Monday, March 28, 2011

People who Inspire: My student Sue

My past 'People who Inspire' series has focused on blogs that have inspired me, but this month I'm writing about a person.
In the second week of my 'How to make a Beanie' class at SewGood, KnitToo! one of my students, Sue, brought in a beautiful unfinished blanket she was making.  She has been making these blankets since she was a girl, they are made using a daisy loom and crochet stitches.

Isn't it amazing.  Isn't it inspiring.

I fell in love with it there and then as I haven't seen anything like this before.
Sue's technique is fantastic, so is her tension.  All she needed to learn was how to read a pattern, which is probably the hardest thing about crochet.

Vintage Pattern (c1931) found at Knitting-and.com
 I did some searching on the internet and I came across knitting-and.com who have a great section on their website devoted to Small Looms and Flower Looms. They have vintage patterns that you can download and other useful information.  Looms can be purchased at Spotlight and other specialty wool/Haberdashery stores.  I'm going to borrow my Mum's one, which I suspect was originally my Grandma's, and in my spare time (I don't know when that will be) I'm going to make my own blanket using one of the vintage patterns I downloaded..

*  *  *  *  *  * 
I teach Crochet  at SewGood, KnitToo, Shop 4, 200 Kerry Street, Sanctuary Point  NSW.  My next class is on Tuesday 29th March which is a repeat of my 'Learn to make a beanie' class.  

My 'How to make a Scarf' will be repeated on Saturday 2nd April from 10am to 12pm.

On Tuesday 24th and 31st May I will be running a 'How to make easy crochet flowers' class.

Booking essential.  Call Alison at SewGood, KnitToo 02 4443 2228.

A small selection of my wares are also available to purchase in the store.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shopping Guide: Down South

I moved to the South Coast of NSW in October 2008.  Since then I've met some great people, joined some great organisations and lately I've been pleasantly surprised by how many great small businesses located down (or up or over depending on where you are) here on the South Coast of NSW.

 
Espy Photography


Kate Inglish Designs
Kitty and Zac

Dragonfly Kids

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Fish Creations: Seven Questions in Seven Minutes



Name:                 
Dianne fisher

Company Name:
little fish creations

Website:             
www.littlefishcreations.com.au

Online storefront:
www.madeit.com.au/littlefishcreations

Facebook:          
www.facebook.com/littlefishcreations





1.    What is your favourite Colour?   Most shades of purple. More the blue tones than the pinkish tones

Bright Purple classic tutu

2.    What is your favourite font? Harrington
Example of the font c/- www.ascenderfonts.com
3.    Who would you like to be stuck next to on a long haul plane trip?  Arnold schwarzenegger. He has led a very colourful life and I love his accent plus if I was next to him it means I would have been upgraded to first class

4.    Who taught you the basics of your craft?  My two grandmothers Mary and Rita

5.    What is your favourite item in your range?  Why? My butterfly mobiles as everyone I make is different and I love the different colour combinations that people request 

6.    What is your best seller?  Definitely my tutus as people can always find an occasion for them. The most popular colour combinations are my rainbow and iced vo vo tutus. In plain colours, white, red and baby pink are the top three favourites

7.   If there was an academy award for handmade and you won it, to whom would you thank?
I would definitely thank my husband for being very tolerant of my passion taking over the whole house in the past. Thankfully now I have a dedicated room so it only overspills on rare occasions. And he always lends a hand when I need him to.


* * * * * *
I first met Dianne on the Talk Madeit Forum and later through the Handmade Cooperative - Australian Handmade 4 Kids.  Miss H has a Mint Green tutu, her cousins Miss J and Miss D also got one for Christmas.  little fish creations tutu's are beautiful - the tulle is so soft and not scratchy like cheap tulle, the workmanship is neat and precise.  By far the most superior tutus I've seen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Percy Petit pp: Update from Guatemala

Its been a while since I last wrote about the joint philanthropic venture Isabel and I established in 2010. 
Isabel and her daughter wearing some of Maribel's hair clips
A lot of things have happened since then.  Maribel has been making and selling some hair accessories and just recenlty she enrolled to go to university to study to be a teacher!  Which is fantastic news.  I know that this has only come about through the love and encouragement of Isabel, who is a fantastic person who is beautiful inside and out.

On the Isabel front she recently married the man of her dreams and has only informed me that they are expecting baby number 2.  Again fantastic news.

I wish I could of been there to witness this happy day!


Due to the demand for Marible's handy work increasing, Isabel has found another women to empower.  This time its an indigenous woman living by Lake Atitlan, which is a few hours from Guatemala City. I gather from Isabel that she is a very talented craftswomen who is quite handy with a crochet hook.  

She is a widow with children, they were surviving on what money she could get from a little home run lunch business but due to Tropical Storm Agatha last year her business has suffered and now they are struggling.  This lady has been making motifs for Percy Petit's business in Guatemala and just recently I agreed to import her motifs to Australia so I can sell them in my Craftumi store. 

I'll be marketing these motifs as fair trade motifs as I will be paying a fair price for them, they will be made using cotton that Isabel has sourced so she does not have to pay for anything up font.  They will be made by her in her village, at her own pace without any time restrictions.  No sweat shop conditions at all.  I've taken the risk (fingers crossed) and have ordered 420 flowers in total.  All going well I should have them in my Craftumi store by the end of May.
Example of the motifs I will be importing.

Its our hope that flower production will help this family get through the tough times and if the demand is there we can expand to cater for a North American market on Etsy and hopefully employ a few more ladies from the village. 

Want to know more?  Check out my earlier posts. 

Part 2:  An Australian, an Austrian and a Guatamalan walk into a bar

Part 3:  Girl Power


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Boarders and Corners


Sometimes known as edges, boarders in crochet and in knitting are important, they finish off all the hard work you’ve done.  I’ve been on the hunt for a great boarders book for quite awhile, so when I saw Around the Corner Crochet Borders: 150 Colorful, Creative Edging Designs with Charts and Instructions for Turning the Corner Perfectly Every Time in Sew and Tell in Berry today  I was trilled.


I felt like raising my arms up and down and chanting, “We’re not worthy” – I’m showing my age by referring to ‘Wayne’s World’ aren’t I! 

After flicking through the second chapter and then reading the first chapter of this amazing book, I’m proud to proclaim my undying devotion to Edie Eckman!  And it is for one reason only - she turns corners!! 

So many books show these wonderful ornate boarders but they don’t show you how to turn the bloody corner.  Usually I fumble my way through it but to be honest it never works out as well as I think it should. 

There are too many great things to say about this book, I learnt a few things from the section devoted to sewing crochet boarders on woven and felted fabric, her Stitch-Count Math page is so well written that I even understood it, the photography is clear and really brings out the beauty in her boarders and lastly the charts are easy to understand and the instructions are easy to read.

If you haven’t worked out by now – I really like this book!