Monday, May 31, 2010

Crafty Artists - Nike Savvas

This is the first of a series of posts profiling visual artists who incorporate wool, craft, sewing or embroidery in their work:

Do you find inspiration in Nike Savvas' lovely geometric woolly intallations?
(Her exhibition is on at Breenspace gallery in Sydney until Sunday - 6th June 2010)

 Nike Savvas (pronounced 'Nikki') is an australian artist and her current work Sliding Ladders  is inspired by childhood algebra and geometry, op art, craft, colour theory and sun gazing among other things.

"wool is warm soft crafty, furry and lowbrow"

I love the effects of the overlapping colours...have you ever made something by with two kinds of yarn at once?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Etsy Finds - Knitting Art

Is it any wonder that most of my favourite artists selling on Etsy have work featuring knitting or wonderful knitted scarves and jumpers? I have two prints gracing my walls right now with a knitted theme. I thought I'd share with you ten of my favourite knitterly artworks guarranteed to make your walls feel warm and fuzzy! (Well, not literally but you know what I mean!)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Who woulda thunk it?

Apparently it's not just the lovely attendees of our Sydney Crafternoon group that are happy and willing to share their knitting wisdom...

"Here's Sarah Jessica Parker in action with her needles, during a break in filming. And apparently, she's keen to share her skills. A source said: 'As soon as shooting stops, Sarah's back to her knitting. She's introduced lots of other people to it - everyone is hooked.' Sarah Jessica was taught to knit by her 'Sex and the City' co-star Kristin Davis."
Source -

We might not be uber fashionable bazillionaires but we sure do love to knit and we LOVE to share! So don't knit alone at home - throw your needles and wool in your bag and come say hello some time! And unlike model Kate Moss, who "according to a source in the Daily Star, is trying to keep her new obsession a secret as she thinks it's seriously uncool. She carries her needles and wool hidden away in a big black Chanel bag.", we know knitting is WAY COOL! With or without a Chanel bag or a cocaine addiction.

Apparently craft groups like ours are becoming so popular that even Hollywood is cashing in. A case of art imitates life perhaps? Knitting fan Julia Roberts is set to star in the film 'The Friday Night Knitting Club' based on the book of the same name. So all we can suggest is hang out with us so you can tell all your mates you're the inspiration for celebrities everywhere. Viva la revolution!

Click on our Events page to find out the dates and locations for upcoming Sydney Crafternoon meets. See you next time!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This felt fantastic...

Spotted over on the New York Times Online - these AMAZING felt creations by fashion designer Dana Barnes. Oh how I long to have these giant, soft, colourful granny sqaure throw cushions on my floor. Or to try my own hand at making some! Can you imagine the size of the hook needed to wrestle such a large thread?!

"There were fat crocheted granny squares the size of sea turtles drying in the sun that was pouring into the living area. There were bumps of felted, braided unspun wool, Ms. Barnes’s riff on a traditional braided rug, plumped up into floor cushions. There was a felt “bowl” as high as your knees.
And underneath it all was the original rug, an oatmeal-colored lawn made from panels of felted batting — squares of unspun wool — that she and the young crafters and artists she employs had sculptured and then sewn together by hand.
It was a sensuous landscape of felt. You just wanted to lie down and roll around on it" 
Click here to read the rest of the New York Times article

Have you ever made any large scale craft pieces? I'd love to know how it went. I'd love to tackle a huge project like this. If only there was the floor space in my apartment for dozens of cosy giant felt granny squares...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What to swap next?

After the success of our May Mug Cosy Swap we've decided to make swapping a bi-monthly ritual.

I'm all for swapping, it gets you making things you wouldn't usually make...making the mug cosy was the first time i had to negotiate crochet with fastenings.

We'd love your say in what we make and swap next, the options so far...

1. Decorative pot holders like these ones from Foxes Lane

2. Cosy Beanies (practice knitting in the round...)

3. Pretty brooches - do you like these knitted pencils from Kandy Diamond?
(for practicing sculptural kniting/crochet -flowers etc.)

4. Arm warmers (to practice knitting to fit the body -without the difficulty of fingers!)

over on the right hand side of this page...

Mug Cosy Swap

Sydney Crafternoon had it's first swap today, each participant knitted/crochet/felted a mug cosy and wrapped it up ready for swapping at today's Crafternoon. All the cosies were put into a paper bag and pulled out at random...

I only managed to get a few pics...and most of them were blurry...but the smiles say it all!
What shall we swap next!? 
(there is a poll on the right hand side of this blog where you can vote!)

p.s you can see my finished mug cosy here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our fellow Sydney stitching groups.

Sydney Crafternoon was started to fill the eastern suburbs crafting group void, and yet so many of our members ask if i could please...possibly...pretty please...make the meetings where they live...? 

So, i thought it might be time to mention some of the other knitting/crochet/crafting groups around town:

Sydney sity klickers meet on Saturdays at Barmuda cafe on Australia St in Newtown. (my favourite part of newtown just down from Newspaper Taxi!. They are well established, and have been running since 2002.

Brown owls is originally a Melbourne crafting group, but they have recently branched out to other states (including NSW) and now run crafting nights at Lane cove, the Inner West and Sydney's CBD.

Sydney Stitch n Bitch meets at Harts Pub every second Monday at 6.30pm or so and at Manly Wharf Hotel every second Tuesday at 7pm or so.

Morris and Sons SnB meet on a Thursday night from 5pm and when they get thirsty they move to the Lobby Bar at the Swissotel on Market Street, Sydney CBD.

Rubi & Lana knitting group meet at Bar Fresko, Gordon every other Saturday from 11.30am.

These are a few groups i have seen around...
have you visited any of them?
Do you go to a group i haven't mentioned?
Do you attend a number of crafting groups?

In could do a Sydney craft crawl across the week:

Harts Pub on Monday night, Manly on Tuesday evening, Brown owls on a Wed night, Morris and Sons the Following night, Saturday morning in Gordon! then over to Newtown for an afternoon with the Sity Klickers...then over to Pocket Bar for Sunday Crafternoon! Phew!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Victoria Mason and Kootoyoo present...

I have coveted the amazing creations of Australian jeweller Victoria Mason for some time now. Her sweet silver jewellery takes every day items and turns them into tiny, precious, wearable objets d'art.
I recently saw that a teeny tiny crocheted granny square made by the crafty blogess Kirsty of Kootoyoo was turned into a most amazing silver spoon by Victoria, for an exhibition at Melbourne's Hand Held Gallery called 'One Cup - an exhibition of 48 teaspoons'. It blew my mind a little, okay a lot...take a look -

 See the entire process over on Victoria Mason's blog Earl And Cookie.

Isn't it amazing?! Can you imagine how cool it would be to stir your cup of tea with a spoon like that?!

Well I'm not sure if a spoon will ever be available for sale but soon a necklace version of the granny square will be available for sale - how awesome is that?! So we can wear a little silver version of Kootoyoo's granny square around our neck at all times! AND she's even giving one away over on Kootoyoo's blog!! Cue brain explosion! *hyperventilates with excitement*

So I'm going to head on over to Kootoyoo's and enter the comp now! Who's with me?!

Monday, May 10, 2010

knitting and unrequited love.

The other night at my favourite monthly musical soiree i was surprised to find a pile of beanies on the front table...

Talented singer songwriter Ange Takats learnt to knit in the round, and make lovely stripey beanies while pursuing unrequited love in a small town in Ontario, Canada. (she moved back home and he later married a perky blonde figure skater - in case you were wondering...). This canadian - unrequited - knitting - love story later became a song...

The Knitters Curse
I found a bag full of random things
that I acquired when I lived with you
knitting needles and dusty balls of yarn
and a printed email or two
the last photograph of us together
standing in a cornfield
I am wearing a purple scarf
you are wearing that green beanie
that I knitted for love that I knitted for you
hoping the stitches would pull us through
now you're marrying a figure skater
and a life of simplicity
she looks perky and sporty and blonde
the exact opposite of me
I am certain she could skate loop-di-loops around me in the ring
but when she's listening to Nina with you
are there goosebumps on her skin?
does she knit for love? Does she knit for you?
does she knit for love and will her stitches ever undo?
me and my unravelings
red and yellow, green and grey
these balls of wool keep getting in my way
tangled up in my desire to please
I'm casting off this curse
I'm waiting for release
now I don't knit for love, I just let love be
It's going to take a gentle man
to unwrap me 

Check out her album, if you fancy - it's full of warm, real music and lovely knitting artwork adorns the cover.

It's funny how knitting pops up in the most unexpected of places...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

baby, it's cold outside!

As the weather has now taken a turn for the cooler, we've dragged our ugly old gas heater out of hiding.
I know, where are the granny square blankets, afghans and knitted throws to keep me warm? Trust me, I'm working on it! In fact it feels like I'm always working on one...

At least after seeing this lovely Belgian Natural Gas commercial I can imagine that my gas heater is filling my home with warm cosy knitting...even if it feels like I'm not!

Have you been working on a blanket or rug for what seems like all of eternity? What does it feel like to finish one?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mothers Day gift ideas - hand made with love!

Pssst - it's Mothers Day this Sunday. I know, we have a Sydney Crafternoon meet organised on that day! Oops! Well, we think our mothers will forgive us if there is a little handmade love to sweeten the deal. Say thanks and I love you Mum with some of these sweet crocheted gift ideas FREE from Lion Brand Yarn.

Please note: These patterns are indeed 100% FREE but you do have to sign up/in to their website to access the patterns. That's free also of course!

Amigurumi Mouse Doorstep.
We think the only squeals you'd get on seeing this little critter on your floor would be squeals of delight!

Apple Slice Tawashi Dish Scrubbers
I'd be happy to do the dishes too with dishcloths like this. I think they'd make nice face/body cloths too.

Super cute, don'tcha think?! Beeautiful or beary nice?!

Amigurimi Teacup Pin Cushion
For the tea drinking sewing fanatics out there.

or say it with flowers with this
Amigurumi Potted Plant

There are loads more free patterns for all sorts of projects over on the Lion Brand website. If you make something special for your mum this Mothers Day, be sure to share your creation with us please!

And to all the mothers out there - we think you're just wonderful! Happy Mothers Day!

What sort of crafter are you?

Do you craft vicariously, taking in other people's creations for nourishment?

I tend to have enthusiastic bursts where i start one thing, and get so enthused by it's success that i put it down before it's finished to start something similar, but slightly different, new and improved...

I especially like to work on small projects that have no particular goal (or one that changes a lot!). My last attempt at a scarf ended up becoming the cutest tea cosy...I'm all about going with the flow when it comes to crafting.

How do you craft?

Just for fun - woolly title.

While i was waiting for the rice to cook...
(brown rice does take a while, you know!)

I made this woolly title. I hope you like it. hehe.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sydney Crafternoon - now on Flickr!

We've started a Sydney Crafternoon group over on Flickr so you can share your progress between meets, delight us with beautiful finished projects or post any shots you may have taken at the last get together.

Why don't you head on over and join in the fun!

wrapping paper felt bunting
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