Tuesday, November 17, 2015

rainbow rag rug

I bought the zpagetti rug kit from Hoooked Zpagetti a few years ago. At the time all I could crochet was chain stitches as long as infinity. I watched the Crochet Rag Rug tutorial taught by Cal Patch on Creativebug for only a few minutes and had a ‘aha moment’ and the rest is crochet history!

Zpagetti t-shirt yarns are considered sustainable. They are made with off-cuts from new fashion garments sourced from European textile manufacturers. The colourful cones are perfect for upcycling in to your favourite crocheted projects.

I found the yellow and purple ribbon yarn quite thick and the pink, red, green and aqua ribbon yarn quite thin. At the start I had a lot of curling in to a bowl shape and ruffling when I tried a looser tension. Eventually I found a nice tension, although the finishing row does not sit very flat, the rug turned out great. Ravelled here. As you can see Archie is delighted and the rainbow rug gives a lovely atmosphere in his room.

I borrowed The Dressmaker book from the library to hold me over until I can see the actual movie. Yes, it's true; right now I do want to see the movie more than read the book! I mean for starters, Kate Winslet plays the main character and she is such a wonderful actress. The movie is set in dry, sparse outback Australia; there's spaghetti western music; 1950's haute coutre to squeal and dream about for weeks; and who doesn't love a good makeover for an underdog. Oh and some of the best Australian actors I've watched since childhood - Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving...

What have you been making, reading or watching crafty friends? Crochet peeps, any tips on how to finish a rag rug so it stays flat on the last row?

Joining in with all the crafty folks at Keep Calm Craft On and Yarn Along. You can too.

Update: This post was written just before the tragic Paris and Beirut attacks.  More than ever we need to stay united.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

the imposter shawl

The Imposter Shawl taken with my phone camera.

The boys playing with my new toys - a swift and ball winder.

Ready to get my knit on!

Archie "gently" immersing the shawl in tepid water with a drop of wool wash.

Using a salad spinner to remove excess water.

Blocking mats coveted over at Small Things and bought from Knitpicks.

I couldn't resist a quick Instagram post before blocking.

Named the Imposter Shawl because the stitch patterns mimic crochet and weaving but is all sneakily knitted including the “faux-crochet” scalloped edge. Overall the shawl was quick and easy to knit with a few new to me techniques. You can buy the pattern on Ravelry or check out the online class at Creativebug. Amber and Jaime are a lot of fun.

I used the recommended 2 skeins of Heirloom Romney and you knit all of it so there's no left over yarn. This coarser yarn is not as soft as merino or alpaca but will make for a long lasting garment and from a 'slow fashion' perspective this is a step in the right direction. After soaking the shawl in wool wash and blocking, it was much softer and quite dreamy in fact. I can't wait to wear The Imposter Shawl for many wintry seasons. My new swift was hand made by Mary's husband in the Cooma-Monaro area. Thank you Mr Mary.

I'm reading the Spring chapter in the Way of the Happy Woman.

Sara says Spring is an opportunity to bring to life whatever lies within. Awaken your creativity and let it be know. Encouraging right?

Break out of Winter Stagnation by getting up early and get moving - at the gym, on the mat, running or walking. The key is to be persistent!

Declutter to make space for new opportunities. The more clutter you have (including files on your computer) the more energy gets dissipated. Ask yourself is the item genuinely useful? Did I use it last year? Does it reflect who I want to be this year. I did a massive declutter when we moved to a smaller house but it's a constant thing with a growing family, crafting hobbies, bikes, skies, snowboards, gardening, tools...so many things!

Time to start eating lighter foods after winter stews and oatmeal. Sara offers a Spring green smoothie recipe, Cinnamon Amaranth Flax Porridge, Quiona and Asparagus Tabouli Salad. Yum and seasonal!

There's also yoga and meditation sequences especially for Spring detoxification - yin yoga for PMS, hot flushes and mood swings. Vigorous yoga flow to stimulate digestions and lymph, break up winter stagnation and loose weight. Sounds good to me!

What have you been making lately? Have you been Spring Cleaning?

Joining in with other crafty folks at Keep Calm Craft On 
and Yarn Along.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Mowing on his own now.
Ear muffs - safe protection for outdoor work and fun for indoor play!

Joining with the 52 project