Monday, November 26, 2012

In the little lady's service

Lately, my craft time has been in the service of the little lady. She keeps talking me into making things for her, and she's terrible persistent about bugging reminding me to finish them.

Here's a crochet bag, to hold the little lady's dance shoes.  The flower and butterfly are from 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet.

Also, a doll, aptly named 'Dolly'. The pattern is from the Wee Wonderfuls book.

I'm trying to knit a book bag for the little guy, but I put in a single line of pink, and now I'm having trouble convincing him that it's 'manly' enough.  He says that he only wants things in 'boy-ishy' colours.  Sigh.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

German heart

I was surfing and came across alamonabeads blog.  I was smitten with the heart, found the pattern and discovered it was in German (Rollendes Atelier).  The free patterns had lots of diagrams, so I crossed my fingers and ordered a kit.  I figured if I can work Japanese tatting patterns, I can figure German beading diagrams.

The kit got here last week.  After a few false starts and consults with Google translate, here's the result.

There's a ribbon tied slap-dash on it because I was determined to wear it today, TODAY!  So, I've been jaunting through KL with a heart on a ribbon tied around my neck.  I don't know if I looked good, but I was certainly happy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blocking blunders

I finished the Nora Benporath doily. It's been a while since I've worked on a traditional doily with a smaller thread, so I was not as careful as I should have been with joining picots and long chains.  So, blocking was painful.

I ironed it.  It looked wonky.  I laid it out between napkins and stacked books on top.  It still looked uneven.  Finally, I grit my teeth and pin blocked.  It wasn't perfect, but it looked OK.  Then, the little lady grabbed it, said it was pretty and crumpled it in her little hand so she could carry it around.  I nearly cried.  I can't bear to pin block again, so here it is.

On a happier note, her are some more hair clips.  They're like potato chips; I can't seem to stop at one.

The heart pattern is from My Daily bead.  The bottom ones are beaded bezels.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lace Mat progress

The Norma Benporath lace mat continues. My pre-made clovers are getting attached.  I live in fear that one will get lost.  Two down, six to go.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hair, hair, hair clips

The hair clips continue.  I'll just keep making these until I run out of clips.

These are little beaded balls I learned to make from MyDailyBead. I got a headache learning to make these as learning from videos drives me nuts. Still, these are so cute, I can't stop making them.

These crochet flowers with rose buttons are the little lady's current favourite. They match her preschool uniform nicely.

The next three were a birthday gift for one of my daughter's dance class friends. The blue flowers are crochet with gold buttons.

The ballerina is a crochet applique from EverLaughter. I showed it to the little lady as I put it in her friend's gift bag. Then I had to make a solemn promise that I'd make one for her.

The last set are these spiky paper bead clusters. They remind me a bit of durian.

The lace mat is coming along.  I'll get a picture for the next post.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tatting along

Jon has a great list of people taking part in the Norma Benporath tat-along.  I've had some very nice comments (which I enjoy tremendously).  I feel rather guilty, since I'm not very good at leaving comments on other blogs, although I like looking.  Hmm, perhaps 'comment more' would be a good resolution for the new year.

Here's the mat, at the beginning of round 3.  After the giant, multi-coloured size 10 doily, I decided to use plain white size 40.  The big old hand is in the picture for scale.

I've also finished this button necklace designed by Sally Kerson.

It's a colourful necklace, but I keep rifling through my closet trying to figure out what to wear it with.  I admire Sally Kerson and Jane Eborall's ability to make things they actually wear.  For me, the brain cells that choose clothes, and the ones that choose craft patterns, live in very different parts of the brain.  Apparently the crafting cells have more fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bits and pieces

I'm feeling a bit scatter-brained today, so it's time for a scatter-brained post.

First, 8 little clovers for Jon's Lace Mat Tat-along.  The amazing Jon is updating and charting a series of vintage tatting patterns. I'm doing mine backwards, clovers first.

Next, the hair clip plan in progress. The pansies are from 100 Flowers to knit and crochet by Lesley Stanfield.  The clips are wrapped in ribbon and the decorations are stitched on.  No glue.

Next, my new favourite skirt.  See the pretty colours!  It flares too, just enough to twirl.  Big girls like to twirl too.

Lastly, two baju raya, one baju melayu for my big guy and one kebarung for the little lady.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hair clip plan

Little lady's hair keeps falling into her face.  So, the plan is to turn all these unused little bits into hair clips.  It needs to be done quickly, preferably before she turns into a teenager, decides to dress all in black, and declares flowers to be out of fashion.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Done doily

I finished the Clover doily by Eileen Stafford weeks ago but in the my usual style, it took me that long to hide the ends and iron it.

Here it is.  I had plans to sew it onto a nice linen tote bag.  The thing is, it's made with size 10 thread, so it's 40cm (15 inches) across.  I think I'd better use a gym bag instead of a tote bag.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beads and tatting

I've been learning to make tat beaded turtles, and it's been a lot of fun, but I'm not comfortable sharing on the blog, so no pictures.  The tat beaded turtles have got me interested in other types of bead work.  Here's what I've been making.

These are cheap plastic crystals with beaded bezels put on them.  I love it when cheap material and a little craftiness make for such a fun result.  I haven't decided what to do with them yet.  Hair clips? Brooches?  Fancy buttons?

The doily progresses, stitch by monotonous stitch.  I've reached the final row, and I'm struggling with the thread colours.  This is hand dyed thread, made by my kids the last time the dye pots were out.  There is no more to be had, so I have to mix and match as I can.  We'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

'Quick' embroidery

Last weekend was full of kids activities.  Kid activities means sitting around waiting.  If I sit around with idle hands, I lose my temper, so I decided to do some quick embroidery.  Embroidery is great when my hands can move, but there's not enough peace for counting.

I always forget that I'm not very good at embroidery, so even simple projects take a week to finish.  Here are the bits I was working on.  These are from the 'Dress up' and 'Spaced out' patterns by Jenny Hart at 'Sublime Stitching'.

I'm planning to make little bags out of them, one for the little lady, one for the big guy.  I wonder how long it will take me to actually finish those bags?  Hmm, I think I'll just avoid thinking about that right now.  The big thing I learned making these is that I"m too old to be embroidering dark fabric.  It's hard to transfer patterns to it, my eyes don't like it, and it photographs badly.

While I'm on the subject, I thought I'd share some of my kiddos' embroidery.

This was made by my little guy when he was about 6 (This is the 'Mom' pattern is from Leanne at DLTK's Crafts for Kids).  No, I didn't make him choose that pattern.  He chose it himself.  He's a sweet kid.  I helped him with the lettering and the heart (we made a mistake and ended up accidentally changing the letters).  He did the flowers and border himself.

This is his latest embroidery (again from 'Spaced out' by Jenny Hart).  He's almost 8 and he's now tackling back stitches.  He threaded his own needles and tied his own knots.

This is the little lady's from when she was 4.  This is not her first.  On her first piece, she stitched the embroidery hoop into the cloth and I had to cut it apart to get the hoop free.

This is her latest piece.  She's almost 6 now.  She says it's a house; her very own design, displayed in her own frame.  She can be pretty independent.  About all I did is hoop the fabric and show her how to thread the needle.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Years in the making

I finished the last little amigurumi for my son.  This is the Cleric from Christen Haden's 'Creepy Cute Crochet'.

With the completion of this little guy, I can now take a picture that has been years in the making.

This is every model in 'Creepy Cute Crochet'.  I bought the book when it was first published (back in 2008).  My brother suggested that I make '300 Spartans' (The Spartan is second from the right, top row).  I declined.  My son flipped through the pages, picking out the one he wanted me to make.  I jokingly told him we could make all of them, and arrange them on the piano, just like in the book.

The little guy took me seriously.  So every few months since then, he's asked me for another model.  Now, 4 years later, he has his full set.  He even setup up the photo shoot for me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tatting and Head stuffing for WIPW

For no particular reason, I'm showing tatting pictures first today. The row I was working on is done, and I'm working on the next one (Clover doily by Eileen Stafford).  This is the row that nearly broke my will when I made the first doily, so I'm drinking a lot of coffee and resolutely tatting one motif at a time.

The little lady has been getting all the amigurumi goodies lately, so I decided to start something for the big guy.  Here's what I have so far.  It's one of the characters (not sure which character yet) from 'Creepy Cute Crochet' by Christen Haden.

The big guy is almost 8 and is going through the 'gruesome little boy' phase.  I half suspect he would like a decapitated head more than a finished product.

Like last week, I'm linking up to Tami's Ami's WIPW.  There are lots of lovely things there, so please visit.

I actually finished last week's WIP, just not in time for FO Friday.  Here's the finished neck nuzzler.

 The little lady loves it so much she has actually worn it around her neck a few times.  This is a tropical country.  You sweat buckets in anything heavier than t-shirt cotton.  Wearing a scratchy wool/acrylic thing around your neck is a true sign of love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIPW: Bunny neck nuzzler

It's been a while since I've participated in Tami's Ami's WIP Wednesdays.

I thought I'd get back to it, since I am the little lady's amigurumi making slave as long as she is still a little lady.

Here's the latest.  It's the Neck Nuzzler from Knitting Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec.  I am dreading doing the duplicate stitch for the pink ear patches.  Why do I dread it?  I like embroidery!  I like hand stitching!  What is it about finishing that weakens a crafter's knees?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sewn skirts and tatted blobs

Here's the latest of the little lady's handmade clothes. It's a little skirt.

I'm almost embarrassed to show the next picture, but I will, as an exercise in humility. Here's a closeup.  That's supposed to be a french seam.  The big guy wanted to 'help' with the sewing machine, and this is the result.  Sigh.  Oh well, 'help' is sort of good...

Next is the tatted blob.  Sadly, it doesn't look much different from the last time.  The blob is another clover doily by Eileen Stafford.  As I was working on the previous doily, I fell for that trick of perception that happens when working on round things.  The first few rows take so little time.  Those first rows are sooo easy.  Why don't you use up your stash and make two!  It's too easy to forget that rows get longer as circles get bigger.

Still, I'm determined to finish this.  I even drew myself a little motivational progress diagram.  The coloured parts are the rows that are done.

Sigh, I have a long, long, long way to go.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I've got aliens dancing in my head, with a Sting song in the background.

Here's the alien.  It's the 'Fuzzy Alien' from Christen Haden's 'Creepy Cute Crochet' book.  Since I didn't have any fuzzy yarn, he's actually a multi-colour alien, not a fuzzy one.

The Sting song is 'Englishman in New York'.

What's the connection?  It's the chorus;

     I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien....

I can't get the chorus out of my head, so I thought I might as well share.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ribbon Flower Tutorial

A friend of mine showed me a little hair clip with a ribbon flower and asked me how to make it.  There are many, many ways to make ribbon flowers, but here's the method I want to share today.  If I find some willpower, maybe I'll share some more.

Step 1: Start with a a piece of 1 inch ribbon and a 50sen coin.  (This method is most useful for Malaysians).  For a 1/2 inch ribbon, use a 20sen coin.

Step 2: Put the ribbon on the table with the shiny side down. Using the 50sen coin as a guide, draw a petal on the back side of the ribbon.  Keep drawing petals until you get 5-6 petals all in a row.
Step 3:  Leave a bit of space, then cut the ribbon after the last petal.

Step 4: Take a longish piece of thread and tie a quilter's knot in it.  Just wrap the thread around the needle.  Pinch the part of the needle wrapped with thread between your fingers.  Pull the needle through and tighten to make a knot.

Step 5:  Starting from the right, do a running stitch along the petals.  Make sure to stitch almost to the edge of the ribbon

 Step 6: Keep stitching, pulling the stitches as you go until you get to the end. The petals will ruffle up as you pull.

 Step 7:  When the last petal is done, tuck the ends of the ribbon upward.  Stitch the ends together.  Take a few stitches through the center, to hold everything together.  Tie off the thread and cut it.
Step 8: Turn the flower over and embellish the center with buttons or beads.  Tadaa, the flower is done!