Two Aminekos and a Penguin in a Pear Tree

Okay, there isn't really two Aminekos at the moment, and there is no pear tree...


I whipped up a little amigurumi penguin as a stocking filler for The Boy - cute, huh?

The instructions were a little difficult to follow, especially the beak, but Ravelry saved the day. I just looked at the forum posts tab on the pattern page, someone had had the exact problem as me, and someone else had explained what to do!

I finished him on my lunch break at work, and I forgot to bring stuffing, so I used a parcel pack scrunched up to stuff his head. Probably not the best solution, but it works! It's a bit lopsided and crunchy.

I've also been working on the Amineko bunny (seems weird calling it that, since Ami means knit/crochet and neko means cat...), all I have to do is one more ear, and sew on the legs. I'm seeing the two babies on Thursday (my birthday!) and there is no way I will finish the other one, but that's ok.

I'm a bit stressed due to a combination of being sick, deadlines at work, in-laws coming to stay and various Christmas things, I can't wait till Thursday, the beginning of my holidays! I'm hoping to do some knitting and organising for the new year, I want to be calmer and more organised with my free time.

Amineko without the neko

I have a couple of new babies in my life (two of my closest friends), so I'm making crochet toys for them for Christmas. I am using this Amineko pattern, but instead of making a cat, I think I am going to make it a bunny.

Amineko crochet parts

I used this Planet June tutorial to work out how to do the magic loop to start off the crochet. I am using a 3mm hook, and Cleckheaton Country 8 ply for the main colour. So far the pattern is easy to follow, all single crochets, and I am hoping to get a lot done this weekend.

Although I've been busy, I managed to sew these cushions for our couch a couple of weeks ago. I just made up my own pattern, they have an envelope back. The fabric is this amazing Ikea fabric that we bought about a year ago...

I don't really have anywhere to put the sewing machine, so I sewed these with the machine on the floor, I certainly had to sit in an interesting position in order to use the foot pedal! Sorry the photo isn't very good - the weather has been so bad in Sydney recently, and when it is nice I am outside. They also definitely need an iron! But I love the fabric so much, and they are another thing off my 'to do' list.

throw cushions

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran is a fascinating read for any fan of Agatha Christie. The discovery of her notebooks has led to an extremely interesting insight of her ideas and methods of writing.

It was amazing to read that often she did not have the murderer in mind while writing her mysteries, and notes scrawled through her notebooks try different murderers and motives to fit the plot. Christie also had recurring images or vignettes that she tried to fit into stories, but often had to discard these ideas, with some of them never being used. Many of her mysteries seemed to have started with a one-sentence idea that grows over the years.

The notebooks are mostly made up of quick jottings of ideas, these are rarely expanded into dialogue or more fully developed writing. They are scattered with packing lists, doodles, and diagrams, inserted between the barely legible writing.

As a huge Agatha Christie fan, and being interested in writing, I found these notebooks a fascinating glimpse into Agatha's plotting and ideas. At some stages, however, the book was slightly repetitive, though this would I expect reflect on the repetitiveness of Christie's notebooks. The bonus of two 'new' short stories was particularly exciting, as I have read all of her currently published novels and short stories.

Change of direction

This blog has always been my 'craft' blog. I started it as a way to record my knitting progress and projects, and expanded into other crafts as I have learnt new skills. In fact, my first blog was called 'Just a Little Knit', and I created this new blog to incorporate sewing and other crafting.

There have been large gaps in my blogging. Not because my interest in craft has waned, but because either
a) I haven't been crafting or
b) I've been crafting, but not taking pictures and/or blogging

And of course I either feel guilty that I'm not actually creating things, or that I am creating things, but not keeping an accurate record of them. And in both cases, that I am neglecting my blog. No matter what, I think about craft every day, and am constantly planning projects in my mind, and reading all the other amazing blogs out there.

But...I've decided to include my other love - reading - in this blog. This means that I can keep up my blogging however I spend my time, as I can always fit in some reading. When blogging about books, I don't have to worry so much about progress shots, which I always stress about with my knitting!

These photos were taken between Bondi and Turramurra Beach, at the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. I try to go every year, there is always something amazing!

Echino Handbag - I love it!

I've been working on this bag for the past few weeks. I bought this Echino fabric a couple of years ago at a craft show from Kelani Fabrics. I bought two meters, intending to make a skirt, but then was too scared to cut into it. I love Echino fabrics designed by Etsuko Furuya, I have a little tote bag that I have been using every day, and I realised that I would get a a lot more use out of a bag than a skirt. Especially since I haven't really sewn any clothes that I have liked enough to wear! Enchino Handbag 4 So at the craft show this year, I bought the Panel Bag pattern by Nicole Mallalieu Design. The pattern was a little pricey, but absolutely fantastic. It comes with a little booklet that takes you step by step, with lots of pictures, and different options so you can customise the bag. I used an Amy Butler fabric I had in my small fabric stash as the lining, so have two beautiful fabrics that I adore. The bag did take a long time to cut out all the pattern pieces from the paper pattern, then the fabric and interfacing. I chose to interface the whole bag to make it a bit more sturdy. The actual sewing was quite straight forward, with a little bit of hand sewing, and a couple of tricky parts when I was sewing through quite a few layers. I ended up using a denim needle in my machine, which helped a lot. There is also a lot of top-stitching, so I had to make sure that was straight and even. There is a zipper pocket on one side, the instructions were great here, so it was fairly simple to insert. Enchino handbag lining On the other side of the lining I put in the three pockets, so I should have a place for everything! Enchino handbag pockets I used the bag this morning for the first time and it is perfect. Nice and big to shove everything in, but light-weight. The reason I haven't been using my handbags recently is beacuse they are all feel quite heavy bythe end of the day, and my back starts to ache, but that didn't happen today. We are going to Japan in 10 days, I canb't wait to take my new bag, and maybe buy some more Echino! Enchino Handbag 2

Stacks of blocks

blocks 3

I've been making more circles for my crochet blanket.


I'm making them in random colour order, but trying to keep the colour usage fairly even.


I've started to join them into squares, they are each bordered in white.


The colours make me happy!


WIP Wednesday Aidez


This is the back of Aidez. I am really only working on it on weekends, I'm training for the City2Surf, a 14km run. So most days after work, I go for a run, cook dinner, eat, and by then am a little tired to focus on knitting a big project. In the evenings I'm working on crochet squares for a blanket. I am enjoying knitting Aidez when I do it though, the cables are fun and it's growing fast!

On the weekend I went to my Mum's local craft store. It had a great selection of books and patterns. As I still haven't decided on a fair isle jumper, I was looking for a pattern for that, and I found a great one in Cleckheaton 950. Unfortunately, I can't find a photo of it online, but I'll take one later. It's quite Christmassy, which is exactly what I was looking for!

Even though I feel like I haven't been knitting much recently, tomorrow I get to do it at work! I work at a school, and the students are working on knitting squares for Wrap with Love, a charity that makes blankets out of donated squares. I'm going to check it out, and maybe help some students to cast on. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids knit!


This is a progress report on my year of projects!

I've been working on Aidez this weekend. It's lots of fun with some new cables that I haven't done before. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the back. I was having so much fun knitting it this afternoon that I forgot to take a photo before it got dark!

I'm using Cascade Eco, which I ordered from WEBS. I love the smell, it's like sheep! It feels so nice as well.

So this is a photo of my swatch. It's not even an exciting swatch with cables, it's just stocking stitch. I promise I've done more than this!
Aidez swatching1

WIP Wednesday: Baudelaire

Baudelaire 2nd Sock

Yes, I've started on my 2nd sock! I'm much happier with the toe this time, the pattern uses a figure 8 cast on, and I used this tutorial from A Gathering of Wool. It shows how to do this cast on using Magic Loop, which is how I knit my socks. This tutorial was really helpful in getting my stitches looking nice and neat. This is my first time knitting toe up socks, and the first time using the figure 8 cast on. I do like toe up, as you can check the length of the leg of the sock. I'm always worried that I'll run out of yarn, so tend to do them a bit shorter than I'd like.

I've been working on this sock on my lunch break at work, I can get a few rows in each day so hopefully I can get some momentum going and actually finish a pair of socks!

To see other WIPs, check out Tami's Amis Blog

A Year of Projects

I read about this on Crafts From the Cwtch and it seemed like just the thing to get me organised for the next year.

Basically it is just working out my knitting (and crocheting) goals for the year, posting a list, and then every Sunday posting about my progress. I'm using my Rav queue and my UFO pile as a starter for my list.

As I only read about this last night, I'm sure I'll be updating this list over the next week. 

My Creative Space

Flowers in the Snow

I've started crocheting a new blanket Flowers in the Snow. It's so pretty! I'm using an acrylic yarn - Creative Basics Polly 8ply yarn. It just had the nicest colours, and will gorgeous edged in the white.

I'm using the tutorial and instructions on Solvieg's blog (link above), which are really clear. She uses lots of pictures to illustrate each step.

I've also started swatching for Aidez, and will be working on that over the weekend

Check out other creative places here

Tea Time

Screen print Tea time
I always go the craft expos and fairs in Sydney. I always tell myself I will do a talk, class or workshop. I never do.

But I read Amy's (Badskirt) blog post and decided to take her advice. Screen printing is something I've never done, and unlikely to try by myself, it's not like embroidery or knitting, where you don't need many specialized tools to start. I also liked how you could take home a completeted useful object (a tea towel).

Louise Snook
was a fantastic teacher, very patient and inspirational. She made some suggestions, like adding the word "tea" to my design.

The most difficult part of the workshop was planning and creating my design. Most of the other people did abstract designs, but I don't think I'm very good at that. The actual screen painting was lots of fun, I'm so glad I joined in. I'll definitely take part in more classes and workshops from now on!

Rainy Long Weekend

Close up blocking
It's a long weekend here in Australia, and it's pretty cold and miserable.

Saturday was busy, I headed into the World Wide Knit in Public Day in Sydney, watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4 in 3D, and then we wandered around the city checking out the amazing light sculptures for the Sydney VIVID light festival. Lots of buildings, including the Opera House, have light patterns beamed on to them, it is so cool. The Fire Dance at Campbell Cove was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, they had fire jets to choreographed to the sound of music. I absolutely loved it!

I finally joined Pinterest and played on that all morning, it's a great way of keeping inspirational pics together, I just need to find more boards to follow. If you're on Pinterest, please let me know in the comments so I can follow you!

Today will be spent doing pleasant things:

Walking: In my gumboots to the library
Eating: Porridge with golden syrup
Knitting: Appalachia hat
Blocking: Lace Ribbon ScarfBlocking lace ribbon scarf
Reading: Started Early, Took my Dog
Drinking: Tea

Bobble Blue - FINISHED!

BobbleBlue back

Bobble Blue has been a long time coming. I first fell in love with the pattern when I lived in England in 2006. I had a subscription to Interweave Knits given to me that year, and the picture of the model sitting outside the cafe in her bright blue Bobble Blue tempted me.

On a mini-break over that summer to Pembrokeshire in Wales, I visited an Angora goat farm, Blueberry Angora, which sold yarn direct to the public, and I bought enough for a sweater in a gorgeous maroon colour (called Russet Red). It was so fun to visit the farm, I got to meet the little goats that contributed to my yarn! The yarn was a little scratchy, but fine to knit with and I would mostly wear this knit over a turtle neck or long sleeved top.

I started knitting, and loved doing the cables and bobbles, so much fun to see them pop! Then we traveled for four months and moved to Australia. Bobble Blue was put in the bottom of a box. Finally I had inspiration to finish the last few bits – picking up stitches for the collar, and seaming it together, and blocking. I even bought some buttons, which was the last thing to do. But I wasn’t sure about the buttons, so I didn’t sew them on.
Another move, across town this time, instead of across countries, and I was inspired to finally finish it off. I bought different buttons, and sewed them on. It was done!

It is now a bit too big for me, I’ve lost weight since I first started it, but I I’m still really pleased. It’s not the most flattering garment, but it is so warm and the perfect thing to wear in a Sydney Winter, when it’s not quite cold enough for a coat.

I’ve got one more sweater with a similar story (started in England, complete except for inserting a zipper). Poor Rosedale, it was actually finished, except I sewed the wrong type of zipper into it, so once I unzipped it I couldn’t zip it up again. I have finally bought a new zipper, so that is my goal for next week!

Started: October 2006
Yarn: 6 skeins of Russet Red Aran, 80% Angora, 20% wool, bought August 2006
Pattern:  Bobble Blue, Interweave Knits
Completed knitting : February 2009
Sewed on buttons: May 2011


To check out other finished things, check out Tami Ami's blog!

Finished Project - Ripple!

Yay, I finished my Ripple crochet blanket! It's the perfect size for on my lap when I sit on the couch.

Ripple on Chair

It's a great pattern to do while watching TV, as it is so easy. If I made a mistake in the ripple pattern, I would adjust the next row accordingly.

The details:

I used a pattern by SusanB I found on Ravelry, Easy Ripple Afghan
Yarn: A cheap 8ply 100% wool, Sheperds Colour 4 Me. I used 3 50g skeins of 5 colours.

Ripple finished

ripple close up

To see other Finished Object Friday projects, check out Tami Ami's Blog

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Appalachia

I've cast on for a new project! And, no, I haven't finished those socks...


It's a knit hat, Appalachia,  by Bear Ears. I'm using Noro Kureyon Sock and Patonyle for the main solid. A fun knit so far with my beloved Noro, though it's going very slow, because I don't know how to do stranded knitting. So I just drop and pick up each colour as I need it. I know I should practise two hands, but it feels too awkward!

I'm doing it as a KAL in Ravelry, which is spurring me on.

I've started back at a new job, so am having less time to blog and craft, but I'm starting to get used to my new schedule. I get a proper lunch break, so have taken knitting a few times, and I'm going to try to make that a habit.

To check out other Work-In-Progress Wednesdays, click on Tami's Amis and Other Creations

In other news, I'm looking forward to the next Brown Owls meeting on Friday night. I'm glad the meetings are becoming regular again and seeing the old faces.

Nearly time to go back to work

I'm really glad I've started blogging regularly. One of the major reasons is I am currently a lady of leisure! I quit my job that was taking up way too much time, and have been spending time at home. During this time I've participated in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, iHanna's Postcard Swap and worked on a few projects. I've been able to go to Brown Owls meetings and meet friends for lunch or dinner.

I've found a new job though, and am starting back after the Easter Break.

My new job starts early and finishes early, so I'm hoping I can continue blogging and crafting. 
Baudelaire progress sockon
In fact my goal is to finish this pair of Baudelaire socks. We are going away for the Easter long, long weekend, and I want to do a lot of work on these socks!


Wool Addiction - Yarn store review

On the weekend we visited Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands, for a wedding. While there, I managed to fit in a trip to the yarn store, Wool Addiction. I actually grew up in Bowral, so I was very interested to see what the new shop was like. It was amazing!

Wool Addiction is one of the nicest yarn stores I have seen in Australia. It is big, there is lots of room to walk around and display the yarn. It is a nice, light, store, with big windows. It had a good range of yarns, at good prices. Some of the yarns I saw were Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, Aslan Trends, and a big selection of Noro. The staff were pleasant and helpful. I was asked once if I needed help, then left free to browse. When I was making my purchase, the woman raved over the colour, and asked me what I would use it for. I also asked about classes and workshops, and was given some info, and told to check out the website for upcoming stuff.

I'm going to try and do a class or workshop, because I'd love to go back! It is definitely worth a trip to Bowral, especially as Bowral is such a pretty day trip from Sydney with lots of cafes, lovely gift and homeware shops.

I did accidently buy some sock yarn, it was so beautiful and I hadn't seen the brand before. So I have made myself start working again on my Baudelaire socks

Info: Yummy by Fibra Natura, 100% Superwash Merino Wool. It is 130g - 370 yards, and it's pot dyed. The colour is 41360, a gorgeous blend of purples.

Has anyone else been to any good yarn/craft shops in NSW recently?

Cute Amigurumi Easter Bunny

I saw this tutorial on Craft to make a crochet amigurumi style bunny. It inspired me to finally try one out. I have a Japanese book on amigurumi, and have tried a few free tutes before, but just never got it.

Amigurumi bunny side

I sat down on Saturday night, and started it in a cream cotton I had in my stash. It kept splitting and I got through the head before realising I wouldn't have enough for  the whole toy. So I dug through my stash and found some old brown yarn (not sure what brand, I bought it in Japan, I know it's 100% wool, but that's all), and finished it on Sunday.

I think it looks really cute, I'm sending it off to The Boy's sister for her birthday/ Easter.

If you look closely, you can see the ears are slightly different, I must have missed a row somewhere, but I think it adds to its "homemade" appeal!

Amigurumi Bunny

Completed postcards for iHanna's Postcard Swap!

Okay, after days of creating mess, I've finished all my postcards for the handmade postcard swap on iHanna's Blog.

handmade postcard-countrysidehandmade postcard - red patchworkhandmade postcard - rainbowhandmade postcard - pink patchworkhandmade postcard - lavabursthandmade postcard - greenshandmade postcard - flowerhandmade postcard - fishhandmade postcard - circleshandmade postcard - beach
They were quite labour-intensive! I first went through all my old magazines and cut out and pictures with interesting colours, patterns or textures. Then I tore those into small pieces and sorted out by colour. I sketched basic designs as a plan, then pasted each torn up piece individually on to the postcard using Clag glue. With two of the postcards, I was losing motivation and inspiration with the mosaic style, so I instead, I pasted larger pieces in a patchwork style, with little pictures on top, using colours as a theme.

In the end, I'm pleased with how they turned out, I haven't done paper craft since highschool/uni, so it was a new craft method for me. I have always loved mosaics and that was obviously a big inspiration for me. I will post them out today, my postcards are going all over the world!

There is a Flickr group if you'd like to see what other people have been creating!