Thursday, March 28, 2013

blanket from upcycled sweaters

After searching the internet for tutorials on making a blanket from recycled sweaters I winged it and had a crack at it. 
I have loads of knitwear from Savers to make my softies so I only had to buy a couple more and I was ready to go. I have learned a few things from this first attempt.

The seams have to be zig zagged. I used straight stitch at first and it wasn't strong enough.  Then I overlocked all the seams but that made the seams a bit riiffly. I managed to steam press the billyo out of them and they are sitting pretty flat.

Felting the sweaters definitely makes the wool less stretchy and helps the seams to sit smoothly. But it is possible to overfelt so don't wash the sweaters too long. A hot wash and then air dry worked best for me. Also the knitwear needs to be close to 100% wool. A similar weight wool knit in the sweater selection gives a pleasing result. And varying textures adds interest.

I used 20cm squares for this cot blanket with 5 across and 6 down. I then put a layer of wool quilt batting behind the patch work and backed the blanket with cotton jersey. I turned it through and hand stitched the opening closed. The final step was adding an embroidery thread running stitch to hold the layers together. I put my label in the seams - ALICE BLUE SOFTIES.

I had some squares left to make a nursery cushion for the feeding chair or rocker.

I like the whole process of repurposing old things into something else - its a sustainable way of crafting.

Friday, March 22, 2013

cooking school - la zucchera

I've got all the Italian low down on cooking risotto from Anna at La Zucchera in Mornington.

Ours was the asparagus and gorgonzola - no calories!

We had wine, instruction and all the wonderful ingredients to cook four fantastic risotto recipes. The purpose built La Zucchera cooking school kitchen is behind the shops of Main Street Mornington. It was fabulous and we have booked in for another class.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

snow leopard softies

I am rather partial to googling pics of baby snow leopards and as fate would have it my niece gifted me a leopard print cardigan.
India and Kashmir are my little snow leopard cubs. They are huggable little softies handmade in my studio.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the white collection

I went hunting for soft white jumpers and after a fruitless search in a few favourite haunts I hit the mother load at Savers.

I am on a white theme at the moment - don't ask me why, it just appeals. The texture becomes the focal point when there is no colour. I was getting down to mere scraps of cashmere from a cable jumper so I cobbled them all together to get enough "fabric" to make Lola and Ava. When my new bundle of jumpers was washed and dried I had an abundance of fluffy white goodness and Harper was the result.

Monday, March 11, 2013

a little bit of fitzroy in mornington for commonfolk

Commonfolk is a factory conversion in the working streets of Mornington. The coffee is roasted every day on site and the salads are spot on delicious.
The huge servery was made by the owners on site from the roof trusses of an old house in Rye. It is absolutely splendid with its marine coated shiny surface.

On one side of this fantastic space are three artists' studios - a glass artist, a resin jewellery artist and silver artist. There are little windows you can peek into to see what they are up to. I can imagine the temptation every morning to sample some of that  freshly roasted coffee - what a lovely place to work.

 Hi Alice!
 The coffee roaster.

 their facebook link is here and tumblr here - have a look at how the factory conversion happened and in particular the construction of the magnificent servery.