Simple Gifts – girl’s handbag, soap savers, dishcloths

I made these things to give as gifts this Christmas, finishing the dishcloths today.

<<< My sister told me her daughter would like a grey and pink bag like the one I gave her last year, but this time with a zig zag or polkadot pattern. So this is what I came up with! It’s my own pattern and required a second attempt, the first one was just to work it out, then it got unravelled! The pattern is basically a sl st, sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc, sc, sl st repeated, every second row does the same pattern but inverted with the sl st falling on the middle dc, if you know what I mean! Two rows one colour then the next two rows the other colour result in these wavy stripes. Otherwise, it’s a pretty straight forward bag, with a row of dc in the handle. I think I used a 4mm hook, I really like the pink I used its a vibrant colour, and some dark grey wool.

>>>My favourite soap is the pink Dove soap, its a pink ribbon fund raiser and is very nice, soft and creamy. I decided to use some pretty pink cotton I have left over from the sun hat I made for my niece last year, to make some pretty soap savers! Again, I had to have a second attempt, the first go I worked out the pattern then had to unravel it and start again properly. I started at the bottom with 9 ch, then a dc in every ch, 3 extra at each end, then another 9 on the other side of the ch to make a round. After that there are 7 rows of lace, the pattern is 2 dc 1 ch 2 dc, sk 2, 1 dc 3 ch 1 dc, sk 2, then alternated into the sp, if you know what I mean! Then the top is 1 dc 1 ch, and a ch threaded through and sl st onto itself to make a closed tie handle. I used a 3.5mm hook and a 50/50 cotton and acrylic blend. I hope the recipents like these, I think they’re really nice anyway!

<<< Today I finished these pentagon dishcloths using up the last of the pretty 50/50 cotton acrylic blend. It’s so sad to see the last of it go! Again I used the 3.5mm hook, and my own pattern. This is like other pentagon dishcloths I’ve made, but slightly bigger as my husband has said they need to be! If I didn’t run out of cotton they would be even bigger! I’ve made these for people who mentioned they’d like home-made dishcloths, I hope they like these!

Merry Christmas!!!

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Homemade 40th Birthday Card

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged! The last few months have been full of looking after baby, he’s been having trouble with his sleeping, but he’s asleep in his cot right now so I finally have a chance to post!

It was months ago when I celebrated my 40th birthday in July with my family, my parents came to visit the day before and we all went to a local Chinese restaurant, the Landmark, for Yum Cha. It’s definitely one of the best Yum Cha places in Brisbane, if not the best. David and I like to go often, we first took Thomas when he was about 5 months old and able to sit up in the high chair. But we don’t have him sitting in the high chair the whole time, sometimes we hold him on our lap. For my birthday we didn’t have a high chair at all, and we all took turns to hold him. A special surprise (I hate surprises, by the way!) from my sister was she organised to send her eldest son Deegan down from Darwin to come to my special birthday lunch! Now, that was a surprise! Mum and dad had to go to the airport on the way to pick him up, which made them late, but of course they couldn’t tell my why they were late because it was a surprise! We ended up waiting an hour for our table, in future I must remember to go early on a Sunday, or make a reservation.

Once again mum gave me a special hand made card. This one looks very unique and tricky. It’s so unusual I wasn’t sure how to open it, but the message was hidden on the back. My mum is very talented, don’t you think?

Silk Bamboo Wool Hat with Flower Brooch

This is the most expensive wool I’ve ever bought, but it was on special and I just couldn’t go past this gorgeous blend of silk, bamboo and wool. I chose a colour similar to another hat I’ve made, because my sister-in-law said she liked it.

I used a 4mm hook for this hat, and the pattern is my own which is the same as my Pretty Patterned Beanie. As promised back then, this time I used a much nicer yarn with a 60% wool, 20% silk, 20% bamboo blend. This yarn was a such a joy to work with. It has a luxurious softness and consistent thickness, it’s called ‘silk plus’ yarn from Lincraft. Again, I made a matching detachable rose brooch, using the free pattern at Crochetspot.

In everything I make I would like to include a little of what I call ‘wabi sabi’. Apparently it’s a Japanese term that means imperfect perfection, and is often included in handcrafted art works! I think it helps remind me that not everything can be perfect, no matter how hard we try. It’s much healthier to accept and appreciate the beauty in handcrafted things that often include a slight flaw and lend the piece some personality. It also helps me avoid an obsession to try and produce perfection, which can be very frustrating as I find little flaws irritating! The ‘wabi-sabi’ in this piece is hidden at the base of the rose brooch! If you see it you will know this is a homemade piece made with affection.

It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday and I wanted to make her something but I wasn’t sure what. I remembered she said she liked the patterned beanie but it’s too small for an adult to wear, so I made another one with nicer wool in a similar colour. I was worried this one would be too small as well, but it’s slightly larger than the proto-type as I used a bigger hook and thicker yarn.

I also put it on David’s head for a while to make sure it was big enough, which was pretty cute! Sorry I forgot to take a photo of that, lol. I’ll be posting this one off with the first one I made like this as a pair, which is a smaller size. Hopefully these two will get some wear, I’m just sorry they didn’t arrive in time for winter!

Enjoy and Happy Birthday
❤ ❤

Long Berry Pink Scarf

I liked the stitch from the purple baby jacket so much that I used it for this scarf! This is my post for Pink Saturday hosted @ How Sweet The Sound.

I edged the ends with 3 x 5 treble (American double) clusters. I still have heaps of this colour left over and I figured this stitch would make a nice patterned scarf. I was wondering if Shelly would like it to go with her new hat, but I didn’t get it finished in time. When she comes back here, she’ll be on her way back to Darwin so hardly a reason for a scarf living there! maybe my mum would like this, as the hat she might like is also made from the Berry Pink mix.

Interesting that David’s sister lives in Darwin, and so does mine, but David and I didn’t meet in Darwin. But both of our RSVP photos were taken at Darwin beaches at the weddings of our siblings in mid 2006. Both brides at those weddings are school teachers, and both grooms are mechanics. Uncanny, isn’t it? I think of David as my angel sent to me by the universe when it figured it was about time to send me a fair go! We were meant to meet, if not in Darwin, then somehow sometime! Now my life is complete. /awwwww

Be sure to check out other pretty pinks @ Pink Saturday.

David's Red and Blue Dragons

David just loves dragons! When I asked him why, he replied because they are strong and intelligent, and also because they are both beautiful and terrifying! Here I will showcase David’s collection of Dragons. I couldn’t decide if this collection is more red than blue, so I’ve decided it is equally both, which is why I’ve linked this post with two parties, Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday. If you’d like to know more about Dave, be sure to check out his cooking blog.

This red dragon ornament was given to David by his sister. It lives beside my Chinese Tea Set which my mother gave me, and is decorated with blue Chinese dragons. Its considered good luck to face dragons toward doors to scare away any bad luck or negativity before it enters the house, as the red and blue dragons are doing here.

David’s favourite t-shirt is worse for wear, it’s his favourite colour blue with a dragon on the front! I wonder what the Chinese writing means?

The other weekend when we went to the Rocklea markets on Sunday and picked up some cute trinket boxes, we also grabbed this red dragon box. I don’t know what’s going to go inside it, but David just had to have it!

Besides the red dragon box sits his collection of dragon books – the Eragon trilogy. I haven’t read it yet, maybe I will one day! We also own a copy of the Eragon DVD and are still eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel movies. This is a very special movie for us, it was the very first movie we saw together on our very first date on Boxing Day 2007! Awwww, isn’t that romantic?!

Last Valentine’s Day I made a gift using some cut out dragons. Should I tell you where these dragons came from? He had a couple of boxer shorts with dragons on them that were falling apart but he couldn’t bring himself to throw them away, so I had to recycle the dragon print didn’t I? LOL! I cut them up and made them into a bedside organiser! Hanging off the hooks are two dragon key rings he has been given, the one on the right I gave him a while ago now.

Another special dragon David owns is this red-winged dragon candle. I don’t think we will ever burn it, its just too special!

I bought this dragon pendant in 2008 and he loved it, wearing it all the time until he woke up one morning with it bent out of shape! So now it is a little memento.

Finally, below is a picture of a delicately etched glass dragon. I bought this for David from a shop in Toombul when we lived on the Northside of Brisbane in 2007.

I hope you liked looking at pictures of David’s red and blue dragons!

David has started his own cooking blog and is calling it “Dave’s Home Cooking“. If you like cooking, be sure to check it out!

My selected highlights from this week’s Blue Monday party

My selected highlights from this week’s Ruby Tuesday party

Cute, Small Brown Handbag

I’m really quite proud of how this turned out in the end, if I do say so myself!

At first I was worried how wonky it was, marrying up the edges evenly was a challenge. But because it was off-centre I was able to place the button enough to the side to appear intentional, and  I think the result is rather cute. I had several cute buttons to choose from as usual, all would match nicely, but I settled on the pearly tan coloured one.

When I told my sister Jenny that I could crochet simple handbags, she said she’d like one in ‘earthy brown colours’, hence why I chose this wool and button. I really hope she likes it because I made it with love and care, although I know it’s highly likely the first thing she’ll say will be to point out an imperfection. But you know sisters can be like that, hey? I used the shell stitch described in my Shell Crochet Pouch post, I just made it larger and added a handle, which was rather easy and fun!