m) so these sample slippers cost less than $4. 

I used them to test puff paint as a non-slip sole. The result is too ugly for words:

puff paint non slips sole handmade slippers
Words fail.
For a start, it never occurred to me that this colour choice would look less like a design decision and more like the innards of a small marsupial.

But, it works, and the stretch paint works best. Obviously. I didn't know it existed until too late.

Next, a jersey pair, better for the climate here. Not sure how comfy they are though. I can't decide.

chunky cable crochet slippers jersey yarn
Jersey slippers are slightly more seasonal. Slightly. 

Then cosy posy toes for DearWife. The pattern is really elegant, with the flowers added as you go. DearWife was extremely patient in surrendering her feet to fittings, allowing me to modify the heel a little as i went. 

The yarn was suprisingly lovely to work with - a cotton weave that is light and firm, but seems to retain its shape.

posy toes crochet slippers
Pretty toes

Next up, five nephews, one niece, one son, and five assorted in-laws. Simple.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Soul eater

With amazing timing and incredible self-knowledge, I began a large Wool eater blanket at the height of my first Brisbane summer. Apparently the hottest, most humid summer in quite some time.
partly finished blanket with ball of yarn in knitting bag
Daunting pile of blanket
The horrendous, and perfectly obvious thing about blankets in the round is that the closer you get to completion, the longer each round takes. Its like a maths problem from school - something about a frog? Anyway, I'm almost finished, which is to say, there's a way to go.

My state of mind is not helped by the fact that I started one of these a couple of years ago, in amazing candy brights, but the yarn was so horrific to work with I frogged the lot, and, wait for it, threw away the yarn. Yes, it was That Bad. 

Close up of stitches of wool eater blanket
Jolly colours. Jolly awful yarn.