Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Monday, December 28, 2009


Each year I theme my Christmas gifts - this year's theme was screenprinting, so I bought plain pillowcases, cushion covers, placemat sets and other bits and pieces to print my own designs on. Now, I'm certainly no expert screenprinter. I had done it a few times with my friend Vic, who is very good, but this was my first time having a go on my own. I had two basic designs, an eiffel tower with a cute birdy on either side, and a simple leaf pattern.

Despite a few colour smudges and a couple of other technical hiccups (me getting a sunburnt neck, for example) the prints came out ok. The leaf pattern came out better than the eiffel tower, mainly because the tower had more corners to fill with paint and more fiddely bits.

And thus, my Christmas presents were made and shipped off to Queensland for my family.

And for my next trick I will attempt to sew a dress for New Year's Eve. It will be 35 degrees here in Melbourne. I have four days to go.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


When I came back from overseas I brought with me a head full of ideas of things I wanted to sew, knit, crochet, make etc. I also saw some excellent crafting on show - particularly around the Grassmarket in Edinburgh where there is some really clever vintage clothing refashioning going on.

The above pic is just some bits and pieces of inspiration that I picked up; Teatowel from the fabulous Anthropologie store in London, Angora bunny wool from the Orkney Islands that I bought at K1 Yarns in Edinburgh (oh to have my own fluffy bunny farm!), Hypotrochoid set that I got at the Tate Modern in London so that I can draw spirals in spirals in spirals in spirals...

Anyway, today's adventure is into the world of screenprinting. More on that later (hopefully a success story).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Stockings

Hello! I am back from Scotland, with suitcase full of shopping and a head full of ideas. I saw so many cool, crafty, arty things being done all over the place, and at one stage I dreamed of having a little cottage in the Scottish highlands where I have my own sheep, spin my own wool and spend the rest of the day with my knitting on my knee, looking out the window to the magnificent landscape. Ahhh. But it is a bit premature for me to be thinking these thoughts of retirement. There is much to do! Most importantly... Christmas!

If you know me, you will know that I am a big Christmas geek. I love the cooking, the decorating, the gift wrapping - all of it. So, with a few days up my sleeve before I have to go back to work, I decided to get stitching and make some Christmas stockings for all the people that will be in my household around the festive time.

I wanted the recipients to keep the stockings and hopefully use them in future years, so I decided to visit Tegan at Ink and Spindle to pick up some good quality (and beautifully designed) fabric. I must have stood there looking indecisively (and admittedly, half jet-lagged) at their range of prints for ages, but finally decided on a white and a red print, both on natural cotton.

And with that I was off and stitching, and I've got to say, I am quite pleased with the result. I just used a really simple stocking shape, with the alternative print for a band at the top, and a little handle for hanging. I don't have very good hang-availability in my house so I strung up some twine and pegged each stocking to the line. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself : )

Let's just hope the twine holds the weight of all the gifts!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chaos no more

Ok, so Spring Cleaning is not the satisfying, cathartic experience I expected it to be. It sucks. Honestly, have you ever tried to wipe down your back door? The damn thing is filthy! Anyway, I did succeed with taming the craft corner, as well as many other junk filled nooks of my house (that means you tupperware container cupboard!). As you can see the craft corner is looking much more streamlined...

I did encounter a few hiccups along the way though, such as this yarn monster that practically attacked me from the depths of the yarn drawer.

So I started untangling it, and then we sort of made friends, and then I got the idea that I could stitch a tiny business card holder for my Moo mini cards (look how cute they are!) and that's about where the sidetracking commenced.

In other news, Scotland trip is almost upon us (well, me) and I have created a blog especially for it. To keep up to date on Stitchybritt news for the next month check Wee Whiskey Woman. Expect there to be cuddles with hairy coos, questions as to the origin of haggis and the odd dram of whiskey too : )

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can't put it off much longer

Yes yes yes... guess what's finished? Amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Can't wait to wear it. Probably most of all because I'll be wearing it in Scotland. Yippee!

But, unfortunately, finishing one task means time to tackle another. And this one aint a pretty one. Yes that's right, it's been Spring for one month and three weeks here in Melbourne, and I am yet to do an ounce of Spring cleaning. This good virgo girl did manage to write a list of things that needed cleaning, but it didn't get much further than that. And this is where it starts... the craft corner.

Oh dear. No, I didn't style it to look like that. Yes, it does look a bit top heavy. Yes, that is my fabric stash looking like it's trying to crawl it's way out from the bottom of the drawers. And then there's my desk...

And no, I didn't style it to look like that either. It's just my natural flair for complete chaos shining through. This weekend though, it will be mess no more. That's a promise.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The pressure is on

Don't talk to me about unfinished projects. Or maybe, do, if you've got some, because it might make me feel a bit better.

Unfinished projects are different to abandoned projects, because they're things I still consider "in the making", even if they've been "in the making" for a very long time. There's Peanut Pigs. There's Antique Key Horses. There's two paintings propped up against the wall in my bedroom that really aren't that far away from being finished, but just aren't. There's the washing I did last weekend that never quite made it into the wardrobe. And then there's this scarf. I started knitting it about... last June. I know, it's terrible. I started it with all the best intentions... anyway, you know how these unfinished project stories go.

But I am pleased to say that I have picked it up again, and I have a goal - I am going to finish knitting it in order to wear it for Scotland trip which is in 32 days. I know! The heat is on! But look! I haven't got that far to go...

BTW, the scarf is in seed stitch which is really just knit, purl, knit, purl but done in the opposite way each row so that you get a nice bumpy look. It's kinda like anti-ribbing. The easy way to do it is to start by casting on an odd number of stitches, then always starting the row with a knit stitch. Oh, and the only reason it is on circular needles is because I had lent my other needles of the same gauge to a friend of mine at the time... she has returned them since having finished her scarf... yeah ok, she wins : )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A very bready day

You may have noticed a distinct lack of making going on at Stitchybritt's in the last couple of months. It's true - there really hasn't been a lot of stitching, knitting or crocheting happening (apart from the super quick pencil case that I whipped up for boyfriend). It seems I've been going for a different kind of making lately - the edible kind. I recently had another stab at camembert cheesemaking, 18 months after my last try (unfortunately my camemberts stayed too moist and didn't form mold as soon as they should have, so I threw them away and promised myself I would try again in a few weeks). Last weekend I whipped up a batch of branston-style chutney, which was thankfully more of a success than the cheese. Then, today, I went along to a Sourdough Bread making workshop held at the Abbotsford Convent, and managed to come home with five different loaves of bread, one pizza, one calzone and six scones. Yes! I baked them all myself, in the Convent's amazing woodfired oven. Check out the pics...

Stitchybritt says "mmm, can I eat pizza now?"

Breads left to rise on the trolley

Inside the oven. The oven itself is over 100 years old, dating back from when the Convent was an actual working convent, not the arts and cultural precinct it is today.

The finished product. Bon apetite!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I got sick of waiting for a Treasury spot to become available on Etsy, so I decided to make my own. For those of you who've never seen the Treasury before, it is the section on Etsy where members get to curate their own list of items for display, and these are then used as a buying guide.

I call mine "The Greatest Show on Earth":

Top left: Circus Tent Box by Aughras Lair
Top middle: Mini Top Hat by janelouisedesigns (sold! but many other great things available)
Top right: Harlequin Frilly Shirt by amoelbarroco (sold! but many other great things available)
Middle left: Plush Elephant by thewillowtree
Middle middle: Peacock Feather Facinator by MetroGypsy
Middle right: Lion Tamer Bracelet by mamaslittlebabies
Bottom left: Around and Around print by bomobob
Bottom middle: Roll Up Roll Up Wall Graphic by ellynelly
Bottom right: Boudoir Corset by BoudoirQueen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guerilla Knitting

I had heard about the wonderful movement known as guerilla knitting, where artists stitch up their graffiti rather than spray it, and had seen evidence of it in Newtown (possibly the work of this crafty lass). I think it is such a clever, tongue-in-cheek, nondestructive, playful way to spruce up a town. So I was stoked to stumble across some guerilla knitting on some bikes racks during my recent visit to Hobart. Check it out! Someone even went to the trouble of doing a pretty knit-and-purl check stitch on one of them.


Monday, July 20, 2009


Unfortunately a stack of uni work and deadlines have meant that I have not had the chance to be very crafty lately : (

However Jett came over yesterday with her new crochet skills, and while she happily looped away, I had a go at making some cute little mushrooms from Fimo. What do you think?

The other thing that I did today was to take new photos of the girls, as I was never really happy with the old ones. Introducing...

The beautiful blonde Russian dancing girl, Natalya

... and her friend, the fiery but talented Ruslana

... and, of course, sweet Rosie doll.

These lovely ladies are all for sale at my etsy shop.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Right, so I had been working on Hepcat for a little while, and was busting to put progress photos up here, but because he was a gift for Clare I wasn't able to because it ruined the surprise.

But I flew up to Sydney on Sunday and delivered Hepcat to his new owner... as you can see, Clare was chuffed.

I chose Hepcat from Elizabeth Doherty's book 'Super Happy Crochet Cute' a) because Clare needed a super cute friend to hang out in her new (old) super cute car, and b) because I love beat poets, and you can tell that Hepcat is just brimming with the spirit of Kerouac. Check out that 'tude!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yesterday Jett and I went to visit Tegan and co at Ink and Spindle in their fantastic Kensington Warehouse studio space. Oh the envy! Ok, so I wasn't envious of them having to get up at 6am to prepare for today's Melbourne Design Market, but I was a little green over their massive workbenches, stocks of fabric, crafty books and other assorted fun. I did think though, that if I had this much space I'd probably have about 20 000 crafty projects on the go, none of them ever getting finished.

Anyway, was really good to see the underpinnings of running a textile design studio and how much these girls put into their business, especially the touring part with craft/design shows around Australia.

I also have some ideas in mind for using some of Tegan's awesome Antique Key fabric. Something... horsey. More on that soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Makin' bacon

This dapper young fellow is what is known as a Peanut Pig. I called him this because his body shape is sort of peanut like. I started making peanut pigs aaaaagggggeeesss ago (I mean like, about a year ago) but never finished them. But lately I've been admiring this little guy's cuteness, and thought I should finish them off. There will be a pair when I'm done, complete with cute print bellies, hand knitted scarves and little embroidered curly tails on their cute piggy butts. Dig.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The end result

So if you were very clever, or at least a little imaginative, you might have guessed that the gift I was contructing was a mobile for my friend and colleague, Penny, who is due to have a baby in the upcoming weeks.

The mobile features four coloured crocheted monkeys hanging off knitted vines with felt and wool-stitched leaves.

Penny was very appreciative of my gift, and hopefully her bambino will spend many moments gazing calmly at the cheeky monkeys as they hover above.

(BTW, it's really hard to photograph a mobile and get the full effect)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I dream of cupcakes

What do you do when it's your friend's birthday and you haven't got time to shop for gift? Crochet them a cupcake, of course!

This is from Elisabeth A. Doherty's fantastic book 'Amigurumi!'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nearly, nearly

I am almost finished the gift for my pregnant friend, and rightly so - she goes on Maternity Leave tomorrow! So did you guess what it is? If not, here's a few more clues:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ami Ami Dogs

Jett bought this book and, despite it being in Japanese, hoped that I would be able to figure it out because I can crochet. So, being a wonderfully lazy Good Friday, I thought I would give it a go. I must say, I would have had no hope if it wasn't for the help of Leanne at my work, whose Japanese is pretty hot, and this website.

Right, so, I have no idea what I'm doing.

This kinda looks like doggie parts. Now it's just like putting together a puzzle, surely.

Stitch it together, add some eyes and a nose and...

Voile! One Ami Ami Dog!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I am making a *surprise* gift for a friend of mine who has a bun in the oven. Can you guess what it is?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I've been meaning to get my etsy shop set up for too long - about a year I think! So I am pleased to announce that it is now here, and live:

So why has it taken me so long? Certainly not for lack of creative interest, or things I've made. I'm always making! Always! It's just that I seem to be interested in too many things in life, which means I'm constantly off on some crazy adventure. When my friends ask me what I've been up to they can expect a response along the lines of "crocheting a strawberry", "going to circus classes" or "going to see Japanese Taiko drumming". Other aspects of life, such as uni, work, visiting Germany, ok ok, drinking, have also been contributing factors. But the point is that the shop is now up and running! Let's all have a beer to celebrate!