Illustration Friday - topic: small

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This is my Illustration Friday entry, this week's topic was "small". I decided to do an illustration for Hans Christian Andersen's story "Thumbelina", a story that I have always wanted to illustrate. This is the part of the story where Thumbelina escapes marriage to the mole by flying away on the back of a swallow.

This is my first Illustration Friday entry, so I made some extra effort. I think doing it was/will be really good for me, because it's an opportunity to do something without any rules or restrictions. Sometimes I start to forget what I would do if I could do anything at all. I've added the Thumbelina illustration to the top of my blog because I like it, and maybe to remind myself about that.


How to make crochet flowers

>> Monday, November 28, 2005

A friend of mine recently asked about making crochet flowers. I made some awhile ago, with a pattern I made up myself. Almost everything I make is designed by myself, but I do use books to learn the basic stitches, especially fancy stitches such as knitting cables and crocheting shell patterns. I learned to make a few crochet flower shapes from a book, and then designed my own with the same basic idea.

These flowers can be used to decorate hats and scarves, and to make brooches, as I've done here, by sewing the pin to the back. They sell backings for brooches at bead stores. Arton Beads on Queen West (in Toronto) is a well-stocked bead store with good prices.

Here is the pattern for the crochet flowers (I'm not an expert pattern writer, plus learning all the abbreviations can be an extra hurdle for the beginner, so here it is almost in plain english):

Crochet Flower Pattern
what you need to know:
making a chain, slip stitch, single crochet stitch, double crochet stitch
use the size crochet hook recommended on the yarn label. Flowers can vary in sizes depending on how heavy the yarn is.

  1. chain 4
  2. join into a ring with slip stitch into first chain
  3. * 1 single chain into centre of ring, chain 3 * Repeat from * 5 times to create 6 loops
  4. * 1 single chain, 3 double chains, 1 single chain * Repeat from * 5 times, once in each loop to create 6 petals (it will look like there's a small hole at the bottom of each petal, that's ok, it gets covered by the top layer of petals)
  5. repeat steps 3 and 4 for second (top) layer of petals, but this time only making 5 petals
  6. optional: embroider French knots in a contrasting colour in a small circle in the centre of the flower, and one single French knot in another colour in the centre. Sew a pin clasp to the back of the flower.


Easy knitted acorn bag

>> Thursday, November 24, 2005

Here is a recent creation... I finally added the acorns but I'm not sure about the branches, I may take those off. I've been thinking about what a great beginner's project it would make.

Are you tired of knitting scarves and dishcloths? Still only comfortable knitting squares and rectangles? Here it is, the easiest bag ever! All you do is knit 2 squares and a very long and skinny rectangle, and sew it all together. The long skinny rectangle becomes the sides, bottom and strap of the bag. You can do it with garter stitch (all knit) or stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row). If you use stockinette, I recommend doing the last few rows all knit, so that the tops of the bag won't curl.

For mine I did stockinette for the squares and the sides/strap is all knit. I also used a smaller needle than recommended for the yarn, this makes it very dense and tight, so it can hold your things and not sag. Mine turned out so dense that I didn't even need to sew in a lining, although I might, if I can find something cute, like a vintage oak leaf pattern or something like that. And of course the embroidery on top is optional. I used a basic chain stitch for the leaves and satin stitch for the acorns, using scraps of wool. Finally I added a vintage button and a loop to go over the button. So there you have it, the perfect easy peasy bag project! (with evidence inside of my latest yarn spree at knitomatic)


Rabbitvalley in December

>> Saturday, November 19, 2005

This is my winter activity illustration for the illustrious gallery at


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