A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
How darned cute are these? Socks from the new Koigu Magazine in ‘Autumn Berries’ and some scarves to make you wish for colder weather.
I’ve almost completed a crochet project with Japanese Koigu yarn in various shades from lemon to hot pink, and it’s such a buzz to work with. Not for the delicious texture alone, which is soft and fine and anything but sticky, but the delight in watching its variegated colours play out. And it looks amazing on smaller items such as roses or scarves for little people. I’m going to give the knitted iPod case just completed at my Corner Shop workshop a go in a zesty lemon-lime-tomato combination next, with Koigu from Calico & Ivy Balmain.
Now the days are getting cooler, I’m keen to be knitting and crocheting when I can. And I’ve gotten to the sweet spot with crocheting where I can watch a film or chat and still concentrate on keeping up a pattern, which is heaven.
The challenge this winter? To learn how to make socks, so I can give a pair or two to friends with mid-year birthdays. Wish me luck.
This week Sydney has turned on her charms like the cancan dancer she is, and made me remember why I love living in this city. The balmy breath wending its way through the house today is dispelling the cold memory of winter, and the air seems to thrum with its energy. Ah, spring.
Yesterday I wore a silk kaftan for the first time since March – with bare legs – and was overwhelmed by a desire to throw open all the windows and doors, and take to every space in the home with a duster, in full-on editing mode.
Hello, window-box geraniums. Hello post-dawn morning yoga classes, and trips to the fish markets. Goodbye winter colds, let’s be done with you. Come hither, sun.
Hours whizz by perusing Pinterest, the virtual mood board for all things inspiring. Type in crochet, and there you have some of the cutest, weirdest things anyone could think to make. Love it.
Don’t ask me why, but I’m obsessed with crocheting fruit at the moment. The plan is to fill little bowls around the house with fancies (just because I can). Here’s the first attempt below – two pears and a strawberry, made from one of my Japanese pattern books (which is entirely in Japanese – a bit of a punt following its instructions, but we get there in the end). The pears measure about 5cm from top to bottom, using a 1.75mm crochet needle. I’m going solo next, and trying to attempt making my own cherries and apples.
Below is our pinboard, depository of all beloved imagery in the kitchen, and the crocheted brooch I made Olive recently but am saving for a day when she won’t cause some horrific accident or maim herself with it (bull in a china shop doesn’t come close to covering it, god love her).
And check out my new crochet bag, found at the Rozelle markets a few weeks ago. It’s currently storing the shapes below for a new, Swedish-style blanket I’m whipping up in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino – heaven to touch.
Will this crochet obsession ever end?
Another love affair has begun – I’ve gone mad for crochet. And not just with any yarn, but the dusky-coloured wool I’ve chosen to make these two favourite crochet projects with.
The above is 70% super kid mohair and 30% silk (Rowan Kidsilk Haze). Heather Hunt, our fab Calico & Ivy crochet teacher came up with the pattern but I’ve been modifying it as I’ve gone along, basing changes on the pansies Olive picked out at Rozelle Markets last weekend.
Below is the scarf I’ve ground to a halt with. Must start up again soon, but somehow the pansies are far more satisfying, given they’re completed in under an hour.
For images of the crochet and string quilting classes I’ve been attending, check out the Calico & Ivy blog, which is of course new favourite supplier for all things woollen and haberdashery-wise.
Knitting will have to wait -
I have just had the most inspiring weekend. Which, considering I’m in the throes of a full-blown chest infection, was not expected. Conversations with creative people which resonated and made so much sense, from the Books & Nooks event yesterday with Pia Jane Bijkerk to a five year old’s birthday party next door.
Case in point: I was chatting to Maja, co-0wner and jewellery designer from Polli on Sunday. Maja’s gone mad for knitting; making jumpers and scarves and beanies and all sorts of complicated things lately. Because she runs a business and is a mother and no longer actually makes much jewellery anymore (like Dinosaur Designs, Polli started at Paddington Markets before growing massively both here and internationally, while retaining their Made in Australia, by hand ethos), Maja needed to find a new hobby, and knitting is it.
I can’t tell you how much satisfaction I’ve had in learning to crochet this week at Calico & Ivy. With sewing my job now – what with the books and workshops, etc. – it feels like a wholly indulgent, relaxing pastime again to be making for the pure pleasure of it. And it’s given me the confidence to think, what new dizzying heights of craftiness could I be scaling? I have a view to mastering knitting myself. The first project? A beautiful, bold-shouldered cardigan, taken from an original 1940s pattern. Wish me luck.
I’m definitely feeling the love for all things woollen this week as the chill sets in (I even popped the gas heater on for a minute last night, then sensibly changed into a big Aran-knit jumper and some ugg boots instead).
Check out this fab scarf, a present from Katrina found at a flea market a few weeks ago (lucky me). I’m digging its old-school seventies charm.
A while ago one of my oldest and dearest friends Lisa Cosco set up Nursing Angel, a brilliant business selling hard-to-find product lines to nursing mothers. It’s since turned into a massive online store stocking all sorts of things, including these.
I’m a sucker for cowboy boots and these are too cute. I know what I’m getting for friends’ new babes this xmas – they also come in pink and blue for the traditionalists.
I met designer Kristen Masters at Julie Paterson’s shop, Cloth Fabric in Surry Hills because Julie now stocks some of her fantastic jewellery range.
At this stage you can only buy these unique handmade pieces from Cloth or direct through Kristen’s new blog, but they’re well worth checking out for their intricate, avant garde beauty.
I’m particularly loving the two on the second line down. So fab.