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Crochet Little shoes – Take Two

16 Oct

Not wanting to be defeated by my (oversized) first attempt at crocheted booties – I’ve had another crack at it.

Still after something slightly modern looking, I found this pattern online – cute aren’t they. Like little mini sneakers!

I don’t tolerate lengthy projects well.

I’m a great starter. Completely gung ho. The finishing bit I struggle with.

But I found this pattern do-able in one lunch break plus a couple of hours after work which suited me perfectly.

Ta da!

Only one slight problem – there’s no heel. I’m really hoping my nephew has heels – two of them actually.

My search for cute and modern, well fitting booties continues.

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Big Booties

1 Oct

My love for crochet continues. (I may even buy the t-shirt)

In the interests of furthering my skills I took a break from my granny square rug this week and went in search of a crochet bootie pattern. With roughly 8 weeks to go till my nephew arrives it’s time to get cracking.

I think my father saw this coming.

When I first started learning this new craft my Dad decreed at the outset – no grandson of his will ever be made to wear anything crocheted.

But booties are just so cute! Maybe he won’t notice.

Look over over there Dad while I sneak a pair on the little guy.

After a bit of online searching I found a suitable looking pattern. I pretty much understood what they were on about and felt reasonably confident in giving it a go.

Martha Stewart Crochet Baby Booties

But not all booties are created equal. I wish the picture or pattern had something to indicate the actual size for those like me who only skim read instructions. (Note – instructions clearly outline that the booties are 4 inches in length – good for a newborn bigfoot perhaps)

Half way through crocheting the sole it became apparent that at a stretch these booties could almost fit me! Not really the size I was going for. Big booties might be popular in modern day film clips but not on your average newborn.

So I decided to unravel my work and start again – still following the pattern but halving the recommended number of stitches. Not actually sure if this is something you’re supposed to be able to do with a crochet pattern but oh well!

I’ve heard people say they just ‘whipped up’ a pair of booties like that! Took me one evening on the couch to complete one, which for my first attempt I didn’t think was too bad.

Only problem is – it’s still waaaay too big. Here’s another shot – indicating the size it ended up.

I’m a realist.

I know I’m only going to get away with dressing him in crochet booties while he’s a a newborn and has no say in it (and while Dad is distracted). I tried this particular bootie on a friend’s 1 year old – it was a little on the big side even for him. *sigh*

So it’s back to the drawing board. I’ve narrowed my google search and looked for a pattern specifically for newborn booties and found this – Sweet potato booties.

On the plus side I’ve thoroughly read the instructions this time and at least I’ve had some practice!

Granny Squares – not just for your nanna

18 Sep

About two years ago I taught myself to knit watching YouTube videos. It was a reasonably successful venture – I learnt to cast-on, knit, pearl and cast off. I’ve since knitted two scarves, and one beanie. The beanie was a complete fluke. I’ve tried to knit the same pattern a second time and it was a dismal failure. I’ve begrudgingly accepted that I’m never going to be a natural at this knitting business.

* I say pattern like I can actually read patterns – hah – reading anything like patterns, music or recipes (thoroughly) has always been a bit beyond me.

I currently have a couple of craft related stumbling blocks. I love wool, but I can’t really knit. I love fabric – but I can’t really sew.

It’s quite frustrating.

So I decided to bite the bullet and do a proper course – Spotlight’s 4 week introduction to crochet!

The idea of attending an actual course appealed to me for a few reasons. I jump at any opportunity to learn something new especially if it involves making stuff. And though I’ve never been to one, something about ‘stitch n bitch’ nights really appeals – in a gossipy getting together with your girlfriends type way. I hoped that this course might be a bit like that.

I wasn’t disappointed.

At times I think there’s more laughs than learning going on but that works out just fine. The class has a really casual atmosphere where everyone learns at their own pace. Our teacher Josette is lovely and obviously very good at teaching crochet to all levels.

One thing I’ve found particularly appealing is that when you stuff up a stitch (as I’m currently inclined to do fairly often) it’s relatively easy to fix! If I drop a stitch knitting it normally involves undoing a heap of rows and then struggling to get all the stitches back on the needle the right way. The only projects I could ever really finish were the ones where I didn’t make any mistakes. Doesn’t happen all that often – no surprises there!

I think I can safely say I’ve found my crafty niche. Crochet seems to be something I’m reasonably ok at. The concepts and stitches themselves have been easy to grasp – and my crochet projects subsequently very hard to put down! I’ve started taking my crochet to family dinners and weekend bbqs. I crochet during my lunch break at work. It’s bordering on obsession at the moment.

Outside of class can be a little lonely though – crochet is surprisingly unpopular in my usual social circles. I’ve certainly copped a bit of friendly ribbing from my nearest and dearest – but I don’t care! I’m having fun and making things and that’s what counts. Plus there’s always next term. My current classmates and I have already decided to sign up for the same class a second time – for the learning and the social aspect.

Us crocheter’s have to stick together!

Here’s a shot of my current crafty work in progress – the good ol’ fashioned granny square. I’ve used colours I hoped would give it a bit of a modern feel. Not everyone I’ve spoken to thinks these colours actually go together but it was the best I could come up with in the 10 minutes after class before Spotlight closed. At the very least it will certainly be bright and cheery!

Mulgrave Makers and Farmers Market

28 Aug

I have just found my new favourite place – The Mulgrave Makers/Farmers Market.

http://www.mulgravefarmersmarket.com.au/

http://www.mulgravemakersmarket.com.au/default.aspx

The ‘Farmers’ are there every Sunday, the ‘Makers’ on the 4th Sunday of the month.

Although there’s lots of great markets around these days, one thing  really stood out about this one. The people. Everyone was so friendly and relaxed. The unexpected spring-like weather may have had something to do with it but it wasn’t just that.  Most food stalls offered very generous tastings and were more than happy for people to try before they buy. Something my partner Scott was most pleased about. He’s much happier to help carry purchases when there’s snacks on offer.

It felt like there was something for everyone. Live music, tables to sit at and grab a coffee or a bite to eat – not to mention the Nemo bouncy castle complete with bouncy slide.

To top things off, the produce and craft alike was of a really high quality. And with great variety too. There were a lot of homemade crafts that I’d never seen before. At many stalls it was hard to decide which item I wanted to purchase most!

In the end we returned home with

  • a beautifully fragranced lemongrass handwash

  • A funny looking vegetable peeler (which hopefully performs as well as the demonstration – will have to report back on that once I’ve had time to take it for a test run)

  • Locally made spinach and fetta spring rolls

  • blue cheese that packs an extra salty punch – maybe not to everyone’s taste but I say yum!
  • home made pizzas to have for lunch
  • prawn dumplings from the ‘Pasta Ladies’

And finally some Orlo and Pearl approved Dog Biscuits – which at $2 were an absolute bargain. Plus the proceeds from this stall went to charity – good times all round.

The next Farmers/Makers combined market is Sunday the 25th of September.

Can’t wait!

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