September 24, 2006

Tomorrow I start back full time at work again. I think I'm naturally a full-time worker: I feel I've been cramming a full-time job into half the hours for the last 18 months (and of course hanging out with DD is a full-time job in its own right).

685,000 objects (not to mention the team of 12) sometimes feels like a disabilitating responsibility but it's the displays that both inspire me and drive me to despair. I don't have the perfectionist gene and generally I think that's a good thing.

I loved Alicia's post yesterday about how it's the little things in life that make up 'society'. Museums are stuffed full of the big things: the expensive, the exhibition pieces, the wedding dresses, the medals, the ceremonial mayorial items. The challenge is to use these to draw out the details of life.

Mind you, tomorrow I'll probably get embroiled in some car parking problem... :)

September 23, 2006

A big big thank you is due to my One Skein pal, Wendy. Wendy has been a fantastic pal (I always get the best ones!) and has spoiled me rotten.

The final package included a gorgeous knitted bag, just the right size for carting small in progress projects around; a dishcloth, some fantastic bits and bobs including the rest of the bag yarn and beads (so lovely) and ooooh Maya Gold chocolate :) I've been really curious about Wendy during the swap as she kept dropping hints... and her blog is brilliant.

My own secret pal, predictably, has not acknowledged my final parcel. >sigh<. I could post her blog address here so you can go see the things she's made with the yarn I sent her (so I guess she liked them even if she didn't say anything - which makes me feel better), but I don't think I will. But here's a picture of the last parcel for posterity.

September 21, 2006

I've been working on my swap for Open Yours Too, here's a sneak peak.

Who was it said you can never be too rich or too thin? Well sod that, more like you can never create enough things with felt or bird motifs or at least that seems to be the way the crafting winds are taking me at the minute.

I've always been quite jealous of the way some wonderfully talented bloggers work a theme so that simple grows into sophisticated. There's Jane and her jellybean cushions, Stephanie and her tissue holders, Hillary and the stitchettes, Manda and her cats... Of course they all do lots of other gorgeous things but it's great to watch an idea develop as they reincarnate it.

I didn't think I could do that, but apparently I can. Who'd have thunk it? :)

Open Yours Too will open for a new round in about a week for anyone's who interested. It's been interesting doing a smaller (in terms of people) and shorter swap.

September 14, 2006

This winter, it seems like everyone will stylishly sport the 1930s knitted beret (that's Joan Crawford in 1928 by the way).

Here's a very simple and rapidly-made beret in a chunky knit. I used Rowan Cork (thank you Bryony!) which is chunky without being bulky and therefore a good choice, especially if you like to see the stitch definition to add to that 1930s feel. It's knit flat rather than in the round (1930s style...), but the joined seam is hidden in the pattern made by the increases.

50g Rowan Tweed (I've used Ivy), one pair of 8mm straight needles, one pair of 5mm straight needles, a tapestry needle.
Gauge is not too critical, but if you knit very tightly and/or have a big head, you may prefer to use 6mm needles for the rib.

Cast on 3 stitches

Purl all odd rows through rows 1 - 21

Row 2: knit, increasing in every stitch (6 sts)
Row 4: knit, increasing in every stitch (12 sts)
Row 6: K1, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (18 sts)
Row 8: K1, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (27 sts)
Row 10: K2, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (36 sts)
Row 12: K3, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (45 sts)
Row 14: K4, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (54 sts)
Row 16: K5, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (63 sts)
Row 18: K6, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (72 sts)
Row 20: K7, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (81 sts)
Row 22: K8, increase in next stitch, repeat to end (90 sts)

Work 9 rows in stocking stitch, ending on a purl row

Row 32: K8, K2tog, repeat to end (81 sts)

Work 9 rows in stocking stitch, ending on a purl row

Change to 5mm needles and work 9 rows K1 P1 rib

Cast off, leaving a long tail (40cm) to sew up.

Pin right sides together and sew up back seam. Finish in ends.

I found it looked best with a brooch pinning the crown to the rib to make it sit gracefully asymetrical.

This is an offering for Whiplash, in the tutorial category.


September 13, 2006

A big THANK YOU to two fantastic Teeny Tiny Swappers.

The parcel from Ali and her two boys just kept going on and on! Some wonderful things, and I was most especially excited to see the crayons made by melting in ice cube trays.

The two-sided hand puppet Cynthia made has been a firm favourite.

Thank you, both of you and your families.

It was so great to receive your gifts!

Somewhere out there are some birds that we made flying their parcels to their destination.

More pictures on flickr.

September 01, 2006

I got all self indulgent making a postcard with details of my "interests, hobbies, loves, dreams, etc" for the Open Yours Too swap...

The really scary bit was I had loads more that didn't fit. Perhaps I need to do a whole quilt entitled "me me me"!