Three weeks ago I began a Scrappy steps afghan (inspired by Chawne and her mighty afghan effort), mine is smaller and scrappier and I had some halfway commitment issues, but now it is done I like it a lot. I like that it was a meditative crochet project, not too much counting of stitches required, I like that I could play with colour and that I could improv whenever I got a little bored. I used a combination of scraps of yarn as well as big balls of yarn from various places including: hand spun hand dyed yarn from my mother, Bendigo woollen mill and Pickles. If you want to make one you can grab the pattern here and watch the how-to videos here.
- Also this week my project for going slow has been successful (I spent quite a bit of time crocheting on the couch as I was not feeling so well), I also ordered a Kombucha mother online and have begun the kombucha growing process. Nothing really to report this week, but next week I hope to have something to show. By this point in this paragraph if you are asking — what is kombucha? It is a fermented tea and supposed to be good for what ails you – here are some links for you if you are interested in knowing more: From yougrowgirl :: From thesweetbeet.
- I also have been brewing ginger beer – so delicious, easy and a healthy soda option. I’ll have the recipe and the how-to as well as a bit of the science behind it available in the next Action Pack Magazine – watch out for it early next week.
- On whipup this past week I have been showcasing some of the quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee — see the whole series here: Little Bits Quilting Bee series.
- Also at whipup we had Dora Ohrenstein discuss her new book and I did a bit of a comparative review on two new fabric design books.
News and links and other goodies:
- This week on #talknt [twitter quilting chat] we discussed the upcoming QuiltCon – Modern Quilting Conference which will be held early 2013. Details: Quilt Con will be held in Austin, TX, February 21-24 2013. Quilt con is a combination of modern quilt show and conference, it will incorporate a juried quilt show, vendors, lectures and workshops from top modern quilters, including Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Elizabeth Hartman, Malka Dubrowsky, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.
- Purl soho are hiring – that would be a fun job – just take a look at that wall of yarn!
- Love this beautiful scrappy knit shawl :: Knit a french farmhouse dishcloth :: Happy hooky flowers :: Happy granny blanket cushion ::
- Interesting Crochet guns :: creature inspired crochet :: Freeform jellyfish :: Crochet radish
- Why press seams open when quilting? Weeks Ringle explains
The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money: A practical no-nonsense guide to being frugal and eco friendly at home. This book favours the slow cooking and slow living way of life, take your time with process, live with less stuff and enjoy life more fully. Included are recipes and tips for everything from making bread from scratch to making your own oven outside and from dyeing your own fabric and yarn to making your own dye from natural sources. As well there are tips on saving energy and water, making your own beauty and hair care products, organising your pantry etc etc. Accompanied by the loveliest of illustrations this book is another must have for your library. The author, Richard Freudenberger, has written books on carpentry and renewable fuel, and is the publisher and technical editor of BackHome magazine a sustainable living magazine. [Richard Freudenberger published by Fair Winds Pres December 2011.]
Mend It Better: ‘Wear your patches with pride’ is the byline of this book and I love how inventive and unique many of the ideas presented here are. This book is also a really great introduction to sewing for beginners – it includes info on setting up a sewing kit and includes instructions for the simplest of tasks, like threading a needle and unpicking a seam. A whole bunch of clever contributors offer up innovative solutions to mending dramas, from free-form jeans patches and pocket patches to cross stitch mended holes and brightly darned socks. Definitely a book for your home library. [By Kristin M. Roach published by Storey Publishing (January 2012)]
Martha Stewart’s Crafts for All Occasions: If you can get your hand on a copy of this book then you will find more of Martha and her teams signature stylish projects. This book focusses on the holidays — crafts for Valentines, Easter, Mother’s day, Halloween, Hanukkah … you get the idea. I always think that Martha’s books are good value simply because of the sheer volume of information and ideas contained within. Plus they are beautifully styled and laid out and easy to understand. This is a great standby for when you are stuck for crafty ideas for gifts, school or decoration – you will surely find something in here to suit your skills and budget!
[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending me books to review, I don’t get paid to post reviews but I am an amazon affiliate] (Australian’s can purchase craft books online through can do books or booktopia or else browse booko for the best prices.)