Teapot Cosies and a Quick Catchup

Hello again! How have you been? I’m well and plodding along with my big belly, feeling more and more like an ogre than a woman at times.

I’m also rather forgetful. It’s taken me a month to remember that I wanted to share the Teapot Cozy Exhibition with you. Oops!

2012-06-09 Fishermans Wharf

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Woy Woy. It’s early June and the weather is starting to feel real cold at times. We went for coffee with my in-laws and had a nice stroll along the waterfront after that.

2012-06-09 Fishermans Wharf 2

The trees were stunning at this time of year. I love the crimson oranges and reds in the leaves against the bluest of blue skies. There were lots of people out and about enjoying the sunshine. No one seemed to mind the cold when the sun is out like this.

We walked around the corner towards the Country Women’s Association building and realised that the yearly Tea Cozy Exhibition was on! They even had tables and chairs out on the lawn where you can have yourself a nice Devonshire Tea. Too bad we had already eaten. But naturally we had to have a stickybeak at the tea cosies.

There were two main categories you could enter your tea cosies into – Children’s Stories and General Section. I especially like the entries into the Children’s Stories.

Tea Cozy Exhibition 2012 - Owl

Tea Cozy Exhibition 2012 - Tea with Grug

Aren’t they just the cutest? Such creative handiwork! I love the Grug!

Tea Cozy Exhibition 2012 - Winners

And the picture above is the winners’ table. I personally would have picked some other cosies to win. But there were many good entries so judging must have been quite hard.

Looking at the pictures now make me feel like having a pot of tea. Hehe… But I’ll control myself (for now) and just talk to you a wee bit longer.

I have been knitting and crocheting a little. But my arm and shoulder gets really sore pretty quick nowadays. I’ve been told that pregnancy may cause carpal tunnel so I’ve been careful not to overdo things. This, however, means that progress on my projects are moving at a snail’s pace.

I started this baby kicking/sleeping bag for Yasmin in late May and I’m only halfway done. 🙁

Kicking Bag WIP

Do you recognise the yarn? It’s the sock yarn that Vivian jelly dyed for me. Pretty isn’t it? If you missed Vivian’s tutorial, you can check it out HERE. It’s so cool how you can dye yarn using ordinary jelly crystals and the microwave.

Anyway, fingers and toes crossed that I get the sleeping bag finished before my munchkin is born. It’s less than 5 weeks away! Boy, oh boy, time flies when you’re having fun.

Keep those hands busy and stay warm everyone. Chat again soon. Ta taaa!

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Ruffles here, there, everywhere

I don’t know if it’s because I’m having a baby girl, but I’ve been adding ruffles to everything. Well, not everything but you know what I mean. If you look at my Ravelry project page, I haven’t used ruffles before I got pregnant. Must be the hormones.

First I knitted a shawl for myself and added ruffles to the edge.

Silk Shawl
Ravelry project page

Then I knitted a small pinwheel blanket for the bubba and added a ruffle edge to that. It’s actually a lace border but it turned out ruffley anyway.

Pinwheel blanket
Ravelry project page

Finally I finished off the Milo baby vest with even more ruffles!

Milo with ruffles 1

I blogged about this soft cotton vest two months ago and I finally got enough motivation to finish it recently. My gauge was off. So instead of fitting my girl in spring, it’ll fit her in summer or fall next year. Oh well. Better too big then too small.

I did learn two new techniques from knitting this little vest:
1. Cabling without a needle. Easier than I thought it’ll be and the cables went much faster.
2. Decrease (or lace) bind off to create a stretchy bottom hem.

The ruffles were crocheted and it was just trial and error really. What do you think?

Milo with ruffles 2

Pattern: Milo (Ravelry)

Yarn: EcoOrganic Cotton from Ecoyarns

Needles: 4 mm

Ravelry project page 

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DIY Yarn Organizer

Have you ever finished a project and had a tiny bit of yarn leftover? It’s such a shame to just chuck it back into the stash and forget about it. That’s exactly what happened to me after I finished knitting the baby kimono. I really wanted to knit a pair of booties to match the kimono but the question is do I have enough yarn? Oh, the stress!

leftover yarn

I wanted to use every last bit of the yarn so I had two choices. I could weigh the yarn and knit precisely half the amount per bootie.

The second option was to cast on both booties at the same time using the two ends of the ball of yarn and knit both sides at the same time. This is what I chose to do. 

knit from both ends

But there was a small hitch. The yarn kept tangling up! Bugger. 

So my hero aka hubby came to the rescue. I asked him to make me a yarn organiser. Naturally he had no idea what I was talking about but he was more than happy to help.

1. Start with a plastic container. I used a round one with a screw on top.

2. Mark 2 holes on opposite sides of the lid. Drill holes. Tidy up any sharp edges with a file. You don’t want your yarn to get caught in the holes.

drill holes in plastic container

You can stop here if you haven’t cast on yet. Just pop the yarn into the container and thread the ends of the yarn through the holes. BUT if you’re like me and in the middle of a project, you will need the following steps.

3. Using a small serrated knife, cut through the lid towards the holes. Use the pictures below to guide you. Again use a file to make sure all the edges are smooth.

Cut lid

Lid with holes

Drop the ball of yarn into your new yarn organizer. Using the slits on the lid, thread the yarn into the holes. Screw the lid back on. Knit away!

knitting with yarn organiser

Pretty easy, huh? So I knitted until I ran out of one colour and then changed to the other colour. I ran out of yarn for the soles and just used a small amount of unlabelled pink yarn from my stash. Worked out perfectly actually! Who would have thought.

stay on baby booties

Free pattern: Stay-on baby booties 
Yarn: Treliske Organic Merino 4 ply from Ecoyarns and Kathy’s Fibres SW Sock
Needles: 2.5mm
Ravelry project page

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Kawaii baby kimono

Hiya! Hope you’re happy and healthy where you are. It’s the cold and flu season around here and it’s been like walking acoss a minefield when I’m out and about, dodging the sneezing and coughing. Thankfully I haven’t caught anything serious. Phew!

So do you remember the baby kimono I showed you in my previous blog post? Well I used the nicely wound mini skein of handdyed yarn to neaten up the edges around that baby kimono. As you can see from the photo below, the bind off edge around the neckline has left a rather ugly stair step. Yuck. We can’t leave it like that, can we?

20120506 attached i-cord on baby kimono

To neaten this up, I knitted an attached i-cord right around the edges. I’m not very good at remembering technical stuff so I used this attached i-cord tutorial from Purl Bee to refresh my memory. The colourful i-cord also added a much needed zing to the kimono. It is after all for a baby.

And here is the finished jacket. Ta-da! A super kawaii (cute) baby kimono for my girl.

Baby Kimono

Interesting fact – Did you know that kimonos are worn left over right? It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. They only dress corpses right over left! So take note when knitting a kimono for yourself. You don’t want to wear it the wrong way. Might be bad luck or something.

Free pattern: Garter stitch baby kimono (Ravelry download)
Yarn: Treliske Organic Merino 4ply from Ecoyarns and Kathy’s Fibres SW Sock
Needles: 2.5 mm and 3.0 mm
Mods: Cast on for newborn but knit length longer (1-3 months length) to make it less boxy. Attached i-cord edging.  
Ravelry project page

baby kimono and stay-on booties

I had some leftover yarn from the jacket so I knitted booties to match. But there’s a bit of a story and a tutorial with those booties. So until next time, stay warm and keep on knitting!

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Cotton Jersey + Muslin Baby Set

It’s funny where we get inspiration. I was at Spotlight looking for fabric to sew a teddy bear and came across the cutest printed muslin fabric. Even my hubby got excited over it and actually told me to buy it. HE told ME to buy MORE fabric. Strange but true! 

I wasn’t actually sure what to make with the muslin. I didn’t even know how much I needed. I just bought a metre and thought I’ll make some washcloths or a small wrap for my baby. I’m 25 weeks pregnant now. How time flies! She’ll be here in no time. Yikes! So many things to do still.

Anyway, I digress. I was inspired by this blanket and this baby wrap tutorials. I thought I could combine them and make my own baby blanket out of the muslin fabric and the organic cotton jersey fabric from Ecoyarns, which has been in my fabric stash for yonks. The final result is beauuuttifulll and better than expected. I’m so proud to show you my first ever baby blanket.

Muslin blanket on crib rail

Yep. That’s the name we’ve picked for our baby girl. Baby Yasmin. Do you like it?

Muslin blanket folded

Muslin blanket both sides

I used the organic cotton jersey fabric for the back and the quirky printed muslin for the front. The jersey fabric gives a good weight and warmth to the blanket. I think it’ll be a great year round blanket for Sydney’s weather.

Muslin blanket pile

To be honest, I want one for myself! It’s just so soft and squishy. Hubby and I were fighting over it on the sofa. Hahaha…

Muslin blanket in cot

If you’re thinking that I was so clever to combine the red and brown for the binding, think again. It was a big fluke! I didn’t know how much bias tape I needed and I could not decide on the colour at Spotlight. So I bought one pack each (5 metres per pack) and it was a good thing I did! When I was doing the binding, I realised I needed both packs so that’s why it’s half brown and half red. A wonderful accident!

Here’s another excellent tutorial I would like to share. As this was my first time sewing on bias tape, I was rather clueless. YouTube video tutorial from Amy Karol to the rescue! It is truly a no-swear method.

Well, it won’t be a baby set if it was just a blanket, right? Of course not. I sewed matching hats too. Ta-da…

Cotton baby hats

Aren’t they just so sweet? The organic cotton jersey fabric was the star of the show this time. You can find the clear photo tutorial and template here to sew your own baby hats.

I’m as proud of these baby hats as I am with the blanket. I overcame my fear of sewing with jersey knit fabric and even learned to use the elastic overlock stitch on my sewing machine. Yay me!

Cotton blanket and hat set

Well I hope I’ve inspired you to get sewing. Something. Anything. Instant gratification is such a good therapy for busy people like you and me. To enable you even more, I would like to remind you that Ecoyarns FINAL FABRIC CLEARANCE is still on. All fabrics are 50% off! Yessereee. A big fat 5-0. I cannot emphasize to you more how cool an opporutunity this is to stock up on organic cotton fabric. And ladies, it’s a clearance. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

Go on then. Go crazy. It’s your last chance! 

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Easter is just a hop away!

Crochet Easter Bunny

Look who’s popped over to say hello today. It’s Miss Bunny. *waves* She’s very excited because Easter is just a hop and a skip away. She was looking for chocolate Easter eggs and got stuck in the fruit bowl. Silly girl. I helped her out of course.

Crocher bunny and bear (sides)

She was looking high and low for the chocolate eggs when she felt someone following her. Who is behind you, Miss Bunny?

Crochet bear

Oh! It’s your beary good friend, Little Sleepy Bear. Hello cutie pie! Are you looking for chocolate Easter eggs too? *nods*

Crochet Bunny and bear

I hope both of you find those chocolate eggs. I’m sure there’s some around somewhere. 🙂

Crochet pattern: Crochet Spring Bunnies (It’s free!)
Yarn: EcoOrganic Cotton from Ecoyarns
Hook: 3.5mm (E)

 

Pssst…

I have pinned other great Easter craft ideas on my Easter Fun board.

Pinterest Easter Screen Shot

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest while you’re there! Have a good long weekend! 

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Happy Hats

I have to be honest. I don’t know much about keeping babies warm in winter. I grew up in Singapore and all we had to deal with are heat and humidity all year around. With my little girl being born in August, I do feel a bit daunted about keeping her comfortable in the cooler months. Even though winter around Sydney is mild relatively to other parts of the world, I personally struggle with it at times. So naturally it does my head in trying to figure out the most suitable knitting and crochet clothes to make for my girl.

I blogged last week about the rather warm jacket I made for my baby girl. I thought it would be suitable to rug her up in it if we go for an evening stroll by the water. Doesn’t the orange and blue colours of the jacket remind you of sunsets over a river? I can just imagine us walking along together and watching the birds head home.

Fisherman's wharf at Woy Woy

So what if the evening was extra brisk and the wind was picking up? I didn’t want my girl to have a cold head! I searched through Ravelry for baby hats and boy, there are a LOT to choose from. I was certainly spoilt for choice. I did pick two hats to knit. They’re different from each other but both knit with EcoOrganic Cotton. I simply cannot ignore how comfortable this cotton is for the mild winter around here and the colours… Oh, let’s not get started on the beauuttiffuuulll colours!

Again I was fortunate enough to have my friend’s baby daughter to model one of the hats for me. She’s such a trooper. Look at her modelling my Aviatrix hat (pattern on Ravelry). Her eyes will melt your heart…

Newborn Aviatrix hat

The camera clicks away and she patiently waits for me to show off the pretty hat. She does not mind one bit that she had the hat on her head. That’s a good sign!

Newborn Aviatrix Hat

But she did finally show signs of boredom. The camera just isn’t fun anymore. Haha…

Newborn Aviatrix hat

The next hat I knit is a bit unconventational for a baby girl because I knitted it in a dark blue colour. But I did make it girly with a crocheted flower embellishment. It’s a Simple Baby Hat (free pattern) and I tweaked it a tiny bit by knitting an i-cord before casting off. I think it looks cute with the little tail on the top. No pretty model to show off this hat for me unfortunately.

Simple baby hat with flower

I think it still works for a girl. I’ve been doing quite a bit of window shopping for baby clothes and I’m often attracted to the clothes that are multi-coloured. The plain pinky ones are nice too but I think mixing that up with lots of colours make the outfit much more fun, don’t you think?

Frothy flower

I love this crocheted flower. There are many crocheted flower patterns around but I think this one was super cute and the size just right to dress up a boring hat. The flower pattern is available for free too! Got to appreciate those generous, creative people out there.

Well I got to run. I’m studying part-time and I have an assignment due in a couple of days. Eeek! Have yourself a fabulous week and catch up with you soon!

P.S. Have you subscribed to our blog? No? Then what are you waiting for. Don’t miss another blog post. Add Ecoyarns blog to your RSS right now

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Friends & Babies

A couple of my friends, who I met through Ravelry (Yay Ravelry!), have had babies just weeks from each other. I had them over the other day for morning tea and it was such an experience to have the babies meet one another for the first time. There was a bit of fussing and unsureness, and at times, their crying would set the other one off! Fascinating to watch. But I think it was just good to enjoy banana bread and tea and catch up again after so long. Everyone’s been a bit busy with being pregnant and having babies. You know what it’s like.

Friends and Bubs

Now what’s that got to do with knitting I hear you ask. Well, for starters, I’m pregnant too! Isn’t it weird how a friend’s or colleague’s pregnancy could increase your own fertiliy? We’re over the moon as it is our first and we just found out yesterday we’re having a girl! 🙂 Yay! So… over the last few weeks I’ve been knitting for my own little budle of joy who is due in August. 

I love the Baby Sophisticate pattern and had it stored away in my Ravelry favourites for awhile now. I didn’t know that it was going to be a girl when I knitted this so I kept it as gender neutral as possible. What do you think of the jacket I made?

Baby Sophisticate Jacket

I love the colours on it. It’s so unlike anything you’ll find at the shops. I used a Moda Vera yarn I bought at a Spotlight sale last year for the main part of the jacket and the lovely bright blue collar and edge trims are none other than EcoOrganic Cotton. The colour is aptly named Peace. I wanted a soft and gentle yarn against my baby’s sensitive neck and you can’t go wrong with EcoOrganic Cotton. For the life of me I cannot remember which Etsy store I bought those cute buttons from but they’re just perfect for the jacket I think.

My friend, Vanessa, was kind enough to loan me her beautiful 8 week old daughter the morning she was here to model my baby jacket just for YOU. Her first modelling job and I think she did a spectacular job!

Baby Sophisticate

Baby Sophisticate

All together now… Awwww…. Isn’t she just precious!

I also made an equally colourful baby hat to match this jacket but you’ll have to wait until next week for that one. 😉  Enjoy the rest of your week!

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