Sunday, June 26, 2011

A return to form

I felt creative today! I've been wearing the hair clip I made in Tiresome several times since, and felt motivated to make some more in different colors, given my fondness for coordination. I ripped apart some zips for this effort and was feeling quite pleased with myself, until I ruined it with poor glue gun control. I'll wear it nonetheless. Who says perfect is always best?
I kicked it old school with a manual needle and thread next, and persuaded this stretchy lace ribbon to form a rosette. I held my gun steady as I attached the center piece this time.
Getting back to electronica, I then experimented with making rosettes using my sewing machine. The method I used above - doing wide running stitches before pulling the thread tight, forcing the ribbon to curve in on itself, didn't work as well with the machine. It did to some extent, but only for an inch or two from each edge. So then I tried the method I used with the zip - continually stopping and folding the material underneath, as I stitched. The effect is different, but not bad. I used turquoise thread only because I couldn't be bothered to change the thread in the machine, but it looks ok with the red rosette. This is a pin/brooch, instead of a hair clip.
I had some fabric pinwheels lying around since this post, and I think small ones lend themselves quite well to hair clips. Eventually I will get around to making some more in different color combinations.
Does anyone out there have good ideas for black shrinky dink? This shrinkable plastic has featured on my blog quite a bit, but typically the white and frosted versions, which you can draw on. I have a few sheets of black left over - you can't draw on it, and I find it quite hard to cut the stuff very smoothly or accurately with either scissors or a blade. As I try to curve gracefully around a corner, I find it tends to 'crack' and break along some random line. Very irritating. I'd love if I could do some really big piece - like a big bat necklace made by shrinking down an A4 size cut out - but in my experience big pieces have a tendency of folding in on themselves and getting stuck in the oven. Any ideas? I was messing around with it earlier in the week, cutting out circles and squares, punching holes in them, with the idea of using them as spacers in necklaces. Like below.
Have a lovely week everyone.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cleaning up with craft

I was extremely irked earlier this week to find myself with no clean facecloths. I made quite a few of them before Christmas, but as gifts, and have 3 to call my own. While breaking the world record for the most people knitting in one place, I bought a lot of cotton from one of the sellers there - I always buy cotton if it's going cheap. I used it to make the bunny last week, and this week I used this pattern to make some shell stitch squares, adding an extra row of single crochet around the end to make it look neater. The clumps of double crochet give it a pleasing texture - handy for scrubbing off pale foundation and dark eyeshadow.

Some sock progress. My stitches feel looser to me than on the previous cuff - strange.
To everyone in Galway, enjoy and embrace Bike week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Yesterday (Saturday) was a beautiful sunny day. I daydreamed about being out riding my bike while in actuality I was in the lab. I hoped for similar sunshine today, but alas, it has been grey and drizzly since first light. While watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (I was nearly disowned when a certain someone found out I hadn't seen it. To avoid further argument, we downloaded and watched it immediately), I finished this little guy. Someone who I know semi-well (kind of less than a full friend but more than a friend of a friend) had a baby not so long ago. Apparently they don't have a lot of toys bought yet (which makes sense really, as a newborn wouldn't really notice such things), so I thought it might be nice if they had a handmade one around for when the little one starts grabbing and putting things in her mouth. Made of baby friendly cotton, here she between the inviting thighs of my Miffy.

I used this pattern by Lion Brand Yarn, found on (where else) Ravelry.I made the tail but didn't attach is as I thought it looked a bit out of proportion. I chose to embroider closed eyes as I thought when the kid was cuddled up with it, it would be sweet if they were both asleep. I like making amigurumi as they're so cute, as well as relatively quick and quite impressive (to non-yarncrafters) but they do necessitate attaching lots of little bits and pieces - arms, legs etc - which is a bore. Though qith a good film on tv and a cold drink in your glass, it's not so bad.
A final shot with my other craft of the week - I've cast on the second sock. Watch this space for progress.
Have a great week everyone. I'm planning to finish my laboratory work this week - wish me luck.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I got my chemistry piece submitted in the nick of time....or I would have, if the deadline hadn't been extended until October. Not that they changed the dates on the entry form or the website or anything like that. Silly people.
I realize lately it's been mostly ongoing knitting projects, with not much new or finished items. I'm currently in the throes of trying to finish my laboratory work, so I concentrate on actually writing my Master's thesis, which is due in August. Being in the lab late enough most weekday evenings and every Saturday hasn't left me much time for, well, anything, to be honest with you. So for now, due to limited time and concentration, most of the my crafting is limited to a bit of mindless knitting before bedtime. As such, I managed to finish one sock this week.
I used slightly larger needles than the yarn recommended - 3.25mm instead of 3.00 mm - mainly because I couldn't find my 3.00mm. The knit was tight enough from the cuff to the heel, but for some reason my gauge became very loose along the foot, no matter how much I tried to rein it in. I'm not overly concerned though -  these socks are intended for comfortable slouching around the house, so they shouldn't have to hold up to too much punishment.

Progress continues on Jim's scarf - we're at 36 inches now.
A random brooch I made from some remnants. 2 little stockinette knit squares set at 45 degrees to each other, a pin back and a button. Simplicity itself.
I dabbled a bit with my sewing machine last night, and have a hair clip I'm pretty pleased with to show for it. I'm not sure what the other heart will be yet - possibly a keyring?

I can't wait to be (hopefully temporarily) unemployed. It sucks when you're too tired to craft!

Have a great Bank Holiday Monday