Monday, 31 March 2008

Free Pattern; Knitted Basket

Finally, here it is; the knitted basket prototype. I am sure that it could look better if I made another one, and I probably will, but I thought I would post the pattern I made. Perhaps, some of you could make it whilst I procrastinate... ;)

You need;
1 ball of cotton yarn
1 set 4 mm double pointed needles
Yarn needle

You begin at the centre and work outward. Make sure that you don't twist the stitches at the beginning. :)

Cast on 8 stitches. Divide them between the needles.

Rnd 1 and all odd rows: Knit.
At the beginning of row 2, join the knitting into a circle.
Rnd 2: *K1, YO* to end. (16 stitches)
Rnd 4: *K2, YO* to end. (24 stitches)
Rnd 6: *K3, YO* to end. (32 stitches)
Rnd 8: *K4, YO* to end. (40 stitches)
Rnd 10: *K5, YO* to end. (48 stitches)
Rnd 12: *K6, YO* to end. (56 stitches)
Rnd 14: *K7, YO* to end. (64 stitches)
Rnd 16: *K8, YO* to end. (72 stitches)
Rnd 18:
*K9, YO* to end. (80 stitches)
Rnd 20:
*K10, YO* to end. (88 stitches)
Rnd 22:
*K11, YO* to end. (96 stitches)
*Rnd 24: Knit. Rnd 25: Purl.* Repeat for next 10 rows (or as high as you want the basket). Then knit 6 rows and cast off knit wise. This makes a nice curled edge! :)

This is what the bottom looks like...
Let me know if you make one! I would love to see what they turn out like.

Friday, 28 March 2008

my alimento blog

I have been busy updating my food/recipe blog lately. Today I made some DELICIOUS Pumpkin Muffins (see above pic!) and fruit bread (both gluten free and dairy free!). Go take a look if you're interested...

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The easiest skirt EVER!

So I was looking at the latest CRAFT magazine and they have a how to on making your own skirt from a tablecloth, and I thought I could make it even easier than theirs by not having to do side seams or having to insert a zip. I'm all for making things easier on myself!

I bought a tablecloth from Spotlight for the express purpose of refashioning it into a skirt. I have had my eye on these cloths for a couple of months, but being the cheapskate I am, didn't want to pay the "exorbitant" price of $10 for it ;). So, when it was marked down to $5 this weekend I could hardly contain myself! Originally it was $45, so I think I got a real bargain here!! And it wouldn't matter so much if my circle skirt plans went awol at $5 outlay!

So here's what I did, I folded the skirt into half and then half again and I got my handy sewing scissors and chopped the centre out. I didn't even do any math - which could have been disastrous, but thankfully wasn't! I then zig-zagged the middle edge and folded that edge over twice to make a casing for the elastic. Threaded my bodkin with elastic and then pushed the elastic through the casing. Sewed the elastic at the right place and put on my new skirt! EASY PEASY!!!! No hemming to be done, no zip and no side seams!

This skirt is oh so twirly, that I couldn't resist twirling around and around till my head was so dizzy I thought I'd fall over!!!! It's fun not growing up ;)

Next time I'll wear it with my favourite brown T, I was just so excited about getting pics that I didn't think of how the black would look with it!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap; The Questionnaire

Here it is, my completed questionnaire for the Spring Fling Coffee/Yarn Swap:


1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground? Beans, for sure – I have my own coffee grinding machine!

2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non? Gee, I dunno – I just like good coffee, so if you think it’s good I’ll probably like it! I do have a great Italian espresso pot.

3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up? Coffee for the house would be instant Moconna Coffee – yummy freeze-dried! But if it were beans, I would ask what the recommended coffee bean was at Starbucks or something like that.

4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both? Uhm, both I think! Caffeine in the morning, pleasure any other time!

5. Do you enjoy flavoured coffees? How about add-ins or flavoured creamers? Not particularly, though I have been known to like a touch of caramel in my coffee.

6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup? Both, it’s funny but I like my morning coffee in a large cup, and I like espresso in a little dainty cup. So it depends on what I’m drinking.

7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it! My perfect cup, hmmm, let me go there! I love sitting with a great book, no interruptions (means no kids – lol), sunny day, comfy chair, hot coffee with cream and cinnamon! Peace and luxury! Yummy slice of chocolate cake too! ;)

8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company? I like the idea of a brownie – yum! I usually go for something chocolate, to me, salty just doesn’t go with coffee. Chocolate and coffee sit well together!


1. Do you knit or crochet? A week ago I would say I am a knitter, but I just taught myself how to crochet – so I am both now, I think!

2. What are your favourite types of yarns to work with? I am addicted to pure cotton!

3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now? I have just finished a couple of dishcloths, and some crocheted coasters. I don’t have anything half done at the moment. (except for that shrug that’s been hanging around half done since last year!) ;)

4. What are your favourite colours in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash? I love green, brown, orange, yellow, grey… lots of colours! But, I think the one colour I don’t much like is pink, still I have that in my stash, too, so I don’t know!

5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest? I like anything aluminium, both needles and hooks. I like all kinds of needles, I don’t mind. I just learnt how to use double pointed needles and they are cool to use! I really just HATE plastic needles of any kind – eeeew! Keep them away from me and you’re fine!

6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan? Uhm, I will never turn down a notion… ;)

7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going… The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favourite colours, slightly variegated… a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands… a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo… and a lovely bamboo blend with colours to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with? The sock yarn, I love things that feel nice!


1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are? No, not here, we are going into Autumn, but I love to think about spring being elsewhere in the world.

2. What's your favourite spring flower? Do you have one? Daisies – I love seeing the fields full of them in spring!

3. What do you most look forward to about springtime? Fine, not to hot, days – lot’s of new animals and a freshness in the air that you don’t get at any other time of the year.

4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day? At the moment, probably inside knitting – but I would prefer to be out at the beach, combing the sand for cool shells and reading a great book under some shade. :)

5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up? Boy, that does impact my day, especially if I wasted the day before inside! A good visit with a friend will always cheer up my day!

Odds n Ends

1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles? I collect teapots (I know, I know, this is a coffee swap, but…) and anything coffee and tea related.

2. Are you allergic to anything? Just mushrooms, but I don’t think that they make mushroom coffee, so I should be okay with this swap!

3. Do you have pets? Yup, 3 cats and a Golden Retriever named Lucky.

4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in? this is my second swap – that one was the “Defeat the winter doldrums” Dishcloth Swap

5. List 3 of your favourite blog’s - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them.
CurlyPops - Australian Blogger who likes craft and thrift shopping!
Jelly Wares - Australian Blogger who is inspirational in her sewing and thrifty finds!
RicRac - Inspirational creativity from yet another australian!

Funny that, in cutting down the hundred or more blogs I read on Bloglines that all three are aussie ones! Us kiwi's are supposed to have a friendly rivalry with them, but I suppose with one niece, a sister and a little (nephew/niece) who have "chosen" to be australian too I guess I've softened to y'all over there!

my new addiction; crochet coasters

yep, another addiction... Since I learnt how to crochet a couple of days ago, I thought I could finally make some cute little crochet coasters (I've wanted to make some for ages!). So, 4 sets later, I am addicted! They are so cool, quick and easy! The dark brown ones are for me!! :)

Top left; Sullivans 4ply cotton - yellow & Cotton Fields 8 ply mercerised cotton - bone, combined and crocheted with a 4.5 mm hook
Top right; Yarn Bee Mineral Mist 55% acrylic, 45% cotton - wood, crocheted with a 4.5 mm hook
Bottom left; Yarn Bee Hues of Opulence 55% acrylic, 45% cotton - pistachio, crocheted with a 4.5 mm hook
Bottom right; Yarn Bee cotton - raspberry & Cotton Fields 8 ply mercerised cotton - bone, combined and crocheted with a 4.5 mm hook

Sunday, 23 March 2008

My second attempt at Double Crochet

crocheted cloth with 4.5mm hook and
Moda Vera eleni 60% cotton, 40% acrylic - oxford gray

My first attempt at Double Crochet

I have been wanting to learn how to crochet for years, but it's another thing my mind just couldn't seem to be able to "get". I resigned myself to only knowing how to make granny squares, until last night! Last night, I taught myself how to do double crochet and I now how a cute little dishcloth made out of double crochet! I learnt how to from the humble little book - Mon Tricot Crochet. I picked up the book on one of my op shop adventures a few weeks ago. :)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Playing around with my blog...

You may have noticed that the blog is looking a little different around here lately. That is because I have decided a change is called for. Kudos to the man who took some time out of his own craft endeavours to help me out with the look!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or two...

bunny - shadow knitted cloth

KAL March #2 - bunny (Monthly Dishcloths)
KAL March #2 - bunny (Monthly Dishcloths)

Friday, 21 March 2008

stitch markers

I've been seeing these a lot lately and I was given some by my secret dishcloth swapper last month - so I now know how useful they are, and decided to make some of my very own! I bought a jewelery maker tool (some interesting looking pliers) and some supplies and whilst the man was out made some, see below.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Hope's first attempt at a dishcloth

Hope, my industrious 11 year old, has finally moved on from scarves into the world of making dishcloths. :) It's a little wonky, but a fantastic first attempt! I think dishcloths like the diagonal one are great for learning how to increase and decrease, because that is what they're all about!

Well Done Hope, Welcome to my world! :D

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Reasons why I like Spotlight...

I popped over to my local Spotlight yesterday, and got some really GREAT bargains. Yarn was $1 a ball and I got a bag of fantastic fabric remnants ($10) and a bag of trims ($5). Woohoo!

Forgive the quality of the pictures - in my excitement to get them up on the blog, some are a little blurry!
8 balls of cotton yarn ($1 a ball)
Trim (look at the DORA stuff!) $5

All the rest of the pic's are of the fabric I got in the remnant bag ($10).

I can't wait to use it - thinking bibs, dolls, softies...

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Mom's Overture by Anita Renfroe

This is so funny - I cried tears of laughter - I hope you do too! :)

Here are the lyrics;
Get up now Get up now Get up out of bed Wash your face Brush your teeth Comb your sleepyhead Here's your clothes and your shoes Hear the words I said Get up now! Get up and make your bed Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you wearing that? Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at? Grab your coat and gloves and your scarf and hat Don't forget! You gotta feed the cat Eat your breakfast, the experts tell us it's the most important meal of all Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at 3 today Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must play Don't shovel Chew slowly But hurry The bus is here Be careful Come back here Did you wash behind your ears? Play outside, don't play rough, will you just play fair? Be polite, make a friend, don't forget to share Work it out, wait your turn, never take a dare Get along! Don't make me come down there Clean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff away Make your bed, do it now, do we have all day? Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay? Can you even hear a word I say? Answer the phone! Get off the phone! Don't sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the table No more computer time tonight! Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up Where are you going and with whom and what time do you think you're coming home? Saying thank you, please, excuse me makes you welcome everywhere you roam You'll appreciate my wisdom someday when you're older and you're grown Can't wait till you have a couple little children of your own You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly But right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at me Close your mouth when you chew, would appreciate Take a bite maybe two of the stuff you hate Use your fork, do not burp or I'll set you straight Eat the food I put upon your plate Get an A, get the door, don't get smart with me Get a grip, get in here, I'll count to three Get a job, get a life, get a PHD Get a dose of, "I don't care who started it! You're grounded until you're 36" Get your story straight and tell the truth for once, for heaven's sake And if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump, too? If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before That you're too old to act this way It must be your father's DNA Look at me when I am talking Stand up straighter when you walk A place for everything and everything must be in place Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about Oh! Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your PJs on Get in bed, get a hug, say a prayer with mom Don't forget, I love you And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends You don't need the reason why Because, because, because, because I said so, I said so, I said so, I said so I'm the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom!! Ta da!!!

Monday, 17 March 2008

weekend knitting; Yvonne's Double Flower Cloth

I just LOVe this cloth - it's knitted with double pointed needles, which I am finding are so much fun to use.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

eLoomanator's Diagonal Dishcloth

I had fun today knitting up eLoomanators diagonal dishcloth pattern. It is a super easy non-boring pattern and you get a really neat looking cloth when you're done.
It uses half a 50g ball of yarn, so I should be able to make another one (two out of one ball - YAY!). I used 100% mercerised cotton from Yarn Bee, colour: Berry Sorbet.

Kezia's Booties

I posted back on the 7th of February about some little booties I was giving away to a little baby I know. Well, here is a pic of her wearing them!! They fit her perfectly and look ever so cute!
I suggest you try knitting Saartje's pattern if you ever want to give that special girl baby in your life something utterly sweet and gorgeous to wear! Kezia is a very cute baby, don't ya think! :)

new cloth & a sneak peek at what's been keeping me busy...

KAL March - Easter Egg (Mary's Knitting and Crochet Corner)
Here's a sneak peak at what's keeping me occupied. I am making a knitted basket, it's an idea that's been floating in my head for a bit, and so now it's finally coming in to being! I'll keep you all posted, and when I have mastered it - I'll post the pattern for you to try too! I am loving double pointed needles - wish I'd mastered them earlier!

Friday, 14 March 2008

the three musketeers...

Here are the three games organisers for Briahna's Party!
Rachael, Hope & Hannah

That pink glow is not a halo, but they sprayed pink gunk into their hair - it's all for "the look" I am told! Thanks to these girls the party was a huge success. Just today, one of the children's mum's was telling me about how their son raved about the day. We had a great mix of girl's and boy's and the musketeers catered for that really awesomely!

THANKS GIRLS, I hope you liked the gift we gave to say thanks!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

laundry detergent powder

I like a bargain (who'd have guessed!) and I also like ways of making the planet better. I purchased a front loading washing machine just over a year ago for that very reason because it saves on water/power consumption.

I used to make my own laundry goop* when I used a top loading machine, but I wasn't sure about putting that in my new "precious" machine. Then a friend put me on to homemade laundry powder. It's amazing, you only need to use a heaped spoonful of powder per wash. It's so easy to make (if you have a good food processor!) and it's super economical.

Here's the recipe I use:
1 bar sunlight pure soap
1/4 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

1. Process all the ingredients with the blade in your food processor.
2. Store in an airtight container (I use a jam jar).
3. Use one heaped dessert spoonful for each load.

* my name for homemade laundry liquid, cos it comes out the consistency of honey, all goopy!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Look at what arrived in my letter box today!

I won it all on Heather Hales blog! BTW, I just LOVE her blog.

It arrived today, and it was such a buzz opening the box to discover loads of treasures. I just love the really old lace and bias binding!! I was going to buy some on my op shop excursion this morning but held off, and just as well, cos' I have a new huge collection!

I did manage to find 10 stitchcraft magazines to add to my growing collection. Stitchcraft was a knitting/crochet magazine from last century. I collect the ones from the late 60's and 70's and I just LOVE the retro feel to the patterns. I haven't made anything yet, mainly because I avoid big projects like the plague, but the ideas are endless. Some of them have "bazaar" ideas which make for smaller projects and are more manageable for my short attention span! I also got a copy of the sold out interweave knits Holiday Gifts 2006. I absolutely LOVE op shopping!

Knitting Kits for two 11 year old girls

Hope and two of her friends ran the games for Briahna's birthday party. They were great and I felt that I needed to give them something to show my appreciation for what they did.

I know that Hannah loves to knit, but I'm not sure about Rachael, still knitting is always a great skill to learn!

Included in the kit; knitting needles, 2 balls of yarn, beginners instructions and a homemade tote bag.
Rachael's kit
Hannah's Kit

Hope and the gifts for her friends

Monday, 10 March 2008

the finished zombies

Because I was in such a rush to get the zombies to Christchurch so they could be famous in the latest Minuit (pronounced Min-wee) music video, I forgot completely to get a photo of them. Luckily my sister came to the rescue and here they are in all their glory - each of them individual and different! My favourite is the one in front - with the brains showing! I have plans to do one with intestines hanging out - I think that would look cool!

Friday, 7 March 2008

What I've been up to...

Yes, I've been a little quiet... I could say I've been busy, but I don't feel like I've been any busier than usual. I have, however been preparing for Bree's party tomorrow - reminds me, I need to go make the cake!

I have also been doing a little knitting, see below:

curly purly eggs for egg and spoon game

KAL March #1 - the stone is rolled away cloth (Monthly Dishcloths)

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

softies; meet petunia pig

Ellie the Elephant meets Petunia Pig...
Hope has been doing a lot of research about party games, because she is in charge of the games for Briahna's Birthday. She discovered a really neat alternative to "pass the parcel", called "Poor Piggie". Basically the children pass the pig around whilst the music plays, when the music stops that child gets to have a prize from a basket and on it goes until everyone has a prize. So after deciding it was a cool game, guess what Mum had to do, that's right, we needed a pig!

I based the pattern on the one I made for the elephant, only changing the nose and ears, and of course adding a cute little curly tail!

zack is coming...

After being emailed by my sister with the news that the commissioned zombies were required tomorrow, some frantic knitting ensued! So frantic, that I neglected to take any photos of the finished zombies! If they do arrive in time, they are going to be used in a music video by Minuit - which I will hopefully be able to post at a later date.

It has been very exciting, if somewhat stressful, having a commissioned deadline!

Monday, 3 March 2008

new skirt

for me....excuse the photo - I just love my cheeky, hidden smile

I just love the apples (this was once a lonely pillowcase I got from the op shop!)Kudos to Jodee, who made me a skirt for retreat on which I based the pattern for this one. It's basically made out of 4 panels with a small amount of elastic at the back (so - no zips- YAY!)

WIP; knitting zombies & a easy bib

Work in progress; 5 little zombies in various stages of being done!

I knitted this cool, very easy bib when I was a little tired of zombies eating my brains! ;)
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