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,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crochet in the garden&botanical bookmarks

Weren't we lucky with the gorgeous weather for the 'whats cooking' Redcliffe botanical garden festival? 

I loved setting up the space in the quiet of the early morning light....

After pulling the couches and yarn bombing and blanket draping the whole area looked a lot like my own lounge room-but MUCH bigger and outdoors!

Lovely people came, young and old to play with yarn, explore crochet and try their hand at printing with plant colours...

It has to be one of my happiest days! Thanks to all who visited, loaned crochet blankets and helped make flowers and played with natural paints. Warm thanks especially to those generous souls Helen and Rebecca who helped both before and after the event! 
And below here are the natural paints and a flower pattern for you to continue at home :o)

The materials for the natural paints-
(All were boiled until squishy, mashed a bit with a potato masher to get the 'juice' out and strained, use the liquid for the paint. The the mush can go into the compost or worm farm)
gum leaves. 

The first three are ideal for toddlers as obviously it won't matter if they taste them! 

We used mint leaves, banksia leaves and pigeon pea pods and fingers to print with. 

This is the flower pattern I created for the Sunday mail article

Kates' five petal flower 

You will be able to make 2-3 flowers from a 50 gram ball of yarn.
The crochet pattern terminology for this flower pattern is American 
(UK treble=US Double crochet,  UK Half treble=US half double crochet)

Use a size 4 hook and 8 ply yarn.

Begin by making 5 chain.
Join with slip stitch to first chain to form ring.
Chain 2, 9 double crochet into ring(Total 10 double crochet in ring) Join to 2nd chain with slip stitch.
*Chain 3, skip double crochet, slip stitch into top of next double crochet. Repeat from * 4 times to create 5 loops.
Working into first loop make 1 single crochet, 1 half double crochet, 3x Double crochet, 1 half double crochet, 1 single crochet.
Repeat this 4 times. Slip stitch into the first single crochet, fasten off and weave in ends.

Happy creating!

Cheers Kate

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


So many many rainy days. Much time spent indoors, also 'in-tents' looking out.

And sometimes also indoors looking in!

Between showers we've been venturing out to find Koalas going cheap...
and lots of loveliness...

All the rain, the fallen leaves, the sudden bursts of sun the other day reminded me of some lovely
 Leonard Cohen lyrics, from 'anthem'

'ring the bells that still can ring,
forget your perfect offering,
there is a crack, a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in'


Friday, June 15, 2012

free pattern crochet gloves

Hello. Oh, how I love wearing crochet fingerless gloves and these are pretty easy to make and stretchy. 
Here is the pattern :o)

Classic crochet fingerless gloves

“crochet fingerless gloves”
These gloves have a nice stretch so they are great for a gift as the size need not be exact. An easy to use unisex pattern for adults and adaptation below for children.
For the childrens gloves I used a dash robin indigo hand dyed in 5ply
For the adults size gloves I used Patons classic wool in moonrock and
dash robin organic natural dyed grey in 8ply.

Supplies Needed for adult unisex
Size 5mm crochet hook
2x 50 gram balls or 1x 100 gram yarn
Pattern Notes
These classic fingerless gloves feature a subtle raised stripe created by  stitching only into the back stitch of every second row.
They are made up flat and sewn together with a gap for the thumb. They work very well in stripes, simply change colours as you like or as I have (alternating colours by sets of two rows.)

Special Stitches
No complex stitches are required. You need to be able to make a treble, half treble and know how to stitch into both the whole stitch and backstitch only.
Pattern for adults size
ch 32
Row 1
Skip first 2 chains and treble in each chain
Row 2
Turn, chain 2, treble into each treble along row
Row 3
Turn, chain 2, treble into backstitch only of each treble along previous row
Row 4
Turn, chain 2, treble into each treble along row
Row 5
Turn, chain 2, treble into backstitch only of previous row trebles
Rows 6-15
Follow instructions as for row 4, 5
Row 16
Turn, chain 2, half treble into each treble along, fasten off leaving a 30 cm length of yarn for sewing side seam.
Sew side seam for approximately 2 ½ cms, leave a 3 cm gap (for thumb) and then continue to sew the rest of the side seam together, fasten off and weave in end.
Repeat for second glove.
Childrens unisex classic fingerless gloves
Materials needed
Size 3.5 hook
5 ply yarn
ch 32
Row 1
Skip first 2 ch and treble into each chain along
Row 2
Turn, 2 chain, treble into each treble along
Row 3
Turn, chain 2, treble into backstitch only of each treble along previous row
Row 4
Turn, chain 2, treble into each treble along row
Row 5
Turn, chain 2, treble into backstitch only of previous row trebles
Rows 6-16
Follow instructions as for row 4, 5
Row 17
Turn, chain 2, half treble into each treble along, fasten off leaving a 30 cm length of yarn for sewing side seam.
Sew side seam for approximately 2 cms, leave a 2 ½  cm gap (for thumb) and then continue to sew the rest of the side seam together, fasten off and weave in end.
Repeat for second glove.

Please use this pattern only for your own personal use &please do not make these to sell.
Please link directly to my pattern if sharing.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy these gloves!

dash robin yarn and custom made gloves can be ordered for sale via

This grey and black striped pair are now in London gracing a friends' beloved brothers hands. 
And the childrens' sized ones are made with my hand dyed yarn for my youngest son. 
About time I made some for him!!

As the evenings have cooled here in subtropical Brisbane we are getting this!

The season isn't long here so I snap up any rhubarb I can when it's available. 

The colour is gorgeous-and when made into a crumble, with proper dollops of cream...all I can say is yum!

This rhubarb coloured hat was made with a vintage pattern for another friend...

Even my latest hand dyed yarn seems to have been inspired by rhubarb! 

And aside from baking and dyeing and making I have been reading/watching my way through this stack from the library...they're all very good!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

home industry

I passed this house in my old neighbourhood the other day, it's the highest high set I have ever seen. 
I wonder where the owners are while the re-building (after the flood) goes on? 
I hope they get home soon.

I am grateful, blessed and thankful to have a little cozy place to rest and work in, I thought I'd share a couple shots from my domestic and work space...

...bubbling cauldrons of goop! studio (a white sheet on the floor!)

and finally alpaca merino yarn after the shoot and editing!

as always, happy crafting

Thursday, May 17, 2012

comings and goings

The pop up shop outside Nook last Saturday was brilliant fun and very successful-left to right, me, Michelle and Chrissy. I love creating a display of any kind so organising all this on the day was just my cup of tea! 

A BIG change is afoot for me, having co-ordinated the Village life market for around a year and half I am moving on. My last stall and work day there will be this Sunday which will be a happy-sad day I'm sure.
The time has come to spread my wings and open some more doors, I am sooooo excited about having time on weekends to join other groups and activities-my first Sunday off is coincidentally the Qld spinners, weavers and fibre crafts guild open day!! 

It will be great to meet some more like minded locals-I love dyeing and crochet and have been busy as always with the usual hand dyed yarns and accessories. The above is my latest dyed batch of alpaca and merino blend...yummy!
I'm also working on some quite different and interesting custom orders and will have some exciting news to share about up coming projects soon.

The reverse garbage 'Salvage garden' exhibition opening on Saturday night was also pretty wonderful-so full of happy people and such beautiful art, over 60 different artists are represented!

Anyway, happy creating, xo Kate

Thursday, May 10, 2012

April goings on... :o)

I would like to live a gypsy lifestyle...this past month has been the kind I love...
I visited lovely people in Tasmania and enjoyed such varied fun as staying in a beach hut, attempting to not freeze stiff on Mt Wellington, going to see a roller derby and taking in the gorgeous sights of Russell falls and Peddar lake.

Earlier on in the month I got down to Victoria and took in the sights of rural Victoria, Daylesford, Ballarat, Greens lake, etc and had my first lesson in hand spinning woollen yarn on an Ashford wheel with my amazing aunty Isabel. 

While travelling and home I have been making up new stock for Village life market, Cultiver and Reverse Garbage and a pop up shop stall this weekend outside of Nook. For the latest R.G exhibition I used some recycled leather to create pendants and dyed some blankets to fashion into felt flowers...very stimulating to work within their guidelines of recycled content and the theme of "salvage garden.' 

 And the dyeing continues and evolves... I learn each time I dye that I need to learn more! I have borrowed my friends book eco dyeing by India Flint-it is beautiful and would be wonderful for textile artists who want to dye their own fabrics. This is some cotton yarn I dyed with eucalyptus and mordanted with iron to bring out a blue-grey colour.

Eco experiments aside my more modern dyeing projects are ongoing and I am loving the landscapes rainforest collection of fibre reactive dyes gifted to me by my aunty...hand dyed yarns whether they are chemicals from plants and metals or manufactured are soooo different to the colours you find in shop bought ones. There is just not the same bland conformity or sameness about hand dyes...they burst with life and bring my attention and focus to a steady place as the colours shift and deepen and lighten (as I work them up into crocheted items.) I love the variety and the uniqueness of each batch.

cheerio :o) Kate

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Here's some shots I took in Thread and seed's lovely to have such a special cafe in nearby Redcliffe.

 It's all decked out with a gorgeous blend of beautiful vintage furniture and stylish recycled eco friendly fittings.

I bought home this lovely owl necklace last week-it's one of Geraldines fantastic pieces of eco friendly sweet.

 I'm incredibly flattered because they are also including dash robin yarns and crafts in their store!

They make lovely coffee (from locally roasted beans) and have a great selection of organic teas and biscuits all served in beautiful retro crockery...what's not to love? :o)

(2014 update;this lovely cafe is no longer open)