Tuesday, 28 April 2009


...hot damn! A whole knitted village!

Just one of the 36708890 reasons why knitting is awesome.

(Photos is from news.bbc.co.uk)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A Long Birthday

The good thing about living halfway around the globe from most of your family and friends? Your birthday feels like it's extended for at least a month.
The Man had given me my present way back at the start of March, so I wasn't expecting anything else from him, although he very kindly made me a giant cake on the day itself.

But last Friday, my second* favourite postie (who looks very much like an older Tom Baker) knocked on our door and thrust a largish package at me - from my sister Tiffany. Hmm...soft insides...towels? (I got some large fluffy ones last year from her.) Nope, yarn! 6 balls of awesome yarn, in neutral tones.

I've already broken into the two balls of Panda double knitting yarn to make a neckwarmer in moss stitch for a friend's upcoming birthday. The nubbly grey Intarsia will become a beanie for Tiffany - the gift that...gives back? And I'm not sure about the variegated bamboo yarn yet. Maybe a Moebius cowl? I like those.
Finished neckwarmer
I'm fairly certain the recipient of this neckwarmer doesn't read this blog, so it's fairly safe posting this picture here. I love those vintage green buttons.

Anyway, the next day, Tom Baker knocked on the door and thrust another large, soft package at me - more yarn! This time from Hazlina (for whom I made the neckwarmer).
Check it out - supersoft new wool in bright autumnal colours! I'm still deciding what to do with them. Any suggestions?

*My first favourite postie is Charlotte, of course.

Friday, 17 April 2009


But first, let's have a look at my the new member of my terrarium family! I found it in the same car boot sale in Battersea where I found all my other treasures. It was caked in dust and had grimy, grim plastic flowers glued in it. But I took it home, ripped out the gross flowers, and planted real flowers in it. Alyssum and lobelia, for a mix of purple and white when they flower. If, they flower...

And now, new little baby bagginses. This first one was my test run, and I'm using it as pouch for my digital camera. I've added padding for protection, and the outside made of 5 layers of plastic carrier bags fused together. Padded, and waterproof!
If you're running out of storage space for those plastic bags that every shop seems to insist on handing out to you, then making stuff out of fused plastic bags is probably a good way to get rid of them without adding to landfill. How very earth-friendly.
And fusing them together is strangely addictive - have some afternoon murder mystery (I like me some Murder, She Wrote, personally) playing on the telly for distraction, start the iron, and go!
These'll go into the shop too, I'll probably end up making heaps of them as they are strangely satisfying to make...might be all that padding. Like a little pillow...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Battle of the Eastern European cakes

Twas my birthday this past Sunday, and lo and behold, the heavens presented me with not one, but TWO birthday cakes! And if you've met me before, you'll know I love cake. I wuff cake!
That's the second year in a row that I've ended up with two cakes in a day for my birthday. Does that make it a tradition now? I hope it does, it's an awesome tradition!
Cake no. 1 by my housemate Emese. Just chillin' in the fridge, ya know, hanging out...
It was supposed to be a surprise but The Man let it slip the day before that she was making me a cake, so I had to put my 'oh, what a surprise!' face on.
Cake no. 2 aka 'The Monster'. The Man made this...with a recipe from a Polish website. He kept calling it a 'torte'. But then I told him it was pretty much like a Black Forest cake...and he still kept calling it a 'torte' but I think it became known as a Black Forest torte thereafter. The white layers are there because we ran out of cocoa powder. And also coz we believe in racial integration. (Integration now! Segregation never!)
It weighed as much as a new-born baby and I just had the last slice for breakfast. Is that why my tummy hurts now?
Before demolition

Look how much cake no. 2 towers over cake no. 1. It tries to intimidate with sheer bulk!
Halfway through demolition

For your consideration - I had two helpings of cake-age. That's how tuff I am. Don't mess, mofo.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Looms And No More Room

I made a loom! Although arguably not the most 'professional' looking loom, it's still pretty awesome, and still allows me to weave, which is all that really matters, don'cha reckon? And it cost me next to nothing (I only had to pay for the nails).

To make it, I followed Corvus Tristis' tute (if you count looking at photos and approximating measurements 'following'). It's really simple and takes up hardly any time at all, plus, if your idea of fun is banging things and making loud noises, then it's quite fun too!
First, you need to get two pieces of wood, roughly the same lengh. Or get one long piece and saw it in half. I used a long piece of wood about 2'' by 4''. Sand down the edges so you don't get splinters in it. See how easy it is? I'm even wearing a dress and scarf while doing it.Next, mark out where your nails are going to go. I followed Corvus Tristis' advice and made the markings half an inch apart.
Then - this is where the fun starts - hammer the nails into the wood, at an angle. I think this is possibly so your yarn/thread/stuff stays on better.
Ok, I know it looks like I've just hammered the nails into my floor, but, I haven't. The planks of wood are just a similar colour to the floor.

Oops, I think I missed the photos for the next couple of steps. Anyway, secure your pieces of wood to the floor or table (as far apart as you want the finished piece to be, plus a few more inches. I just guessed the length I wanted), then get your yarn/thread/ stuff and start winding it longways around the nails. I think the professionals call this the 'warp'.

Then, start weaving - over one thread and under the other, then back the other way. I'm not sure if I'm making much sense, you'll get it when you actually start doing it.
Things seemed to go well at first, but then something went wrong and the tension seemed to go awry. I tried to fashion a sort of make-shift heddle too, but it didn't work out too well...sob!
I stopped this piece and cut it off the loom after only about 30 cms, but I've since started another piece. This one has been taped to the top of the coffee table in the living room, so, no usable coffee table right now. Deal with it!

In other news...the car boot sale in Battersea is an evil, evil place. If by double-evil you mean 'getting lots of lovely stuff for not too much money at all!' place, then Battersea is the place to be on a Sunday arvo. Here's a rundown of stuff I purchased -
Box of vintage knitting needles (I think some of them are Bakelite), and a bell-shaped metal gauge, a plastic ruler, a random large safety pin, and a bone crochet hook - the lot for £2! I only wanted the bell-shaped gauge but, hey, a box of needles for £1.50 more? I couldn't resist...and they knew it.
A lovely princessy top that's fairly yellowed with age but has awesome sequinned beading. I'm gonna Napisan it and maybe add a skirt-y bit to it, then it'll probably go into the store. I thought of keeping it for myself but I'm a fatty and can barely squeeze into it...
Here's a close-up of the sequins

Right, I'm not too sure what this is supposed to be, but I got it anyway so I could use it as a lace trimming on some of the stuff I want to make. If anyone has any ideas/suggestions as to what this really is, then leave a comment please. It feels like very old, fine cotton lace and is only about 0.5mm in width.

I got this awesome large pineapple motif doily in the same £1 per item box as that princessy top. Strangely enough, even though I hate eating pineapples (they hurt my tongue!), I actually really like pineapple motifs in crochet. I got those two boxes of hankies from another stall, and that other doily from somewhere else. I'm collecting doilies and hankies for a new project so if anyone has any and wants to get rid of some...you know where to send them!
Close-up of the hankies

A huge bunch of lace and some reels of vintage crochet threads. I've become a little obsessed with covering manky old buttons in fine crochet thread over the last fortnight. More pictures of those buttons in another post. That big wodge of white nylon lace, which probably comes up to about 20 metres, cost me all of 50p.

Like I said, Battersea car boot sale is an evil, evil place. I have hardly any space left in my lil' flat now.