Monday, August 27, 2007

Wabbit Wool

I've started making a granny square using hand spun and undyed English angora rabbit wool that I get from a local supplier. I wasn't sure how it would go because it is very uneven but it has proven to be quite a pleasure to work with. It is extremely soft and slides through when you crochet it. The only problem is some of the fluff sometimes gets up my nose! I hope other crocheters take up using rabbit wool as it is an amazing fiber! If you are looking for the perfect fiber to felt or weave rabbit wool is also great, it felts almost instantly.

Gypsy the English Angora rabbit - before and after hehehehehe

As you can see from the photo the it is really fluffy stuff to work with, softer than cotton buds. The crochet pattern doesn't come out as clearly because of the unevenness in thickness throughout the hand spun wool. But you can buy machine processed french angora from most yarn shops, not as soft as the English angora but much softer than anything else on the market.

Here are some photos of two scarfs I've knitted using the same type of wool. I used a size 12 needle for the grey scarf and a size 20 for the pink one to add some interested. Also the wool is quite expensive so I wanted to make it last longer!

Anyone Can Make a Comment Now

I'm sorry if anyone tried to post a comment and wasn't able to because of the settings. I didn't realise I'd limited comments to only those who are registered with Blogger. I'm really sorry about that. Comments should now work for everyone! Thank you to all those who have left comments, I do appreciate everyone of them.

I'm as sorry as this bunny is for eatting all those carrots! hehehehe

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Other Tripple Strand Necklaces

As I promised in another post here are some photos of other three stringed necklaces that I've made based on the blue one posted below. I personally am going to wear the black one to the Phantom of the Opera with my grey pinafore dress and knee high black boots. (Just thought I'd add that bit of info hehehe)

If anyone wants a necklace in this style I am happy to custom make them, using colours of your choice with either gold or silver. I would be happy to sell them for $20.00 AUD plus shipping and I'd just have to work out a payment system.(send money order I guess?) Hopefully I'll have an Etsy store open sometime soon!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Brooch Experiment: part 1

I absolutely love interesting and original handmade brooches! I've noticed a few great examples on Etsy- Buy handmade and thus was inspired to have a go at designing and making some of my own. I've started playing around with some felt and the good ol' blanket stitch. At the moment I feel the brooch I've made is too big and maybe could be reduced to just one layer. Not really sure. Anyhow here is a picture of my first handmade brooch. Was thinking of putting just a button in the middle but I think the beads make it just a little bit more special.

Please excuse the poor lighting/photography but this is what it looks like pinned to a cardigan.

I've been thinking of using cute quilting fabrics because of the range of desings and maybe keeping the middle part of this brooch desing and putting some ruffled lace around the back. Will continue to experiment that is for sure so stay tunned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some Craft Cross-breeding?

One of my colleagues at work, who is a bit of a fashion guru, was kind enough to point out a jewellery website which has samples of work that combine crochet and beading. Straight away I was not only impressed by what I saw but also inspired! I've just added some examples of the crocheted jewellery that I found most interesting and some sketches of my own I've started. Hopefully with a bit of luck and work I'll be able to design and crochet some lovely lace pieces similar to these. I am sorry that I cannot remember the name of the jewellery artist who made these, I'll have to ask at work again and post the name next time.

I would love to know what others who crochet think of combining these two crafts.
Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So You Didn't Notice?

Some may have noticed at work that I have been wearing some new jewellery that I've made myself, others may not have noticed. (You know who you are hehehehe) So I thought I'd post some photos of the stuff I've been making. I don't know much about jewellery making and not until very recently had I actually gone and bought the proper tools for it. A lot of the stuff I make is simple and really just for 'everyday' wear. I guess it's hard to make 2 dollar shop beads look like a million dollars.

Anyhow I am enjoying experimenting with the materials and have kind of worked out how to make this three layered necklace. There are a heap of the three layer necklaces that I've made as I am quite happy with the design. I'll post photos of the others soon so keep an eye out for those.

Anyhow there are some other pieces that I haven't got photos of yet but when I do I'll be sure to share them in a post. Until then hope you are all well and happy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Nibble Mummy's Flowers (and get us both killed)

Just thought I'd post this really cute picture of my bunny Charlotte. Don't tell my mum that she was eating her flowers. If she found out she'd kill ME not the rabbit!

I just Felt like Felting

About three months ago I was lucky to be given a whole sheep's worth of raw wool from my uncle's farm. I'd never done anything with raw wool, didn't know how to clean it or dye it etc. but I soon decided that I was going to make it my business to learn how to treat, dye and felt the stuff. I've been lucky enough to have two other fabulous ladies that I work with join me on this learning experience. The best part was that everyone brought some tid-bit of knowledge and experience to the project which truly made it a group effort and experience. We all agree that the most rewarding part of the experience has been looking back on dirty raw wool we started with and how it has transformed, due to our efforts, into beautiful, colorful designer like household artifacts. (bashing and throwing the felt around in order to full it was also a highlight!)

Here are some photos from our first felting project.

This photo shows our first of two cushion covers we made which have been sewn up and shipped to Ireland as a wedding present.

Once one our fleecesome threesome comes home from her holiday in Western Australia we will be getting back to the felting board, dying more brown wool in order to make another set of cushion covers for a co-worker's 40Th birthday and house warming. But I'll post picture of that project once we get started!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Net Granny

When I think back to where I've learnt most of my craft skills I come to realise that most of these skills have been passed on to me by my grandmothers. I remember my grandma Anastasia teaching me to knit, well the purl stitch at least, teaching me in the 'Greek Granny' way to hold the yarn over my neck to create the right tension.(Which later earned me lots of laughs when my 'Aussie' friends saw how I knitted). My basic crochet skills I am sure are the result of sitting and watching my grandma Sultana who I view as a 'master' of the crochet craft. (You will see why later in future blogs where I'll share pictures of her work).

Whilst I am grateful for what my grandmothers were able to teach me they could not teach me all I wanted to know. Neither of them quilted nor did cross stitch or sewed using a sewing machine. But alas I have found a solution! In this age of technology and 'You Tube' there is no need to despare if you haven't got a granny handy to pass on years of crafting experience, just log into 'You Tube' type in say 'crochet' for instance and viola oodles of video based tutorials where you can learn a range of craft skills from.

I am so in love with my new online grannies! So far I've learnt about building a basic 'granny square' and what a double crochet and slip stitch is! I've also learnt how to crochet a flower and change yarns to add multiple colours to my work.

Here are some examples of granny squares I've started to crochet and which my 'net granny' taught me how to do.

An Introduction

I've been crafting along for a few years now but it hasn't always been that way. I started off as a fine artist who worked mainly using computer generated images, photography, instillation etc. I studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and graduated with honours and have has several solo and group exhibitions. Yet since starting work as a teacher for special needs students I've had little time to take my art seriously and to continue to work towards putting on exhibitions. Even so my need to create, design and experiment with colour, form and techniques has lead me to pursue more practical and craft based projects. I am hoping to use this blog space as a place where I can share my own crafting experiences with other artists and craftspeople, where I can exchange ideas and solutions to craft problems. And so with this first entry, I embark on a more formalised arts and craft journey that I am sure will be filled with exciting and surprising artistic/craft adventures as well as many unfinished projects and failed attempts and I look forward to others joing me along the way!