Delivery!

My package from fishpond arrived today and inside were three deliciously crafty books.

Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael

Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel

and Wire Jewellery – 25 crochet and knit wire designs by Kate Pullen

I made a cup of tea, grabbed a couple of cadbury creme eggs and read my knitting porn.

I have wanted Knitting Lingerie Style for ages. AGES. It’s not only got some GORGEOUS pattens (my particular favourites are the bed jacket, the trumpet skirt, waist-cincher top and shaped lace-tee) but it also goes through the basic history of a variety of underwear items (bra, slip, corset, stockings) and the patterns showcase a lot of shaping techniques that i should learn being a shapely girl! There are some items that, while I love the notion of them, are a bit bizarre, for example, knitted underwear. Whilst they look gorgeous and i’m sure in the right yarn they would be SO sexy-feeling against the skin, knitted bras and knickers are just a bit strange! Still, this is a top notch edition to my growing knitting book collection and i’m glad to finally have it in my hot little hands.

Fitted Knits is one of those books I kept seeing around the place and getting recommended on Amazon, so when I saw it for a good price I bought it. After all, as I mentioned, I’m a shapely girl and the one ‘fitted’ item i have made so far (a vest in Katia’s lovely diana yarn) looked horrible on. It stretched across the boobs, dragging the whole item up my body and making it terribly boxy and shortening. Of course, being my first knitted item of it’s size, I couldn’t bear to frog it, and i gave it to a friend. But back to the book… after such an experience a book that a) has shaped knits to start with and b) gives a wonderful guide to making sure your knit fits you and c) has top-down patterns that can be tried on as you go is just what the doctor ordered for getting me back up to knitting clothes as opposed to accessories. I love the saturday dress, the back to school u-neck vest, the airy wrap around and the elizabeth bennet cardi. Now I just need to be able to afford the yarn!

Wire jewellery is all crochet and knit items, and as I posted previously, this is an area of jewellery making I want to get into. This book not only has a variety of projects but offers ideas for variations and advice on materials and tools. Making jewellery is quick and easy and the results are always original, but given that I am skilled with a pair of pins, I might as well put that talent to creating unique pieces and I bought this book so I would have a range of techniques to put to good use!

Also, I finished my first beaded knitted item (not jewellery!) last night, a present for someone… so more on that later!

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All Wired Up

I have been experimenting with jewellery making. Whilst I have been creating oodles of the fairly standard drop hoop earrings, I have also put my talent with pins and needles to good use and knitting with wire.

This bracelet was my prototype.

The medium is 32 gauge silver wire and I had these gorgeous flower beads I was unsure of what to do with, so I just knitted… When it fitted around my wrist I bound off and threaded through a thicker wire to hold the shape. It is by no means perfect and it has a tendency to bend and catch as I wear it. I’ve used a magnetic clasp to secure it, which works quite well.  I aim to experiment further with edging materials… perhaps knitting a double thickness and folding it around a cuff material so the edges are neater… Not sure.

This was yesterday’s experiment, which I’ve had in mind for ages!

This is 28 gauge green wire (which I think is easier to work with in some ways) with freshwater pearls. This chocker style necklace has been crocheted, something I’m not particularly good at with yarn! I’ve simply chained the wire and then doubled back twice so there are three strands randomly chained together, with the pearls scattered along the length. I REALLY like the way this has come up, and it’s the perfect size to wrap twice around the wrist as a bracelet as well. It’s secured with a lobster clasp.

Proof of Addiction

First let me state that I am VERY poor at the moment.

Now, with that in mind, I just ordered Kim Hargreaves’ HEARTFELT from the UK for 17 pounds. Including shipping it was only AU$46 which is NOT BAD AT ALL considering i doubt it will be in Australia for a while. I mean even Amazon didn’t have this beauty. However, please remember point 1….

Still, I have no doubt I could easily knit up EVERY item in this book and love it. A very rare thing indeed. Also, they’re all in Rowan, which I can get at the Wool Baa, or I can even order the kits from Kim Hargreaves for a better price p/ball (and 5 pounds shipping).

I am particularly fond of the following…

< Cherish in Rowan Big Wool (Smokey – the colour I’d get)

< Emily in Rowan Kid Classic

<Elizabeth in Summer Tweed

Hopefully by the time it arrives I’ll have some form of income and thus be able to BUY the yarn for these glorious projects.

Hello world!

Welcome to Armed with Needles. Despite the ominous title, this is merely the blog of yet-another-crafter who uses various knitting, sewing and beading needles to make it through this thing we call life.

My weapon of choice is the knitting needle and I have been knitting ‘seriously’ (ie developing a stash and buying knitting porn) for three years. I have been sewing for about the same amount of time, getting my very own sewing machine in 2005. Beading is much newer craft for me, and I’ve been making stitch markers, jewellery and other odds and ends for about a month.

I have a penchant for knitting porn (read books and magazines) and yarn with a particular love of Jo Sharp and Rowan. Not that I can afford them very often, my budget tends to be more Cleckheaton, which I also love, but not in the same drooly kind of way. I have a very inquisitive mind and I’ve recently started spinning on a drop spindle, taking my fibre fettish to a whole new level!

I have a site on etsy and you can view my wares at binkaboo.etsy.com and I go by the alias binkaboo on Ravelry. I also have a livejournal and World of Warcraft account. I’m a bit of a net-a-holic actually and I love my computer- all my best friends are in it!

In the real world I moved to Melbourne, Australia from Adelaide, Australia, three years ago, ostensibly to make my fortune (*snerk*) as an actor. I am yet to get my ‘big break’ and in the meantime have earnt myself a Master of Arts and recently worked for a totally awesome theatre company. I am currently considering an alternative career in Arts Admin – if I can’t be the art itself, I can still help make it.

I live with my two babies (burmese kitties) who love my knitting fetish as it gives them opportunities to wreak havoc in the most dramatic way possible.

Peruse, engage, enjoy

Jen