Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Hello friends!
Happy Halloween... if that's your thing :-)
We don't celebrate Halloween in Australia, but I really do LOVE any excuse to dress up in costume :-) If you're heading off to a Halloween party or Trick or Treating tonight I hope the weather is kind to you!!
Do you celebrate Halloween? Are you dressing up? What are you dressing up as? Share in the comments!


P.S. Today is the last day of Blogtoberfest 2012. I have absolutely loved participating this year and I will be sure to participate next year as well :-) I think I might miss posting something everyday... maybe I'll have to start up "Blogvember" hehehe. It has certainly encouraged to me to post a lot more often and shown me how easy it is to blog much more often than I had been doing in the past :-) I hope to see you all around here a lot more often from now on :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Rabbit

Hello friends!
As I wrote about in an earlier post I am knitting a bunch of toys for my lovely friends who are having a baby :-) So far I have knitted a dachshund and this little rabbit :-)
I made this little critter using Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply/DK Classic that I have dyed using Landscape Dyes. I followed this free PATTERN from Lion Brand Yarns. I altered the ears a little though as I found that following the instructions as written in the pattern gave an unsatisfactory result, all lumpy and uneven up the sides of the ears :-(, So I did all my decreases for the ears one stitch in from the edges, rather than on the edges :-) The pattern doesn't include the scarf, but I felt that the little rabbit needed something to keep him warm :-) I made the scarf using some scrap 8ply/DK wool, cast on 4 stitches, knit one row, then all following rows I slipped one stitch purlwise, knit to end... until the scarf was the right length & cast off :-)
I wonder what my friends will name the little rabbit?

Howard Dachshund

Hello friends!
Recently I have been working on knitting some toys for two of my lovely friends who are having a baby together :-) And I've loved every minute of it :-)
Here is Howard the Dachshund! I dyed some Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply/DK Classic using Landscape Dyes in colourway Wombat :-)
And I followed this PATTERN by Annie Watts :-) It's a really great pattern and Annie is a very clever designer :-)
I have also been working on a little cat, a bigger cat and a rabbit :-) I'll show you pictures of those creatures when they're finished :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pinwheel Socks

Hello friends!
I'm still enjoying Socktober and embarking on new sock styles :-)
The Work in Progress pictured above is the Pinwheel Sock pattern by Elise Duvekot, which is in her book "Knit One Below". It's a really interesting book about a really interesting technique which was new to me. I love the vertical stripes appearing on this sock so far!
This pattern uses an "after thought" heel, which is also a new method for me, so I'm looking forward to learning more about socks as I go on with this project.
The black yarn I am using is a Bendigo Woollen Mills sock yarn (75% wool, 25% nylon) which is unfortunately no longer available and the coloured yarn I am using is Rico Design Superba Bamboo (which is a particularly delightful sock yarn to work with and wear :-)
I'm looking forward to being able to show you the finished socks I make using this interesting pattern :-)
What have you been working on lately? Have you recently learnt a new technique? Share in the comments :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Treasures Envelope

Hello friends!
It's time for my "Pattern of the Month" :-)
Here is a pattern for a Little Treasures Envelope to keep all your little treasures in :-) It's quick and easy and only uses a small amount of yarn. It's perfect for using up all those little bits of lovely yarn at the bottom of your knitting basket that are too pretty to throw away.
You could make a Little Treasures Envelope to hold a little gift you are giving to a friend, like jewellery. You could even use it as a cute "wrapping" if you are giving a Gift Card as a present :-)

Little Treasures Envelope
3.5mm crochet hook
50m (55yds) DK or 8ply yarn
Tapestry needle to weave in yarn ends

NOTE: Even though 8ply/DK weight yarn is suggested for this pattern you can use any weight yarn & an appropriate size hook to make your Little Treasures Envelope. Heavier weight yarn will make a larger enveope & lighter weight yarn will make a smaller envelope :-)

Tension/Gauge:  Exact tension/gauge is not essential to the outcome of this pattern, however I decided that having a tighter tension than usually worked with this yarn weight would be better for this project as it would stop little treasures accidentally falling out of the "envelope" :-) 
20 treble stitches & 10 rows = 10cm (4")

Finished Size: If your tension/gauge is the same as is listed above then your Little Treasures Envelope will be 13cm x 10cm (4" x 5") when finished.

Abbreviations: (Please note that British/Australian terms are used through out this pattern with a conversion to U.S. terms listed in the abbreviation explanation below :-)
ch : chain
st or sts : stitch or stitches
dc : double crochet (U.S. sc : single crochet)
tr : treble (U.S. dc : double crochet)

ch 35.
Row 1:  1 tr in 4th ch from hook, 1 tr in each ch until one ch remains unworked, 6 tr into this ch, you will now be working into the other side of the foundation chain (see Picture #1), 1 tr in each st to end. Turn. (70sts)
Row 2: 2ch (to count as 1 tr, here and throughout pattern), 1 tr in each of next 31 sts, 2tr in each of next 6 sts, 1 tr in each st to end. Turn. (76 sts)
Row 3:  2ch, 1 tr in each of next 31 sts, 2 tr in next st, (1tr in next st, 2 tr in next st) 5 times, 1 tr in each st to end. turn. (82 sts)
Row 4: 2ch, 1 tr in each of next 31 sts, 2tr in next st, (1 tr in each of next 2 sts, 2tr in next st) 5 times, 1 tr in each st to end. Turn. (88 sts)
Row 5: 1 ch (to count as 1dc), 1dc in each of next 42 sts, 2ch, skip 2 sts (buttonhole made), 1dc in each st to end. Turn. (88 sts)
Row 6:  2ch, 1 tr in each of next 31 sts, 2 tr in next st, (1tr in each of next 3 sts, 2 tr in next st) 5 times, 1 tr in each st to end. Cut yarn. Your piece should look like picture #2)

To finish:
Fold piece, as shown in picture #3. Rejoin yarn, using slip stitch, as shown in picture #4, dc through each st of both pieces folded together, and dc around "envelope" flap, and back down the other side, joining both folded pieces together (taking care that you have the same amount of stitches on both joined sides), fasten off. Weave in ends. Attach button to correspond with button hole. Fill your little envelope with treasures and enjoy :-)

 You can use all the little scraps of lovely yarn at the bottom of your knitting basket and make each row a different colour for a lovely stripey envelope. Maybe you have some self-striping yarn left over from another project, that would be perfect for this project! You can make this project using any type of yarn you like. You can use a big, chunky yarn and a larger hook to make a bigger Treasure Envelope, or you can use a lighter weight yarn and a smaller hook to make a tiny Treasure Envelope :-) 
Also, just in case you were wondering the little apple buttons are available in sets of 10 in my shop HERE :-)
 © Copyright Shara Lambeth Designs. Copyright remains that of the author at all times. The pattern is for personal use only. Reproduction of this pattern in anyway (electronic, email, photocopying, transcribing etc) is strictly prohibited, except with the explicit permission of the author. Please do not sell the pattern or the finished product that is made using this pattern without permission of the author, as this is a direct infringement of the copyright laws protecting this pattern. Also please be aware that copyright laws vary from country to country (sometimes even from state to state), I am Australian, in Australia, therefore my patterns are protected by Australian copyright laws. This copyright protection still stands no matter what country the item is made in or who makes it. Thank you :-)
If you do want to sell the Treasure Envelopes you make using this pattern at a market, craft fair or in your online store please do ask, as in most cases I will give permission :-)
And please feel free to make as many Treasure Envelopes as you like for yourself, your friends and family :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Owl Mask

Hello friends!
You know what I love? Dressing up in a costume!! Yep, I really do :-)
You may already know this this from my earlier post, but I am going to a fancy dress party soon dressed as an owl :-) Today I made my "mask".
I used an old pair of el cheapo sunglasses & popped the lenses out, some feathers, a piece of cardboard & glue :-)
As you can see, I used the yellow cardboard for the beak. It looks quite humorous on :-)
The rest of my costume is very feathery... I hope there are no animals at the party... as they might decide to make a meal of my outfit!
I hope you have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lutin Snuggle

 Hello friends!
You might remember the pattern I wrote for the Lutin Hat earlier this year. I have been working on a few variations to make it even more fun :-)
For the hat pictures in this post I used a faux fur yarn for the first several rows, then changed to the regular DK weight wool for the "body" of the hat. The creamy faux fur yarn is SOOOOO soft and buttery, perfect for any little woodland pixie :-)
The brown wool I sued for the main part of the hat is a delicious chocolatey brown 100% wool that I found in the back room of the Bendigo Woollen Mills. It's similar to the DK Luxury :-)
You can find the pattern for this hat in my Etsy store HERE and on Ravelry here ---> 
What have you been making lately? Share in the comments, I love to know what everyone else is up to as well :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Owl Wool

Hello friends!
This week I have been trying to figure out what I am going to wear to a costume party on the weekend. I had lots of ideas, some of which were a fox, Wednesday Addams, Where's Wally (or Waldo, depending on where you're from), or an owl :-)
I decided that an owl would be the most fun.... so I have been searching through my extensive collection of crafty bits and pieces and have found some very owly things...
I didn't know how I was going to make the wings. I knew I didn't want anything too cumbersome or anything too structured. I don't know if you've ever worn "wings" to a party before, but it's a pain to have to manoeuvre through a crowd with big, inflexible wings, it's hard to sit down, it's tricky trying to get in and out of a taxi, etc, etc hehehe. They might look fabulous, but they're impractical. So, then I had the idea that I would KNIT some wings.... semi-crazy, but I hope it's going to be a good idea...
So I have dyed some wool, pictured above. It's a semi-solid cool brown colour. The official name of the dye is WOMBAT, and it's pretty accurate as a wombat colour. It's a Landscape Dye that I got from KraftKolour, who have a fabulous range of dyes of all varieties (they also have outstanding customer service and fast shipping :-)
The wool I'm using is Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 12 ply, which is soft and squishy and chunky :-)
And the pattern I'm using is Temporale Dorato, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. It's gorgeous! I think it sort of looks like feathers...? I am modifying the pattern a  little bit so that it buttons up the front (so I can flap it around like wings :-) I'll write about the modifications when it's done, as a few people have tried to modify it in the same way and appear to have run into a few problems... I also ran into a few problems when I was trying to figure out how to modify it as well.... It took a lot of Maths power to figure it out!
Have you made any fun/crazy/successful/unsuccessful patterns lately? What have you made? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Smoothie of the day!

Hello friends!
Today I thought I'd share another one of my smoothies with you :-)
You may have read this post HERE about my smoothies. I like to use a variety of fruit and veggies and whatever else I feel like at the time. I've made a few that haven't been all that fabulous, but the large majority of my smoothie experiments have been DELICIOUS! Probably the only one that I couldn't finish was when I accidentally added waaaaaay too much ginger and it was just unpleasant (even though I LOVE ginger).
Todays smoothie was made using strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, carrot, tomato, ginger, mint, cinnamon & a bit of water. It was amazing! Full of flavour & nutrients :-)
You can put pretty much anything you fancy in a smoothie like this. Things that work really well are: orange/mandarin segments (try to remove seeds beforehand), baby spinach, cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants, blackberries, boysenberries, kiwi fruit, mint, cinnamon, ginger, soy milk, yoghurt, tomato, carrot, coriander, lemon &/or lime juice &/or zest, chilli (just a little bit), banana, stone fruit (with "stones" removed :-), oats, nuts (I sometimes just add a handful of raw nuts, but if you prefer a smoother smoothie you might like to choose almond or hazelnut meal instead), cooked rice or quinoa, celery, raw cacao, raw egg. All the things I've mentioned so far are suitable for most people, especially folks with Fructose Malabsorption, like me (however, please remember that everyone is different and not all foods will be suitable for all people). And if you don't have any dietary restrictions you can add other things such as apple, watermelon, mango, pear & pomegranate :-)
I hope you take the time to give yourself a treat and make a fruit/veggies smoothie one day soon :-) You'll be very pleased with yourself, I promise!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Striped Summer Socks

Hello friends!
Guess what...? It's still Socktober over here at the SLD HQ :-)
These socks have been made using Noro Taiyo Sock yarn which is a blend of cotton, silk, wool & nylon. To create the stripes I have divided the skein into two, and knit 4 rows per stripe with each ball. The colours sort of met up in the middle of the foot and blended in so it looks like there isn't quite a stripe there, but never mind... I still like the way they have turned out :-)
I made these socks on much small needles than I have worked all my other socks on so far, so it took quite a bit longer to knit these socks.
The yarn is beautiful to work with, and feels a lot softer once it's knitted up as opposed to when it's still in the skein. The only thing to keep in mind with this yarn is that it does tend to "stick" when using wooden needles, which can be a bit annoying and makes work slow. I have found this with other yarns that contain silk when using my KnitPro Symfonie needles as well. So I used my Addi Turbo 20cm circular needle for the majority of the sock and just finished off the last few rows of the toe with the Symfonies :-)
I'm hoping these socks might be a bit more suitable for summer wear, because of the silk and cotton content :-) I'll let you know how they go :-)
What have you been working on lately? Share in the comments!

Sunshine Shawl

Hello friends!
Here is one of my recent "finished objects", the Sunshine Shawl :-)
I used the Elise Shawl pattern, which is one of my favourite shawl patterns :-) It's easy, and works up very quickly and gives a great result :-)
The yarn I used is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply, which I have hand dyed using food dye and following the tutorial I wrote about in THIS post :-)
I like to wear this shawl more like a scarf, backwards, with the point at the front. I believe it's called "Highway Man" style when you where a pointed shawl in this way :-)
What have you finished making lately? Share in the comments! :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Finders Keeps Market - Melbourne

Hello friends!
Oh, I was doing so well with Blogtoberfest, managing to post something new EVERYDAY... except yesterday :-( As it turns out, I can't actually post to my blog from my phone (and I didn't have access to my desk top computer). I don't know whether it's an issue with blogger, or an issue with my phone, or an issue with blogger and android phones working in conjunction with each other...or if it was just me :-) Whatever the issue was, it meant I didn't publish a blog post yesterday :-( So I will be publishing two posts today to make up for it :-)
I also had one more issue with this post... I took all the photographs I was planning to use in this post on my phone (as I was planning on posting from my phone) and now that I've uploaded all the images to my desktop computer I don't seem to be able to save the changes to the orientation of the images... they will only upload to the blog in "landscape" view... And the only photograph I took in "landscape" is the one above, and it's a rubbish photo! LOL.
All the other photographs look like the one below.... Oh......
Anyway, enough about all the technical issues I am experiencing....
Yesterday I went to Finders Keepers Market in Melbourne! It was held in the glorious Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton (one of my favourite building in Melbourne :-)
Not only was it fabulous to see so many glorious things made by clever people, but it was extra special because I knew so many of the stall holders so I got to have a little catch up with some lovely friends at the same time as seeing all their latest clever & spectacular creations :-)
I decided to go early to try and avoid the crowds, as last time I went to Finders Keepers in Melbourne it was SO crowded that it was hard to enjoy all the wonderful wares or to actually see anything for the sea of people. Going early this time was a good idea :-)
I went along yesterday with the intention of finding myself some groovy earrings... I came away with many things... but no earrings.... hehehe.
Some of the fabulous things I got were:
An AMAZING black & white dress from MADE590
A fabulous pink resin bangle and ring from KeepResin
A very cool Dinosaur brooch from Orange Sherbet (this is for my nephew's 5th Birthday)
A super porcelain CROCHET brooch from Sandra Bowkett - Potter 

I hope you've been having a fabulous weekend too!
Do you know why I couldn't publish a post, with pictures, from my phone? I have a feeling there is probably a way to do it...and i just couldn't figure it out :-)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Mystery Moth

Hello friends!

Look at this amazing and beautiful moth I found on my driveway :-)
I have no idea what sort of moth it is... 
 Do you know what sort it? I tried to search for it on the internet, but there are approximately 57 bazillion different types of moths out there...
 It sort of looks like leaves... doesn't it? :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Little Visitors

Hello friends!
Today I had a lovely surprise :-) These two lovelies arrived on my doorstep and we got to play all afternoon :-)
Puppy likes to chew EVERYTHING... so we did a lot of our playing outdoors. Chew away pup!
We took lots of photos, made some little films, jumped over/on/through/off things, puppy chewed EVERYTHING in sight, we chased each other...then we weeded the driveway... even puppy helped. As soon as he saw us pulling weeds out he decided he liked the idea of that and pulled out a bunch of weeds too... Maybe we should hire him out for gardening services?

When was the last time you had fun surprise visitors? Share in the comments :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

bord de la mer socks

Hello friends!
Yes, according to me it's still "Socktober!" Yay!
Here is another sock design I have been working on today. The little scallop design is made using a fair isle knitting technique, which doesn't seem to be all that suited to sock knitting (there must be an easier way!!!?)
The reason it's not particlarly suitable for sock knitting is that it doesn't have a lot of stretch... I can only *just* get these socks on my little feet (and I do have little feet), and the other reason this technique isn't so fabulous for sock knitting is because of all the little threads carried along the inside (or back) of your work (sock) which means that they are *really* tricky to put on without catching your toes in all the little threads.
Do you know a better way of knitting colour patterns such as this into socks?? Share in the comments!
P.S. Despite their impractical nature I still adore these socks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rainbow Eyelet Socks

Hello friends!
Hmmm, maybe I should have called this month "Socktober" instead of "Blogtober"....
Yep, here is another pair of socks I have been working on :-) I had an idea for the pattern the other day and today I finally had the chance to try it out and it worked :-)
It's a little hard to see but the stitch pattern around the ankle and the top of the foot is staggered eyelets.
I'd love to be able to tell you what the yarn is, becuase it's so pretty... but it is left over from a project I knit for one of my nephews when he was a newborn... and he just turned 9! Yes, I've had this yarn hanging around in my stash for that long!
When i write this pattern up it will have a longer leg section, I only did a short anklet style sock because I had limited yarn :-)
The pattern should be ready to be published very soon and will be available on Ravelry :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Maroondah Dam

Hello friends!
Today I visited Maroondah Dam in Healesville, Victoria, Australia. The weather was perfect and all the beautiful Spring flowers were in bloom :-)
 Overcast.... my favourite weather :-)
 From the top of the waterfall :-)
 Looking out over the dam wall :-)
 These Lilac flowers smelled absolutely divine!
A beautiful bee enjoying the scented azaleas :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Glorieux Mitts

Hello friends!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend :-) I did!
Part of my weekend involved working on writing up the pattern for these fingerless mitts :-) The pattern is now in the testing stage and is due to be released very soon on Ravelry & Etsy :-)
The yarn I used for the pair pictured here is Bendigo Woollen Mills 4 ply Luxury that I hand dyed using Landscape Dye in Sulphur Yellow. It's a little hard to see from the photographs, but the yellow is actually NEON! It almost hurts your eyes to look at them :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Roxo Sox

Hello friends!
Yeah... I'm still on my sock making bender :-)
I made this sock using my Alegria pattern and some Bendigo Woollen Mills 4 ply Luxury that I have hand dyed using food dye.
I started knitting the 2nd sock in this pair this morning at the Yarra Valley S'n'B at Mocha and Lime and had a very sweet little girl come and stare at what I was doing for about 10 minutes before asking me in a tiny voice what I was making. I told her it was a sock and showed her the finished one, and she was very excited :-) I then over heard her saying to her mum: "I didn't know you could MAKE socks!"
I wonder what other socky adventures will unfold this weekend?
Are you working on a crafty project this weekend? What are you making? Share in the comments :-)
P.S. Just in case you were wondering I DID get the second sock in the pair finished using my Watermelon yarn :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Watermelon Socks

Hello friends!
If you read my post from yesterday you would have seen that I had done a little yarn dyeing experiment... And this sock is the result :-) I'm pretty happy with it, even if it doesn't immediately scream "Watermelon!" it's still a pretty good likeness and I like the colour combination :-)
The only trouble with it is that I miscalculated the amount of yarn I had... so when I had finished this sock I weighed the remaining yarn...and I am a few grams short for the second sock... I'm going to try and adjust the second sock a little bit so I can complete the pair :-) Fingers crossed!! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Watermelon Sock Yarn

Hello friends!
If you have been following my blog recently you will already know about my obsession with knitting socks.
At first it was knitting a pair of socks from a pattern in a magazine. Then it was writing my own sock pattern. And now I've moved on to hand dyeing my own self striping sock yarn :-)
The base yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (White), and I used various food dyes, using the same method I wrote about HERE to dye the yarn :-)
And if all goes according to plan... when I knit this yarn into a little pair of socks it will resemble a watermelon :-)
If it works I'll show you pictures tomorrow... And if it doesn't work... I'll show you pictures tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Little Tops

 Hello friends!
A little while ago I decided to make each of my nieces a little top to wear in the warmer weather. For two of the tops (the ones on the far left and far right in the picture above) I used the gorgeous HINE pattern. It's a fabulous pattern that is well written and easy to follow and gives a great result :-)
And for the top pictured below I used a pattern that I wrote myself :-) I'm hoping to add the pattern to Ravelry soon :-)
 For each top I used some glorious vintage buttons that i got from the lovely Kate at Buttonmania in the Nicholas Building in Melbourne :-) If you haven't been there before I highly recommend that you make the trip to Buttonmania!
The yarn I used for all three little tops is Spring Cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It is a really fabulous yarn to work with and perfect for the warmer months, with 99.6% cotton and 0.4% Lycra.