Gingerbread Crafts

Gingerbread Crafts
Time for tea.

Friday, 27 April 2012

I've started my other blog but am loathe to shut this one down right now.  I'll still use it from time to time.

Last week I started going to a local Crocheting/Knitting group held nearby, it was good meeting new friends.  I worked on the Lacy Child's Top, which has since been finished and right now is on display at work.  Lots of customers have commented on it, a few have requested details.  I tell them what yarn to use - one we sell and give them the link to the pattern.  It looks like it was made to measure for our child size dress form and I think will fit my 5 year old Great Niece.

Yesterday I had a class on Spinning at the same place, I really needed a refresher, was having trouble getting started.  The lady running it has only just started teaching herself and was able to help me adjust the Spinning Wheel, before long I was back in the groove and loving it.  Am the only one in the class at the moment, we sat opposite each other and chatted.  Good social interaction is really what I need.

Right now I am knitting, picked up a cardigan I started last year.  Couldn't remember where the pattern was so went for a search for it, I found another cardigan I started using the same yarn in a basket, putting it on top as a reminder to finish it before continuing my search.  I went back to the part of my craftroom where the basket containing the cardigan - note I had picked up the cardigan to look at and put it on the top before moving away, but when I returned I looked down and sitting on top and partically wrapped in the cardigan was the magazine I had been looking for.  It wasn't there before - very wierd, I gave my thanks and happily went out to knit.

I started knitting and then unknitting, knitting, unknitting trying to work out where I was on the pattern, I had the back and most of the second front completed.  After a bit more knitting and unknitting I found out the reason I had put it down last year, it wasn't right.  Turned out I hadn't cast on enough stitches which is why I was having trouble.  Started the piece again and haven't looked back - except that I left the pattern at work yesterday.  I had thought about putting it down to start a crocheted rug for my Mother in Law for Mother's Day but can't even do that, the pattern is in the same magazine.  I can at least get the yarn, we didn't have anything suitable at work.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I have the paragraph thing worked out, have to make sure I click compose over HTML. 

Have noticed that I can crossout  now, if I wanted to use it before kept having to look up how and then most of the time it didn't work.  That's one feature in favour, but whether it is enough to make me like the new set up.  I don't know. 

As soon as I decide whether to stay with blogger or move on I will be starting a new blog and I will be sending the address to those readers that I know read my blog on occasion.  I will not be putting the address on here, there is one that I do not want to follow me.  I refuse to be spied on by those who, as I said before,  have no say over what I do or say in my PERSONAL life and blog. 
I am seriously thinking of closing this blog down, there may a stalker in our midst. I'm not talking worse senario stalker but one where I have to be very careful what I write, one that has no rights on my personal life or what I choose to say. It's put a sour taste in my mouth. Putting a damper on something I was enjoying doing, not just talking about this blog here. This message is the first time I've used the new updates to blogger and I have to say it's not good. Even though I am adding paragraphs it's all coming out as one big block. Perhaps it's time to move on.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

More Crocheting

I've put the socks aside for the moment, as soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to make it. Cute isn't it?

First I trialled it with Cleckheaten Natural Cotton, only getting some of the back done as it came out too small. Decided on Magnum Soft, which has crocheted up a little larger using 5.5 mm hook. Am making the largest size, not sure which of my Great Nieces this is for, I suppose who ever it's closest to fitting. It's coming along quite well, if you don't count last night's crochet session. I couldn't get my head around the two rows (yes TWO rows that form most of the pattern. I kept frogging and only had about 10 cms of crocheting done after several hours. The night before I had done close to the whole back in less time. I blamed bad eyesight and ended up enlarging the pattern to a size my long sightedness could read. Then when I hopped into bed I did a couple of rows and it all made sense again.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Felted Slippers Complete

A little more guessimation and I've ended up perfect sized slippers for myself, they are keeping my footsies warm right now. Was worried they would be itchy but they aren't, very pleased.

First I made a panel for the heel, this was twice as long as depth of the opening and 5 rows wide. I preshrunk it and was going to simply to fold it down and sew a button on, wasn't happy with the look. Decided ankle straps were needed so again made another piece. This was around 80 stitches long, 1 row. it was folded in half and stitched butted together, leaving a slit for a button hole. Again this was felted and ended up being perfect length for my ankle. The heel flap stitched down with room left for the ankle strap.
I've also have been working on the item that began this creativity, a pair of homespun socks. They too are going very well, have been making 2 at once because of the yarn. I keep having to stop and swap the yarns around, otherwise I would end up with one purple sock with touches of turquiose or one turquoise sock with hardly any purple. Such is the nature of hand dyed yarn.

Lately my poor spinning wheels have been nothing but dust catchers in the corner, I did try to spin a little while back but was so rusty at it. Yesterday I found spinning classes 5 - 10 minutes from home. The lady only charges $5, she is still learning herself, in fact by the same lady who taught me. It'll be good to have a refresher and make new friends closer to home. I'm also going to join in on their weekly Crochet Circle.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Crochet and Felted Slippers

Over the Easter break I decided to go through my yarn stash to see what I had and to neaten up tangled balls. We drove to Kiama on Friday and I kept myself busy untangling a ball of cotton thread, didn't fall asleep once nor did I feel carsick. I untangled the last knot just as we drove into town an hour and a half later.

The weather was lovely, a little too cool for swimming, we watched the Blowhole for a while, it wasn't blowing very high and then with ice cream in hand walked along looking at boats. As we walked a lady pulled me up, telling me that the dress I was wearing was amazing. It made me feel great, but then my husband and son kept teasing me about my amazing dress. We took a short drive around town and followed a sign to the Little Blowhole. We found it better than the big one, it came out of 30cm (approx) hole and shot up high. Could get as close as you wanted to it, I got a little too close standing just on the outside of the veiwing platform when it sent the biggest plume up, I got soaked, my husband and son teasing me for getting my amazing dress wet. I didn't mind especially as they both had their cameras pointing away from me at the time.

As I was sorting through my yarn stash I decided I wanted to knit socks using some of my homespun wool but didn't have the right sized needles for it. Instead I crocheted slippers using Lincraft Surprise Yarn.

Basic Slippers.

1 ball Lincraft Surprise Yarn.
Using 5.5 mm hook

Pattern below fits size 7 -8 foot.

TR (Treble) is the Australian version, this stitch is known as DC (Double Crochet) in USA patterns.

Row 1: Magic adjustable ring, 3 ch, 5 tr into ring. Pull ring tight, join to 3ch with slip stitch. (6 stitches

Row 2: 3ch 1 tr into same stitch, 2 tr into each stitch , join with sl st (12 stitches)

Row 3: 3ch 1 tr into same stitch, 2 tr into each stitch, join with sl st (24 stitches)

Rows 5 -11: 3ch, 1 tr into each stitch. Try on slipper to see if you are happy with fit, add or decrease rows if needed.

Row 12: 3ch, turn work, 1tr into second stitch from hook, 1 tr into next 18 stitches (20 stitches)

Continue on for 9 more rows - again check for sizing, adding or decreasin rows for fit.

Finish off with slip stitch, cut thread leaving about enough to sew and to crochet around opening, I left about a metre of thread.

With slipper inside out, lay flat and stitch back opening closed. Stitch back up seam so the thread is at the heel opening, make loop with the thread and DC (SC in USA) into end of each row and stitch around foot. Sl ST closed, 10 ch, sl st into last edging stitch. This makes a loop that could be used with a ribbon to tie around ankle if wished.

With Surprise yarn it's always a surprise how the colours come out , I got three Slippers from one ball, the top is the first and the bottom is the last. The first 2 looked similar in colours because I purposely cut and joined the yarn. The third will be used as a display piece at work.

With the success of these Slipper/socks I was inspired to try a felted version using Lincraft Cosy Wool.

Using the basic pattern and working in DC , not TR - (half dc USA), I guesstimated the sizing, using size 5.5 hook and starting the first round with 8 stitches, second round at 16 stitches and third at 32 stitches. The toe section was 15 rows. With the foot/heel sections at 24 stitches and 11 rows long. Needs another row or two for proper fitting.

Before felting

After felting. After 5o minutes in the washing machine with a towel at 60 celicus, the width shrunk over an inch while the length shrunk about 1 inch.

The final product ended up being pretty much exact size as the basic slippper but because there is no stretch with the felting it's a little too small lengthwise for my foot. Will be adding a seperate heel piece later.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

But where's my dress with flowers???

In answer to 4 year old Great Niece's question, here it is.

It goes with an apron I made the other day.