Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Felted Cabbage Rose

The Cabbage Rose
The cabbage rose is a great little pattern designed by Carolyn Wait of: Cafe Bambino

We had the first session of our Craft Group crafte latte
Below is the knitting pattern of the Rose.

The Rose

Cast on one hundred stitches

Row 1: K1 P1 (10 stitch)

Row 2: Turn P1 K 10 stitches (moss stitch)

Repeat Row 1-2 for 7 more rows

Repeat until you have ten petals

Knit 2 rows

Knit 10 then use your needle to twist work (put needle under the connecting threads and twist three times) repeat for each petal.

Next row Purl to the end

Knit 2 together repeat to end of row

Repeat the above 2 lines until there are only 3 remaining stitches

Knit last 4 stitches together tie off.

The Green leaves

This pattern has been amended.

Cast on 36 stitches

Row 1: purl 6 stitches, turn

Row 2 : *knit 2 , knit the front and back of 2 stitches*, repeat *-* turn

Row 3 : Purl 8 stitches

Row 4 : *knit 2 , knit the front and back of 2 stitches*, repeat *-* turn

Row 5 : Purl 12 stitches

Row 6: *knit 2 , knit the front and back of 2 stitches*, repeat *-* to end turn

Row 7: purl 18 turn

Row 8: knit 2 knit 2 together, repeat to end turn

Row 9: purl 14 stitches turn

Row 10: knit 2 knit together rep to end turn

Row 11: Purl

Row 12: knit 2 knit 2 together rep till last 3 stitches, knit 1 knit 2 together turn

Row 13: purl

Row 14: knit 2 together knit 1 knit 2 together turn.

Row 15: purl 3 turn

Row 16: knit 2 knit 2 together knit 1 knit 2 together turn

Row 17: purl

Row 18 : knit 2 together knit 1 , knit2 together turn

Row 19: purl

row 20 : knit 3 turn

Row 21: purl

Row 22: knit 1 knit 2 together turn

Row 23: purl

Row 24: knit 2 together tie off.

re-join wool repeat rows 1-24 6 times.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best Holiday Ever

This year we decided to do away with family gifts of the commercial kind and voted on a family vacation. Lucky for us, the my drummer man's family own a beach front property nestled in amongst beautiful Kauris. We started a Piggy bank (a real 70's version red plastic Pig with white hat) which we fed almost every day our small change. I was surprised how quickly it grew.

Deciding not to purchase gifts this year removed the normal merry seasonal stress, I gave dear friends crafts that I had made, over the past few months in our girl Friday craft days. nothing could have been easer.
The days were spent reading, eating, walking swimming, talking, sleeping, drinking,talking loudly and plenty more sleeping.

Frenches Bay Tita Rangi
Inspiration for many of Colin Machan's Paintings.

Blue boat under the Pohutakawa Tree

Beatiful Sandstone

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hi every one, just a quick note to wish you all a Merry Christmas.
I would like to share this quick and easy craft, with you all. Perfect for last minute gifts, and a great Holiday project for the children.
Have a Great Christmas, and I look forward to sharing some more crafts in the New Year.

Cheats Soap

If you have always wanted to make your own soap, but didn't like the ideal of mucking around with caustic soda and the like, then here is the perfect alternative. Children love making there own soap, and creating recipes, it gets very messy but its good clean fun.


Lux flakes (pure soap) or a pure soap in flake form. If you cant find any grated hand soap well do.

Elder Flower water (or straight water)

Additives - the ideal is to select what you want in your soap. Quantity is up to you, and how many you use in one soap is also your choice, I keep it simple and like explain the the ingredients to whom ever I give the soap too., ie, gardeners soap, has calendula which is good for cuts and abrasions, and helps to prevent nasty infections, the pumice is to help clean off stubborn dirt, and the elderflower is to soften the skin (as is the oatmeal).

apricot oil -great for skin moisturising
calendula (old fashion English marigold petals
vitamin e oil
almond oil
essential oils, for scent
oat meal
pumice (for gardeners soap) use grated into the dry ingrediants
coffee grounds for kitchen soap (used grounds work best)

making the elder flower water
Elder flowers are used to make wonderful cordials, they are also used to soften your skin.
As they only flower in the spring you have a small window of opportunity to harvest them for soap. Of cause when they are not available simple water is ok.
Pick your flowers and gently rinse under running water.
remove from stems from the flower petals, put petals into a bowl and cover with boiling water.
leave to seep for about twenty minutes and strain.

Making the soap

Take your dry ingredients ie, soap flakes and oatmeal, for aprox 6 balls of soap, you well need approx 3 cups of each. Add your hot water (not to hot so as to melt the soap, but hot enough to
the blend the ingredients) do this slowly and mix with a wooden spoon. Aim for a dry scone mix
texture, that does not stick to your hands.

Add the extra oil, and scents, and use your hands now to mix. If the mixture is too dry add more water, and if to wet add more dry ingredients.

Take enough of the mix to form a Ball the size of a tennis ball (or less if you wish to make small soaps) and roll around in you hands. If you want a square bar the you can pat it into shape using wooden paddles (2 wooden rectangles) and slap them into shape.
Try the following soaps.
Gardner' s soap
dried calendar's
grated pumice
apricot oil

kitchen soap
coffee grounds (removes onion and garlic smell from hands)
coffee essence

use only dried vegetation such as lavender or calendula, undried flowers etc ten to turn brown, as does rose petals (dried or fresh).
The round balls take about a week to completely dry, and well need time to cure(about one month).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Craft course- Jersey Bag

Last year a good friend of mine knitted a bag and "fulled" it (shrinking in hot soapy water), I coveted that bag and was determined to knit my own. Being super thrifty I brought an unfinished jersey from our local opp shop with the aim to unravel it.
Whilst wrestling with the ordeal of unraveling, it crossed my mind that it was really a waste of good knitting. My friend eyed what I was doing and said she would be back later to check on my progress.
Will being a "bear with little brain and patience " that day I decided to quit the unraveling and proceed to the shrinking phase. working at a break neck speed I had fulled, cut out, and sewn the bag before my friend returned. The result was well worth the effort, my friend was gobbed smacked and delighted (and slightly peeved) , and the bag was not to shabby ether.

Today was my craft course day, and one of my student's Vicky, whom was inspired to create her own fulled bag, from one of her late mothers Jerseys, and kindly let me photograph the process for my blog.

Step one: Take one pre-loved pure wool jumper . Wash this jumper in hot and cold soapy water until it has shrunk so much you can hardly see the individual stitches. This may take more than one wash. I find that if you add a cap full of dish washing powder to the wash it will shrink very quickly.

Vicky decided to keep the yoke patten, and neckline as integral part of her Jersey bag.

Step 2:

Make a pattern for you bag, a good ideal is to use another bag as a template.

Step 3:
Cut out bag and pin it/ sew it. Feel free to over lock the edge if you want.

Step Four:
Cut long strips of Jersey for the handles approx 2 inches wide. Pin these and sew,and then turn out using a knitting needle. sew onto bag, Vicky used buttons on her bag to secure the handles.
Step Five:
Cut out a lining for you bag using the same template. Stitch it in place securely.

Step six: Cut one of the selves to fit as a flap for the front of the Bag. Secure in place with a few buttons.

Have fun adding embellishments, such as buttons.

Vicky used a brooch I had made, as it suited her bag quite nicely. She decided later that she might shift the buttons, and the first photo has been "photo shopped" showing the change. The last photo is of the original bag.
This was her first fulled handbag and it took her about 2 hours to make.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Love that Coffee

If you have a friend that loves coffee and you want to show how much you care this Christmas, why not check out my tutorial's for the a coffee brooch on line with squidoo, the link is under "links with the wow factor". These little hearts smell divine and are so easy to make.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I pruned our Bay leaf tree this week and came across the most precious nest. The industrious bird that created it must have subscribed to the shabby chic movement, the swath of lace confirms that it is "soo in" this spring.

Theres nothing like a little craft imitating life, to bring out the challenge can we make a nest? Well I guess being bird brained would help, so does getting together with your friends as I did this week, and the results (drum roll please)
was some of the best fun ever.

Building a nest is an intuitive thing, very hard to break down into step by step instruction, however I do believe a picture (or as in this case several) tells a thousand words, I hope they inspire you to create your own little nest.

Start with a few strands of raffia , wool roving and nice fluffy wool. see above picture .
Wind these in to a circle (approx the size of your nest) Needle felt some of the fibres together using a felting needle.

Thread some raffia into a large darning needle and weave this in and out of the , going around in circles to hold the nest together. Using a combination of stitching and tacing with a felt needle until it all meshes together.
Add wool roving to the bottom of your nest and weave this in using the raffia.

Complete the process by weaving in some shredded paper, old lace and sewing in some buttons, and top of with a few hand felted eggs.
This would also be a perfect way to present a gift to a friend or to celebrate a birth, you could even needle felt a little baby bird (or child), too nestle amongst it.
To finish I would like to share a painting a I completed a few years back as part of a "portrait of my mother" series.

"The Nesting instinct"
painted 2002
Victoria Te Tau

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Where did this week just go?

Life has a way of speeding up when decide what you are doing, suddenly I have a so many creative ideals, I feel as if I'm going expload.
I hooked up my counter for the blog and became a little obsessive as I watched the numbers slowly climb, after a week I was so proud (over one hundred visits) and half of them I am sure were not friends and family. My clever friend and blogger extraordinare has as many visits in a day , so I suffer a little blog envy but none the less I am soo happy . A huge thank you every one whom has visited my blog and an even bigger thank you to those who have left comments. I am unable to email people individually at this stage as I am still getting to grips with the process , but please be assured I value (and read them and re-read them and then make every one else read them ) and I just cant stop grinning .

This week I started writing the tutorials for felted beads. I plan to upload it over the next couple of days . The photo is of completed necklace using felt beads I have made.
I also had some success with incorporated dried lavender to some beads and and the results have been very special .