Saturday, September 22, 2012

Best strategy for knitting prevention.

Cat + silk merino blend = no chance of knitting for the rest of the afternoon. He's actually fallen asleep on the needles now....

And he's looking too comfy to move him. Maybe I'll do some laundry instead. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Extra Curricular issue nine!

Nothing is better than getting awesome parcels in the post - especially when they're as awesome as Extra Curricular magazine. Issue nine is out now and all about music.

I was lucky enough to interview Blink, a music guru and organizer of Camp A Low Hum, about his new book DIY Touring the World.
This issue has some seriously awesome stuff - go grab a copy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My knitted chaos - how do I fix it?

I'm really good at acting like an organised person. It's actually amazing how many people rely on me to get stuff sorted out last minute, or for some reason or another think I am a successful planner. I must fake it really well, because I live for deadlines, have a terrible habit of procrastinating and my bedroom is never tidy. (Clean, yes, but there is lots of clutter and clothes in piles rather than put away in the wardrobe).  I don't really have an excuse except laziness.

My bad habits have definitely transferred to my knitting. Those arm-warmers I'm currently making? Those shouldn't even be on the needles. I should be finishing gifts, but I'm procrastinating because I totally have like two and a half months which is tons of time. And yarn / project storage? It's a disaster.

See exhibit A:

This is my half of the cupboard shelf in the lounge. The other half is taken up by Nerf guns. There is one box which is overflowing, I think two project bags, several bags of scrap yarn, three half-finished projects and a stack of vintage patterns. Between all this you can find printouts and notes of many patterns, in no particular order.

Exhibit B:

The chair in the corner of the dining room / kitchen. Two project bags, three projects, one magazine and no space to sit.

In the last few weeks I've lost an 8mm wooden needle - I kind of need it to finish a project and I think the cat stole it - several darning needles, loads of safety pins and a few of those little key things you use to tighten up the needles on Knit Pro interchangeables. 

It is obvious that I need help. I can't go on like this. It's bound to be annoying the flatmates (boys just don't understand these things and admittedly they would like some space on the coffee table - I'm not even going there, it's really bad..)

I'd like some simple storage solutions, and ones that don't involve going out and spending heaps of money on those plastic drawers. I tried those to keep my wardrobes, and I'm not finding that it encourages me to put things away at all. Advice appreciated - and yes, I do realise that a change in my attitude would definitely help!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One arm-warmer down, and new magazine discoveries

I made this up from scratch. I'm super proud of it. And it comes up to my elbow! 
It's everything I want in an arm-warmer!

I love how the colours pool around the thumb.

And how it's got a bit of room in the sleeve to pull over long-sleeve t-shirts. No hiding this baby under layers!
Once I've finished the second one (and woven in all those ends) I'll see if I can write the pattern up to make some sense for people to make some themselves. I found them really easy to make, and I'm a fan of easy. Another bonus, there's still a heap of yarn left over from the first hank. Once Ive knitted them both up, I'll find something else to do with the leftovers.

In other news, I've been discovering some new magazines. I must have been hiding under a rock for a while - how come I've only just discovered Sweet Paul Magazine?

It's a sweet digital magazine that's free and full of delicious things. Like whoopie pies. I couldn't resist making the front cover special - how amazing do they look?

And here are mine! Soooo good!

The have a whole chocolate feature in this issue which I need to work my way through. And then I'm working through the back issues. So much excitement!

And then there's this little discovery - Handmade Fashion. 
It's a British mag - from what I can tell it's the first issue - but from some online browsing it looks like the magazine has recently changed hands and there doesn't seem to be any information on upcoming issues.
 There are some great patterns, projects and ideas for a fashion-loving crafter, as well as some fantastic articles. I do hope this magazine continues, and if any of you know about its future, I'd be interested to hear what's happening with it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baby Sunshine arm warmers

When you get some custom-dyed yarn, you never really know how it's going to knit up. You can imagine how excited I was when I started knitting up my custom dyed Olive & Emma sock yarn - look at the beautiful stripes! 

These were originally going to be socks, but this yarn is too awesome to hide in my shoes and under jeans. Now I'm making arm warmers, full-length and up to the elbow! Hopefully will have the first one finished today. Thanks so much Emma, of Olive & Emma, for the yarn, I'm sure I'll be ordering more very soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Handmade birthday gifts and Golden Hands 23!

I try to give handmade gifts wherever possible, be it cookies at Christmas or something knitted. 
But sometimes I just see something so awesome that I have to buy it for a friend. And one for myself too!

These super cute Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Scull necklaces are hand-stitched by Sarah Fordham at Magasin, and they are amazing. I saw them featured on the Frankie website and I just had to get one, thinking it would be perfect for a good friend whose birthday was a few days ago. (I warned her the gift would be a little bit late because of international delivery - I hope she understands!)

And the lovely Sarah even sent me a button with my initial on it! 
My biggest issue now is deciding which one suits my friend the best - maybe I'll let her pick!

And in other news - Issue 23 of Golden Hands magazine was amongst the many left at the local community hall that the fiancé teaches at! I had to go back and look after he got me a couple of issues last week.

And the chevron scarf pattern? Totally worth the 10c I paid for it!

I can see it being expanded into a cushion cover or something. So many possibilities...
Just maybe not in brown - I'm thinking yellow!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A weekend of weddings

Saturday. Ate cake. Lots of cake. We turned up to my friend Kate's house - she is kindly making the cake for our wedding - expecting to bounce around a few ideas. But instead we found this amazing spread with chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes. To eat!

It was seriously amazing. I am honestly speechless with describing how great these tasted. The fiancé doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, but he says these are the best cupcakes he's ever had. I can't argue with that. The red velvet was heavenly.

We've decided on vanilla and red velvet layers. I am so excited.
Thank you to my wonderful Kate, it was awesome.

And then on Sunday, we went to the wedding reception of my friend Shuk, who married her partner Elliot. Look at these beautiful favours!

I've put them into some nice pots and set them on the kitchen window ledge.

Hopefully they survive - I'm not the best at looking after indoor plants. 
Congratulations Shuk and Elliot - thank you for inviting us to be a part of your special day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

When craft stores close

One of my local craft shops is closing. I went in this morning - the first time I visited in a seriously long time - and the shop was full of people wanting to make the most of the closing down sale. 
I admit to being one of these people. It must be incredibly hard to run your own niche business and keep it afloat, especially when the online competition is so big and many crafters are looking for something a bit more unique. 
Most of the time I buy my yarn online as I've never found the yarn I've been looking for in shops, and so I'm part of the problem - I don't do enough to help my local shops stay open. 
They are great to visit and have a look, but it's not often that I part with the cash and buy something.

I did take advantage of the sale today though. A set of Knit-Pro interchangeable metal needles for $70 - down from $150. It's sad that I'm only encouraged to buy when the deals are that good - at the expense of someone's small business. 
I admit that I'd never be brave enough to try and run my own store - I just couldn't take the pressure.