Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pieces of Gold

Hello friends!
So today is the last day of my "March Marathon" where I managed to write something on my blog everyday during March! I have loved the interaction with you all and i think I've been inspired to continue updating my blog a lot more regularly :-) And I think it keep me busier than usual because I wanted to have something interesting to write about and show you. That can only be a good thing! 
 I have been very busy indeed, making lots of new necklaces :-) I've been experimenting with using more than one colour in each bead and I'm really happy with the results :-)
I'm a huge fan of red, turquoise and gold together.
 The classic black and gold together has also become a new favourite :-)
Even though I wear a LOT of black clothes I realised that I didn't really have much black jewellery... so I thought I ought to remedy this!
I hope you're enjoying your weekend and I'll be back in April with lots more to write about and lots more to show you :-)
xo Shara

Friday, March 29, 2013

Owl Necklace

Hello friends!
I hope you're enjoying your Easter Good Friday today :-) And if Easter is not your thing, then I hope you're enjoying the fact that it's Friday!
Today I thought I would show you one of the necklaces I have been working on recently. As well as the round beads I usually make I have added a little owl bead as well :-) He was lots of fun to make :-) I almost felt like he should have name, hehehe...
Enjoy your weekend!!
xo Shara

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Colour Block Mittens

Hello friends!
It's been a productive week here at at SLD HQ :-) I've released another pattern for everyone to enjoy :-)

The Colour Block Mittens are fast and easy to make and only use a small amount of each yarn colour. Perfect for using up all those little bits of beautiful left over yarn from other projects :-) 
You can easily make a pair in a few evenings, so they are a perfect last minute gift :-) 
Knit in the round on double pointed means in one piece, so there are no seams to sew to finish the project :-)Yippee! 
Easily customisable too! 
These mittens will quickly become a favourite “go to” pattern.
And you don't even have to have matching colour blocks on each mitten, you could simply use all the little bits of left over yarns hanging around in your stash!
Set of 4mm double pointed needles 
50-55m DK/8 ply yarn in Colour A (Cuff & Thumb Tip) 
50-55m DK/8 ply yarn in Colour B (Palm & Thumb Gusset) 
50-55m DK/8 ply yarn in Colour C (Finger Section) 
3 stitch markers 
Tapestry Needle for Weaving in yarn ends
Size: Designed to fit an average women’s hand. The mitten is quite stretchy & will accommodate a variety of sizes. The length is easily customisable.
Tension/Gauge: 22 stitches & 30 rows = 10cm (4”)
The pattern is available via Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy!
You can also find finished mittens in my store HERE :-)
xo Shara

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

The Ricefield Collective! Wow!

Hello friends!
Do you remember me writing about the Ricefield Collective last week? Yes? Good!
Check this out! Just a week after they launched their crowd funding project on Kickstarter they have reach more than 200% of their goal!!! Whoa! That is amazing!
So they are putting the extra funds towards other essential things that the women they are helping need to make their plan possible and more importantly, sustainable, so they can keep it going :-) if you haven't already had a look at the Ricefield Collective, do yourself a favour and check it out :-)
xo Shara
P.S. Just in case you were wondering... pictured is Buddy the Guinea Pig :-) Cute, yes?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Walking the Dog

Hello friends!
I hope the weather is as glorious at your place at the moment as it is here :-) It may be Autumn, but it's a tiny but warmer than usual which just makes it even more delightful :-) I think the unseasonably warm weather has tricked the trees and none of them have started to change colour yet...and it's almost April!!

Because the weather was so wonderful today we decided to take the dog for a walk at Maroondah Dam, in Healesville, Victoria, Australia :-) Pictured above is the path across the top of the dam wall.
It's one of my most favourite places to visit :-) I love wandering around there for hours :-) It's a beautiful combination of European style gardens, native Australian Mountain Ash forest, little creeks, ponds, a waterfall and of course the huge beautiful dam :-) Pictured above is one of the old pump houses.
 We saw lots of interesting and unusual birds, such as Fairy Wrens (my favourite), Fantails, various parrots and even several pairs of courting Bower Birds!!

 I hope I can get back there again very soon, and I think the dog enjoyed herself as well :-)
xo Shara

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stormy Weather

Hello friends!
I hope you've enjoyed your weekend :-) I have!
I took these two pictures while waiting for my sweetheart to finish work. We were about to head out for the evening and I wasn't holding out much hope for the weather being kind to us with clouds like this... But, lo and behold, we got a few drops of rain and that was it! Phew!
I really adore the colours in these pictures and think they might just have inspired a new yarn dyeing adventure. Graduating grey, with the pale, sea green :-)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Glorieux Mitts

Hello friends!
Today I can show you one of the patterns I have been working on recently, introducing the Glorieux Mitts!
There is a 4ply/Fingering weight version and an 8ply/DK weight version. They use hardly any yarn, so they are the perfect stash buster. And the 4ply/Fingering weight ones are excellent for using up that little bit of gorgeous left over sock yarn :-)
They're quick and easy to crochet and you could EASILY make a pair in an evening :-)
The yellow pair above are made using Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply that I have hand dyed using Landscape dye in Sulphur Yellow.
The colourful pair pictured next to them is made using some leftover Regia Random Stripe by Kaffe Fassett. And the grey DK version pictured below are made using a Loyal Dk by Naturally. They're very soft and squishy :-)
The patterns are available on Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy. You can buy each pattern individually or they can be bought together as a pair :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Folk Heart Dress

Hello friends!
I have been rather busy this week :-) And it's all been the good kind of busy! Yay!
One of the things I have been busy doing is making this dress :-) I'm pretty pleased with it (and pretty proud of myself). I made it entirely from scratch, including drafting the pattern myself :-)
The bodice and sleeves are made using a cotton sateen with a little bit of elastine in the blend so that it is a tiny bit stretchy, and the skirt section is made using a really lovely cotton duck cloth that is just the right weight for a skirt/dress. Below is a close up of the skirt fabric. Sweet, yes? I have quite a bit of this fabric left... I wonder what else I will make with it? Perhaps a bag??
I actually made this dress to wear to the races tonight. We're going to see Black Caviar run again!! We're pretty excited! I'll try and take a few pics to show you (but it is a night race, so photography might be a bit challenging... but I'll still try! :-)
xo Shara

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ricefield Collective

Hello friends!
I hope you're having a wonderful day and enjoying some sunshine :-)
In todays post have a really great project to tell you about. Do you know about crowd funding? It's pretty cool :-) Basically someone (or a group of folks) have a project they want to get off the ground, but they need help with funding their project, so they ask strangers to donate what they can so they can get their project up and running. Sometimes if you run your crowd funding through a site such as Pozible or Kickstarter you can offer the folks that donate to your project a "gift" for their donation. I took part in a a crowd funding project last year where a very dedicated and clever lady from Melbourne organised to have a TONNE of Australian wool, processed and spun wholly in Australia and depending on how much you donated or pledged you got to choose to have some of the delicious yarn sent to you at the conclusion of the project (I still have my deliciously soft Cormo yarn patiently waiting in my stash, I'm trying to decide on the perfect project for it :-)
I also had some friends in a band who were trying to record and distribute their first album, they couldn't due to lack of funding... so they started a crowd funding project and the folks that donated/pledged were sent one of the albums when it was released :-)
SO you get the idea about crowd funding, yes?
Well here is a project that I am really passionate about. It was launched yesterday. It's the Ricefield Collective. A young woman from New York, Meredith, came up with a very clever idea to help women living in Ifugao, Philippines, to earn an income by hand-knitting beanies and other knitwear to sell around the world. You can read all about it on the website and keep up to date via the Facebook page too.
The Ricefield Collective is running their crowd funding project through Kickstarter. When you pledge money to the project, depending on the amount you pledge, you can choose a "reward". The rewards include various beanies and cowls made by the women you're helping :-) Watch this short video to get a really good overview of the project and how the idea came about :-)
I've made my pledge and look forward to my beanie arriving in a little while :-)
Even if you don't want to get involved in this project by pledging some funds I recommend you check out crowd funding, and take a look at the other projects you can get involved in via Kickstarter or Pozible, as you might come across a project that you want to get behind :-)
Have a great day!
xo Shara
P.S. Just in case you were wondering, I took the photograph shown above whilst taking my dog Rosie for a walk earlier this week. The weather was so glorious and the sky was so blue!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Zigo Zago in Castlemaine

Hello friends!
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to go to Castlemaine to visit friends and enjoy the local Arts festival :-) And I was even luckier when my lovely friends took me to the their local yarn shop! Zigo Zago is opened in February 2013, so it's still reasonably new. They had the most glorious collection of artisan yarns I've ever seen in one room :-)
I managed to control myself and only bought 2 skeins of delicious yarn :-) The yellow one is from The Fibre Company and is a Baby Alpaca, Merino, Bamboo blend and is so buttery and soft :-)
The deep, dark green one is from Cascade and is the 220 from the Heather range :-)

And this is a picture I took out of the window of the train on our way to Castlemaine :-)
xo Shara

Monday, March 18, 2013

Primary Aztec Necklace

Hello friends!
I hope you had a lovely weekend! I did! :-) I went on a little trip to visit friends in the countryside with my sweetheart :-) Lots of good music, good food, good wine and most importantly, good company :-)
Anyway, it's back to the real world now, hehe...
So here is a new necklace I have been working on recently. One of my favourite things about working with polymer clay is all the textures and designs you can play with. It's very simple, but I love it! :-)
The photo doesn't really do it justice, because there are actually little specks of glitter in these beads, which is really fun... but they don't really show in the pic... never mind :-)
You can see some of my other necklaces HERE and HERE :-)
xo Shara

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Little Knitty Heart

Hello friends!
You know how I love crochet? Well it must be said that I also LOVE knitting! And I was pretty happy when I came across the sweet pattern for this even sweeter little love heart!
I love this so much that I even turned the picture above into a card for my lovely friends wedding a few weeks ago :-) It seemed quite fitting :-)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Olive Loves Making Things Too

Hello friends!
I hope you're enjoying your weekend! We're off to the Castlemaine Arts Festival today in Central Victoria. We have our fingers crossed that they weather is kind to us!
So, if you read my blog, you already know that I really do love making things... yes? Well it runs in the family :-) Sometimes I have a little helper, Olive, and she loves to making things as well! Here you can see a very excellent necklace that she made using polymer clay and neon builders twine :-) Pretty clever, hey?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Alegria Socks Pattern

Hello friends!
Let me introduce the Alegria Sock Pattern!
You may remember seeing this sock a few times during Socktober 2012? Well finally the pattern is available, via Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy :-)
 The sock above is made using Regia Design Line Random Stripe by Kaffe Fassett sock yarn. I loved working with this yarn. The "random" colours are fantastic, and worked really well with this pattern :-) This yarn comes in 50g skeins and I was easily able to get a whole pair of socks from one skein, using this pattern, with approximately 10g left over :-) According to my calculations you should be able to get up to an Aus size 8 (Eur 38-39) from one skein :-)
 The sock above is made using Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply that I hand dyed. I'm really happy with the semi-solid effect of the yarn :-)
 The sock pictured above is made using Rico Design Superba Bamboo sock yarn. I've written about how much I love working with this yarn before. The bamboo makes it quite silky and soft. I think the long colour repeats work really well with this pattern too. What do you think?
Also, just in case you were wondering, each sock used 19g of yarn, and because it's a 100g skein you could easily get two pairs of socks from it!! That's great value. One pair for you, one pair for a friend :-)
 The pictures above and below are a close up detail of the lace pattern. It's an easy to follow and easy to memorise lace pattern repeat, so it's good for when you need some knitting that is not too taxing on the mind, such as tv watching or s'n'b's when you want to engage in your fellow stitchers company :-)
The pattern is available via Ravelry, Etsy & Craftsy. This sock is the first in the series of sock patterns that will be released this year :-) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Swan Dive Scarf

Hello friends!
You may remember me writing about all the new patterns I had been working on over the last few months? Well here is the first of the new series!

The Swan Dive Scarf is stylish and easy to wear and fast and easy to make :-) 
Short rows and simple increases combine to make a deep v-shaped scarf. 
When worn “Highwayman” style (with the point at the front) it keeps your neck and chest lovely and warm from chilly winter winds. 
The Swan Dive Scarf is suitable for both men and women, making it the perfect go-to pattern when you need a last minute gift :-)
5mm 100-120cm circular knitting needles. 
240-250m 8 ply or DK yarn in Main Colour 
50-60m contrast yarn for Pom Poms (optional) 
Tools to make Pom Pom (optional) 
Tapestry needle to weave in yarn ends 
1 stitch marker
Tension/Gauge: 15 sts & 28 rows = 10cm (4”) Although tension is not essential to the outcome of this scarf it is important to use a slightly larger needle than you would normally need for your yarn to create a slightly loose fabric so that your scarf has a nice drape :-)

 The pompoms are optional, of course, but I think they might be my favourite part! :-) The yarn I used to make this sample is DK or 8 ply Cameo (wool/angora) from Bendigo Woollen Mills for the main grey colour. The pompoms are made using Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic that I hand dyed using Landscape Dyes in Sulphur Yellow :-) You can find this pattern on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy :-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another Little Vest

Hello friends!
Even though we're in the middle of another heat wave (in Autumn!!) it hasn't stopped me crocheting :-) You know I'm obsessed and I can't stop. Sometimes I even have dreams when I'm asleep that I am crocheting.... hehehehe
Here is one of my recent projects. Another Little Vest using my pattern that was released in 2012. The yarn I used is Sirdar Crofter DK that I got from Crumbz in Healesville :-)
You can find the pattern to make this Little Vest on Etsy, Ravelry & Craftsy :-)
xo Shara

Monday, March 11, 2013

Redwood Forest Visit

Hello friends :-)
I hope you're enjoying your long weekend if you're in Victoria, Australia :-) If not you're not in Victoria, then I hope Monday is being kind to you :-)
I recently took a trip to the mind blowingly beautiful Redwood Forest in Warburton, Victoria, Australia :-) Wow! If you haven't been there before and you're nearby, do yourself a favour and take a trip out there! So amazing and serene :-)
 The trees are very dense and not a lot of light gets through to the forest floor... but in this one tiny patch of sunlight a new plant had started to grow! You have to seize every opportunity while you can!! :-)
 And then in Warburton town I stumbled across this very sweet piece of crocheted yarn bombing :-)

Have you been anywhere amazing lately? Share in the comments! :-)

xo Shara

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Polka Dot Navy

Hello friends!
You may have seen my post last week about my Pastel Skull necklace, well here is another necklace I have made recently :-) If you follow me on Facebook, you may have already seen some more of my polka dot beads used in my necklaces and earrings :-)
Anyone who knows me also knows about my love of/obsession with polka dots!! I have polka dot everything! So I really do love these beads!! I also really love the slow, meditative method of making them as well :-)

You can find more of my necklaces and earrings HERE :-)

xo Shara