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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Arts & Crafts United for Japan - Auction Advert.mp4

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Arts and Crafts United for Japan

Unfortunately, all of my challenges and creations are on hold at the moment as the running of ACU4J (Arts and Crafts United for Japan) has, ironically, taken over my crafting time.  "Knitting with human hair", "The Ladybeard Challenge" and other equally daft and juvenile plans will have to wait until we have sold a few vases and mopped up a little blood.

What we are doing is getting artists and crafts people to offer up their wonderful masterpieces for auction.  We've done all the hard work setting up the facilities to achieve this and I don't want to bore you with the details but all you need to know is that we'll give you back your postage so that your only cost is time and materials (although you can donate your postage if you are in an especially giving mood).

There is a link on the right to the Facebook page but I know you don't all like Facebook, so we've set up a website and gone on Twitter.  You can find us here:

If you want to submit a piece, take a gander at the submission rules and then email

We need you to tell people about it.  Post it everywhere.  Make us trend on Twitter.  We don't have much time so please get the word out.  The deadline for submissions is March 31st.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I have a number of personal connections to Japan through language, people and crafts.  I have spent several days trying to locate a friend of my daughter's amongst other people.  Nao is safe (as are close friends).

I am running a number of fundraising activities based around the 1000 cranes origami tradition ( if you wish to sponsor the folding of the cranes please message me for a paypal address).

In the meantime the crafting community can prepare for Arts & Crafts United for Japan.  A Facebook page will be up for this in the next couple of days.  We will be asking you for donations of art pieces and craft pieces made by you which we will auction off in aid of Global Giving Tsunami.  Your postage costs will be reimbursed.  The deadline for completed creations will be at the end of March and the auction will take place on Ebay in early April.

We have post apocalyptic skills that can make a difference.  The apocalypse came for them; let's not find ourselves wanting here.  Go forth and knit an elastoplast (metaphorically).

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Headway, meanwhile and forewards

So....I am making my way through my stash of crap.....bits of bilge and pieces of eight and tatters of dreams....they are being woven into physical objects whether they are already yarn or forced to be yarn.

I have however embarked upon a new endeavour (whilst fully committed to Ladybeard and a Sisterhood Quilt that is also my fault in the happening thereof).  This new endeavour is Etsy.  No, don't rush off there, I haven't actually DONE anything for it yet.  I just feel overly proud at having picked a name.  In accordance with the blogness I've gone for ApocalypseCrafts.  You won't forget it, will you?  There'll be nothing up before June...I have a plan...a slow plan....oh ye fast spinning world fuck off, I don't go at that speed..let me build up and craft'll be "Stuff".

So, stash...ya wanna see?

First up is the blanket of Oz vomit ("Oz vomit" copyright to Hilary Bennett - who deserves a golden gong for it):

This is made of every scrap of crap I've hoarded.  Pattern?  Um....Make a square with sc, then go around the edge with dc (US dc...old UK crochet terms are crap - I'm British; suck it up, it's true!)  and at each corner do this *2dc, ch2, 2dc*.  You too can have an Oz Vomit blanket!  Aren't you lucky?

Next up is a divergence from the promise, kinda.  I did not buy any new yarn but I did make some...from loads of old tat.  There are tutorials online if you want to learn how to cut up and join fabric.  I looked one up, stared for 4 seconds, sighed "oh yeah" and went forth and butchered this:

Then I did something pretty:  I promised a pregnant friend that I would make her a shawl for her new baby.  The new baby buggered up my knitting plans by arriving early but I set to and delivered the shawl before the little person crawled....WIN!

No, the baby was not a Koala mutant hybrid....although that would be fun......LOADS of stocking stitch and then freestyle crochet around the edge.

Whilst in need of things to eliminate my stash, a friend (Jany) then posted a link to an awesome pattern, which I butchered and made bigger and altered a titchy bit to make what I wanted.

Pattern for crochet tidy:

Pics of enhanced crochet case (Jany has enhanced it further - blog link?):

The final thing, on my rampage through my stash was to make a toy cat for my daughter's birthday (cat obsessive - watched the Smarties Blue Cat You Tube video: EIGHT times in one sitting and the Cravendale "Cats with Thumbs": uncountable times and balances her life on Oracle Cat: had bought too much black wool for pirate socks (do you want the pattern for them?) and so set forth on a cute cat.

You need felt to make this......shall we get in to the benefits of having a MASSIVE stash of craft STUFF?  No, let's leave that humongous topic for another day.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Ladybeard Project

Following a declaration that I intend to collect my own hair (from my hairbrush) for a month and knit something out of it (my self-imposed ban on buying yarn is clearly making me look for yarn in non-yarny places) I was challenged by a non-yarny to make a beard hat (not from the hair) and post photographic evidence that I'd worn it in public.

>rub hands with glee

Public nonsense interbred with knit-bosh.  This kind of thing comes with a "Made 'for' Tricoteuse" label on it.  I am SO my beardhat....refusing to explain. Just think of the confuddlement you'll inspire.

However!  I decided that the joy of the knit-bosh shouldn't be hoarded all to my should be shared, like pie and boxed wine.

So, come hither, come into my lair, with my knitted hair and show some flair at the old faux face fur parade.

My first thought was "Oooh, let's make a day of it - Bearded Lady Day?  LADYBEARD DAY!!!" but I realised that not everyone knits at the same speed and there could be some competitive stress or twiddling of thumbs.  So here we have The Ladybeard Project.

Take your time.  Fit it in with your other projects but at some point soon, make your beardhat and go forth into the muggle world adorned in your furriness with your favourite pet photographer and send me the evidence to mount up for all eternity on this fangled tinterweb.

Knit pattern:
Crochet pattern:

I'm so excited I might even book a mock-shave in the local barber's establishment.

Endnote:  I'm not a sexist knit-freak.  I know there are gents with agile digits and I don't want to exclude.  So gentlemen, even if you have ample face fur, you may join the party, but you have to wear a dress.

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Straight-jacket of Knitted Resolutions

I made a promise.  It is a promise that we all make come January no matter how many times we find ourselves explaining "stoopid resolutions, not gonna do it, just gonna watch all the lame sheep make them and laugh" and then realise we are chuntering into a mug in an empty kitchen.  I WILL KNIT THROUGH MY STASH.

Two weeks in and I still have a soaring belief in the possibility that I could actually succeed.  This year I will get all the way down to the bottom of the basket and when my hand comes up empty I will unpick the shame blanket and make it into something nice....all before I veer left into Oxfam on the way to the post office and rugby tackle an old lady for a bag of Sirdar Merino before realising my error mid-Mwahahahahaha.

It could happen.  Pandora's hope is nestled all sparkly and enticing at the very bottom of the wool trough.

So I reckon that if I am still breathing inside this self-imposed corset five days after the day that everyone allegedly buckles to their inner cheerleading team of evil and finds themselves eyebrow-deep in raw chocolate brownie mix sitting in the devastated ruins of Freecycle's finest rowing machine...I can do it.

Before Christmas,  the situation was dire.  In addition to the above there were another 30 balls to come.

I'll do some "how to make what I made" instructions for some of the projects that reduced this "you are not allowed to buy any more wool" situation to this:

When I was a cross country runner we were told that we had to keep running "through the wall".  For me, The Wall has a hole in it, like Shakespeare's wall in the play within a play of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Through the hole peeps the little red demon face of my Stash Envy.   It won't be boredom with what I am doing or the admittedly hefty allure of Oxfam's dead people wool that does me in.  It will be all the boasting pictures of better stashes than mine.  The alpaca to my acrylic, the Patons to my Hayfield Bonus, the Noru and the recycled saris.  It's all those pictures I get in newsletters from disgustingly successful people complaining in a way that they think will make people think they are normal...until we see their Ark stuffed with Sphinx yarn, unicorn hair and the hank of wool shaved from the belly of a Musk Ox by an Eskimo virgin princess on the night of the lunar eclipse.   Will I make it through to the other side of The Wall and keep on knitting or will I be rendered a dribbling gibbering acolyte of envy, turn left and trip over the wall mid-Mwahahaha due to being unable to see over the top of the hammock load of dead people wool I will have clasped to my bosom with the gasping desperation of a drowning man?

Monday, 27 December 2010

Watch this space

Whey hey.  I've finally done it.  Now I need to actually come up with something to put on here.  

Coming soon:
My own patterns including the knit-crochet Chap/Steampunk Edwardian silk neck-lace that I wore to the 2010 Chap Olympiad and "How to knit a gargoyle.".
Links to not-at-all-frumpy freebie knitting patterns.
A humorous dissection of the perverse and misguided in knitting and crochet across the web.
Cabled Crusaders and Argyle Aliens - post-apocalyptic proofs of home crafts in the world of the geek.

Do come back, I do have a plan and it will be awesome; I wouldn't want to lose you because I clicked the "Do it do it do it" button before I was ready for you.