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.
I’m like the grasshopper who sang all summer (except I was getting superfit working out five times a week – no weight loss, but I can run up hills now, big ones, and not pass out or be sick, bonus! – and writing books not blog posts and making monumental plans to overhaul my life), and now it’s autumn and I have 50 projects to make for the next book, which I handed in last February but is about to be shot in just over 2 months time, and it’s scaring the bejeezus out of me. Yikes!
Met with my lovely new publisher, Tracy Lines (former Creative Director of Inside Out) on Wednesday, and she succeeded in lighting a fire underneath my butt (totally necessary – I even had Olive help me overhaul a hatstand yesterday, how desperate is that? Just a tip, three year olds make rubbish helpers). Fortunately I won’t starve or go begging the ants anytime soon, but it’s time to stop squawking.
Naturellement, this was all feeling a bit stressful. So I took off to The Corner Shop in The Strand Arcade last night to learn how to knit as part of the Campaign for Wool (thank you Corner Shop, you’re my favourite) and despite now fantasising about making my own clotted cream-coloured slouchy knit for winter (I can purl!), à la the one spotted here on the enigmatic Ms Kass, I’m also considering signing up for the always-fab workshops at Calico & Ivy Balmain over winter because my fingers are itchy, dammit, and I’m going in for a spot of work avoidance behaviour (WAB) this week. When you make for a living, making for the selfish hell of it feels gloriously subversive.
Cloth is selling off cute bundles of all their archived fabrics at their online store, so I might pop in for a nosy at those this afternoon and urge you to do the same.
I went to Rozelle Markets for the first time in months last Sunday and was wooed by my ruggedly handsome paramour all over again (don’t tell my husband). Sometimes a vintage vixen starts to feel pure Second Hand Rose when she’s up to her ears in marketeering, but I bought a bangin’ black miniskirt, secondhand Sass & Bide tux jacket and lambskin floor rug for under 50 bucks, and now I’m biding my time until our 8am tryst tomorrow. Gotta love those cheap thrills.
And I’m appearing at Sydney Writers’ Festival in a month with Indira Naidoo to talk DIY! All the superlatives in the world can’t cover how XXXXXXXX I am to be part of the best festival in The Showgirl’s calendar. Love SWF to pieces. I will finish reading The Marriage Plot and Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? before I see Mr Eugenides and Ms Winterson next month, I will I will I will.
I won’t promise to blog more, and I won’t wish to fit more in my week. I broke fast with one of my dearest friends in the world this morning, and life is GOOD (I’ve been up since 3am, can you tell?)
Much love to you & yours & keep on truckin’.
You know knitting’s on-trend when they start doing it at The Corner Shop… check out these free classes being offered in-store to promote the Campaign for Wool, and look to Lion Brand and Purl Harbour for inspiration on the coolest knits this winter. Planning to crack out the crochet this weekend… toasty!
How do crafty minxes unwind? They craft, for a start – Olive’s scarf is almost done, hurrah – and (in my case, at least) eat. Like bears before hibernation. Back to yoga tomorrow to work off all those rich, day-long meals consumed on holiday. Husband is worried he’s looking a little portly as well. Nice if we could indulge without turning into teletubbies, but there you have it.
Scarves & blankets & flowers provide a good entrée into yarn obsession to be sure, but I’m hankering for more of a challenge. I’ll continue with crochet this winter but next year, I’m going the full knitwit.
Milla Mia have featured on the site before because their childrens’ knitting patterns are so darn cute and stylish. And they’ve just released another book with 19 new patterns, Wonderland, as gorgeous and inspiring as previous titles The Close Knit Gang and Bright Young Things. Soon I will attempt one of these and even finish it – preferably before Olive turns 18.
Remember Maja? She emailed today to share one of her creations for son Jasper. Isn’t it gorgeous? Just so soft and cosy-looking, it also seems to have some complicated knitwork going on there… I’m so impressed.
Maja’s top tip for knitters and aspiring knitters is to sign up to Ravelry for patterns and links to people everywhere knitting and crocheting – it’s like Facebook for crafters, apparently. I’m onto it.
And we shoot all the final images for book four tomorrow and this Saturday, plus the design awards (where A Life in Frocks has been nominated) are on Thursday night… very busy few days ahead. All fingers and toes crossed the sun shines on us, and my cold magically disappears. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
More on hats, and more on Rebecca, who makes the most wonderful scarves and beanies and sources her yarns from Morris & Sons… for my last birthday, she knitted me this beautifully soft beanie in a lovely shade of eggshell. The delicious chill in the air has prompted me to pull it out from storage so I can finally wear it.
And check out the tag – yes, her handwriting really is that cute.
How cute is this site? I love these modern knits for children and delicious-looking yarns, which are from the UK but have a chic, Scandinavian feel. If anything can convince me to learn more complex knitting skills, it’s this. I’m particularly fond of the ‘Bright Young Things’ collection… they deliver to Australia, too.