Thursday, July 23, 2009

Knitting Group on Tonight

Did you know that the new Morris & Sons store in the city is hosting a stitch 'n bitch on Thursday nights now? It's on tonight from 5-7pm. I'll be there until about 6:15 and then I'm going to the BurdaStyle club meeting at Tessuti. Busy, busy.

And here's a gratuitous photo of my cute boys.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Another FO!

Yarn: Rowan Cocoon 1.2 balls in colour 816 - Kiwi
Needles: 6mm for the ribbing and 9mm for the rest of the hat

This was so fast, I started it one night and finished it the next!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Like watching paint dry

The slab for our house was poured today ... and the concreters are still there, waiting for it to dry more so they can trowel it really smooth ... and there were a few drops of rain as we left! Eeek. If it rains a lot it'll be too wet for them to trowel smooth and the raindrops can leave pits in the surface. We're not going to grind it back so it's really important that the finish is really good. Fingers crossed!!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Chiffon gathers

Hmm, Just found this dress which is by Maggy London the same designer as the pattern I'm using and is very similar to the pattern I'm using, the midriff part is just thinner.

But how did they get the gathers so small!! Mine are kinda chunky :(

My first method, used on the neckline, was to sew two rows of stitching, both inside the 1.5cm seam allowance and then pull the top threads to create the gathers. But on the midriff I sewed the lines of stitching either side of the seam line (and then pulled out the threads after sewing the seams) and this produced a better result but still not as tiny as these gathers ... poo.

Anyone know?


I don't know why but I agreed to make a bridesmaid's dress for my brother-in-law's girlfriend. I think it was probably pride :) Don't want to admit that it's beyond me.

So, I took Tina shopping and we chose Butterick pattern 5134. Only to discover that it's been discontinued! Argh! It was the only pattern we even remotely liked so I called around and tracked down a copy at The Cloth Shop.

Then I put together a muslin of just the lining part to see if it was the right size.

It was almost right, just a bit snug around the waist so I added four centimetres and started on a full-scale test version.

It took 4 hours to put the bodice together yesterday! Blimey! The pattern is rated as "easy" but I would think that'd mean a beginner could make it and this definitely isn't beginner. I guess it's not that hard, but cutting out the flimsy fabric and doing the gathers was kinda fiddly.

So I'm really pleased with the way this has turned out so far. The gathers on the bodice aren't great but I did them a little differently on the sides of the midriff bit and they look much neater. I also learnt that it's a bit dumb to use white overlocker thread under black chiffon, it's totally visible - dammit.

Anyway, tomorrow I've got to add the skirt so Tina can try it on again on Wednesday. And then I have to do it all over again in the real fabric. Phew!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I finally finished my cloche and blocked it on the weekend. I'm happy with how it turned out except for the fact that it's a bit too big, I made it in the large size instead of medium because the pattern was a bit confusing. I realised what I'd done but didn't want to rip back the work that I'd done. That'll teach me! I've felted it but it only shrank a little. It might be OK, I'll wear it and see how it goes.
  • Pattern: Matilda (ravelry)
  • Yarn: 2 balls Jo Sharp Aran Tweed in black
  • Needles: 4mm DPNs and 40cm circular

I also whipped up this leaf scarf/necklace last week.

Handknitter's Guild Wool and Craft Fair

On Saturday I went to the Handknitter's Guild's Wool and Craft Fair at the Brunswick town hall. It was really good, like a mini Bendigo Sheep and Wool show (and without the sheep).

There were lots of wool and fiber producers there
  • Dairing who have a knitwear shop in Richmond and stock Habu yarns. I'd heard about them but never seen them until now, very unusual!
  • Andyle who had lovely coloured wool grown on their farm in Tarneit Victoria.
  • Shiloh Wool who have coloured fleeces and combed wool for spinners from Bellaraine Victoria.
  • Lara Downs who have angora goat and lots of other luxury fibers and are from Balliang Victoria and they've also opened a new retail outlet called Precious Purl at 397 Bruswick St Fitzroy. I can't find a website for them but their card says they're open Wed-Sat 11-4 phone 0423 514 668.
  • Ixchel angora bunnies! They have other fibers too but I love the bunnies!

And there were more of course but I didn't get their business cards.

I bought some 14 ply wool from Shiloh and wound it into a ball using my brand new ball winder and swift from Morris & Sons. It was so fun to wind it, my husband, sister and dad all watched the process with interest too :) I'm going to try dying it myself, eep! (yeah probably should've left it in the skein but I couldn't resist trying out the ball winder)

Friday, June 26, 2009

House building blog

I've started a new blog, The Laburnum Project to record the ins and outs of our house building. Take a look, it's gonna be pretty damn exciting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


I only just noticed (because his collar was off) that Samson's white chest is actually heart-shaped, awww.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Kitchen, originally uploaded by mildlycrafty.

I took some photos today of the house we'll be renting while we build. The house was owned by a little old lady (well I assume it was). It's so cute! Check out the other photos here.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Jeez it's cold! I'll be so happy when we have our new house because it'll be WARM inside instead of FREEZING!

I've had the heater (an old gas one) on all morning and it's just reached 17 degrees in here.

So, for your amusement, I thought I'd describe my outfit today.

  • Matt's sheepskin slippers (which are a bit too big)
  • knee high socks
  • navy blue trackies (pilled
  • singlet, long sleeve t-shirt and jumper that is a bit too small (also pilled)
  • Matt's beanie

  • Matt's fingerless mitts

  • my new shawl/scarf

I look pretty flash I can tell you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We signed the contract with the builder today to start work on our new house! Eeep, scary!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Winter of hats

I have twelve hats in my ravelry favourites! So I'm thinking of making this the winter of hats :)

First off the rank is two (!) Thorpes. I quite enjoyed this, it was really quick, quite easy and looks pretty good too. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I started a second one within 5 minutes of finishing the first :)

Next up is Matilda which was in a Frankie issue last year. The crown is constructed in a very similar way to Thorpe so the start has been easy. No progress shots yet.

And after that, I'm not sure, perhaps Felicity? But I might have to take a break from my hats to make a capelet (poncho?) like this one, which I LOVE! The girl who made it figured it out from a picture from somewhere. See it on Ravelry here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Music and and actual FO

I hope you all had a great Easter break. We went to Mansfield again and lazed about in the lovely weather.

So last post I said I was going to see Tony Joe White that night, which I did. His support act was Abbie Cardwell who I hadn't heard before, she was great, there's a couple of her songs on youtube if you're interested. And Tony was fabulous, such an awesome voice :)

Like a few other people I had a go at making hot cross buns over the break. They looked great but didn't have enough spice and sultanas in them for my taste, I'll try again next year :)

But the big news is that I finally finished my cable shawl, it was a lot of knitting (for me anyway). I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Size: 156cm x 37cm
Yarn: 6.5 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed in shade #147
Needles: 4mm
Mods: Substituted a finer yarn which meant I had to do 24 pattern repeats instead of the 18 called for. I also made the ribbing on the side only 8.5cm instead of 10cm.

The scarf is constructed by knitting the centre panel lengthways then (on each side) picking up stitches along the length (on a really long circular needle) and knitting ribbing. There were 481 stitches to pick up! That wasn't fun.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tony Joe White

Going to see Tony Joe White tonight at the Toff in Town. Can't wait!

Monday, April 06, 2009

How to print double-sided

I don't know if you already do this but I thought I'd share how I print out my PDFs double-sided on my bubble-jet printer. It's worth figuring out how to do this as it saves a lot of paper (and you know there's a million reasons to do that) and it also means you have less pages to file/carry around/post/whatever you're going to do with them.

So firstly you need to print out all the odd pages. To do this select "Odd pages only" on the print dialog as shown below.

Then you take out the pages you just printed and put them back into the paper tray. For my printer I have to put them printed side up with the top of the page in first. Note that you might need to do it differently to me if your printer works differently.

Then you need to print all the even pages, in reverse order. To do this select "Even pages only" from the print dialog and check the "Reverse pages" checkbox, as shown below.

That's it, pretty easy no?

And because I seem to forget how to do this if I haven't done it for a while, I wrote down the instructions and stuck them to my printer :)

(If you can't read that it says, Print odd pages, Put back in w top end in first + printed side up, Print even pages reversed)

In case you're wondering, I'm printing out the pattern for Thorpe, inspired by Pea Soup.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend review

Going for a walk with my cat and dog at the edge of lake Eildon (which is and has been dry for about eight years) near Mansfield, Victoria. Spent most of the weekend sitting on the verandah and crocheting, listening to the birds and to the cat stalking them. Ahh the serenity!
There are three op-shops near each other in Mt Waverley, here's my haul from them on Friday.

- two high-waisted skirts, one straight black velvet the other a fuller tweed (with in-seam pockets)
- vintage patent leather handbag
- crocheted cushion cover
- chinese checkers
- not sure what you'd call this, I guess it's kind of a hook rack, I'm going to use it in my craft room
I love this handbag. The label inside says it's by Master Made Handbags, Sydney. Was $12, reduced to $6 because one of the handles is cracked.

BTW, I used Flogger to compose this post, it really is quite handy.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I think it might be time to introduce you to a little web site that I set up recently. It's called Flogger and it's here

The short description is that Flogger is a tool to help you with photo blogging.

I was prompted to create it because I liked the way you could blog a photo easily from Flickr and it would format your photo nicely with a border and a link to the Flickr page for the photo and include the photo title. eg

But if you want to blog more than one photo then Flickr can't help you and it's actually a bit of a pain, you have to create the HTML yourself and it's quite time consuming. I searched around for a tool to help with this issue and couldn't find a satisfactory solution. So being the (small-time) computer geek that I am, I wrote my own program.

If you're interested please take a look and let me know if you find it's useful. I have set up a blog for it here

Hot Chocolate

I had this Italian (!) hot chocolate on Thursday from Sugardough in Lygon St, Brunswick East. It was goooood! A bit like drinking warmed up chocolate cake batter :)

I had some time to kill so I sat in the sun in their courtyard and drank my hot choc and knitted, ahh, so relaxing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This weekend

Hi, it's been quiet around here hasn't it. The problem is that I'm just not that into writing. I find it reaaally hard to say what I mean. Every time I think I have something I want to post it turns into an agonising internal debate about how to say it, how much to say, whether it's interesting anyway, etc etc. And often I end up deleting what I just spent half an hour writing. That sucks.

So anyway, I'm not deleting this. Here's what I did this weekend. Went to an antiques and collectibles fair in Burwood East, just because I read about it in the paper over breakfast and I thought it'd be fun. And it was! I saw a couple of really lovely silver mesh purses, like this one, I've always admired them but never thought of a good reason why I should have one, until now! It's my birthday in a couple of weeks so I told Matt he could buy it for my for my birthday if he wanted too :) Score!

Today we went for a bike ride along Gardiner's creek. We rode about 22.3 km and had lunch in Ashwood which was our halfway point. At lunch we read the newspapers and I was excited to see Pip the front page of the A2! Read the article here (minus picture of Pip looking very relaxed and crafty).

I'll leave you today with a photo of the heart I made Matt for valentine's day. I thought he'd think it was a bit lame but he actually thought it was quite cool. Made it all worthwhile :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009


These are photos my parents took from their property in Musk last week. Luckily this is as close as the fire got to them. There were no houses lost in this fire, there were a few sheds and stock (alpacas I think) lost though. I was on the phone to my parents every couple of hours on Monday evening, Tuesday and Wednesday to check what was happening and it was a bit of a roller-coaster. One minute it would be everything seems under control and the next mum would say shit the fire is coming closer. I was pretty sure they'd be OK because the had sprinklers going all over their property and they have a big dam they could get in if they had to but still ... it was scary.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


He's getting bigger.