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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Being mindful of reality on: May 04, 2013 09:53:36 PM
When I started my masters, I started knitting. Previously I had mostly stuck to sewing. Knitting is portable, you can add a few stitches in spare minutes (waiting in lines, boring seminars, commuting etc) and you don't have to drag out a whole bunch of equipment to do it. I wouldn't sew unless I could commit at least 2 hrs to it, but I can carry my knitting everywhere. I am an incredibly impatient person so having something to do when I'm forced to wait enables me to be calmer and nicer. Between knitting and storing all of my readings as PDFs on my ipad (the GoodReader app is pure gold) I'm always able to entertain myself and get work done.

I would recommend knitting on circular needles (way more portable). And I would recommend either the Purlbee beret pattern or Crazy Aunt Purl's slouchy hat- they're quick and simple I must have knit both about 20 times. Even better they both use about 100g of yarn each so they're pretty cheap. Ravelry is an excellent source of free patterns and advice too.

By the time I finished my thesis, I had the time to move on to spinning and knitting more complex items and pretty much everyone I know now has a hat.
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: For the love of food! *pic massive* on: October 17, 2012 06:33:38 PM
This is all so cute! Your patience must be Zen-like to create such realistic detail. And those plugs are so unique.

But as an aside... there are some dangers to wearing realistic food-jewelry  Grin My friend wore some earrings that look like gummy candy to a party and drunk people kept trying to eat them. It was quite bizarre. Now she only wears them around sober people who can appreciate them without touching them.
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Mens slouchy beanie HELP! on: October 15, 2012 05:50:09 PM
 Try Crazy Aunt Purl's beanie recipe-


You will have to substitute the *k1 p1 brim in the pattern for *k 2 p2 and chart up that diamond pattern in the photo (see below, the x are the dark stitches) but otherwise it will look the same.

You'll have to knit about 1.5 inches of the *k2 p2 brim, then knit two more rows of the light wool and then knit this chart:

 o o o o o o o o o o
 o o o o x o o o o o
 o o o o x o o o o o
 o o o x x x o o o o
 o o o x o x o o o o
 o o x x o x x o o o
 o o x o o o x o o o
 o x x o o o x x o o
 o x o o o o o x o o
 x x o o o o o x x o
 x o o o o o o o x o
 x o o o o o o o x o
 x x o o o o o x x o
 o x o o o o o x o o
 o x x o o o x x o o
 o o x o o o x o o o
 o o x x o x x o o o
 o o o x o x o o o o
 o o o x x x o o o o
 o o o o x o o o o o
 o o o o x o o o o o
 o o o o o o o o o o

Knit chart right to left, top to bottom, once. Each line of the chart is knit for one round.

(This chart looks really stretched out, but  it will look just like the photo when it's knit up. If you copy and paste it into a table that is 22 rows by 11 columns, it will make sense. I had a really good look at the picture and I'm very sure this is the correct pattern.).

The chart I've made is 10 stitches wide, so the number of stitches you knit in each round of the body of the hat will have to be a multiple of 10. Placing a stitch marker in between each repeat of the chart will make things easier.

Once you've knit the chart, it looks like you'll need to knit another few inches of the light colour and then decrease, according to the directions in Crazy Aunt Purl's pattern.

Crazy Aunt Purl's pattern will produce a hat that looks gathered at the top, due to the method of decreasing stitches that she uses. Then it's just a simple matter of making a pom pom for the top.

In my experience the wider the hat is to begin with, the more gathered it will look at the top. I would suggest that you do not alter this pattern beyond the brim and the chart (above), just knit it to the length you want (remembering that the decreased section will add another couple of inches).

I've used this pattern about 15 times, it's very simple, can be used with almost any yarn (although the yarn in your photo looks like it would be about 10-12 ply) and the hat suits just about everyone  Grin
4  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Re: Needle Felted Sun Conure! Teeny little version of my Peanut on: September 14, 2012 04:55:35 AM
So cute! Conures give the best side eye  Grin
5  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / NEW ZEALAND / Re: Building a wedding dress. Need help finding fabric! on: September 14, 2012 04:47:11 AM
Hey, I second the recommendation of Centrepoint Fabrics in New Market, and I would also like to suggest Global Fabrics (it's off Symonds St, not too far from Centrepoint) they stock a wide range of dress fabrics.
6  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / NEW ZEALAND / Re: Where to find ... on: September 14, 2012 04:42:18 AM
Really? I always get polarfleece at Centrepoint...but they generally only have solid colours and they may only stock it during winter  Tongue
7  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / NEW ZEALAND / Re: Where can I get 10ply yarn for amigurumi? on: September 14, 2012 04:37:28 AM
Hi fellow Kiwi!

First of all, I know acrylic is cheap n' cheerful but spare a thought for real wool- it can be worth the extra cost, has a lil bit of extra spring/give (makes crocheting easier) and feels so much nicer in your hands... anyway...

Where abouts in NZ are you? There are a couple of major companies in NZ (like Knit World, they have branches all over) and a number of companies online (such as Skienz, who organized all those knitted penguin jackets after the Rena spill). If you're in Auckland, like I am, here's a few places I would recommend:

- Knit World in Henderson: they have a huge range, knowledgable staff. Look out for John Q Creative and Charity brand (these are wool, but are cheap and come in a range of solid colours)
- Masco Wool, downtown Westfield: they usually have a few bargain bins at the front of the store, you can get 50g balls for a few bucks.
- The Warehouse: seems to stock acrylic yarns exclusively
- Looksharp Mart, by the Whitcoulls downtown: cheap, acrylic wool and a range of other notions. This place is an absolute warren and is definitely worth a visit
- Mishi Yarns, Onehunga: if/when you want something a bit more luxurious  Grin

10 ply wool doesn't tend to be a common weight for acrylic yarn in my experience but you may be able to achieve the desired gauge/ weight by crocheting with two strands of yarn.

I hope this helps  Smiley

8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Home-built mechanical finger prosthetic on: September 14, 2012 03:59:07 AM
Hey, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for putting this into the public domain. I really hope this approach helps you to create the best possible prosthesis for your friend and that it can help others in the future. My family has had some involvement with the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation and I have had firsthand experience of the importance of affordable prosthetic devices- I've met people for whom their prosthesis is the only reason they can work and therefore eat/provide for their families. With any luck your design could have a similar impact in people's lives, and that's awesome  Grin
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Knitting makes me cry on: July 04, 2012 09:22:01 PM
I avoided knitting for 20 years (a grandmother taught me when I was five, I took it up again at 25) because it was so frustrating! one day, I just sorta got it. Now I knit every day and I love it as much as I love sewing, albeit for very different reasons.

While persistence is often necessary for learning a new skill, if you're feeling really frustrated then maybe taking a break might be the thing to do... Maybe not for 20 years, but a few days at least. It might be hard to believe now, but knitting can be really fun. Don't worry, one day it's going to click and in the mean time, know that we've all been where you are now (I'm looking at you, stupid hat I had to frog eight times!)
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: will my blocked sweater always smell of wet dog?! on: July 04, 2012 09:15:45 PM
Fear not! With few exceptions knitwear, when completely dry, doesn't smell of dog.

The exceptions to that rule tend to be anything knit from extremely greasy wool (meaning wool that still has a lot of lanolin on it) but very few commercial yarns are these days.

However it may take quite a while for your knitwear to dry and for the smell to completely fade. I'd recommend drying your garment somewhere well ventilated, dry and a touch warm. One thing you can do to counter this is to use a small amount of scented wool wash in the water you use to soak your garment prior to blocking.

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