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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Mother-daughter butterfly on: June 15, 2007 03:17:58 AM
Well this isn't actually my craft but I saw it at my sister's and thought it was a really cute idea. My sister and her little girl had lots of fun painting their hands with cheap acrylic paint, then printed them onto canvas. They then added a body and some extra details on the wings, signed and dated it, and hey presto, a pretty memento of time spent together!
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / International Centre noticeboard on: June 06, 2007 06:58:20 AM
Well I finished this ages ago but only just got a picture of it - here's the notice-board I decorated for the international centre (*lol* it's called that but it just means '3 foreign teachers').

The paper dolls were really fun to make. They are pieced together from different coloured construction paper, only the fine details are drawn on. I also made little collages for each teacher showing where we're from, what we like, our families, etc.

It's on local telly as we speak! (Gifu CATV visits a different kindergarten each month. They filmed student interviews in front of my noticeboard Smiley )
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / drastic resizing=my new favourite dress! on: May 05, 2007 08:49:38 AM
I bought a lovely Japanese pattern book called 'Simple chic, but all the patterns only go up to a Japanese 11 (I'm a 13 bottom and 17 top)
I was dying to have a go at this dress:

but I'd never resized a pattern before. Luckily someone posted a link to a simple 'slash and spread' how to, and today I finished this

I'm so pleased it fits! Though if I use the pattern again I'm going to try redoing the bodice front as a full-bust adjustment instead of a straight slash-and-spred as the neck and shoulders are a little odd-fitting. But I'm really chuffed with how the waistline turned out as I don't usually wear dresses with a waistband (it sort of cuts my figure in half and makes me look even dumpier) but this is really flattering.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Fuzzy stripy socks - I think I'm getting the hang of it! on: April 10, 2007 04:11:04 AM
Just finished my second ever pair of socks! They are a rare 'me' knit from non-cheap yarn (usually only knit the good stuff for gifts), a yummy variegated mohair/nylon blend (you can't tell from the pic but it has a hint of a sparkle).

I think I have the makings of a sock-knitting addict - I have already cast on pair number 3 (sparkly blue/purple cotton for a friend) and am already accumulating yarn for future crazy socks (shiny purple acrylic slub, anyone?) just because I like the idea of wearing something fairly small and subtle but unique and nothing like you could buy in the shops.  Grin
Next challenge is kneesocks...
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My first sock! on: April 02, 2007 11:56:11 PM
I'm on 'haruyasumi' (Spring holidays) at the moment and decided that my holiday project would be learning to knit socks - so, here it is, my first attempt! I used some generic 'easy sock' pattern (I think it was off knitting pattern central) that was for a much thinner yarn but it was very clearly written so I had no problems adjusting the instructions for about half the number of stitches.

I'm a bit annoyed with my boyfriend about the yarn though - I stupidly offered him the pick of my stash (while pointedly guiding him toward some navy blue alpaca I got on sale) and he picked this one - Olympus Merino 100 (I love this yarn - soft, knits up nicely, not too expensive and it's washable!) in the colour I just fell in love with and had to have. I'd been planning to make myself something nice with it - I generally only knit 'good' (i.e. not from 100-yen shop) yarn for other people!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Frogorama! aka space invaders scarf on: March 30, 2007 08:48:34 AM
I can't beleive how many times I had to frog this dratted thing (well, until I realised that one of the charts was 2 sts narrower than the others, and that was why I kept getting 7 instead of 6) - I promised it to my colleague for his 30th birthday (Jan 25th) and I finished it last night (March 29th!!)

Anyway - it's a tube scarf made from Olympus Merino 100 in chocolate brown, with the pattern in taupe, charts from here - http://www.stitchnbitch.org/si_chart.gif
(thogh new knitty has some socks with space invaders...)

7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Can anyone make me an o-nenji? on: March 28, 2007 01:19:32 AM
OK I know it's really simple, but I thought it would be nice to swap for this - I'm looking for an o-nenji (buddhist prayer beads) like the jodo shinsho one on this page http://www.aetw.org/jsp_nenju_juzu.htm

ideally some sort of attractive natural material like rose quartz but it doesn't matter, as long as it follows the jodo shinshu configuration (the 27 bead informal one, not the big one!!).

I'm willing to swap for Japanese goodies - sweets, beading mags, etc.
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / One weekend, 3 FOs! (now with tutes) on: February 21, 2007 02:17:03 AM
Busy weekend - it took over a week to get round to putting the fringe on the Kureyon scarf I made for a friend.

To make the colour change from kureyon to black more interesting, I knit 1 round knit 1 slip 1 with the new colour, ending up with alternating stitches of old and new colour. I then carried on knitting with the new colour.
Oh, and Masa liked his scarf so I'm happy Smiley

I have so many WIPs that I wanted a bit of instant gratification, so I grabbed a pair of 10mm needles and some weird acrylic slub yarn from the 100-yen shop and knocket up this hood/bonnet thing.

And I lined the scarf on my shibori felting project! It's a gift for my MIL, and it's all handmade - hand-felted (Japanese washing machines don't have a hot wash), hand-sewn (one day I will get a new foot pedal for my machine...)

This is how it started out:

This is what it became:

Inspiration from http://www.knitty.com/issuewinter06/FEATwin06FK.html
I had a request for a tute so here goes:

1-sweater Shibori bag and scarf
1 feltable sweater
non-felting yarn to tie (Knitty says cotton but I used some scrap acrylic yarn with no problem)
Objects to make your bobbles (I was hand-felting so I was able to use glass marbles for the flowers and little glass eggs for the random bobbles)
lining fabric (I used 2 35x50cm patchwork squares)
Handles (I bought mine but you could make them by cutting out 2 long rectangles - trimming the ends to round them off - and sewing together all but the first and last inch to make a tube with open, flat ends)
Fastener for bag if desired

Cut up your sweater like so:

1 sleeve will be the bag. You should have 1 long rectangle (front and back of sweater) and one short one. Sew these together to make your scarf. The rest of the sweater, cut into squares to make leaves and flowers. There might be enough left over to make a coin purse or flower corsage/pin! Wish I'd thought of that earlier...

Follow the instructions in the knitty article to felt scarf, the wide end of the bag sleeve, and flowers (I cut 5-petal flowers instead of knitty's 6-petal ones). To make leaves, fold squares diagonally, tie in the middle and felt. When dry, cut across where the tie is, stitch the ends together. I hid the raw edges of the leaf by sewing them into the sides of the random bobbles. Small flowers were made by felting smaller squares and cutting them into 4 petals instead of 5.

Fold the felted sleeve in half and trim so the wide end matches the narrow end like this:

sew these edges together.
Sew flowers and leaves to bag front and scarf ends. My flower petals were quite floppy so I stitched around the bobble, then put a fixing stitch near the end of the petal. Leaves were sewn in tight to the random bobbles. Make sure you leave clear spaces on the bag front to attach the handles.
Line bag and scarf, attach handles (you may want to attach handles before lining)... voila!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Weird-looking Sailor Moon stuffie (now with tute) on: February 09, 2007 03:02:07 AM
Another dull Sunday afternoon produced my first stuffed toy - I was thinking of making a Sailor Moon for a swap (that I haven't even signed up for *d'oh!* so I thought I'd do a trial run.
Its kind of weird-looking - I used the wrong kind of decrease on the head I think, and the I-cord arms and legs look a bit too spindly...
But I'm pleased with the hair!
Sorry for the dreadful picture quality.

close-up of hair

(actually that pic is my mobile phone wallpaper now!)

Tutorial: (please note I am writing from memory)

Materials -  4 approx 5mm dpns
crochet hook
tapestry needle
sewing needle
Medium weight acrylic yarn in - red/dark pink, royal blue, yellow and white - not sure of exact amount but prob barely a 6th/6th of a skein each, good for using up scraps!
gold thread
scrap yarn or polyfil to stuff.

Using white yarn, on dpns, co 21 sts.
Knit for approx 3cm
decrease 1 stitch at the start of each needle. k1 row, repeat twice (so 3 sets of decreases).
thread yarn tail through remaining stitches, fasten off.
Use black yarn to embroider eyes and mouth. Stuff and sew straight across top of head.

in white, co 21 sts. knit for approx 3cm
dec 1 st at start of first 2 needles, k 1 row, repeat (17sts remaining)
knit until body is about 7cm long.
Place 4 sts on holder. bo 4 sts. place 4 on holder, bo remaining sts.

Knit i-cord from each of the groups of 4 sts at the bottom of the body - switch to red/dark pink at about half desired leg length.

Pick up 4 sts at top corner of body. knit i-cord to 1cm short of desired arm length. knit 3-4 rows back-and-forth (st st) to form hand. Using red, embroider a band midway up the arm (this is the glove cuff)
Repeat at other side.

Sew bottom of body, stuff, sew across top of body.

ick up about 16 sts around middle of body, knit in royal blue. choose an increase pattern based on how full you want the skirt. I did an increase every 3rd stitch alternate rows, 3 times, but you could increase more often.
bo all
In white, pick up and single-crochet about 20 sts around top of skirt. The crochet chain should dip slightly to a V in the front centre.

In blue, on straight needle, co 9 sts.
St st for 2cm.
k3, bo3, k3
knit 2nd 3 sts for 1.5cm, second-to-last row dec 1, last row k and thread yarn tail through last 2 sts.

Repeat for remaining 3 sts.
Use yarn tail to sew to body. Stitch back of collar down with white yarn.

In red, co 9 sts. Garter st for about 1.5 cm. bo all
Use yarn tails to gather cenrte and stitch to body. Make 2 - 1 for front and one for back.

With gold thread, embroider a moon at the centre of the front bow.

Use gold thread to embroider tiara.
Using yellow, embroider (sort of satin stitch I guess!) hair from a line down centre of head to each top corner of head.
Wrap yellow yarn about 10 times round your stretched hand (use a book or CD case for longer hair). Thread a length of yellow yarn through the loop and tie tightly. Use this yarn tail to sew to corner of head. Make a fold in the 'pigtail' and tie/sew tightly with the same yarn. Trim ends. Repeat for other side.

Sew head to body. Tie a short piece of red yarn around neck.
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Made-up-as-I-went-along hat on: January 22, 2007 03:28:36 AM
Was bored over the weekend, had an unused skein of 100-yen wool going begging, and thought I'd try my hand at cables - but didn't have a pattern, so I just cast on and did some random stuff... this is what I ended up with...

I'm rather pleased with it - and it only cost 100Y/a dollar/50p to make!
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