Embroidery hoop art

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There are some things you just can’t do when you’re a cat owner. 

One of these things is having a tea cup on your bed side table as a jewelry holder. 

Cats will jump on it causing the clinking of China to wake you up at 4am on a Saturday. It may be pretty but sleep does come first. 

So I needed to hang my jewelry out of cats reach.

I am pretty obsessed with embroidery hoops so I picked out a couple in my crafty stash which I had painted and put away for future use.  

I took some fabric also from stash, secured it in the hoop, cut around the back, and poked some earrings into it!   

 

Then I screwed a couple of hooks into the wall and hung them. 

 Then I screwed a couple more hooks behind the embroider hoop to hang some of my necklaces on. (If you’re renting or don’t have walls that you can put holes into, 3M command hooks work as well.) 

   

 

 This has got to be one of easiest DIY I’ve ever done. 

  

I now know that I’m missing some earrings which I’ll have to track down. And I found some that I need to return to their original owner! 

It also has the added bonus of being almost entirely from stash, keeps my necklaces untangled, and looks pretty cute to boot. That makes it a winner in my book. And the cats aren’t really all the interested!

   

 

 

Fun with permanent markers

Possibly my favourite part of grocery shopping is checking out the stationery section.

It’s not even a whole aisle but depending on what’s in stock you can usually find something interesting, new, or pretty.

Recently I spotted some metallic sharpies and they somehow slipped and found their way into my basket!

I sat down on the couch with some glass jars, some coloured permanent markers, got comfy and started experimenting.

My drawing didn’t go too well. The glass was slippery, my drawing skills are limited, and once you draw on the glass it doesn’t come off!

I experimented with text by taping the design on paper and sticking it to the inside of the jar.
That was not easy. It was fiddly, I didn’t have enough light, and half way through the paper moved.

I had the most success when I went to basics. Horizontal lines and geometric patterns. They’re my strong suits. Nothing too tricky but striking.

 

        

I then ran out of jars, so I moved on to the pot I use as a yarn bowl. I had bought it from the hardware store with a little plant because I thought I’d try my hand at keeping 1 solitary plan alive.
I was quickly informed by the gardener in the relationship that the pot was too small for the plant.

So it’s been holding my yarn ever since.
Using the gold metallic sharpie I gave it a scalloped top.

  

It was exactly how I thought I’d spend my friday night, but there you go.

Oh and naturally I filled the jars with pompoms because that’s how I roll.

PS for those readers who use feedly or by email. I’ve redecorated! Come have a look and tell me what you think?

We may be able to work it out, but just in case we can’t I wouldn’t get your hopes up

It started off so well.

– The colour is beautiful (why thank you I dyed it myself),
– The cat photobombing is freakin adorable
– The mindless garter is perfect watching all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in one night,

and then came the lace……. (use your most ominous tone. I suggest the voice of Cecil Baldwin)

The pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alandar and it’s lovely. The pattern is well set out, the finished pictures look great, and even the finished items from other people look great.

So why oh why am I having so much trouble with this?

There’s only one answer I can come up with.
I can’t count.

Maybe my pre-primary teacher felt sorry for me and passed me instead of holding me back.

Perhaps by the time I was in high school doing calculus my parents had written letters to my teachers warning them to not shatter my illusions of being able to count.

Is this like my colour vision and I’m just suddenly realising that actually there is no such number as the number 7 and it’s all a figment of my imagination?

I honestly believed I could count, but for some bizarre unknown reason whenever I do any kind of counting in this pattern it doesn’t add up. (Pun well and truly intended.)

I counted 3 times (if there even is a number three) that I had the correct number of stitches before starting the first lace part.

Even after the first row I had the right number of stitches left and followed the chart exactly.
But the lace section just does not look right. It’s nothing like the pictures and I can’t work out how.

Then (and this is some seriously wack shit…. ) I counted the number of stitches I had AFTER completely the lace section and I had LESS than what the pattern said I should have had BEFORE I started the lace section?? But I still have increased the pattern????? (All my twitter followers have just had a collective moment of ‘OHHH!!! That’s what Bek was yelling about last night!”)

I just don’t know. I really don’t. I’m flummoxed.

It’s definitely not getting frogged. In spite of my inability to count I’m still in love with it already.
I shall call it a design feature and flaunt it.

Here’s hoping that we can work it out for the second repeat!

  

finished object 5 with 100% more ratbags

Well it’s actually finished object 6 but as finished object 5 is currently winging its way overseas and I stupidly don’t have any proper photos of it, I’m calling this finished object 5.

 

It will need a good blocking but my blocking mats are currently play toys for the two (yes two) kitten shaped ratbags that have decided they now own our house.

Say hello to Snow.

 

He and Tina are sort of playing nicely with each other. Currently they’re both resting at my feet while I’m writing this in between trying to defeat a boss in Dragon Age 2.  (Which hell yes I just beat!! Last quest and I’ve been battling this Blood Mage, a Pride Demon and a fuckton of Shades for what seems like hours but yeh I finally beat them!!!)

Tina just blends in with everything in our house. But trust me she is there.

So there are plenty of kitty hugs to go round at the moment.

I wound my cling wrap dyed yarn into a ball and it looks just as gorgeous as it did in the skein.

 

However both kitten shaped ratbags were utterly captivated by the swift and ball winder. Plus Snow photo bombed my yarn shot.

I think I can expect more of that in the future!!! As a friend said, I’ve just invited two cats into a yarn palace!!! What have I done.

FO # 4 – crickety cricket shawl + talk about doctors. 

I feel like there is so much happening at the moment that’s a secret. 

I have secret tutorials happening, secret patterns that I’m writing and editing, secret projects for friends who read this so I’m totally not telling!!!!

There has been a lot happening, but not much I can blog about.

Fortunately my health is going really well! For those who missed my Twitter meltdown I had a really shitty appointment with my pain management specialist where I ended up dumping him. So I went to my GP who is lovely and actually takes time to listen to me and prescribe me new medications that won’t conflict with current medications (unlike said specialist). 

So the new medication I’m on is helping me feel like a person who can actually sit on the couch without rubbing her neck in pain. Albeit a drowsy person, but I can deal with that. Knitting needles aren’t classed as heavy machinery. 

Anyways I have finished an object that I can show you. 

The yarn is the 5th doctor in YarnvsZombies Doctor Who yarn club. As the 5th doctor being known for his cricket vest I wanted a cable pattern that I could call my crickety cricket shawl (the designer called it storm warning.)

My name comes from the Children in Need special Time Crash where the 5th Doctor and the 10th Doctor meet. 

“The hat the coat, the crickety cricket look, the stick of celery….. Brave choice celery, not many people can pull off a decorative vegetable.”

Kiki (the mastermind behind YarnvsZombies) cleverly included the decorative celery in the yarn. 

It makes for a really gorgeous shawl. It was a breeze to knit up, the yarn is supersquishy and lovely. Once I got a hang of the pattern, including putting in an extra stitch marker to help me count, it went really quickly.

I love this shawl and cannot wait for it to get cold enough to wear it. 

I got a grand total of one shot of me, in the aircon, before it got too hot to wear. And unfortunately eeyore doesn’t have the figure to model a shawl!!!







 

Kitty cats, crafternoons, and alternate universes. 

So many exciting things I am going to split them over two posts!!!

I have one more quest before I’m finished (well getting to the credits) of Dragon Age 2. 

Then I can start Dragon Age Origins. Because the obvious way to play video games is play them in reverse release order. Still I’ve nearly finished 2 video games! I think I’ve only ever finished one other game previously which was Final Fantasy 7. 

I’ve been doing a lot of cool knitting and crochet related stuff which you’ll find about soon enough, but that’s strictly need to know at the moment. (I feel really super cool just being able to say that. It’s the small things.)

I had a lovely crafternoon picnic hosted by the lovely Lisa of teaandcrafts (and recently Frankie magazine fame!!!!) and some other Perth crafty ladies. PLUS PLUS PLUS!!!!! I got some crafty presents including the coolest cup! 

Her drawings are super cute and I love it so much. It’s just purrfect. It’s a cat with glasses, polkadots, purple hair and knitting. Sound like anyone you know ☺️





I already have some ideas up my sleeve for a thank you gift! 

I’m predicting an ongoing exchange of thank you pressies. 

I also got a lovely package of goodies from Megan from crafternoon nap





Look I’m even wearing matching socks! 





Seriously crafty people are the best!!!

How cool is this scarf?! It has a slip in the pattern which makes it into a sort of tie. It’s super awesome. (I had to show off the dragon earrings I made for myself at the same time.)

I’ve absolutely zipped through Lois Lowry’s – The Giver series. I bought them on a whim before a doctors appointment. One of favourite book shops is right near my doctors office. I use book buying as a treat for going to the doctor.

I read all 4 in one weekend! They are aimed at children so the print is large and they are short, but the concepts are pretty big. Definitely thought provoking. 

I definitely have a bad case of the reading bug because Thursday I plucked Night Circus off the bookshelf on a whim and proceeded to read in one whole night. I did not stop. It was one of those books that I made and ate dinner with one hand so I could keep reading. 

I was only planning on a few chapters while HWFishes was watching an episode of Top Gear that I didn’t want to watch. Ended up with the whole evening with a nose in a book. 

Somehow I’ve managed to save the most exciting news for last. 

There is now a new addition to our household. Everyone say hello to Tina! 





Tina after my cartoon hero, Tina Belcher. 



She’s an absolute cutie that we adopted from our local vet. Currently her home is my crafty room which is the cleanest it’s ever looked. We’ll try and gently introduce herself to the rest of the house.

She’s 14 weeks, adorable, and has taken quite a liking to under the spare bed. She’s already exploring and adventurous. And loves reading over my shoulder. Cute as a button.







Well that’s enough for now. Maybe next time I’ll talk about knitting! 

Led down a rabbithole

So I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts Talk the Talk and they mentioned Google Ngram which searches an incredibly large selection of books and then graphs how many times they were used over time.
Inevitably, given how many things are on my to-do list at the moment, I spent way too much time typing in random words from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and other fandoms to see what came up. Muggle was used as early as the 1800s and TARDIS spiked in the 1820s.

Naturally this piqued my interest and I had to test out some knitting words.

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Knitting and embroidery are significantly more widely used than crochet.
Tunisian crochet and loom knitting turned up no results.
Finger knitting started to turn up in 1960 and machine knitting started in 1880 with a huge spike in usage around 1940.

Then I fell down the rabbit hole and started comparing needle types, sock construction, colour work, basically all the knitting specific words I could think of.

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At first glance it looks like toe up is more well used than cuff down. Then I dug a little deeper and looked at the books with references to Toe Up. I went through 3 pages and not one reference to knitting.
I don’t think this graph will be able to settle the toe up vs cuff down debate!

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That really sharp spike of DPN in 1960? “Diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPN) : DPN, formerly known as coenzyme I,* contains one residue each of adenine and nicotinic acid amide, and two each of ribose and phosphoric acid.”
So again, nothing to do with knitting just pure coincidence. Maybe don’t talk about lending your DPNs to a scientist. They might just get very confused.

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Without DPN to skew the graph axis, it becomes clearer that circular needles entered the scene around 1860 and double pointed needles around 1940. I tried guessing what correlations there could be with words like circular knitting, knitting in the round, world war, and measles but none of them had a similar spike. I had a vague idea that I could just stumble on a spurious correlation but it wasn’t to be.

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Fair Isle has been around since the 1800s, but Intarsia appeared in 1850 and Entrelac slightly later in 1905. Or at least the word has been in usage since those times.

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And then just for fun I typed in three different spellings of polka-dots just to see which usage is most popular.

Turns out polkadots it is.
There you go! I still like polka-dots. It appeals to me aesthetically.

Graphs are fun!

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So much yarn so little time

I feel like I’m trying to knit everything all at once!!!

I have my Sunshine Shawl making good progress after watching Australia beat England and India beat Pakistan over the weekend.

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Then I am so close to finishing my crickety cricket scarf it’s just beckoning for me to finish it, even if that means staying up all night (which I am vehemently resisting but a girl is only so strong!)
I’m definitely on the home stretch.

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Then there are my spirally socks. I’ve just turned the heel which means that these are also nearly finished. I’ve already planned the next project for my sock needles.

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Then this shawl has gone missing and I’m systematically turning the house upside down looking for it.

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And then there’s also this yarn that I dyed and just can’t stop petting.

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More about that later…. When I have time!!!!

There’s still Dragon Age 2 that I’m trying to finish, and Mass Effect 3 which I’m really starting to get hooked on, plus the desire to play Dragon Age Inquisition which I have played until the final quest but there is still so much I need to do!
And so many feelings!!!!

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Plus you know a full time job, plotting for birthday presents & surprise mail, and some big ideas for my blog.

I need a nap just thinking about it.

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Cricket World Cup craft-along!!!

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or somewhere other than a cricket playing nation), tomorrow begins six weeks of one day international cricket!!!!! And culminating with Australia the best country taking away the Cricket World Cup.

It’s set to be a cracking 6 weeks and it kicks off tomorrow with Australia v England at the MCG. And what goes hand in hand with cricket watching? Cider Crafting.

The Knit Before Wicket group on Ravelry has a Cricket World Cup craft-along.
1) the item(s) needs to be started during the World Cup
2) the item(s) need to be finished before the end of the World Cup
3) it has to be some way cricket related or themed.

Some of the projects that people are suggesting are just awesome! There’s plans for jumpers in Aussie colours, some Black kiwi socks, and even a designer who is making a cricket vest inspired cabled scarf.

Me? I received the 8th Doctor yarn from YarnvsZombies and it’s perfect!!!!! Not only from a Doctor Who perspective, but it’s green and gold with sparkly flecks.

So I shall be casting on a shawl tomorrow, while watching the cricket.
If anyone else wants to join in the fun look out for us on Ravelry, plus on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #CWCcraftalong.

Personally I just can’t wait to see what this becomes!!!!

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FO3 – It nearly all went aSKEW

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I absolutely love this pattern.
And I really love these socks.
I zipped through these in almost record time too. Mostly because the construction was so interesting I just couldn’t wait to see how it all came together. This is one pattern where I identified as a process and a product knitter.

Sometimes’s I’ll slog through the process in order to get to the finished product.
Others I’ll enjoy the process but be underwhelmed by the product. Very rarely will I be both at once!

I really had to trust the pattern as there were so many elements I couldn’t get my head around how it would turn into a sock.
It was almost recreating the feeling that I had when I made my first ever pair of socks, you keep knitting and blindly following directions with the hope that you’ll get a sock at the end.

I knitting the toe and the body of the foot two at a time (on my beloved Addi Turbos). Then turning the heel had to be done on seperate needles.
Each sock was then worked separately until the ribbing, which I put back onto one long circular needle so that the ribbing was exactly the same length.

The only modification I made was after 3 failed attempts at kitchener stitch, I substituted a three needle bind off to graft the heel. No one (except me and now the rest of the internet) will ever notice.

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The yarn is from ladybug fiber and has been in my stash for AGES! I tried making it into a shawl and that got frogged. I then tried it into a shawl, but it was really just waiting for me to listen to it’s desire to become a pair of socks.

Ladybug Fiber has a self striping sock yarn club which is the best way to get your hands on some unique yarn for yourself.

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You’ll notice that the heels have felted a bit in the pictures. These socks demanded to be worn straight away and so they didn’t get photographed until they spent a day in hi-top converse!

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