Make It Your Own

Make it unique. Make it yourself. Make it your own

Taking a break 27 September, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 9:11 am

Just a little note to say that I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. I might post a thought or two but there’ll be none of the usual useful stuff. When I return there’ll be more yarn reviews, book reviews, garden reports and craft projects to get you ready for Christmas gift giving!



5000 winners! 20 September, 2007

Filed under: Hand dyed Yarn,knitting,Sock knitting — makeityourown @ 3:06 pm

Well, no, there are not 5000 actual winners, but there are one winner and one runner up in the 5000 competition. Only 4 people entered which surprises me. Don’t you people like winning knitting prizes?


Tina M who told us about the cushions she made for the owners of a treasured pet.

Earlier this year a family friends dog (Zappa) passed away . He was their baby and a big part of our lives as well. He would come and visit us during the day if his parents were boring ; ) . He was special and we wanted to do something. So we knitted his picture onto 2 pillows. A positive and a negative version. It turned out well -even looks like him. But the weird thing was that we didn’t really know what we were doing with the photo or the knitting but it worked with about 10 cm of wool left. We figured it was meant to be.
PS We’ve posted a photo of it on our blog ( we’re new at that too) if you want to see it.

I thought this was a great story of a project that was meant to be. I’m pretty impressed with the knitting skills displayed here too. Also a lovely gesture for someone who has lost a good friend. Tina M wins the laceweight alpaca, the sheep tape measure and the Clover tapestry needles.


Amanda who told us about felted bag disaster.

My disaster story: I have only very recently discovered the delights of felting. My first two attempts were quite successful. I made two pairs of felted clogs in Bendigo Woollen Mills Aran. It took some effort to felt but I was pleased with the finished product. About a month ago I was at the BWM’s sale room and picked up some Rustica which I thought should felt well. I bought a number of balls in a cream colour and a number of balls called Ink – a lovely shiny black. I then set out to make a Eva Weichmann felted bag. I knitted the bag over two nights. The bag is knitted from the handles down. So I made the handles in the two colours. Then I knitted the upper half of the bag in the cream colour and then the bottom half in the ink colour. I really liked the look of the bag at this stage and couldn’t wait til morning when I would felt the bag in the washing maschine. Next morning, feeling ever so cheery I bunged the bag in the maschine with a flourish and started the process. Well, some time later I went to retrieve my trophy. The top half of the bag felted beautifully, the bottom half? It’s, a floppy, saggy mess! No amount of effort has changed this. I might just have to cut up the top half and turn it into coasters?

What a tragic story. The fact that only one half of the project was disasterous and the other half successful is especially tragic. Amanda wins 2 balls of grey, black and white Patonyle. Enough for a pair of socks and guaranteed not to felt!

Honourable mentions to Leonie who managed to felt only 1 bed sock and Sarah who accidently pulled out the whole lettuce from the garden when only wanting a leaf or two.


If you lurve to knit socks, I have some sock wool for sale. It is soft and squishy, 70% Australian merino and 30% nylon, hand dyed by me and ONLY $15 FOR 100g !! What a bargain. Click on the “Hand Dyed Yarn for Sale” button at the top of the page to see the full range. I’ve also got 4 little hanks of yarn that are only $2.50 with any other purchase. You’ll find them at the bottom of the all the other yarns.

Here’s something to whet your appetite…

Sock yarns

That’s it for this week. I know: no book review, no yarn review and no craft project. Sorry folks. To keep you entertained I’ll leave you with some photos of the knitting at the Adelaide Show.

Adelaide show

Adelaide show

Adelaide show


Fun with Dyeing 13 September, 2007

Filed under: Craft,Hand dyed Yarn,Weekly useful stuff — makeityourown @ 11:20 am

Dyeing is fun, not to mention all the puns you can make the dyeing/dying thing (I dyed today. I’m dyeing. I’m going to dye next week. Dyeing is fun. Dyeing can change your life and so on and so on.) I always have fun playing with colours and yarn and I always wish I’d made more hanks so that I can keep going. I dyed lots of cotton yesterday (pictured below along with some wool) and you can buy it! Go to the Hand Dyed Yarns For Sale page and peruse the new additions. Next week I’ll be dyeing a large amount of mohair/wool/acrylic blend yarn and maybe some laceweight and I’ll add that to the list of available yarns too.

Dyed yarns

I dyed some t-shirts too. This was my first go at tie dyeing since I was a kid. I had a couple of t-shirts that used to be white and new and nice but after a few years of constant wear, were not looking their best any more. Perfect candidates for being spruced up with some dye.


Here is an easy way to tie dye t-shirts. This is how I did it anyway. You can do it in the kitchen without making a mess and hopefully all you’ll need to buy is a packet of Rit powdered dye. I bought mine at Lincraft but you can also buy it at the cheaper department stores. Each colour costs around $6 and it’s enough to dye several t-shirts should you want them all the same colour.

What you need: a cotton t-shirt, vinegar, a packet of Rit dye powder, water, string, a microwave, a medium sized bowl, a microwave safe container, scissors.
To mix dye for one t-shirt: into the bowl put 2 teaspoons of dye powder, 4 tablespoons of vinegar and a cup of very hot water. Mix to dissolve the dye. Add cold water so the bowl is about half full.

Tie up the t-shirt: gather up the t-shirt from the centre front and tie pieces of string around it as pictured below. Tie up other smaller sections too if you want.

Tie Dyeing

Immerse the t-shirt in the bowl of dye for a minute. Remove it from the dye and let the excess liquid drain away. Put the t-shirt into the microwave safe container. Microwave on medium-high for 2 minutes. Wait for 2 minutes and then microwave again on medium-high for another 2 minutes. Leave until it is cool enough to handle. Snip off the pieces of string. Rinse the t-shirt under running water until no more dye is coming out. Squeeze gently, spin dry if you want and hang to dry completely.

Easy huh?! Here are my results…

The two purply ones were my experiments and the pink one is the result using the above instructions.

Tie Dyed t-shirts

Don’t forget to enter my competition. You could win some knitting goodies. Have a look at the post of 6th September for the details and photos of the prizes.

Thanks for the congratulations on reaching 5000 visitors.

Have a good week. I’d love it if you’d all leave comments to let me know that you read my blog.



Hey 5000! 11 September, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 3:53 pm

5000 visitors to my blog as of today! Thanks to everyone who reads regularly and to those who have left comments over the last couple of months. Don’t forget to enter my competition. Anyone can enter from anywhere. You’ve gotta be in it to win it. Read the post below (6th Sept) for details.


All about knitting 6 September, 2007

Filed under: knitting,Weekly useful stuff,Yarn reviews — makeityourown @ 4:28 pm

This week too much knitting is never enough! There will be a yarn review, a knitting book review, a competition to win knitting goodies, a list of Adelaide knitting groups and an expose of places to put your ball of wool while you’re out and about knitting.


Shortly, Make It Your Own blog will have its 5000th visitor. To celebrate I have two prizes to give away (pictured below). The first (valued at around $35) is a pack of goodies made up of an exquisite ball of laceweight alpaca, a pack of two Clover tapestry needles and a cute sheepy tape measure. The second (valued at around $16) is two balls of black, grey and white Patonyle sock yarn; enough for a pair of adult socks in my favourite sock yarn.

To go in the draw to win a prize: leave a comment telling us about something that you made/grew/cooked yourself that was a complete success or a total disaster. The two most amusing or amazing handmade/grown/cooked stories will win. I’ll choose the winner and I may or may not take bribes; try me and find out (ha ha). Leave your comment by the 20th September.

First prize

Second Prize



The Knittery Merino Mohair Lace 100g

The Knittery Merino Mohair Lace

Mmmmmm…900 metres of gorgeousness, enough to keep you knitting or crocheting for a very long time. You won’t want to stop either. All this for $25 plus about $3 postage within Australia (you can have it posted anywhere in the world). I ordered mine last week to do some crochet lace designing. It arrived very promptly and I’m loving it. It has a nice woolly feeling without being rough or scratchy and has a slight sheen. There is a very wide choice of colours available and all yarns are hand dyed, cheerfully even. It is smooth and doesn’t split and has a slight halo from the mohair. While the yarns are photographed and sold as hanks, you can ask to have yours wound into a ball. There is a link to The Knittery in the side bar. Excellent for shawls, especially when you want something a little more interesting than pure wool.

THIS WEEK’S BOOK REVIEW is Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush. Go to the book reviews page to read it.


Do you live in Adelaide and want to knit more? Here is a list of groups that I know of around Adelaide. If yours is missing please let me know.

SA Hand Knitter’s Guild (of which yours truly is now the secretary) meets 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 1pm in the Unley RSL, Arthur St Unley. Members have access to the library of knitting and crochet books. They have an exhibition bi-annually and a display at the Quilt and Craft Fair each year.

Adelaide Ktog has various groups meeting around Adelaide. There is a North Adelaide group on Wednesday evenings, a group at Mawson Lakes on Monday evenings, an Adelaide Hills group in Stirling on Thursday afternoons and a group that meets in the State Library on Sunday afternoons. For more info go to

Mostly Books at the Mitcham shopping centre has a group that meets on the last Tuesday of each month from 2-4pm.

If you don’t see a group that suits you why not start your own. If you get in contact with the Ktog group you can have it as part of that group in a location that suits you. I bet that wherever and whenever you choose to hold a group people will come.


When you are knitting on the move or outdoors you need somewhere to put the ball. I’ve been exploring a few options…

In the pocket of your cargo pants. Excellent for knitting while walking. I wouldn’t recommend it for jogging.


In the drink holder of your camp chair. This is particularly good for garden/camping/sport spectating knitting


In your handbag. Good for shopping and public transport knitting. The downfall of this method is that your yarn may get caught on i-pod cord, nail file, box of tictacs, the other yarn in there etc etc


In a tissue box. Best for tv knitting and for balls that are not centre-pull balls.


I have heard of someone who knits with the cat on their lap. The cat holds on to the yarn and provides a warm and friendly tension device. My cat does not provide this service. He does provide a good yarn cutting service and yarn taste testing service but at very inconvenient times.

It’s still kinda warm for August. The Adelaide Show is on next week. Ever since I can remember there have always been a few warm and sunny days for the show and a few wet miserable ones. This year looks like it will be the same. I’ll be there on Saturday afternoon and evening and it seems that that is when the wet weather will be coming. Sigh. Maybe by Thursday when I’ll be there again, it will be sunny. We live quite close to the showground and the rides have been constructed in the last few days. They are lit up like Christmas trees. When you drive past during the show you can see people being flung into the air and squealing (not my cup of tea). I’ve got free tickets this year. Yippee. I’ll be helping at the Spinners and Weavers Guild stand in the Old Ram Shed.

Keep knitting. Or as David Reidy of Sticks and String says, Carpe Lanam (Seize the Wool).