Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Design-Your-Own Dress Recipe - free download now
Gumnut Hat in HandSpun for Blythe Dolls - free download now

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

My Blythe Dolls have their own blog where they are showing lots of photos from our holiday in France - it is here.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

More Blossom & Anna Karenina the Tea Cosy

More blossom inspired yarn - hand spun and (the coloured parts) hand dyed. Pretty peach blossom



I was thinking of citrus / lemon & orange flowers as I was spinning this, but now it reminds me frangipani -









A little while ago I had been busy torturing a doll and promised to let you know more about the project ... well here is that poor tortured dolly

She has become a tea cosy - my entry in Leichhardt Public School P&C Association's "Creative Tea Cosy" competition. Entries available at "A Coffee and A Yarn". It's a good excuse to knit up an idea I had a while ago when a friend said that she liked Russian Caravan Tea ... surely a tea pot full of Russian Caravan Tea would require a suitable cosy? BTW: she is sitting on a ball in the photo, she does have the side splits for spout and handle.

Tea Cosies are essentially kitsch and some of the kitschiest cosies are those with a dolly - they were often dressed as "little Dutch girls" but sometimes as very frilly crinoline ladies. It is probable that those tea cosy dolls were the ancestors of toilet-roll dolls. But back to Anna Karenina ... thick chenille yarn (beastly to work with but it has that velvet look) with white eye-lash yarn (even worse to work with). There is a knitted lining, of red wool. Glass beads for the 'buttons' and on the hat which also has feathers.

The tips of ordinary feathers picked up when walking through parks - thoroughly washed and I curled the barbs.

Today I also made some hair clips for my granddaughter - went through my stash of bits & pieces, stitched things together and a bit of hot-glue gun for good measure -

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Spring Things

Wanna see wot I've done with the wool I'd dyed a pretty peachy pink? This:

A celebration of blossoming fruit trees - fresh new green leaves and lots of white blossom with that blushing of pink in the middle of the flowers. Slightly thick&thin it's a 10/12 ply, nice and soft. Pretty??

I do love spring and the magnolias have been wonderful this year - we've a star magnolia:

Pretty Pretty

I've also been busy on the sewing machine: I made grandson a dress-ups cape early this year and it has been a great hit with both grandchildren so I thought I should make granddaughter her own.

Mad purple fake-sequin fabric (strange but my digital camera does not like purple and always tries to make it blue). Cape is a full circle, lined with silver fabric like the first one, I used the rather wide "selvage" which lacked the fake sequins to make a frill collar (quite regal!). I'm quite proud of the SuperChild logo on the back:

B for Blythe (granddaughter is named after the dolls) and a ducky because she loves them.





Rather less fun has been work on another shawl - this one bought on eBay and quite a bargain, lovely silk and a splendid fringe ...





only the fringe needs a lot of TLC. It has become seriously tangled ... Before






It takes quite a while to untangle and iron it out - luckily it is so very long it can take a bit of trimming. The result is definitely worth all the work ...

Friday, 20 August 2010

Lace knitting and some DIY for shoes

Last weekend I found the bargain of the decade - a 2nd hand copy of a knitting book I've been wanting for ages "A Gathering of Lace" as gathered by Meg Swansen; beautiful lace knitting projects including some gorgeous shawls (there are lots of mistakes in the patterns but the errata is readily available). Have spent some lovely hours trying to decide what to knit first - and with what yarn.

Decided on the Sampler Stole, for my sister, using some quite usual fibre that has been 'maturing' in stash for over a year. It is Habu Textiles AK-20 "silk with fern cotton" a very fine thread of silk with nubs of brown fluffy bits - presumably the fiddlehead fern fibre. I didn't actually fancy knitting a whole lace stole with finest thread - I'm not quite that mad! decided to knit it held together with something else. A Coffee and a Yarn (south end of King St, Newtown) now has some gorgeous Kaalund Yarns :-) After more lovely time trying to decide, I got a silvery blue/grey silk (the Enchante in "Glasshouse"). The pale blue of the silk and the brown bits of fern fibre really compliment each other.

Cast on last night and I've knitted a whole inch of the middle bit.

Somewhat less glam - all my shoes have been giving out lately! Took the expensive / good shoes to a pro for mending but the cheap shoes ... I had a fit of DIY


Sticky, smelly, yellow contact adhesive and pegs in strategic places until it dries ... should work and at least give me a few more wears from these shoes.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

In the Pink

As an extremely unscientific dyer I just love it when the colour comes out of the pot just right - exactly the shade I was hoping for. I was wanting a rather orange shade of pink - salmon or coral but definitely not Barbie.

That roving was white Bendigo Woolen Mills ReadySpin - and now I'm impatiently waiting for it to dry so that I can spin it in with some other colours :-)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Almost Spring & some Doll Torture

Spring must be just around the corner when this happens in our garden -
lovely old-fashioned SnowFlakes. This happens too -

A native Australian orchid Dendrobium teretifolium, commonly called Rats' Tail Orchid in NSW and Bridal Veil Orchid in Queensland :-) I've had this lovely orchid since 1982. Love the way the petals curve backwards making the flowers look like a child running with their arms out and I love the perfume of these flowers. Sorry we don't yet have Blog-a-Scent but many native orchids have gorgeous scent - D teretifolium is like a lot of the Dendrobiums, sweet with a powdery quality. Wish I could bottle it!

And now for some Doll Torture - avert your eyes if you are squeamish! No I've not been customising Blythe Dolls (not brave enough) but I'm plotting and planning a project which requires 1/2 a doll. So off to large store toy department where I was bewildered by the amazing array of plastic ... mostly Barbies. BTW they've changed her face again and she looks exactly like Paris Hilton ... very apt! But I bought another sort of doll for a whole $6.

Hubby ripped her legs off, then he amputated half her bottom with a hack-saw, I cooked her arm in hot water



so I could bend it, then we drilled holes in her hips, finally I sandpapered the rough bits ...


More on this project in future posts.



Well perhaps as punishment for all that, there has been a little human torture too. This last week I've been busy sewing for a private client; making among other items, a slip dress in a very soft silk fabric. A really pretty fabric but a nightmare to sew except when perfectly on the straight of grain and this is a bias cut slip dress - the straps are probably the only parts on the straight. I had planned to hem the frock with a neat little machine hem - impossible, the sewing machine just wanted to eat the fabric, I tried all my tricks and nothing worked. SO - I consulted my lovely old "Encyclopedia of Needlework" for a quick brush-up on the technique for a hand stitched rolled hem. It isn't all that slow but my left hand gets the sore from holding the fabric taut.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

More tiny sewing - for Blythe the doll

More from that new Simplicity sewing pattern ... the pleated skirt A worn very stylishly by Lillian with the little blouse C








Skirt is longer than given in the pattern and I've arranged the pleats to be flat at the front (like a kilt, sort of). That's a lovely vintage cotton fabric, the blouse is a scrapette of white cotton - we love the neckline.

And here is the coat/dress F - the collar on this is quite lovely.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

Sewing for Blythes

Have been sew sew this week! Some of it work for clients (lots of pattern-making) and some of it for the Blythes in my life.

For granddaughter Blythe some winter PJs - she has quite a thing for Duckies and I couldn't go past this fabric with yellow Duckies on the Diagonal ...

Those should keep her warm.

Then for the dolly Blythes I've been playing with that new Simplicity pattern and using some tiny scraps of vintage fabrics. Here is the skirt C - with lace underlayer, made it a bit longer than the pattern - pleats unpressed.
And here is the dress C in a lovely silk gingham (wish I had more of this!) once again made longer than the pattern said and I lined the bodice and "bagged it out".



















Lillian doing a lovely job of being my model - even though it was far too cold for a summer silk frock this afternoon. Both those items are for my daughter's doll BiBi, Lillian is getting a skirt and the little coat F as soon as I've done all the hand-stitching ...