Saturday 31 March 2007

bias tape

there we go... bias tape, properly stretchy, on the left, and the straight tape, accidentally produced with the same continuous method, on the right. See there was this hint in the instructions, that when you line up your lines and sew the tube, it'll seem like it's definetely going wrong, and that that is normal and that really you're doing it right. hm. i managed to do it wrong at that point! what does that say about me? i suppose i should have printed the instructions instead of just glancing at them and going "yeah, got it, makes perfect sense, won't need these at all"

anyhow, i have to say i think the bias tape maker is a brilliant gadget! the tape was so quick to make (especially the 2nd batch). the last time i used bias tape, i pieced it together from the leftover bits of fabric, and then ironed it with no help from fancy contraptions, i was swearing quite a bit!

as for 'continuous bias tape', what genius had enough spatial awareness to come up with this method! it's brilliant! it's a bit like these mobius bands that you learn about in maths.

for anybody else out there who hasn't tried that method: try this tutorial! by carol carvalho (fiberimages)

non-bias tape?

hm, i just spent ages trying out my new bias tape maker, and i looked up some different tutorials for continuous bias tape, but somehow i managed to end up with non-bias tape! It's not stretchy! i must have cut it the wrong way :-( i'll be grand for the draw strings in draw string bags, and for apron ties, and for anything straight edged, i suppose.

i think i will have to go back to the "drawing board" and start again with another fat quarter. good job i have a few that i don't mind cutting up, impulse ebay buys that werent quite what i had hoped for! in fact, i will cut up this one's twin (i remember getting all excited reading the ebay delivery notice that announced "as one of the fat quarters turned out too small i sent you two" and then it was the ugliest fabric in the package)

Friday 30 March 2007

yum cottage pie

we had delicious cottage pie last night! with a potato and turnip mash, with a hint of garlic and egg yolk, and beaten egg whites. we made two dishes, so we won't have to cook today! and the best thing is, by the time these came out of the oven the kitchen was already cleaned up, i love oven dishes for that.

Wednesday 28 March 2007


my ripple scarve is finished!

well... it's not blocked yet, and actually, it is a bit short and i am quite tempted to unravel and start again... but still, my first finished crochet project in the last 8 years or so! (the last one was a coin purse made from parcel string, lined with a scrap of checked cotton, i was a student on work experience in ireland at the time and had a sunday with no plans and a little bit of homesickness)

here a link to the the ripple along blog

i still have two balls of the cashmerinosilk and one merino, in a sage green, plus half a ball of the fuchsia merino. maybe i'll start another one and make it longer this time.? I only got 8 rows out of the grey at this length, so the next scarve would have to be narrower again... maybe somebody out there can tell me, the chain that you begin a crochet piece with, is there an equivalent (i.e. same width) for finishing? the two edges on the scarve aren't quite the same width because of the base chain.

and this is my first granny square (not counting the two that i unravelled)

i think i might keep going with this one for a little while longer, P's sister made a whole blanket out of one granny square! there are a few babies on the way amongst my friends and one might be a boy? maybe i should join the grannyalong?

apart from these, i made a veil, im not sure if i'll actually use it for my wedding but i needed to try it as the shops were charging at least 90€ for one! it was quite easy, i didnt finish the edge though, i don't know if i will and if i will i have no idea which type of edge will look best, i have to go home first (easter!) and see the dress again, cant wait!

i feel quite jetlagged, that one hour forward for daylight saving time threw me a little! my colleagues say their children are the same, i must be very immature for my 31 years! or maybe i just really dont like getting up early...

Sunday 25 March 2007


This morning, as i sat in my pyjamas on the settee, happily going through boxes of fabrics and ignoring the mess in the kitchen, P's brother and sister in law with their children turned up at the door! they had texted me 10 minutes before, but my phone was upstairs in the bedroom where i couldn't hear it and P didn't wake up.

I had had some ambitions of appearing to be a tidy sort of person that keeps a lovely and clean house, especially concerning my future family in law, and so far the pretence has worked, as all P's relatives live 2 hours away! But I'm so busted... They had stayed in a hotel yesterday, for a weekend break, and I was vaguely aware of them maybe coming over in the afternoon, but I had expected a call and a half hour or so to tidy up and do the dishes...

Anyhow, after I got over the initial shock, got everybody a coffee and P stumbled out of bed as well, we had a nice day, booked their flights and car for our wedding, played the wii and later went to the seaside, for a walk on the beach, the playground and some nice grub.

This evening i got to take out those fabrics again and one of the things i made was a quick hooks and needles roll (the needles clattering onto the floor as i was trying to discreetly tidy away things, made me feel the need for one)

it's most of the back of a felted jumper and some cotton from ebay, the thing folds into thirds and then ties with the attached pink rick rack.

I'm not sure if i love or hate working with felt, i worry a lot about my sewing machine and it gets uneven so easily, and it can be very frustrating, but it's such a lovely material!

The other things i made are the little camera case below inspired by this all-buttoned-up post , also made from a felted jumper, and a little matching cotton bag for the cable and tripod. the case is really soft and thick, it should protect the camera quite well. how well the felt will survive in my messy handbag is a different story.

I think for the rest of the evening i will just work on my crochet scarve a little more, I might even finish it! The house is returned to an acceptable state, we're going to get some pizza and there are still a few beers in the fridge... isn't life lovely sometimes?

Saturday 24 March 2007

do you ever go into the garden just to have a look around

and end up with hands like this?

i find it very hard to stop once i'm out there pulling at this weed, deciding to move that little plant to a better spot... i ended up raking over all the bald patches in the lawn and spreading compost and organic fertiliser and grass seeds. then p raked it all in and watered the whole thing. it's lucky we have such a small garden!

cup of tea and some sunflower seed bread with mirabell jam, and the last bit of comte cheese

and this evening, while p was next door to play our neighbour's nephew's playstation 3 i made a glasses case for my workmate Ger, from a piece of her donated wooly jumper, that i felted a few weeks ago. the wool, a deep purpley navy, has orange specks, so i used orange stranded cotton to assemble the outer pieces and the lining (recycled T-shirt, nice and soft, won't scratch the glasses) with blanket stitch, then i added the orange
design on the front. i really should learn some basic embroidery stitches, this is just the normal sewing stitch.

Friday 23 March 2007

crochet scarve


my wavey crochet scarve is coming along nicely. it's nearly twice as wide now and i'm running out of grey, it's going to be a narrow scarve i think, so that the fuchsia edges come out nicely when it's worn. when it's finished i will have used a little under two 50g balls grey, plus the pink edges.

i haven't done much else craftwise, although i bought some cotton onesies, size newborn, and I am going to attempt to appliquee (or freezer paper stencil) on them, my friend B just announced she's going to have a baby in autumn! so i have a bit of time for experimenting.

Friday 16 March 2007


i caught the ripple fever... looking at all those great ripple blankets out there made me really really want to try it myself!

i'm using this really lovely yarn called sublime, it has cashmere, merino and silk! i don't really do any knitting/crochet, but started to learn again, with cheap acrylics. ( I wanted to knit a small afghan for the sofa but got a wine stain on it halfway through and am stuck now wondering whether i should unravel back to the stain or not) Now the need to ripple has taken over but when i saw the sublime in the wool shop (where i was going to get a hook and some yarn to keep me occupied on a 3 hour train journey) i couldn't resist and thought quality before quantity, bought just two balls and i will make a scarve rather than a blanket! probably a better idea seeing as i am just starting. i can see now why people get hooked on knitting and crochet, it's such a pleasure working with 'good' materials!

i started with looking closely at yarnstorm and posie gets cosy ' blogs and started off with decreasing by skipping a stitch, very unsatisfactory results! then had a bit of a nightmare looking up the web tutorials for decreasing double crochet. mostly because there is a significant difference between british and american dc that i was unaware of! i found a tutorial, started all over doing the british thing (thinking i was wrong doing what i was doing) but noticed soon i wouldn't get anywhere fast because it was such a thick and tight stitch - then realising that i hadn't been wrong at all, just working american instead of UK, so i unravelled again and now i have about 1.5 row of dc, with the proper decreases and increases! i will add some photos to this later! i had some help from keri at and now i'm pretty sure i'm doing it 'right'!

Thursday 8 March 2007


felted jumpers, waiting for bag inspiration

this apron is from the charity shop, it looks like it was a school project, the seams are quite uneven. unfortunately it has a little stain. Will I cut it up? or try to get out the stain? although it doesn't really fit me, it's a bit small.

these are cotton shirts that i cut up for fabrics, the pink one's my favourite. they are partly from the charity shop and partly donated by P. I might make some more bibs from them,

this is another charity shop find, a big polycotton (that's what 50/50 polyester and cotton is called, right?) duvet, washed many many times, a lovely soft feel to it. i think it might make pretty lining for a tote bag. although all the wool fabrics i have wouldn't really go with pale brown and dusky pink on cream background. i think dark brown soft corduroy would work well though!

i can't claim credit for these, my mum made them for me ages ago, she wen't on a course. they are not pieced but attached to this foundation fabric that has pre printed squares, so it's easier to get the squares at the right angles. she made a good few of these at a course, and also some small star shaped tablecloths, for christmas, they are done on a different foundation fabric, with 30 degree angles on it.

the photos are taken with the new camera that p. got me as a surprise. it's a small compact camera, i haven't quite figured it out yet, it doesn't always seem to be focusing, it's supposed to from 50cm or further. but the menu is well layed out and it has a lot of handy functions. it's also much quieter than my old one (which was a bad value very basic olympus i bought out of the pure frustration of my lovely canon powershot breaking after the warranty was up and i didn't have a lot of money to spend, a bad buy. i should know better, it's probably like spontaneously going to the hairdresser!)

Sunday 4 March 2007

Lunar Eclipse

We had a lunar eclipse tonight, i tried to photograph it but my current camera isn't great...

No other news, no new crafty things, although I did cut out two more sets of smock bibs, from the same cotton shirt. I hope the appliquee will work better this time, not quite as short a stitch length maybe!