Wednesday, February 5, 2014

colourful crochet

Hello! Todays blog is all about using bright colours in crochet work. 
I have noticed recently how popular some ravelry projects which feature bright colours are.
There is nothing new about using bright colours and nothing new about using them in crochet but sometimes it can be difficult to work out which colours work well together and so we can stick to a limited palette or just stick to one favourite colour. So I thought I'd put together some ideas for working with colour choices

Here are some beautiful natural colour schemes. 
One suggestion is to take along a favourite colourful photo when you go to buy yarns for your next project.

Sunsets have warm and cool colours and often small light and dark accents.

Sometimes colours work well in unexpected combinations. Whatever your favourite colours are you can make them work. 

Looking at this picture you might spot the yellow, pink and green...there is also grey, brown, red and orange, using very small accents really adds fun to work.

Think about your pattern too, high contrast bright warm colours within large areas of cool will really jump forward, you could use this to great effect in striped work for example.

And forget those rules, like not mixing pink and red or blue and green. They can and do look great together! To build your confidence try using monochrome schemes with just one or two contrast colours.

You can build from there. Here's an example of using lots of bright colours. 

Similar colours with grey between. Notice how the stripes really stand out.

Warm to cool granny style blanket. 

 Using three yarn strands for bulky projects again moving from warm to cool.

So in a nutshell; 
1 Find inspiration around you, in nature or other peoples work.
2 Take photos of colour schemes you like and take them with you when looking at yarn.
3 Forget about any rules-take your favourite coloured yarn with you when shopping and hold it up against the yarns available-something will work.
4 Think of the pattern-if there are stripes of cables or areas which pop forward such as cluster stitches try use colours to enhance this.
5 Use small coloured or light/dark accents in projects to add interest to work.
6 Move from warm to cool.
7 Break up bright colour with grey or other neutral colours.

Good luck and happy crafting :o) 

Friday, August 23, 2013


Another lovely festival and craft/creativity session at the Redcliffe botanical gardens "Whats cooking" event...thanks so very, very much to all who came along, you all truly make me happy. 

Such amazing children-check out this great recycled felt leaf, so cute!

Aside from the happiness of being with such wonderful clever and creative children and adults this event brings me joy because I adore yarn bombing or 'dressing up' the gardens before the event. It's such fun!

Pink the galah was probably the most popular part of the display, I was also touched by how much the children responded to the fungi covered log.

I tried to slip in a little information here and there and I hope some of the kids will be telling their friends about how fungi can be all sorts of colours -they can even be blue! 

 I have been taking lots of photos for my conservation course work assignments, I need to gather images of weeds and native plants. So many weeds out there, I wish it was a little harder to find them! Anyway, of course I notice other things too while spending time outdoors. And it's such a healthy thing to be outdoors observing nature. 

Isn't this a lovely butterfly? And can you find the tawny frog mouths in this picture? There are three tucked up in the tree...


So now last but not least here is some crochet inspiration! 
I have made this beautiful hat by shy generous blogger Sarah Arnold, oh, probably over a dozen times now. It is a lovely spiralling easy to follow pattern,
it works up into a comfy hat and best of all is a 

*free pattern* :o) 

My photo doesn't really do it justice but you can get the idea...
Its called the 'divine hat' (and it really is!) So you can find the pattern here

Friday, August 2, 2013

This Sunday the beautiful Redcliffe botanical gardens will be filled with colour and fun-during its annual celebration of gardens, cooking, craft and community; the 'Whats cooking on the garden' festival!

I will be setting up a colourful crochet yarn bombed pop up lounge room and will be teaching crochet from soft comfy couches-beginners welcome! 
At 10.30 and 1.30 I will be offering half hour eco friendly craft workshops for children where there will be materials, inspiration and instruction for making soft fuzzy felt leaves to decorate a driftwood tree and take home finger puppets (utilising recycled materials.)
Children can also enjoy finding the fuzzy creatures I will be 'hiding' around the site...

My favourite ABC gardening presenter Jerry Colby Williams will be presenting a talk about sustainable living, I visited his beautiful property Bellis during the last open garden day and know he has lots to wonderful wisdom and local knowledge to share. 

You can find further details here about the many other wonderful workshops and activities running on the day.

So I hope to see you Sunday and in the following weeks I will be sharing my favourite free crochet patterns on this blog so pop back in won't you :o) 

Monday, May 20, 2013


We spent some quality time with my family this Easter, the boys, Sitara and I. We LOVE our family time but getting there is challenging(almost 2000km trip), its getting harder to bring the kids along, they are becoming impatient about the long days in the car. I always thought it'd be easier once they weren't toddlers...hmmm.

But the journeys have their moments, this is a red capped robin we spotted in Victoria while driving near Echuca. Even though we often miss stuff driving in such long stretches on highways the little stops and observances along the way do mean a lot to me, to us.

Upon our return this furry fella had disappeared. He returned a fortnight or so later looking shabby and skinny...he was ever so purry/grateful to be home.  He quickly regained his weight and is back to his usual behaviour, biting toes and swatting us when he's hungry. He's laying on top of the lovely blanket Sitara made by the way!

There has been much crafting, J and L hand stitched some lovely owl softies at the Woodfordia Planting festival...

I spent some time dyeing and spinning with gentle natured Mel. The weather has been dry-after a summer and autumn of near continuous rains it's a wonderful thing to be able to dry yarn!

 At tafe I have been learning tree species and weeds- I love this, wandering around and looking at different species. 
I always keep an eye out for fungi, I loved the colour and stripes of this one which had come up on an old stump.

We have also been propagating native seeds...I'd been puzzled by the lack of growth in this tray at home. Hmm, she found herself a sunny soft spot, maybe she thought they needed hatching??

Til next time, bye for now

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hello, hello,
Goodness me, its been awhile...I wonder do people even blog much anymore? Mine has been pretty much the last thing on my mind as family, study, work and the usual gypsying about the place takes priority.

Anyhoo, dash robin is pottering along, with less pressure on me to produce all the time as I have dropped doing markets. I haven't totally stopped making though-dyeing yarn and making small things like brooches. 
I supply stock to thread and seed cafe and Cultiver. It's suiting my hours to have a little bit of dash robin crafts available. And its a blessing to have the support of truly independent and ethical businesses (at either end of the outskirts of Brisbane!) Follow the links to find them.

The last few months I have been mostly making things when I am on the road. Car time is great for crochet(or sleep if you're a little fella and have had a big holiday!) I made a toy for a friends baby and a couple of presents for family in a hired campervan in NZ and in our big blue ute as we travelled up and down the east coast of Australia.

 I gathered some lovely yarns in the beautiful colourful town of Bellingen in NSW. I found an op shop and I was not disappointed by 50 c balls of beautiful pure wool! And I bought home some very special wool straight from the yarn producers in New Zealand. 

The cowl above was made with a blend of possum fur and merino wool-lusciously soft and beautiful to wear, a gift for my mum who turned 70 this year! 
I loved visiting New Zealand and would love to go again! It was inspiring seeing a country where it seems the environment is well respected and where travellers can visit so many free camping sites. The eco centres I visited while there-including the royal albatross centre and the Orokanui eco centre were brilliant. 

this albatross gave a fantastic display of gliding...

 And the views everywhere were just stunning.

Back on home ground again I've made a few changes this year, taking some time out of 'career crafting' I've begun studying conservation and land management in Nambour. It feels fabulous and wonderful to be studying something I am so passionately interested in..I keep getting my homework done and wishing there was more to do!
Last week we had a field trip camping overnight at Charlie Moreland park to record fauna and flora. We saw lots of beautiful Australian mammals, birds, frogs and we aslo had 6 encounters with 5 different species of snakes (all in under 48 hours!!) I think snakes are gorgeous though and so long as you are careful you are safe-they really aren't out to get you, more like get away from you! 

Below are two of the species we saw, the carpet or diamond python and the brown tree snake. I like this brown tree snakes- it has the most cartoon- like face of any snake with its bulgy eyes and smiley mouth. It'd make a perfect amigurumi model!

So now that I have freaked out anyone who is snake phobic (sorry mum) I shall sign off and wish all well to anyone who might still pop in and check up on this!

Take care,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Green living...

I've been enjoying the paths I have taken lately. Part time gardening. Part time crafting. Heart-ful parenting and relaxing back into some kind of routines after travelling(while of course planning and dreaming of the next adventures!).
I love my latest work place-I spend a chunk of my time in a very full organic permaculture garden...apart from the herb spiral, fruit trees and usual garden this ordinary house block home garden has 6 compost bins, 3 worm farms, visiting possums, honeyeaters, silver eyes, blue tongues and dozens of frog ponds teeming with tadpoles. It's a wonderful oasis for life.

At home what I've been making lately is one heck of a mess while finding and matching all my fabric pieces. There is reason for this-making upcycled fabric bags and skirts. The process, the discovering of how an vintage piece of barkcloth might match a discarded Japanese fabric calendar wallhanging-pulling apart and putting together, reminds me of gardening and it's endless cycling of nutrients-nothing goes away, rather is incorporated and dispersed in different ways.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crochet in the garden&botanical bookmarks

Weren't we lucky with the gorgeous weather for the 'whats cooking' Redcliffe botanical garden festival? 

I loved setting up the space in the quiet of the early morning light....

After pulling the couches and yarn bombing and blanket draping the whole area looked a lot like my own lounge room-but MUCH bigger and outdoors!

Lovely people came, young and old to play with yarn, explore crochet and try their hand at printing with plant colours...

It has to be one of my happiest days! Thanks to all who visited, loaned crochet blankets and helped make flowers and played with natural paints. Warm thanks especially to those generous souls Helen and Rebecca who helped both before and after the event! 
And below here are the natural paints and a flower pattern for you to continue at home :o)

The materials for the natural paints-
(All were boiled until squishy, mashed a bit with a potato masher to get the 'juice' out and strained, use the liquid for the paint. The the mush can go into the compost or worm farm)
gum leaves. 

The first three are ideal for toddlers as obviously it won't matter if they taste them! 

We used mint leaves, banksia leaves and pigeon pea pods and fingers to print with. 

This is the flower pattern I created for the Sunday mail article

Kates' five petal flower 

You will be able to make 2-3 flowers from a 50 gram ball of yarn.
The crochet pattern terminology for this flower pattern is American 
(UK treble=US Double crochet,  UK Half treble=US half double crochet)

Use a size 4 hook and 8 ply yarn.

Begin by making 5 chain.
Join with slip stitch to first chain to form ring.
Chain 2, 9 double crochet into ring(Total 10 double crochet in ring) Join to 2nd chain with slip stitch.
*Chain 3, skip double crochet, slip stitch into top of next double crochet. Repeat from * 4 times to create 5 loops.
Working into first loop make 1 single crochet, 1 half double crochet, 3x Double crochet, 1 half double crochet, 1 single crochet.
Repeat this 4 times. Slip stitch into the first single crochet, fasten off and weave in ends.

Happy creating!
Cheers Kate