Thursday, 12 August 2010

Friday, 18 June 2010

Random act of kindness...

Someone we barely know turned up with this furniture he made for our children!!!
He's a woodcutter by trade but even if making the furniture only took him 10min (which I doubt) he still spent 10min of his life making something for my kids and I'm really, really touched.
Do you know what else I thought was great? Instead of running off all embarassed like some people do when they do something kind, his face beamed with happiness when he gave us those gifts. He was just happy to be doing something nice.

If anyone does actually read this post I'd like to encourage you to find someway of doing something really nice for someone for no apparent reason. Things like this make the world a better place and can make such a huge difference to someone day/week/month.
I'm going to take up my own challenge and find a way of outrageously blessing someone unawares...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Killing a dress with a penguin is a good idea (AKA blocking acrylic)

So I'd heard both sides of the story: blocking acrylic...pointless or absolutely essential. I wasn't going to bother until I came across the concept of 'killing' acrylic. The idea is to deliberately over heat acrylic and the result is a project with gorgeous drape. Now 'killing' goes against my pacifist nature but then again so does dressing my baby in one of those 1980s over-fluffy acrylic garments (usually in garish colours and sold at fund-raising events by lovely but misguided older ladies). So I gave it a try figuring I didn't have much to lose as the technique had worked very well for a much more experienced crocheter than I.

So here is Little Miss's dress before blocking:


The results are great!!
I used my 'Penguin' steamer as they are nicknamed. It's not much use as a cleaning steamer but it's great for defrosting the freezer and as I now know, for blocking/killing acrylic.

And after being 'killed' by a penguin:

The drape is much better, the fibres are much more relaxed - they don't spring up in odd places - apparently it's good to be killed by a penguin if you're an acrylic dress ;-).

Killing an acrylic project with a penguin steamer is easy. Just look at Beadknitter's blog for a tutorial on killing acrylic. I didn't pin the dress in place before killing it. I simply held the steamer about 4 inches fromt he dress, steamed it section by section and smoothed it with my hand as soon as the section was cool enough that I wouldn't burn myself. When you steam in this way, you'll know when you've steamed enough as you can see the yarn change appearance. I wouldn't go beyond this point or the acrylic (which is a plastic) might melt too much. I'm guessing that killing acrylic is basically melting the plastic enough to make it relax but not so much that the garment becomes a puddle of melted plastic.

Oh and here's a picture of Little Miss modelling - somewhat reluctantly - her dress. I decided to add a crocheted trim after killing the dress - I'm sure more organized, sensible people would have done it the other way round but the trim was an after-thought.

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Friday, 14 May 2010

Just checking

Nathan is yet again checking that Baby Sister still has 10 fingers.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

I am in shock!

I can't believe it!!! I've made some baby shoes!! Me, who fights with her sewing machine yet loves sewing. I can make curtains etc but a baboon could too. Anything that needs to fit half-decently has always been a complete disaster. Unlike my sister who can knock up fabulous garments, sofa covers etc as easily as she breathes (or so it seems to me), I cannot sew. Not proper sewing.

But thanks to this Soft baby shoe tutorial I have made some shoes for Elizabeth and what's more...THEY ACTUALLY FIT HER!!! For the next week anyway!

I did struggle a bit - I found sewing around the curves tricky. I did make a couple of mistakes too but some I could correct along the way and others aren't visible unless you go searching for them ;')
I love the result so much that I want to have another go. I have lots of patchwork fabric left over from previous projects (read: wonky patchwork quilts!) and well, Elizabeth is going to need more shoes, right?

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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

On my To-Do List...

I have just come across some great free patterns.
Posting here for safe-keeping: