I love Calico

A few weekends ago, I volunteered to make some cushions for my flatmate Tiff’s new bar. She had chosen some lovely hessian with bright prints, that were fun and colourful, but still simple, clean décor of the bar. Also the texture was reminiscent of malt sacks, create for a cult beer bar.

Having an open weave as it does, the hessian required some lining – enter several meters of calico. I’m not sure how I completely forgotten that how much I love calico. It wasn’t until I lifted the creamy fabric out of the shopping bag that I remembered. It’s just so versatile. I’ve used it for so many different projects, it’s a like a trip down memory lawn. Ironing it released it’s unique smell and brought back memories of Form 2 sewing class and potato prints. Slicing it up with big heavy sewing scissors recalled memories of the first doll I’d sewn with it. Creating a line of cream stitches along the edges brought sensible dress mock ups.

I love calico.

Hessian….not so much.

I’ve never worked with hessian before and at first, I was rather besotted with it. It does have a lovely feel and look to it. It behaves well, staying put when ironed. The finished product looked pretty good, even with my last minute, slightly crooked seaming. Then I realised my entire flat was covered with a thin layer of hessian dust. The sewing machine, the chairs, the table and floor. A good dust and a sweep later – it’s still there. Couple of weeks later – it’s still hanging around.

But the cushions are totally worth it.

Two Row Cushions2

Check them out at Two Row Bar, 351 Smith St – it’s knitter friendly! 

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Embossed Leaves Blanket

When I moved to Melbourne, two good friends of mine, Fi & Mike, put me up at their place until I found a job and could fend for myself as far as rent and utilities were concerned. On my first day, we went out to regional Victoria where Mike spotted a blanket he really liked in a raffle. Despite the purchase of a number of raffle tickets, he didn’t win it and asked me if he could commission a similar one. I said of course I would, having no intentions of ever letting him pay for it, just as he had no intention of taking my rent.*

Fortunately, through the magic of Ravelry, I was able to find the exact pattern – Paton’s Pram Cover With Embossed Leaves. Mike is obviously not the first person enamoured with this design – since it was first published in the 1940s, Paton have included the prom cover in at least four publications. I’ve spotted it more than once whilst out. The popularity isn’t hard to comprehend. It’s simple to knit, but looks complicated and it immensely attractive.

After a few samples and some input from wife Fi, we decided an 8 ply blanket would be the right weight for the budget available and Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8 Ply provided the perfect blanket yarn – soft, washable, and not too pricey.

*Technically, I know this isn’t a commission, but I went through the commission process, so it’ll be posted here none the less.

Commission Details
Yarn Used Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8 Ply
Quantity of Yarn 30 x 50 gram balls = 2880 m
Time Frame Four Months (part time)

Eden Cloakroom Installation

One day whilst working at the wool shop, a designer rang up to ask if we knew anyone who did yarn bombing installations. I naturally offered my skills, letting knowing what I was getting myself into.

The designers was Rachael Lovelace of Lovelace & Co., who’d been commissioned to re-do the Eden Cloakroom in Auckland. As part of the design, she wanted to install yarn graffiti in the courtyard at the front which opens out onto the street. Rachael and I worked together on how the design would look, what was possible to create with yarn, and what would stand the test of time best. The end result was creeping vine flower ‘pod’ lights – crochet covers stretched over metal frames to create lampshades, as well as over the connecting wires. Three of the lights were large – nearly a metre in diameter – while four were smaller, closer to 30cm across. The ‘vines’ were crocheted tubes and the various branches totalled more than 15m in length.

Further details of Rachael’s work (and photos of the installation) can be found on the Eden Cloakroom page of her website.

Commission Details
Yarn Used Moda Vera Marvel (100% acrylic)
Quantity of Yarn 30 100g balls
Time Frame Approx 90 hours carried out over six weeks