21 December 2013

15 December 2013

365: 241-260

I've fallen a bit behind but I am still interested in this project.  It's definitely hard to find things to capture when you're going through the daily grind.  Even so, I quite like this set.

241.  The daily commute.
242.  Awesome movies are awesome.
243.  Memes at work.  Yes, memes at work.
244.  A peacock!  I saw a peacock!!
245.  The bonboniere at a recent wedding I attended - Penguin books for everyone!
246.  Artfully composed shot of new project.
247.  Crochet out of hibernatio, with added Kitten.
248.  Love me a bento.
249.  New addiction.
250.  Sweet gift from a sweet friend.
251.  Cinema carpet.
252.  Melbourne trams.
253.  Cute graffiti is cute.
254.  Oliver Lane in the rain.
255.  Honey Cowl III coming along.
256.  My favourite Eight Treasures tea from Shandong Mama.
257.  Awesome gifted craft book.
258.  A gift from a lovely sister!
259.  Love this picture of The Kitten.
260.  Checking out the rebuilt Southern Star (LOL has actually been renamed the Melbourne Star).


16 November 2013


It's been a while hasn't it!  Thought it was time I updated you on The Kitten!

She's still cute!


11 November 2013

FO: Honey the second

This pattern is really awesome.  But with over 13,000 projects that goes without saying.  I made one of these for my sister last year and while simple, it's super wearable.

The lovely Rhonda gave me this great yarn for my birthday.  It has some very subtle long colour changes in it, and I instantly wanted to use it in something that would show off the yarn.

I used about half of the mega 200g skein for this cowl, and it has already seen much wear.  In hindsight I wish I made it a touch wider, but I'm always in a rush to cast off and show off!

Pattern:  Honey Cowl duuuurrrrr
Yarn:  Patons Australia Rainbow in a blue/purple mix.
Needles:  4.5mm circulars.
Ravelled here.


05 November 2013

365: 221-240

221.  Making a Gertie skirt.
222.  Bought myself a piece of bismuth, just because.
223.  Planted some new succulents.
224.  Re-reading TFIOS.  Just because.  Spoiler alert, it's still really sad.
225.  Birthday cake made for my godchild/niece.
226.  The Kitten keeping my company while I sew.
227.  Makin' my Meringue skirt.
228.  Stuck in traffic.
229.  Eggs and bakey.
230.  Ask for train postcards and ye shall receive.
231.  Nearing the finish of Hanami.
232.  Matchbox carousel appreciation.
233.  Another new sewing project.  As yet unfinished.
234.  Blockinggggg.
235.  Sweet dogtag with my org's values.  Teamwork yeah!
236.  Bright bright sun.
237.  The Kitten posing gratefully in my lap (that's my leopard skin snuggie you see in a lot of my pics!)
238.  KING KONG!  He's very very big and he's very very strong!
239.  Purty horses.
240.  Purty yarn delivery!


03 November 2013

FO: Hanami Stole

Here's my finished Hanami Stole!  Very happy with it, silk just has the most beautiful drape.

This took me way too long, as is my habit with large projects I procrastinated and worried about how long it was going to take me rather than getting on with the job.  Once I started working on it every day it did work up quickly.  Even with having to refer to the pattern line by line, no memorising this one, definitely my most complicated lace knit to date!

 This was a definite skill-upper for me, at the beginning I was writing out the pattern line by line as I found the chart too difficult to keep track of, but by the end of it I was able to follow the pattern and read the chart. as I went

Photo-shoot at the local man-made lake!
 This was a wedding gift for a dear friend.  I intended to make a scarf for the groom as well, and indeed started on it, but ran out of time - oops!

Ducks could not give a crap about my shawl.  How rude!
Luckily, this is not my colour, otherwise it would have been very difficult to wrap it up and give it away!  No word on my friend's thoughts are at this point (ok, the wedding was only on Saturday so I'm sure she has other things to do...).  I'm sure she will love it but I am insecure and am in desperate need of some feedback!  

This is how I would wear it.  Hint hint nusm!! 
All in all, happy to have this done and looking forward to making some more knitted wedding gifts!  Have already promised 2 scarfs for a late December wedding... stay tuned!

Pattern:  Hanami Stole.  Most of it is charted, and it has very detailed instructions for a beaded cast on (which I didn't do because I thought like 30 beads in the scheme of things would not make much difference).  Also has instructions to make
Yarn:  Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk in Moondust purchased from Eat Sleep Knit.
Needles:  I started with 4.5mm, but it was far too loose for the lacey design and went down to 3.25mm.  Really want to work on something chunky now!!
Raveled here.


p.s.  I also commissioned Anna Rettberg to draw a portrait of the couple (and their cat!) as an additional gift.  I think this is the coolest gift ever!

p.p.s.  At said wedding they gave out PENGUIN BOOKS as their bomboniere.  If that's not the tightest shit you've ever seen then you can just get out.  I chose The Shiralee - I've seen the miniseries and did not even know it was a book!  Adam chose The Power of One.

20 October 2013

FOXY KAL wrap up

The FOXY KAL has officially finished and I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who participated and made an awesome foxy hat of their own!

I thought I would do a quick round up of the makes!

Row 1:  ttvphotoaggrokikkerAlexandriaBTheBumbleBee
Row 2: rofelpixieejeddingtonhayleyransleybooniesangel
Row 3: perfectlytracyJazz0209, mar2713 (knit and crochet versions!)
Row 4: teaandcraftDWScissors

Those are some fantastically foxy hats, I especially like how different everyone made theirs!

I partook making my own version of Lisa's excellent crochet fox hat pattern:

Both of the fox hat patterns released during the FOXY KAL are now available for free to everyone!  The knit version here and Lisa's crochet version here.

Thanks again to anyone who participated or spread the word about our first KAL - the response was overwhelming and I'm quite grateful to everyone!  Extra props must go to co-organiser Lisa, whose enthusiasm I am always in awe of - it was a total treat to collaborate with her on this project!

If you do make a fox hat I'd love to see it!


19 October 2013

Colette Meringue Skirt: oranges

As with my crochet and knitting, I'm finding myself with more and more WIPs on the go at a time.  I should not have expected anything else, it's in my nature and one cannot ignore one's nature.  Anyway, I was working fairly monogamously on a sensible black pencil skirt for work, and then I got up to this pesky hand sewing bit when I suddenly felt the need for something else.

I recently purchased the Colette Sewing Handbook, and picked up some cute  printed cotton from Spotties for $3 a metre.  The decision was really made for me.

First off, it was a real treat to make something not black.  I should have known what a toll sewing in black would be, given I feel the same when knitting/crocheting with it.  It makes everything harder.  So white thread and a fun print really lifted me!

And what's a novice to do but make modifications?  That's the sensible thing to do isn't it?  I lengthened my skirt 5cm and, more ambitiously, rather than making separate waistband and hem facing, I made a full facing.  I attached the fusible interfacing for the waistband to the reverse side of the facing.  I sewed the left side of the front and facing pieces together as per the pattern, and then with right sides together, sewed the top and bottom of the skirt making a big tube (it must be a tube to enable you to turn it right way round - I learned the hard way - ie rip rip rip).

I also inserted the zip into one side before turning right way leaving you only to awkwardly insert the other side of the zip.   (btw, the Colette directions for enclosing the zip into the facing are excellent).   Everything gets a bit difficult sewing that final seam up, and there's a bit of hand sewing involved (which I executed poorly) to fully finish the skirt but I really like how neat (for a given value of neat) it turned out - I don't have an overlocker and didn't want ugly edges staring at me, and I did not want to mess about with catch stitch, I find it weak and even more unfinished.

Next time, I solemnly swear that I will make more effort to get the zip right.  Ugh look at it.

Pattern:  Meringue Skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook
Size:  I cut a straight 14.
Fabric:  What I can only assume is quilting cotton from the remnants table at Spotties.  $3 a metre!  Used pretty much all of it - note pattern calls for 2.1m, and I had enough for my full facing (I did have to have a centre seam in the back facing.  Like you can tell!)
Notions:  9" invisible zip.
Modifications:  Lengthened by 5cm, omitted the waistband and hem facing in favour of a full facing.

New skills acquired:

  • dem scollops!
  • full facing on a skirt!
  • enclosed zip! 
On pattern review here.


11 October 2013

365: 201-220

201.  I may have a slight problem...
202.  J-Scribble!  Bought myself a set of John Green books and two are signed!  *swoon*
203.  Grey carpet was the most interesting thing I saw that day.
204.  The Kitten assisting me with the sewing.
205.  Kites made out of sewing patterns outside Morris & Sons
206.  Another problem... fabric ...
207.  Indulging at Brunettis.
208.  The Kitten refusing to make eye contact.
209.  Is that Psy on the tram??
210.  Flow Magazine recently interviewed me about Postcrossing, and sent me a copy of the mag with some of my photos in it!
211.  Dinos in the plaza.
212.  Craft time!  OooOOO Rhinestones!
213.  Me and the niecicles making some salt dough chrissy decos.
214.  A gaggle of blue motorcycles.
215.  Gog and Magog at Royal Arcade
216.  German puns :)
217.  Giant pot of tea, that's a serve for one person!!
218.  Gorgeous yarn bouquet gift.
219.  Turtle Power!
220.  My contribution to the Foxy KAL.


30 September 2013

Simplicity 2215: skirtastic!

I have made the dress version of this pattern, but it is not fit to share, so instead I worked up this skirt before getting back to the arduous task of fixing the dress.

Look how cute this fabricis? I just love it. It's ok for a 30 year old woman to wear polka dots right?

So dodgy Tanya.  tsk tsk
It came together quickly, which I attest to having done it before. The zip is a bit dodgy, it wasn't feeding through my invisible zipper foot properly and I didn't go back to fix it. Shame I couldn't find (ie. was in too much of a rush to source) a black zip. The zip caused me a small amount of grief as well because when I put the pocket in on that side, I somehow got all the bits uneven so I had an uneven seam. I ploughed ahead in any case, promising to take extra care next time.

A 'design feature' of this pattern is the uneven pleats, which I don't mind even though others think it looks messy. I don't think you can tell really. Well, I did start to try to work out how to make them symmetrical (like Andrea), but the math hurt so I went with the pattern as is.

The only mod I made was using a button and a loop rather than a hook closure as called for, mainly because for some reason my waistband was a bit on the small side and I didn't get a lot of overlap :(  I also did the hem using this blind hem stitch technique and am quite pleased with the outcome. Oh, and I lengthened the skirt by like 2 inches because I am a prude.

At the end of the day, I've probably said a bit too much about what seems to be a fairly simple skirt! I like it and am hoping it gets lots of wear!  And check out them pockets!

Pattern: Simplicity 2215, view C, size 18.
Fabric: Quilting Cotton from Lincraft. Don't judge!
Notions: invisible zip, button, ribbon for button loop

Skills acquired:

  • stitching in the ditch!
  • my first waistband!
  • button closure with loop thing!
  • blind hem stitch!


24 September 2013

getting acquainted

Attempting to channel Liesl with the fuzzy project picture.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

I know last week I said I was being project monogamous with Hanami, but I think this counts.  See, hanami is a wedding gift for a friend, and Safety Scarf is the accompanying gift for the groom - so there's no cheating!

I'm getting acquainted with Stephen West for the first time.  Already really enjoying this pattern, it has icord edges?  How freaking clever!  I'm enjoying the simple back and forth (compared to recent cardigan shenanigans and hanami) but with enough variation to keep it interest.  And 10ply!  I'm in heaven!


p.s.  Let's be serious, my photos will never be that fancy.

Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life)

22 September 2013

Simplicity 2120: sew it begins

I finished this a while but just got some picturs!  This is my first ever proper finished sewed item that is wearable! I'm pretty flippin' happy really.

Yes, the fabric is a bit much, and yes it's fairly shapeless, but still! I'm quite pleased!

One particular thing I learned, sewing is hard! Simple as this pattern is - it was hard. I don't know what I was expecting. I totes thought there was a natural seamstress inside me, and while I still believe she's in there somewhere, it's going to take some coaxing (and practice) for her to shine through!

So arty! 
Anyway, I give you Simplicity 2120 aka sack dress. I need to comment that Simplicity let the team down by not calling this line "It's sew easy". Tsk tsk Simplicity.

My largest mistake: not realising that the front piece had a centre seam. Rookie misunderstanding the pattern. I submit in my defence that this was easy enough to do, as the middle of the front piece is a straight line, leading me to assume that I was supposed to cut 1 on the fold. Why wouldn't you?  Weird.  Anyway, this meant my dress was oversized by an extra 2 seam allowances. I've since seen a few sewists generally eliminate this seam, imho rightly so, as what purpose does it serve? And I would have had a heck of a time matching up the fabric!  The back matched up nicely without my even thinking!  Nice!

As you can see it's very shapeless, though it does have teeny tiny bust darts. But a great pattern for a beginner, indeed, "so easy". I had to take mine in an inch on each side because I was swimming in it. I'm not sure if this was due to my aforementioned misreading of the pattern or the fact that you are essentially making a sack. I cut out the size suggested for my measurements, and didn't even look at the finished garment sizing.

Pleats!  And epic failure to match the fabric at the shoulder seams! Yay! 
As I said, I'm pretty damn proud of my first ever completed garment. With a little belt I think it's even wearable, even though the fabric channels some sort of intense Dorothy Gale.

Pattern: Simplicity 2120
Fabric: Cotton drill from Spotties.

Skills acquired:
  • I sewed a freaking dress people
  • Making a dress from a pattern
  • Pleats!
  • Bust darts!
  • Neck and arm bands cut on the bias (which is the tightest shit ever, bias cut fabric is STRETCHY! Who knew eh?)
  • Learning terms like 'selvedge' and 'bias'


19 September 2013

365: 181-200

I think I'm finally up to date! And over half way! Whee!

Can you tell where most of my crafting energies have been these past 20 days?

181. Two more horses picked up for my matchbox carousel!
182. Skulduggery Pleasant. Book 8. Get ready for your insides to be torn usunder.
183. Postal voting is the best kind of voting.
184. Grafitti.
185. Another #noveltybroochfriday! Neigh!
186. Actual things Tony Abbot has said. Gross.
187. Fabric shopping!
188. My ripple will probably be finished in the year 2387
189. Sleeping kitty.
190. The first time stitching in the ditch. I was pretty excited I had to capture it in pictures.
191. My hanstan canister collection
192. Kitten inna box!
193. Epic rainbow over Melbourne. The best thing was there were about 20 people taking photos too. OMG never seen a rainbow before!
194. I love me some gothic looking chruches.
195. Hanami looking gorgeous.
196. Stephen West and I finally getting acquainted.
197. Lovely early train.
198. I will never be as awesome as Gertie. But I can try.
200. Sending out some postcards. Foreigners seem to love these tacky Aussies ones for some strange reason.


18 September 2013


I may not have blogged about crafting recently, but I assure you there is tonnes going on. Not a day goes by that I don't get some crafting in.

I'm trying to be project monogamous at the moment. Hanami is a wedding gift for a dear friend, and by George it will be complete on time! It has taken me a while to become confident with the pattern, but after 5 repeats of the basket weave chart, I'm feeling good. Not don't-need-a-pattern good but I-can-tell-if-I've-fucked-up good. And that's a thing.

I'm enjoying watching it grow, and now that I have worked on it conistently, it has grown quite quickly. I couldn't imagine it as a scarf before, but now it's about a quarter done I'm feeling optimistic and confident that this piece will be one of the most beautiful I've ever made. Can you tell I'm pleased with myself?


p.s. Before posting I looked up to see where the exclaimation "by George!" came from. Because I'm nerdy like that. You're welcome.

Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life)

07 September 2013

Tanya does movies: August

I nearly forgot about the movies!  Whoops!  Here's what I watched last month, kitty-style.

This is the End (2013)
A lot funnier than I expected.  Low expectations = enjoyment from a movie.  Quite filthy, utterly ridiculous, so wrong you can do nothing but laugh.  Amazeballs ending as well.

Inferno / Desert Heat (1999)
Van Dammmme!   This was not his best work.  Wow.  I made it through, but it felt extremely laborious.  Don't get me wrong, this was a fun movie to watch, but purely for the bad acting and terrible storyline.  The sex scene was the funniest thing I've ever seen.  Check it out.

Texas Chainsaw (2013)
There've been a bunch of TC movies, but I thought this one was particularly good!  It continues on directly from the original movie, so you get to see what happened to the Sawyers.  Never mind that the actual timing is off!

The Purge (2013)
I have not been so disturbed by a movie in a long time.  Just the premise of it spooks me.  Imagine - one night every year laws are suspended.  You are allowed to do anything.  Eff that!  Very good movie!

The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
I quite liked the first movie, in that I thought it did a good job representing the characters. Well, I liked this group of actors even more. Jenna from 30 rock did a fantastic Betty, and there was a Baldwin in it!  Also I am a huge fan of Kristen Stewart, she is comedy gold.

Epic (2013)
A cute movie in the vein of Ferngully.  Nice enough but I wouldn't call it epic per se.  Lots of cool voice actors though (Colin Firth!).

Pain and Gain (2013)
Really liked this one, The Rock (he will always be The Rock ok?) was freaking hilarious.  Made all the better because it's apparently based on a true story.  Fast paced and funny, even if really shocking what these crazy body builders did.

The Great Gatsby (2013)
So I only just read the book recently (well, listened to an audiobook anyway) and I'm really not one to go into all the symbolism etc so I didn't really get the book.   I don't like stories that don't actually have a story, like, not much happens?  Well, I suppose people die, but really stupidly I thought.  Worth a watch because it was of course beautiful.

Short Circuit (1986)
Johnny Five is alive!  Haha this movie kicked ass!  Super fun movie, the robots were really cool!  All practical, no CGI.  It had all the elements of a crazy 80s adventure movie, with chases and lame jokes and romance and incompetent security guards and Steve Guttenberg.

The 6th Day (2000)
Love watching Arnie movies I haven't seen before.  This movie kicked ass!  I don't know why I hadn't seen it before.  I liked the baddies that could keep coming back in clone form.  It had a bit of a Total Recall vibe, but different enough.  I've yet to watch an Arnie movie I didn't like.

Iron Man 3 (2013)
We bought this on blu-ray so of course it needed to be broken in.  RDJ is just the best.  His face and all that.

Olympus has Fallen (2013)
The President is the dumbest, seriously.  Totes giving in to the terrorists.  And never send your best bodyguard away, my lord.  Pretty good action movie, as far as action movies go.

And the pick of the month??  Short Circuit!!!