crochet | knit | sew

Small Things, Warm Things

September 9, 2014

Amidst the big projects, little things slip in.  Here are a few.

A gift, a teacosy just for one…for surely, the act of making a proper cup of tea just for ourselves is a moment of commitment and love.

IMG_3807The body is crocheted in a mystery yarn from my stash. It is from someone else’s destash and I have no clue what this could be, only it is sooo soft but sturdy with lots of short fibres like possum or something.  It is like a wee pet all curled around the littlest Brown Betty teapot. The flower is a Jamieson and Smith left over in the stash.

IMG_3809No pattern, I just chained the circumference and worked a couple of rows of double crochet in the round (US: SC) and then some trebles (US: DC) back and forth, decreasing for the top in double crochet in the round.

A couple of hot water bottles for cold nights.

IMG_3764After cutting a rough template from a hot water bottle, I cut out the fronts from an old slip stitch wrap that I had fulled.  Years ago, I had got very excited about Kaffe Fasset’s method of joining random yarns together in a ball and knitting a colour work pattern from them. I found a slip stitch pattern in a Harmony Guide and just kept knitting.  I had no plan or design in mind, just a burning drive to knit up these mixed balls of mostly Jamieson and Smith fingering weight. It never really became anything…till now.

IMG_3762The backs were cut from a moth ravaged pure wool sweater that had been fulled. Luckily the holes were conveniently placed in other spots.  The opening at the back was a velcroed closure reinforced with woollen fabric.

Is there nothing that cannot be made better by wool?

Finally, a wee garden.

IMG_3855We found a fishbowl recently that was being thrown out and I briefly contemplated fish, then contemplated the cleaning, the feeding, the inevitable deaths and probable spillage and then made a garden instead.  Our Dear Girl and I searched the garden for rocks and gravel and we bought some tiny air plants.  All they need is a little water mist every now and again.

These simple projects which generate from the materials to hand and a purpose or need give me so much pleasure.  Of course, there is something exciting about the anticipation of a project from a pattern and the gathering of materials but these other kind of projects make me feel quietly capable.




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  1. beautiful and inspiring as ever Rebecca. Love that term: quietly capable. A most satisfying state indeed, thank you for sharing these gorgeous new lives for existing items

  2. These are gorgeous and how wonderful that they were made from materials at hand. Everything is lovely, as is your creative impulse. You have a great eye and an enviable mix of whimsy and delicacy.

    You’re making me feel very guilty though, while inspiring me. I love the way you assembled the materials for the hot water bottle. Do you order J&S online or are you able to buy it locally?
    I have wanted to try that yarn for ages but would have to order it directly.

    PS Kate’s most recent post has me anticipating Yokes! 🙂

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      This J&S is ancient stash, maybe 15 years old or more. I think it may have come from my mum via Sunspun, an old yarn shop in Melbourne. Nowadays if I need J&S I just order direct. This works out well if you order rarely and up to the maximum for the postage range. You can purchase a shade card to help you decide. I have never seen J&S en mass, in the flesh, in an LYS. Maybe Shetland one day!

  3. I just love all your small treasures!! They are definitely made from the heart as well as the stash. I would hope that you are instilling this maker-manship in your Dear Children. You remind me of myself when I was a young Mum.

  4. Love that tea cozy, being a tea fanatic meself! I will send you a picture of my wildest one, guess the colours…
    Funnily enough I was just looking at some Kaffe Fassett videos last night…his house is either fantastical or a blooming nightmare 🙂
    Depending on your outlook or mindset! What a good idea for the hot water bottle. I have used felted sweaters to cut out hats and mittens, Very warm in our winters, and cut the arms off and used some of my woven fabrics to make sleeves and front bands.
    I really like your air plant garden. More sensible than fish.

  5. Such lovely woolly cosy warm things!! Your tea cosy is extra sweet for it’s pretty possom colour and topped with a flower. I love the purple grid in your knitting of the hot water bottle cover! Is fulling similar to felting? Your little garden is a delight, and a much better bet than fish.

    1. Thank you, I do appreciate how you notice the details. 

      Yes, fulling is the matting together of fibres in woven, knitted or crocheted fabric and felting is the term for matting together fibres to create a felt fabric.Blankets and woollen cloth like tweed or plaid have been fulled, that’s what gives them their dense sturdy structure.

  6. I love love love that hot water bottle cover you made! I would be too tempted to toss it on a couch or on top of the bed as a pillow … too beautiful to be hidden (even if it does keep your feet toasty)!

  7. The teapot cosy is so pretty! I have some possum that looks just like that – same colour even – I was knitting Julian a yoked jumper with it from an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern but our little dog proved especially fond of it and one day pulled it all out of my knitting basket and strew it up and down the hallway and around the furniture – it’s never recovered and the jumper has progressed no further! You’ve inspired me to pull all the little balls out (Abby detangled it best she could and wound little balls up for me) and do something lovely like this. I too order direct from Jamieson – they are awesome and I do find that the colours shown on their website are pretty accurate. Sunspun – now that used to be in Canterbury, didn’t it? In that pretty little heritage listed street – I didn’t even realise they’d gone. Fancy they had Jamieson! I’d have gone there for that 🙂 As for your hot water bottle cosy – sooooo lovely! I have all of Kaffe’s knitting books but have never been game to try any of the patterns. I actually met a lovely older lady whilst community nursing last year who had knitted his Poppy sweater – I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never seen one outside of his books – it was exquisite and I was in utter awe of her knitting skills! The pattern on your cosy is just gorgeous and I love the fulling. I’ll have to add that to the must try list too.

    1. Sunspun is definitely still going. By old I meant, been there a long time. They have just revamped and it is amazing. Great blog too. Their sale begins today.

  8. I love that water bottle cover and Kaffe Fasset’s idea of tying together bits of yarn and working color work patterns. I have so much fingering weight shetland yarn, this would be a perfect project. Thanks for the idea.

  9. Lovely post. Your love of invention is a delight.

    We’ve done some fulling of thrifted sweaters here in San Francisco. My friend Bill cuts apart the fulled garment, backs the pieces with iron-on medium weight interfacing and then recuts the pieces to make teddy bears (or sweater bears as we call ’em).

    Repurposing and re-igniting. Hello, brain. Engage!

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