Friday, August 1, 2014

Crochet in the garden-love heart pattern

 I am getting my yarn and craft items ready for the What's Cooking festival once more. I have made a little love heart pattern for this years event and am sharing it here with you! I also have put in a few photos of some wildlife we saw on a recent trip to Carnarvon gorge in Queensland. Enjoy!

Heart Pattern

UK terminology.
Using any size hook and yarn. Most would use a size 3.5-4 hook and a DK or 8ply yarn.

Make a slip knot around hook.
Chain 5 and slip stitch into fifth chain from hook to form a ring.
First round : Chain one. Make 8 double crochet (DC) into the ring and join with a slip stitch to first DC.

Second round : Make one chain stitch.  Make five half trebles into the next stitch. Make one half treble into each of next 2 stitches .Make a half treble, chain one and make another half treble into the next stitch. Half treble in next 2 stitches. Five half trebles into next stitch. Slip stitch into next stitch. 
Finish by pulling yarn into knot and weaving in ends.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

colourful crochet

Hello! Todays blog is all about using bright colours in crochet work. 

I have noticed recently how popular some ravelry blanket projects which feature lots of bold and bright colours have become and I can see why! Brightly coloured items can lift the spirits, whether they are providing a splash of colour in a neutral scheme or whether they are contributing to a riot of colours!

Sometimes it can be difficult to work out which colours work well together and so we can stick to a limited palette or just stick to one favourite colour. So I thought I'd put together some ideas for working with colour choices. 

Here are some beautiful natural colour schemes from my travel photos. 
If you have a photo you love take it along when you go to buy yarns for your next project.

Sunsets have warm and cool colours and often small light and dark accents.

Sometimes colours work well in unexpected combinations. 

Whatever your favourite colours are you can make them work. 

Looking at this picture you can obviously spot the yellow, pink and green...but looking closer there is also grey, brown, red and orange.

High contrast bright warm colours within large areas of cool will really jump forward, you could use this to great effect in forward post striped work for example or with a popcorn stitch.
Here are some examples of colour work from my own crochet...

Please forget limiting 'rules', like  "never mix pink and red" or "keep blue and green apart". They can and do look great together! And taste is unique-if you enjoy any colours together-use them!
To build your confidence try using monochrome schemes with just one or two contrast colours. You can build from there once you feel good about your work.

 Here's an example of using lots of bright colours from a happy hexagon blanket I made for a wedding present. 

This project was for a circular cushion cover-these are very similar colours to the happy hexagon blanket above - however with grey stripes between. Notice how this contrast makes the stripes really stand out?

Above I have  used warm colours (yellows, reds, oranges)  in the centre and cool colours (blues, lilac) on the edges. 

Making this crochet basket/container I used 3 DK or 8 ply yarn strands held together to make it thick and sturdy. I changed one of the colours of yarn at a time to create this effect.

Crochet colour selection tips! 1 Find inspiration for your crochet colour choices around you, in nature or other peoples work.2 Take photos of colour schemes you like and take these photos with you when looking at yarn.3 Take your favourite coloured yarn with you when shopping and hold it up against the yarns available-something will work.4 Think of the crochet pattern-if there are stripes of cables or areas which pop forward such as cluster stitches try use colours to enhance this.5 Use small coloured or light/dark accents in projects to add interest to work.6 Try using a colour scheme which moves from warm to cool.7 Try breaking up a bright colour scheme with grey or other neutral colours.

Good luck and happy crafting :o) 

Friday, August 23, 2013


What's Cooking installation

Another lovely festival and craft/creativity session at the Redcliffe botanical gardens "Whats cooking" event...thanks so very, very much to all who came along, you all truly make me happy. 

Such amazing childrens' art-check out this great recycled felt leaf, so cute!

Aside from the happiness of being with such wonderful clever and creative children and adults this event brings me joy because I adore yarn bombing or 'dressing up' the gardens before the event. It's such fun!

Pink the galah was probably the most popular part of the display, he was modelled after the lovely galah family which lives in a large tree near our home.

 I was also touched by how much the children responded to the fungi covered log.

I tried to slip in a little information here and there and I hope some of the kids will be telling their friends about how fungi can be all sorts of colours -they can even be blue! 

 I have been taking lots of photos for my conservation course work assignments, I need to gather images of weeds and native plants. So many weeds out there, I wish it was a little harder to find them! Anyway, of course I notice other things too while spending time outdoors. And it's such a healthy thing to be outdoors observing nature. 

Isn't this a lovely butterfly? And can you find the tawny frog mouths in this picture? There are three tucked up in the tree...

 happy crafting especially in the great outdoors!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Whats cooking 2013

Whats Cooking event information 2013

This Sunday the beautiful Redcliffe botanical gardens will be filled with colour and fun-during its annual celebration of gardens, cooking, craft and community; the 'Whats cooking on the garden' festival!

I will be setting up a colourful crochet yarn bombed pop up lounge room and will be teaching crochet from soft comfy couches-beginners welcome! 
At 10.30 and 1.30 I will be offering half hour eco friendly craft workshops for children where there will be materials, inspiration and instruction for making soft fuzzy felt leaves to decorate a driftwood tree and take home finger puppets (utilising recycled materials.)
Children can also enjoy finding the fuzzy creatures I will be 'hiding' around the site...

My favourite ABC gardening presenter Jerry Colby Williams will be presenting a talk about sustainable living, I visited his beautiful property Bellis during the last open garden day and know he has lots to wonderful wisdom and local knowledge to share. 

You can find further details here about the many other wonderful workshops and activities running on the day.

So I hope to see you Sunday and in the following weeks I will be sharing my favourite free crochet patterns on this blog so pop back in won't you :o) 
happy crafting!

Monday, May 20, 2013


We spent some quality time with my family this Easter, the boys, Sitara and I. We LOVE our family time but getting there is challenging (almost 2000km trip) Its sometimes hard to with the kids, they are occasionally impatient about the long days in the car. I always thought it'd be easier once they weren't toddlers...hmmm.

But the journeys have their moments, this is a red capped robin we spotted in Victoria while driving near Echuca. Even though we often miss stuff driving in such long stretches on highways the little stops and observances along the way do mean a lot to us.

Upon our return this furry fella had disappeared. He returned a fortnight or so later looking shabby and skinny...he was ever so purry/grateful to be home.  He quickly regained his weight and is back to his usual behaviour, biting toes and swatting us when he's hungry. He's laying on top of the lovely blanket Sitara made by the way!

There has been much crafting, with my boys learning some skills while hand stitching some lovely owl softies at the Woodford Planting festival...

I spent some time dyeing and spinning with gentle natured Mel. The weather has been dry-after a summer and autumn of near continuous rains it's a wonderful thing to be able to dry yarn!

 During my classes I have been learning about tree species and weeds. I spend a lot of time collecting plants. I always keep an eye out for fungi, I loved the colour and stripes of this one which had come up on an old stump.

I have also been trying out new skills propagating native seeds...I'd been puzzled by the lack of growth in this tray at home. Hmm, she found herself a sunny soft spot, maybe she thought they needed hatching??

Til next time, happy crafting

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Summer/New Zealand


dash robin is pottering along, although I have dropped doing markets. I haven't stopped making though-I really enjoy crocheting, dyeing yarn and making softies, scarves, hats and brooches.

The last few months I have been mostly making things when I am on the road. Car time is great for crochet(or sleep if you're a little fella and have had a big holiday!) I made a toy for a friends baby and a couple of presents for family in a hired campervan in NZ and in our big blue ute as we travelled up and down the east coast of Australia.

 I gathered some lovely yarns in the beautiful colourful town of Bellingen in NSW. I found an op shop and I was not disappointed by 50 c balls of beautiful pure wool! And I bought home some very special wool straight from the yarn producers of New Zealand. 

The cowl above was made with a blend of possum fur and merino wool-lusciously soft and beautiful to wear, a gift for my mum who turned 70 this year! 
I loved visiting New Zealand and would love to go again! It was inspiring seeing a country where it seems the environment is well respected and where travellers can visit so many free camping sites. The eco centres I visited while there-including the royal albatross centre and the Orokanui eco centre were brilliant. 

this albatross gave a fantastic display of gliding...

 The views everywhere we travelled were just stunning.

Back on home ground again I've made a few changes this year, taking some time out of full time career crafting. I've begun studying conservation and land management in Nambour. It feels fabulous and wonderful to be studying something I am so passionately interested in..I keep getting my homework done and wishing there was more to do!
Last week we had a field trip camping overnight at Charlie Moreland park to record fauna and flora. We saw lots of beautiful Australian mammals, birds, frogs and we aslo had 6 encounters with 5 different species of snakes (all in under 48 hours!!) I think snakes are gorgeous though and so long as you are careful you are safe-they really aren't out to get you, more like get away from you! 

Here are two of the species we saw, the carpet or diamond python and the brown tree snake. 

I like this brown tree snakes- it has the most cartoon- like face of any snake with its bulgy eyes and smiley mouth. It'd make a perfect amigurumi model!

So now that I have freaked out anyone who is snake phobic (sorry mum) I shall sign off and wish all well and happy crafting!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Green living...

I've been enjoying the paths I have taken lately. Part time gardening. Part time crafting. Heart-ful parenting and relaxing back into some kind of routines after travelling(while of course planning and dreaming of the next adventures!).
I love my latest work place-I spend a chunk of my time in a very full organic permaculture garden...apart from the herb spiral, fruit trees and usual garden this ordinary house block home garden has 6 compost bins, 3 worm farms, visiting possums, honeyeaters, silver eyes, blue tongues and dozens of frog ponds teeming with tadpoles. It's a wonderful oasis for life.

At home what I've been making lately is one heck of a mess while finding and matching all my fabric pieces. There is reason for this-making upcycled fabric bags and skirts. The process, the discovering of how an vintage piece of barkcloth might match a discarded Japanese fabric calendar wallhanging-pulling apart and putting together, reminds me of gardening and it's endless cycling of nutrients-nothing goes away, rather is incorporated and dispersed in different ways.
happy crafting,