Guest Series 2010

September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I want to welcome one of my favourite independent knitwear designers Lee Meredith, Lee is also a craft writer, photographer, general maker of things, and doer of stuff! She lives in Portland, Oregon, and is widely known around the internet world as leethal. Find her do stuff! blog, designs, etc, over at leethal.net

I’m hard at work designing a set of knit hats which are custom-fitting, any-gauge, with multiple options for style types and top decrease patterns. I absolutely love designing these types of patterns, and then seeing knitters’ versions, which of course all look different from each other, and often with variations I never even thought of myself! I’ve been seeing more knitters drawn to these kinds of pattern recently – I think as more people have been knitting for more years, the idea of customized patterns, having more of a say in what you’re creating, is appealing to lots of creative types.

So, I decided to do some searching around for custom-sized and any-gauge/any-yarn patterns. It’s not an easy thing to search for, and I mostly found many very basic hats, mitts, socks, and scarves, but a few very cool designs in the mix. Here are some of them:

  • First, above is my Skoodlet design - a one size fits all, any-gauge pattern.
  • Kirsten Kapur designed a Beret Recipe for through the loops.
  • Spindle And Wheel offers a Build a Beret formula pattern, by Diane Mulholland.
  • Lara Neel wrote about her Any Gauge, Any Size Hat, with a PDF download for her Simple Hat Recipe.
  • Virginia Tullock designed a seed-stitch Bubble Hat pattern for any yarn.
  • Zayantemom designed an “Almost Pattern” for an Earflap hat, also good for any yarn.
  • Another any-gauge Ear Flap Hat recipe can be found on ravelry, designed by Ruth Stewart.
  • Gardiner Yarn Works has a pattern for an Any-Gauge Reversible Pinecone Scarf, designed by Chrissy Gardiner.
  • Kate Gilbert offers a download for a Generic Sock Pattern – make a top-down sock in any yarn for any foot.
  • Lucia created a kind of sock-making calculator for knitting custom socks, called the Hour Glass Knee Sockulator.
  • Rineke Brouwer designed these custom fitting felted Maryjane Slippers for any weight yarn.
  • Bex Hopkins offers a ravelry download for her Any Size Any Yarn Mittens pattern.
  • On knitty, you can find a customizable, custom fitting skirt pattern – Hey Mickey! by Jacquelyn Landry.
  • Pamela Costello wrote up a very detailed instruction sheet on creating a Custom-fit Raglan Sweater in any yarn.
  • The Complete Fabrication blog offers a pattern for Nameraka – Any Size, Any Yarn Seamless Kimono Jumper.
  • And a couple more of my patterns – I designed the Buttonhead hat, which is any-gauge and custom fitting, with 3 different style/shape options (above). My Waving Chevron Scarf is for any yarn/needles, and can be as wide and as long as you like (below).

    And my Shapeshifter design is not only for any yarn, but it’s also extremely versatile in terms of wearability:

    This is another knitting pattern trend I’ve been spotting lately, which is also awesome! Designs like Infinite Loop by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Eternity Scarf by Michele Wang, and Bertrand Louis by Katushika (all ravelry links) are just a few of the patterns I’ve recently come across with different wearability options – fun!

    Be sure to comment with any fabulous patterns that I missed, with custom-fitting, any-gauge, versatility elements, since I’m sure there are tons more out there! Happy knitting!

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    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to introduce Nicole Mallalieu, she writes (for the occasional magazine article Stitches, Get Creative, Homespun etc), keeps a blog You Sew Girl, which has heaps of sewing tips and tutorials and she runs a shop too – selling supplies and finished goods so you can get making too.

    Since picking up a needle and thread at the age of three, I have been a passionate designer and maker of all things “textile”. I graduated (in 1989) with a degree in Fashion from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and worked in Australia, England and Ireland, in the fashion and craft industries. Since returning to Australia in 2002, I have designed and manufactured bag patterns in conjunction with teaching courses and workshops in patternmaking, sewing and bag making. I launched my online bag-supplies store in 2004.

    From the ashes of disaster (grows the Lavender of success!)

    I carefully planned a tutorial for making these “Lavender Luggage” bags for my guest spot on Whip Up… Never one to skimp on instructions, I couldn’t make it fit the Whip Up brief. I spent two days refining, preparing and tweaking before I gave up and embarked upon a quick-fix project. (Sometimes we just have to accept that things are not going as they ought and find a different path!)

    Here is my 20-minute-or-less quick-fix project – it saved my sanity after the time I poured into the other project. I whipped up this quick little lavender bag for my frog-obsessed 4-year old. It was meant for her wardrobe, but she prefers to hang it from her bed-head so that it can relax her to sleep.

    The method:

    1. Cut (x 2) green homespun cotton fabric into a frog face (-ish) shape – no templates are included – you can wing this using the photographs to guide you.

    2. Cut 2 circles for the eyes (I had no white felt, so I used two layers of fusible interfacing). This face was embroidered by machine – but it could be done by hand. Buttons were sewn for the eyes (but could equally be appliqued or embroidered).

    3. With right sides of fabric facing, sew the two pieces together around the outside edge – leaving a 1” gap in the seam at the bottom of the face and catching a loop of ric-rac or ribbon into the top edge seam.

    4. Trim the seam allowances to 6mm (1/4 inch) with pinking shears and turn the face to the right side out through the gap in the base. Fill the face with lavender flowers and slip-stitch (ladder stitch) the gap closed.

    This frog was so simple and quick, it made me think of the limitless possibilities for little “animal face” lavender bags for children. It also made me appreciate the simplicity of using materials that are to hand, and throwing them together with love. A nice reminder not to complicate things!

    You can see the other project – my Lavender Luggage tutorial on my blog You Sew Girl,

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    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to introduce Anna, pop into her crafty blog Noodlehead for a feast of tutorials and projects – this woman is on fire. Her blog and crafting endeavours are inspired by her two crazy little girls {her noodleheads}

    I’m Anna from Noodlehead, happy that I re-discovered sewing last year and have been having fun getting lost in the sewing/blogging world ever since! Please visit my blog if you feel like killing time!

    Hi whipup readers! I’m so honored that Kathreen asked me to share with you a little something today. I figured a little rundown of my favorite sewing books would be fun. I’ll start with the book that started it all. About a year and a half ago I was on a special trip out of the house as a break from my motherly duties, so I stumbled into Barnes and Noble and started paging through books in the craft section. What I didn’t expect to find were so many cute sewing books.

    Especially this one: Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan

    It has such a fun mixture of different projects that there is something in there for everyone and for every gift giving occasion. I’ve already tried out square bear (now complete with eye ripped off), the spumoni quilt, the appliqued tote…

    The second book I’d like to mention is this beauty: Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki

    I can’t even count how many times I checked this one out from my local library before I finally decided I just needed to own it. I love patchwork and the styling in this book is just beautiful. The projects are just amazing, from things to make for the kitchen to tons of cute handbags and quilts. The best part is that this version is in english, even better.

    I couldn’t have a list of sewing books without mentioning one of my all time favorites, Amy Butler: Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones

    You really can’t page through many sewing books or magazines without seeing Amy Butler’s fabrics and patterns. There’s also tons of inspiration in the Little Stitches flickr group, so many to choose from. I loved making the crib bedding set and the kimono pajama pants already. You can’t really go wrong making tons of cute baby projects!

    And on my desk right now is this little lovely: Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang

    I can’t wait to dive in to the Mermaiden project or whip out a cute betsy pillow with interchangable clothes.

    That about wraps it up for me (ha, for now anyway). Hope you get a chance to check out these fun books if you haven’t already! Thanks again Kathreen!

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    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to introduce you to Kirsty from kootoyoo. Kirsty is fellow craft blogger, from Melbourne Australia, a keen crocheter and embroiderer, who is an integral part of helping to foster community in our little crafty blogosphere. You might want to join in on the creative spaces weekly showcase or check out the archives for the online quilt project.

    I am Kirsty, a wife, a mother & a friend. I like to make stuff & I like to run. I live with my family in Melbourne Australia & write a blog – it’s a bit craft, a bit inspiration, a bit drivel & just a bit of fun really.

    How to grow a small person into a maker of things…

    There were a few people in my childhood who were instrumental in fostering a love of making. They were quilters, embroiders, knitters, sewists & crocheters. These wonderful people, though very different had a few things in common. I thought it might be nice to share their secrets so that you too might foster a love of making with someone small.

    The Golden Rules

    1. Craft in public. If you have a dedicated craft space power to you but I highly recommend dragging the machine out into the family room. Make it part of the everyday.

    2. Have biscuits and/or cakes in the oven. If you’re not a baker a packet of Tim Tams or Oreos will do just as well.

    3. Ensure the heating is cranked right up. Your home should be just a couple of degrees above comfortable.

    4. Have the kettle on. Encourage small people who wander in to ask what you’re doing to make you a cup. Make sure you drink the poorly made cuppa & tell them how wonderful they are.

    5. Watch junk on TV while you craft. Shows I associate with makers from my childhood include… Days of our Lives, Young & The Restless, Different Strokes and Hawaii FiveO.

    6. Have the iron on… always & allow interested smalls to press pieced blocks or scraps of fabric for you.

    7. Related: use excellent smelling washing powder.

    8. Have a list of jobs at the ready. If any small person shows any interest, get them winding floss onto cards, folding fabric or sorting needles.

    9. Over pack your sofa. It should be overflowing with soft downy cushions, quilts & nana blankets for snuggling under.

    10. Encourage small people to have a crack. “You can do it too” and show them how.

    All the images shown here are made by my big girl – the peg dolls were made using a Rummage kit.

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    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to welcome the lovely and super talented Elizabeth who recently launched her very own e-magazine Nuno you can see a preview here.

    I blog about recycled crafting, refashioning clothes and other creative fun things on my blog. With the help of my sister and husband, I recently launched a new e-magazine, Nuno. Nuno is devoted to crafting, sewing and knitting projects which utilize recycled and salvaged materials. I had a wonderful time creating our first issue and am excitedly working on our second. You can read more about Nuno Magazine at nunomagazine.com.

    I’ve been fascinated by masks since I was a tiny girl. The most recent manifestation of my mask fascination has been designing a series of animal masks made from cut up cereal boxes. [Here is a previous bird mask (with a really big beak) I made a while ago from a cereal box and a Tyvek mailer.]

    This little bird mask is made from cereal box card covered with burlap. The burlap takes paint beautifully and the double layer of materials creates a sturdy mask that will hold up to an exuberant child’s play or your own grown-up rabble rousing.

    How-to:

    Print out the mask and beak using the pattern found here [also below]. Most printers will allow you to feed the cereal box card directly through the printer. The PDF pattern is sized for 8″x10″ (20cm x 25cm) card. Load cereal box card so that the pattern prints on the brown side.

    Burlap and Cereal Box Bird Mask

    Cut out pieces on solid lines. Check position of eye holes. You may need to move them closer together or cut them a bit larger if making the mask for a child. Cut out eye holes with a razor knife. Punch holes for strings.

    Score on all dashed lines. To score, use a razor knife and a ruler to cut partway through. Gently bend on scored lines.

    Cut a piece of burlap a little larger than the mask and a second piece a little larger than the beak.

    Coat the front (colored side) of the mask and beak with a thin, even layer of white glue. Press the burlap onto each piece. Smooth out any air bubbles and allow to dry completely.

    When the glue is dry, trim away all excess burlap. Use a razor knife to cut away the burlap covering the eye holes.

    Glue beak to mask, fitting the tabs at the top corners of the beak behind the mask, as shown.

    When the beak has dried, paint the mask with tempera or acrylics.

    After the paint has dried, use a heavy needle and yarn to attach strings to tie on the mask.

    Note to parents and teachers: If you cut out the eye-holes and score the lines on each piece in advance (leave the outside scissor cutting for your child), most elementary age children will be able to safely complete this project with minimal adult assistance. The beauty of the plain burlap surface is that each paint job will be entirely unique; preschool ages can be given an assembled, plain burlap mask to paint on their own.

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