Archive for March, 2005

* knit and crochet flowers

Posted on March 31st, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

Just by chance today at the library I grabbed 3 books with knit or crochet flower patterns:

Vogue Knitting from Fall 2004 and Holiday 2004 both have patterns. The Fall 2004 has 2 patterns with flowers. One of them is really ugly as done, with these horrible curly things hanging down from the flower. The basic flower looks nice enough, though. The second one uses little flower “accents” on a flower patterned sweater, but they’d be sweet by themselves.

The Holiday 2004 one is a modification of a scallop edging by Nicky Epstein. I like her Knitting on the Edge book (also at my library), although I never made anything from it. The modification technique looks like it might be generalizable, too, opening up a lot of possibilities since Knitting on the Edge has like >300 edgings. In the magazine, she made a bunch of flowers in metallic yarns and then sewed them together into a kind of scarflet.

Hooked on Crochet by Candi Jensen has a whole bunch of patterns. I wish they looked a little bit more modern, but they’re still nice. The book in general is kind of boring. A lot of the “patterns” are kind of obvious, like striped pillows and a scarf of granny squares (although I do like the colors in the scarf), and the more complicated ones are not so great. There’s a cute edging, though.

And it’s worth repeating that Cozy Crochet has some flowers in it too.


* 3 sisters dolls

Posted on March 27th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Toys (cat and kid).

My very first month of softies submission: dolls of me and my sisters. It’s impossible to think of myself as a child without also thinking of my sisters, so I had to make us all. I’m the one with the glasses, Ariel’s the one with the crazy curly hair, and Radha’s the little one.


zoom of the diorama




The basic body design is from Sally Mavor‘s Felt Wee Folk book. The more general design inspiration is from the Sunny, Windy, and Snowy & Chinook books by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman (previously gushed over here here and here).


* Needle felted flower

Posted on March 25th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

I’ve been seeing felted flowers everywhere lately, so I finally decided to try one in needle felting. My first try with needle felting didn’t go so well, so it took seeing other people’s great results to get my confidence up. As you can see, it worked. The color looked sunnier as roving, but it’s still OK. I’ve got some blue and purple for the next shot. I’m going to try to make it thinner next time, too.

Directions: Wad up a fist-sized tuft of roving. Try to hold a part of it kind of together while you jab it with the felting needle. I put a throw pillow on my lap to jab into. Every few jabs, pick it up and move it or flip it over. You want to evenly distribute your jabs over the whole piece. After a few minutes of jabbing all over, it should start to come together. Try to shape it into a disk. Once it holds together more or less, wrap another tuft of roving around it. Jab jab jab until it all holds together. You should have a disk that’s still squishy. To shape the petals, jab along a line into the side of the disk, where the division between 2 petals should be. The shaping went really fast for me. Go around, shaping each petal. Once the basic shape is made, you can clean it up by further felting everything until it’s firm.

Pictures would be better to describe this. Maybe next one I make I’ll document the process.



* Beaded Squirrel

Posted on March 24th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Toys (cat and kid).

Funny crazed squirrel made of seed beads strung on wire, plus two sequins for eyes. The pattern’s from a Japanese bead thing book I picked up at Bookoff. I also have the Klutz beadling book, which I’ve made a bunch of stuff from. There’s an old Martha Stewart Kids with some patterns, too. I remember making a lobster from that. But nothing compares with this Japanese book. The cute animals and beaded food are my favorites, but it’s hard to choose.




* Gocco tutorial

Posted on March 23rd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.

I wish I’d had this when I first started Gocco-ing: Gocco tutorial by Sarah. The instructions that come with the kit actually aren’t that bad, but every last bit helps. I can’t wait to see what else she makes with it.


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Posted on March 22nd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.

I’m a Rhode Island School of Design groupie. I almost convinced my husband to drive up there for the Xmas craft fair last year, but no dice. It seems like every designer and craftsperson I love went there. So, how have I never noticed their store? They don’t have an awful lot up there, but what they’ve got is nice. My favorite is jewelry by Anna Chan/IMOOI. They’re stainless steel and rubber, and I love the bright colors and clean patterns.



But wait, there’s more! There’s an artist’s bios page just brimming with links to wonderful people. I haven’t made it through the whole thing by a long shot yet, but clicking a few links randomly brought up a letterpress studio, a potter, a graphic design company, and an industrial lighting designer. Motherload.


* craft library page

Posted on March 21st, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Random.

I put up a new library page. It’s got all my craft books, plus ratings, links to reviews and projects, and links to the appropriate Amazon.

And I made a favicon, the little scissors next to my URL, using the tutorial at Thimble. The scissors icon is featured in my ratings system on the library page, too.


* vintage crochet

Posted on March 20th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet.

I mentioned my great aunt’s linens as inspiration in my crochet edgings post, so I figured I should post some of them. There are a bunch more where these came from, including some awesome white ones that wouldn’t scan well. I’ve got some handkerchiefs:



This is from one of a few little sets that I think are meant for the back and arms of a couch. Several of them include embroidery as well as the crochet edging. The back of her embroidery is so neat it’s amazing.



* Amazon Japan ISBN search page

Posted on March 19th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.

Link to the books search page on Amazon Japan, which, among other things, lets you look stuff up by ISBN. For anyone else trying to navigate foreign Amazon pages, all the sites seem to be derived from a common ancestor, so they have homologies. Like, the tab for books is the third tab over on the front page of both the American and Japanese page, then search is the first link on the green bar across the top of the books page. Same thing works for single book pages: the link below the book title brings up all the books by that author, at the bottom of the page the links next to the checkboxes go to other books in the same category, etc. Beware: the coveting potential is much much worse than the couple dozen Japanese craft books on eBay. Although, unlike the American Amazon page, it doesn’t look like you can see inside pages of any of the Japanese books, just cover zooms.


* crochet edgings from Cozy Crochet

Posted on March 19th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Crochet.

I finished a big project in lab a few weeks ago, so I used it as an excuse to buy a bunch of craft books. This is from one of them, Cozy Crochet by Melissa Leapman. It’s such a pretty, pretty book, with several patterns I will probably do: soft coasters (just crocheted rounds), classic ripple blanket if I ever get the attention span to do an afghan, country bowl, flirty skirt (maybe in miniature for Blythe?), and the flower motifs. Perhaps most impressively, there’s a crocheted sweater that looks really nice, the scooped neck pullover.

These are the Nostalgic Edgings. I’ve been wanting to do some crochet edgings since inheriting a pile of my great aunt’s needlework a while back. I’m thinking I’ll edge the bottom of a white curtain for the kitchen. I went ahead and swatched all 4 of the different patterns. I’ll probably do 3 or 4. They’re fun to work up, and the 3 inch swatches took me about 30 min each. What to use the swatches for, bookmarks or something?




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