Monday, January 30, 2012

hand spun capelet

Guess who seems a little jealous of my recent east coast travels? I found my cat Tripitaka curled up in a postage pack, don't cats just love cardboard, huh? 

Folks who follow will be pleased to know I did finish the crochet bag. It is currently in use as a library book bag but I will take a piccy and update soon. 

I am now making a capelet and am utterly relishing using these gorgeous hand spun natural yarns which Sitara gave me...she bought them from places as diverse as Findhorn in Scotland and Madison, in the U.S...actually just thinking about her trip makes me want to climb into a post pack too!

I would love to see the sheepies which grew this beautiful coloured wool. And, of course, stock up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

weeding and gift making

We have had rain bucketing down here the past few days so the ground is totally and completely sodden at my place. I took the opportunity to pull out some fish bone fern which grows around the back of my house. I also broke apart some comfrey growing nearby and popped in chunks of root where the soil was bare and loose.
The lovely border of comfrey began as a piece of comfrey root given by a permaculture friend.  It's awesome seeing it take off in the garden to the point where now I would be able to give some away too...

Apart from weeding I am making some crochet gifts for friends from a pattern on ravelry called twitterpation.
If you are on ravelry say hello-my name on it is dash-robin.

The yarn I'm using is a gorgeously rich multi dyed one hand dyed with some help from a lovely friend-I love the yarn 100%  but think the random colours cause the ripple pattern to get a bit lost?!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

works in progress...

I'm playing along with the lovely kootoyoo my creative space and I wanted to have a picture of a complete crochet string bag to put on here. But as so often happens I got nearly to the finish and started something new...and now I feel really uninspired to get back to this bag-even though there is only a few rows and sewing up to go.

I want to start new things rather than finish this one-with the result of quite a lot of nearly finished stuff gathering dust! Sigh. Does anyone else struggle with this? What do you do to re ignite your interest in a unfinished project? Would love to hear your thoughts...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

lunch bags!

I saw this great cloth lunch bag tutorial on whip up today and had to have a go....

As my back yard might illustrate it certainly isn't outdoors weather!!

Anyway, good day for sewing! So the instructions are very clear, I have made reversible bags before so that made it easier for me.

I used materials from my stash...workshop leftovers, op shop scores and gifts from friends.

 The buttons were one recycled timber button made from silky oak and a kids plastic necklace pendant, part of a stash from one of my mums crafty friends.
I made the loops for the buttons out of crocheted yarn scraps.

 I know that my boys will use the green one but I think the yellow will be mine ;o)

happy creating,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

moth and curtain

I found this moth resting on the back of my curtain yesterday. I thought its silhouette looked amazingly beautiful...

The poor thing must have needed shelter as it has rained solidly here for the past couple days, 98mm in this area already and still coming...this is the view of the other side :o)


Monday, January 23, 2012

free economy-sharing

 I have a friend Lindy who makes delicious healthy food under the business name Satori which she supplies to cafes in our area.

She asked me to take some photos for her-what do you think? I wanted them to convey how fresh and natural her ingredients are. 

I like taking photos even though I am not trained in it and am sustained by being able to do things just for the joy of it. 

I spoke at Turnstyle which is a community space in Highgate hill late last year about dyeing. The talk was for a group called freeconomy (free+economy) and so I spoke about free or very cheap dye stuffs.

Afterwards I tried out these ceylon spinach berries. 

When cooked in hot water with some wool I got a very pale pink shade. A friend of mine tried the berries on cotton and it didn't work at all.
I have not tested it for lightfastness but suspect it won't be very permanent. 
The main thing I have learnt from mucking around with dyes and natural materials is how complex it is! 
There are some great resources out there though to make it easier....
heres some blogs;
naturally dyeing   beautiful photography
re skilling with dye  fascinating and diverse
dyeing tutorial for gum barks  very clear instructions/photos for yarn dyeing with eucalyptus
Dyeing with Eucalyptus  notes with information on mordants
inspiration India Flints website

One book I recommend is
The handbook of natural plant dyes by Sandra Duerr
I have to mention though some of the dye effects are perhaps exaggerated I think in the book-I'd suggest if you go in expecting subtle natural results you won't be disappointed.

Are there any books or resources for sharing skills which you find helpful? What do you enjoy doing or sharing?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

happy new year

Hello, happy new year! What's 2012 going to hold? I'm sure that I am not sure o.O Hopefully visits to more sites like these?

 I visited a lovely friend (heya Mel) yesterday and said I really didn't know what I wanted to do this year. She gave me a high five... *SO* happy... 

I am thankful for big hearted beautiful friends, family, for love. I want to travel again because I love being out of cities and I want to live lightly on the earth. What do you want? What are you thankful for?  Maybe you want a free cute owl calender ;o) ...go here to mix and match some cute pictures to print out.